To Pray or Sleep?

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Agony_in_the_Garden Jesus praying in the garden after the Last Supper, while the disciples sleep, by Andrea Mantegna c. 1460 (en.wikipedia.org)

And He came to his disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ” So you men could not keep watch with me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40 -41

(Voice of the Persecuted) Many of us have often read these scriptures. At the time when the Lord Jesus needed his three closest friends to pray for him, these disciples exhausted from sorrow and found sleeping. One can only imagine that Jesus was grieved much in his heart. At the time when Jesus was about to go to the cross and lay down his life for us—at the time when Jesus was about to carry His cross to Calvary, so that we might have…

View original post 389 more words

PRAYER TIME: I claim Jesus FIRST.

Waiting to die is not the abundant LIFE Christ has for us or died for.

There is a time in our church service when Pastor asks what our prayer needs are. And as I looked around, I see and hear what is contradictory to FAITH. It seems to me thatbeach many Christians have faith in the Pastor and Church, not so much in what Jesus did for each of us at the Cross. Has the Church given up on the basics of Faith and left it at the foot of the….pulpit?

Do we limit God? We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” 2Cor 4:8-9.

In many churches, there is too much sickness and strife, and I have to wonder if they think that prayer is a magic wand for other people and they just get the bits and pieces left over. Do they not have enough or any faith for themselves?

Where is Faith? Yes, Faith in the Cross is key, but are Christians leaving Faith there rather than living through Faith in Him because of the Cross?

Can we ever truly realize the power God gave us? Is this preached or taught in the Church? The Pulpit has to equip their flock to have this power. Then, is the Pulpit keeping this ‘secret’ to themselves or are they NOT equipped? I wonder at times if Pastors want their flock to believe only he or she has the answer.

Paul said: “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1Cor 2:3-5

Protestant Churches [Episcopal, UMC, UPC, etc] deny the power, thus the deity, of Christ and put themselves in the position to be as God to their congregation. They go AWAY from the Cross of Christ TO a worldly appreciation of abortion, gay agenda, and liberal social justices that deny God. Parishioners of theses denominations expect the ‘Pastor’ to do the work for them, using the Pastor’s magic wand.

Then, when I see our wonderful Saints in Church who are in agony and without hope, remember that healing and restoration is in the Atonement, and we simply have to have Faith:

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5-6

Get your head out of your hands, look up…and believe.

Psalm of Thanks & Praise

In the very Heart of Worship, and in a song of Praise
There is unrest and lament.
Even when Glory shines so bright that it fills the room!
There is unrest and lament.

Shine so bright, my Morning Star
That I only see your Glory!
I will sing a song to You of thanksgiving
I will dance with Your Grace!

Oh, that I can only see You
In all things, to only see You!
Precious is Your abundance,
Grace is Your Gift!

In the very Heart of Worship, and in a song of Praise
There is victory and freedom!
And when Glory shines so bright that it fills the room
There is victory and freedom!

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

The Prayer of the Sojourning Christian.

I cried, but no one heard.
I was hurt, but no one helped.
I fought alone to no avail,
I waited, but no one came.

I saw, but couldn’t remember.
I heard, but couldn’t discern.
I held out my hand, but it came back empty.
My heart hurt, and no one comforted me.

How can I love when I receive none,
Where is the delight in life?
Is it in the mirror looking back at me
Or is it in the eyes of another?

Lord! Come closer, be near me
Because my fight is harder than ever.
You are my only Joy, my Salvation
From a life of tears and remorse.

I have lost so much and gained little.
This world has spewed me out
But it won’t let me go.
Let me go, world…I am not yours.

But I look up and see my Abundance
In a face I have not yet met.
His beauty is infinite, His love is unmatched.
Just a little while longer, He says, You are not done.

I hold my hands up to Him in Praise
and seek His warmth with sweet tears.
I am yours, I say, I am yours!
Touch me today, Lord…Touch me today!

I am a stranger, a sojourner in this world.
My woes are His, but the consequences are mine.
I look to Him, I Praise His name!
Until I cross that River, I will rest in Him!

©revkatherinemarple

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]

IMAG6368 - Copy.jpg

 

The Day After Mother’s Day

You may have noticed that I did not post anything for Mother’s Day. To me, Mother’s Day is not what it is for everyone else.

