Saturday, December 31, 2005
I'd officially like to add my voice to those talking about Chronicles of Narnia. Especially since most of the voices I've heard talking about it, didn't like it. I loved the books, absolutely loved them. Read them over and over and over. And I still liked the movie.
It seems, people are disliking it because it doesn't follow the book 100%. And I"m ok with that. With all the bad garbage movies out there (especially the supposed 'family' movies that like to put in bad words in a way that makes kids want to copy), I'm thrilled to watch this movie. I could watch it with my niece and nephew without fear of what's going to be said, and ALSO, I'm more than happy to do what I can to let them see that a lot of it is a representation of Christ.
Just a while back, I put up one of those weird personality test things that showed I came out as Aslan. I was awfully proud of that, until I watched the movie. Nothing against Aslan, He is/was wonderful, but Lucy... that's who I'd like to be like. Her energy, and absolute sense of adventure, her ability to forgive wholeheartedly, her stubborn loyalty to her friends and what she's decided is 'right'. Even though you kind of thought she wasn't grasping the whole concept of "you, um.. could get killed doing this" I kind of think she would of done the same even if she was aware of that.
I wonder if it's possible to be a tough Aslan, and an adorable Lucy at the same time?
Friday, December 30, 2005
Want to know what my decision was?
I decided to cut my hair.
I'm female, by the way, for the readers out there that don't know. I have nearly waist long hair, and I'm having it chopped off. Every year and a half to two years I do this, and I donate it to Locks of Love. If you have long hair or the ability to grow it please at least consider donation to a great program like Locks of Love.
But back to my main point. Since, at least for the next few months, I'll have short hair, actually, according to all the websites I've looked at I'll have what's called "Medium" hair, I'm going to incur the disappointment of my dad, and no longer be as welcome when I visit the church they attend.
The thing I want to know is, Why? I understand the stricter churches are following after the scripture that says a womans hair is her glory 1 Cor 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But, why is there a double standard on the word "Long"? If man showed up in their midst with hair to his shoulders, the same church that would call my hair short, would call his hair long. He'd have to have a haircut, and I'd have to grow mine. And also, (this is turning into a rant now) it doesn't say it's a SIN for a woman to have short hair. it doesn't say it's a shame for a woman to have short hair (like the bible does say about men having long hair 1 cor 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?) It just says it's my glory and my covering.
I've often wondered, especially lately, if the whole reason some people go to the strict churches, is because they know they don't want to give their hearts to God, so they're hoping maybe they can work their way in with wearing the right clothes, abstaining from the right specific things that they've (seeming to me anyway) made up on their own to be unholy.
The thing that gets me is how strangely it hurt to be in their presence. To watch their rituals that I could find no biblical explaination for. Knowing, that without their own special rulebook (that they don't actually have so you can stay up with their rules) you are just one mis-step away from embarrassing yourself.
I'd maybe feel better coping with all those rules, if I could just understand why. Why is this rule here.
So if any commenters happen to attend a strict church (The one I was at was strict Assemblies of God) please feel free to tell me why it is the way it is.
I'll be happy to respond - but not now because I have to go get a hair cut. ;)
UPDATE: So, I'm at the salon ready for my cut. I sit down in the chair, and this lady I'd been chatting with before my stylist was ready for me comes up and the stylist and I try to explain the locks of love program. When this elderly lady, with short short curly hair informs me that...OH that's a sin! You shouldn't cut your hair off! You're not really are you?
I kid you not.
What's with my town?
Thursday, December 29, 2005
THEN, when I went back to actually get the camera, I found a slightly cheaper way to do it so now I only have to come up with $117.99
I can handle that.
God loves me, so much that an Almighty Creator of the universe, would see fit to bless me, with the stupid things that actually make me just giddy happy. How awesome is it, to have someone in your life that knows you so well, they know the exact thing necessary to make you happy? or wiser? or more capable?
God is truly good
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
You see, the other day while driving home I noticed a police car. I thought about the unusual spot it was in and how it didn't have a car in front of it so obviously it wasn't in that spot because he'd pulled someone over. Then, maybe 50 feet away I noticed a man running, and the cop was running right behind him.
Immediately my sense of adventure and justice told me to pull onto the street next to them - immediately visions of medals and commendations from the mayor are dancing before my mind, newspaper headlines about the girl that stopped a crook. In reality it'd be more like a fine for interfering and causing the cop to lose his prey, but hey....
by the way, I didn't do that.
I kept on driving down the road, but I did begin praying that God would give the cop strength to catch the bad guy. I can't imagine the courage it takes to chase down some guy that you don't know anything about except that they break the law. And while, I know the problems with our justice system very well, I am now, thanks to the events of that night, motivated to pray all the more, because of the problems I know of. So they don't go after some of the people they should because they're scared of retaliation?
Pray courage and wisdom for them. Peace and comfort for their families.
Pray for your city's judges and attorneys that the criminals would receive just sentences, so the cops don't have to chase the same guy 15 times only to have him be released.
Pray for the inhabitants of your city that God would touch their hearts and lives, that He would deliver them from the bondage of sin. And that these people, your neighbors (whether you like it or not!) would come to know Jesus Christ as their Redeeming Lord and Savior.
Pray for your Churches, that they would preach the truth in it's piercing entirity. And that with hearts overflowing with compassion, they would reach out to the lost in the city. Not with the sole purpose of getting them to church, but with the purpose of introducing them to a friend that will stick closer than a brother.
Pray for your heart. That God would fill it to overflowing with a love and burden for the lost in your city. Becuase truly, you aren't in your city to work for money, but to work for Christ. Your city, has the exact people in it that God knew you would witness to.
14Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever
believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." 19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Or you woke up this morning, imagining how this day would be different if whatever loved one that has gone on could be here. You don't even want to celebrate if they can't be here. It just doesn't feel right. Or maybe you're single, and at some point today you know that hit will come - usually after some couple kisses in front of you, or the kids are sitting with their parents somehow suddenly looking like the most perfect family in the world - and you'll realize how truly alone you are.
I have no words of comfort for your situation today. They all seem trite, and they don't work. And I won't tell you how blessed I am today. What I will do, is tell you about someone to lean on. The struggles you'll face with today's holiday aren't unique, but the answer is. There is a comforter like none other available to you. Christ came to earth so that we'd be able to have this close relationship with God. Not the distant, bird slaying, altar building, burning spices and animal fat relationship of the old testament. But a new covenant, and relationship. One closer than your closest.
What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilage to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus Knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge; Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Take note: The way you speak to God does not only reveal the quality of your relationship with Him; it also betrays your real theology. I wonder if the way I ask God for things makes Him look like a penny-pincher. I wonder if my praise sounds like polite applause from an audience that's applauding just because that's what audiences do (thereby communicating that the character and works of God are neat enough for subdued clapping but not deserving of an eternal standing ovation and a cry of "Encore!"). I wonder if my confessions are more like petty apologies for being five minutes late than gut-wrenching pleas for pardon to a father whose son I murdered.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The problem I see with this is, as every builder knows, if you're going to cut out more than one mold of a thing then you have to start with the original each time. If you base your cuts off the 2nd one made, and the cuts of the 4th one off the 3rd one made, and so on and so on, by the time you're done with your cuts, you'll be able to notice a difference between your original and your final product.
Imagine if you would, if that is what was done by Christians just since 1600. How many generations of Christians have come through since then with the differences between Christians and Christ slowly growing larger and larger.
I'm normally long-winded, so I could easily keep going, but I'm pretty sure you get the drift of where I'm taking this. So let me just ask you this:
Is your pattern of actions based on what Christians would do, or what Christ would do?
Sunday, December 18, 2005
And, if I were truly passionate about it and made every attempt to get to know you, left you notes about myself and tried to call you regularly, wanted to visit, wanted to know all about your life, your hopes your dreams. Just wanted you to talk to me. Would you believe I loved you?
What if I continually kept adding new things to the original gift of all my possessions? What if I happened to save your kid from being hit by a car? Or what if I dedicated my life to finding the cure for whatever disease your loved one has? Would you believe I loved you then? Or would you just think I was crazy?
What if I told you I already had done those things and you just refused the money, and refused to believe that I was the one that saved your kid from the car, or came up with that cure. What if I told you that I HAD been calling you, and you just didn't answer the phone since my name wasn't on the caller id?
What will it take to get you to believe me?
What if I told you I was God?
As I wrote this, I pondered that my blog is mostly geared towards Christians, and one would think they already understand God's love for them. But then I remembered all the Christians I know, and I remembered my own doubts, and I wanted to post this anyway. God loves you, even if you're already saved, remember His love and bask in it. Love Him back and let Him into your thoughts and dreams. He already knows them, but He wants you to give them freely to Him. He's trustworthy. As Christians we all say we've given Him everything, and that we trust Him. But when push comes to shove, we rely a WHOLE lot on our own power and strength than we do His. He's trustworthy. He loves you. And He can handle whatever it is. Trust in Him.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Congratulations go out to Daz, who has her own blog "Dazzlers Domain". Yesterday she opened her door to be greeted by a brand new bike, the one thing she wished for in the Christmas Wish.
Congratulations Daz! Don't forget to wear your helmet! :)
|You Are French Food|
Snobby yet ubiquitous.
People act like they understand you more than they actually do.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
His most recent two posts happened to be on a subject I was handed recently. I was praying recently for something entirely unrelated to the subject and the next thing I knew I was on the floor confessing to God what a wretch(2 : a base, despicable, or vile person ) I was. I can only assume this sudden knowledge came from God because I generally like to assume I"m a good person. Anyway, foolishblogs posts were concerning this scripture :“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” — 1 Timothy 1:15
He states : "I have often wondered how Paul could call himself “the chief of sinners” and do so honestly. Usually when people say things like this, their words sound like a beautiful woman smearing mud on herself and saying, “No, really—I’m an ugly person!” They don’t believe what they’re saying and no one else does, either. It feels too deliberate, too artificial. But Paul doesn’t sound like that in 1 Timothy 1:15. He really believed what he was saying."
The thing that I was most struck by, as I pondered my own unworthiness weeks ago, (note - the topic was quickly shoved to the background as 'better' things to think about came along), was how very horrible I was. God shouldn't want to give me ANYTHING, God, the ultimate example of grace, shouldn't even be bothering Himself with me. At the moment it seemed pointless to ask for anything of Him because I knew He shouldn't listen. But looking now, and especially pondering some of the things on Foolishblog, I am thinking I may of been very close to 'right' thinking. Maybe it's more about just living daily with the awe and love for a Savior Whose grace does abound so much that even someone as wretched as I am could find His hand moving in their life.
Truly, I don't deserve the mercy. You have NO idea. But that's the main thing, no one can see into someone elses life. I can love my family or my friends.... but would I love them if I could - as Christ does - truly see the basest of their instincts and desires? I need to ponder this more, so you'll probably hear more about it later. But, I'll leave with you foolishblogs breaking down of the verse.
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”
This is a precious reality that is reliable, immovable, and able to be leaned upon; this truth deserves our full, strong, desperate, and happy embrace: that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, even (and especially) the worst of the worst. There’s something to be happy about. There’s something to wake up in the morning for. There’s something to shout from rooftops and share in living rooms.
