Good song for a Thursday…

I recently rediscovered a favorite CD from over 10 years ago. It had languished in a box in my son’s room for awhile. He found it as he was packing up for his first semester of college a few weeks back.

I thanked him for finding it and put aside.

Every time I walked past the book shelf it was on, I thought, ‘I need to pop that in the CD player and listen to it again’, vaguely remembering there were songs I used to really enjoy.

Yesterday I grabbed it as I ran out the door to work. As soon as I heard the first song play I took a deep breath then let out a long sigh…

I forgot how good this music is.

So I have to share. I wish I could find an official music video for the first song, but it’s better to listen with your eyes closed anyway 😉

This is called My Heart Goes Outby Warren Barfield on his self-titled first album (Warren Barfield, 2003)

Enjoy!

 

Here are the beautiful lyrics:

She sat a table away
Staring into space
In her own little world
And I saw a tear in her eye

Like a window to the mind
Of a frightened little girl
She never said a word
But I know I clearly heard

A cry for help
And I wanted to answer her
I wanted to tell her

My Heart
Goes out to you
You don’t even know me
You don’t even know

Oh my heart goes out to you
And I don’t know what else to do
To reach you now
My heart goes out

But I’m still glued to my chair
She’s unaware
There’s little time
And though my intentions are good

If I’m mis-understood
The price could be high

I can’t fix whatever’s wrong
But if I fail to pass along

Someone cares

The price could be greater
This can’t wait til’ later

For God has loved the world so much
He sent His only son
From Heaven to earth
Well there’s a distance love covered
She’s just a table over
All she needs is a shoulder

My heart goes out to you
You don’t even know me
You don’t even know
Oh, my heart goes out

Lord, help me do what I can do
To reach her, to reach her
Oh my heart goes out to you
You don’t even know me

You don’t even know
Oh, my heart goes out to you
Let me do what I can do to reach you now
My heart goes out
Yeah

…………………………………………………………………………

“When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Luke 7:13 

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

One of the things I really appreciate is people who pray for me.

 Friends, acquaintances, strangers…I’m grateful for them all. These are selfless individuals who interrupt their day and ask God to move and intervene on my behalf, or on behalf of someone else.

Before I became a Christian I would never have dreamed about asking someone to pray for me, even though during desperate points in my life I would quietly plead for help in the hopes that someone greater than me might be listening.

 I’m not shy about asking for help now. There are people I trust to go to God in faith and intercede for me, for my family, for our circumstances, etc. They believe like me—that God is the source of wisdom, hope and comfort. Not only do they believe that God has all the answers, they believe He is the answer in every situation.

You don’t have to know someone to pray for them- you just have to have a heart for your fellow man. I have always taken it seriously when Jesus said, Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31) and I apply it to prayer.

 If you were having a bad day (week, month, year) how would you want someone to pray for you? Think about what you would need and turn it into a prayer for someone else! Rather than gossip or post on Facebook about the stressed out mom you saw while shopping, why not pray for her? Pray for her children and her family. Ask God to bless her with peace, with wisdom and strength to raise her children. Pray that she have Godly examples and help in her life so that she won’t become just another stressed-out, hopeless victim of her circumstances. Pray that she would come to know Jesus as her Savior and that she would see her worth in His eyes.

 We are not meant to live this life alone and isolated. We need one another:

 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

 “…and pray for each other…” James 5:16b

 Pray for one another

 Blessings and have a prayerful day!

Speak Life

I want to share this beautiful post with you today. It’s worth the read ❤

Devotionals for Christ's Valiant Warriors

When my son Noah was a toddler, I regularly traveled back and forth between California and Tennessee to visit my parents. Because of my husband’s work schedule, there were many times he didn’t go along with us. Traveling on my own proved to be extremely taxing in those days, and fellow travelers would often observe me chasing my son around the airport and trying to pacify him with books, games and snacks.

On one trip in particular, Noah entertained himself on our flight by running up and down the aisle. I tried to indulge him while simultaneously trying to keep him from bumping into people. I offered apologies to many passengers as they glared at me disapprovingly. When Noah finally wore himself out (about 20 minutes before landing!), I held him and rocked him in the aisle until he fell asleep. The exasperation and exhaustion I felt must have showed…

View original post 1,042 more words

Effective Prayer

James encouraged believers with the following words:

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 NASB

Effective prayer…effective…

Effective is an adjective meaning to produce a decided, decisive, or desired effect; producing a result that is wanted; having an intended effect (Merriam-Webster)

Anyone who prays wants to have their prayers heard and answered.

