Tag Archives: prayer

BREADCRUMBS: Owl Wisdom

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.”~Ep 6:18a

Finally.

Years of camping – girl scouts and beyond. 
Years of living in the country. 
Years of sitting outside, listening and watching.
Years of listening to them at night as they hooted me to sleep.

Finally – – – I saw a real life owl in the wild.

Luckily, my life hasn’t been devoid of seeing owls. I’ve seen owls many times on trips to the zoo. White owls, brown owls, gray owls and even saw one up close and personal on a writing retreat while it sat on a park ranger’s arm. But I have never seen one as God created them. 
Soaring.
Sitting.
Looking at me.

“Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”~Ep 6:18b

Our gimpy little girl who isn’t supposed to run and yet never stops running when she is outside, actually startled it as she raced through the woods. I turned to watch what she was doing when the owl took wing to another branch. It was facing the road away from me, and then it did that awesome cool owly thing that everyone loves. It turned its head all the way around to look directly at me.

I know it was only a moment, and yet – it was one of those moments that takes your breath away and lasts for a lot longer. I can still see it. My own personal miracle and a childhood prayer answered in the best way ever. Koay yipped and off it flew out of sight.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.”~Ps 40:1

Lately, I’ve noticed that many times my devotions dovetail each other as if they were written by the same person. And if I’m paying really close attention, I notice that they address those really hard things that I’ve been praying in the Spirit for as well. Duh! Throwback time. Back to the times when I used to sit in choir practice and make mistakes. Hit myself in the head – DUH – literally. While they may have been written at different times by different people, they were inspired by the One who spoke the WORD into being.

“I was dancin’ in the dark when I saw your open arms. Barefoot on the cross, and now I hear you in every song. When my life was still a mess, You saw something beautiful, and I don’t deserve it, but Your Grace is perfect tonight.”~Phillipa Hanna, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

Answered prayers don’t come when we expect them. Often, they don’t come how we expect them. Sometimes, we don’t even know they have been answered. Then again, some may be not be answered until way after we’ve gone home. But all in all, prayers are always answered. We just don’t like all the answers because they aren’t answered OUR way.

Tonight, the kitty that answered a prayer I didn’t know I had keeps sitting on the keyboard batting my hands. For whatever reason, she wants a little extra attention tonight – and I indulge her until she hops down to chase the mousy sounds she hears in the kitchen.

I like to think Our Father God and His Son and Spirit are much the same way. Our prayers sing in Their combined heart – begging for a little extra on some nights – a little more cuddling – a little more encouragement until we hop away to chase after the next thing.

The good news – The Trinity is still there. Waiting for those prayers. Waiting for us to jump up into their laps. Purring a little louder for a little more attention. Kneading their hands with our tiny claws until they smile and sing a new song in our heart with their love.

I look at the breadcrumbs on the road before me. They are no longer abundantly covering the road. They have dwindled to few and far between. The destination that seemed so far away is just ahead. Passion Week – just days away. And I wonder at the journey I have been on for 32 days.

The journey of the owl into my life. A life-long prayer answered. A time to continue to pray with precise language – a time to look forward in prayer – a time to open my eyes to the miracles around me and rejoice. A time of breadcrumbs.

“When I’m dancin’ in the dark, I will raise my weary arms, and thank you for the cross, and the Grace that’s enough for anyone. When you found me in a mess, You saw something beautiful, and I don’t deserve it, but your Grace is perfect. I don’t feel worthy, but your Grace is perfect tonight.”~Ibid.

 

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BREADCRUMBS: Prayer Call

In the middle of the TV blaring, the computer discussions, dogs barking or snoring or rubbing against my feet, kitty kneading the blanket in my chair between me and the arm – – – in all that craziness – – – a Bible verse pops into my mind.

