What Can I Pray for You Today?

 

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“Good Morning! What can I pray for you today?”

I have this friend who texts me all the time asking me if there is anything she can pray about for me. I’ve also seen this same friend post on Facebook asking her other friends if they have anything they would like her to pray about for them.

Life is really hard right now for a lot of people I love and I’m also finding my life is harder than normal right now too. Something I have noticed is her texts always seem to come at the time when I am needing prayer the most.

I know when we are down we should always go to God first, but I have also seen first hand how God has used other people by placing them in my life at just the right place and time that I was in need of a friend.

A few years ago I was going through a hard time and a lady I barely knew called me just to ask how I was doing that day. Later in the conversation, I found out that God had placed me on her heart that day and she had felt that she should pray for me. She also mentioned that she called me because she felt like God wanted her to call me. When she told me this it touched me deeply and I know I will never forget how amazing it felt, and still feels to this day to know that God loves me so much that he sent someone to love me on his behalf. Now as I’ve grown in my faith I have realized God has placed a whole lot of people in a whole lot of the right places many times during my life.

I also have found myself in situations that I know God placed me in someone’s life too. I will also admit there were and still are days that I really don’t want to be mixed up in other people’s lives. Somedays I feel like I am just so overwhelmed by my own struggles that I don’t feel like I could possibly add another thing to the mix, but when I feel that way there is this verse that always seems to pop in my head.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

That verse is a good reminder that I have fallen before and let me tell you it is a whole lot easier to get back up when you have a good friend to help you up.  I really don’t think God intended us to go through this life alone.

Mathew West has this song called ‘Do Something’.

In it are the words ‘So, I shook my fist at Heaven and said, “God, why don’t You do something?” He said, “I did I created you.”’

Those words are so true, God did create me and he wants me…make that all of us… to step up and take care of one another.

Something else I have noticed is when I am praying for other people my own load doesn’t seem quite so heavy to bear anymore.

 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

What can I pray for you today? Leave your prayer in the comments below.

I Wonder if They Have Disco Dancing in Heaven

I have this friend who is dying.  A year ago she went to the doctor for her yearly physical and found out that she was healthy.  A month later she had pneumonia and after a few tests she found out she had stage 4 lung cancer. From the moment she found out she was sick she took the diagnosis on full force and she refused to let the doctor tell her when she would die. She decided that she would fight the cancer with all she has and fight she HAS, she has been fighting with everything she’s got for almost a year now.

She has spent most of this past year in and out of the hospital and most of the time she has been very very sick.  I have seen her take her chemo therapy bravely never once complaining and she always seems to me to be determined to not to let the cancer control her. I admire her so much because she is not just trying to live another day, but she also seems determined to live each day as a good day. No matter what setback she has she posts inspirational messages publicly praising God and thanking Him for each day, she seems to be always taking notice of the good things and always collecting each and every one of her blessings, determined not to miss a single one of them.

Lisa has been my friend since I was a young girl. She was my best friend during the disco era. We were teenagers then and we knew the words to every song on the radio and spent a lot of time singing and dancing together.  We knew all the moves to every dance and we must have watched Saturday Night Fever a hundred times to get all the dance moves down pat.

We lost touch for a lot of years after we both got married, but about 6 years ago we met back up again on Facebook.  Even though we both had changed and had lived totally different lives we still jumped right back into our friendship and to me it feels as if nothing has changed in our friendship when we get together. We are still comfortable together, can’t stop talking and still have this sisterly bond that will always tie us together, I love her so much..  Now days as adults we have always joked about how we will be old ladies one day and still be dancing.  We occasionally post goofy dance videos on each other’s Facebook time lines.

Today as I sat with Lisa I realized that she is so sick that most likely she won’t be dancing on this earth anymore. It’s so hard for me to think about that and it makes me feel so sad as I write it here, it just seems so unfair that she has to leave so soon. I am not ready for her to leave and just can’t imagine life without her in it, we were supposed to be dancing old ladies one day.  She has kids and grand kids and a husband and I feel like she is supposed to be here with them longer too…at least that’s what my brain says, but what I see with my eyes tells me differently.

I am not sure why some people get more time than others or what the reason is for all of this but it’s so hard to see her body fail her, and to have watched her health deteriorate so quickly over this past year. In only one years time her body has given out and it just seems somehow so unfair.

