When you want to experience Jesus and know he’s real without a shadow of doubt

I feel all sorts of goofy and giddy; like the beginning of young love. My heart beats fast, I blush when I realize he’s looking at me and I’ll find just about any excuse to be alone with him.

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I break out in song because every one feels like the perfect ballot to belt out my love. I’ve picked about twelve songs that feel like “ours” right now.

But the truth is, this isn’t the first time I’ve fallen in love with him, nor the second. And yet it feels like new love all over again. He’s arrested my heart and stolen my devotion for the 100th time.

Unreserved, unrestrained, your love is wild, Your love is wild for me,

It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed your love is proud to be seen with me

You don’t give your heart in pieces, you don’t hide yourself to tease us

Uncontrolled, uncontained, your love is a fire
Burning bright for me

It’s not just a spark , its not just a flame your love is a light
That all the world will see  – Pieces | Amanda Cook

Like the flood gates of grace have opened up again and the dam breaks, his love rushing over me. I’m swimming in it; overcome by it.


I can smell the sweet scent of a man I love dearly and see his love letters tucked in every nook and cranny. Some say happenstance, but I know better

… know better than to believe he’s not my bridegroom, madly in love with me, ever persistent in his pursuit of all my heart; of my total surrender to his all consuming love.


Call me a fool but I’m a fool in love.

In love with a man who loved me enough to die for me.

In love with a father who adores me to pieces.

In love with a Spirit who belts my deepest heart cries.

With all the sand that fills the hourglass
With every breath between my first and last

I love You
I’m trying to
Love You more
I’m ready
Please help me
Love You more – Nichol Nordeman | Love you More 




Prayer is such a huge topic and I won’t pretend to have all the answers. But what I do know is this:

My entire faith changed and so did my prayer life when I began these two practices:


Meditative Prayer

Closing my eyes, envisioning Jesus in front of me and sharing my heart with him; my honest, unfiltered and unreserved thoughts and feelings. And then waiting…. and listening for his response.

Sometimes I’ll simply turn on worship music, lie down and close my eyes. I’ll invite the Holy Spirit to speak to me and then wait in silence. Sometimes he shows me visions, sometimes I see pictures, other times words or phrases come to mind. But whatever comes, I sit in it and allow it to wash over me, trusting his leading.

There are lots of difference ways to do meditative prayer. I personally used the guided encounters in Heart Made Whole and Guided Encounters by Christa Black Gifford to learn this practice and have adapted it to suit my personal prayer life. 


Writing Out and Praying God’s Word back to Him 

I was challenged to try reading the bible like I would a novel, without analyzing and studying it, just letting it hit me and stir me naturally. And when it did, to write it out.

I started in Ephesians and began to make my way through the epistles (letters). An amazing thing happened: almost every line caused me to stop and think. It was something I wanted for myself, something I felt convicted by, advice or encouragement I wanted to share with a friend or  a new revelation of sorts. I would write whatever it was out – sometimes a single passage, other times entire paragraphs – personalizing it for myself or for those I love. Finally I would then pray it back to God. 

I cannot explain what followed other than this: I now know with my heart and not just my head that God’s word is powerful! And he most definitely watches over his word to perform it. When we pray it, he hears us and we can count it already ours! 

I have seen miracle after miracle after changed heart and behaviour – in myself and others – since beginning this practice. And it’s rocking my world. 


When you need a reminder that prayer works and how best to pray

Line after line I furiously wrote. With a new hunger and passion for the scriptures, my heart beat faster with ever one written.


“It’s amazing.” I told my husband. ” It’s like I’m reading it with new eyes, as if for the very first time!

…. the very longings of my heart – the things I can’t put words to half the time-  right there for me to read and pray back to him!

And the amazing thing is, it tells me right here that He watches over his word to perform it! That when I pray according to his will,  I can consider it heard and done. Answered now, already and in advance!!”

I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it. ~ Jeremiah 1:12

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15

This isn’t new to me, friend. In truth, I’ve heard those very statement umpteen times before but like a fresh revelation, they’ve finally entered my heart.

