Hard to believe 2 months of 2008 are already gone. Another week flown by and it's Friday and time to head to Kelli's for Show & Tell.
What I am showing today isn't very fancy but it is one of my treasures.
Hard to believe 2 months of 2008 are already gone. Another week flown by and it's Friday and time to head to Kelli's for Show & Tell.
I usually participate in Show & Tell on Friday, and I may post on that later today, but based on the past three days and the discussion about Prayer I just had to share my daily devotional reading from THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY.
Once again, as I see over and over and OVER in my life. God reveals himself to me just as I need him to, when I need him to. Reading this morning was yet another of those times.
Jacob was left alone. Genesis 32:24
"Like Jacob, many of us know how it feels to be "left alone." When a loved one dies or a friend leaves, or you walk through the fire of separation and divorce, no matter how "spiritual" you are it still hurts! Emotional pain is to the soul what physical pain is to the body; it tells you something's wrong: that you need God to guide you through the challenges and upheavals of realigning your life to cope with what has happened. And the struggle doesn't begin in earnest while you're surrounded by people, it starts when you've been left along. The fact is you can survive without others, but you can't survive without God. That's why He sometimes strips away everything that makes us dependent on people. He sends certain individuals into your life to help build your faith and develop your character, and when they're gone, to leave you with the assurance that God's in control. The loss of loved ones (a) develops our spiritual muscle; (b) tests our resilience; (c) shows us the scope of God's power. When Moses died and Joshua was left in charge, God told him, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee." (Jos 1:5). That's something Joshua could never have learned while Moses was in the picture. And it's a lesson you can't learn while you're looking to other human beings for all your answers.
In Mark 4:39 when Jesus "ordered the wind and waves to be quiet" the Bible says "everything was calm" (CEV). In the midst of the storm, ask Him to come and stand in the bow of your boat, and to speak peace to the thing that's upsetting you. He'll do it!"
On my previous post on prayer:
Susan, you say-"I am personally against in praying for the sick is using the phrase "If it be your will please heal Mary." God is the healer........it is always God's will that we be healed. Satan is the one that comes to kill, steal and destroy not our God and Christ paid for our healing, as well as our sins, on the cross at Calvary."This reminded me of two things in my going to church years. One was that it always seemed to be implied that God's will was not your own. (Your will and not mine be done, his ways are not our ways, etc, etc). I struggled a lot with this in my young adult years, because I was programmed to think that everything that I wanted (my will) was something that God *didn't* want, and therefore, practically everything I perceived to be good was a sin. Secondly, the healing thing- My good friend's husband was diagnosed with a rare disease that made his bones turn to sponge. He had a month to live from this at the time that I found out about it. There were many healing services and prayers being held for him, and when he was not being healed, they said it was because his faith was not that strong. They convinced him, in the last month of his life that the faith he had was not real. That's psychologically a very bad way to die. Hope you don't mind me sharing.
February 28, 2008 10:50 AM
To Danielle, & the person who e-mailed me, I have to say how terribly sorry I am that someone would say or indicate :
1)"and when he was not being healed, they said it was because his faith was not that strong. They convinced him, in the last month of his life that the faith he had was not real. That's psychologically a very bad way to die. "
or 2) " I had a friend tell me basically that it was God’s will that my Mom didn’t get cancer and die…if only we would have prayed harder…or believed more… or whatever … she wouldn’t have died of cancer. It was as if she was saying God wasn’t in control and Satan was…due to our lack of faith or prayer. "
I do not blame God, and no Jennifer I certainly do not believe satan wins........satan was defeated at the cross of Calvary. I know the faith that Mickey and I were standing and believing in when we lost his sister. I know the faith and prayer and belief that was operating when I lost one of my forever friends, back in 1986, at the young age of 45. I know it was not because of lack of faith. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe His ways are higher than our ways. I believe in Romans 8:28 " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
It was just my PERSONAL OPINION and I do believe in my heart that it is God's WILL that all be healed and that it is God's WILL that all be saved. I would not pray "Please save Mary, if it be your will" and therefore I chose not to pray "Please heal Mary, if it be your will."
I really am sorry if my comment in any way offened anyone. I think we need to be very careful with our words that we do not step on toes and certainly that we do not step on tender hearts. I realize we all carry our particular hurts, pains and experiences that color and shade our views.
