Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

God Is Still Working

I have been enjoying my devotional time with Joyce Meyer Ministries.  The other day Joyce was teaching on “Asking God” – as taken from these scriptures:

Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)

22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

If you are like me you have heard these scriptures many times.  I had heard them but must admit that I was not really asking.  Somehow it did not seem polite to keep asking for things – like a spoiled child who never thinks about anybody else but themselves.  Me, me, ME!!!!  Mine, mine, MINE!!!  Whah, whah, WHAH!!!!  It just felt WRONG.

So my prayer and communication had taken on a different tone over the years.  Always respectful and thankful, bringing out confessions, my weaknesses and concerns for others, my family and friends.  Walking and talking with God.  But I believe I was missing one important aspect to prayer.  I wasn’t asking.

Not only does God say to ask – but we are told to do so boldly.

Hebrews 4:16

New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So the other night in my prayer time – I took a bold step and just asked.  And because God already knows what I am thinking about I have to believe that the asking is partly for me.  A step of faith.  It helps me get things out and really deal with them.  Rather than shoving them aside – or pushing them down deep where I don’t have to think about them.

Another thing Joyce said was this:  Even if we don’t see the answer to prayer after asking – we need to tell ourselves that God is still working.  That clear statement of faith with drive doubt and negativity from our minds and hearts when the waiting for answers seems long and hard.  To think that when I boldly ask – and then leave it with Him to work it out in His timing behind the scenes – leaves me feeling peaceful and reassured.

For some circumstances it is easy to believe and have faith in the process of God’s timing.  It is maybe even easy to ask.  But there are situations where it is very difficult to ask.  I have one right now – that has actually made me feel guilty about even asking.  But the other night I asked anyway.  I gave it away, and though I’m sure it won’t automatically just go away from my mind and heart – I took the steps to begin that great ‘behind the scenes’ work that only God can provide.

Have you an issue right now that you’re afraid to even ask about?  You can be reassured that God wants you to ask.  He will work out the details.  He is trustworthy to bring only good for your life, peace for your soul and health for your mind and body.

Ask Him today.  And know that He is still working.

God Bless

Wherever You Are – Be There

Dear Lord – help me to be present today  with friends, family and students.  I can be so distracted with things that creep into my world and ‘shake it up’ a bit.  Help me to put all other “things” on hold – take a deep breath and relax for the moment, fully concentrating all my thoughts and focus on the here and now.  Everything else can wait.  Amen.

Flower

Flower (Photo credit: RedTail_Panther)

 

I believe that it is a choice to focus on living in the present – wherever I am – I want to be fully there.

When was the last time you had to get a hold of your thoughts and tell yourself to relax, focus and just be there?

 

God Bless

 

Instant In Season

Last night I was sitting on the love seat in our living room – getting ready to watch the movie “Radio” with Greg, when suddenly my cell phone rang.

I will back up and give you a little history on that phone call.

We are getting a little Bichon Frise puppy from a lady in the Tri-Cities area named Monica.  She and I have developed an email and phone relationship as she has watched over and cared for our little puppy, who was born very tiny, has been bottle fed every hour and a half for the first 3 weeks of her life, and coaxed and coddled into growing and being healthy.  Monica has been careful to allow me to be a part of the process through pictures and phone calls.  She is a loving person who thinks of her three adult Bichon’s and all their puppies, as her children.

We had planned a trip to go see our puppy tomorrow, when Monica called me at the beginning of the week to tell me she was very ill and would have to have surgery to remove her gall bladder.  Surgery was scheduled for yesterday morning.  I texted and told her we would be definitely praying for her and the family – for a fast recovery and strength over the next few weeks.  She thanked me and I anxiously waited to hear something yesterday evening.  I sent off another text and then went to sit on the love seat to watch our movie.