It is hard for her to talk because she gasps to breathe as she speaks, at one point today she whispered, “I don’t get all of this” then she just shrugged her shoulders as a look of sadness and defeat crossed her face and she turned her eyes upward as if asking God for an answer.  I was at a loss of words, I because I don’t know the answer either and I agree… I also ‘don’t get all of this only God knows the reason for all of this.  The one thing that I do know is that one day my friend will dance again and I have a feeling it’s going to be real soon that she will be dancing in Heaven.  Her body may be wasting away here on earth but her new body is waiting for her in heaven.  I know her new body will be strong and full of life and ready for a lot of dancing.  I have a feeling when she meets Jesus she will forget all about how sick she is right now, and she will forget about having to leave anyone behind. I also have a feeling that once she meets him she will most likely ‘get all of this.’

I leave for Haiti in 2 days, it was hard to say goodbye to Lisa today, I felt as if it was probably the last time we may see each other until Heaven.  I worry she may go to Heaven while I am gone and I won’t know until I get home.  As I left her today she told me to come see her as soon as I get home and I promised her that  I will.  The selfish side of me wants her to still be here when I get back home but I also want her to be well and pain free.. I also I know that if she leaves before I return that today was not the last time I will see my friend, I know that one day I will see her again in Heaven and who knows maybe we will do a few of our old dance moves as we celebrate. I wonder if they have disco dancing in Heaven…. I sure hope so.

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Me and Lisa 8th grade…Don’t you dare laugh at our goofy outfits 🙂

How Well do you Know God?

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Have you ever had a friend that you can pretty much predict what they will say or do because you know them so well?  The more you are around someone the more you get to know them and know who they truly  are. The same goes for God, the more you spend time with him the more you will get to know him and know who he truly is.

Ask yourself today… What do I know about God?  Who is God?

I don’t mean just what you have heard about him but how well do you personally know him?  Do you know him from spending time in the Bible and spending time with Him or do you know only what other people have told you about Him?

If you want to be really good friends with someone you gotta take the time to get to know them personally.  The same goes for God, he loves you always but if you take the time to get to know Him personally He will be the best friend you ever had.

Get to know him today,

Blessings,

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Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

To read the rest of the posts in this series you can click here – 31 Days of Hushin’ My Mouth

31days

To read the rest of the posts in this series you can click here – 31 Days of Hushin’ My Mouth

#write31days

Waiting For A Scrap

 

miss me

image astorybyme.com, quote, author unknown

I started writing this post over a year ago and it is one of many posts that I have stored on my computer that I’ve started and never finished. Today as I was reading this I realize that a lot has changed since I wrote it so I decided maybe it was time to finish it.

I left the beginning just as I found it and I wrote the ending today.   Maybe the reason I have so many unfinished posts is because God is not finished with me yet.  Maybe I have to grow a bit to be able to finish them…


When my kids were little we had a dog named Bandit. When we first got Bandit my kids were very young and he was a puppy.  You could pretty much figure that wherever the kids were that is where you would find Bandit.  If they were playing outside he was outside playing with them. When they went to school Bandit would walk with them to the bus stop where he would wait with them until the school bus came.  After the kids got on the bus he would chase the bus down the road as fast as he could run until the bus would eventually outrun him and then he would turn around and come back home.

In the afternoon when it was time for the school bus to return with his kids he would start waiting on the front porch about 15 minutes before it was time for them to be home.  When he heard the bus coming he would gallop happily down the road to greet them He would be so happy they were home and they would be happy to see him. He would then hang out with them the rest of the day. No matter what they would be doing he would be right there in the middle of it all.  Baseball games or running along side of them riding their bikes.  He was part of the family and one of their closest friends.

As the years went by the kids grew up and the school bus was replaced by cars and the little kids grew into teenagers.  During that time our whole family had very busy lives.  The kids were involved in school activities and sports and they spent a lot of time away from home doing things that teenagers do.  No matter how busy we were every time anyone came home Bandit come running to greet them.  Sadly the kids didn’t play outside with him to much anymore and it seemed like a lot of the time the most attention he got was a quick pat on the head as they were passing him on their way in or out.

Bandit loved those small scraps of attention and it did not matter how much or how little attention he got he would always be happy to see his kids and he would always greet them with excitement.  Bandit was truly one of the most loyal friends anyone could ever have and he loved everyone just because he did.

