Category: prayer

You CAN Survive! And have God’s Peace

I was reading a short article from DaySpring today titled 6 Ways to Find God’s Peace in Difficult Situations. (link at the bottom) Along with myself, so many of my friends and loved ones are living with some kind of difficult situation right now…How about you?

pexels-inzmam-khan-1134204Is there some physical illness or condition you are living with? 

lady-g97a8d38b3_640Has there been emotional turmoil in thinking about your present situation? Your future?

Do you have any relationship issues with a friend, family member, or someone you work or minister with?

Have you been in a spiritual desert?

As I read, I had a bit of a different take, but found some very encouraging take-aways:

1 – Define PEACE – What does peace mean to you? I define it as Possessing Equilibrium Amid Chaotic Events. Not just the absence of war or stress. But feeling a balance in my spirit even when all else around me is in turmoil, whether in circumstances, in relationships, or just in my spirit.

2 – TRUTH – Remember that God is with you!  And has a good plan for you!  Don’t go to the “worst case scenario” or entertain your fears. See the truth of the situation before you, asking God for His perspective if you can’t see it yourself.

3 – SURRENDER CONTROL to GOD – Stop thinking there is something you can or should do to be in control. Even if you think you see something to do, and do it…your sense of control is not real. God is in control. Let Him do the driving!

4 – Read, Recite, Recall SCRIPTURE – Maybe even keep a list or journal of scriptures that become meaningful to you on your journey through marriage, parenting, grand-parenting, caring for others, or dealing with difficulties.

5 – Worship with MUSIC – Listen to it, sing it, recite the words, write it – let the music lift your heart and refocus it on God.

6 – CREATION  – Take walks or just sit somewhere you can see or feel and experience God’s Creation. Delight yourself that He created all this to be the perfect world for you! And again, let it refocus your heart on God, your Creator.

bible-ga71615e85_640Philippians 4: 6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I am so relieved to KNOW that I CAN SURVIVE my circumstances – and so can you!  WE ARE ABLE to have God’s peace in the midst of it all – any and every uncomfortable, humbling, frustrating, disappointing, demanding pressure! Knowing He will show me how to balance my life in His truth when I surrender it to Him. That when I turn to scripture, worship, music and His creation instead of worry and trying to control, He will bless me and lead me.

But it is incumbent on me to listen and follow.

So I offer you a challenge:

people-2604834_640Sit with God for 5 minutes each day this week. Read aloud the Philippians 4:6-7 scripture above – or from your favorite translation.

Tell God about the situation or difficulty and surrender your anxiousness to God. 

underground-885206_640 (2)Pray, asking, requesting that He act on your behalf. Surrender whatever control you think you have, placing the outcome of the situation or difficulty in His strong and capable hands.

Thank Him for listening to you. For taking your anxiousness away. And for acting on your behalf. 

clef-593912_1920And then take another 10 minutes and choose worship music or His creation to refocus your heart on God.

clouds-872143_1920If you can – take a walk or sit outside or inside and look at, take in His creation. Or instead, sing or play, listen to or write a brand new melody to worship the Lord!

 

jaque-handsraisedI am praying that God will speak clearly to you. That this week you will sense God’s presence with you in real and tangible ways. That you will see that God has already prepared you to meet whatever challenge you are facing.  That you will receive that peace that God offers when you focus on Him. And that you will be empowered by a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. God bless you!

Link to Dayspring article 

Time to Plant!

garden1It’s FINALLY that time of year where we can begin to think about planting in Colorado. We may still have freezes for a couple more weeks  – and hail is always a possibility in the Spring here. And the growing season is pretty short – we may be getting snow again by early September…

So, when looking at packets of seeds, it’s a challenge to find things that fit the dynamics of my yard.

The instructions said some do best in full sun, some in partial and some only thrive in shade.  Also, some germinate in 6-10 days while some take 20-30 days before peeking their tiny green shoots above ground.  Some can be planted a half inch apart, and some need more room to grow. 

I decided that this year my garden would do best if I follow the suggestions I got back in Sunday School so many years ago:

praying-hands-on-biblethree rows of peas
. . . Preparedness
. . . Perseverance
. . . Prayer

three rows of squash
. . . Squash gossip
. . . Squash criticism
. . . Squash grumbling

thanks tablethree rows of lettuce
. . . Let us be faithful
. . . Let us be thankful
. . . Let us love one another

and no garden is complete without turnips
. . . Turn up for church
. . . Turn up with a smile
. . . Turn up ready to serve

You reap what you sow, so sow acts of kindness, encouraging words, supportive attitudes.  And recognize that:

hugging1When you smile at someone, you are planting kindness and acceptance. 

When you play with them, you are cultivating fun and joy. 

When you give them a hug, you are fertilizing with love and security. 

hugging2When you help a friend or child learn a task, you are growing patience and success into their future.  

When you give them encouragement, you are growing confidence. 

When you share, you are seeding goodness and selflessness. 

hands-2168901_640When you pray with someone, or let them see you pray, you are sowing faithful fellowship with God. 

 

Be intentional about what you plant.

Everything you do is a seed of some kind. 

