flashthoughts

Posts Tagged ‘Prayer

SEARCH ENGINEYou may be wondering why I am asking such a silly question. It actually came out of my quiet time with my Father this morning. Let me explain…….

I was sitting here, having my quiet time with the Father, and I found myself on the subject of prayer. I had seen many prayer requests on Facebook yesterday and was asking for His will to be done in each situation.

Then, I began thanking Him for giving me the gift of prayer. Let me just share straight from my prayer journal. “Thank You for giving me the gift of prayer. A way to not only talk TO You; but, a way to talk WITH You. In fact, I think sometimes my prayers should be more about LISTENING to You and for You and the only way for me to be able to do that is to get back in Your Word so I will know what and when You are speaking to me.” It was at that moment when He began to speak.

Jeremiah 33:3 came to my mind. It says (in the NIV), “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” He ‘gave’ that verse to me and my husband a few years back as we were praying about something and He just seems to keep it in front of us a lot! However, this morning when He brought it to my mind, He showed me something He has never shown me before. Yes, I have read it in this version many times; but, today is the first time He spoke to me about one word in this passage – UNSEARCHABLE. He made that word stand out.

Here’s what I felt Him speak to my Spirit about that word. In this day of “Googling” everything for answers, ONLY HE can give me – and you – the truly important answers! Even as I am typing this to share, He has reminded me of something I have said in the past, when talking with someone about the answer to something. . .”Hey, just Google it. Google knows everything.” OUCH! Yes, I said it in jest and we laughed about it; but, maybe I should have followed it up with something like, “But, seriously. I’ll pray with you about it and we’ll see what God says”.

Yes, I’ve said “Google is a wonderful thing” before and, YES, it most definitely is a wonderful tool we can use. However, when it comes to the important things that our Father wants us to know, HE is the only search engine that we will be able to conduct our search on and come up with the correct answers. Sometimes His answer isn’t always what we want it to be – that’s when we have to remember His Word to us in Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.”

So, for ‘earthly’ answers, please continue using the Google search engine. However, when it comes to matters of true importance in life, remember to use the GOD search engine. You may not always get the answer you want; but, then again, sometimes even Google doesn’t give you the answer you want. Am I right??? I can promise you this: the answer you get from God will ALWAYS be because HIS PLAN is ALWAYS the BEST PLAN for you 😊

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DISCONNECTEDOn August 26th, my husband and I attended a church about 35 miles from where we live. The next day this was part of a post I made on Facebook, “It’s so exciting and it feels wonderful to be “connected” again. I truly didn’t even realize how ‘DISconnected’ I had been feeling until Sunday! It’s gonna be great being in a life group again!” I had actually shared that – about realizing I had been feeling ‘disconnected’ – the night before, with some of the ladies from this church. I had no idea God was about to take me on a “journey” of the word, Disconnected!
Today, the message was about “Living Disconnected” because of how we all tend to be on our phones with social media, etc. or binge-watching Netflix or whatever. But I felt God speaking to me on a whole different level about this word, disconnected, again.I feel that I’m disconnected at this season of my life not because of electronics but because God moved us.
Some days, like today, things happen – like the message – that make me too aware of how disconnected I feel. I don’t even want to get still to take a nap, because it allows my mind to go where I don’t want it to go. No, I’m not upset about our move. I love our new house. I love being close to my daughter and her family. I especially love that my husband is serving in the prison he has wanted to serve in ever since he went into prison ministry. Please understand that my feeling disconnected has absolutely nothing to do with my husband. I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful, Godly husband who, every day, gives me a teeny, tiny glimpse of just how much God loves me!
I honestly believe God moved us when He did because He knew that, as hard as it is being here, it would be even harder being back there. He knew I wouldn’t be able to handle having to drive by Mom’s house every day, knowing I couldn’t stop and talk to her.
I can remember in my past, sometimes thinking, “I wish I could just run to the store real quick and not run into anyone I know”. Now, I wish I COULD run into someone I know. I don’t know ANYONE, so I never have to worry about that. Now it only serves as a reminder that I am a stranger in a strange land and, even as I typed that, God spoke to my Spirit – that is how I SHOULD feel no matter where I live in this world. He doesn’t want me to get comfortable in a place I don’t belong. This world is not my home, I’m just passing through! Older people (like me – LOL) will remember that song. Maybe I was getting too comfortable where I was and that’s why He had to move me. I mean, I know He has certainly been moving me way out of ALL my comfort zones over the last few years; but, this is the BIGGEST move He’s made yet, in my life. I am farther away from my family and friends than I have ever been before!
I know He has great things ahead for me; but, I’m not even gonna lie – some days it just HURTS to feel so isolated and alone and this is one of those days. It’s made worse because I can’t even pick up the phone to call Mom and talk it out with her the way I used to when I was having a rough day. I honestly believe she was my absolute best friend in the world for the last 26 years or so!
I know God has a purpose and a plan in all this. I just need to seek Him more so He can share with me, in His time, that purpose and plan. I still love Him. I still trust Him completely. I will continue to seek His face. On days like today, I will allow the tears to fall so they can cleanse whatever it is that needs cleansing and, tomorrow, if God chooses to wake me, I will take forward steps and keep moving and seeking Him!
“and He gives Kathryn the power to live, to move and to be who she is. ‘She is His child’.” Acts 17:28 CEV

