Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Psalm of the Week -105:1 - November 1, 2015

Psalm 105:1 is an action verse. The psalmist lists three actions to take: 
1. give thanks to the LORD
2. pray
3. tell others what he has done.

Why give thanks to the God? Saying thank-you keeps me grateful. Self-centeredness separates me from God. Gratefulness removes self-centeredness.

Praying is conversing with God. Jesus often went off by himself to pray. If Jesus did it, I am doing it. 

Giving God credit for what he has done in my life is another way to remove self-centeredness. Giving thanks keeps me humble. I am not taking credit for providing my needs and wants. I am giving God credit for providing them. By telling others how God is working in my life, I have the opportunity to share my faith with another person. 

Verse of the Week - 1 Timothy 2:1 - November 1, 2014

"The disciples of Christ must be praying people; all, without distinction of nation, sect, rank, or party."
                                                                                                                          Matthew Henry

"The pattern that we find in the Early Church is that They Prayed and Prayed Often! And it’s time for the Church to have a New Emphasis. Its time for us to enter into the Spirit of Corporate Prayer, to rediscover the Prayer-Meeting. Just as individuals are to pray, we are to pray as a church body."
Norris Harris I
Houston Baptist University

What does exhort, supplications, and intercessions mean? 
Exhort = strongly encourage, or urge
Supplications = the action of asking or begging for something earnestly, or humbly
Intercessions = the action of saying a prayer on behalf of another person

Paul was strongly encouraging Timothy to take action - prayer action. Timothy was to actively and earnestly pray on the behalf of other people. Then, he was to give thanks to God. This is the example that I am trying to follow.

Why give thanks? When I say thank you to Jesus for his sacrifice, I am reminding myself of how much he loves me. God sent his only begotten son to die on a cross for me before I was even born. A humbling thought. I imagine that Timothy felt the same way. 

Giving thanks also keeps me grateful for the many blessings I have in my life. 

Believing and Receiving

Fourth Month Ultrasound
 Ashley, my daughter, went to her routine ultrasound appointment. This was her first baby and she was excited to find out if the baby was a boy, or a girl. 

After arriving for her appointment, the technician at the imaging lab showed her into the changing room and she undressed. 5 minutes into the ultrasound, the technician told her she had to step out and get the doctor. 

Ash Knew Something Wasn't Right
In absolute silence, the doctor looked at the images, as the equally silent tech moved the instrument across Ash's lower abdomen. Ten minutes later, Ashley was dressed and escorted to a private room in which her ob-gyn doctor was sitting. 

Your Baby Has Spina Bifida
Quietly, Ash was told that the ultrasound had shown the typical complications that occur in a baby with spina bifida -  clubbed feet, excess fluid in the brain, open spine in the lower back. Stunned at the news, she almost missed the doctor telling her she was having a boy. Ash walked out of the hospital, across the parking lot to her car, sat down in her car, and called me. 

During Later Appointments
Doctors told us the worst case scenario- mental retardation, no bowel or bladder control, seizures, very little fine motor skills, and no feeling from the waist down. If he walked, it wouldn't be until he was four. 

Bill and I refused to accept the diagnosis and told Ashley that the baby was going to be fine. We could tell she wanted to believe us, but the doctors kept bombarding her with their expert, medical opinions.  
Matthew 18:19-20 AKJVAgain I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them.
My husband and I are prayer warriors who believe God's promises. 
We met the news with prayer. Our church family, Christian Motorcyclists Association family, and extended circle of acquaintances kept our daughter, our grandson, and the medical staff who cared for Ashton, on their prayer lists.
Matthew 21:21-22 
And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen."And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
Yes, there have been surgeries, braces, and therapy.
BUT every nurse and doctor are amazed at how swiftly Ashton heals. In spite of brain surgery to install a VP shunt and reconstructive surgery to his lower back, Ashton was out of the neonatal intensive care unit in five days. At fourteen days old, he was released from the hospital to go home with his mom. 

God gave us a miracle. Bill and I praise Jesus at every opportunity for the healing that he granted Ashton.

Ashton's healing continues to appear. 
At birth, Ashton had no reaction to stroking, poking, or prodding from his feet to his hips. Now, he has feeling from his hips to right above the knees. At two years old, his little feet are straight and the night braces are no longer necessary. This has happened a full year before it was supposed to happen.

Again, God gave us a miracle. Thank-you Jesus for the speed at which our grandson continues to heal. 

Today, our grandson is an active toddler who speaks in 3-4 word sentences, stands unaided, uses a tiny walker to walk, and is starting to use a toilet like a big boy. 

Bill and I have no doubt that Ashton will continue to heal because we believed we would receive what we asked for - a healing. Ashton is healed. Every day, every month, we are giving praise and glory to God for the proof that he has healed Ashton.
And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 
1 John 3:22 AKJV

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Too Busy to Write, But Still Staying in The Word.

Happily, my new position at work is beginning to feel like I might know what I am doing. Been there? Also, this is my off week from breakfast duty; more time to prepare for the day and upcoming week is appreciated.  

Additionally, I am leading a four week, bible study at church. Since I am the leader, I feel obligated to do massive amounts of study. Did I mention I am an overachiever? Yep, once a commitment is made, my focus becomes laser beam narrow. 