Choose one thing to sow into someone’s life today!

 

I Love March!

calendarMarch

I love the month of March!  It feels like the year is finally beginning.

 

bloom-blooming-blossom-355663The seasons change and it feels like the world is waking up again…more sunlight, warmer temperatures, and spring flowers begin to show filling dead looking spaces with beautiful colors and aromas.

 

choir-306900_640I remember songs from growing up in Military Chapel services like: Lead On O King Eternal the day of march has come, March On O Soul with Strength, and Onward Christian Soldiers, to name a few. Scripture tells us that spring was the time that men went out to war. And so many of these songs have the word “march” in them, that I associated them with the month of March. 

 

March on O soul with strength, as strong the battle rolls! ‘Gainst lies and lusts and wrongs, let courage rule our soul

Lead on O King eternal, the day of march has come…we follow not with fears…till sins fierce war shall cease

Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war…like a mighty army moves the church of God…hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross…put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer

We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion

warfarehelmetsI know the lyrics weren’t necessarily referring to the month of March, but every March I’m reminded of them. And it births in me a strong desire to be adequately armed for spiritual battle.

It reminds me that the enemy of our soul is on the move and ready with an attack, and I need to be vigilant in praying for my loved ones. And in praising God that He protects and directs, that He guards and guides, He helps and heals.

winner-4912049_640I am reminded that He dwells in the midst of our praise. So I give Him praise! No matter what circumstances, or trial or sorrow I may face, God will be with me and is in control.

And in the victories, it is His power that allows me to rejoice.

March is coming to an end, but as you see the signs of spring where you are; the snow melting,  the flowers blooming, the trees budding, the birds returning, let it be a reminder to you to armor up! And join in, for the Battle Belongs to the Lord!

A Song for you…

How many of us are going through a hard time right now? Or know someone who is??

Personally, I’m in a challenging place right now with my health. And I have several friends who have lost a loved one recently, others are in a hard place financially, or have put much of their life on hold since the pandemic. And loved ones who have wandered away from the Lord and just need some direction and hope in their life.

A friend sent me this song from youtube. It’s actually a prayer. And the words reflect what I want to say/pray for so many friends.

So I’m sharing it with you. Thank you to Jeff Pardo, Ethan Hulse, David Andrew Spencer and Katy Nichole for these amazing words. For so many, I pray for their healing, and for their circumstances to change, for fear to be released, for miracles and a breakthrough. And for some, I just speak the name of Jesus over them, because it’s the best thing I can do for them.

These words come from my heart too and go out as a prayer as I sing along.

And the music! Is so powerful and moving.

Thank you to the person who put together this version of the video, as the photos are also powerful.

I pray it will touch you  too, and give words to your prayers for those you love in your life too.

And thank you Patricia for sending it my way 🙂

Songs in the Night

Where is God my maker, who gives songs in the night (Job 35:10)

moon starsHave you ever been in the dark? Literally? Figuratively?

Not a fun place to be. I believe God created us to want the light, to seek the light. So even in the night time, He gave us the moon and stars to light our way. Even a little bit of light draws our attention and dispels darkness.

jesus-g46521aded_640I believe that He IS the Light that can guide us in the “dark” times of our lives. Those times of  disappointment, doubt, and discouragement, we don’t need to despair because God is with us and can teach us lessons in the dark. Even give us a song!

In the 1800s, William Taylor was a missionary for decades, traveling around the world; preaching and writing books. In a letter to a suffering friend he wrote: “The strength of the vessel can be demonstrated only by the hurricane, and the power of the Gospel can be fully shown only when the Christian is subjected to some fiery trial. If God would make manifest the fact that ‘He giveth songs in the night’ He must first make it night.”

guy guitarI have been in such fiery trials that I consider dark times. It’s easy to sit down and have a pity party. But when I have turned my attention to the Lord, He has responded by giving me songs. And hope.

I pray that whatever darkness you’re facing, you will call out to God and receive His comfort. That you will recall His faithfulness to you in the past. And be encouraged that He has a plan and purpose for you.

guy listening

May your eyes be open to His Light.

And your ears be attuned to the sweet song He sings to you.

Here is a song He gave to me at one of those times:

clef-g79de2a29a_640He Gives Strength

All was dark and dreary I could not see the light

            Sadness all around me, nothin’ was goin’ right

I picked up a Bible and tried to hold it near

            There I found a message I really needed to hear

Chorus

He gives strength to the weary and increases their power

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

He gives strength to the weary

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

I began to take those words He said to me to heart

Started feeling hope from God, He had done His part

I thought what I’d been feeling was hidden from the Lord

            But He knows every part of me and I have His Word, that

Chorus

He gives strength to the weary and increases their power

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

He gives strength to the weary

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

The Bible has a promise for those who hope in the Lord:

            He will renew your strength and help you learn to soar

You will soar like eagles and run but not grow tired

That is God’s own promise, He will lift you higher

Chorus

He gives strength to the weary and increases their power

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

He gives strength to the weary

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

“Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

Isaiah 40:29-31; 41:10

©1989 Laura Fail Shaffer