Friday, May 31, 2013

Mary's Story to be Featured on Monday Morning Newscast (June 3)


Hi everyone! Will you please pray with us? My daughter, Mary, born totally blind, now 16, will be on TV Monday morning.

Mary's story with morning anchor will air Mon June 3 on WNCN NBC/17 Morning News Time Warner Cable 17.1,1117 @ 6:40-6:50AM (check your local listings). Live stream of it at 6:40AM @ www.wncn.com. It will post Mon afternoon on WNCN.com & on Fb WNCN Today & on my FB Juana Mikels Ministries, and I will post it on my blog on Monday afternoon, too.

Pray for Christ's light to shine into the hearts of people who are in darkness! Mary spoke on being blind to students, read Braille music, sang & played piano:-)

They turned to me & said, "we are interviewing you, too." I had not even run a brush through my pony tail (nor washed my face:-( yuck) as I was helping Mary look her best & ran out of time! Had to repent of being overly concerned on externals when it is our words that matter! Yikes!

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day, Spring Fever & Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up!

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend for all of you that live in the USA!  This weekend, I continued reading "Left for Dead," about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in World War II, and it made me think about our military that put themselves in harm's way to protect freedom around the world. 

The ship with nearly 1200 men aboard was struck by two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine, and in the end, only about 150 men survived after floating at sea for days as sharks encircled them. For some, it was their faith that they clung to as they floated at sea. I cannot imagine what families have suffered as their young sons, husbands, and brothers have died as they have faithfully served our country. Oh dear God, our eyes are on You! Oh, Lord, You are near to the brokenhearted!

I saw this flag last year in Easton, Maryland and knew you would like it, too.


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I have been struck with a huge case of spring fever! I wish you could smell the jasmine that is blooming over our garage door! It beckons me outside—saying "come out and play!" It is so divine! Isn't it wonderful how nature obeys him perfectly? The jasmine obeys him perfectly by giving off its fresh, sweet scent!


Don't you think that's what God says to us each day? Not "come out and play," (although, why not?) I meant more that He beckons us to spend time with Him. He calls to us ... by name! "Juana, stop what you're doing, and sit here with Me. Just relish in my presence, thinking about my character and how I love you totally unconditionally."

Our Lord also loves for us to pray! To simply converse with Him! It is my joy on Wednesdays to pray for you. Please leave your non-confidential prayer request in the comments, and I will pray for you. I have left the first one, you are next!

I also host a blog hop on Wednesdays for a time for bloggers to share their blog links! I'd love for you bloggers to share what your God-honoring passions are from marriage to parenting to cooking to gardening to organization to anything that honors God that you are passionate about. I did one, and you are next!
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Walk by Faith,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tessa & Janie Share Their Stories!


Remember last August when I told you about four girls that were in an horrific car accident in which the car overturned several times? Well, I'm here to tell you today that they are about to graduate from high school in just 2 weeks!  

Last Sunday, Tessa and Janie, who as you remember suffered the worst physical injuries (Janie in medically induced coma for weeks, and Tessa sustained multiple injuries and broken bones as they were thrown out of car) told their stories in a brief interview during our worship service by our Student Ministries Pastor, Lane.

You could just sense the anticipation we all to hear what they had to say!

To hear their brief testimony of God's faithfulness to them and their families concerning the accident last August click here (9 mins.)

I thought you might like to see pictures of all four of the girls that were involved in the accident. How beautiful!

Janie, Grace, Madeline, & Tessa

Janie & Tessa at a football game.
I couldn't decide which picture to post of Tessa & Janie,
so I posted one above and the one below :-)

Janie & Tessa as young friends :-)
Janie is in the music group, OneVoice, and they sang for us last Sunday, too! She was the featured soloist that you will hear singing about the Lord and how He never forsakes us (duet is with fellow OneVoice singer, Sarah). To hear their song Sunday, click here. Enjoy as she sings about her Sovereign Lord that she has followed since a young girl!

