Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Wait

Wait
Photo Credit:  Vivian Eng (vivianejl) ~ Creative Commons


When we wait on the Lord, our focus should be on God not our problems and pain. By focusing on our circumstances, we will become discouraged, but focusing on God will change our attitude and give us a new perspective.

Waiting is hard, and we cannot do it with our own strength. We need God's strength which He will freely give to those who wait so we will be able to endure and perserve.

As we wait we should place on hope in God's Word. God always keeps His promises. Also, while waiting it is helpful to remember that God is sovereign over all and He is in control.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5






Monday, August 29, 2011

Katrina: Looking Back

Hurricane Katrina
Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo & Video (Creative Commons)

Six years ago today Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and many lives were changed that day, including mine. For years it has hard to find joy in the midst of the pain, but with time and the grace of God those wounds have healed.

So, today I'm counting the gifts that I received six years ago...

421.  Friends who lived 60 miles north who let my family stay with them to ride out the storm
422.  Not being at home when the storm came through and six trees fell on the house
423.  God kept my family and friends safe during the storm
424.  Getting back home safe after many detours and delays
425.  Having hope in my heart that everything would work out

426.  Finding a contractor within days of the storm to rebuild our house
427.  Having that contractor and his wife become dear friends of my family
428.  Meeting my neighbors who lived two houses down from me and making friends with them
429.  Being able to go back to work 10 days after the storm
430.  Being paid for the days I missed due to the hurricane

431.  Never being without food and water
432.  Having running water for at least 12 hours a day during the early days after the storm
433.  Being able to go to my office to shower on the one day when we didn't have running water (Yes, we have a shower at my office. It seemed a bit quirky when I first started working there, but I was truly grateful for it after Katrina.)
434.  Generators which helped keep the food in the refrigerator and freezer from ruining and powered the air conditioning units so we could sleep in the coolness
435.  Having electricity restored to our home two weeks after the storm

436.  The crews from South Carolina who worked on our power lines so electricity could be restored
437.  God giving me the strength, mentally and physically, to do the work that needed to be done
438.  God keeping the men who cut the trees off my house safe while they did their work
439.  Eating a hot meal
440.  Being able to get cash so we could buy necessities

441.  God keeping us safe on days when we traveled up to 90 miles away from our home in order to buy necessities
442.  People telling me that they were praying for me and my family
443.  Having food given to my family (the fresh pineapple seemed like a luxury)
444.  Learning to focus on what I needed and not what I wanted
445.  The kindness of strangers

446.  The realization that before the storm I had more than I ever needed
447.  Restoration of cell phone service so I could call friends and family to check on them and to let them know we were okay
448.  Being able to help others who were in the same situation as my family
449.  Realizing what was missing in my life -- a strong relationship with God -- because I had drifted away
450.  Turning to God and confessing my sins

451.  Asking God for mercy
452.  Crying out to God for help
453.  Knowing that my only hope to survive the aftermath of the storm and every day thereafter was in Jesus
454.  Finding a church home where I could be feed spiritually and fellowship with other believers
455.  Friends who made me laugh on days when I didn't feel like it

456.  Friends who listened when I needed to talk
457.  Friends who prayed for me when I was crying
458.  Friends who made an extra effort to make my birthday special
459.  Friends who let my family share holiday meals with them
460.  Friends who loaned us their travel trailer so my family would have somewhere to live while our house was being rebuilt

461.  Receiving forgiveness from God
462.  Restoration of my spiritual life
463.  Talking to God, especially on days when I felt I didn't have anyone I could turn to or anyone who would understand what I was going through
464.  Appreciating the little things in life
465.  Learning to trust God and His timing

466.  The way God worked in my life
467.  The knowledge that Hurricane Katrina changed my life completely and I'm not the same person that I was and being so happy that this is true
468.  Appreciating the love God showed me
469.  God was always with me...every step of the way
470.  Not wanting to backslide away from God



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Time: How Are You Going To Spend It?



"Today the average life span is 25,550 days.  That's how long you will live if you are typical.  Don't you think it would be a wise use of time to set aside some of those days to figure out what God wants you to do with the rest of them?" (Purpose Driven Life Calendar, Tuesday, January 1, 2007)

This quote reminds me that we are to count our days and to make each and every one of them count.  By expressing the average life span in days, it puts things into perspective when I think of how many days have already passed in my life and knowing that I am not guaranteed tomorrow.

