My husband and I once asked each other what we wanted to come back as if we had a choice. (Disclosure—we don’t really believe in reincarnation!) I immediately said, “An eagle!” He said, “A bear!” Our logic—he would be able to catch lots of salmon to eat on the banks of rivers. Me—I love to travel and I love high vistas, and an eagle represents a sort of wild freedom and strength to fly high above everything life might throw at me.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with some real and some imagined issues that come with aging. My body isn’t as strong as it used to be. I’ve developed pains and physical issues and sometimes I focus too much on these instead of trusting God to meet me in whatever situation I face.
I was reading about eagles recently and discovered that they are the only birds that love the storm. When all other birds try to flee from the storm and hide from the fierceness of it, eagles fly right into it. They use the wind of the storm to rise higher and glide without using their own energy. They are able to do this because God has created the eagle with the unique ability to lock their wings in a fixed position.
Yesterday morning I was reading one of my favorite verses from Isaiah 40:31:But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Later that morning, I had a dentist appointment. As I sat in the chair facing a large picture window waiting for the dentist to come in, I saw a huge bird with a large wingspan catching the current and gliding effortlessly back and forth. Although we don’t see eagles where I live on the coast, symbolically to me it was an eagle! It reminded me that it is possible to catch the wind of the Spirit, lock my wings in a fixed position of faith and soar—not in my own strength but in His!
How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life!
On January 22, 2018, I will begin teaching another 5-week session online at BeADisciple.com. Work at your own pace during the week and then come join us for lots of discussion and fellowship on the Discussion Board! (Find the online course by clicking on the BeADisciple.com link.)
This course is based on a book by the same title and is taught by the author Sandra Chambers. In her book, Sandra shares her own struggles and victories as she has sought to overcome boredom in prayer and answer the question: “If prayer is so important, why is it so hard?” During this five-week study, participants will examine their own prayer life and be challenged to see and experience prayer in some new ways. Emphasis is on putting into practice what you are learning about prayer.
Geared for those new to prayer as well as seasoned prayer warriors, this course helps students to (1) understand why God gave us prayer, (2) discover their personal prayer sphere and their personal prayer passions, (3) use scriptures to form prayers and prayer declarations, (4) troubleshoot when their prayer life is offline and (5) explore related topics to prayer such as spiritual warfare and fasting.
Students will need to purchase a copy of the book Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet (How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life) by Sandra Chambers, and available at Amazon.com. The print copy of this book is recommended over the Kindle version.
AMAZON LINK: http://a.co/g7pFb
Posted in Fasting, Living the Christian Life, Meditation, Prayer, Small group study on prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Topical Study on Prayer
Tagged Fasting, Prayer, small group study, spiritual growth, Spiritual Warfare
A fast that God approves
Many churches and individuals begin the New Year with a 21-day Daniel Fast. My church has done it for the past several years and I have participated in many of them. Last year I did not because I dreaded facing weeks of preparation reading labels, spending extra money on appropriate food items, looking for recipes that were Daniel-fast approved, etc. etc. etc.
(In 2016 I wrote a post about why this approach to fasting was troubling to me—see the link below to read that post).
To me this whole modern approach to fasting seems to be the antithesis of Daniel’s motivation for fasting. Daniel 10: 1-3 says he was in mourning because of a vision: “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” (NIV)
Two things strike me about Daniel’s fast in this passage:
(1) Daniel’s motivation for fasting was about a Great War he saw in a vision. What if we entered our fast truly mourning the “Great War” the enemy is waging against our nation, our culture, our youth and the Church and crying out for God’s intervention.
(2) Just as Daniel entered his fast focusing on the spiritual by denying his flesh and refusing the king’s rich food—so our focus for fasting should be on denying our flesh and humbling ourselves—not spending our time focusing on what foods we can and can’t eat during the fast.
This year I am participating in the fast, but with a new freedom. I’m simply giving up what I personally consider my “choice, rich and pleasant foods” and focusing my attention on spending time drawing near to God in His Word, in worship and in prayer.
If you are participating in a fast this year, I suggest you search your motives and seek God for how He wants you to fast. Trust Him to lead you.
Click here to read my other post about fasting: The Daniel Fast: Are We Really Denying Ourselves?
The Angel’s visit to Mary.
While I wrote this post last Christmas, I wanted to share it again because the contrast between Mary’s question and Zachariah’s question always challenges my faith.
Have you every asked God “how”something He has said to you would ever come to pass? Two biblical characters, both of whom received angelic visitations before the birth of Christ, asked that same question. And God’s totally opposite response to both “how” questions may surprise you. Continue reading
Christmas traditions remind us to be thankful.
In the Old Testament, God commanded that certain festivals and celebrations be held annually as a reminder of what He had done for His people. These celebrations were a vehicle to bring together the entire family, community and nation to celebrate God’s great mercy and to remember to be thankful for all He had done for them.
While God does not instruct us in how to celebrate Christmas, we can use whatever traditions we’ve embraced to help us remember God’s great deliverances in our lives and to be thankful for all our blessings.
Each year when I open my box of Christmas ornaments to decorate the tree, I discover so many memories connected to each ornament. I have ornaments from my wedding shower (a December wedding), ornaments from many of the places I’ve visited in my travels, a few left over from my childhood days, special ornaments marking baby’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd Christmas, and even some homemade ornaments from my daughter that still grace the Christmas tree. Continue reading