Friday, February 28, 2014

Invitation to the Kingdom

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. (Matthew 11:28-30, AMP)

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

Ready, GO!

The sun is coming through the fog of this morning. Just like my day yesterday. There was fog yesterday morning. I do not like it when people expect me to adapt to their irresponsibility. I had one of those situations, and I ended up being the one apologizing. Go figure! I always apologize when I set boundaries when someone expects me to reorient my whole day, and I say, "I cannot." I need to grow in that area.

All that said, I had prayed that the appointment would cancel earlier in the morning. (I am an introvert, and I have been spending a lot of people time, and I always need balance.) So, God answered my prayer, but not before I had already shut down the work that I was doing and got all dressed and ready to go. I am glad that I heard about the change BEFORE I got out the door instead of when I was already at the meeting place and in limbo. All that said, I didn't like how I was the one who looked like I had canceled and apologized. 

I was stressed from saying, "No." And it sent me off into such a season of doubt, and I just had a stressful morning as a result. Then, I get cc'd on an email where someone is clearly not happy with the lack of planning on another person's part. I do not like disharmony, but I totally see why the person was unhappy. It was another one of those situations where someone goes ahead with an action and doesn't consult with the people who will be doing all the ground work. I got caught up in the stress of that interaction, wondering what work it would entail for me. Stress in composing my email to contribute to the dialogue, and what happens? My computer decides to automatically shut down due to an update! LOL! 

That was the perfect thing to have happen. Perfect, perfect, perfect. I went BACK to prayer! Then, I got back on and totally deleted what I wrote and wrote a much shorter, non-stressed letter.


Then I had my GO TO GIRLS Prayer Team pray for the stress. Then, Michael said he was going to go workout, and I went away from the computer and got a good workout on the elliptical and weights, and then he went with me and helped me with the grocery shopping! YAY! 

There was one appointment that I was looking forward to, and I think the enemy did not want it to happen. She thought I was too stressed to meet and wanted to give me the time off, and I insisted that she come. WOW! I am so glad I did! Four and half hours of deep listening prayer later (and fifteen pages of notes), she was a much freer woman!  And the SON was shining! No more fog. Gotta' love that!

So, today the sun is shining. My Byzantium music by Jeff Johnson is playing. The kitchen is clean. I had a great inner room prayer time. I have nothing on my schedule (The person who wanted to meet me never confirmed so if she calls, I am going to say, "No" without guilt [hopefully]). 


It is going to be 61 degrees today, and I think I am due for a bike ride and then a nice Pilate cool-down at SNAP Fitness followed by reading The Screwtape Letters which is so perfectly timed with the enemy hassle that I received yesterday. 

God is so much more powerful than anything our enemy can muster!

Pressing without proofreading as the timer goes off!

Matthew 6:5-6 - Go to your INNER ROOM

HIS WORDS

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  

MY WORDS

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites who make a show out of their public prayers in the synagogues and on the street so that others will see them and think they are holy and righteous. It is a very true statement that they will have their full bad reward.  But when you ordinary people pray, go away to a private place and pray just to your Father, and your Father will see you (even if others do not) and give you a good reward.

I WILL

Yesterday was a pray in secret day when it was so stressed, and I am so glad you directed me to my inner room. Now to another inner room time RIGHT NOW. I will not delay. :) WOOHOO! 




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Matthew 5:43-45 -- Praying for Those Who Persecute You

HIS WORDS

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (NASB95)


“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. (The Message paraphrase)

MY WORDS

"You have heard it said in Leviticus 19:18, 'YOU WILL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR,' and has been interpreted from Psalm 139:21,22 to 'Hate your enemies," but that is not it at all, we are to love our enemies because they are our neighbors too. Pray for those who give you a hard time or treat you unfairly (Proverbs 25:21). This show that you are child of God and acting in a way that reflects who you were meant to be in His eyes; in His image. He faithfully gives His best to everyone (even those who reject Him) causing the sun to always rise and the rain to fall on both evil and good people. 