"Don't say you don't have enough time.  You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leondardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein."  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

This quote reminds me that we will make time for the things we want or have to do. If things are not getting done, it's not because we lack time, but because are priorities are not properly aligned and/or we are trying to do more than God intended for us to do.

Daybook - August 28, 2011



Outside my window...97 degrees and clear blue skies.

I am thinking...about the past.  Twenty five years ago this week with the help of my family I moved four hours away to begin college.  Six years ago today after living all of my life on the Gulf Coast I evacuated for the very first time because of a hurricane -- Hurricane Katrina.

I am thankful...for my church family and being able to worship freely with them.

In the kitchen...doggies bags from lunch at IHop. (Confession: Today was my first time eating at IHop, and I'm now wondering how I have missed eating there all these years.)

I am creating...a food plan so I can eat healthier and make better food choices.

I am going...to start exercising regularly tomorrow. My goal is five times a week with a combination of cardio, strength training and stretching.

I am reading...Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst which accounts for the food plan. I had already decided to begin exercising consistently so the book has just helped pull all the pieces together.

I am praying...for all those affected by Hurricane Irene -- for their continued safety as the storm continues and during the clean up process, that the insurance claims process will be quick and fair, that utilities services will be restored quickly, and that everyone will have their basic needs met.

I am hearing...the air conditioner running.

I am pondering...God's grace. I'm so undeserving, but He has chosen to lavish me with His love and grace. My mind has trouble wrapping around how much He loves me, but I'm so grateful that He does.

One of my favorite things...black and white movies. This weekend I've watched Young Doctor Kildare and Johnny Belinda, both of which has strong story lines without any explicitness.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Visit a friend who has cancer, meet with my boss to wrap up any loose ends before the holiday weekend, and make plans with the family for Labor Day.

A picture that I am sharing:
Bay St. Louis
Photo Credit: NatalieMaynor (Creative Commons)

This picture was taken last summer in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. With all the rebuilding that has occurred on the coast, this is, unfortunately, not an uncommon sight.

Linking with The Simple Woman's Daybook

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jeremiah's Prayer



I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps. 
Correct me, Lord, but only with justice --
lest you reduce me to nothing.
(Jeremiah 10:23-24)

The Power of One

Man at work
Photo Credit:  Archibald Ballantine (zoetnet)~ Creative Commons

"Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares.  If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city" Jeremiah 5:1

God made this statement prior to his judgment on Judah for their disobedience.  This is not the first time God made such a remark about sparing a city if a small remenant of faithful followers could be found; he said the same about Sodom (Genesis 18:32).

One faithful person was all it would have taken for God to forgive the entire nation's sins.  It just goes to show how powerful the influence of a faithful person is.

"It doesn't matter what I do. I can't make a difference by myself." are lies.  We discount God's power and our influence as a Christian whenever we accept those lies.

We need to be faithful even when others are not.  We need to remain faithful when we feel like giving up.  We need to be faithful even when we can't see that we are making a difference. We need to remain faithful not for any acclaim that we may receive, but because it's the right thing to do. We need to be faithful because our Lord is faithful to us...always has been and always will be.





Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Paradox of New

New Year Sunrise
Photo Credit: Jun (Joka2000) ~ Creative Commons

Five Minute Friday is a challenge to write for five minutes with no editing or second guessing.

This week's word prompt is NEW.

GO!

New is exciting. I've been waiting for this new thing for quite a while. It holds much hope and promise. It should be an exciting adventure. It will get me out of my groove; it will different

But the problem with new is that it's different. It's scary. This new experience will force me out of my comfort and will require me to do things I've never done before. It is risky; I could get hurt and fail.  It will get me out of my comfort zone and there will be no going back. My insecurities and weaknesses will be revealed. New will require me to walk by faith.

Am I willing to sacrifice the comfort of my present for the rewards of new thing to come?

STOP

For more 5 minute Friday entries, visit The Gypsy Mama.




