Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: Christ follower (Page 3 of 7)

Why Should I Pray?

My post, Do Not Disturb, not only generated some great comments from you, but reading through the post several times, gave me thoughts for continuing the discussion. One question I have had in the past is not how to pray but why should I pray?

Just Googling ‘books on Christian prayer’, there were bout 37,000,000 results. There are many books, articles and blog posts you could read for the answer as to why we pray. I don’t have all the answers, but I would like to share briefly why and how I pray.

What is prayer? I like the simple definition found at Dictionary.com, which says prayer is entering into spiritual communion with God.

God Who called everything and everyone into being by just saying it, wants to be in communion with me. God Almighty wants little ‘ole me to talk to Him. I want to know the God of the Bible who loves me so much He made a way for me to be in relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ, and this is possible by prayer. The goal of prayer is not only to ask, but to worship and adore He Who gives me my every breath and a new day.

Devote yourselves to prayer…Colossians 4:2

  • Scripture encourages us to be constant in prayer.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer. Romans 12:12

We have also been given a model to pray, often called the Lord’s Prayer, but more of an example to follow.

Our Father who art in Heaven--is He your Father? Is God your Friend through a saving relationship with Jesus?

Hallowed by Your Name–I acknowledge God is the Only One Who is Holy and there is no other Name upon which we can call to be saved.

Your Kingdom come–do I want God’s Kingdom to come? Or do I want Jody’s kingdom to come everyday? Do I want to be a part of God’s Kingdom?

Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven-Will I bend my will to God’s will or will I continue to insist on my own way, my own rights?

Give me this day my daily bread–In praying this I surrender to the fact I will not worry about tomorrow, and trusting God will provide for everything I need for today.

Forgive my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. Not only am I sinned against, I’m a sinner too. Will I extend the same forgiveness God has given me to someone who has hurt me?

Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. I need to know what my weaknesses are, recognize what I am tempted by and where the temptation comes from and flee, run from evil, don’t keep it company.

For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever.

Amen

Dusty Women-Lori

9-24-2015 Lori and I had to have been first friends. You can read all about that below. She also helped me with the initial beginnings of Dusty Women, which you can read about below too. Lori recently returned from a trip to Uganda. Not a missions trip per se, but a vision trip of what God is doing in that part of the world. Please read about her travels here, this is a story you don’t want to miss. She is a woman of God who inspires me on almost a daily basis. We mostly text a few times a week, or an occasional email. And a fellow coffee drinker when we get to see one another. She brought me something all the way from Africa.  She inspires me in so many ways in her walk with Jesus. She has a way with words but her text to me this morning was one of her best. 

I knew you would savor every drop as you savor our living Lord! Lori 

coffee

2014 Several months ago I came across Titus 2 Tuesday blog posts. Inspired to do the same thing I set out to make a list of my own questions. Women who have encouraged me to be a radical follower of Jesus. Radical in the sense they love God with all the heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want to be like so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5

I wanted a catchy title other than God’s Women, so I asked a friend for help and she said

what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we’re from but where we’re going?

I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.

I love the fact that she said we need to be defined by where we’re going not where we’ve been. As Paul says in Philippians 3:12-13…

forget what is behind.

Lori Somers is my next interview in the series of Dusty Women.

206491_205490752807805_3098552_nI don’t even know where to begin with my friend Lori. We’ve known each other…forever. Her mom and mine have been friends since 5th grade and they are in their 70’s. In fact, Lori’s arrival changed my mom’s wedding…kind of. Her mom Sharon was to be in my mom’s wedding on July 30 and Lori was born a week prior to that. My mom went to plan B. Now that she and I are in our 50’s our story together is very…long. But this post is about her journey not mine or ours, I will save that for another time. When looking for a picture of her there weren’t too many to choose from that were just of Lori. Most of the time she is surrounded by 5 grandchildren or walking the dusty roads of Africa. In her spare time she works full time to take care of business, love on her grandchildren and feed her passion to love the least of these. Wouldn’t you agree her smile is contagious? The interview follows this picture.

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Lori, would you describe yourself in 5-7 words?

L=Loving  O=Organized  R=Resourceful  I=Intelligent  How about four words? Eli made this for me when he was little and I think it fits pretty well.

Would you briefly describe how and when you were rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred in the Kingdom of God? (Colossians 1:13)

At the time God’s saving grace wrapped me in righteousness I was 14 years old. I really didn’t understand or know the depths of God’s mercy and grace at that time. But I have lived through the depths and seen God’s glory reveal itself over and over again. God never changes. His love never fails. I am rescued from the domain of darkness every single day. God’s Kingdom awaits me, and He is preparing a place for me. He wrestles me in the valley so that I can proclaim victory in areas of my life that would never produce fruit. Praise God!

