Warrior Friends

The rain surrounding the storm Erica poured down as I pulled in a great big hug from my friend Sharon.  We did summer with barely a peep between us.  But as the school year rolled in, it was too unfamiliar to let another week pass.  Without sitting and talking about me & her & kids & school & parenting & our mothers & love & God & change & fear & forgiveness and then finally, when are we meeting next?

We sat together in rain, shine and Florida humidity every other Thursday for the whole 5th grade school year.  Our sacred Thursday meetings are supposed to be as real as the human soul can be.  When we began, we bobbed through months of testing the waters of real.  Can I cry?  Can I call you between Thursday meetings?  Can I tell you the truth about my struggle?  Can I ask you hard questions?  Can you help me decide what to do?  Do I quit or persevere?  We will continue to sit together and share real words among two real women.  Doing real life.  In a real attempt to mirror Jesus.

What I am learning as a person: Take in the beauty of a good friend’s words.  Let them pounce into your heart.  Let them strain out the doubt from your soul when you are doing good.  Let them point out the path of righteousness when you staggering.  Let her words be like honey in warm tea whether you are sipping to get better or sipping to stay well.

Verse:  The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.  Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Proverbs 16:23-24

Deep Thought:  I have intentionally halted at chapters of two different books unexpectedly covering fear and anxiety.  My dear friend Sharon concludes that God won’t let me side step what He wants me to hear.  My dear heart stirs and senses that God has something to say about fear and anxiety.  So, yes, I will read and grow and change.  And, while I don’t yet know exactly what He plans to say, I promise to read and grow and change.

Quote: … “Before I was formed in my mother’s womb” – – and here I paused to add, unable to resist, “whose ever womb that was – – God knew me.  He knitted together my innermost parts and fashioned all of my days before there was even one of them.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Even though I only just found out that I was adopted, God has always known, and he has always loved me.  And since that has never changed, therefore nothing has essentially changed. I may not be who I thought I was, but I still am who he says I am.  And I am more.  I am loved.  I am his.”  Undaunted by Christine Caine

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: I hesitate to root for what I haven’t yet read, but I suspect that Wild in the Hollow:Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home by Amber C Haines will be exactly what it says it will be.

My Prayer to You: My prayer is that you have a few warrior girlfriends.  The kind that make time to know you.  Grow you and take full pleasure in seeing God work in your life.  I pray that you keep an open ear to Wisdom in whatever form she comes, in whatever pain or joy you are experiencing.  I pray that you are a warrior-friend to one or two or three others.  May you choose gracious words for her that heal like honeycomb and are sweet to her soul.  May you remember that, no matter what, you are who He says you are.  You are what He says you are.  And, that is Loved.  Amen.

Written By Sasha Katz


My pursuits to be unconsumed by the daily grind require more transition than I expected.  Master of the calendar takes more than a book and a week.  Deciding on calendar design requires fighting a few longstanding opponents.  My opponents are the invisible kind, i.e. pressure, coming up short, being tired, pushing too hard, forgetting what I am made of.  What does your invisible opponent look like?

Even though I scheduled hard with a lot of heart.  Last week was somewhat of a bomb.   I simultaneously got hit with 1) the middle school snake schedule, 2) working till 9pm at least twice, 3) sleep escaping me and 4) missing two important meetings due to the failure of my calendars to sync.  My mom even asked me about the disconnect between my writing about time and my life last week. So, again, I consider time and the arrangement of it.

What I am learning as a person: I am learning that the silly little phrase Forgive Yourself can actually have meaning.

Verse:  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Deep Thought:  My shortage of strength, time, wisdom and peace is filled in by His love, creativity, vision and sacrifice.  I don’t know how He fills in my angst, worry, exhaustion and missed marks.  But He keeps doing the refill straight into my heart.  I am reminded to let God be God and let me be me led by Him.  Maybe it takes a book, a week and Him giving me a few more shots at mastering time.

Quote: …as Christ followers living under the ever-flowing fountain of God’s love, our hearts should be so filled with His daily kindness, and love, that we should have the resilience not to be angered or provoked when the most minor irritations of life come our way . . . Simplify by Bill Hybels (Chapter 5)

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: If you need to understand forgiveness, there is no better practical, but also deep application of it than in Chapter 5 of Bill Hybels book Simplify.

I also am learning a thing or two about brevity that is sweet and lingering in Shauna Niequist’s Savor, Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are.

My Prayer to You: I pray that we would resist being consumed by our daily grind.  Instead that we would seek the presence of God to lead us to the hours of our day.  I pray for us to be prepared to fight battles to remove the invisible opponents hacking our efforts and hindering our journey.  I pray for us to be prepared to forgive ourselves for coming up short.  I pray for us to believe that we can try and try again until we have mastered the skill of designing hours.  Beside God.  Who promises to never leave or forsake us.  Amen.