Still, now I'm caught up wondering if this is just another scenerio of how you can make anything about anything if you twist it hard enough. I'm such a skeptic! Lord, Forgive my skepticism, and somehow make me a blessing!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
OK, I don't really "do" New Years resolutions, because.. well.. my 'all or nothing' spirit that has never failed to get me into trouble usually has me starting the resolutions the day or week I think of them. I don't like to wait - unless we're talking about cleaning. So anyway, after all the blogging I've done so far, I want to tell you how this all started. Two posts back I blogged about how someone had given me Christmas ornaments on the very day that I needed a small blessing to keep me going towards Christmas. I didn't even realize I needed it but God did, and he provided. So, I've effectively decided that I too, want to be a blessing. BUT, not just to family. I'm already a BIG blessing to my family. They take my for granted I think, so they don't realize how big a blessing, but I am a blessing. But I think it's easy to be a blessing to those you love. See aforementioned blogging. I want to be a blessing to those folks that I don't know. The old lady carrying her groceries out of the store, the person walking down the road because they don't have a car, the person broken down on the side of the road (boy it's a good thing my mom doesn't read this, I'd probably be scaring her). But, those are the folks I want to help. The bible says when you've done it to the least among you, you've done it as unto Him. So what would happen, if I dedicated my life to helping those 'least'? Of course, who is to say who is the least? Well, in the verses that Jesus used to describe the least, they're hungry people, naked people (I'm so glad mom doesn't read this), prison inmates... I should get the actual reference.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Imagine if we discarded wordly wisdom and actually said to some stranger that they could come live in your house until they got back on their feet? Imagine taking it upon yourself to visit people in jail? Imagine feeding someone that was simply hungry, or thirsty. How amazing could your life become, your spiritual walk become, if you actually transcended the worlds knowledge of safety, and simply did what God wanted you to do? Please note, God has to guide you, He wants you to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Godly wisdom keeps you from danger and harm. He can show you who to, and who not to help.
But, anyway.... back to my original idea... I want to be a blessing. To just follow God's lead, to whoever is in my path, and be a blessing. So, let's start now and see what happens. :)
Ok, the first blog post was going to be a long-winded comment about how the story of Rudolph the rednosed reindeer taught me a lesson. It's hard to be useful when people don't love you. I'm useful to family and friends because they call me when they need help and I help. So thus I'm useful. When is the last time someone that didn't know you, like you, love you, called you and asked for assistance so you could be useful to them? Well Rudolph was not only unloved (by the stories account) he was made fun of, and laughed at. But somehow (in the story) he became useful to a whole world of people. (I KNOW it's just a story, bear with me). :)
The second blog post was all about how someone that didn't even know or like Rudolph saw a talent in him. Saw a special ability that would be useful to them. When is the last time that someone looked into your life, and, while they cared nothing for you, they saw you had a special talent that could be of use, AND then proceeded to give you a way to use that talent? And, how cool would that be?
The 3rd post was all about how that's kind of what Jesus does with us. Except, He gave us all the gifts and talents we have and so He knows exactly how we should be using them, and if we'd just let Him work in us, and follow His path to using our talents, we'd be so much happier. Then, the post was going to go on a long-winded tangent about how the only time we generally try and get help from someone that we don't love, someone that's a stranger to us, is if we're desperate. And that's often how we come to God. Many don't love Him, and so they ignore Him right up to the point that they're desperate. They're on the side of the road broken down, just wishing He would come by and fix it. Or, more like it, they're by the bedside of someone they love, and they're just wishing He would come by and fix it.
Ok, and now for todays post...
As Aslan, you are brave, noble and have an astute awareness of morality. You may be quick to anger at times, but you have a heart of gold, and are respected greatly among your peers.
Ok, they say this, even though I specifically told them I don't get angry very easily. But OH COME ON, you guys would LOVE to be chosen as Aslan, admit it!
Monday, December 12, 2005
My niece and nephew were SUPPOSE to be sleeping on my couch last night, long story short, I woke up and my nephew had tried to open my ONE Christmas present, and between the two of them they'd taken apparently a lot of my ornaments off the tree. There were little fistfuls of ornaments just set on little nooks of branches, and I picked up about 8-10 off the floor.
Now, I wasn't too upset about the whole thing, though I don't have a CLUE what they were thinking, but I was a bit disappointed. Anyone that has ever decorated a tree pretty much knows, decorating a tree isn't a fun task you'd willingly take up more than once a year. The joy generally comes in looking at the tree later. So I went off to work thinking that I really didn't feel like decorating my tree again. But leaving it looking all scruffy didn't seem quite 'in the spirit of Christmas' either. Then, on my lunch hour, I head home to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer (I'm a busy gal ya know!) And on my front porch is a package.
I go inside and open the package. Inside the package are pre-Christmas gifts some online friends had sent me. It was a box full of home made ornaments, some fragile glass ornaments, and several very fragile glass balls. The first thing I had to do was stick them on my tree. I've put everything but the balls on the tree now. And I'm looking forward to a quiet night at home where I can finish re-doing the tree.
The point of all this is, God knew my need would arise before anyone would of imagined such a thing happening. And it wasn't even a huge deal, just one of those things you know? But God, in His really amazing mercy to me, put a little bundle of blessings right on my doorstep, the day it would be the most useful. It could of showed up yesterday, or next week, and it never would of had as much meaning as it did today.
Father, I thank You, with humble, heartfelt thanks. Not for Christmas ornaments, and not even for the friends that sent them (though I'm very grateful for those as well). But mostly I'm grateful that Your amazing love, allows You the King of the entire universe, to consider me and my happiness and my small joys as well as the great joys. Thank you! and, I love you too.
In the holy name of Your Son, Jesus Christ - Amen.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Spring in Minnesota is often gray and full of slush, and that was how my mind and heart felt at that moment. I was swamped in midterm papers and cursing the cold that lingered at the tail end of winter. Anyone who might have seen me trudging the few blocks home from the university library probably grimaced at my sulking, sour face. "College students!" they might have said. "Always complaining!"
