Do You Fight for Solitude? @desiringGod

Do You Fight for Solitude? @desiringGod


Do you have 6 minutes to listen to Pastor John? With Tim Keller.

Then take the time to be disciplined and pray.

If there is anything you know you got to do – you do. SO PRAY! ~ Tim Keller

Just studying Scripture does not bring us, necessarily, into the presence of God. Stop and pray when you reach something that touches you. Then LISTEN – or MEDITATE on the Word.


If you warm your heart through meditation on the Scripture, your heart will start to warm up. Martin Luther.

Check out how to pray and study Scripture together using the S.I.M.P.L.E method.

If you need prayer email Janis.



Sunday Stillness – Are You Hearing from God?

Are you hearing from God?

Are you hearing from God?

Fall has arrived and we snowbirds have flown south to Arizona. After an extremely busy summer I have spent this past week relaxing and trying to listen to God’s voice.

How often do you listen to God’s voice?

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a retreat in the mountains up in Pine Arizona with my Bible study group called The Bible Babes. We had a wonderful weekend and it certainly helped me adjust and get through jet lag.

Now I am ready to see where God will lead me. Our group is finishing a Bible study by Beth Moore called Living Beyond Yourself. This past week we studied “gentleness”. It was a great lesson to review the concept of living like Jesus.

Here are some wonderful statements from her study:

  • Gentleness is responsibility with power.
  • Gentleness is riding the wind of God’s will and setting sail toward the remote island of intimacy.
  • Allow Jesus to comb out the tangles of your life until you are free.
  • Physical posture can have a great impact on spiritual stature. (don’t forget to kneel!)
  • To miss God’s Word in our circumstances is to miss God.
  • God’s teachers are bound to God’s opinion, the only one which truly matters.
  • Only God’s Word is the absolute truth! Only God’s Word can sanctify believers.
  • God’s teacher is the vessel while God’s Word packs the punch.

As we come together today let’s remember to be gentle towards others and towards ourselves. Let’s remember to study God’s Word and pray. This is one way we can hear from God.

Today is Sunday Stillness.


Only God’s Word is the absolute truth! Only God’s Word can sanctify believers. @BethMooreLPM #BibleStudy. (tweet this)

To miss God’s Word in our circumstances is to miss God. To miss God is to miss the point. @BethMooreLPM (tweet this)

I like to link to:

Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday





Spiritual Sundays -
Sandra Heskaking –

Scroll to the bottom to link your posts. This is Sunday Stillness.


#UTCOP – How Can We Seek Sacred Pauses in Our Lives

How Can We Seek Sacred Pauses in Our Lives

by Joy Lenton


Prayer can feel like deep mystery as well as the simplest and most natural activity of all. There are no set formulas, no wrong way to pray.

We learn and grow in the doing of it.

Methods may help us to find our feet or keep thoughts focussed but they are never intended as things to enslave and prevent freedom of expression.

The acronym below is a suggestion to aid us in coming to prayer, a possible preparation process that can help us to engage more fully with knowing God. It is intended to encourage greater mindfulness in how we come to God and growing awareness of how precious it is to be in communion with Him.

Prayer is primarily about being in a dependent, loving, surrendered relationship and continual conversation with God.

Pause   ~  from busyness. Breathe deep. Exhale. Just be. Take time to taste the sacred in the secular. Ready yourself to receive.

Reflect  ~ on God’s goodness and grace, your need for mercy and forgiveness, His provision for every problem you may encounter.

Ask     ~  boldly because you come in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Because you are God’s beloved child. He longs to hear your voice and answer every need.

Yield    ~  the answer, outcome and timing to God. Yield your mind and heart, your will, your life and your desires to His greater plans and purposes.

Engage  ~  your senses; sharpen your spiritual antennae. Be fully present and in the moment. Listen attentively.

Respond   ~  with gratitude, thanksgiving and praise, with a deep abiding appreciation of God’s will and ways, with obedience, with a surrendered spirit.