Their truth has moved from my head to my heart, where true knowledge and wisdom are learnt and housed; and ultimately lived out of.

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ~ Luke 6:45

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ~ Matthew 6:21

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.~ Proverbs 23:7


Not the first time, I’ve been reading “The Power of a Praying Parent.” Chapter after chapter I’m convinced again of the saving, healing power of prayer.

How prayer is the greatest gift, aside from love, that we can offer our children.

Prayers for love, faith, friendship, purpose, even protection… The one I wrote out and prayed this morning: Psalm 91.

Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
    I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
    shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
    under them you’re perfectly safe;
    his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
    not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
    not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
    drop like flies right and left,
    no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
    watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge. 

As we walked the trails with friends, I had no idea a lesson was coming; that God would show me just how powerful my prayers really are. And he did in a simple yet profound way.

As the kids frolicked and played, they found their way to a cut-out patch of forest. They stomped and jumped and gigged and laughed.

Until she screamed….


My girlfriend’s three year old daughter.

A deafening scream that radiated every cell of my being.

We quickly discovered she was stung by a bee and my daughter was still tromping in the area! So caught up in the moment, it took me minutes to pull her out….

and that’s when I saw it; the bee swarming her.


As we walked home, I couldn’t help but utter thank you’s that she hadn’t been stung also. But it wasn’t until later that I realized the truth.

God had protected her.

It could just have easily been her! She should have been stung too! And yet she wasn’t….

She played in the same area, doing the same things, even stomping around minutes after, while the bee continued to circle her.

But God had protected her, a direct answer to my morning prayer for protection.



If you haven’t yet read through Stormie Omartian’s “Power of a Praying Wife/Husband/Parent/Woman/Marriage” series, check them out! They take the guesswork out of prayer. If you want to save the cash or prefer to write out your own prayers, just open up The Psalms! 


I do not believe God caused the bee sting to teach me a lesson. I believe he used the situation and brought good out of it.

I say this because in my own faith journey, God’s role in pain and suffering has been a deep and hard wrestle. And it’s taken me a long time to come to a place of peace and confidence in my stance. I want to be sensitive to those who are wrestling with this themselves. I empathize with you and understand. Press on, friend. God will reveal his heart when you seek answers from him directly. 

Where the Battle’s Won | When your mourning turns to dancing

Over the past few months, life has felt heavy. 

In addition to taking one of the biggest leaps of faith I’ve ever taken, having no clue what the future holds for me, we’re walking through one of the most intense seasons of our marriage yet. Thankfully were on the assent from the valley and the peak of the mountain is in sight. 


On top of that, this new stage of motherhood – moving from babyhood to toddlertown- has proved to reveal many of my weaknesses on a daily basis. Where joy once came easy in every moment,  I’ve found myself having to fight for it and be intentional in choosing it throughout my days. I’ve needed far more help than I ever imagined and I’ve battled guilt and shame over failed expectations of what I’d be like as a mother. 

And then there’s Thursdays, my favourite day of the week as I welcome some of the women closest to my heart into my home. Together we wrestle and grow and encourage and laugh. And while it’s beautiful and profound what happens each week, we’ve been working through the most intense study yet. It’s uncovered deep personal struggles in all of us and we’ll, lets just say that while the intensity isn’t anything I shy away from, it, added to my other realities, has felt back breaking some weeks. 

Over all, my heart has hurt for all the brokenness and suffering in and around me. I’ve had to grieve losses for myself and for others. I’ve had to sit in the darkness of my emotions and not run from them, so that eventually, I could bury them and move on.

I’ve learnt that with every new beginning, there must first be a death. And this season has felt like many small deaths and the subsequent grief that must follow to properly heal. 


This may all sound cryptic but the truth is, much of what I’m walking through is only privy to God and the people it involves and that’s ok. 

I’ve had to remind myself that as people on the outside looking in have judged me and my circumstance.

I’ve had to remind myself of what they’re not seeing and of the hope that I cling to every day…. 