As I neared the last crosswalk before my block, I looked up from the cracks in the sidewalk. Cars were stopping … waiting … then slowly moving forward. But just a few seconds later, a bright red sports car came zipping up to the stop sign in front of me. I looked, froze completely in mid-stride, and squinted again at the car.
In the driver's seat, reclined back and grinning radiantly, was a nun!
She rolled up the sleeves of her habit, shifted gears, and cruised away down the road. I stepped forward into the crosswalk, following the blaze of red with my eyes as long as I could. It was only after I crossed the street that I realized I was laughing out loud.
That's who I want to be! A nun in a sports car. Someone so brilliantly off-kilter, so hilariously unexpected, that those around me can't help but find themselves waking up from their half-asleep lives. Whether I am sketching cartoons on restaurant napkins, line dancing on a street corner, or singing in the grocery store, I want to be the spark and the flare of joy in someone else's day—friend or stranger.
Yes—I'm going to be the finest joy maker in the state. Bar nun!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
"It looks like Friday, the gas prices will hit a high of $2.02 for regular, with scattered amounts of $1.99 You might want to go ahead and get gas though because it appears that since the wind is going to be above 15 mph on Saturday that by Sunday prices will be in the upper $2.30's, with lows around $2.29"
I'd pay attention to that report.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
This evening I went to go cut those toppers off, and EVERY single time before, I've had to spend 30-45 minutes just cleaning off my table so I can actually WORK on my table. Everyone comes in and just dumps their papers on my table haphazardly, so stuff spills everywhere and makes a huge mess. So before I can work at my table I have to clean things up. It sounds like I'm complaining again doesn't it? I should hurry on to my point I guess. Today, I went in to cut those very toppers off, and all the papers were stacked neatly in the little piles they're suppose to be stacked in. A usually hour long project took me 30 minutes. My work was quick, and light. I didn't have to spend another 30 minutes ranting about how inconsiderate everyone is, and threatening to do the very same to THEIR workspace and see how they like it and....I'm losing the point here again aren't I? Point is, sometimes, even the people you've grown to expect to not give you any thought, give you a little thought. And when that happens, it's like a breath of fresh air that helps you keep going one more day.
So, even though only one of them reads my blog, THANK YOU PEOPLE, all of you, for making at least one day of my life just a little bit easier. I really do appreciate it. See, not complaining! :)
But, all that said, this morning I looked at my "Positive Quote of the Day" I found this:
I find that it is not the circumstances in which we
are placed, but the spirit in which we face them, that constitutes our comfort.-- Elizabeth T. King
I believe she wasn't meaning to talk about the Holy Spirit, but as a Christian it applies to me none-the-less. I know at some point yesterday (seriously, I remember doing it) that I made a conscious decision to go ahead and be in a bad mood. And then it spiraled from there.I had a bad day because of me. So, keep that in mind as you go about your day. What is your decision going to be? Are you going to be happy and praise God or are you going to be angry, upset, sad, discouraged, disappointed, etc. etc. etc... From personal experience, you'd think it'd feel better to vent and scream at the world but in the end, today I find I only feel remorse and slightly defeated. I believe I let the devil win yesterday, but I don't want to give in to that same thing again today. I don't have to, and neither do you. God loves you, He wants better for you than what the devil offers. I know when I look back on the past month, every day with Jesus, was far sweeter than the one I allowed the devil to own. God chose you, choose God back now.
Monday, December 05, 2005
I went on a bit of a hiatus from blogging while I was working a 2nd job. I don't need a second job, I don't want a second job, as a matter of fact, I'd probably be willing to pay someone to TAKE my second job away from me. But, nevertheless, here I am stuck wtih a second job. It's a newspaper route. I really do enjoy the work itself, I just happen to already have a job so I don't particularly want this new one. But I can't seem to get out of it. I got into it originally a few weeks ago when someone quit without much notice. The boss (a friend) asked me to help him out until he found a new person. So, I started. He then hired someone, and I trained the new guy... then after getting him trained he worked one day on his own before he was fired. So I go back in again, and they give me another new person to train. I get them trained and they worked Sunday by themselves. Unfortuantely this morning at 3:21am my phone rings and it's to let me know that the new lady quit in the middle of the night and would I get up and come on in. So in I went again. So now I'm contemplating the idea that I might actually lose my Christmas days off and getting a bit discouraged about the entire idea. But as I was talking with my mother about the whole thing, she reminded me that God does everything for a reason. Which is scary. Because, the only thing I can see coming out of this whole thing is that I'm bringing in an extra pay check. So, that makes me question, why does God think I need more money? Is there something coming that He knows I'm going to need money for? (comments about Christmas coming aren't what I mean here guys). Still, it makes me wonder. If there's a reason for everything... what's the reason for this?
This one thing stick out in my mind though...
The lady that replaced me on Sunday, she brought her teenaged son with her to help with the Sunday load. And I remember as I loaded my car full of papers I remember the thought hitting me that I should invite the young boy to church. These kinds of thoughts don't strike me very often (I know what you're thinking!) so you'd think I would of paid more attention to it. But I didn't. I pushed it off, and I said maybe I'll ask him next week when I know him a bit better. Maybe he and I both missed out on something yesterday. Maybe God's disappointed in me today. Maybe, the entire excercise was so that I'd learn to obey God on the first prompt? I honestly don't know. I am probably going to be a whole lot more willing to follow the prompts of God next time when it comes to, well, hopefully anything.Oh well. Have you learned anything this year?
Friday, December 02, 2005
So, how are things going? Have you done your Christmas decorating yet? Have you considered gifts yet? This is going to be a little mini rant because I started thinking about it today. But, if you haven't started thinking about what you're going to give people yet it seems like you'll end up just wandering aimlessly closer to Christmas trying to figure out what you're going to get someone because you're running out of time. Does that sound right? The main thing that sticks in my mind is the 'because you're running out of time' part. I think everyone ends up feeling that way. Worried about time and how to make time to do everything.
