Letters

I’ve been going through old emails lately. Reminiscing. Reminding myself of the hell I’ve been through and the miracles I’ve been blessed to receive. I’ve been rehearsing the faithfulness of the One who walked with me through the fire and … Continue reading

Prayer Challenge – Day 7

“You, Lord, are my choice, and I will obey you.  With all my heart I beg you to be kind to me, just as you have promised.  I pay careful attention as you lead me, and I follow closely.  As soon as you command, I do what you say,” Psalm 119:57-60.

Father, may my family and I be at rest in Your presence as our hearts are kept safe and pure in Your loving hands.  Let us always worship You with all of our hearts and do not let us walk away from Your life-giving commands.  Teach us to treasure Your word above all else and let it keep us from sinning against You.  Let my family and I always praise You, Lord.  Don’t let us question Your character; You are always good and Your motives are always pure!  Your ways are righteous and You deal justly with Your children.  My family and I will never forget that, God.  We will never let our circumstances tarnish Your good name.  Our love for You will never be spoiled and our hearts will remain pure and fixed on You and Your laws. 

Give us wisdom and understanding in abundance.  Let us continually discover the wonders of Your law.  Point out your rules to us with kindness and patience and we will not disobey even one of them.  Direct us by Your commands!  We love to do what You say.  Just as David said, make my family and me want to obey you, rather than to be rich.  Take away our foolish desires, and let us find life by walking with you.  We are Your servants!  Do for us as You have promised to do for those who worship You.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Purity:

  • 1 Timothy 1:5 – “The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake are filled with love; love that comes from their pure hearts, clear consciences and genuine faith.  My sons are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that You desire. Connor and Blake turn from all moral filth and evil and they humbly accept Your word that has been planted in them.  Save them, Lord! 

Keep their thoughts and actions pure and wholesome.  Lead them not into temptation but into a deeper understanding of Your values and of the desires that You have planted in their hearts.  Root out anything that the enemy has placed in my sons hearts or minds in an attempt to destroy them.  Their hearts and minds are guarded in Your Son, Jesus.  My sons are under Your covering, Lord.  They are protected from impurity and lawlessness in all forms.  They walk in the light of Your truth at the edge of this world; they do not conform to it.  Make them determined to follow after You and Your laws, God.  Let them be caught when they do wrong and speak renewal and healing into their hearts, minds, and souls in the places in which they are broken.  Help them to strengthen themselves in You from a young age, God.  

Do not let them rely on anyone else to help them cultivate a loving and devoted relationship with You.  Make them realize that it is up to them to follow You and get to know You better.  Plant a desire to know You more in Connor and Blake’s hearts and let them stick by each other in the face of resistance; let them encourage each other in You, God.  Two are stronger than one; my sons are strong because they do not depart from one another or from You.

  • 1 John 3:3 – “And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake live in eager expectation of Your second coming, Lord Jesus.  In their expectation they keep themselves pure just as You are pure.  Help them.  Staying pure and clean in this blemished and dirty world is difficult.  Let my sons lean on You, Jesus.  Continually intercede for them and plead their case to Your Father as You sit at His righteous right hand.  I pray that Connor and Blake would be white as snow and that their hearts would be clean and upright in Your sight, Oh God.  See my sons through the righteousness bought for them by Your Son.  They are cloaked in forgiveness and grace.  Your mercy has been poured over them like cleansing waters, washing away the dirt of sin.  Let Connor and Blake not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 

  • James 1:27 – “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

Prayer:  Father, Connor and Blake practice pure and genuine religion in Your eyes.  They care for orphans and widows in their distress; they do not let the world corrupt them.  My sons are not concerned with accumulating worldly possessions, God.  Instead, they are concerned with being the hands and feet of Your ministry on this earth.  Let them give generously to the least of these.  Let them love as You love.  Send my sons to the hurting and the helpless in this world, Father.  Break their hearts for what breaks Yours, God, and convict them to make a difference!  Cultivate a kind and compassionate spirit in each of them.  Make my sons good stewards of their finances and the provisions that You have blessed them with so that they may bless others.  With cheerful hearts Connor and Blake will give You more than their first fruits.  They will give to You and bless Your Kingdom, Lord, especially when their flesh would tell them that they have nothing to give.  Let my sons give out of their emptiness and lack in each area of their lives and give it back to them in good measure; create a cycle of blessing, Lord. 

  • Philippians 4:8 – “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake fix their thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  They only think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Lord, I ask You to continually fill them with the knowledge of Your will through all the wisdom and understanding that Your Spirit gives.  Let them live lives worthy of Your Son’s sacrifice.  In every way my sons will bear fruit in every good work they do and they will grow in the true knowledge of You, God.  Strengthen them with all power according to Your glorious might so that they may have great endurance and patience.  Help them to give joyful thanks to You, Father, because You have given them an eternal inheritance; they are part of Your holy people in Your Kingdom of Light.  You rescued them from the dominion of darkness and brought the sons that I love into the kingdom of the Son that You love.  Thank You!!  May Your Son’s sacrifice never be in vain!!

  • Matthew 5:8 – “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.”

