The Impact of One Act

A greeting card we received ten years ago stands on our computer desk. We received it from someone we did not know, who wrote, “Dear Fran and Jerry, We have you on our “permanent” prayer list and have been fervently praying for you regularly.”
A neighbor of ours had asked prayer at her church for Jerry, after his leg was amputated. The card was sent from someone who knew of his slow process of healing, saying, “We are so thankful for your Godly example in dealing with adversity and staying so faithful to trust in our Sovereign Lord. We will continue to lift you up! For His glory, Sarina and Michael Roth
This card was among many others, with emails from those who were praying, encouraging and supporting us during that difficult time, but this one stood out from all the rest because it came from a sister-in-Christ that we had never met.
It was over three years, and a third surgery, before Jerry’s wound from the amputation was healed. For nine years I kept the card in a special place. Last year, after I published TWO FULL PLATES ~ Learning to be a Caregiver, I took the card out of the envelope, read the message again, and was led to find Sarina on Facebook. I contacted her to let her know how much her card had meant to Jerry and me, that we were still blessed by reading it. I told her about the book and sent her a copy. In the process of our communication, I learned that Sarina is a photographer and creator of her own greeting cards (perhaps another reason this card was so special to us).
Since our connecting on Facebook, she and Michael were involved in a motorcycle accident. Both sustained injuries, both are recovering, but Sarina cannot yet use her hand for her photography. My prayers for her and Michael are fervent and daily for their healing.
When she sent her card to us so many years ago, she had no idea how her act of compassion toward us would impact our hearts and lives.
Jerry and I were actually impacted by two acts. First, Sarina prayed.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16
Then Sarina, in an act of kindness to us, encouraged us by letting us know that she was praying.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” Colossians 3:12
We should never doubt that an act of kindness, no matter how small, will make a difference in someone’s life, and that kindness be returned to us when we least expect it.
 Dear Father in heaven. We praise you for working in the hearts of your people to care for one another. Thank you for revealing your love everywhere, especially in our kindness to others. Thank you for the blessing of Sarina’s card so many years ago, that proves a love that recycles, and truly is evident “all around us.” I ask for your continued healing for Michael and Sarina; for Jerry, as he still needs our care, and your mercy for all in need of healing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
~ Fran

The CONCLUSION

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-20-09-amToday we come to the conclusion of six weeks of prayer for our nation, and the conclusion of an election for a new President of these United States of America.

More importantly we come to the conclusion of the whole matter of all prayer for all things.

We have used the context of the prayer which our Lord Jesus Christ gave us, recorded for all generations and all times in Matthew 6:9-13.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we used the preface and the petitions, and now we come to the conclusion.

Petitions are sandwiched between the preface and the conclusion. Jesus meant for us to see that all is from God, the Father; through Him, and for Him.

All things, all conditions, and all conclusions rest in His hands and His plans.

He is the conclusion of all things, before the beginning and to the end.

The preface is to address the one to whom we pray ~ “Our Father in heaven.”

The conclusion is to establish our purpose for prayer to our Father in heaven ~

“For Thine is the kingdom

“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”
Psalm 103:19

and the power

“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,
Psalm 62:11

and the glory,
forever.”
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Romans 11:36

Dear heavenly Father, we have these last six weeks poured out our hearts to you, seeking you, your kingdom, and your will as it concerns us as your children, the nation and the world in which we live.  We have no other means of wisdom, and authority.  You are our Father, the kingdom and power over all things.  You have promised your presence among us at all times, even when we can’t discern your leading and authority.  Make us to know your sovereign rule during times of uncertainty. When men and women are seeking their own glory, draw us to you to know your strength, your kingdom, your power and your glory over all.  By your Holy Spirit bring your truths to our minds and hearts.  Draw us closer to you and each other in prayer as we continue to seek your kingdom in our hearts and lives.  Make us strong in your word and in faith for what you have planned in the days and years ahead.  Let us always be ready to serve you and others in the name of Jesus our Lord ~ in whose name we pray.  Amen.
Music: Jude 24-25

A Crucial Seven Weeks

Seven weeks from today America will have a new president.  Those who voted for the winner will be happy. Those who voted for the loser will realize that their candidate was defeated, and their hope is gone.  Others have had no hope in either one.  These may remain confused and uncertain about the future of our country.

