Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Change’

I’m trying to Listen, Lord

Does anyone else struggle with the concept of prayer?  Does it make you feel less than “spiritual” because you may have doubts in this department?  Do you believe God always answers?  Even when He answers against what you are believing and praying for?  Do you believe that His will is always done here on earth?   I do.

Somehow when I have doubts as to how I believe things work out (or don’t work out) – it feels like it goes against the way I was raised to feel or believe.  My husband has called me a Calvinist because of some of these doubts and struggles.  It is not that I don’t believe we should pray, rather I believe that God answers even when we don’t specifically pray for something.  I believe that God created, sees and knows the bigger picture of our lives – and His ways and thoughts are so much bigger than ours.  I don’t believe in using prayer as a “rabbit’s foot” – pulled out when we feel we are in serious crisis of mind, body and soul – but rather it should be an ongoing journey to listen and develop the mind of Christ.

Help me not to cry out just when I need something from you.

As Christians do we really believe that God is good all the time?  – has our best interest at heart even though we cannot see it?  Even if we haven’t prayed specifically for it?  Yes.  I believe that.   Is prayer for God to change His eternal plans already set in motion?  Or rather, is prayer for me?  Certainly God does not need me to send my shopping list of requests to Him.  He knows everything already, right?  I believe prayer is a discipline for me that takes years to develop.

Today I found this today on Sandi Patty’s Blog:

Dan Rather, former CBS anchorman, once asked Mother Teresa what she said during her prayers.  She answered, “I listen.”  So Rather turned the question and asked, “Well then, what does God say?”  To that, Mother Teresa smiled with confidence and answered, “He listens.”  Rather didn’t know how to continue.  He was baffled.  “And if you don’t understand that,” Mother Teresa added, “I can’t explain it to you.”

Such a profound thought.  You mean I don’t need to say or do anything?  Yes.  Listening to God’s voice is enough, but often times we cannot quiet our own thoughts to do this.  I believe that prayer changes us.  I believe this is why Jesus told us to pray.  So that we might have understanding and insight.  So that we might have quiet acceptance and resolve.  Even when things don’t go my way.  Even when He doesn’t give me what I want.  Even when my bad choices produce difficulty in my life.  Even when I am unhappy.  Even when I live right and do everything by the book.  Even when I follow all the rules and things still go wrong.  Even when people die.  Even when family members go the wrong way.  Even when nothing happens when I pray.

Change me.

 

I believe that by spending time with Jesus in submission to His plan and wisdom – we become bendable and pliable.  It allows us to look at our circumstances differently.  Maybe not at first – but spending time with Him eventually changes us.  Even when it looks as though we are doing nothing. Even if it makes us look and feel weak, wimpy and submissive.  Even when others around us urge us to be more aggressive in prayer.  How are we going to get an answer if we aren’t willing to go there?  What happens then, when after we are “aggressive” and exhausted from prayer – God does not answer.  Is it our lack of faith?  Is it our inability to “pray through”.  Were we not aggressive enough?  Did we do it wrong?  What about those we pray for that do not get well?  We didn’t pray enough?  Or long enough?  Such thoughts are contrary to the Bible.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  Matthew 6:7,8

Take away my guilt.

Prayer is listening.  Prayer is developing trust.  Prayer is an open invitation for the Father to know us – and us to know Him.  It is about relationship – not a shopping list of requests – prayed by anxious people.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

I’m sure I will continue to struggle with this – even though as a believer, I should not.  Having faith is believing that no matter what happens to me or those I love in this life – He has it under control.  Nothing surprises Him or escapes His notice.  Like a loving father who wants to protect, hurts when I hurt and wants so much to reassure even when I don’t understand that he loves all the time – He gets me.  He has a plan bigger than I do.  And even though I doubt and wonder if there is something more I should be doing or praying about – He still has it.  All the time.  This simple truth takes years of trust to develop – and I’m still working on it – one day at a time.

So in the meantime – I’m believing and trying to listen, Lord.

God Bless

Quote

The Winds Of Change

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

We are in the season of “change”.  I don’t what this will mean, ultimately.  But I do know that I can resist change – or ride along with it.  It is my choice.

Change is a part of life.  To stand still and refuse change is like a child holding his hands over his ears with eyes closed saying, “I can’t hear you – I can’t HEAR YOU!   NANNY, NANNY BOO BOO!!!”  Ridiculous, right?  Unfortunately, the older I get I can honestly say that those things that used to sound appealing and fun – do not entice me anymore.  Nor do I like things where I seemingly have no control.  Yeah – I’m funny that way.

None of us like to think we are leaving a part of ourselves behind.  But in essence this is what we do when we embark on a new adventure.  Change.  That one word can alter everything.  Dying to one life – entering into another.  With no control – or at least it feels that way.

After years of doing the same thing – year after year with not much variation in my schedule – I am at long last taking a sabbatical.  I do not know how long this will be.  Nor do I have any idea where this change will take me – as it most likely will mean a move out of state for us.  As we explore opportunities for our “next chapter” I am again reminded of how much I used to love change.  “I love change, I love change – yes I do.  I really do.  I really mean that

So for all of you out there who are on the cusp of something great – or you simply don’t know where you are heading – but feel the winds of change, I hope that you will not feel alone.  There is someone else out there in the blogging community that knows what you’re feeling and going through.  Try to find the positive in change.  Remember that change brings its own rewards – new friends, new situations to discover, new places to explore – lasting memories and a wonderful opportunity to use gifts you never dreamed you possessed.