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Practicing What Is Preached


Compassion
Photo Credit: Aaron Alexander (Creative Commons)


In John 11 after Lazarus' death, Martha has all the right answers...her brother will "rise again in the resurrection at the last day" (verse 24) and that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world" (verse 27).  But she lacked faith for when Jesus ordered that the stone be removed from Lazarus' tomb, she warned Jesus of the bad smell that would have been present with a body that had been in the grave four days (verse 39). It was if she was saying to Jesus too much time had passed for a miracle to be possible.

Good theology can make a person smart, but it doesn't ensure authentic faith. As I was scribbling notes last week for a sermon on this matter, my pastor stepped on my toes by saying:  "Anyone can take notes during a sermon, but authentic faith will practice what is preached."

After I left the service I was reminded of James 1:22-24:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
To be honest, I'm a good listener and note taker on Sunday, but when it comes to applying what I've learned, I fall short so many times. I agree with the message, but often I fail to take it to heart and make changes in my life. I have been convicted to live a more intentional manner and apply God's Word to my life. I want it to be evident that my faith in Jesus is real.

 


What's on My Nightstand - August 2011


This month I have read:
  • Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers is the sequel to Her Mother's Hope.  This novels covers the lives of three generations, and as with the first book there continues to be misunderstandings and secrets which creates rifts between mothers and daughters.  Each mother did what she thought was best for her child, and each generation tries to do better than the last, but ends up making some of the same mistakes.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett is set in Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s and what happens when twelve black maids with the assistance of a recent white college graduate write a book about what it's like to work in white households. My favorite character was the maid, Aibileen, for her wisdom and courage. This novel made me see the racial division in my home state during this era in a way that I have never considered it before. I found this book both entertaining and thought provoking.  My only criticism would be the author's misuse of the Lord's name and a couple of scenes which were (to me) a bit crudely described.
  • The Scribe which is the last novella in The Sons of Encouragement series by Francine Rivers. The Scribe is a fictionalized account of the live of Silas from his legalistic upbringing to his surrendering all and becoming an apostle of Christ. It was interesting to see how Silas' life intersected with other well-known apostles, such as Paul, Peter, Luke and Timothy. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

1000 Gifts - 401 to 420

Still counting my gifts....

401.  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11
402.  Compassionate Bible teachers
403.  Winning Mercy Me's "Move" CD
404.  Ability to memorize Bible verses
405.  Being able to recall Bible verses when I need them the most

406.  A friend asking for prayer
407.  News that a friend will be a great-aunt again
408.  God always making a way
409.  The healing of my co-worker's daughter after battling an eye infection for months
410.  Receiving grace from another person

411.  Evidence that little things done consistently over time will have a big impact
412.  A timely reminder to do everything for the glory of God
413.  Free Kindle books
414.  My nephew's first day of 5th grade being a good one
415.  Having lunch with my sister on her birthday

416.  Shopping with my mom
417.  New clothes that were on sale
418.  Returning to work after an extended weekend to find only one document in my inbox
419.  God using my blog to reveal things to me
420.  Realizing that striving for perfection is a waste of time and wears me out



Note to Self #10


From a Facebook friend:
A person's perception is their reality! Unfortunately, some folks are unwilling to hear anything of the truth, preferring their perception instead! At that point, loving prayer is the only possible solution.

From A Holy Experience:

It’s only pride’s hunger for perfection that paralyzes a heart, keeps us enslaved to fear. Pride is fear’s father and pride is the kin to all cowards.
From another Facebook friend:
The contrast is stark in the Sermon on the Mount between religion of pretend and that of sincerity. God eventually calls everyone's bluff. The real test now is what you are in secret with God, with no one else looking. That is the type of believer you are: One who has the real stuff or a facade. God will reveal it so get the real thing.
From @JuanaMikels on Twitter:
Temptations are like walking past a group of evil men talking and hearing what they said as I walked down the road.  Just keep walking.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In His Word


But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53:5-6

He said, "Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me"; and so he became their Savior.  In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.  Isaiah 63:8-9

Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #16

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge
against one of your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:18 NIV

1000 Gifts - 381 to 400

Gifts from God:

381.  The medical staff who ministered to my niece during her recent late night visit to the emergency room
382.  My niece's quick recovery from a virus
383.  The patience of our office's computer technician while debugging my computer
384.  The transparency of children
385.  Umbrellas on rainy days


