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Super Granny?

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Draw it for me Grandma

I often draw super heroes for Roland.  In general, I have to have a picture or something to look at.  Roland wanted Iron Man tonight.  I have no idea what Iron Man looks like, so I told him I would have to have a picture.  He disappears with a crayon and a piece of paper.  Soon I hear, “Yup, that’s it.  That’s Iron Man.”   He brings me the drawing and says, “Here you go grandma.”  Needless to say, Grandma had a little bit of trouble drawing Iron Man from Roland’s drawing.  I’m quite impressed by it, but still.  So we looked him up on the computer and I printed one out that he took instead of a grandma drawing (whew!).

Once again, I find myself thinking of the innocence of children.  Roland had no doubt whatsoever that Grandma could perform the task.  She’s Super Grandma, after all!   Do we still think of God in this way?  God can do anything!

“…with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26b

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  Luke 1:37

“Is any thing too hard for the LORD?”  Genesis 18:14a

“…Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to
deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness:
…”   Isaiah 50:2a

But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”  Matthew 8:27

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in
heaven and in earth.”  Matthew 28:18

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

Those are but a few of the many that tell us about the strength and power of God in all three forms of the Trinity.  I have personally seen His power many times.  I know He will never fail (unlike Grandma).  So do you trust Him?  Completely and totally like a child?  Or do you make Him prove Himself repeatedly, forgetting what He’s done before, forgetting who He is?

A friend and I were having a conversation recently.  She was talking about how someone had told her when she keeps bringing up old sins, she’s crucifying Jesus all over again.  This applies here too.  When we say, “I trust you. I don’t trust you.”  We’re flipping and flopping and not really trusting at all.  It is only when we fully trust that God can do anything and will do anything He said He would, that we can fully trust Him.  I think the question is this:  Do you believe or do you not? 

What do you think?

How do you see?

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Prejudice

Prejudice (Photo credit: a77eBnY)

Since I’ve told a few stories on my daughter here, I thought I would take a moment to tell you something good about her.   If my daughter has a prejudiced bone in her body, I’ve never seen it.  She doesn’t see skin color, looks, income, etc. when choosing her friends or boyfriends.   Sometimes this puts her in a precarious situation because she doesn’t see the bad in people, even when they’ve hurt her before.  She is always blindsided by people’s bad sides because she just goes in looking at the good in them.

 

The D is much like my mother, who’s naivity caused problems at times.  Being like my mother is a good thing.  I hope, like her grandma, the D will never lose that inability to see things that others turn their noses up at.  She loves 100% and sees the awesomeness in everyone.   That is one of her most endearing characteristics, and goes along with her servant’s heart.

 

English: See Summary

skin color distribution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I wish I could say I was 100% like her.  I never treat people differently, but sometimes I have to fight the instant prejudices that pop up.  I don’t have very many, but I am sometimes a cynic, and struggle with acceptance in certain situations.  I look at my daughter and see this beautiful young lady, so full of love.  I aspire to be like her in this way.  She loves as if she has never been hurt and gives people too many chances, even when they do hurt her.

 

 Prejudice, which sees what it pleases, cannot see what is plain. -Aubrey de Vere

Matthew 7,12

Matthew 7,12 (Photo credit: GlasgowAmateur)

Matthew 7:12   Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Galatians 3:28  2 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Scripture tells us that we are all the same.  there is nothing that makes one better than the other as far as we are concerned.  While some may reject Jesus, they are just as loved as others.  This is a difficult concept for many.  In the end, we are to treat others just like we want to be treated.  We don’t want others to look down on us, don’t look down on others. . . .

 

Matthew 22:36-40

Multi - Coloured Bodyart

Multi – Coloured Bodyart (Photo credit: humanstatuebodyart)

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

This scripture says it all.  If we love God with all we have and love others as much as we love ourselves,  there will be no racism (acting out of prejudice) and prejudice will have no toe-hold in our lives.  This is my goal.

Do you struggle with this or are you an open book like the D?  Do you have any thoughts on the issue?  

