Posts filed under ‘Prayer’

If Books Are Like a Personality Test, What Do My New Year’s Choices Reveal?

  • I usually read one book at a time. But this month, I couldn’t restrain myself. There are six that I am dabbling in at the moment.

Less Clutter , Less Noise: Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales by Kem Meyer. I picked this book because I am always looking for ways to make my ministries relevant. This title suggests the opposite of what I’ve known and done. Go here to read Kem’s blog. Here are some posts to get you started . . . Want to change people’s behavior? Make it fun. . . . Don’t talk about money. . .  Top 5 places to start reading in the Bible . . . What I’ve learned in 20 years as a parent

Sanctification: An Alliance Distinctive by Samuel J Stoesz. This book is required reading for consecration. “This book documents the scriptural understanding of the experience of sanctification and the historical antecedents of the teaching as it concerns The Christian and Missionary Alliance.”

The Prayer That Changes Everything: The Hidden Power of Praising God by Stormie OMartian. Last year I made prayer a primary focus of my time and efforts. That study is continuing. Plus this books talks about praise; that sounds a lot like gratitude. Gratitude is something else I’ve been focusing on.  Combining the two sounds like an awesome and powerful combination.

The Shack by William P. Young. Everybody has read this book. My former roommate Janelle, Theresa, Pastor Mike, one of my seminary profs, Gerry Breshears (here and here), and CNC’s reading club. Time I read it for myself.

Words of Gratitude: For Mind, Body, and Soul by Robert A. Emmans & Joanna Hill. I am continuing on my quest to learn more about gratitude. I want my life to be led by gratitude especially gratitude to God.

How to Make a Journal of Your Life by D. Price. This sounds fun. These 2 books also sound fun: Making Journals by Hand: 20 Creative Projects for Keeping Your Thoughts and How to Be an Explorer of the World.

What do my choices reveal about me?

  • I’m interested in improving my ministry and work.
  • I want to keep tabs on the culture around me.
  • Prayer and gratitude are still very important to me and still need more work and attention in my life.
  • I want to have fun.

Your Turn

  • What are you reading and why?
  • What does your choice reveal about you?
  • What book(s) do you recommend?

Related Posts

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November 10 – Photo of the Day = Gratitude

mirror pictures 006Who are am I? When I look in the mirror am I really seeing me? Or some glorified or demonized version of myself? One way I can accurately see myself is through my relationships.

“The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs and simultaneously we are mirrors reflecting their beliefs” (Shakti Gawain). “The people with whom you interact show you who you are and ultimately provide you with an opportunity to love yourself” (Dr. John Demartini).

Have you heard that the frustrations we experience with others are really frustrations we have with ourselves? I.e. If I am upset with my mom because (imho) she is a know-it-all , maybe one reason I am upset with her is because I do the same thing. (True story.) Dr. Demartini takes this idea one step further. “There is truth in the statement that what we dislike in others, we haven’t learned to love in ourselves.” Ouch.

“At times it can be difficult to see that we have the qualities and talents we admire in other people. But it can be even more of a challenge to accept that we also possess the traits we don’t like in others” (Dr. John Demartini). Today I will look at the mirror and discover who I am, good and bad. And I will make changes according to this information.

This gratitude thinking is helping me to see that I’d like to make some changes. I’d like to exhibit more patience, goodness and self-control. I want to show the kind of love that looks for more opportunities to give of my time, talent and money. (See “Everyone Can Help One Child,” said Twila Paris.) I echo the words of Michael Jackson in his song Man in the Mirror .

I’m grateful for change, the kind that I can make and for which I am responsible. All this gratitude thinking is helping me see that I really do HAVE lots to acknowledge. And making some godly changes is an appropriate response.

Finally, I’m grateful that making changes is not something I do on my own. In fact, God has custom designed a plan for my life. And He has given me His Holy Spirit so I can change in order to fulfill those plans. “God planned for us to do good things and to live as He has always wanted us to live. That’s why He sent Christ to make us what we are.”

