Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sometimes You Gotta Just Laugh

I was going to write you today to follow up on what we've been talking about—praying for our children. Instead, I'll show you next time how parents can pray for themselves. So if you don't mind, I'm just going to sit here and laugh! My only regret is due to the limitations of blogging, you can't sit here and laugh with me :-) The older I get, the more I find to laugh about.

So what's so funny?

In a word...............LIFE!

I just got out my notes on seeing God in everything to prepare an outline for an upcoming talk. In the beginning of that talk, I say how one of the greatest obstacles to having unwavering faith is the difficulty in seeing God in everything. 

I'm not going to give you the points on that talk right now. I just thought, this might be a nice time for you to see another side of me so that there will be not an iota shred of doubt in your mind that I do not have it all together (a point many of you never doubted who either know me personally or have been reading longer than a few days!). 

I can't stand blogging for many days without a huge dose of reality mixed in so that I present a more balanced picture of life for you. It is so easy to pose on Internet, and that would cause me to blow my witness with you to let you think that I am something that I am not. God is still working on me, too. That is the main reason I write!

Thank goodness the faithfulness of God is not dependent on me—my part is to do the  surrendering and trusting. He is the one who accomplishes the work even when it looks like everything (that would be me) is a total mess!

Here's just a few of the typical kinds of things that have come up lately:

     I had laryngitis for 10 days leading up to speaking commitment. My voice is back, but for healing I'm supposed to be drinking a lot of water (I'm trying!) and talking breathy (Ha! I don't know how to do it!) and speaking "less words per breath." (You gotta try to do that one. I keep forgetting, then I remember and try to breathe and say 4 or 5 words instead of my normal 35 wpb and it is all quite unnatural!)

     Mary's bathroom had been leaking downstairs and it was raining in the kitchen, which of course had to be fixed. The painters misunderstood what they were to paint after the sheet rock was repaired, and I walked downstairs to what looked like a crime scene. The entire downstairs was covered in tape and clear cellophane paper! I had to call Terry who was in his beloved kettle bell exercise class and get someone to drag him out of the class and to the land line phone (there's a few left in the world, thank goodness!) because Terry doesn't take his cell to exercise since he doesn't want any interruptions. Oh well.

     My son's good friend had accidentally knocked into my son's front tooth when he suddenly jerked up—yep, my son lost the whole tooth (he's still handsome even with his fake tooth. I know, I know, I'm very old-fashioned and live in the wrong century and still say handsome;-)

If you are not totally convinced that I need God every hour, just you wait, and read on. I'm not even going to tell you about everyday sin stuff that needs to be confessed because I know you are surfing the web and not reading a novel (by the way, I can't resist dropping in a teaching point that daily confession as soon as we know is best so as to keep short accounts with God and a clear conscience—1 John 1:9. I learned to make that a practice early on in my Christian journey and it really helps so nothing blocks our fellowship with Christ! OK, since I'm reversing things todaylet's get back to the story...).

     I haven't seen my winter coat in nearly two weeks now. I lost it sometime literally right before what our weatherman said was "cold Arctic air rolling in from the north." I called every place I could think of that I had been to retrace my steps—school, church, store, restaurants, the doctor's office—googling their numbers then describing my black and white checked coat, only—no coat—no one had seen it :-( 

     I'm back, I just realized the assistant principal had not emailed me back so I emailed him again—so there's still hope it may be there! My dear mentor Elisabeth Elliot used to say to pray (I did) and look in all the logical places and then just go about your work and see if it shows up.

     Right on the heels of that, I grabbed Mary's violin case and picked her up at school only to get to her lesson to open up the case to see—I had brought an empty case! I actually gasped and scared Mary!

     Violin nights are our busiest nights so I had picked up Chinese food. After dinner I was deep in thought, thinking about if I missed any places I might have gone where I could have left my coat. As I was cleaning up the dishes, I decided to eat one of the fortune cookies instead of throwing them away as we usually do, because no one ever eats them. 

     I remember thinking it didn't taste as bland as I thought it would be. I told Mary that they had more vanilla in them than I remembered and that she might want to try one. About that time, I felt the flour had a strange paste-ee consistency in my mouth, but I fluffed it off—distracted by Mary saying she did not want a fortune cookie because she did not consider them cookies but she did however want to know what the fortune said. 