BANDAIDYou know when you have a bandaid somewhere on your body, how “they” always say, “Yank it off fast and it won’t hurt”? If so, then you discovered, after the first time you tried it, “THEY” LIED!!! However, even knowing that, we still try it every time, right? I know I do.

Maybe I have been applying that same ‘logic’ to the recent events in my life. My Mom was recently given some news that no one likes to receive. I have been so busy with work and helping get Mom to different doctor appointments that I have been thinking, “Just say it really fast, keep moving and it won’t hurt” – truth is, though, I was lying to myself. It still hurts – BAD – but I haven’t really had time to just sit down, slow my mind and truly process what is happening to/in my Mom. So, now is the time to say it slowly; to get my thoughts sorted out and think about the road my Mom has found herself on.

My (pause) Mom (pause) Has (pause) Cancer (pause) Lung Cancer (pause) – There, I said it s-l-o-w and I’m still trying to let it soak into my brain, my entire being, actually.

I find it amazing how incredibly deep simple words can hurt. I have a friend who, a few weeks back, asked for prayer for her own Mom and said she couldn’t even say the word because it was too surreal and hurt too bad. I remember thinking, “Bless her heart. I can imagine.” Let me tell you right now, NO! I could not imagine!!! I had absolutely no idea!!! God is teaching me a lot just through that simple statement. We – maybe I should just say I – am so quick to think I can possibly imagine the awful way some situations can make others feel. This has definitely taught me to NEVER think I could, in a million years, imagine someone else’s pain! I did not have a clue how my friend felt, until I found myself trying to utter the exact same words – My Mom has cancer.

I realize, in trying to write about this, that my thoughts are scattered and all over the place. I started to apologize for that; but, decided I shouldn’t have to. The point of this writing is for ME to try to settle all these weird, unexplainable feelings going on inside me; therefore, I should feel free to simply write as it comes to me. Maybe I’ll try to go back and re-read this before I actually post it and TRY to put it in some kind of “order” and maybe I won’t. I mean, after all, nothing about this is in “order”! My Mom is 81 years old and has ALWAYS been in great health! I mean, sure, she would get the occasional cold or flu; but, basically still in great health! Cancer isn’t supposed to happen to MY MOM!!! Right, Lori? I know you know what I’m talking about! To be honest, cancer isn’t supposed to happen to ANYONE!!! So many people get mad at God when an illness, like cancer or anything else life-threatening, attacks someone they love – or them, for that matter – when the truth is God had nothing to do with it. WE (HUMANS) are the ones that are responsible. WE are the ones that sinned. From the first sin of Adam and Eve right up to my sin of today – SIN is what brought all the disease and sickness into the world. GOD, IN HIS GRACE, HELPS US THROUGH IT!!! Why do some get healed on this side of heaven and others get healed on the other side? I don’t know. I’m not God. It’s not for me to decide or to know. I only need to know that I can trust God to do what He knows is best and I will ALWAYS trust that!

