Professional Mourner or Professional Joy Generator?

By Mary Anne Benedetto

I recently learned that in some ancient cultures, it was common to hire professional mourners to wail at funerals. Also known as Feb 2013 Albany guy dinnermoirologists, their duties could possibly include delivering a eulogy or simply weeping, moaning and crying loudly.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that even in current times, there are Mediterranean, Near Eastern and other cultures who still participate in this practice.  In the U.K. someone established a business called Rent a Mourner!

Imagine crying and wailing and actually getting paid for your emotional outbursts of sorrow? I know some chronic complainers who would probably excel at and love that job.

As caring siblings, children, parents and grandparents, don’t we sometimes want to mourn the poor choices and resulting situations of loved ones? One lesson that God has recently been teaching me is that I simply can’t control what other people choose to do, although I’d like to. I so wish that I could pave the way for my loved ones to walk in the lighted pathway the Lord has planned for them and never detour, but I can’t accomplish that any more than my own parents could spare me from making less than stellar decisions during my teenage and young adult years.

So what can I do? I can be vigilant as their prayer warrior. I can literally get on my knees and pray that they won’t stray too far away and that their early upbringing will always bring them back into the loving arms of Christ. They were already forgiven at the cross.

Since prayer is really the only way I can help besides showing them tons of love and making sure they know they are in my daily prayers, I choose joy. I choose not letting the decisions and acts of others steal my joy. I choose remembering that I can’t dictate their actions, and so I will be a professional joy generator.

Nehemiah 8:10…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (NIV)

Philippians 1:3-6  I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Never Say Perfect Book CoverMary Anne Benedetto is a Certified Lifewriting Instructor and the author of 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Eyelash and Never Say Perfect. Please visit her at www.awriterspresence.com and www.maryannebenedetto.blogspot.com.

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An Author’s Prayer

by June Foster

Dear Lord,

Give me the strength today to pen the words you want written on the page, the knowledge and wisdom to convey the message You desire for the reader to grasp.

I am weak, but You are strong. Lord, I am helpless and can do nothing without Your mighty power and understanding. You make my fingers move on the keyboard. Without You, I couldn’t even find the letters.

You put the words in my heart and allow them to flow through me and onto the page. Without Your knowledge I couldn’t write even the shortest of sentences. And you even placed Spell Check in the program because you know I can’t spell.

Help me mold the words into a story that comes from Your heart. Bring healing and hope to any who read it. Put Your emotion and desire within me to convey Your passion. With every word I type, glorify Your name. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

June Foster is a retired school teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She writes full time and travels in her RV with her husband Joe. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. June’s book, Ryan’s Father, will be published by WhiteFire Publishing in the near future.

Tim Garrett saw Jess Colton back to health in Give Us This Day but can’t control his own life. He wants nothing more than to serve God as a pastoral counselor, but first must prove to the staff and elders at Bellewood Fellowship he can handle the job he was hired to do — work with the senior high youth.

Roxanne Ratner’s father abandoned her when she was ten, and now she doesn’t trust men. They’ll only hurt her like her parent did. She fills the empty place in her heart with shopping for designer clothes. Though the perky young hairstylist falls in love with the Tim, she must keep her distance from the handsome pastor.

Despite Tim’s efforts to prove himself on the job, everything works against him bringing him closer to dismissal. Tim has one last chance at Camp Solid Rock. When Tim learns a frightening secret from his youthful adversary, can he make a difference? Can Roxanne risk giving her heart to Tim?

My darkest days

By Jen Gentry

When I was asked to write this devotional I started to panic. You see I love the Lord with all my heart
and I remind the Lord every day “I have never not believed.” I can’t remember a time in my life when
I did not know the Lord Jesus as my personal savior. I have recited the sinner’s prayer many different
times in my life as I rededicated my life to him. But I still can’t recall a time when I did not know of Jesus
and believe that he died on the cross for my sins.

Back to my original panic here, how can I write a devotional in what I deem to be one of the darkest
periods of my life in what has been the worst year of my life? How can I share what the Lord has done
for me and how he has saved me when I am suffering so? There is only one way. I have to believe. John
3:16

Let me share with you how this past year has changed my life forever. My story is heartbreaking and
difficult to tell. On February 2, 2012 my youngest son was backing out of my driveway struck my two-
year-old granddaughter and killed her. He was her uncle as she was the daughter of my oldest son.

