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Monthly Archives: July 2013

The God Who Makes Dreams Come True

Psalm 37:4–Delight yourself also in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 145:19– He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him.

Proverbs 10:24– The desire of the righteous shall be granted him.

At age five I walked into a pet shop with my mom, heard someone greet us, and looked around to find nobody. Imagine my amazement when I saw the big green bird on the counter open its beak and again repeat, “Hello.”

I was smitten. I had to have a pet like that. An animal with the intelligence to speak my language? I was already fascinated by birds, but this? This was way over the top.

I asked mom if we could get one, and she replied “No, parrots are noisy. And messy. How about a nice little parakeet?”

So we got a parakeet. Close, but no cigar. The dream had already been born in my heart: one day I’d have my very own big, green, noisy-messy, talking bird.

Unfulfilled dreams can fade with time, and eventually my childhood longing diminished–until two decades later when I was serving as a youth minister in Florida. A lady in our church called telling me how she’d caught a feral parrot in their front yard. Since I had a reputation for being knowledgeable about birds, could I possibly drop by and identify it?

It turned out to be a blue-fronted Amazon; very similar to that first talking bird I’d seen as a boy. Again, I was thunderstruck with the desire to own such a pet. But they were expensive, and I was a newlywed, just starting out on a tight budget.

The lady called again a couple weeks later complaining that the parrot was a bother. Would I like to have it?

“Yes please!” And that parrot soon became my best friend.

It’s interesting to me that even though I’d forgotten all about that little dream, God had not. Nowadays parrots are one of my life-passions. I breed them as a hobby/side-business and have shipped hand-raised birds all over the US. In other words, my childhood dream became a dream-come-true.

It was just a bird. A child’s wish. No big deal. And yet it was a big deal to God. He remembered that little longing past the time I’d forgotten about it, and manipulated events to make that wish come true. But that’s how he rolls isn’t it? He’s the God of dreams.

Do you have unfulfilled longings today? You may have big dreams, but they’re not too big for God. You may have small dreams, but they’re not too small for him to care about. The fact is, God loves you and cares about every single facet of your life. And you can trust him to be the God who makes your dreams come true. 

 Today’s prayer: Father, I have a dream. And though it seems impossible, it’s not impossible for you. I trust you to move in my life, Lord, to turn this dream into reality. You’re the God who makes dreams come true.

From David’s new devotional “Faith Pumper,” due out on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers next week.

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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Threshing Sledge

Isaiah 41:15–Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and make the hills like chaff. 

Many Christians suffer from a low spiritual self-image. We see ourselves as sinners while God sees us as his righteousness. (2nd Cor. 5:21) We think of ourselves as victims when the Bible calls us more than conquerors. (Rms. 8:37) 

Believing we’re less than we really are may seem humble, but it only keeps us from serving God effectively. How can we do great things for him when we see ourselves as incapable and unworthy? 

Someone once asked me if I worried about encountering demons on the mission field. “No,” I told them, “but I’m pretty sure demons on the mission field worry about encountering me.” And why shouldn’t I believe that? Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Lk 10:19)

A threshing sledge is a long, wide, flat board, the bottom of which is lined with row after row of hard, sharp teeth. Ancient farmers used to drag it across harvested wheat, to separate the grain from the chaff. In Isaiah 41:15 God uses this image to depict the believer. But we don’t grind out grain; we pulverize the mountains that stand in our way.

Are you facing resistance today? Do you see immovable obstacles before you? Move forward boldly in faith. Through God’s power you can crush anything. God will back you all the way. You are his threshing sledge. 

Today’s prayer: The Bible says, “Let the weak say ‘I am strong,’” so I agree with your word, Lord, today. Through your power I am strong enough to move mountains. Right now, by faith, I remove any hindrance that stands in my way in Jesus’ name. 

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Guest Post by Laura Krämer

It’s Not You…It’s Me {a healed hallelujah}

I have a confession. I don’t like coming here anymore. Something just doesn’t feel right. Believe me, it’s not you—it’s me.

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Photography by Kris Lozano

No, wait. Actually…it’s her.
Look at her sitting there. Her head bent down, confident and determined to hold tight onto something—some kind of steel to bring her strength and power. She is serious. She is intense. She is deep.

She is broken.

She is me.