Okay, so I have no idea where that last paragraph came from or why it is in this post. Apparently, someone needed to hear it or the Holy Spirit wouldn’t have poured those words through my mind and into my fingers as they typed.

It truly is a hard thing to see my Mom have to go through what she is going through: having such a hard time breathing that it makes her weak. So weak that, for a couple of days, she didn’t even feel strong enough to change out of her night clothes. She was using all her energy just to try to breathe! The tumor in her lung is pressing down on her bronchial tube to the point that the bronchial tube is almost completely closed – meaning, she is, basically, breathing with one lung! At all her doctor’s appointments, she was asked if she had oxygen and, each time, we told them no; but nothing seemed to get done about it. Until her appointment with her oncologist. True, we were a bit aggravated at not being seen until almost 2 hours past her appointment time; but, when he DID see her, he not only asked about the oxygen, when he found out she didn’t have any, he made sure it was ordered and in the process of being on the way to her before we left! She got her oxygen the very next afternoon and I believe it has really made a difference. I went by to check in with her the day after she had gotten it and she was already looking like she felt better. In fact, she said she had already done more that morning than she had in a while!

So, yes, it’s, possibly, going to be a long road to great health again and it will be hard to watch; but, watch it I will and will be right by her side, as much as is possible for me to be there, because I do have faith in God and I do believe He allowed her to get what she thought was a bad sinus infection so she would go on to the doctor so this could be caught as early as it was.

Through it all, something a friend said a few months back, has really stuck with me and I definitely agree with it. When he found out he had esophageal cancer, he said, “People call cancer the ‘big C’; but, I say it’s the LITTLE c because CHRIST is the BIG C”. Now, I may not have gotten that quote exactly right, but I DID get the important thing right – cancer is the little c and CHRIST is the BIG C and the little c MUST answer to HIM! Right, Bob?

I also know it was no accident that the Lord had me start studying in James last month. I simply read a few scriptures – sometimes only one – each morning and study on what they mean. This morning, I read James 5:14-15. I will share here exactly what I shared in my journal:

James 5:14-15 (my version)

 Is anyone sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them, anointing them with oil in the Name of the Lord. Their (the elders) faith prayer will heal the sick and the Lord will make them well and will forgive those who have sinned.

 Notes from my Life Application Bible: While verse 13 was referring to any kind of suffering – not necessarily physical illness – verse 14 IS referring to anyone who is physically ill. People in the church (Christians) are NOT (or should not) be alone. We should be able to count on others for support and prayer. The elders should be on call to respond to the illness of any member and the church should be sensitive to the needs of ALL its members.

The faith prayer is not referring to the faith of the sick person, rather, it is referring to the faith of the people praying! GOD HEALS, FAITH DOESN’T and ALL prayers are subject to God’s will; but, prayer IS part of God’s healing process.

My prayer:   Father, thank You for allowing me to be part of Your healing process by my prayers and my faith in You! Please help me where I am weak in this area and have the Holy Spirit “nudge” me to pray for someone the very minute they ask. Even if we are in the middle of a store, remind me to pray for them RIGHT THERE! Thank You for loving me so much that You are willing to include me in Your process and plan. I love You 😊

This post may not be for anyone but me – and I’m okay with that, because it has definitely helped me get some feelings sorted out. Thing is, it seems like every time I feel I’ve written something ‘just for me’, He still manages to use it to help someone else, too. So, that is why I continue to share. Love y’all!

