“Holy Spirit Come” performed by Patrick Mayberry

Good morning friends! As you hit the midpoint of your week, and maybe in need of a boost, I invite you to listen to the lyrics of Patrick Mayberry’s song, “Holy Spirit Come”, and make it your prayer today.

I’m coming with a heart of worship
I’m bringing in a brand new song
I’m ready to see the unthinkable
I’m ready for a miracle

Hearts praying for a fresh encounter
Souls looking to the living God
I’m ready for a real revival

Oh Holy Spirit come
Like a flood, like a fire
Holy Spirit fall
In this place, fill our hearts
Holy Spirit come
Like a flood, like a fire
Holy Spirit come
Oh, Holy Spirit come
(Woo!)
We’re on the edge of a new beginning
God, we know you have so much more
We’re looking to a new horizon
We’re praying for Your rain to pour

An overflowing of true redemption
An overflowing of Your kingdom
We’re ready for a real revival

Oh Holy Spirit come
Like a flood, like a fire
Holy Spirit fall
In this place, fill our hearts
Holy Spirit come
Like a flood, like a fire
Holy Spirit come
Oh, Holy Spirit come

Oh, can you feel it?
Heaven is reaching
Oh, can you hear it?
Our God is speaking
Oh, can you see it?
He’s got your healing
Oh, just receive it
Receive the freedom

Oh, can you feel it?
Heaven is reaching
Oh, can you hear it?
Our God is speaking
Oh, can you see it?
He’s got your healing
Oh, just receive it
Receive the freedom

Come, like a flood, like a fire
Holy Spirit fall
In this place, fill our hearts
Holy Spirit come
Like a flood, like a fire
Holy Spirit come
Oh, Holy Spirit come

Oh, come along

“A Little Kindness Can Go A Long Way” by Pastor Randy

Happy Wednesday! I hope the first part of your week has gone well and that the second half will be even better!!! Today I want to talk to you about how a little kindness can go a long way especially in the world that we live in today.

You have probably heard the saying, “Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Well, there is a lot of truth in that and so, as Christians, we should be extra intentional when it comes to exhibiting the fruit of the spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control – Galatians 5:22-23) in response to others.

I know that sometimes it can be frustrating if you are waiting in a long line or if there aren’t any bags at checkout but, rather than getting upset at the closest person on staff who is probably making minimum wage and has no control over the situation, maybe say a quick prayer for patience and then offer the person a smile instead of a scowl or even say something to them like, “No bags again, huh? That’s got to be tough because it’s not your fault but you probably still take the heat for it.” Or maybe, after a long wait in line where you have heard other customers berating the cashier, pause when it gets to be your turn and say to them, “It sounds like you are having a tough time. I pray the rest of your shift goes better.” And if you say it loud enough it will hopefully set the tone for the others waiting in line behind you. 😇

My friends and I actually had the opportunity to show kindness in this way a week ago when we having breakfast at a local restaurant. When we arrived we were seated and had our orders taken shortly after. We then jumped into some good conversation, my two friends discussed world problems while the one’s son and I had more important matters to discuss like LEGOS, and after quite a while ha passed, and I was just starting to wonder where our food was, someone other than our waitress came to our table and said, “I’m very sorry but your order was lost.” She explained that she had noticed that people had come in after us who already had their bill so she went to find out about our order only to find that it was missing. She said she would put it right in and thanked us for our patience and understanding.

It wasn’t really a big deal. We weren’t starving and saw it as just getting to enjoy more time together in conversation. A little while later we received our food, which was worth the wait by the way, and then a few minutes later the lady who had taken our original order came up to our table. As she started to apologize we tried to stop her saying that it wasn’t a problem but she continued on explaining that she was actually the owner of the restaurant and that she had taken our order because the waitress who was supposed to be there for the morning shift hadn’t shown up. She went on to say that on her way back to the kitchen she had answered the phone since she saw that it was from the hospital where her husband had been admitted with some severe health problems, and after hearing some not great news she had forgotten all about our order.

