Category: <span>thoughts by Kristi Huseby</span>

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“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” John 13:3-5

Jesus knew who He was. He knew where He had come from and where He was going. This was God, the Creator of the universe, King Eternal, Yahweh, washing the feet of the ones He had created.

For the disciples, this was a “shock and awe” moment! No rabbi or any person of significant status had ever washed another’s feet. It just wasn’t done. The job of foot washing was always relegated to the lowest of the low, the refuse of society.

But Jesus never let society dictate His behavior, He never let it deviate Him from His mission. He had come to serve. Just hours from this moment, Jesus would demonstrate His greatest act of service, His coup d’état: the cross! He overthrew the norms, the status quo, and turned this self-driven, people pleasing society on its head.

After Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He told them,

“Since, I your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each others feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13.12-14).

Do what I do. Serve each other.

Having the heart of a servant was a way of living for Jesus and it should be for those of us who are His followers.  It wasn’t one act of service, followed by a myriad of self-driven deeds.  It was a lifestyle of service. Unconditional service. No expectations. Service born from a heart that loves.

Jesus’ greatest act of service, the cross, came from a heart propelled by love. And so should our service derive from a heart of love for those He created.

Unconditional service is never easy. Unconditional service always has a cost, but it is a way of life for those who choose to follow. It marks us as true followers of the One who first demonstrated His love for us!

Lord, we confess in this every-man-for himself world, we have lost sight of this servant way of living.  We have allowed the world and its ways to color our perspective and justify our self-centered choices.  Teach us to have the heart of a servant and to live each day, following the example you set for us.  Amen.

By Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission

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“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty…. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.”
Psalm 91:1, 4-5

We won’t find rest if we’re living somewhere else. We won’t know peace if we’re trusting in ourselves, in our circumstances, or in our feelings.

We must reside and persist in the presence of our Savior. If we don’t, our lives will be plagued by fear and worry. Our situation will overwhelm us. We will be fear-driven instead of living in His shelter.

How do we do this with a God we can’t see or touch?

This is where it gets tough. This choice of life, this shelter-living doesn’t happen accidentally. It takes intentionality. It takes spending time with our Savior, pouring over His words, sitting in His presence, quieting our hearts long enough to hear His gentle whispers, and seeking His way not ours. It means falling on our knees in repentance, mourning our sin and refusing to make excuses for it. It’s surrendering our hearts, our choices, and our will to Him. All of this is so contrary to the world around us, but this is how we live in the shelter. This is where we find rest. This is where protection is found.

This is where we will find peace in the storm.

When we live in the shelter of our Abba Father, we no longer need to be afraid. Worry will become a thing of the past. Trust will be our daily companion. He alone will be our place of refuge and we will know a peace the world will never comprehend.

Father, when our hearts are weary and troubled, help us to look to You. Give us the determination and discipline to choose to live in Your shelter, to find comfort in Your wings. Thank You that You give us rest. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission


If you don’t know God and his forgiveness and would like to start living a life where he is at your centre, you can start that journey today with a prayer:

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to trust you from now on. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Thank you for enabling me to trust you in these uncertain times. Amen.

It starts today.


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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I have so much to be grateful for

– the people God has brought into my life, the family that I was born into and the many blessings He has poured out on me.  And I’m truly thankful for all God’s work in my life.

But over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly aware that there is a vast difference between being thankful for the things God has given me and living a life of gratitude.  Let me explain. . .

When we give a gift to someone, the most rewarding and pleasing thing for us as the gift givers is to see them enjoying and using the gift we have given them.  And on the other hand the hardest thing is to hear, “Thank you so much for this gift!  I love it.”  And then to see our present thrown in the trash unused and unappreciated.  Why?  Because we sacrificed part of ourselves in the giving of the gift and it was tossed away like a piece of garbage.

When we harbour bitterness in our heart, allow anger to control us, refuse to forgive, when we turn away from God, when our thoughts are focused on our self, we are not living in gratitude of the costly sacrifice Christ paid for us.  It’s as if we’ve thrown His gift into the trash and now live as if it is an insignificant factor in our life.  We diminish the price God paid for our sins.

Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to give us His most treasured gift.  1 John 4:9-10 (NLV) says,

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.  This is real love — not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”

So how do I live a life of true gratitude when I’m not perfect?

For me it has begun with allowing God to show me the depths of my depravity.  Seeing my sin the way God sees it and stepping into the sorrow and heartache this sin has wrought in my life and in the lives of others.  By doing this it has brought about a hatred for the sin and a passion to live in obedience to God and His Word.

God has also showed me that I cannot do this in my own strength; I have to live in dependence upon Him – seeking His way, His desires and His kingdom.  As I’ve come to see myself for who I really am, it has allowed me to see God for who He truly is and has brought a deeper meaning to His incredible sacrifice that He paid for me.

So let me ask you the same questions I ask myself on a continual basis:

Are you living a life of gratitude to your Savior, who died to set you free?
Are you diminishing the price He paid for you by the choices you are making?

By Kristi Huseby
used by permission

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Count Your Blessings

Bible Study:Thanksgiving for What God Has Done

Thanking Abundantly

Study on Thanksgiving

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Have you ever been so tired that you felt you couldn’t take another step?

That life has wrung you out and hung you up to dry?  Have you ever wanted to just give up and throw in the towel?

Where is God?

Where is God when there is a thirst in our soul that cannot be quenched?  Where is God when the darkness invades our spirit, when we’re in a dry and barren land?   Where is God when there is a longing for wholeness where only brokenness is found?  Where is the hope? Where is our God?

I wonder if Elijah felt like this when he ran away . . .

After defeating the prophets of Baal and experiencing God’s mighty answer to prayer for rain after a three year drought, Elijah was given a death threat from the wicked queen of the land.  “Most Wanted” posters for Elijah went up in Israel overnight and he fled for his life. . .

MOST WANTED:  Elijah

Just a few hours earlier, Elijah had witnessed the mighty power of God and watched as the people of Israel turned to God in repentance.  But discouragement invaded his soul like a mighty army and Elijah ran . . .

Elijah ran . . .

He ran far out into the wilderness, found a solitary tree to sit under and begged God to let him die.  He’d had enough and he wanted out!

What happens next is so surprising.  He falls asleep and God lets him.  When he awakes the angel of God feeds him and he falls back asleep.  There is no condemnation, no scolding.  There is just food and rest.

Once Elijah is rested and filled, God has him travel 40 days out into the vast wilderness.  While Elijah is holding out in a cave God reveals Himself to him.  Not once does God reprimand Elijah or scold him for being so self-focused, for desiring to dropout.  God asks Elijah a simple question:  What are you doing here?  And he listens to Elijah’s reply.   And then God gives him another job to do.

God’s unfailing love and care.

As I reflect on this beautiful story of God’s love and care for His faithful servant Elijah, I am reminded of God’s love and care for us.  In the midst of the brokenness God is there.  When we are tempted to dropout from what He has called us to do we are reminded that God sees all – He knows all.  He is a witness to our pain and frustration, our heartache and sorrow and every tear we cry. He promises to care for us in the same way He did for Elijah.  Our job is to trust Him and to keep our eyes fixed on Him and nothing else.

God promises in Isaiah 41:10 (NLV), “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

By Kristi Huseby
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You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.Matthew 5.14-15 (NLT)

This past week I was having a discussion with a friend of mine and she told me about a satellite image image that she had seen of our world. The picture was taken at night. Places in Europe were lit up like a Christmas tree but other places like China and North Korea were completely dark.

As my friend explained the picture she saw, I couldn’t help but wonder: if we were to take a spiritual satellite image of our world, where would the light and darkness be? Would the light be switched? Would North Korea be ablaze and America pitch dark?

How bright is my own light?

Is it glowing brightly enough for others to see? Or is it a dull radiance that is barely perceived?

