Category Archives: Discipline

focuses on the spiritual disciplines

Monday check in and check out <3

I am later posting today because I have been very busy chasing grackles away from our bird feeder. 

You know, of course, this involved much googling to see how to discourage them which proved quite a distraction from any attempt at quiet time. 

I finally prayed over the feeder a prayer of protection and release.

You think I am joking?

Think again.

I asked God to protect the food we have purchased for the sweet little songbirds of winter who have graced it daily since we put it out there and cause the grackles to not be attracted to it because according to the way He made them, they will eat ANYTHING…so there is lots of other stuff to choose from over in the fields yonder…and if there IS anything left over after the cardinals and house finches and juncos, sparrows and mourning doves have had their fill…then so be it. In the name of Jesus. <3

I believe in praying about everything so I do.

Ironically when I finally did get some peace about the bird situation and opened up my 40 Day Prayer Guide, the fasting suggestion for the week is to fast from technology in some way. 

I gasped, slightly…I post daily on social media. 

I read the possible suggestions of how you can take a break from say, an app…or checking social media…or from a show or music channel you stream. 

I released air in a sigh of relief….Oh good…a little wiggle room. 

And that’s when the conviction hit. 

The Holy Spirit works with me like that because He understands me. 

He did, after all form me and wire me and He knows that I need very direct communication – clear, concise…the complete antithesis of the way I tend to communicate my own thougths. 

You see, if He talked to me the way I talk…I might think it was just me…but no.

He speaks in brief and to the point ways to me and I know His voice. 

That doesn’t mean I always listen…but I do know it. 

And thankfully, He knows that about me to…so I think He doesn’t repeat Himself or dialogue with me. 

He just patiently waits for me to yammer on in my own head as I process what I know is a specific instruction to take to heart, and then when I have wrestled it to the ground and thought about it from every angle and finally sigh and surrender…

He takes my hand and says…

Alrighty then, let’s do this thing.

So as I mulled over how I could continue to post as normal and share on social media…and just be on for that little amount of time…and as I went through all my reasons why I am better off continuing with the routine of posting (I will spare you the details of that rabbit trail)…it occurred to me that a fast is a fast. 

In fact…I may have heard that still small voice say exactly that…

Laura. A fast…is a fast. It’s supposed to be something you notice that you’re missing.

It’s cutting out the thing and filling any time normally spent on that thing in pursuing God. It’s trading any joy, comfort, satisfaction or fulfillment for the joy, comfort, satisfaction and fulfillment of HIM.

So in light of that, I am taking just this morning to let you know that I will be off the radar this week. 

I will most likely miss YOU more than you miss me…but I hope if you DO miss hearing from me one of these days, that it will make YOU seek HIM more…<3

Be blessed…you are loved…dearly <3

Thoughts of the fasting kind <3

A quick stop in today as I am heading out for errands before work. 

As I shared with you at the beginning of our Journey through Lent 2019, I am using a 40 Day prayer guide offered through Lifeway. They have planned weekly “fasts” and the first week has been fasting from “shopping.”


I work in a store. 

The irony of God sometimes. 

And to add to it, I worked an extra day this week for someone. 

So it has been an interesting fasting concept, to say the least.

But as I have prayed and asked God to help me see where I can apply this fast, I recognize that I do a lot of “virtual shopping” that adds nothing to my spiritual growth and feeds something in me that, while no purchases are made, I am gaining nothing of  value to carry me into eternity. 

Pictures of beautifully appointed rooms, recipes with tantalizing photographs, the perfect combination of an outfit and even beautifully penned words and lyrics can draw me away from the adoration and devotion I long to set apart for God alone. 

I listened to the old hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” this morning to begin my quiet time. 

I listened to it twice and I prayed some of the words for myself. 

Prone to wander…that’s me. 

Prone to leave the God I love. 

Like a sheep on a pasture, I nibble one tender blade of grass after another…a flower here…a clover there…and the next thing I know I am lost. 

