Thursday, January 5, 2017



In this first week of the 2017, I find myself tearing up over the influence of someone who has moved away from my life; but who had immeasurable influence on it.

When I came into this new phase of my life back in 2005, God literally pushed me into a program called Celebrate Recovery and broke my heart over what I had been and what I needed to be instead. CR, as we call it, was just the tool He wanted to use it to turn me from hating into loving; from twisting everything to God's failures in my life to seeing God's Great Power and Love and Mercy at work in my life.

The walk before me was extremely painful and exhausting. But due to this influential woman in my life, I learned to cling to God through, not just my own personal prayers and pleading, but by reaching out for Joy in the music that was the epitome of all that I needed to pray. Because of her, I became a “hand raiser,” unable to stop reaching up to God as I prayed along with these songs. To this day, I find pure Joy in singing my prayers. A morning of musical prayer is always a very high note in my life!

Since not many people in my church “arm raise,” the question sometimes came up as to whether it was really alright to do that.

At one evening prayer meeting, a small discussion came up and our precious guiding light Shepherd leader was put on the spot by everyone looking to him for an answer:

In his sweet way, he said that it surely is not wrong and, in itself does, not interrupt a calm and orderly worship service. But it is true that the Bible only mentions it in regard to prayer. What I did not say, but thought, was, “But I AM praying!”

I will never forget how this woman influenced my growth in Christ by showing me how to reach up to God in prayer, as well as look up to Him as the owner, Savior and Lord of my life.

May we all “reach up” to God with our prayers, even if our arms do not rise!

And may we see the power of God in our lives day after day in this new year and beyond!