Prayer is usually one of those practices that most Christians need to do more often. I know I do! It’s like trying a new diet, you get excited, you’re motivated, you write out little post it notes with words of encouragement, and three weeks later you’re binge watching Netflix while eating a bag of Doritos! Fortunately, there were some pragmatic points I think will stick with me. Here is what I underlined in the book and I hope it blesses you:

“King David learns that prayer is more about “will you? Won’t you?” than “when will you?” pg. 36

“Prayers are measured by their strength and not their length.”pg. 37

“Prayer begins with longing for God’s presence before his provision.” pg. 55

“Peace with God always comes through pardon and forgiveness, never performance.” pg. 58

In the Garden of Gethsemane while Jesus is praying and Peter, James and John are with him – “As Jesus brought the so-called strongest with Him, he didn’t share profound words of wisdom. He shared His weakness.” pg 68

“There is no smaller package than a man wrapped up in himself.” pg. 111

This is a short, small and on-point book. I did feel there was a small jab at the founding fathers, but nothing that I couldn’t read over. It was condescending and in bad taste and full of presupposition. Overall, the book was informative and good.

I struggle with prayer. It is my heart’s desire to cultivate prayer in my life. In a way the quote “Prayers are measured by their strength and not their length” freed me of this expectation that the longer the prayer, the holier it is. I am grateful for that quote and I will treasure it. I want to experience God in prayer and rely on Scripture to guide me to know Him more. Mr. Onwuchekwa does well in removing my legalistic approach to prayer. He also emphasizes the importance of communal prayer.

The book served its purpose and I recommend it to all Believers who want to sharpen their prayer life, especially prayer with other Believers.

You can buy the book here.


When was the last time someone reproved you_

The definition of reprove is: to scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent.

When was the last time a brother or sister in Christ reproved you? In a world where everyone’s statements matter. Where any experience makes that person an automatic authority of that subject. Where everyone has their own truth and is allowed to tout it to whomever will listen. I think it is a good question to ask oneself.

And if it has been a long time since someone has corrected the dastardly ways you behave, can I kindly suggest it isn’t because you really are that great of a human being.  Let me quote Romans 3:10-12 –

None is righteous, not one; no one understands; no
one seeks for God. All have turned aside;
together they have become worthless; no one does good,
not even one. 

Jesus gave us instruction on how to reprove our fellow brother. In Matthew 7 he says WHEN we reprove/judge we must take out the log in our own eye so we may see better, but a lot of us stop there and hesitate to assist in taking the speck out of our brother’s eye.