Once again we assured her that it wasn’t a problem and asked what her husband’s name was so that we could pause and pray for him right then. After we finished our meal and went to leave (after my buddy left a very generous tip which I only mention because as a former waiter I can attest that Christians have earned a bad rap over the years from being stingy tippers) she cashed us out and then gave us hugs saying that we were the perfect table for that to happen to.

You wouldn’t think that we would enjoy being labeled as the perfect table to have our ticket lost but it was obviously a compliment, not only because of how we responded but also because of how we didn’t respond. Think about it… we could have been angry, we could have demanded that we get our food for free, we could have got up and left, we could have passive aggressively posted a bad review on social media. There are a number of ways that we could have reacted poorly in the moment, and I wish I could tell you that I have never done any of these things in the past, but any negative reaction would not have allowed us to offer comfort and hope to someone who was obviously in need of both. Beyond that how bad would we have felt after finding out why our food was delivered late?

I know that we all have times when we are rushing and not as kind or as patient as we would normally be but friends it is in those moments that we can truly shine for Christ if we only slow down and try to picture the situation from another’s point of view. Let’s make it a point to pray each morning and ask God to make us more aware of these holy opportunities so that those we come in contact with will be better for it and will understand more about the tangible love of Christ shown through our words and actions.

Let us be Christ’s hands, Christ’s feet, and Christ’s voice in the world today.

GO SCATTER!!!

“Graves Into Gardens” performed by Elevation Worship ft. Brandon Lake

Good morning friends, a lot has been happening and this seemed like an appropriate song to meditate on midweek. Take a listen with me…

I searched the world
But it couldn’t fill me
Man’s empty praise
And treasures that fade
Are never enough

Then You came along
And put me back together
And every desire
Is now satisfied
Here in Your love (hey)

Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

I’m not afraid
To show You my weakness
My failures and flaws
Lord, You’ve seen ’em all
And You still call me friend

‘Cause the God of the mountain
Is the God of the valley
There’s not a place
Your mercy and grace
Won’t find me again

Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can

You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can

You turn graves into garden
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can
You’re the only one who can

Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

You turn graves into gardens
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can

You turn graves into gardens
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can
You’re the only one who can
You’re the only one who can

“Fill My Cup” performed by Andrew Ripp

Hey friends, I decided to take one more week off from taping a “Refill with Randy” episode in order to let my voice get stronger so, instead of me saying, “grab your favorite cup and fill it up”, let’s take some time to meditate on the words of Andrew Rip’s song, “Fill My Cup” and make it our midweek prayer.

“Fill My Cup”

Been walking to a city I cannot see
Through the depths of the valley where the sun can’t reach
I’ve been high, I’ve been low
I’ve been looking for the river that could fill my soul
Been walking to a city I cannot see

Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
Give me love, give me joy, give me peace
Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
I am your child in need
Lord, I need you to fill my cup

Fill my cup
Fill my cup
Fill my cup
Fill my cup

Been walking over lies standin’ in my way
They can say what they want, I don’t want what they say
I was born far from home
But I’ve been thriving in the wonder of the great unknown
‘Cause I’m drinking from a well from another place

Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
Give me love, give me joy, give me peace
Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
I am your child in need
Lord, I need you to fill my cup

Fill my cup
Fill my cup
Fill my cup
Fill my cup

Fill my house up with hoping
Fill my plans up with purpose
Fill my wounds up with healing
Lord, I need you to fill my cup
Fill my days up with meaning
Fill my future with vision
Goodness, grace and provision
Lord, I need you to fill my cup

And when I get to that city I cannot see
I’ll know that even this valley was a golden street

Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
Give me love, give me joy, give me peace
Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
I am your child in need
Lord, I need you to fill my cup

Fill my house up with hoping (Fill my cup)
Fill my plans up with purpose (Fill my cup)
Fill my wounds up with healing (Fill my cup)
Lord, I need you to fill my cup
Fill my days up with meaning (Fill my cup)
Fill my future with vision (Fill my cup)
Goodness, grace and provision (Fill my cup)
Lord, I need you to fill my cup

“Spring Cleaning” by Dave Good

Good day!! Welcome back to another edition of the Refill with Randy Blog. My name is Dave Good and I pray that my words will be an encouragement to you and add some blessing to your life.

