Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prayer is the key

Psalm 55:16-17
As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Prayer is a powerful weapon we have to battle the ups and downs of life. It is an opportunity to go before God with our problems and concerns. It is an opportunity to go before God with our praise and thanksgiving. It is a chance to ask for what we think we need. It is a chance to appreciate the blessings we have received. 

Prayer is a private, intimate, quiet time where we reveal to God those portions of ourselves that no one else sees. It is a time to reveal our true selves that only God knows. 

Prayer is the key to a healthy relationship with God. It is the way that we stay in communication. And as we know, every relationship needs good communication to survive.

Wikihow gives 3 tips to developing good communication:
1. Know what communication really is (the process of transferring signals/messages between a sender and a receiver).
2. Have the courage to say what you think.
3. Practice

(Read the entire article here: 

As it applies to prayer, it is the method of transferring and sending messages between you and God. It is our way to stay in contact with him.  Prayer requires courageous honesty.  You might as well say what you really think because God knows what you really think anyway. And you get better with practice, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

There  really are no rules to prayer. You can do it when you want, how you want, how often you want. That's  between you and your God. There are, however, some guidelines (see Matthew 6:9-13). And there's something special about praying three times a day: evening, morning, and at noon, starting off your day with God, checking in with God in the middle of the day, and ending your day with God.

It is nice to have that kind of regularly scheduled communication with God. So set up three appointments 6:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 6:00 pm. Call upon God. He will hear you. Prayer is the key.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

God is

Psalms 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were [any] that did understand, that did seek God.

Seeking God is a skill, just like learning to read.  It is something that must be practiced every day until it becomes second nature. 

As children, we first learned letters and their sounds, learned to put those sounds together to make words, learned to put the words together to make sentences. And now, as adults, we read and write without consciously thinking about those steps. We've been practicing all our lives. It is engrained in our minds. We do it without even thinking about it. 

The same is true about seeking God. We must first learn that God is. He is everywhere, He is everything, He just is. 

We have to accept that God dwells in all people. No matter how broken, how damaged, how far they have strayed, how much they gossip and back bite... God is in there somewhere. 

We must acknowledge God in every interaction, every conversation, every conflict, every trouble, every blessing. God is there, because we are there, and God  dwells within us. 

The more we practice seeking God, the better we will get at finding Him everywhere. And before we know it, it will become second-nature, it will become engrained in our spirits. And we will be able to say, with true understanding, that God is. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cleaning Up

Psalms 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.

There is something about being clean. After I've washed away all the dirt and grime that has built up on my skin over the course of the day. There's just something wonderful about being clean. And the thing is...I don't even notice all the dirt as its collecting on my skin. As much as I love being clean, I don't even notice that I'm getting dirty. 

So it is with sins and vices and bad habits. We walk through life picking them up and allowing them to dirty our spirits. Sometimes we don't even notice how we've hurt someone else; how we've turned our backs on the commandments; how far we've come from being the spiritual beings we are called to be. As much as we love God, we still manage to get dirty. 

Thankfully, every day is another opportunity to get clean. All we have to do is acknowledge our sins, vices, shortcomings, oversights or whatever we want to call them. Acknowledge them and really feel sorry that we've allowed ourselves to get dirty. Then seek forgiveness from those we have hurt, including ourselves, and be willing to forgive those who have hurt us. And finally, be willing to walk in a new way. Walk in the light of a new clean heart. Bask in the beauty of a renewed spirit.

It is hard work to scrub free of all our iniquities,  but well worth it. And we have the benefit of a loving, awe inspiring, wonder-working God to help us with the really tough places. There  is just something wonderful about being clean. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Vision

John 9:4

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:  the night cometh, when no man can work.


This post and scripture was inspired by a conversation I had with a dear friend.  He recently lost his father and as we were recapping some of the last moments he had with his dad, he mentioned a couple of things that he learned.  He said his father was a visionary, and that he was always thinking three steps ahead.  It made me began thinking about how important a vision is to one’s life and the fact that we “all” should have one.

From the day you are formed there is a vision for your life.  God has a vision for you; your parents have a vision for you.   These visions help shape your future and your spiritual development.  Webster defines vision as the act or power of seeing.  Webster goes on to say it is a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination.  Through God we have the ability to see what God has in store for us in our future, you just have to believe and allow God to lead your life.  Your parents picture/have a vision of the future they intend for you and the child they hope and pray you grow up to be.  They have hopes, dreams, and aspirations for you.  Both God and your parents help develop and nurture you by loving, protecting, and caring for you, in hopes of you fulfilling your purpose here on earth.

There comes a point in life when you will build a vision for yourself.  You will have your own goals to achieve, and dreams to pursue.  Having a vision will help you overcome obstacles, hold on when times are rough, help you stay focused, and help you fulfill your purpose.  A man with no vision can lack drive, hope, and miss his purpose.  This is why having a vision is very important.  A vision is a strong force that will keep you motivated, open your mind to endless possibilities, and help you see a future that is bright. Leaders do not see visions as a dream but as a reality that can and will come into existence.   You have to view your life the same way and believe in what God has in store for you. You have to see the future “you” and focus on your present condition and how you are going to get there.