How can I convey in words the heartache me and my family have suffered? Sadly I find there are no
words. The pain is indescribable. In the hours and days immediately following this great tragedy our
church stepped in to minister to us and an entire community reached out to my grieving family. Some
of us questioned how could God let this happen? I got on my knees and prayed. I was hurt, angry,
confused. I begged and pleaded for my granddaughter back, but the Lord told me very clearly. He is
sovereign. Every knee shall bow every tongue shall confess…Romans 14:11

I promised God that I would praise him through this awful storm. I did not know what else to do so I
praised him. It was then in my complete surrender that changes began to take place in my home. My
husband who always confessed to being a Christian but never lived the life started going to church with
me. He rededicated his life to Lord. This may sound like it was a very simple thing, but let me tell you for
me this was huge. This was an answer to a prayer I had been praying for over the last twenty years.

In the months following I completed a novel I had been working on for the last year. It was not my first
work, but it was the one I felt the most sure about. This was the work I would see published for the first
time. The Lord has performed a great and mighty work in my life over the last year and I give him all the
praise and glory for it.

I have learned it is when our days are at their darkest we must cling to him the most. Just as King David
praised the Lord continuously during times of great tragedy as when his first son from Bathsheba passed
away and the Lord was merciful and forgave David his sins. So must we be like David and cry out to
the Lord as we sing his praises in the midst of the storms in our lives. Psalms 9-10 It is in our complete
surrender to the Lord that he can do his most mighty works in our lives.

The Gift of Light

imag002Emily and her Aunt Gemma are two very special women. They see into the spiritual realm and commune with angels. With this exciting tale, reminiscent of the great Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, debut author Gentry portrays in realistic terms the angelic and demonic creatures who inhabit our world, and why.

A centuries-old battle, waged in the heavenly realm between the forces of good and evil, is fast reaching a flashpoint in Hook Pond. Demon Prince Azelius has a centuries-old stronghold over the family of Senator Brad Steel, whose goal is to become President of the United States, a goal Azelius wants him to achieve. Azelius wants the senator’s son as well, but someone is praying and interfering with his plans. That someone must be silenced, permanently.

When young Bradley Steel finds the Lord, he goes through a profoundly life-changing experience. He is overwhelmed with the need to ask forgiveness for an adolescent transgression that has haunted his life. Marta forgives him and promises forgetfulness as well. They become friends and eventually fall in love and marry. Bradley goes to Afghanistan as chaplain and is critically wounded in an explosion, but a pregnant Marta is told of his death.

With the presidential election drawing near, Senator Steel makes his bid, and threatened with exposure of past misdeeds including adultery and kidnapping ending with murder, he utilizes his demonic connections to summon the Ba’al and a shaman priest.

A spine tingling ending that will have you cheering.

Find Jen Gentry online: 0

Website

https://jengentrysbooks.com

Twitter

https://twitter.com/jengentrysbooks

facebook

http://www.facebook.com/jenny.gentry.758

The Gift of Light Amazon

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Praying for Salvation

by June Foster

Is there anyone in your life – friend or family – that you’d love to see come to salvation? Have you been praying for this person for what seems like forever, and sometimes you ask God if He really hears your prayers? I have. And I’d like to encourage you. Don’t give up.

Let’s see what God’s word says. First of all, He wants everyone and that means the person you’re praying for, to come to Christ. 11Peter3:9 says “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Just as He waited until you were ready to receive Him, He’s waiting to save your friend or loved one when they are, and He absolutely wants them to enter into His Kingdom.

Have you been praying with someone else for that person’s salvation? Matthew 18:19 says “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” I know – God doesn’t violate a person’s free will and force them to receive salvation, but I’d say that agreement in prayer sounds like a powerful tool in seeking God.

Now Acts 16:31 says “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Again, that’s no guarantee that another will be saved. But still, this statement is in the Bible and worth considering. If that person you’re praying for is a member of your family, I’d take this verse to heart. To me it indicates that there is a good possibility other people in your family will be saved when or after you do.

11Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is God-breathed.” This means it comes from God’s own mouth. So if God says something in the Word, we can trust it as truth. Pray for the person who’s on your heart and remind God what He says in His word. I believe when you storm Heaven in this way, your loved one doesn’t stand a chance to hide from God for long. I’ve seen it more than once in my own life.

