#1 Miracle

(Interview between Lee Strobel and Wm Lane Craig, PH.D.)

“We’ve been talking a lot about miracles today,” Craig said in conclusion. “It’s no exaggeration to say knowing God personally and seeing him change lives are the greatest miracles of all.”

. . . Because of my own experience with God after years of living in the mire of immorality as an athiest, I knew he was right.” (The Case For Faith p.117)

Lee Strobel credits God with transforming (big word) his relationships, priorities, attitudes, motivations and marriage.

#MeToo

Sometimes I laugh when I catch myself trying to change someone’s behavior or values. Me? Change them? I can’t even change myself! Heart-change is a God-sized job. And He does it with wisdom, love, compassion and (sometimes) hardship.

Thank You God

lonnie

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when do You pray? why?

“Miss A. Wetherell Johnson commented that when our prayer time is at night, it’s like tuning our violin when the symphony is over.”

Anne Graham Lotz; The Daniel Prayer, p.33-34; Zondervan 2016

what do You think?

I tend to be a morning person, so morning suits me; but suppose your energy kicks in much later? I can imagine some praying for the coming day the night before; like someone who lays out clothes or packs their lunch before they go to bed.

Weigh in on this. I would love to know your thoughts.

I, typically, have my quiet time/devotions/Bible study between the quiet hours of 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. Then, I go back to bed before heading off to work. But establishing a consistent prayer time challenges me. I like to walk when I pray—which makes winters a terrible de-motivator.

What challenges do you face in having a prayer time? Have you discovered solutions that might help the rest of us?

May You See God’s Hand In Your Life Today–In Such Personal Ways That You Know It Is, Indeed, God Your Father,

lonnie

God Came Through

“It didn’t take long for Daniel, in the desperate situations he faced, to discover the power of God through prayer. Because God was all that Daniel had. Again and again he threw himself upon God with such complete faith and utter dependence that God came through for him. Powerfully. Personally. Dramatically. Repeatedly.” (Anne Graham Lotz, “The Daniel Prayer,” p.16; Zondervan 2016)

This blog truly is posted as a reminder to myself. Writing is my learning style.

Words and phrases stand out like fireworks against a dark country sky:

God was all Daniel had.

He threw himself upon God.

Utter dependence.

Powerfully ————Repeatedly.

I love God, but I hate needing Him. Rather, I hate waiting on Him. We operate in different time zones. He doesn’t see or feel the urgency that I do. Go figure, right? He’s Got This whatever this is. He has all the skill needed; all the love possible. He has the resources. Daniel found Him trustworthy. I have too.

Repeatedly.

I can——I will—–trust again.

lonnie

Angels To Take Us Home

“Hundreds of accounts record the heavenly escort of angels at death.

“When my maternal grandmother died, for instance, the room seemed to fill with heavenly light. She sat up in bed and almost laughingly said, ‘I see Jesus. He has His arms outstretched toward me. I see Ben . . .I see the angels.’

“She slumped over, absent from the body but present with the Lord.”

Billy Graham, Unto The Hills p. 212; Word Publishing 1996

Wow! I needed that!

No, I’m not facing death or close to someone who is. But, God knew I needed a sense of His closeness—-that reaching out for me.

I don’t read my devotion books everyday. But this morning I felt led/drawn to do so.

God doesn’t always call us to big or difficult things.

I obeyed.

“I’m with you, Lonnie. Let’s do this week together.”

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul (Psalm 23).”

The LORD is my Shepherd–and He loves me,

lonnie

The Bottom Line

I guess the bottom line is, “I don’t want His will. I want mine!”

I’d heard the same teaching in two or three different places —- and this morning, yet another place.

When the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, He does so according to God’s will. When I pray in the Spirit, the Spirit translates —-according to God’s will. Groaning? Yup, the same.

“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans . . . for God’s people in accordance with the will of God (Romans 8:26b-27.)”

I confess that each time I encounter that teaching, I’m disappointed. I feel like I’m praying for chocolate covered peanuts, and God is offering carrot sticks. And, in a sense, He is.

God knows what’s best for me and for the loved ones I’m praying for. It doesn’t look like it or feel like it, but God sees the big picture. He sees beyond pain, broken hearts, delays, and disability. He sees way beyond my small plans and desires. He KNOWS what lies ahead and that it requires strength—-strength that comes from working those faith muscles.

God, you know I’m not going to like this—but help me love You enough, trust You enough to desire Your will, not mine —-like Jesus.

“Abba, Father,” he said,”everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will (Mark 14:36 NIV).

Me, too, God,

lonnie

Worry

“If you start to play the soundtrack of worry today in your thought closet, push the pause button and notice that the song isn’t played in the key of truth.” Jennifer Rothschild/Me, Myself, and Lies p.27/ Lifeway Press 2008

I strongly recommend this book. It helps me replace lies with truth. Or, in Paul’s words (Romans), it helps me to renew my mind.

In one exercise, I wrote my worries on one side of the page and God’s truths/promises on the other.

I don’t pick a promise and demand God to do something. That teaching has disappointed me more times than I can count.

But, rather I store God’s Word in my heart and/or in notebooks or notecards, as capsules of hope. Then, I remain alert. God doesn’t always answer in the way or time I expect. But He does prove Himself faithful.

I’ve prayed SO long for somethings and some people . . . without the slightest hint of an answer. I asked God for much needed encouragement, listened a couple days and then sort of gave up. I knew I was praying according to His will; I just had to keep trusting. Then, as a passing comment in conversation, there it was. “Did you know that Jill, Samuel, and Becky are going to church?”

I’d prayed for them several times that God would either bring them to a saving knowledge of Him. Or, if they knew Him, that they would grow in faithfulness and fruitfulness.

Thank You, God.

lonnie

Afraid To Pray?!

I code my journals. One code is U.T. for ultra transparency. It’s not like I expect people to read my journals, but . . . there are just times I get painfully honest: nothing hidden. I opened an older journal today to a U.T. page I’d (maybe God) bookmarked. Shoot! It fits my week.

I would love to know if any of you have felt these daggers from Satan. He’s a liar you know—but he mixes truths in so that we swallow it.

Here’s my journal page/battle from August 28, 2018

My heart wants to ask for a longing heart–that loves and craves for God’s Word—-but Satan is quick to point out that many (most—all!?) prayer answers come down the path of pain.

And I hate pain!

But the father of lies does not remind me of God’s love–that God allows no more pain than is absolutely necessary. Satan continually tells me that God delights in pain—that He can’t wait for me to pray for something whose answer “requires” it. (You know, like patience, humility, love, trust) Satan would also tell me that God loves the element of surprise—oh, look! She didn’t know what she was asking for.

What does Satan accomplish with this game?

FEAR

Fear is paralyzing enough, but fear of prayer?!

My connection and intimacy with God? My weapon against Satan himself?

Note to self: Satan knows the power of prayer. You are scaring him. Keep on keeping on.

Know this: that apart from Christ I can do NOTHING.

But

With Him ALL things are possible.

When I begin freaking out, I tell God, “We can do this TOGETHER.

lonnie