Childlike Prayers

When was the last time you listened in as your child prayed?

It’s amazing the things they say when their talking to their Papa in heaven, isn’t it?

The apostle John found it just as amazing to listen in on the prayer Jesus prayed for all believers when he was with us on the earth. Not only did John listen, he wrote it down so that we could experience the same sense of wonder. To get the full impact of what Jesus asked the Father to do for his apostles and the believers beyond that small group, check out John’s gospel today, Chapter 17. I think you’ll be amazed at what you find there, especially when you realize that this prayer is all about YOU–that faithful one who continues to follow Jesus no matter what the world is doing.

One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given by Jesus is inclusion.

Inclusion in the family of God means we will be and are always victorious, no matter what experience might tell us, no matter how we feel today, and no matter what we see when we make comparisons between us and others.

Inclusion means that we are always covered, just like the Hebrews were covered in the desert; we share their protection, provision, and proximity to God today.

Inclusion means that we are able to draw strength from each other, as we confess our burdens to each other and to our Holy Savior.

Inclusion means we are no longer on the outside looking in, so long as we seek to serve Christ with our whole heart, mind, strength, and soul. We are included in the blessings–just as He prayed we might be–and we never have to “go it alone” again. Never!

Praise God!

Today, thank God that you don’t walk alone.

Praise Him for being very near, especially in the tough times.

Share him with others who likewise struggle with sins, habits, addictions, manipulations, misunderstandings and pain.

Be mindful that the victory will be yours, and that this present struggle is temporary, always temporary. There is a day coming when the Son of God will shine and rise and declare the pain over! Done! Finished! Demolished!!!

Praise God for all His blessings, and remember, Prayer Changes Things!!

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Powerless Yet Full of Power

Sometimes, mere mortals worry.

Why?

Because we realize pretty quickly in life that we are powerless over almost everything, and in the beginning that causes us to fear.

For crying out loud, we experience troubles when trying to control ourselves, let alone all the variables that go into raising up a family and a community, so we think fear is justified.

We forget that we serve an all-knowing, all-powerful, all righteous God who realizes that we are clay and lovingly listens to our prayers for our children, our spouses, our grands, and our neighbors.

What a relief to go to God in prayer and know He hears, He cares, and He answers.

In the same way that God makes grass grow for cattle, and provides wine and oil for human hearts and skin, he makes a way for His prodigy.

Always!

Where there is no way, HE MAKES A WAY, and where there is no blessing, he brings in the harvest, in due time. Today, we can be sure that while serving the God of the harvest, the God of promise, the God of might, and the God of majesty, we are safely held in loving arms.

We don’t need to struggle, wrestle with demons, fight against strongholds, or muster puny armies to make God love us more. We already have all the love and power we need, but in order to benefit from it, we must understand our weakness and depend on His strength.
Today, pray for weakness to fill you.

Pray for powerlessness to do its work in you.

Pray that your children will be brought to their knees in recognition of God’s sovereignty over their lives.

Pray that our church will be filled with awe when approaching the Holy One.

Pray that our words might be anointed by Him.

Pray that when we speak, the angels will listen and say AMEN, because they will know we have spoken only those words God provided for us to utter.

Pray for grace to fall on us, and for us to realize it when it does.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and that America will experience revival.

Pray for God to fill us completely and leave no dark corner untouched by His redeeming power.

Pray, Pray, and then PRAY again, for God says: Pray without ceasing.”

Prayer Changes Things!

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Let’s Praise Him Anyway!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matt 6:25-27

Encourage one another… 1 Thess 5:11

When you’re sure that no matter how fast you work or how diligent you are, you are never going to make that deadline, Jesus says look to the birds.

Look to the robins, the hawks, even the crows. Meditate on the unfettered flight. Watch as the butterflies go meandering past. Observe the wood chuck, and the fawns in the fields, or the chipmunk on that stone wall in your back yard or across the way. The bees are not fretting as they collect their pollen, neither is the bear as he forages for berries; nor the fox, nor the coyote, nor the mice. The cows are not troubled about how they look today, nor are our pets worried that if their fur is a little askew this morning, we won’t love them anymore. The parakeet still sings and the hamster still runs on his ceaselessly squeaky wheel. Nature knows that God has everything in hand.

Oh, Christian, look to the birds.

Today, let’s soak in all the assurance God has to give in life.

Let’s borrow from Him peace to send us on our way.

Let’s believe that He will take care of things.