The hope and the promises that God has given me in this season: That he is doing something entirely new! That he is making streams in the wastelands of my life and building a road to a place I’ve only imagined. 


And that I must properly let go and fully trust him, in order to move forward. He’s been gentle and so kind and his presence has never felt deeper. 


But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a test of my faith. It’s been a daily choice, a daily seeking and daily re-commitment to trust and believe. I’ve discovered what faith really is in this season: believing for what is unseen even when it doesn’t make sense. 

And like the sun after a break in the rain, he’s turned my mourning into dancing. 



How. How do we seek? How do we trust? How do we believe even when it feels ridiculous?

For me it’s been a process and many days a discipline:

  1. Learning his voice [which, like in any relationship, takes time together and learning about each other] 
  2. Eliminating distractions [being intentional about regularly spending times in silence and in solitude to both pray and just listen
  3. Being honest with God about what is going on in my heart each time I pray  [I’ve found the more honest I am with God, no matter how ugly or messy it is, the more I experienced his presence and response] 

Faith isn’t a one size fits all walk and I believe we all experience God differently. He speaks to each of us in different ways – ways that resonate with us as individuals.

I don’t claim to have all the answers or the only way, but I can promise this:

God delivers. He shows up. I don’t know how or in what ways he’ll do that for you but I know that when we seek him [not just for what he can do for us and to get answers to our prayers, but to known him: who he is and what he’s like] with our whole heart, he shows up.  And many times, he shows off!

In my earnest pleas to know him- in crying out for him to show me how he feels for me, personally – God has made himself radically known to me in ways I cannot deny. And he wants to do the same for you.


The Prayer you’ve Never Prayed

If were honest with ourselves, our prayer lives are anything but relational and more akin to children throwing tantrums when they don’t get their way, or 3 wishes from our genie in a bottle.

We talk about our faith being a personal relationship with God, who’s intimacy and love overwhelms us and as a result, our lives change as an overflow of that love.  But in reality, our time with him consists mainly of one way conversations where we come to him like a demanding toddler, asking for things to make “our kingdoms come,”not his. We ask for this, we desire that, then slap Jesus’ name on at the end.

Honestly ask yourself [I will too!] how often you come to him, like Jesus did, simply to be with him and enjoy his company-not because of what we want or even because of what he deserves [out of duty] but because we so desperately long to just be in Gods presence and enjoy his company?

the papa prayer

The ugly reality is I didn’t even see it in myself; I’d been ignorantly blinded by my relational sin towards God. Then this book landed in my lap.

The last two weeks have looked like ugly tears, frantic tantrums and desperate cries for God to change me, like only he can, through the transformational power of the Holy Spirit. I am just learning, just scratching the surface, of what it actually looks like to pray to our papa father and it feels REAL- for the very first time.

The Papa Prayer has torn me apart, turned me on my heard and created in me an unveiled desire to see myself as I truly am  and present myself the way God wants me to, not how I think I should or how preacher Joe tells me I should pray.

I journeyed through a frank, deep and vulnerable conversation of  prayer culture, not only from a personal perspective, but also from a dissected view at the Western Christian society.

Like millions of Christians, Dr. larry Crabb has always considered his prayer life a weakness – “dull, intense only in crisis, occasionally meaningful and passionate but mostly lifelessly routine.” But for everyone who struggles to pray in a way that matters, who is bored with prayer and doesn’t know where else to turn, this groundbreaking book whispers of hope for change.

Something new and real and deep started happening in him, Crabb says, when he began practicing the four steps of what he calls the PAPA prayer – a revolutionary conversational approach to talking with and enjoying God. As this fellow seeker shares his journey and education in the mysteries of prayer, he guides us to see ourselves and God in a different light . . . which will alter the way we talk – and listen – to Him.” 

Don’t walk, RUN and grab a copy. Simply put, the best money you’ll invest….ever. It’s the prayer you’ve NEVER prayed.

Hopeless on our own

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

When we choose to follow Jesus, our old lives/selves/entity dies and a new one is born- one that is Christ living in us. We are one.