As we were dismissed, OneVoice sang one more song. (You'll hear Janie start off as she is the main soloist singing ... I got waves tossing over me as this acapella song begins...) The congregation was to depart, but no one budged, for none of us wanted to end the blessing of hearing them sing! (that's why it is so quiet for the few several seconds as no one moved or left! Enjoy and may you be blessed as well :-)

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
~James 1:2-4 (Key Verse that ministered to Tessa the last 9 months) 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
-John 16:33 (Key Verse that ministered to Janie the last 9 months)
with song "Whom Shall I Fear?" By Chris Tomlin 

Walk by Faith,

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link Up! (+Richard J. Foster on a Place to Pray)

Happy Wednesday to you! It's the day I set aside for us to pray for each other, and the link up party! Just leave your non-confidential prayer in the comments, and I will pray for you. Bloggers, I invite you to link up your blog link so we can all check out your beautiful blogs!

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Before we enter our prayers or blog links, let's briefly talk today about the importance of having a place to pray. 

Having a place to pray helps us to focus. I remember when I was a new Christian and a marketing representative for Xerox, I would go to a nearby lake at lunch that was five minutes from the office to pray and read my Bible. As I would approach the parking lot, I sensed I was on holy ground. The place has changed over the years from a spare bedroom, to my closet, to the kitchen table—but the important thing is having a place to meet with God.

"I urge you, too, to find a place of focus—a loft, a garden, a spare room, an attic even a designated chair—somewhere away from the routine of life, out of the path of distractions. Allow this spot to become a sacred 'tent of meeting.' " -Richard J. Foster

Let's don't forget that a place of focus includes a commitment to a group of believers where we meet corporately. Yes, there are times when we cannot meet together, but we need to not give up "meeting together" so that we are part of a body of believers.

"not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, 
but encouraging one another—and all the more ..." -Hebrews 10:25

We need the accountability and the nurturing, Foster says in Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. We need to bless others and be blessed by them as we commit to a group of believers and are willing to be identified together. It's a joy to be part of my church! Our Sunday school class (we call them life classes at our church) is like a church within a church.

If you do not attend church, pray and go find one where Christ is lifted up! It is a gift to belong to a community of believers; seek it out and nurture it!

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Time to pray or link up! I've done the first one for you. You are next!

Walk by Faith, 





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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Marriage Advice Tip #4 (From Successful Marriages!)

I just recently began a series that I'm calling "Marriage Advice Tips from Successful Marriages." The responses are from several friends that live nearby that are committed Christians. All of them have strong marriages. You won't want to miss a single tip.

The tips are not in any certain order, I'm just rolling out what advice each woman offered t0 some soon-to-be brides. Today I want you to hear from my good friend, Liz. She and Jim will celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary next month! Jim's car has a bumper sticker that says, "I my wife!"  You just wait—read on!
Liz with her hubby with Mary, my hubby and me
 last month at Easter choir practice

Liz says, "I love the talk given by Shanti Feldman who I heard a few years ago. I cannot really improve on her list but I did add a few comments."

Marriage Advice Tip #4: 

1. Die to self ... John 12:24 (having my way)...using tools of manipulation to get what I want try to out serve your husband

2. Help our Husband ... Gen 2:18

3. Respect Him ... Eph 5:33 (Tone of voice, body language, facial expressions)

4. Actively Appreciate and Admire your Husband

5. Our Appearance is Important ... (what I wear at night is important too-men are VISUAL)

6. A Good Blast off in the morning ... making sure he leaves in a good mood

7. Re-Entry- Be looking for him when he is about to come home from work (try to beat the dog at the door)

8. Meeting His Physical Needs: FOOD and S*X ... mealtime is a ministry... make s*x important to you as it is very important to him ... Be available-Pray about it."

Isn't Liz a great wife? Any man would love to have a wife who aspired to live out the above attitudes and actions. Pass this list on! Christian wives should be the best wives on the planet, for we know the author of marriage.

Here's a resource from Shiela Wray Gregoire via Zondervan that you could help you!
If you missed the first 3 tips, you can go to the right sidebar on my home page and scroll down to the search bar (it's under the "popular posts" column.) Enter the word, "marriage," then click "search."

I'd love to connect with you wherever you most like on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter. You may follow my blog here.

Walk by Faith,

Friday, May 17, 2013

Three Little Words—I Am Sorry


Why am I so slow to learn? Sometimes the Lord has to hit me over the head with a 2 by 4! Such was the case this morning.