20170924_143514

I have learned a long time ago not to wait by my telephone on Mother’s Day. Sometimes it rings, sometimes it doesn’t. This is why my husband and I usually take a day trip that day. We really love to get out and drive the countryside, see and hear God’s creation, give Glory to God….because sometimes, my telephone doesn’t ring.

It doesn’t ring for everyone else, either. I know too many moms who have been rejected by their adult kids. I have grown accustomed to the disrespect and hate, I can’t change them. So, I have to change ME.

As I mentioned a bunch on times during the 30 Day Parenting Prayer Challenge for our adult kids, parents have to not look back but blaze a trail FORWARD. If we are forgiven by God, then who are they to keep us in THEIR subjection? That, my friends, is being held hostage. And I won’t live like that….anymore.

There are other victims of Mother’s Day: post abortive women, women who miscarried, mom passed away, kids in foster care, adopted kids, the brokenhearted, etc. A victim stays a victim until you escape. A holiday does not identify who we are to God. We are His, we are forgiven; if our kids can’t forgive, then too bad. I can’t live in the memory they have for us for the rest of THEIR lives.

My husband honors me for Mother’s Day. He always has. He knows that this day is really about MOM, they one who gave life, the one who loves unconditionally, the one who is there when she’s not needed or wanted. I have made mistakes just like every other person in the world, but I certainly don’t need a holiday to remind me of it.

Happy Day After Mother’s Day:

v16 Thus says the Lord: “Refrain your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.

v17 There is hope in your future, says the Lord,
That your children shall come back to their own border.”
Jeremiah 31:15-17

The Valley Christian

Are you a valley Christian or a mountain Christian? Is God only God when it’s all good? That’s too bad; you’ll never know the fullness of God.

Psalm 23:4-5 says: “v4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of deathI will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. v5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”

I do believe that some of us spend more time in the valley than others because our ‘free will’ is conditioning us to continue to fail rather than learn and get the victory. God wants us to learn from our valley experiences. God does not hate us, He wants us to be victorious…but we keep getting in our own way and blame Him for our own rebellion.

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts.” Isaiah 65:2

The mountain Christian definitely believes in God only when life is going their way, which isn’t very often. Sin has a way of sitting us down a spell. The mountain Christian HATES God in the valley; they truly think that being a Christian gives them a pass. The truth is Christians are tested more after salvation than before. Is that from God? Maybe. Remember, God EITHER causes or allows bad things to happen for His Glory, not ours. He gives us every minute of every day to repent and come back to Him, but most won’t. Being so high-minded is going to get ya a nose bleed, not victory.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

God goes before us, He is there waiting for us, He will protect us.

 “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deut 31:8

The valley isn’t so bad, it’s where God is. Trust God to bring you out of the valley, His promises are sure. Pray for His guidance, not your own.

“v22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. v23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 28

Divorce is an awful thing. I can’t see how divorce really solves anything except put everyone involved into a tailspin. The events that come from divorce aren’t good, usually bad, and sometimes detrimental. A divorce can change the lives of our children forever. I am one such offender.

Children of divorce are more likely to get divorced themselves; it is one of those generational sins that get passed down to the next generation. And I believe that children of divorce lost respect and confidence in their parents which puts them in the firing line of divorce one day. We can’t be so selfish to believe divorce only affects the divorced.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

Divorce is creating a subculture of people, adult kids, that has no respect for anyone much less their parents or a spouse. They’ve been let down, their home divided and subdivided, and are placed with a parent that now has a myriad of brand new problems. They are now programmed to believe that relationships end rather than creating long lasting marriages and relationships with the children they will have one day.

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.” 1Corinthians 7:10

Remember, I am one such offender. But you can heal from divorce. I am one such person who healed because I realized that because of sin I was doomed to fail without God….and I was without God. And one day a man who was chosen by God for me finally found ME.

Then, the answer is to wait for your God chosen mate rather than usurping God’s authority to be God. I cannot say that often enough or loud enough for our kids. Life is hard enough…but having your God chosen mate makes it so much better.

v4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. v5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:4-5

Pray that adult kids learn from our stupid mistakes rather than emulate them. Our mistakes creates their ‘out’ to sin.

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 27

Is life really that hard or are these adult kids just not getting their way? Has society really slipped so far that they are quite comfortable that everyone sees their pajamas at the mall? Do they hate society so much that they won’t [not can’t] shower and wash their hair once in a while? How has life and parents become so inconsequential until they need something from us? Isn’t it always everyone else’s fault?

