Tag: cities on fire

Riots and Rockets. Shades of the sixties

Let's all be heroes/American flag

Talk about history repeating itself. The sixties were a time of rocket launches and riots. The only difference is that now we are seeing everything unfold twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We couldn’t avoid it if we tried.

This will not be a political post. There’s enough blame to go around for both parties. No, this is a post about the heart.

Where are our hearts?

I would suggest our hearts should be breaking over all this. Our hearts should break because of what happened to George Floyd.

Our hearts should break over the towns whose business districts are being destroyed.

Our hearts should break because the very people who were peacefully protesting are now being used by outside political groups.

The other day I was at Walmart, two days after the shooting. Two women in front of me were asked by the man (what position he had, I don’t know) to see their receipt. They refused, telling him he had no legal right to ask them that. He backed off.

As they walked away, I heard one of the women say to the other, “I’ll bet they don’t ask white people to show their receipt”.

But as I left, he didn’t ask me.

I felt like catching up with the women and letting them know that I felt what happened to George Floyd was horrible. That not all white people are racist. Certainly, not me. (Hmmmmm ?)

I didn’t follow them, because frankly, I was quite sure they probably didn’t care what I thought. And that’s OK.

My heart was with those two women and the insult they felt from the “security” guard. It was just wrong.

I trust you are praying about all this hate and hurt.

Let’s get our hearts in the right place. Let’s quit judging and treating people differently because of their ethnicity, education, weight, economic or educational disparities……

I really do believe that change occurs in the world when it changes in individuals first.

Think about when you meet a new person. Can’t you just feel whether they are angry or calm? They each emit a kind of aura, don’t they? I want my “aura” to reflect God’s love.

We were all feeling a bit helpless because of the pandemic and now we have these riots. We really feel helpless now.

The history when Jesus walked the earth was not that much different than now. (Except for the rocket launch, of course.) Poor people and minorities were being taken advantage of, too. Why do you think headdressed the treatment of the poor so often? Political turmoil was everywhere.

Jesus preached that our hearts had to change and we, and we alone, are responsible for that heart change.

It’s no different in 2020.

I know that for me, I’m looking at my heart intently. I don’t want racism or any kind of discrimination to live in my heart. I am challenging myself this next week with the thoughts I choose and the words I use.

Let’s all just open our hearts to the Holy Spirit to search us and see if there is any “wrong” thinking. Is there something as an individual we need to be doing differently?

God bless and pray for the safety of America across these situations.

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prayer/e.m. bounds

An exciting new series on prayer

Starting in July, I am adding a new menu item. Do I sound like a restaurant?

What shall it be then?

An appetitzer? Main course? dessert?

I think we’ll call it the “tantalizer”.

Have you ever heard of E. M. Bounds?

If not, let’s just say that he has written more about prayer than any other author ever, 568 pages to be exact. The book I have contains all his books in one big volume. have had his book for years and when I want to torture myself I read portions of it.

I use the word “torture” because as the introduction written by Jim Cymbala of The Brooklyn Tabernacle says regarding his book, “You either stand near to enjoy its warmth or you move away because the flame seems too much to bear.”

I agree.

E.M. Bounds took the word of God literally in regards to prayer, something I think many of us don’t do. And that certainly includes me.

I think I am praying believing that if I believe what I’m praying, my prayers will be answered. (Yes, I mean it just the way I wrote it, convulted though it is.)

The truth, though? I think if I really did believe it, I would pray much bigger than I do.

Don’t look at me askance. How many you really believe that if you were to pray really big for something like world peace, it would happen?

I’m not saying it wouldn’t either.

All of this is just to point out that prayer, while really quite simple (after all, it’s only a conversation between two people), is complex. Not because prayer itself is complex but because we are. Prayers in the Bible are simple (and short, I might add), I wonder how we made it so complicated.  

The longest prayer is found in  Nehemiah 9:5-38, that’s only thirty-three verses. It can be read in a matter of minutes and yet is a powerful prayer.

E. M. Bound’s book challenges me and encourages me at the same time. (For some reason, I can’t download the image but you can find it here on Amazon.) And while I still maintain prayer is simple, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot more we can learn.

I hope you will enjoy the excerpts that I will post on Mondays. Remember, 568 pages! So just giving you a few sentences every week isn’t even going to give you an inkling about the book’s depth of insight. I encourage you to buy the book or get it from your local library so you can pick it up if only to read a few sentences at a time.

God bless and have a great day.

The post, “An exciting new series on authentic prayer” appeared first on “Under His Wings” @faithsighanddiy.com

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thinking outside the box

How to pray bigger than your faith

Last week, I got my manuscript all together in one place.

I had been working on the chapters of my book in separate documents. Eventually, I have to have it all in a PDF file in order to publish it.