I was taking Mary to school, and had just dropped her off. As I was exiting the school, I suddenly remembered that I had part of a leftover cheese soufflĂ© (more like 3 bites!) and half of a danish pastry from Panera Bread. It was a heavenly thought, because I rarely go out for breakfast so it was going to make for a fabulous nearly-forgotten treat alongside my coffee and Bible.

That's when I messed up. And as my friend says to her children, "when ya mess up, ya 'fess up!"

No! I didn't have a car accident!

As I approached the exit going about 4 mph, I saw a woman walking her dogs out of the corner of my eye (I've never seen her before, normally I just pull up to the busy road and scoot out to leave the school). We both were approaching one another, with me needing to turn right and her needing to walk in front of my car or behind my car to get to the other side of the sidewalk.

It's right at this time that my thoughts were delighting over the Panera Bread gold I had at home, so I wasn't thinking really hard about the pending driver decision (I know it's scary that people like me are on the road. It was not a good thing that I was not concentrating on driving—and I am so thankful no one was hurt! By God's grace, I will think about my driving more!).

I rudely scooted in front of her making the nano-second decision that I wanted to get there first so I could be first (never a good attitude for a Christian, it was a great opportunity to deny myself and give up my right to be first and just plain ole hit the brake instead of accelerating to beat her to the street—but then as you have probably guessed by now, I didn't do that or I would not be writing this to you!)

I pulled up to the stop sign, and by now she had walked straight across the street with her dogs (which I couldn't see since I had scooted up and pulled forward to the main street to prepare to turn right while she had walked behind my car).

"Mmmmm, I'm gonna put the coffee on and," I thought as I would be home in just minutes.

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by someones voice.

It was the woman with the dogs. Her body was facing away from me, as if to continue her walk, but her head was turned as much around as she could to say something. She was speaking to me through my closed window!

"You just had to pull up, didn't you? So you could get in line and wait!"

Then she faced forward again and kept walking her dogs down the sidewalk away from my car and in the direction I would be going in just a second.

Only I couldn't go, because I had not even seen that there was a line of traffic that wasn't moving—all in a backed up line to the next traffic light. Usually I just pull out and am home in minutes.

Not today.

As she was speaking to me my eyes were telling me that she was exactly right. I was driving with no thought of anyone else, just my own selfish desire to get home. That was not only not safe—it was rude.

I know what my Bible says. What happened to ....

"love your neighbor as yourself." 

"Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking..."

"... do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."

... and how many times the Bible says to "be alert," or be "watchful."

Ouch.

She was walking faster than any of us dreamed about going. We weren't moving.

A nice woman let me in. So now I was in the line, and by this time, the dog lady was way ahead.

I felt awful. I realized that I had been so utterly rude and thoughtless. It was that sick feeling like someone just ruined your beautiful day and got it started on the wrong foot—only it was me who was the cause!

It didn't help matters that I was subconsciously a little ticked off at her for calling me on my rudeness (stopping now to confess, I missed that the first time. Another plus of blogging! She actually did me a favor by showing me a spiritual blind spot—so now I'm thanking the Lord for her although at the time I wasn't exactly thinking that way).

The traffic began to move forward, and I could see I was going to have to drive right beside her. I felt God wanted me to say something and not just hope she wouldn't notice my car going by. I instead made some excuse silently about how I could cause an accident, so I just put up a sheepish wave that was so weak that I have no doubt it was hard to decipher if it even was a wave.

By this time, I had taken time to notice her since I could study her when the traffic was sitting still—to really notice her (you know—not "here I am," but "there you are kind of notice", and I saw that the dogs were dachshunds—one had long hair and one did not. Before then, I couldn't have even told you what they were.

After I waved, I said something inwardly to the Lord like, "Well, you surely don't expect me to roll my window down and speak to her, I'll make all the people mad behind me now who have places to go!"

"Yes, that's exactly what I want you to do," was the message that was piercing my heart.

At this point I was still in the traffic line, but had moved several car lengths past her and was waiting for the next cycle of the light.

Completed convicted by my sin, I yielded! Praise God! I yielded to the Holy Spirit's way in my life and I was truly sorry for putting myself ahead of her.

I can yield!
I can choose His ways over my selfish ways!

