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Prayer for the Crossroads

Loving Father,

Thank You for friends who will pray you through. Thank You for the compassion You lavish and the grace You shower on us through these friends. Thank You for bringing us together, so we may encourage and support and sustain each other.

 

I pray for each lady here, Father. I pray that whatever crossroads she stands at, whatever decision she needs to make, whatever pressure is weighing her down – whatever is keeping her from Your best, I pray right now for supernatural strength to stand firm. I pray right now for divine wisdom to guide. I pray right now for an inrush of grace to support and encourage.

Prayer for the Crossroads

I pray that the crossroads becomes a place of great testimony instead of discouragement, stress, confusion, and pain. I pray that the crossroads becomes the next step in her journey with You, a step into peace and health and clarity. I pray that the crossroads becomes a builder of faith and not the catalyst for faltering or failure.

 

I pray right now especially Father for wisdom. We come boldly. We come assuredly. We come confidently. That you see each of us. Hear each of us. Know each of us. Love each of us. Meet each of us at the place of confusion, indecision, and unsurety. Because with You we will be equipped with every heavenly blessing to continue as we need to and assured of Your hand firmly and lovingly on our lives.

 

As we stand at the crossroads …

Let not our faith waiver.

Let not our hope diminish.

Let not our confidence evaporate.

 

Help us to be bold, be brave, and be brazen.

Help us to be focused, be faithful, and be a force for You.

Help us to take action, speak with assurance, and have the right attitude.

Help us to be slow to speak, willing to listen, and quick to obey.

 

Help us to trust You, completely and with full confidence, to guide us into Your plans and purposes.  Help us to trust You, assuredly and with much hope, to show us the way You want us to go.

 

Thank You for always having Your loving hand on us.

Thank You for always knowing exactly where we are and exactly what we need.

Thank You for always giving us a reason to believe for a better outcome.

 

We stand together and believe.

In Jesus’ almighty name.

AMEN!

 

Marie Fremin, 8/11/17

My Week

It is amazing how a spirit of generosity and a spirit of peace will be attacked.

 

I went to Joyce Meyer’s Atlanta conference last weekend.  I kept an envelope for each offering, planning to give as I could.

 

Then I show up to work on Monday, full-up on God.  And it was a domino effect of crazy in my office.  Each day someone went off about something.  A different person with a different issue each time.  And all I could do was scratch my head as I wondered “what the heck?” through each conversation.

 

And then it hit me.  I had done something good for my spirit.  I had allowed God’s Word into my eyes, my ears, and my head.  I had soaked my spirit in His truth.  I had worshiped Him.  And I had purposed to be generous.

 

So boom!  I put a giant target on myself.  I brought myself to the attention of the one who hates worship, generosity, and truth.  So his mission became to counteract everything God did in those 2 days.  And he was going to use anything in my path to pull me away from God’s glory.

 

And that meant …

  • A car repair for a sudden issue not covered by an expired extended warranty.
  • A dispatcher who has gone into “that’s not our problem” mode.
  • An office manager who replied with a harsh, drawn out, and sarcastic answer to a simple permit questions.
  • An owner who wants to know all but then gets mad and criticizes when a potential problem is brought to his attention.
  • An office staff who puts empty ice cube trays back in the freezer and never pulls a full / overfilled trash bag.
  • A whole call center disappearing by 3pm on a Friday without warning, when the office is open until 6pm.
  • An email server change, so the techs had difficulty sending email

 

All seemingly small and insignificant things.  Until you shine the light of Jesus on them, so you can see the dark influences conspiring to bring us down.

 

Because the enemy doesn’t want anything good or true or meaningful to take root in us.  He has an agenda and a purpose for us – and it is all about keeping us as far away from God’s goodness and grace as he can.  He hates light and faith and hope, so he wants to steal them from us.

 

And he did a bang-up job with me this week.  Every time I turned around, there was another attempt to steal God’s goodness from me.  And sometimes the struggle to stay on point was lost.  I succumbed to his temptation to walk a little less straight, talk a little less right, and think a little less true.  I became the bad seeds Jesus talks about in Matthew 13.

 

Matthew 13:3-8Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

 

Notice there were 4 results from the same seed being sown.  We have 4 possible responses to anything we experience – but only 1 of them is true and produces eternal echoes.  And we decide what it will be.  By our choices.  By our responsiveness.  By our attitudes.  By whatever we are intentional about doing, chasing, and thinking.

