He Hears

“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”

Jeremiah 29:12

Samuel Chadwick, once said “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.  He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion.  He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.”

The enemy of our soul desires nothing more than to convince us through whatever means necessary that our prayer is pointless. Convincing us that that which is pointless is powerless it is a tremendous and often effective scheme.  More than anything He wants us to believe that our Father does not hear us, that He does not care and that there is nothing we can do to change that.

His modus operandi is clearly unveiled in John 10:10 where we are told “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”  Among other things, his goal is to steal your peace, kill your joy and destroy your intimacy with your Heavenly Father.  He wants you to believe that you are abandoned, forsaken and left to your own devices when it comes to navigating your way through this journey of life.  Above all, he would like you to believe that you are alone.  And yet, we know that this could never be, for the Word of God is very clear “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you.  He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deut. 31:8)

Because we know that He is our “I Am” we trust Him, and because we trust Him, we seek His face knowing that because He is a good Father His heart is for us.  “And those who know your name will put their trust in you; For you, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)

At times however, it seems like we are not being heard.  Our circumstances seem to remain the same no matter how much we pour our hearts out to the Father.  A timeline ensues and we are more than aware that if something doesn’t change, and change fast, the entire course of our lives is going to run off track.  Fear begins to strangle out our faith and the enemy takes full advantage of our trials, struggles and weaknesses to shoot the fiery darts of doubt and insecurity deep within our hearts.  The lies that He screams into our ears begin to become louder than the small still voice within reminding us to “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

When the enemy, in the sly way that he does, attempts to convince us of anything other than truth regarding prayer, we can effectively combat those lies of deception by wielding the sword of the spirit. The truth contained within God’s word assures us that, without a doubt, he does hear us when we pray.  When the enemy whispers lies that contradict this truth, we must choose to fight back by “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  (2 Cor. 10:5).

Any thought that does not align itself with the truth of God needs to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  Each thought that comes has the ability to influence our beliefs, attitude and behaviors.  As we fill ourselves with the truth of God’s word we will more easily be able to identify those thoughts that come which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, which is His truth.  As we identify those thoughts we then bring them into the obedience of Christ by countering with that truth within us.

Father, thank you for always hearing me when I pray.  

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My Father's Daughter

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might. (Deut 6:5)

I didn’t love my husband when we got married.  It sounds horrible to say but it is true.  After a year of dating, including three months of engagement we stood at the altar, said sacred vows before both God and man and committed our till death do we part love to one another.

Looking back I realize that even though I thought I loved him, really what I was in love with was the idea of being chosen to be loved by him.  I was desperate to be above all others in his heart and life, for the remainder of mine.  I was nineteen; my frame of reference regarding love was limited at best and tainted at worst.

Fifteen years later I believe that…

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The Light

Nght Run - 02“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 NKJ

And she ran.  In the darkest of dark, through unfamiliar woods in the freezing, pouring down rain.   Only the small round light on her helmet helped to guide her footsteps along the poorly marked trail.  This was a run meant to push even the strongest to their limits.  A team effort, with one runner and biker beside them per leg, going the distance.

As the leader of the team she was the first runner out.  It was understood that the biker would be close behind and eventually catch up.  Safety in numbers had never applied more than in this scenario.  She trudged diligently forward.  A mile…a mile and a half…two miles, the sound of the rain pouring through the trees was deafening.

The awareness of being so completely alone was overwhelming.  Where was that biker?  Several pairs of glowing eyes through the trees sped up the pace of both her feet and her heart.  She didn’t bother reaching for her cell phone remembering that she had left it in the van, not that she could have acquired a signal in the middle of nowhere anyways.  As she continued to move forward, fearful thoughts began to pound on the door of her mind.  Did they lose her?  What if they couldn’t find her?  Did something happen?

Initially successful at fighting them off, eventually she succumbed to the fear and their power. Feet continuing to move over miles, it wasn’t long before she was inwardly convinced that she was going to die, alone, on this trail.  She began to pray that the Lord would comfort her family.

