In which Dawn learns to pray. (Journal Entry #1)

I’m starting this on April 1, 2018.  Nationally, we call that April Fools’ Day.  It’s also Easter Sunday.  Ironically, the joke’s on those who don’t accept the Resurrection, although it’s no laughing matter.  Not by a long shot.  But that’s apologetics, which I love, and that’s not what this journal is about.

It’s about prayer, communication with God.  Dialogue.  Listening and hearing and following the Shepherd Who “goes before me”.  It’s about learning to really know His voice more confidently, because He promises that in John 10.  More than going off lists, even lists which are for and about other people and serious, eternal situations—lists are good tools, but I think there is more.

And I feel unsafe.  Interestingly, one of the books/video segments (John Eldredge on prayer) just last night talked about the spiritual warfare side of prayer, the personal part.  He says not to shy away from spiritual warfare, but to deal with it.  NOW.  So, I’m realizing, (that is, this morning it comes to me, how do you suppose those dots were connected??), that this feeling of “unsafe” is just that—spiritual assault.  If God sincerely desires for me to be more intimately communicative with Him, more effective in powerful prayer, and if He promises to protect me and guide me, then who d’ya think is trying like the devil to scare me off?

The devil. Right.

So, I need to deal with it. Now.

In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, in the power of His Resurrection and the authority of His Ascension, I submit myself to Jesus, and in that same power and authority I resist Satan and all his emissaries of fear, instability, timidity, and related demonic powers who now must flee according to Almighty God’s command.  Jesus, I bring myself under Your loving and tender authority and power and ask You to again cover me with Your blood, my heart, mind and soul, past, present and future, all of me and all that concerns me.  I commit this journey to You, for Your glory, for Your kingdom come and will be done, as far as it concerns me.  Make my communication with You as effective as You desire.  Change my thought patterns, old ways of perceiving.  I put my hand in Yours and accept Your guidance and protection.  Here we go.

Speaking of feeling unsafe, I need to explore that a bit more.  I crave safety and stability, but I also crave adventure.  Kinda weird.  Definitely a trust issue, knowing that Scriptures assures me God will guide me and not “forsake” me under any circumstances.

I remember the time as a young girl walking with my dad in a downtown area when we were visiting someplace.  We came upon an alleyway interrupting the sidewalk, and Dad walked on, but I stopped to look and make sure (for myself) that it was safe.  As I caught up to Dad he said, “what’s the matter, Dawn?  Didn’t you trust me?”

Father, I don’t want to lag behind.   

Now, this doesn’t preclude my own due diligence, not by a long shot.  God gave me a brain and expects me to use it.  So, when this prophecy by Joni Ames came down the pipe a few months ago, this “anointing for intercessory prayer”, I’m taking it seriously.  Thus, my lists have taken a sabbatical, and my own personal study is being stepped up.  My lists have been really good and important, but they make me feel too safe right now.  As in, “there, that’s done, now let’s get on with it.”  Not that God hasn’t spoken to me during my “list praying”; He most definitely has, with promises I cling to.  And I know He has heard those prayers; they are still in His heart, like pictures a child would draw, and the parent keeps up on the frig, even years later.

I would like my artwork to become more powerful, like something hanging in the Louvre.

I also dream.  Last night I had another one.  I’ve purchased this brand-new smoke alarms, and just haven’t gotten around to hanging them up yet, (it’s been, what, maybe six weeks now?)  Yesterday, I finally got out the directions and began figuring out what needs to be done.  Yep, it’s going to take more than I hoped, as in drilling new holes to fit the new alarms.  Again, I put it off until today, maybe tomorrow.

Last night I dreamed my dad was in the back room, drilling and hanging a new smoke alarm for me.  (Dad could fix ANYTHING—one of those guys.)  In my dream, I realized I hadn’t gotten enough alarms, and if Dad was here doing this for me, I’d better take advantage of it, and ran out to buy another!

This was not prophetic, at least not in the sense that my father is going to come hang my smoke alarms for me—at this writing, he’s in his late-80’s and lives a few states away.  No, that process is definitely still on me.  However, it does clue me into something very important: my Father (capital “F”) knows what I’ve been putting off getting done, knows that the process of doing it is essential for my safety (and the safety of others), and is doing surprising things under the radar to get me there.

And buying more smoke alarms is like bringing Him more prayers so He can put them in place.

The sunrise is coming up a beautiful dark pink.  I wonder what time it was when the women ventured to the tomb and found it empty.  Was it still dark, or did they wait for the sunrise to find out that the Son had indeed risen?

Happy Rez Day!