Did I forget to mention that I teach the 5th/6th grade Sunday school class too? And,I am a member of the Christmas committee in our Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter? And, getting ready for the Sunday School Christmas play?

Sadly,writing has been taking a back seat to these other pursuits. I know, you are wondering why I don't say no, aren't you?

 Also, I find myself spending too many hours on Facebook, Amazon, Ebay, and other websites. Anyone else having this problem?

 TV viewing has also taken over a significant chunk of every morning and evening. Prioritizing my time is a task that must be done soon. No more procrastinating.

However, studying in the word and staying in touch with Jesus through prayer/meditation time is a priority. Studying for Sunday lessons and bible study is part of my time commitment. Spiritual growth has been the reward for the many hours I have given over to reading the Bible, preparing for Bible lessons, and private prayer time. 

In conclusion, it is time to get back on my writing schedule. Giving up some Internet surfing and TV viewing will be necessary, but do I really need to watch two hours of cooking shows back to back? No, probably not. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Psalm of the Week - 143:10 - October 19, 2015

I am confident that God will teach me his will through my pastor's words, the Bible's words, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The more I pray, read my Bible, and listen to my pastor's sermons - the farther I journey into the land of uprightness. The path is narrow and I occasionally stumble, but the Lord is alway with me on this journey.God wants the best for me because I am a child of God. 

Verse of the Week - Romans 8:28 - October 19, 2015

I love God. I know that all things work together for good because I love God. He called me to be an evangelist and a teacher of the Bible. When bad things happen, it isn't God. It is Satan trying to stop God's plan for me. However, I know that God will bring good out of every situation. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SalleeB is Sick and Not Posting this week

I am recuperating from a respiratory illness and will not be posting this week. Prayers for my recovery would be welcome.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Psalm of the Week - 117:2 - October 5, 2015

Negativity bombards me from the television, the radio, and yes, Facebook. Whenever the world around me seems to be comprised sadness, hatred, anger, and the worst of other human beings, it is time for me to make a gratitude list. Making a gratitude list helps me to keep my focus on God. My Lord Jesus loves to hear and pass on my grateful praise to God the Father.  

Gratitude List
Lord, I know your truth endures forever and that your merciful kindness towards me is great. Lord I want to praise you by listing some of the things I am grateful for.

I am grateful for:

  • waking up this morning
  • Jesus' obedience that ended with his death on the cross.
  • your gift of the Holy Spirit that resides in me. 
  • your patience with me through the years that I turned from you
  • my joyful, spirit-filled and spirit-led husband
  • keeping my children from harm in dark places
  • the faithful teachers you have sent and are going to send to me
  • my mom, the prayer warrior, who kept me covered in prayer while I was living in worldly, dark places far away from you Lord. 
  • the many spiritual, financial, and material blessings that you have given me.
  • the opportunity to be your servant
  • the path you have set before me
  • the joy I feel today

Verse of the Week - John 1:14 - October 5, 2015

Jesus is God's Son and yet, he was also a human man. 

Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary states it this way:
"Christ was the true Light; that great Light which deserves to be called so. By his Spirit and grace he enlightens all that are enlightened to salvation; and those that are not enlightened by him, perish in darkness....Christ was in the world when he took our nature upon him, and dwelt among us. The Son of the Highest was here in this lower world. He was in the world, but not of it. He came to save a lost world, because it was a world of his own making. Yet the world knew him not." 
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible explains John 1:14 in this way:
for neither the Father, nor the Holy Ghost, were made flesh, as is here said of the word, but the Son only: and "flesh" here signifies, not a part of the body, nor the whole body only, but the whole human nature, consisting of a true body, and a reasonable soul; and is so called, to denote the frailty of it, being encompassed with infirmities, though not sinful; and to show, that it was a real human nature....

....and we beheld his glory; the glory of his divine nature, which is essential to him, and underived, is equal to the Father's glory, ....and which were observed by the evangelist, and his companions; who, in various instances, saw plainly, that Christ was possessed of divine perfections, such as omniscience, and omnipotence; since he knew the thoughts of the heart, and could do the things he did: his Father declared him to be his beloved Son; and the miracles he wrought, and the doctrines he taught, manifested forth his glory; and not only there were some beams of his glory at his transfiguration, which were seen by the apostles, among which the Evangelist John was one, 
Scripture presents this biblical truth in multiple places in the New Testament. Below, is a list of  four cross reference verses that closely parallel John 1:14. 

John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Galatians 4:4
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Philippians 2:7
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

1 John 4:2
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

One of My Favorite Prayers

After my life figuratively blew up in 1992, I found the St. Francis of Assisi prayer in a prayer book I bought at a yard sale. After reading it, I carefully wrote the prayer inside the cover of my "Twenty-Four Hours A Day" meditation book and prayed it every day for the first year of my sobriety. 

The words in this prayer help me to change my attitude toward others and it helps me to let go of anger. 

Whenever my day seems out of balance, simply reading the St. Francis Prayer puts things back into perspective for me. My focus turns away from negative thinking after reading the prayer. A positive attitude returns and my day looks brighter. This prayer is a powerful part of my healing and recovery journey. SalleeB

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!

That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

—Saint Francis of Assisi—