That's not what Christmas is about.
If you wait until the day before Christmas to buy something, are you buying it because you truly wanted to buy something for someone and give them a gift, or are you buying it because tomorrow is Christmas and you have to put something under the tree for that person? Granted, if you don't put something under the tree for them then you might possibly get in trouble! but, either way, the other person still gets something so they win. The only person that lost out was YOU. The joy of searching to find something that someone will truly enjoy. Do you realize what an unselfish moment that is? You're in no rush, you're just sitting down thinking "what would this person really enjoy?" It's entirely unselfish. And then, once you've figured out what they might enjoy, the joy of watching it being opened is doubled for you. Because you remember picking it out for them (Hopefully not just remembering how crowded it was in the store they day you got it, how expensive it was, or - worse yet - wishing you remembered what it was you actually got them because you've since forgotten).
God's gift to us wasn't hurried. He knew exactly what we needed and He provided it. He knew we wouldn't look at the gift with awe and amazement right away. He knew some people would reject the gift. But He gave us what He knew we needed.
So, I'm going to end this strangely, but... the greatest gift we can give to someone is to help them open the gift God gave them so many years ago. So, if you know someone that doesn't know God, and you know if you give them a bible, or a devotional book or something with Christian significance, that they'll not appreciate it then maybe you'll just understand how God felt in a very small way. But don't discount the gift entirely. Because maybe by doing that you would of actually given God a gift too. Being willing to sacrifice the joy of giving what someone wants, for something they need...
Just think about it.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
First was Philippians 4:6,7
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
The second one was even more powerful for me. It was Psalms 62:8
8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
I can't think of anything that sounds more calming to me. "Trust in Him at all times you people" God's in control, every minute. No matter if I'm tired or confused or hurting or even angry. Trust in God. He's in control. Whatever it is, it's not up to me. It's not up to me.
"Pour out your heart before Him;" How often we need to do that! These problems and trials build up, and truly all we have to do is take them to the Lord. He wants US, all of us. We're so solemn when we come to Him. Honestly, God IS Holy, but we're NOT at least certainly not in comparison. So why do we come to Him with big words and trying to sound more holy than we are? Do we pray as though the fate of someone else lays in OUR hands rather than Gods? Do we pray because it's a "Christian" requirement? Or do we pray because we've got something on our heart, and we won't be satisfied until we tell Him?
"God is a refuge for us." Today, literally I wished I could find a rock and just crawl under it and hide from the world for awhile. And after the words my friend gave me from the Bible I did just that. I went to God and I crawled under the refuge of Him. I haven't completely let go of the burdens. But my load is definitely lighter. And I can blame no one but myself that His mighty refuge didn't calm all my fears. But what a relief it is to know I have that shelter, that refuge to run to.
Before I sign off, I wanted to point out one more thing about that verse.
"Selah" I know what it means, but went online for the official definition. It said - Selah ( Hebrew: סלה) meaning "pause, reflection", within the context of a prayer or psalms, is similar in purpose to Amen in that it stresses the importance of the preceding passage. Ok, I'm not a bible scholar by any means... but I just want to show you something. There are 12 verses in chapter 62. This verse I'm looking at is verse 8. You normally say amen at the end of the prayer right? Who knows, maybe the people that separated the verses and chapters apart did something wrong... but I think David (the writer of Psalms) did that on purpose because he felt the words of verse 8 were important. Verses 5-8 are all especially good. So, I'll leave you with them.
5 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
Monday, November 28, 2005
So, I'm asking you to post in comments your Christmas wish. What do you want for Christmas? On Dec. 15th I'll select one and do my best to fulfill it. So, if only one person comments... then I guess we have a winner eh? Make sure you leave an e-mail or some way of getting hold of you.
So... um...that's what I'm doing. What do you want for Christmas?
So, Thank you Lord, for all that and more.
And, while you're doing that... keep in mind that you're a Christian. A follower of Christ. This is the birthday of your Savior we're talking about. So, get in the spirit and be merry. Sometimes being merry is a choice. So make that choice. This is the most important birthday we'll celebrate all year. And, I personally, think it's quite enjoyable! So enjoy! Remember the reason you're giving gifts, not the money involved. Remember that when you're spending too. Don't put yourself in bankruptcy or debt just because you think you're 9 yr old wants an X box. Give as unto the Lord. When you're using your money unwisely just to give stuff to people, then well, God isn't very glorified in that. Unless God tells you to. Then trust Him. I rambled an awful lot, sorry about that. I'm just too happy. :)
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Now... anyone that knows me, knows I'm not a good cook. So, I wanted to make my Thanksgiving wishes for you, personal. I could find nothing better than this amazing poem.
The Turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air
it knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.
It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with a deafening boom
then splattered all over the kitchen
then splattered all over the kitchen
completely obscuring the room.
It stuck to the walls and the windows
it totally coated the floor
there was turkey attached to the ceiling
where there'd never been turkey before.
It blanketed every appliance
it smeared every saucer and bowl
there wasn't a way I could
that turkey was out of control.
I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure
and thought with chagrin as I mopped
that I'd never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn't been popped.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Chuck Lorre Productions
An open letter of apology
Over the years I have resented you for not being athletic enough, brave enough, funny enough, smart enough, talented enough, handsome enough, rich enough, admired enough, educated enough, New- York enough, out-going enough, quiet enough, old enough, young enough, loving enough, loved enough. I have demanded perfection from you and have found you wanting. The result of this obsession with perfection has been to make you terrified of failure and ridicule, angry at any and all obstacles, and finally, incapable of enjoying the bounty that was not only around you, but within you as well. Well, all that's about to change. From now on, I'm going to make every effort to love and accept you as you are. But since bad habits die hard, I'll start with something easy. From now on, you're old enough.