I told the Lord I was sorry, and that I would not miss the next opportunity I might have to tell her that I was sorry. Those three words. I rolled the passenger window down because I knew I would only have a second—but this time I was going to use that second for good.

I got the chance. The light changed and I advanced and we both got to the intersection at the exact same time. Guess what? There was yield sign right there. Yielding is stopping and lettting Christ have His way in our lives! He wants us to be about His Kingdom coming on earth and His will being done on earth, but it begins in our own hearts!

"I'm so sorry, I wasn't thinking!" I hollered out my right window as my car briefly paused at the yield sign.

"That's okay. Thank you," she hollered back as I drove away from the intersection with a line of cars behind me.

I breathed easier as I drove toward home. I had done it. I had righted the wrong. I could begin this beautiful morning anew. I didn't have to carry around the guilt of being rude for one second longer!

Christ paid the penalty for my sin. I can confess mine, and thank him for dying on the cross and paying the penalty for my sin when he paid the debt for all the sin of humanity.

I thought about her again as I approached my home. She, too, could start fresh because one rude woman had told her that she was sorry for being thoughtless. Was she a Christian? I had no idea.

Such a tiny little thing. Telling someone we're sorry. Does it matter?

Yes, it matters!

I tweeted yesterday, "All I have to do today is the will of God."

So what is part of His will for me today? It is doing what God calls me to do.

To go get groceries.
To accompany my husband.
To go pick up my children.
To help my children.
To replace buttons on my husband's jacket.
To make supper.
To say, "I love you."
To do the next thing all day long that I know He wants me to do. To say, "I am sorry" when I realize I have sinned against someone else (saying it genuinely, not SORRY!)

I don't know what you're facing today, but I know the One who knows. He stands ready to forgive and cleanse us each day, each hour of each day, each moment of each day.


"Teach me to treat all that comes to me with peace of soul with firm conviction that your will governs all." 
~from Orthodox Morning Prayer

"...‘love your neighbor as yourself.’"
~Matthew 19:19

"To love and be kind ... to everyone who is thrown across our path by the changes and chances of life; he or she, whosoever it be, whom we have any means of helping..." ~A. P. Stanley

Oh, dear reader, be alert today and watchful that you may consider other's needs above your own. Is there someone you need to ask for forgiveness? Take that first step—God will cleanse us and help us!

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  ~1 John 1:9

Walk by Faith,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Richard Foster on Prayer & Wednesday Prayer/Link-up Party!

Proverbs 31: 30b says, "... a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." A woman who fears the Lord spends time with Him (as she is able, see italicized note at end of blog for moms of little ones!) in prayer and reading His word so she does not forget who is in charge!

I'm midway through Richard Foster's book on prayer; he has helped me to see that it's so easy to mistakenly go from thinking "this work is really significant" to "I'm really significant!" Let's not confuse our work with God's work!

We can commit to having, intentional regular prayer in our lives to help us defeat the attitude of self-importance and other tricks of the enemy that wage the life dependent on Christ that we truly desire as we fall more in love with Jesus.  I'm thinking of setting an alarm on my phone to call me to sudden prayer so I learn a new habit of interrupting what I'm doing for a silent prayer.

Foster, in his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, points out that what is "regular" for you may be different than what is "regular" for someone else for it depends on your personality and your needs. Don't you love that God sees us as individuals and not as a lump of people?

He knows your need! He knows that if you have an urban lifestyle, you probably tend to function around a weekly schedule, as Foster points out.  If you live in the country, your lifestyle may tend to follow a more daily schedule. My sister-in-law lives on a farm, and she has alpacas, chickens, and other animals to feed everyday. "A daily prayer discipline makes sense in this context," says Foster.

Many find the early morning to be best. "... in the morning You hear my voice." (Psalm 5:3) I take an anti-migraine pill at supper, and super early morning is not my most alert time right now.  I can be alert early morning, but just not at daybreak which I think would be the coolest time to meet with God in the still of the day with the first chirping of the birds!

I remember Anne Ortlund once said that she wouldn't dream of meeting with God until she had a shower. We don't all have to feel the same way, we just need to meet with God at a "regular" time.

