Things just aren’t coming together the way you’d planned

Bravo. Bravo.

This was the road you felt sure God led you to take. You’re no day-tripper with God. You’ve signed on for life. The eternal kind.

And you’re not one to go off-roading. No. You take the directions seriously. You keep your eyes on those Jesus tracks in the sand. You pray. You obey. The best you can for someone relying on grace. You avoid the shadowlands and live in the light – even when it reveals your failings.

Maybe that’s what’s getting to you. The glare.

[…]

via Things just aren’t coming together the way you’d planned

I prayed… The Father answered

While I do believe that persistent prayer has a strong basis in Scripture, this little poem is a wonderful reminder of the attitude we’re supposed to take into prayer. Not anxiety. Not impatience. Not demandingness. Instead, faith in the goodness of his character.

Love, Me

I prayed so hard and worried so

My heart was heavy and my spirit low

I tried not to let my impatience show

And the Father answered and He said, “No”

I prayed so long and pleaded late

I worked myself into state

I asked for an answer plain and straight

And the Father answered and He said, “wait”

I prayed in faith, my sins I confessed

I asked the Lord my life to bless

I did not plead and did not press

And the Father answered and He said, “yes”

So day by day your prayers and mine

Like incense rise to the throne divine

And we don’t feel quakes or see blazing signs

But the Father answers every time

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God Hears – Do I ?

A short but profound read.

BJ Rutledge

I love the Lord,for he heard my voice;  he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.  Psalm 116:1-2 NIV

I read Psalm 116 this morning and the first two verses really caught my attention.  I know God hears when I call to Him; when I pray.  The Psalmist also praises God because He is compassionate, gracious, righteous; He saves, satisfies and is our source of security.

I know all those things and have experienced them, and I’m so grateful that God “turns his ear to me” and hears my voice and my cry for help.  I’m grateful He bends down (like a father would with a child) to give me His full attention when I call to Him.

What I desire is that I learn to more consistently “turn my ear” to Him…

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Praying St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I wasn’t planning a reblog today, but I forgot I did this post a year ago. So…enjoy!

Brandon J. Adams

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Religious holidays tend to get so buried by superficialities that we forget their meaning. We have to fight for the meaning of Christmas. But there is a rich history and tradition behind almost every holiday, one which can breathe new life into our reach towards God.

Take March 17, or St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not about luck, beer, the color green, or mischievous small legendary para-humans.

You know the handful of pioneering saints who carried the name of Jesus on such vast scale that we sit envious in church hearing about them? St. Patrick was one of them. Enslaved for six years by Irish pirates, Patrick returned years later to Ireland as a missionary. Through him, God transmitted his gospel throughout that island nation, making Patrick one of the pivotal figures in the Christianity’s spread to Europe.

There is a prayer that’s attributed to this fifth-century saint. Though this prayer is often recited by those who follow the…

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Envy is a Filthy Liar

Last fall, a blogging mentor of mine welcomed me to guest-post on her blog. I had the perfect story to tell, thanks to a timely lunch with a high school friend I hadn’t seen in fifteen years. Ever had one of those revealing conversations that completely reshapes your viewpoint on your past? This was one of those, one that exposed some deep lies about my self-worth. The piece actually got picked up by an online Christian publication!

Enjoy.

http://www.christyfitzwater.com/self-worth/story-envy-filthy-liar/

The Most Radical Thing Any Christian Can Do

divingRadical, radical, radical.

Everything is about being a radical follower of Jesus.

How to say this…have you noticed everything is kind of polarized lately?

When it comes to politics (this post is not about politics, it’s just an example, don’t click that back button), I feel like the guy trying to keep the Hatfields and McCoys apart. On one side, millennial friends who are left-wing Christians (you didn’t misread that); on the other, conservatives like myself. Their debates are.I’m trying to maintain a balance for myself; there’s usually a kernel of truth in most viewpoints.

Of course, the pickle of being in the middle is that it leaves you saying opposite things to each side in order to bring them closer. It feels…weird. Like I’m contradicting myself.

But I’m not, because not everyone needs to hear the same thing.

Getting off politics, I recently stumbled across a blog post pushing back against Christian author Francis Chan for criticizing believers who homeschool or private school. I don’t know if Chan meant to suggest a blanket ban, but this writer thought he did, and boom…another debate. Is homeschooling radical?

I’m not here to answer that, either. Truth is, it depends on who you ask.

And that’s the problem. Everyone’s saying “radical Christianity”; nobody’s given us a foolproof formula for what it looks like.

God has, though.

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A Thank-You To My Pastor of 18 Years

I was a squirrelly 15-year-old, so I don’t remember what started the conversation. But I do remember the first piece of doctrine I learned from my senior pastor.

Interestingly, Daniel’s lesson to me that day was one he’s teaching this very month: from Matthew 5, about outer realities versus inner. It isn’t enough, he taught me, to technically adhere to the law while still longing to break it. Jesus “raised the stakes”, he said to me; he taught that inner darkness is the real sin, and inner righteousness is the real treasure. A crucial lesson, and a very “Daniel” one.

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