What do you enjoy about being a mother and grandmother?

Being a mother tests your resolve and makes you decide what is important. The best part of being a mother is the love. It changes who you are. The best part of being a Grandma is the freedom to play and enjoy every moment without an agenda.

What advice would you give to a young mother struggling to just get through the day?

You have to set aside what the world thinks is important and focus your mind and energy on the attributes of Christ. Phil 4:8 will get you through rough conversations, rough emotions and raw days where nothing goes right. See your family and children as God sees them. Pray for the eyes and heart of Christ to serve your family. The world tells you that if your feelings are intact and it feels good, do it. But wisdom tells us that “right thinking leads to right behavior which leads to right feelings”. You can get into trouble if you start out with getting your feelings in order.

What does God’s Word mean to you?

God’s Word is truth. It makes me alive. It challenges me to have a clear mind and heart in order to speak truth into others.

What does the body of Christ mean to you?

The Family of God is the way God wraps his arms around you when you are hurting, distraught, or when you need someone to make you accountable. The body of believers also rejoices with you in truth and victory!

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla Cake; everything else chocolate

In addition I asked Lori one more question regarding her life in Christ. She has clung to her Savior’s hem getting a lot of dust on her as she seeks to follow Him in everything.

Lori, what do you mean when you say

Letting freedom and redemption flood my heart and soul. Not just saying it but believing it.

Its one thing to know in my head I am free. Free from past sin, guilt, chains that bound me to a marriage that was over long before my pride would allow me to acknowledge it was over. I told myself I was free from that, but I kept my windows and doors locked, curtains pulled. That is not freedom. You have to live like you’re free and let it flood your mornings, your afternoons and your bedtime. God’s redeeming grace tells me its okay, you don’t have to look back. And you don’t ever have to go through that again. I wanted you to learn to depend on me fully. And I’m redeeming your life, your heart and your service for greater things. I have delivered you from oppression and unlove. God is saying “move with me, lean into me, and let my grace pour over your heart and your life.” And I have to be obedient to those words, and those actions. We want logical and black and white words. But Jesus tells us that is no solution at all. He beckons me to come to Him, weary and heavy-laden and He will give me salvation rest, away from my self-made decisions, to trust Him.  I’ve moved from saying those words to believing that freedom and redemption ARE mine as I follow Him down a new road.

Shifting Sand?

Today’s post is a follow-up to That Time of The Year .  Cheryl, a long time friend, ended her comment with this;

After they are gone I don’t know what I’ll do with myself…..

Cheryl is a mom of two, who has given 110% to raising her children and in a few short years, they will be on their own. My first thought when I read her comment was ‘how could she say that?’ My sneaking suspicion and  judgemental thought was ‘how could she not have anything to do after her kids are gone? Was her entire life her kids?

But truth be told, she is me. I’ve had the very same thoughts and voiced some of my fears to some of you. You can check my categories posts to find me talking about some of those fears. Yes, our kids leave a void, sometimes a cavern so gaping we don’t know how it can it be filled.  Again, we can fill in the blank about what we fill our lives with and then that thing, person or how we live is stripped away. It’s not just mothers who ask, ‘now what?’

Friends, we don’t have to be mothers to have the feelings of life turned upside down. Life is ever-changing, daily joys and sorrows are proof of that as my husband gives me a daily dispatch on the community he pastors.

The cavern of 

  • A spouse passing away
  • Retirement bringing the same question of ‘what’s next’?
  • Cancer report brings us to the end of ourselves.
  • The ongoing bad news around our nation and world floods the evening news.

You fill in the blank. There is nothing new under the sun, but when it happens to you or me, it is new. Unexpected, devastation, depression, and fears are just some of the raw emotions we can face. But the good news is…

There is the gospel of good news. There is a Savior we can know who will fill the cavern, our hearts, giving us joy and peace that cannot be explained. 

I took the timely advice of Elizabeth Elliott, which I heard many years ago. 

Just do the next thing.

Focus on what is before, not focusing on the future.

  • Prepare for the future today by saturating our hearts and minds in the living Word of God.
  • Pursue spending time getting to know a loving Heavenly Father.
  • Point your focus on Jesus every single day.
  • Practice loving God and our neighbor every day.

Today is the day to do the next thing, gaze on our Lord and glance at the shifting sand of daily life circumstances. Because, like the sand that is easily blown about, so our days come with changes and challenges.  May we find our foundation not in the shifting sand but in Jesus, who never changes. 

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled? (How Firm A Foundation~~John Rippon)

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