Today, I’d like to talk about spring cleaning. I know most of you are probably going to say, I hate cleaning. Lol. I know this isn’t the best topic but I think you will find out it can be a rewarding experience. I would have to say spring is one of my favorite times of the year. If you take a few moments and look around you will soon see signs of life everywhere. The weather is starting to get warmer, the trees are starting to bud, flowers are emerging from their winter slumber, and the grass is turning a vivid shade of green. The world is starting to awake from the long winter hibernation. To me, this is an exciting time of the year. 

Spring is also the perfect time to do some cleaning and evaluation. One of the first projects I do each spring is get the garage and mower ready for the work that lies ahead. The mower oil and blades need to be changed, the porch and garage need swept and organized. There is work to be done all around the house. I know right now you are probably thinking what does all of this have to do with my Christian walk and ministry? I’m glad you asked.

Spring is a time of new growth, reorganization, and new life. I really think our Christian walk could use a season of new growth, reorganization, and new life too. I am not here to throw stones or point fingers but I really think if we are honest with ourselves, we would all agree. I can only speak for myself but I love the idea of breathing new life in my walk. A lot of the time we can get stuck in a bit of a routine or a rut. So the next question we need to ask is what are some of the ways we can grow and mature spiritually this spring?

1. Spend more time in The Word. One of the easiest ways to grow spiritually is to read your Bible more. I don’t care how long or how many times you’ve read the Bible, it will always speak to you in new ways. The Bible is God’s Living Word and you will never master the depth of it so keep reading it and rereading it.

2. Start a devotional. Another way to grow close to God is through the reading of devotionals. Pastor Randy and I have completed many devotionals together using the YouVersion Bible app. It is a wonderful tool to not only deepen your scripture reading but it also helps with accountability. I encourage you to take a look at it if you haven’t already.

3. Spring clean your daily routine. Since the topic of this entry is all about spring cleaning, I think this is a perfect time to take a look at our daily routine and get rid of some of the clutter. I encourage you to take a look at how you are using your time. How much time are you spending with the Lord? How much time are you spending on social media? How much time are you working ? How much time are you relaxing? All of this is important for a well rounded life yet, like everything else, it must be done in proportion. If we are spending too much time in any one of the list above our life could be out of balance and could lead to problems down the road. Spring is the perfect time to reorganize our daily routine to ensure a balanced daily walk.

Friends, Spring is the perfect time of year to fine tune our lives. Spring is a time of rebirth and I hope you seize the opportunity to breathe some fresh life into you walk with Jesus. I will never claim to have all the answers. I will never claim to know it all. The one thing I will tell you is that over the years I’ve used some of these things to deepen my own relationship with Jesus. I can assure you they are helpful because I’ve seen the fruits of it in my own life and I pray that you will too.

Advent Week 3 – “Wednesday” by Pastor Randy

Good morning friends! I apologize for the temporary hiatus but I have been without power and internet since Saturday so I am playing catch up.

Speaking of power outages… today’s post will be my special “Power Out” episode of Refill with Randy. This third week of Advent’s theme is love and in this video I talk about remembering those loved ones we have lost. Take a look…

“Come Alive (Dry Bones)” by Pastor Randy

Much like yesterday’s post I wanted to share a song with you in which the lyrics have resonated with, and impacted, me. I have always been drawn to the account of the dry bones from Ezekiel 37 and Lauren Daigle gives it new life with her hauntingly soulful voice.

So spend some time today meditating on the words, listening to the song, and being reminded of what a great and powerful God we serve.

Through the eyes of men, it seems there’s so much we have lost
As we look down the road where all the prodigals have walked
One by one, the enemy has whispered lies
And led them off as slaves

But we know that You are God, Yours is the victory
We know there is more to come
That we may not yet see
So with the faith You’ve given us
We’ll step into the valley unafraid, yeah

As we call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts, come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive

God of endless mercy, god of unrelenting love
Rescue every daughter, bring us back the wayward son
And by Your spirit, breathe upon them, show the world that You alone can save You alone can save

As we call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts, come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive

So breathe, oh, breath of God
Now breathe, oh, breath of God
Breathe, oh, breath of God, now breathe

Breathe, oh, breath of God
Now breathe, oh, breath of God
Breathe, oh, breath of God, now breathe

As we call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts, come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive

We call out to dry bones, come alive
Oh, come alive

Lauren Daigle

“Vespers: Evening Prayer” by Pastor Randy

[This week I am sharing about the different hours of The Divine Office. If you are new here I would suggest going back and reading Monday’s (10/25) post to get a better understanding of what this is and why I am sharing about it.]