In urban life, Foster points out that everything marches toward Friday when the weekly schedule takes a dramatic turn (we are all familiar with the TGIF expression). He suggests a weekly prayer routine. Instead of feeling guilty of not being able to spend extended times of prayer everyday, he suggests that perhaps on Saturday there could be a more relaxed, longer experience of prayer and Bible reading.

I asked Elisabeth Elliot once what she suggested. She told me that she split her Bible reading and prayer up during the week. She did one in the morning and one another time of day. I like doing them together, and I pray immediately after my time of Bible reading. I do like Foster's idea of using weekend time differently for our devotional time with God since weekends are so very different in the culture I live in from the Monday through Friday week.

Perhaps that could mean a nice rhythm to the week of walking and praying on Saturdays or during the weekend, or a visit to a special tranquil spot with your Bible in an extended time with the Lord. Foster made visits to a bench in an indoor rain forest during the winter time that was located near him to provide a special time away with the Lord. I'd love to know what you come up with that is near you!

(Note to those with infants: the baby's demands are huge! Discover meeting God as you are with your baby. He knows you don't have a big block of undisturbed time. He can meet you as you feed your baby when your heart is turned toward Him. The time of an infant passes so quickly and the demands will not always be so immense!)

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I love to set aside Wednesday for prayer on my blog. I pray for everyone who stops by on Wednesday. Of course I don't always know who you are and if you stopped in today, but I know the One who knows! So I can pray for you even though I may not know your name!

If you would like to leave a non-confidential prayer in the comments section, I will reply back to your prayer and type my prayer over you as I pray. Just click the blue word COMMENT under my signature at the bottom of this post. Feel free to leave something you're thankful for, or update and earlier request.

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Bloggers, I'd love for you to share a blog link with us! It is so nice to hop from blog to blog to see what like-minded Christians have shared that may help you in a clear way in your life. Enjoy visiting the ladies' blogs below—and if you can't stay long—just pick one that helped you and leave an encouraging note. You know how positive it is to receive an encouraging note!

Let's be iron sharpening iron as scripture says! I completed the first entry below in the blog hop, you are next! I'm off to post a prayer in the comments myself!

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Marriage Advice Tip #3 (From Successful Marriages!)

I've been doing a series on marriage advice featuring several of my friends; many of us belong to the same church. These are very wise women who love the Lord! It all came about because a good friend asked many wives recently what advice they would give to new brides and welcomed them to seek their husbands' input. All of the women who responded are committed Christians who have successful marriages.

I'll continue rolling out their responses to you in May—a beautiful month for weddings! My son and I picked up four wedding presents yesterday for several upcoming weddings!


 I pray for godly spouses for all my children. We cannot start praying too early. 

Today you will hear how my friend, Susan, who has been married 25 years answered the question. I can vouch that she lives out being married to her best friend from her countenance when she talks about him! Listen to her excellent advice:

Marriage Tip #3:

"Andy Stanley teaches a principle that is profound in its simplicity: Direction - not intention - determines your destination. Basically it’s great to have goals but make sure you put your feet on the path and take steps in the right (not wrong) direction. 


So to answer your marriage question, my husband said to make sure your spouse is and remains your best friend (along with Jesus). The steps include praying together, doing stuff together, and laughing together. And, thankfully, he is a great listener!!  One of my goals (destinations) has been to make our home a peaceful refuge where everyone who enters, especially my hubby and our children, feel loved and honored. The steps include many of the things already mentioned about how we communicate, being cautious about financial stress, saying “I love you” LOTS, and taking the 'low place.' Still working on these things!!"


“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair - every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”  ~Proverbs 2:6-11


Walk by Faith,

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Motherhood—Depending on Jesus Broadcast

Happy Mother's Day weekend! Below are my four children—then and now—that have made me a very blessed woman! I love you Blair, Mary, John, and Alex!
The greatest thing I can do for my children is love their father!

I have a little gift for you for Mother's Day. But first, I want to welcome all new readers who are hopping over from Jennifer Smith's (known to many as the Unveiled WifeEncouragement for Wives Pinterest Board. A big thank you to Jennifer for inviting me to be a contributing pinner there! We'd love for you Pinterest girls to follow there! And now, your gift!

