A 21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 6

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

Today I am having some trouble quieting my soul.

The words to the third verse of “Just As I Am” keep coming to mind:

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. – Just As I Am, William Bradbury

The world is not falling apart around me. I am not in crisis but I am beset by a plethora of things to do that keep calling me away from the place of quiet prayer. It seems I just get settled in and whamo! Something else comes up to pull me away from the secret place.

I’m beginning to think God’s as much in these distractions as HE is in the devotion. Somehow I am being challenged to walk in contentment and peace even in the place of constant disturbance.

Today’s quotes:

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” 
― Dale Carnegie,

 

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” 
― Martha Washington

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So here I am Jesus. Praying in bits and pieces today…fits and starts. Just as I am I come and if you want something different Lord then form it in me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 5

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ― C.S. Lewis

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
― C.S. Lewis

Well here are the questions I have asked so far on this Spiritual journey:

1.What is your Jericho? What walls do you need the Lord to knock down?  I made a long list of Jerichos in my life…things I needed God’s help with. I drew them into a thought web and put it on my office wall and have been praying over it every day.

Testimony: One of those items involved a phone call I was dreading having to make. It meant giving a friend some bad news as part of a larger work. I prayed into it for two days and made the phone call last night. Praise God He went before me as I asked and met the need and turned the bad news into OK news! I’ll take it!

2.What has to happen for you to face your Jerichos…your life circumstances with greater boldness? I still don’t know the answer to this question. I think maybe a deeper faith has to be birthed in me and an understanding of this quote in my life

The question is not am I qualified but am I called- Pastor Brad Hackett

The question is not am I qualified but am I called- Pastor Brad Hackett

 

3. What will your dreams cost? Are you ready to pay the price?  I started answering this in yesterday’s post. I think a  big portion of this spiritual journey is going to be about overcoming my fear of man and my fear of failure in the eyes of man.

4. What do you have to say “no” to today in order to say “yes” to God?

I started this list during our all day of prayer. I have three items on it and I know God is going to have me look deeper into this.

Who in your life is your “Sanballat and Tobiah”. Who intimidates you? What can you do about it?  This item definitely needs more prayer I think and action plan is in the making

Here are some quotes from service today:

“Don’t let your budget determine your dream” Pastor Brad Hackett

“To often we say ‘What if God doesn’t?’  but what if He does?” Pastor Brad Hackett

“If we seek answers we may never find them but if we seek God the answers will find us.” Pastor Brad Hackett

“Sometimes the problem is we are not willing to let God perplex us.”

Which of these quotes speaks most to you?

21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 4

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. - C. S. Lewis

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
– C. S. Lewis

I asked yesterday what your dream was going to cost.  I realize that one of the costs for me is accepting the displeasure of some people because I cannot do what they want me to do.

I don’t like to say “NO” and when people suggest that I might be going in the wrong direction because it doesn’t fit their agenda I generally take them seriously.

This hit home when someone close to me began discouraging me about the things I am fasting this month even though I wasn’t complaining.

I took it to the Lord and He said “Sanballat and Tobiah”.

“Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me.” Neh. 6:14

As the church walks into the future…the dreams God has planned for us we are going to have many who rise up to discourage us.  We are going to face many who will try to distract us from the “good work God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10. They will want us to follow their lead rather than God’s. We will have to say “No” to them.

Today I am making a list of all the things I am going to have to say “NO” to in order to say “YES” to the dream God has given me.

What do you have to say “no” to today in order to say “yes” to God?

Who in your life is your “Sanballat and Tobiah”. Who intimidates you? What can you do about it?

Quote of the Day:  The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes. Tony Blair

21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 3

One of our leadership training specialists sent this out to a bunch of us the other day.

Dear Jay,

What dream have you long since given up on?
  Take some time today to look back on the dreams you have had and what stopped you from pursuing those dreams.  Take 1 step this week towards fulfilling those dreams.
Out of this question I have made a thought web of dreams and goals. In prayer I am realizing I haven’t given up on my dreams. I am just afraid to pay the price and wind up failing anyway.
So today I am taking authority over my fear of failure and am casting my cares on the Lord.
I am asking Jesus to help me to count the cost for my dreams and  to pay it.
What will your dreams cost? Are you ready to pay the price?

A 21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 2

The Christ, By Thomas Eakins

The Christ, By Thomas Eakins

What is your Jericho? What walls do you need God to knock down?