As branches are connected to a tree, so are we intimately connected to Jesus. There is no separation between his being and ours; we aren’t following behind him like a pup follows his master. We are one; intertwined, connected at the hip and dependent on each other for our mere survival, let alone, to flourish or blossom.

Because of this unity, all that is Jesus’s becomes ours; all his authority, his victory and even his power, now becomes ours.

Hold up. Read that again…

… Like how your husbands assets [all his possessions and money] instantly become yours once you get married, everything that is Jesus’ is now ours! That incredible.

It’s not because of anything we’ve done or even what we deserve, but simply because we have chosen him in marriage- united as one with Christ.

“I am the vine you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Because we are one, we can do/say/live like Jesus did, bearing much fruit as he did and asking of the Father as he did.

But just as with divorce, apart from him, whats his is no longer ours. Therefor we can no nothing- not a single good thing- apart from Jesus.

Apart from him, everything we do [in our own stength, in our own ability/capacity and with our own motives] is in vain.

Well thats extreme, you say. Not a single good thing? I know I am somewhat of a good person and have at least a few good intentions.

Not when we see who we truly are, apart from God…

  •  Alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds ~ Col 1:21
  •  Recover themselves out of the snare of the devil ~ 2 Tim2:26
  • They ran for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God ~ John 3:20
  • Servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness ~ Romans 6:19
  • The lusts of their hearts to impurity… God gave them up to dishonorable passions ~  Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26
  • The passions of the flesh, wage war against your soul ~ 1 peter 2:11

“This is the reality about humanity. We are each born with an evil, God-hating heart. Genesis 8:21 says that every inclination of mans heart is evil from childhood….In our evil we rebel against God. We take the law of God and we disobey it. This is the picture of the very first sin in Genesis 3.

Jesus told us that everyone who sins is a slave to sin and Paul went so far as to say that we are captive to the devil himself. Ephesians 4:18 says that we are darkened in our understanding and our hearts are like stone. According to 2 corinthians 4:4, we cannot event see Christ because of the depth of our spiritual blindness.

God beckons storm cloud.. he tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, “No!”  David Platt ~ excerpt from Radical  

If we look at ourselves, without Christ, we are simply put, evil, enemies of God who are dominated by Satan…. That reality should severely frighten us! It should smack us in the face and unveil our true nature. We desperately need to be intentionally intimate and connected with Jesus.

It’s more than a one time thing and more than repeating a prayer asking God into our hearts. Choosing to “accept Jesus” does not in and of itself, make us a Christian.

Its a decision we need to make daily, to live out the Christian life. To not just to talk the talk, but walk the walk, every day.

We must know Jesus personally and intentionally choose to stay connect to him, each and every day!

If we want to ensure we are one with Christ and bearing much fruit as we are commissioned, it requires that we be with and spent time with Jesus daily- being in Gods word studying it [not just passively reading it], living in a state of prayer [not just our hello and goodbyes each morning and evening], and repenting of the sin we allow to creep into our lives each day [not just once a week on sundays or twice a year in the confession booth].

If you’re like me, this reality is overwhelming and your minds spinning with how you can possibly live in such a state, while still accomplishing the demands of everyday life…

The good news is, God tells us we cant- read that again, CANT- do it on our own and apart from him we could NEVER accomplish such an active and intentional living in/for Christ. But in Jesus, we can ask anything and it will be given to us…

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.” John 15:6

We can ask God to change our thoughts towards this responsibility of living as a Christian- that he would give us the supernatural desire and hunger to be in his word and come to him in prayer throughout the day. We can beg him to help us love him, with every fibre of our being and trust him more than we trust our selves and anyone/thing in this world. Because it’s only a transformed mind and heart that will cultivate a will in line with Jesus’ and ultimately effect our actions, helping us prioritize our days and schedules accordingly, allowing us to live out a life as we’ve been commissioned.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples.” John 15:8

Start there. Start now. Pray with me for God to change our thoughts towards him, our desires in this life, our will to match his own, our relationships to reflect his love and our purpose to be that of the great commission, not a Christian spin on the American Dream…