I WILL 

Every day of prayer, these same people come up. They persecuted me for doing right. Then they have continued to slander me even four years later. This is the second time this week (the first from reading Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World) I have been convicted that the reason You bring them to mind during my days of prayer is to PRAY for them! I know praying daily for a person many years ago caused all the weirdness to go away. So, I will try to remember to pray daily for these people. Makes me sad because they slander me based on a false perception of a situation. Most difficult was that I had spent so much time helping them both with needs they had. We really thought we had been helpful, but instead of a thank you I got a personal attack from two people, and I still get those attacks for things my husband said, and I did not (even what he said was not bad, but for some reason, they are mad at me and not my husband). So, I could whine on, but I will just pray. The weird thing is that all the people who have come to us with their slanders said that they wished they could have been bold enough to say what we did, but I did not say it! So weird. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

7. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

I was impressed with Obama's prose. It helped me understand the background behind his ideology, and his idealism shows through on every page of this book. He was raised in a multicultural environment rather than within the African American culture. He has led a fascinating life, and he has come a long way.  I read this because one of my applications from my Prayer Bible Study was to pray for him. This helped me do that more effectively. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Calorie Burning while Standing

I thought FOR SURE, my calories burned would be low, and when I saw my results this morning, I thought it was WRONG. Then, I went through every single bump up and down! It was all about getting ready for church, walking to and from church and wedding shower, standing during those events talking to people, getting ready for my date night, etc. I stood a LOT yesterday, and I almost met my calorie goal with NO EXERCISE! I do not know why I am shocked, but I always become so!








Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mark 11:24-25 - When You Pray, Forgive

HIS WORDS

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. (NASB95)

That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.” (The Message) 

MY WORDS

Since the fig tree withered when I cursed it, and I just told you that you can tell a mountain to move, I want you to know that you can pray about everything as you walk with Me, and you will get God's very best for you. And when you go to pray, remember it is not just asking, it is also about forgiving others. So, forgive others so God will also forgive you. 

I WILL

Be at peace with all men. I think I am, as far as it depends on me, but I will make sure I am sensitive in my prayer time today to listen to lack of forgiveness in my heart toward anyone. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Romans 8:26-27 - Spirit Groanings

HIS WORDS

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

MY WORDS

In the same way the Spirit of God is arousing within our desire for full deliverance from this world into our glorious future, giving us a taste of the blessings of heaven, the Spirit continually carries the heavy load of our physical, emotional, and spiritual disabilities as we wait in this fallen world. One of way we are weak is that we do not always know what we should pray, but the Spirit Himself comes to the rescue in this by continually pleads on our behalf or those we are pleading for with sighs beyond our words (making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans, The Message). And God Who searches the hearts of men knows what is the intent of the Holy Spirit is, because the Holy Spirit approaches, appeals to, and pleads before God on behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will [Psalm 139:1,2]) 

I WILL

Wow! What a wild ride I went on while meditating. I was reminded of riding in my car in 1985 with Kelly Willard singing on my cassette player:

I feel like I want to praise Jesus 
I don't even think I know how
But the Spirit gives groanings
Too deep for words
So here I am 
Take me now
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
(from Songs, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs)

I had just returned from trying to reason with a friend who was going in the opposite direction from God, and I was at my whits-end praying for her as I drove past Newberg on HWY 99W. The Spirit interceded for me in that moment. It was an overwhelming sense of His presence.

I will remember and rely on the Holy Spirit as I continue to intercede for people in seemingly impossible situations. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Luke 21:34-36 - Be Ready and Attentive

HIS WORDS

Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

MY WORDS

Be ready at all times, so that your hearts are not entangled with the affairs of this life like the headache, handover, and shooting pain and confusion arising from drinking too much or even just the everyday worries associated with life, and because of being not ready you miss the day of His return that will come suddenly like a noose around your neck. It will surely come on everyone on earth. So, be discreet, attentive, and ready at all times, praying that you have have full strength and ability and are counted worthy to escape all these things that will take place at the Second Coming, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man. 

I WILL

Pray at my mountain prayer time and be watchful! 


Friday Fifteen Freewrite

Life has been rather busy so I have not done a freewrite in ages. I have posted quite a bit here though because I am doing the SUPER SUNDAY TO EASTER PRAYER CHALLENGE. I love it. It has been such a good shot in the arm, but I am sitting more than normal because of it as I am doing it on this blog. First, I was journaling it and then transcribing it on to the blog. That was way too much time. Then I just went to doing it on the blog, but I am wondering if I might meditate and pray and WALK. Just sitting too much. I have combined the PRAYER CHALLENGE verses with the GOSPEL STUDIES that we are doing in our Kingdom Community now. So that is really helping me not do double duty. When I am in Luke for the Kingdom Community, I just stop at the verses that are in the topical PRAYER CHALLENGE study and do a Discovery Bible Study on it. WIN WIN. But still, I am trying to sit less and move more. 