It is like bits and pieces of song that I know and yet – – don’t know well enough.I have sung them, but am just figuring out how to sing them back to Him. Slowly – I’ve been working on this. Writing them on cards. Hanging them in my prayer closet. Listening to them on my CD player. Reading them over and over. Incorporating them into my prayers songs.

“Remember your congregation [people] which you have possessed [called] from the first, and you have saved, the tribe of your inheritance, this Mount Zion [Jerusalem] in which you have dwelt.”~Ps 74:2

Tonight it was this one. “Remember your people…” I never remember the reference (I’m working on this as well), so I look it up. The my internal voice is silent now, but the nudge is not. “Pray.”
My internal voice awakens with questions – “What? Now? Here?”
“Pray”
“But – “ My internal dialogue slows, and I begin to pray. People I know that need prayer covering. Prayers for our country. Prayers for the world. Unspokens that touch the heart but not the lips. There is no chaos now. Only the words of the verse and the call.
“Pray”

When the nudge quiets and tears dry, I feel sad. I miss it already. Normal returns while chaos shakes my world with distractions that are way too loud. Then I feel bad because I did not leave this chaos around me and go to my closet when the nudge came. Yet – I know He doesn’t care. He called me where I was. He hears our prayers wherever we are. He speaks and listens in whatever language we speak. In the precious name of Jesus the prayers continue to circle in time for a reason beyond me. It is enough, It is more than enough.

“How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,the light by which we see.
Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
give justice to those with honest hearts.”~Ps 36:7-9

Prayer calls are given everyday to everyone. It is a matter of recognizing the nudge – – – recognizing the voice – – -recognizing the choice to humble ourselves – – listen to His WORD – – turn away from worldly chaos – – and know that He hears our prayer, He heals our land, and in Jesus’a name, He forgives our sin. A day of thanksgiving. A day of Prayer Call. 

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BREADCRUMBS: Little Things

For the past few months, we have not been able to figure out why the dogs go crazy when we let them out at night. They run into the side yard and start barking. The youngster, torn ACL completely forgotten, runs into the woods and comes back with the biggest smile on her face.

One of my friends came over last night and as we sat outside, kitties started appearing at our feet. One, two, three – We petted them and enjoyed their company as we talked. Later, I remained outside for a little bit and started counting again. There was a herd of kitties.

Our yard was a kitty amusement park.

You see – I haven’t taken down my last Christmas light that shines into our woods. It is one of those star projectors with dancing red and green lights. They roam all over the trees, bushes, shed and grass right off our porch. Hubby and I enjoy watching those silly lights bounce around. Apparently, the kitties do, too.

So last night, I spent some time watching kitties run hither and yon while pouncing on every light they could see. Laughter gurgled. I closed my eyes and let the little kitties tamp down the sadness of our broken world and resurrect that peace that the Shepherd always brings.

It is in the little things, right?

“He made everything beautiful in its time.”~Ecc 3:11

Prayer doesn’t come easy for me. Since I was little, I haven’t felt like I am good at it. My mind skips around to everything under the sun except being still. It even as the audacity to yak at me when I already told it a thousand time to shut up because I need to listen. Even after reading tons of – alright – maybe not tons – – but quite a few – devotionals on how to pray, I still end up with a stumbling tongue and a frustrated head.

It is then – in that choice moment – that I start giving thanks.

Thanks for a stumbling tongue that makes me work a little harder. 
Thanks for role models in my life who can string pearls as they pray. 
Thanks for the WORD who lifts me up from my bruised knees by His grace. 
Thanks to the Holy Spirit who groans – probably with a chuckle at how often she has to jump in for me – speaking the words I cannot find. 
Thanks for a millisecond of quiet from my brain every now and then when I can hear My Shepherd call my name. 
Thanks for a Savior who carved my true name in the palm of His hand and cradles me when there is sadness beyond explanation.

