Posts Tagged ‘religion’

 MM900254494[1]We got our miracle this past week when my granddaughter’s test results were negative for cancer. It wasn’t what the doctors expected and I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t what I expected.

I’m ashamed that I was prepared for the worst instead of claiming the best. A legion of prayer warriors was beseeching God on our behalf. I myself  spent hours and hours in fervent prayer.

And – we prayed specifically for a miracle. But when it came – my reaction was disappointing. I didn’t immediately jump for joy. Instead, I wondered how that could be. If four biopsies came back abnormal, how could a fifth test come back negative? What if they made a mistake? What if they missed something? Should we get another opinion? Should we trust the results?

It took a few hours for me to truly believe that God had answered our prayers exactly as we’d requested. What originally was bad news had been flipped around by the Hand of God. Why was that so hard for me to grasp?

Our pastor has been preaching a series on the Lord’s prayer and just this past week I noted and underlined a statement he made.  He said, “People who pray mighty God centered prayers live a mighty God centered life.”

I’m trying to live a mighty God centered life. I believe in the power of prayer. So why is it so hard for me to accept a miracle when it happens?

I think it has to do with a world that pelts us daily with horror and violence, immorality and disappointment, bad news heaped on bad news.  Seldom do you come across an uplifting, positive piece of reporting. Each day when we turn on the TV or open the newspaper we are programmed to prepare for the worst.

If we would only open the Bible first we’d see a different story. Bad things happened in Biblical times but they were never the headline.  The headlines are always the redemption, the promises of God, the restoration, the forgiveness, the love – always the love.

Imagin the difference if we all started our day expecting the best instead of preparing for the worst.

What if we read this:   By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:79

Before we read this:  Another School Shooting

Or this:  my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 4 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 2Samuel 22:3-4

Before we read this:  Another Terrorist Attack

Or this:  The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Before we read this:  Suicides on the Rise

If we could just concentrate on the best God has for us we could put in better perspective the worst the world has for us. In order for our mighty God centered lives to be mighty and God centered, we’d best be delving into the good news that never changes. And when we pray those mighty God centered prayers, we’d best get ready for mighty God centered results.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples Psalm 77:14

I believe in miracles. I believe my family just experienced one. And I believe it is a direct result of the powerful prayers sent up to a mighty God by family, friends, my Bible study ladies, my church, my pastor, and my own desperate heart. In all humility, greatfulness and overwhelming joy I shout, “Thank You, God!”

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My granddaughter, Bethany, is a beautiful, gifted young woman who amazes me with her poise and her intelligence.  She absolutely floors me with her energy level.  She is an excellent student, maintaining a 3.9 grade level which is commendable by itself.  But Beth does it while dancing five days a week with a local studio, competing on a dance team and teaching toddler dance classes.  Recently she tried out for the high school cheer squad and was successful so now she has added weekly cheer practice to her schedule.  As if that wasn’t enough, she decided to compete in the Miss Selah Pageant to represent her home town and is preparing for this week’s pageant night. 

I was visiting her on Sunday evening and was able to help her review a list of possible questions that might be asked in the competition.  She couldn’t make up her mind what her favorite color was.  She wavered on the choice of her favorite movie.  But when asked what her favorite book was she did not hesitate.  “My favorite book is the Bible because I am a strong Christian and it gives me guidance.”

Wow!  I was impressed.  She is an avid reader and among other things just completed The Hunger Games Triology.  Still, she named the Bible as her favorite.

One of the definitions of the word favorite is “preferred above all others”.  To a fifteen year old I would guess the Bible doesn’t have the surface value romance, the excitement, the fantasy factor that most young adult books possess.  In fact,  any of us could name books we’d consider more entertaining.

If asked, what would you list as your favorite?    As a Christian, is the Bible the book you can’t put down?  As a writer, is the Bible high on your resource list? 

Oh that every author would strive to write something as timeless, as packed with life lessons, as spirit filled and as soul lifting  as God did.  If we set our goals that high and let God’s Word direct our creative thoughts we could change the world one little book, one little story, even one little blog post at a time.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

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I recently attended a worship seminar in which the speaker talked to us about our need to recognize the overwhelming truth about who God is – bigger and more amazing than our minds can possibly fathom.

Examining my own prayers makes it obvious I’m not there yet.  I tend to limit God in what I ask for and at times even try to guide him to the “right” answer.  How presumptuous of me!  This is a God who took nothing and created light and water and beauty.  He engineered the rising of the sun and the turning of the planets.  He designed the eruption of earth to form majestic mountains, the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean and the weightless soaring of a bird on wing.  Can I not trust that He knows the perfect answer as well as the perfect timing in response to my prayer?

The second thing our speaker told us was that to truly worship God I must come to grips with the brutal facts about who I am – a depraved sinner adopted by that Great amazing bigger-than-I-can-fathom God.  I have to admit that even in my most fervent, most pious, most devout moment – I don’t come anywhere close to deserving what God has done for me.

As I wrestled with these two concepts my very soul opened to another beautiful truth about my God.  It is that the tiniest, most insignificant, minute little creature that burrows beneath the rock and digs its escape deep down into the earth to hide is still not invisible to God.  His powerful eyes have no trouble spotting this microscopic speck of life.  But here’s the truly amazing thing about the eyes of God – they look on me and can’t see the truth of who I am because they are blinded by the beautiful covering of the blood of Jesus Christ!

The eyes of God look at us, the heart of God swells, the grace of God pours out, and  the love of God rushes like a  mighty river over us – drowning us in mercy and compassion, gentleness and forgiveness, kindness and goodness.

God looks at us,

                        sees Christ,

                                    and says, “What’s not to love?”

How can you not fall down and worship such a mighty God? 

Psalm 109:30  With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD;
   in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.  (NIV)

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