Monday

The Habit that Changed Me


“I bought a Bible yesterday,” Sarah said, “and I’m going to start reading it. I hope to find some answers.” 


Sarah and I talked a bit about how to begin. “The Bible isn’t like most books,” I said, “where you start at the beginning and read straight through, although many have read it that way. The first time I read it, I began in the New Testament, with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”

I’m so excited for this woman who’s seeking answers. She’s come to the right place. 

James 1:5 promises, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” 

As she reads, Sarah will find answers. 

Better yet, she will find God. 

John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 

As Sarah reads the Word of God, she will encounter Jesus. 

And Jesus has the power to change her life. 

My Confession 

Twenty years ago I wrestled with one of two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 


I loved God with my soul—I had trusted Him as Savior. I acknowledged him with my mind, too, as King and Sovereign Lord. 


But I struggled to love Him with my heart—my emotions and my passion. I didn’t feel for God the emotions I normally equate with love. I felt awe, respect, and gratitude, but my heart didn’t swell like it did when I thought about my husband, or my children, or even my friends. 

Something was missing. 

A Curious Thing Happened

That year I began to read through the Bible for the first time. I used the MacArthur Daily Bible, which breaks up the text into daily readings, a portion from the Old Testament, a portion of the New, a Psalm, and a Proverb. In fifteen minutes a day, I’d read through the Bible in a year. 

As I read, a curious thing happened. My heart stirred.

I read in Genesis how God created mankind from nothing and walked and talked with Adam and Eve at the end of every day, and I glimpsed God’s desire for a relationship with us (Genesis 3:8). 

I learned that though He had every right to destroy the people He had created because they spurned His love and believed Satan’s lie, He immediately put in place instead a redemption plan, one that vanquished death and hell for those who would believe (Genesis 3:15). 

I listened to His heart as He described His plan to bless all those who would believe in Him (Psalm 37). 

I heard Him weep as he rescued rebellious Israel over and over again from the folly of sin (Jeremiah 8:18-21). 

I read how He longed to gather His children in His arms and care for them all the days of their lives (Matthew 23:37). 

And I read, on every page and in every story, God’s Father heart calling to His children, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 28:11). 

The more I read, the more I fell in love with God. 

Heart-swelling, chest-bursting, tell-the-world love that couldn’t be contained. Tears of overwhelming emotion often dripped from my eyes onto the pages of my Bible. A warmth I’d never experienced wrapped around me like the softest blanket, cradling me in God’s embrace.


I loved Him. 


I LOVED Him. 

I LOVED HIM. 

With all my mind, all my soul, and all my HEART, I loved Him

This is the power of God’s Word. We cannot read it and remain unchanged. We cannot read it without falling in love with its Author. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God.” 

I’m so excited for Sarah. Not only will she read the Word of God, she’ll encounter the God of the Word. 

If she seeks Him with all her heart, she will find Him. 

And her life will be changed forever. 

What About You? 

In the article, “Ten Questions for a New Year,” Don Whitney invites us to prayerfully ask ourselves, “What one thing can you do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?” 

The answer for me, and, I suspect, for most of us, is Read the Bible

Nowhere else will we experience the depth and breadth and height of God’s love for us. Nothing else will expand our love for Him. Nothing will transform our lives more than the living, active, powerful Word of God. 

If you’re skeptical, why not try it and see what happens? 

Begin your Bible reading time by asking, as Moses did, “Lord, show me your glory.” Then read with an open heart. In a journal, write down what you learn about God. Before long you’ll have a list longer than the list I made as a 13-year-old girl about THE ONE I hoped to marry someday. Strong, patient, kind, loving, sacrificial, humble, gentle, smart, creative, wise, honest, fun-loving, joyful, peacemaking . . . and on and on it will go. 

How can you not fall in love with Someone like this? 

He will draw your heart to His with cords of loving kindness and fill your life with joy. 

Try it and see.




Does Your Faith Need Refreshing?

That's in the Bible? I've never noticed that before!