The cell phone rang.  It was Monica.  She didn’t sound like herself.  She apologized and said, “I’m sorry, I feel bad because I don’t know you very well – but…could you please pray for me?  I’m really sick and I’ve been throwing up every 15 minutes since the surgery.”   I acted immediately – and said, “YES.  Let’s pray right now!”  and I did.  I’m not sure what I said – I was a little stunned, because it isn’t every day that someone asks you to do this – but somehow in that moment the Lord helped me and I was able to pray peace on that situation – and that the doctor would be able to get a hold of the situation and figure it out – FAST.

It was an “instant in season” moment.  You know the kind.  When your called upon to do the extraordinary – in a very ordinary time.  To  be “filled up” with God –  so that in these “moments”  responding is done without hesitation.  Sometimes, if I’m honest – I don’t feel like this.  I feel very inadequate.  But in spite of my weakness – He spoke through me and was strong.

Somehow she knew that I was a Christian – we had never discussed it.  But when she had a real emergency – a real life or death need, she knew who to call and that I would pray.

It was after the prayer that I was able to tell her that we are Christians and that we believe and have a faith that God not only understands us – but that He made our bodies and that He cares.  I told her that Greg was a minister and had been for almost 30 years now.  This was amazing to her – but very comforting in her time of need.  Her vomiting sounded very much like an allergic reaction to the pain meds – because something similar had happened years ago to Greg when having his wisdom teeth removed.  I told her about my hunch – and this morning I received a text from her saying that the doctor discovered that she indeed had an allergic reaction to the drugs. And all is well.

It is certain that the bonding moment that we shared in prayer during that crisis will be a pivotal moment for both Monica and her husband who was in the hospital room with her while I prayed for her on the phone.

Never take little “moments” with people for granted – you never know when you are being placed in someone’s life for their moment of crisis.

Stay close to Him.

Stay “instant in season”  and even “out of season”  because – well… you never know.

Turn your ordinary – into the extraordinary.

God Bless

 

How’s Your Garden?

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring
whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

This is our garden in our new home.

Ever felt really dry?  I’m so glad to know this:  No matter how dry, sick, diseased, tired, hopeless and out of strength I may be today – He will water me and give me the strength, nourishment and life so that I will flourish.  When all others around me are dry and broken – I will be sustained by that living water to keep me going, bringing health to my bones – and hope for all others around me looking for that water.  It is a spring that never fails.

How’s your garden?  Need some water?

Praying for you today.

God Bless

My Hiding Place…

hiding

Image by Susan NYC via Flickr

The following is an article I posted 2 years ago this monthI was still trying to make sense out of a situation that still makes no sense 2 years later – and at that time I was still thinking that it would.  Instead – 2 years later I now know that time isn’t always an accurate measurement of understanding – nor is it a rite of passage.  It is simply a journey we all must take – and what we do with the lessons along the way determines our joy or sorrow for the future.  If you are like me and have had setbacks in your life – or things happen that you did not fully understand – have ever questioned God or felt like you didn’t deserve things that transpired at the hand of another – then you will know what I felt like when I wrote this article.  My prayer is that it will bless and encourage your heart today. 
Have you ever felt like you needed a “Hiding Place”? 
What event in your past changed the way you look at life now?
 Habakkuk 3:19
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”
 
When I read the above scripture – I was moved.  I am a musician and have the heart and soul of an artist.  I am also told I am a “sanguine” deep and emotional – and while I can be the life of the party, I prefer being alone or being with a close friend – am very sentimental and easily wounded and sensitive.   I have always understood that I view the world a little differently than others do.  I am an “audio” learner – and even more – my friend John recently corrected me – I am a “kinesthetic” learner – which means I not only hear the music – but I get inside of it and breathe it in – and wrap it around me like a blanket and it becomes a part of me.
So the psalms and other scriptures about music and musicians really speak to me.  David was also a musician and I love the poetic way in which he writes – and many of the psalms were set to music back then – and even today we are still doing this.  There is something about the “artist” who is able to put the right spin on words to express and communicate a thought and paint a beautiful picture.  David really felt what he wrote and expressed – was deeply hurt, moved and lived life to the fullest.  I can appreciate his take on his journey through good and bad times – how he cried out to God and how sometimes he was just lost and didn’t know if God really heard – or cared.  I believe that even though he sometimes didn’t understand – he had a habit of going to God and pouring his heart out.  He knew where his safe “hiding place” was – away from the world of betrayal and hurt – away from his enemies who tried to destroy him – away from the prying eyes of those who would later come to judge him for his sin.
I have found a safe place in God’s presence – it is a place where I go to regain my sanity amidst a world gone mad – friends who are not friends anymore – and those who would judge my heart without knowing my heart.  And I find new purpose and resolve after being in this “hiding place” of mine.  And I find that I can make it after all.
Below is a beautiful music video based on a favorite Psalm of mine.  Enjoy – and allow God’s sweet spirit to penetrate into your secret “hiding place”  Allow Him to be that for you today.  He is trustworthy and dependable.  He will keep you safe.
God Bless