I look back on this now and it seems sad though Bandit always seemed like a happy dog. My kids are all grown now and Bandit passed away a long time ago but for some reason today I was thinking about Bandit.  Thinking about him got me to thinking about friendships and about how Jesus is my friend.  Jesus is the most loyal friend a person will ever have and sadly I will have to admit that just like Bandit there are days he gets only small scraps of attention.  Some days I have been guilty of hitting the ground running the minute I opened my eyes in the morning and then rushing through my day.  There are days that maybe a quick “thank you for this meal” before dinner is all he gets.  Yet he will still be there every single day loyally walking beside me ready to give me all the time I want with him, should I choose to want to hang out with him.

I am not sure that I am quite as loyal of a friend as Bandit or Jesus in that sort of situation.  I know what it is like to be someone’s last choice.  I have been the last choice friend a time or two in my life and the truth is I have totally swung the whole scrap of attention thing the other direction.  If I get the slightest inkling that I am the one pursuing the friendship all the time and I am never being pursued that’s when I decide I am not needed anymore or that I am being a pest and then I just quietly go away.

I don’t want to make Jesus my last choice friend.  I know I should treat others in the way I want to be treated, so why don’t I do the same with Him that I want others to do with me?

What if I came to Jesus today wanting to talk to him and he said, “Oh I’m sorry, I have so much to do today, I will have to get back to you tomorrow.”??? 🙁

That is where I left off writing last year.

When I started this story a year ago though I was recognizing that I should put Jesus first in my life, I was still not always making Him my top priority. At that time I was also going through a rough patch with illness and pain and depression.  Some days I smiled on the outside while I was crying inside.  I remember wanting to hide how I felt from everyone yet at the same time I just wanting someone to know and to contact me, but how could they know to contact me if I pretended I was good?  Through it all Jesus was there the whole time trying to make contact with me.  He never gave up and usually always succeeded in one way or another to get my attention. A lot of time he would come by way of another hurting person and somehow some way I would see him there.  Over time I realized that instead of running from him in my time of need that I needed to run TO him.  The more I ran to him the more I realized  I don’t want to just throw him a scrap of attention every now and then, I want him to have my first attention all the time. I was pretty down this past year but now I feel blessed by it all and this has been a truly life changing year for me. I can’t wait to see where the next year goes.

The quote above I see a lot on Facebook It says ‘If you start to miss me remember I didn’t walk away, you let me go’. In our friendship with Jesus we do have the free will to walk away if we want to, but I think once a person has let him in their life he won’t ever walk away from them. He doesn’t move away, if anyone moves away in the relationship it is us.  Jesus is the best friend I have ever had and I am so thankful that on the days I ignored him he did not decide he was unwanted and make the decision to go away. He is a loyal forever friend and instead of leaving He kept pursuing our friendship even more. Even in my darkest days He was there breathing light in my life. He had claimed me as his friend and I am so thankful that I claimed him as mine.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13

No Words

Lately a lot of people around me are suffering tremendously and it seems like I keep finding myself at a loss for words as to what to say to help comfort them.  I also find myself feeling so sad about their circumstances that I find myself becoming overwhelmed.   Just recently I felt so overwhelmed by this that I bought a book that I had heard would help me know how to deal with this sort of thing better.  I read in a book that it was not my job to take on another person’s burden or grief…that denying myself to do for others what they cannot do for themselves was showing the sacrificial love of Christ… Huh? Yes those were real words right out of the book and they made no sense to me.  What did make sense is that I felt those words were wrong and go against everything I have read in the Bible and it disturbed me terribly when I read that, it also disturbs me that this is a very popular Christian book with outstanding reviews.

Some people who read the book may choose to believe it but I decided to investigate some of the scripture they quoted that supposedly backed what they were teaching.  The more I investigated the more I realized that they had took a lot of the scripture and then used it around their own words to make it say what they were writing in this book.  Being still kinda new to the Bible this is hard for me to take and I do not know if they purposely are misleading people or if maybe I just do not understand it the way they do.