Tim Garrett saw Jess Colton back to health in Give Us This Day but can’t control his own life. He wants nothing more than to serve God as a pastoral counselor, but first must prove to the staff and elders at Bellewood Fellowship he can handle the job he was hired to do — work with the senior high youth.

Roxanne Ratner’s father abandoned her when she was ten, and now she doesn’t trust men. They’ll only hurt her like her parent did. She fills the empty place in her heart with shopping for designer clothes. Though the perky young hairstylist falls in love with the Tim, she must keep her distance from the handsome pastor.

Despite Tim’s efforts to prove himself on the job, everything works against him bringing him closer to dismissal. Tim has one last chance at Camp Solid Rock. When Tim learns a frightening secret from his youthful adversary, can he make a difference? Can Roxanne risk giving her heart to Tim?

June Foster is a retired school teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She writes full time and travels in her RV with her husband Joe. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012.  June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. June’s book, Ryan’s Father, will be published by WhiteFire Publishing in the near future.

21 Ways to Celebrate Gratitude During Thanksgiving This Holiday Season

Guest post by Shelley Hitz

 Thanksgiving season is soon approaching and this year, I encourage you to take the opportunity to celebrate gratitude.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, take a moment (or two) to celebrate gratitude.

Here is a list of the 21 Ways.  Read about all 21 ways at Shelley’s website: http://www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com/21-ways-to-celebrate-gratitude-during-thanksgiving-this-holiday-season/

 

  1. Create a “Blessing Basket”
  2. Send a holiday care package to a soldier.
  3. Create Thanksgiving placemats
  4. Deliver a Thanksgiving meal to a neighbor that is house bound.
  5. Feed families by donating money to your local mission, homeless shelter or city mission.
  6. Create a Thanksgiving paper chain.
  7. Run a turkey trot (or walk).
  8. Create a journal of thanks.
  9. Mail a hand-written thank you note to someone that you appreciate
  10. Do a chore, provide a service or run an errand for a neighbor.
  11. Say your ABC’s this year …the ABC’s of Thanksgiving, that is.
  12. Send a letter of appreciation to an author that has impacted you through their books.
  13. Decorate your table with thanks.
  14. Create Thanksgiving place cards.
  15. Thank someone at work for doing their job well.
  16. Sing a song of thanks together.
  17. Be tree-mendously thankful this holiday season.
  18. Organize a scripture round robin.
  19. Visit a children’s hospital.
  20. Donate items to charity.
  21. Celebrate gratitude during your Thanksgiving dinner.

Gratitude Resource:

 

21 Stories of Gratitude:  The Power of Living Life With a Grateful Heart.”   Get your copy here:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009YWM3WI

Are you living life to the fullest? Or are you merely surviving from day to day?

One way to live life to the fullest is to live each day with a grateful heart. In this book, we share 21 stories of gratitude to give you encouragement and hope in your own journey. Gratitude is possible! Even though many times we cannot change our circumstances, we can change the way we see them. We can ask God to empower us to change our thoughts.

 

Our prayer for you is that you find encouragement within these pages. And we pray that you will ask God for His strength to renew your mind with His truth and the hope He offers each one of us every day. It is only through Christ renewing our minds that we can truly live each day with a grateful heart.

 

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

 

Other Gratitude Resources:

 

  • 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge:   Take the 21 days of gratitude challenge to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.  You can do this by yourself or as a family.

 

  • 21 Prayers of Gratitude:  Read a prayer of gratitude for 21 days to focus your heart on God and all He has given us.

 

 

About the Author:

 

Shelley Hitz

Shelley Hitz has been writing and publishing books since 2008. She is also the author of the website, FindYourTrueBeauty.com, that reaches thousands of girls each month around the world. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing will inspire and encourage you.

 

Shelley has been ministering to teens since 1998 alongside her husband, CJ. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.

 

You can find more about Shelley at www.ShelleyHitz.com or invite her to speak at your event here: www.ChristianSpeakers.tv

 

 

Praying For Salvation

By June Foster

 

Is there anyone in your life – friend or family – that you’d love to see come to salvation? Have you been praying for this person for what seems like forever, and sometimes you ask God if He really hears your prayers? I have. And I’d like to encourage you. Don’t give up.

