Thursday 27 April 2017

prayers 3

(During the next couple weeks or so, I'll be sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #3).

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen."*

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit—dear God, Creator, Lord of lords, Saviour, Rock of Ages, Bread of Life, Light of the World, Sovereign King:

I pray for my family. I pray for all their needs, and most of all I pray that each one of us will come to know and follow and love and obey and trust you deeply and forever.

I thank you for taking care of our financial needs in ways I would never have expected or planned or chosen myself. You ARE in charge! Thank you that you know best. Please continue to take care of our financial needs ... but Your will be done. Please provide in your way, will and time. I continue to give our needs to you today, and ask you to take care of them—and take my hands and heart off them. You know how much I am physically able to work; please take care of that, too. Thank You. Amen!

I pray for my husband and his needs and for his relationship with you. Lord, please bring us to walk closer together with you. Show us how our physical conditions and our ageing can be used for Your glory. Please. Thank You.

Lord, I pray for your plans and purposes in my own life. Help me follow you, obey you, love you. Please guide me in my business, too. Help me to make right decisions. Show me how to focus every part of my life on knowing, obeying, loving, trusting and serving You. Thank You. Please be with me, and may all I say and do honor and point to you. Thank You for your help and guidance, and your amazing surprises and adventures!

* Matthew 6, The Bible, KJV

Wednesday 26 April 2017

prayers 2

(During the next couple weeks or so I'll be sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are my own words, others are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #2).

"Help me launch into Your will, Father God, until I apprehend it in its infinite minuteness and goodness, and its far-sweeping provision and care for me."* You love me! You know best! Thank You, Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit—dear God.

"Help me launch deep into You, Holy Spirit, until You become a bright, dazzling, sweet, fathomless summer sea, in which I bathe and bask and breathe, and lose myself and my sorrows in the calmness and peace of Your everlasting presence."* Help me to “practice Your Presence” and be aware of You always. Help me dedicate quality time to be alone with You, dear God.

"Help me launch deep into You, Holy Spirit, until You become a bright, marvelous answer to prayer, the most careful and tender guidance, the most thoughtful anticipation of my needs, the most accurate and supernatural shaping of my events."

"Help me launch into the deep of Your purposes and coming kingdom, dear Lord God, until Jesus’ coming and His millennial reign are opened up to us; and beyond these the bright, entrancing ages on ages unfold themselves, until my mental eye is dazed with light, and my heart flutters with inexpressible anticipations of its joy with You, Jesus, and the glory to be revealed."* Please show me, help me anticipate. And launch. Seeing world events, I am anticipating the coming eternal kingdom of Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and am thankful for its presence already, You within us. Help me to launch deep into it, into You, right now. Thank You!

“What a day that will be when my Jesus I will see, When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace. When He takes me by the hand and leads me to the promised land, what a day, glorious day that will be! There’ll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear, no more sickness, no pain, no more crying over there. And forever I will be with the One who died for me; What a day, glorious day, that will be!"**

"Into all these things, Jesus bids us launch. He made us and He made the deep, and to its fathomless depths He has fitted our longings and capabilities."*
"The deep waters of the Holy Spirit are always accessible. Will I not this day claim afresh to be immersed and drenched in these waters of life?"* Yes, I will. I do! Lord, please immerse and drench me right now into Your waters of life. Thank You. "How far have I advanced into this river of life? The Holy Spirit would have a complete self-effacement. Not merely ankle-deep, knee-deep, loin-deep, but self-deep. I myself must be hidden out of sight and bathed in this life-giving stream. Help me let go the shore-lines and launch out into the deep."* Thank You. Amen!

*Springs in the Desert, Feb. 29 (Cowman)
** hymn "What A Day That Will Be" by Jim Hill

Tuesday 25 April 2017

prayers 1

(Over the next couple weeks or so I'll be sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are my own words, others are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details.)

"Launch out into the deep (Luke 5:4). How deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore, and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilities. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water."

"So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God. We are to launch out into the deep of God’s Word, which the Spirit can open up to us in such crystal fathomless meaning that the same words we have accepted in times past will have an ocean meaning in them, which renders their first meaning to us very shallow."*

Thank You for Your scriptures. Please open my heart to Your Truth by the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, and the direction of Jesus who is the Word and the Truth incarnate. Amen.

"Help me launch into the deep of the Atonement, until Christ’s precious blood is so illuminated by the Spirit that it becomes an omnipotent balm, and food and medicine for the soul and body."* Thank You for Your shed blood. Help me to appreciate it and turn to it. 

