Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Prayer

Don’t worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank Him for all He has done.

I’ve just realized as I’ve sat here trying to write about prayer, that I have no business trying to write on this subject. How many of you have struggled with prayer like I have? I would have to say that over the past 40 years of walking with Jesus that prayer has been the most difficult area of my spiritual journey.

Thankfully, I have discovered that the more time I spend with God in His Word the more time I spend with Him in prayer. As He talks with me through His Word, I desire to talk with Him about His Word. It’s hard to explain but it ends up being some of the most precious times I have with Him! For me, reading God’s Word and prayer go hand in hand.

Listening is another challenge for me and sitting still for any length of time is a challenge so you can imagine how hard it is for me to sit still and listen to God! But in those moments when I do, oh how sweet it is! When you pause long enough to sense the Holy Spirit impressing something on your heart it is truly a beautiful, transformational experience.

I now love to talk with God throughout the day. So much of what I see and observe around me causes me to be in awe of our creator! When I find myself on a hike and I pause to take in the beauty, I’m overwhelmed by the Creator of it all! When I listen to music or read an amazing book, I’m in awe of the ONE who gifted those people with the talent to do those things. I always pause now and thank Him for the gift!

I also now, find myself being aware of His presence whenever I am in the shower, throughout the day, in my chair, with others, wherever it might be, I experience the gentleness and the humbleness of the One who loves me more than I can comprehend and longs for these moments with me! I long for those moments more and more with each passing day! SO, PRAY, IT’S LIFE CHANGING AND LIFE GIVING!

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and
always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and
will remind you of everything I have said to you.
JOHN 14:26 (NIV)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness,
for example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for.
But the Holy Spirit prays for us
with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
ROMANS 12:12 (NIV)

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Counsel, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

For everything that was written in past was written to teach us,
so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and
the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

As I look back over the past 40 years plus of walking with Jesus and reading the Scriptures, I’m amazed at how much my life has changed. I remember those days when it was hard to even pick up the Bible and read it. The struggle to understand what was in the Scriptures was so frustrating. And along with that all the outside demands placed on me that kept me from spending time in the Word. If you feel that way, please know that you’re not alone.

I think we all go through different seasons as we journey with Jesus over the years. I know I have. Sometimes it felt like I was on a roller coaster with God. I can’t tell you how much guilt and shame I felt whenever I would go through seasons of not wanting to read. If you’re like me, let me encourage you to stay in it because the Scriptures are so rich with meaning and purpose for our lives.

Over the past eight years, I’ve made a commitment to read through the Bible in a year and I can’t tell you the difference that reading the Scriptures has made in my life. And now I can’t wait to get up to spend time with Jesus because I know if I don’t, I’m missing something very precious that He gives me as I read his Word. The comfort, the peace, the encouragement, the challenges, all things that move us closer to Jesus are right there in the Scriptures. It connects you from cover to cover with the beautiful message of His Love and Grace.

So we simply leave you with this; READ YOUR BIBLE! Because it is through His Word that He actually breathes life into us! And as it relates to our journey through life, it really does provide all we need to not just to endure, but to thrive in this life because of the hope that it offers us through Jesus, even in the midst of some of the most difficult of times, and circumstances. So soak in these few passages, of many, in the Bible that encourage us to spend time with Him.

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
PSALM 119:105 (NLT)

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
PSALM 119:11 (NLT)

Your commandments give me understanding;
no wonder I hate every false way of life.
PSALM 119:104 (NLT)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful
for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training
in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be
thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17 (NIV)

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
Then you will know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect. ROMANS 12:2 (NLT)

I desperately desired to do God’s will – I desperately needed a change to take place within my mind. After turning to the Scripture for the answer I read Romans 12:2 and I knew I needed a change in my thinking but how was I to let God transform me? I found the answer in Romans 12:2 in The Message translation which states:

… fix your attention on God.
You will be changed from the inside out.

Yes!! I knew I did not have the power to overcome my weakness in my own strength, but God did and only if I was willing to give God permission to change me from the inside out – an act of my will that I knew I had to take.

I was desperate and I knew it was going to be a slow process. But by “fixing my attention on God” through daily being in His Word, daily surrender through prayer, daily practicing PPR (Pausing, Praying, then Responding), God began to slowly bring an end to the “civil war” that was taking place between my mind and my heart – (Psalm 27:17).

