Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Believe 2.2 --- Matthew 21:22

When I saw the second verse for our month of BELIEVE in my Documented Faith group, I was a little disappointed. I thought, "Great! Now everyone will think praying is like a shopping list and you'll get whatever you want."

It brought to mind a Larry Bryant song - Shopping List - along with good memories from being in a choir where he directed us with his own music! Here's the chorus:
Give me this, I want that
Bless me, Lord, I pray
Grant me what I think I need
To make it through the day
Make me wealthy, keep me healthy
Fill in what I missed
On my never-ending shopping list
I took another look at Matthew 21:22 and my attention went to the end of the verse " prayer." It doesn't say we'll get anything and everything we ask for. First of all, we have to BELIEVE! Then, what we ask for is done in prayer. So I started looking at verses that talk about what prayer means.

For instance, God answered the prayers of those who trusted Him (I Chronicles 5:20). In Acts 1:14 the believers joined together constantly in prayer. We are told to be faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12), pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), and offer our prayers in faith (James 5:15). James goes on to say, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Jesus explains in John 15:16 that He chose us to bear fruit in order to receive whatever we ask in His name.

We are also told our prayers should be without anger or disputing (I Timothy 2:8). And Peter warns husbands how to treat their wives so that nothing would hinder their prayers (I Peter 3:7).

When looking at other references to prayer, it's clear that Matthew 21:22 is NOT a license to give God our shopping lists.  If we go back to our first verse this year (Jeremiah 29:11), we know that God only wants to prosper us and not harm us, to give us hope and a future.

There's no better request than what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:10...Your will be done!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Beauty of Grace - Book Review

Sometimes - a lot of times - less is more. The Beauty of Grace is full of short stories with big impact. I've met many great writers without having to read that same number of books. Think of it as "The Best of..."

Dawn Camp has organized the book into the topics of Purpose, The Big Picture, Surrender, Trust, Lessons Learned, Hope and Encouragement, and Worship with 6-8 stories under each topic. It has a variety of writing styles from authors who are all in different stages of life with different experiences. Some of the stories seemed to be written just for me! It has introduced me to new writers while featuring some of my favorites. But more importantly, it is a reminder of God's love for me and the beauty of His grace!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Believe 2.1 --- James 1:5-6

BELIEVE is the word for February in my Documented Faith group, and the first verse is James 1:5-6...

The beginning of James gives us the formula for dealing with trials. And isn't it funny when you study it right before a life-changing trial??? I went through Beth Moore's study on James (Mercy Triumphs) just a couple of months before being diagnosed with cancer. Talk about putting it into action!!! And you know what? It IS possible to experience joy during trials!

Trials test our faith... which develops perseverance... which makes us complete... 

However, if/when we need widsom - or spiritual discernment - to find the joy in our trials, all we need to do is ask God for help. And, oh, how He helps us! He will generously give us that wisdom if we only BELIEVE that He will do what he says He will do!!!

Linked to Coffee for your Heart

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fun Times with the CT Scan

As long as I'm journaling this whole journey for the world to read, I might as well include today's CT scan adventure. So I drive 70+ miles to Tulsa, take the wrong exit, but thankfully find my way to the hospital. I finally find a parking space, get to the right floor, and find where I check in. Already I've accomplished a lot!!!

I was prepared to pay my whole deductible and 20%, but insurance shows almost half of my deductible has been met. I'm not sure how, but I'm not arguing! Then I go to the radiology waiting room, fill out papers, and wait for the yummy drink. But the drink never comes... When the guy called me back, I asked if I was supposed to drink something. He said they quit doing that about a month ago and found it saved about an hour per patient. I hate to break it to them, but it did NOT make my visit any shorter.

I get the IV needle placed in my arm and sit and wait with a nice warm blanket (the best part). They call me back to the CT room and tell me I need to take off my bra if it has an underwire. Hmmmm. That's never been an issue with all my previous scans. No biggie, except I have an IV needle sticking out of my arm with my shirt and sweater sleeves pushed up above my elbow!!! Why couldn't they mention that BEFORE the IV?

The scan started with the same ol' instructions: take a breath and hold... breathe... take a breath and hold... breathe... I lost count. Then it was time for the contrast - nasty metallic taste and a warmth that spreads across my chest and downward until it feels like I've wet my pants. Seriously! It's the weirdest thing! And now you'll be prepared when it's your turn.

Finally, it's done and a different guy unhooks me and leads me out... without giving me the opportunity to put a certain article of clothing back on... Fun times!

The humor takes away some of the "scanxiety" - so it's all good. Just making memories!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Truth 1.4 --- John 14:6

I love that the last verse for the January word of TRUTH is John 14:6. Jesus is the truth! This verse doesn't need an explanation... instead, it IS the explanation.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me..."
 John 14:6

Can you imagine the disciples' confusion before Jesus was crucified? He tells them not to worry and to trust in God. He explains He's going to His Father's house to prepare a place for them - and us who believe in Him. The disciples still didn't understand how they would know the way to where Jesus was going. That's when Jesus answered, "I AM the way..."

Jesus is the only way to the Father who is the Great I AM (Exodus 3:14), and that's a wonderful TRUTH!