All posts by laura

Checking in with a heart check today <3

I am coming to you today with my real and transparent thoughts from the past week that has followed months of pandemic mayhem. 

On Monday, I watched the sun set on a day that was one of the most unproductive and pointless days I have had in a long while. I had scrolled through posts and video feeds of various news items and commentaries all day. 

I cried and prayed and cried and snacked and wandered aimlessly around our house, because I am overwhelmed feeling all the feelings around me right now.

I felt helpless and confused. 

Every so often I walked to the door of Russ’s home office and told him I was not accomplishing anything. He would nod his head and go back to work and I would repeat my spiral downward.

The arena of social media that exists outside of posts by friends of their family gatherings or favorite verses or blog posts shared to encourage is a new playing field that I was unaware of.

The freedom of people to blast negativity onto a live video from someone else was something I have never encountered. The downright rude and thoughtless and ignorant barrage of unchecked thoughts spewing from every angle took me into a world that cannot be ignored, but also cannot rule over me.

I have been sheltered from the raw ugly of hate that flies around out there and I have to admit I prefer polite conversations and quiet “agreeing to disagree” more than the confrontational arguments and outright vitriol of comments that people slam others with through what has become our “third place” …. the internet. 

My heart’s desire is to do what Scripture tells me which is to care for those who are oppressed and defend the fatherless and the widows, to use the blessings I have been given to bless others and to show justice and mercy to all. 

But the rapid-fire words of anger and hate and retaliation that bombard the atmosphere rendered me incapacitated as I tried to separate out truth in the midst of so many loud voices. 

So yesterday, I turned off social media and determined to live in the day and do what I could do right in front of me and ask God to remind me what only I can do and then give me strength and boldness to do THAT thing and not be anxious about how it is perceived or judged or received by anyone but Him. 

That is not to say I am ignoring the pain around me. That is not to say I am not going to do better to find answers to my questions about how I can make a difference. That is not to say that I will now go back to burying my head in the sand and ignore what I see and hear happening on so many levels.

It is to say that I have to choose God’s righteousness first and then let Him lead me to the places where I can minister out of that in ways that bring His Kingdom here.

  • His Kingdom is best for all of us.
  • He is all about the dignity and sanctity of every human life.
  • He is all about justice and He is all about mercy.
  • He is all about every human being treated as valuable and precious.
  • He is all about tearing down world systems that do not support His plan of redemption, wholeness and healing. 

This morning as I was doing my devotions, each one seemed tailor made for the current conditions of our world and my own struggle to stay focused on the tasks at hand. And so like God, they each supported one another and culminated in a time of prayer that was based on a prayer written by Stormie Omartian in one of her books that is so applicable for all of us.

I am sharing the prayer points and my thoughts here:

Show me how to express deep, unconditional love in a way that is clearly perceived and received.*

Lord, I confess that I tend to love conditionally. I don’t want to be that way, but I know that my love is more open and flowing towards others when they fulfill certain conditions. I tend to love people I like… people I prefer.

(I beg you…please readers, do not read race into this…we are walking on egg shells right now and I am compelled to say that I do not like and prefer based on anything except my gut response to human beings I encounter…they are all sizes, shapes, colors and backgrounds…it is an enigma to me what draws me to certain people and makes them easy to love when I struggle with loving others….)

Even worse, I often find I withdraw love from people I like and prefer when their behavior or attitudes or decisions hurt me or go against what I desire for them or for me. This is not right. This is not righteous. I need Your help to love unconditionally. I need Your love poured into my heart so that I can truly LOVE..even when I don’t agree…even when I don’t understand.

To love does not require me to approve or prefer or be okay with someone’s choices or behavior or attitudes. Help me to grow in my understanding of YOUR love so I can just love people.

I also pray that my love will be perceived and received. I understand that others may have preconceived notions about me. I need Your help to break down the barriers of misunderstanding on all sides so that Your love is poured out of me and onto my family and friends and acquaintances and even those who I do not know, but share the road with in this life. 

Laura Reimer

Remove any barriers that have been formed in me through disappointment and pain in my past* 

Lord, this struck me deep in my spirit and soul. As I sit and just hold my heart out to You, I am aware that I have carried and buried some disappointment and pain from the distant and recent past deep down.

Because I have not let You heal me of those things, I am weak and useless in helping others who are experiencing disappointment and pain. I need to understand that You heal in layers and I will continue to need to bring my heart before You to receive Your next level of healing until I stand perfected before You.

Their pain reminds me of my unresolved hurts and so I am handicapped to offer the kind of love and support that is needed. Rather than recount these things, I am just acknowledging to you that I am a broken person in need of Your love and Your peace and Your healing.

