Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

If You Are Waiting on an Answer to Prayer, Read this Now!

Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, as in ...
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The act of praying is a mystery to me.  Sometimes prayer pours out of me as natural as breath, sometimes I struggle with it, to the point of almost giving up. Occasionally, we get answers immediately and there are times, we wait and wait and…some of us are still waiting for an answer.

Unanswered prayers are discouraging at the very least, but did you also know that unanswered prayer is an effective tool of the enemy? Think about it, how many times have you been hesitant to pray about anything while you’ve waited on an answer to a past prayer? If you’ve waited a long time, has resentment crept into your heart and are you giving God the silent treatment because you’ve not received an answer? How wonderful for the enemy if he can use an unanswered prayer to drive a wedge between us and our most effective power against him.

Please don’t allow this to happen. If you are still waiting on an answer, there’s three important things for you to know:

1. The answer could be No.

In Deuteronomy 3:26, Moses states, “But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” It’s not that I’m saying the Lord is angry with you for anything, but it could just be that the Lord has said no, and He means it. And, it may not be important for us to know the reason. Or, the reason could be revealed in the future. This is where faith and trust will be paramount for you, in that you must trust God that He is working everything out for the best and you must place your faith solidly in His hands.

2. Your sin is blocking God’s work.

In Isaiah 59, the Bible tells us, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” And, again, in Psalms 66, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.”

If we are living in continual sin and not repenting and trying to clean up our lives, God isn’t going to mess with us. He has no choice but to separate Himself from sin and if we aren’t even trying and are just coming to Him with our shopping list, He’s going to close the store. That doesn’t mean you stop praying, just start refocusing your prayers on asking God to help clean you up, instead of on what you’ve asked Him about originally.

3. It’s Not About You

It could very well be that the reason your particular prayer hasn’t been answered is because God is letting things play out for your good (plans for a better future). Or, that your faith and patience requires growth. It’s at these times that we must remember our time is not the same as God’s time. However, more importantly, we have to recognize that we are not alone in the world. The waiting may not have anything to do with you at all. We tend to relate every event or circumstance to how it affects us, but sometimes it really isn’t about us at all. Our waiting could have everything to do with someone else. The reason we could still be waiting is because there is someone else’s well-being, possibly even their soul, at stake.

We are given everything that we need to know in the Lord’s book, the Bible. We have many promises from Him, and He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us. We should try to be satisfied with this gift, and leave the mysteries unknown.

Guilty: Preachers, Teachers, Parents and You

Photo of Madalyn Murray O'Hair.

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Murray v. Curlett, 1963

Madalyn Murray O’Hair, militant left wing atheist with ties to the American Communist Party, filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore school board. Local court judge, J. Gilbert Pendergast dismissed the suit and said, “It is abundantly clear that petitioners’ real objective is to drive every concept of religion out of the public school system.” When the case went to the Maryland Court of Appeals, the court ruled, “Neither the First nor the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to stifle all rapport between religion and government.”

At the U.S. Supreme Court, Leonard Kerpelman addressed the court stating prayer in the public schools had been tolerated for so long it had become a tradition and anything unconstitutional does not become constitutional through tradition. He said the Constitution erected a “wall of separation” between church and state. Justice Potter Steward asked him where this wording was at, stumping Kerpelman. When he regained his composure, Kerpelman said the text was not explicit but it was implied to mean the same thing.

The National Council of Churches and several Jewish organizations favored Madalyn O’Hair‘s case, and not one single Christian organization filed a brief in support of school prayer. The Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of abolishing school prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. Justice Tom Clark wrote, “Religious freedom, it has long been recognized that government must be neutral and, while protecting all, must prefer none and disparage none.” The federal government considers atheism to be a religion, and the Christian majority lost.

Abington Township School District v. Schempp, 1963

In Pennsylvania, the school system, following state law, required that ten verses of scripture be read every day in the classroom. These scriptures were read without lecture or comment and any student could request to be excused. This case came to the Supreme Court the same time as Murray v. Curlett, and the court ruled on them at the same time. The court ruled School Prayer and the reading of the Bible were violations of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. Ironically, the court established a secular religion for our school system, while violating the “establishment clause” of the 1st Amendment.

