Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Confession

I blew it again today. I did not represent God well. I was judgmental. I was a gossip. And I was all this as I spoke to a person who has a shakey faith already. Lord, I’m so sorry. I failed have you... again. Father, please forgive me, but more than that, please make up for my failure to the person I was speaking with today.

Shortly after I failed God so miserably, I went to my class, The Truth Project. Part of the lesson was about “knowing” God. God is so big, so deep, so wide, that it takes us a lifetime to even scratch the surface in knowing Him.

But if I really know Him, I will reflect Him. As I listened, I was reminded of my fresh failure, and I felt sick. I grieved that I not only let God down, I really let my friend down. And I revealed a lack of my knowledge of God. My failure revealed how far I am from Him. I call myself a Christian. I am even involved in ministry, and yet I completely misrepresented Him today—all because I have not invested the time and energy necessary to know God on a level that would cause me to reflect Him rather than my judgmental, gossipy self.

I feel like I broke God’s heart today and that breaks my heart. I need to be broken.

I'm hitting my knees before God.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 16 | Mark Batterson

Day 16 | Mark Batterson: Ok, just one more (for today anyway.) This is a great article on prayer and why ours are sometimes not answered. I know I've been struggling with prayer lately, and I feel like an underlying reason is that it sometimes seems hardly worth the effort. Now, before you stone me, hear me out...

The kinds of prayers I often pray are hardly worth the effort--because they're all about me, my comfort. They seem to be the kinds of prayers we default to. But real prayer, the kind that God loves to hear, is hard work... it takes time, effort and lots of emotional investment... and it's dangerous.

Are we willing to pray dangerous prayers? Those are the only ones that are worth the effort.

Lysa TerKeurst – When prayers seem to fail

Lysa TerKeurst – When prayers seem to fail: Here's another article if you are wrestling with God over a situation and He's either not seeing it your way or--even more frustrating--He remains silent and you feel like you're completely alone.

'via Blog this'

A Praying Momma

This is for all the moms out there who sometimes feel like their prayers are bouncing off the ceiling! Hang in there--God is faithful!

A Praying Momma:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Life in a Bubble

I recently spent time helping a family member get on his feet. We had appointments, court hearings and meetings to attend. There were applications to fill out with lots of little boxes to check. There were long lines to be waited in and numbers to be called.

Since this all had to be done far from my home, I had to borrow a car. Before I used it, I was told that if it doesn’t start the first time, just keep trying. “Oh great,” I thought, “maybe I should just rent a car.” I knew the kinds of places I was going to be visiting, and they weren’t the kinds of places where I wanted to be stranded with a car that wouldn’t start.

As my loved one and I went from appointment to appointment, looking for parking places, walking through urban areas that made this country girl uneasy, I began to realize that there is a whole other world out there that I have chosen to ignore. I’ve known it was there, but I function so far from it that I don’t often think about it. The people we passed on the street and waited with in line were different from me. I saw lots of walkers, canes and wheelchairs. I saw lots of children with tossled hair and dirty faces. I saw folks who were missing most of their teeth.

Yes, these folks were different from me, and yet they weren’t. We exchanged pleasantries and wished each other well.  But each night, as I collapsed into my very comfortable bed in the very comfortable home of the friends I was staying with, I felt so broken. I felt I had entered a world that made me uncomfortable, and I didn’t like the feeling. It felt like I should be doing something to help, and yet what could one middle aged (ok, a little more than middle aged) woman do? It felt overwhelming. I realized that I live in a bubble—a very comfortable bubble—while so many people struggle just to make it day by day. They struggle with things like addictions, handicaps, mental illnesses and poverty. Many of them have never known any other kind of life.

While I get irritated with the driver in front of me who won’t go 5 mph faster, a handicapped woman struggles to get into a building where she can get the help she needs.

While I get frustrated because I feel my employer wants more from me than they are willing to pay me for, a young mom waits in a long line to find out if she can get the medical care her child needs.

When I overeat at dinner (again) a young child goes to bed hungry, and a homeless teenager eats dinner out of a dumpster.

While I struggle with my addiction to chocolate and sugar, an addict wakes up each morning with no other thought than how he will get his next fix.

When I wrestle with the decision of whether to get on the treadmill, or lay in bed for another half hour, a homeless man is awakened by the hot sun beating down on him. He has no choice but to get up and begin his daily struggle for survival.

As I put on my makeup and blow-dry my hair, a young girl, who thought she had found her “knight in shining armor” finds out he is really her pimp, holding her hostage and forcing her to sell her body for his gain.

And when I complain about a car that requires several trys before it starts, I realize that I am so stinking spoiled, it makes me feel sick to my stomach. But what am I to do?

God, show me the direction you want me to take with this new perspective you’ve given me. Show me how I can share your Unswerving Hope with those who so desperately need it, whether they live in the poverty described above, in a deceitful bubble of prosperity like mine. We really are more alike than I thought. Whether we are prosperous or poor, we are all in desperate need of God's Unswerving Hope.