The good news is that God does indeed hear and answer prayer, even if the request is a hastily cried, “HELP!”

But how can we be certain that God hears us? 

The best place to find the answer to this is in the word:

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14

Well that’s wonderful and faith-building! We can be confident that God hears us when we pray according to His will. And here is the bonus part of that scripture:

“And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:15

Double bonus!

So how can we know what God’s will is concerning our request? It’s hard to have faith for something you aren’t certain is God’s will, and faith is a key ingredient for effective prayer.

So, we must go back to the scriptures and search for answers. Here is one straight from the mouth of Jesus:

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

Jesus said if we abide in Him (make Christ our life’s pursuit) and His words abide or live in us (that which we feed on, meditate on and look to for wisdom) we can ask God for anything and it will be done for us.

Awesome! So simple, yet we so often miss it because we lack a biblical foundation for our prayers. Think of it in terms of a new electronic device, appliance or car. You have all these buttons and functions that are at your finger tips, with the ability to store data, produce reports, play music, steam-clean clothes or let you cruise at a constant speed. The capability is built into these items, but unless you have read the manual and directions for your phone, washing machine or car, your efforts will be hit and miss at best. People would think we were crazy if we whined and accused our computer of not working properly because it hates us and has it out for us– yet people say this of God every day.

I am in no way comparing our Holy God to a man-made device, so please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that God is some wish-granting machine, and if you just know all the right things to ask, you can have your own way. Further reading in the bible will reveal the error in that pseudo-Christian teaching. However, if we know that we need to read and study to learn something new, then why do we neglect this same truth when it comes to the things of God? Jesus said one of the marks of a true disciple is one who spends time studying the bible:

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32

Freedom is good. Answered prayer is good. God is good!

My plan is to post a combination of scriptural teachings on prayer as well as some prayers for our country, leaders, communities, personal concerns, etc. in the coming weeks. I would love for you to join me in faith in calling out to God for these things and more.

And if you need prayer for anything, please leave a comment on this post or private message me at: editor@anoutstretchedhand.com

Contact through the website

Blessings and have a wonderful day!

Believers praying together

The Positive Purpose of Suffering in Christ

The bad things that come into our lives have different intended purposes, depending upon whose point of view we identify with and adopt.

 Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy, whereas God wants us to experience His abundant life (John 10:10). There is a choice we have to make when we are confronted with trials and temptations. Satan’s plan is that we will cave into fear, depression and pressure, whereas God wants us to turn to Him for wisdom, comfort and grace. When David wrote, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3), he was saying, ‘The Lord helps me to live according to what He says is right and correct, so others can see that He is real, faithful and true. By God’s grace, I will not bring shame or reproach to His Holy name!’

 Our loving, Heavenly Father wants us to have a testimony that we can share to encourage others. Satan wants to destroy our witness for Christ and cause us to be ineffective in God’s kingdom.

 If we grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, we sound no different than the rest of the world. If we lie, cheat and steal when things get tight, we fit in with the enemy’s plan, not God’s.  When we are suffering with pain, sickness or fear, God does not intend for these things to take us down. His intention is that we will be victorious in these battles through His power, strength, wisdom and love.

 When you are going through difficult or painful circumstances, who would you rather speak with– someone who has never experienced what you are dealing with or someone whom God has brought through difficult times and can share the wisdom they gained? Someone who can only offer cliches and sympathy or someone who can speak words of life and truth, encouraging you to hang on to God because He is faithful—and their lives can prove it by their testimony.

 It’s a no brainer.

 When you come up against a wall, go to God and ask Him for help. Cry out to Him for wisdom, insight and grace. Seek Him in the word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and strengthen you. Sometimes the battles are so intense you need constant help throughout the day just to stay focused and functioning…but it’s ok. He doesn’t mind our repeated requests for help. He knows we can’t make it without Him.

 Trust God to bring you through, whether you are dealing with a rebellious, strung-out child, a failing marriage or facing foreclosure on your home. God has your answer. He is your answer. He will strengthen you and help you. And when He does, then you will be able to turn around and help someone else in a similar situation.

 Blessings and strength for the battle!

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

strength for the battle