Please pray for my family.

For starters, my Dad most likely has (though we don't have the final test results) prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. This isn't really a big surprise; he's had high PSA levels for 20+ years, and they've been watching for cancer. Still it isn't easy to finally face it. Dad & I have a wonderful relationship, so I'm really at peace with this. However, my siblings don't. Dad is bipolar and himself a victim of childhood abuse, and as the saying goes, "Hurt people hurt people." And he hurt my family very badly. He's a very different person now than he was back then, but that doesn't mean my siblings have reached a place in their own healing where they are willing to see Dad objectively, or even forgive him.

One sister, who was the last person I expected to do this, asked me to give Dad her e-mail address. She told me she'd rather risk more pain & opening old wounds than to not have some form of closure. She's so brave! Please pray that my other siblings will do the same, and that they will seek the healing Jesus offers. (At least one brother is possibly not a Christian, though I know he believes there is a God.)

Also pray for my sister & her twins. Nate & Megan are 9 years old now, and Thurs. evening Nate revealed that at school he'd tried to kill himself. He said he'd wrapped his jacket around his neck & pulled as hard as he could. (I'm kinda surprised no one at the school noticed.) So while they were in the ER getting Nate evaluated, Megan noticed the pain scale on the wall & said, "Mom, I'm about a 6." My sister asked her what hurt, and Megan said, "Nothing hurts; it's just that I'm that sad. And I'm about a 3 on wanting to kill myself. I want to chop my head off." So both children have been admitted to a psych unit. I talked to them Thurs. night briefly, and also to Megan yesterday. Their mom suffers from bipolar and pretty severe PTSD, so it's not a big surprise that the twins are also deeply wounded. Please pray the cycle of wounding will stop!!! Please pray for the twins' healing. I ache for them sometimes...

Thank you so much for your prayers.
  • Current Mood
    at peace in Christ

ecumenical prayer service

Hi, folks! I'm going ot be at a science fiction convention this weekend. It'll run through Sunday, and it occurs to me that it would be a good opportunity to put together a little prayer service at the con. I feel funny when a Sunday goes by without worship, and there will probably other Christians there who will feel that way too, and it's an audience that needs our witness.

My Google-fu is failing me, though. I've been websearching around for a good, basic, informal, ecumenical service to use - one that isn't centered on any specific theme - and haven't really found a good one yet.

so, can you folks help out? Does anyone know a good place to look for services like that?

Thanks and God bless!

Several friends needing prayer...

First, one friend I've known for several years, but since he moved away (and now we've moved away) I only have online contact. I'm concerned about him; he'd dropped out of sight, and when I finally contacted him, he said he was hiding from the world. Then he sent me the lyrics to "Paint It Black," which is a very depressing song. Seems to me that someone close to him has died, but I can't get him to talk to me. I don't even have his phone number anymore, so I can't call him. I've been praying heavily for him, and I'd appreciate your prayers as well.

Also, a couple in our Life Group shared with us last night that they had a miscarriage of their first pregnancy. They'd been trying for about a year (they've been married just over a year), and had finally gotten pregnant, only to lose the baby even before the first OB visit. They're able to praise God even through their grief, and we prayed over them and spent more than an hour worshiping God in song, comforting them, and writing notes for them. God pointed me to several Scriptures to give them, and several other people also gave them Scriptures. They were able to smile through their tears, so I know God is strengthening them. Still, please pray for Kevin and Michelle through this very difficult time in their lives.

Continue to pray for my friends Hayden & Amanda, who also recently miscarried. I know it will take a while for the pain to ease.

Thanks so much for joining me in prayer.
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    sad sad

Please pray for my friend...

Most of you know that I'm four months pregnant. A friend of mine from our previous home had just found out she was unexpectedly pregnant (her husband is in med school, and this was not what they'd planned) while we were planning our move and packing.