It isn't so much that the sitting is bothering my back, but I am not burning enough calories each day because of all the sitting. I overate 363 calories average a day over a 7 1/2 week period! Ack! I couldn't believe it when I got on the scale. I am still well within my comfortable range, but I like to be smack dab at the medium frame weight, and I am above that. So, I have declared war! Yesterday was GREAT! I realize it will take me about 40 days to get back down to that comfortable weight, and I just need to MOVE more and EAT less. So, I have my FACED accountability partners alerted, and I am reporting daily again. YAY! It is so much easier to course correct than gain all the weight I lost BACK and have to go back to square one. My one year anniversary for all the weight is April 8th, and I am determined to be that same weight even though I have fluctuated up and down a bit throughout the year. Someday, I will be better at just staying within my calorie needs every day, but it is the learning curve, and I am retraining myself. So, I am not worried. It helped to go over the 8 Ways to Increase Your Serotonin and Dopamine Levels Naturally because I gave a link to all of my VLOGS to a woman struggling with depression the other day. 

Speaking of depression. So many people are struggling with it. I am amazed. It is an epidemic. I have never struggled with it, just been blue a few times for longer than normal; but nothing clinically so. I am sure it is debilitating. My heart goes out to the two people I talked to yesterday.

Well, back to the whole eating thing. I wondered if there was something to me eating when I am stuck inside. I have never thought of myself as having any kind of food addiction (maybe back in the 80's but not lately), but I had this memory of being sick and my mom giving me canned ravioli and black cherry soda in the blue glass pitcher and glass on the blue tray (my mom gave it to me a few years ago, but the pitcher broke in transit from California to Oregon.) That was the "tradition" for whenever I was sick (which was not very often). I would love to be sick! My mom was caring and loving and not so distracted. So whenever I seem to be "stuck in bed," not because of sickness but from needing to rest my back after OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy) or PT or because I need down time when my natural rhythm crashes at 3 pm, I like to eat. There is something about eating and lying in bed, and I think it stems back to that WARM memory of my mom being attentive and caring. So, I am still asking God to show me more from that memory, and I can do that because I am going to a MOUNTAIN TO PRAY TODAY!

YAY! Fifteen minutes now! TTFN!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Luke 18:1-8 - Persistent Faith

HIS WORDS

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’ ” 

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

MY WORDS

Now he was telling a story that helped them understand that they should always pray and not give up saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who was not a follower of God and did not care very much about men. In the same city, there was a widow who kept coming to him saying, "I need to be protected by the courts from my enemy!" At first, he just brushed her off, but afterward he said, 'Even though I am not a follower of God or care about men, I am going to give this woman legal protection or she will harass me and tire me out!'

Then Jesus aid, "Did you hear what the unrighteous judge said? He was a man who couldn't give a rip about God or people, but because this woman was persistent, he gave her what she wanted. Wouldn't God who CARES about His people who call out to Him day and night give them justice, and will He even delay in giving it to them? I am telling you the truth, He would do it in a flash. However how much of this kind of persistent faith will He find on earth when He returns?

HE WILL FIND ME!!!!!!!

I WILL


Continue to plead with God night and into the day tomorrow for the things that have been heavy on my heart lately. The Prayer Mountain day tomorrow could not come soon enough!

Romans 10:12-13 - Call On the Name

HIS WORDS

(10:11 added for context: The Scripture says, "NO MAN WHO BELIEVES IN HIM [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ] WILL [ever] BE PUT TO SHAME OR BE DISAPPOINTED. [Ps. 34:22; Isa. 28:16; 49:23; Jer. 17:7.] , Amplified )

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." 

(10:14-15 are added for context [and because it is what I am most passionate about]: How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!")

MY WORDS


God does not show partiality for Jew or Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all of us, able to give the riches of His grace to everyone who calls upon Him in faith; for Joel 2:32 says, "Whoever will call upon the name of Christ for aid will be preserved safe from eternal death, sin, and the punishment and misery consequent to sin." 

I WILL

Continue to call on His name so that some of my friends will "call on His name"!