Thanks for the little things.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”~Phil 4:6-9 

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AS WE PRAY

I was on a journey tonight. I looked at the wild fire maps since we really don’t hear much about them on the news. There are a lot. They seem to be covering many states in many different parts of our country. I looked at the pictures of tired fire-fighters, wild animals wading in streams, smoke plumes blotting out the sun.
 
I felt sad.
 
I looked at the hurricane damage from Harvey in TX – Irma/Jose in FL and the various islands – Maria’s damage to those same islands and Puerto Rico. So much damage. So many people without power. So many people trying to figure out how to find a way to get food, shelter, clothing.
 
I felt sadder.
 
I looked at the pictures from Mexico. People digging with bare hands at a crumpled school. Parents crying over bodies. Buildings cracked. Roads separated. People sitting in the street with their head in their hands.
 
Sad doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.
 
Money doesn’t seem to be enough when the earth is quaking under the feet – the seas roiling past sandy borders – fires blackening everything in its path.
 
Tears gather. The throat tightens. I look away from the images and look out the windows of my well-lit, air-conditioned, over-stuffed refrigerator home and into the darkness of the night. So many people. Strangers far away. Not to mention – friends and family who message me – asking me to join them in prayer – the clerk at the grocery who can barely move her fingers due to scleroderma – the megastore worker who has to use a cart to get around – the military families separated to different parts of the world.
 
Shadow Kitten, who has taken to sitting on the back of my chair most nights starts to pat my hair with her paw. I reach up and she pats my hand. The dogs shift from their sleeping positions to look up at me. Hubby’s snores gently rattle the quiet and a light catches the corner of my eye. A verse circles round.
 
“Therefore, I beg of you that before all things, you will offer supplications to God, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving, for the sake of all people”~1 Tim 2:1
 
Feelings don’t really matter in the scheme of things, but there is one thing that does. Prayer.  
Time to talk with Our Father.  
Time to talk with His Son.  
Time in Pray.  
Time to pray as one voice.  
Prayer.
It is perhaps more important today than it has ever been in my lifetime. Yeshua modeled prayer many times as He walked this earth. The first century church flourished in prayer more than it did from preaching or creative song. We may not have enough money to help everyone. Many of us can not make our way or have the resources to get to all these places, but we all can pray. Pray as Yeshua taught us to pray. Pray for the people suffering – the people helping – the countries dealing – and the peace of the new day coming.
 
The first day of the month of Tishrei in the Jewish calendar is over. The shofar has sounded its warning to awake. The month of reflection and repentance end and the High Holy Days of 5778 now begin. It is – perhaps – a new day for all of us. All we have to do is trust Our Father. Trust His Word. Trust that we remember how to be His people. Trust His Son to help us as we pray….
 
“… ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ ” ~Matt 6:10-13 [google image]110

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #73

Never fails. When we start a new project, something breaks – beside my toe (actually I think it is just stoved – or at least that is what I am telling myself). Money in – money out.The good news is our handy-dandy fix-it guy showed up in time to help a very tired Hubby unload some more block. Another prayer answered.

 
Maybe that is why the world is having a problem. Maybe God has started a new project, so things are breaking all over the place, and the handy-dandy fix-it man is on his way. Gotta admit, I hope so. I keep watching the skies and moving my lips in prayer.
 
My war room door is becoming filled with prayer lists and affirmations of promises given by our Father. Prayer is so important. I was reading about Hannah today. Like many of our memorable matriarchs she had trouble conceiving. Jewish tradition speaks that God did not want them to believe in Him just because their husbands did. The matriarchs were just as important as the patriarchs in Hashem’s eyes. He wanted them to seek Him with their hearts. Hannah’s prayer did this on all levels, and her prayer became a model on how we should pray.
 
Silently, moving her lips but without voice, tears wetting her cheeks, she spoke directly to Him: ‘Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me…’ ~1 Sam 1:11a
Direct, simple, full of everything she dreamed and desired.
 