Vespers, celebrated at dusk, takes on the character of evening when day is almost over and our work has come to an end. This hour is marked with rest and contemplation of the day’s successes and failures. It is often marked by thanksgiving for the day just past and a sacrifice of praise for the night yet to come.

Psalms‬ ‭141:1-2‬ “O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.” ‭‭(‭NLT‬)

Psalms‬ ‭119:55‬ ‭“I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord; therefore, I obey your instructions.” ‭‭(NLT‬‬)

Praise From All Creatures


Praise be to you, O Lord
Who spins shining stars across the wondrous heavens
And stretches out the seas,
Who lifts the dawn into place And sets boundaries for night,
Who awes the earth with storms And gentles it with green,
Who gives everything a season
And breathes life and love into the dust of us.
Praise be to You.


Praise in all things, For all things,
The soft slant of sunlight, The sweat of battle,
a song in the wilderness, the evening breeze,
the deep breath,
the tended wound,
mercy, quietness, a friend; for the miracles of the daily,
the mysteries of the eternal.
Praise be to You.


Praise from all creatures, Laughers and list-makers,
Wonders and worriers,
Poets and plodders and prophets,
The wrinkled, the newborn, The whale, and the worm,
From all, and from me. Praise, praise be to You
For amazing grace.

by Ted Loder

“Lauds – Prayer at Dawn”

[This week and next I am sharing about the different hours of The Divine Office. If you are new here I would suggest going back and reading Monday’s (10/25) post to get a better understanding of what this is and why I am sharing about it.]

Lauds is celebrated at sunrise when the night is dispelled and the new day is born. The Church has always considered the sun to be a symbol of Christ rising from the dead. We thank God for the first light at the beginning of creation and for the second light that came into the world—Christ. This hour is filled with joyful prayers and songs.

Genesis‬ ‭1:3-5‬ “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” ‭(NIV‬‬)

John 1:1-9 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” ‭(NIV‬‬)

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (NIV‬‬)

“Light of the World” by Lauren Daigle

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on Earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel

And can you hear the angels singing
Glory to the light of the world
Glory the light of the world is here

The drought breaks with the tears of a mother
A baby’s cry is the sound of love
Come down, come down, Emmanuel

Oh, He is the song for the suffering
He is Messiah, the Prince of Peace has come
He has come, Emmanuel

Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world

For all who wait
For all who hunger
For all who’ve prayed
For all who wonder
Behold your King
Behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world

Behold your King
Behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
The world waits for the miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel

Shed your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of your commandments we may never be deceived or misled. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, (one) God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Anam Cara… Soul Friend” by Pastor Randy

So, what is a Soul Friend? Someone who willingly joins you on, and helps shape, your Christian journey. A person who intentionally enters into a long obedience in the same direction alongside you, not as an advisor so much as a traveling companion, and who offers spiritual direction during times of crisis or confusion. A brother or sister that shares in and helps you create a sacred space for such things as common prayer and contemplative practices.

The concept comes from the Celtic monastic tradition where an Anam Cara (literally translated Soul Friend) is considered an essential companion on the spiritual path–someone to share your struggles, as well as shape your life, with. In doing so they can become an anchor during a storm as they sit silently with you weathering the waves of grief and confusion all the while refraining from trying to simply fix your situation. What they provide is not answers per se but the ability to help you ask the right questions.

This is what we all need and what we all need to be…

“Practice the Pause” by Pastor Randy

Happy Wednesday!

As you pause to read this in the middle of your week I want to talk to you about Practicing the Pause.

In my post last Friday I shared about spending time in Silence & Solitude, learning to listen to God, but the reality is that as Christians we are to become people who pray perpetually.