These seven weeks are crucial to the campaigns of the candidates. They are also crucial for us as God’s people. We, His children, who have an inheritance in His kingdom, have much at stake. We will never lose our legacy to that eternal kingdom, but we face the possibility of losing the freedom to continue to worship and express our faith here in this nation.

God, our Father can do all things without us, but He delights to include us in His campaign.

While the candidates and their supporters continue to rally, what should we do? We need to be aware of God’s will for each of us, not simply to say, “the will of the Lord be done.”

We Must Rally Around the Throne of Grace

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

It is by His grace that we are able to pray to our heavenly Father, as we seek His kingdom and His righteousness for this nation. We are called to pray in all circumstances, for His will and His glory. 

If you have not already planned or been led by your own pastor for a six-week prayer and fasting vigil, we encourage you to suggest it for your church. Don’t wait until after the election to pray. Don’t wish later that you had prayed. We’ll still need to pray, afterward, but we will know that we did all that our heavenly Father wanted us to do at this crucial time. After the election, we can rejoice and praise the Lord that His will is done, regardless of the outcome.  We can live in the hope and trust that He still rules and reigns over all; no matter who is president of this nation.

happy-is-he

Consider the Psalmist words, as we look to our only hope.

“Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,

Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;

The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!”    Psalm 146:3-10

Dear Father, draw us to your throne of grace as you campaign for your kingdom’s rule in our hearts and lives.  Bring us to examine our faith and know that our hope is in you alone.  Let us praise you always, regardless of the circumstances of this life. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.
For a guide to prayer for the next six weeks, please consider our last post ~ A World in Crisis.

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NO PROBLEM ~

We often hear the reply “No Problem” to a “Thank You” ~meaning that the good deed was no big deal, something perhaps done just in the line of duty, not requiring much from the giver.

Can we imagine this response from God? Whatever He does is as He has planned and for which He has prepared to give, and for us to receive.

Let’s take this thought a little further and apply it to all things, not just the good that He gives but also to all of life.

The word problem is not in the Bible ~ not in the original KJV. This gives us a clue as to who gave us this word and why it has become a major word in the English language. God’s and our adversary would have us go from day to day as if all of life is a problem.

This is life focused on men and self ~ striving through and barely surviving because our view of God seems to be what we would naturally say is problematic.

I want to suggest that we change our vocabulary to one that is compatible with God’s. Let us consider the Psalmist view ~ 103:190001OU

In our heavenly Father’s view there is no problem. Let us think with the mind of Christ who came to reveal the Father to us. Instead of problems what can we know and see in this physical world of God’s creation?

We are faced with :

Abnormalities and uncertainties

Absurdities and obscurities

Adversities and necessities

Atrocities and monstrosities

We encounter:

Authorities and majorities

Calamities and subtleties

Complexities and perplexities

Difficulties and anxieties

We are confronted with:

Iniquities and inequities

Insincerities and insecurities

Sensitivities and inabilities

But none of these are a problem to God. More so, they are all part of His overall plan. These are all the underside of God’s tapestry, as He is weaving all things together with His presence and power in us.  These are all His means of bringing His will to be made known; and to work His own life and joy in us.  All things are for our good, so as to conform us to the image of His dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28-29) He endured all these that we too might endure to the end and enjoy His victory and glory.

It is not meant that we are to understand His plan ~ it is too much for us to comprehend; but in faith to believe what He says and reveals to us as He works in us, in others, and all circumstances. When we, as His children, know Him and see His great and mighty power in His creation and redemption we will no longer view things as problems, but accept all things as opportunities and possibilities in how we are to live and fulfill our purpose to glorify our heavenly Father. Read the whole Psalm with this mind-set and you will begin to think differently so as to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

It matters not whether I sleep or wake ~ God is God.

All that matters is for His sake ~ God is God.

Glorious Father, you planned according to your sovereign will all that you wanted to do in your creation and redemption.  And now in this generation, as always, you are working through your providence for all that you planned.  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  And I hear Him answer, “No Problem; it is all my pleasure to give you the kingdom.