Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Glue. Sometimes messy. Always sticky. A bonding agent.

Cement. Sometimes messy.  Mostly firm. A bonding agent.

When my sweet girl goes out with her friends on her own, I tell her "Stick together like glue."  Common cliche but I know she gets my meaning and the importance of it.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

When we make an agreement, we want it to be 'cemented in' or 'like concrete' so that it cannot be violated or broken.

You don't often hear the phrase "Stick together like cement."  Once things are bound by cement, they are practically inseparable.  It would take a high-powered jack hammer and a lot of time to break the cement into rubble and separate it from whatever it is binding or covering.

We like the flexibility of glue and the permanence of cement. And, each are necessary depending upon the task required. And yet....

We go about our days, our busyness, trying to manage the time and resources at our disposal. We work, we serve, we play. The nuts and bolts of life. So much to do, so little time. We stress. We have anxiety. We worry. We weigh everything on our 'to do' list and wonder how we are going to get it all done. We hope to remember everything we might forget.

We remember to hope for God's intervention. We even send up a quick prayer asking for the Lord's assistance. Maybe too little, too late. We put bandages on what we can, the quick fix, and salvage the rest as best we can.

We face temptation.  We ignore it, fight it with the flesh, try to fix it ourselves. We have temporary victories and pat ourselves on the back. Then it returns. It happens again. Eventually we come unglued and give into it. It rules our lives.

We do it our way rather than His. We fool ourselves into thinking that we know best. I know I do.

Too much glue. Not enough cement.

Too much busy. Too much self.

Not enough prayer. Not enough fasting. Not enough of Him.

We use glue when cement is what is needed most. Cement. Prayer. And fasting. Prayer and fasting.

Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. Matthew 9:14-15

Prayer and fasting holds all of it together. Praying and fasting accesses the only One we will ever need in a much deeper, more intimate way. It invokes intercession and the power of His Spirit. It illuminates His Holy Word imparting wisdom and discernment. Our life, our works become focused on Him rather than on ourselves. We begin to understand His will, His ways, and follow His plans rather than our own.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:26-28

As we, in earnest, seek Him, our will becomes in alignment with His. Our faith is increased, our trust is increased.

We acknowledge our weakness; He is magnified. We surrender to Him in weakness; He is glorified.

He told them, “Because of your lack of faith I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:20-21

In our humility, He is mighty to use us as conduits for His love and grace. It prepares our hearts to receive what He has in store for us.

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:1-3

In our repentance and dependance, He breaks the ties that bind, heals the wounds that hurt, pulls out the rotten roots that run deep and does a greater work in our hearts than we would have ever known.

In our surrender, He transforms, transfigures and heals us. 

Prayer and fasting. It is the conduit that brings it all together--His Word, His Spirit, His Will, His Purpose, His Glory--and bonds it together it like cement.  It builds a faith that is unshakable, immovable, unstoppable.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-29




I want to live like that.....!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Okay, I'll get right to the point. Our guinea pig died this afternoon. Suddenly. With very little warning.

To add insult to injury, we've only had Pippin for two and a half weeks. Inherited from a neighbor. Such a very short time. In a blink of an eye, Pippin was part of our family and then she was gone. No more chattering, no more crunching, no more life. Suddenly.

Precious Pippin

My sweet daughter is gentle-spirited, compassionate, kind-hearted and very much an animal lover. She realized something was wrong with Pippin this morning right away. So in tune. Now, my daughter is away and the guinea pig has passed.  I grapple with exactly how to tell her what as transpired in her absence when she returns home.
It is times like these that make very little sense especially to the young and innocent. (And, to apply reason when explaining sudden death to children is next to impossible.) Frankly, it doesn't always make a lot of sense to me.  It is heartbreaking not to mention a shock when so unexpected. And, it is times like these when it is most difficult to give thanks.  

Yet I do. 

  • I give thanks to Him who created us and every creature that roams upon the earth, in the sky and under the sea. To love, to enjoy, to understand Him more and more.
  • I give thank to Him for His marvelous creation and how it reveals His creativity, His depth, His glory, and His plan for the future for all of us.

