Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Scheduled Prayer Time

Busy Busy Busy, that is my life, as I am sure it is yours. I pray to God in some form every day. Sometimes they are just really fast zap prayers. If I am going through emails or Facebook and I see someone requesting prayers, I shot a quick one to God. Something divesting is reported on TV and up goes a prayer. Driving down the road and I see an accident, another short one to God.

Going through life sending God these one second prayers is a good thing. It reminds me that I have God on my side and keeps my mind focused on Him.

Romans 1:9
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.

When I am praying to God about my everyday small issues it makes me feel that I am praying with ceasing. I think this is what God was talking about in this verse. God should be with us always and on our mind.

Sometimes, I need to be formal with God. Carve out special times, shut out the world and really pour my heart out to my Heavenly Father. I don’t do these formal prayers as much as I should, but I believe that God knows my heart. That doesn’t mean I can use that as an excuse.

About three years ago my husband and I decided to pray together one night a week. I am proud of us for continuing that special time together. Every Tuesday evening at 8 pm, we turn off the TV, quite ourselves, sit together and hold hands and pray. We pray for our families, our friends, our elders, our deacons, our preacher and all the people we know that are hurting physically and emotionally. We ask God to continue to bless us, spiritually, emotionally and financially. We share with God and each other struggles that we are carrying on our hearts. Usually this takes about 15 minutes or sometimes it can take only 5 minutes. Either way, God can expect us around 8 pm on Tuesday evenings. Yes we have missed a few prayer times here and there. Things happen, life gets in the way and occasionally we just forget what day it is.

Not only has this time become special to us knowing we were going to speak with God, but it has brought my husband and I closer also. If one of us forgets, the other is the reminder. We can tell when an issue is bothering the other person, by the way they are praying, how emotional they get. Then this opens up time to share as husband and wife.

I highly recommend setting up some special time with your spouse or family to do some formal praying. You might be surprised at some of the subjects that are spoken about during these special times.

Share with me if you have special prayer times with your spouse of family.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tired of waiting?

Do you ever get tired of waiting? Our lives have become so busy and we are constantly running from one appointment to another all day long. Occasionally we have to wait and when that happens it seems to take forever. It doesn’t matter what we are waiting on, it still takes forever. Sitting in a doctor’s office is probably one of the hardest things to do. I think we have lost the art of patiently waiting, I know I have.
If I have more than a three minute wait I tend to take out my phone and start scanning emails or playing a game. If I am going somewhere that I know there will be a long wait I take a book. I see a lot of people doing the same. Of course now a day the kindle or tablet may be the item of choice. No matter what the situation is, waiting is difficult. There is an old saying “hurry up and wait”, not sure where it came from, but it is appropriate. 

 What is your attitude like when you have to wait? If I am prepared for the wait, like the doctor’s office then I’m normally content. Unexpected wait time – well, not always a good thing. I get so impatient, Mix a little bit of irritation, along with a lot of grumpy and you get a whole lot of not a happy camper.

So how do we handle these situations that no one enjoys? We look to God for answers. First I have quit praying for patients because I figure He will keep sending me tests until I get it right. So now I pray for understanding and courage. Especially if there are others around me that are evidently getting in the same mood as I am. I normally will try to diffuse the situation and bring the mood back to an even level. I try to remember that nobody is trying to create this situation on purpose. I’ll trying pointing out some options to the person next to me to show that it may not be the doctor’s fault. Maybe someone is really ill and they had to call the ambulance, or maybe one of the doctor’s in the group is out for an emergency and they are all trying to cover for the missing doctor. Either way, try and diffuse the situation. There is no good that can come from getting so upset in a situation that is beyond my control.

The longest wait we have is waiting on the Lord. Each day is another day that we can spend either being upset with a situation or embrace it and know that one day all our waiting will be over. 

Psalm 27:14 - Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

What have you been waiting for? Share some of your ideas.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Broken Promises

by Lillian Humphries

Have you ever broken a promise? Most of us have, intentionally or not we have fallen down on our word. It isn’t nice and normally guilt follows.