Written by Sasha Katz

Learning the Pieces of a Peaceful Life (Theme Chosen by my daughter Leila)

I think about why my daughter chose A Peaceful Life for this post.  She sat by me as I wrote about a week ago.  For the first time, she asked me what I was writing about.  It turned into a short chat about what she thought I should write about and out this title came.  It is no surprise to me that it is now, this season, that she begins to ask me thought-full questions.  I can see in the way she prays, in the way that she thinks, cares and changes that she is becoming a young woman.  I can’t be more warmed by this changing young woman to choose a theme called Peace.

Questions I am learning to ask myself:  What do I really need?  Is there more?  What makes me cry?  How do I measure success?   What do I love to do that I miss?  Is my idea of the right way keeping me from the best way?

Questions from Jeff Goins, Lynn Donovan, Emily P. Freeman and my journal.

Verse: Meditate within your heart on your bed and be still.  Psalm 4:4

Deep Thought: When I gather questions to ask myself, I start to remember things about myself that I have forgotten.  I remember that I like butterflies and owls and that I like to bake.  I remember that God has given me space to be and do the things that get quietly pushed aside by the needs of the day.  I remember that He made us to live and work and do our roles, but also to dream, imagine and believe in the unique way He made each of us.  When I remember these things, I am inspired to live an intentional, full, beautiful life.

Quote: I think what we all are aching for is the perfect unity of Heaven.  Until then, we are messy people longing to be seen and known, living under the banner of grace, laboring together for God’s dreams until He makes all things new.  By Ashley Abramson, June 9, 2015, Relevant Magazine

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me:  I really like the regular change of authors in the Daily Devos of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.  All of the authors ask really good questions like Am I looking backwards from the cross or looking forward from His resurrection?

My Prayer to You:  I pray that we would take time to know ourselves.  God, help us see the beauty in the details and intricacies that You placed within our souls.  Help us remember that life is not complete without the expression of what You have placed within our souls.  Help us to meditate and be still so that we can hear You share Your heart with us.  God, we know that we will ache for You until You bring us home or make all things new.  Even so, help us live and breathe among community so that our  ache leans on side of Hope.  And, finally, God, help us to keep seeking You and the very perfect design You have made in and for all of us.  Amen.

New Thing

This is a piggy back to two blogs back in April of this year – – Busy and Father Time Laughs.  Last April, God showed me that He didn’t ask me to be busy.  I felt challenged to work on my state of mind that was constantly racing time and tasks.  This truth was a personal revelation to me.  It also was a relief for the time clock, or rather time bomb, ticking in my mind.

I really have enjoyed the last six months.  The initial changes I set up for myself and the process of moving in a new direction felt like they made sense.  In an odd way, email was one of the practical ways I began changing.  On the one hand, I spent about an hour a day working on my inbox.  This was absolutely necessary as I needed to rule out the majority of the possibility that I missed a task, reply or important invitation.  So much of my work depends on timeliness and good practice.  The potential unknown (at work) is a source of stress or worry for me . . . streaming into my personal life.  Now that my email is current, deleting, filing and assigning tasks daily has made a great difference in my life.

On the other hand, I also used email to keep me in the head space I was seeking.  I chose a few devotionals or calls to prayer that are emailed to me daily.  I committed to reading them within a short time after they came in.  That means that two or three times a day, I am thinking about spiritual things and others.  When I read, I don’t browse or speed read.  I read slowly, take in the spiritual thought and answer any study questions or calls to action right then.  As I allow the process, my mind is slowing down.  I am able to give more in the way of quality and substance to the tasks that are part of my entire day – –  I think because of this practice.

As the mind slows down.  Something happens.  It has been sort of an evolution for me.  When you slow down, more is able to come into your mind.  For me, it has been more in the way of God’s calling.  I think He has more deeply carved out in me a care and concern for His causes and for His calling globally.

Six months ago, I didn’t have room in my mind or time in my life to step any deeper into some things.  Now I can see that there is a wide open door to walk through.  That doesn’t happen without God.  I thank Him that He is endless, patient, kind and King.  I thank Him that when we let Him in to try something new, He does just that.

FF Oct 20A



What’s on your mind at 6am on Saturday ?

It is not that often that I wake up before 6am on Saturday morning.  The first few hours of Saturday morning are usually my sanctuary.  Today, there is just a whole lot on my mind.

On the spiritual side, I am thinking about my friend SZ who has that tint in her eye, that hue on her heart, that life is burdening her right now.  I’m thinking about CK and K and their good fight against depression.  I am telling God about the very big number of prayer requests that have bubbled up from my dear sisters this week.  I am also thinking about my friend MB and how she reminded me last night how much we need each other.  In the midst of prayers, battles and claiming of victory, she wisely says . . .  Why don’t we all just hang out at the pool and have some fun this weekend?  (That happens in South Florida in October.)

The only thing you and I need today is Jesus.  He is really the only thing that we need everyday.  But, it is refreshing to breathe that in.  Refreshing to know that wherever your mind is, He is all you need.  He is all you need to think, meditate and pray through whatever is on your mind today.

Drink your coffee or tea, clear your mind and do exactly what God calls you to do this weekend.  That’s my plan.  What is on your mind at 6am on Saturday?