Now that doesn’t mean that we should all just hide away in our prayer closet all day, every day rather that we you become the type of person to whom prayer becomes a second language that you use throughout the day to talk with your Father.

When Paul exhorts us to “pray continually” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 I don’t think that he is asking us to become “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good” as the saying goes but, rather, to learn to be in constant communication with the Father—through the Son—as directed by The Holy Spirit.

And I believe the key to praying continually is to practice a holy PAUSE

Before you get out of bed in the morning PAUSE and ask God to make His Agenda your agenda.

Before you eat PAUSE and thank God for all that He has provided for you.

Before you make a big decision PAUSE and ask God to give you wisdom and discernment.

Before you speak to, or about, someone PAUSE and ask God if it is beneficial for building them or others up.

Before you leave your house each day PAUSE and ask God to give you an attitude worth catching.

Before you go to bed at night PAUSE and thank God for all of the blessings of the day.

I could list more but you get the picture. I encourage you to try it and let me know how it goes.

“Feeding Yourself Spiritual Food – Part 2” by Pastor Randy

Yesterday I posed the question, “How are you feeding yourself spiritually these days?” focusing on the fact that we aren’t supposed to starve ourselves, spiritually speaking, six days a week and then try to gorge ourselves on Sunday morning with the fruit of someone else’s study. Well, I said it more clearly yest- – – you know what, go back and read it. I’ll wait…

Ok, all caught up now? Good. I started to share about methods that can assist us in intentionally spending time with God and the first one I shared was “Listening to the Bible”. Now, I don’t need to to recap because you just read it, right? 😉And so right along with that I would say that the second method I have found invaluable when it comes to consistently spending time with God and finding nourishment in His Word is doing online devotions with other people. In particular, using the same YouVersion Bible App that I recommended yesterday (If you didn’t download it yesterday go back and do it. No… not now. I already had to wait for you while you got caught up. Do it afterward. 😇)

Just like the App (which I promise I do not have an endorsement offer with—though I am open to it. Call me!), has thousands of Bible translations to assist in your personal study they have tons of Bible Study Plans and Devotional Topics as well.

And, as much as I like doing personal devotions, one of the biggest benefits of using the App is that you can also do them with friends. For me this adds accountability, encouragement, and fellowship to the mix, which definitely helps me stay more consistent. And, since it is online, each person can do it when they want and geography does not play a part in who can join in.

Currently I am doing a devotional by Jordan Raynor with a couple guys of which one lives a few houses down from me and the other about 70 miles away. Even cooler is that they have never met but we can all connect by studying God’s Word together and applying it to our lives.

So what about you? What helps you stay consistent and accountable in your daily walk?


Do you have others that you are growing together with?


Let me know and come back tomorrow for Part 3!!!

“Be Still” by Pastor Randy

Today’s post is meant to facilitate a short pause in your day/week in order to fix your eyes back on God. In the midst of your busyness, your circumstances, your deadlines, your chaos, it’s an invite to pause… to be still… and to be reminded that HE is God.

Simply read through each line of Psalm 46:10a meditating on the meaning of the words left in each phrase. If you would like I have also embedded my episode of “Refill with Randy” that came out today and adds some audio/visual elements to this practice.

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM

BE STILL AND KNOW

BE STILL

BE

“The Unseen Scars of Being Bullied” by Pastor Randy

Today’s post is a little longer and deals with a difficult subject for many but my hope is that if you have dealt with abuse, bullying, or poor self-image, that you will take comfort in the fact that (1) You are not alone and (2) Even old wounds can heal with the help of Christ.

Hi. My name is Randy. I am 47 yrs. old and I have the receding hairline and protruding waistline to prove it. I have been happily married for 22 yrs. and am a proud father of four. I have spent early 3 decades ministering to others in churches, in community, online, and around the world, I have several degrees and have accomplished many things which you might think would help one’s self-esteem and yet, on a fairly regular basis, I find myself feeling inadequate and more often than not unable to see myself through any other eyes than those who bullied and abused me as a child. I find myself wanting to walk by faith and yet I feel more like a failure and a fraud in spite of the apparent fruit of my actions.

