In Which Dawn Learns to Pray (#4)

notebook-1361981_1920I felt this pull while praying to check my website email.  Putting it off as a distraction, I went back to praying, only to have it crop up again.  So, I asked the Lord if this is something He was wanting me to do right now.  I immediately heard, “Go for it.” 

Okay, checking the email, nothing there I needed to see as far as I could tell.  That’s a little discouraging since maybe I didn’t hear from Him after all, which then degrades into maybe none of the things I think I’ve heard in the past are from Him either, which spirals into the typical that-works-for-others-but-not-me mindset of my past.  Doubt, failure, intimidation.

Regardless of whether I heard right or not, I know that those last three thoughts are not from God either!  What do I do with this?

Then I realize I’m still on the steep end of the learning curve.  In fact, we’re all on the steep end of the learning curve until the day we leave this place, so I’m in good company.  And the learning curve is just that, learning.  That, in itself, is encouraging.  I was a good student in school, but I still had to study and learn from my mistakes.  In fact, mistakes are some of the best instructive devices!  Plus, I know I have the best Teacher.

The opposite plays right into the enemy’s strategy: discouragement.  Who would want me to stop praying and jump off that learning curve?  Who has a vested interest in my giving in to doubt, failure and intimidation?  And fear of deception (one of my personal past Big Three)? 

Besides, if I need to hear from God about something important with obvious far-reaching consequences, He is good enough to confirm it for me.  He did that with Gideon, and He promises He doesn’t play favorites.  Plus, He has provided safeguards during the process: the Bible, koinonia with those who are further up the curve than myself, and of course, the Holy Spirit Himself.

He also promises that His sheep hear and know His voice.  Jesus is patient and kind and gentle, so I’m not by myself on this mountain of a learning curve.  Psalm 23 help-2444110_1920says, He leads me in paths of righteousness, and that He is with me in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  Well, if He’s with me there, surely He’s with me in the Valley of the Shadow of Doubt. 

I can let this serve to increase my tenacity and resolve, pushing me further in, rather than scaring me away.  Good things don’t necessarily come easily, and great things come with a price. 

Hey, this is good stuff.  Maybe I heard Him after all.

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In which Dawn learns to pray…(cont.)

You walk out to go to work and the front tire is flat.  Or you’re welcoming the new pastor to your deliciously prepared Thanksgiving dinner only to remember (while on the doorstep) that he’s vegetarian.

Okay, those are actually easy ones.  How about your son calls from college and his girlfriend is now pregnant with your grandchild?  (And the girl is contemplating get rid of both of them?)

Introducing the Panic Button, and we all have one.  Or for some of us, several.  Big ones clipped onto our keychains that we carry around every day, with glow-in-the-dark coatings and red LED-lit letters that invitingly read PUSH ME NOW.  Continue reading “In which Dawn learns to pray…(cont.)”

“Told you so!”

Now, there’s a phrase we typically enjoy saying, but  we universally hate hearing!

I love the way Paul does it, however.  Here’s a quick backstory:

Falsely accused by his own countrymen, Paul has played his “I’m a Roman citizen” card and appealed to the Supreme Court, (i.e., Caesar), which gives him a one-way all expenses paid trip to the capitol.  This meant a voyage by sea, which could be tricky based on the time of year.  Putting in at one less-than-luxurious small town port, the sailors think they can make it to the next spot before the weather turns bad. Continue reading ““Told you so!””

Just hangin’ around

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I have a bit of a problem with the movie-star mentality that the church often has with popular preachers and teachers.  Driving around in a big city, seeing their faces splashed up on bulletin boards advertising this or that upcoming event just somehow makes me feel…I dunno…like closing my eyes and letting out a big sigh.

Not that I don’t have my faves, people from whom I get some of the benefit of their personal relationship with our common Father and Savior.  But the operative word there is “common”, meaning I have the same access with the same responsibility to hear from God myself, as opposed to settling for allowing all my understanding to derive from their hard work.  That’s just mental and spiritual laziness.  Continue reading “Just hangin’ around”

Dressed for success (or survival)

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280When our post-modern (whatever that means) cultural philosophy asserts that humankind is morally evolving, I like to review statements like this…

“But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves.”

…which could easily be a sound byte from CNN or FoxNews, whichever slant on reality you prefer.

The context of this fascinating OT story is that the reputation of people of Israel as a strong and conquering nation of some strong and conquering God was moving relentlessly through the land, unstoppable.  Their fight or flight options were not pleasant, so these Gibeonites decided to think outside the box… Continue reading “Dressed for success (or survival)”

Not For Sale: Grapes, Figs, and Pomegranates

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280My father-in-law used to decry what he considered his loss of memory after a cardiac surgery, in that he noticed he could no longer do some kind of complex mathematical computations in his head.  Pity.  I still have use my fingers for some single-digit addition, so I’d better never have heart trouble.

Needless to say, memory is not one of my strong suits.  But compared to the Hebrews embarking on their Continue reading “Not For Sale: Grapes, Figs, and Pomegranates”

“Recalibrating…”

wood 2My big brother’s phone GPS is set to a British accent, which I think is pretty cool. 

It’s also appropriate, since he’s quite well traveled due to his job—China, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Great Britain, and more.  Because of the well known company he represents, it’s important that he is culturally astute. 

Naturally, that also includes the food that is put before you.  This is where the manners our mother taught us comes into play, because Jim says there are three kinds of food: Normal, Risque, and Out There. Continue reading ““Recalibrating…””

On second thought, perhaps not.

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Too bad life doesn’t give us rewinds, at least not in the sense that we can actually go back and change history.  That’s the stuff of fantasy sci-fi like my husband writes about.  Which is probably a good thing, actually.  If I could go back in an attempt to correct my mistakes (of which there are many) I would probably just muck things up even worse.  So, in that sense, being stuck in the present must be part of God’s good grace.

Having said that, if you’re old enough to be reading this, then it’s safe to say you’re in the burgeoning company of folks that, at sometime in our lives, have breathed out the words,

“Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time….” Continue reading “On second thought, perhaps not.”

Decisions, decisions!

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Moses, what a guy.  Talk about job stress—the perks were pretty great but so were the occupational hazards.  (And I think I have tough days!)  At least there was clear communication with the Boss; no lost email trails or intra-office misinterpretation of body language, all that.  God’s instructions were always unmistakably clear, right down to what colors of decorative embroidery thread to use for the big church tent!

One year into their miraculous escape/rescue from centuries of Egyptian slavery, God now has them positioned to pull up the stakes and start their journey in earnest to the Promised Land.  He has also promised to be their Guide, a cloud by day and something that looks like a pillar of fire by night.  Again, fairly distinctive, even for someone directionally challenged, like me.  When Continue reading “Decisions, decisions!”

Old machine, new instructions

IMG_20150103_172451138I like to innovate.  That’s a nice way of saying that I’m not really good at reading the directions.  At first, that is.  Now, after the fabric is cut, or too much flour has been mixed in, or the nail has been hammered where there is no stud, then I tend to take a look at the instructions a little more closely…maybe.

So I decided to try my hand and my old sewing machine at making some “Boppy” covers for our upcoming visit with our new granddaughter.  For the uninitiated, “Boppy” is the brand name given to a convenient donut-shaped pillow for nursing mothers, one of which our daughter ordered and which we were packing to bring out to her.  So I thought I would get some cute little covers to go with it.  Being the “frugal” (that’s a nice word, I’ll leave it at that) grandmother that I am, I decided to make the covers myself rather than spend part of the kid’s future college fund by purchasing them online. 

Never mind the fact that Continue reading “Old machine, new instructions”