God’s Cure for a Very Bad Day, by Sue Stratton

Part three in series: What’s in a Name? The Presence of God!

It was a Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day. That’s what it was because after school my mom took us all to the dentist, and Dr. Fields found a cavity just in me. “Come back next week and I’ll fix it,” said Dr. Fields.

“Next week,” I said, “I’m going to Australia.”

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, no Good, very Dad Day

by Sue Stratton

We all have our personal Australia’s, but would would escape really solve our problems?

Alexander’s cure for his bad day is to go to Australia.

I want to go to Australia too.  Want to come?  Somehow I think though we will find that Australia does not hold the cure for bad days after all, mostly because we still have to take ourselves along.

Unfortunately that means that we will have to drag about the four caustic marks of being human: shame, blame, fear and hiding.

This tangled four-strand web of inner turmoil is definitely at work in each of our lives whether we are in Australia or not.

So the question remains, “How do we untangle and overcome the results of the fall in our own personal life?” How do we get back into THE Garden? This presents a conundrum not easily pulled apart as we examine our own psyche.   However, there is a good place to start.

God is Love

As we practice the presence of God, we need to recognize that the One who is present to us is present to Love us.

The Apostle John tells us  “God is Love” (1 John 4:7). The Greek word used here for “God” is also the same Greek word used in the Septuagint in Gen 1:1 for the Creator and Sustainer of all of Life.  He is later revealed to us as YHWH, the One who is dynamically present to each of us at every moment in our lives.  The God of the Universe is always present with each of us but the question we must answer is, “How do I become present to HIM?”.

Immersing our conscious minds in the loving presence of YHWH is the very first step in overcoming the shame, hiding, blame and fear in our lives. After all, it was the very presence of YHWH that permeated THE Garden.  Before the fall, Adam and Eve basked in God’s Presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.   Every 6 seconds the human mind wanders.  If we trained our minds to come present to the GOD who is present to us 10 times each minute, every minute of our day, we would come a long way in practicing the presence of God in our lives.

Present to Love

Let’s not stop there, however.  As we practice the presence of God, let’s recognize that the One who is present to us is present to Love us.  Did you know that there are literally hundreds of verses that reinforce the truth that God’s intent toward us isn’t to scold or chastise us, or scrutinize us, but it is to love us?

When we really allow God to draw near and love us our fear melts away.  1 John 4:18 tells us:

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”  (1 John 4:18)

Perfected in Love . . . that sounds pretty good to me!  These four psychological handicaps not only affect our relationship with God, however.  They also raise their ugly head in our relationship with others.

Shame, hiding, fear and blame fall on the opposite spectrum from selfless agape love.  It is impossible to love and be loved while filled with a toxic sense of fear and shame. Have you ever tried to blame someone and express love to them at the same time?  It can’t be done. It is also impossible to experience love while we are in hiding.  We must come out of hiding.    This is why YHWH was calling Adam’s name in the garden.  He was calling him out of hiding.  Today He is still calling . . . He is calling your name and mine. He wants us to come out of our darkness and into the light of His presence.

God’s strategy for coming out of hiding

Here is a strategy for coming out of hiding and overcoming shame, fear and blame. First, practice the presence of God.  Begin to ask God to bring you present to Him.  Ask Him to reveal His love to you.  He is very faithful to answer these requests.  There is a good little book by Brother Laurence called The Practice of the Presence of God. This book serves as a great tutorial in this process as we walk with this wonderful 17th century monk humbly through his journey of finding God amidst the simple moments of his life.

Second, meditate on the passages that concentrate on the love of God for you.  A simple Bible search on the word ‘love’ reveals hundreds of passages to focus on in your study.  Bible Gateway.com and StudyLight.com are good places to start.  I have put together a love journal both on my computer and in book form for personal meditation.  I go back to this journal again and again.

Third, become a student of your own thoughts.  See if you can recognize the influence of the toxic four in your mind and heart.  When you spot yourself giving into shame, fear, hiding or blame take active steps to counteract this false way of thinking and acting with Truth.  Find scripture to help you reprogram your harmful automatic responses and God will reprogram your inner being so that you are able to love Him, love yourself, and love others.

Fourth, realize that this is a battle and it takes a lifetime of perseverance to win.   But, you can win!! Instead of playing ‘Hide and Seek.’  Let’s play ‘Seek’ instead!