If it has been a long time since you have been reproved by a fellow saint, here are some reasons maybe why:
 1. You are easily offended. 
This is probably the main reason you haven’t been reproved. Most Christians are very aware of the feelings of others and it could be that your Christian friends and family are afraid of hurting your feelings by telling you some truths that could be damaging your testimony, sanctification or soul. Remember, we are to help and build one another up (I Thess. 5:11) and part of that process can be a bit painful. And even if the truths are not told in love, but out of spite, remind yourself that this sin in your life doesn’t change your status with God positionally. You are still His and nothing will ever change that. (Romans 8:38-39). So get over your offense, quit your sin if there is a sin to quit and God still loves you and the other Christian.
2. You are hiding.
Could the reason no one reproves you be because no one hasn’t really gotten to know you? As Christians we are meant to do life together. When Jesus prayed specifically for future Christians, he prayed this: “I do not ask on behalf of these (the 12), but for those also who believe in Me through their (the 12) word (YES THAT’S YOU); that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent me.” I love this whole chapter because it lets us into Jesus’ prayer life! But do you see what He just prayed? You cannot be united with anyone all by yourself. This whole prayer presupposes your life being involved in the life of other Believers. And your life includes your mess,  your sins, your nasty, you. And if you only give  your “good” side for other Believers to see, you forfeit the opportunity to potentially help a fellow saint who may be struggling with the same sin pattern as  you. (James 5:16). You throw away an opportunity to give the Gospel, and frankly you are being fake. Spend time with other Christian, so much time that they can call you out when you are not being real with them.
 3. You are proud.
Pride is such a hard sin to see in oneself because you think you are right. It blinds us to the reality that we are actually awful sinners. It justifies our shortcomings, and our outbursts. It coddles our little sins and tells us it really isn’t that bad. It places us on a pedestal and gives us the right to look down on others. I struggle with pride daily. It is a lack of humility. Pride is the root of all sin because it tells us what we are doing is right and what God says is wrong or untrue. Could it be that no one reproves you because you are too proud to be told anything? That you give off a vibe that you are so righteous that any rebuke is met with a harsh reminder of the other Believer’s sin? Who are they to tell me I am sinning when they themselves are a Jezebel or an Ahab? Ask yourself “Who is the chief of all sinners?” and if you can’t say “I am”, then can I lovingly reprove you that you too nailed Jesus to that cross and he bore every single one of your pitiful sins too? The proud Christian is the hardest kind of Christian to reprove.
4. People are clueless.
There could be a very legitimate reason you haven’t been reproved just simply because American Christians don’t know that this is what they are supposed to do with each other. In other countries I have visited, Christians are constantly telling each other the wrong things they are doing. In one church, I knew the sin issues of all that were at the church that day, and it wasn’t gossip because the people they were talking about were all  just nodding in agreement saying “yeah, we need to get right with the Lord”. And the preacher’s wife who was telling me all this was like “yeah, they keep telling me that!” And by contrast, here in the US, we have idolized privacy. And it is sinful. This has allowed certain sins to grab a hold of us so tightly that we are callous to its blows.  We excuse so many secular behaviors that other Christians in other countries are shocked at our worldlinesss. All in the name of grace (trying not to be a legalist) and respecting each other’s lives, we watch as our Christian culture deteriorates right before our eyes. And we are all part of it. How many times have we seen pictures on social media where a sister or brother in Christ is wearing something inappropriate, but we say nothing. When a Believer uses awful language, but we let it slide. We prefer to gossip behind their backs instead of lovingly pointing out our concern, based on God’s Word, after we have removed our log. We fear we may be seen as self-righteous. As hypocrites. As busy-bodies. May it not be! Read Matthew 7, all of it, not just the first verse. And then remove the speck of your brother’s eye. It is not just okay to do so, it is Biblical
5. They don’t want to be reproved
The last reason I will mention is very simple. It could be you have not been reproved because the ones who should be reproving you don’t want to be reproved back! This could be  you. Do not fear my fellow brethren, although being reproved stinks, when you take what is said in humility – regardless on how it was given – I promise it will sanctify you. Learn from it, pray about it with the person who is reproving you. And move on in the joy of your salvation. Isn’t it good to know that the person reproving you doesn’t really know how truly bad you are. They just know about that one thing, not the 50 other dastardly things you have done when no one was watching you!

I write this blog because I was recently reproved and it sucked! Reproof is not meant to be fun, but meant to grow us. Paul said:
For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; . . .- 
for I see that  that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while  – I
now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful
to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God,
so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.  2 Corinthians 7:8-10

Yes, I licked my wounds. I pouted, I justified my motives, but at the end of the day I did lack humility. My brother in Christ was right. He saw a sin in my life, I didn’t see. I couldn’t see. I wanted to lash out at his imperfection. At his audacity. And even though I thought I was right, being right at the wrong time, is still wrong. I may tell you about this exchange later, but not right now. So please respect my privacy 😛

My dear, dear Christian friend, could I challenge you to place trust in another brother or sister in Christ and give them permission to reprove you? And in turn ask them if you could speak truth into their life if it is necessary? His Word says:
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. . . . My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.  – James 5:16, 19-20