Prayer:  God, bless Connor and Blake for they are pure in heart.  Let them see You!  Open the eyes of my sons, God.  Let them see wonderful things from Your law.  Do not let them live in darkness; let them always see Your light shining for them.  Do not let my sons lose sight of the blessings that You have laid out before them.  Teach them to be content and hopeful in all situations so that they will not miss opportunities to claim blessings in disguise.  Show Connor and Blake how to be led by Your word and not by their emotions.  Remind them to clothe themselves each day in Your grace and in the armor of Your word.  Let Your peace and righteousness permeate their souls and cast out any impurity.  Connor and Blake will lead pure and godly lives in constant praise of Your law and honest love for You. 

  • Job 16:17 – “Yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.”

 Prayer:  Connor and Blake’s hands are free of violence, God, and their prayers are pure.  The righteousness of their Savior covers them; they are sin-free in Your eyes, Lord.  Jesus is Connor and Blake’s advocate.  He is their witness.  He is always interceding for my sons; He pleads for mercy on their behalf.  Jesus never turns His ear away from the cries of my sons.  Let them always remember this; stamp it on their hearts and minds forever.  Remind them to pray without ceasing because they are always heard and always answered.  You, Lord, hear their cries and You save them.  My sons know You, God; they acknowledge You and they love You in deed and in profession.  My sons love You and Your laws with sincerity and conviction; their love is true.  Connor and Blake devour every word that comes from Your mouth and they do not turn from Your ways.  

  • Proverbs 20:11 – “Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.”

Prayer:  Though Connor and Blake are children they are known by the way they act.  Let their conduct be pure and right, God.  One day my sons will not be children and they will be fully responsible for their actions.  Please let Your laws be printed on their minds, let Your word be firmly planted in their hearts, and let their souls be deeply rooted in Your living water long before they are fully grown.  My children will be mature in Your wisdom, Lord, before they are mature in physical stature.  May everything they say and do be a reflection of Your love and laws.  Make my sons wise enough to learn what You have commanded so that they may be found pure in Your eyes.  Connor and Blake will know that You are their place of safety and their shield.  Your word is their only hope; Your name is their strong tower. 

  • Philippians 1:9-10 – “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”

Prayer:  God, let Connor and Blake’s love overflow more and more and let them keep on growing in Your knowledge and in their understanding if Your ways.  I want my sons to understand what really matters.  I want them to know that living their lives in pursuit of You and in line with Your statutes is the only way to achieve success in this life.  Engrain this concept into their hearts and minds.  Fill my sons with wisdom.  God, help Connor and Blake to live pure and blameless lives until Jesus’ return.  My sons will not chase after fleeting and meaningless pleasures.  They will stay grounded in Your word and hopeful in Your promises.  They trust in You and they will not be shaken or deceived.  They will follow in Your footsteps, Lord Jesus, and they will not falter.  For You command Your angels concerning them, God, to guard them in all their ways.  They will not strike their feet upon stones.  No disasters will come near their dwelling places.  No temptation will overcome them.  They will remain in You and You will remain in them.

  • Psalm 119:9 – “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake stay pure while they are young and into old age by obeying Your word, Lord.  Your teachings are wonderful,     and my sons respect them all.  Understanding Your word brings light to their minds.  They honestly want to know everything You teach, so teach them.  Think about my sons and remember Your love for them.  Be kind to them for they love Your name and Your statutes are their counselors.   Keep your promises to them and don’t let them stumble or let sin control their lives.  Protect them from the evil one so that they can obey Your laws and live in peace and safety.

  • Philippians 2:15 – “So that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

Prayer:  Father, don’t let Connor and Blake be criticized; they live clean and innocent lives as Your sons.  They shine like bright lights in this world full of crooked and perverse people.  They will not turn from Your laws; they will continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.  It is You, God, who works in my sons; will them to act in order to fulfill Your good purpose.  Help them to do everything without grumbling  or arguing so that they will shine among the corrupt like stars in the sky.  Let Connor and Blake hold firmly to Your word for it is life and health to their bodies.  Let them go where You have called them and let their attitudes and actions be pleasing in Your sight, God, so that they may rejoice when Your Son returns.

Prayer Challenge – Day 6

“I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people,” Leviticus 26:9-13.

Father, continue to give breath to my family’s and my prayers. Jump start the heart beat of my desire as I cover my family from head to toe in Your word. Let my family and I replace our sinful desires with a burning desire for You, God. Let Your promises give life to the cry of our hearts. Never let the waters of Your healing Presence run dry within our spirits. Keep our hearts turned toward to You. Let us bask in Your glory and eat of the fruit of Your spirit. Cleanse us in Your mercies and clothe us in the splendor of Your majesty.

I long for my family to shine brighter than diamonds in this world. As we do the work of Your Kingdom and let Your love bring healing and truth to the broken, let us be more precious than gold in Your sight. Lord, in Your unfailing love, please dip the ladle of mercy in the fountain of Your grace and let it rain down blessings on my family and me as we journey toward the Cross. Our eyes and hearts are fixed on You. All the days of our lives Your praises are on our lips and our thoughts are fixed on Your laws. We love You, God. May Your light always shine for us.  In Jesus’ sweet name I pray.  Amen.