Seek, not Hide

Let’s seek the presence of our loving heavenly Father each and every moment of our days. Let’s return to THE Garden of His Presence and watch Him turn those Bad internal days into days spent in the presence of the only One who can love us fully and completely…

…even in Australia!

 

What’s in a Name? The Presence of God! by Sue Stratton

How God introduces Himself to us by His personal name tells us a great deal about how he wants to relate to us each day

Sue Stratton

Old Testament professor Susan Stratton is famous for her rich insights into the names and ‘Presence’ of God.  Her passionate teaching in classrooms, retreats, (and coffee shops) have richly blessed her students, her children, and her adoring husband.

In a three-part post she shares a few of these insights and roots them in the spiritual discipline that has made greatest difference in her own life–practicing the Presence of God.

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Part of ongoing series: Soul-nourishing Practices in a Soul-Deadening World.

 

What’s in a Name? The Presence of God!

by Sue Stratton

What’s in a Name?

In some ways, luck was with me on that fateful day when my mother gazed down at the babe in her arms and named me Susan.  Let’s face it, some names are easier to live with  (Sue, John, Rob, Alice) than others (Sage Moonblood, Apple, Kyd, or say Moon Unit).

Susan means Lily. I can live with Lily.   The name also stems from Hebraic origin, which is fascinating since I have since come to love the Hebrew language, heritage and people.

Naming and True Language

The Bible tells us that Adam possessed True Language- the ability to look deeply into a created being and vocalize an articulation that captures the essence of that creature.  Of course this ability was given to him as a gift from the Creator who also knows the essence of all things.

Sly Stallone with son ‘Sage Moonblood’.

My daughter, Ashley, has a form of this Adamic gifting.  Her intuition in naming the pets in her life is truly remarkable.  I am sure she will use this same insight in naming her children.  Unfortunately for most of us, our names were chosen by parents not possessing this particular gift of Adam.

Thankfully, at some appointed future time, the Creator Himself will rename His own children, with a word that will re-capture our essence for all eternity.

“To him who overcomes, I will give a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” (Rev 2:17).

Our heavenly Father knows that names matter to us!

Names Matter to God

I also think that names matter to God.  In the Hebraic mind, naming and being are linked together to form an integral harmony.  This is reflected in the Hebrew Scriptures where the relationship between a thing and its name is quite important. Understanding this relationship is a valuable first step in understanding not only the First Testament, but also the reality of the God manifested through the First Testament.

Scripture is full of titles and designations for God, but only one is his personal name.

In fact a good portion of the Pentateuch (he first 5 books of Scripture) is the progressive revelation of the character and ways of God as revealed through what he is called. Beginning in Genesis 1:1 God reveals Himself as Elohim (powerful, preeminent, transcendent), El Shaddai (God Almighty or All sufficient One), Adoni (Lord or Master) to name just a few. Flipping through Scripture, one finds a host of other Titles that reveal very specific attributes possessed by the God of the Universe.

However, most of these designations are merely ‘titles’, highlighting different aspects of the Divine Being and the various roles He has performed.

The Personal Name of God

As great and instructive as these titles are, they are not His Personal Name.  There is only one vocalization that God gives as His Personal Name and that is YHWH.  YHWH is by far the most powerful word in the universe and the irony is we have no idea how to pronounce it.  Early followers of YHWH decided that this name was too holy to be pronounced, and so we have since lost the proper pronunciation because we have lost the vowels to this most holy word.

On Sinai, God revealed his personal name to Moses

YHWH, known as the ‘tetragrammaton,’ is a verbal form of the Hebrew verb “to be” from the root hwy, later hyh, meaning to be at hand, to exist (phenomenally), to come to pass.  God’s personal name carries with it a dynamic sense of being — not pure existence, but becoming, happening. You will find it translated in all capital letters- L O R D in our Bibles and is often confused with Adonai which is translated lower case Lord meaning Master.

YHWH, however, means DYNAMIC PRESENCE and is used over 6800 times in the First Testament.  Deeper understanding comes as we grasp that this is not the same as God’s Omnipresence.

Of course God is present in all of his creation all of the time, but this is different.   I tell my college students: God is ‘in your face’ present!