On my way home from Jack in the box, while I was contemplating this post I was trying desperately to just not cry because I remember being the angry and fearful person. I remember it, and the despair and frustration of it like it was yesterday. But in the last 3 years, Praise God! He's worked such a change in my life. My joy is truly overflowing and I'm h a p p y. You don't realize what a blessing it is unless you've been without that happiness. So let me just tell you, where ever you are, whichever you are, God can change it. God is love, God is joy, God is peace. He can work all those things in you. BUT, it comes at a cost.
I went walking with a fearful person a while back, and when a car pulled into the parking lot at the park we were walking at, the fearful person said we should go. We didn't know what those people were about and so we should leave. I, being the sensitive soul I am HA!, began immediately lecturing about how God didn't give us the spirit of fear and such. But, for her to not be fearful, she would of had to do something far more scary than whatever the people in that car might of done. She would of had to give over complete trust to God for her welfare and protection. The phrase "It's not about me, It's about God" comes to mind right now. Nothing here, is about you. It's all about God. Your life, your death, your joy, your fears, your anger, your sadness, it's all about God. Give all of you, to all of Him, and expect something big to happen. It doesn't happen over night. I'm 3 years down my road... wow, 4 years come this January. But 4 years into this walk leaves me overwhelmed with joy and wonder. I can only imagine 20 years more. God loves you. Trust Him to protect you so you won't be afraid. Trust Him to avenge you so you won't be angry. Trust Him to keep His promises towards you, so you won't be sad. God loves you. I just want to keep saying it until people finallyget it. God loves you. It's a love you can't imagine, for reasons that don't make sense to us. But it's still just as true. God loves you. Love Him back.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
In God's Gift Day #1 I wanted suggestions of gifts I could give God. Michelle posted and asked if I had tried just praying and asking God what gifts I might give Him. Crazily enough I haven't. I have an idea already, that I believe is from God. But unfortunately, *I'm impatient* I know that idea will take a lot of planning and work. And I don't see any way possible for me to do it right now. So, once I had stuffed that idea to the side I just never thought to stop and ask Him if He had any other good ideas. So, thanks Michelle for bringing it to my attention. Who knows, maybe God will just keep telling me I need to implement His plan. Even if it seems impossible to me. It seems crazy how much He loves us. I mean, here I would be trying to give Him a gift and He's trying to get me to give Him one that I think is impossible so He can teach me. In the end I would still benefit. God is incredible.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
I was doing just fine. I was happy, so happy that I'm just walking around a bookstore and I'm wanting to cry or shout or something. And I think...I want to do something for You God. You've done so much for me, I can hardly believe I'm this happy." ok.. that's where it started. Now you remember Noah right? Ok, so God completely destroys the earth. Noah comes out of this boat God told him how to build with himself and his family. The ONLY people left alive. He walks straight over to some rocks and builds an altar for God.
I want to do that.
So I began asking people, if you want to give God a gift, straight to Him, what would you do? Well, they didn't know either.
So, I'm doing the only thing I can think of. Jesus said "If you've done it to the least of these you've done it to me".
So that's where I'm at now, finding the 'least'.
This morning while bike riding I nearly forced some elderly woman into a rain poncho. (She was walking and it was starting to rain). She declined and I kept offering. Day 1 not going well so far. If anyone reading this has suggestions, please let me know. Comment, yell, call, email. Something. Help me out here. And while you're thinking, let me at least clear up half of the e-mails now. I already know I'm suppose to witness. I do that. This is just extra-curricular activity here. I'd like it to be different from my normal daily walk. So, any e-mails telling me I'm suppose to be doing all this anyway... well... go ahead and e-mail/comment. Maybe it'll give me an idea of something else I can do at the least! :)
Friday, November 11, 2005
',~',~',~',~',~',~Thank You Guys!~~',~',~',~',~',~
For all the free people that still protest.
We protect you and you are protected by the best.
Your voice is strong and loud,
but who will fight for you?
No one standing in your crowd.
We are your fathers, brothers, and sons,
wearing the boots and carrying guns.
We are the ones that leave all we own,
to make sure your future is carved in stone.
We are the ones who fight and die,
We might not be able to save the world,
Well, at least we try.
We walked the paths to where we are at
and we want no choice other than that.
So when you rally your group to complain,
take a look in the back of your brain.
In order for that flag you love to fly
wars must be fought and young men must die.
We came here to fight for the ones we hold dear.
If that's not respected,
we would rather stay here.
So please stop yelling, put down your signs,
and pray for those behind enemy lines.
And then when the conflict is over and all is well,
be thankful that we chose to go through hell.
Corporal Joshua Miles
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Which theologian are you?
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16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The main thing the preacher kept repeating was BE RECONCILED. So I guess that part stuck with me the most. He gave the illustration of two friends. Say you owe a million dollars. Apparently you've been doing some blue collar crime for your bail to be that high, that's a totally different topic. :) So, I put the million dollars up for bail and get you out of jail. Maybe we were close friends, but now you know that you owe me a million bucks and you know there's no way to pay me back. You'll never see a million bucks in your lifetime and it's hopeless. Fortunately for both of us, I know it's impossible so I tell you "Don't worry about the money" I clear your debt and you don't owe me anything anymore. I'm hoping, you'll still come over for Thanksgiving. But, Thanksgiving rolls around and you cancel coming. I'm disappointed, because I really enjoy spending time with you. What's keeping you from coming I ask? Only to find out that you still feel bad about owing me the money. To which I'll desperately try and convince you that you don't owe me money. Unfortunately you won't accept the reconciliation I offer. I say your balance has been reconciled and you won't take it. I lose you.
Christians, your sins are forgiven, BE RECONCILED.
