Friday, April 10, 2015

Prayer Warrior

It seems I have a little prayer warrior under my roof. Over the past year, Kendrick has really grown in his prayer life.

It began when we were praying for baby, Josiah Crum, his birth and his heart. He has had the opportunity to pray for so many others who needed healing and God's help over this year.

Never once did he quit or get tired of praying for the same people over and over again. It's a lesson my adult brain needs to learn.

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

He also has such a sweet way with words. His Kindergarten teacher lost her baby at the very end of her pregnancy this year and Kendrick prays for "her heart not to be sad."

This week his namesake, Charles Kendrick Watts, passed away on Wednesday. Charles was one of my Dad's dear college friends. (Charles is on the far left. Dad is second from the right)

His daughter, Marion was my good college friend. Today we are flying to go visit the family. I have talked to the kids about who Mr. Charles was and showed them a pic of Him and my Dad at my wedding. As we prayed last night, he prayed for Marion and asked God to tell her, "it's ok, he's with me now."

I pray that God continues to encourage my Kendrick as a prayer warrior and I appreciate the lesson God is teaching me through my little one.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Day 40 of My Lenten Journey

40. My Life

For the past few weeks I have dug deeper and learned more about how I need Jesus to help me. It's been really good and insightful.

To sum up, I just need to let Jesus into every nook and cranny of my life and live for him, because he died for me.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24

It's time to pick up my cross.

He is risen! Happy Easter!

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 39 of My Lenten Journey

39. Sorrow

Wow!  This one is heavy, literally.  It is everything of the past 39 days packaged up together in one messy bundle.  Sin, any sin brings sorrow.  However, sorrow leads to good things and that is why today is so important.

Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.  For you became sorrowful as God intended...Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

Today is Good Friday.  It is the day that Jesus was whipped, beaten, disrespected, and mocked. He was made to drag a cross up a hill, then his hands and feet were nailed to it and a crown of sharp thorns shoved onto his head. Jesus took on all this pain, suffering and sorrow so that we could be free of our sins.  He paid the penalty. God outlined this and foreshadowed it through the sacrifices of the Old Testament.

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.  Leviticus 17:11

This grace that God has offered us is free and for the taking.  All we have to do is trust and believe in Him, that Jesus died on the cross, was dead and buried and on the third day rose again conquering sin and death forever.  From prophesy to apostle, it has been written:

He will swallow up death forever.  The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all the faces; he will remove his people's disgrace from all the earth.  Isaiah 25:8

Death has been swallowed up in victory.  Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:54-57

So the world sits in sorrow and those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will continue to sorrow.  If not actually now, the future is guaranteed to be full of it.  The number of times the Bible says "What sorrow awaits..." is numerous.  It's a warning!
Don't wait around until you cannot bear your sorrow any longer or it is too late.

What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!  Isaiah 5:18

Today, I thank Jesus that he has taken the sorrow from my life on a Friday long ago.  He has turned my mourning into gladness and given me joy and comfort instead of sorrow.

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well.  I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.  Jeremiah 31:13

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Day 38 of My Lenten Journey

38. Self -sufficiency

Let me be clear.  I'm not talking about that I need to not be independent and instead lean on others for assistance.  I mean trusting and depending upon God and not solely on myself.  Self-sufficiency is similar to pride which I spoke of last week.  It is thinking you can do something, anything all on your own and you don't need God.  I would say the extreme example would be an atheist.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  2 Corinthians 3:5

It's having a different kind of work ethic.  I do all I can in my physical state like it is all me, but I trust God to supply all my needs, because I can do nothing in my own strength.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work:  2 Corinthians 9:8

Back in the 90's watching Friends one of the characters had a theme song, maybe Phoebe?  Anyway, I adopted a theme song for myself as I began to teach in my early years.  It was "I Have Confidence" from the movie version of the Sound of Music.  It talks all about having confidence in yourself.
While that was all well and good and it built up my courage to face some very tough classroom challenges, I was missing something--trust and confidence in God.  Now one of my favorite verses is what I pray each time I step into a classroom.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

It's so very close and similar, but it is acknowledging where our strength and courage and endurance comes from--Jesus Christ.  I can do nothing in my own strength in doing God's will.  I need his help. It boils down to trusting God at the basic level and acknowledging him, giving him the glory. 

But, he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Day 37 of My Lenten Journey

37.  Selfishness

The root of many of the sins that I have wanted to slough off over the past 36 days quite simply boils down to one thing--selfishness.  I think this is the biggest problem that I have as well as society in general.  We tend to put ourselves before anyone else.  "I" and "me" are pronouns too often used.

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.  Psalm 119:36

As a newly wed wife, I began to understand what it meant to put others first.  But, God really began speaking to me about it when I became a mother.  Nothing quite says "put me first" than a newborn baby/toddler/child.  As my counselor sister-in-law states, "You do need some self-care time." But, this is different than selfishness. That self care time comes after the taking care of others is done.  As my kids have become older and more independent, I might have backslid on this a tad.  I need to refocus especially when it comes to activities that the boys enjoy and I don't.

Indeed there are those who are last who will be first and first who will be last.  Luke 13:30 

However, I don't serve my family and do things for them because I want to be first in heaven.  I do it out of love.  Sometimes I must remind myself of this and ask God to change my heart when someone has just whined to me or when someone leaves their dirty clothes on the floor, for example.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to our own interest but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4

God has a mission for you and me and it is bigger than ourselves.  What we must remember is that the part we play is not the reward.  Stages in life will come and go.  But, the only way for it to conclude well is if in our hearts Jesus has increased and our selfishness has decreased.  It's not about me, it's all about Him.

He must become greater; I must become less.  John 3:30