Do you want to be Right? Or Be Restored?

This is an article I wrote a couple of years ago and thought I would repost it today.  It is still applicable in my life today – as I am still learning and on a journey of self discovery.

Be kind to one another with a brother’s love, putting others before yourselves in honor    Romans 12:10

That is indeed the question.  Have you ever known anyone like this in your life?  As long as they’re right – and have the last word they are happy.  Well at least they feel like they’re happy.

You see “being right” does not necessarily bring closure and restoration to an unresolved issue.  It can just create a wedge between people.  I’ve had to back down on things myself over the years – even when I knew I was right.  Relationships with people in our lives are way more important than arguing over the finer points – the “he said – she said” games could go on forever – if we allow it.

Being right is an “attitude”.  And when you are in the people restoring business – you sometimes have to put this “attitude” aside.  It can blind you and cause everything from a past or present situation to have a certain “slant” – as you can only see things one way.  The right way.  Your way.

I would submit to you – that there are ALWAYS two sides to a story and situation in life.  Because people are different and rarely look at things the same way.

It comes down to this:  how much do you value relationships in your life?  Do people mean something to you – even if they mess up?  Do you say, “They hurt me – they messed up – I am so disillusioned and can’t forgive them – I know I am RIGHT”  I know I have.  Why?  Because I love to be right.  And so do you.  People hurt me – have hurt me – will continue to hurt me in the future.  What do I do with this???  Bristle and pull in – never allow anyone near me again??  Argue and argue??  Even bring in a few other people to hear my point of view – so they can tell me how right I am too?  That would be silly.  But people do this.  I have been guilty of doing this myself.  It IS easier to be right.  Way easier.   But NO.  I love people.  I have decided that I will not do this anymore.  It means holding my tongue.  It means submitting.  It means MY story may never be told.  And just how “right” I am – will never be known.  My friends are more valuable to me than being “right”.

Being restored is the right thing to do – it’s also the hardest.  Why?  Because we have to humble ourselves – admit that we are not always right.  We have to face the truth about ourselves.  We have to face the ones that hurt us.  We have to come to grips with the “eye ball – to eye ball” encounter from the one that hurt us most.  No burying it under the carpet – no running and hiding – no refusing to revisit it – but really facing it.  Accept that we are not perfect either.  Ouch!!!  Facing something head on that’s very hard – takes a real Man or Woman.

My husband just recently had to face a situation where he could have taken the position of “being right” or “being restored” and he chose the later.  He chose wisely.  And I know that God will bless his life because of this.  He is free because of it.  It’s caused us to really have great discussion.  Being right – or being restored.

Which one are you?  Do you stubbornly “hold on” to your opinion – a never ending “blame game”?  Stunted and bound up by your own “principles” and “ideals” about people?  Is being “right” more important than anything else or anyone else?  Or are you a lover of people?  Do you have grace for people in your life to “mess up”?  Do you “allow” for others to “mess up” – do you have the capacity to understand it?  Do you constantly “cite” examples of how you are so right – and they are so wrong?  Are you free of sin in your own life?  Can you honestly see things from another perspective?  Reach and restore – forgive and don’t care who’s right or wrong?  Can you put your own feelings aside – and prefer other people?  Are you Christ like?  Do you just ooze with love and mercy.  Are your friends that important to you?