It's probably been too long since you've newly discovered a story that speaks to your soul or a verse that pops with truth. But that's about to change!



Refresh Your Faith contains 66 culturally relevant, story-driven devotions, one from each book of the Bible. Each real-life story spotlights an unusual verse or Bible passage that you may have overlooked in your usual Bible reading. Lori Hatcher challenges you with additional features like an uncommon thought to ponder; an unusual faith action step; and an unfamiliar passage suggestion for additional Bible reading.

When the fabulous has become familiar and your quiet times are more like nap times, it's time to step out of spiritual boredom and ignite the spark that will keep you growing. No matter where you are on your faith journey, Lori's conversational and engaging style will challenge you to think about things you've never thought about before.

“Real-life inspiration and candid wit. These 5-minute devotions will change your life.” —Psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Kevin Leman, commenting on Lori Hatcher's devotional style




Are you hungry for God, but starving for time? 
I’d love to send you a 5-minute e-mail devotion twice a week to start your day off with the Lord. 

Sign up for a free subscription to Hungry for God by CLICKING HERE.

Then, be sure to VALIDATE the confirmation email you receive. 

Note: I promise never to spam you or share your email address.


Because busy women need to connect with God in the craziness of everyday life.











Sunday

5 Simple Things that Make Husbands Feel Loved and Respected -- A Crosswalk Post

 


Today I'm a guest-contributor over at Crosswalk.com. 

"The male need for respect and affirmation, especially from his woman, is so hard-wired and so critical that three out of four men would rather feel unloved than disrespected or inadequate.” 

This shocking statement underscores what Shaunti Feldhan, author of For Women Only, discovered when she surveyed more than 1,000 men: If a man feels disrespected, he’s going to feel unloved. If we want to love our husband in the way he needs us to be loved, we must ensure he feels our respect. 

Sadly, modern culture and misguided l feminism have maligned and misrepresented God’s command in Ephesians 5:33 instructing a wife to respect her husband. Wise Christians, however, know that respect can be one of the most powerful forces for good in a marriage. It demonstrates love, honors Christ, and empowers a husband to become all God created him to be. 

If you’d like to unlock the power of respect in your marriage, here are 5 simple things that will make your husband feel loved and respected.







Does Your Faith Need Refreshing?

That's in the Bible? I've never noticed that before!

It's probably been too long since you've newly discovered a story that speaks to your soul or a verse that pops with truth. But that's about to change!



Refresh Your Faith contains 66 culturally relevant, story-driven devotions, one from each book of the Bible. Each real-life story spotlights an unusual verse or Bible passage that you may have overlooked in your usual Bible reading. Lori Hatcher challenges you with additional features like an uncommon thought to ponder; an unusual faith action step; and an unfamiliar passage suggestion for additional Bible reading.

When the fabulous has become familiar and your quiet times are more like nap times, it's time to step out of spiritual boredom and ignite the spark that will keep you growing. No matter where you are on your faith journey, Lori's conversational and engaging style will challenge you to think about things you've never thought about before.

“Real-life inspiration and candid wit. These 5-minute devotions will change your life.” —Psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Kevin Leman, commenting on Lori Hatcher's devotional style




Are you hungry for God, but starving for time? 
I’d love to send you a 5-minute e-mail devotion twice a week to start your day off with the Lord. 

Sign up for a free subscription to Hungry for God by CLICKING HERE.

Then, be sure to VALIDATE the confirmation email you receive. 

Note: I promise never to spam you or share your email address.


Because busy women need to connect with God in the craziness of everyday life.





Faith, Trust, and Sushi (And an update on my new book)

Dear faithful friends,


Because you've blessed me so often with your prayers, I know you are praying people. I'd like to ask you to pray now. 

When Our Daily Bread Publishing extended a contract to write a devotional companion to Refresh Your Faith sharing uncommon devotions on the topic of prayer, I felt honored, humbled, and slightly afraid. I've been on a journey of prayer for more than 20 years, but I feel inadequate to tackle such an awe-inspiring and critical topic.  

