All posts by laura

For the brave young souls at the pole this morning… we see you <3

It’s a rainy morning here on the prairie.

I am thinking of any brave young brothers and sisters in Christ who may have crawled out of bed a bit earlier than usual so they could join up with youth group friends to pray over their school.

See You At the Pole has been around since at least our own three were enrolled in public school back in the day.

A student-led initiative, it was up to the kids to promote and invite and set it up with the administration. It was also up to them to put together any music, prayers, and event organization for the morning gathering. 

Of course, my generation of parents were definitely hands on, and while we certainly did let them do their own programming and leading; we did have to drive in the early years and so we would form a circle around their circle and basically wipe tears as we listened to our young ones sing and offer prayers and operate whatever sound system they managed to come up with via a boom box…because it was, after all…the 90’s. 

One year, I stood around that circle in front of the high school two of our kiddos attended.

As we were nearing the end of the small service, the other students began arriving for the day. With my back to the sidewalk and my head bowed, I wept a new kind of tears. 

Jeering words and taunts began to flow from behind me as the circle of young believers in front of me continued to sing a worship song and close in prayer for their classmates, teachers and school. 

Suddenly I got a fresh understanding of what we were asking our kiddos to do every day. 

Go in there and be a light…share Jesus…invite your friends to church…be a world changer. 

Easier said when your circle is mostly other Christian moms. Sure sharing Jesus with people who are at least mildly interested makes one think that it shouldn’t be that hard for young ones to do the same. 

But what about when you are ridiculed? 

What about when you are held to a standard of the caricature of a Christian by those who do not understand that you are well aware you fall short all the time? Because even those who are not believers (and often especially those) will call you out on what they know to be moral values and label you a hypocrite, even if they do not hold to those standards in the least. 

How about the work place where you could be fired or at least severely reprimanded for sharing your faith openly? If you don’t think that’s a thing, you don’t know some sweet Christians who have had it happen. I do. It’s a thing.

As adults, we can be a bit more choosy about where we spend our time and who can have access to our faith life.

For our children to walk openly as Christians in a daily school setting is not an easy road. They have nowhere to go but the halls, lunch table, locker room and a desk sitting amidst 20 plus other desks. 

Being a light on a hill sounds appealing until you feel quite alone shining forth. 

So today a prayer for the ones who pray, sometimes alone, around unknown settings in their schools:

Heavenly Father, I lift up our young Christian students to you.

Lord, I know you see them in the midst of these difficult times of conflict, covid and culture shift.

For our kids who are trying to live for You, I pray for an added measure of knowing Your presence with them today.

I pray You would tangibly walk alongside them as they go from class to class.

I pray You would give them Your heart for the lost and broken.

I pray you give them the gift of wisdom and discernment and knowledge of You and Your ways.

I pray You would strengthen them in the face of temptations and You would pour Your spirit into them to know truth, to live truth, and to speak truth in love.

I pray You would daily remind them of who they are in You and that You would help them beyond their years and experience to be people of mercy, grace and love.

I pray for those who have somehow become isolated in a small group of believers and may have forgotten that You were a suffering servant.

I pray they would not become so insulated in belonging to a smaller group of like-minded people that they forget You came to seek and save the lost.

I pray they would remember that they are following YOU, not a YOUth group.

I pray that their sense of belonging comes, not from their current circle of Christian friends, but because they belong first and foremost to YOU through Your blood <3

I pray for youth leaders and parents to have wisdom as they give them love, encouragement and counsel.

I pray for the fulfillment of Your promise that in the last days You will pour Your Spirit out on our young people.

Thank You for Your love, care and protection over our children because in truth, they are Your children. 

In Jesus’ Name


a prayer from my heart on this SYATP morning 2021 <3
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To pray for a shepherd’s heart…. <3

For my Monday reading I was in Ezekiel 34 and I know I have a tendency to say this is a favorite passage, but this is a favorite…and for a dear reason.

A number of years ago, I taught a small class of about five to ten adults at our church. There was another well-established class that met at the same time and had for years. Their teacher decided God was calling him to step down and so I was asked if I would consider taking over that class for him and blending it with ours. 

As the words of a firm but polite decline were forming in my head, I heard instead words that sounded like my voice talking being audibly that were affirming yes, indeed, I would love to take that class on. 