I believe many of us know ABOUT God. We know about God like we know about our favorite actor, singer, or band member. We’ve prided ourselves on all the facts and statistics we know about God, we’ve loaded up on knowledge about Him through Bible studies, sermons and spiritual books but have neglected to develop an intimate, personal, knowing relationship with Him. We may spout verses, tell other people how they should live but neglect to live in obedience ourselves. We live self-centered, self-serving lives. And our light? It isn’t light at all – it’s really darkness.

Is our life just meaningless words or are we truly living what we say we believe? How bright is your light?

Lord, we need You. You have placed Your light in us at great personal cost to You. Don’t let me cheapen this great treasure. I want to get out of the way and let Your light shine so that others can see the truth. Amen.

Think of a part of your life that you have kept dim; maybe it’s the side of you that comes out at your child’s sporting events or when you take a night off with your friends, or even your workplace. Intentionally bring a little light into those places this week by using positive speech, unconditional love, and the name of Jesus!

By Kristi Huseby
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God You’ve Been Working

I Love You, Jesus


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What would cause someone to go against the tide of social influence?  What would make them stand up against a vast amount of their peers and refuse to go along with what they believe?  Peer pressure is a powerful force and few can stand against it!

However, there were two men in the Bible who did just that . . .

Caleb and Joshua were chosen, along with ten other men, to explore the Promised Land and give a report to Moses and the people.  When they returned ten of the spies were against conquering the land.  This is what they said,

The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there.  All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”  Numbers 13:32-33 (NLT)

Caleb and Joshua disagreed!  They wanted to go immediately and take the land.

But all the people began to cry and weep.  Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron.” Numbers 14:1-2 (NLV)

By this time, you would think Caleb and Joshua would have given in to this incredible amount of pressure but they didn’t.  Listen to what they said,

It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey.  Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” Number 14:7-9 (NLV)

When everyone else was trembling in fear, Caleb and Joshua were ready to march ahead.  Who does that?  Why would they believe when everyone else did not?

They knew who God was!  They had witnessed His constant faithfulness to them, time and time again and they believed!  They saw the Promised Land through a different lens.  They knew the God who created the Universe, who hung the stars in space and formed the land would stand with them, would go before them and they had nothing to fear!

They all had witnessed God’s faithfulness to them; when He provided manna, brought water from a rock and saved them from the Egyptians!  What caused Caleb and Joshua to believe and the Israelites to doubt?

To the other Israelites, Caleb and Joshua had an outlandish faith!  It was completely illogical.  But this wild and crazy faith was rooted in an amazing, outlandish God who had proven Himself over and over to them.

What kind of faith do you have?  How big is your God?  Do you trust Him when things seem impossible, when you can’t see what He is doing?

The only way to develop this kind of faith is to KNOW your God.

I encourage you to get into His Word and discover who He is.  He will not disappoint!

This is what the Lord says:  “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches.  But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love . . .” Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NLV)

By Kristi Huseby
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Heart Fully Committed to Him

How to have a “Quiet Time”

Continuous Partial Attention Is your prayer time undistracted?

Should I Pray Every Day? 

Hailing the Chief


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A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12,( NLV)

My Marine son has a Latin saying tattooed on his arm – SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM. It means,

If you want peace, prepare for war.”

I’ve thought long and hard about that statement.

If a country desires peace they must have an army, armed and prepared, to protect its citizens from those who desire to overtake it.

Soldiers rigorously train for battles they may never face, in order to keep their country secure and safe. But what happens to a country when its army is ill-equipped, poorly trained and undisciplined? It is left vulnerable to attack. In order for peace to be achieved a country has to be ready for war in every way.

During my son’s 12-week Marine Basic Training his drill sergeants wanted their platoon to be the very best at everything they did. That meant that every man had to be excellent. If one member fell behind, they all would pay the price. My son’s platoon would drill 8-9 hours straight in order to achieve best platoon in drilling. They were right on track for taking first place for top platoon overall but when they got to the rifle range something happened – their shooting was off and they finished in second place. Their drill sergeant lined them up in their barracks and began to scream and yell at them for taking second place. He was so mad that he took their second place trophy and threw it out the window! And then he said,

There is no second place in war! You are either first or you’re dead!”