386.  Knowing there's a rainbow somewhere after a rainy day even though I may not always see it
387.  People who are willing to do the right thing regardless of the cost
388.  Energy and strength to make it through the day after a night with little sleep
389.  Feeling close to God when I write
390.  Isaiah 58:11:  The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

391.  Four day weekend
392.  Spending time with my mom
393.  Peace coming over me while writing about a situation that troubled me
394.  Sharing books with my sister who loves to read as much as I do
395.  A compliment from a stranger

396.  Hot shower
397.  Philippians 1:6 - being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
398.  Being able to sleep peacefully after a nightmare
399.  Receiving medical test results the same day as the test
400.  Books that make me think



What gifts have you received from God?


Note to Self #9



From Open Windows:
Worship comes before work. Prayer precedes programs. The one who worships God and prays to Him will never lack for opportunities to work.
It's all about putting God first. When we do that, everything else will fall into place.

From Making Disciples on Facebook:
You can't invite Jesus into your life and then call interference when things don't go your way. ~ Miguel Labrador
From my perpetual calendar at my office:
God wants nothing from us except our needs, and these furnish Him with room to display His bounty when He supplies them freely...Not what I have, but what I do not have, is the first point of contact between my soul and God. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beauty







This is my first attempt at Five Minute Friday. If you’re not familiar with Five Minute Friday, it works like this


1. With the prompt given, write for 5 minutes – unedited without worrying about all the things writes normally stress over.
2. Link back to the original Five Minute Friday post
3. Encourage the person who linked up before you with a comment


So, today’s prompt is...Beauty.




GO!


Beauty...a word that makes me happy and brings so some many pretty images to mind. 


But what is beauty? The old adage is that it’s in the eye of the beholder which is true, but I think, unfortunately, people often look more to the outside appearance than to the heart.


We spend countless dollars on lotions and potions every year to attain and keep beauty. But beauty doesn’t come in a bottle. Beauty comes from a heart that is full of love. 


To see beauty in this world like God does we must look beyond the superficial. That means seeing the beauty amidst the imperfections and wrinkles.


STOP


For more Five Minute Friday, visit Lisa-Jo.

Godly Friendships

Free Two Happy Girls Holding Hands Walking to School at Sunrise Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography (Creative Commons)

The adage if you want a friend you have to be a friend is true, and if you want a godly friend you must develop the traits of a godly friend.
  • A godly friend places a high priority on spiritual growth. She will urge you to do what is right (Hebrews 10:24). She will listen when you talk about what God is doing in your life and will share with you her own personal testimony. She will encourage you to use your spiritual gifts for the Lord, and she will also partner with you in ministry (Acts 11:25-26).
  • If you become complacent in your walk with Christ due to sin, begin following false teachers or believe the lies of Satan, a godly friend will correct, rebuke and encourage you. The rebuke and correction may sting, but you can know that your friend is motivated by her love for you (Proverbs 27:6) because she does not want anything to hinder your walk with Christ.
  • A godly friend will pray for you (James 5:16), and she will pray with you when you meet together (Acts 20:36). A godly friend realizes that one of the greatest ways that she can build you up is through prayer. She will pray that you grow in wisdom so you will know God better (Ephesians 1:17), be strengthened by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16), be “rooted and established in love” (Ephesians 3:17) and be “active in sharing your faith (Philemon 1:6). You can be confident when you ask her to pray for you that she will do so faithfully asking that the Lord’s will be done in your life.
  • A godly friend knows you well and loves you unconditionally. She accepts you just the way you are (Romans 15:7) and appreciates the things that make you who you are – your personality, your preferences, your strengths and your limitations. She will patiently bear your idiosyncrasies and your weaknesses (Ephesians 4:2b).
  • The one thing a godly friend will not accept is your sin. She will neither condone nor participate in your sin (Psalm 1:1). She will also not judge you because of your sin. A godly friend realizes that judging and criticizing you because of your sin is of no benefit to you and that it is not her place to judge (Matthew 7:1-5).
  • A godly friend strives to live in harmony with you. She is not prone to quarreling or gossiping because she knows that these activities will divide the best of friends (Proverbs 16:28). She does not get angry easily (1 Corinthians 13:5c), and she is able to overlook offenses (Proverbs 19:11)
  • When you have hurt her, a godly friend is quick to forgive. She understands that if she refuses to forgive you, her heart will not be right with God,(Matthew 5:23-24). A godly friend appreciates the mercy that God has freely given to her, and she is willing to share that mercy with you (Ephesians 4:32b). A godly friend not only forgives, but she forgets (1 Corinthians 13:5d) because she does not want to hold on to anything that could grow into bitterness and resentment.
  • A godly friend is committed to you regardless of the circumstances (Proverbs 17:17). When you succeed, she will rejoice with you without becoming jealous (1 Corinthians 13:4), and when adversity strikes, she will not abandon you like fair weather friends will do when the going gets tough. During hard times, a godly friend will comfort you, support you (Galatians 6:2) and encourage your faith in God (1 Samuel 23:16).
  • A godly friend is humble, and she is willing to do whatever is necessary to help you (Philippians 2:4). She would never expect repayment for her acts of kindness (1 Corinthians 13:5b). Her service is not motivated by selfish ambition desires (Philippians 2:3) or the praise of you or anyone else (1 Thessalonians 2:6). Instead, she serves you and others in her life to please God (Hebrews 12:28).
At the center of every godly friendship you will find Jesus Christ who calls all obedient believers his friends (John 15:14). A wonderful chain of events will occur when you spend time developing your friendship with Jesus: the more time spent with Jesus, the more you become like Him and you will become a better friend to others. You should not allow anything to cause you to neglect your friendship with Jesus. When your relationship with Jesus deteriorates, every other relationship in your life will suffer. Your friendship with Jesus should be your most important relationship.


