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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Do You Pray For?

"Praying Hands" (study for an Apostl...Prayer is the Christian's most lethal weapon, I'm sure all Christians will agree, but when you get down on your knees or lie between the covers what do you ask God for? Do you ask Him to help you find a better job, heal your sick grandmother, help you buy a house, car, pay your bills? God is our provider, isn't He? And He does care about our basic needs, so praying for all these things is all well and good.

However, as I lay in bed meditating on God and prayer, the Holy Spirit gave me a brand new revelation. He said that all my prayer should be encapsulated in one word: contentment. Then He reminded me of this scripture by the apostle Paul, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound : every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry , both to abound and to suffer need" (Philippians 4: 11-12) .

In this passage, Paul commended the church at Phillipi that they were once more able to continue caring for his needs, which they had ceased to do because they lacked opportunity. He was saying to them that he had learned to be content whether he was full or whether he was hungry. This was exactly what I needed, for lately I've been giving in to bouts of anxiety. When will I be able to retire? How long can I continue working the way I do? Will I ever fulfill my dream of being able to retire from my job and work from home? These thoughts and others like them do not make for a contented state of mind.

The Holy Spirit showed me that if I couldn't be content now, working at a time when a lot of people wish they were, I would not be content when I stopped working. If I couldn't be content here, I wouldn't be content there. It sobered me up and made me realize that by being discontented I was playing right into Satan's hands. I was allowing him to use me to grieve the Holy Spirit. In effect, I was saying to God, I'm   dissatisfied with you, I don't trust You to give me what I want, so I have to worry and fret and try to figure it out myself. That's a dangerous path to be on. It led the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness for forty years!

So, should we pray for the job, the house, the car, the healing? Absolutely, but when we pray for these things, let us ask God to give us contentment to wait on Him. Because when we are contented we are saying, God I trust You in this season of my life. I don't know how long it's going to last, but while I'm in it, I'm going to put on my hat, button up my coat and go out there and give it the best I have to give, because You are with me. You have promised "never to leave me or forsake me" (Hebrews 13:5) and I stand on your promises. God bless

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here is the video trailer for my new book Women For All Seasons.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

New Year Prayer

How is your New Year going so far? I trust that each day is bringing you new blessings and you are walking in God's grace and favor. This poem below was taken from Turn Back To God, a site that offers free downloads. Read it and be blessed.

A New Year’s Prayer

Another year is dawning

With the chance to start anew.

May I be kinder, wiser, Lord,

In all I say and do.

Not so caught up in selfish gain

That I would fail to see

The things in life that mean the most

Cost not a fancy fee.

The warm, kind word that I can give,

The outstretched hand to help,

The prayers I pray for those in need–

More precious these than wealth.

I know not what may lie ahead

Of laughter or of tears;

I only need to know each day

That You are walking near.

I’m thankful for this brand new year

As now I humbly pray,

My hand secure in Yours, dear Lord,

Each step along the way.

- – - written by Kay Hoffman

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

For decades the topic of New Year's resolutions has been so bandied about around this time of year, that I, for one, have come to dread it. Some people have said that they make New Year's resolutions on New Year's eve, only to break them on New Year's Day! I don't think I've ever been that bad, but I'm usually unaware of when I stop following through with my resolutions. Still, in the back of my mind nag those pesky wishes, desires and dreams that are ushered in with the confetti and firecrackers. And I find myself thinking, what if I could really lose those ten pounds this year? What if I could really stop eating chocolates and ice-cream? What if I could exercise four days out of every week?

What if ... Over the years I have come to realize the futility of those wishes and so I've stopped wishing and begun to ask God to give me the strength and the motivation to do what I need to do. And as I reflected on that this morning, the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart that He wants me to love Him more. "I do love you, Lord," I said. "I've been loving You ever since I was a child. Even when I knew very little about You."

Gently, He directed my thoughts to the kind of love He requires. The kind that Mary, Lazarus's sister showed to Jesus. This woman sat at His feet, drinking in His words, while her sister Martha busied herself being hospitable. Jesus said of Mary, "She has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10: 42). While Jesus appreciated Martha's hospitality, he clearly considered the time Mary spent with Him to be far more valuable than what Martha did. When we love someone we want to spend as much time with them as possible, and I believe this is what God was saying to me this morning. Make time for Me; put aside your busyness and spend time with Me.

In His commandments the Lord said, "... I am a jealous God" (Exodus 20:5). He is jealous of all the "gods" we put before Him. The god of work, money, position, entertainment and all the many "gods" we create. We don't want to make God jealous, do we? Because if we do, He just might remove the "gods" that are taking His place in our lives. So there's my New Year's resolution. Learning to love God and spending more time with Him in 2011.

Lord, I love you, but I confess that my love has been weak and faint. I allow too many things to get in the way of spending time with you. Help me in this New Year to spend more time at Your feet so I can get to know You better and become more like You, in Jesus' name. Amen.
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