As followers of Christ, we are in a war!

We have an enemy that hungers for our souls and preys on our weaknesses. He seems to find all the places that we are vulnerable, or ill equipped. One of his best tactics is to get Christians to think they are at peace when they really are at war, to catch them unprepared and untrained for battle.

We need to be prepared for the battle. We cannot let down our guard, we must be strong and alert! But what does that look like in our life as a follower of Christ? We must train just like a soldier does – we need to learn God’s Word and be ready to use it. Jesus used Scripture in defeating Satan when he was tempted. We need to not just read it but apply it to our lives. God’s word needs to be an integral part of our everyday life!

We must develop our relationship with God. We need to know who He is so that we can place our trust in Him even when we don’t understand what’s happening or can’t see the way. The Bible calls us to walk by faith. Notice that in the first part of those verses it says that we are to be strong in the Lord and that we are to draw our strength from Him. We cannot do it on our own – we need His power, His strength and His might.

If you want peace in your life as a Christian, you must prepare for the battle.

Father, My strength is in You alone. When I am tempted to believe that I can handle this on my own, gently remind me that the battle is Yours. Help me to faithfully study Your word so that I can know You better. Amen

Question: Are you aware and ready to fight spiritual battles in your life?

by Kristi Huseby
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“Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives read for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” Psalm 51.16-17 (MSG)

As a child growing up in a Christian home, I was told that God didn’t want me to pursue religion but a relationship with Him. And I was given a list of dos and donts to aid me in this quest. But truthfully, I struggled to comprehend how I actually could have a relationship with an unseen God.

I understood in an intellectual way but my heart wrestled to grasp it. My relationship with Him seemed to be driven more from a sense of obligation and guilt than anything else.

Why was trying to have an intimate relationship with God so hard? I wanted it. Why couldn’t I experience it?

Slowly I began to learn that God wanted me to WANT to spend time with Him.

These guidelines weren’t given to me so I could check them off and feel good about myself. They were given to forge my love for God and grow my relationship with Him and absent of love and relationship they become only things to boast about, nothing more.

If you have struggled, like me, with having an intimate relationship with God, I encourage you to let go of the checklist and just BE with Him. He is waiting, inviting you to grab hold of this incredible relationship.

Lord, put within us a burning to desire to WANT to be with You, not because we know we should but because we simply desire You. May we be satisfied with nothing less. Amen.

Constantly ask, “is this what I would want in a relationship?” For example, if you think “I have to read my Bible and pray”, would you want a friend or spouse to feel like they have to spend time with you? Why would God be any different? Bible reading and prayer is great if you’re using them to pursue relationship with God but if you’re only doing it to check it off your list than you’re missing the mark.

By Kristi Huseby
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I have friends, maybe you’re one of them, who can look at an old dilapidated table found at a flea market and envision what it would like in their house with a little tender loving care.  But when I look at the same old table, I see something that should’ve been hauled off to the dump a long time ago.

I struggle to see beauty in junk.  And I find myself believing God feels the same way about me.

Then, I remember Peter.

Peter was one of Jesus’ closest followers. Just hours before Jesus was captured and crucified, Peter rashly promised Jesus that he would go to the death for Him . . .
Simon Peter asked,

Lord, where are you going?”

And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”  

“But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”  John 13:36-37 (NLV)

It was only a few hours later when Peter denied ever even knowing Jesus, not once but three times!

At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter.  Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind:  “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  And Peter left the courtyard weeping bitterly.
Luke 22.61-62

Can you imagine how devastating this must have been for Peter?  Was there anything worse than disowning Jesus? Did Peter feel like a piece of garbage?  Trash to be thrown away?

Far from throwing Peter out, Jesus finds him and asks not once but three times if Peter loves Him.  Something beautiful takes root in Peter’s heart . . .