 

Prayer Continued: Quotes and Scripture

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prayer..

prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

I apologize for any wonky formatting.  WordPress is misbehaving today 🙂  Enjoy!Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbour on our knees. Charles Bent

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Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. Corrie Ten Boom

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Anything large enough for a wish to light upon, is large enough to hang a prayer upon. George MacDonald
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As a people of faith, we know that prayer is a powerful instrument. And as one Nation under God, we know that many times our most powerful tool is prayer. Nick Rahall
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By my definition, prayer is consciously hanging out with God. Being with God in a deliberate way. Malcolm Boyd

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Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them. Mahalia Jackson

 

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For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God. Saint Teresa

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Grudge no expense – yield to no opposition – forget fatigue – till, by the strength of prayer and sacrifice, the spirit of love shall have overcome . Maria Weston Chapman

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If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say that it is in one word – prayer. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell. Charles Spurgeon

 

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In our home there was always prayer – aloud, proud and unapologetic. Lyndon B. Johnson

 

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In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words with out a heart. John Bunyan
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More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.   Tennyson
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A Scripture Resource on Prayer
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The Lord's Prayer (1886-1896) from the series ...

The Lord’s Prayer (1886-1896) from the series The Life of Christ, Brooklyn Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God knows the need            Matthew 6:5-8

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How NOT to pray           Matthew 6:5, 7-8

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How To pray           Matthew 6:6; Matthew 6:9-13; Mark 11:25; James 1:5-6

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Pour out your heart in prayer            Psalm 62:7-8
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Pray without ceasing/continually           Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 18:1; Luke 21:34-36; Luke 22:40; Luke 22:46; Romans 12:10-12; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; I Thessalonians 5:17; I Timothy 2:8
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Praying for Others          Matthew 5:43-44; Luke 6:27-28; Ephesians 6:18; I Timothy 2:1-3; James 5:14-16; I John 5:16
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Praying in the Spirit          Jude 20
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The Prayer Faith and of a Righteous Man and of the upright           James 5:15, 16; Proverbs 15:8

Me? A Minister?

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In my class today, we discussed the term:  MINISTRY

When asked what this means, the general answers had to do with something a preacher does.  They didn’t understand that, a person in Christ, IS a minister, at least in the sense that we are all called to minister to others.  We are responsible to minister to those around us who have needs.  Whether the need is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, God calls each of us to be AWARE of needs around us.  Once we are aware of a need, He wants us to figure out how to meet that need.

The main points from the lesson:  1.  Ministry is NEEDED.  2.  Ministry is SELFLESS. and  3.  Ministry is VERTICAL (*attribution for these three points is below)

FMSC Distribution Partner - World Harvest Chri...

FMSC Distribution Partner – World Harvest Christian Ministries – (Photo credit: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC))

1.  Ministry is NEEDED.

Not many would argue with the first point.  People all around us are in need.  In fact, we are in need too.  God calls us to meet certain needs for certain people.  If He brings them to your awareness, you are probably the one He wants to work through.  One problem with this, however, is that we often have our head in our own business (or in our computer, cell phone, gaming system, …) and don’t see the needs that pass us by each day.   So our first step in seeing that Ministry is needed is to open our eyes and look outside ourselves.

2.  Ministry is SELFLESS.

Jesus on the wall of the senior Home

Jesus(Photo credit: freestone)

Our passage was Matthew 25:34-40 [see below] where Jesus rewards those who have ministered to Him.  Their response was, “Huh?  What?  When did we ever do anything for you?”  One reason for their surprise might have to do with point 2.  They just ministered as a natural thing.  They didn’t do it for reward.  They did it out of selflessness, and so didn’t see that they had done anything special like:  Minister to Jesus!I mean, if we knew we were ministering to Jesus, I’m guessing many more would step up to the plate.  Unfortunately for us, we minister to Jesus by ministering to ‘the least of these’.  That is that homeless man, the unwashed, the unlovely, etc.  They don’t look like Jesus.  In fact, they might look like someone we would want to stay far away from.  That’s part of the selflessness in ministering.  It’s putting your arm around someone who isn’t lovely or doesn’t smell so good.  It’s about being kind to someone who will then become your shadow because you were kind to them.  It’s about going beyond your own “ickies” and doing it anyway, without a second thought for your own comfort, but an over-arching concern for another human being.