#Christian #christianliving #reproved







Spiritual Disciplines



Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

Self-control, persistence, long-suffering, restraint all these words and others are words that sometimes feel foreign to me. I cherish my freedom in Christ. I appreciate the 1st amendment that allows me to express myself and not be silenced. I truly revere how Jesus compacted all the law and prophets into two commands. I love simplicity. I love fun. I hate discipline. And because of the erroneous fear of barriers and structure, this book was a necessary read. I was so mistaken on what freedom really is and Mr. Donald Whitney uses great illustrations to maximize what he is trying to say in order to help the Believer understand just what truly is freedom. He explains it best at the end of the book when he quotes John Guest:

           “Discipline” has become a dirty word in our culture . . . I know I am speaking heresy in many circles, but spontaneity is greatly overhauled. The “spontaneous” person who shrugs off the need for discipline is like the farmer who went out to gather the eggs. As he walked across the farmyard toward the hen house, he noticed the pump was leaking. So he stopped to fix it. It needed a new washer, so he set off to the barn to get one. But on the way he saw that the hayloft needed straightening, so he went to fetch the pitchfork . Hanging next to the pitchfork was a broken handle. “I must make a note to myself to buy a broom handle the next time I get to town,” he thought . . .
By now it is clear that the farmer is not going to get his eggs gathered, nor is he likely to accomplish anything else he sets out to do. He is utterly, gloriously spontaneous, but he is hardly free. He is, if anything, a prisoner to his unbridled spontaneity.
The fact of the matter is that discipline is the only way to freedom; it is necessary context for spontaneity.

Whitney then elaborates and says: “I have several friends who can improvise beautiful melodies on a keyboard or a guitar. But the only reason they can play so “spontaneously” is because they have spent years in the disciplines of playing musical scales and other fundamental exercises. . . . if you desire effective spontaneity in the Christian life, it must be the fruit of a spiritually disciplined faith.

This lit a light bulb for me that shone so brightly that it knocked me off my know-it-all horse! I knew about the importance of prayer and Bible reading, but didn’t see that the more I did it, the more freedom I experienced in those areas. Mr. Whitney covers 10 areas of discipline for the Believer:

Bible Intake
Silence and Solitude

All of these chapters were so beneficial to me and I will be implementing – very slowly – some of Mr. Whitney’s Biblical suggestions because I want that kind of freedom. True freedom!

I recommend this book to all Believers. It is not the law or a to do list, it is a heightening of the pleasures of the Christian to a new level that comes with discipline. There is so much to gain by reading this book.




271 Babies

I am currently reading a book called “Gosnell, The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer and so far, I really can’t identify the emotions I am feeling. As I read, some moments I’m in an outrage at the lack of oversight of the local health departments or the bigotry against the poor. Other moments I feel crushed at so much death and outright lack of humanity and dignity. Other times I feel hopeless, “will this ever end?”. It’s a great read though and so far I highly recommend it!

I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and one day as I was planning out my day there, I picked up a newsletter about “intrauterine instillation”. I had no idea what that was so I read up on it. It is a form of abortion. It is saline or prostaglandin injected through the abdomen into the amniotic sac where in the space of 14-29 hours a pregnancy is terminated by burning the baby inside. You can read more about the procedure  here – don’t worry it’s not graphic it’s just wikipedia. As I read this newsletter, I was informed that these types of abortions still happen. I was completely shocked! I thought saline abortions were used only in the 70’s and 80’s. Although the number has gone drastically down, it is still currently used. Only .1% of abortions are done in this manner making the grand total of deaths by burning 271 – a little less than Queen Mary I of England in the 1500’s aka Bloody Mary! This number is still too high.

Deuteronomy 12:31 says: 
“You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

They even burn their children. This last segment in this  verse intensifies their sin . Not only do they do horrible acts, they’re even worse because they burn their children! Not only do we just rip babies apart in utero, we even burn some of them. Like Molech worshipers, in the name of prosperity, we allow our children to be burned alive.

I do believe there is hope though. With the help of the internet, science and social networks, the numbers of these atrocities do seem to be going down. We must inform ourselves, love the lost and desperate, and pray for wisdom in how God wants us to act individually and collectively as Christians.