I receive the ministry of Your Spirit searching out those places in me and I open my own self up to be healed by You. You are the only one who can completely heal me and equip me to become a minister of Your healing and reconciliation. 

Laura Reimer

If there is a place in my heart where I feel rejected or unloved, I bring that to You for healing*

Lord, again I open up the deep places of my heart where I have experienced rejection and where I feel unloved. Search me and shine Your light into those hidden places that fuel my inability to hear the cry of others.

I cannot extend the fullness of Your bountiful love until I have allowed Your love to fill up the holes in my own heart.

I receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit again right now as You bind up my wounds so that I can extend that grace and mercy to others who expressing their pain and perceptions of being rejected and unloved. 

Laura Reimer

If there is any unforgiveness in me toward anyone, show me and I will confess it. I do not want to carry unforgiveness in my heart because it separates me from You and my prayers will not be heard*

Lord, as I offer up myself for examination, You bring names and faces to mind. Very few hurt me intentionally.

The offense was usually because of the human condition of the offenders heart…like me they were more concerned with self and I got wounded as a result. Often they have not even been aware of how they have hurt me and so an apology is never going to take place.

The work of forgiveness and reconciliation falls on me and then I think of how I have also offended and wounded with no idea…and I would want to be forgiven by the ones I hurt….so Lord, thank You that by the power and work of the Holy Spirit in me, I can forgive and let go and hold nothing against my offender.

If I have been intentionally and purposefully wounded by someone, You will be my example as You said of those who crucified You..forgive them. I will rest in Your healing in all cases.  

Laura Reimer

So there you have it…a little visit to my time with Jesus this morning.

I hope you are turning to Him first before you turn on the news, the social media feeds or your mouth.

I am doing better today at this then yesterday and the day before.

May He guide us through these times in ways that bring heaven to earth as we journey onward  <3

* Power of a Praying Grandparent; Stormie Omartian, Harvest House Publishers, pg. 26

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Remembering Pentecost Sunday <3

Here we are starting a new month and once again, I spent the past one trying to keep upright in the midst of increasing turmoil and strife. 

I saw one of those meme’s this morning with a photo of actor Mark Wahlberg’s classic portrayal of a confused face, as only he can do, and underneath it said, “Sooooooooo….we’re not doing Covid anymore?” 

I can totally relate. 

We made a quick trip to Louisville on Memorial Day to visit my family’s graves and made stops in Indiana as well. Some people were wearing masks, most were not in both states. Restaurants were doing what we are doing here – curb side and take out…yet stores and gas stations were packed. 

I keep wearing my mask because I thought I was supposed to … some are…some aren’t. 

And in the most recent turn of events, the angst of our nation has blown social distancing out of the picture as people gather to protest peacefully and not so peacefully and others are waging a different kind of war based on whatever their motive is. 

Yet, I have to admit…I like rules to be clear so I can follow them; until I decide I won’t, when I have a good reason. So I am no better than anyone else.

I can’t believe the hatred that still exists even as so many are calling out the ugly sin of racism and it makes me ill that the voices who are trying to be heard are being lumped in with something else. 

I can’t believe that some police departments are still allowing officers with a repeated record of this to continue on and I can’t believe that the store where I work had to batten down the hatches like other businesses. 

There is so much confusion and amidst the desire in me to speak out against racism, I read other posts warning me that my speaking out is not helping because of my lack of understanding. So I seem to over speak or under speak and err in either direction.

Mixed messages abound and for someone who overthinks and over feels…it is overwhelming. 

I feel helpless and frustrated and that reminds me that this is what started all of this. There are many who feel helpless and frustrated and have for a long time.

I have nothing to give you as wise counsel, because I am desperately praying and seeking God for His mercy on this country and the world right there with everyone who has placed his or her faith in Jesus but knows we have to LIVE IT OUT … here in the midst of the chaos. 

And in the middle of it all, yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. 

How ironic. 

Because if you will take the time to read Acts 2 for yourself, you will read words that describe the coming of the promised Holy Spirit in ways that are anything but sweet and calm. 

The believers are gathered in one place, we are told and suddenly they hear a sound. 

My translation CSB calls it a sound like that of a violent rushing wind. In other translations it is called a mighty rushing wind. It is described in commentaries as a great breath of air blown powerfully on them. 

Then tongues of fire appear and rest on each individual and empowers each one in unique ways as given to them by the Spirit. 

What a contrast to the violence we humans inflict towards others for whatever reasons fuel our anger. What a contrast the flames of the Spirit were on these men and women as they received the Holy Spirit for the first time, in mass. 

