Category: Uncategorized

P-R-A-Y-E-R Your best Recourse

Sometimes when I pray it’s purely for the purpose of praising God and being thankful:

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for seeing God’s hand at work in my life or the lives of my loved ones

for truth God has revealed to me

for promises He’s made to me

for direction He’s given me

for protection He’s afforded me

for answers to prayers

 

bible-839093_1920And sometimes I pray listening prayers.  I lay out a question or issue and ask for God to reveal His truth and His perspective about it. I may read His Word or listen quietly and write down what I think He is telling me.  Then hold it or the expected results up to credible scripture or another mature Christian for confirmation.

 

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But sometimes when I pray, I am seeking God’s involvement in circumstances or situations where I feel I need His help or have no control over them.

 

 

heart-care-1040250_640Most recently that was concerning my husband’s open-heart surgery.  There were so many details, medical, emotional, spiritual that were overwhelming and out of my control.  As I thought about praying over each part of the procedure, I saw that prayer is my –

 

Personal

Recourse

Always

Yielding

Eternal

Results

Personal – it’s what I can do to impact a situation – whatever that is – in my life, my family, my church, my community, my nation, the world.  I may not be able to personally change circumstances by my own effort, but I can go to Almighty God, Creator of the Universe and the One who is Sovereign and has power over it!

Recourse – it is my remedy, my option or choice – of all the things I could do, prayer is what will have the greatest potential and actual result in the situation, the problem, the relationships and the lives of those I am praying for in ways that will bring God’s purpose and plan to fruition.

Always – God says that He is with us and will never leave us or forsake us.  He hears our prayers and I believe He answers them. He is always there, at all times, in all circumstances.  We cannot do anything that would prevent Him from loving us and acting on our behalf.  We can know that He is there in “all ways” because

His love transcends our unworthiness.

His faithfulness trumps our undeserving state.

Yielding – Sometimes in ways we can see and understand.  But sometimes in ways we do not expect or even realize.  Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes it’s wait – I have something even better for you!  But our prayer can ignite the heart of God to act and to impact whatever situation, person or issue we are praying for.

Eternal – God’s perspective is so much greater than our own.  He sees beyond what we can ask or even imagine.  So we can trust that He will answer our prayers in ways that will benefit us and our loved ones for all eternity.

Results – There is always an answer, a result, something that comes from, that happens because of, our prayers.  Our situation may not seem to change in the immediate, but we can trust that what God has put on our hearts to pray, will be answered in the very best way possible.  Sometimes the result is that we, ourselves, are changed; rather than the circumstances around us.  That can be a more impactful benefit than changing the circumstance the way we thought would be best.

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God’s plan does not always align with the plan I am praying for.  But I can always trust that His plan is the best.  And that His perspective is the greatest, far beyond what I can see in the moment I am praying.

 

With my husband’s surgery, so far, God’s plan IS what we prayed for.  He gets out of the hospital tomorrow!  And things have gone as smoothly as they possibly could, praise God!

Prayer is YOUR best Recourse, and will Always Yield Eternal Results.

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Jericho Lesson 7

Let me encourage you once more to read Joshua 6:1-20.

Joshua_Jericho_1024Ask God to show you what He has for you in this passage. Is there a Jericho, a blessing, a gift He wants you to have? One you feel unable to achieve on your own?

I followed the example God showed me of Joshua’s battle to conquer a Jericho in my own life.  Here is the 7th Lesson He taught me on that 7th day.

Getting up early every morning and walking once around the lake with my fellow Jericho walkers had been fun.  But on this 7th day, it was a real challenge.  Walking seven times around the lake was more than I felt I was up to.

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Half the trail around the lake is in the open and the other half is in the trees next to houses.  Because we started on the open trail side, the end was hidden from view as I came around the last stretch.

 

God had brought me 6 ½ laps and I felt I couldn’t go on.  I was plodding along pretty slowly, exhaustedly placing one foot barely in front of the other.  I looked up, and to my surprise, Edna, one of my Jericho walking friends came around the bend.

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With a big smile on her face, she met me, turned, and matched my gait to walk the last bit with me.  She had already finished her seven laps with the others, but had stayed.  Even though we didn’t speak, her presence made my step lighter and helped me press on.

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God knows when you need help and will send it

 

 

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Trust God to bring what you need

 

When we arrived in the parking lot at last, I gave a loud shout:  Praise God!  Hallelujah!  We laughed and hugged and thanked God.  It felt amazing to finish the walk for my Jericho!

JerichoI don’t know how far it was for the Israelites to walk around the city of Jericho, but they must have been in great shape to have had the energy to “go up and take possession of the city” after the wall fell.  All I wanted to do was rest!  Yet the feeling of victory was undeniable.  I knew in my heart that the wall had fallen.  And it was time to thank God for the victory.

 

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The next day at Bible Study I gave out key chains with little tennis shoes as a reminder of our Jericho Walk.  They call to mind God’s faithfulness in the victories we gained.  And serve as conversation starters to tell others.

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If you are reading this, it is my testimony to the victory God gave me in my obedience to the Jericho walk.  I pray that He will show you exactly how to take hold of the victories He has already won for you and is prepared to deliver into your hand.

Are you ready?  God will not disappoint.

Your Jericho Walk

  • What is my Jericho?
  • Where will I walk?
  • When will I start?
  • What will I shout?