The scripture says I must work the work of him that sent me, while it is day.  To achieve your vision you have to work.  You have to be willing to invest in your future in hopes that there is a brighter side further on.  The race is not given to the swift but to he who endurath to the end.  Your vision may require late nights, tears, sadness, pain, hard work, sacrifice, and happiness.  The continuous presence of God and a vision will help you build resistance against these negative setbacks. God will give you all that you need to carry out your vision.  The scripture goes on to say at night no man can work.  Once you return to the earth you can no longer work.  This scripture symbolizes how important it is to do all you can with your time here on earth.  Don’t allow your living to be in vain.  Have a vision, work by day, and feel good about all that you have accomplished. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Time for Judgment

Psalms 50:6
And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

I want to be a better person. I want to grow spiritually. I want to change. I want to walk in a new way. The only way to change, however, is to first acknowledge where I am.  What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? Where do I keep messing up over and over and over again? And most importantly, where do I stand in terms of my relationship with God?

I admit that in the morning, when the world is quiet, before the day has begun, that God is my refuge and strength. I declare that in the evening, after the day is over, my God and I have a reunion. But in the middle of the day, in the midst of the noise and confusion, work and kids... I struggle to maintain a strong, intimate relationship with God. I struggle to hold my peace in the face of challenges. I struggle to keep my ego in check. I struggle to lean not to my own understanding, even though I know for myself that God is the only way.

Now is the time for me to take a long, hard, courageously honest look at myself. It is time for introspection. I looked up the definition of introspection and it means the examination or observation of ones own mental and emotional processes. Synonyms are self analysis, self examination, reflections, and soul searching.  But how? How do I deep into the recesses of my soul? How do I examine what is right in my life and what needs changing? How do I give myself a spiritual check up to analyze if I am keeping God's commandments? That I am living within the framework of the covenant? 

Some people meditate.  Some people run. Some people go fishing. As for me, I write. 20 minutes of unedited, unadulterated, pure truth. 20 minutes of judging myself harshly, of being unashamedly real about where I have fallen short, messed up, hurt people, hurt myself.

And when I'm done, to bring myself back to center, I remember that God is judge himself. And that He is a forgiving God. Much more ready to forgive me than I am ready to forgive myself. He is a God of love, and He loves me unconditionally.  In spite of my shortcomings. This doesn't mean that I shouldn't work harder and strive to do better. It inspires me to mirror the love that God has shown me, and to be a reflection of His forgiveness in my daily walk. Today is the day that I will declare His righteousness, for God himself is judge. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

When is my change going to come?

Psalm 30:5 For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

This is one of the most frequently quoted verses in the Bible. It gives hope and encouragement to those in the midst of trials and tribulations. It reminds us that trouble won't last always. It inspires us to change our focus from tonight's weeping to tomorrow's joy.

But lets be honest. A "night" of weeping might last months or years. There is no biblical guarantee that we are only going to suffer for a mere 8 hours before our change comes.

We often think that we have dominion over time. We take for granted the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year. We rely on that structure to schedule appointments and fill our days. We even know the exact moment every day that night turns into morning. 6:06 am today, to be exact.

It is that exact nicety that makes waiting patiently on the LORD such a delightful spiritual challenge in our day.

It forces us to stop asking the question, when will my change come. Because our time is not God's time. It's cliche, I know, but still sound doctrine.

Perhaps we should stop thinking of time in literal hours, and counting down the minutes until we are delivered from weeping into joy. What if we embraced our night of weeping as a phase, as a level of spirituality that we must experience before we are ready to cross over into morning, to attain higher spiritual heights.

Perhaps, while we are in the midst of a trying time, we strengthen ourselves with prayer and meditation. We feed our spirit with the Word of God. So that we are not just passively waiting on the LORD to turn night into day, but we are actively participating in our own transformation from weeping into joy.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Peace that Passeth Understanding

Philippians 4:4-7

King James Version (KJV)
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Within the past couple of months, I have gone through a lot. I've seen the depths of medical depression, had financial conundrums, and most recently became engaged in a battle for custody of my children. In these faith-testing times, I really have found comfort in the Word. It honestly and truly has helped calm fears, renew strength and advise well.

The scripture I read today was given to me by my mother, who constantly reminds me to see God in everything. When I read the words, I felt totally refreshed. It really puts things into perspective.

  • Rejoice in The Lord always- whether I am going into a new problem, right in the middle if a problem, or coming out of a problem, there is always something to be thankful for! Inhale. Exhale. Perfect reasons!
  • Be careful for nothing- be concerned but don't worry! Don't be afraid of anything because God controls everything!
  • Let your requests be known unto God- take your burdens to Him and leave them there!
  • And the peace of God- when we acknowledge the presence of God in every and all situations, there is a peace that envelops you and causes all stress and strain to subside. It baffles the forces that wish to see you fail. It baffled me; even though on paper there are a lot of things that are awry, I am at peace. He didn't bring me to these "Jordans" to not let me cross over them. 
In the face of my mountains, I'm rejoicing! I'm singing! I'm smiling and dancing! I have received my gift of peace and I'm basking in it! It's mine and you can't take it! The good thing is God has some for you too :)