     I started to think (obviously the first time I had done that in a while) when it dawned on me that there was more to fortune cookies that flour and vanilla, and that I had not remembered taking the fortune out before I ate the cookie!!! I had been munching on the fortune! I know you're thinking right now, yeah Juana, we know what it would of said if you had not eaten it. "The one who eats this is pretty stupid." I'm probably the only person you know that didn't break the thing open first!

In Proverbs 31, we read a description of a godly, older woman. I want to be like her! Her heart trusts in the Lord.  She conducts business. She laughs. Her children call her blessed. She can laugh at the days to come! I think that sometimes God wants us to lighten up, and not take ourselves so seriously and enjoy Him for no other reason than He loves us! He adores us! I think He even laughs with us, because He invented laughter. 

I'm so grateful for God's faithfulness, constant love, and His word which is life-giving, true, and penetrates the soul! We read in Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," otherwise we would have no hope! All our hope and confidence is in Him! I love you too, my Sisters and Brothers. We need one another to encourage each other in the faith as we wait for our Lord's return!
Here I am in my coat with my daughter, Blair, over Christmas.
The assistant principal emailed me back before I finished writing this blog... no coat:-(
But the good news is as I type... I hear Mary practicing her violin;-)
Walk by Faith,

Monday, January 28, 2013

What Paul Prayed for Others

Last time we got together, I gave you a daily list of how I pray for my children. I should have told you that sometimes I miss a day. Sometimes I miss a lot of days. I really like having a list because it is always really simple to get back on track.

We can always start fresh on any given day. His mercies are new every morning, right? We all need to remember that there is no condemnation in Christ.

I love giving out to you what I've learned (mostly from others—not much is original with me). I give them out to you not to make you feel bad if you have not been praying for your child, but to encourage you to pray regularly for them.

Lord knows that I'm a mess and am walking right along beside you trusting in our perfect Savior. If only you knew. I need Him every hour. I love the line in "Be Thou My Vision" that says: (I just put it on after typing this, it's playing right now...)

Thou my best thought by night or by day. (He is my best thought!)
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my wisdom!

Okay, I just turned it off, I can't listen and write you!

I promised you last time to give you some more prayers that I have in my folder that I pray regularly for my family.

I like praying these prayers that I listed below during the week for my family too, so I'm not just praying for food and safety and jobs which is about all I can come up with on my own (material stuff). We can pray for that, but why not pray for so much more?

Praying for Others 
What Paul Prayed when He Prayed

Wisdom and Power - Ephesians 1:18-19

Strength in the Inner Man - Ephesians 3:16-19

Discernment - Philippians 1:9-11

Knowledge of the Will of God - Colossians 1:9

Growing Love for One Another - 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13

Worthy of Their Calling - 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Comforted and Established - 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Be Steadfast in Their Love for God - 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Live a Quite and Peaceable Life - 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Recognize All They Have in Christ - Philemon 1:6

God Would Work in Them That Good Will Which is Pleasing Unto Him - Hebrews 13:20-21

You know what you might want to do?

Next time you are alone, try taking out this list, and praying it aloud with the name of someone you love. You will be praying that they grow spiritually and you will know that you are saying exactly the prayer that was in the Bible for your loved one! Have FUN prayingfor God answers prayer!

Walk by Faith,

Friday, January 25, 2013

How To Pray for Your Children (& for Singles to Pray for Themselves, Too!)

I'd like to give you a great starting point on what to pray for your children. I‘ve had this list for nearly twenty years, and have no idea where I got it—or who to give credit to for compiling it. 

The list below helps me so that I'm not just praying "Lord, keep them safe," (nothing wrong with that) but I want to pray more boldly and specifically for my children. 

I divide them up Sunday - Saturday, praying one or two of them per day. Put it in a place where you are likely to pray. 

I used to have them up on the wall in my closet along with the other prayers I gave you over the last few weeks—above a desk where I had quiet time (had a lamp, notebook, pen and desk lamp in there so I would be “ready” for a daily appointment with God in there). When we moved, I put them in a notebook which I now use. 

Don’t be too busy to pray for your children! God answers prayer! (Talking to myself, too) Some also apply well to singles to pray for themselves.


