“P” is for…

Prayer

I created a new page on my blog for those wishing to participate, to write prayer requests, for me and anyone who reads the page.  If you want to request prayer for someone you know who’s going through a difficult time, emotionally or physically, or would like to request prayer for yourself, it’s an open place to ask.

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:20 (NASB)

Nothing is too small or insignificant to ask for prayer.  Whether there is someone in your family who is ill or experiencing a time of grief, if you are feeling in need of strength or serenity, or simply in need of inspiration for your next book/article/essay…

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:24 (NASB)

It’s my belief that unanswered prayers aren’t the same as unheard prayers. I believe God hears all, but chooses to answer according to the complete picture that only He can see, and according to what’s in our best interest. I’m extremely grateful He didn’t answer all my prayers the way I wanted Him to.  Yikes! I wouldn’t be in a very good place right now.

If you choose to participate, feel free to leave your name by your prayer request, or not. It’s completely up to you. All prayer requests will remain on the page so those who listed requests can re-visit from time to time as a reminder of how their prayers were answered.

Peace.

An Opportunity to Pray

Prayer
Last Saturday I worked an event for Compassion International in a for a movie showing of Son of God. My duties were to show up an hour early to set up the display and hand out information cards to all movie goers as they entered the theater and then display child sponsorship cards as they exited. During the movie, I was able to sit and watch with the rest of them, and it was the best portrayal of the story of Jesus I believe I’ve ever seen. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

But I digress…

As I was handing out the cards before the movie, one man looked at it and asked, “What is this?” After I gave him a very brief explanation, he handed the card back and said, “I can’t even afford my own kids. Thank God for the complimentary tickets.” Initially I was taken aback, but it quickly turned to compassion for this man. Thank God, indeed. His statement demonstrated such humility. And, yes, thank God he received a complimentary ticket so he would be able to share the story of Jesus with his children.

I had an opportunity to pray for that man, and for the others as they accepted the card I handed each of them. I prayed that God would speak to each individual heart in that theater as only He knows what each needs most.

I had another man tell me the people coming in behind him were atheist. My answer? “Wonderful!” with a broad smile. “Welcome!” And another prayer sent up to a loving Father who welcomes all.

After the movie, as I was displaying child sponsorship packets, I had an opportunity to speak with others who already sponsor a child. One woman told me of her trip to Tanzania to visit her sponsored child. As she spoke of the poverty, a level she admitted she was nowhere near able to comprehend or prepare for, her eyes lit up as she told me what a life-changing experience it was.

As I drove the 45-minute drive home, I had time to consider the opportunities that were given to me that evening to pray. As if I need an opportunity at all.

And it struck me that as I was praying for God to speak to each heart in that theater, he didn’t miss mine. He spoke to me in a way He knew I would hear.

He blessed me as I reached out to bless others.

He showed me that there are so many areas to serve, and no one way is the right way. As many people as there are, there are at least as many ways to serve.

The man who admitted he couldn’t afford his own children? He served by blessing me with gratitude for what I have. He reminded me to be grateful for what I have rather than want what I don’t.

The atheist? He served by giving me a chance to love without discriminating. To accept and not judge. And to be welcoming rather than drive him away. The fact that he was coming to see the movie Son of God? Beautiful.

The woman who spoke to me of her life-changing experience in Tanzania? She served by moving forward, if only an inch, the recent plea of one of my sponsor children of when I will come visit her. My sweet Mamounata in Burkina Faso. And that inch is one inch closer to making a child’s dream come true.

photo (63)

Peace.

Bucket List

bucket list

It’s never too late to start. Anything. And everything.

Start to achieve dreams.

Start to really live.

Start to love more.

Start to let go and forgive.

And to start that bucket list that has up until now only been a passing thought. Maybe passing through a few times.

I’ve thought about what my bucket list might include–if I had started one. However, if it wasn’t in writing it was simply that, a passing thought. And passing thoughts typically don’t result in action.

So I’m starting a bucket list, and when something to add passes through my mind, that, too, will be written on the list. Something concrete is more likely to be achieved than something floating aimlessly around one’s mind.

My Bucket List includes:
1.)   Travel to Scotland and Ireland

2.)   Learn how to play the piano

3.)   Become friends with ten people from different countries

4.)   Publish a novel, self-publish and traditional

5.)   Perform a random act of kindness every day for a month

6.)   Ride in a hot air balloon

7.)   Ride on a train (preferably not hobo style)

8.)   Pray for a stranger every day for a month

9.)   Take part in a silence retreat

10.) Travel to Ireland

11.)  Learn to flyfish

12.) Go deep-sea fishing

13.) Visit my Compassion sponsored kids in Africa

14.) Make a conscious effort to live life to the fullest–every day.

I would love to read what would be on the bucket list of those reading this.

Peace.

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

So I’ve decided to add a new weekly gratitude post on Fridays, naming the top three things I’m incredibly grateful for from the week. There are so many things to be grateful for, but the top three are what I plan to mention.  I would love for anyone who reads this to add your top three as well. Let’s get the gratitude meter skyrocketing. 🙂

I’m grateful for:

1. The all around freedom we have in our country and for the men and women who have, and continue to, fight for us that we are able to keep that freedom.

2. My 21-year-old son meeting me at home for lunch, sitting at the kitchen table with me while we eat, talking to me so openly and so filled with joy and enthusiasm, revealing what’s in that beautiful 21-year-old mind.

3. The joy and freedom I feel while running outside in the sunshine on a beautiful, warm day. My mind is the most creative then and I can come up with so many ideas for stories, or simply pray.

Wishing you a Beautiful Weekend.

photo (2)