Our Father loves it when we come to Him – when we seek Him. Everyday – around 6 PM – I pray for our country and the leaders that will take over in 19 days. I pray for the leaders today who are making decisions this week for us and for Israel in the UN.
 
Prayer is important.
 
1942 Daily Rations: ‘Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?’~Isaiah 55:2
 
“Ours is a vitamin-conscious age. Every schoolboy knows why he must drink milk and eat vegetables. For lack of vitamins, children with full stomachs may suffer from malnutrition. Health depends upon what one eats more than it depends upon how much one eats.
 
“Ours is a day in which the printed page has come into its own. Never before was printers’ ink used in such abundance. People spend millions of dollars every year for printed matter—-newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, books. But what does this money buy? Much of the so-called reading matter of our day is not bread, but so much sawdust. Some of it is poison. One reads this sort of magazine or book only to come away feeling still hungry,- – – and sometimes sick!
 
“But why should we pay our money for that which is not bread? Why should we spend our labor, and precious hours of time, with lifeless husks when God has given us, in the Bible and in other great literature, a whole storehouse of ‘vitamins’ which our souls crave and which we need if we are to have robust spiritual health?
 
“Read: John 6:22-35
 
“Prayer: Break thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me; As thou didsn’t break the loaves beside the sea; Beyond the sacred page I seek thee, Lord; My spirit pants for thee, O living Word. Amen. “~Mary Ann Lathbury

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #47

When the hint of the first breath invades my dreams, I know it will be an uncommon day. Off and on it continue to swirl through out my day like puffs of cinnamon and pine at Christmas, imprinting their message somewhere deep within me. A breath of a word without diction – an eternal groaning somewhere deep beyond my understanding – a.squeeze-the-eyes-tight-to-shut-off-the-water day.
 
Prayer days are beyond me, but I try. Sometimes, it is for one person. Sometimes the images are layered – one upon another till the colors scratch my eyes with their brilliance. But it doesn’t matter. Most of the time, I never know why these days happen. I just know they do and so – I do.
 
Prayer is important. Just as these Rations seem to be more important everyday.The election is 45 days away. A journey that begs a little silence before the first step – – -or if we are strong enough to follow Rabbi Yeshua’s lead – – – 40 days of prayer. We already live in the wilderness, so we’re half way there.
 
Blessing!Be!
 
1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness.’~Matthew 4:1-11
 
“Read: Matthew 4:1-11
 
“The six weeks which Jesus spent in the wilderness has been called the period of temptation. But it was more than that; it was a period of preparation- – -a time of concentrated thought and calm meditation. Never were quiet hours more needed than they are today. ‘Whirl is king,’ is truer than when Aristophanes uttered the words. Our minds have been likened to a railway waiting room where people bound hither and thither are assembled. It is hard for our distracted minds to attain unity of purpose and to select a destination. There is an old Russian custom according to which a person before starting on a journey sat down and spent half a minute in silence. We need daily quiet ties that we may reduce life to order and reflect on whither we are going.
 
“Prayer: Eternal God, who dost reveal thyself to those who earnestly seek thee, let our hearts be still that we may hear thee speak and may discern thy wise and holy counsel for our lives this day. Amen”

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #26

I have come to depend on these RATIONS. As I started to read about the downed plane, I found myself thinking about recent plane crashes – as if this wasn’t written in the 1940’s.

It is the same when I am reading the Bible. Linear time seems to circle into a bubble that bobs up and down on the truthful water that keeps us from ever thirsting again.

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”~Jn 4:14

It is good to remember prayer. It is good to spend time drinking the water and eating the manna that Christ brought to us from His well. The important thing is that we remember to drink and eat – in remembrance of Him– our eternal truth.

1942 DAILY RATION: “But I give myself unto prayer,”~Ps 109:4

READ: Luke 11:1-13

“Not long ago a large plane went down in the Pacific Ocean. Something was wrong with the wireless equipment, and all passengers were lost because of failure to contact a rescue ship.