 

Yet we tend to do exactly what I found myself doing – echoing the ways of the world.

We let confusion cloud our perspective.

We let fear delegate our direction.

We let popularity define our identity.

We let feelings draw and/or obstruct our path.

We let greed choke out our love.

We let circumstances hinder our hope.

We let trials impact our thoughts.

 

When we need to stop, reflect, and let God take complete control.  We need to choose to let go and be still.  No stones in our hearts or hands.  No dry places in our understanding.  No cares in our thoughts and words.

 

Just open hands and an open heart, so we become “the good ground” (23) in which God can always do a good work – in us and through us.

 

So if I want my life to be productive and effective, then I have to learn to stop my tongue and control my thoughts.  And this is a battle I face every day.

 

I didn’t get it 100% right this past week.  No, I didn’t bite back or allow an argument to brew.  But I did do a lot of eye rolling.  I did have many care-full thoughts that wanted to bend to condemnation.  I did try to stand in judgment and compare behavior.  I did have a stressful day at least one of those days worrying about what would happen next.

 

I see where I went the wrong direction.

I see where I didn’t lean toward God’s best.

I see where I let my feelings dominate me.

I see where the darkness stopped my progress.

 

Thank God He won’t give up on me!  Thank God He allows me to learn from my mistakes and bad choices.  Thank God He loves a work in progress.

 

So this masterpiece isn’t finished yet.  One bad week won’t delegate my future or define my identity.  It will, however, draw me closer into God’s grace, allow me to receive His direction, and show me the beauty of forgiveness.

 

So I will reflect on what I have done and how I could do better in the same circumstance.  I will continue to work on being less like stressed out and fearful Israel standing on the bank of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:10-11).

 

That means I need to lean more into the wise advice of His Word:

  • Stop and trust God is in control. Exodus 14:13-1413 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
  • Stop thinking so much about me and my ideas of right. Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own  understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
  • Stop being critical. Matthew 7:1-5 – “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
  • Remember how two wrongs can’t make a right and be quiet! Galatians 5:15 – But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
  • Remember humility. Galatians 5:26 – Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

 

I didn’t get a lot of this right this past week.  But this coming week is a blank canvas, waiting to be drawn upon.  I will make choices that will add color and shading and shapes.  So Father, help me to do better and be more loving.  Because I know the enemy isn’t giving up on me.  So help me be relentless for You while he is pressing me.  In Jesus’ almighty name.  AMEN!

 

Marie Fremin, 7/30/17

Joshua 1:9

Joshua 1:9 – “ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

This verse was part of my daily devotional yesterday.  And I’ve read it many times before.  But I never noticed or thought about our part that God spells out.

 

God is giving Joshua a pep talk and setting him into motion.  He has had plenty of time to grieve his mentor Moses, and now it is time to get up, wipe away his tears, gather Israel, and march into God’s promised land.  Literally.  As Israel’s leader.  And he saw first hand how Israel treated Moses.

 

So God is reassuring him He is in control.  He will be with Joshua to guide him and help him.  He will take care of Joshua and Israel every day.

 

Joshua just needs to make the right choices every day.

  • Be strong
  • Be courageous
  • Be not afraid
  • Be not dismayed

Joshua 1v9

Because Israel is going to see unbelievable things.  They will be bombarded by fear.  They will encounter giants.  They will be surrounded by obstacles.

 

But none of it will be more powerful or bigger than their God.

 

So they have no reason to fear.

They have no reason to succumb to hopelessness.

They should never be discouraged.

They should never wallow in despair.

 

They need to choose to look at God instead of the giants.

They need to choose to trust God instead of their emotions.

They need to choose to walk with faith instead of being dragged by fear.

 

They need to choose courage.  They need to think strong, stand strong, and speak strong.  They need to decide not to lose heart at the intimidating things they will see and hear.

 

They need to choose faith.  They need to have complete confidence that God will see them through.  They need to trust that God is taking care of them, protecting them, and placing them.

 

They need to remember who God is and what He has promised.  And just in case anyone forgot, He repeats Himself – “the Lord your God is with you”.

 

Your God.  Not any other people.  Specifically you.  I am God with you.  Always.

 

So every day remember ….

No matter what you see and how scary it looks, I will be with you with mighty power and signs.

No matter what you feel when faced with obstacles, I will be with you with peace and strength.

No matter how difficult the battle looks, I will be with you with strategy and victory.

 

And trust Me.  Completely.  Let go of fear, distress, and terror.  Never pick them up.  Never drape them over your thoughts and words.  Never surrender to their wrong influence.  Never follow their misleading direction.