Jesus is the great “restorer”.  He desires health and happiness for you today.  He is the only one that can truly bring people together – melt the heart – bring you to your knees and do the deep work in your life.  If you are in a “situation” now that is unresolved – ask the Lord to “melt your heart” – help you to see things another way – ask Him to help you forgive and love the ones that have hurt you so deeply.  Make that step toward reconciliation – don’t wait for them.  Believe that He has a testimony in this “situation” for you some day – health, encouragement and healing for someone else.

Be restored.  Love people.  You will be a more blessed and happier person.

In what ways would you rather be right, then be restored?  Is being right more important than having relationship with others?  Do you know anyone like this?

Praying for you today.

God Bless

Changing Me

I pray because I can’t help myself.  I pray because I’m helpless.  I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping.  It doesn’t change God – it changes me.

Signature of CS Lewis.

Prayer.  Something happens to me when I pray.  I gain perspective that I am very small – and He is very big.  I have no control – and He sees the big picture – and all events from beginning to end, all at once.  And somehow – there is great comfort in this knowledge.  When I know that my problems, stresses and circumstances do not catch Him off guard – that nothing surprises Him about my life – then somehow I feel better and can relax – knowing He is in control.

I know for me – I need to hear this because I am weak and fall short.  I also tend to compare God’s love for me with other people in my life.  Others who have failed me – when I have failed them – or judged me when I have been in the wrong.  Even turned away instead of sticking it out.  God’s love is not like this.  He wants me to come to Him with my concerns and needs.  He will not be shocked – or turn away – even judge or talk about me, like others in my life have.  He knows everything about me before I even say anything.  He knows it – even before I think it.  He knows it – even before I do.

We are safe with Him.  God is constant and will not change.  He is always the same.  It is me that changes by knowing Him better.  It is me that changes by praying.  It is me that needs the changing – not Him.

Dear Lord – help me to come to you – not to hesitate because I am afraid you will turn me away and say, ‘Straighten up!  What’s wrong with you anyway!  Have I taught you NOTHING!’ – you would never do this – you are peace, love, joy and mercy.  Help me to realize this.  Help me to humble myself and invite you to walk along beside me – on my journey.  Help me – change my heart as I release the deepest parts to you.

God Bless

A Solid Resting Place

Sunset - 6 Feb 2008

Image by rachel_titiriga via Flickr

I am always comforted by scripture – the many passages that speak to me and help me find that solid resting place for my weary mind – as I am surrounded by the cares and sorrows of this world.

As I look ahead at the new year – I am reminded once again of God’s faithfulness and love shown to me over the last year and all of my life.  I have gone through things and have watched those around me be touched by sorrow, joy, happiness, pain and regret.  But in the midst of all of it – good and bad, He was always there.  That still small voice that always covers me and won’t let me go.  And I am so thankful that I know Him – and that He is a merciful God.

My prayer is that you too will find Him a solid and reliable friend – in times of joy and in times of trouble.  That you will find a reason and purpose for your life – and that you will allow Him to show you and help you with all those unanswered questions.

Below are some scriptures of comfort and hope – as we look forward to the new year.

 

God Bless

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Jeremiah 29:11

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

“You crowned the year with Your bounty and goodness…”
Psalm 65:11 (Amplified Bible)

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Genesis 1:1

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

It Is What It Is

A warm embrace

Image by Tamara van Molken via Flickr

The longer that I live – the more I am convinced of two things:

1) I have WAY more questions than answers.

and

2) God is the one who adds and subtracts people from our lives.

To address point #1 – let me just say that I think this stinks – BIG TIME.  I’m a ‘give me an answer’ kind of girl.  Everything must happen for a reason – Every question should have an answer – every conflict should be able to be resolved – ask a simple question – get a simple answer etc, etc.  But this is clearly NOT the case when talking about complex people and complicated situations.  Unfortunately we allow things to be WAY more complicated than they need to be – but  it always comes down to this:

It is what it is.

