Sunday, February 16, 2014

When Was The Last Time You Prayed For The President?

It's my weekend to blog and I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about.  With the verdict announcement yesterday and the feeling that more could have been done for Jordan Davis to receive justice, I wondered if I would repost Roslyn's post," I am Raising Americas Most Hated."  I chose differently and instead decided to ask a question.................

When was the last time you prayed for the President?

Tomorrow is President's Day (post written on Sunday).  A day when we commemorate past presidents of the USA. I couldn't help but think about our very own, President Barack Obama and other government leaders and the constant criticism they receive.  All of their words and actions are under constant scrutiny.  You might have even joined in on some of the discussions but, when was the last time you prayed for the President?

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (MSG)

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

I don't care whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, we have an obligation to pray.  Not only for our President but for our Governors, Congress, Senate and all others in public service.  Constantly judging their actions is not the best use of your time.  Until you've walked a day in their shoes, it's hard to understand the pressures of their careers.  I understand we have to hold them accountable, but God is clear about our judgments of them.

Romans 14:13

Let us therefore stop turning critical eyes on one another. If we must be critical, let us be critical of our own conduct and see that we do nothing to make a brother stumble or fall.

In honor of President's Day, I challenge you to take some time and pray for our leaders.  God has placed each leader in their position for a season of time.  There is purpose in their appointment.  To rebel against their leadership is contrary to God's word.

Romans 13:1-6(TLB)

Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.

 Today I will close with a prayer for our leaders:

God thank you for this day.  A day when we celebrate the highest leaders of our country.  Thank you for placing them in leadership.  Your word is clear that you have put them in power.  We thank you for your infinite wisdom.  May they lean not unto their own understanding, but in all their ways acknowledge you and your ability to guide them.  We pray peace and unity for a nation that professes, in God we trust. (Posted by Renee)

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Roslyn's Truth Moment

There was a weekly sitcom on tv that I used to watch named, "The Game".  The married couple on the show utilized truth moments.  They would tell the truth no matter how much it might hurt their spouse.  They did not want to hide any secrets from one another.  Despite the "juicy" truths they told, the spirit of that episode resonated with me.  The key to success in any relationship is to always tell the truth.

So here it goes, here is my truth moment:

I am judgmental!

on this day - 8 inches of snow

Yes, I realize that many of you walk in this same ugly truth.  I know I'm not alone.

This truth really came into play during a recent trip up north.  I was happy to be traveling to another state BUT had deep concerns about the wicked winter weather.  Sure enough, my flight first thing on Monday, was CANCELLED after a 4am wake up call.  You keep reading the email from the airline hoping it will tell you something different but it didn't.  I went into hysteria because meetings were already planned.  What was I going to do?  After a 5 hour delay, I finally arrived to a sea of white snow.  The precipitation was falling like raindrops in South Florida except it was sticking to the ground and extremely cold.

Days went on and I found myself complaining about so many minor details.  Hailing cabs, trudging through slushy ice, not having earmuffs, not having rain boots, layering on so many clothes, standing on trains, traveling underground with no cell phone reception, heat in buildings but cold outside, there was just NO pleasing me.  I judged the entire city based on only four days of wicked winter weather.

It took a cab driver to help me see the beauty of this city.  On a side note - why is there always a different odor in every cab - UGH!  There was so much to appreciate about this city but I couldn't see it because of my judgmental/preconceived ideas. I thought to myself, "Why do people live up here?"

Although it is not a city I choose to live in, many call it their home.  What was I missing?  Again, all I could see was shovels, ice, people not making eye contact and grey skies.

LEARN before you judge.  I shouldn't turn my nose up at the person who enjoys eating muskrat.  I shouldn't laugh at the person playing a banjo while yelling words I can't understand.  I shouldn't despise the person with a shopping cart full of sugary cereals and candy.  I shouldn't think less of a person who shops at an outlet vs a boutique.  Honesty is never easy!

Although my blog is only written about a city, many of us (me included) make the mistake of judging people, ideologies, religion, music, food, etc. based on our own filtered perceptions. We all live and view life through our own experiences, history, failures and success (filtered wisdom).  If it wasn't for that cab driver, I would have missed out on enjoying one of my greatest trips.
Roslyn joyfully enjoying the view!

Q's:  What, in your own life, do you need to view through the lens of someone else?  Where have you prejudged a situation/person only to be wrong?  What truth moment do you need to have this week?

Politically speaking, accepting people is becoming a hot topic.  We all have room to expand our love and tolerance for others we don't understand. We are on this journey together for a reason.

As you read this, we both can commit to accept life as it is until we learn differently!  Standing in your ugly truth, as I did earlier, helps us equally move towards being a better person.  Don't internally miss out on God's best - because you are looking outside with the wrong lens. (posted by Roslyn)

Every good and perfect give is from above, coming down from the Father… you should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…James 1:17-19

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Need Your Prayer Answered?

Do you feel like your prayers aren't being answered?  There are seasons in our lives when God sits silent even after constant pleading.  It normally happens when He's ready to move you to another place of knowing Him and His ability.  It can be a difficult process because we long to hear him speak words of wisdom, comfort and peace. In those times, patiently wait.  He will answer in His timing (which is always perfect).

Here are 4 tips that have helped me in my prayer life:

1.  Be specific.
Early in my twenties, I wanted to marry. My twin sister married her high school sweetheart immediately after we graduated college and it increased a desire for me to find my soul mate. Before her marriage, we were always together.

Childhood.  High school.  College. She was always there. 

Now she was leaving college with a new car, fiancee, and an exciting career. On the other hand, I was heading back to my parent's home with no job and no relationship that even looked like marriage might be on the horizon. It was a difficult time.

My mom encouraged me to pray specifically for what I wanted. Not for God just to bring a man my way but to pray for his characteristics, stature, and most importantly his relationship with Christ. They were life changing words for me. I followed her advice and months later, Alton walked into my life. Within five months we were engaged and ten months later, married.

I'm not here to say that all of your requests will come that quickly.  Only God knows the details of your life. Trust His timing and the process he takes you through to mature you in your faith.

2.  Pray and Claim God's promises.
It might seem cliche but it's true.  The Bible has all the answers you need.  Recite God's words in your prayers.  Declare His provision, His will, and His promises.  If you stand in need of physical healing, remember that by His stripes you are healed.  If you need freedom, remember that whom the Son sets free is free indeed.  If you need His blessings in your finances, remember that God longs to bless you.
Whatever your test might be, find scriptures that speak to your situation and recite them daily.  Write them on post it notes and hang them throughout your home.  Leave the word of God playing in your home ("Bible Experience" is a great Bible resource in cd format).  Change your atmosphere and watch God move mightily in your life!
3.  Be Persistent
Our relationship with God is not a "one and done" situation.  God's desire for our prayer life is clear in Ephesians 6:18 (TLB):
Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.

4.  Fast and Pray

This is so much bigger than not eating.  That's one way to fast but what about giving up social media, tv, or your phone?  Fasting is a time that you set aside to seek God and set your requests before Him.  In the moments when you want to turn the tv back on or check your Facebook page, instead, pick up your Bible and read it.

Isaiah 58:6-9 is a great scripture to read when fasting and praying.  It shares God principles on getting your prayers "off the ground"! (Posted by Renee)

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’

If you would like us to join you in prayer for a specific need, please let us know how we can pray for you.  Contact us here.