I'd love to share with you the audio of my visit on Haven Today Radio broadcast. They called the program, "Motherhood—Depending on Jesus." After I share our marriage testimony of how God saved our marriage, I tell the story of the birth of our fourth child, Mary, who was born blind. I come on right after a beautiful worship song at the beginning of the broadcast.  

Click here to hear the audio.

On the program, Charles Morris, host of Haven Today referred to a letter that I wrote on Mother's Day after Mary was born. You may read that letter here.


Walk by Faith,

Friday, May 10, 2013

Marriage Advice Tip #2 (From Successful Marriages!)


I just recently began a series that I'm calling "Marriage Advice Tips from Successful Marriages." The responses are from several friends that live nearby that are committed Christians. All of them have strong marriages. You won't want to miss a single tip.

The tips are not in any certain order, I'm just rolling out what advice each woman had for two brides we knew who both just got married this month. If you missed tip #1, just click here.

Today I would like to feature a friend's tip who has been married 33 years next month!

Marriage Tip #2:

1. Don't talk to anyone in the morning until you have talked with the Lord, and don't read anything in the morning until you have read God's Word.

2. Be deliberate in saying something kind, affirming, encouraging, complimentary, or simply express gratitude, to your husband every day. (You can thank him for coming home...not all husbands do.)

Oh, my. I love this tip, but I'm feeling a bit guilty right now. I normally have my quiet time in the morning with coffee, but today I had to go to an unexpected meeting. I thought it would last only a few minutes, but it lasted 2 hours. So here I am sending you this tip, and I didn't even do what it says today! I'm sorry I'm not being a very good example to you right now. I wanted you to have her excellent advice even if today I did not follow it. 

Aren't you glad that we can't do anything to earn God's favor? He doesn't love me any more for meeting with Him, and He doesn't love me any less for not meeting with Him! He loves us with a perfect love!!! It was my loss of blessing to not meet with Him this morning, but I'm going to meet Him right NOW! Adios! 

I am going to start this day over, and have my quiet time now and meet with God for a very late breakfast:-)

We'll continue with this series next week with more tips from these wise friends who love God! I wish everyone of you who are mothers a very blessed Mother's Day! I'll interrupt this series just briefly to post a letter next time to mothers that I wrote when my daughter was born blind.

Oh, one more thing I just remembered! Do you have the devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young? You can get the Jesus Calling Ap especially if you look at your smartphone or iPad when you wake up. I started doing that when my alarm goes off on my phone after my friend sent this tip in. 

You can look at the current day's reading right from your phone! (I still try to have my extended quiet time of Bible reading and prayer with my coffee, but the ap was one way to read God's word first before speaking to anyone. I don't do it every morning, but I did it today:-) You might really like it.

Walk by Faith,


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Richard J. Foster on Prayer & Wednesday Prayer/Link Up is Live!

Welcome to my Wednesday's prayer girls and link-up party! If you have a praise or an update you would like to offer, or a non-confidential prayer request you would like to post, I invite you to type it in the comments. They are located below my signature at the bottom of this post where it says COMMENTS. I did the first one for you. I'd love to reply to your pray as I pray for you.

Bloggers, I'd love for you to link-up below so everyone can browse the blogs for encouragement. Any wholesome topic is welcome on marriage, parenting, homemaking, organization, cooking, books, health, special needs and more! Last week I added 2 books to my reading list from a beautiful blog that was posted:-) I love getting great tips from like-minded Sisters!

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I've been reading Richard J. Foster's book Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. Today I read the importance of being "completely supple, completely transparent, completely abandoned in the hands of God." (Anthony Bloom, Beginning to Pray)

Foster gave such great word pictures to represent being abandoned in God's hands. He said to picture a child learning to write who writes an indecipherable message. The mother places her hand over the child's, and as the child relaxes in the mother's hand, the mother gives guidance to the scribbling—making beautiful letters. So it is the same with my Mary, who is blind.

My daughter doesn't use pen and paper. She types her writing in Braille. Every blue moon, she needs to sign her name. She holds the pen, and then I place my hand over her hand. She releases complete control for me to guide her hand, as I move it in the shape of the cursive M-a-r-y M-i-k-e-l-s.

He gave a second example of a sailboat. A sail that is a board is of no use and the boat goes nowhere. But a sail that is flexible and pliable catches the guidance of the wind, and it is the very pliability of the sail that allows it to move ahead.

