Thanks for visiting my blog! I pray that you get something out of my being transparent and that God will continue to use me even to speak to one!! Feel free to click follow or follow by email! Be blessed... and transparent!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Transparent P.U.S.H.

"pray without ceasing," 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Just Do It. Such a simple statement that we all see and picture a bubble like check mark when we see it. But what are we supposed to "Just Do?" When I looked it up on Google, I came up with a couple of different statements. One basically says Nike wanted a good way to say, "Don't talk about it, be about it." The other was that the executives were trying to come up with a catchy slogan and this one was on a post it. I wonder who wrote it and if they got a percentage of the profits from it. Probably not! It reminds me of the time I was in a meeting and my idea was heard and shot down, only to come back up by someone else the next meeting and it was accepted. Talk about needing some time to pray! 

Have you ever been in need of something and it seemed like you were praying for quite some time with no relief in sight? I have. I have been praying for awhile now for a vehicle. Not just any vehicle, but for a specific vehicle. A vehicle from God. You see a few years ago, I surrendered my life to Christ and in doing so, among the promise of eternal life (which in and of itself is alone awesome) God told me He would give me a car. Not lead me to one to buy or provide money for me to rent one or even other's cars to use, all of which He has done while I wait to procure mine from Him..... in other words, pray. I have had a couple of vehicles since that promise, long term rental and a car bought for me. Both are gone, the rental turned in after having an accident and spent much money (not all my money) and the other died (engine problems). I should have taken the Nike stance point and just did it.... pray that is. 

Prayer, I don't think is never meant to be a blah blah blah, Amen type of thing. Although there are certain prayers I have learned and am still learning is that when God promises something to us, He doesn't put a date on it. He just says, "pray without ceasing," and as we are obedient, He will answer. That doesn't mean don't move at all! No, that means to continue with what He has already having you do (Matthew 6:33) and while we are doing that very thing He commanded, pray in the midst of it. I can see that I need a car. God can see that I need a car, yet while I am in need of my own, I am blessed with using my mother's vehicle. It gets frustrating because of the work that is needed to be done and the pit less gas tank her truck seems to have, but nevertheless I am thankful.... and I continue to pray. I pray for her vehicle, that it would continue to hold up, I pray that mine would come soon, I pray for the resources to fix up her car and pour endless amounts of gas in the guzzler called a gas tank, and I pray for mine to hurry up and get here! Then I begin to see that sharing a car with my mother allows me to pray for her as well. I pray when she is in the car, when I can see her mood is not the best or the enemy has been on her back. Mostly I pray when she is sleeping in the car, because that is often, that God would intervene. I'm even sometimes venting about things, including her sometimes in the car. She thinks I'm just not social but it's just I'm being more social with God... especially when she is complaining. But nevertheless, besides my own sanctuary room, the truck is where I most convene with God!

To cease is to put an end to, to stop, to discontinue. Prayer without ceasing is to continue to pray, regardless of how you feel, regardless of how things looks, regardless of what the doctor says, regardless of the utilities being off, the refrigerator being empty, the bills coming in or the spouse or child going out. CONTINUE praying, pray WITHOUT ceasing! When you most feel the pressure, pray. When you feel like things are going your way, pray. It doesn't matter if, like Paul, you are without or have plenty, pray without ceasing! You never know what God will reveal in the pit or on the pedestal!

Father, thank You for being the ear we can cry to! Thank You for being the Provider and Portion we need. Lord while we are in the need, You comfort until You supply. David says in Psalm 65:13 that in the valley we will have plenty and I thank You that it is so true. We know that You hear us because Your Word says You do and we know that those who believe and request in Jesus name receive, so thank You in advance! Give us courage to pray without ceasing while we wait for You to answer those requests. In Jesus name, Amen

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Transparent Journey

“Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it." Matthew 7:13

This journey called life is full of ups and downs. It can be uplifting and full of awesome markers such as birth, graduations, weddings, celebrations, promotions and just plain laughter. It can also be full of heart breakers such as death, divorce, suspension or termination, back stabbing and the like. Then there seems to be the mediocre. The ups and downs of emotion: joy, happiness, love, laughter, depression, hatred, loneliness, etc. This is the journey we call life and there is no way to jump off the train without getting hurt or dying (attempted or successful suicide) as well as there is no way to bear it all without the Conductor of our lives to reassure us of the bumps and bruises we may get when we are pushed, forced or fall down. 

