Season of Prayer, part 2

September 12th 2011

Following is the second part of a series I am writing for the Season of Prayer at our church.  I posted the first one just a few days ago.


As we continue to pray that we be a people broken before God, let us look again at David’s prayer, as recorded in Psalm 51:10-12.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Psalm 51:10-12 NIV

Here David is calling out pleading with God not to cast him away because of his sin. This pleading results from David’s realization that his sin is against God:

“For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.” Psalm 51:3-4 NIV

The first step in being broken before God is recognizing that when we sin, we do so against God, and that the act of our sin gives God the right to judge us. Yet, when we call out to God recognizing our sin, he does not give us what we deserve, but rather cleanses us.

Our pleading with God should be like David’s: an admission of our sins, and a recognition that God has the right to judge us. Each of us needs to recognize that only the Lord can cleanse us, and that our admission of sin is what the Lord desires of us.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” Acts 3:19 NIV

If you do not know how to go before God in this way, use the words of David “Against you, you only, have I sinned”. Be honest before God, and plead with him “Create in me a pure heart”.

Season of Prayer

September 10th 2011

At church we are encouraging people to be in a season of prayer, pleading to God to cause brokenness in us, renew us, restore us.  In this process I am writing inserts for the bulletin on various areas of prayer.  I have decided I would share these with all of you as well.  The first few are on brokenness, following is the first one.


Let us pray that our hearts are fully devoted to God, so that he is able to bring us to brokenness when sin entangles us. How do we do this? Let us look at the words of David to give us a start.

David the psalmist says

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise
. (Psalm 51:16-17)NIV

David reaches this conclusion after the events of 2 Samuel 11:1-12:13, when sin ensnared him and engulfed others around him. David’s heart was fully devoted to God (1 Kings 15:3) so he was able to immediately own up to his sin. David admitted to God, as we should when we sin, that his behavior was wretched and that only God could cleanse him.

David’s plea for mercy in Psalm 51 is firmly rooted in the character of God, and not in his own righteousness. David says “My transgressions and my sin is always before me” and he admits “Surely I was sinful at birth” (Psalm 51:3,5). This realization leads David to call out to God, saying

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

(Psalm 51:10-12)NIV

If we do not know how to pray when we realize that our sinful nature keeps us from being fully devoted to God, we can pray the words of David. How joyful it would be for the words of David to be our own, so that we would be renewed and restored by God!

My Responsibility

September 22nd 2010

Over the last few weeks I have been challenged to evaluate what my primary responsibilities are.  This is not the first time I have had this challenge, and not the first time I have come to the same conclusion.  I was challenged because the enemy was not thrilled with what I was doing, and as always when he is not happy he tries to throw me off track!  Today is the perfect day to share this, for it is my husband’s birthday.

Now I will preface this by saying that I have been both a working wife and mother, and at home.  Neither one of these is more Godly then the other, what is however is where our priority lies regardless of which we choose.  Several years ago when I was working something happened in my life that made me question where my priority was, and where it should be.  I came to a pretty distinct conclusion, and now today I know my conclusion was right and am glad I determined myself to change my priority.  This is not about whether you do anything in particular, work or not, whether you’re a parent of 1 or 6 or even none, whether you home school or not, what kind of car you drive, or if you vote.  This is about what God intended when we are married.

When I faced that challenge I concluded this, that my primary responsibility as a wife is to support my husband in his ministry and ensure he is able to complete it without hindrance.  That I must ensure that he has the time to do it, the resources to do it, and the support in prayer to do it.  That regardless of what I do about working or what ministry I am in, I must always ensure he is able to do his ministry.  This may mean I need to work to support us, it may mean I need to be home ensuring all things are done to free his time for his ministry.  It may mean spending money on things that will support his ministry rather then buying what I would choose.  It most definitely means not doing anything that would cause him to stumble.

When I first figured this out I was working, and it was difficult for me to change my thought process.  At the time I thought we should both be equally responsible to do everything, and that he had to sacrifice as much as I did.  The reality is I was making him compromise to get what I wanted, which meant I was not supporting him in his ministry.  I discovered that by freeing his time to do his ministry, and being his helpmate in it, we were stronger.  Now that I am home all the time I have concluded that supporting him in his ministry is still my primary responsibility, not cooking, laundry, dishes, and other chores.  Yet, by being the one that does the dishes, the laundry, the cooking, and those other annoying things like cleaning the bathroom, I am allowing him to have the time he needs to prepare for and do his ministry.  I can not expect him to be successful in his ministry if I also expect him to do things I can easily do while he is at work.

