Today I want to share with you something I learned as I was contemplating a scripture verse in my daily devotional. I learned a new way to pray, a new perspective on prayer and (hopefully) something that will bring me closer to God.
Have you ever started a prayer by telling God about anyone you are holding a grudge against? Anyone you need to forgive? By letting him know that you do forgive them? Then do you ask God to forgive you for holding this grudge and ask him to soften your heart for them?
In Mark 11:22-24 Jesus is telling his disciples that anything can happen as long as they have faith in God and believe it will happen without doubt in their heart. He tells them that with this level of belief they can even throw a mountain into the sea. He goes on to tell them that if they really believe at this level that they have already received what they pray for, then they can have it. Pretty much can have anything they pray for as long as they believe they have already received it.
But, finally in verse 25 he tells them “when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against”. That definitely made me go “uhmm” and scratch my head a bit. Here’s why… as a child I memorized The Lord’s Prayer as a model of how to pray. It doesn’t start with me forgiving anyone. There are quite a few acronyms used to help Christians pray effectively and with focus. None of them start with me forgiving anyone. So, uhmm – forgive first? Read More…
Psalm 139 … One of my favorites. I really do enjoy this Psalm every time I read it. With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I was thinking of the things I am thankful for. All the usual came to mind – God, family, home, health, friends, and so on. Psalm 139 came to mind as well. I am very thankful for this Psalm.
It lets me know just how completely God knows me. He knows everything there is to know about me. There is nothing I can hide from him no matter how hard I try. Even before I say something, do something, think something he knows all about it. I’ve said, done and thought some awesome stuff. I’ve also said, done and thought some not so good stuff. He knows why I say, do or think even when I don’t have a clue. He thought about me before anyone else thought of me and carefully planned how I would look, who my parents and siblings would be, where I would live and in what era. He left no detail undone.
Psalm 139 lets me know just how completely God loves me, during the good and bad moments, without exception. He wants to protect me on all sides and be in every part of my life. He wants to watch me grow, learn and explore who he made me to be. He wants me to find all the good that he has waiting for me when I meet him face to face. Read More…
Today’s blog may be a hard one to write. The memory and emotion are still fresh, still raw. The original title in my mind before I sat down to write was just “Fear”. Then right before my hands touched the keyboard the title changed in my mind to what it is.
Something happened where I work yesterday that was meant to upset, to scare, to intimidate – it worked. I am afraid. I’m trying not to show it, I’m trying to be braver than the fear, I’m hoping to overcome it so that I can return to work Monday morning.
Myself and two other ladies run a very small staffing agency. Our agency is located in a decent part of town, in a shopping center with plenty of other businesses. There are a well established neighborhood behind us. I’m not sure the exact crime statistics of that area, they are probably average and possibly below average, certainly not above average.
Before I tell you about yesterday, I’ll give you some additional insight into our company. Our agency was founded several years ago by a gentleman who saw a need to help those in our city that are homeless, living in shelters or barely getting by. The agency’s vision is to help people find full-time, permanent employment. Many of our applicants are struggling to keep jobs for any variety of reasons that we are not here to judge. A steady job helps them pay their bills, but it can also give them a sense of purpose and even restore dignity in some. Read More…
Disappointed. Have you ever felt it? Has someone else disappointed you? Maybe they told you they would do something, and then they didn’t. Maybe you told them something in confidence, but they didn’t keep it to themselves. Maybe they didn’t fulfill an obligation that they had. Any number of things can cause us to feel disappointment in another person.
Perceived Relative Disappointment. Is this even a thing? If not, it is for now. And it’s not being disappointed with someone that is related to you. It is being disappointed more (or less) with someone because of your perception of the person. Or… having a higher expectation of a person because of it. Maybe you have a higher expectation because of the position someone holds in their job or their career experience. Perhaps you have a higher expectation of someone because of their age/maturity. How often do you expect more “perfection” and less disappointment from someone because they are a Christian?
We’ve all been guilty of it. And if you are saying that you have never expected more from someone because they are a Christian than you expected from someone that wasn’t a Christian then I’m disappointed in you for not being brave enough to admit it. Read More…
My heart has been heavy in the past weeks. I am afraid. I am worried. From what I can tell by watching the news and being on social media, I am not the only one. There has always been conflict in the USA. There is conflict everywhere. With Satan still on the loose conflict is simply a fact of life, an inevitable. But the conflict of late… it is escalating at a rate that is alarming to me. Democrats against Republicans. Straights against LGBT’s. Confederates against Unionists. Women against Men. People against Police. Urban against Rural. Race against Race. Boomers against Millennials. It seems that everyone is against someone.