Every man and woman has a right to be free. Jesus came, died and was resurrected so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. However, freedom is NOT the right to do whatever we want to do. Where were you Christian, in 1963? Did you do anything to support the cause of Jesus and prayer? “Well,” you say, “I wasn’t even born yet!” Okay, fine, what will you tell your children and your grandchildren that you did so that prayer could be resurrected in our schools and public buildings?

We have a right to do what is right to do and doing right in our own eyes, doing what we feel like doing when we feel like doing it is nothing but anarchy! The only criteria we have for knowing what is right to do is in the Bible.

Guilty: Preachers

For not telling your parishioners the truth. If you had been telling them the truth, and not so worried about losing your tax-exempt status, there would have been an uprising in this country in 1963 and every day after when our government usurped our rights.

Guilty: Teachers

For not standing in your classroom and telling the truth about what our government was doing behind our backs. For accepting the notion that the core curriculum is your God and you should not have any other gods before it. Where were you in 1963, Christian teacher?

Guilty: Parents

For not standing for the future of your children, for not sacrificing your comfort and security to protect their knowledge of the truth. You are a hypocrite of the worst kind. You preach morals with conviction without doing anything to fight for the truth in our government and in the classroom.

Guilty: Taxpayers

You are paying for it all taxpayer! You put your money in the plate at the church not standing up for Christ, you put your money in the mouths of the same teachers that are not teaching your children the truth and you put your money in the hands of the dirty bureaucrats and politicians that are selling all of your freedoms to the highest bidder while you barely show up at the polls and when you do, you vote for the lesser of two evils, instead of standing for truth.

When we turn our back on God, we turn our back on freedom. Our selfishness is our culture and it is bringing us to our knees. Maybe while we are down here, we will make time to pray and ask for forgiveness. Maybe now we will make God the leader of our lives, instead of our culture.

First Aid for Your Prayers

Jesus in Pray

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Am I the only one that sometimes has difficulty praying? Or, are you sometimes just plain dissatisfied with your prayers?

As usual the Bible has the answer and these are just some of the ones I found when I did some research.

Proverbs 21:1 says, “The Lord can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases.” I wander everywhere sometimes when I’m trying to pray and focus. This verse tells me that maybe I’m suppose to, maybe the Lord wants to direct me somewhere I need to go.

Are you guilty, like me, of praying when it’s most convenient, just in church maybe? Matthew 6:5-6 might make your conscience hurt a little. “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will see them. I tell you the truth, they already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” I don’t think this means I need to stop praying in church or that I must never pray in public, but we definitely should be wary of just praying for appearances’ sake. We should be praying daily, earnestly and sincerely. This should be a special conversation with our Father, not just a show for other people.

Mark 1:35–Early the next morning, while it was still dark, Jesus woke and left the house. He went to a lonely place, where he prayed. Jesus put God first, and we should do no less. We must give him the best parts of our day. That may not be the morning for you, but it should be a time and a place with no distractions.

Luke 5:16–…but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so he could pray. Once again, we see an example of Jesus getting away to talk to His Father. Notice that this New Century Version translation says “slipped away”. The New King James Version translation words the verse this way: “…often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Slipped away” or ‘withdrew into the wilderness” aren’t the actions of someone who is waiting until He has more time. Ugh! I’m so guilty of this.

Isaiah 6:1–In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a very high throne. His long robe filled the Temple.

I often rush into and out of prayer, not spending any time getting still and picturing my Lord as He really is, a magnificent entity, the King of kings! We might be unsatisfied in our prayers because we are not taking time to truly engage the Lord and sincerely asking Him to meet with us.

Psalms 78:1–My people, listen to my teaching; listen to what I say.

I find that I am way more satisfied in my prayers if I have read my Bible first and have let God talk to me before I’ve prayed. That’s not to say God can’t speak to us while we are praying, but I think it helps us to focus on Him and to still the cacophony that is often in our heads before settling into a conversation with the Lord.

 Isaiah 64:8–But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all.

If you are like me, you are often guilty of bringing a wish list to the Lord, telling Him what it is that He needs to do for you. Instead of focusing on what we think we need, we need to practice letting God whisper it to us; letting Him be in charge of our desires. He truly is a Father who knows best.