FF Oct 11

Hearing God’s Voice

By Bindu Adai-Mathew

Have you ever heard God’s voice? What does He sound like to you? Is it distinct or do you sometimes worry that it is your own conscience or inner voice speaking to you that you mistake for God?

As a child, I imagined if I ever heard God’s voice, it would sound something like James Earl Jones (aka the voice of Darth Vader, minus the heavy mechanical breathing, of course)…you know, a deep, rich, resounding,  low baritone.  Or maybe even like Charlton Heston.

But as I got older, I can’t recall audibly hearing God’s voice.  Often I  “heard” God speak through other people…a pastor whose sermon either convicted me or gave me food for thought or a friend whose advice was not only Biblical but also very practical. Even more often, I would read a scripture verse that I felt was directly speaking to me or even go through a situation where God would close all doors except the one that He wanted for me to walk through. While all those are legitimate examples of how God can speak to us, I wanted more…I wanted to audibly hear God. I wanted to hear his voice like I would hear my own husband’s voice. I wanted to hear His voice like Joyce Meyers or pastors often describe distinctly hearing God’s voice.

It wasn’t until recently when a friend told me about a  Bible study she was going through that was helping her discern God’s voice. Curious, I asked her to tell me about it because I knew this was something she, too, had struggled with.  One of the practical exercises that she shared was directly asking God what He wanted her to do.  Okay, I thought to myself, that is something I’ve definitely prayed for. So I wasn’t too far off then.  But then she added, “But after you ask God that, don’t say anything else. Just be quiet and wait for Him to answer.”

Whoa! I stared dumbfounded at my friend as that simple statement hit me like a ton of bricks. Ask God a question and then wait for Him to answer?! It sounded like something we’d do with anyone else, but when it comes to God, how often do we really give Him the chance to speak?

If I had to reflect on my prayers, I would have to admit how one-sided they always are. While I’m a good listener with friends, when I pray, I have diarrhea of the mouth.  I pray for my family, my friends, myself, and whatever world events are on my heart. I give God my prayers and petitions list which often read out like a “honey do” list. God fix this…help me with that…please do this…  As quickly as I let God know what’s on my heart, I say a quick Amen and go about my business. I never wait to hear what’s on God’s heart. How ironic that I, who had wanted to hear God’s voice, had never given God the chance to speak! Perhaps, if I were even more honest with myself, I would have realized that while I wanted to hear Him, I didn’t believe I really could or that He would even speak to me in a way distinct, audible voice.

So let me challenge you as I challenge myself…starting this week, as you pray, ask God to speak to you. And then be quiet and listen…you never know how God will choose to answer!

 Jeremiah 29:13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Onward Christian Soldier

Bindu Adai-MathewBy Bindu Adai-Mathew

Yesterday JMathis paid tribute to our fallen war heroes who sacrificed their lives so we could continue to live in freedom and liberty.

 As we close the month of May with our focus on Motherhood, I now want to pay tribute to another war hero who sacrificed her life so that I can live in freedom—my mother, Rahelamma (“Rachel”) C. Adai.

 Born in the midst of what was probably just another humid, hot monsoon afternoon on May 28, 1948 in the jungle-like setting of Kerala, India, my mother resembles none of the war heroes you would probably imagine.  At 4’10” and just under 100 pounds, she seemed like an unlikely recruit for any military operation some forty-something years ago, but she was chosen…and she enthusiastically accepted her post. My mother did not dress in army fatigues or camouflage. She did not have her face painted in disguise to blend like a chameleon into her circumstances. Nor did she fight in the type of war you are probably imagining.

But like the scriptures recommend, every day, she put on “the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6: 11) Because she understood a spiritual truth that many of us often forget: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) She long ago understood that our true battle is not the physical kind but the spiritual battles that continue to wage on whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

 So every day, like clockwork, for as long as I could remember, she faithfully starts her day with at least a half hour to a full hour of full-on  preparation. Like a disciplined solider, she trains, exerts, and pushes her spiritual muscles as she prepares herself for the day ahead. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6: 13) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (Ephesians 6:14) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (Ephesians 6:15) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16) 

 She continues her regimen as she takes the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6: 17) While the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation protect her from attacks from the enemy, it is with the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, where she wields her weapon of choice. Like a skilled ninja assasin, she is able to stealthily attack and defeat the devil and his foot soldiers. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6: 18) Being the mother she is, she always places herself in the front lines, using all of her spiritual strength to protect her children and loved ones from enemy fires.

 Growing up, I’ve always thought of my mother as the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman: meek, humble, industrious, and wise.  Little did I know back then that in the early hours of the morning, before the sun cracked through the sky, she was also moonlighting as a solider of God.

 So in honor of Memorial Day and our month’s focus on Motherhood, I now honor the woman who taught me, by example, that I have true liberty and freedom in Christ. I honor the woman who, because of her faithfulness, equipped me, so that I, too, may fight the good fight. I honor the amazing mother she has always been and the faithful solider of God she continues to be. I honor you, Rahelamma C. Adai, just as you have always honored Him.