“Such disasters are tragic, but there is one that is worse than plane crashing. That is a life crashing because of failure to keep in contact with the Eternal God. For such contact, there is nothing that can take the place of prayer. There can be no faith, no high and holy living, no real sense of truth, beauty, goodness, no ideal of service, no hope in this life or for the life to come, without the constant outreach of our lives to God.

“The Psalmist was in extreme need when he spoke these words; ‘But I give myself unto prayer…’. But he did not wait till he was faced with this extremity. He had always prayed. And he fills this difficult moment with the most powerful experience possible in life — – -prayer. God never lets a man down who does this thing.

PRAYER: Dear God, teach me to pray with complete trust in thy infinite love, thy unfailing providence. In Christ’s name. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “So may we send our little timid thought —                         Across the void, out to God’s reaching hands – – –
Send out our love and faith to thread the deep – – –
Thought after thought, until the little cord
Has greatened to a chain no chance can break,
And we are anchored to the Infinite.~Markham.

RATIONS 100 DAYS #13

Did you know that the first recorded prayer in the Bible was prayed on the behalf of others?

Not for self.

Not for a loved one.

Not for friends (although some of the city’s inhabitants were definitely related).

Not for fellow believers of Abraham’s God (although assuredly there were a few there) .

It was prayed over the people of Sodom. People who were into doing harm to others. People who didn’t seem to respect anything except self-gratification.

That was just the kind of man of God Abraham was.

“Then Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?”~Gen 18:23

Abraham, the father of this new belief, set a great role model for those to follow. The first prayer out of his mouth was for others. When we pray for others we truly become a “person” of God.

Jewish wisdom points to the fact that it “seems” as if this first prayer went unanswered at best – denied probably. Jewish sages believe this was to remind Abraham that prayer is more than just a communication with a “magic being” who will grant our every wish.

Since I was late getting to the computer today and was praying The America’s Prayer Minute at six o’clock, I was thinking about how important Prayer is to our lives and to the lives of those around us. Praying for the salvation of others is a touchstone of our faith. Today’s RATION just backs that up.

“To want to be right with God, is, according to Jesus, one of the eight requirements for inner peace and blessedness. Anyone who drives an automobile knows how distressing it is to have anything about the engine out of adjustment. Any rattle, knock, squeak or pounding in the motor calls for immediate attention. On the other hand, a smooth-running-engine brings to a competent driver’s mind a very real sense of joy and security. Now, righteousness is ur adjustment ot God. Sin, selfishness, any failure to co-operate with the will of God, any defiance of the moral law will cause rattles, squeaks, and poundings in our spiritual engines. We are out of adjustment. Inner peace coes only through harmony with God.’

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.~Matt 5:6

“Read: Ps. 139:23-24

“Prayer: O God, we would be a part of the great harmony of creation. We would choose to do that which is right and true, just and generous and brave, that our lives may beat in tune with the Infinite and our goals and purposes be acceptable to thee. Help us all our lives to fulfill thy holly will in the spirit of Jesus Christ, our LORD. Amen”

A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME

containersThe home is becoming just a house again.

“A chair is still a chair
Even when there’s no one sitting there
But a chair is not a house
And a house is not a home….”

Knick-knacks wrapped and tucked into containers. Teacher lesson plans/books/teacher samples that STILL have some sort of power over me, have jumped off the shelf and into their old boxes that they remember well from our school days together. 35 other books (that weren’t so powerful in their magic) raced out the door, jumped into the car for a ride to our local Saxapahaw community bookshelf to be re-homed. And – the piles of containers continues to grow higher.

“A room is still a room
Even when there’s nothing there but gloom;
But a room is not a house,
And a house is not a home
When the two of us are far apart…”

To me, a lot of what makes a house a home is the heirlooms. Today, I watched my daughter climb up on the kitchen counter and pulled down things that sat in our OH homes and even some from my parents’ home. Things that hung in a window. Things that sat on a shelf and lit the night with their simpleness. Things made by hand from someone that loved us. Those are treasures I can’t seem to part with – even as I pack them once again.