But God called me to this task. He 's provided the opportunity, and He'll enable me to complete the project. 

Will you pray for me?

The manuscript is coming along well, but I need God's insight and empowering every day. I need courage to  trust that God is working through me to accomplish His purposes. (You know how easy it is to doubt our abilities and our callings.)

As a thank you, I wanted share a sample devotion. I pray our precious Father speaks to your heart today, grows your trust, and strengthens your faith.

I love you!

~Lori





"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?"

Luke 11:11 

I’d been traveling for almost twenty-four hours. I’d flown across the continent, over Alaska, and high above the Pacific Ocean to Asia. When I landed, the clock said 8 a.m., but my body knew better. Somewhere between Columbia, South Carolina, and Tokyo, Japan, I’d lost fourteen hours and missed several meals. I was exhausted—and starving. 

After I exchanged hugs and happy squeals with my daughter and son-in-law, Michael announced, "You have to eat sushi for your first meal in Japan."

Still queasy from flying, lack of sleep, and jet lag, I wasn’t so sure. “I’m willing to be adventurous,” I said, “but I don’t do raw. And nothing strange. No fish eggs or octopus tentacles.” 

“No worries,” my son-in-law said. “Not all sushi is raw. You can trust me. I’ll take good care of you.” 


Before long we were seated in their favorite restaurant. There Michael navigated the menu with ease and ordered several entrees with me in mind. He lifted the brightly-colored plates off the conveyer belt that wound through the restaurant and presented them with a flourish. 

After my daughter gave me a quick tutorial on how to use chopsticks, I was ready to dig in. The food was so delicious, I ate it all—except for one piece that slipped out from between my chopsticks and landed in my lap. 

I’ve been a (cooked) sushi fan ever since. 

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He reminded them that faith and trust go hand in hand. This remains true for us today. We must believe God hears and answers prayers, and we must trust that the answer He sends will be good. 

Sitting there that day in the “sushi-go-round,” I had to admit my limited understanding and have faith in my son-in-law’s ability to provide what I needed. Then I had to trust him to furnish what was best for me. 

Because he loves me, he took my needs, desires, (and aversions) into account. When we pray to our heavenly Father, the God who created us and loves us, we must demonstrate faith in His ability to provide exactly what we need. 

And trust that it will be good. 

“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?” Jesus asked his disciples. “If you then, being evil [compared to God], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give . . .” (John 11:13). 

I’ll admit, some of the items that arrived at our table looked a little questionable. One was downright scary. But because I knew I could trust my son-in-law to have my best interests at heart, I picked up my chopsticks and ate what he provided with confidence. 

We can rest in the knowledge that God is even more trustworthy than my son-in-law. He created us, fashioned our hearts and minds, and has good purposes for our lives. He knows what we need even better than we do and is fully able to provide it. 

We can trust him. 

Praise Prompt: Thank you, Father, for being trustworthy and good. You, who knit me together in my mother’s womb, are fully capable of ordering the events of my life. I trust you to provide exactly what I need just when I need it. Because You know me even better than I know myself, I will rest in your timing and provision. Thank you for being a God who loves to give good gifts to your children. Grow my faith and establish my trust. In the strong name of Jesus I ask, Amen. 

Live It Out: Think about a time when God answered one of your prayers differently than you expected. As you look back, can you see glimpses of God’s good purpose in that answer? Does it inspire you to trust Him more the next time? If you can’t see good, remember that we “see through a glass darkly” on this earth. Only in heaven will we fully understand all God’s purposes behind the events of our lives. Until then, ask Him to grow your faith and trust as you pray.



Does Your Faith Need Refreshing?

That's in the Bible? I've never noticed that before!

It's probably been too long since you've newly discovered a story that speaks to your soul or a verse that pops with truth. But that's about to change!



Refresh Your Faith contains 66 culturally relevant, story-driven devotions, one from each book of the Bible. Each real-life story spotlights an unusual verse or Bible passage that you may have overlooked in your usual Bible reading. Lori Hatcher challenges you with additional features like an uncommon thought to ponder; an unusual faith action step; and an unfamiliar passage suggestion for additional Bible reading.