 

Instead, choose to gird yourself with courage.  Choose to strengthen yourself with faith in Me.  Choose to focus on Me and what I can do for you.  Instead of looking at your limited abilities.  Be bold in My name.  Be bold in My power.  Be bold in My promise.

 

Remember I am for you.

Remember I am with you.

 

And choose strength.

Choose courage.

Choose to be fearless.

Choose to be hopeful.

 

Choose to follow Me.

Every day.

And the journey will be a story worth telling.

 

Marie Fremin.  6/28 and 7/9/17

God’s Grace

I was definitely a target this past week, because hell came against me in all its fury.  Somehow I survived this week of being hit with one fiery dart after another after another.  It was non-stop, and it was draining.

 

And now I stop.  Because did I really just say “somehow”?  It’s not somehow.  It’s never somehow.  It’s never an unknown, nameless force.

 

It was grace.  It is always grace.

God’s amazing grace.

God’s uplifting grace.

God’s encouraging grace.

God's Grace

God’s grace.  It kept fists at my side when I was assaulted by a mistimed encounter with a disgruntled sibling.  Way too early in the morning.  Before I was ready for work, had breakfast, or was even fully dressed.  When the conversation was predicated with a repeated “I just have one quick question” – that was neither quick nor singular.

 

God’s grace.  It kept frustration at bay – and hopefully out of my voice – when a customer ripped into me about her dissatisfaction and demanded money back.  Without providing any information on who she was and what exactly happened.  She insisted on talking and expressing herself in demands without giving me much opportunity to speak.

 

God’s grace.  It kept insanity from bubbling over.  It said “get up” when several crazy things happened at one and I was completely overwhelmed.  When the screams inside my head threatened to expel from my lips and I felt my last good nerve snap because there were too many things at one time coming at me.

 

God’s grace.  It kept tongue in check when no one paid attention and then no one took responsibility for a call that should not have happened.  When the finger pointed in every other direction than toward self and it was always someone else’s fault.

 

God’s grace.  It stayed back exhaustion each night until I could get home safely and collapse into bed.

 

Because I know without a doubt that I would have imploded or just stayed in bed without the hope and uplift of God’s grace.  Because grace reminds me that God is wise beyond my own human understanding.  That God will help me find balance in the middle of my chaotic emotions and crazy reality.  That God loves me through all the messes, the meanies, and the wrong messages.  God’s grace.  So beautifully explained in Isaiah 43.

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me of His love unconditional and true.  “… I have called you by your name; You are Mine …” (1d-e).

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me that He is always with me and will keep me safe within His purposes.  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (2).

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me that I have a loving Savior who purposely chose me and has a great plan to redeem me.  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you … For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (1c, 3a-b).

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me I am completely precious to God.  “Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you” (4a-c).

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me that fear and frustration only invite darkness in and keep me from hope and peace that want to envelope me.  “Fear not, for I am with you” (5a).

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me that I am uniquely and wonderfully made by His loving hands for His glorious purposes.  “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (7).

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me the impossible is never out of reach when I trust in the God of the impossible.  “Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters … I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” (16, 19d-e).

 

God’s grace.  Which reminds me that there is always a new opportunity, a new possibility, and a new chance.  “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?” (19a-c)

 

It’s grace.

It’s always grace.

When you think there isn’t another step you can take, grace nudges you forward.

When you think there is a word you have to say, grace encourages silence.

When you think your strength is gone, grace infuses you with a little more.

When you think there is no way out, grace shines a ray of hope through the darkness.

When you think God has forgotten you, grace whispers “never!”

When you think God’s love has run out, grace whispers “impossible!”

When you think God isn’t working for you, grace whispers “watch!”

 

So this past week reminded me the importance of leaning into grace.  It will get you through.

 

Marie Fremin.  4/29-4/30/17

David

Are you familiar with the story of how David was chosen to be king?  It’s a  story that starts with David being overlooked by his ENTIRE family.

 

King Saul, the first ever king of Israel, disobeyed God by dealing with Amalek his way instead of God’s way (1 Samuel 15:2-3,9).  Saul got distracted from obedience by greed, and God knew this was a pattern that would keep repeating itself.  Because Saul showed no remorse and took no responsibility for what he did (1 Samuel 15:24).  And as leader of Israel, he needed to set the example for Israel in being obedient and fully committed.