Things to Ponder:

1. What attribute do you most value in a friend? Do you possess this trait? If not, what can you do to develop it?

2. Do your friends make you a better person and Christian? Why or why not?

3. Are your friends better people and Christians because of what you contribute to their lives? Why or why not?

4. Who is your best friend – Jesus (John 15:14), the world (James 4:4), or a person that God has placed in your life? If your best friend is not Jesus, why? What do you need to do so that your friendship with Jesus has top priority?
 

In His Word - August 12, 2011



Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matthew 3:8 NLT

This is what the Lord say -- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:  I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.  Isaiah 48:17







Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Trusting the Potter

another type of bowl
Photo Credit:  Peter Shanks (BotheredByBees ~ Creative Commons)


"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?" (Isaiah 45:9)

This verse made me think of how many times I've asked God:

What are you doing?
Don't you see this mess?
You need to fix this.
But I never thought that I was quarreling with the Lord Almighty. But truthfully I was second guessing Him, His wisdom and His sovereignty over the situation. I was so focused on my own discomfort because of my circumstances that God had allowed to touch my life that I forgot how much He loves me and how valuable I am to Him.

The clay doesn't tell the potter how to form it.  The clay has no idea of its potential, and even if it did, the clay has no idea of how to achieve its potential without the gentle guidance of the potter. Sometimes the potter has to squish the clay and start all over in order to achieve the desired results. The clay has to trust the Maker and remember that the safest place to be is in the hands of God.


Monday, August 08, 2011

1000 Gifts - 361 to 380

361.  Naps on rainy days
362.  Transparency of children
363.  Seeing a new believer baptized
364.  Mixed flower arrangements
365.  The Lord who daily bears our burdens (Psalm 68:19)

366.  Dependable transportation
367.  Good health
368.  The extra energy I have after exercising
369.  Computer technician who can fix our computer problems at work
370.  God's mercy

371.  A hairdresser who cuts my hair as I request and makes suggestions that are flattering to me
372.  Indoor plumbing
373.  Faith from God to believe in Jesus
374.  Meeting an important deadline at work
375.  Having all my needs met

376.  Opportunities to grow spiritually
377.  Feeding on God's Word
378.  Faithful friends
379.  Laughing until my side hurts
380.  God's perfect plan for me

