Friday, August 17, 2012

Friends Prayer


Sunday morning at church a friend of mine prayed with me. Her words, “I won’t pray for the storm clouds to go away, but for your kingdom to come…”

Since then I’ve really been thinking about the meaning of “your kingdom come…” When Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray, He said, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10.

I started thinking of the things I’ve learned about God and His kingdom…goodness, holiness, joy, peace, love, redemption…I’d really like for those things to be clearly evident in the situations around me!

Today, the devotional I read was on this very same verse. I was pretty excited about that. They pointed out that in heaven, when God speaks; the angels do His bidding without questions. His will is done in heaven.

When Jesus was in the garden praying, he prayed for the Father’s will and not his to be done. It didn’t look like it was a wonderful thing at the time, but it turned out to be an eternal blessing for all who believe in His Son.

When I was looking in the Bible at this verse I read the words spoken before this prayer…For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven…

The Father who loves us knew we needed a Savior and sent His Son.

God who loves us knew we would need counseling, comfort, guidance and He sent the Holy Spirit.

The Father who loves us still knows what we need.

Whether it has to do with work, play, relationships, health, provision…the list could go on and on. The Father who loves us knows what we need…BEFORE we ask Him.

May His kingdom come.

May His will be done.

“Teach me your way, O LORD,

And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;

For false witnesses have risen against me,

And such as breathe out violence.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed

That I would see the goodness of the LORD

In the land of the living.

Wait on the LORD;

Be of good courage.

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the LORD! (Psalm 27:11-14)


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Be Blessed!


Last Saturday morning as we were enjoying a late breakfast, an old friend of ours knocked on our door. He used to be our neighbor and lately we’d been missing him being around lately. During the summer he’d set up his BBQ and make us some burgers. He was always good for a chat since he is a friendly caring guy. Also, he and his wife started going to church with us which was fun too.

Well, when he moved though, it was a really sad and tough time for all of us. I sent out prayer request for them constantly and prayed for them again and again. Still, they lost everything and ended up moving into a trailer.

That was two years ago.

Now, they are living in a home with an option to buy it, he has his own business, and his wife was able to have the surgery she has needed.

As I listened to him share his accomplishments, I realized I was listening to God’s answer to mine and many others people prayers.

I remember how I felt when I watched them sell all they had. And the day they moved.

My one comfort was that he had talked of living in a trailer for a while to save money and buy a house. So, I knew he would do okay in a trailer, but still, I was so sad for them.

But today, I rejoice. God answered prayers.

Yesterday this verse was brought to my attention, not once, but twice…my sister saw it on her favorite blog, (besides mine, of course), and then later that day, it was the verse for my daughter’s devo’s. When I told my daughter, she said, “Maybe Jesus is trying to tell you something, mom.”

Psalm 40:1-4

I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit.

Out of the miry clay.

And set my feet upon a rock.

And established my steps.

He has put a new song in my mouth-

Praise to our God;

Many will see it and fear,

And will trust in the LORD,

Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust….”

Does anything more need to be said?

I don’t have the reasons why my friends went through their troubles and they lost everything. I can guess and come up with lots of explanations. But that’s what it would be is a guess.

But I do know, they were brought to the throne room of God through prayer, and that is trust in the LORD. And He pulled them out of the pit and set them on their feet again. They have a new song in their mouth. The report was good.

Sometimes, we don’t see prayers answered as fast as we want them to, but God is listening, God is working in our lives. Don’t give up in coming to Him. What we see immediately might not be the answer in the end.

Be blessed!

Make the LORD your trust!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Like Caleb


At first glance, this pot looks like it’s a Nasturtium plant with a few petunias in it. But when you move the leaves of the Nasturtiums aside you also will find a daisy, and some marigolds. The nasturtiums seeds had been planted after all of the other flowers had already been placed in this container and were growing quite well.

But one day the seeds of this plant just took off and well, it took over the pot.

If you look really close at the next picture you can see how the nasturtium is choking out the other flowers.

But not the petunia! The petunia is growing and showing its colors in spite of what the other plants are doing.

I read a devotional on Caleb the other day, about how he asked Joshua to give him the mountain and had faith that the Lord may be with him to drive out the enemies on the mountain.

The Israelites had driven their enemies to this mountain and Caleb chose to take a challenge and trust in God to help him with that challenge.

Forty years earlier, Caleb had been one of the twelve men sent to check out the promise land.  All of the men but Caleb and Joshua, gave a bad report of the land. The other men convinced the Israelites that the enemies were too big and strong for them to overpower. Despite how God had cared and provided for them in the desert, the Israelites did not believe in what God could do for them, but instead believed the report of the other men.

Caleb and Joshua knew God would go before them. And tried to convince them, but the Israelites wouldn’t listen.

As a result of their unbelief, the Israelites over 20 years of age who had grumbled against God weren’t allowed into the Promised Land, except Caleb and Joshua.

Caleb had to wait because of the consequences of the sins of others even though he was ready and raring to go in faith. He had to wait.

Forty years!

Forty years later Caleb is finally in the promise land. Forty years later! That is a long time to wait especially when he had seen it, walked in it and wanted to go to it.

Can you imagine? I’ve had to wait for things, and it isn’t easy.

Despite what the negative seeds of others had caused in his life Caleb didn’t let it choke out his faith. When he reached the promise land and it was time for him to pick his portion, he was still ready to go to a place where God would have to do the battle with him.

When the people who surrounded him stood and cried in unbelief, Caleb believed, and Caleb got to see God work in his life in a powerful way. He stood out in the crowd.

During those times when it looks impossible, are you going to be like Caleb?

Are you going to stand out like that petunia that is still poking its flowery head out despite the nasturtium taking over?

What is looking big and overwhelming in your life right now?