1.   That they will know Christ as Savior early in life.  Psalm 63:1, 2 Timothy 3:15

2.   That they will have a hatred for sin. Psalm 97:10


3.   That they will be caught when guilty. Psalm 119:71

4.   That they will be protected from the evil one in each area of their lives: Spiritual, Emotional, Physical. John 17:15


5.   That they will have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships. Daniel 6:3

6.   That they will respect those in authority over them. Romans 13:1


7.   That they will desire the right kinds of friends and be protected from the wrong friends. Proverbs 1:10-11

8.   That they will be kept from the wrong mate and saved for the right one. 1 Corinthians 6:14-17


9.   That they, as well as those they marry, will be kept pure until marriage. 1 Corinthians 6: 18-20

10.  That they will learn to totally submit to God and actively resist the enemy in all circumstances. James 4:7


11.  That they will be single-hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus Christ. Romans 12:1-2


12.  That God would put a hedge around them so they cannot find their way to wrong people or wrong places and that wrong people cannot find their way to them. Hosea 2:6

I have temporarily disabled comments on my blog due to a sudden, huge influx of spam! You're welcome to comment or ask a question on any of my links below. I actually love hearing from you—a real live person like me!

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“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” ~James 5:16

Next time, I'd like to show you one more specific list that I use to boldly pray specific prayers for my children. I think you are going to like it. It's good to pray for yourself too, or anyone you are praying for.

I love you my Sisters and Brothers! Have a Christ-filled weekend and a great time of worship on Sunday  where Christ is lifted up!

 Walk by Faith,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Daughter, Blair!

January 24 is one of the best days of the year to me because it was one of the happiest days that I have ever lived. It is the day that our first child, Blair, was born!!! Happy Birthday, Blair!!! 

I remember I went in at 9:00 a.m. to my regularly scheduled prenatal appointment and the doctor said, "You are going to have a baby today!" I told him I had a bag packed and ready at home. He then said for me to call my husband because I wasn't going home—I was going straight to the hospital. As soon as I heard Terry's voice on the phone, I began to cry thinking that we were about to hold our baby for the first time.

Five hours later—our first daughter was born! As I held Blair, I knew that dreams really did come true! Here is a picture of my dream girl!
This is Blair (in the middle) earlier this week with our darling little neighbors,
Emma & Margaret, that she adores babysitting when she can.
Blair is 24 on the 24th today!!!

I have a lump in my throat this very minute just thinking about my little girl all grown up. We are so grateful to God for the woman she has become and is becoming. 
God is faithful!

We gave her gifts for her birthday (one was a need, and one was a want:-), but the greatest gift I can give her is to pray for her. I'm committed to praying for her and her future spouse as long as I have breath! (Tomorrow I'll share how I pray for our children—you can print it to use for your children )

I wrote a blog entry to both of my girls last fall that I called, "Meet My Daughters ~ A Total Blessing!"  For those of you who would like to read that and those who hopped over here from Pinterest looking for it—I've a treat for you. Click here.


Listen to this poem called, "Wanted: A Girl," that I found in the book, "Moral Lessons of Yesteryear," compiled by A.L. Byers. You can share it with your little girls:

The girls that are wanted are good girls—
Girls that are mother's right hand,
That fathers and brothers can trust in,
And the little ones can understand.

Girls that are fair on the hearthstone,
And pleasant when nobody sees;
Kid and sweet to their own folk,
Ready and anxious to please.

Girls that are wanted are wise girls, 
that know what to do and to say;
That drive with a smile or a soft word 
The wrath of a household away.

The girls that are wanted are good girls—
Good from the heart to the lips;
Pure as the lily is white and pure 
From its heart to its sweet leaf-tips.

These beautiful and delicious cookies are made by my friend Angie Tucker and her friend. They can ship them to you! Click on my Pinterest  or  FB pages for Angie's contact info. 

"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him." ~Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

 "Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed." ~Psalm 112:1-2

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Inspiring, Good Wife

I love this picture of Terry and me—taken when we were dancing at our wedding. When we become wives, we have such hopes of being good wives. No one sets out from the beautiful romance of their wedding day thinking, "I hope I'm an awful wife!" Yet life settles into routines, and sin infects all of us — and we can easily take our spouse for granted, can't we?

We are all sinners — yes, Christians are redeemed sinners, I know, but — we all are sinners and we all marry sinners. They is nothing else to marry! (and let's not forget what they're stuck with!)