Pride:

  • Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”

Prayer: Connor and Blake are not prideful or haughty. Their paths will not lead to destruction and they will not fall. Lord, examine my sons’ motives and find them to be pure. My sons fear You and they avoid evil. They live lives pleasing to You and even their enemies are at peace with them. Connor and Blake listen to instruction and they will prosper. They trust You, Lord, and they find fullness of joy in Your presence. Your grace is sufficient for Connor and Blake. Your strength is made perfect in their weaknesses. Therefore my sons will gladly boast in their infirmities, needs and trials and Your power, Lord Jesus, will rest on them. Because when they admit their weaknesses to You, they receive supernatural strength. Through their honesty and humility Your grace and power go to work in the arenas they struggle in most and they are released from the bondage of sin; free to live in victory in You, Jesus.

  • Proverbs 29:23 – “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.”

Connor and Blake are not brought to humiliation because they are not prideful. You honor them Lord, because they are humble. My sons do not lose their tempers like fools but they keep quiet because they are wise. They are slow to anger and rich in love. The words of their mouths are pleasing in Your sight, God. Connor and Blake seek Your counsel in all they do, Lord, and You grant them success. They do not follow the desires of their flesh but they follow You and Your will for their lives.

  • Job 33:17 – “He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride.”

Prayer: Father, You make Connor and Blake turn from doing wrong and You keep them from pride. Only You can change their hearts and their desires Lord. Only You can place Your Spirit in them and make them obedient to You and Your laws. My sons do not have hearts of stone but hearts of flesh. They are responsive to Your voice, to Your will, to Your love. They fall on their knees before Your throne and forfeit their lives to You. Connor and Blake are Your obedient servants, they are Your loving sons and faithful vessels for the weight of Your glory. Use them! God, when they pray to You accept them. Receive my boys with joy. Restore them to good standing. Let them declare with their mouths that sin is worthless. Keep them silent and responsive, Father, and teach them Your wisdom.

  • Leviticus 26:19- “I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze.”

Prayer: Please break Connor and Blake’s spirits, Lord, and keep them from pride. Do not make the skies unyielding or the earth hard for them. Bless the work of their hands. Cause them to prosper in all they do. My sons will not set up idols in their hearts; they serve You alone! Make them lie down and sleep without fear; keep them safe. Make their enemies fall at their feet and shut their mouths so they cannot speak against C & B. Fulfill Your covenant with my sons, Lord.

  • Proverbs 13:10- “Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.

Prayer: Father, do not let Connor and Blake be led to conflict through the trap of pride. Instead, teach them to heed Your commands and take advise from godly counsel. My sons are wise for they heed Nick’s instruction, they are not mockers who ignore rebuke. They do not have an appetite for violence but they delight in Your laws and seek lives of peace and meekness. C & B guard their lips and You preserve their lives, Lord. You fully satisfy my sons’ desires for they are diligent. Connor and Blake are shielded by Your righteousness, Lord God, they have great integrity.

  • Proverbs 21:24- “Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.”

Prayer: Connor and Blake are not proud or haughty; they do not act with boundless arrogance. Lord in Your loving hands the hearts of my sons flow like rivers channeled toward all that pleases You. Connor and Blake are not foolish. They know that Your ways are right, God, and that their steps are directed by Your word. My sons understand that they can’t do anything without You. Weigh their hearts, God, and see that their motives are pure. Search them and know them; they love and honor You with all of their hearts, souls and strength. My sons do what is just and pleasing in Your sight, Father, and their sacrifices are acceptable to You. May Connor and Blake bring You joy all the days of their lives, Father.

  • 2 Corinthians 7:4- “I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles.”

Prayer: God, Connor and Blake have the highest confidence in You. They take great pride in You and Your laws. Lord, You have greatly encouraged my sons and in You their joy is complete despite their troubles. My sons purify themselves from everything that contaminates their bodies and spirits; they concentrate on perfecting holiness out of reverence for You. My sons do not fear bad news. Their hearts are steadfast, trusting in You.

  • Galatians 6:4 – “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”

Prayer: Connor and Blake pay careful attention to their own work and they get the satisfaction of a job well done. They don’t need to compare themselves to anyone else. My sons will never fall prey to envy. They walk the paths that You have laid out for them, Lord, and they are glad in You. They lean not on their own understanding. They seek Your wisdom and guidance in all they do. Connor and Blake know that You have good plans for them, Father. Plans to prosper them and give them a hopeful and bright future.

  • Psalm 36:11 – “Don’t let the proud trample me or the wicked push me around.”

Prayer: Connor and Blake will not be trampled by the proud or pushed around by the wicked, Lord. Your favor and love will never leave them. You go before them, God, and You lead them to victory. My sons are bold and courageous. You cover them with Your feathers and undr Your mighty wings they find refuge.

  • 1 Samuel 2:3 – “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions.”

Prayer: Connor and Blake do not act proud or haughty. They do not speak with arrogance. You judge the actions of my sons; You know what they have done. They follow Your will for their lives. They long to live for You and they put Your desires above their own. May You find that my sons always do what is right in your eyes. Let Connor and blake follow Your laws with diligence and seek You with all of their hearts, God.

A Side Note on Obedience…

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart,” Ezekiel 36:26.

First, let me apologize for falling behind in posting scripture and prayers for the 21 day prayer challenge.  I have been extra busy the past couple of days.  But, I am almost finished with days 5 and 6.  I will post them ASAP.  Now, onto the reason for this post.