Previous Photos

Other Related Posts:

P.S. Ann Tatum is hosting 30 Days of Thanksgiving. She encourages us to daily share our gratitude. Click here and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post and click on Mister Linky. Then you’ll be able  to read other participants on this thankful journey.

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My Prayer 4 Today

1086092_song_book_4“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian,

but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.” By Elisabeth Elliot

This is my prayer for today.

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4 Things I Didn’t Know About Blended Families

A blended family . . .

  • Is not a cohesive group.
  • Is combustive, exhaustive and difficult.
  • The husband and wife don’t cease to be single parents.
  • Takes a lot of prayer, humility, desire and perseverance to make it work.

Is this true?

Surely not. Surely blended families aren’t that much different than same parent families. Surely this isn’t the norm! I heard the above from the video in today’s DivorceCare class. I’ve also heard this from friends who are in blended marriages.

832421_beach_silhouettes_1I have been ignorant about the dynamics of blended families. I have given poor counsel. Lord, help me to be a more faithful pray-er for those in such situations.

Please, take a moment right now and pray as well.

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If Google Doesn’t Have God’s Phone Number, Try This One

Lori called to ask me an important question from her young daughter.

“What is Jesus’ phone number?”

My young friend was not satisfied with the answer that prayer is how we can get His attention.

Dutch artist Johan van der Dong has an idea my friend would like better. Mr. van der Dong set up a cell phone for God. People call and leave God a phone message  – at least until September 2009. Then it’s back to our usual ways of connecting with God.

This exhibit is not a joke or meant to demean a person’s desire to talk to God. Susanna Groot, the exhibition spokewoman, says, “In earlier times you would go to a church to say a prayer and now [this is an] opportunity to just make a phone call and say your prayer in a modern way.”

What are some ways that you talk to God?

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Time to Pray Away Love

747366_brokenLetting go of my broken marriage is hard for me to do. It’s been years and I still feel connected to my ex.

Albert: Honestly, I never knew I could feel like this. I’m going out of my mind. I want to throw myself off every building in New York. I see a cab and I want to dive in front of it because that way I’ll stop thinking about her.
Hitch: You will. Just give it time.
Albert: That’s just it. I don’t want to. I’ve waited my whole life to feel this miserable. If this is the only way I can stay connected with her, then this is who I have to be.

I can relate to Albert (a scene from the movie Hitch). Although by now, my passion is not self-destructive nor are the thoughts so constantly invasive.  In fact, I can go days and weeks without thinking about my ex.

But currently I am going through a Divorce Care group. . . . because I don’t believe that time heals inner wounds. Purposeful grieving does. So right now memories are being dredged. Emotions exposed. Thoughts are chaotic. Tears frequent. Grief is a close friend. I’m listening.

The other day while visiting with a friend, I heard God speak through her. “It’s time to let it go.”

Sigh. It’s time to let it go. But I can’t do this on my own. I need to pray away the (marital) love I have for him. I’d like God to unbreak my heart I’ll pray for you too.

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What’s Missing in Women’s Minstry?

Last week I spent an hour with a woman from my church talking about women’s ministry. . .

  • What’s missing
  • What could be added
  • How to better help women find community with each other

Today I took a survey about women’s ministry.

940936_missing1Both interactions gave more focus to what I’ve been pondering in my own confused mind and heart. How can we (the women’s ministry team) better minister to the women in our sphere of influence?

What’s missing in women’s ministry today?

Ladies, how can we offer relevant, nurturing events so that women can mature spiritually, emotionally and relationally? What needs to happen so that women can meet up with and stay connected to our glorious Lord and Saviour who so freely gives us His salvation, grace and power?

Your responses, please.

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Dozen Ideas to Move Past the Blah’s

420296_depressionSometimes the weather, hormonal cycles, or life events cause me to feel BLAHHHHH. You, too? So at this point, I NEED to practice some self-care before the blahs turn into depression!

Here are a dozen ideas to combat those blahs.  Be sure to leave your suggestions.

