Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let Us Pray

There is a lot going on in the lives of my friends at the moment. One has just been diagnosed with an aneurysm in her brain which is leaking. One just underwent major surgery. One lost a job. Two older friends are grieving the loss of their husbands. And so I am moved to pray. There is not much else I can do.

Yesterday at school I was waiting to see the friend that was about to go into surgery. I had been praying for her that morning and I asked God whether I should offer to pray with her. She doesnt usually pray as far as I know, and previous assurances of our prayers were accepted with just a nod. But today was different. I told her it was ok if she would prefer not to, but asked her if would she like me to pray with her before leaving for hospital. She gratefully accepted and so right there in the middle of the school ground we bowed our heads and prayed to our Creator to calm her nerves, give her His peace, hold her and protect her, give the doctors wisdom, precision and discernment, and bring a quick and full recovery. What a priviledge.

We have so many opportunities to meet people right in their time of need, and though we usually cant do anything about their need, we serve a God who can. When I started praying, I asked God for an opportunity to pray with her but He reminded me that the opportunity is there to pray with people all the time, so I resolved that if I saw her, I would take the opportunity and offer. And next time someone shares with me something they are going through or about to go through, I will offer to pray with them. If they say no, thats totally fine.

Steven Curtis Chapman puts it this way...

I hear you say your heart is aching
You've got trouble in the making
And you ask if I'll be praying for you please
And in keeping with conviction
I'll say yes with good intentions
To pray later making mention of your needs
But since we have this moment here at heaven's door
We should start knocking now, what are we waiting for?

Let us pray, let us pray, everywhere in every way
Every moment of the day, it is the right time
For the Father above, He is listening with love
And He wants to answer us, so let us pray

So my friends, I will continue to pray for you, and friends reading, I will pray that you will have an opportunity soon to bring someone to the King of Kings, the Father of Hearts in their moment of need.

**Update** My friend with the aneurysm isnt doing so well and I was feeling sad. When my friend Lynne heard about it, she offered to pray with me!! She felt nervous about doing it, she didn't feel like she had the right words to say, but she did it anyway and it made the world of difference to me. You can do that for someone else too!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

To Say The Least

Today the house is quiet. When I clean up a mess, it stays clean! When I set myself a task, I can finish it without interruptions. Its not the first day of school for Josh (but that will be coming very very soon!), it is quiet because of a generous friend.

I picked her son up from school yesterday and she met us at Kids Club later that night. It wasnt out of my way, it didnt take up much of my time, I didnt even have to make afternoon tea! But earlier that day, she had noticed that I looked a bit under the weather and so last night offered to have my kids for the whole day today. Wow! She thinks this isnt much to do for me, but it is a huge blessing that I really really appreciate. Not only is she cooking with them today, and no doubt humouring my daughter in many and varied conversations, it takes about half an hour from her place to ours and she insisted that she would come and pick them up!

There is a lot I could be doing... completing two subjects for my TAFE course, doing reports for work, doing my mums BAS (sorry mum!), cleaning and tidying, preparing for sunday school, and cooking dinner among other things, but I will use this time in the manner with which it was given ;) - to rest and recouperate... and write! And if I do, those other things will be a lot more enjoyable and easy to accomplish.

Often a gift which is "the least I could do" means a whole lot for someone else. I know of another friend who's church is advertising for a new pastor. She is setting aside some time in the coming year so she can help in whatever way is needed. Wow! As a pastor's wife, I know that will be such a blessing for the new pastor. He will be freed up to do more ministry because of her willingness to serve.

Many times, service that fits our gifts, talents, abilities and passions is quite easy for us to do and doesnt seem like much. But it is encouraging and a blessing to those who recieve it. I know there are times when service is hard work, but if its God who's asking me to serve, then in the light of the amazing gift of His Son, its the least I can do for Him!

The 'least' you could do might be to look after someone's kids, or serve in the kitchen at a ministry event, or set up chairs for a church service, or design a website, or join a choir, or write a note, or give a gift, or teach sunday school, or help at youth group, or make a dinner, or just say to someone, "how can I help?". And I'm not just talking about pastors or churches at all, there are many people in our community for whom those acts of kindness are just what they need and might just pave the way for God to work in their lives.

Ask God who He would like you to help. He has gifted you with many things you are good at, or very able to do, and some things in particular that He uses to bless others when you do them.

Even if you feel its the least you can do, do it! You might just bless the socks off someone and enable them the time and resources to bless others.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Father Of Hearts

I have some brilliant news. I know I haven’t been here chatting very much lately, but I just had to tell you about this. And by the way, Im working on a way I can stop in here more often while keeping all those plates spinning ;)

We went to Brisbane on Wednesday for Josh’s heart scan. Y’all can read about why
here and here. The doctor studied the ultrasound for quite some time, even asking Josh to change positions so he could see from a different angle.

The result – the specialist could find no trace of an aneurysm! We were expecting that it would have grown as it did last year just because his heart is growing. We would have accepted if it had remained the same size. We would have been pleasantly surprised if it had have gotten smaller but it just is not there. WOW!

I did pray that day asking God to heal it, because I know he can, I just didn’t expect that he would! Those other outcomes were OK with me, but I still asked for more.

I spoke to a great group of about 100 ladies on Thursday night and shared that the most memorable thing about this whole experience isn’t the fact that Josh’s aneurysm has disappeared, though I believe that is indeed a miracle, but that God has been all that we need the whole way through. With strength that doesn’t fail, peace that doesn’t fade, and life that doesn’t fall short of the fullness that He has promised to those who choose to trust him daily.

Rich Mullins wrote a song about finding perfect peace. He said lots of people say follow your heart, or follow your nose, or follow your dreams but those things are so subject to change with emotions, circumstances or others advice. The chorus goes like this..

The Father of hearts
And the maker of noses
The giver of dreams
He's the one I have chosen
And I will follow him

I know that God is the creator of hearts and could heal Josh, and I am soooo thankful that he did. And like there were 4 years when he chose not to heal it, and many circumstances in peoples life where He chooses not to intervene, sometimes things are going to happen in my life which are heartbreaking and hard for me to understand. But even in those times, I am going to choose to follow Him. Because He is God and He is worthy of my allegiance and he sent his Son to die for me so I could spend eternity with Him.

So Id like to say, along with thousands of others over the years (and millions of others over the centuries) To the father of hearts and the maker of noses, to the giver of dreams, you’re the one I have chosen and I will follow you.

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