“Will I stand in God’s house by night? Will I love Him in His own night? Will I watch with Him even one hour in His Gethsemane? Will I help to bear His cross…? Will I stand beside Him in His dying moments with Mary and the beloved disciple? Will I be able with Nicodemus to take up the dead Christ? Then is my worship complete and my blessing glorious. My love has come to Him in His humiliation. My faith has found Him in His lowliness. My heart has recognized His majesty through His mean disguise, and I know at last that I desire not the gift but the Giver. When I can stand in His house by night I have accepted Him for Himself alone.”** 

But the gift is also amazing and wonderful! “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame, And I love that old cross, where the Dearest and Best, for a world of lost sinners was slain. So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.”*** 

And:  “Mercy there was great and grace was free, Pardon there was multiplied to me, There my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.”****

* Streams In the Desert, Feb. 29 (Cowman)
** Streams In the Desert, Dec. 11 (Cowman)
*** hymn by George Bennard
**** hymn by William Reed Newall

Monday 24 April 2017

Religion and hating and You

(originally journaled December 13, 2016)

Dear God,

Why do people hate each other so much? Why is religion such a "hating" issue?

Are You the same God of Jews, Christians, and Muslims? Or even of different sub-groups within one or another of these religions? Or a different God altogether?

Or are You so much more, and so different, than we humans can begin to imagine?

And yes, what about all those apparently hateful and judgmental verses in the Old Testament and the Koran and so on? Are they really "dictated" by You? Or are they reflections of limited human understandings of You in certain times, places, cultures?

I can see why secularists are so anti-religion. And anti-You, or at least anti the view of You perpetuated by so many religions and religionists. No wonder secularists consider that You are fairy-tale, magical thinking. (Besides not wanting any god other than themselves, of course).

Thursday 20 April 2017

Magical thinking

(originally journaled December 8, 2016)

I'm feeling annoyed--about all the people who make snide comments about how Christians engage in "magical thinking."

The fact is, all people engage in magical thinking. People who "make affirmations to the universe," people who "cross their fingers," people who "fall in love," even people who follow a lot of those exercise or diet programs. Oh! And people who buy lottery tickets!

If people are going to engage in "magical thinking," (and it does seem to be a human condition), why not THINK BIG? Reach out and embrace the biggest hope, love, possibility that you can. Get out of your little "wishful thinking box" and engage the Creator of all and see what happens. Are you afraid He might be real and your little "independent self" might not be so independent and important after all? Hmmm?

People also use phrases like "pure magic" to describe awesome events like the birth of a baby, or a beautiful piece of art, or an amazing landscape. The very fact of that love and amazement and awe shows we have a deep connection to, and need for relationship with, the transcendent.

Monday 17 April 2017

Unneccessary burdens

(originally journaled December 1, 2016)

What unnecessary burdens am I carrying?

  • News: endless reading and thinking about politics, etc.
  • Worry about "religion" (though I've been dropping a lot of that).
  • I hate to say it--but friends whose beliefs and ideals are far from mine and I spend too much time worrying and wondering and analysing...
  • Some of those things on my to-do list that really aren't that important or necessary.
  • Other people's ideas about what I should do (and be).
  • Worrying about my grown children. When do they stop being my responsibility (other than to love them and pray for them)?

Please help me let these things go, Lord.
Thank You.

Thursday 13 April 2017

dreams and other things

(originally journaled November 30, 2016)

I looked up the purpose of dreams because lately, my dreams are so active. Either I feel like I'm spending hours trying to pull together new learning and fit it in with what I already knew, or my dreams have a lot of content from the past, and yet "I" am usually my current age, while others may be a lot younger.

And those dreams are active and sometimes really emotional. But I feel like I'm more in control and satisfied with life (in my dreams), and I rarely have frightening dreams now and rarely have any of the old repetitive dreams.

Well, that pretty much lines up with the explanations of dreams: adding new experiences and learning to our past learning, and then integrating them.

And the "action" seems to be a sign of a more positive outlook on life. It says when people are depressed, their dreams are often flat and dull because they are blocking their emotions. And yes, that has happened to me: much more action in my dreams recently. So I guess that means I'm pretty normal and healthy these days :-)

I also took Michael Hyatt's "Lifescore Assessment." I got a score of 73, which puts me in the "success" groups but reminds me to still set goals and work on my low score areas (like lack of exercise, poor eating, and inadequate amount of time spent in relationships).

In terms of writing, I always feel like other people have more to share than I do, and they can write or say it better, so mostly I just share or regurgitate others' work. But my goodness--those experiences yesterday with a new client (and now a friend!) were a real gift and affirmation from God!

Monday 10 April 2017

Reasoning or the power of Christ

(originally journaled November 26, 2016)

When I write about topics that people have strong feelings about, I try to be "reasonable." But sometimes I wonder if my reasonableness is too reasonable: wishy-washy, fear of angry reaction? Do I lack "boldness," even in secular matters, not just in Christian matters?

I want to make people think. And yes, there are things I believe in and I wish other people would consider. But I don't want to jam ideas down people's throats.

I would like to think that if only people would think things through reasonably, they would find themselves wanting to seek out what is good and true. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to conclude that isn't human nature.