I am so thankful He is the God who pursues me.

I am so thankful the Covenant Maker is the one who holds the promise to never leave me nor forsake me, no matter where my heart and mind may roam. 

If you are fasting this season of Lent, may God reach into that place where you have set aside something for Him and I pray He meet you full on in that and that He will speak to you in deep ways that stir your heart into greater love for Him who loves you so much <3

Which road will you take?

It is Ash Wednesday and as much as I am a proponent for practicing a “setting aside” time for the forty days leading up to Easter…I am a rebel by nature and have an inward wiring that fights against my best intentions.

I am, like you, a work in progress and there are certain things about me that we have to work around while God continues to refine the nubbins out of my orneriness….

So it was as I went to bed last night that I prayed ….

Lord, thou knowest me. You know the way I sabotage the things that are for my good. So help me to set my heart on pilgrimage tomorrow and Lord, lead me in appropriate ways of reflection. 

And He did. 

My reading in the Jesus Keep me Near the Cross book was from John Piper and as promised, I am sharing a few of the highlights with you.

The devotion is centered on passages from Luke 18 as Piper meditates on what it meant for Jesus to set His face for Jerusalem and how this was so misunderstood by His disciples. 

They saw it as a triumphant finality to the wandering. Jesus was going to take over and establish Himself as King in the line of David. 

This was their moment. 

And while they jockeyed for the positions in this new dynasty that was going to take place when the boys were back in town…Jesus gave them this news…

“See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him…”

Luke 18:31-33

And like toddlers who don’t want to hear it’s time to pick up your toys and head to bed, the disciples were not listening and could not understand what He was saying. 

And Piper poses this question in his writing:

“Does discipleship mean deploying God’s missiles against the enemy in righteous indignation? Or does discipleship mean following him on the Calvary road which leads to suffering and death?…When Jesus set his face to walk the Calvary road, he was not merely taking our place; he was setting our pattern. He is substitute and pacesetter. If we seek to secure our life through returning evil for evil or surrounding ourselves with luxury in the face of human need, we will lose our life. We can save our life only if we follow Christ on the Calvary road.”

From adaptation of “He Set His Face to Go to Jerusalem” sermon by John Piper; Jesus Keep me Near the Cross, edited by Nancy Guthrie, Crossway Books 2009. Pages 18-19

Lent offers us the opportunity to examine our ways and see how they are lining up with the pace set for us by the One who gave His life for ours. 

By His grace and with His help, I am looking forward to sharing the Journey with you as we make our way to Calvary <3

A word of warning about the the Word

Hey Christians! 

Yes, you. 

You who follow Christ and are floundering today because the battle is heating up. 

I am talking directly to you. 

Not to those who don’t follow Christ. 

I love you all…whether you do or whether you don’t follow Christ because HE LOVES YOU…but this message is not for you. 

So if you read it and get offended…that’s on you…because today I am passing along to my fellow Christ-followers an amazing and powerful word of exhortation from some notes I took while listening to a Beth Moore teaching on TV a while back. 

I stopped and started the recording a bunch of times so I could take down word for word what she said. 

I apologize if this is considered plagiarism, but it is my handwritten notes from her teaching and it is a warning that struck chills down my spine and I am passing it along to remind each of us the truth behind it. 

If you have sat under Beth’s teachings, I invite you to read it in her voice because it will just add to the experience:

As things go from bad to worse and things are heating up against us – we will be tempted to distance ourselves from the Scriptures. 

When we distance ourselves, eliminating words that offend, we begin to make our selves and our thoughts into a new Gospel message – a false teaching. That we will be better for the world if we are less scriptural.

 We start with eliminating words like repentance. 

Listen, we will honestly think that we’re doing the world a favor by forsaking the Scriptures. 

We will think….“Poor, poor God. He did not see this day coming.”

We’ll cease to believe there’s a real devil, because only the Scriptures tell us that there are real life demonic personalities and powers. 