  1. Fingerpaint
  2. Go on a photo shoot of newly emerging flowers
  3. Buy yourself one See’s candy
  4. Rent a Redbox movie and enjoy it with a cup of tea/coffee and a plate of appetizers
  5. Journal
  6. Take a bubblebath
  7. Write a devotional about something you are learning
  8. Sing along with a record/CD/8 track
  9. Have a prayer fest with your Bible, notebook, pen and a yummy smelling candle
  10. Go to a bookstore and browse through a genre that is new to you
  11. Visit someone who adores you
  12. Snuggle with a sweet smelling baby
Your Turn . . . What would you add to this list that helps you defeat the blahs?

Related Post . . .  9 Environmental Tips to Help Lift Depression

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2 Ways I Fed My Creative Side & What I Learned

good_earthscarf4In January 2009 I satisfied my creative needs in two ways. First, I knitted a sage green scarf. I love the length, warmth and color. I still need to thread in loose yarn. Then it’ll get packaged up and sent away to a dear friend as a thank you. I’d better hurry before the weather turns nice.

Second, my daughter and I read to each other. We read “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck. I borrowed the book from a Starbuck’s  near my home (Olson Drive) that has a lending library.

The book revolves around 3 themes as experienced by Wang Lung. I understand this is a good portrayal of what life was like in China in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. Life’s harsh realities and fortunes reinforce Wang Lungs beliefs in the 3 themes of The Land,  god and women.

Women were simply tools, a way to get what was important in life: material things, survival or release of sexual urges. O-lan, Wang Lung’s first wife, was never cherished for who she was. Her devotion and hard work were taken for granted. O-lan’s lack of physical grace, desirability and beauty fostered rejection from her husband. Sadly she died without ever knowing marital love.

The gods were portrayed as fickle, weak, malevolent, unknowable, spirits who did not love people or even act in the best interests of the people.  Fear, anger and despair motivated people to worship the gods.   

Wang Lung worshipped The Land because it was . . .

  • trustworthy
  • the sustainer of life
  • a source of dreams, a hopeful future, peace and comfort
  • honest – it  built personal character
  • THE way that a family stayed strong, united and powerful.

The Land was Wang Lung’s god.

The above 5 bullet points describe what I think about God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The place He has in my life. But honestly, sometimes I do put other nouns, gods, idols,  in the place of God to get me through life. I’ve given idols like food, pride, unbelief, and despair my attention and let them dictate my actions.

One way for me to stay focused on the One True God is to pray with intention. Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds is a tool I’ve used to get what’s important in life: a single-minded focus on living life God’s way. I want to live with God’s all-consuming passion wildly directing my time, energy and resources. I don’t want to merely go through The Motions (on youtube by Matthew West).

Hey, Lorna?!  Let’s  follow-up on our commitment to re-read and re-pray the Scriptures from this book. What’s your week looking like?

I need the accountability of a friend to help me succeed in my One Life to Love (on youtube by 33 Miles).

I need the help of God to live well. Lord, Give Me Your Eyes (on youtube by Brandon Heath) so I can really love people the way You love them.

Now it’s your turn.

  1. How did you feed your creative side in January?
  2. What’s a book you’ve read that made you think?
  3. What/who do you worship?
  4. What place does God have in your life?
  5. Who is your accountability partner(s)?