Let’s love one another, give lots of hugs, stop frowning and fussing, and fuming about the things that haven’t gone right, and instead lift holy hands to the Creator, that One who has ordained all things to be beautiful in their own way, even the mishaps and the mistakes.

Today, let’s praise Him for where we are and the projects that won’t get done.

Learning to give these things into His capable hands is the job of each believer.

Things will not always go according to plan in life–let’s praise Him anyway!

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So, I went kayaking in NEPA last night…

…I capsized my boat!

000kayak
Yep. this happened to me, but luckily I had 4 angels there to help me out (and probably many more, unseen by human eyes).

Today, I’m thankful that:

The water was warm!

The night was gorgeous!

I had those others there to rescue me!

My sister-in-law loves me, no matter how clumsy I am.

I got to see a blue Heron perching in the top of a pine tree and calling out to nature.

What an experience, I didn’t know they did that.

I didn’t drown.

I faced a kayaking fear in a safe environment.

I saw the hand of God working in the patience and humor of others.

I was able to laugh at myself.

I put a major kayaking fear behind me.

I know now that I don’t want an open kayak when I buy my own.  Yes, I will buy one sometime soon.

I know my hubby loves me. He was wayyy worried when he looked across the lake and my boat was upside down and I was nowhere to be found.

I learned anew what it means to trust God with our lives.

I had an experience I never would have had, had I not taken a chance and lived in the moment.

It was GREAT!

I’m ready to go again!!!! :D

Thank you, Linda, Adam, Sue, and Bob for rescuing me when I fell in the drink, and for laughing with me; again, when I fell in the drink. You guys ROCK!!!

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What did I accomplish today?

have you ever sat at the end of your day and wondered: WHAT DID I ACCOMPLISH TODAY?

Me, too.

did I make the world a better place?

did I encourage any one or add anything to the human experience?

did i learn a lesson that will make me a different person tomorrow?

who did I help?

SERVICE is my CALLING.

i have always felt called to a life of service. as a young girl, i was the one who cleaned her room unendingly.  i was the one who cleaned the car out, if it got cleaned out. I was the one who LOVED and LIVED FOR those days when mom would rush around like a chicken without her head trying to get the house cleaned before company came.  i wanted to help. i wanted to be at the center of that hurricane.  i ate up every minute of that chaos, because i could see second by second that i way making a difference in my world.  it was on those days when i learned my most significant cleaning technique, too:  pull out a bed sheet, pile everything, and I mean EVERYTHING on it, and drag it into a room where the door has been retrofitted with a good lock.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  it works.

i’ve used that method to get ready for company coming more than once in my life. 

once particular time i remember was when matt was little and someone unexpected came to the door, and we wouldn’t let her in.  bob kept her talking, arguing really, on the stoop, by the back door, while i frantically ran around picking up dishes and plates from a get together we’d had the night before.  I was stuffing them into the oven or under the kitchen sink as fast as my arms would move. 

i mean i FRANTICALLY did this. 

i didn’t want to be judged on a dirty house.  heaven’s no. can’t have that. 

but i was helping my family, too.  you can’t know how much until you know “the rest of the story”, which i will not reveal here today. no time.

getting back to today…  what did i add to the goodness in the world today, what of value; what of worth.

i will retrace my steps here and see what i have done and how it “might” have made a difference.

I STARTED my day by getting OUTTA BED.

i’m not sure that helped anyone, but maybe my employer, who got a receptionist, secretary, assistant and office manager to help him through his day.  i guess that might have been a help, although i’m not sure it made the world a better place, it probably did put him in a better mood.

i stopped by a favorite business establishment on my way to the office and bought my breakfast and a coffee. iced, please, with splenda.  i guess you could say i helped to keep a local business going one more day with that decision, and i kept a couple food producers going as well.

WELL done, LORI!

this morning i responded to a fellow sugar addict when she expressed how discouraged she was with herself and the food that speaks to her. i shared that grudges we hold toward others or ourselves are not at all productive and the sooner we set them aside, the better we’ll be.  i told her i believe in her, and that good intentions do mean something, regardless of the outcome they produce.  i really felt that she (and me) needed to hear that our attempts to do the right thing matter in this world.  i told her i believed in her, and that if i could do it, i knew she could.  i hope that helped her to feel more confident.

i logged on to facebook, and shared my daily devotional on the church egroup, and responded to a few more emails, both personal and professional. i shared some pictures and hit a few LIKE buttons on other people’s pages, and surfed the web for a new recliner for my baby.  he needs one. his is in terrible shape.  i found one i loved and it was on sale 2 for 1, but the location was houston, tx, and the store told me they would have to charge me $2K for shipping to NEPA. i told them i needed to think about my decision to buy a little longer…

at one point, i asked people to pray for my i-love-you-so-you’re-mine niece, Katie. Katie wants to work at the local hospital, and she has an interview tomorrow at 9:30–Wed, Aug 6th–so if you read this before then, will you pray for Katie? thanks!  i hope the promise to pray encouraged her and helped to make her day better.

