Friday, January 25, 2008

Pray anyway......

I have had this thought lately that I read about prayer, talk about prayer, even write about prayer....but when it comes right down to it....I don't actually pray a lot. Oh sure, little sentence prayers as something comes up or I say someone will be in my prayers, but a REAL conversation like I'd have with a friend? It's been awhile.

I have come to the conclusion that I'm afraid that if I have a REAL conversation I'm going to find out things about myself that I really don't want to deal with. I've already come across these feelings when I read the Bible and there will be a verse or section that I really need to hear at that particular time. How many times has God been trying to get my attention for me to spend some time talking to him about my problems instead of talking about my problems? Then there is always the fear that I'll get what I ask for, what I think I want, and I'll find out it is not what I thought it would be.

So, I'm doing some research. Being afraid to talk to God is nothing new. It's mentioned in

Genesis 3:9-10 (New International Version)
9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

Daniel was afraid when his prayers were answered by an angel. I like the rest of this verse...set your mind to gain understanding and humble yourself. Maybe that's the part I need to work on!

Daniel 10:12 (NIV)
12 Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
From my favorite spiritual armor verses:
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
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 saints.

God loves me so what am I afraid of? Anything He shows me will end up being for my own good. So, no matter what starts to get in the way, I'm going to pray anyway!

Some resources I found:

ACTS, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (praying for others) some good info here

The 5 finger prayer (looks like some other cool info at this site too)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mirror, Mirror.....You won't define me.....

I heard this on the radio this evening. It is the song, Mirror by Barlow Girl. The whole theme is what I've been thinking that we as women buy into the world's view of what women "should" be. The line that caught my attention was: "I'm finding it's not easy to be perfect"

There are still days where I have to remind myself that it is OK to not be a perfectionist. It's good to relax and enjoy time with my kids or just finish a job and know it's done!

I have some other thoughts rumbling around up in my head, but for now, I think we all could use a little anti-mirror...and I have some jobs to finish. I couldn't decide which version I liked better. They are both good, so I put them both here for your viewing pleasure.

As Stuart Smalley used to say on Saturday Night Live, I will not should all over myself....and that's OK...... ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

She's got personality......

Did you ever wonder how someone describes you when you're not around? Did you ever pay attention to how you answer when you are asked to describe someone? Why does it always seem like such a negative if a blind date is described as having a nice personality?

People have a conversation, one doesn't recognize the name so the other goes on to describe how that person looks and will probably say, "you'd know him/her if you saw him/her". I suppose it's a given that you need to describe how a person looks as that is how someone will recognize the person mentioned. However, there is a difference between recognition and truly knowing someone.

Taken to the extreme, as in television or movies, looks are such an unfair way to describe someone. It doesn't tell the person anything about their qualities. Once you get to start really knowing someone you want to know ABOUT them.

TV, movies and beauty pageants (oops, I mean scholarship opportunities, smile) set such an unfair standard. We can feel so self conscious about how we look, we forget all the wonderful inner qualities God has given us. Things people will never see if they don't take the time to get to know us. When we give compliments, it is often about how a person looks that particular day or a haircut or new outfit. All things that are based on outward appearance.

1 Samuel 16:7 (New Living Translation)
The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I challenge us to look beyond looks and find something that you really like about a person and LET THEM KNOW. It may mean more than you realize. Who knows? You may find a friend that at first glance may not have been someone you would take the time to see their heart and soul.

When it comes to people we know, quality is better than quantity! AND take it as a compliment if someone says you have a nice personality! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Luke 2 : 45-47 (New International Version)
45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When Jesus was a boy, he stayed in the temple when his parents moved on. It took them 3 days to find him. He was asking questions and answering questions with an understanding that was well beyond his physical years. They were amazed.

Do you ever question why something happens? Why it happened now? Why? Why?, etc. and many times it does not seem like we get a good answer. Is it OK to feel unsure and want an answer even if it means questioning God?

I wrote this awhile ago when I was in one of those moods. It seems a little intimidating to question God. Maybe we need to remember from our school days...there's no such thing as a dumb question. For some reason, I felt like I was supposed to post this now. If it's for you, know that God is OK with the questions and you may not get the answer you want right now, but He'll listen and answer in a way you might not expect. Sometimes we look....but we don't see.

Why do I question?
Why do I doubt?
Why do I feel I need
to figure it all out?

You said I could question
You said I could ask
You said that you are up for the task

I don’t have to do it all on my own.
You made a promise
I’m never alone.

Help me not let my feelings rule
Know that you’re loving
Not far away or cruel

Search for answers inside the Book
You’re always around
I need to see when I look


Thinking of you and hugs too!

PS I can't even count the number of times that surrender came up today! On talk radio, in songs, in conversations with other people. Must be the word for 2008!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Be More Informed - A goal

A goal for this year is to be more informed AND more organized AND procrastinate less. OK, I guess I mean goalS. So far, not so good. Today is the day to vote in the primary and I'm realizing I don't know much about anybody running. So in an effort to quickly educate myself, I ran across some of the following and thought I'd share.

Just in case you need to be more informed also:
(PLEASE NOTE: I have not thoroughly checked these out, so come to your own conclusions),1607,7-127-1633_8716_47645---,00.html (Information on Michigan primary from Secretary of State office) (supposed to be unbiased) (the show me the donuts one is very timely)


Proverbs 16 : 32-33 (The Message)
Moderation is better than muscle, self-control better than political power. Make your motions and cast your votes, but God has the final say

Tuesday, January 15 is the primary for Michigan. I don't even pretend to understand how the whole system works. However, I know women fought the battle for many years for the right to vote. There are countries where women are probably STILL not allowed to vote. I also know that our choice of a President is an important decision that will influence our world as we tread through dark times.