Luke 22:42–“Father, if you are willing, take away this cup of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.”

Oh! that I could focus on relinquishing every situation to Him! Why is prayer sometimes our last resort??! We should be giving Him all the details. He already knows us, and He wants to hear us tell Him what we are most concerned about. It is not only therapeutic for us, but believe it or not, He just loves to hear you talk! The more we talk to Him and listen, the more we are concerned about what He thinks and not what we want.

Psalms 77:11–I remember what the Lord did; I remember the miracles you did long ago.

I bet it would be amazing what we could learn if we kept a record of what God is doing in our lives! Let’s start writing our prayers, so we are able to look back and see what God has done in our lives and in the lives of those we’ve prayed for. Imagine the information we could share with others about what God has done for us and them!

Prayers for and Love to you! Have a beautiful weekend!

American Revival

prayer..

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23-24 (KJV)

The root meaning, of the word ‘confess‘ is “to say the same as.” So when we confess our sins to God, we are essentially agreeing with God about our sin. God is far from clueless about our sin, so we are just taking responsibility and letting God know that we realize we are doing something wrong.

In 1 John 1:9 of God’s word, we are told, IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV).

That’s a big IF. I don’t think it’s going ‘out on a limb’ to say that America is not very good at confessing sin. We Americans usually do everything we can to shirk responsibility. But now, more than any other time, it’s imperative that we are on our knees. We are in a position of needing God’s hand in our country, in our lives, in our leadership and in our future. If you agree that this country needs a revival and a turning of our faces to the Lord, it has to start with you.

Jesus said, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3
(KJV)

The thing to remember is that we can pray for each other, but we cannot confess for each other. No other man or woman knows your heart, just as you do not know mine. We must all be responsible individually. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do this together. We must make sure to name our sins to God. For example:

“Lord, I have not put You first in my life, I have neglected Your Word and Your sovereignty.”

We must not make excuses, God doesn’t care for the reason, He knows we are humans. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He [or she] who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (NIV).

Mercy sounds good, doesn’t it?

I propose that we write our sins down. Then, when we are finished, we can rip them up and throw it away as a tangible reminder that we have a  promise from God in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Personal revival is where American Revival begins, so let’s get started on those things we may not give much thought to at the time they are
committed:

1. Matt. 6:12-15 Do you hold a grudge against anyone? Is there someone who you have not forgiven? Do you justify your bad attitude toward another because of their actions? Are you doing unto others BEFORE they do unto you?

2. Matt. 6:33 Are your decisions based on your own wisdom and desires, rather than God’s will? Does your ambition, your pleasure, your loved ones, your money or your plans interfere with your surrender and service to God?

3. Mark 16:15 Do you care that members of your family, some of your friends and those that you may not even know yet are going to hell? Do you even think about that when you are talking to them, do you ever witness to them with your mouth that Jesus loves them and wants them to accept Him as their Savior as you have done?

4. II Timothy 2:22 Are you engaging in activities that you know are unholy? Do you allow impure thoughts about the opposite sex to stay in your mind and do you read that which is impure and suggests unholy topics?

5. John 13:35 Are you happy about the bad fortune of another? Are you guilty of any instigation and contention? Do you argue and/or engage in heated discussions? Are you an active or inactive participant in division? Are you envious of another’s good fortune?

6. Philippians 2:14 Do you ever seek to hurt people? Do you gossip? Are you carrying prejudices against others because they are of some different group than yours, or because they do not see everything as you do?

7. Acts 20:35 Are you guilty of stealing from God? Any time we withhold our time, talents or money from God that is His due, we have failed to support His Kingdom work either by service, prayer or giving?

8. Ephesians 5:20 Have you neglected to thank God for all things? Have you been guilty of doubting His Word? Do you worry and is your spiritual mood based on feelings instead of the promise of God’s Word?

9. Colossians 3:9 Do you engage in unprofitable conversation? Lying, exaggeration, cheating or stealing?

10. I Corinthians 6:19, 20 Are you careless with your body? Do you fail to care for it as the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Don’t be discouraged and start beating yourself up. That’s not what this exercise is about. I am guilty of all the above, most of us are. The  point is to be aware of it, own up to it, confess it to God. He knew we were sinners way before He sent His Son to die for us.