Remember and take inventory of all that God has done. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

It’s a time to believe. 






Thursday, August 2, 2012

He Spoke It

I wish I had pictures to share with you today, so you could see how beautiful the surf was at the beach.

I stood at the edge of the water while my husband and daughter, who are like fish, jumped the waves or stood letting the waves pour over them.

It was so peaceful. I watched and listened, enjoying what was happening around me, oh, it was so beautiful. And fun, the birds were running around in the wet sand, the seagulls were pulling at the salmon heads left behind by the fishermen, and mine and other families were just plain having fun. The sky was a brilliant blue and the sun shined, the weather was just right, not to hot, not to cold.

I looked out at the vast ocean, and thought to myself, how can a person stand here and not come to the realization of how majestic God is? I imagined the sea life that was swimming around, whales, sea lions, otters, dolphins, sharks. Goodness, whales alone are humungous. I remember when I saw Keiko at the aquarium and was intimidated by his size when he swam toward the window. Yet the ocean is big enough for the whales to swim, and throw themselves in the air and there is still plenty of room for other fish.

I thought of the men who went out to sea on the ships, whether to transport products or to fish. And how the ocean can be peaceful one moment and then a sudden storm can brew and toss those huge ships and boats about effortlessly.

 I thought more of the power of this ocean, how the waves that are fun to play in, can turn into a wave of a tsunami and completely wipe out villages, or the wind and waves of a hurricane can destroy cities, and typhoons can cause flooding and vast destruction. It has so much power, it’s so unpredictable.

And God spoke it into existence.

How big is our God?

How majestic is He?

How powerful is the Lord?

Yet, as I listened to the giggles and screams of delight coming from my little girl, while the waves crashed against her, and her daddy stood next to her holding onto her tight, God wants us to come to Him as children. He hides us under the shelter of His wing. He listens. He cares for His children.

He loves us.

God the creator of the vast, powerful ocean is Your God. What on this earth could ever be so big, that He couldn’t take care of it for you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ride It With The King


Isn’t this an incredible view? This is taken from the top of a column in which you have to climb 165 circular stairs. Ugh! I will admit I did not take the climb this time, my husband and daughter did and they took this great picture from way up there.

Notice in the middle of the water…there is an extremely long bridge.

The Astoria bridge...it used to fill me with an almost crippling fear. As soon as we took the curve around the on-ramp and started to ascend to the upper portion my mind would fill with horrifying things like, the extremely high bridge collapsing.

As we make our descent down to the long flat part that rides close to the water…


My thoughts would get worse. I knew somehow we were going to end up crashed in the water. Another real creepy part of this bridge is the birds fly real close to the cars. So there is the fear of a bird crashing through our car window.


It seems as though this bridge goes on forever and....EVER.

Now though, things are a little better for me, because after I went through this really cool Bible study, when I go over the bridge, although it still gives me the creeps, and I still have those thoughts…now I don’t sit in fear shaking and praying for my life. I still don’t like it, but I have learned to fight the fearful thoughts that come against me and instead of sitting in fear, I turn to God and seek His peace, comfort, and RATIONAL thoughts. It is really a battle for me the entire time we are going over this bridge.

If you notice there are construction signs on the bridge. One has a warning…


Uh…no…no way. Just as we were about to get on the bridge we noticed traffic was stopped clear up on the top due to construction. My husband knew better than to even go close to that bridge until traffic moved. So we goofed around down by the marina waiting for the traffic to move and when it did, we quickly got on the bridge. And yes, we were stopped for just a small amount of time. The view is really very pretty up on the higher part of the bridge, but none to soon…we made that quick descent down to the narrow road that is close to the water.

Yikes!
 

I have to tell you we had an incredible weekend at the beach. And when we got home we got some news that even made it better.

We were sitting on the top enjoying the view.

And then…we got some different type of news. We started our descent down. And then we got another piece of news…and there we were…down where you can hear fear knocking and tearing down the door of faith.

What does a person do when the fears are screaming loud and they have a possibility of being reality?

What does a person do when they are enjoying life and the view and, bam, they find themselves descending on a road they don’t want to travel?

Today was a day of choices. To choose to travel this part of the journey partnered with fear and discouragement.

Or to choose to fight against all the things that fear and discouragement want to yell in my ear and make a decision to hold on to God’s hand and walk it with Him.

 To remember He is with me and my family.

Tough times come. Sad times come. Horrible times come. What am I going to do? What are you going to do?

Remember He loves us and wants the best for us? He promised He’d never leave us nor forsake us?

Remember He also promises, if we ask and believe He will give us wisdom?

Remember we also have the gift of the Holy Spirit to teach and counsel us?

In the Bible, in the book of Esther, a person couldn’t go into the King’s presence unless he summoned them. Esther had a very important job to do for her people and she went without being summoned before the King. She put her life at risk. If the King didn’t hold out His scepter well, that would be it for her. Penalty, death. The King did allow her into his presence and heard her request. After hearing her need, he took charge and the issue was dealt with.

Well, for those who believe in Jesus, we have the freedom to go before the King of King’s throne anytime we want to. He tells us in the Bible to cast our cares before Him. So we can run to His throne and present our request.

Think about it…how big of a deal is it to be able to run into the throne room of a King?

Would you ever think of running into the White House to speak to the President? NO.

Would you ever think of running into the Palace to speak to Queen Elizabeth? NO.

But, we are free to run before His throne and the one who opened that door for us is sitting at His right hand.

During this time, I can run and hang out with fear and every other negative thing.

Or I can do something way better than that. I can run into my King’s throne room. And He always wants me in His presence.

I hope, if you too find yourself on a road you DO NOT enjoy or want to travel, you will fight against the negative things and drive down that road with the King!