Out of all the smiling, happy, pictures my photographer friend took of me that day—it was this one that drew me in. I chose her to be the cover girl over the words of this blog. She fit the part of a messy, vulnerable, broken hallelujah.

Can I tell you the truth?

I’m tired of living broken.

Sixteen months ago this broken cover girl not only became the banner over my blog—but over my life.

It was March 2012, I launched this website here, my dad had a mini stroke, and my father-in-law passed away. In April, my mother married—for the third time, I on the other hand (and unbeknownst to my husband) wanted out of my marriage. In May, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer. InJune, only six weeks later, he died—the day after Father’s Day. From that point on I not only grieved the loss of my dad, but also the reality my husband was not my dad—nor would he ever be.

In July I turned 40, I began therapy…and so did my boys. In August, I became a full-time homeschool teacher to my sons. In September, my older son’s volatile behavior proved he needed more than just play therapy—he began anger management group for kids, as well as family group counseling, and my husband also sought personal counseling.

That’s kind of a lot all squished up in only seven months…and yeah, there’s a lot there that never made it into a blog post.

Do I even bother mentioning the financial stresses, the possibility of bankruptcy and foreclosure we brought into 2012 as well as the “unseen” bondage around my mind and heart?

*sigh*

A broken hallelujah indeed….

What a mess.

Sadly, it was a familiar mess. But the mess took on a new shape when my dad died. That event alone not only exacerbated the mess, but alsocatapulted me into deeper pools of healing

As it turns out grief is not just about missing someone, it’s about discovering who you are without them. My most recent journey is about discovering who I am without my dad. It’s a big journey that involves acknowledging the strong bonds I had with him, but never had with myhusbandAs a dear friend once said to me, my dad’s death is the ultimate leaving and cleaving. It is a painful journey—as all transformation stories are—but surprisingly one that led, not just me, but my husband and boys to encounter Hope.

And when you’ve encountered Hope…well, you don’t live life broken. You live life healed.

I. live. life. healed.

And so the only thing left to do is say good-bye. No—not to you. To her. I think she’s been waiting –waiting for me to release her—not just from her brokenness, but from the burden she’s held tight to for too long.

It’s time to be free.

It’s time to live whole.

It’s time to sing—A Healed Hallelujah.

Say hello to the new cover girl.

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Photography by Kris Lozano

Look at her standing there. Her chin lifted up, confident and delighted to keep her gaze onto someone—some kind of Holy to fill her with love and grace. She is radiant. She is compassion. She is free.

She is healed.

She is me.

 

~Laura

p.s. Funny to think these contrasting photos (broken & healed) were taken on the same day. A dear friend says it’s not a coincidence. She believes God wants me to know He has always seen me healed…even when I only saw myself broken. I have a feeling she might be right.

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Face to the Wall

2 Kings 20:2: Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.

King Hezekiah became terminally ill, and Isaiah visited him with a message. “Set your house in order,” said the prophet, “because you’re not going to recover from this, you’re going to die.” Wow, talk about hopeless. It’s one thing when a doctor says there’s no cure. It’s another when God Himself says it. So the King turned his face to the wall…

Have you ever been there, facing the wall, knowing your situation was hopeless? I have, as have many others. In fact it’s said that a venerable clergyman, while crossing the Atlantic, stood on ship’s the deck for hours, just staring out to sea. A boy finally approached him asking, “What’s so fascinating? What do you see out there?” To which the man slowly turned and replied, “Nothing. Nothing but God.”

Nothing but God. That’s what you see when you’re face to the wall, nothing but your last hope, which can only be found in Him.

And don’t think for one minute God can’t be persuaded. The Bible is full of stories about how Abraham, Moses, and others changed God’s mind. Here, the prophet had already given the word “Thus says the Lord.” And yet Hezekiah wasn’t about to give up. With tears, he set his case before his God, adding, “Remember how I’ve walked faithfully before you, Lord.”

The Bible says, “Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Turn back and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you.”

Are you up against it today? Turn to the wall. Focus on God alone and state your case. Believe me; you have a case, even if it rests on Jesus’ sacrifice. None of us are perfect, but we’ve been made righteous by the shed blood of Christ. (Rms. 5:1, 9, 17) And remember, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16) Effective. That means it works.

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Hummingbird is now available in print version–you can get yours here:  http://www.amazon.com/Hummingbird-David-Stearman/dp/1622082168/ref=tmm_pap_title_0/178-3412136-6113509

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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