Let’s get it all out there and start depending on God to forgive us and to lift us up to be better stewards for Him and lights in a very dark world. We can do this and we can then ask Him to turn our whole country back toward Him. God bless you and God bless America!

Seeking: Righteous Men and Women

Are you aware that since 1979, Egypt has been the second-largest recipient, after Israel, of U.S. foreign assistance and that our country has given nearly $67 billion in economic and military aid to Egypt over the last 3 decades? Our freedom loving country, that espouses liberty and democracy all over the world, has been funding a country led by a tyrant responsible for:

  • Emergency rule for the last 30 years–restricting many basic rights, empowering the government to tap telephones, intercept mail, search without warrants, and detain suspects without charge.
  • Egypt ranking 111 out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index.
  • Attacks on opposition voters by security forces and pro-government thugs during parliamentary elections.
  • Restriction of freedom of the press. The state dominates the media and exercises influence over all privately owned publications.
  • Heavy restrictions on freedoms of assembly and association.
  • Respect for human rights being almost non-existent:
  1. Mona Thabe-police tortured her twice, after she filed a complaint regarding the alleged police torture of her husband, first on January 19 at a police station and again February 13, at her home. The alleged torture included beating, shaving her head, burning with cigarettes, and cutting. The government closed it’s investigation by the end of the year due  to lack of evidence. (State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, March 11, 2010, <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136067.htm>)
  2. Alaa Al-Gamal-On July 10 and 11, police broke into this journalist’s home, because he had written articles critical of the government. (Source: State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, March 11, 2010, <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136067.htm>)
  3. Ibrahim El Sayed Metwally-In March 2008, according to the Al Nadim Center and the Association for Human Rights Legal Aid (AHRLA), police chief of investigations Ali Kedr and officers Hossam Abdel Moneim and Mahmoud Al Deeb of the Menia Al Nasr Police Station allegedly raided his home because of a debt he owed. The officers severely beat and verbally abused Metwally’s mother and siblings. Metwally’s sister claimed the officers detained her, beat her with a stick, and threatened to strip her. (Source: State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, March 11, 2010, <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136067.htm>)

In Jeremiah 5, God pleaded, “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem…seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it” (Jeremiah 5:1). The Lord is saying, “I’ll be merciful, if I can find just one person who’ll seek me.” Are we seeking him now? Does a country that is seeking God, not only condone, but fund the likes of a tyrant such as Mubarak?

During the captivity in Babylonia, God found a righteous man. His name was Daniel. I believe, today, more than ever in history, the Lord is searching for Daniels. Are we willing to stand in the gap as Daniel did, on our knees, with hearts and minds seeking the Lord? Daniel prayed, “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God” (Daniel 9:3–4). Daniel didn’t judge, and we mustn’t judge our fellow countrymen, we all have to put ourselves next to them, like Daniel did when he said, “we have sinned…to us belongeth confusion of face…because we have sinned against thee” (Daniel 9:5, 8).

Our once God-fearing country has been polluted with the spirit of this world, and we are in no position to receive the Lord’s blessings. Daniel said, “All this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand the truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us” (Daniel 9:13–14).

Let’s examine ourselves, confess to the Holy Spirit our areas of compromise. Oh, Lord, search our hearts. Expose all of the spirit of the world that has crept into our souls. Then, like Daniel, we can then pray for the deliverance of our families and our nation.

12 Godly Ways to Love Your Children

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life is parent a child. Add your Christian faith to the equation, and the task can seem even more impossible. A child is not an adult, so when we invest in any parenting technique, we must remember that a child’s mind does not function like our own. They don’t have the reference of life as we do and they don’t have nearly as many expectations. I am certainly not an expert in this field, all I have is my own experience along with trial and error. But, I do hope the following tips will give you encouragement and possibly ideas you hadn’t thought of before. 

1. Teach them self-discipline.

It starts with the small things, like cleaning their room. Train them to put things where they belong when they are out of place. Teach them the old adage “A place for everything and everything in its place”. Help them extend that discipline to the rest of your house and yard. Help them see that orderliness matters, and force them to make decisions about what is important and what is not. Learning self-discipline in the little things prepares them for the big things. Those who are undisciplined in small matters will likely be undisciplined in more important issues. In the words of Solomon, it is the little foxes that ruin the vine (Song of Sol. 2:15). Self-discipline concepts should also carry over into how your child is taught to take care of their own bodies. Proper instructions in eating habits and exercise routines are imperative and will lead to much healthier and self-disciplined adults.