Are you struggling with a “civil war” within you? Are you desiring a transformation within you? Then “fix your attention on God”, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” and you will be blessed – we have Jesus’ promise on that.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world –
your heart and your mind – put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Temptation comes from our own desires,
which entice us and drag us away.
These desires give birth to sinful actions.
When sin is allowed to grow,
it gives birth to death.
JAMES 1:14-15 (NLT)

No one chooses the slow fade. Subtly and slowly, the evil one tempts us by our own sinful desires and weaknesses – luring us away from God without us even being aware of it. On the slippery slope of the slow fade, our flesh attempts to justify our choices because we don’t want to deny our own desires. We give ear to the voice of the evil one and the world that tells us we deserve this “pleasure” because of past offenses and hurts or how hard we have worked or because we are alone – the list goes on and on. There is a whole gamut of human desires that exist within each one of us and for us Christians it can be a fierce battle – a civil war taking place within us. In the words of King David …

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me will to obey you.
Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)

When I became aware that I had been on a slow fade, the above Scripture became my daily prayer. What I needed was a change in my desires and in my will to obey God – to do what was right. I knew the change had to take place from the inside out. I could not do it in my own will power – I needed to surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit to allow Him to teach me His Will.

I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.
PSALM 40:8 (NIV)

On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Perseverance

This is why I remind you to fan into flames
the Spiritual gift God gave you …
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 TIMOTHY 1:6-7 (NLT)

Our Pastor, Kyle Fox, has been teaching a series on the Holy Spirit. I have been amazed how his teaching has paralleled my own personal transformation process. His teachings confirmed that I am on the right path to a “Heart Transformation.”

After each teaching, he challenged us to practice a different Spiritual Discipline to “Fan into Flames” the Holy Spirit within every believer. He encouraged us to daily surrender to God, confess our sins, study God’s Word, pray continually, dwell on the goodness of God, practice submission to one another, serve one another, sacrifice for one another and engage in the discipline of giving.

But in last week’s sermon, he gave us a warning if we want to fan into flames the Holy Spirit, we must avoid the slow fade. We must fight the slide toward appeasement (with worldly desires) and too much self-focus (fleshly desires). We must fight the slide toward convenience (taking the easy path), isolation (withdrawal) and bitterness (unresolved anger). It reminded me of the chorus in the song, Slow Fade by Casting Crowns.

It’s a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade
When black and white have turned to grey
And thoughts invade, choices made
A price will be paid
when you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

I know for myself personally, I had been on a slow fade for way too many years. It was all due to unresolved anger which led to poor choices, which led to withdrawal from family and friends. The price I paid (and my family) was monumental until I turned and surrendered to the Holy Spirit. When I took that first step of surrender, I had no idea where or how He would lead me, heal me, but I trusted Him to transform my heart. I am still in the process but I know that “He who began a good work in me, will see it to the day completion” Philippians 1:6.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit
who lives within us,
carefully guard the precious truth that
has been entrusted to you.
2 TIMOTHY 1:14 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Uncategorized

Adherence Produces the Fruit of the Spirit

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus
have nailed the passions and desires
of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Don’t we all have an innate desire for all of the fruit of the Spirit once we become aware that the power of the Holy Spirit lives within us? I know I do! I am totally aware of the fruit that I bear and the ones I don’t bear. The hard part is that I can’t produce the fruit even though I desire it. Only the Holy Spirit can produce Its own fruit not my own fleshly efforts.

How then do we trust the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives? Well for me, it’s been a daily surrender to the Holy Spirit, a daily awareness of His Presence within me, a daily Pausing, Praying and then Responding (PPR) in all my relationships and interactions with others and myself. It’s been getting to know the God within my heart by being daily in His Word. It’s having a heart of sincere thankfulness for everything that is good in my life. A thankfulness for God’s promises in the areas of my life where there is hurt and pain.

In other words, I have found that it is the daily adherence to all these practices that has produced and is producing, the fruit of the Holy Spirit within me, living through me. Through daily adherence, God has been transforming my heart and I must tell you; I am in awe. So much in awe, that I never want to go back to my old ways of living out of my flesh again.

Of course, every now and then, I resurrect my flesh but when it does, I become immediately aware of it. When I ask the Holy Spirit, He reminds me and makes me aware. I no longer trust my flesh – I had to learn the hard way! I am so grateful that I can now trust the Holy Spirit within me – I am His work in process!

