Thursday, March 28, 2013

We Are His Child

We need to remember we are His child!
We are all born a child. In all the innocence and beauty of a newborn, we are not perfect in our form.

We are missing the part our Creator most desires us to have Spiritual Life.

As the proud parents and grandparents coo over every movement of the precious babe, reality boldly holds the true condition of one’s soul:
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin,and so death spread to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12 NAS).

As the years rush past –all the birthdays, holidays, and events of life – we lose track of how quickly a child grows. As I flip through a photo album of my children’s younger days, I wonder. Why did I fret so about decorations? Did it really matter what he wore? How many times of anything this life has to offer is enough?

But life doesn’t sit still as a photo does in an album upon the bottom shelf, every day we change. Every
day brings its own choice. How will I spend my day? More importantly, with whom will I spend my day?

It doesn’t matter our age, we possess free will. As a mother of three, I have seen this more clearly in the
life of each little child I am trusted to raise. If God takes the time to number our days, then certainly
how we live each day is important.

So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalms 90:12 NAS).

The little child in us, the created “child of God”, must decide what so many people think they can cheat or ignore.

Will I live my life for God? Will I willingly be His adopted child? Will I inherit it all?

One way or another - it is a decision each person MUST make.

For most who choose to you believe in Jesus they wonder how anyone could possibly ignore making an intentional decision to receive the grace and forgiveness available to everyone who cries out to Jesus as Lord. A few Easters past, my teenage daughter, with tear-filled eyes, pondered what Jesus did for us because we sin.

As a little child, we fill our days with pleasure and play. So many continue to play ignoring the condition of their soul, trying to delay reckoning with God. Do we really think tinkering with toys and tinsel of this world really can bring hope, joy, and love? We choose broken trinkets over blessed gems. How misunderstood is God and His ways!

We are His little child, and He wants us to know Him and how we should live. He doesn’t want us to
become old cranky folks too rigid to swim, laugh or dance. No, it is through abiding in Him, hanging on (perservering), and the fact that HE never lets go that we remain young.

He is the source of eternal life – the fountain of forever young at heart.

If you have not yet, He is worthy of your trust. He is able. Take hold of His hand. Trust Him to know how to raise you up, and your little child-like soul can say, “Here I am, Papa!”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Struggling To Pray

Pray never comes easy.

I have been a Christian for over 30 years and while I know the power of prayer and love to pray, it is a discipline that is not easy.

Prayer is Talking and Listening with God

I think one of the biggest reasons is that our mind is so full of thoughts. They bounce around when we close our eyes to focus on God.

In desperate times and when praying with others (even another), it is easier to focus on God and the actual act of prayer. When alone I can be quite lazy.

I remember back to my early days as a Christian-- how I labored trying to train myself to kneel down before God and pray. Many times I ended up asleep. When I slowed myself down, and finally worked through all of the distractions popping into my head, I simply relaxed and dosed off.

I would wake up startled and often disappointed in myself, but thinking the Lord must certainly consider the fact that I was earnest trying.

I am grateful I learned that prayer is a conversation, not a time of pure silent meditation or a rattling off of a laundry list of request or even a written/memorized prayer. In prayer I come close to God in a real personal one on one relationship.

Prayer must be practiced. 

The position of prayer has less to do with our physical stance--how we sit, kneel, bow or lay-- and much more to do with our mental stance--understanding who God is and who we are to Him. As we grow in our understanding of God, our way of approaching Him becomes different. With God, we can only be honestly who we are and can not pretend, as we so often do with other. God knows my present condition, and therefore, that greatly influences my approach to God and my quality of time with Him.

If I come to God, when I am being disobedient in an area of my life, He brings it up rather quickly. If I want to continue and enter in His presence any further, I must deal with it. If I don't, I am kidding myself that there would be any further purpose to keep praying. Therefore, many times prayer is cut short depending on my need to address something first or simply if I am unwilling to agree with God and repent.

Other times when I begin to pray I think about all of my concerns, the needs I am aware of and the desire to bring others before God, I know He already knows my thoughts so I race over like glancing at a mental list. Sometimes God will bring one person or item to the forefront, so I spend time on it, but I find this as a way of letting the Holy Spirit lead our time together.

Recalling all the years when my children were young and I simply could not find a quiet moment to hear God or even my own thoughts, and realizing that now that I have much quiet time (having older children), I sadly know I am out of practice and lazy. 

I know God is always with me and I can talk to Him anytime during the day, therefore, my urgency to take advantage of what quiet moments I can get is diminished. I don't cherish the present moment so much. And I think, I can pray later, but never do.

Be Honest.

If we are honest with ourself, it can be painful. It exposes our lackadaisical attitude about prayer. I am ashamed - but rightly so! And even still, this is not a reason to stop me from being before my Lord and entering His throne room. For it is when I do get honest with myself, that real prayer can begin.

Dear Lord, Forgive me for neglecting our relationship. I talk a lot about You but I am wrong in not spending time together with You. I want to quickly state how important you are to me, but like Paul I have let many cocks crow morning after morning, denying You the rightful place in my life --- in actually spending time with You. Forgive me for living the outward life of the Christian but neglecting the one one one private life in my actual relationship with You. 

I am ready to change. Help me. In You I have hope. 

Your darling daughter, Lindy

Now let me go, I want to spend time with God. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Living in Fear and Stress

Are you living in fear and stress? Do you feel constantly overwhelmed, like no one is there for you, nobody understands fully, or can appreciate the amount of responsibilities you carry? Do you sometimes think that death might be the only way to stop it all, the only way to manage, the only way to survive (even in fleeting thoughts)?

Believe me, you ARE NOT ALONE!

I KNOW you feel alone. I know your circumstances have always showed you that you are alone. I know it seems to end up that you are by yourself trying to figure it all out and to make it right....

But I still say with certainty, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Back off, take a breath. I mean really breathe in and out deeply. Cry, scream, run, even punch or pound a chair, pillow or the ground outside! Get all of the adrenaline pumping through your veins to more of a balanced level so that you can think.

Then try this:

  1. Identify what is the wrong. Seriously face reality. Identify what is the source even if it is several. Write it down, say it out loud or simply think it through - but identify it.
  2. Turn your focus away from it! You see it only gets bigger and bigger the more you focus on it. You need to put it down, back away and refocus.
  3. Identify on the Truth! Sometimes we have to get another person's perspective to see the Truth. Christians can look up what they are dealing with in Scripture and Find out what God has to say about it - that is Truth. But some of us have very good friends that can also be honest with us and are willing to tell us the truth - even if it is not what we want to hear.
  4. Act on the Truth. This means you are going to have to change something in your thoughts and probably also in your behavior. You can change you - your reaction, your plan, your attitude - but you can't change others so don't even try! It is a waste of time and causes more stress.
I am a Christian so when I am very worried about something or totally stressed out, in the end, I find myself face to face with God looking to Him for help (with advice from other Christian friends taking counsel from His Word or directly from the Bible itself).

Truth forces me to re-adjust my thinking and that changes my behavior. It doesn't mean the circumstance is going to come to an abrupt end. I may have to live in the storm for a long time, but at least I know I am not alone in the storm. I know I can trust God that He is with me and that He will do what He promises. 

Imagination, ignorance and doubt can be the source of many stressors that create fear and pressure in our life, but reality is until we learn to focus on what is good in life, what is pure, what is right, what is holy, what is awesome, what is lovely - we are going to live perpetually in fear and stress. 

Choose for yourself how you will live your life!

"Finally, whatever things are true, whatever are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, what ever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8 NKJV