Anyway, to carry on with this story, according to my information, this one church decided to see if it's members would follow the guidelines in the book. And ironically enough that same church made headlines not long after they began praying for God's "surprises". This is the church that had it's pastor electrocuted in the baptistry in front of the congregation.
Ok, now before you get mad at me, I'm not about to say God's judgement fell, or that the pastor was in sin. Nothing like that. But, I firmly believe that if you ask God to do something, you should prayexpecting. The bible says (James 5:16) - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Granted, the actual verse is talking about sin and healing. But I believe it applies to anything. Effectual and fervent. I'm sure a lot that we do pleases God and I'm more than certain being fervent about anything concerning Him would please Him. I'm struggling to hold back a rant on the dispassion and indifference of Christians today as I type this. Staying on topic is harder than one might think. Anyway, one might imagine that there are bad surprises as well as good ones. When you're dealing with the Creator of the universe and you want him to 'surprise you', unless you're wholly willing to deal with the outcome, maybe you should pray for 'good' surprises'.
On the other hand, if you are wholly committed to seeing God move in whatever way His heart desires, to allow Him to teach you whatever it is He knows you need to learn in order to meet the challenge that will face you tomorrow, maybe you should simply pray God's will be done in your life. Either way, whether you're praying for a surprise, or God's will, if you pray it fervently, with your whole heart, God will answer. He truly loves you and He truly wants You to know Him. He is holy and we are unworthy, but that doesn't matter to God. God proved time and time again in the bible that He loves His people. And that all we have to do is call out to Him. Call.
Friday, November 04, 2005
But, the meaning still was important to me. It's the same thing that had me read Dream Giver, and Purpose Driven Life. And if you haven't read those books you can just consider this my recommendation... for what it's worth.
Anyway, the whole reason I'm posting right now is because I'd like you to click here and go read this intentional rant. I know I probably haven't been giving you good stuff lately, it's been a rough week, but God really gave me confirmation of things I'd already been thinking through this article, and it really is worth reading, so you should consider the words, and by this point you should have figured out that this is a run on sentence, and that I really don't know what to do about it except possibly put a dot at the end.
My dad is. I woke up early and drove over to my parents house yesterday morning. I arrived at 3:30 am please note, that's in bold because that's way too early to be doing anything. We left from their house to head towards the hospital where dad was to get a biopsy. Or a bibopsy if I could quote a movie... I can't remember which movie at the moment, but I'm pretty sure I liked it. Anyway, we arrive at the hospital at 5:45am, (still too early) and he's suppose to be there at 6am. We're doing good. We wait, and finally about 6am they open the doors to the day surgery unit and we all (there's a whole group of other families doing exactly what we're doing) trudge in. We all wait in line at the reception desk where a nice lady seperates the men from their wives. She sends the men to the left for 'preparing' and the families to the right for waiting. I'd like to be able to tell you I gained a whole new perspective on the term 'wait' and somehow applied it to waiting on the Lord, but I'm afraid I can't. Waiting, is something that no one wants to do, but you just have to sit down and the time will pass. Anyway, let's keep going though.
I discovered the VA Hospital has it's own version of wal-mart inside. I didn't actually buy anything there except my mom and I both pitched in to buy a portable radio with ear pieces so dad could lie there and 'wait' with talk radio on. I also discovered, that people with problems, are the most helpful to other people with problems. More helpful than the staff ever could be, were all the other people milling around that had also spent way too much time in this hospital. They told us how to get everything from food to medicine, radios to valuable artwork. Most important, everyone we asked tried to help us find our car. Which at some point disappeared in the vast recesses of the parking lot. In a way, I also learned how our brain decides things are valuable and holds onto them. While my brain was obsessed with the fact that we were parked at Gen. parking #20, and if I could only somehow find that, we'd find the car...my mom remembered that we came in the door with the 'crinkles'. I'm pretty sure more than a few people thought we were insane as I asked people if they knew anything about the bermuda triangle also known as Gen Parking #20, and my mom asked where the 'crinkle' doors were. In the end, as we waited 2 and a half hours for a 30 minute 'quick' proceedure, we discovered where the true test was.
We didn't get released until 6pm, and didn't get home until 9pm. When they say 'day surgery' I believe the name was meant to warn us that it would be 'ALL day'. Lessons learned I guess. I'm glad it's over. Mostly, I'm glad that I was able to drive them home safely. I never would of lived it down if I'd wrecked their car.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Anyway, I was rolling a newspaper, so I was looking at the articles as they pass by me. It was this article that caught my attention.
In case you're not going to take the time to read it, I'll tell you about it.
This church is doing sunday school lessons on the spiritual... ok hold on... that word is worth repeating the s p i r i t u a l lives of....... The Simpsons. OH COME ON!
Now you know where my title came from.
Ok ok, my old church did a sunday school series on Bonanza? No wait, it was Little House on the Prairie. Based on those.. I'm getting just a little frustrated. Granted, the last line of the article I actually agree with, it says "No matter what TV or movies you watch, there's God in it," Mr. Reinarz said. "You just have to learn to apply it."
I just think we shouldn't be trying all this 'hype' to get people into our church. We've wandered SO far from where we could be. The signs and wonders God said we could do....the FIRE of the Holy Spirit that we are suppose to use....the GOSPEL that we're suppose to preach. Where is it? When is the last time you heard a preacher actually say, THIS, see this , it's sin! DON"T DO IT. Farther down those lines, when is the last time you ever heard some one preach as though if he didn't get his point across, someone might go to hell. Ok, let's take this a bit further and make this personal. When is the last time YOU approached someone as though if you didn't tell them about God they might end up in hell?
When is the last time you read your bible? memorized scripture? spent serious (not just praying over your meals) but serious time in prayer? We're bad examples. The self that we're working towards this entire life through will return to nothing, the soul that we will of left unattended to except for Sunday morning services will live on. The crowns and glory we receive in heaven is based off what we do on earth.
