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Archive for September, 2009

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present is meaningful, my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His promises, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must keep going ’til He comes, give ’til I drop, preach ’til all know, and work ’til He stops me. And when He come for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me – for He is my Lord!

Author Unknown

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“But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.”

Psalm 86:15 NASB

“I will sing of the lovingkindess of the Lord forever; to all generations I will make know Your faithfulness with my mouth.”

Psalm 89:1 NASB

The dictionary definition of lovingkindness is “tenderness and consideration toward others”. About 10 years ago I was challenged each day to look for the lovingkindnesses of the Lord. To look for all the things the Lord had done for me. Ways He was showing me tenderness and consideration. It may be something as simple as I received a letter in the mail from a friend. Or it may be as big as my baby had a heart beat. I was to write down whatever it was that happened that day to remind me of the Lord’s love and care for me.

I am one who gets easily discouraged, especially when I’m tired (and I’m tired most of the time). I often can only see all the bad and how life is “falling apart” around me. Writing in my lovingkindness journal helps me remember and keep my focus on all that the Lord has done for me. I love looking back and seeing all of the lovingkindnesses the Lord has shown to me.

Because our child are little versions of us, my son especially has this problem. We have now added a time when we sit right after prayer, and write all the wonderful things God has done for us. Yesterday he was thankful for the trees, blue sky, grass, flowers, and the Bible. Those were the blessings the Lord gave him. It is fun to look back and see the different things the Lord has done for us. It is a great journal to keep. So in the difficult times, you can remember how gracious, loving and kind our God is.

We serve a God who loves us dearly. May we praise Him everyday for His goodness to us.

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If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness, ­not godliness.

If I scream at my children for every infraction,
and fault them for every mess they make,
but have not love,
my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present “mommy,”
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counselor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.

All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.

-Adapted by Jim Fowler

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“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

Teaching your children to pray is one of the most important things you will ever teach your children to do. So many Christians do not know how to pray – and so they don’t.

What is prayer? Prayer is simply talking to God. It is how we communicate with God. When I pray I don’t talk to God like I would my children or a stranger. I share my heart with Him, as I do my husband. I pour my heart about before Him. Sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings. There are times when I don’t even know what to say and in those times,

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Romans 8:26 KJV

Sometimes I pray when I am working in the kitchen. Sometimes I pray when I teaching school or potty training. One of my favorite times to pray is in the middle of the night when I cannot go to sleep. When it is dark all around me and the only sound is that of my husband and children sleeping. I feel completely alone with God. In peace.

As an imperfect woman there are many things in my life I regret. But teaching my son how to pray is not one of them. My son (3 years old) is learning how to pray like a man. In the morning we start Morning Worship with prayer to get our hearts right before the Lord (confessing sin), to bless my husband at work, and provide for our daily bread, and to ask the Lord to take our offering of worship and make it pleasing unto Him. I often encourage my son to pray also. He will never learn HOW to pray unless he does.

On Wednesday evenings at church he stays with his father and I in the prayer service. My husband and I feel it is vital for our son to learn how to pray. When we look around the world today at Christians and we see how many of them do not pray, because they don’t feel they know how to pray, we see the importance of teaching our son. Our little 3 year old sits by his father and often the Pastor (or other older men in the church) and he is learning how to pray. He hears these older, wise men of faith praying to God, and he learns how to talk to the Lord. He then is given the opportunity to pray – like a man. Oh how precious his prayers are. Often my husband will share with me what our son has prayer and it will bring tears to my eyes the heart of our son. A heart that would never be like this – unless taught. On the way to Wednesday evening prayer service you will find him in the back seat of our car with his Bible, piece of paper, and a pen. He is making out his prayer list of all the things he wants to pray about. Now to me it is just scribbles but to Him it is his mission for that night.

So often we say, “Oh he’s just a child. He can learn that when he’s older. He needs to have fun time with kids his own age.” But when I look around I see teenagers all across this nation, who’s hearts are not close to the Lord. They don’t want to be in prayer service because “it’s not fun”. They don’t want to pray with the “old” people. They don’t even hardly come to church anymore. It should be a warning to all of us parents – we have a choice how we train our children. We will answer to God one day. Are we teaching our sons and daughters how to pray or are we letting them just hang out with the friends – hoping someday they’ll learn?

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Proverbs 13:20 NASB

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