Don’t resist it.  Go with it.  Ride the wave – feel the melancholy, drink it in.  And then – finally learn to embrace the impossible.

I am praying for you,

God Bless

Change: The Only Constant

Came across this video on the website of Kent Covenant Church a couple of weeks ago – and thought it went beautifully with the pastor’s message this morning on ‘Change’.

The interesting thing about the subject of change is this: It’s going to happen whether or not we want it to. And just like the character’s in the book and animated movie, “Who moved my cheese?” – it happens without asking anyone’s permission. We have a choice – we can chase after that change – or stubbornly refuse to move – thinking that things will come back to where they should be and where we’re comfortable with them. It is those people – with that thinking – who ultimately miss out. And that includes missing out on the new ways that God speaks to a generation – through music, message and progress of the world’s technology.

The pastor this morning referred to a book written by a church consultant who had studied churches – those that were thriving and those that were dying – and it had nothing to do with ‘numbers’ per say – but with what the mission of the church was – and the ability to change.

It is more difficult to change as we become older.  I think we become more comfortable with who we are (finally) and because that took SO MANY YEARS – somehow any other kind of change doesn’t feel good to us.  I applaud those who want to keep learning and growing – those that learn how to use the internet – even in their nineties to correspond with friends and missionaries all over the world – as in Greg’s great-aunt.  Or in those who learn a new computer program – or go back to school.  To reinvent themselves – dive in where it’s a little scary and keep growing.  To do so keeps the mind young and we all want that, right?

So – keep up with the current trends!  Get a cell phone and learn how to text  – it is the new ‘love language’ of the younger generation – learn to use and maneuver through facebook and your friends’ blog sites.  Better yet – start your own blog site!  What do you do best?  Cook?  Put your recipes on your blog and let others learn from your experience – you will find others like you – exchange information and make new friends.  Do you sew?  Share your wonderful creations on your blog!  How about books you read?  Post them – do a short review on each one and find other ‘book loving’ friends just like you – eager to learn and grow.  There are a million things you can learn from the internet – my favorite is shopping – I almost NEVER pay retail for anything anymore.  Learn how to shop for a value on Ebay or Craigslist – how to ‘google’ important things – Bible references and other interesting facts.  Learn a new musical instrument – read a new best seller – buy a puzzle and work on it while you relax at night.  Play word games like scrabble and boggle – to keep learning new words.  Keep learning – keep growing!  Ask questions – and find the answers!

Be willing to change, grow and learn.  Stay current, stay young – find your voice and change your world!

God Bless

Mostly…

Today was one of those rare beautiful days in Seattle – and a moment in time when all is “right with the world”.  At least mostly.

Pastor Greg spoke on “change” in the service this morning at the church we now attend in Enumclaw.  It was really beautiful – and echoed what I myself have been feeling in my spirit now for over a year.

Change is hard because I like to stay where I am – it is more comfortable and I like it that way.  Change means a “pulling away” from the familiar.  Change means being willing to “grow” and be “adaptable” to the new things around me.  Change means saying “goodbye” to what I don’t want to.  And means doing things I would normally never do.  It can also mean allowing someone into my world that has hurt me –  or forgiving those I thought I already had – and setting them free from any debt they owe me.

As I pondered these thoughts from this morning – something really hit home to me and was like an “Ah ha” moment.  I don’t think it was necessarily anything in particular that our pastor said – but something was stirring in my spirit.  I have been on a journey of “change” – and a “new season” in my life for over a year now – and things are making more sense to me than ever before.  Things are becoming clear to me in a way they never have before.  I felt a couple of tears spill down my cheeks as I sat there in the stillness of that moment.  I realized something:  I am enjoying life.  Really enjoying it – to the fullest.  Moving past a difficult time – finding love in a new way – waving goodbye to the past.  All of this is good.  Mostly.

But there will always be things I can’t understand.  How things can seem to be “healed” and “right”  one moment and the next – be completely silent, awkward and “wrong” again.  I will never understand why people run and hide – instead of facing things in the right way.  I will never understand how God can forgive me – and I can believe that I have forgiven my brother and yet others cannot seem to forgive me.  And I will never understand how people cannot seem to forgive themselves.

And so when I say that life is good – it does not mean I still do not have questions.  I wish and pray with all my heart that someday I will have an answer to these and many more.

As I drove to Seattle today with Greg after church and saw Mt. Rainier in all its beauty and splendor – I was awed and moved once again.  One of God’s great gifts to me in tangible form – a beautiful day that will bring tears to my eyes every time.  And reminds me…God is good – all the time.  Like a kiss from heaven – He is making life beautiful for me – working behind the scenes of my life.  And if He takes that much trouble to create a magnificent backdrop for me to just enjoy  – like Mt. Rainier – how much more does  He also care about my unanswered questions and struggles?  Much, much more!    He understands the things that drive me crazy!  He gets me – even when I don’t sometimes “get” myself and He understands why I do the things that I do.  Even when I don’t.  He is not afraid of my questions.  He understands my emotions and tears.  He knows why I still have a “heaviness” in my spirit that I am trying to leave behind me.  He knows about the unspoken events and hidden brokenness.  And He  is still there – working through all the “changes” in life that surround me.

Even when I have a rare day of beauty – and all is “right in my world”  Even when things in life are good.  At least mostly.

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