The Nearness and Name of God

God’s name may sound terrifying at first, but it is the secret to his longing for moment to moment intimate relationship with us

Once I was with a high school Bible study group and I was sharing this dynamic truth.  I was very excited for them to see the God of the universe invading all the moments of their lives. Suddenly they grew VERY quiet.  Eventually one of them piped up and said:

“If you are telling me that God is with me all the time, ALL the time… that is the scariest thing I have ever heard.”

Everyone nodded. These girls were experiencing first hand the fear that can accompany the nearness of God. Just who is this God who is present with me moment by moment? I think this is exactly why God chose to reveal this particular truth about Himself to Moses on Mt Sinai in the midst of other truths that help us understand His character. Exodus 34: 6-7 describes the event:

“Then YHWH passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “YHWH, YHWH-Elohim, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.”

YHWH is present “with you” at EVERY MOMENT in your day, He is present “for you” in all the darkness and uncertainty you encounter.  He is present “to you” as you navigate the back alleys and boxed canyons in life. And for those of us who have put our trust in YESHUA He is present “in us” by the Holy Spirit.  Knowing that God is dynamically present with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year has changed my life.

Practicing the Presence of God’s Name

On that day, God will call us by OUR true name.

Learning to practice the presence of the One who is ALWAYS present is the cornerstone of all of my spiritual growth and understanding. Every 6 seconds the human mind wanders.  If every 6 seconds we train our mind to wander to the fact that YHWH is with us right now, if we remind ourselves that He is loving us RIGHT NOW, our life is bound to change.

One day each of us will step through the veil that separates us and finally meet YHWH face to face.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that moment to be a shock to my system. I want to live in His Presence NOW in unbroken harmony with our amazing Father.

And on the day when he hands me that white stone, I’m hoping my whole soul resonates with the truth etched upon it. And as I look into those blazing eyes, I long for a smile to break upon His beautiful face and to hear the words: “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Next: God and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

 

Spirit-empowered Leadership and the ‘Dangerous Unity’ of Prayer

Kingdom Prayer and the Work of the Holy Spirit

When is the last time you heard of a church or college in the United States devoting an entire day to prayer and fasting together?

by Gary David Stratton, PhD • Senior Editor

Why is the power of the Holy Spirit so evident in some communities and so absent in others?  Why are some leaders so directed and effective in their callings, while others faithfully program and preach with so little sign of God’s presence? Why are some campus ministries effective in helping students come to faith, while others are so ineffective?  Why do some churches deeply impact their culture, while others merely grow more conformed to its image?  Why are some cities and campuses so full of God’s presence and others so empty?

Pastors Jack Hayford, Kenneth Ulmer, Lloyd Ogilvie in Prayer gathering at the Rose Bowl
Jack Hayford, Kenneth Ulmer, and Lloyd Ogilvie at Rose Bowl prayer gathering.

The first time I lived in Los Angeles, Presbyterian Lloyd Ogilvie and Pentecostal Jack Hayford teamed up to gather hundreds of leaders from around the city to gather for half a day of prayer every month. It started with a handful of their ministerial friends who were willing to spend long periods of time together in focused prayer (and even fasting.) They then invited other ministers to gather monthly, and gather they did. As a young campus minister, it was a life-altering experience to gather with more than 500 city leaders willing to give up a day of their busy schedule to seek God’s face together. Not only were they  powerful times of prayer, they were times of prayer for God’s power. God seemed to answer the prayers of that era with an increase of the Spirit’s work all across the city. When the gatherings stopped, the vitality and influence of the church across the city seemed to falter.

A coincidence?  Maybe. Anecdotal evidence is often used to support nearly any theology, and certainly there were a number of complex factors involved in that unique era of L.A. history. Still, the entire experience left me wondering: Is it possible God that releases the ministry of his Holy Spirit on earth primarily when and where his help is specifically requested by His people?  Consider the case from the Old Testament.

Spirit-Empowered Leadership and Prayer

Othniel, by J James Tissot
Othniel, by J James Tissot

Throughout the Old Testament, it is the Spirit of God who empowers God’s people to do his will. [7] In the power of the Holy Spirit anointed leaders delivered Israel from their oppressors,[8] performed supernatural feats,[9] prophesied the word of God,[10] judged Israel’s affairs,[11] built the tabernacle,[12] and received God’s plan for the Temple.[13]

The prepositions “among” and “upon” are of particular significance in describing the Spirit’s work in the OT. This work of the Spirit is primarily “external” in the sense that the Spirit does not dwell within OT saints as in NT believers.[14] The work of God is often accomplished by the Spirit “coming upon”,[15] or “lifting up”[16] a leader or prophet.[17] In Judaism the Spirit of God is especially the “Spirit of prophecy,” [18] and the NT affirms that the prophets “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”.[19]