I found a great website here, if you would like to volunteer your time or donate money to help men and women make informed decisions about their pregnancies and to help save these babies. I also want to encourage you to pray and to set up an alarm on your cell phone that will remind you to pray for these babies and their parents and this sacred cause. I have my alarm set at 10:10 p.m. because John 10:10 says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Will you join me in prayer? Set up your alarm to ring every night to remind you to stop what you are doing and pray for our children, their parents and the cause. At 10:10 p.m. most of our kids are in bed, some of us are getting ready for bed ourselves and the day is winding down. If you are an early sleeper, could you set the alarm for 10:10 a.m. or forget the 10:10 and set it for a time of day when is most convenient.

via Daily Prompt: Baby

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.

When I sing this particular verse of this hymn, I can’t help but close my eyes and bow my head in shame because it is true. So easily do I just wander away from Him. And I don’t think I do it on purpose. It is more like a boat that isn’t anchored that just floats away and just heads in all kinds of directions. Never on purpose, but always surrendering to its circumstance. Thankfully, whether I feel lost or floating about in my spiritual life, the truth is that He is the One who has me anchored to Himself and I am assured that He will never let me go. (John 10:29)

One way that I feel anchored again (remembering that regardless of my feelings, my salvation doesn’t ebb away) is through prayer. And I know that sounds so “cliche” and so easy of a fix, but truly there is nothing (outside of Scripture) that hones in my heart to match His as prayer can do.

Prayer sifts out my sin.
When life gets busy, sin can easily hide. When life gets idle, sin comes out to play. Regardless if I am confessing a besetting sin or if the Holy Spirit is revealing one to me, prayer allows me to be more aware of the sin that grieves God and brings me to the cross gladdening my heart for He is always faithful to forgive. (James 5:16)

Prayer brings me to the throne
When I think that I am approaching the King of kings in prayer and I am not going to die I am left speechless. There are no words to describe that a Gentile woman can enter the Holy of Holies and worship. (Heb. 4:16) Prayer allows me to worship Him privately.

Prayer reminds me that I have love to give
When I read my prayer list and pray for those on it, I am reminded of people who are hurting, lonely, lost or feeling loss. It triggers me to make a phone call, bake some cookies, write a letter, type out a text, send a facebook message, or make a house visit. Prayer beckons me to be His hands, feet, shoulders, arms and voice.

Prayer softens my heart
Some people are hard to love and some people are even harder. When I honestly pray for those that hurt me or those that hurt the people I love, God does something amazing. He softens my heart towards them and they begin to have less control over me and my feelings. And in the rare occasions when I have trouble “forgiving”, God always reminds me of the dastardly things He has forgiven me for already. 🙂

Prayer is therapeutic
My overbearing mother, my passive father, my annoyance with my ex-husband, the attitudes of my children, my lack of wanting intimacy, my self-esteem, that thing I do that I don’t want to mention here and so, so much more; I have brought to God. And He truly has helped me figure so much out. It is through prayer that we are given wisdom. (James 1:5) So many times I have come to God bawling my eyes out, completely overtaken by despair, and patiently He has brought to mind Scripture that overtakes my moments of sorrow or pain. I have also come to him lost, in a rage, scared for my life, indecisive, numb, depressed, raw and feeling so many other things. I have also been given the peace that transcends understanding, and it was always after time spent with Him in prayer. (Phil. 4:7) Who better to tell me about myself and how to handle a certain situation than the One who created me and was with me throughout my entire life? (Jer. 33:3)

I want to encourage you to take time to pray. If you are not sure how to, Jesus Himself teaches us how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15. Also we can read Jesus’ prayer before he was captured in John 17. And what is so amazing about this prayer is that in it you can read where Jesus is praying for you!!!!! (see verses 20-21 of that same chapter), and He is still praying for you! The Son of God prays for you! So let us imitate Him and pray.

 . . . . For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. ~ Romans 8: 26-27

Benefits of Prayer