When the fabulous has become familiar and your quiet times are more like nap times, it's time to step out of spiritual boredom and ignite the spark that will keep you growing. No matter where you are on your faith journey, Lori's conversational and engaging style will challenge you to think about things you've never thought about before.

“Real-life inspiration and candid wit. These 5-minute devotions will change your life.” —Psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Kevin Leman, commenting on Lori Hatcher's devotional style




Are you hungry for God, but starving for time? 
I’d love to send you a 5-minute e-mail devotion twice a week to start your day off with the Lord. 

Sign up for a free subscription to Hungry for God by CLICKING HERE.

Then, be sure to VALIDATE the confirmation email you receive. 

Note: I promise never to spam you or share your email address.


Because busy women need to connect with God in the craziness of everyday life.





Sad or Satiated? Hope When This World Gets You Down



When was the last time you were hungry?
 Not just hungry around the edges. Not, Is that my stomach gurgling? Maybe I should eat something hungry, but really hungry.


Really, really hungry. Like, my hands are shaky, my head hurts, I think I might faint, and my stomach feels like I’ve swallowed a piranha and it’s gnawing its way out hungry.

In God’s mercy, hunger like this has never been a regular part of my life. But there have been times when I’ve been so distracted by the ache of my empty stomach that I could think of nothing else. 

Genuine hunger is all consuming.

 As Christians, we experience a different type of hunger. This hunger manifests itself in different ways.

It’s the ache in our souls when we see those we love running from Jesus straight into the arms of Satan.

It’s the knife blade to our heart when we see our beloved country signing legislation dooming tiny babies to death in their mother’s wombs.

It’s the howling hole in our being that weeps over those following the siren song of materialism, success, and power instead of sacrifice, service, and humility.

It’s the red-hot pulse of anger as we watch loved ones battle cancer and children die of disease.

It’s the feeble whimper that longs for mercy, grace, and kindness in a world of anger, vengeance, and cruelty.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity explained it this way:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Jeremiah 31:25 describes a dream the prophet had of days to come. God said, “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul."

Satiated the weary soul.

The word satiate (SAY-she-ate) means to fill to the top, to satisfy with abundance. Referring to liquid, it means to drink to the full. 


When we’re satiated, we have no room for anything else. Not an ounce, a drop, or a smidgen. Think Thanksgiving-dinner-until-you-almost-burst kind of full. 

This is how God promises to satisfy our weary souls—filled to the top with His goodness and joy and no room for anything else. No sorrow. No tears. No longing. No fears. No hurt. No anger. No regrets. 

We’ll no longer grieve for prodigal children or weep over aborted babies. Anger will no longer consume us because of disease and death. We will cease to mourn our country’s moral failures and its departure from all that is good. 

God will satiate our weary souls and make everything right again. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. 

If your soul is weary, and your heart hurting, take comfort in this today.



Does Your Faith Need Refreshing?

That's in the Bible? I've never noticed that before!

It's probably been too long since you've newly discovered a story that speaks to your soul or a verse that pops with truth. But that's about to change!



Refresh Your Faith contains 66 culturally relevant, story-driven devotions, one from each book of the Bible. Each real-life story spotlights an unusual verse or Bible passage that you may have overlooked in your usual Bible reading. Lori Hatcher challenges you with additional features like an uncommon thought to ponder; an unusual faith action step; and an unfamiliar passage suggestion for additional Bible reading.

When the fabulous has become familiar and your quiet times are more like nap times, it's time to step out of spiritual boredom and ignite the spark that will keep you growing. No matter where you are on your faith journey, Lori's conversational and engaging style will challenge you to think about things you've never thought about before.

“Real-life inspiration and candid wit. These 5-minute devotions will change your life.” —Psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Kevin Leman, commenting on Lori Hatcher's devotional style




Are you hungry for God, but starving for time? 
I’d love to send you a 5-minute e-mail devotion twice a week to start your day off with the Lord. 