Again, SERVICE gets my engine revved.

i bought more food at noon time, thus saving more food producers and local establishments from going out of business, and i made a reservation for my boss for after work tonight.  he will be enjoying good eats out of town.  i know he appreciates all the things i do for him.

finally, i responded to a few text messages, and did some other office stuff, and prayed for others who need it, and remembered the TEAM PUERTO RICO group members in prayer, and ordered lunches for customers, and LIKED the page of a personal trainer in the valley area.  does all this really make a difference in our world?  i’m not sure, but i hope it does. this i KNOW, God has us here for a reason and some days we may have no idea what that reason is, but we don’t have to, do we?  isn’t it enough to know that God feels like the world wouldn’t be complete without us in it?

THE WORLD WOULDN’T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT YOU IN IT!

one last thing:  today i learned who the new dr. who is going to be for the fall season.  i can’t wait to see the new episodes. in watching and buying the dvds from the show, i’m supporting a host of folks who have mouths to find and cars to buy, houses to outfit and kids to put through college.  that’s pretty cool.  a win/win, since i LOVE dr. who.

today, i think i made a difference, and i think YOU.DID.TOO!

i’m so glad you’re here.  every time you read this, or leave a comment, or seek to encourage me with my writing, you make my world a better place.  i HEART you. 

now get out there and do it all over again tomorrow!!

Hoose Out!

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What did I accomplish today?

have you ever sat at the end of your day and wondered: WHAT DID I ACCOMPLISH TODAY?

Me, too.

did I make the world a better place?

did I encourage any one or add anything to the human experience?

did i learn a lesson that will make me a different person tomorrow?

who did I help?

SERVICE is my CALLING.

i have always felt called to a life of service. as a young girl, i was the one who cleaned her room unendingly.  i was the one who cleaned the car out, if it got cleaned out. I was the one who LOVED and LIVED FOR those days when mom would rush around like a chicken without her head trying to get the house cleaned before company came.  i wanted to help. i wanted to be at the center of that hurricane.  i ate up every minute of that chaos, because i could see second by second that i way making a difference in my world.  it was on those days when i learned my most significant cleaning technique, too:  pull out a bed sheet, pile everything, and I mean EVERYTHING on it, and drag it into a room where the door has been retrofitted with a good lock.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  it works.

i’ve used that method to get ready for company coming more than once in my life. 

once particular time i remember was when matt was little and someone unexpected came to the door, and we wouldn’t let her in.  bob kept her talking, arguing really, on the stoop, by the back door, while i frantically ran around picking up dishes and plates from a get together we’d had the night before.  I was stuffing them into the oven or under the kitchen sink as fast as my arms would move. 

i mean i FRANTICALLY did this. 

i didn’t want to be judged on a dirty house.  heaven’s no. can’t have that. 

but i was helping my family, too.  you can’t know how much until you know “the rest of the story”, which i will not reveal here today. no time.

getting back to today…  what did i add to the goodness in the world today, what of value; what of worth.

i will retrace my steps here and see what i have done and how it “might” have made a difference.

I STARTED my day by getting OUTTA BED.

i’m not sure that helped anyone, but maybe my employer, who got a receptionist, secretary, assistant and office manager to help him through his day.  i guess that might have been a help, although i’m not sure it made the world a better place, it probably did put him in a better mood.

i stopped by a favorite business establishment on my way to the office and bought my breakfast and a coffee. iced, please, with splenda.  i guess you could say i helped to keep a local business going one more day with that decision, and i kept a couple food producers going as well.