 

Drawing (and idea) by Angela Young
[feel free to use with or without attribution]

3.  Ministry is VERTICAL

In the last point, ministry is about Jesus.  It’s about our relationship with God.  When we do unto the least, we do unto Jesus.  When we grow in our vertical relationship, we become more aware of the horizontal needs around us.  God often sends me people who are Christians but have fallen away from the church and God or people who are grieving.  This is one of my personal ministries because God has gifted me in this area.  While I have certainly ministered in other ways, and seen this type of ministry all my life through my parents, God tends to send me to the people He knows I will be the best help too.  I am also much more likely to have an awareness of those particular needs.

Do you have a personal ministry?  Where do your ministry gifts lie?   Are you willing to minister wherever God calls you?  Are your senses open to the needs of those around you?  Have you ever passed a ministry by because you were too busy or didn’t want to deal with the person?  I have to say yes to every one of these questions, and I must confess to developing a certain apathy at times.   I have also fallen into the “yeah, but I’m tired, I can’t do that, you don’t really need me, ….” syndrome as well.  I suspect I’m not alone.  Today, I confess any apathy in my heart and repent.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

*3 points of lesson and term AWARE taken from:   Life FOCUS Leader Guide (ISSN:  1945 – 0907; Item 005075013). Summer 2012.  June 17, Midweek plan.  Written by Joel Carter and Anna McKenzie.

Casting Crowns:  Does Anybody Hear Her?     http://youtu.be/viZ6H_2E7iU

Anyone want to give me a lesson in how to get these to embed?  Embed code doesn’t seem to work.  I hope you’ll click the link and listen to it though. 🙂

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Eureka! It’s a Celebration!

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Today I had something very unexpected happen.  Before I tell you what that was, I want to give you a bit of history.  From the time I was old enough to understand, my Mother told me I would get her ring when she died.  She had a jeweled watch that was the “wedding ring” of her mother that would go to my sister.  Toward the end of her life, my mother had to undergo chemo for uterine cancer.  She decided to hide her rings for fear of something happening to them while she was gone.  {Why then I have no idea.}  When she got home, the rings were “not where she put them.”

 

After much hunting, we thought the rings had been stolen and probably pawned for drug money.  My mother did not survive her cancer, and the rings were never found.  Mom passed away over 7 years ago, so it’s about 8 since I have seen her rings.  I struggled greatly over this and learned a lesson.  Don’t count your chickens don’t anticipate ownership of something in the future because you never know if it will happen or not.  It was an exercise in surrender for sure, but that’s another story.  Even when moving my dad out of the parsonage and going through everything, we did not find the rings.

 

I had surrendered them long ago, but had told God “if there be any way possible to bring them back to me.”  I didn’t want them for their monetary value.  I wanted them because they belonged to my Mommy!  All that to say this:  when I got to my Dad’s tonight, he showed me a set of rings one of his church people had found in the back of a dresser from his old house.  The rings had returned!!!!!      After many tears and prayers of gratitude, I slipped the rings on my little finger, having attained my inheritance at last!  GLORY!  What a wonderful Mother’s Day present to me.

This event reminded me of the parable of the lost coin.  In Luke 15:8-10, we find her story as told by Jesus.

 

The Lost Drachma

The Lost Drachma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light    a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?   9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

While I did not have multiple rings, we did spend a lot of time searching for the lost ring.  It worried my mother so much, but in the end, I was happy just to have had her, even if the ring was never found.  The purpose of this parable was to point out that Jesus came to seek the lost and the sick, not those who were whole.  He values every person so much that He searches for them and draws them until they are found.

 

A better analogy here would be the “pearl of great price” found in Matthew 13:45-46. 

45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

My mother’s wedding rings can never be replaced; they are valuable to me because they belonged to my mother.  You could offer me any amount of other rings of greater monetary value, and I would not trade you.  The kingdom of heaven is like that; it also can never be replaced.  It is of such great value that it is worth more than anything else we might have or could get.  Finding the Kingdom of Heaven (finding entry through the door of Jesus Christ) is more valuable than anything else.  In fact, it is life or death.  It is worth giving up everything else the world has to offer.  What good are worldly riches if we miss out on the greatest riches?  What good are other relationships if we miss out on a relationship with our God?  Finding the kingdom of heaven is the ultimate prize.