In a slightly stunned state of shock, I saw the pastor who had asked me nod in an assured way and thank me as he walked off. I turned my attention to God and asked what in the world had just happened, and I told Him I knew that had to be Him and He better show up big time in this thing we had just signed on for. 

Shortly after I started teaching to the larger group, I realized that I absolutely could not stay on top of that many people. In our small class, I was adequately able to remember prayer requests and feel like I knew my class. This new deal was just way over the top for me. 

And then I read Ezekiel 34. 

Have you read it? 

Please do. 

In this chapter, God tells us what shepherds are supposed to do and what a good and a bad shepherd look like.

As I read those passages and thought about the people who were now sitting under my teaching every week, I prayed and asked God to give me a shepherd’s heart. I prayed that I would not muddy the water where they needed to drink.

I prayed for a heart that valued what He valued when responsible for a group of people.

It was a big prayer, and He answered it. Faithfully. For many years after that. 

A shepherd is supposed to:

  • Build up the weak ones
  • Heal the sick
  • Doctor the injured
  • Go after the strays
  • Look for the lost

It’s a tall order. 

No one does the shepherd job as well as Jesus, but with His help, we can do a fairly good job of at least trying. 

God answered my prayer by expanding my heart and my time to take in the needs of others.

He enlarged my heart to love those who sat in the seats every Sunday morning and to notice things about them.

He helped me remember their family members’ names and situations that were hard for them. 

He gave me joy in their wins and compassion in their losses.

He gave me just what I needed to welcome the most unexpected visitors to our circle over the years and He filled me with discernment when a wolf or two decided to try and enter the fold. 

This year on my read-through of the Bible, I realized that just because I no longer have a regular class that meets once a week, I still need to/have to/must pray for a shepherd’s heart. 

You do too. 

All of you have some people around you who need to know they are loved and cared for.

You can’t do it in your own strength.

So read Ezekiel 34 and jot down the things a shepherd is and isn’t and then pray for God to give you a shepherd’s heart. 

Then rest up. 

Because I have found that when He answers that prayer, you will need a lot of energy to tend those sheep He brings your way. 

Blessings my friend. 

We need more people with the heart of a shepherd. 

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Monday…randoms…long time, no hear <3

If we could sit together this morning over a cup of coffee, here are a few things on my mind…

First off, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to post on Thursday and Friday. But it wasn’t for lack of thought of you.

You, whoever you are, sitting on the other side of this screen…you with your unknown face and your own set of life that was beyond YOUR control, are a part of my tribe.

It is an odd thing to sit down here in this extremely messy bedroom that we have deemed “my office” and tap out some kind of something that is on my heart and put out there on the internet..

And then ‘you’ …. whoever you are and wherever you may be and for whatever reason you took time to show up on your screen and we connect for a little bit…

this is a gift of divine appointment and I hope you know God loves you and He loves me enough to give us this unique sense of a moment of fellowship.

You are loved and prayed for and you matter much to the Kingdom.

Second…cause it’s a random day…

Here is a pic of our living room and my attempt to make it fall-ish.

It turned out okay and so since you can’t actually come in for coffee today, this would be your first view of our home when you walked in the door.

That pumpkin?

Why yes, we did grow that in our garden. Thank you for asking <3

Third, as the Delta variant, mask or no mask, vaccine or no vaccine debates swirl I would like to address the constant presence of anxiety as we move about in this odd new world.

I am sure I am not the only one who moves through my day wondering if I am being exposed or exposing someone.

It is a kind of Russian roulette mentality that casts a shadow over us.

We know it is possible, we all can now name quite a few friends, family members and acquaintances who have tested positive and been quarantined.

And we plan all events on the calendar knowing it could come to a screeching halt at any moment.

But we have to go on and live.

So just know that if you feel stressed sometimes, there is a reason and it’s a good thing to just remember that when we are in times of low level/24-7 potential “anxiety”, we need to eat right, drink lots of water, rest when possible, take those vitamins, diffuse those oils…pray without ceasing and remember God is not surprised by anything up ahead.

Hugs to all of you.

I have to run…again…and I don’t mean for exercise.

Talk to you tomorrow <3

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