From that moment on, Peter is a different man. He becomes a powerful spokesperson for the gospel of Jesus Christ and God uses him to turn hearts to Him.  What Peter saw as junk in his life; his biggest failure was what God used to make him stronger, more determined and more driven to follow Jesus and boldly share the Good News.

God took this broken man; his messy bits, his glaring failures, and shaped him into something jaw-dropping beautiful!

When I look at my life, the messy bits, the poor choices, I see a huge mess.  A pile of junk!  I see no redeemable qualities whatsoever.

But God does the same thing with me as He did with Peter.  He sees my messy piles and envisions something beautiful and accepts the challenge of turning my chaos and clutter into something truly breath-taking.  Look what Ecclesiastes 3:11 says,

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

Isn’t that amazing!  He doesn’t just see our junk but remarkably He uses it to make something beautiful!  God sees the BIG PICTURE. We only see the here and now, the failures, the mistakes, the regrets but God uses all of it to accomplish His great plan for us.

Look at what God does in nature:  He changes an unsightly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly and an “ugly duckling” into a magnificent swan.

If He can do that to a caterpillar or an “ugly duckling“, think what He can do with us!

By Kristi Huseby
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Aaah, the New Year.

I don’t know about you but I always seem to have mixed feelings about the year to come?

I think because it is the UNKNOWN!

What will this New Year bring?  What joys?  What sorrows?  What losses?  What gains?  How strong will my faith be in 2020, I wonder?  What resolutions will I keep and what ones will cause me to fall flat on my face?

On the one hand it’s exciting to look at a fresh clean year and wonder what it will bring but on the other hand it’s scary to think about what might happen and how my world could change.

I also have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions.  I have this love/hate relationship with them.  I LOVE New Year resolutions because I can start all over again.  The slate is wiped clean and I can begin to conquer some areas in my life that I have wanted to change for a long time. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t make it last year, what matters now is that a New Year is stretching out before me with new possibilities and new challenges.

On the other hand I HATE New Year’s resolutions.  Every time I think about something I want to do there’s this little voice inside my head that whispers, “You won’t stick with it, you’re just going to fail so why even try?”  And then I’m reminded of all the things I’ve tried and failed.  For example . . for years I was determined to read through the Bible in a year.  I would get through the book of Genesis and somehow that’s as far as I would get.  I can’t tell you how many times I read the book of Genesis!

Fear keeps us from stepping out and trying anything new.  It causes us to hold back and play it safe.

In 1 Timothy 1:7 (Amplified Version) it says,

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

So this year – I’m not holding back, I refuse to play it safe.  I’m making a list and trusting in God’s power to enable me to keep them.  And if I fail – it won’t be the end of the world.  I’ll pick myself up, wipe the dust off and try again with God by my side.

What about you?  Do you have some resolutions you need to make but have been holding back because of the fear of failure?  Step out in faith, place your hand in your Heavenly Father’s hand and draw your strength from His Power.

Mark Batterson in his book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day says this:

Faith is embracing the uncertainties of life! . . .       Embrace relational uncertainty.  It’s called romance.  Embrace spiritual uncertainty.  It’s called mystery.  Embrace occupational uncertainty.  It’s called destiny.  Embrace emotional uncertainty.  It’s called joy.  Embrace intellectual uncertainty.  It’s call revelation.”

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbour.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.    –Mark Twain

by Kristi Huseby
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“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You.” Psalm 39:5-7 (NLT)

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” We rush to work and on our lunch hour, run as many errands as possible. Then we hurry home to throw in a load of laundry, grab a bite to eat and we’re off to the next activity on our calendar.

In the end, does all that dashing about really accomplish anything of eternal importance?

I’m reminded of how fragile life can be and how easily I forget that it is so. I get glimpses and reminders of my eternal destination but they are all too quickly swallowed in the temporal of the here and now. The crazy. The busy. The hectic.