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13 Things to Pray

  1. I’m starting a new quarter in seminary. I need prayers for organization & diligence; a quick, retentive mind; and applicability of what I learn.
  2. I have 4 more quarters until graduation. Pray that happens in May 2009.
  3. Regarding that, please pray for funds, strength, perseverance and all of #1.
  4. Pray that my classes aren’t just classes. I want to find God’s will & heart in each class. I want to be captured & motivated by these qualities.
  5. The next M&M Saturday is April 19th at 9 am. It will be on prayer. Please ask God to show Himself REAL to each woman who shows up. . . . That each woman will be encouraged, enthused and enlightened by this one hour of time together. . . . John Wesley said that “Prayer is truly the most useful of all pastimes.” Pray that I experience the truth of that statement. And that the women do too.
  6. We have two pregnant women at church. Please pray for health and safe pregnancy/delivery for mom and baby. . . . That the transition will be smooth for all concerned. . . . That God will meet all the needs spoken and unspoken. . . . That the babies will come to know Christ at an early age and walk in a close love-relationship with out Saviour. . . That the church body will thoughtfully, consistently and lovingly gather around these women and their families to meet their needs and even some of their wants. . . . Please ask God to bless them and the blessings they carry in a very tangible way.
  7. Retreat is happening June 4-6. Pray that all the details will be taken care of easily, well, and thoroughly in FUN. . . . Pray for the speaker and worship team. . . . Pray that the hearts of the attendees are already being prepared by God to hear from Him. . . . That friendships will be deepened or made.
  8. About 6 Bible studies are happening at church. Please pray that the leaders put in the time to prepare for the class. . . . That the attendees prepare as well. . . . That the Word of God impacts thoughts & actions. . . . That relationships will be deepened with each other & with God.
  9. Pastor Mike is preaching on “God’s remedy for Financial Worries.Pray that the Word of God is mightier than our fear, habits, and strongholds. . . . That we live in the strength, joy, power & generosity of the Holy Spirit. . . . That this series impacts us so much that our watching family, friends and co-workers notice a difference. . . . That they want to have a new relationship with Christ.
  10. Our youth pastor and his support staff are awesome. Please pray that God continues to give them all strength, unity, discernment, passion, and an ongoing and pure relationship with Him.
  11. Women’s Ministry needs your prayer. Pray that we do God’s will as individuals and as a team. . . . That God continues to give each of us strength, unity, discernment, passion, and an ongoing and pure relationship with Him.
  12. Please pray for my ex. His birthday is on the 12th and he has been on my mind a lot this past week. . . . Pray that God’s blessings saturate his mind, soul, heart and body. . . . That healing, peace, joy and provision find and meet his needs. . . . That relationship reconciliation is a deep yearning for him that takes place soon. . . . That God is a Friend as well as Master; Lover and King; Brother and Saviour.
  13. Pray that I am diligent with my 40 days of prayer. . . That I discern God’s voice in the matters I am praying about. . . . That I am humble and mature enough to follow His will.

Now, how may I pray for you? You can leave a request here, on my home phone or email.

It is a great truth that Our God hears and answers prayer. I am grateful that He alwyas answers according to our best and His glory.

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Procrastination Needs Prayer

 Does an over-abundance of things on your to-do list overwhelm you? Cause you to procrastinate?

It does me!

This is a busy weekend for me. And I don’t want to procrastinate. I want to eliminate the items on my list.

Please pray that I overlook the overwhelm.  I forget (too often) that God can help me master this problem 

How can I pray for you?

I’d be thrilled if the following was completed this weekend . . . .  


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I Wonder, Do You Know Him?

Recently a friend and I were talking about Jesus.

  • Did we know Him? Really know Him?
  • What difference would it make if we really knew Him?

Dr. Lockridge knew Him.

“Dr. Lockridge, a retired Baptist pastor was spotted in the audience at the beginning of a Baptist convention. The organiser of the convention asked him to come up to the stage, and open up in prayer. What followed was [this] stunning description of what God means to Dr. Lockridge.” (Found at Ignite.)

Some say the resulting prayer was almost 7 minutes long.What a prayer life Dr. Lockridge had because he knew more than who Jesus was. He knew Jesus.

Listen to this youtube rendition of the prayer.

Today, I was most encouraged by these descriptors . . .

  • Well, my King is a King of knowledge.
  • He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
  • He’s the pathway of peace.
  • He’s the captain of the conquerors.
  • He’s the leader of the legislatures.
  • He’s the overseer of the overcomers.
  • He’s the governor of governors.
  • He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.

Listening and pondering such words helps me focus on my growing knowledge about and relationship with Christ.

In this time of political uncertainty and too many choices,I want and need to know the God of knowledge, wisdom and peace. I yearn to follow and to be led by the captain of the conquerors, the leader of the legislatures, the overseer of the overcomers, and the Lord of lords.

What encourages you from this prayer? What do you want/need to know about Jesus? Please share as I’d love to pray for you.

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