It is as if everyone wants to jump on a “controversy bandwagon”. And if they don’t find one they want to be on they set out to create their own campaign, their own injustice, their own controversy bandwagon that they can bring others onto with them. My observation has been that people love jumping onto bandwagons. So much so that they are jumping too quickly. They are jumping on before they really figure out where the wagon is going, what the people on the wagon are doing, how far the path of the wagon may lead them off of their own path.
I would love to see all the bandwagons lined up in one parade, heading in the same direction. In the case of our country that direction would be one that unifies us, that reminds us we are all family and we need to put family first. Each bandwagon would continue to be different from the others – just like no two family members are the same. Each bandwagon would have its special spot in the parade – it’s not a parade if they are all in front. Some bandwagons would be larger than others – variety makes the parade more interesting. Some of the participants would be walking along the parade route moving between the bandwagons – we are all members of different groups, after all, not just one set. And even the spectators would join the parade rather than be passively along the route. Read More…
“God makes the best people – thoughtful in their ways, helpful in their deeds, understanding and loving at heart… and on the day you were born, He outdid Himself!”
This sentiment is from the card that I gave Hubby on his special day. Somehow it was the very first card that my hand reached for in the store, and it was perfect. Okay… so that was another one of those “God things” that we so often chalk up to chance or coincidence because they seem pretty small. But even picking out this card for hubby was directed by God. Read More…
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a (NIV)
I get daily emails from a couple of places with verses and devotionals. It’s pretty cool how I will often get just what I need to read on the day I need to read it. The authors have written the material days or weeks before they arrive in my inbox so they could have shown up on any given day. Yet, they show up at just the right time. God… at work in my life and the authors lives too.
2 Chronicles 16:9a was a verse in my email on a day of struggles for me. I won’t bore you with my woes – we all have them – sometimes more than other times – sometimes minor, other times major – the woe’s aren’t the point I want to share.
I want to be real and honest with you. When I read that verse, given the way things were for me that day, I began to wonder if all my recent troubles had something to do with me not being a real Christian. I started wondering “is my heart not as committed to God as I think it is?” My heart wasn’t feeling strong at all that day. My faith felt like it was weakening too. Read More…
It’s been a busy week and I haven’t had much time at all to work on a blog post. When I sat down today and asked God what he wanted me to write about I didn’t get the answer I expected.
God told me to share my Facebook post from earlier this week. Really God?
First, that post was so short… that’s all you want me to share?
Second, most of the people that read my blog are my Facebook friends… so they’ve already read it?
Third, well I don’t have third… but that’s really what you want me to share, God?
The answer kept coming back as “yes”.
So here goes – my personal Facebook post from 10/3/17: Read More…
Keeping it real today. I have an issue with jealousy. But then again don’t we all? Nobody I know likes a jealous person. Or do they… I’m a jealous person and people like me! So whether we want to admit it or not, we do like jealous people – even though we don’t like it when their jealousy is showing.
But ‘other people’ is not the issue with jealousy I’m talking about today. I’m talking about me and my imperfection.
I recently had yet another reason to confront myself and my own jealous streak. I saw a post that a friend of mine put on Facebook of an article she recently wrote.
I’ve known the author since the early 90’s when she was a young single mom – really just a child herself compared to the woman she is now. And I am super impressed with all that she has accomplished in her life both personally and professionally. Being honest with you, reading this article isn’t the first time I’ve felt jealous of her – it’s not the first time I’ve thought to myself “wow, I wish I could be brave enough to go boldly after my dreams, to start my own business, heck – even brave enough to raise so many kids!” Please know this, I have zero negative feelings at all toward her, she’s never given me any reason to have negative feelings toward her. Instead, I have negative feelings toward myself. I see her wins and I start wanting what she has. I compare my accomplishments to hers. I compare my body to hers. I compare my life to hers. Even as I’m reading an article where she admits she has insecurities all I’m reading is her courage and positivity.
So let’s continue keeping it real today…. Read More…