That question has been raging in my head all day. I awoke at 1 A.M. out of a sound sleep with it pounding in my brain; That is  not because I am having trouble finding a Jericho for God to knock down. Maybe a better question would be,  What’s not a Jericho?  

And there it is. As I meditated on the question in this morning’s devotion I suddenly realized I was viewing all my situations as Jerichos. I was viewing all my situations as overwhelming, not because they were but because I viewed them that way.

I need God to transform my mind in this area. The tapes that play over and over in my head are “You are too busy.” “This is too hard.” “You need to hurry up and finish!” “You can’t do this!”

Instead I should be hearing my quote of the day:

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ,  who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:12, 13

This morning in prayer I was led to pray for our national budget deficit and for our congress to be able to come to an agreement about the spending cuts and the tax hikes that are a certain part of our future. I do not look forward to these cuts or these hikes but there is no benefit in holding back the inevitable. We can never heal if we keep refusing to operate on the cancer because we’re afraid the surgery will be too painful.

I was also led to pray for Holy Ghost fire in our local pulpits and pastors.

These are the days when we will all be called to rise up not in fear but in faith.

What has to happen for you to face your Jerichos…your life circumstances with greater boldness?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 6

We have been talking about God’s story and our part in it… If you have missed the discussions they can be found here:

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For some reason God has ordained that we should play an essential role in His story…the story that He is writing. He has gone to every length to include us in the story even after we had excluded ourselves from it by sin. You see, the main theme of God’s story is love reaching out personally and individually to you and to me. 

Further, it is not just mankind that it is important it is every man. God has created you personally for relationship with him. You play an important part in the story of God andin the story of planet Earth. God has put you on the Earth for exactly this time and HE has put the gifts inside you that you need to accomplish your part of the adventure.

The Road To the Future by JE Lillie

The Road To the Future by JE Lillie

St. Augustine said “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” 

Do you see yourself as part of God’s adventure?What part do you play in it?

Quotes Pt. 29

“Sometimes it takes falling apart to see exactly how or what loosened the mortar. Sometimes we find we are responsible for the how & the what. As unpleasant as it is when it happens, one cannot help but appreciate these times for what you learn serves as a beacon. Of course this is only half the battle. Which means you're already half way there.” ― Colleen Truscott Fry

“Sometimes it takes falling apart to see exactly how or what loosened the mortar. Sometimes we find we are responsible for the how & the what. As unpleasant as it is when it happens, one cannot help but appreciate these times for what you learn serves as a beacon. Of course this is only half the battle. Which means you’re already half way there.”
― Colleen Truscott Fry

I’ve been thinking a lot about roads I’ve walked down. The “How’d I get heres?” and “What if I had chosen differentlies?” have been many. Maybe it’s the turn of the New Year. The season calls us naturally to reflection…reevaluation.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. The roots of those errors go back years and I feel like I’m just getting a grip on how the actions of the young J have effected this old J. In the midst of it all I am being swallowed alive by this grace that will not let me go.  I don’t understand how, yet I know that Jesus has all well in hand. He is using the life of this poor sinner made saint for His glory. In the midst of the reducing I have walked through Jesus has made me all His. My failures and faults He has absorbed into His mercy. He has made my mess a message!

Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence. The result of the law of my God is perfect. It condemns but forgives. It restores - more than abundantly - what it takes away.    Author: Jim Elliot

Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence. The result of the law of my God is perfect. It condemns but forgives. It restores – more than abundantly – what it takes away.
Author: Jim Elliot

 

If he did it for me, HE will most assuredly do it for you!

Never give up. No matter what has been lost God can restore!

Happy 2013!!!! Quotes Pt. 28

The new year has begun! We’ve rung it in! Now let’s determine to live it for the One who made it! Here to begin us on the journey are some great quotes.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. - C. S. Lewis

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
– C. S. Lewis

The starting point of all achievement is desire. - Napoleon Hill

The starting point of all achievement is desire.
– Napoleon Hill

The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Another Sunrise, Another New Beginning - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Another Sunrise, Another New Beginning
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. - Eddie Rickenbacker

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.
– Eddie Rickenbacker

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Tada!!!

Tada!!!

 

“Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes. It’s unbridled, its unplanned, it’s full of suprises.”
― Erma Bombeck

Help me I'm 21photo be MJ Lillie

Help me I’m 21
photo be MJ Lillie

“Would you like to know your future?

If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.

So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence — a surprise.”
― Vera NazarianThe Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Surprise smooch

Surprise smooch

 

“There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved.”
― Charles Morgan