Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In this world...

There's one glaring dilemma with prayer.  Prayer has a transforming power.  As I get closer to God, I find myself becoming more like Him.  The problem with that is the world is full of things that break God's heart.  From indifference, to violence, to corruption, abuse, injustice, hatred, the list goes on and on.

Unfortunatly, this illumination  is downright heartbreaking and often tear wrenching.

In Matthew 5, Jesus taught that those who mourn are blessed because they will be comforted.
I have found comfort in mourning with these intimate words Jesus spoke to his disciples:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33
Remembering all the people of  Moore, Oklahoma in prayer.

Photo credit: thedailybeast.com

Friday, May 24, 2013

Build Something Great

Desperate to escape the demands of their social lives in the north, Archer and Anna Huntington built an escape along the South Carolina called Atalaya.   With large studios for Anna to work on her sculptures and a library for Archer to manage his affairs and write poetry, it was their ideal winter retreat.

As I explored the corridors, hallways and rooms, I was mesmerized.  The Huntingtons built something that only they could truly appreciate.  Archer designed the building with a Mediterranean flair and Anna had a massive indoor and outdoor studio that included a stable for her horses and a cage for bears.  After all, who could sculpt without live models?

In the process of building, they became the largest employer in the city as they hired and trained locals to erect this incredible estate.  They provided valuable jobs during the great depression and later during WWII, the estate was used by the military.

The thing I love about Atalaya is the fact that it was built with no blueprints, just the instructions Archer gave.   It was said that he had designed the estate with detailed imagination "in his head."

It reminded me that I don't have to be a wealthy philanthropist to build something with  my words.  Prayers are eternal building blocks, more real than bricks and mortar and I too can build something great. 
 Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.  II Samuel 7:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thinking Bigger

It's easy for me to get all wrapped up in myself.  My plans, my desires, my needs seem to be reoccurring themes in my prayer life.  And  it's good to pray for ourselves.  But it's also good to think bigger.  

Recently our church was challenged to think big.  Every year we are challenged to a  Faith Promise.  The leadership asks us to prayerfully consider believing God to bring extra money, beyond what we would normally give to missions.  Essentially a promise to have faith for God to provide for missions.  After all, it's His work, right?

 Here's the kicker:  we were instructed to believe that God would provide the money to give.  It wasn't  to be discretionary income. It wasn't  to be budgeted into your finances.  It was simply a promise to be a promise to believe that God would provide extra money to flow through you to the mission field.

As we were considering what to give, my husband felt the desire to write a specific number.  He showed me the number.  I raised my eyebrows, then nodded in agreement.  God would certainly have to provide that amount!

A few days ago, I was thumbing through the mail and noticed and odd envelope.  I opened the envelope and smiled when I realized it was a check from and unexpected sources for the EXACT amount my husband wrote down.

My first thought was, "Wow!  This is God answering our prayer for the Faith Promise money for missions."
My second thought was, "Boy, I could use this for a lot of other things."
That was quickly followed with,  "Nope, this is money for missions."  

Needless to say, this whole Faith Promise experience was about so much more than the money.  It was truly a great opportunity to build my faith!