  • I give thanks to Him for my compassionate child whose depth of heart moves me to compassion, love, and hope in Him Who is the author of life, breathing life into us from the moment of conception and Who holds our time in His loving hands.
  • I give thanks to Him for the opportunity to share this part of life, experiencing death, with my two precious gifts of life so that I can show them His glory even in the sad times, the difficult times.

  •  I give thanks to Him for His perfect work in our hearts and His transforming power as He molds us into being like Him even though sometimes it hurts. It is times like these that we know we have life and we are living for Him and because of Him. It is times like these that we truly treasure His gift of eternal life.

"But, as it is written,
'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love Him...'" 
1 Corinthians 2:9

  •  I give thanks to Him for the precious gift He gives us in the hope of His salvation, in the Kingdom to come where life springs eternal in a way that only He can give. In the blink of an eye....

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:52

Yes, He gives and He takes away. Yet, in each moment, there is something to be thankful for. For we know, no matter how dark it may seem in the moment, His love endures forever. For that reason alone, we can give thanks in all circumstances!

 "As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.  And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.” 
2 Chronicles 7:1-3

And, I must not forget to share that, just the other day, my lovely daughter mentioned that she'd like to have a pet rat or two. I did tell her that the guinea pig was enough for now; we'd consider rats once Pippin was no longer with us. Perhaps God's providence is upon us.....?! Either way, I ran out to the pet store and purchased two small rats who will be waiting for her when she returns home. To comfort, to heal her heart, and start again..... As His love would have it.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I'm an active listener by nature. Much more so than a talker. (My husband might disagree as he is always ready to lend an ear for me when I need it!) I express my love for others by my gift of time in listening, contemplating the words given, asking questions of interest and giving words of wisdom if the situation requires it.

A little more than five years ago, I was asked to join in my first experience with conversation prayer. Hmmmm....  I'm thinking to myself, "You mean you want me to talk out loud while I pray in front of all these people!?" "You want me to converse with my heavenly Father where everyone can hear me?!" A tough hurtle for someone who listens more than speaks. My throat begin to tighten, my mouth became dry, and my palms began to sweat. Uncomfortable! I enjoyed my prayer time with my Creator, one on one, but this format was definitely outside of my comfort zone.

The first few sessions, I listened. Just listened. (I am a good listener, remember?) I got the rhythm, the cadence of our group prayer time.  Okay. I will try it. I said something short and sweet.  During the next few meetings, I listened more than I contributed but did have a burning in my heart to share something more. There is power in the name of Jesus. Especially when two or more are gathered in His name. I felt empowered by His Spirit.

Once again, He humbled me.  He reminded me that this time was not about me but about Him.  He also reminded me that this conversation was to be Spirit-led rather than Me-led! So, I let go and let the Lord guide and the Spirit do the talking. I discovered:

  • The beauty of fellowship in prayer led by the Spirit.

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." 
Acts 2:42

  •  The blessing of humility in service through prayer as the body of Christ. 

 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve Him with one accord." 
Zephaniah 3:9

  • The power behind prayer as we gather in His name in full accord and of one mind. For our comfort and joy!

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind." 
Philippians 2:1

Conversations. Two way conversations. Such a blessing and such a rarity. These days, meaningful conversation is truly a form of art, a skill learned and much needed to develop quality relationships among ourselves. And, with our Maker. Alone with Him or  together in one accord.

Listening is instrumental to a meaningful conversation. In prayer and with each other in conversation. Listen for His still small voice, His Holy Spirit to impart wisdom and discernment, to speak His will, to utter His love. He is ALIVE and speaks to those who humble themselves and are willing to listen.

He is always ready, available and such a good listener! I have grown to love conversational prayer and I still cherish my personal conversations with God! That face-to-face time is truly where I talk my heart and He speaks to it.  The blessings and benefits of collective prayer are amazing. As we pray, our desires and our wills become aligned with His and each other. Truly, we become of one mind in Christ.

And, believe it or not, I led a Conversational Prayer group as part of a weekly women's bible study as Prayer Chairman. Imagine that! If I hadn't stepped out of the comfort zone and into the 'unknown', He wouldn't have been able to use and bless me in so many ways!

Praising Him for the gift and power of prayer and a community that prays together! Praying that you find treasure, blessing and power in prayer in His name........