If you are doing the 21 day prayer challenge or if you have been following my blog you have probably noticed that I have been praying for obedience and submission to authority for my family and for myself.  I have struggled in the past with rebellion and in general I don’t like being submissive.  As I was praying for my sons and husband to submit to God’s authority and the authority in their lives I felt God pulling at my heartstrings.  He was asking me if I am willing and obedient in my own walk with Him and in submission to the authority in my life.  I had to stop and think about the state of my heart and my actions.  Here are some things I reflected on:

  • Do I willingly submit to ALL of God’s commands?
  • Have I given every area of my life over to Him and His will?
  • Do I submit to my husband as the head of my household?
  • Do I show respect to the authority that God has placed in my life?
  • Does my attitude reflect one of willing obedience or rebellion?
  • If I am outwardly obedient do I still harbor negative thoughts and attitudes about the authority in my life?

I realized that God has placed every authority in my life for a reason.  The people over me may not know more than I do or be super spiritual but they were chosen by God to be in charge of me in some aspect of my life.  While I may not agree with God’s decisions (gasp!) or with His thinking or timing I know that He  always has a plan and He loves me.  He wants the absolute best for me and I have to be willing to be broken in spirit by submitting completely to His will in order to be made whole. 

I believe that I have made a heart change and that God has taken my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh.  I believe that His Spirit is within me and He is helping me to choose His will over my desires.  Just this past Friday (the 4th) I was on my way to pick up Connor from preschool and I got pulled over!  Now, I hadn’t been pulled over in YEARS prior to this incident and I was a little upset and a lot angry.  I didn’t even realize that I was speeding, to be truthful, and I guess I should have been paying better attention but I was in a hurry to get Connor and get back to my grandparents’ house for lunch.  Though I prayed for favor while the officer was running my license I wasn’t given any.  In fact, I received a $100 fine and a 4 point ticket!  After graciously accepting my punishment and going about my way again, I made a conscious effort to not let my emotions get the best of me.  I prayed for God to keep me under control and to see the positive in the situation.  I trusted that God would bring something good out of this yucky situation because I believe that His word is truth and that is what His word says (Romans 8:28). 

Well, today is Sunday and I went to church with my cousin and my parents this morning.  It was a great service all about God’s strength in our weaknesses.  I prayed for God to shine a light on my weaknesses and to show Himself to be strong in the areas I need it most:  finances, obedience, controlling my emotions, etc.  After service, my dad handed me a $100 bill and told me to pay for my ticket.  WOW!  Wouldn’t you know it?  I didn’t take my eyes off of God because of the anger and disappointment I felt.  I kept my trust in Him and expected good things to come.  I continued to pray for favor and provision.  God is faithful!  He showed me favor in the eyes of my dad and He showed me provision through my parents’ finances. 

Obedience to God and submission to the authority He places in our lives is key.  Without obedience we will never walk in the freedom that God intended for us!  I don’t know about you, but I choose to walk in freedom and in victory and the more I think about it, obedience doesn’t seem so bad…

 

Day 1 – 21 Days of Prayer for Sons

I found this 21 day prayer challenge hosted by the MOB society, (http://www.themobsociety.com/2012/04/21days4sons-schedule-and-subscription-links/) and since I am always looking for more ways to enrich my prayer life, I jumped on board!  Join me in prayer for your sons, daughters, grandkids, etc; just pray!

1 John 5:14 – Father, it is Your will for my sons to love You and walk in Your ways.  I know that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks; I pray that my sons’ hearts are turned toward You, Lord; they have hidden Your word in their hearts and they will not sin against You.  Their hearts are circumcised; they love You with all of their hearts and all of their souls and all of their minds.   Your praise is continually on their lips, God.  The course of C & B’s lives will follow their hearts desires; I speak in faith over my sons and say that their hearts desire You, Lord.  Your statutes are their delight; they are their counselors.   Thank You for this prayer challenge.  Thank You for the opportunity to shake up my prayer life.  Reveal to me and those joining me in this challenge, new and powerful ways to cover our loved ones in Your word.  Amen.

Prayer Challenge 

 Day 1 – Heart Change:

Insert the name of your loved one(s) to personalize the scriptures below (I suggest reading the whole chapter to help you understand the full meaning of each verse & to give you added wisdom for claiming the verses for your loved ones):

image

  • Matthew 23:26“Pharisees, you are blind! First make the inside of the cup clean and good. Then the outside of the cup will also be clean.”

Prayer:  Lord, C & B are planted in the living water of Your presence; You are Lord of their lives.  They live in reverential worship of You alone; they do not worship idols.  Your Spirit lives within them.  They are dead to sin and alive unto righteousness.  They live in victory because of Your Son, Jesus.  C & B deny the nature of their flesh and plant Your word deep inside their spirits so that they are clean from the inside out.  When people look at them they will see You shining through.  My sons are an example of Your love and Your way, Lord.

  • Ezekial 36:26 – “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Prayer:  You have given C & B new hearts; hearts that are responsive to Your voice and Your leading.  They are Your sheep and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.  Your Spirit is within them and they are obedient to You.