The Spirit dwells “among” the people of God, through these Spirit-empowered leaders[20] who comprise a mere handful of the people of God: primarily judges,[21] prophets,[22] and kings.[23] This work of the Spirit seems to be closely related to anthropomorphic descriptions of God’s actions—the hand of God,[24] the finger of God,[25] the breath of God,[26] “the word of God.”[27]

Throughout the Old Testament prayer plays a significant role in the release of the ministry of the Holy Spirit on earth. [28]  One of the more remarkable examples is found in the third chapter of the book of Judges, when the cry of the people of God for deliverance from their enemies is answered by God putting His Spirit upon the Othniel to deliver them:

“When they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them.  The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The LORD gave the king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.” -Judges 3:9-10

This pattern is repeated throughout the Old Testament as God answers the cries of his people by giving them Spirit-empowered leaders. [29]

What is more, the Old Testament prophets foretold of a day when the empowerment of God’s Spirit would be available to all God’s people.[33] Joel 2:27-28 and other passages prophesy a coming Messianic age of the Spirit that will be marked by an outpouring of the Spirit coming “upon” all of God’s people not merely a limited set of leaders.[31] When the kingdom of the Messiah breaks into the world, both the external “empowering” work of the Holy Spirit, [32] and the “internal” purifying work of the indwelling Spirit would distinguish the people of God from all other peoples. “I will put my Spirit in you (all) and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws” (Ezekiel 36:27).[34]

So why aren’t believers today experiencing the kind of empowering and purifying work of the Holy Spirit that marked the lives of most Old Testament leaders?  Perhaps it’s because we don’t pray like they did? For instance, King Jehoshaphat and his followers prayed (and fasted!) for an entire day before the Lord answered.

“All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel …as he stood in the assembly. He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you…” -2 Chronicles 20:13-15

When was the last time you heard of a church in the United States devoting an entire day to prayer and fasting together? Would we even know how to wait together–men, women, and children–until the Spirit of God gave an answer? Maybe not. But certainly we can learn. Our busy modern lifestyles might mitigate against our gathering the entire church to pray, but it might be possible to start with the leaders.

Gathering Campus and City Leaders to Pray

Gary, Greg, Leo, and Gordie at the Campus Transformation gathering 20+ years after their 'dangerous unity' at Michigan State.
Gary, Greg, Leo, and Gordie at the 2012 Campus Transformation Network gathering 20+ years after their ‘dangerous unity’ at MSU.

When my wife and I served as campus ministers at Michigan Student University we were specifically warned against developing ‘dangerous unity’ with the leaders of the two largest competing campus ministries: Leo Lawson and Greg Van Nada. Fortunately, biblical convictions and past experience won out over administrative caution. Leo, Greg, local college pastor Gordie Decker, and our staff teams soon joined in evenings of united prayer for God to work through all the campus ministries at MSU. While we never really saw the kind of campus-wide spiritual awakening we were asking from God, many students did come to faith, and much more importantly, we learned to seek God for his agenda and just to be in his presence. The experience helped birth a vision in each of the hearts of those leaders that burns to this day. Leo, Greg, Gordie, myself and many other MSU leaders of that era continue in campus ministry and continue to pursue the work of God across our campuses and cities.

Later, while serving as a college pastor on the north shore of Boston, I was invited to join the steering committee for the Boston Ministers Prayer Summit. The leaders of the church in the city believed so strongly in prayer that we would carve three days out of our busy schedules just to wait on the Lord together. Some of our gatherings were like days of heaven on earth. And perhaps it is not surprising that while the Prayer Summit remained strong, the church in greater Boston experienced what became known as the “Quiet Revival.” One of the most “unchurched” urban centers in America witnessed the birth and renewal of hundreds of thriving churches, and many campus fellowships began to experience unprecedented growth.

Is it time to once again gather the leaders of our campuses and cities to seek God? All anecdotal evidence aside, I suspect that the writers of the Old Testament would answer, YES!

Next:  With Prayer in the School of Christ: Higher Education and the Knowledge of God

For Jesus prayer and education were inseparable, because education and the knowledge of God are inseparable.

 

 


[1] Grudem, 1994, p. 634.

