Reckless Faith

Delanie praying (Photo credit: fishin widow)

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them. – Isaiah 11:6

There really is something special about the spirituality of children. Their hearts and minds have the ability to believe “recklessly” and while that can be a concern in regards to safety, in the realm of God and his kingdom it is a beautiful thing. They have the capacity to believe that God loves them and will take care of them, just because he’s God. It comes out in their words as they pray as I heard yesterday. Before every drama presentation, we gather as a team and pray. There was an unoccupied spot in the nursery, or so I thought, when a few children came in. I explained to them that we were going to pray and they could join us if they wanted. They enthusiastically wanted to join us, and their heartfelt prayers refresh my soul. It reminds me of how to come to God in prayer.

We do not live in a perfect world where the wolf will live with the lamb, but we will. God has promised that all the tears will be wiped away, there will be no more pain, and it will be eternal. Believing that promise should be the filter our prayers go through … not our doubts or experiences. If we can pray “recklessly” like the children, believing what we pray makes a difference, and then we live out the promise that is to come.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your promises to me. I know that you will fulfill them all. I pray that I can believe and surrender like a small child when it comes to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Practice praying “recklessly” with heart and mind wide open.

 

Rejoicing rules!

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Image: US National Park Service ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – Philippians 4:4

Yesterday was a difficult day of remembering as the focus on the attacks on September 11 have left a huge impact on all who were alive to see it. I’ve read many blogs and Facebook statuses of where they were that day and how it changed them. So it begs the question, “How do we rejoice when something so devastating has happened in our lives?”

The word “rejoice” has a much deeper meaning than the word “happy.” Happiness is more external in experiences we have had that match our preferences. Rejoice comes from the deepest part of our soul. True rejoicing can only come in connection with God. Bottom line, if it’s only God and us and that’s all there is in our life … Rejoice! We feel through our life that we need other things and people … these are gifts from the Lord because of his love for us. However, if it is all taken away, as Job said, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the relationship we have where I can rejoice no matter what. It is my choice though. I pray that my eyes never stray from you so that I can stand strong when life is hard. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you struggling today? Try to take your eyes off your struggle and cement them on to Jesus. His yoke is lighter.

Quick fixes

big stretch

big stretch (Photo credit: pixieclipx)

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

I knew as soon as I did it that I shouldn’t have done it. I was practicing a drama and forgot to stretch beforehand. As soon as I twisted I knew I was going to pay. My back has a history of being strained over the smallest things. Once it is hurting, it seems to take forever to feel good again … about 2-3 weeks. Being the impatient person I am, I try the quick fixes to feel good like heating pad, ice, Tylenol … but it takes time and rest.

There is a lot of healing needed in this world and if we need to look closer, our country, our state, our community, ourselves. We look for what will fix the situation … what can we do to make it right? We spend a lot of time, money and energy attempting to control situations, but it takes God to make it happen. God’s answer seems impractical to simply humble ourselves, pray and seek God, and make a commitment to turn from the ways of the world, and then God will heal our land. Can we do it?

Pray: Lord, forgive me when I do not even attempt to do what you call me to do. I pray that my eyes, heart, mind and soul are obedient to you at all times. Amen

Faith Tip: What are you willing to do to heal?

Your plan for today.

Right Brain Planning {elements}

Right Brain Planning {elements} (Photo credit: stargardener)

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain. – Psalm 127:1

I am planning for my day what I am going to do. The day includes meetings, writing, preparing food for a gathering tonight, and a late night telephone meeting. These are all good things, but unless I know God is there and empowering and directing me, it has no value. I have come to realize that every part of my life is being built on for God’s purpose … not mine.

All of us make plans each day and for the future. We need to discern the ultimate goal of our plans and look through spiritual eyes what God has in mind. His plans are so much bigger than ours. Without the Lord, our plans are futile.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for today. I pray that I walk in obedience in the plans you have set for me today. Amen

Faith Tip: Pray for God’s enlightenment as you plan your day for him.

Silver, gold, rocks and other unrelational items

English: Image of a pet rock

English: Image of a pet rock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But their idols are silver and gold, 
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them. – Psalm 115:4-8

Remember pet rocks? This was a product that relied totally on the marketing of the idea of the perfect low maintenance pet. There were promises of relationship and commitment, but actually it just sat on a shelf and collected dust. I imagine someone going in their yard and finding stones to make a family. People would talk to their rocks and take them places. Pretty sad.

It’s the same with our spiritual relationship with idols. We want to believe they can do things for us, but in reality, they are nothing … they are not alive. God is alive and desires a deep relationship with us. Not only that, but he has power to do anything. But we have a choice to make. Do we place our trust in a rock, a piece of wood, money, success, etc. or do we trust God?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being my living God whom I can talk to any time. You respond with your great love and grace, and I know that you love me dearly. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider what it is you are trusting today. If it’s not God, you may want to reconsider.

Protection against rejection

"Scripts from Crypt" writers group

“Scripts from Crypt” writers group (Photo credit: St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral – Memphis)

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place… – Ephesians 6:14

Last night at my writer’s group, we talked about getting rejected in writing. There were various expressions of emotions shared with the fear of getting rejected. Rejection of a writing piece can be for many reasons ranging from the submission needs more work to the editor was having a bad day. To think all of our submissions are going to be loved by all who read them is just not reality. Knowing and living the truth of who we are as writers is most important in the submission process, not the acceptance or rejection. This protects our hearts and minds in continuing to fight the spiritual battles that surround us.

We must choose to put on God’s armor to be protected from the attacks of the enemy. If we go out in battle unprotected (no time to read God’s word or pray), then we run the risk of being injured. However, if we are fully prepared then we will experience the victory of Christ.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the time spent with you this morning that readies me for any battle I may face today. I pray that I don’t lose sight of who you are and what you can do. Amen

Faith Tip: Take time now to become ready to face the day fearlessly. The armor of God is ready for you to put on.

Pull over

downpour no. 3

downpour no. 3 (Photo credit: hdznrrd)

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven. – Psalm 107:29-30

I’ve been driving in storms that come up suddenly and have been so intense that I needed to pull over to the side of the road because I couldn’t see anything clearly. The storm was raging around me and the wipers couldn’t keep up with the steady downpour of rain and wind. I needed to wait until conditions calmed a bit before moving ahead.

Our lives can seem like a sudden storm coming upon us where it can be so intense that we have a difficult time seeing ahead. That’s when we need to pull off into the prayer corner with God. God turns chaos into peace. By his word, he stills the storms around us and puts light on our path ahead.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the peace you give to me in times of storms. It is you that keeps me steady in my journey. It is I that allow distractions that cause me to get off the road. I am so thankful for your grace that helps me get back on the right track again. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you in a storm today? If not, most likely one is on the radar headed your way. Remember to pull off and pull into prayer.