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.)”

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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!

A treasure in the dark is still a treasure

wood 2If you haven’t seen the movie, The Monuments Men, please do.  Okay, I’m a little bit of a history buff, I love the stories behind the drama of the human experience.  But I also think it is massively valuable to understand our collective past, the sacrifice others have made to give me the life and opportunities I currently enjoy…which are many. 

So, here, in a precarious time when the military was more interested in preserving our way of life more than preserving our art, a few brave people realized that our art is, in fact, an important part of our way of life! 

The masterpieces of art went into hiding to protect them from danger, theft, and destruction.  Funny how we do the same with the “glory” that God has put within us to honor Him, to reflect Him. John Eldredge makes this very good point in his book, Waking the Dead~~those beautiful pieces of ourselves are still there, just hidden, veiled by fear, shame, misuse.  It may be in the form of a talent, a passion, or even a painful experience.  It is what God can use, and what someone else may desperately be waiting for, as well as for the benefit of the kingdom of Christ on earth.

 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

You might want to pick up a copy of the movie, Monument’s Men, and substitute the treasures that were being rescued for your own.  Satan hasn’t destroyed them (although he tries to tell us “it’s too late”).  They’re just in hiding.  Maybe it’s time to bring them back into the Light!

2 Cor. 3:16-18    Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

This Little Light of Mine

quill

***EXTRA EDITION of Not My Poetry***

Obvious, I didn’t write the following song.  (Sunday School teachers the world over are in sore debt to the one who did, as it ranks up there with the one about Zacchaeus and the sycamore…)

Anyway, I play this to make a point.  Plus, the bass vocals and djembe percussion are really cool:

Of course, if you prefer R&B…

And what’s the collection without an uptempo bluegrass version, right?  (Just imagine smoke coming from the banjo…)

Right.  So here’s a song that most people who have grown up in church (and many who have not, for that matter) could sing without much prompting.  A significant comment is found embedded, albeit not deeply, within this simple song.  John Eldredge puts it so clearly in his book, Waking the Dead. (Such a great title for the subject, BTW.)

God has placed within us a “glory”.  Another good teacher, Danny Silk, calls it our “song”. Or as my own pastor, Lawrence Wilson, says, “what did God have in mind when He thought you up?” 

That being the case, then why, WHY!??! do we insist on downplaying that talent/gift/calling/glory or whatever else we can call it in the name of….what?  Humility? That’s hogwash.  It’s not like we can take any credit for it anyway.

Or maybe we hide it because we’re afraid to stand out, as if shining our light will dim someone else’s.  Equal hogwash.  The more light we have, the better we can see.  And if it’s too much, God will provide the sunglasses.

Maybe we’re concerned that what we feel pulled to is really of no value, and if that’s the case, it probably means we’ve been told that somewhere along the line.  More hogwash.  If God put it there, and God doesn’t make mistakes, then He must have a purpose for it, and therefore, it’s needed.  

I love this story from the early church–Jesus has gone back to Heaven, and the Holy Spirit has made His promised installment.  Peter and John “happen” to come upon a man unable to walk, begging for alms at the entrance to the temple.  Now, another Sunday School song that many remember, (and we’ll use traditional church pipe organ this time.)

“Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Those words were made immortal by this simple song, (second only by the Bible itself, that is), and the first words that most people probably think were said by the apostles to this lame man.

They were not.

The FIRST words Peter and John said upon meeting the man were:

 “Look at us!”

Seriously?  Isn’t that the very thing we are taught to avoid, in the name of “humility” (or humiliation)?  But here’s the rub: many times for us to redirect someone’s focus onto God their Creator, they first have to look at us, His creation!  And the really hilarious part is that God planned it that way!

Jesus even points this out in His prayer right before going to the cross:

“Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.” 

So, what glory, what gift/talent/passion/song is inside of you?

Why not follow Jesus’ lead, and let it shine!

Acts 3:4; John 17:1  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.