[2] John 6:32,46;13:3;15:26; Acts 2:33; Rom 1:7; 1Cor 8:6; Jam. 1:17.

[3] Rom 5:10; Heb. 1:2; 1John 4:9.

[4] Neh 9:30; Ezek 11:24; Matt 12:28; Mark 11:36; Rom 5:5.

[5] Blomberg, 1996, p. 344.

[6] Kaiser, 1997, p. 1076-7; Simpson, 1988,  p. 600.

[7] Kaiser, 1997, pp. 1075-6.

[8] Judges 3:10

[9] Judges 14:6

[10] 2Chr 15:1; Ezek 11:5; Isa 59:21

[11] Num 11:17f

[12] Exo 31:3; 35:31

[13] 1Chr 28:12

[14] Grudem, 1994, p. 637

[15] 1Sam 11:6; 1Chr 12:18; 2Chr 20:14; 24:20; Ezek. 11:5; Isa 59:21

[16] Ezek 3:14; 8:3; 11:24

[17] Blomberg, 1996, p. 345.

[18] Schweizer, 1986, p. 381

[19] 2Pet 1:21; cf. Isa. 59:21; 2Sam 23:2; Neh 9:30

[20] Isa 63:11   Hag 2:5

[21] Judg 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 14:6,19; 15:14

[22] 2Chr 15:1; Ezek 11:5; Isa 59:21

[23] 1Sam 10:6,10; 11:6. See also, Kaiser, 1997, pp. 1075.

[24] 2Chr 30:12; 2Kgs 3:15; Ezek 33:22

[25] Exod 31:18

[26] Ps 19:1; 102:25

[27] Kamlah, 1978, p. 692; cf. Ps 33:6; 147:15,18.

[28] Kaiser, 1999, pp.3-7

[29] Judg 3:10; 6:34; 9:23; 11:29;13:25;14:6;14:19;15:14;

1Samuel 16:13; 1Kings 18:45; 2Kings 3:14

[30] Psalm 51:11

[31] Isa 32:15; 44:3; Ezek 39:29; Zech 12:10. See also, Pach, 1954, 34-36.

[32] See Fee, XXXX, . Also Kaiser, 1997, p. 1076; Blomberg, 1996, p. 344; Grudem, 1994, p. 637.

[33] Ezek 36:27; cf. 11:19; 37:14

[34] See also, Ezekial 11:19; 37:14.

Wonderstruck: An Interview with Author Margaret Feinberg

Wonderstruck Bible Study series may be as beautiful as it is inspiring

“The first time I saw a snippet of the footage, I thought this must be CGI. If I hadn’t actually been there, I would say, “That’s not real!” It’s truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring.” -Margaret Feinberg

by Gary David Stratton • Senior Editor

Author, blogger, speaker, and two-handed warrior, Margaret Feinberg
Author, blogger, speaker, and two-handed warrior, Margaret Feinberg

Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive and Extraordinary Women. Her books and Bible studies have sold over 600,000 copies and received critical acclaim and extensive national media coverage.

Margaret’s latest book, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God recently premièred at No. 1 on Amazon.com’s ‘Hot New Releases’ in Christian Living. It’s Margaret’s first book since Christianity Today named her to their 50 Women You Should Know list and one of her most significant.

The book invites readers to recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine, develop a renewed passion for God, identify what’s holding you back in prayer, and rediscover the joy of being a child of God.

With the release of Margaret’s Wonderstruck Bible study series this week, we thought we’d ask Margaret what makes this series special.

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 An Interview with Wonderstruck author Margaret Feinberg 

THW: ‘Wonderstruck’ is such a great title. What does it actually mean?

Margaret: I think that living wonderstruck is about recognizing that God is busting at the seams to display His glory, might, and power in our lives—and live on the look out.

 

THW: Why do you think it’s so important for people to live wonderstruck?

Margaret: If you look in the Gospels, what you’ll discover is that those who encountered Jesus were left in wild amazement. They were awestruck by the teachings of Christ, the healings of Christ, the mind-bending miracles of Christ. Within the Gospel of Luke we see words like “awe” and “wonder” and “marvel” at every turn. If this is the natural response to encountering Christ, how much more should it be for you and I—who are invited to live in relationship with Christ as sons and daughters of our God Most High?

 

THW: Sounds like there is a personal story behind that Biblical application.