WELL done, LORI!

this morning i responded to a fellow sugar addict when she expressed how discouraged she was with herself and the food that speaks to her. i shared that grudges we hold toward others or ourselves are not at all productive and the sooner we set them aside, the better we’ll be.  i told her i believe in her, and that good intentions do mean something, regardless of the outcome they produce.  i really felt that she (and me) needed to hear that our attempts to do the right thing matter in this world.  i told her i believed in her, and that if i could do it, i knew she could.  i hope that helped her to feel more confident.

i logged on to facebook, and shared my daily devotional on the church egroup, and responded to a few more emails, both personal and professional. i shared some pictures and hit a few LIKE buttons on other people’s pages, and surfed the web for a new recliner for my baby.  he needs one. his is in terrible shape.  i found one i loved and it was on sale 2 for 1, but the location was houston, tx, and the store told me they would have to charge me $2K for shipping to NEPA. i told them i needed to think about my decision to buy a little longer…

at one point, i asked people to pray for my i-love-you-so-you’re-mine niece, Katie. Katie wants to work at the local hospital, and she has an interview tomorrow at 9:30–Wed, Aug 6th–so if you read this before then, will you pray for Katie? thanks!  i hope the promise to pray encouraged her and helped to make her day better.

Again, SERVICE gets my engine revved.

i bought more food at noon time, thus saving more food producers and local establishments from going out of business, and i made a reservation for my boss for after work tonight.  he will be enjoying good eats out of town.  i know he appreciates all the things i do for him.

finally, i responded to a few text messages, and did some other office stuff, and prayed for others who need it, and remembered the TEAM PUERTO RICO group members in prayer, and ordered lunches for customers, and LIKED the page of a personal trainer in the valley area.  does all this really make a difference in our world?  i’m not sure, but i hope it does. this i KNOW, God has us here for a reason and some days we may have no idea what that reason is, but we don’t have to, do we?  isn’t it enough to know that God feels like the world wouldn’t be complete without us in it?

THE WORLD WOULDN’T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT YOU IN IT!

one last thing:  today i learned who the new dr. who is going to be for the fall season.  i can’t wait to see the new episodes. in watching and buying the dvds from the show, i’m supporting a host of folks who have mouths to find and cars to buy, houses to outfit and kids to put through college.  that’s pretty cool.  a win/win, since i LOVE dr. who.

today, i think i made a difference, and i think YOU.DID.TOO!

i’m so glad you’re here.  every time you read this, or leave a comment, or seek to encourage me with my writing, you make my world a better place.  i HEART you. 

now get out there and do it all over again tomorrow!!

Hoose Out!

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I Wonder As I Wander

000PR-3A team from my church is getting ready to leave the USA for Puerto Rico. They are on a mission for God. They are taking with them a spirit of adventure, a willingness to be used up, and a hope that this experience will help shape and mold them as individuals. They are excited to see the sites and the beach while they are there, too. Can’t blame them for that–Puerto Rico has some really rockin’ beach front property.

As I have been praying for Team Puerto Rico, I have been privy to some of the behind the scenes difficulties that team members have faced while planning to be a part of this work. Any time we step out in faith to do something strange, exciting, different or new the enemy is right there by our side, whispering in our ear:

Be careful.

Are you really prepared to take on this job, what if something horrible happens?

What if they don’t care that you’re there?

What is you can’t understand their directions?

What if the language barrier is too big?

What if you get sick, or hurt, or you’re lonely the whole time?

What is you don’t make a single friend?

Temptation to worry or give up on the idea of serving in difficult ministries abound, and they are all designed to push us away from service, distract us from our ministry, and confuse or confound the voice of God reaching out to us in the quiet corners of our hearts.

I hate dealing with this kind of opposition when I’m trying to hear God!

I am a memoir writer and journalist of sorts, and as such, I continually ask myself questions.  For me, all of life is a quiz.  The following is how it went this morning, a reflection of the conversation I had with myself when I asked myself, “What is God asking you to do and why?”

God spoke this to my spirit:  Are you serving? Who are you serving?

Me?

You?

Others?

Darkness?

Convenience?

Are you living “palms up” with an open heart, ready for change when I send it your way? 

How are you preparing?

How much time do you spend pondering what I’m doing?

Are you meditating regularly?

Are you in a rush when we talk?

Are you ready to throw away that laundry list you often share with me?

Change is not on that list. Trust me to share My List with you.

Are you taking my gospel out of your head and into the world? 

How are you using discipline and service to get moving on this?

Who is your target audience?  Did you ask me before you made that list?

Which plans have you previously been excited about, but lost interest while waiting for someone to join you in the work?

Is there still a need out there you could meet?

How might trusting me more put you back on track and get you actively engaged again?

What do you count as reliable measures of success when partnering with me? 

How much money you make?

The level of cooperation you get from others?

Your excitement level?

Your comfort level?

Tackling this project My way?

Lori again:  These are some of the questions that have occurred to me as I have thought about my own level of service to others.

How about you? What are you doing to serve others and exercise your faith in practical ways?  Could you do more?

Please pray for Team Puerto Rico as they leave on their mission trip: August 2-9, 2014

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