christmas-every-day-i-wishAfter reading my devotions this morning, as I do every morning, I began to write in my prayer journal. I say it has turned into more of my “thanksgiving journal” than my prayer journal because, most days, I’m simply thanking Him for various things. Lately, most of my actual prayers are not written – for a few different reasons. This morning, however, turned out to be a little different. Oh, it started out the same – my usual “Good morning Father! Thank You for waking me this morning” then I wrote the words “Christmas Eve” and, after that, I really didn’t even know what I was writing until I finished and read back over it. I felt I should share it and I hope it will touch at least one person’s heart and/or life. I am going to simply share exactly what is written in my journal:

Christmas Eve – the day before we celebrate the day of Your earthly birth – when You chose to put aside Your glory and Your Heavenly home to come and dwell among us AS one of us! My mind is hard-pressed to even BEGIN to comprehend the depth of Your love for ME! There are no words and, even if there were, I don’t know that I would be able to get them down on paper. I feel so inadequate and extremely unqualified to even try – so I pray and I ask You to help me live my life in a way that portrays and conveys what there are no words for – a love with no explanation – a love that can not be explained – a love that only You can give! I want my life to be a life that points others to You and honors You in a way no words can and a life that brings glory to Your Name! Without You, I am nothing and worth nothing; but, WITH YOU, I am unstoppable!

Help me to share the TRUE gift of Christmas every minute of my life – every second You give me breath; for I can not even take a breath without You filling my lungs with air! Help me to remember every day I have is a rare and precious gift FROM You and how I choose to use it is my gift TO You. I want to always be able to give You a lovely gift at the end of every day and, without Your help, even that isn’t possible.

My heart is truly overflowing this morning as I look back over this past year and remember all the wonderful “gifts” You have given me:

  • time spent with family & friends
  • growing love from & for my husband
  • a daughter making her way back to You
  • FREEDOM from my fears

and so many more! With You in my life, I truly can have Christmas every day, as can anyone else!

Thank You for all You have spoken to my heart this morning and, for all I have asked this morning, I ask it in the Precious, Holy Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! I love You 🙂

THE QUIET TIME

Part IV – THE END – or is it really just the beginning?

Truly, I don’t understand why the rest of this is to be shared. Since it is on my heart to share it, however, I will. If it is only meant to be shared for one person to read it and get something from it, then it was worth it. Actually, if no one gets anything from it, it was still worth it because I am being obedient in writing it. So, if it is only about my obedience, I’m okay with that, too. As you read on, understand I am only sharing what God used to get MY attention to make me realize how I have been coming up short in my walk with Him. Now, on to Part IV. . .

Then came Friday, June 26th and the Supreme Court’s ruling. When I saw the breaking news on my phone and read their decision, it wasn’t only my heart that felt broken. I felt completely broken on the inside for our country, for the lost souls, for so many things. It was as if someone flipped a switch inside me and all I could do was cry. In fact, I did cry outwardly a little, but I was at work, so I had to try to keep myself together. I wanted to cry out to my Father loudly; but, I had to do my best to keep calm. I wanted to get somewhere and pray in earnest; but, I could only lift up silent prayers at the time.

This feeling of brokenness stayed with me the rest of Friday on into Saturday and Sunday. To be honest, I am still feeling it, although in a different sort of way. Now it’s as if it is there just enough to remind me how serious things truly are. If this decision is what it took for God to get my attention and make me realize how I had been neglecting a major part of my responsibility as His Child, it worked. I will never be the same again, I know that. I never want to be the same again!