The most important support I can give, over anything else, is prayer.  Without prayer all the other things are insufficient to ensure he can do his ministry.  So in the midst of cleaning, laundry, cooking, or any other thing I might be doing, if I think of him I lift him to the Lord.  Do I dare ask when was the last time you prayed for your spouse?

Road Trip Day 6

April 10th 2010

Day 6 of my Road Show Road Trip started with waking up too early. Why?  Because a 9 year will not skip breakfast even though his mother was up too late driving back to the hotel from an amazing show the night before!

After that we took it easy for the first time in days.  We stayed in the hotel and did nothing of significance until lunch time.  Bryan built a house of cards, I wrote my blog, and then we went to lunch at the Quiznos conveniently located across the parking lot of the hotel.  We returned to the hotel and again did nothing of significance for the afternoon until it was time to go to the concert venue!!  Sylvia came and picked us up, and off we went!

In line we met two woman, who have been friends since college and are now both teachers in the same district.  We were able to share our stories, and we even played Yahtzee, which we conveniently brought the parts of for the wait in line!  We had fun with 2 sisters in Christ, except for the ants who interrupted.  Bryan met a little girl and made a friend instantly.  Once again the wait in line was not a chore but a blessing.

We discovered that Ely, who had a donors pass, had saved 2 seats in the front row for us!! (Thank you Ely-amazing and unexpected!)  Why 2?  She did not realize Bryan would be with us.  At first I took Bryan to sit somewhere else, then Sylvia went to sit somewhere else, then it turned out there was one seat in the second row so Sylvia sat there.  So Bryan and I sat in the front row (thank you Sylvia).  In the process of finding the seats I was approached by none other then MMBiggestfan, from the Rock and Worship Road Show live stream chat!  We each knew the other would be there and I told her to look for me since my shirt would be fairly easy to spot–and she spotted it right away!  What a joy to meet a sister in Christ whom you have prayed with, worshiped with, and fellowshipped with for so long.  Then we were able to worship together, fellowship together, and at the end of the show pray together.

Before the show started I told Ely I wanted to pray with some people around us, so her and I gathered a few people, we got together within the chairs, right there in the front, and prayed.  We were just saying “amen” as Sidewalk Prophets walked on stage!  It is such a  joy to me to pray for others, with others, and to show others that praying is such an easy uncomplicated thing.  Once again in the middle of the concert when there was just a couple of minutes down time I turned to those same few people and asked them what they needed prayer for, and we prayed.  They seemed a bit surprised I even asked, and I am glad I asked, for they should not be surprised by prayer amongst the body of believers.  At the end of the show Lisa (mmbiggestfan) and I prayed together, it was so sweet to pray together in person, to hear her voice with me at the feet of the Lord.  Having had the chance to worship together and fellowship together and now pray together.  How divine.

The concert of course was amazing!!  Each of the bands doing exactly, once again, what the Lord has so uniquely and amazingly gifted them to do.  I am at awe the way the Lord has brought everyone in the Rock and Worship Road Show all together.  The bands, crew, volunteers, each person together in such a large tour, to do His work.  Then again I ought not be since He is God and He will do whatever He wants to accomplish His purpose.  I am thankful He gives each of  them protection each night, strength to accomplish it, comfort when they are weak, peace in being away from home, and each other to fellowship with and be accountable to.  I am thankful He is using them in His work because I see what He is doing through them in the live stream chat room and now in the live venues.  The Lord is using them to ensure He is glorified and praised, and His Word is rightly and boldly proclaimed.

For them I will continue to pray.  Pray that they will seek the Lord each day individually and corporately.  That the Lord’s protection, wisdom, guidance, strength, shelter, comfort, and peace will be theirs constantly.  I ask you this question, will you pray with me?  Will you continue to support them in prayer, or start supporting them in prayer?  Will you provide the most powerful thing you can to this ministry by going to the Lord’s feet for them?  Let’s take a roll call.

Last night someone I consider a friend was told their mother was taken to the hospital.  This morning she is on her way to be with her.  I am asking all of you to pray.  I believe prayer is powerful.  God delights in working through the prayers of His people, He delights in hearing our voices, in listening to our needs, and in answering them when they are in His will.  God desires to work through His people and their prayers to accomplish His work.  When we pray we are going to the feet of the Lord, the feet of the one who Loved us so much He gave it all, why would He not give us even the smallest thing.  So I am asking you to pray, pray for Shellie’s mom.  Pray that God’s hand will move on her behalf, that God will answer His promises and provide and over abundance of peace, comfort and strength for Shellie.  That He would be abundantly and obviously present.