I remember that after we became engaged, we met with the minister that I grew up with for premarital counseling. When he said that we would have to "work" at our marriage, I thought the minister must not have known what he was talking about. We wouldn't have to work at it! We were in love! After all, Terry and I knew we loved each other; we would be fine! Wasn't that all it took?

Boy, was I wrong. Many of you already know our story, but if you don't you can hear it in my last blog,  here. A good marriage does take work.

We need the love and grace of Christ poured on us to show us how to love our spouse. We need the help of the Holy Spirit showing us what to do, and convicting us when we are plain and simple — wrong. We need the fellowship of the Holy Spirit guiding us to make love decisions so that by an act of our will we can say yes to God in order to make our spouses life as easy and as pleasant as we can.

Sometimes God uses other people to inspire us — in big ways and in small ways. I had a small way night before last.

Terry and I have a program that we enjoy watching together. He likes to let me know that it is coming on two hours or so before it airs, so I can anticipate and remember to watch it together and to be ready. Well the other night, I was ready.

Terry had made a fire (which I absolutely LOVE in the winter time) and we usually turn two chairs around that don't face the television so we can face the television. (they are sort of conversational chairs for when we talk in the den) We were going to watch side by side in front of the fire.

He turned his chair around as he watched the closing round of a golf match. I was on the sofa reading some articles on marriage of all topics on couples that had been married more than thirty-five years. I had a blanket over me, and my feet were propped up on a footstool. In a word, I was mighty cozy.

Terry said, "Come on, the program's going to be on in just a minute. You need to stop reading and join me!" So far — so good, right?

All sounds good except for one teeny-weeny thing.

As I sat reading my article on the good marriages, (kinda ironic, huh?) I had a about 5 or 6 more couples to read about and I wasn't finished. I didn't want to move. Besides, I was cozy where I was. And if I haven't told you lately, I am quite lazy. I am not proud of it, but I'm just putting it out there. I didn't really want to move. It just seemed like a lot of trouble when I was good where I was, and I really didn't want to stop reading either. No, I would just watch from there, and I said so, too.

I think I was about to throw in that I could read and watch at the same time, or something like that when the Holy Spirit brought someone to my mind that I had just read about earlier.

Joni Eareckson Tada.

If you don't know her, you need to know her.

When Joni was seventeen, she misjudged the depth of the water and dove into shallow water. She became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. That was almost fifty years ago.

Joni is married to a wonderful man named Ken Tada.

Suddenly as I relaxed on the sofa thinking of my own comfort and desires, my thoughts were interrupted. In my mind's eye, I saw Joni laying paralyzed in her bed in the middle of the night. I want you to picture her too, so here is what I had just read forty-five minutes earlier:

"My hands don’t work. My feet don’t walk. So, in the middle of the night, after Ken has turned me and put pillows behind my back and I’m all tucked in nicely with the blankets up, sometimes at 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock in the morning I get uncomfortable. I have to make a choice. Am I going to wake my husband up to turn me or am I going to make it to morning?

...Sometimes the discomfort is such that I have to wake him up, but I’m thinking of Philippians chapter 2, verse 4, at 2 in the morning. How can I look out for my husband’s interest? How can I put him first? He needs rest. He had a hard day yesterday. You know what? I just bet I can make it to morning. Those are the kinds of decisions that I make countless times during the day based on God’s Word. It should influence our decisions. It should inform our choices. For me, I think I can be a good wife. No, I can’t fold towels, I can’t iron shirts, I can’t whip up an omelet, I can’t rub my husband’s back. But I can cheer him on, look out for his interests, defend his reputation, pray for him, applaud him, and think of him at 2 o’clock in the morning. That’s being a good wife." ~Excerpted from World "Joni Eareckson Tada on Faith Healing and Marriage" (January 17, 2013)
I stopped reading.
I got up and moved the other chair around.
If Joni can be a good wife, so can I.
Thank you, Joni, for being such a good example of Christ. Christ in you inspires me to want to live differently and to do something about it.
"A wife of noble character who can find? 
She is worth far more than rubies." ~Proverbs 31:10

"Christ in you ... the hope of glory." ~Colossians 1:27
Walk by Faith,

Friday, January 18, 2013

How I Came to Faith in Christ on Haven Today Broadcast

I was blessed to be asked to tell how I became a Christian on Haven Today Radio Broadcast, and want to share that link today with you. It is the short version of how I became a Christian, and what transpired afterward. It's all His "amazing grace," as John Newton wrote, "that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see."