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The Alley

quill

A new poet to my site (but it’s pretty obvious that she’s not a new poet!)  Life throws us all kinds of curve balls, as well as the ones we clobber ourselves with.  I like this offering from Spiritual Anxiety, as I think many of us can relate.  But more importantly, the over-arching theme I see is hope.

the alley

Slowly wandering through the alley

Of darkness and fears,

Silent footsteps

And the sound of rain ,

Gently caressing my cheeks,

reminding of the comfort

Of being here and now,-

Again

My blue lips inhale

The cold, poigant air,

Moving down my chest, clawing, as it flows.

But somwhat and how

It pulls me even deeper

Into this endless

despair

I’m walking through the allley

Of broken promises and fears,

Towards the golden light i’m heading,

Sheading tears and crossing fields

It’s a long road ahead of me,

Through thunders and through the storms

But at the end of this alley

There is hope and there are dreams.

#Snowstorms?? No worries…

pixabay
pixabay

July fourth!  Freedom Day!! I have been watching the hibiscus grow from the stems I was convinced were long dead from the winter freeze.  This past season we had a real blizzard; I mean, a blizzard as meteorologically defined by the National Weather Service.  Here in town it looked like about 18 inches of fluffy white fell from just this one storm; it was beautiful, but brutal.  The storm passed, the mountains of snow plowed from Walmart’s parking lot finally melted, and as the year progressed, I talked with some of my gardening friends at work when I noticed that my hibiscus wasn’t resurfacing.  Oh, they said, they always bring their hibiscus plants in for the winter season.  (Great. Now they tell me.) Their precious plants live securely in big pots that are easily transferable throughout the seasons.  Mine lives in the ground, or so I thought.  Sure, they continued, they turn a little yellow and lose a few leaves while inside, but they survive, which was currently more than I could confidently posit for my new little plant.

Yet another one bites the dust.

Winter eclipsed into spring, and I was about to dig up the place where my hibiscus lay in permanent repose, remove what was left, and make the area available for another try at…well, something.  But what I soon observed stayed my hand: I noticed small green shoots coming up from where the “dead” plant was. Over the next several days I watched, at first somewhat incredulously, then excitedly, as the shoots continued to defy the harsh winter blast by pushing up tenaciously toward the spring sunlight.  Soon, the shoots became as thick as my thumb, and eventually provided a harvest of hummingbird-tempting, bright red blossoms as big as my hand, all from the plant I thought was gone for good.

My experience with my hidden hibiscus, though at first disappointing but then elating, gives me pause in a few other areas:

  • Pastor Lawrence Wilson has said that a vision must first die for it to be properly resurrected. 18th century theologian Matthew Henry would seem to agree, and writes concerning the gospel of Christ, (but which can also be appropriately applied to any dream we have with God): “The good seed of the gospel sown in the world, and sown in the heart, both by degrees, produce wonderful effects, but without noise…so it is with the gospel, when it is sown, and received, as seed in good ground. It will come up; though it seem lost and buried under the clods, it will find or make its way through them.” (1)
  • How quickly I was ready to give up on my hibiscus! And what a waste if I had given up too early and dug up the plot just when it was working hard under the dirt getting ready to surprise me! And how quickly I can be to give up on more important dreams, or people, in my life.   
  • Many times God works silently, despite the harsh cold of evil in our circumstances; He works relentlessly, pushing through the painful shame that tries to hold us in seclusion. Consider: Paul gave up on John Mark; that’s the same Mark that went on to later write the second biography of Christ, thanks to his Uncle Barnabus’ kind intervention at the time. (2) God’s right-hand-man, Job, gave up on himself, until God put his circumstances in a higher perspective. (3) And God Himself seemed to be having second thoughts about this wayward group of vagabonds called Israel, and allowed Moses to “change” His mind. (4) In all three historic events, something that looked dead, like a dream, a relationship, even an eternity, made an amazing comeback. 

What disappointments do you have in your life—can you name one right now?  (Yeah, I know, probably more like ten or twenty.)  Have you given up on something, or someone?  If you have, then you’re actually in good company.  What hopes and dreams do you have for your family, your children, yourself?  What vision has been seemingly buried under a brutal life-blizzard?  You are invited to join the team.  Rest assured that we are being observed by “so great a cloud of witnesses” to rejoice as the fresh new shoots rise from the cold dirt.(5)  

The challenge, the invitation, is to commit to God the hopes and dreams that I hardly dare to recall, even after the blizzard abates. Patiently, may we let God’s timing have its way with the roots, and come spring, we may be surprised. 

Green will return!
Green will return!
  • Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible
  • Acts 15:36-39
  • Job 42:1-17
  • Exodus 32:11-14
  • Hebrews 12:1-2