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At 2:48am this morning I woke up with one perfectly stuffed nostril, and one running like a fire hose. It is now 4:13am and I needed a place to dump out my thoughts.

One of the key instruments in helping my life to go on as smoothly as can be helped is telling Jesus everything. I wind up complaining to Him quite a bit as a result. However, I think that's not only perfectly OK, but in fact should be encouraged in everyone. It reminds me of this old hymn:

"Now let us have a little talk with Jesus Let us tell Him all about our troubles He will hear our faintest cry And He will answer by and by

And when you feel a little prayer wheel turnin' And you will know a little fire is burnin' Find a little talk with Jesus makes it right"

(That was written in 1937 by the pastor Reverend Cleavant Derricks, who authored many other hymns and works over his lifetime.)

The greatest part about complaining to Jesus, is that He is the BEST listener! He is never too busy, and no matter is too small. He is a perfect, patient parent who always wants to hear from His child. He also helps me keep things in perspective. For instance, this morning after my complaints about having a cold and being woken up from sleep - He gently reminded me to pray for Ukraine.

I prayed for all the practical things (peace, safety, food, supplies) for all the people there, but then I told Him I wanted to pray whatever His Spirit was praying for them. I felt like I heard Him say just one word:


And I want to pray that over you today as well.

Would you be willing to indulge in a visualization with me? {{Please note - the next paragraph will be graphic with violence and physical injury, if that is a trigger for you, please skip it.}}

Your soul is broken down, laying on the ground as the enemy gloats over you. You have internal bleeding from the many times you were viciously kicked in the stomach. Your eye is swollen shut. Your breathing is strained. Your skin is raw. Even the sun beats down on you. The enemy says to stay down and give up. But from your one good eye you can see someone else, and a kind hand reaching for you. All you have to do is reach back. Balancing on the edge of the sword between life and death, you use the last traces of energy left in your cells to tip the scales as you summon the strength to lift your hand. The instant your fingers meet, a paradox flows through your being. You feel both a cool, healing relief gently flood your soul as all is restored, but there is a raging fire in your bones. It is not enough now to simply get up. You must stand and face your enemy. You know the battle is already won.

Dear ones, this morning whatever you are facing, I send you courage. I send you strength. "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." -Exodus 14:14

The photo below was taken by me at Zion National Park on the Angel's Landing hike. This trail was icy, slippery, and incredibly dangerous when we reached this sign - to get to the very top of the trail you had to hike with a steep drop-off to either side and no guardrail. We did not continue the hike. Sometimes, the most courageous and healthy thing you can do for yourself is to say "no".

Please do pray for Ukraine, if I get permission, I will add an email from Compassion International below so you can pray and give specifically. But in the meanwhile, you can give to Hope International originally founded in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine - the site of the largest nuclear power facility in Europe that was recently under attack, and there is a good prayer list here in general for all children in conflict zones.

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