It was stirring and powerful and life-changing…energizing them in a way that was going to push them out of hiding and into the full boldness of Spirit-filled living.

There were those who laughed at them and derided them and misunderstood them and falsely accused them, but there were many who were brought to repentance and who also received the Holy Spirit. 

And the fruit of this was the birth of the true Church of Jesus Christ.

The signs of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit was that they bowed down in repentance and were baptized and rose to devote themselves to the teachings of Christ, to fellowship, to communion and to prayer.

They gathered together in unity and broke ties with their attachment to the material world so that all that they had could be shared with all who had need. 

Ponder on this chapter from the book of Acts today and regain your focus on what the power of God can do in our lives if we will receive His Spirit. 

My prayers for you, for our community, for this nation and the world abound without ceasing today.

It is okay to be troubled. These are troubling times. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world, but to take heart … He has overcome the world. 

He sees the injustices of all sides. He sees the iniquity and His grace abounds more than our sins. His forgiveness exceeds our debts. His mercy is extended to all. 

Seek Him today and wait for His power and then live out His teachings in obedience no matter what is going on around you  <3

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To love justice and mercy is to have God’s heart <3

Good morning to you <3

We are living in some times of great testing and trial for all people, as I am sure you are painfully aware. 

You all know I rarely speak into situations where many voices are speaking because I do not feel like I can add anything productive to the noise, but I have some thoughts of exhortation to give you. My guess is if you take the time to read what I write, it is because God uses it to help you process and grow in your faith. 

So I am sharing some insights into several hot topics that have helped me apply the teachings of Christ to this season that has been assigned to me on planet Earth. 

I plan on doing this quickly and succinctly without embellishment. These are observations from someone who is being stirred in her heart to speak up where I can. 

 I wrote a post yesterday with some thoughts on the most recent death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police so I have already addressed that, but today I want to share a heart wrenching memory of the news reports I have seen and that is of a young girl who was an eyewitness. I am going to guess her age to be 9-11 years old. I can see her vividly in my memory, with a mask resting just below her chin as she shares what she saw. With bewilderment she stated that there was a man laying on the ground with a policeman kneeling down on him. The grownups around her were calling for him to let him get up and he was asking for help and then he stopped moving. 

Take that in for a minute. 

Think about a child you love standing on a sidewalk with the adults around her who she relies on for everything in her life at this point and they are calling out for the right thing to be done, and they are ignored. Maybe that will help you understand the frustration that could lead to such anger and protesting. 

Which brings me to …

We may still, sitting in the safety of our everyday existence, question the retaliation of violence that would destroy the communities but I read a quote from someone who helped put that in perspective for me as well:

“Rioting is violent. Looting is wrong. And yet how can we condemn that without condemning murder with the same voice, or even more vigorously?…”

The author adds this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. 

“And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. 

And what has America failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve to fifteen years. It has failed to hearth the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. 

And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and status quo than about justice and humanity.” Martin Luther King Jr.

The author of the post goes on to say:

“We can’t be more concerned with Target than we are about human lives and human dignity that is still being oppressed and put in danger by our comfortable status quo. We can’t condemn destruction of property louder than we condemn the destruction of life. 

What else are people to do? 40 years of lobbying and vigils and peace marches and kneeling during football games aren’t enough, if not outright condemned. 

America, how did we let an entire community of people become so desperate that this is the only way they have left to actually be heard?

I don’t know the answers and I don’t know how to fix everything, but I can understand how anger, fear, and desperation can send a country up in  flames. Let our white voices be heard condemning racism too. It’s important. ” Lisa Conder Stauber

I couldn’t say it any better.

I am not, nor is this writer, promoting or excusing violence.

But I should know by observing my own life and those I love that frustration is the fuse that sets off anger.

I can do little to change the systems that are in place, but I can use my voice to speak against injustice and I can use my ears to understand the complaints of those who are oppressed.

I read this about God’s heart this morning and I will close with the words of Psalm 146: 5-9

Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in the.

He remains faithful forever, executing justice for the exploited and giving food to the hungry.

The LORD frees prisoners, the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.

The LORD raises up those who are oppressed.

The LORD loves the righteous, The LORD protects resident aliens and helps the fatherless and the widow, but He frustrates the ways of the wicked. 

Amen <3

I am heartbroken for the hurt and anger of so many people.

I pray for the corrupt to be exposed and for those who would act justly and righteously to be empowered to act.

I pray to have the humility to take those verses up there to heart and to live them out here on earth  <3

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