The Year of the Breakthrough

The Year of the Breakthrough

 If I were to take a poll of 100 people and ask, “How many of you need breakthrough in your life?” I’m sure I would get a 100% affirmative response rate. Why? Everyone is looking for growth or change in some area of their life, whether that is in finances, health, relationships or spiritual growth. Breakthrough is rooted in the promises of God, and is what moves us forward. Many prophetic voices have spoken that 2017 is the Year of the Breakthrough. I agree! What I find fascinating about breakthrough is that often it is preceded by signs in our natural world. Take Moses for example. Just before he received the breakthrough of leading the his people out of slavery in Egypt, he had an encounter with the Living God through the natural—and supernatural—occurrence of the burning bush. Moses saw a bush that was engulfed in a flame of fire, but it was not consumed. And from that bush, he heard the audible voice of God (See Exodus 3). If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. If you’ve been following the news lately, you will be aware that the state of California has been in an historic, severe drought for the past year. 86% of California was in severe drought or worse. Yesterday, a news agency reported that California was considering lifting the emergency drought rules. The report stated, “Due to ongoing rain, 44% of California is out of severe drought, down from 49% one week ago, while 42% is out of drought entirely.” That’s amazing! And that should get our attention. In the Bible, rain is...
What to Do With a Bad Report

What to Do With a Bad Report

It is inevitable. At some point in your life, you will receive a bad report. We all face disappointments, challenges, setbacks, and heartbreaks. How you respond when trials come is critical—for your attitude can influence not only your emotions, but also your faith. This week I received several bad reports. The first came via a letter in the mail. Another in a heartbreaking text from a friend. A third through a discouraging situation made known on social media. The irony of a bad report is that it contains factual information that opposes the promises of God, and can be the very situation God uses to test our faith in Him. Do you repeat the bad report when it comes, or do you hold fast to God and contend for His promises to be fulfilled? In Numbers chapter 13, we read the story of the twelve men Moses sent out to scout the land God had promised to the children of Israel. When the scouts came back, they spoke of a good land “flowing with milk and honey.” But they had a problem. The people living in the land were strong and powerful. Outmatched in strength, physical size and number, the scouts were afraid. They spread a bad report among the children of Israel (v. 32). Often, the first response to a bad report is fear. If you’re not careful, a bad report can threaten to— —steal your hope —kill your dreams, and —destroy your faith in God Eight years ago, my husband Gabriel received a bad report. This was near the start of 2009, when our economy crumbled… and Gabriel was laid off...
Mariners, Angels, Signs and Wonders

Mariners, Angels, Signs and Wonders

“Today we’re going to catch a foul ball.” Walking to Safeco Field to watch a ballgame between the Seattle Mariners and the Angels of Anaheim, I turned to my daughter Ashley and made this great statement of faith. Or maybe it was a statement of presumption. Either way, Ashley — who is a professional baseball sports writer and has attended more ballgames than I can count — dismissed my comment without a thought. She knew better. Foul balls are never hit her way. Together with Gabriel, we took our seats in the 100 section, right in the sightline of third base. Wouldn’t you know it? At the top of the first inning, the first foul ball of the game was hit by an Angel high into the air…and as it lofted down, it looked like it was heading straight for us. The ball took its time falling from the sky. This gave me plenty of time to consider my words spoken before the game started. This did seem to be what I had wanted. I was also acutely aware that without a glove, if I stood up to catch that ball with my bare hands, it would probably hurt. A lot. I remained seated and watched the ball as it drifted down. And so did every other person in my section. No one moved! Not one person stood up to take possession of this errant ball. Eventually, the ball dropped over our heads and landed at the feet of the fans seated right behind us, then bounced away. A few innings later, I looked over at the Mariner dugout and had a flashback in my memory to a player...
Radio Interview with Roger Marsh on Powerful Moments in the Presence of God

Radio Interview with Roger Marsh on Powerful Moments in the Presence of God

This week I had the privilege of talking with Roger Marsh, host of the radio talk show “The Bottom Line.” Roger comes from my hometown area in California, and talking with him felt like returning to my roots. I’m so glad his was the first interview I’ve had about the new release of my book, Powerful Moments in the Presence of God. I was fully prepared to answer Roger’s questions about the devotionals; surprisingly, I was caught a little off-guard with his questions about my photography. I was glad to talk about both! http://lorrainemarie.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Bottom-Line.mp3   If you prefer to listen to the interview while looking at beautiful pictures from this book, click here instead!   To order your own copy—or one for a friend—you can visit Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or...
5 Unusual Ways Listening Better Will Immediately Improve Your Relationships

5 Unusual Ways Listening Better Will Immediately Improve Your Relationships

Listening is an art that is developed. It requires discipline and engages all that you are.” If you’re like most people I know, you want to be a good listener. Listening well is not always easy to do, especially with all the distractions that constantly compete for our attention. Even after fourteen years of practicing the art of listening—opening my Bible to read the Word and hear the quiet whisper of the Lord as He then speaks to my heart—it still is a challenge for me to be still. It’s difficult to turn off those internal and external distractions that cause me to lose focus. But I’ve found that this is often the key I need, so that I can listen well. This devotional, which is included in my book Powerful Moments in the Presence of God, was impressed to me as I practiced being still so that I could listen to God. It’s a message I’ve returned to many times…I guess because I need this reminder often, so that I can put it into practice. What I find most interesting is that when I am intentional to listen closely, it not only improves my relationship with God, but also with others.   Five Unusual Ways Listening Better Will Immediately Improve Your Relationships—With God and With Others You will receive deeper truth—revelation from the Bible that will impact your life. You will become sensitized to the needs of those around you. You will change your behavior. You will learn and grow. You will draw near.   Each of these concepts build on the other. It’s so cool! If you want to immediately...
A Step of Faith

A Step of Faith

*7 countries. **5 states. ***28 cities. These are the places I traveled to and photographed that ended up featured in my devotional book, Powerful Moments in the Presence of God. And as I look at those numbers, I just can’t help but think, “That’s all?” I have such a love for travel and adventure that doesn’t quit. Just ask my husband, Gabriel! But what a blessing this collection of images represents…the places we’ve visited and the people we’ve met have made a lasting impression on our hearts. Like this photograph of our sweet friends Natanel and Eliza with their boys. I’ve known Eliza since she was 17 years old. I photographed their beautiful, unforgettable wedding. I’ve taken more photos of their family than nearly any other. So when I wanted to get out and take some photos of people for my book, of course they immediately came to mind. There is so much I love about this image: the highest hillside in our area that gives a sweeping panoramic vista of Seattle and the Olympic mountain range, and the real-life moment of a family moving forward, each one traveling at his own pace—dad leading the family, mom making sure the kids are okay, the boys lost in the wonder of childhood. “No one starts his or her journey of life with perfect faith. Faith increases step by step, day by day.” (click to tweet) It is the words impressed on my heart by the Spirit of God, combined with the image, that gives this devotional so much depth of meaning to me.  Because just days after this photo shoot took place,...