Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 22

Chapter 22, The Meadow
I have no idea what time it is, the sky darkish.
I am walking slowly, but with urgency; my stride a mind of its own. I am feeling guilty about having left Ivy, Ava, and Todd without word. I realize I do not have my cell phone. I pray that they do not worry. It occurs to me that I should also ask for guidance. And I do. The emotion in me swells, words escape me. In this moment, I feel but cannot think. I pray with my heart, trusting God to know what I am saying and choosing to believe that He will lead me where I am to go.
I brought the locket and letters with me, having placed them in my over-the-shoulder tote. The key must lead to something of worth. Why else would my grandmother show me where it was? I have given up trying to figure out exactly what that exchange was between us. A gift from God, enough said.
The last time I visited her she didn’t recognize me. I tried not to take it personally, remembering it’s the dementia. The disease has crippled her for years...though right now I wish we could talk about all that has emerged during this vacation. Maybe talking about it will spark a memory for her and she will be able to fill in any remaining gaps. I wonder if she was aware of the letters from my father to my mother…
And thinking of the letters, how could I not want to get to know my father better?

Monday, September 9, 2013

"...I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses."

2 Corinthians 11:30-31
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.

Here, I, The Paisley Butterfly, have come to boast:

I have come to see a place where 
I have not invited God... 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Prayer Misconceptions, Part 4

Misconception #4:
Prayer is to pry riches out of God's reluctant hands. 

I am going to print the direct excerpt from the prayer study’s breakdown of this misconception. The author words this so well:

“Some pray as if prayer is the means of cajoling God into releasing His carefully hoarded riches. Someone has said, ‘Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness.’ God offers us His resources. He invites us to take His gifts. He does not have to be convincing to let go of His blessings. His Word says that He lavishes on us the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7-8) and that He lavishes His love on us (1 John 3:1). He is extravagant in His gifts. He pours them out. Scripture never uses language that would portray God as stingy or hesitant to give. Instead we read that He ‘richly blesses all who call on him’ (Romans 10:12).

“When we pray this way, we expend spiritual energy needlessly trying to convince God of something He already knows. Giving you every good thing gives Him joy; it delights Him. Jesus assures us with these words: ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32). His heart is set on you to do you good.”

Prayer Misconception, Part 3

Misconception #3:
Prayer is to hold God to His promises.

My thoughts: We do not need to hold God to His promises. One thing I believe we, as people, forget is that God’s timing is perfect. Many of His promises were not meant to be fulfilled in the very moment He made them. Most of them take time; come in time, at a time when God’s plan is coming together.

One of the things the prayer study touches on here is that God made promises “to stir up hope and expectation so that we would have reason to turn to Him. The purpose of His promise is to give us confidence and peace.”

I agree. Through the promises God has made, He has inspired us to hope for the day those promises are brought to fruition. Through hope we are able to have faith. Through hope, we know we can turn to God for anything.

Hope by definition is to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire, or trust. God's promises have a built in gift of hope, moving us to trust in Him, to have the desire to believe in Him and His promises.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Prayer Misconception, Part 2

Misconception #2
Prayer is to convince God to implement our ideas.

My thoughts: God created prayer as a line of communication between us and Him. It is an avenue of which we can call upon our Creator and request the gifts He wishes to lavish upon us. What gets in the way of our receiving these gifts are our expectations. Many times we believe we know what is best for us, when ultimately, God is the only being that knows our truth, and the truth of everything else. God has no need to consult with anyone. God has never asked for permission or opinions. Who better to trust with our lives than He? Creation began with God.

If we begin to put limitations on the requests we make to Him, how can we expect to receive answered prayer? There is no negotiating with God. He knows best. But most times, answered prayer is inevitable; we just need to wait on the Lord to give us the gift at a time that is best for Him, making the timing best for us.

Simply Christian

I was asked what doctrine I follow. I must be honest and say, I don't necessarily follow a doctrine. I believe in certain things, absolutely, though I am not a religious person. Actually, I could say I have no religion. 

I am Christian. 
I am very spiritual. 
I was raised Lutheran, though I currently do not claim any denomination. 

What 'Christian' means to me: 
I confess Jesus Christ as my Savior, The One True Messiah. 
I believe in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice to absolve me of my sin, granting me the gift of eternal life. 
I believe in living in faith and choosing to be a child of God.
I believe in repenting my sins and asking for forgiveness. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Spiritual Tantrum...And How I Got In THE Way

I don’t want to do this. Point blank.

I find it ironic that I am doing a prayer study and I don’t want to pray about it, because I know I have to do it and I don’t want to.

I am acting like a child.
And, I know this.

I also know that I am just being stubborn, and that I am the problem here. I am choosing to throw a spiritual tantrum.

Please understand I am not sharing this with you for the sake of complaining. Actually, I am not complaining in the least: I am realizing my truth. I am being honest with myself.

This leads me to why I am sharing this:

Prayer Misconception, Part 1

I have had much anxiety over this next day’s exercise. You can read about it here: 
My Spiritual Tantrum...And How I Got In THE Way

Week 2, Day 2 revolves around the Misconceptions about prayer. There are four misconceptions listed, then a final section on the Truth about prayer. I am going to take the assignment and break it up into five separate posts, each to be posted this week. 

Week 2 Day 2 opens with turning a promise into a prayer:

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

My prayer: Dear Lord, Please bring your plans for me to fruition. May Your Hand’s prosper me and keep me safe from harm of all kinds. May You guide my hopes, aligning them with the future you have in store for me – In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.