Of course the worst promises we can break are the promises we make to God. But today I want to focus on what a broken promise to yourself does to you.

When we make a deal with our self, a promise, we are making a commitment, putting our word on the line. I know when I make a promise to myself I mean every word of it. Down to my toes, I am gung-ho about the project. Doesn’t matter what the project is, when I say it I mean it.

  • Starting January 1st, I will read my Bible 15 minutes every day. 
  • Come Monday I am going to start my diet.
  • After the Halloween candy is gone I am going to cut out all sugars.
  • No more diet sodas for me.
  • This year I’m going to mail more cards of encouragement.
I will . . . . fill in the blanks.

Then something happens and we break our promise. Normally it is just life gets in the way. A party comes up and we go off our diet. We skip a day reading our Bible because we got up late. We run out of cards and forget to buy some the next time we are at the store. Pretty soon it has been a couple of days, then a week, then two weeks and we haven’t gotten back to our promise.
It's done, we have broken the promise.

What happens when we break these promises? We feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes they can really depress us and they carry negative emotions with them. There are enough negative messages coming at us; we don’t have to add more with our own inner voice attacking ourselves.
 When the promise is broken we need to take a positive action.
  • Apologize to yourself. Literally tell yourself you are sorry and you will try again. That is what you would do to a friend.
  • Forgive yourself. You forgive others, why not yourself.
  • Start over. It isn’t the end of the world, you stumbled, and you didn’t jump off a cliff.
 I have been promising myself and others to write a book that is on my heart. I keep going back to it and then life gets in the way. Today I am starting again, not at the beginning but right in the middle where I left off.

 What promise did you break to yourself? Share with me and let’s see how many of us can pick that project (whatever it is) back up and start again

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I am a Christian! I am an American!

by Lillian Humphries

My Christian title comes first because I carry that wherever I go. No matter where I am or what condition my life is in, this is who I am. Yes, I have many more titles that I can carry, American, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Sister, and Woman, however the most important title to me is Christian.

My Christian walk has been a long hard road at times, but God was always there to help me through those tough times. He was always there for all the good times too and I remember to thank Him for that when they happen. Isn’t it funny that we run to God when things are bad, when we have insurmountable problems that we feel we cannot handle? That is where America is today.

For years many have forsaken our Father because we were in good times. Our economy felt like it was up; we were all making more money than we ever had before. Things seemed easier ten years ago. We went out to dinner more, had more vacations that were more exquisite than we had ever taken before, and became accustomed to our five dollar cups of coffee, our cell phones that could do just about everything for us, along with getting our manicures and pedicures on a weekly basis. Yes, life was easy then.

What happened? Well it is not unlike what happened to the Romans. They partied; they spent above their means, and ate themselves to ruins. Very much like Americans are doing to themselves now. We have more danger of defeating ourselves than danger from any other enemy. I know we need to be watchful of our enemies, but we are not watching and monitoring ourselves. We have become a lazy, overweight and whining country.

But we are Americans! We have it in us to come back and rebuild before it goes too far. I see it every day in my life. People are becoming more aware of their surroundings, how they spend their time and how they spend their money. I see healthy, sensitive and caring Americans helping each other daily. We seem to have a better concept of paying it forward than we did ten years ago. More people are stepping up and helping their neighbors with whatever needs to be done. We are making better choices in exercise, eating correctly and becoming a healthy nation once again. As individuals I believe we have curbed our spending, coming back to family dinners and moral family discussions. We do have hope again!!

I beseech you Americans, turn off the TV, take a walk with your family, and discuss the world around you with your children and friends. Take on some family projects of volunteering or changing your world around you in just your neighborhood. If you try, then the next will try and the next will try and so on….. We know how it works America, we can do this.

Turn back to our Heavenly Father and trust in Him. Pray to Him daily asking for blessings and direction, He will guide us.