  • Isaiah 29:13 – And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine.  They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

Prayer:  C & B honor You, God, with their lips and with their hearts.  The meditations of their hearts and the words of their mouths are pleasing in Your sight.  They meditate on Your precepts and Your word is a light to their path and a lamp to their feet.  They lean not on their own understanding, but in all their ways they acknowledge You and You make their paths straight. 

 

  •  Luke 6:45 – “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

Prayer:  C & B produce good things from the treasury of their hearts.  They speak life & not death.  The eyes of C & B’s hearts are enlightened; they know the hope to which You have called them.  C & B know that their treasure is in You, Lord, and so their hearts are in Your hands.

  •  Luke 22:42 – “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Prayer:  God, let C & B understand that even in the darkest times Your light shines for them because they are Your beloved; they are righteous and upright in heart.  Do not let them fall into the trap of offense when things don’t go their way.  Let them trust whole-heartedly in You and Your plan for them (Jeremiah 29:11).  Let them seek Your face and cry out to You for wisdom and understanding; because You will answer them when they call You and You will deliver them and honor them.  Let them cling to Your word and fight the good fight of faith; they walk by faith and not by sight and they are content in all situations.  Let them understand that Your will is for them is to be more like You and to have a closer walk with You.  C & B will know that to grow as Jesus did (Luke 2:52) they must be rid of the impurities of their flesh and they will submit to Your will in this because even when they are in the furnace of life’s trials, You will be with them.  C & B rejoice in hope, they endure in affliction and they persevere in prayer because they can do all things through You, Jesus, for You give them strength.

  •  James 4:8 – “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”

Prayer:  C & B draw near to You, God, and You draw near to them.  They repent of their sins and turn from their old ways; they walk in Your ways.  C & B are not double-minded, they are not divided in their loyalty.  They are loyal to You and You alone.  You are their God and they are Your people, Lord.  C & B abide in You and You abide in them God.  Their hearts are pure and You lead them not into temptation.

  • Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

Prayer:  You have purified C & B of their sins.  Because of Your Son’s sacrifice, my sons are made clean.  Thank You.  Lord, C & B are robed in righteousness that was bought and paid for by Jesus’ precious blood.  Because You see my sons through Jesus’ sacrifice, they are sanctified and their hearts are made clean.  You have restored to them the joy of Your salvation and made them willing to obey You.

  • Ecclesiastes 10:2 – “A wise man’s heart turns him toward his right hand, but a fool’s heart toward his left.”

Prayer:  C & B are wise and their hearts turn them toward Your righteous right hand, Lord.  They are not fools.  They do not despise wisdom.  They seek wisdom from Your word and they find it.  They lay hold of wisdom and they are blessed.  They bind love and faithfulness around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.  C & B do not walk in the way of the world but in Your way, Lord.   

  • Ezekial 14:3-  “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and put the stumbling block of their iniquity and guilt before their faces; should I permit Myself to be inquired of at all by them?

Prayer:  C & B will not set up idols in their hearts nor will they put stumbling blocks of iniquity and guilt before their faces.  They have overcome the evil one by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony.  C & B delight in the Lord’s commands and follow His precepts with all of their hearts, minds and souls.   

  • Acts 2:37 – “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?

Prayer:  God, let C & B be cut to the heart with the gospel message.  Let them live their lives in awe and thanks to Jesus, for His sacrifice and to You, God, for sending Your only Son to die so that they might live.  Give them eyes to see, ears to hear, and minds to understand the full weight of what Jesus did for them.  May C & B fully understand the height, depth, width and length of Your unfailing ove for them, God.  Let them boldy proclaim Your truth and share Your love with mercy and grace.  Let my sons always love You as they do now; with child-like faith and innocence.

Hide it in their Hearts…

“I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you,” Psalm 119:11.

As I tucked Connor in I finished up our bed time prayers, “Lord, please reveal yourself to Connor. He wants to know You more. He seeks You with all of his heart. Let him find You. Be near to Him because he loves You and he calls on You in truth.” With a kiss on the cheek I slowly started to rise from my knees. “Mom, one of our prayers makes me sad. You know, the one that says, ‘I do things against Him.’ Why did you say that?” My heart sank at the thought of my sweet Connor being sad as I covered him in prayer. While I was speaking life over him, he thought I was speaking condemnation. Prayer is the one aspect of motherhood that I have not failed at, but suddenly I’m failing at prayer too? Seriously?

Shocked, I knelt next to his bed again as I silently asked my Heavenly Father for wisdom in answering my son. Without hesitation God answered my prayer. I sought His face and He met me at Connor’s bedside. Taking Connor’s hand in mine I spoke lovingly to my child, “Connor, I’m not saying sad prayers, baby. Everything I’m praying is happy. I’m asking God to protect you and help you. I’m praying for you to be happy and good. I’m asking God to help you to live the way He wants you to. I asked God to help you put the things that He says to do inside of your heart so you won’t do things that God doesn’t like; bad things. I only want you to do things that make God happy.” As the smile spread across Connor’s face I knew that God had once again been faithful to His promise. He revealed Himself to Connor through a simple bed time prayer.

I am in awe of God’s love! How amazing He is! But I’m not the only one who was awed by God’s love tonight. Before he would let me leave his room, Connor made me take the small, hand-painted, Peruvian cross off of his wall and give it to him; he wanted to sleep with it. “I just want to be close to God, mom.” With that, he rolled over and closed his eyes. I closed my eyes too; and silently gave thanks to my God.

