Does God Answer Prayer?
Up From the Ashes
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2M ago
Crying out to God in desperation and feeling like He just doesn't answer can feel isolating. It can make us feel unloved and utterly alone. Sometimes, we feel like God just isn't answering our prayers. We think that because He didn't come out and just give us the answer we wanted Him to give us that He didn't answer. We get upset that He didn't give us an answer how we wanted Him to answer us.  The dictionary defines an answer as a response or reaction to a question, statement or situation. So given this broad of a definition, He may be answering us, just maybe not how we would like H ..read more
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Grace and Mercy
Up From the Ashes
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2M ago
"Miss! What bothers you most about our generation—Gen Z?" one of my sophomore students asked me during class today. The boy who asked me this expected me to say I was annoyed by the slang, the way kids dress, the TikTok dances, or that they have their noses in their phones 24/7. I thought about it for a second, and the answer was difficult to put into words that a 15-year-old could understand. What bothers me most about this generation is the expectation of mercy.  As a teacher for 20 years, I have been told numerous times by administrators to show grace to students. It's a pervasive th ..read more
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Songs of 2020
Up From the Ashes
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9M ago
Some of my favorite worship songs from 2020. A lot were repeats from 2019, so I left them off.  Waymaker by Leeland You are here, moving in our midst/I worship You/I worship You You are here, working in this place/I worship You/I worship You You are here, moving in our midst/I worship You/I worship You You are here, working in this place/I worship You/I worship You You are/Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper Light in the darkness, my God/That is who You are You are/Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper Light in the darkness, my God/That is who You are You are here, healing every ..read more
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Effectual Prayer
Up From the Ashes
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9M ago
James 5:16 says, "the effectual prayers of a righteous man availeth much." Sometimes, when I think about this verse, I take the word “effectual“ out of it. My mind says it as, “the prayers of a righteous man availeth much.“ I’ve always thought that the emphasis in the scripture is on the word “righteous.” Righteous means, “right standing with God,“ and I am made righteous through Jesus is finished work on the cross. So I’ve always thought that this scripture meant that if I have received my righteousness from the Lord, my prayers will availeth much. But that’s not the case. There’s an adjec ..read more
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Talk is Cheap
Up From the Ashes
by
9M ago
I’ve been overweight most of my adult life. My two babies, a thyroid condition, poor eating habits and little physical activity had me packing on the pounds. As a former collegiate athlete, I’ve always wanted to get back closer to my competition weight. I’ve started and quit working out more times than I can count. I’ve tried just about every fad diet there is. I will say I want to lose weight, and I genuinely do. But then I will shove ice cream, candy and cokes in my pie hole. Countless days, I've chosen to forgo the gym because I’m just exhausted from being a single working mom. So if I’m ..read more
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Hidden Dangers
Up From the Ashes
by
1y ago
Summertime means outdoor adventures. I had borrowed a huge RV camper from my friend Joe for this particular adventure. We parked it at a beautiful campsite near the mountains and a lake, and the girls and I spent a glorious seven days reveling in nature. Swimming, hiking, fishing, Jeeping, relaxing. The time to pack up and head home arrived, and I was getting impatient. I hadn't driven the RV before, but I knew I could drive it. I have a bus driver license, and I can drive a school bus no problem. I walked around the RV to check out any potential obstacles. A 10-foot blue concrete wall stood ..read more
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The Desires of our Heart
Up From the Ashes
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1y ago
I've experienced a lot of heartache. I've cried myself to sleep more times than I can count. There have been so many desires in my heart that have come to ashes and rubble. I've had to walk away from abusive relationships and marriages, a boyfriend I'm still in love with, jobs, friendships, my perfect house, hopes, dreams and more. I can think of hundreds of unfulfilled desires that I sincerely prayed for that I didn't get. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." I wrestle with this scripture, because I did delight myself in the Lord. A ..read more
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Unconditional Love
Up From the Ashes
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1y ago
Near the end of our short-lived marriage, wasband #2 and I were laying in bed talking about life and love. Sensing distance in our relationship, I asked him if he unconditionally loved me. He replied with, "I don't believe in unconditional love." Shocked, I asked about his children, "Don't you unconditionally love your girls?!?" He said he couldn't name something, but he was sure that there was something they could do that would make him not love them. Fear gripped me as I came to realize that he and I did not have the same definition of love or marriage. I think about my own children, and th ..read more
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Strength
Up From the Ashes
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1y ago
I have been called strong several times the past couple weeks. Lots of people in the past few years have called me strong. My own children told me the other day that I’m the strongest person they know, and that they could never be a strong as me. I most definitely don't feel strong, but people keep saying it. When I was younger, I wanted so badly to be strong. I want to be seen as strong. I want other people to look at me and think I was strong. So I put out this image of strength and bravado. I pretended to not let things bother me. I would have never allowed anyone to know I had any stru ..read more
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Why Your Kids Shouldn't be Happy
Up From the Ashes
by
1y ago
If you search the internet for "raising happy kids," you'll find more than 140 million results including websites, books, articles, psychological studies, blogs, etc. all telling you how to raise your kids to be happy. You can spend hours reading about the latest trends, advice columns or "Top 10" lists. While much of the advice is indeed sound—less screen time, more exercise, tell them no, eat better foods, help others—the focus is askew.   "What's wrong with wanting happy kids?" you may ask. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting happy kids. But happiness should never be y ..read more
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