The verse today speaks so much to me. I picture this very narrow but worn path met with distractions, vines in the way, hanging limbs that look as they may fall at any time and a dusty, sometimes uncomfortable road leading to the Way, the Truth and the Life; Jesus. But in all actuality He is the reason that path is worn. He walked that path centuries ago to pave the way for us, to make it a little bit easier to see this very small, very narrow path. The three years of His ministry was marked with ups (deliverances, miracles, little children, converts) and downs (death, denial, lies, ignorance of his own disciples, abuse, slander and eventually his own brutal death). But the miracle of His story, of his life on Earth is that it didn't stop there! He rose again 3 days later!!! That can be the truth for us as we who continue to walk, stumble and even fall on this very narrow path, we too can take heed and rise as well. The point is not that you have fallen; the point is that God loves you regardless and you can raise back up as Jesus did as a Holy Example!

The opposite of the narrow path is that wide, very traveled path that everyone who does not care to be careful, all those that have traveled the road that is less comfortable and those who don't know there is another road are content to walk on. The road is made in such a way that many can fit on it at a time. It's made to be more comfortable and there is less bumping into folks, less stepping on shoes, less chance to ruffle someone's feathers on the journey. Who wouldn't want this path? I walked this path for 38 years. It was comfortable, it had tents in case I wanted to rest or give up for a while. There were pit stops to sit and drink, mingle and even meet up with desirable people. What it didn't have is Jesus. I could tell there was something missing. Even when I was young. I tried talking to this God I had heard about from different churches but couldn't seem to yell loud enough over the crowds of people walking with me, and I certainly couldn't hear what He was saying to me. That became irritating and I would eventually say, "Oh never mind!" each time I tried to start this conversation. All the while the only thing He was saying was, "I love you, beloved child. Come walk with me." But that wide road looked so much more comfortable than the narrow one He was walking with those few worn, tired looking, sometimes carried people. I didn’t want to leave this road and lose my place on the road to "success" just to go over and see what He was saying to me!

What road are you on? Little do we know, the wide road has its bumps as well. Those bumps are messages sent from the One who longs to walk beside us on the narrow road. It's His way of saying, "Come to me and I will give you rest." We are so busy walking that we don't realize we need rest. We don't realize we are more tired looking than the few on the narrow path. They just don't seem to be having fun and He has to carry them sometimes! We never have to be carried on the wide road, do we? Or maybe it's that we have no one to carry us and so we just keep moving. Aren’t you tired of walking? Don't you desire rest? His arms are waiting. Walk the path of Jesus and get that rest you need! Its okay that you fall, He will catch you. He won't condemn your fall. He will only brush off the dirt and either carries you or set you back on the path, depending on the pain from that fall.

Have you been on the narrow path and gave up because you couldn't "see" God from where you were? There is a popular poem called Footprints that says on the times you only see one set of footprints, those times when you don't feel Him near, it's because He is carrying you. I like to say when I can't feel Him or He seems far away, He is preparing my table in the midst of my enemies! But I forget that and want to look to the right and the left and that's when I lose my footing. Come back to Him. His arms never get tired of being wide open for you. Walk, run, and jog.... come to Him. After all, Jesus walked this road initially and paved the way for us. He made it and He was on earth as flesh just like us, why can't we?

Jesus, thank you for marking this hard to walk road for us. Thank you for not stopping at dying for us but also rising again with all power to then give us that same power in you. This road is hard to stay on. It seems to be filled with distractions to trip us up and knock us down. Those on the wide road have their eyes always on us waiting for us to trip and fall. Give us strength to continue this journey and show them the way to walk it victoriously. In Jesus name, Amen!