Lord, as I speak Your word over my sons continue to plant it firmly in their minds, hearts and souls. Water it with Your spirit and help them to grow it with faith so that they will bear godly fruit. Let them eat from the tree of life as they delight in your statutes and go where You lead. Let them be sensitive to Your still, small voice. They are Your sheep, Jesus, and the voice of a stranger they will not follow. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness, Lord. Nick and I could never do this alone! Continue to direct our steps and we will follow. As a family, let us grow in wisdom and stature, and favor with You and man. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

20120424-064852.jpg

We Will Follow

My family is still being separated. Even though C is well enough to go to school his cough is not gone yet. I’m still getting over a cold and so is Blake. Since Bob has no immune system right now we still have to stay away from my parents. This is hard on all of us. We are used to being together all the time and it’s been a couple weeks now since we have seen each other. I want to be of more help to my mom right now. She needs me. I feel helpless and I know she is feeling alone. Even though things seem to be going wrong this must be part of Your plan, Lord. Our failed plans highlight our dependence on You; we can’t depend on anyone but You, God. We will continue to trust You in this storm and look to the blessings ahead. Hold our hands as You guide us through the unknown. Light our way and steady our feet. We won’t make it without You.

God, you are weaning us from all other dependencies. Our security rests in You alone. Not in other people, not in circumstances. We depend only on You. Even though we feel like we are free falling into the unknown our faith tells us that Your everlasting arms are underneath us, holding us up. Though we don’t know the path You have chosen for us, Your word lights the way. While we cannot understand why we must go through these trials we know that Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. You have Your reasons for allowing us to feel pain. Our suffering is not in vain. You are working everything for good because we love You and have been called according to Your purpose. You have good plans for us, plans to prosper us, plans to give us hope and a future. Even though we may feel so alone we know that Your unfailing love surrounds us driving out all fear. We know that Your presence follows us wherever we go, comforting us and giving us peace that surpasses all understanding.

Lord, search us and know us. Our hearts and minds are set on You. Take our anxieties and leave us peace. Our trust is in You alone and we will not be shaken. You are our God and we are Your people. We will not be discouraged because You are with us and You will never leave us. We will not fear or be dismayed. You drive out our enemies before us! Goodbye cancer and sickness! Bob and grandma have been healed by the stripes of Jesus! You must flee! Bob and grandma are dead to sin and alive unto righteousness and no weapon formed against them will prosper!
We raise the cross high above the storms in our life and step out of the boat to meet our Glorious Savior! The swells may rise but we will not be overtaken! We will overcome by the blood of the lamb! God, You lead us to victory, it is our final destination! Whatever road You lead us down we will follow with unwavering faith and unshakable trust. We will faithfully speak Your praises and patiently endure our trials. We will be content in every situation that arises as we wait for You to deliver us. Because deliver us You will!!

We Will Follow

My family is still being separated. Even though C is well enough to go to school his cough is not gone yet. I’m still getting over a cold and so is Blake. Since Bob has no immune system right now we still have to stay away from my parents. This is hard on all of us. We are used to being together all the time and it’s been a couple weeks now since we have seen each other. I want to be of more help to my mom right now. She needs me. I feel helpless and I know she is feeling alone. Even though things seem to be going wrong this must be part of Your plan, Lord. Our failed plans highlight our dependence on You; we can’t depend on anyone but You, God. We will continue to trust You in this storm and look to the blessings ahead. Hold our hands as You guide us through the unknown. Light our way and steady our feet. We won’t make it without You.

God, you are weaning us from all other dependencies. Our security rests in You alone. Not in other people, not in circumstances. We depend only on You. Even though we feel like we are free falling into the unknown our faith tells us that Your everlasting arms are underneath us, holding us up. Though we don’t know the path You have chosen for us, Your word lights the way. While we cannot understand why we must go through these trials we know that Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. You have Your reasons for allowing us to feel pain. Our suffering is not in vain. You are working everything for good because we love You and have been called according to Your purpose. You have good plans for us, plans to prosper us, plans to give us hope and a future. Even though we may feel so alone we know that Your unfailing love surrounds us driving out all fear. We know that Your presence follows us wherever we go, comforting us and giving us peace that surpasses all understanding.

Lord, search us and know us. Our hearts and minds are set on You. Take our anxieties and leave us peace. Our trust is in You alone and we will not be shaken. You are our God and we are Your people. We will not be discouraged because You are with us and You will never leave us. We will not fear or be dismayed. You drive out our enemies before us! Goodbye cancer and sickness! Bob and grandma have been healed by the stripes of Jesus! You must flee! Bob and grandma are dead to sin and alive unto righteousness and no weapon formed against them will prosper!
We raise the cross high above the storms in our life and step out of the boat to meet our Glorious Savior! The swells may rise but we will not be overtaken! We will overcome by the blood of the lamb! God, You lead us to victory, it is our final destination! Whatever road You lead us down we will follow with unwavering faith and unshakable trust. We will faithfully speak Your praises and patiently endure our trials. We will be content in every situation that arises as we wait for You to deliver us. Because deliver us You will!!

Patience is Key

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.  Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him,” James 1:12.

As I read this verse this morning I heard God say, “Patience is the key.”  