Note to Self #8


From Life Application Notes for Proverbs 28:2:
When enough people live for themselves with little concern for how their actions affect others, the resulting moral rot contaminates the entire nation. Are you part of the problem...or the solution?
From a friend's Facebook status:
you may even feel like so much is going on..that you feel buried...underneath the load..totally lost ..not even the Lord knows where you are...just remind yourself...buried things die...if you still breathing then you have mistaken the buried for a "planting"..God has planted you where you are....just hang in there for your next step...sometimes all it takes is to go ahead and do that..take one more step...
From Turning Points by David Jeremiah:
If there are some you find it difficult to submit to, make it a practice to pray diligently for them.  It's hard to resist someone you're praying for. Submission to authorities shows we understand the nature of authority.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

You're Never Alone


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and
when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. 
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2


Friday, August 05, 2011

National Day of Prayer

U.S. Army Africa National Prayer Breakfast Caserma Ederle Vicenza Italy 20100211
Photo Credit: US Army Africa

In response to Texas Governor Rick Perry call for a national day of prayer and fasting, thousands have gathered today in Houston, Texas to pray for our nation.

I love that I can participate in this prayer event from my home because: 1) the live web stream and 2) more importantly, that God can and will hear my prayers regardless of where I am.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your works and character are so amazing that it boggles my mind.  You are the one true God who created the heavens and the earth, who sustains all life and who establishes governments.

Lord, You have blessed our nation so much and we have taken those blessings for granted.  You are compassionate, loving and slow to anger for which I am truly thankful.

I confess the sins that we Americans, including myself, have committed against You.  Our currency has "In God We Trust" imprinted on it, but Lord, we have turned from You and have placed our trust in worthless idols.  As a nation we have become deaf and blind to You and Your ways.  We no longer value the things that You do. 

Forgive us, Lord, for rebelling against You.  We need You, Lord Jesus. Open our ears so we will hear You.  Open our eyes so we will see You all around us.  Soften our hearts so we will humble ourselves before You.  Cleanse us from all unrighteousness so we may be blameless in Your eyes and so we can reflect Your glory to the lost of the world.  Give us a willing spirit to obey You regardless of the cost.  Renew within us a right spirit so we will be just and faithful.  Incline our hearts to You so will seek You and Your wisdom.  I pray that our nation will return to You and that You will grant us favor.

In Jesus' name, I pray.
Amen


 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Prayer for Revival

Prayer is the language
Photo Credit: Leland Francisco (Lel4nd ~ Creative Commons)

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
A heart...that won't run after worldly goods and pleasures; that is eager to do good and avoids evil; that is full of love and humility; that takes no pride in my accomplishments or the blessings You've bestowed on me; that turns to You and not the world; that puts You before anything and anyone else.

Renew a right spirit within me.
A spirit...that is completely committed to You; that is obedient regardless of the cost; that is not double-minded; that is resolved to know You deeply; that is focused on eternity; that is willing to allow You to saturate every part of me and every aspect of my life.


Monday, August 01, 2011

2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #15

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NASB

1000 Gifts - 341 to 360

341.  Fresh peaches
342.  Spending time with my nephew
343.  My grandparents who were loving and patient with me while I was growing up
344.  Hearing my 3 year old niece sing "Jesus Loves Me"
345.  Three day weekend

346.  Getting spiritually fed at church
347.  Jesus being my bread of life
348.  Knowing that others are praying for me
349.  A remark from a friend that let me know that I am making a positive difference
350.  Someone asking how I've been or how my day was and really listening because they care about what I have to say

351.  Talking with a friend to clear up a misunderstanding before the situation got blown out of proportion
352.  Seeing how past experiences have prepared me to comfort and pray for those who are going through similar trials
353.  Being able to swap my broken printer at work for a new printer that the office received free some time ago
354.  Mission minded friends
355.  Quiet time with God

356.  Being able to talk to God anywhere, anytime
357.  Working with organized people
358.  Co-workers who are like family to me
359.  Comfortable dress shoes
360.  Paying off my car loan

Praying for Our Nation

While reading about Texas Governor Rick Perry declaring this Saturday, August 6th, as a day of prayer and fasting for our nation, I came across a prayer that was prayed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.  Even though it has been 148 years since Mr. Lincoln recited this prayer, it seems to describe our nation today.

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!  It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Powerful words spoken long ago that remind me of the need to draw near to God, to humble myself, to confess our nation's sins and to ask forgiveness for taking God and His blessings for granted.



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