And without them, there couldn’t be real life Hell; if there’s not real demons there can’t be real live Hell. 

And if there’s not a real Hell than there’s not a good reason for salvation and well, everyone’s going to the same place anyway.

 And the rulers and powers and authorities of darkness will hold their sides and kick their legs laughing. 

We will end up making ourselves the heroes of the gospel because we know better what’s good for this world than Jesus Christ and God who created it.

 And while Jesus is trying to save the world, we will be trying to save the world from Jesus. 

Dear God. 

Help us. 

Listen to me…you hang on to your Bible with all your might. Not just the one on your phone. 

You get you a real life copy of the Bible because every single word has a phrase and every phrase has a Scripture and every Scripture has a Chapter and every Chapter has a book. 

Every book has a testament and those testaments go in one Bible and that is the Word of God. 

All Scripture is God-breathed and we are hanging on to it for dear life.

Beth Moore as taken from one of her Audacious teachings on the Living Proof channel …. I give her and her anointing all the credit…please don’t sue me for plagarism Miss Beth <3

I have nothing more valuable or important to leave you with than that today. 

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and we will enter the season of Lent. 

Please, for the love of God, grab your Bible and join me <3

The Flight Plan <3

Hello everyone and happy Friday!

I woke up this morning feeling more like myself than I have for a week. 

The viral thing plaguing me has vanished and hallelujah! It’s good to feel good again!

I am happily getting ready for work and wanted to drop a quick note. 

Travel by air is an adventure these days. Delays and cancelations seem to be the norm instead of the exception and our flight last Saturday followed the trend. 

We were delighted to see our plane was on time when we arrived to the first leg as we had a comfortable window to make our connecting flight in Dallas. 

But as we all buckled into our seats and waited to back out of the gate, that didn’t happen. 

Passengers were starting to suspect something was up when the pilot came on and began to explain the situation. 

It was a winding tale of woe and troubles for our flight that rambled from one bad scenario to the next. 

You know me, I always find humor in life situations and I finally had to grab my notebook out and ask Russ to help me remember the details as I knew I was getting a good application lesson for us all. 

Probably first lesson  would be, if you are going to be a pilot speaking over a microphone, you may want to attempt a more positive angle as you address a plane full of people who are relying on you with their lives – but I will leave that for another day. 

Basically, he started off by telling us that due to bad weather we were being rerouted through the northern part of Oklahoma, so he thought he should have the fuel levels checked to make sure we had enough for the detour. 

I will pause here to say that I would assume having enough fuel to allow for any kind of extra flight time is a good idea, but I’m not a pilot so…

Next he told us that we should expect a lot of turbulence, though he sure hoped it wasn’t as bad as yesterday’s flight because that had been terrible. 


He used the word “terrible.”

He also shared with us that the weather in Dallas wasn’t looking very good at all. 

And sure enough, we were low on fuel so we were going to have to wait for someone to come and fill ‘er up…and he wasn’t really sure how long that would take.

Then he wrapped up the whole depressing announcement up with this statement…

“other than that, thank you for flying with us and we hope you have a nice flight.”


Not likely, my friend…but thanks for the good thought. 

Russ and I were laughing so hard, he even suggested he might have a guest blog in him for this one. 

While I could see the humor in the whole event, I also saw myself. 

And that isn’t so funny.

So often I focus on the negative of a situation. 

Granted I am usually being realistic and proactive to be ready for what could potentially go wrong, but still…is it wise to focus on all the negatives in a way that is resigned to seeing no hope for a good outcome. 

What a great example of how not to be. 

We don’t have to be blindly optimistic and fake about the realities of life, but a shift in the way we deliver the news can make or break the moods of those around us. 

My words and my attitude are influential over those who I am responsible for and I want to guard them better. 

Something to think about and work on…but for right now, I need to prepare the cabin for take off…

so have a nice day and as you go about your dailies remember…

 it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it <3