As I further told my e-mail correspondent :
" I know it is a very sensitive subject and like so many things in life we will just have to agree to disagree on this small phrase as we agree wholeheartedly on the fact that God is GOD and that Jesus is LORD!!!.
To Danielle, Jennifer and my e-mail friend I certainly appreciate your views and opinions. I certainly don't think for one minute I have all the answers or am above being wrong.
To any of my others readers: If what I said offened you or caused you personal hurt I am very sorry. I am glad I serve a God who looks at, sees and knows our hearts. I am also glad I serve a God who shows me Grace, time and time again.
The five I pass this award on to are:
Aimee of Adopted As His Own. Just go to Aimee's blog and look at the beautiful picture of their family as her header and you will see why I have selected her. She is not only mother to EIGHT beautiful children but even creates beautiful patterns for childrens clothing on her SewSensible site. Aimee your entire life has a purpose and I am honored to know you.
Jennifer of Double Nickle Farm. Jennifer and her husband and children have just recently purchased a place in Southern New Mexico and the purpose of this blog is taking us step-by-step in the process of their learning to live a much more self-sufficient and self-sustaining life style. Something we can all gain from and learn from. Jennifer is truly a "can do" person.
Heather of Especially Heather. Heather does not even "know" me. I have only left her a few comments over the months I have been reading her blog. But read her blog I do!!!!! Heather's blog is about her journey with Brain Cancer. This young wife, mother and woman has such faith and courage and honesty that I marvel every time I read her. Many times I am reading through tears as I cannot begin to imagine going through what she is with such grace and charm. Your blog certainly qualifies as A Blog With A Purpose.
Rita of Jungle Hut. Rita is another of my must reads. She is a missionary wife and mother, although they are currently in the U.S. preparing and raising support for their next assignment. Rita's purpose in this blog is to keep us updated and informed about the doings of dictator Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. I am thankful for her doing so because we sure don't get this information on the nightly news.
Last, but believe you me not least, is Ginger of Just A Thought. Ginger is truly one of my dearest blog friends. BUT, not just mine she is a dear friend of many of us because she is such a kind, gentle, carrying, sweet friend and she loves Jesus with all her heart. Every post of Ginger's points us to Jesus........even in the difficult times and issues. I know you don't particularly like getting these Ginger but I just could not NOT name you.
As I have said in times past.........I take both the receiving of these Blog Awards and the passing them along VERY seriously. What we say, and how we say it, here in this public domain of Blogland is very important. There are MANY of you who bless me and you all know who you are because I comment on your posts. It is very hard to limit this to only 5 and pick only 5 but as always I do follow the rules.
I was contacted by a dear blog friend (you know who you are!) who e-mailed me with her thoughts about my post on prayer yesterday, along with this request:
"To further that, I was wondering if you would write sometime about the other side of the prayer fence, asking for prayers. I struggle with this a lot in that I often times think people ask for prayer for attention."
I was a little taken aback by the request because to be truthful I had, to that point, not thought about the side of the Prayer Requests. I have been pondering, thinking and praying about this request for the past 3 hours or so since getting the e-mail.
At this point in my life with God I do see that EVERYTHING comes from God and does not take God by surprise, althought a LOT of things surely take me by surprise. I've also begun to try and immediately respond to things as I feel God is placing them before me. As an example, 2 weeks ago I received a telephone call on a Saturday morning from our Sunday School teacher requesting me to teach the Sunday School class the next day because both he, and his wife, were ill. In the natural I wanted to say "no". Actually, in the natural I wanted to run the other direction quickly. BUT, I knew that it was more than the Sunday School teacher making this request and that God was asking me to step out of my comfort zone and walk in faith and trust with him. After only a few minutes hesitation (which seemed like at least a 1/2 hour to me) I said, yes.
I view this request in the same vane, while coming from a dear blog friend in the natural, really coming from God and stretching me to think, and respond about an area of prayer I really had not given much thought or attention to. So in obedience to that I will endeavor to put down my thoughts.
I guess the reason I haven't given the issue about asking for prayer too much attention is because Mickey & I are not really much ones to request prayer. Now occasionally, if something really big or tramatic comes up in our lives I will, and have, asked for prayer. Even here on this blog in the last year I know I have put out a general request on a couple of occasions that we coveted your prayers. The incidents concerned our beloved Granddaughter's decision when she left Tulsa and us for a while, and when our son returned from California and was facing some big issues and problems in his life.