The writing has been easy compared to this part.

I think I also told you I’m reaching out to everyone I know who has a social media platform to help me publicize my book.

As I was thinking about publishing and all I had yet to learn, I thought of someone within our family network who has written some books herself and done quite well. I was hesitant to ask for her help because she has her hands full with her job and her family.

But I reached out anyway just for clarification about a couple of things. In the course of back and forth texting, I asked her if she would be willing to actually be my consultant in this whole process. I told her I wouldn’t take her help unless I could pay her.

Her response was that she had also received lots of help when she started out and this would be her way of passing it on. We scheduled an hour between her dropping her daughter off at a friend’s house and having to pick her up. I told her I would be taxing her brain non-stop during that time.

And I did.

Boy, we worked hard and fast and after one hour I was further along in the process of getting my book published than I would have ever been on my own. We accomplished in one hour what could have taken WEEKS! And that’s assuming I didn’t have a breakdown in the process.

(I hope you read the post from last Thursday because this is kind of the same theme. You can find it here if you’d like. )

This was another example of God going way beyond what I thinking or could imagine. (Eph:3:20)

That got me to thinking. I wonder what we could all accomplish if we prayed bigger and dreamed bigger?

I wonder what we could all accomplish if we trusted God more, had more faith.

If there is one area where I feel I “lack” in my walk with God it is right here, having enough faith. I never feel like I’m even close to having the kind of faith others have.

When I feel like that way though, I remind myself that this is just another way of comparing myself to others, but I don’t recognize it as such because it sounds so “spiritual”. It’s just as self-destructive and every bit as wrong, not to mention counter-productive to my overall spiritual growth.

In my book, I have one day (it’s a daily devotional) when I write about how comparing ourselves to others can trigger a plummeting mood. Left unresolved, it can lead to depression.

Interestingly enough, it’s my faith-walk where I do the most comparing. Now, just who do you think is behind that? It certainly isn’t God, is it?

Think big this week.

Think outside the box.

thinking outside the box

Pray outside the box.

I think God loves it when we pray big. It’s kind of like we’re saying, “I believe you really can do more than I can think or imagine.” Don’t be like me and measure your own level of faith. That’s between you and God anyway, isn’t it? Let him be the judge.

And don’t let anyone else judge you about your faith.

BTW, I wrote the above for me even more than I wrote it for you.

God bless and have a good day. ‘

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ethereal/inspirational

How God works in the most outlandish way

Seriously.

There are times I can’t even believe how God shows up in my life.

I sure hope you have that experience. I’m alway surprised and yet I shouldn’t be because God’s been surprising me my entire life.

Well, as you know I’m working on my first full-length book, a devotional for Christians who struggle, or have struggled with depression/anxiety and never want to face it again.

Well, the writing part has been easy. I’m constantly reading about mental health issues, anxiety, and moods in general. My library records are proof of that. I wonder what the librarians think when my books come in. (We have a small library so I order books online most of that time.)

My mind is constantly mulling over ideas of what to write about. I always have plenty of information to pull from. And then there is my own experience with depression and that of many others I know and have come acquainted with over the years through teaching Bible classes, counseling, and as a hospital chaplain.

When I sit down to write, it’s like my fingers are writing with little conscious awareness on my part. It’s actually a little ethereal feeling at times, like something outside of me is moving my fingers.

ethereal/inspirational

I don’t think I’m unique in this regards. I hear other writers say the same thing. It’s actually very exciting.

I am also concurrently working on a fiction book. It also seems to be writing itself because I’m letting the characters tell me what they want to say and do. I’m not contriving anything and I have no real plot in mind.

Again, the characters are letting me know what is happening next.

I wondered about that. Is that even an acceptable method of writing a fiction book.

Shouldn’t I have an outline?

A plot?

So I bought some highly recommended books about writing. One of them titled, “On Writing” was written by someone whose books I have not and probably will never read. It’s just not my type of book.

Stephen King, no less.

I mean, really. What would Stephen King possibly have to say to me? (Meaning, of course, that he writes horror fiction and I’m writing a Christian devotional. Nothing against the man at all.)

writing/stephen king
writing/stephen king

As it turns out, a whole lot.

That’s what I mean by God showing up in the strangest ways in just the ways we need.

Once I got past the language, and was able to cipher out the “meat”, I realized that I felt totally validated with how I’ve been writing. Things like avoiding adverbs whenever possible. I do.

Using the few words possible to say something and eliminating all unnecessary words. I do. (Which, in conversation though, I have a hard time doing.)

And there is so much more.

We need to always remember that God can give us what we need in the most outlandish ways.

This might be the most outlandish yet.

I hope your day is a truly blessed one.

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