Where does this insatiable need to fill my life with activity come from? Why do I consistently choose the transitory over the everlasting? Why do I neglect being in the stillness of His presence?

I crave more of Him and less of this madness. I hunger for solace and peace in the chaotic mess of my life. Life is but a breath, a blink of the eye, a snap of the fingers and then it’s gone! Will my life have made a difference?

Lord, remove the blinders that keep me from seeing life from Your eternal perspective. Teach me to look beyond my circumstances – to see eternity in the every day. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart that is willing to let you lead. Make my one breath count! Amen.

Take half an hour of your day to learn and practice spiritual breathing.

by Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women

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She was a simple teenage girl; a girl who found herself pregnant and alone.

Just days earlier, she had been going about her chores happily consumed with thoughts about her upcoming marriage.

But now, everything had changed . . .

It was an angel that broke the news to her of God’s great love and desire to use her as the vessel for His Son to come to earth.  She was amazed that God would consider her, a simple girl with no earthly status or wealth, to carry this precious child and to be His mother!  She was astounded, surprised and a little bit scared all at once.  She couldn’t really comprehend how it would be possible but she trusted her Lord and humbly agreed to His plan.

But now, in the stillness of the night, as her hand felt to the softness of her belly she wondered . . . was it all just a figment of her imagination.  Could it really be true?  Was she pregnant even now as she lay there in her bed?  How could she really know that this was true?

She abruptly sat up in bed!  What had the angel said about her Aunt Elizabeth?  Oh yes, she was pregnant too!  She would go and see her – that was the only way to be sure that this wasn’t all a crazy dream.

She arose early the next morning, packed her bags and made the long trek to their home.
Her thoughts spun round and round in her head as she walked the dusty path. What would Joseph do once he found out she was pregnant?  What would her parents say?  Why hadn’t the angel told them about this?  Why was she the only one who knew?

She knew that if it was true, her life would never be the same.  From now on, she would be changed; there was no going back, no altering of the plan.

When she stepped into the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth, she knew deep down in her heart that what the angel said wasn’t a figment of her imagination or a dream, it was true because there before her was Elizabeth, old and wrinkled and very pregnant indeed, exclaiming her joy at being with the mother of her Lord.  It was true!  It was true! She was to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah.  Oh what joy!

A baby, her BABY would change EVERYTHING!

“And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”  Luke 2:6-7

By Kristi Huseby
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thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women

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Did you have a treasure box growing up?

I did.  In my treasure box (I actually still have the box) I had a very old dollar coin that my Mom had given to me, some chap stick  (I pretended that it was lipstick, since I couldn’t wear any yet), and various other items that you would’ve considered junk but to me were valued possessions.

In Luke 2:19 (NLV) we get the idea that Mary had a treasure box of sorts, only her treasures were memories of Jesus and how his life intersected with hers.  Look at what it says,

“. . . But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

What were those things she stored in her “treasure box”?  Could it have been the time when the Angel came to tell her that she would bear a child even though she was a virgin?  Or what about when she visited with Elizabeth who was old, wrinkled and very pregnant?  Did she treasure watching God’s miracle growing within her.

Did she hold tightly to the feeling of having the baby move inside of her?  Was one of her treasured memories when she laid her precious baby in the manger, as she counted his fingers and toes?  Or what about the surprising visit from a group of homeless shepherds or the royal wise men who had traveled so far from a distant country to visit her son and give him precious gifts?

And as Jesus grew older, I wonder if she included in her box the time when they had to go back to Jerusalem to find Jesus.   Did she have in her box their surprise at finding him teaching the leaders of that day in the synagogue?  And what about the time when He changed the water at the wedding into wine?

I think Mary continued to store up memories of God’s amazing work and power in their lives.  And I can’t help but wonder that if in the years to come, this treasure box of memories was a comfort and joy to her as her life began to turn upside down as she watched her Son become hated and hunted by the Jewish community.

I wonder when she was discouraged or confused, if she would “pull them out” and be reminded that God was in control. Did she seek consolation in those memories, that God had a plan and He was working it out, even though she didn’t comprehend it?