Dear Father,

Help us to take sacred pauses out of our schedules so that we can co-labour with you to set them according to your schedule.

Show us how to take opportunities to listen and learn in an open dialogue with you, to experience a meeting place between the miraculous and the mundane, the eternal and the temporal as heaven touches earth.

May each divine encounter leave us changed and transformed by grace, renewed by Holy Spirit’s touch and revived by your amazing love.



There are no set formulas, no wrong way to pray. We learn and grow in the doing of it. (tweet this)


Joy Lenton


Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.


#UTCOP – Do you speak Christianese?

Do you speak Christianese?

by  Brenda J Wood


I started out so sure of the Christ path I would take.
But then it looked too difficult. My strength I had to fake.
The people strange, the rules unclear, I stumbled on some more.
I couldn’t seem to fit in so, why the open door?

The language was all funny, the words so hard to say.
I couldn’t get my tongue around the topic of the day.
The Greek was all a blur of words, the Hebrew, just as bad.
I tried another version and it was just as sad

I struggled on, until I saw I’d found the perfect place.
I was on the common pathway. I’d joined the Christian Race.
So even though I hadn’t yet learned all the Christian-ese,
I determined to remember how hard it was to please

New ones follow Christ each day. They too are lost, in dazes.
I speak the language clearly now but still remember when
The phrases were all weird to me
So I help others, when I can.

As a new Christian, I was bewildered by phrases like washed in the blood. Imagine how stunned a non-Christian must be. Let’s take care to use phrases others can understand or at least explain them.

I have told you these things in parables (veiled language, allegories, dark sayings); the hour is now coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but I shall tell you about the Father in plain words and openly (without reserve) (John 16:25, AMP).


Lord, help us to translate the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection for others who are new to it. For Christ’s sake. Amen.


Do you speak Christianese? (tweet this)

Brenda J. Wood

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
The Pregnant Pause of Grief: the first trimester of widowhood

Read more at:
facebook –


Sunday Stillness – Use SIMPLE to study Psalm 23:4

Use SIMPLE to study Psalm 23:4


At the beginning of October I gave instructions of how to use the acronym S.I.M.P.L.E. to study a Bible passage.

Last week I used this method to study John 3:1-8. This week I am using a very short, known passage to see what I can learn using this method. Psalm 23:4.

S – Say the passage aloud.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me (Psalm 23:4, NIV).

Because it is so short I am going to look at it in The Message as well.

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure (Psalm 23:4, The Message).

I - Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

God and I. When I am fearful, sad, confused. Remembering to fear nothing because of the presence of God. Just before this verse it says that I am led along quiet waters and through right paths. Then there is the word, “even”. Or “yea” in the KJV before the darkness comes in.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

As I go through this world I remember that God is always with me. I am NEVER alone. But it says “when” you walk by my side. So I have to know that God is there. I think of rod and staff and remember about shepherds keeping their sheep close by and being able to catch them or get them out of predicaments. The Message using “trusty shepherd’s crook”  is a great picture. No matter how dark things appear – I know I have a Shepherd watching over me.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

As I prayed this time I was reminded of those who do not know the Lord – who are fearful because of this. I prayed for those who are going through tough times, those who know You, Lord and those who don’t. I prayed that You would talk to those who don’t know You so this passage will speak to their hearts.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

As for my life, when I prayed I heard You speak of being bold for You. To speak out about Your love, Your grace and Your faithfulness. I want to show everyone Jesus. In all I do, in all I speak and in who I am.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.


Oh Father, I pray for those who are hurting right now, for my friends who know you and for those who don’t. I pray Your Spirit will comfort them in their times of need. I also thank You that You are my Shepherd and I do not need to fear, that You are there to catch me when I fall, You are there to hold me when I am weak, You are there to inspire me when I feel uninspired. Thank You for being my All in All. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.


