Monday, September 22, 2008

Pray Big

Teresa of Avila said, "You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him." This quote made me ask myself, "When was the last time I asked great things of God?" My thoughts went to a precious family in my church. The mom has a horrible case of rare bone cancer. Her family has an Internet journal (Caring Bridge) that keeps friends and family apprised of her condition. When her husband writes his beautiful, God-honoring journal entries he encourages me to take Teresa of Avila's advice. His writings reveal that he is positive God will heal his wife from this cancer. But today she is very weak and on a ventilator. God may choose to heal her completely and perfectly by bringing her home to heaven. Please join me in praying for the Queen family.

Despite his wife's dire condition, his closing remark on today's entry was, "Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong. Your every action must be done with love. 1 Cor 16:13-14" I'm inspired by his faith. He compliments God every day by asking Him to do great things. My plan is to pray bigger than I ever have before. What about you? Have you sent any accolades to heaven lately?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Renewed by a Psalm

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits--
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103:1-5
These few verses say it all, don't they? They give us everything we need to live in this fallen world. They rejuvenate us and give us strength. I am sad to say, however, that I could not look at this Psalm for a long time. It hurt me deeply not to be able to look at a part of God's precious word. And this all because of a person in ministry who stole from me and hurt me terribly in the name of Jesus. This Psalm was her ministry motto, so every time I ran across it I thought of the horrible time I went through as a result of being involved with her. This happened the first time I became serious about serving God.
But God renewed my youth. He took away the cynicism that often comes after growing up and having to deal with not-so-nice people. It took a while, but God healed my heart from the damage betrayal causes. Today I am able to return to these awesome promises and experience the renewal God's Psalms bring.
I can now tell you that I wouldn't trade that hard place in my life for a pot of gold. During that time, I started to attend Bible Study Fellowship International, an incredible, intense 7-year study. While there I witnessed a ministry that is obviously ran by the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit. It was like hearing God say, "You have experienced a ministry that is not run on my power, but now you see how it should be done." The lessons I learned put me on the fast track of training how to serve God in a way that pleases him, which was and is the desire of my heart. The promises above tell me that God satisfies our desires with good things and he has surely done that.
I pray you can see the same valuable lessons in the trials and tribulations you are experiencing. That God will redeem your life from the pit and fill your crown with the jewels of his love and compassion. May your youth be renewed like the valiant eagle's so you can fly high above the clouds of stress and strife, closer to the SON.