2. Teach them not to be too busy.

If you find yourself spending more time hustling your children out the front door than you spend enjoying time with them, then something is wrong. It’s so easy to want to give your children the experience of everything and it’s tempting to let them sign up for everything they want to do. I have found myself pressured by the activities that “all the other kids” are doing. In today’s world, it’s so easy to over-commit ourselves and our children with responsibilities and activities. But, we are not teaching them how to recognize their own limits and how to prioritize their time. They need time to be children, time to plan their own activities. If every moment is structured, they have no time to make any of their own decisions.

3. Teach them the value of education.

A well-educated child will become a better citizen and will have a greater chance at a productive future. Educated individuals have a better understanding of their opportunities beyond the family circle and beyond their communities. Education informs of us our rights and of our history. Education is necessary for appropriate decision-making and a healthy self-confidence. Be involved with your child’s teachers and make sure that the child knows that you are involved and are up-to-date on what they are learning. Read to your children and allow them to read to you. A love of reading is a great foundation for future learning. Finally, the greatest way to teach the value of education is to never stop learning yourself.

4. Teach them how to learn on their own.

What do Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, and Walt Disney all have in common? They were self-educated! I’m not suggesting that formal education be done away with, but I am concerned that so many of our children are just taught to take whatever the teacher says as absolute truth. Give your child some time to learn on their own, have them choose the content. Help them set their own schedule and see them learn with passion! Self-directed learning creates a sense of accomplishment and leads to a productive life. Don’t forget to encourage them to include music and art in their content. Music and art are languages that all people speak. Both provide an almost unparalleled opportunity for self-expression and self-esteem building. It helps them develop both independence and teamwork. It has been proven that the arts improve academic achievement by enhancing test scores, creativity, critical thinking and social skills.

5. Teach them to play.

 Kids don’t know how to play anymore. Most kids spend their free time, if they have any, in front of a television, computer or video game.  Parents are afraid to let them go out and play unattended because of sexual predators and/or because they don’t know their own neighbors. This a tragedy of a sinful world, but no excuse. If you are afraid to let your children outside, then go out with them. Get to know your neighbors. Limit television and computer access. Require some outside play, and refrain from scheduling every moment of your child’s time. Play with them, but make them choose the activity and the play decisions. Making decisions during play helps them make decisions in life.

6. Teach them to keep their promises.

I personally don’t like any promises except those made by my Savior. He’s truly the only one that we should ever rely on because the rest of us are human. The Bible tells us, in Matthew 5:36, not to swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. It should be obvious, but most of us need the reminder that we cannot control the future. We should teach our kids that their word is the same as a promise. If they develop the habit of standing by their word, there’s no need to make promises. If the time comes that they cannot stand by their word, then show them how to make amends with the person who depended upon them. The first and best way to teach this is by keeping our word to them.

7. Teach them work ethic.

It is unbelievable how many adults I know that were never taught work ethics, including Christians. It is a mystery to me that God-fearing Christians think there is nothing wrong with stealing from their employers by not showing up for work and/or doing very little while they are there. My only conclusion to this ailment is that they were never taught to have a work ethic. If your children reach their teenage years without having any chores to do or having any responsibilities, you have done them a great disservice. Refrain from paying your children for everything you ask them to do. They have to be taught that work is part of life and that there are rewards to working besides money. 

8. Teach them to laugh.

The Bible teaches us that there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Allow your children to see you laugh, including laughing at yourself.  Humor is a very effective means of managing our emotions. Nurturing our child’s sense of humor with silly play helps them practice gaining mastery of their feelings for those times in life when things don’t happen quite the way we think they should. Laughter and a sense of humor is necessary for life balance.