I guess I grew up at a time where there was a movement of young people wanting a world of "peace and love," and also at a time when there was an emphasis, by some parts of society at least, based on the "Christian culture" I grew up in (which was still fairly acceptable if not so widely agreed upon as previously). Which left me with a hope that reason, along with peace and love, could meet together in a way that would point people ultimately to Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I'm guessing I underestimated human nature as it unfortunately actually is. An awful lot of evil (mixed in with some goodness...). Only able to be overcome by the power of Christ--not by human "reasoning" (you'd think I'd have "got" that, seeing as how well the "apologetics" approach in the mid-to-late 20th century succeeded, or rather, didn't succeed very well at all).

Thursday 6 April 2017


(originally journaled November 9, 2016)

Yesterday and this morning, I've been skimming through the My Church Journey blog, starting from the beginning, around 2000, and moving forward (I got to 2008 so far). I was intending just to focus on "prayer" posts. But they are all prayer posts pretty much. (I was hoping to put together my "prayer book" I've been wanting to write for so long).

I am feeling ... I don't know. It seems like sometimes I was so in relationship with God. But other times so dry. How can the latter come after the former?

And sometimes such high hopes and excitement. Followed by (dare I say?) disappointment or at least wondering "Why?"

Yet all along the way, knowing You are there, even when it seemed like I'd wandered so far from You (in different ways at different times).

"Great is thy faithfulness O God my Father / There is no shadow of turning with Thee. / Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not; / As thou hast been thou forever wilt be. / ... Morning by morning new mercies I see."

Time has passed so quickly. Have I "failed?" Maybe not, after all. Maybe just my plans were not Your plans. You do know best.

Oh! Listen to this! "The most deeply taught Christians are generally those who have been brought into the searching fires of deep soul-anguish. If you have been praying to know more of Christ, do not be surprised if He takes You aside into a desert place, or leads you into a furnace of pain."

Well, that explains a lot!

Monday 3 April 2017

Those desert experiences

(originally journaled Oct. 31, 2016)

Dear God,

Maybe I'm feeling "down" because of the grey, rainy weather, and because I'm so tired due to this constant arm pain from my summer injury.

But I was wondering, starting a few months ago, why I had "wandered" from You so much. I remember being happy that I had learned not to worry (and I thought I was trusting You). But then, somehow, in my "not worrying" I slowed down the amount of time I spent with You. And I spoke up for You less and less. And I called down aspects of the "institutional church" (and Christian schools and so on) more and more until I must have appeared to a lot of people to not believe in You at all. And it was at that same time that I was so, so, so exhausted and had to take a full year off from all my volunteer activities and even some of my business activities.

But with my recent efforts and longing to really follow You again, I am being reminded how it seems that the harder I try to follow You, the more discouraged and depressed I seem to get, and how I don't seem to have hardly any "joy" (or peace, for that matter).

There are so many voices in my head arguing at me all the time against You. It has to be the enemy. You promised to be with us. Can You please give me Your power and strength instead of me relying on my own "trying," and also give me some joy and peace to confirm You're with me?

I know about "desert experiences" and "long nights of the soul." And I feel like I've gone through that for a long time, maybe as many as 6 or 7 years, ever since the "great depression" that hit during that time of great losses (the death of both my parents, the loss of a job, the implosion of the church we were attending, and so on).

I'm so tired again ... just when I was starting to feel upbeat and happier and stronger before my arm accident 3 1/2 months ago. And I feel like I'm spiralling down again. I know my troubles are nothing compared to lots of people, so I shouldn't be complaining. But I do need Your help to battle the arguing voices and the depressed feelings and the tiredness. Even a few rays of sunshine now and then? (Well, I had a couple good laughs with the grandkids this weekend. Maybe I'm just not looking for the bright moments?).

My eyes are sore, and it seems like the peripheral vision on my left side is getting bad (I keep knocking things over) and my right ear still has ringing (mostly quieter at this point, thank You) a lot of the time. And my arm still hurts so much, and I'm too tired to exercise most of the time.

I also feel like such a failure spiritually. I hear those voices that keep telling me that I "denied You" and that therefore You have denied me. That I "turned back" and am no longer fit for Your kingdom. Of course, that is the enemy talking. Yes, it is! Because if it was true, You wouldn't still be drawing me and speaking to me. So ... I guess it is spiritual battle time. And yes, I guess the enemy likes to take advantage of physical and emotional down times.

Well! Now I'm getting angry at You, satan!!!

Oh dear Jesus, please help me. Please take this burden and lift it from me and help me rest in You. Please give me joy and peace no matter how other things go. Please help me love You, obey You, trust You, serve You. Truly.

Thank You, Lord.

In Jesus' name, please pour Your Spirit into me and make me strong in and for You. And please, please forgive me for all my denials. Please. I am so sorry. I did give in to the negative messages of the enemy. And I "threw out the baby with the bathwater" to a large degree. It's true. And I am truly sorry. Please forgive me, and help me to leave judging others up to you. I'm sorry ... I get annoyed by other people judging, and then I go on and on doing it myself. Please forgive me and help me. "Judge not lest you be judged." "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."

Please help me to seek reconciliation with You (and with other believers whom I have judged...). In Jesus' name.