Now that I really have begun to look at it I have to ask myself a couple of questions: 1) Do I not ask out of pride and a feeling of self sufficiency; 2) Do I not ask out of a feeling that it's my problem and I shouldn't bother others with it; or 3) Do I feel, that except for those rare occasions, it is my own responsibility to "come boldly to the throne room of God" and "storm the gates of hell" myself on behalf of my self and my loved ones and others needs.
At this point of just beginning to analyze this I'd have to say it's probably a little bit of all three. I truly see ourselves as having complete and total access to our Father God and not needing an intermediatary of any kind because we have Jesus as our advocate, sitting at the right hand of God ever making intercession for us. Because we have walked with the Lord and seen so many victories in our lives I know that I have a God that not only hears our prayers but answers our prayers. I know sometimes we do not see the manifestation of that answer immediate, or how we thought it should be. But, I know he hears and he answers!!!!!
As I'm writing this I see that I'm really addressing it more in a personal way than the actual question about other people making prayer requests. In response to that, and in agreement with the questioner, I do have to say that I have known people who seem to always be asking for the same thing, over and over again, and sometimes asking for things that ,in my humble opinion, are issues they should be dealing with and addressing themselves. BUT, having said that we must remember that we are the body of Christ and that we are there to fulfill the needs of the other members of the body. Period........and without reservation and without judgement. We are certainly all at different areas in this journey with our Lord. And we have to constantly remind ourselves it is a journey and not a destination. None of us have arrived!!!!
I am not happy with this post. It is rambling and not thought out. It is sitting down at this keyboard and typing my Penless thoughts as they flow from my mind and Spirit. I know I have done what God has placed before me and called me to do at this moment in time and space. I trust that those who He directs to read this will understand and show me the same grace He does!!!
I have to confess that I had been a Christian for years, 19 in fact, when one day I suddenly realized, or maybe it was confessed, that I truly did not know or understand the first thing about prayer. Oh, I had prayed during those 19 years but I knew there was something much deeper than what I was experiencing and I wanted that "something".
I began the simplest way I knew how at the time, simply repeating, very slowly, the Lord's Prayer. Taking each part "Our Father" and analysing it......what did it mean that He was "Our Father"? Was He my Father? What made him my Father?, etc., etc. Then I began to read and study on prayer in great detail. It was 13 years later when I found the book ARTHUR MURRAY on Prayer. It was at this point that I began to get a grasp on what true intercessory prayer was all about.
I have become aware, or maybe the correct word would be burdened, lately that I think we Christians are a little to loose and flippant with quickly saying, "I'll pray for you." "I'll pray about that." The question is, do we? Or do the words just fly off our lips and we never seem to get around to the praying part. I know I have been guilty of that. Again, several years ago I was grieved when I realized this was what I was doing some of the time. Not truly taking the responsibility of the seriousness of the words of my mouth and putting them into action.
The other thing I've noticed lately is it seems someone will hear about a need that needs prayer and instead of immediately beginning to pray about that situation themselves be more concerned with "spreading the word" or getting others and telling them to pray. When the Lord places on us a need for Prayer on a particular thing shouldn't our first, and most important, response be to pray?
Please don't misunderstand me.....I am all for prayer chains, that various groups set up, etc., but I believe God has to be calling us first, and foremost, to pray and interceed ourselves.
This was not an easy post to write and I really don't know how to end it......but I know that God has laid this issue strong on my heart so I am being obedient. May we be faithful to His call upon our lives to pray.
This is my 300th post!!!!!
What a ride the past year and 23 days and 300 posts have been.
This blog of Penless Writer has blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined when I began it. Thank you SOOOO much to all the wonderful people I have met and I look forward to the next 100 posts.
One of the really unexpected joys of this blog has been the part about being able to document so many people, events and items from my past. A great joy to me the other day was when my, just turned 13 year old, granddaughter told me she had read my "100 things about me". I said, "I bet you learned a lot about your grandmother you didn't know" and she said, "Yeah!!" Things you just don't get around to always saying and telling and yet are what make up who we are today.
THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE FOR ME!!!!!
Please leave me a comment so I'll know you came by.....
Friday is Show & Tell...take that picture(s), write your post, go here and put your name on Mr. Linky and then enjoy reading and viewing the wonderful Show & Tell items of others.
First, thank you to all who stayed with me during 8, yes count them 8, posts answering your questions. Many of you probably learned way more than you wanted to know about what I thought!!! I was stunned at the number and depth of the questions I was asked. You truly made the climax of my first year a very special event for me. My blog friend, Barbara, from England just received the package of the give-away items for my drawing. I'm so glad they arrived safe and sound.
Thanks also for the sweet comments about Oksana's birthday celebration for her and her friends. Today is actually her 13th birthday. How, or how, did she get to be a teenager so quickly!!!! She is a very mature 13 year old and we are so extremely proud of her and the decisions she has made and making. Since this is her birthday the family will be celebrating it tonight with dinner at Macaroni Grill. (See why I don't lose weight........we eat all the time.....our social life it around food!!.) I'm sure I'll post a picture or two tomorrow of this event.
Now to a very serious issue. As you all know I am an avid reader. My preference for reading are books of a spiritual nature but a friend at church recently shared with Mickey & I about a book he had just read that really disturbed him and asked if we would like to read it. He told us briefly about it and I said yes. He brought me the book and we had it read in 3 days!!! It is CRASH PROOF by Peter D. Schiff. He is actually giving investment advice, which is not why I read it or why I encourage you to read it, but it's because he tells the terribly shape America is in that I do so.
In 1999 we went to Dallas and attended a Hal Lindsey conference. At the time we purchased Cliff Ford's book, BLOOD, MONEY & GREED. We read it back then and after reading Crash Proof I pulled it off my shelf and are almost finished re-reading this book again now 8 years later and see how "right on" Cliff was.
We are in a VERY critical time in the life of our country. We Christians know how very serious this upcoming election is to America. We must start making some of the serious decisions in our personal life and in the life of our nation. We must not elect people who promise us all the "something for nothing" mentality that American's want to hear. There is no "Free Lunch" and we are ruining our nation and destroying the future for our children and grandchildren. I personally feel the return of the Lord is VERY near, but the Bible tells us to "Occupy until I return" and that is what we must do.
I would love to hear your comments, feelings and thoughts about the condition of our country. I would encourage you to read either or both of these books and if any of you have other ones to refer to us I would appreciate it.
I am happy that I see the glass 1/2 full and not 1/2 empty. Even though I am moved enough to be concerned I still know that God is on the throne and that we win. I know "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14
I don't know how many of you are familiar with THE CALL (Lou Engle) but Mickey & I are participating in this call to pray and fasting. Lou is asking us to read Joel 2:12-23 for 21 days (this began on February 13th) and to add Isaiah 22:20-22 and Daniel 2:20-22 for February 20-22. Any who would like to join in I encourage you to do so.
LAST but certainly not least, Sarah, Short Stop, asked.....Can you share a trial in your life where you saw God's grace SO clearly as He brought you through?
Yes, I sure can. After 25 years of marriage Mickey & I went through a very difficult time. It was wholely and entirely God's grace, and standing on His WORD and His commandments, that brought us through. At 30 years of marriage we renewed our vows. You can read about it here. The fact that we will celebrate our Golden Anniversary on October 4th of this year is testimony alone to God's grace and His faithfulness to restore to us what we had lost. God has blessed us above and beyond what we could have hoped or dreamed. Just as His word proclaims: Delight thy self also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalms 37:4
He does - He has!!!!!
I had this meal all planned and ready to serve when Mickey walked in the door from work. He was very surprised as I had not said a word about fixing a special meal.
The best part of it all was the special Valentine card I found for him a couple of weeks ago when I was shopping at the Christian bookstore.
I am a "stickler" for cards absolutely having to say just the right thing and will spend much time picking out the perfect card. This time I walked to the cards, picked this one up and if I had written it myself I couldn't have said it better.
Inside on the left bottom is" "Truly God is good" Psalm 7:31 kjv
The inside reads: I'm so thankful for the love that you give and the life that we share, and I treasure the man that you are. Happy Valentine's Day With Love.
I signed it: These words are my heart, my LOVE
Love always & forever