 

Have you found the pearl of great price?  Do you recognize its value?  Do you treat it as valuable?

Pearl nl: Parels de: Perlen

Pearl nl: Parels de: Perlen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many Christians today do not act as if they know the value of what they have in Christ.  We are somewhat dismissive as we go about our daily routines, giving God Sunday mornings and maybe a tad more.  If we really understood what we have been given, if we really understood that this valuable gift is available to all, we would live with intention.  We would seek the pearl ourselves with all we have, and we would tell others how to get it as well.  I feel a bit disjointed in my writing here, so I hope it speaks to you as it has to me.

 

Communication Busters: Predicting the Future

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Things one of my adult children has predicted:

—>”She’ll be mad at me if I speak up.”  (And to this I say, “So?”)

—>”They won’t give me a job.”

—>”You know he’s not going to do it. “ (When told to ask Dad something)  “He’s just going to lecture me.” (This one may have something to it lol).

—>“They won’t like me.”

—>”I’m going to go blind.”  (Repeatedly in childhood after hearing she could go blind by staring at the sun during an eclipse.)

—>”They’re going to take me away and put me in a school for bad kids.” (After a teacher told the class a new school was being built for recalcitrant students.  Since she struggled in school, she assumed it was for her. — 5th grade)

—>”Grandpa got up at 5am and turned on the TV, LOUD!  I can’t make it with only three hours sleep!  Why does this always happen to me?. . . ………………..>” (This was a 20 minute conversation by phone at a little after 5am LAST WEEK!  I guess if she loses sleep, that means mom has to as well????)

OK, that’s enough telling on my  (24 yo) child.

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Biting one's lip can be a physical manifestati...

Biting one's lip can be a physical manifestation of worry. Español: Morderse los labios puede ser una manifestación externa de inquietud. Русский: Плачущая девочка. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you do this too?  Do you worry over a future that hasn’t happened yet?  Are you anxious about future events?  Have you not done something because you predicted a bad end? (I’m talking about normal, safe events, not jumping off a cliff.)  All of us have done this.  Some have done, do, and will do this repeatedly.  It has become ingrained and habitual.

 

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The Bible tells us, “Sufficient unto the day are the evils thereof.”   (Matthew 6:34b)

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.. and looking at her face you can see that sh...

.. and looking at her face you can see that she's beginning to worry about everything like a grown up! "Our problems start when we don't die young." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The rest of that verse tells us “Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”   In NASB, this reads:  “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”  Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, this is good advice.  Have you ever been able to change something by worrying about it?  (That is aside from raising your blood pressure, turning your hair white, driving others crazy, ….)  How many times have you worried yourself over something and none of your worries came to pass?☺♥☺♥☺

Matthew 6:27 tells us “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?”   Can you grow taller by worrying about it?   Can you add one moment more to your life by worrying? (More likely the opposite in this case.)

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The entire passage Matthew 6:25-34 reads thus:

Climbing lilly

Climbing lilly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

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In a nutshell, this tells us to stop worrying, God’s got it!  Those of us who know God, should trust that He will take care of us.  Worry is the antithesis of Faith.  The two do not go together.  For others, worry still doesn’t help at all.  Life has a way of going on, whether our predictions come true or not.  The majority of our worries never happen.

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Are you a worry wart, anxiety-ridden or a future telling drama queen/king?  How do you deal with worry when it pops up?  Do you know someone who worries?  How do you feel about that?  Any advice for dealing with chronic worriers?

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My confession:

I am in recovery from an (5) anxiety disorder, but I am not a worrier.  With chagrin, I will admit that my lack of worrying often drives others nuts as much as my daughter’s chronic worrying does me. 😀  I have recently realized that I still have these types of fortunate/future telling thoughts.  These are examples only, but you get the point:

—>Don’t let her have that pencil, she’ll poke her eye out.

—>Don’t let the kids go out in that deep grass. (They’ll get bit by a tick and develop lyme disease.)

 

So I realize I still catastrophize at times.  (Tune in for a future post on that subject.)

 

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