 

Let’s see what God’s word says. First of all, He wants everyone and that means the person you’re praying for, to come to Christ. 11Peter3:9 says “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Just as He waited until you were ready to receive Him, He’s waiting to save your friend or loved one when they are, and He absolutely wants them to enter into His Kingdom.

 

Have you been praying with someone else for that person’s salvation? Matthew 18:19 says “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” I know – God doesn’t violate a person’s free will and force them to receive salvation, but I’d say that agreement in prayer sounds like a powerful tool in seeking God.

 

Now Acts 16:31 says “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Again, that’s no guarantee that another will be saved. But still, this statement is in the Bible and worth considering. If that person you’re praying for is a member of your family, I’d take this verse to heart. To me it indicates that there is a good possibility other people in your family will be saved when or after you do.

 

11Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is God-breathed.” This means it comes from God’s own mouth. So if God says something in the Word, we can trust it as truth. Pray for the person who’s on your heart and remind God what He says in His word. I believe when you storm Heaven in this way, your loved one doesn’t stand a chance to hide from God for long. I’ve seen it more than once in my own life.

Freefalling: How 24/7 Prayer Changed My Life.

By Chana Keefer
I remember my first 24/7 Prayer experience.  I had signed up for a crazy hour, like 2 a.m, and I took  my then-8-yr-old son with me.  When we stepped into the black light-bathed room with fluorescent expressions of people’s heart’s cry  to God splashed all over the papered walls, my son exclaimed, “This is  the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” and proceeded to dive in adding to  the wall décor,
writing in a journal, picking out some worship music and  just generally soaking in some of the many unique ways we can connect  with God.
That Prayer Room still resonates in our lives, a plink of a pebble in  water that brought monster waves.  I can truly say most of the good  things in our lives are a direct result of that encounter.
When our Tulsa church’s one week of scheduled Prayer Room turned into  five, the church leaders hardly knew how or if to bring it to a close.   One night, my hubby and some of his percussionist pals decided to meet  in the Prayer Room—with drums in tow.  That innocent step into uncharted  territory was pivotal.  A few of them began to play while another  wandered the room, stopping
to read aloud various prayers from the  walls.
The beat would ebb and flow with the emotion of the prayers  until… their hour was up… and they were blinking in
astonishment at each  other saying, “What just happened?”
That coming weekend, the church leaders decided to use this unique  style of worship/prayer/percussion in the services as closure to our  five weeks of prayer.  A few of us actor types recited several of the  representative prayers
while the percussion flowed, interspersed with  worship music—and some of the most powerful connection with Father God  we had ever experienced. It was freeing.  It was vibrant.  And we honestly had no clue about  the spiritual comet we had just grasped.  Within weeks, Mark and I were  discussing the tug in our hearts toward moving to California.  Not long  after, he and his
percussion crew were receiving invitations from 24/7  Prayer events all over the world.  They called themselves “Tribe” and have since traveled to Spain, London and other points around the globe.
In the summer of 2004, Mark returned from a Tribe excursion with a  new book penned by Pete Greig, founder of the 24/7 Prayer movement,  titled “Red Moon Rising.”   More spiritual tsunami waves rolled as we soaked in this revival-in-paperback two, three, four times, then purchased copies, ten  at a time, to pass out to friends and family.  All the stories about  prayer convinced me it was time to put some discipline behind my prayer  passion and actually… pray—an hour a day, every day, first thing out of  the sack.  I had
prayed through the years, but had never been good at  doing it regularly, even habitually.  Therefore, amped up by Red Moon’s  spiritual adrenalin, I began the daily quest.
I’m not sure what I expected, but the experience was… not what I  expected.  It was kinda hard to get out of bed.  God was present, but  fairly silent.  There were no bells and whistles, just a conviction that  I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months.  I was still praying, but  much of the time, admittedly, I was fuming—“God, is this what You lived,  died and rose from the dead to give?  An IV-drip of spiritual power?   I’m needing a flood here!”