Have you ever created a treasure box of answered prayers? 

Have you ever taken time to reflect on God’s work in your life? 

I hope that you will take time this Christmas season to reflect on God’s goodness to you and I encourage you to continue to mark those times in your life when you have seen Him and ponder often on them, just as Mary did.

By Kristi Huseby
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thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women

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One of my sons when he was little had an endearing habit of grabbing my face so that I would look at him while he was talking. I confess that as a busy mom I was often distracted and found myself half-listening to my talkative son and this was his way of grabbing my attention and ensuring that I was focused on him.

Even at such a young age, my son had a built in longing to be heard and understood, to be loved and valued for who he was.

We all have a yearning deep in our soul to be heard and understood, love and valued for who we are.
Have you ever been talking on the phone with a friend when you get a little niggling doubt that they might not really be listening to you? It can be devastating to bear your soul, only to discover later in the conversation that they haven’t even heard a word you’ve said.

Do you ever secretly wonder if God is the same way? He’s got so much on His mind, demanding His attention, how could He ever have time to listen to your concerns? Does He really have the time to stop, bend down and listen to you?

Look at what Psalm 116:1-2 says, “I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”

This is God in relationship with us!

Drawing close. Bending down. Listening intently. Loving fully.

Isn’t this the kind of God we’ve been searching for?

Just as a child longs to have his parent’s undivided attention, our heart longs for God’s ever attentive love. He made us this way. He put within us this longing.

But so often we go away from Him and not towards Him. We ignore the need of our heart and turn to other things to satisfy the deep longing of our soul. Then because these things never completely satisfy us, we get disillusioned in our faith, wonder if God even cares and question whether He is really listening or not.

But amazingly He is listening and He is waiting for us to turn to Him. And when we finally do He bends down and gently takes our face in His hands, wipes the tears from our eyes and says, “I’m listening, my child, what do need to tell me?”

By Kristi Huseby
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thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women

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“For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains and all the animals of the field are mine.”  Psalm 50.10-11

When I pray, do I pray as if my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills?  Or more like He has a few coins in his pocket He can give me?  Do I really believe my God is resource rich or hopelessly poor?

If you were to hear my prayers you might think the latter.

I find myself praying hesitantly, crossing my fingers and hoping that God will answer.  I don’t ask for too much and I rarely step out in faith believing He will answer.  It isn’t really that I don’t believe God can do what I’m asking but more will He do it?  But, is this just an excuse so that I don’t look like a fool when God doesn’t come through for me?  I wonder . . .

How does God wish I would pray?  What is His heart’s desire?

I confess my tendency to put God in a box.  I want Him Small. Convenient. Controllable.  I want Him to wipe away my tears, love me unconditionally and soften the jagged edges of my life.  I don’t want Him to ask me to do something that makes me uncomfortable, or to go someplace I have no desire to go or put me out on a limb that might very well break!

But is that really what I want?  A God who is safe, mediocre and blasé?

I wonder . . . Would that God have even bothered to send His only Son to die for me so that I could have eternal life, true life?

It’s time to let God out of the box!

God is bigger than I will ever understand.  Greater than I can ever imagine and more powerful than a locomotive!  He’s my true Superhero!  So what is keeping me from praying Superhero prayers?

When I believe little, my prayers are little and God answers little.  When I believe BIG, my prayers are BIG and my God answers BIG.

My God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  He knows every hair on my head.  He hung the stars in space and calls them each by name.  He formed the dry land with a word.  He tells the wind where to blow.  He never slumbers or sleeps.  He dresses the flowers and knows every bird.  He is intimately acquainted with all my ways.

God is out of my box!

Lord, I’m sorry for making you small.  You are so much more! . . . I want to spend the rest of my life discovering Your greatness.  Today, I’m letting You out of the box that I placed You in.  I want to believe Big because You are Big.  Teach me. I’m Yours. Amen.

by Kristi Huseby
Used by permission

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thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women