Romans 10:1-2 - Prayer for Full Understanding

HIS WORDS

Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I bear them witness that they have zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

MY WORDS

Brethren, the desire of my heart and prayer to God for the Jews is that they would be saved. I testify that they have zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to correct knowledge. 

I WILL

Oh my, this is in direct answer to prayer or wisdom regarding something. This hits the nail on the head exactly. My prayer current will change in accordance with the gist of these verses. I am going to my prayer mountain tomorrow, and these are the verses I will pray. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Luke 11:1-13: Persistence

HIS WORDS


It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 

And He said to them, “When you pray, say: 

'Father, hallowed be Your name. 
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins, 
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. 
And lead us not into temptation.'” 

Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 

“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs." 

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened."

“Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

MY WORDS

Jesus was praying, and when He stopped, one of His disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."

And He said to them, "When you pray, say:

'Our Father who is in heaven, 
holy is Your Name, 
Your kingdom come. 
Your will be held holy and revered on earth just as it is in heaven. 
Give us day by day our daily provisions of food, no more, no less. 
And forgive our sins just as we forgive those who have offended us or done us wrong.
And bring us not into temptation, but rescue us from evil.'"

Then He said, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread because I have another friend who is on a journey and stopped by my house unannounced, and I do not have a thing in the refrigerator and my cupboards are bare!'"

"And from inside the house, his friend answers, 'Go away, I have locked the door and the kids are in bed with me; I cannot get up to give you anything!'"

"I tell you, even though he doesn't want to get up because of that man's shameless persistence and insistence, his friend will get up and give him as much as he needs."

"So I say to you, do not just come to your God in the midnight emergencies and crises in your life but be in constant communion with Him (abiding + praying without ceasing), and . . . 

Keep on asking and it shall be given to you;
Keep on seeking and you shall find;
Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you."

"For everyone who . . 
Keeps on asking RECEIVES, and he who 
Keeps on seeking FINDS, and he who 
Keeps on knocking, a door will be OPENED."

(The Message says:
"Don't bargain with God. 
Be direct. 
Ask for what you need. 
This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in.)

What father among you, if his son asks for a load of bread would put a stone on his plate; or if he asks for a fish, would give him a snake? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?"

"If you, as evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your child's advantage, how much more will your Father in heaven give you the good things of the Holy Spirit (see Matt 7:11) when you ask and continue to ask Him!" 

I WILL

I have been out of "pray without ceasing" mode, and I was discouraged by a conversation that I had this week and started believing lies about myself. I am encouraged to continue in constant communion with God because He wants to be in constant communion with me (Isn't that amazing?). I will "persistently pray without ceasing" for the many challenging situations and people that God brings across my path everyday. I just want to listen and obey as I pray! Today, I will renew my intention to live 24/7/365 by practicing "The Game with Minutes." I will be intentionally pesky about some things happening too! I will also have alone prayer time all day on Friday. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Luke 6:12 - Mountain Prayer Night

From: http://dailyoffice.org/2013/01/
HIS WORDS

It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.




MY WORDS

After the religious leaders began to discuss what they might do to Jesus (because he was healing on the Sabbath and claiming He had authority to forgive sins, etc), Jesus went up a mountain and spent the whole night in prayer to God. (Then he went and picked the twelve disciples.)

I WILL 

Find a safe mountain to pray on. I am just not feeling comfortable with something right now. I am a bit irritated, and I need to get away and pray. Lord, show me where I should go and when. I would like it to be sooner rather than later. :) 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Acts 12:5-16 - Prison Prayer Release

HIS WORDS


So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.” But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed.

MY WORDS

Peter was in prison, but the church was praying to God fervently and persistently. On the same night Herod was going to bring him forth, Peter was sleeping chained between two soldiers with watchman outside the door guarding the prison. Suddenly, an angel was standing beside Him, and a light shone where he was and shook him awake and got him up saying, "Hurry!" as the chains fell off of his hands. 

And the angel said, "Tighten your belt and fasten your sandals, wrap up your garment around you, and follow me."  And Peter did all that he was told, following the angel out of the prison, thinking that maybe this was just a vision.


They passed both guards and came to the gate that leads out of the city. It swung open all on its own, and they passed through it.  After one street, the angel left him. 

Then Peter came to his senses and said, "That was real and not a vision! The Lord sent His angel and delivered me from the hand of Herod and all the Jewish people." 

In this full awareness, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark. There were a large number assembled together and were praying there. When he knocked on the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so filled with joy, she forgot to open the gate, but ran and told the people that Peter was there. 