I have been thinking about this for quite some time now and decided that I think it is best for me to choose to believe what I feel like God wants me to see.  So I have decided to go with only what God has written in his book (The Bible) and what I feel the Holy spirit has put on my heart.  I do agree with them when they say we should give people up to God because it is true we do have to give people up to God because they do belong to him.  But I do not see how walking away when they are hurting will help them and that does not show the sacrificial love of Jesus.  The day I can shove someone off when they are hurting is a sad sad day. It would not only be the day I helped add to someone’s pain but also the day I would realize I was not doing the job God intended for me to do and that would burden my heart terribly.  It really bothers me that someone has written a book that tells people its okay to selfishly walk away from what God has put in front of them to do.  I am not saying we have to be a doormat but sometimes doing the work of God is inconvenient and will turn our own lives upside down but I believe we are called to help anyway.

Jesus gave everything for me so why would I think I could get by and not turn my own life upside down for other people?  Isn’t that what the Bible teaches us is to love God first and then to love our neighbor as we love ourselves? I don’t see it saying love ourselves first.

Mark 12:30-31 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

and

Matthew 22:37-40 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Some people may think I am wrong… but anyway this is what I feel like God wants me to do.  I hope that the other people who read that book did not just take everything it said as truth without looking up the facts.

With that being said and because this post is not a book review here is what this post is really about….

What do I say that to someone who is in the middle of a crisis such as …watching a family member die or maybe they received a cancer diagnosis? I have no idea what to say that would make them feel better.

Yesterday I found myself with a person who was very sad and them being sad made me sad.  I wanted to help but did not have any idea what to say  that would help them to feel better.

Have you ever seen a person who was running away from God instead of running to God in a time of crises? Sometimes they will avoid going to church during those times. Have you ever wanted to tell someone that if they would come to church and be in fellowship with people who loved them that they would feel much better?  I truly do believe that most of the time person will feel better if they went to church, but the problem is how do say that to someone without sounding like I am scolding them for not coming to church? Besides a person does not have to be in church to find God… but for me being in church is what works best.

I think sometimes it is hard to know the right thing to say to comfort someone.  I tend to try to see the best things in a bad situation and want so bad to tell hurting people to try to find the joy in the bad situation and look toward that.  Though I know that is true and it works for me I don’t dare say that to someone who is hurting…unless I know that person well enough to know that is what works for them.

I think we Christians can be really annoying with stuff like that especially to those who are not Christians.  I know this to be true because that kind of stuff has been said to me and I will admit it….I was annoyed!

Back to yesterday….

So yesterday there I was with this very sad and distraught person feeling like I needed to say something brilliant… Something that would make them feel so much better and those annoying things … ‘look to the joy’… ‘come to church’… etc…etc…wanted to come popping out of my mouth.

Why?

Because I didn’t really have anything brilliant to say that will make them feel better.

And I never will have it…

Only Jesus has it…

I can’t fix it…

Only Jesus can fix it…

But how do I say this without offending them???

Maybe I really don’t have to say anything at all.  Maybe all I have to do is be there for them and listen to them instead of trying to fix it for them.

Could it be that they just needed a friend? Maybe to know someone will listen to them? To know that somebody cares?

Could it be that they just really need to know that it is okay to feel sad sometimes?

I get sad all the time.

Yes I said it, Christians get sad…. And guess what???

It is okay! Just because I have Jesus does not mean I am happy all the time.

Its okay for people to be sad because the truth is everyone gets sad, everyone gets angry; everyone hits that place of desperation from time to time where we just do not feel joyful.

People get sick, people die, people lose jobs, and relationships fall apart.  It’s true… sometimes some really rotten things happen.  We live in a messed up world and though I do know there is so much more that is good in this world than there is that is bad, please do not tell me about it when I am hurting! We should not make someone feel as if they should be ashamed for feeling sad.

How do we go about helping someone who is hurting?  The truth is I don’t really have the answer to that question.  All I do know is what does or does not work on me. I know I can’t do a whole lot to help someone other than pray and try my best to be there for them.

I do know that people do need to turn to Jesus when they are hurting and I think showing a person Jesus in action would work a whole lot better than just telling them about him. I also think most of all its important to let people know that it is okay to be sad and that Jesus knows they are sad and that he also feels their pain and he will be there with them the whole time and never let them go.

At times I think we all may feel like we are flailing around all alone but really we are never alone.  Jesus is always here with us and but sometimes a person can get so low that they may not see him so clearly because their pain is so thick.  I think that its during those times that he shows himself by sending us the kindness of a friend.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Will you be a friend and help give someone hope by showing Jesus to them today?

Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

You don’t need to worry about having the words, all you need is to just be there.

  1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,

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