Margaret: There is. The Wonderstruck book and Bible study were born out of one of the toughest years of our lives for my husband Leif and I. We were getting pounded in all directions—and the prayer that emerged wasn’t for greater faith or trust or even strength, but a prayer for wonder. In the midst of pain and loss and hardship, I longed to recapture the wonder of God and be astounded by Him again.

 

THW: What can church leaders do to begin rekindling their own sense of wonder?

So I would counsel them to do what Leif and I did and start praying for wonder. Every day. What we discovered is that as you pray, it changes the posture of your life and begin looking for how God wants to answer. You begin to see the divine fingerprints of God in your schedule, your “chance” encounters, your conversations.

Before you know it, you’ll begin pausing by details you once walked by—the soft light of the setting sun, the brightness of an infant’s eyes, the particulars in Scripture you may have once rushed by. Praying for wonder asks God to reveal Himself and again and places us in a posture of seeing and savoring God and His handiwork all around.

 

THW:  The Bible study series you wrote to accompany Wonderstruck doesn’t seem like a typical Bible study. What makes it different?

Margaret: Well, Wonderstruck does have similar elements to lots of Bible studies—20 minute video teaching segments ranging, discussion guides, and even five nights of homework for those who want to dive deeper, and fun, engaging experiential activities.

But a few things make Wonderstruck unique. First, it’s filmed near Banff, Canada—at Lake Louise, Lake Bow, Lake Morraine and surrounding area. The first time I saw a snippet of the footage, I thought this must be CGI. If I hadn’t actually been there, I would say, “That’s not real!” It’s truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring. The wonders of God as displayed through creation are mesmerizing and the Lifeway team did an incredible job in filming.

But this study isn’t just about diving into the Scripture or discovering something new about God (though that’s included!), but it’s about changing the posture of the way we live so we’re ready to encounter God in ways we’ve never expected.

 

THW:  That certainly sounds exciting.  Can you give our readers some examples of what that might mean for them?

Margaret: Since the release of Wonderstruck on Christmas Day, we’ve had emails pour in from readers of how they’re encountering God. One woman was struggling to find a job. She began praying for wonder—asking God to give her those moments of spiritual awakening that stir her hunger for God. She went in for yet another job interview and this time was extended an offer. She wrote us let us know that it was like God had gone before her and all she had to do was show up. Her response was one of gratitude and thanks to God.

Another person began praying for wonder and stepped outside one evening. She sat in awe as seven shooting stars illuminated the sky above her. Her response was one of praise at the nearness of God and celebrating God as Creator.

Another reader began praying for wonder. As a stay-at-home mom surrounded by laundry and a million to-do’s, she thought, “How can God reveal his wonder in this?” Later that day, she received a text with the news that they had lost a loved one. She was able to respond with words of comfort, and prayers on their behalf. In that moment, she was reminded that even with toddlers in tow, God wanted to use her.

 

THW:  Are such results “typical?” (I sound like I’m interviewing a doctor who discovered a cure for a disease.)

Margaret: Well, I hope so.  I am certainly offering a ‘prescription’ for anyone experiencing a ‘boring’ walk with God, or who is feeling overwhelmed by the challenges they are facing. Through the book and Bible study, I offer a “30-Day Wonder Challenge” that invites people to take time through specific activities—including journaling, snapping photos, embracing silence, prayer, and study, that are designed to rekindle the wonder of God.

I believe that genuine wonder awaits awaits anyone willing to start looking for it in their relationships, schedule, Sabbath, and so much more. 

 

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Margaret Feinberg’s latest book, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God and 7-session DVD Bible study are available on her website or amazon.com

You can follow Margaret on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mafeinberg, or click the image to learn more.

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Margaret’s Winter Schedule

January 12, 2013
Chase Oaks Church Leadership Forum
Plano, TX

January 17, 2013
Children’s Pastors’ Conference
Orlando, FL

February 3, 2013
Cherry Hills Community Church Weekend Services
Highlands Ranch, CO

February 19, 2013
Children’s Pastors’ Conference
San Diego, CA

March 1-2, 2013
Extraordinary Women Conference
Tulsa, OK

March 3, 2013
Simply Youth Ministry Conference
Indianapolis, IN

March 15-16, 2013
Extraordinary Women Conference
Greenville, SC

April 5-6, 2013
First Baptist Jackson Women’s Retreat
Jackson, MS