When we pray we show God that we have faith, because we wouldn’t ask if we didn’t believe He would answer.  God delights in hearing us because it proves to Him we believe Him.  If you believe God, pray with me, because I know prayers are powerful.


What We Can Do

January 13th 2010

The news once again floods our screens, we are all inundated with the views of another catastrophe.  We are overwhelmed with pictures and images from a place torn apart, of lives destroyed by the unexpected.  In our minds a thousand thoughts wander and swirl.  We go through an emotional roller coaster because we know the ones caught in the misery are crying out, but at the same time we are so far away.  We are also thankful that we were spared from being in the middle of it once more.  We must all admit that our minds race form one thought to the other.

Then we must decide if we will do anything, what it will be, and how.  Well for each of us that doing is different.  There are as many ways to help as there are people reading this.  We know that for we are a people that have more then once gathered together to bolster and lift up the broken and the weak.  There is one thing we cannot deny that we can all do.  We can all pray.  I am not talking about just asking God to help Haiti.  I am talking about a praying where we lay ourselves before God and ask Him to pour out the fulfillment of His promises on a people who have fallen.   Job 5:8-9 tells us to appeal to God because He performs wonders and miracles that we cannot fathom.  Right now, that is what Haiti needs, things that are beyond what we can comprehend.

We need to each do what the Lord asks of us as individuals.  But all of us need to be praying, we need to be asking the Lord to do what we cannot, to do the things we cannot even fathom, for He will put into motion things that we cannot dream of.  The prayers Haiti needs are prayers from people who believe this very fact, that God is capable of more, more then we know, more then we see, more then we imagine, more then we can do on our own.  We need to ask the Lord to lay His plans upon not only a hurting nation, but a broken people desperate for something only He can provide.

Who might join me in prayer?  Lord we ask that You, the Lord who is capable of more then we know, would set into motion a process of healing upon the broken nation and people of Haiti right now.  That in this catastrophe You would provide a comfort and peace in great abundance that can only come from You and that Your presence would be so obvious that the people of Haiti would turn to you for their answers so that even now some might come to know you.  Lord we ask that in this time You would allow those who can provide the immediate needs a quick and safe travel to Haiti.  Lord that as each of us consider what we might do to support the people of Haiti that we would have the same compassion that You have, that Your love would show through each of us.  Lord we know that You can orchestrate each detail just right so that the most is done through the least resource, and Lord we thank You that You would even want to be so involved in our lives.  Lord we ask that through all of this You would be glorified so that others would come to know You.  Thank you for even allowing us to come to Your feet and ask that You would lift up those who have fallen. AMEN

Pop Quiz

January 6th 2009

Tests.  Tests.  Tests.  Most students dread them.  Some of them like them just fine.  And others…well they think of them as fun!  For me tests took on a whole new meaning the last few years.  I have had so many different tests I have finally lost track of all of them.  I use to keep track of how many different ones I had, now I just don’t worry about it any more.  To put it into perspective, I have so many MRI films I could wallpaper my bathroom and have some leftover, and that isn’t even all of the ones I have had done.  I now fall asleep very well in an MRI tube, and I find it rather funny that nurses get a kick out of some of the stories I can tell.  You know you are an interesting patient when a nurse says “That’s a new one”!

Today I got a phone call that I would have dreaded 3 years ago.  I have to go have my blood drawn tomorrow because they didn’t draw enough yesterday.  You see I use to hate needles, well I still don’t particularly care for them.  Drawing my blood use to be an arduous task!  Now after 3 years of tests that, well lets just say a needle can’t compare to, getting my blood drawn seems like nothing.  Me, who even as a teenager practically had to be sat on to have her blood drawn.  Its amazing how much can change when you have a little perspective.

Tests in the medical world are quite different then those in the rest of the world.  We have tests in about evey aspect of life.  First in school, then to drive (some of us again when we get older), then even at work!  Then we have the tests that really count.  The tests that tell us who we depend on, where our foundation is poured.  Those tests that are not scheduled, that we don’t know are coming.  Like a pop quiz they just get sprung on us.  How well we do depends on how well we were studying along the way.  Are we the “wait till the test and cram” type person, or the “study every day so we know it all in and out” type person?  From my experience I can say for the real tests in life the second option is a much better choice.

For these types of tests though the studying can’t just be done in a book.  Yes part of it is.  In Gods word we find the instructions, but it is in prayer that we build the relationship that allows us to understand and apply that knowledge in a meaningful and significant way in our life.  The molding happens when we “study” daily.  When we allow God to change us into who He wants us to be.  Me- I will keep studying daily so that when the next pop quiz come up I will be ready.