Soon frustration and anger became desperation.  “God, please.  Where  are You? Is this all I have to offer?  Why would I invite others if  this is what they’ll get, frustration and barely enough faith to keep  breathing?”  A lot of salt water poured and I’d get up from my prayer  convinced that I didn’t have a clue about prayer.
What was going on?  In retrospect, I can see my misconceptions of  prayer were burning away.  Picture old birds’ nests clogging a chimney.   Turn up the heat—get choked by smoke.  I still had this impression that  the way to get prayer answered was to beg God into agreement with MY  plan.  I would never have admitted that fact out loud, but such was the  case—my heavenly ATM machine—push
the right buttons, put in “the code”  and out comes my request. “But God, I want to help set up 24/7 Prayer rooms all across  Hollywood.  That’s a good thing, right?  What could be more important?”
Crickets.
But I was at a particularly desperate time in life and there was  nowhere else to turn.  I HAD to knock and keep knocking.  But think what  a statement of true faith that is.  Why would I knock and keep  knocking?  Because I was convinced someone was home.  I knew someone was  listening.  Someone very patient. A full year into the prayer journey (yes, I’m just that stubborn) I  had a very fun, narrative dream.  In the coming days, the story lingered  and grew in my mind until I had the basic premise, plot points and even  surprise ending of a fascinating love story.  Soon, I was spending  every spare minute—and not so spare—sitting at our kitchen computer as I  attempted to do the story justice. Even a month of adrenalin-induced  sleep deprivation didn’t do the trick.  Each
day began with face-time on  our closet floor where the flow would start, I would soak in God’s  presence, then write my heart out.  Ten months later, the first draft  was complete.  It was rambling, had too many adverbs and trite dialogue,  but my loyal eldest son pronounced it “as good as Harry Potter… in it’s  own way.” I was blissfully ignorant of the impact of Internet sales on  traditional
publishing and the uphill battle every first-time author  must face, but my love affair with the written word—especially with  connecting to God’s flow as I wrote—surpassed the fulfillment I had  experienced in singing, acting and other
arts.  And prayer was the  catalyst. Then in 2007, a full three years into daily prayer, God stopped me in my tracks
by whispering to my heart, “What do you want?”
Three years before I would have had plenty of answers to that  question.  In 2007, all I could do was cry… until I realized, the pure,  overwhelming, fulfilling, scalding love didn’t fit with some of what I  believed about God.  And this. Was. God.  No doubt.  Therefore, I needed  answers. That’s what I ended up asking for. The ramifications of that morning tore me up, stripped faith to the bone and
shoved it into freefall mode. I’m still falling.  His love is deep. Now there’s one novel published, several more in various stages, an  exciting sequel in the works, the opportunity to write the biography of  an amazing missionary pioneer—and constant forays outside my comfort  zone that keep me desperate for time with God.
With this week’s 24/7 Prayer Room, I’m back to where it all started—a  simple room set up for one purpose—to connect God with His children.   And trust me, there’s no room, no box, that can contain Him. Get hold of the book “Red Moon Rising.”  Get alone with God.  Knock and keep on knocking. I double-dog dare you.
Chana Keefer is the sister, daughter, and granddaughter of pastors.
Her fresh perspective stems from a background in journalism,
missions, acting, and writing for print and live theater. Her favorite
things are God, family, and the written word but she also breaks for
chocolate, old barns, and people who live passionately. She and her family reside
in southern California.

*************************************************

Chana Keefer–author of THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1)
www.chanakeefer.com
Twitter:@chanakeefer
FB: The Rapha Chronicles
BOOK TRAILER for THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1) : http://alturl.com/qescu

Intercession

By June Foster

I urge first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. I Timothy 12: 1-4

Sometimes when I pray, I’ll admit I wonder if God is really listening. I’m not getting any immediate feedback, and I get discouraged. But then I read passages in the Bible which tells us God commands us to pray. If He wants us to pray – for our government and for everyone as He says in I Timothy, then He’s hearing us. The all-powerful God has chosen to let us help change the world with our prayers. Amazing thought.

God wants us to intercede for others. It’s like poking holes in the clouds of spiritual darkness and allowing God’s light to shine through. We can poke holes in the dark clouds of irreverence toward God, dishonesty, selfishness, fear, worldliness, you name it. Let’s poke holes in the veil of darkness we see around us.