Use the new SIMPLE method to study Psalm 23:4. Pray and study together. (tweet this)

Today is #SundayStillness. Join us as you read and add your posts. Thanks for building this community.



#UTCOP – A Day Marked by Prayer

A Day Marked by Prayer

by Stephanie Nickel


“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

As I sat in the evening church service, I recommitted myself to beginning the day with prayer even before I roll out of bed. Then I thought about the prayers that could be inspired by my day-to-day life.

The following prayers can act as springboards throughout the day.

Prayer of Commitment

It could be as simple as saying, “Lord, thank You for the day before me. May I honour and glorify You, and may I bless those I come in contact with.”

Prayer of Protection

As we go about our morning routine, we can pray through the armour of God. “Lord, no matter what the enemy throws at me, may I stand . . . the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness and firm footing of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Your Word), and prayer all firmly in place.” (See Ephesians 6.)

Prayer of Empowerment

Whether we’re students, stay-at-home parents, blue collar workers making minimum wage, or corporate execs, we all face daily challenges. And God is there to help. And we must remember God’s command to do everything as unto Him, which includes schoolwork, housework, and paperwork (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“Dear Lord, may I honour You as I face this day’s joys and challenges. May I accomplish each task to the best of my ability, leaning on You for wisdom, strength, and direction.”

Prayer of Connection

Each individual we come in contact with—in person, on the phone, or online—is someone we can pray for. It may be especially difficult to pray for those people who give us nothing but grief, but it’s important for them—and for us—that we do so.

“Dear Lord, I pray that in all my interactions I will glorify You. And today, Lord, I pray that You will bless each person I come in contact with. If they don’t know You, please draw them to Yourself. And if they do, draw them ever closer. May I be a blessing in each life. May I be a Christlike example.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Even after a particularly difficult day, there are many things to be thankful for: God’s provision, family, friends, a home, clothes to wear, food to eat, the abilities He has given us, and so much more. And there will be days that the first thing we thank Him for is that it’s over. Hopefully those days are few and far between.

“Dear God, I have so many reasons to thank You. It’s harder to remember that some days, but help me to do so. Thank You that You are unchanging, that You love me on my good days—and on the days I’d just as soon forget. Lord, even if I blew it today, thank You that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start. Please bring to mind the things I have to be thankful for, especially when the negativity presses in.”

Prayer of Release

The end of the day is a wonderful time to release our worries, doubts, and fears to Him. Remember “he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2 ESV). A good night’s rest is a gift from God.

There may be family concerns, problems at work, or health issues to contend with when we awaken, but if we open our hands and hearts and release our cares to the Lord, we can rest assured that He, indeed, cares for us.

“Lord, thank You that Your Word assures us of Your love and care. May I trust You to take care of me and all those I love. Even when things aren’t as I’d like them to be, may I rest in You. May I have confidence that You are working all things together for my good. May I enjoy the sleep You’ve promised to Your beloved. May I wake refreshed, ready to begin again for Your glory. Amen.”


Lord, may each moment of my day be marked by prayer. (tweet this)

Steph Beth Nickel


Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, photography, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her author website, Steph Beth Nickel, is a work-in-progress.

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.





#UTCOP – Remember to add thankfulness to your prayers

Remember to add thankfulness to your prayers

by Kimberley Payne


“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God” (Psalm 50:14, NIV).


“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me” (Psalm 50:23, NIV).


I want to honour God and one way I can do this is by giving Him thanks.

Remember to try the acronym P.A.T.H. when you pray. The “T” is for thankfulness.

Praise, Admit, THANK, Help


Use P.A.T.H. to help you pray. Read @fitforfaith’s post. “T” is for thankfulness. (tweet this)

Kimberley Payne

Kimberley is a motivational speaker and author. Her writings relate raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire people to live lives that glorify God. You can visit her website at


Sunday Stillness – Using SIMPLE to study the Bible

Using SIMPLE to study the Bible


Last week I gave instructions of how to use the acronym S.I.M.P.L.E. to study a Bible passage.