When you read to the end of Revelation (I LOVE the name of that book), you come to realize that the world will become much darker before it gets better. Thankfully, if you believe in Jesus and accept Him as your one and only Savior, we win!

I have truly struggled with knowing that the world is heading in the wrong direction. I struggle with thinking that what one person does will actually make a difference at this point....almost to the point of I don't do anything. However, that is just where the devil wants Christians. Feeling weak and helpless and that nothing I do will make a change for the better.

Jesus was one person. The effect He had on the world still ripples through history. He made a difference where He was.

Today, find one thing that you can do to make the world a brighter place. No one may notice, but that's not the point. It will make a difference in YOU!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

God With Us - Mercy Me

I've heard this a few times on the radio. Ties right in with the Immanuel post before Christmas so I thought I'd share.

3 powerful little words: God with us.

We do not travel this way on our own even when our emotions try and tell us nobody else has gone through this or you're on your own. NOTHING is beyond the reach of God. Ask him to prove it. He will.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Listen Up!

Last night, I went to bed grumpy and early. Both kind of unusual. Did you ever get the feeling God wants you to figure something out? I have been focusing on how I want things to turn out in some situations we're dealing with. I think God's been trying to get my attention to remind me that He's got it covered.....but it may not be the answer or timeline I want or expect. I'm still working on surrender.

I read a devotional before I went to bed about "What's right with this picture?" instead of focusing on the negative. Example, the daughter got in a car accident. The "what's right": it wasn't her fault and she learned to be a more careful, watchful driver.

A favorite line from Apollo 13 movie is: "What do we have on the spacecraft that's good?" as everything is going wrong. I know I need to look for the positive and listen and watch for the good things going on.

This morning my radio alarm went off with a song by Third Day with the chorus: "There's a light at the end of this tunnel for you". Yeah, right I thought as I turned it off after a few seconds. My response used to be: yup, a train! Still grumpy....AND not a morning person....AND not listening.

Shortly after, I heard the song "Hold Me Jesus" by Rich Mullins. The version I heard had kids singing softly in the background during part of it "I surrender all, I surrender all". I found the following video of it. The words were right on for the way things have been going.

I started getting the hint that God wants it all.....the good, the bad and the ugly. I have an OK time overall with the good. I struggle with taking His word for it that he wants the messy too.

Many times I forget that I want God to make it obvious that it's Him working things out. I forget, He doesn't work that way usually.

1 Kings 19:11-13 (NLT)
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

SURRENDER = to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand; to give (oneself) up into the power of another; AND MY personal favorite....implies a giving up after a struggle to retain or resist

I'm beginning to realize maybe it's not such a small voice after all once I start to tune in to WGOD and listen! ;)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Snowflakes - God's breath - Make your mark

I received an e-mail from imom ( a few days ago. It mentioned if the kids have seen snowflakes....really, really up close. It referred to a website: about Wilson Bentley. He photographed individual snowflake 1885!

Now, I am NOT a big fan of snow, but looking at the images of individual snowflakes....WOW! I am amazed that there is such intricate design. In over 5,000 photographs, he never found 2 alike. I kind of always thought that was just a saying, no 2 snowflakes are alike.

If God takes such care and creativity with snowflakes that are only here for a little while and even less when we head indoors and they melt away forever, how much does He have planned for us?

We are like snowflakes too. Each individual with our own unique perspective on life, each here for a reason and purpose in this time in this place because God designed us to be the one right here right now. Even twins can look similar, but their personalities distinguish them as individuals.

I knew there was a passage in Job where God questions Job if he has ever been to the storehouses of snow. I read back over that in NIV and then found this in The Message version.

Job 37 1-13 (The Message) "Whenever this happens, my heart stops— I'm stunned, I can't catch my breath. Listen to it! Listen to his thunder, the rolling, rumbling thunder of his voice. He lets loose his lightnings from horizon to horizon, lighting up the earth from pole to pole. In their wake, the thunder echoes his voice, powerful and majestic. He lets out all the stops, he holds nothing back. No one can mistake that voice—His word thundering so wondrously, his mighty acts staggering our understanding. He orders the snow, 'Blanket the earth!' and the rain, 'Soak the whole countryside! 'No one can escape the weather—it's there. And no one can escape from God. Wild animals take shelter, crawling into their dens, When blizzards roar out of the north and freezing rain crusts the land. It's God's breath that forms the ice, it's God's breath that turns lakes and rivers solid. And yes, it's God who fills clouds with rainwater and hurls lightning from them every which way. He puts them through their paces—first this way, then that—commands them to do what he says all over the world. Whether for discipline or grace or extravagant love, he makes sure they make their mark.

When snowflakes are blown about, they can seem pretty scary. As they settle on the ground, and the sun glints off them, they look like diamonds. THEN we see the flakes as a problem, needing to get the shovel or snow blower.

Our problems can be like that. When looked at as a whole, kind of overwhelming. Sometimes we need to make our way through the problem before we can sit back and see the individual twists and turns that we have grown through. AND if they get too bad, we have a pretty good snow blower that can help us make a path through it all and get to the other side where we have the ability to help somebody else.

May we feel God's breath helping us to make our mark.