Four Things To Pray For Your Family (Or Any Other Person You Might Be Responsible For)

By:  Steve Biddison

 Read John 17: 7-19

Life Lessons

A careful examination of this part of Jesus’ prayer shows us some key areas where He was praying for those God had granted under His care.  He pointed out specifically that He was not praying these things for the whole world, but His prayer was only about the ones God had given under His care.  As we look into His prayer, we should do so with the understanding that those God has given under our care, especially our family, should be prayed for in the same way as Jesus prayed for His disciples.

  1.  That they would learn about Jesus (v.8).  Jesus said that His disciples knew with certainty who He was and why He came.  Have we taught our family (or others under our responsibility) about Jesus?  Do our kids know the basic stories from the Bible?  These are all things we should not only be praying that they know, but we should be making sure that they know.
  2. That they believe and accept Jesus (v.8).  Our prayer for our children from the moment they are born should be that one day they believe and accept Jesus.  It is not enough to know about Him.  Our prayer needs to be that they will one day come to know Him.
  3. That they obey Jesus (v. 6).  Jesus said in His prayer that His disciples obeyed His teachings.  In other words, they did not only believe in Him, they lived by what He said.  As our family members become Christians, we should change our prayer for them from praying to accept Jesus to praying that they would walk with Jesus throughout their lives.
  4. That they would know for certain what the truth is (v. 8).  As we pray for our children, especially when they start entering their teenage years, we should daily be praying that they know for certain what the truth is.  Their friends, environment, and even hormones will be trying to confuse them.  Pray that they know the truth of God’s Word so well that they will not stray from it.

Making it Personal

How well do your children (or those under your responsibility) know the basics about Jesus as well as other stories from the Bible?  If you are not sure, then they probably don’t know that much.  Make a plan on telling them all about Jesus and the Bible.

Are all your family members (or others under your responsibility) already Christians?  If not, make a commitment to pray regularly for their salvation.

For the most part, are your children obeying you and God?  If they aren’t, this would be a good time to make a habit of praying for them to walk in God’s ways.

Do your children (especially teenagers) know the truth so well that they don’t want to depart from it?  In today’s world, it is not enough to just know the truth because they were taught it.  They have to know it in their own hearts to survive in this world.  Pray each day for your children to know and walk in the truth so not to be confused by the world.

 

When All I Can Do Is Pray

By:  Naty Matos

Following God requires a few things. First of all I need to acknowledge that He is God and that I’m not. Accept and recognize that he is in control. Know and accept that he knows better than I do because he can see what happened, what is to come and because he’s the one driving the plan. Finally and more stressful for me, the fact that sometimes all that is required of me is to do NOTHING…

Argh! the sound of those words still make me feel like someone scratching a chalkboard. Oh that’s right, they don’t use those anymore… regardless imagine a bothersome screeching noise in your ears.

I’m a very hands-on person. I want to know who, how, why, when, and what. Yes, I went to journalism school and enjoyed every minute of it. But real life with God doesn’t quite work like that. Sometimes you have just a piece of information and sometimes you have none and you have to trust that whatever needs to happen will and that it will be for the best. Sounds fun and easy, but it’s not.

Recently God has been training me in this area of trusting him with all my life. I’ve had to put into practice this scripture, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 As I am called to be doing the things of the kingdom, God is trying to teach me that as long as I focus on him he will take care of the rest.

I found myself frustrated saying, “All I can do is pray” when faced with a situation. Guess what Naty, that’s all you were supposed to do. There were situations where I didn’t have the resources, the physical or geographical ability to go try to resolve something. It made me feel so helpless, but in my weakness he shows his glory and strength. All was resolved and I’m totally sure way better than if I had intervened.

There are times when God calls you to action, but when he tells you to do nothing and leave it all in his hands, know he’s going to take care of it. If all you can do is pray, you are actually doing something. You are acknowledging that he is God and you’re not. That He can and you can’t. You surrender and release to Him the power to get the job done.

Many blessings.

Naty Matos was born in the city of New York, from Puerto Rican descendant parents. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at www.therisingmuse.com

Growth Lessons is an inspirational devotional with the blueprint for the everyday Christian Living. It’s a journey through the scriptures of how to face normal every day situations that we can take for granted and how to submit them to the will of God.This book is a must read for the new believer to understand the practical concepts of the Christian Lifestyle. It’s also a must read for the seasoned believer to affirm their faith through those details that seem unimportant but matter the most in the journey with God.
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