This week I am going to show you how I worked through a passage. John 3:1-8.

S – Say the passage aloud.

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit (John 3:1-8, NIV).”

I - Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Jesus, Nicodemus. Topic – being born again. Born of water and Spirit. Nicodemus is a member of the Sanhedrim, the member of the Jewish council. He had authority, and power. But, he came to Jesus at night, afraid to be seen but desiring to know more.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

Nicodemus knew Jesus was a teacher and believed He came from God. Jesus says, we must be born of water and Spirit. So what about churches who baptize babies only? Shouldn’t they also go under water at confirmation? What does the part about the wind mean? That we cannot know where we are coming and going? Jesus says, “So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” That makes sense as really we only know this moment. We don’t know what is going to happen in the next minute, do we?

P – Pray again for God’s guidance. I took some time in prayer – waiting and listening for His answers.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

As I prayed I remembered the part where Jesus says, “the wind blows wherever it pleases”. Therefore the Spirit – it can take me and guide me to different places, thoughts and ideas. We don’t know where He will take us but we need to be able to listen in order to follow Him.

I am learning to STOP more and listen to what God is telling me. I am making myself stop going from task to task – remembering to stop and to listen to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When I do this I get a more guided, purposeful task and sometimes inspiration.

While I listened to God a few weeks ago He showed me this different way to study a passage in the Bible. I have worked through several passages and feel I am getting deeper into the Word than before.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, thank You for showing me a different way to study Your Word. Thank You that when I listen You give me inspiration, purpose and vision. Thank You for Your Word – where each time I read a passage I can learn something new.

Thank You that You led me to be baptized under water (even though my denomination is not one to do this) and thank You for the Holy Spirit Who indwells within me. Help me to continue to study Your Word – by this method and other methods. Your Word is “living and active”. We are blessed. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.


Working through John 3:1-8 using the SIMPLE method of Bible Study.(tweet this)

How to pray and study John 3:1-8 using the SIMPLE method. (tweet this)

Next week I will work on 1 John 1:7-9. Join me. See where God leads you when you pray and study the Bible.

Today is #SundayStillness. Join us with your posts.




#UTCOP – Praying Through Poetry #2

#UTCOP – Praying Through Poetry #2

by Joy Lenton


Thanks to LadyHeart at Morgue File for the image.


You are our Rock, our Strength in times of trouble
through all the length of days, in every struggle

Whenever hardship comes our way You’re there
responding swiftly to our every prayer

Your presence brings a lasting peace
with comfort, reassurance, ease

Even though we often feel alone
You never leave us on our own

Holy Spirit continually reveals
You as the One who saves and heals

The Word made flesh who imparts
truth and hope to weary hearts

So no matter what calamities we will face
may we always rely on Your continual grace

Trust in the message seen and heard
Love poured out in Your written word

To read Joy’s other prayer check her post from September 2.


Joy Lenton shares her prayer through poetry. (tweet this)

Joy Lenton


Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.



#UTCOP – When your heart breaks for the world – PRAY

When your heart breaks for the world – PRAY

by Violet Nesdoly

reading the news

From the Website of Violet Nesdoly

Violet is today’s guest at #UTCOP. She allows us to post from her blog “Other Food – Daily Devos”. I read her blog from September 23rd and you will be blessed by reading it.

Sometimes we’re not the people for the job on the ground. But we’re always the people who need to respond to the burdens of this world, its weary scattered sheep that move our hearts to compassion, with prayer – Violet Nesdoly.

Read her entire post , When Your Heart Breaks For the World – PRAY, where she discusses David Wilkerson’s book, The Cross, the Switchblade and the Man Who Believed.


How do we respond to the world’s problems with prayer. (Tweet this)


Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications.

Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.