Click here to hear the audio.
Walk by Faith,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Your Obedience to God will Cost Other People

"If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in...If we obey God it will mean that other people's plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it, 'You call this Christianity?' We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid...

Are we going to remain loyal in our obedience to God and go through the humiliation of refusing to be independent, or are we going to take the other line and say—I will not cost other people suffering? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allow to happen if you obey Him." ~Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest
Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Street Signs Show Spiritual Message

If you're like me, you've thought ahead about what this new year could hold. I admit, I wonder. Truth is, a good bit of the time, we don't know what God is up to—we just know that He says to us—trust Me.

Some work is being done in and around our neighborhood right now that I think depicts this spiritual truth of trusting God. If anyone reading lives in the neighborhood, or if anyone has lived through similar road construction, how many times did you like me keep forgetting we had a detour before you remembered we couldn't go our usual way?

I can't pass a sign that I don't think about the spiritual parallel meaning in I naturally did what any blogger would do: I jumped out of my car and took pictures. Don't worry! Only once did I nearly get killed! 

I'm just kidding. I really felt there was a spiritual message for all of us shouting out in big black letters on bold orange signs. That's one way for God to get our attention!

Do you ever feel like you are wasting your time having to go the "long" way around to get to your destination? Ever wonder what on earth is going on to cause you to have to go what appears so far out of your way to get where you are going? We don't have to know what the master planner is doing to obey and take the detour, do we? 
We just have to obey and do what the sign says! The planner has an overall plan that is in our best interest, and we may have to be inconvenienced for a time for our greater good. So it is with God. He has a whole lot of people in mind in the working out of His will in our lives. Our job is to simply trust and obey.
Ever wish God could just send you a warning sign that a bump in the road was coming? Truth is eventually we all face a bump in the road. Here the driver can slow down and prepare. We too, need to prepare by abiding in Christ and slowing down to spend time with Him. That way, when the bump comes, we are not surprised, but ready and prepared for it. The same Christ who we take time to abide in as a way of life is the same Christ who stays with us as we go through the "bumps" in life.
Isn't it frustrating when you think you are headed in the right direction and suddenly the sign says, "Road Closed Ahead." My first reaction is usually, "Whaatttt? What do you mean this road is closed? It was open yesterday!" For the Christian, we don't have to pitch a fit or get overwhelmed. We can rest in knowing that God is the one who open and closes all doors in our lives. Someone once said, "God's refusals are His greatest mercies."

Sometimes don't you just want someone to tell you what to do? That is what we have in the Lord. God gave us 66 books called the Bible to show us the way. He tells us His word will be a lamp to our feet and a light unto our path. We can read His word and pray, and He will guide us. I love the verse that says, "Our God...We don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." (2 Chronicles 20:12)

Sometimes it seems like our circumstances will never change. In some ways they will, and in some ways they won't. I remember when I worked in sales for Xerox Corporation. I had a great position with them, but I longed to be a full time stay-at-home-mother. I kept asking, "How long, Lord?" He would gently remind me to trust Him. You know what? After 14 years with Xerox, my last day finally came. God gave me the desires of my heart to be home with my little children. 
Some things though will not change until we get to heaven. God is not finished with us here on earth and He will continue to conform us to the image of His son until we see Him face-to-face.  There is much work to be done! Bad habits need to conquered, wrong attitudes need to be changed, sin needs to be rooted out. We need transformation and God accomplishes the work as we trust in Him.
One day we shall become like Him, and our faith will become sight! Then our work on earth will be over, and we shall enter glory with Jesus forever and forever! Amen!

❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ 
There was one more orange sign that I saw for the first time just, today, January 15, 2013. I have never seen this sign before. I couldn't take a picture of it if I wanted to, because it was in a dangerous spot, just past a busy intersection. 

No matter anyway, I thought as I drove past it and even laughed inside at the thought of such a random sign. That sign that has absolutely no meaning in our spiritual parallel talk today—that's for sure!

Then something made me ponder that sign one more time as I drove toward our house.