I love it when an author takes a Biblical theme—like our abandonment to God in prayer—and causes me to think of it terms of my familiarity. I thought of one more analogy concerning Mary.

Mary is learning to play the violin. As her master teacher places her hand over Mary's as Mary holds the bow, it is in my daughter's very relinquishment of the control of the bow to her master teacher that the bow glides on the strings—teaching her to produce a beautiful sound.

Oh that we would abandon ourselves to God in prayer, that He may have His way in our lives! Oh, that we would become weak, frail, and vulnerable to allow God to guide us as He sees fit. He will water even the slightest hope.

 "A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory." ~Matthew 12:20

May we relinquish ourselves to Him—that we may learn from our Master! He is our loving Master Potter who will not harm us, but will make us fit for His purposes! Next Wednesday, I'll share what Foster shares on having a time and place for prayer. Let's pray!

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Walk by Faith,

Monday, May 6, 2013

Marriage Advice Tip #1 (from Successful Marriages!)

I'd like to begin today a series of blogs I'm calling Marriage Advice Tips from Successful Marriages. I recently attended two beautiful weddings. A good friend of mine who was hosting a bridal event for the brides asked several of our friends who had strong marriages to give their marriage advice so that the new brides could have this wealth of wisdom right at the beginning of their marriage.

I'd like to tell you in a series of blogs what they said This is good stuff! The marriages ranged from 8 years to 35 years of marriage, and all the women who provided the tips are committed Christians. You don't want to miss a single tip!

I am not going to give the tips in any type of order, I'm just going to roll them out at you, except on Wednesdays when we have prayer and the link-up on my blog. The first one is from my friend that has been married to "the love of" her life for 27 years next month.

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧    

Tip # 1

1.  Pray daily together (and include your children in your family prayers, starting when they can talk)
2.  Continue to "date".
3.  Ask your husband what you could do for him each day before he leaves for work.


Walk by Faith,

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Romans 8:28/Psalm 91 Meditation with Fernando Ortega

I don't know what you're facing today, but I know the One who knows. I invite you today to open your Bible to Psalm 91.  Then click the pink arrow "play button" on the right side bar under my picture. As you listen to Fernando Ortega play the piano, simply read Romans 8:28 above and continue reading Psalm 91 from your Bible and let God's word pour into your heart and life as we meditate on the character of our God. I highly suggest you read it aloud while the music plays. I'm doing it, too.

"... He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." ~Psalm 91:2 

Walk by Faith,

Thursday, May 2, 2013

National Day of Prayer Today!

My friend, Susan, went to Washington last weekend. She visited the House Chamber (where the President makes his state of the union address). There used to be a Bible that stayed open all of the time at the front of the chamber on a stand. The Bible is gone, and in its place is ... an encyclopedia!

Today is the National Day of Prayer! Let's pray for the United States! We need God's grace and mercy on our land, beginning in our own hearts.

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." ~2 Chronicles 7:14

We are to pray for our leaders nationally and locally!

"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." ~1 Timothy 2:1-2

You can download a free prayer guide on how to pray for our leaders from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association here.

Let's all pray! If you are able to go to a National Day of Prayer event near you, go! I'm attending one in our state in just a couple hours.

My whole family cannot attend this year together, but I have wonderful memories of attending with strollers and our children in tow as we all attended the National Day of Prayer so our children would know how important it is to pray for our country (we were interviewed two years in a row by the local media and I was scared to death when the microphone was suddenly thrust in front of my face. I gained courage from the courage of Anne Graham Lotz who I had just seen who had been so bold for Christ! If it happens to you, God will give you the words and the courage!).

Let's stand together and pray all over America for God to heal our land and for us individually to each turn from our wicked ways, and to walk in Christ's ways. I'm in! Are you?
I'm updating this post with this photo since I just returned from the lawn by the legislature for the National Day of Prayer event in my state. We were asked to pray in small groups after our leaders prayed for specific areas of America's government leadership, the family, and for students. It was such a blessing hearing all those voices of all ages call out to the God of the universe simultaneously. I had just finished praying with my group and took this for you! If you have been unable to pray yet, join in now and lift up your voice to God for our leaders and our country for God to heal our land.

Walk by Faith,