What is patience?
Patience is:
  1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
  2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
  3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care.

What are some synonyms of patience?:

  1. Composure, stability, self-possession; submissiveness, sufferance. Endurance, fortitude, stoicism imply qualities of calmness, stability, and persistent courage in trying circumstances. Patience may denote calm, self-possessed, and unrepining bearing of pain, misfortune, annoyance, or delay; or painstaking and untiring industry or application in the doing of something: to bear afflictions with patience. Endurance denotes the ability to bear exertion, hardship, or suffering.  Running in a marathon requires great endurance. Fortitude implies not only patience but courage and strength of character in the midst of pain, affliction, or hardship: to show fortitude in adversity. Stoicism is calm fortitude, with such repression of emotion as to seem almost like indifference to pleasure or pain. 3. indefatigably, persistence, assiduity.

My thoughts on patience:

  • Patience is a choice
  • Patience is a state of mind & being
  • Patience takes practice
  • Patience takes courage & strength
  • Patience takes persistence & hard work
  • Patience is perfected in the midst of trial & tribulation
  • Patience is the absence of complaint
  • It is the ability to overcome adversity
  • It keeps you going in spite of pain
  • Patience feeds on hope
  • It is the “fight” within all of us
  • Patience sets its sights on the prize
  • It succeeds against all odds
  • True patience does not exist in the absence of pain or hardship; it is in the midst of pain & hardship that true patience is birthed
  • Patience is fighting the good fight of faith without complaining
  • Patience is enduring in all circumstances with a good attitude
  • Patience is thanksgiving with perseverance
  • Patience is overcoming whatever life throws at you with a smile on your face
  • Patience is choosing joy over sorrow and hope over fear
  • Patience is seeing the single ray of sunshine breaking through the storm
  • It’s looking at that mountain in your life and saying, “No matter what it takes, I won’t stop until you have been cast into the sea.”

God, when I am weak, You are strong.  I can’t do this on my own.  I can’t get through a single day without Your presence.  You are the strength of my heart.  You are my peace and joy.  Lord, carry me.  Never let me go.  Renew my mind.  Quench the thirst of my spirit.  Satisfy the hunger of my soul.  Fill me up with Your word.  Breathe new life into me.  Carry my burdens and fill me with Your peace that surpasses all understanding.  Make my heart light, give it wings to soar above the adversity in this life.  Make me fix my gaze upon You alone.  My patience is being perfected.  Do not give up until You have completed the good work You have started in me.  I will hang on.  I will push through until the end.  Your faithfulness and love will bring me to the finish line.  I will see Your glory.  I rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, and persevere in prayer Lord because my trust is in You and I will not be shaken.   

Uncensored

Disclaimer:  if you are easily offended don’t read this post.  These are the ramblings of an emotional and sometimes irrational woman.  There is no fluidity here, no creative flair; just the mess that has been cluttering up my mind and my heart.  Words spewed on a page in hopes of freeing myself and confessing my feelings to God; a way for me to be honest with myself without getting so bogged down in the self talk.  I just want to get this out of my head and get some sleep!  So here goes:

As a part of my new year’s resolution I have decided to devote more time to my relationship with God.  In my mind this resolution is far better than spending more time in the gym or obsessing over my weight and physical appearance.  It’s definitely a better way to spend my time than spinning my wheels on a treadmill to squeeze into the next smallest size.  Ok sorry, I digress; back to my resolution.  At this time in my life spending more time with God is easier said than done.  Hence starting my resolution on January 2nd…

Day one:  This morning I woke up too early – my kids were still asleep, that’s early!  I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t; I think God was reminding me of the promise I had made to myself and to Him.  I admit that I was a little annoyed; couldn’t I have started on my resolution a little later in the day?  Apparently not, so I reluctantly got out of bed and opened up my “Pathway to Miracles” book; I wasn’t ready to start on the Bible right away.  I only got through a couple of pages before the water works started…I should have expected it.  I had been putting God off for too long, compartmentalizing Him and His opinions.  Apparently I still think I can control my life and my relationship with God.  Sometimes I feel like its easier if it’s one way communication; my way… I say what I want when I want and then shut the door when I don’t like what I hear.  Yet I get angry when God is silent or too distant when Im  looking for an answer.  I want my cake and I want to eat it too.  What’s wrong with that? 

As I continued to read about midnight miracles I got so mad at God.  Where was my midnight miracle?!!  I realized that I was holding this huge grudge against Him; I finally faced the truth.  I was doubting His faithfulness and actually losing my trust in Him.  How could this be? I had always prided myself on my great faith in my great God yet where had my faith been these past few months? This hurt and anger I was holding onto had pushed me into a completely foreign place; a place of doubt and hopelessness.  I have never been here before.  Even when I was fighting for my son’s life I had held my ground through my faith in my unshakable Savior.  Why had I suddenly lost my footing?