It contained only three words.

"Tree work ahead."

Tree work.

He was lifted up and nailed to a tree. He was crushed for our transgressions. The Lord has laid on Him the punishment that was due us.

No, the final sign was not an irrelevant and random sign.

Some may think of Christ as completely irrelevant and totally random and pay Him no attention. Just like with the road signs—to ignore the sign is dangerous resulting in serious consequences like not getting to our destination.

So you see, the greatest work that was ever accomplished on earth was what Jesus did upon that tree. The cross was made from a tree. On that cross, he bore all the sin of the world. He bore all past sin and all future sin in human history—past and forward. He bore my sin. He bore your sin.

No, this tree work is not ahead—it's behind. Christ said on the cross, "It is finished." He finished the work the Father gave Him to do.

That was over two thousand years ago.

We live on this side of the cross! The "it is finished" side!*  

Oh that more could know that Christ is so relevant and that to ignore Him is the most dangerous decision on earth! It's like driving past the danger warning sign and then driving right off a cliff. For to ignore Him will have eternal consequences resulting in where one will spend eternity!

*Those who lived before the cross were saved by looking ahead to the cross and believing God. 

It's all about believing God and putting our trust in Him through what Christ did for us.

We don't know what 2013 holds, but we know the One who holds the future!

God doesn't send us a blueprint of what's to come in each of our lives, does He? He simply tells us two little words: trust Me.

"You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures 
at your right hand."
~Psalm 16:11

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight."

~Proverbs 3:5-6

Walk by Faith,

Monday, January 14, 2013

Here's A Bible Reading Plan as New Year Begins

Earlier this month I tweeted and facebooked out a site for you to have daily scripture sent to your mobile device so you can read a daily devotion everyday right from your iPhone, iPad, or Android! (See Our Daily Bread  for that).

Today, I want to give you another great Bible Reading Plan to help you make reading scripture a priority as you go into the new year. It’s called The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan from “The Navigators,” (NavPress).

There are readings for only 25 days per month—with the extra days to make up a day you miss. 

Here is what they say on their site:

The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan offers special features that will aid you in your journey through the Bible.

• By reading from four separate places in the Scriptures every day, you should be able to better grasp the unity of the Scriptures, as well as enjoy the variety of four different viewpoints.

• You can begin at any point during the year.

•To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only 25 readings. Since you’ll have several “free days” each month, you could set aside Sundays either not to read at all or to catch up on any readings you may have missed in the past week.

•If you finish the month’s readings by the twenty-fifth, you could use the final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.

•If reading through the entire Bible in one year looms as too large a task, you can alter the plan to meet your needs. For example, you could read the gospels and the wisdom books this year, and the other two categories next year.

In the year ahead, ask God each day to speak directly to you from the Scripture portions you read. Be expectant, and let your continual exposure to God’s Word reshape your attitudes and behavior as you gain a better understanding of every part of His written testimony to us.

Click here for a copy of The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan. You can print it out onto card stock paper as you will be referring to it regularly and checking off your daily readings.

Walk by Faith,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

One of My Favorite Prayers

This is one of my favorite prayers. You can pray it in the mornings or the evenings, or anytime that's best for you. It is very simple prayer, but it is not easy. 

I am willing to receive what You send,
to lack what You withhold,
to relinquish what You take,
to suffer what You inflict,
to do what You command,
to be what You require.

You can just read this prayer aloud and with an "upward glance" as that wonderful man from the 17th century St. Francis de Sales says, turn your heart toward God.

Copy it onto a card and put it where you really will pray it!

It is faith-building to admit how we really are before God, not try to pose how we wish we were. That is why I love this prayer. It shows I am His servant, and He is the Master.

As you learn it, and genuinely mean it, it can create an attitude in your heart of receiving whatever God brings or doesn't bring into your life. I had been praying it for five years (and had it on a 3 x 5 card) when my Mary was born—totally blind unbeknown to anyone but God until the day of her birth. 

This prayer flooded my mind in the hospital. My faith was actually strengthenedI knew that praying these truth-giving words had changed my heart—and I was filled with gratitude. 

I'm so glad we meet here. It is such a privilege for me to give you what others took time to give to me. It made a huge practical difference in my life, and I pray it does in yours.
Walk by Faith,