What are you doing? Me? I'm typing a blog. Is God going to claim my blog as a witness and give me credit for it? I don't know. Does God care that I think studying the Simpsons instead of HIM is wrong? Well, I doubt He's concerned about the simpsons at all. Does anything happen when I blog? No. But you know what happened when I prayed? It wasn't one year later that the Burger King that withheld it's ketchup from me went out of business. Coincidence?
Thursday, October 27, 2005
When is the last time you read the book of Ezekiel? or 1 and 2 Chronicles? or Obadiah? If you're still thinking then, it wasn't often enough. Granted, I don't think we're going to lose our salvation because we haven't read His book. But the Bible does instruct us to read it. So the fact that we're not puts us in disobedience. 3 chapters a day is 15 minutes worth of reading. Come on, through our busy lives if we can't find 15 minutes to sit down and read God's word something is wrong. And I think it starts with our priorities. We don't want to read, and in todays society, that means we don't. Study to show yourself approved. Hide God's word in your heart so you won't sin against Him. Make His word a lamp to your feet, so you won't go astray. Join with me, read the bible through in one year. Start reading on your own now! We can do it!
Friday, October 21, 2005
-----The following is an excerpt from gratitude & hoopla
Are You Whole-Hearted?
Are you whole-hearted? I know I'm not. Seldom even close. In fact, I can say in all truth that the most whole-heartedness I have ever known has been has probably been with regard to sin. I have been pretty-near whole-hearted about that at times? Not going into details, mind you.
I was whole-hearted at the birth of my children. At my wedding? Well, mostly numb, I confess. I have on occasion been whole-hearted about the Red Sox (shallow me). Once, as a boy, running down an alley with a bully following close behind crying murderous threats, I ran with all my heart! Another time, I sat on my back porch and read the last pages of How Green Was My Valley, and cried with all my heart.
But the sad fact is, mostly I'm half-hearted. My fervor has a tendency to wane, and my passionate intensity is always accompanied by doubt. I take this to be "the human condition," more or less. That's why appeals to passion always fall short, or so it seems to me. Pep-rally fervor is followed by take-out-the-trash mundane reality. There is glow, then there is after-glow, then there is, well, hardly-any-glow-at-all. That's life. I find myself keenly empathetic with the fellow who cried to Jesus, "Lord I believe. Help my unbelief." [Mark 9:24] Yeah, that's me.
Bob goes on to talk about how the most important part of actions isn't that passion so much as it is the right convictions. Which I agree with completely. May we all begin to pray for right convictions AND passion to fulfill them.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Even now I wouldn't be able to logically explain how it's not true. BUT, the one thing I believe is that it was an attack from the devil. And sometimes you just have to act on faith *take note.. it's Tuesday, so I'm no spiritual super-woman... I've been struggling all weekend!*. But finally, after doing some questioning of friends on the subject of prayer, and finding some scriptures on prayer, AND then having nearly every radio preacher I happened on preaching on prayer, and then clicking on an innocent link, only to find myself face to face with all the greatest preachers I could think of to name, PLUS some - and guess what all the quotes were about? You guessed it, prayer.
The most interesting part in all this is, even though I can't logically explain that I'm not annoying the daylights out of God, and that my heart is breaking at the very idea... I want to pray more than ever. I wonder if the devil ever just punches a wall or something out of sheer anger that we're so unpredictable?
Anyway, I found the quotes here, and thought you might be interested in them. ALSO, since I like them so much, I'm going to link to this guys website, so if you ever want to check out his regular page you'll find his link there.
The following quotations and many more on prayer may be found at Eternal Perspectives Ministries.
"God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it." John Wesley
"No one's a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it." Guy H. King
"Next to the wonder of seeing my Savior will be, I think, the wonder that I made so little use of the power of prayer." D. L. Moody
"The main lesson about prayer is just this: Do it! Do it! DO IT! You want to be taught to pray. My answer is: pray and never faint, and then you shall never fail." John Laidlaw
"Prayer—secret, fervent, believing prayer—lies at the root of all personal godliness." Carey's Brotherhood, Serampore
"Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray, then my dear brother; pray, pray, pray." Edward Payson
"The devil is aware that one hour of close fellowship, hearty converse with God in prayer, is able to pull down what he hath been contriving and building many a year." John Flavel
"Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things 'above all that we ask or think.'" Andrew Murray
"The devil is not put to flight by a courteous request. He meets us at every turn, contends for every inch, and our progress has to be registered in heart's blood and tears." Charles E. Cowman
"Pray for 'all men.' We usually pray more for things than we do for men. Our prayers should be thrown across their pathway as they rush in their downward course to a lost eternity." E. M. Bounds
"Great grief prays with great earnestness. Prayer is not a collection of balanced phrases; it is the pouring out of the soul. What is love if it be not fiery? What are prayers if the heart be not ablaze? They are the battles of the soul. In them men wrestle with principalities and powers..."The prayer that prevails is not the work of lips and fingertips. It is the cry of a broken heart and the travail of a stricken soul." Samuel Chadwick
"Where there is much prayer, there will be much of the Spirit; where there is much of the Spirit, there will be ever-increasing prayer." Andrew Murray
"What has hell to fear other than a God-anointed, prayer-powered church?" Leonard Ravenhill
"Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure." D. L. Moody
"As it is the business of tailors to make clothes, and the business of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray!" Martin Luther
"Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin entice a man to cease from prayer. The spirit of prayer is more precious than treasures of gold and silver. Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan." John Bunyan
"Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness." Martin Luther
"Prayer is not a convenient device for imposing our will upon God, or bending his will to ours, but the prescribed way of subordinating our will to his." John Stott"The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray." Samuel Chadwick"Rich is the person who has a praying friend." Janice Hughes
"Men are God's method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men who the Holy Spirit can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not come on machinery but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer." E. M. Bounds