life experience

Pieces of Prayerful Habits

I pray a lot in my personal life, but rarely at meals.  This was a not-open-for-discussion subject when I was a child.  We said “grace” at every meal.  As I grew up; solo and married, it was a forgotten importance.

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A friend of mine prays at every meal, just like when I was a kid.  When we (she and I) go out to eat, or gather at one or the others’ homes, we pray.  Oftentimes she “makes” me pray.  I’ve gotten now – where I either have a prayer ready; or take her hand and start the prayer.  It’s amazing how habits can drop and start again.

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed. (Traditional prayer before a meal in my childhood home).

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What prayerful habits need to be restarted in your life?  Pray on it!  God is always listening!

 

 

 

 

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holidays

New Year Pieces

In many parts of the world, it’s already 2019, but where I live – there is still 5 hours left.  I will probably be sleeping when the new year arrives!

Instead of resolutions, let’s make specific promises to work along side the Word of God.  To be more open and hungry for knowledge, to learn about the His grace and love.  To walk the path of righteousness.  These promises are between you and God only.

What will you achieve in 2019?  All God’s greatness I hope!

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Pieces of Discord

Our world is a suffering place right now.  Political opinions are causing rifts with friends and family members.  “Their way” is the right way.

It is not a “Christian” thing; it is a PEOPLE thing.  Praying, calling your political leaders, signing petitions, this is how to make change.

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How NOT to make change is belittling or bullying those who think differently or remain silent.

Jesus turned the other cheek on a daily basis, and yet – change came.  Centuries later there is still deep unrest in the Middle East, wars continue to kill people of all ages, terrorist attacks and school shootings are the modern version of strife during the Roman empire.

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Genesis 13:8
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren.
Prayer from Gregory Coles, Penn State University
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.

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Pieces of Truth

When we were little kids, we often had to “fess up” for something we said or did that wasn’t right or nice.  Our parents usually instigated the apology or retribution.

Our Heavenly Father does this with His grown up kids too.  He pushes on our conscience until we know what has to be done.  We ultimately need to confess and/or apologize to another grown up for the wrong we committed.  Perhaps we were very judgemental, spewing our opinions on another, or we did or didn’t do something that really hurt that person.

Not very Christian.  And not very human.

I’ve heard countless stories about little kids who stole a candy bar and ended back at the store with tears in their eyes and a big apology to “never steal again.”

It’s not quite that effective when we are adults and have harmed someone with words or actions.  Because we are sinners, we will likely do again; and again.  Not to the same person hopefully, but we will hurt another person whom we love and after awhile it creates a cycle of shame.

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But God doesn’t intend to shame us, or use the shame to straighten us out.  He loves us.  No.  Matter.  What.  We.  Do.

But He wants us to learn.

How do we learn?  By apologizing first.  Praying forgiveness.  Learning not to continue the sin.  We often bang our heads against the wall for years.  Why can’t we stop hurting people?  Why do we have to be so self righteous?  Why can’t we see the sin?  Why can’t we learn from it?

Because we are attempting to heal a hurt with a human solution.

We need God’s solution.  It’s called TRUTH. 

Webster defines truth as:

a (1) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality
(2) : the state of being the case : fact
(3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true

We know what is true in our own lives.  We know even truer when God is the center.

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Friends are great, but…..

I’ve learned over the past 4.5 months, that what God needs from us, when we are down and out, is to draw closer to Him, than our friends.  He wants ALL of us, He wants our focus on Him, so we can learn how beneficial it is, to know our Savior.  To trust that He has our back, that we can lean on him during the incredibly tough times.

I’ve been dealing with ovarian cancer since late August.  I’ve had body parts removed, including a big tumor, I’ve experienced chemotherapy; and it’s AWFUL.  I’m starting to have more good than bad days, but through it all; even a few pity parties, I’ve been in very close contact with Jesus, I’ve never looked forward, only today, believing that He is with me every step of the way, through every decision that was made, to every time I curled up in a ball and wanted to die from pain.  It was then, He was with me the most, I literally felt the spirit of God, wrapping me up in His love and compassion.  And for that, I will always be grateful.

What has been difficult for you lately?  Are you complaining to your friends or expecting them to be your “soft place to land?”  They cannot ever be that, because your Heavenly Father is the only one with those powers.

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Psalm 25:1
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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What we know about the baby Jesus

Historically, everything we need to know is in the Bible or has been picked apart by scholars through the many centuries.

Why we need to know for our own personal reasons, is that it’s how we began to love our Savior.  It starts at His birth.  It follows Him for 33 years, we can expect relateness, because Jesus; unlike His Father; was a human being.  Like us.

This little baby brought LIFE to sinners, then and now.  His precious birth, surrounded by the same type of mayhem our world is suffering from, was His start to life.

For an more indepth study, check out this link by Crosswalk.

May your celebrations surrounding the birth of our Savior, Great One, The Great I Am, Mighty, Magnificent, Prince of Peace, Father, Holy Spirit, Redeemer, Emmanuel, Jehovah, Comforter, Almighty, Son of God, The Beginning and the End, Messiah, Lamb of God, Shepherd, The Vine, Carpenter, Beloved, Deliverer, Lord of Lords, King of the Jews, Risen Lord, Healer, Tree of Life, Light of the World, Bread of Life, The Word, Friend, Protector, be filled with light, grace, guidance, forgiveness and love.  He is all of this to a sorrowful world.

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Pieces of Broken Chain

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While doing my devotions this morning, I added music to my routine.  Blasted the volume on my laptop and plugged into YouTube and started with Selah, Wonderful Merciful Savior, then one of my favorites by Jesus Culture; “Break Every Chain.”

I was reminded of what keeps me in bondage; bad habits some might say, but I know they are more than that – they keep me separated from God.  Ironically (but not really, right???!!!), my devotion was on placing my trust in the Holy Spirit to guide and nudge me towards a Godly life, instead of living by feelings; which can change in a moment’s notice.

I have been overcome by the presence of God many times.  Music seems to be the vehicle, the lyrics speak to my heart and remind me through repetition (I listen to the same song fifty times, like I did when I was a teenager!) what my  heart longs for, to be closer to God, to live in His grace and to know that I am saved.

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