Sign up for a free subscription to Hungry for God by CLICKING HERE.

Then, be sure to VALIDATE the confirmation email you receive. 

Note: I promise never to spam you or share your email address.


Because busy women need to connect with God in the craziness of everyday life.







Monday

Trusting God in the Faith Dance

The ballerina twirled, skipped, and leapt across the darkened stage, captivating the audience who sat mesmerized before her. The music swelled as she paused, inhaling deeply. On cue, she launched herself across the stage toward her waiting partner. Strong hands grasped her waist, raised her high overhead, and returned her to earth, a delicate feather coming to rest after its flight. 

Arms raised in triumph, she smiled, accepting the applause that rose from the watching crowd. 

Seated in the third row, I felt the air leave my lungs. I’d been holding my breath, wondering if the ballerina’s partner would catch her during this all-important grand finale. 

Sometimes I am that ballerina. 

I’ve never studied ballet, but I’ve been dancing for more than 35 years. I’ve never strapped on toe shoes, nor have I worn a tutu. But I’ve been learning to move in harmony and partnership with the Savior who gives life and breath to every move I make. 

As a new believer, my faith steps were tentative. Could I trust this Partner I’d pledged my life to? When I turned to him in times of fear, despair, or confusion, would he remain by my side? When I followed his lead on unfamiliar paths, would he prove to be trustworthy? Committed to my good? Wise? 

My faltering steps became surer as my Partner proved, over and over again, his commitment to me. When I cried out to him in times of need, his generous hand sustained me. During periods of sorrow or grief, he became my ever-present comfort. When I felt lonely or abandoned, his still, small voice whispered truth into my ears, assuring me I wasn’t alone. 

The longer I’ve danced with my Savior, the more trustworthy I found him to be. Step by step, routine after routine, set after set, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has become the God of Lori Hatcher, too. Faithful. Ever-present. Unchanging. 

Over the years, day to day opportunities to trust have become routine. Other situations, however, still cause me to hold my breath. Big issues call for big trust – trust that commands both feet to leave the ground, confident that the One who has proven faithful will not let me fall. 

Like the ballerina preparing for her grand finale, sometimes I must pause, take my position, and launch. Full speed. No hesitation. No turning back. Every time I’ve done so, God has caught me. Not for my glory, but for his. 

“And without faith it is impossible to please God,” the writer of Hebrews tells us, “because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). 

I don’t know what you’re facing right now. A frightening diagnosis? A broken relationship? A financial trial? Maybe you’re gazing into an uncertain future or watching a dream die. 

Whatever lies ahead of you, choose faith. Don’t be afraid to launch yourself into the arms of our great and loving God.

He will catch you. 

Every. Single. Time. 

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip” (Psalm 121-1-3).



Does Your Faith Need Refreshing?

That's in the Bible? I've never noticed that before!

It's probably been too long since you've newly discovered a story that speaks to your soul or a verse that pops with truth. But that's about to change!



Refresh Your Faith contains 66 culturally relevant, story-driven devotions, one from each book of the Bible. Each real-life story spotlights an unusual verse or Bible passage that you may have overlooked in your usual Bible reading. Lori Hatcher challenges you with additional features like an uncommon thought to ponder; an unusual faith action step; and an unfamiliar passage suggestion for additional Bible reading.

When the fabulous has become familiar and your quiet times are more like nap times, it's time to step out of spiritual boredom and ignite the spark that will keep you growing. No matter where you are on your faith journey, Lori's conversational and engaging style will challenge you to think about things you've never thought about before.

“Real-life inspiration and candid wit. These 5-minute devotions will change your life.” —Psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Kevin Leman, commenting on Lori Hatcher's devotional style




Are you hungry for God, but starving for time? 
I’d love to send you a 5-minute e-mail devotion twice a week to start your day off with the Lord. 

Sign up for a free subscription to Hungry for God by CLICKING HERE.

Then, be sure to VALIDATE the confirmation email you receive. 

Note: I promise never to spam you or share your email address.


Because busy women need to connect with God in the craziness of everyday life.