The people there thought she was crazy and said so. But she strongly affirmed that it was true. But they thought it must be Peter's angel.


Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking outside, and they opened the gate and were astonished to see Peter standing there in the flesh! 

I WILL

Pray with my Kingdom Community today for the release of Saeed Abedini.

(We did it yesterday afternoon!)

Acts 7:59-60 - Dying Prayer for Persecutors

HIS WORDS


They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep. (NASB95)

MY WORDS

Since blasphemy was punishable by death according to Jewish Law, the Sanhedrin stoned Stephen. As he was being stoned, he cried out to the Lord, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Then he fell on his knees, and cried out loudly, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he died. 

MY STUDY



In 1948, Auca martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal, “I seek not a long life, but a full one, like You, Lord Jesus.” Two years later, he wrote: “I must not think it strange if God takes in youth those whom I would have kept on earth till they were older. God is peopling Eternity, and I must not restrict Him to old men and women.”
Like Stephen, Jim Elliot and his four comrades were called on January 8, 1956, to “people Eternity” as they were slain by the people they were seeking to reach. What has happened to the Aucas since then is proof that the blood of the martyrs is indeed the seed of the church. Many Aucas are now Christians.
(Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Ac 7:54–60). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
I got the picture from the article, "Steve Jobs, Jim Elliot, and Legacies." It is a beautiful article, and I highly recommend it. 

I WILL

Give my all to see eternity peopled! I will present my body as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to You to do what you would have me do today. I am available Lord. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Acts 4:31 - Surfing Spirit Waves

It may not be pretty, but I was surfing Waikiki in February 2012
HIS WORDS

And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

MY STUDY/REFLECTION

I need the context of this verse before I can write it in my own words because one of my mentors, Kay Arthur, says, "When it comes to interpretation, context is king." 

Peter and John had been seized by the Sanhedrin who "commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus." I love their answer:

"Whether it is right in the sight of God 
to give heed to you rather than to God, 
you be the judge; [they gave heed to God!] 
for we cannot stop speaking 
about what we have seen and heard."

It was all about OVERFLOW, they were just riding the wave of the Spirit into shore. God was propelling them forward that is ALL! 

The Sanhedrin let them go (after threatening them further), and Peter and John reported back to the followers of Jesus who were gathered in one place, and they lifted up their voices to God with ONE ACCORD. The end of their prayer was in spite of great opposition . . . 
". . . do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus." (4:28-30)
This so goes along with my Old Testament study in Exodus right now! (I LOVE how you orchestrate everything! See my REFLECTION on Exodus 4 HERE.) Moses was telling God that He was not eloquent in speech, and God was saying that has nothing to do with it because I AM.  It is all about HIM, not my abilities or inabilities. We just need to stand up (or get up on our knees or even just ride on our stomach on a boogie board) and ride the wave of the Spirit where God intends us to go. Some of us are not even in the water (mingling with people who do not yet know the wonder of the grace of God). Once we see the need for and get over our fear of water we can dive in. Then, we just need to paddle out to the breaks and ride the wave. He will always take us back to shore. :)

It also goes along with what you told me at the Pastor's Prayer Summit, and my identity/destiny name as BOLDLY BELOVED. This is my little illustration that goes along with it:


MY WORDS

After the followers of Jesus who were gathered had prayed that God would grant them confidence to speak His Word despite opposition and threats, the place where they were gathered began to shake, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking the Word of God boldly and confidently. 

I WILL

Continue to pray for our Kingdom Community (including ME) to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to speak the Word of God with boldness and confidence. Specifically, I will write a letter to our prayer team and ask them to pray Acts 4:28-31 for us. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

2 Timothy 1:3 - Praying Night and Day

HIS WORDS


I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day . . . (NASB95)

MY WORDS

I thank God, whom I serve free of guilt because I continue in the faith of my ancestors (because Jesus was always in the plan), as I remember you all the time in my prayers. 