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.
Keep on seeking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds.
And to everyone that knocks, the door will be opened.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.
I will talk to the Father, and He’ll provide you another Friend
so that you will always have someone with you.
This Friend is the Spirit of Truth.”

“But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of Truth
He will take you by the hand and
guide you into all the truth there is.”

I invited Jesus into my heart over 40 years ago and I also know that when I did that, I also received the Holy Spirit. Throughout the years, here and there, I knew the Holy Spirit was guiding me, when I asked him to, but other times (probably most of the times) I relied on my own instincts and past experiences to be my guide. But after starting the Transformation Process of Awareness, Acceptance and Appreciation, I faced the realization that now I needed to take the next step – Action. I knew that my personal fleshly attempts of taking action to bring a maturing and change in my life had failed miserably – I knew I could not do this alone. I needed the Holy Spirit to do what I felt was impossible.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long in my walk with Jesus to realize that I have a Miracle Worker living inside my heart, but it did. I decided that every morning, after I had awakened, before my feet hit the ground, I would ask the Holy Spirit within me to guide me, and teach me – my first step of Action!

Everyday I would pray Psalm 51:10-12:

Create in me a clean heart, O’ God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
PSALM 51:10-12 (NLT)

And then, I let the maturing and miracle change of my heart begin and I am in awe of how gently the Lord performed a miracle within my heart and mind.

“It is God’s Spirit that changes the atmosphere
of our way of looking at things,
and then things begin to be possible which before were impossible.
Getting into God’s stride means nothing less than oneness with Him.”
Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Dealing With Doubt, Endurance for the Journey, Fear, Featured

Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you
for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

The other morning, I was on my daily walk, and I noticed how crystal-clear and blue the sky was. I had a picture-perfect view of the entire Sun Valley and Camelback Mountain – it was breathtaking. I just took in the view with awe and thankfulness.

But then I remembered why the air was so clear of all the hot dust that is normal for a summer in Arizona – the night before we had torrential rains and winds that “cleared the air.” While the storm that passed over us seemed violent and scary at times, the result was a “clearing of the air” so that we would be able to see such majestic beauty beyond the storm. I was thankful for the storm.

I thought about my own life and the storms that I have endured. I thought about how fearful, scared and alone I felt during those storms – fearful that I would not make it through. But then God reminded me of how the tears that I shed during those storms “cleansed my soul” and not one tear was wasted because He was faithful to show me the way through producing His beauty within me. I am thankful in ALL circumstances now – even the storms of life because I know what they produce.

I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so that we can do the good things
He planned for us long ago.

Nothing exposes our good, bad, and ugly sides, more than spending the weekend with your adult children. They are all too familiar with our strengths and weaknesses – there is no fooling them – they’ve lived with us. This past weekend Dave and I went to visit our daughter’s and son’s families. We love being with our family but this time I prayed specifically that I would love my family well – seeing them through His eyes and that I also would be able to engage and receive their love.

Acceptance of my good, bad, and ugly has enabled me to receive love from the Father because He loves me just as I am. He knows everything about me and yet He still loves me. God knows that I am still a work in process, and I know that if I surrender daily to His Will that He will mature me to be the Masterpiece He created me to be. Knowing this Truth enabled me to look and experience my family in a totally different way.

This past weekend I was able to laugh (with everyone else) at my own weaknesses (and I have many) instead of being ashamed and withdrawing. I was aware of how much they loved me as they teased me – I laughed with them.

I smiled at my daughter when she became frustrated with me when I didn’t give her the answer she wanted to hear. Normally I would be hurt, angry and withdraw but I just smiled and marveled at her beautiful heart and passion – I saw beyond her frustration with me and stayed engaged in the conversation.

When our 6-year-old granddaughter exhibited her strong will against her mother – our daughter, I chuckled and smiled too. Not because I was enjoying her mother getting back what she deserved (although that would have been the case in past) but because I now know that God instilled in our granddaughter that strong spirit. I know He will mold and shape that young wild mare into something beautiful just like He did for our daughter. I saw her strong will as a blessing instead of a curse.

It was a wonderful weekend.

Therefore accept each other
just as Christ has accepted you
so that God will be given the Glory.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky