I am often mystified and excited when I find that others are praying for me and comfort me when I least expect it. I have a mother in my life who remembered me recently in a most unexpected way. She’s actually a dear friend’s mother, Mrs. Branch, and we saw each other at church, but didn’t have a chance to speak.
So, with her infinite wisdom, she wanted to gift me with a blessing and she sent the following poem to me in the mail with a loving note. I delight in sharing God’s message.
A Poem given to me by God’s Holy Spirit (April 1992)
I am God’s masterpiece
Perfect, whole, complete
There is no other like me
He does not himself repeat
I am God’s masterpiece
On cosmic wings I soar
Over land, air, sky and seashore
To knock at millennium’s door
I am God’s masterpiece
And I can see all souls are too
So fearful and wonderfully made are we
Thank you God for one and all
And so it is…Amen, Amen, Amen
Prayer: Father, have I thanked you today? If not, I thank you for your love and for your Word at most unexpected times and in unexpected ways. You always seem to know what I need just when I need it. I am blessed to have the Angels you’ve sent and there have been many. I thank you for the Word you bring via email, snail mail or over the phone.
I thank you for those praying Sisters who hear my cry and for the shoulder they provide. I thank you for those moments when I can drop to my knees and pray; and, in those times when I can’t that you know my heart.
I ask that you help me be a blessing to others. Enlarge my territory through your wisdom and your Word.
What a humbling experience it is when your talent (or “gift”) is discovered by someone else. I’ve heard the expression many times – using your “gift for God,” but I really didn’t know exactly what my gift was.
Writing had always been a passion. I thought I wanted to be a broadcast journalist and that was my major in college. But, I’m more than a “who, what, when, where, why and how” kind of writer I thought. Or, as Jack Webb’s character said on Dragnet, “just the facts ma’am.”
I continued to write creatively, prose and poetry and letters to friends probably boring them with details – yes, “who, what, when, where, why and how” – of my life with my daughter, my hubby, etc. But, friends humored me.
Then, during a dark period, surrounded by God’s Angels, I was directed to GospeLines. There was a glimmer of light when I received those encouraging and inspirational emails daily. Through the most difficult days, I thanked God for His Word through the Prayer Warriors, Pastor Ron, Tommy and Sherry. I’ve even developed several great friendships as a result. (Praise God for my Sisters in Christ!!!)
I couldn’t imagine that I’d be here today, sharing my testimony and admitting to the world as only the incomparable Maya Angelou could say, “I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.” So often, when I counted my few successes, it was as though I’d done it alone. I did nothing…….He supplied and continues to supply everything I need.
Just goes to show, “God’s moving in my life.”
Prayer: Father, thank you for not failing me, even though I’ve failed miserably at times. Thank you for your love, when I have not been deserving. Thank you for giving me your wisdom and counsel through your Word and through various Angels along my path.
I was listening to a sermon on the 7 deadly sins by Dr. Ed Young recently and it got me to thinking. I’m familiar with all of them; some more than others – Pride, Greed, Anger, Envy, Lust, Gluttony and Sloth. One strikes at the core of my being as I’m told I have a short fuse. Obviously, I’m talking about anger.
More than I’d like to admit, I’m frustrated. Sometimes frustration can turn to anger. I will even confess that I am angry with God sometimes when HE doesn’t move the mountain when I think HE should or in the way I think HE should. (What child isn’t angry with a parent from time-to-time?)
Being angry empowers the person to whom it’s directed. It doesn’t do much for my benefit. I can’t even say it feels good – maybe for a brief moment. I need to relinquish giving that much power to anyone other than my God.
When I put my trust in Him, HE doesn’t fail me. HE may not provide the answer I want when I want it, but it’s all for my good. Perhaps HE is teaching me a necessary lesson and no matter how often I kick, scream and protest, it’s going to be HIS way or no way. And, I am thankful for HIS direction, even when I disobey.
Prayer: As the song says --
Order my steps in Your word.
Order my tongue in Your word.
Guide my feet in Your word.
Wash my heart in Your word.
Show me how to walk in Your word.
Show me how to talk in Your word.
When I need a brand new song to sing,
show me how to let Your praises ring
"The Lord is My Shepherd;
I shall not want."
The mother of a young boy who was dying of cancer taught him the Twenty-third Psalm, having him repeat "the Lord is my shepherd" by counting these five words with his fingers starting with the thumb. His ring finger was the word "my." When he got to that word, his mother taught him to hold that finger in his fist, symbolizing the personal relationship which Jesus had for him. When the boy died, he was found holding his ring finger. He died in the Shepherd's arms. (The Communicator's Commentary, Psalms 1-71, Donald M. Williams, p. 183)
The God of David is the God of Israel, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God of all Christians everywhere. We should carefully note the word "my." He is not our God by some tribal or communal designation, but the God of the Bible is known in His personal relationship. All of us must come to the place that we can say the Lord is "my Shepherd." David's Shepherd provides rest, direction, protection and restoration. "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil," because MY Shepherd is with me.
GospeLines Prayer: Everlasting Shepherd, when I stray, correct me with your rod of discipline; when danger crosses my path, guard me with your staff of protection. Feed me when I hunger, lift me up when I fall, refresh me when I faint. And I shall abide in your presence forever and ever. Amen and amen.
The transition from high school graduate to college freshman was a mischievous journey of youthful blunders and academic laziness. In the Fall of 1962, thankfully, there wasn't a lot of trouble for an eighteen year old to get into in Brownwood, TX, especially at a Baptist College. By the time they let the freshmen on campus the first football game was history. There were rumors that some of our upper-classmen spent the night in an Abilene jail because they were caught "painting campus." The tradition was, to travel to the opposing team's campus the night before the game, paint our school's initials on everything you could, and return home without getting caught. It wasn't as malicious as it sounds - we used whitewash which could be easily removed.
A knock came on my dormitory door the night before our second game, which was against Abilene Christian College. As a part of freshman initiation, I was expected to obey my upper-classmen (within reason). "Let's go, Freshman!" they barked in mock anger. So we piled in a car and headed north. After about 45 minutes I asked where we were going. "Abilene," was the response. "Why?" I queried. "We're going to Abilene Christian College to paint campus." I had never spent the night in jail before, so I began to wonder how I would explain to my parents that on my second night away from home, at a Baptist college, I was arrested.
Our first stop was the football stadium which was surrounded by a seven foot chain-link fence with barbed wire on top. It took awhile to hurdle it but soon we were at the fifty yard line inscribing our initials with 50 pound bags of dry lime on the wet grass. About ten minutes into our work I looked across the campus where I saw the men's dormitory a hundred yards away. It was well after midnight, and there were students running out of the dormitory toward their cars. We had been caught! Instead of trying to hide we decided to make a run for it. We dropped everything and sprinted toward the fence (It didn't taken nearly as long to get over the second time). When we reached the Brownwood highway we were sure we were safe, until two cars suddenly came upon us from behind. The first one passed… IT WAS SOME OF OUR CLASSMATES. Later we learned that it was they who were running out of the dormitory where they had been painting on doors, walls, etc. etc. The second car had red lights on top and pulled us both over. The officer shined his flashlight inside and asked what we were doing. It wasn't like it was a secret anymore, we were covered with whitewash. So I spoke up and said that we had been painting campus.
What that Abilene police officer said next shocked me, but I will remember it as long as I live. He said, "Well, like my Daddy always said, if you are going to do something, do a good job, so good luck!" We made a U-turn, retrieved our whitewash and finished the job!
That night I learned about mercy, but those words also remind me that any task worth doing is worth doing right! Whether it is in relationships, work, or play, we have a responsibility to give it our very best effort. Whatever God has placed before you, He has enabled you to perform the task. Call upon His unlimited resources and invest yourself in a way that would honor your Father.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, keep me from becoming slothful in my commitments. Instill in my soul the importance of behaving as though You are the audience, when I am on the job, in my sanctuary of worship, or when I am a father and a husband. In every part of my life, give me the desire to offer the best I can give. Amen and amen.