And then there was a light.  It was faint and far away, but a light none the less.  And, in an instant, within her heart there was renewed hope.  She ran toward the light full speed and once she reached it, had to fight the urge not to stop and cling to it with all strength which remained.

Only a small light, a marker for runners to know they were indeed on the right path, however for one who had been engulfed by darkness and fear, that light represented life.

Many events within this past year serve as undeniable reminders that the world in which we live is one engulfed in darkness.  As we ache for the suffering of the innocent, it can be  challenging to not be overcome with despair at the state of  all that we are faced with .

And yet, in the undeniable darkness, we have the ability to be light.  That little light that shines bringing renewed hope.  That light that  shatters the darkness and represents life.

You are the light of the world

At the grocery store.  On the treadmill at the gym.  In line at the bank.

You are the light of the world

To your neighbors, your co-workers, your kids’ friends.

You are the light of the world

Everywhere you go, whatever your doing, everyday.

Even a little light, in the midst of darkness shines brightly.

Shine bright.

Father, thank you for the enduring flame of your Spirit which fuels the light within me.  Thank you for the many opportunities you present for me to shine bright into the lives of others.  Help me to recognize and take advantage of every opportunity. 

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A Year in Review

2012 in reviewwho comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor. 1:4

Recently on Face Book I was offered the opportunity to click a tab and in return have my photos and posts summarized from 2012.  They coined it my “Year in Review.”  It was fun to scroll back through the year and view computer friendly memories.  Memories of trips taken, sweet times with friends and goals accomplished.

At the end of my scrolling however I couldn’t help but ponder all that was not posted.

~ The day I sat across from the concerned pediatrician who gently placed in my hands the x-ray results which revealed a tumor filling my 13 year old daughter’s entire chest cavity.

~ The day we sat with the Oncologists as they explained the Chemotherapy that would be coursing through her body, each medicine with its own set of potentially dreadful side effects.

~ The days spent eating in the hospital cafeteria, sleeping next to her hospital bed, emptying the puke pot, sobbing long distance to far away friends  and struggling to pray to a God who felt very far away.

~The day my daughter, balding and beautiful took my hand and reassured me that the Lord was faithful, that she felt closer to Him than she ever had and that it really was going to be okay.

~The day, months into the journey that the scans revealed the tumor was completely gone and we received the report that her bone marrow tested disease free.

~The day we exchanged tears for laughter on one of the many long rides to clinic and took flowers to cheer up others we knew we would see there.

These are only a few of the memories that were not posted on Face Book yet will forever be etched into my heart and mind.

My guess is that you too have memories, tears, heartache and stress that have not been displayed upon your Face Book page.  Parts of this year’s journey which simply did not mesh with the upbeat posts, smiling pictures and silly jokes scrolled through by the masses.

Moments of fear, vulnerability and weakness that didn’t make the cut for social media.

Moments unshared that have impacted forever the person you are and will forever be.

Moments when you felt so utterly alone in your pain that nothing by way of a human being could touch it.

And I am confident, that in these moments, He spoke to you too.

His comfort soothed your aching heart.

His peace calmed your inner storm.

His strength enabled you to continue moving forward into whatever lay before you.

I approach the new year with a sigh of relief. I’m thankful to leave behind this leg of our journey.  I’m thankful for what we have survived.  I’m thankful the majority of the hardest part of treatment is over.  I’m thankful for all that He has done and all I know He will continue to do.

My prayer is that as He has been faithful to minister strength, comfort, love and peace to me this year that He will give me opportunity to minister those very things to others in the upcoming year.

If there is any lesson that we have learned well,  it is that life is both precious and fleeting.  Each day is a gift.  Each moment an opportunity.

I pray, in this upcoming year that I recognize each and every opportunity to share this comfort He has offered me, with others.

I pray the same for you.

Father thank you for your comfort; thank you for allowing me the privilege of sharing that comfort with others.  Help me to always be both attentive and willing. 

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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