MY STUDY
Sitting chained in a Roman prison there was little else Paul could do but pray; and Timothy, perhaps Paul’s closest companion, ministering to the church that Paul probably knew best, was no doubt the single most common object of his petitions.
Litfin, A. D. (1985). 2 Timothy. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (2 Ti 1:3). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
I WILL

Since I have a low-key day today, I will continue to pray faithfully for past women I have discipled as You bring them to mind. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 - Prayer Count

HIS WORDS


To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB95)

With this in view we constantly pray for you, that our God may deem and count you worthy of [your] calling and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). Thus may the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified and become more glorious through and in you, and may you [also be glorified] in Him according to the grace (favor and blessing) of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (Amplified)

Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. (The Message)

MY WORDS


With the return of our Lord in plain sight, I pray for you all the time, that God would make you worthy of your calling into the Kingdom of God and all the purposes for goodness that He has placed in your heart. He will give you power like dynamite to do anything that is according to His purposes. I pray He completes every single undertaking in which you put your absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness. If you do this, the name of our Master, Jesus the Messiah will be glorified in you and you in Him because of the unmerited love, favor, and blessing of our God and our Master, Jesus the Messiah! 


I WILL

Pray these verses for my team (sent them an email), my friends going to Washington, D.C. on a new adventure (sent them an email), and Dan from college (Woke up with him on my heart. Do not know where he is or what he is doing, and I cannot even remember his last name, but he needed prayer this morning, and I prayed this prayer for him).

MY REFLECTION

This verse was so on my heart at the Prayer Summit, but even though I had memorized them years ago, I could not recall them when praying over someone. Thank you Lord for reminding me. (They are the verse I have asked people to pray for me since college.) 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2 Corinthians 13:7-9 - Prayer for Completion

HIS WORDS

Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. (NASB95)

But I pray to God that you may do nothing wrong, not in order that we [our teaching] may appear to be approved, but that you may continue doing right, [though] we may seem to have failed and be unapproved. For we can do nothing against the Truth [not serve any party or personal interest], but only for the Truth [which is the Gospel]. For we are glad when we are weak (unapproved) and you are really strong. and this we also pray for: your all-round strengthening and perfecting of soul. (AMPLIFIED)

But if it comes to that, we'd rather the showed our failure than yours. We're rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn't possibly do otherwise. 

We don't just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives. (The Message)

MY MEDITATION AND STUDY

"Complete" is the Greek word, katártisis, and "is the inner strength of the organic relationship of the community, or of the character of its members (2 Cor. 13:9)" (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged, p. 80). Paul and his team prayed that they would do no moral evil and grow in strength and character. So important to pray for others and myself! 

I love how The Message paraphrases the verses leading up to this prayer passage:


Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. (2 Corinthians 13:5-6)

MY WORDS

We pray to God that you will be free of all moral evil; not so that what we taught you would be validated (and we could boast in that); but that you would continue applying your faith in your actions. We do not mind being despised and criticized for your sakes, just as long as you keep on obeying the Lord. We are not concerned about our reputation, but rejoice in your growth. We continue to pray for your inner strengths and growth in character.

I WILL

Pray this for all the people (and spouses) who have passed through Jesus' Kingdom Community since 2009. Such great people that are still growing in maturity, making life choices. I get to meet with one of them today. I got to Skype with another and talked on the phone with another last night. I love all of these people like they are family because that is what they are! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my life! So blessed and will continue to pray. 

Also pray this for myself! 



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

HIS WORDS

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (NASB95)

MY WORDS

Concerning the gift of a handicap given to me to keep me humble and remind me of my limitations, I begged God to remove it three times, and He said, "My grace is enough and all you need. My strength comes through in the midst of your weakness." I am glad that I have that "gift" now, and I even brag about it knowing that Christ's power continues to manifest itself in the midst of it. I am more than content with all my weaknesses, with abuse, accidents, opposition, and road blocks because when Christ takes over! The weaker I am the stronger He is in my life.

MY REFLECTION

My "splinter" used to be PMS. I had it so bad, and it was so humbling; but that was only a "temporary affliction" in that menopause took that all away (and menopause, for me, does not have the horrors than many others suffer). 

But since junior high school it has been the limitations of my back. I have prayed for healing, and there have been times where God touched me and healed me so I could do what He had for me (Malibu Beyond, OSU in the early 80's, the whole time I was in Malaysia); but that is not always the case. I am doing really well, but I was just thinking the other day how it puts me in touch with so many practitioners who need to hear His Word of Life. That is why I can boast in it. There is a reason for it. 