“Now and then I call your name
And suddenly your face appears…”

picture wallThere are still a million and one things to pack. There are still pictures hanging all over the walls that defy any container whatsoever. The golden threads that ties four generations together on one wall will be some of the last things to head out the door. After all – it is the people that truly make the home. The Grands laughing and racing to the hot tub every time they come over. The little table that helped me write my first words – the same one that sat patiently as all of my children scattered their treasures on its nursery rhyme top – the same table that now jiggles and giggles as the Grands create new masterpieces of pictures and words.

tableThe neat part is knowing that once it is all packed away – once the house is cleaned and empty – this house will hold a lot of happy memories to pass on to the new owners, so that they can make it their home. And us? After all the times we have moved, I think we know how to make a house a home.

A little hard work.

A few touchstones.

A lot of love.

The daily WORD.

And – tons and tons of prayer – circling and weaving Our Father’s blessing around what He has entrusted to us. That is why Covenant always plays a prominent role in the name of our properties. A simple reminder of a promise given long ago by a promise keeper who never breaks His word.

“He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations.”~Psalms 105:8-11

THE SHIRT

sept 11Today I pulled out a 14 year old shirt. An old shirt with stains around the collar from the iron in our water at the Perrysville house. A shirt made with tears and love. A shirt crafted by a talented co-worker in the late night hours after the lights in the school had gone dark. Dark.
“In all their distress He too was distressed,
and the angel of his presence saved them.”
img322I pulled out a shirt today to remember when our world turned incredibly darker. Where we were is etched in our mind. The ordinary activities tied tightly to the immoral act unfolding on our TV screens. The school, which is normally full of various voices, jovial jokesters, and trivial trips here and there, was abnormally quiet as I worked through the doors. TV’s rarely used were strongly speaking, conveying pictures of the unbelievable darkness.
I had already cried and prayed on the way into my school. I was only img323working part time, so the first plane hitting a tower was fresh in my mind. I remember being in the kitchen, stopping what I was doing and walking into the family room to see the unbelievable. The second plane played out over my car radio. God shook my land and I prayed for wisdom. Like most teachers across the nation, all lesson plans became inconsequential. Almost 15 years prior to 2001, my 6th grade class and I watched Challenger blow up on live TV. Lesson plans on grammar and reading can wait when the land is shaken and its people humbled.
“In His love and mercy He redeemed them;”
By the time, I arrived, the school was silent. The principal’s office was img324fielding parental calls, but gave the okay to turn on the TV. I went to my room and began taking notes on the giant post-its that hung on the wall. The kids filed in silently,pulled out their own notes, and we began to talk and write softly. We established time-lines as best we could. We watched in horror and sorrow. Some wept. Some stoically held the hands of those closest to them. Then we began to write. Some wrote poetry. Some newstories. Some drew pictures. Some wrote editorials. We had a newspaper to produce.
With the help of the school counselor, we added (what are now) iconic colored pictures of that day. It was the only time our small student img325newspaper ever used color. This issue was too important to charge money for it. The students chose to give it away (we usually charged a quarter), but we took donations to send to NYC. The editors walked through the seats, laying a precious newspaper on every seat so that parents coule read what their children had observed and thought about the tragedy. A usually boistrous gym was silent as the students and parents silently filtered in that old gym. The choir teacher led the choir in songs of sadness and patriotic songs that we all sang. For a short time, the flags flew high. The people mourned. The land humbled itself and prayed. And for that brief moment, we were truly – “one country under God – indivisible…”
“He lifted them up and carried them
all the days of old.” — Isaiah 63:9
Today, I pulled out a 14 year old shirt and prayed for our country.1392058_656269047740859_1552776889_n