Sunday, April 1, 2012

God and My Coworker

About a month ago I got a part-time job and I am so grateful that God has given me new opportunities to pray for and love on others. Something happened a week or so ago that gave me new insight into the things of God. Most of my coworkers are high school age or late teen/early twenty something folks. I work for a franchise, meaning there are owners who are accountable to a corporate office. Unknown to me, one of my coworkers had repeatedly broken a corporate rule that would put our owners' business in jeopardy and it had been discussed with her. I witnessed this coworker breaking the rule again and apparently this was the straw that broke the camel's back. She was fired.

God is all over this story, but here's the part I needed to share. As I was witnessing this coworker break this rule, there came a point when I had to turn away. Watching was too much to bear. It broke my heart knowing this coworker was doing something destructive to herself. I imagined God to be like that with all of us when we are sinning and I prayed "God please help me never do a thing that makes You turn away from me like that. I always want Your eyes on me."

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Today the message is "Togetherness". God has given us the incredible gift of each other in Christ - and that wasn't always available to me. I learned from my good friend Sylane Mack to pray that we would see the beauty of the body of Christ so I have prayed that for myself and all of my loved ones - including our church family. Two and a half years ago when we became part of Maranatha, I was so terrified of people. Reaching out to or receiving from anyone was impossible for me. Fortunately, with God all things are possible and He has done a work! Today He's showing me I need to call that friend who I put off calling yesterday because our Togetherness is Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven breaking through. Amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day Thirty Two Question

Yesterday while fasting I became acutely aware of what it must be like to not be able to get a meal. This goes beyond homelessness here in the United States. This is Africa, Central America, etc. type starvation where people literally may not be able to find their next meal and have no clue when that will come. I figure I'm already really aware and compassionate so what purpose does God have in showing me this? My question right now is "How do I bring hope (of Jesus) to someone whose stomach hurts so bad, is so hungry, can't think straight because they don't have sundown and fast breaking to look forward to?"

Hitting the Wall

There's a phrase in endurance sports to describe the point when your body and mind are utterly fatigued and all you can think of is sitting down, resting, eating, whatever. They call it "hitting the wall". I first became aware of it in graduate school. I had paper upon paper upon paper due at the end of a quarter and nothing in me wanted to keep going to finish. In fact, I turned a couple of the papers in days late. This hitting the wall seems to happen when one is really far into their endeavor and at the point where you can actually see the end of the thing. It was with those grad school papers that I broke through the wall of anything for the first time in my life and it was an experience I am so happy to have had. Our life in Christ can sometimes feel like hitting a wall - the sin we can't stop committing, the relationship that doesn't seem to deliver after years of praying, the loved one who doesn't embrace the gift of Jesus after years and years of interceding on their behalf. We throw our hands up finally one day and God takes over! That's where I was on day 30 of the fast. I had "hit the wall". I woke up not wanting to fast anymore and asking God if I could quit. It took 3 days of this to realize what was happening. Once I realized it, things got easier and I started looking at the end to cheer me on. "Only 7 more days. You've come this far. Do you really want to quit when you are so close? You can do 6 more. You know God helps with every hunger pang - just ask." And on I went.

Days Twelve Through Thirty

My water only fast of 7 days ended on a Sunday while I was in church. I was surprised by it because I thought I was headed to 40 on the same path. I am very grateful it did end because I wasn't prepared to undertake a 40 that way. When I ate, I ate more than my body could handle and I hurt myself. God is so good to us though. He knew what I was capable of and He protected me. I've read that a fast, incorrectly broken with too much food too soon can result in death. If you've undertaken a fast you may have experienced how hard it can be to stop yourself because believe me, you are hungry!

The next few days I did not fast at all and after that it was sporadic - first a few hours. I remember one Sunday feeling led to fast and the fast ended by communion later that morning (about 11am). During this time my eyes were so open to God at work around me! Eventually I was back to fasting every day sun up to sun down again. And then came day 30.

Three Days and Beyond

I started the 3-day fast referred to in my last post on January 11, 2012. I had fasted before and my fasts were usually no food, only water, from sun up to sun down for 1 to 3 days. I only fast when I feel led to and in the manner I feel led to. I try not to undertake it in my own strength because I did it once and it didn't go so well. Now I wait on the Holy Spirit to nudge me and all I need is provided every time.

This particular fast quickly became different than any other. I could understand things of God in a way I never had before. I remember on the 3rd day having this sense of the ground shaking in the heavenlies. I pictured principalities of the enemy set up around each person and decided that if fasting had the power to tear those down, why wouldn't I want to do that for each person I loved? My 3-day fast would turn into 40 and the first people to be fasted for were my mom, a friend of hers, and our nephew Tyson. That way of fasting would continue into the next week. A new person or group of people would come to mind and I would pray and fast for them the entire day. I told some of the people I fasted and prayed for that I was doing it and many of them seemed to be blessed by the knowledge. Some even decided to pass on the blessing and fast for those they felt moved to.

During the first twelve days, there were occasions when I would read scripture and a particular verse would really "pop" for me. I knew it was to be prayed over a certain person. One case in particular was for a friend who has epilepsy. I knew the scripture was a promise that his seizures would be gone. Also during that first 12 days, I fasted water only, sun up to sun down, for 5 days. The next 7 days were only water, all day, every day. That was the point where my husband got concerned and I think started to pray. I told him I would stop when God said I should and that put his mind at ease. I remember during that time wondering what it would be like to eat nothing for the next 30 days. I wasn't sure I was up for that!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Prayer Project

On January 9, 2012 we started something called the prayer project in our women's Bible study at church. The goal was to develop our own prayer curriculum. We talked in the first night how literally any line of scripture could be turned into a prayer and we practiced that and then were encouraged to do it at home. I did it one time and the scripture I turned into a prayer was Hebrews 10:19-21 in the Message paraphrase:

"19So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into "the Holy Place." Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The "curtain" into God's presence is his body."

The prayer I prayed was "Father, I want to walk right up to you in the Holy Place. I love you Lord. Amen."

Within a day or so, I felt impressed to fast for 3 days. I really had no clue how incredible the journey was going to be.