I WILL

Continue to rejoice in my back issues (although it is doing really well right now) and proclaim to my practitioners who He is! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

2 Corinthians 9:13-15

HIS WORDS

Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. (NASB95)

Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgiving to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ.  You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they'll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough! (The Message)

MY STUDY AND MEDITATION
15. his unspeakable (indescribable, inexpressible) gift—the gift of His own Son, which includes all other inferior gifts (2 Co 8:9; Ro 8:32).  If we have received from God “His unspeakable gift,” what great thing is it, if we give a few perishing gifts for His sake?
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (2 Co 9:15). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
These were Gentile churches giving to Jewish believers. What a beautiful thing! God gave them the desire to give, and this is what the Jewish believers thanked God for -- their obedience to the Spirit of God. The Gentiles not only preached the Gospel, but they also lived it out because the Gospel lived out involves grace giving. Warren Wiersbe says:
 It is not a matter of choosing one and ignoring the other. There must be a balance of sharing the Gospel and meeting practical needs, if our light is to shine brightly and steadily. It has been said it is difficult to preach the Gospel to a hungry man (see James 2:15-16).  
The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996.

MY REFLECTION

Whoa!  I hesitate to write anything because giving is a private matter, but this is right where You have had me sitting lately! So the timing of these verses is so amazing! 

It is all about YOU though so my writing this is all for YOUR glory!  YOU urged me to give to someone in need when I only had 10 minutes to spare before going to the Prayer Summit last Monday morning. I felt that it would be so hypocritical to go to the Prayer Summit if I did not obey YOU by following through on YOUR promptings. The Prayer Summit would have been so different for me because I would have had the "Shouldda' Coulda' Woulda'" tape playing in my head the whole time. The Summit was such a blessing with the freedom that obedience brings. 

This little adventure I have been on since October  of "doing everything that You command" me to do has been so EXCITING, even when those nudgings seem inconvenient or even impractical (but building an ark and going to a mountain to sacrifice your son probably seemed pretty inconvenient and impractical to Noah and Abraham too. Just sayin'!).  I have received a hundredfold in blessings as a result. 

So, then, this morning. YOU reminded me through an email, even before the time in Your Word that I needed to re-loan my KIVA credit! so the Shazia Group in Rawalpindi is going to expand their beauty salon! Aren't these beautiful women?


If you want to loan to them too, here is the link: 
http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/carol6396/for/666616
Coming to Your Word this morning just confirmed that decision (KIVA is such a WIN-WIN too!). 

BUT I have been SO BAD about keeping up on giving in one place (because it is not autopay, and I am forgetful; but this is no excuse)! So, these verses have convinced me to "excel still more" (1 Thessalonians 4:10). I have great intentions, but I forget to follow through sometimes! ACK! Not kicking myself, but this is a good reminder to "do ALL that the Lord commands me to do" because of ALL that He has done for me! OVERFLOW BABY!

MY WORDS 

When you give to brothers and sisters in need, God gets abundant thanksgiving and glory! It is a WIN-WIN for everyone!  This is part of living out your faith in Christ. His message is about GIVING because God has given us the amazing gift of His Son so giving perishable gifts are nothing in comparison. They are blessed, you are prayed for by them and blessed (not that you give to be blessed, but that is what happens), and MOST OF ALL, God is glorified! WOOHOO! 

I WILL

"Excel still more" in my giving to the thing I keep forgetting to give to, and I will do it TODAY! 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

1 Timothy 2:1-3

HIS WORDS

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.)

MY WORDS


First of all, I implore that you bring before God; needs, prayers, intercessions (seeking the presence and hearing of God on behalf of others), thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men, for kings and those who are in authority, so that there will be peace in our life as we live in godliness and seriousness. This is so good for God our Savior, to see this. (Amp: He wants all men to be saved and increasingly to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the divine Truth).


I WILL

Pray for President Obama today. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17

HIS WORDS

Pray without ceasing.

MY WORDS


Pray continually without interruption

MY REFLECTION

All day I kept thinking I needed to get to my Prayer Discovery Bible Study (If I do not get my Bible Study done before George gets up, it is difficult because he LOVES to chat, chat, chat in the morning.) When I finally got to it, it was just two words! But aren't those powerful words! I couldn't write here though because our internet was down.

What is so great is that we meditated on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 at the end of the Pastor's Prayer Summit and were instructed to write down on a piece of provided paper what our "take away breath prayer" was from the passage:


It is nice to have that reiterated from God three days later!