I could not shake the feeling that I needed to be in the altar, crying out to my Father for forgiveness – forgiveness for my laziness in my prayers. Sunday morning I didn’t want to attend ‘just another church service’. I wanted to spend the time in prayer – and that’s what I did. The church we attended Sunday morning has a prayer room that is open during the morning service for anyone to go in and pray. I spent the worship time in the prayer room. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be praying for, specifically. I just started praying and asked Him to show me. In fact, I prayed Jeremiah 33:3 again, asking Him what it was He wanted to show me. I began praying for the service going on in the sanctuary, I prayed for lost loved ones and then I began to pray for my husband and myself. We both have a tendency, every now and then, to let the enemy ‘beat us up’ about things we did in our past and allow ourselves to fall for his lies about how we can’t be used by God because we aren’t good enough or smart enough or because of our past. Suddenly, I was praying against those spirits of confusion, doubt and self-condemnation, telling them they had to go in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and asking God to replace them with His Spirit of order, clarity and virtue. Recognizing we don’t get our identity from our past, but we get our identity through His Son, Jesus Christ! I then began to ask Him to give me scriptures to remind us WHO we get our identity from and the thought came to me, ‘just get your Bible and see where it falls open’. No, I didn’t want to get scriptures ‘by chance’ – I wanted to “know that I know” the scriptures were the exact ones HE wanted us to meditate on. Like the way He led me to Jeremiah 33:3 last week and reinforced it to me over and over. I wanted to know with that kind of knowing. I prayed a while longer and then I felt I was released to go back to the sanctuary for the last few minutes of the service.

And, BAM! There it was – EXACTLY what I had been praying about. (Just a note here:  The service is not ‘wired in’ to the prayer room and, while I could hear the preacher talking, I could not understand anything he was saying.) It absolutely blew me away when I walked into the service and heard him speaking on our identity and the fact we get our identity from Christ! He was giving and reading scripture and talking and, suddenly, I realized this was exactly what I had just been asking for and, “I need to be writing this down!” I even took a picture of the slide that was showing on the screen:

NEW IDENTITY

Needless to say, I came away feeling absolutely energized by Him and what He had done in me that morning. I have no idea where He intends to take me on this journey. I only pray I can keep up – I don’t want to lag behind Him and I don’t want to run ahead of Him. I just want to be right by His side, in step with Him and doing what He calls me to do – whenever and wherever that may be! Oh! And how cool is it that He also put this picture back in front of me this week – one I made a while back and very fitting for this particular time:

RECOGNIZE AND VISUALIZE

While this is the end of this ‘series’, it is far from the end of what He has started and is doing in me. I have no idea what might be coming next; but, rest assured, if He tells me to share it here, I will. Even if it’s just for the practice of being obedient to Him and is meant for nothing else, I will share.

THE QUIET TIMEIt was Sunday morning, May 31, 2015. I always get up early to have my “quiet” time with the Lord. This works best for me, as husband and doggies are still sleeping and the house is nice and quiet.

I come quietly out of the bedroom, easing the door closed behind me, and walk as lightly and gingerly as possible through the living room, past the doggy crates, so as not to wake them, as I make my way to my office. Once safely inside, with the door closed behind me, I turn on the light and get my devotional book, Bible and prayer journal. I always read my short devotion and then proceed to start writing my prayer in my journal. Keep in mind, I am always striving to be as quiet as I can – even when shuffling the books around, so as not to wake the husband or doggies.

The morning of May 31st was no different – until I started writing in my prayer journal. Some years back, I began writing the time down when I start my prayer and, this particular morning, I can look back and see I started writing my prayer at 4:46 a.m. I didn’t need to wake my husband up until 6:00, so I knew I would be done in plenty of time. But God……….He had other plans for me that morning. My prayer started out normal as usual, just thanking Him for different things. As this was the morning my husband would be giving the message on Life Row (yes, the Chaplains call it Life Row, not Death Row), I also began praying for him and the service he would be involved in later. I wrote a fairly lengthy paragraph and realized I could not write anymore! I felt, in my own words, from my entry that morning, “my heart is about to burst open right now!” I had to put the pen down so I could just continue to pray and PRAISE Him without writing. That’s when it happened.