Jericho Lesson 5

Joshua_Jericho_1024Do you have a “Jericho” in your life: a blessing you believe God wants to give you, but you feel unable to achieve on your own?

I completed a Jericho Walk circling a nearby lake for 6 days and then 7 times on the 7th day.  And God gave me a victory in an area of my life that had been difficult.

God also taught me lessons as I walked.  Especially the 7th day circling the lake.

Nearing the end of my fifth lap, even with the exhilaration I felt at hearing from God, my legs were giving out.  When they began to really hurt, I thought if I could just stop walking for a few minutes, it would be so nice.  I stopped to lean against a pole and closed my eyes.

hymnpianosideInstantly, an old hymn popped into my head: “March on O soul with strength, like those strong men of old…”   Those words literally propelled me back onto the trail!

Music has always spoken powerfully to me.  The melodies make it easy to remember the words, and the words have noble meaning, teaching me truths about my faith.  My soul was marching on and my legs just followed.

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You will get tired, maybe even feel unable to go on.

 

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Recall God’s faithfulness by song, scripture verse, or personal interaction.

Recalling God’s faithfulness to us personally helps strengthen our faith in Him for the present and the future.

clef-593912_1920Songs can remind you of spiritual truth.  And not just us, but our children too.   It’s important to teach our children how to turn to faith in the dark times or when dark thoughts enter in.  Songs can lift our spirit and take us to the place where hope lies.

For me, it’s the old hymns that I grew up with.  For others, it’s praise songs or popular worship music.  Play and sing it at home and when you travel so you know the words and melodies when you need them.

 

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Besides music, another powerful tool for encouragement is scripture.  Several times on my Jericho walk I recited scriptures I had read that morning or knew by heart.

Psalm 138:8 is a favorite.  Focusing on one word at a time, I restated that Psalm aloud:

book-1209805_1920God will fulfill His purpose for me” – meaning that it is God’s work to do it and His power that will bring it about.

“God will fulfill His purpose for me” – meaning it is a certainty, that it will be done.

Each time I restated the verse, the power of its truth grew.

Again, both we and our children need to know scripture.  We all need to understand its meaning, what it means to us personally, and how it applies to our lives.

Thirdly, we also need to be able to recall God’s faithfulness in our own lives.

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Look back over your last week and see where God answered a prayer, or gave you a blessing, a word of guidance, or protected you from trouble.  Now look back over the last several weeks or months, the last year, your adult life, your teen years, as a child.  When things come to mind, jot them down.

 

This will create a record you can see to recall and acknowledge God’s faithfulness to you.  It’s not just the giants of scripture who God interacts with.  It’s you and me, in your life and mine.  

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Songs, scripture and remembering God’s faithfulness to me in the past got me around the lake again.  My legs were still feeling weak but my heart was feeling strong.  I began the last lap.

God won’t ask you to be what He didn’t already make you to be

One morning I started out walking around the lake very early.  The sun had not come up yet.  My mood was as dark as the sky.

I had been thinking about some of my friends who seem to have their successful lives totally together.  And by comparison, I was not measuring up.

car-160343_640.pngSo much of our life is spent in comparing ourselves with others and ranking our performance.  Men compare jobs, incomes, physical strength, intellect, cars, houses and material possessions, then often glean their self worth from how they rank against those around them.

Women will gauge their self-approval by their career versus home choices, their physical appearance, their children’s behavior and successes.  Even Christians will compare ministry participation, missions’ involvement, or spiritual gifts.

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I felt that I could hear God say to me: “Don’t you know I love creativity!  I didn’t use a cookie cutter – I made you  – and each individual different.  I love you and I’m pleased with you regardless of who else I made, or how I made them!”

 

Although it was getting lighter, His message wasn’t getting through my gloom.

I rounded the far end of the lake and headed back to the east.  By now, the sun had risen in the sky, but because of cloud cover, the sunlight was not direct.  It was, however extremely bright.  As you looked toward the sun, there were parts peeking through, but the thin clouds were so brightly illuminated they were glowing!

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God was showing me something new.

Seeing the brightness reminded me that we, as Christians, are supposed to be light in the world.  But the sun is so bright!  I told God I couldn’t possibly be a sun.

 

It was as if God said, “My dear, I don’t expect that.  But see how much brighter it seems because the clouds are scattering the light?  And what are clouds made up of?  Tiny drops of water!”

droplet-161679_640It brought tears to my eyes!   God is the sun, but I can be a drop of water!  I can reflect the light God has illuminated my life with, to others!

That is so doable.  And not so threatening at all.

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Accept who God has made you to be.  Don’t compare yourself with others, or the life they are called to or the gifts and talents they have.   Accept God’s love for you – for who He has created you to be.

Whatever He calls you to be, He will equip you to be.

It can be as simple as a drop of water.

Could that be what He is calling you to do?

You can simply reflect the light He is bringing to your life to those around you.

And in doing so, magnify Him.  What an amazing purpose!

 

 

The Geese are back part 2

Interacting with geese often leaves much to be desired.  But seeing the Canadian Geese all around us in Colorado this time of year, I remember some lessons God has taught me speaking through observing this silly bird.

Continuing to learn from the Geese:

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3  Communicate with those around you.

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other.

Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions. I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

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4  Circle before you land.

Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

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5  Travel light.

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially long distances.

So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward?  We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high.

Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, whatever entangles you. Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

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We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world.

 

 

 

But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes.

We can learn from everything He created. Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.

Dare to be a Silly Goose for Christ!