I WILL

Be focused in living a moment by moment conversation with God, listening to His voice and responding back! TODAY, I will employ one suggestion for "In the Home" from the Game with Minutes by Frank Laubach, "Whispering to God about each small matter, knowing that He loves to help." 

 

Friday, February 07, 2014

6. Speaking of Jesus by Carl Medearis

Carl is a pleasure to read. He is disarming and the antithesis of pedantic (not trying to be pedantic myself by using a big word, but I needed to use it for contrast). From my own experience, I agree that it is more important to talk about Jesus and not RELIGION! Jesus breaks down the walls of religion and is so worth talking about!
If you don't feel like you have to evangelize someone away from their team and onto yours, you can speak of Jesus much more freely, and thus, more effectively. (p. 103)
I split my gut in laughter over some of his examples and analogies (good thing I had a private room while I read it in the middle of the night at the pastor's prayer summit).

Carl's emphasis on open dialogue and RELATIONSHIP with ALL people, as opposed to an "us/them" mentality is refreshing. I love it. 


The Western church is attempting to legislate morality in order to maintain a society that is pure, safe, and peaceful. Which, in and of itself, is not a bad desire. 
But when injured, we change. Under fire from a hostile and misunderstanding world, we grow defensive, begin challenging and targeting different opposition groups, demolishing the characters and teachings of individuals through media outlets, pamphlets, and even sermons. 
It becomes difficult to "love the sinner, hate the sin" when we hole up in a defensive posture. I think it's a huge mistake to turn morality into a politically, legally enforced code, because doing so creates more division and defensive posturing.  (p.170-71)
There are a whole lot of great things here. His biggest suggestion is to get to know Jesus more intimately by reading the Gospels. Here is a challenge for 2014 from his blog:
. . . there’s one really great way to get to know Jesus. Read the four gospels though four times this year. And here’s how I’d suggest you do that: 
1. Read them through like you’d read a novel. Just read them. A chapter or five at a time. However much time you have in a sitting – just read till you can’t read any more. There are 89 chapters in the four books so if you average three chapters a day, you can read all four in a month. But let’s say you’re slow (like me) and you read all four books in two months. Don’t take notes. Read thoughtfully and prayerfully, but just read. 
2. Now…start over in Matthew 1. This time read them all the way through again, but look for all the times Jesus interacts with people. Make notes in a notebook or on your computer. Note how he interacted with outsiders (that would be women and children. Lepers. Demoniacs. Samaritans. Etc). Take note of each of his encounters and start drawing some conclusions. This might take you three or four months. 
3. Go back through them a third time and study all of his teaching sections. It’s helpful to have a red lettered bible for this – just makes it easier. Notice his big chunks of teaching like the Sermon on the Mount and the times towards the end of Matthew and the end of John. Read them carefully and reflect on them. Then notice the parables. About 42 of them. Learn them. Memorize them. They are the means by which God chose to communicate with the world. Must be important! 
4. Finally, start to make comparisons with yourself and Jesus. Do you believe what Jesus believed? What DID he believe? Do you talk like him? Do you not answer questions the way he didn’t answer them? Do you tell a good story? Do you think and react like him? Do you spend time with a few the way he did? Be honest. Involve some friends in this quest. 
The point is – for 2014 – do you have a plan to become more like Jesus? And if not…this one might do for a start. 
- See more at: http://www.carlmedearis.com/blog/2014/01/my-new-year-resolution-for-you/#sthash.aS8e2PC0.dpuf

My Kingdom community is already reading through Matthew twice, and Luke and John once between now and March 9th. After that, we are focusing more on specific stories Jesus told: two debtors, prodigal's son, Samaritan woman, love your enemies, healing of the paralytic, adulterous woman, tax collector, raising Lazarus, the Gerasene demoniac, the greatest commandment, and His "I am" statements!

Medearis is not knocking the rest of the Word of God, but he makes a distinction: 
All of the Bible is helpful, but it is a signpost to the ultimate Word of God -- Jesus the Christ. We do not follow the Bible. We don't worship the Bible. We love it because it directs us toward the One who is everything.
That is the only way to read/study the whole Bible: to see The Scarlet Thread of Redemption that points to Him. That is why I think it is important to also read and learn Old Testament stories that point to Jesus. They help us round out and understand the "whys" behind much of what Jesus did and said. That is why I host the Bible Book Club blog!

This is a great read. I heartily recommend it!

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...