Stay tuned for Part II – coming tomorrow 🙂

YOU'RE INVITEDSomeone asked me, on our team page, what I had done to end up with a $1,200 plus party and this was my response. After I finished it and read it over again, I felt it was something I needed to share with everyone to show how faithful and true God is. All praise, honor and glory to Him, my Father! Here is my response to her question:

That is the real BEAUTY of this order – I did not do ANYTHING – GOD did it ALL!!! I am TOTALLY serious when I say that, too. I had tried everything I knew to get a “home” party booked in March (2013). I had a catalog party going but that was it. I was getting parties booked for April and May but couldn’t seem to get anything for March and I, basically, just said, “That’s it. I’ve tried everything I know to do and I don’t have any ‘tricks’ left. I guess I just won’t have a home party in March, Lord, and if that is what You want, I’m okay with it because YOU put me in this business in the first place.” And I truly was okay with it. But God….I was sitting at my desk Sunday afternoon, March 10, working away and my phone rang. I almost didn’t answer it because I didn’t recognize the number – then remembered that I better answer it because my number is “out there” on a lot of things now and no telling who it might be. So, I answered it and it was a lady that I had never met before. She was saying something about Thirty~One and I thought she was wanting to place an order (as I had just finished up an ‘online’ party) so I was reaching for an order form. THEN I realized she was saying she wanted to HAVE A PARTY!!!! This lady ordered from someone back in November that had done a catalog party for me and now she wanted to have a party – a HOME PARTY – and the kicker? She wanted to have it SATURDAY!!! As in SIX days later Saturday. (Not much time for preparation or hostess coaching or anything!) I first said, “Well, I can do an evening party because I have a wedding to attend that afternoon.” She couldn’t do an evening party because they were having a singing at her church that she had to help with. I was looking for other dates we might could do it but she was saying Saturday would be the ONLY day in March she could do it as she would be going out of town for work. So, I thought very quickly and realized GOD had this woman to call me and I was NOT about to say no to a party that He, so obviously, was sending to me! LOL So, I told her okay and we set it up for 2:00 Saturday afternoon. She and her husband stopped by that evening on their way to church to pick up her packet and I didn’t see her again until the day of the party. It was the most CHAOTIC party I’ve ever done – people in and out, constantly coming and going – I was EXHAUSTED when I left there, but not because of anything I’d done – I was tired just from watching THEM – LOL – I did the “Mary Poppins” type of party and that was it. She had a little over $900 in sales when I left on Saturday and she told me, “I will have it up to $1200 by tomorrow afternoon because I want three of the Hostess Exclusives and I want them for FREE!” When she called me the next afternoon, she had a little over $1400 in sales.

So, I know that was a VERY long answer, but I HAVE to give ALL the credit to God and I felt I had to share the whole story for anyone reading this to understand WHY I say that and so they know, as I do, WITHOUT A DOUBT, that it most certainly was ALL GOD. Yes, I had to do my part – but HE is the One that gave me the party and HE is the One that blessed me for being obedient (taking the party He sent me instead of attending the wedding).

As I said before, HE is the One that put me in this business and He has blessed it beyond anything I could ever think or imagine. I know I am doing my part, but, honestly, I feel like I am just sitting back watching Him work – it is a WONDERFUL feeling 🙂

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Also, since it took me so long to get around to sharing this testimony on my blog, there has been an update to this story. The Hostess that had this party for me sent me a text about a week or so later wanting to know about becoming a consultant! We set a date to get together so I could share everything with her and then we set a date to get together and get her enrolled. She was the second lady to join my team. Since that time, which was only two weeks ago today, God has sent four other ladies to me. Two have joined my team, one I am meeting with this afternoon to get her enrolled and the fourth one I have to call today to set up a time to share everything with her. All this just days after I had prayed and asked God to help me remember this is HIS business and He will help me go wherever He wants me to go. I had started to get a little anxious about some things and had to remind myself to give it to Him and let Him do what He wants with it. I simply said, “Lord, if You want me to grow my team and go farther with this, then it will happen in Your time – not mine”. Then I forgot about it. I think He gave me the answer to that prayer when He sent every one of those ladies to me. You better believe that now I am DEFINITELY going to be ‘actively’ recruiting every time I can. Nobody can say YES, if I never ask. So, if you want to know more about what I’m referring to, just let me know and I’ll be more than happy to share 🙂

So thankful to Him for allowing me to do this and be a part of His continuing plan. He is SO good to me!

Love y’all!


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