And like the Billy Joel song I have posted below, that I love and can relate to in many ways, ‘And so it goes, and so it goes, and you’re the only one who knows.’  It is clear that we are not meant to know all the answers and…

Sometimes…

It is what it is

And so it goes.

To #2 – I simply say this:  God does amazing things in our lives behind the scenes.  I am proof of  that.  Just when I’ve needed a certain personality in my world – He  positioned someone kind and accepting to help me through a dark and sad time of struggle.  And though it’s been said before – it bears repeating: Sometimes it is only for a season. And then – the next thing I know – they are gone – removed from my life like a distant echo of the past.  I miss them – their presence and difference they made in my life – the laughter and the happy times – so I mourn.  But only for a while.  Then something amazing will happen – another friend will step in who has ‘like mindedness’ and fills a gap in my wounded heart – and you know it’s a God thing.  These friends are the ones who stay. Bringing laughter, hope and understanding into my daily world.

But sometimes there are those who do damage on their way out of my life.  To those that do this – slam a ‘proverbial door’ as they leave my world – hide behind other people – blame – point fingers and run away – and allow themselves to adopt a mindset of distance and silence – believing things that they know deep down inside are not true – this makes me the most sad.   I believe it is those individuals that are missing out on God’s richest blessings of forgiveness and full reconciliation. They have bought into a lie:  That some things cannot be healed – some things cannot be forgiven.  And they will never know how their wounded and broken heart can be healed by the wonderful love and forgiveness of a lost friendship.  They will never know that those they have desperately tried to cut out of their lives – are the very ones that will be able to answer the questions for them and begin the healing process – and they will never know that these are the ones that will forgive and allow them to start over. Helping them to truly make sense of what went wrong in the first place.  That is a ‘God thing’ when it is done right – when hearts are soft and pliable – and people are ready to put the past finally and completely behind them.

But in the end –

It is what it is.

And so it goes.

I have been given a gift.  I have been forgiven.  And God’s richest blessings are now in my life.  I’m not perfect – I’ve blown it big time – but He’s allowed me to share in the gift of struggle – to understand myself and those around me.  And because He has lavishly poured His love out on me  – I can love and forgive you – and welcome you with open arms – even if you have wronged me.

I am praying God’s richest blessing on your life – that you will find that the  blessed additions and subtractions in your life – those that are there – or not there are for a reason – and is for a higher purpose than you know.  Although there are not always answers to the questions – there is always a reason. And forgiveness and reconciliation is always possible with God. Don’t give up.  Always trust, hope and believe – that there will be answers to the questions – one day.

God Bless

Come To Jesus

Guatemala: handsy Jesus

Image by xeni via Flickr

Fairly unknown artist, Mindy Smith came on my Pandora radio this afternoon singing a song she had written for her Mother – when her Mother was dying from cancer.  The song is called, ‘One moment more’ – and is really beautiful.  As I was listening to it – the song below caught my eye – ‘Come To Jesus’ – and it peaked my curiosity – so I listened to it – and was moved – the images of angels and Jesus are so beautiful – it was so encouraging to me – so I knew I had to post it.

Ever gone through a hard time?  And you don’t know how you’ll make it through?  Maybe the lyrics of this song will encourage you today – and maybe you’ll feel that you are not alone – even when it seems you are.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Oh, my baby, when you’re older
Maybe then you’ll understand
You have angels to dance around your shoulders
‘Cause at times in life you need a helping hand

Oh, my baby, when you’re prayin’
Leave your burden by my door
You have Jesus standing at your bedside
To keep you calm, keep you safe,
Away from harm

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don’t seem worth livin’
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

Oh, my baby, when you’re cryin’
Never hide your face from me
’cause I have conquered hell and driven out the demons
I have come with a light to set you free

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don’t seem worth livin’
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

Oh, oh
Oh, oh
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh, my baby, when you’re dying
Believe the healing of His hand
Here in Heaven we will wait for your arrival
Here in Heaven you will finally understand
Here in Heaven we will wait for your arrival
Here in Heaven you will finally understand

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don’t seem worth livin’
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

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