9. Teach them to communicate.

Communication skills are vital. Studies show that effective communicators are happier, do better in school and are more successful than those less eloquent. The most important communication skill is listening. Don’t forget that tone of voice, virtual, and non-verbal communication are also important concepts. When you talk to your children, refrain from interrogation, and ask them questions that require more than ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. Allow them to express themselves and observe their favorite modes of expression. Use those modes to help them with other forms of expression. With the prominence of computer communication and texting, it’s also important to remind your children about “old-fashioned” writing skills by having them write personal thank you notes and letters when possible.  

10. Teach them charity.

The most important thing to teach your children about charity is that it is always possible to give, even when you don’t have any money. They must realize as early as possible that money is not a requirement to be able to give sacrificially. Teaching volunteerism and hospitality are other great ways to teach charity and the spirit of giving. When discussing charity with your children, it’s also the perfect time to teach them about saving and spending money.

11. Teach them respect.

Respect for anyone starts with respect for oneself. Self-worth is the foundation of respect for others. Make your child feel special whenever possible. Do something special for them on a day that is not special. Never be afraid or too busy to let them know that you are proud of them for who they are, not connected to their performance. Always remember to let them know, by telling them, that you love them. Actions do speak louder than words but neither children, nor adults, should be deprived of hearing the words. And give your children some space. Children need to learn to appreciate some time alone, time to daydream, time to journal, time to think. Sometimes we forget that children are people too. 

12. Teach them to pray.

The easiest way to teach your child to pray is to ensure that they see you do it. Pray with them, on your knees. But, make sure they know that they can pray anywhere, anytime, out loud and inside their minds. Ensure they know the Lord’s prayer, our instructions on how to pray. Teach them about the Holy Spirit. Let them know that the Holy Spirit communicates with our spirits so that God knows exactly what we need and that we can learn from the Holy Spirit, as well. Most importantly, let them know why it is that we, as Christians, can pray directly to God without sacrifice. Teach them that Jesus Christ is our intermediary.

I know this list is not exhaustive, very far from it.  But, I can’t think of any that are more important than these. Is there a way that you show your love for your children that you feel should have been included here? Please share it with me. God bless you and your family.

Low Sodium New Year!

In the book of Genesis, chapter 19, the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah and overthrew the cities. All the people and the vegetation were destroyed, except for Lot and his family. However, when Lot’s wife looked back at the city, she became a pillar of salt. Instead of being grateful for being saved from disaster, Lot’s wife wanted to go back to the evil city and was mourning her life there. She didn’t want to change.

There are many self-development tools, books and blogs that tell you to take a look back over the past year, to assess and plan for the next. But, I think we can learn something from Lot’s wife. I don’t think any of us will turn to salt by taking an assessment of the past year, but we should be careful not to let the past keep us from moving forward.

MISTAKES–We all make them. Some of your mistakes in 2010 may have been doozies. You might still be paying the price for those mistakes. The best thing we can all do in 2011, is learn from our 2010 mistakes!

HURT–It’s hard not to be resentful. But, pulling that luggage around will not only be a burden for you, but it also can have an effect on your marriage, your relationships with other family members and friends and on your productivity level. Forgiveness will be a blessing to you and will free your heart and mind. If you can’t do it on your own, please ask Jesus to help you, He would love to do that!

DOUBT–Doubt is one of the best tools the enemy has to keep us trapped. And, it’s also the best way he can make our relationship with our Savior fuzzy as well. We have doubts about ourselves, doubts about our loved ones, doubts about our friends, doubts about Jesus. It’s a horrible way to feel and think. Resolve to let doubt go this year, and start doing and trusting. You are never alone in doubt, but doubt can make you feel that way. Jesus wants to help and doubt has no place in your relationship with Him.

FEAR–We are all afraid sometimes. But, the fear that paralyzes and keeps us stuck in our past is the worst kind. The biggest fear of most people is the fear of change. But change is required for growth. Sometimes there are growing pains, but growth has so many blessings that come with it that we should all try to embrace the positive aspects of change and get help dealing with the negative aspects. By growing through new experiences, it better equips us in helping others who are going through those same things.

Mistakes, hurt, doubt and fear….those are all things that should be left in 2010. Prayer, forgiveness, action steps and rewarding ourselves for changes made are some great resolutions for 2011. If we start focusing on that, and on the many blessings God has in store for us in 2011, our look back won’t be long at all. Happy New Year everyone! God bless you!

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