Anyway, I just got word today that she miscarried. Please pray for Hayden & Amanda; this is a really tough trial, but their faith is strong. Pray for God to comfort them, and for them to be able to praise Him even through this storm. Thanks.
  • Current Music
    Carman - His Mercy Endures Forever

God's talkin'.

We visited another Church last Sun., and immediately felt at home. They're a lot like our previous Church, with a heavy focus on evangelism, missions and Church planting. When we walked in, we were a little early for the 2nd service, so we were directed to a seat in the foyer, an open airy space where several large groups of kids were finishing up art projects. Just among the kids I saw about 4 different ethnicities represented, so it's obvious that this Church discourages racism.

While we were sitting there, another couple - older than us - approached and asked if we were visiting. We got into a conversation, and they invited us to sit with them! I've never had that happen before, and it really warmed my heart. Turns out Tracy & Sandy lead a Life Group in their home, but it's too far away for us to go to, since they're on the far south side of town, and we're on the north side. But I look forward to seeing them again this Sun.

During the meet & greet time, we met several other couples, and they were all interested in our newness in town, and what brought us here. I mean, this wasn't, "Hi, welcome to our Church, what's your name?" and then on to the next person. This was several 2-minute conversations! These people didn't want to just be polite; they wanted to get to know us. I've never felt so welcomed!

After the service (and an amazing sermon on comparison by the youth pastor), one of the couples we'd met invited us to lunch. So we said our farewell to the couple we'd sat with, and met the other at a restaurant. Donald & Charity have three children, but she's about my age, and he's a little older. We really felt comfortable with them, though Dave just doesn't connect with people as quickly as I do. Anyway, we traded phone numbers, and I called her the other day. We chatted until her doorbell rang. I'm thinking of calling her again; I'd love to be friends with her.

Sun. evening we visited a Life Group recommended by Donald & Charity (since theirs is also too far away). It was good; we discussed the sermon with some good questions from the group leader, then broke into small groups to confess and pray for each other. That was really neat.

Mon. evening we visited another group. Turns out they have a book they've been going through, but they discussed Sunday's sermon instead! Dave commented, "I think God's trying to get my attention." We liked both groups, but plan to visit some more before we decide.

It gets better. I've been reading Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. In one chapter, he talks briefly about how as Christians we are all members of the same body, and we need each other. Therefore we should be careful of how we treat each other, since we each have unique gifts. Well, in the sermon on comparison, this was also mentioned, because people sometimes feel inferior to another Christian and devalue their own spiritual gifts, or they feel superior to another Christian, devaluing that person's gifts.

That's four times in four days that I heard that message, and it finally sank in that God was talking to me! So I asked Him who in the body I'd been looking down on - and He immediately brought someone to mind. Ouch! This is rough. This is a person who can be difficult to get along with, and yet, partly because of my nature, I try. But in my heart, I find that I despise this person's weaknesses - and sometimes I despise this person. God's really confronting me about it, but I know I'm ready to change.

So I've started praying for this person, and praying for eyes to see this person the way God does, and to see this person's unique spiritual gifts and contributions to the body of Christ. Please pray with me for my heart to change.
  • Current Music
    East West - Arpe Noctum

Divine connection!

I have something exciting to share. Since we're moving this Sat., I started looking online for a Church to visit in Waco. I saw one only 11 min. from our new home that seems to have some similarities to our church here. For one, on their website, they have a focus on missions and evangelism. That really grabbed me! For another, their services are a little more traditional, so my husband will get to sing all the hymns again. He's been missing that!

So I decided to just call them up and talk to them. The secretary told me that their pastor is leaving, and until they find another pastor they have someone as "pulpit supply." Well, she invited me to talk to him, and I did. Turns out he's heard of our church here and our pastor, so he has some idea of our background.

I told him about the Grace ministry I was involved in, with Guest Reception and Base Camp (a one-time class where we tell people about the Church and then talk with them about where they are in their relationship with God), and how I want to get something like that started at whatever Church God puts me in. Well, he got excited, because he's been just recently thinking of starting a ministry like that! Talk about God putting two people together; this is just amazing!!!

Dave & I are going to visit on Sun., and then we'll get to sit down with him and talk more about it. I really feel God moving, though; this is big! I'm so excited! Please pray with me that I'll be sensitive to where the Holy Spirit is moving us, and that if this is not where we're supposed to be, that God will close the door firmly and make it clear. I don't want to get so excited about one possibility that I miss out on something even better!
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God just showed me something this morning through a book I've been reading, called Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge.

Genesis 1:26, 28 "26 Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'
28 God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'"

(emphasis mine on this and all following verses)

What? God wants me to rule over creation? Me?!

Matthew 25:21 (From the parable of the talents) "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'"

God's going to put me in charge of more? Me?!

Matthew 25:34 (From the parable of the sheep and the goats) "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.'"

God already has a kingdom prepared for me?! Can He really mean that?

Revelation 22:3-5 "3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever."

I am a servant of God. This applies to me. I will reign for ever and ever?! Me?!

This is just amazing! God is training me to rule a kingdom that He has already prepared for me! But this is crazy. I'm not ready to rule. I'm not fit to be a queen. Am I?

And then God tells me that He is training me - through spiritual warfare. And this makes sense. A ruler must lead in battle, so you could say I'm working my way up through the ranks of God's army.

By the way, if your Bible reads "Lord Almighty," a more correct translation (and my Bible's commentary admits this) is "Lord of Hosts." Lord of all the armies of heaven. God is still at war; the ultimate victory is His, but He still has battles to fight. And I get to join Him!

This is exciting stuff! I'm being trained to lead armies! To rule a kingdom that's waiting for me! Talk about a purpose for my life, this is incredible!
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Who I Am In Christ, part 2

I am secure.

I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:1-2 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
Romans 8:31-39 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

I am hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-4 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 1:6 "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I am a citizen of heaven.
Philippians 3:20 "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..."

I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
1 John 5:18 "We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him."
  • Current Music
    Enya - Anywhere Is

A quote...

A friend wrote and shared this with me...

Written to a friend who feels God is telling her "No" to something she
deeply desires....

One more thing my dear---
This is a treasure---what I am about to share. You know me. I have prayed my brains out for [my husband] to return to God.
Nothing happened...

Until 6 months ago when I said: "OK God, show me what I need to know. I am going to cooperate with You now."

The last six months have been the richest of my whole life.
He has showed me so much. He has taught me about faith. He has brought my fears to the surface to heal them. He is teaching me who I am. And more than that still.

It has been long and HARD and somehow an adventure I'd always hoped for. I AM MAJORLY getting a grip. And I'm sure when [my husband] does return to God, I will be the woman he is ready to wake up to. When he returns, I will already be prepared, and we will take off!! Because I won't be hindering his growth because of immaturity.

I am learning that when I pray for my husband to return to God, God isn't saying "no." But He wants me to get off my knees and take a walk with Him. He might be able to work on [my husband], but how can He if I never get off my butt? What faith does He have to work with? (I think this holds true with anything you are praying for--healing, debt freedom, whatever)

For me, I KNOW [my husband] will return at the perfect time. But it won't be because I prayed hard enough. It will be because I cooperated with Him. It will be because I showed FAITH by walking with Him.

Yup. [My husband]'s not going to wake up to a half baked wife. I will be READY/PREPARED when he gets a grip. God often puts Adam to sleep so He can form Eve.

You stand before a golden oppertunity...
I believe in you----

Print this out and read it a lot.
  • Current Music
    their TV in the other room

Who I am in Christ (part 1)

I am accepted.

I am God's child. John 1:12
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

I have been justified (legally declared 'not guilty'). Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...

I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:17
But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

I am a member of Christ's body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Ephesians 1:3-8
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Colossians 1:13-14
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

I have direct access to the throne of grace. Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
  • Current Music
    Maranatha Singers - Jesus, Mighty God