In March of 2011 I felt like the Holy Spirit spoke to me during a time of prayer and told me to celebrate Passover; to speak that my family, that Bob had been passed over by cancer and death.  That we would receive our healing miracle once and for all after Passover.  Even the night before Passover I felt the need to claim a midnight miracle.  I so desperately believed that during such a great time of darkness our God would come through and rescue us!!  I was so confident in God and His covenant with my family and me that I didn’t allow an ounce of doubt or unbelief to camp in my head or my heart.  Immediate healing was in the bag…or so I thought.  But its been nine months and still no physical break through.  No confirmation if a miracle I so strongly believed for.  Ironically, instead of my family being rid of the mother fucking cancer my grandma was diagnosed with leukemia for the second time!!!!  Are you kidding me?  This bullshit is almost laughable…almost.  So…no sudden healing after Passover, just more sickness.  Ha!  Then to top it all off I started to be heavily attacked by fear.  Fear of my Connor getting sick again.  That this was yet another cycle of sickness plaguing my family.  My family’s 1st round of sickness went something like this:  Bob got sick, grandma got sick, Connor got sick…I guess the enemy saw a weakness in my armor and hit me with his best shot.  It seems so irrational to even think about Connor getting sick again.  But a few months ago it drove me into a pretty deep spell of depression and anxiety.  I could hear my faith and the truth of God’s word telling me that Connor wouldn’t get sick again, that this was just the enemy playing with my head but I couldn’t stop it.  I just kept spinning out of control and instead of reaching for my lifeline in God I resigned to it.  I embraced the comfort of disconnection.  I just stopped trying to ignore it, stopped trying to dig myself out; and I was too hurt and disappointed to call on God.  Would He let me down again? 

Reading my book today brought back this overwhelming flood of feelings.  I really felt like God was reaching out to me, asking me to come back to Him; to let go of my anger and hurt and let Him heal me, restore me.  I want to be close to Him again, to live in faith and hope like before…but I have conditions.  I want answers, I want what I feel was promised to me, to Bob, to my mom.  I want this nightmare to end once and for all.  To have peace and health restored to my family.  We deserve it damn it!!  We have been through more than our share of sickness and pain in less than a decade.  What blessings are waiting for us after this is over?  Do I want them?  Will it ever be over on this earth?  Bring our breakthrough and I will put more effort into our relationship.  Putting my demand on paper like a contract with God seems funny yet so theraputic.  Who am I to demand things of the creator of the universe?  Who am I to tell Him when and how to move? 

I know I shouldn’t black mail God with my demands but I’m just so pissed off!!!!  I feel so misled and then guilty for allowing myself to feel this way about God after all He has done for me; I have been blessed with so much and given so many miracles already!!!  How dare I be so selfish and ungrateful.  But at the same time the anger is such a nice distraction from the hurt and sadness.  So while I am on the topic of anger I’m going to keep venting…

People who feed me Bible verses on perseverance and tribulation; the people that recite them like we are in Sunday school together.  Their arms practically shoot up as they wiggle with the excitement of having the “right answer”.  They’re so proud of themselves, so sure that they’re doing their duty as fellow Christians.  But I find no comfort in their robotic chants, no sympathy in their eyes.  I just feel more anger and resentment.  Who do they think they are to try and “school me” on God’s plan for my family?  What do they know about His purpose for our suffering?  Most of the people feeding me this practiced and insincere drivel have never even had a bad hair day much less dealt with cancer twice in two family members, let alone once.  Have they ever fought for their unborn child’s life?  Battled fear so great it was tangible?  Fear that almost took on a physical appearance? Have any of these people ever watched their mom crack under the pressure of holding herself together day in and day out while her husband battles cancer again?  I won’t even mention the every day struggles that wouldn’t be so staggering if they weren’t on top of everything else.  Yes, life does go on in spite of the onslaught of battle.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger I guess…but who wants to be this strong? 

More venting about annoying people commences here:  What about the people who have lost loved ones in their own battles with death?  They are the worst people to talk to.  It’s almost as if they want you to join their “club”; no thank you.  Or worse yet, they try to make you feel guilty for asking for a miracle.  They taunt you with, “Was my faith not great?  Does God love you more than me?  You were given miracles already, why don’t you just be thankful for what you have and stop asking for more.”  Then there are the people who tell you that you can’t believe for a miracle.  They contradict the Bible and my deepest seeded beliefs with every breath yet they are so bold in their proclamations; I would feel sorry for them if I wasn’t so angry.  To all of “those” people:  I don’t know why my loved ones have lived and yours haven’t.  I know God doesn’t love me more than He loves you.  And please don’t tell me what I can and can’t ask God for.  Thank you.  Try not to make my pain about you.  Do you think I asked for this?  And PLEASE don’t tell me “to whom much is given, much is required”…I know, I know; can’t I be human sometimes and just vent without someone think I’m losing my religion?

Ok, I feel a little bit better after getting all of this crap out of my head.  I think the venting can stop for the time being.  I hope I didn’t hurt anyone with my bluntness…these are just my feelings, my random thoughts spilled out on a page in the hopes of making some sense of them.  I still love you God and I still trust you but I just want my miracle.  Haven’t my family and I run the race marked out for us?  Haven’t we been a good example?  What else do You want from us before we have a breakthrough?  Did I even hear You last April?  God don’t let me doubt Your voice… I need You so much; I am so hungry for Your presence.  I want You to change me, to change others through me.  I am just so desperate for You to move in my life and in my family.  But first I need Your help forgiving You and quieting the enemy.  Ironic, huh?  I need Your help forgiving You…does that even make sense?  Judge my heart Lord.  You know me.  Please help.