 

So God declared it was time for a change, and He already knew who He wanted for the next leader of His people.  And He sends Samuel to let him know.  God tells Samuel to “fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king” (1 Samuel 16:1).

 

Samuel is greeted by Jesse and hosted by the entire family.  Except one – “And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all the young men here?’ Then he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep’” (1 Samuel 16:11).  David was not worthy enough in his own family to meet the prophet.  He was young, possibly scrawny, and maybe annoying.  So they left him in the sheep fields to do the dirtiest and loneliest work possible.  They chose to not even call him in for supper.   How’s that for insignificant?

 

Because there were seven other sons to choose from, and definitely one of them would be king.  They looked the part.  Even Samuel assumed the oldest and most rugged boy was the next king.  But God had a different plan.  But God wasn’t looking for the look a king.  God was looking for the heart of a servant.  “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

david

And one by one, all seven of the brothers were brought before Samuel – and quickly rejected as the next king.  Until only David, forgotten out in the fields, was left.  And for the first time since Samuel arrived, David’s existence is mentioned.  So Samuel insists he is brought in.  And immediately God chooses him – “This is the one; anoint him” (1 Samuel 15:12).

 

And maybe in that moment his brothers sat down in complete disbelief.  Surely their mouths dropped open in unveiled surprise.  David?  Really?  But God made His choice, and God was sure.

 

David’s family saw a runt and a pest – God saw a king and a conqueror.  God saw the heart that was already learning trust and loyalty to Him and Him alone.  God saw the heart of a warrior and the determination of a champion.  God saw the patience David was developing being separated from his family.  And God honored that young heart by honoring him first and foremost in front of his family, giving them perhaps the first truth about their wrong treatment of David.

 

And in the moment, David may not have believed he was worthy to be king.  His life didn’t change in that moment, that day, that week, or that year.  In fact, as Samuel was walking away from their home, David probably returned to the place he was most welcome – the sheep field.

 

David may not have believed he was seen and known by God before Samuel arrived.  But he was, and God showed up and showed out on David’s behalf that day and proved to David He cared greatly for him.  Maybe he walked a little taller after that.  Maybe he went back to the sheep fields with new purpose.  He was definitely changed from that point forward.

 

Today is the day you can be changed, too.  Today is the day you can know that God has chosen you.  That God has designed you for something wonderful.  That God has filled you with significance and covered you with importance.  Though you may be overlooked by the world, maybe even by your own family, God sees you and knows you.  And God adores you, just as you are.

 

So today YOU can stand a little taller as you realize how much God loves you, how uniquely God has called you, and how clearly God always sees you.  Let the truth of who you are IN HIM change the way you see yourself.  And let your heart be dedicated and true to Him alone.  Just like David.

 

Marie Fremin.  2/25 and 3/4/17.

Prayer for 2017

prayer-for-2017

In 2017, may you TURN.

Turn fully to God. (Isaiah 40:28)

Turn fully to grace. (Romans 5:8)

Turn fully to repentance. (Psalm 51:16-17)

Turn fully to forgiveness. (Psalm 103:12)

Turn fully to joy. (Psalm 30:5)

Turn fully to peace. (John 14:27)

Turn fully to love. (Romans 8:38-39)

Turn fully to faith. (Matthew 21:21-22)

Turn fully to patience. (Matthew 5:44)

Turn fully to obedience. (1 Samuel 15:22-23)

Turn fully to endurance. (Romans 8:37)

Turn fully to wisdom. (James 1:5)

 

May you be amazed at His goodness.

May you be humbled by His graciousness.

May you be overcome by His compassion.

 

And may you be bold enough to (more) fully turn toward the One waiting to embrace you into His perfect and all-encompassing love.

 

Numbers 6:24-26 – The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.

 

Mary, Did You Know?

To celebrate Christmas 2016 ….

Marie's Hope

At this time of year, when Christmas is wrapping up and people are full of Christmas joy and cheer, we’ve been inundated by movies and songs and church messages that remind us about Mary and her baby. We’re reminded about the Christmas story as told in Matthew and Luke about an angelic presence, a divine conception, a virgin mother, a long journey, and a baby in a manger – when prophecies were fulfilled as the miracle Seed was born in human form. And the story starts with Mary’s choice to say to God “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38a).

Mary Lowry’s song “Mary, Did You Know?” plays almost on repeat on the radio. It’s a beautiful song about the divine potential and possibilities that once lay as a newborn in Mary’s arms: (Verse 3) Mary did you…

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