Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Still True Today

Last week I mentioned the sermon series my church is currently doing - about prayer.
And I have to bring it up again.
Because, as usual, God spoke to my heart while I sat and listened Sunday morning.
This time, the sermon focused on, Give us today our daily bread, and I was reminded that God is a good God who loves to provide for His children exactly what they need.

I was also reminded of a time God used an unusual avenue to teach me this lesson several years ago. So I dug through the archives and watched it again. And I still believe it's True.
Praying these words will be a blessing to you today!


Friday, October 27, 2017

This Really Shouldn't Happen

A couple of weeks ago I was driving home from a speaking event, and I stopped into a fast food restaurant to get a sandwich and drink. *read that: CAFFEINE*
The young lady who took my order gave me a cup to get my drink caffeine, and then informed me - in a bit of a timid voice - that the rest of my order was going to take a few minutes. I smiled at her and said that wasn't going to be the end of the world for me, and I could wait.
So, I got my caffeine and went over to a table by the window to sit in the sun and wait.
I don't remember if it was a text that came in as I sat there, or something else which made me think of a particular person, but I do remember sitting in the warmth of the sunshine, sipping my caffeine, and praying. And it was a delightful time, really. Yes, sitting with the Son and praying. And in a moment which seemed to come too soon, that young lady called my name to indicate my order was ready. So I left my cozy perch and walked up to the counter, at which time she asked me, "Can I get you a complimentary small fry, or small frosty to make up for your wait?"
And I'm thinking, To make up for my wait? Really? I just enjoyed a few minutes sitting in the sunshine, praying for people I love. I'd hardly call that something which requires "making up". But I simply said, "No, thank you. That really isn't necessary."
However, her manager was standing there - working quickly to fill orders - and he looked up and said, "I insist. Most people aren't as nice as you were when their order is delayed. I'd like to thank you."
So I'm thinking, Well, it is chocolate. And if you INSIST... Thus, I asked if he could make me a small frosty without the calories. *wink*
And as I walked out to my car, hands and heart full, I contemplated what had just transpired and I thought, This really shouldn't happen. I don't know what type of behavior that manager is accustomed to handling, but it just doesn't seem right to me that kindness needs to be rewarded with free stuff. I mean, sure, I enjoyed my treat - but I was bothered by the notion that my kindness was so out of the ordinary.

And it's making me think we need to do better as a people.

Whether it's at a fast food shop, the grocery store, the post office, or interacting with a telemarketer or door-to-door salesperson, can we all just be nice? Even if we're a bit inconvenienced? Because the person on the other side is just that - a person - and they need grace, too.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Famous Son

So, I've written before about Josh's Youtube channel, right?
He loves fishing - and especially making videos of his trips to post on his channel. But something new happened the last time he went out: A couple of young fishermen who were out on the same river saw Josh and recognized him from his videos. They called out to him and came over to where he was so they could get a picture. Although he tried to play it off when he told me about it, I think Josh was quite happy to have been seen and recognized by these kids. And it looks like the feeling was mutual. *smile*
Wanna see for yourself?


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

HE Was Onto Something

The current sermon series at my church is called, "When You Pray" and it is - obviously - on prayer.
Specifically, we're going through the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.
This past Sunday we looked at verse 10, which instructs us to pray for God's kingdom to come and for His will to be done. And, the question which had to rise from that sermon was, How often do I pray for my kingdom and my will to be done, rather than praying for HIS???

Mmmmm. Conviction, anyone?

So, our small group had our work cut out for us when we got together Sunday evening to discuss and digest the day's message. That is, processing through the invitation to discover how we can move from focusing on our desires to truly embracing God's will.
And the most beautiful thing happened.
God opened our eyes.
To Truth which has been there all the time.
That is, when we pray - if we want to align our heart with our Father's - we need to pray like Jesus taught us to pray. Beginning with acknowledgement that God is our Abba - our loving Father who knows what is best, and with praise - Hallowed be Your Name!
Because, let's think about this logically for just a minute. If we enter into a time of prayer understanding that God is a good Father, who has good plans and unfailing love for us; if we spend time praising Him for who He is - for His wisdom and power and holiness and sovereignty and might and grace and mercy and love and trustworthiness - if we do all that before we say another word, which one of us in our right mind is then going to pray, "Now, can we do things MY way???"

Do you see it?
Jesus knew what HE was doing when HE taught His disciples to pray.
HE knows our propensity to want control, to want to know what's coming and what to expect, to want our own way because we think we know what's best. And I believe Jesus was on a mission when HE taught His disciples to pray.
That is, I believe HE knew we need to prepare our hearts to surrender to our Father's heart. We need to know to Whom it is that we are praying. Because when we do - we will be ready to seek His kingdom, to trust Him for our needs, to confess our sin, to rely on Him to protect us.
When we know that our good, good heavenly Father - who is holy and righteous and everlasting and Almighty GOD - is on His throne desiring to bring His kingdom and His will upon us, oh! How can we but earnestly seek it?

And so, my friend, may I encourage you in this? When you pray, will you come to God by first confessing and adoring who HE IS? Will you declare His praises and profess your faith in Him?
Because I really believe Jesus was onto something when HE taught His disciples to pray. And if you follow His lead, I believe HE will lead you into faithful, powerful prayer.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I Can See You with My Eyes Closed

I recently sat at the table, reading my Bible and praying.
And as I was praying - as I sat there in the quiet with my eyes closed - I heard someone coming from the other side of the house. I could tell this person was in the hallway, now turning the corner, passing the dining room table and, yep, now in the kitchen coming toward me. (The sound difference from walking on carpet to the wood floor let me know the traveler's exact location.)
I found myself pausing my prayer briefly as I wondered who was now sharing space with me.
Did he have a question for me?
Did he need me to do something?
Should I open my eyes and engage him in conversation?

But instead of doing anything, I just sat with my eyes closed, and listened. And without saying or hearing a word, I knew exactly who was about to go past me. Because the sound of the wood floor told me the feet were bare, the rapid rate of the footsteps told me the individual was in a bit of a hurry, and the distinct echo of the noise allowed me to picture the person bouncing as he moved about.

From those three clues, I knew the trespasser was Matthew.

In my mind's eye, I could seem him bounding down the hall, through the dining room and into the kitchen where he saw me sitting at the table with my Bible open and my eyes closed. And he probably thought, Oops! Mom's praying. Better be quiet! Which may be why he didn't squeal at Mindy like he usually does. And which may be why as quickly as I heard his footsteps on the wood, they zipped past me and right back out to the dining room and on down the hallway to his room.
The thing is, for as much as I appreciated his consideration - he really didn't need to be so careful. Of course, he didn't know what a joy it was for me to sit there and listen, to pay attention for clues which would reveal to me which one of my offspring was lurking around, and to realize I could see my child without even opening my eyes.
Yeah. It was kind of a tender, intimate moment of knowing my son.
I fully enjoyed it.
And as I returned to prayer, I began by thanking God for blessing my life with that young man.


Monday, October 23, 2017