It should be apparent that I’m picking on ALL adult kids, not just ours. When I was in secular work, I processed credit applications for vehicle loans. It is shocking how much bad credit these adult kids have, tens of thousands in arrears. Most of them do not pay their cellular phone bills much less other incurred debt. They looked at us in amazement that they could not be approved for a 30K automobile loan. To be fair, I do understand that life can happen and mess up a credit score, but that is not as likely as it should have been. Instead we have heard them say that since they were fired they didn’t have to pay the debt they owed.

We are in the land of ENTITLEMENT. And like it or not, a lot of it started in their own childhood, my kids included. Having never been entitled to anything as a kid or teenager, I thought I was doing a great thing by doing more for my kids. You see, my dad thought that if I wasn’t cleaning the house somewhere all the time that I was being lazy; ‘outside’ was a luxury. So, by doing more for my kids, I mean being a stay-at-home-mom, cleaned after them, cooked and baked all the time so that their time would be free to have friends and participate in sports or activities…all the the things I couldn’t do as a kid.

Balance. While I thought I was more balanced, I was really enabling them to have more free time to do bad things rather than being engaged with school and it’s activities to keep their free time not so free. I sure wish I knew where the ‘middle’ was then. I see now that not being a Christian when my kids were little set them up to be ‘free thinkers’ who depends on everyone else rather than themselves. The economy of God tells us so much, mostly from the book of Proverbs, of how to live, not be in debt, to be better wives/husbands, live within the community, to be a hard worker, and to love God.

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

v2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
v3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
v4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
v5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
v6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
v7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

Pray for this generation, all of these adult kids need our constant prayer and love. They need to learn how to be adults rather than grown up kids. I pray so much for them to come to Jesus…we are nothing without Him!

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 24

When dealing with our adult kids, we also deal with their adult spouses….or ex-spouses. Everyone takes a corner in the ring, waits for the bell and it’s been 12 rounds ever since….with every one of them. I lamented in an earlier Prayer Challenge that our grandkids hardly ever see us…but how can they when everyone wants to go to court, sue, take custody, get money, etc. ALL THE TIME. These so-called adult kids are teaching our grandkids how to work the court system rather than play sports or go to camp.

Then, rather than just being a kid, they are taught hate and how to lie. They hear one side bad mouth the other side…on both sides. No child should have to know such information about their parents and family. I distinctly remember my grandmother saying bad things about my dad and I told him what she said. He flipped out, and rightly so. Now, let me explain one thing: She may have been right. But it was not her place to talk over me, at nine years old, to other adults about my ‘lousy’ dad.

We put way too much on our kids when we speak of things that have nothing to do with them. We put the responsibility of knowing such things on tiny shoulders that grow up too fast. They try to understand, they ask questions, and before you know it they are acting out. They consider themselves adults rather than kids.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Even in Christian households we are training up our kids to be lousy adults by keeping them in the loop about things that are none of their business. Christians expect Sunday School to teach their kids about God rather than themselves. Christians aren’t teaching how to be Godly but how to circumvent the system God created.

We have to be the stewards that God made us so that the next generation will have a better chance at making better choices at life.

Pray for the children and their parents; the anger is so great that they don’t see who is in the line of fire. Pray for God’s guidance rather than hoping for the best.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 20

First, Happy Resurrection Day! And if you woke up this morning, PRAISE GOD! If every day we took joy in just being able to open our eyes another day, imagine how much happier we would be!

Three of our adult kids are living with friends or a parent, they don’t have a home of their own. And they have children, too. Every day they do their best to do more, to have their own piece of earth, to make their own home with their kids. Everyone wants the ‘American Dream’ but I wish they wanted what Jesus Christ provided – an Eternal home rather than a dream. We celebrate the sacrifice Christ made for us. We don’t need a picket fence for that.

I know how my boys feel; they want to be real men that have their own homes. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head“, [Matthew 8:20]. JESUS HAD NOWHERE TO LAY HIS HEAD. Even His tomb was borrowed:

“v57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. v58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. v59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, v60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.” Matthew 27:57-60

There is so much hopelessness in the world; everyone picking away at life. Christ died a horrible death for all of us, you would think that when they wake up every morning they would rejoice knowing the debt was paid! But they despair. All. The. Time.

Jesus said, It is finished!” And it is. Our debt is paid. All we have to do is believe.

Pray that our adult kids will appreciate what has been provided and that they will see the light of Salvation rather than darkness. And take time to thank God for the gift of Jesus!