I mention Gideon briefly in a post last week and want to highlight him again here. He was a man who succeeded in spite of his somewhat lackluster faith, as seen by his testing of the fleece, and one of the things that often sticks out to me is how God addresses him during their first encounter when he appeared and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12b) The reason why I find this so interesting is because how God views Gideon seems the polar opposite of how Gideon sees himself. Later, when God wants him to step up and He tells him to go up against the Midianites and save Israel Gideon’s reply is, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15b)

Isn’t it amazing how differently we can see ourselves compared to what God sees? We often focus on our past failures while God focuses on our future potential. We need to start seeing ourselves through His eyes.

Easier said than done though. I mean, I get why Gideon had a hard time seeing what God saw in him. Just as God called him a Mighty Warrior long before he lived up to that title others had probably called him other things that had already shaped his own identity and caused him to focus on what he couldn’t do and would never become. I get it.

As I stated earlier I am nearing 50 and have received and acted upon God’s call on my life for almost three decades now but, no matter how many times God addresses me as Pastor, or Leader, or Evangelist, I immediately find myself feeling like I’m back in the body of my 8 year old self; listening to my father explain why he never wanted me and that being a dad again was not worth it, or when I was 10 just waiting to get off the bus so that I could burst into tears over the hurtful words heaped onto me without further humiliation, or beginning middle school and realizing that even though it was supposed to be a fresh start that I was still the odd man out (no thanks to my speech problems or alternative sense of style), or trying to find any excuse to avoid the rest room (or school all together) because of the constant array of verbal, emotional, and physical attacks that I had to endure on a daily basis.

I get why, when God called Gideon “Mighty Warrior” that, he countered with the excuse that he was “the weakest man from the weakest clan”. I get why when God called Moses (a murderer who had gone AWOL) to set the slaves free his initial response was, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11b). I get why when God called Jeremiah saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5) his initial response was, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” (Jeremiah 1:6)

The emotional scars that are carried from a tormented childhood may not be visible in the same sense as other physical wounds that have since healed yet they are often the hardest to overcome because the wound has not healed; it has cut too deep; down to the core of a person’s very identity.

People often wonder about my fascination with Batman but why wouldn’t I relate to a boy who had his childhood torn away from him because of the ruthless actions of others and, rather than dwelling in that feeling of helplessness, took control of the situation and chose to become a symbol and to stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. The irony is that even in becoming “The Batman” Bruce Wayne was still just a scared little boy trying to overcome his fears by becoming fear itself to those who would prey on the weak. I get it.

I AM a pastor. I AM a leader. I AM a husband. I AM a father. But I am also that wounded young boy that longs to be accepted, affirmed, acknowledged, and appreciated—not because of what I have done but simply because of who I am, who I was created to be, and who I am still called to be.

The scars are still there but the healing has definitely begun. Thanks to The Lord names like “Mighty Warrior” and “Pastor” seem more suitable than weakest or worthless. The struggle is still there and I pray to The Lord constantly to erase my old identity from my heart and mind but, like Paul and his thorn, I have come to the place where I hear God saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9b,10)

And if you are reading this today and can relate I just want you to know that, no matter what anyone else says…

YOU ARE LOVED.

YOU ARE VALUABLE to God and others.

YOU ARE FORGIVEN if you confess you sins to Gods and no longer need to feel guilt or shame.

YOU ARE SAVED if you confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead.

YOU ARE REDEEMED! A CHILD OF GOD!! AN EQUAL HEIR TO THE THRONE!!!

“A Midweek Prayer for Focus” by Richard Foster

Jesus, I desire to start this day with you. And yet, my mind keeps flitting to so many things:

the projects I want to accomplish,

the people I want to talk to,

the people I wish I didn’t have to talk to.

I wonder.  Are these things distractions to spiritual concentration or invitation to see God in the ordinary?  I’m not sure.

Jesus, I know that you are that Center who knows no distraction.  So I offer up my mental fragmentation to you, O Lord my God.

May my scatteredness become your gatheredness.

As I am contemplating a thousand things, Jesus, may I somehow be contemplating you.

Amen.

~ Richard J. Foster; Prayers From the Heart