Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

A Mama’s Prayers

prayerGod is so good! Although I am totally unworthy, He has listened to this mama’s prayers and actually answered them. I’ve been praying oh, so fervently, for Sam for quite a long time. Despite being raised in church and being inundated with the Bible, he chose to go his own way for a time. He is a person of extremes, all in or all out. So, while he was running from God, he was very far from Him. He said and did some things that made me fear for his safety and even his life. (For example, he once told me that he didn’t need God because he WAS God.) I have prayed and cried for this man-child of mine so hard at times that it felt like something was about to rupture, and I asked some of my friends to pray for him as well. I’m so happy to be able to say that God has answered our prayers. Last week, Sam got saved!

He made a profession of faith when he was about four years old, and he has known practically his whole life how to be saved and why he should get saved. Finally, one evening last week, while I was at work and he was alone in his room, he decided to stop resisting God, and he accepted Christ as his Savior. He told me that he knows FOR SURE now that he is truly saved. I know it, too. He is a totally different person! Old things are passed away, and all things have become new.

All he talks about now is God and the Bible. He is seeking to surround himself with people who will help him grow in his faith and serve God to the fullest. His dreams and goals for the future have drastically changed. He is even talking about going to a Christian college (maybe Milligan), which he would never even think about before. His number one goal right now is leading his best friend to Christ. He spent a few hours talking to him yesterday and has drawn up an outline of what he wants to say next time he gets a chance to talk him some more.

I am completely overcome with emotions, which is why it has taken me a week to write this blog post: I couldn’t get my ecstatic thoughts organized enough to write anything coherent before now. As elated as I am, I know that God did this in spite of me, rather than because of me. It has been a very humbling experience for me to see God work in our home despite my failings and unfaithfulness to Him. So, if you’re praying for someone, even if you’ve been praying for them for quite a while, don’t stop! He is not willing that any should perish, and He has promised to answer prayers that are according to His will.

What Would Jesus Do…If He Were a Mama Bear?

mama-bearI’ve written a couple times (here and here) about how I’m re-reading In His Steps by Charles Sheldon and asking myself “What would Jesus do?” before making decisions or taking action. Well, tonight I’m having a tough time with that. I want so badly to lash out at someone, but I’m fairly certain that wouldn’t be Jesus’ course of action. But, my baby is hurting, and I’m a mama bear, after all.

Sam is a more-sensitive-than-usual young man. He both empathizes with people more and feels his own emotions more deeply than the average guy his age. When other people reject him and his offer of friendship, it cuts him to his very core. And, being his mom, it makes me angry at the insensitivity being portrayed by the other people.

Sometimes, I really want to tell other people that I think they are cold and heartless, and that I wish Sam would just move on and forget about them because he does not need the negativity they bring into his life. But, is that what Jesus would do? No, probably not.

Instead, I try to help Sam see things from the other people’s perspective. I try to hold back my feelings of distaste toward them and tell him that maybe there are reasons or circumstances that we don’t know about. I let him sleep on my bed while I spend the night in my recliner (not sleeping) just to make sure he actually gets some sleep instead of staying awake all night fretting over people he doesn’t need in his life anyway. I watch him all night to make sure he doesn’t do anything everlastingly stupid in a moment of temporary grief.

What else would Jesus do? I’m really not sure, which is why I am also spending much of the night in prayer, asking for wisdom and the right words to say in the morning. Although Jesus never was a mama bear, I do know that He is on our side; and He will defend us, fight for us, protect us, and always love us more than any of the shallow people we may get our hearts set on. I intend to do that for my son.

What Would Jesus Do?

In His StepsI’ve been re-reading Charles Sheldon’s book In His Steps, which was the original catalyst for the “What would Jesus do” movement. (You can get the Kindle version for FREE here.) I read it for the first time over 20 years ago, and I’ve read it a few times since. Every time I read it, I’m overwhelmed with my responsibility, as a Christian, to study the Bible so that I will know what Jesus would do in almost any given situation and then to purposely do what I believe He would do.

Although I am sincerely committed to this lifestyle, I know I’m not perfect and never will be. Sometimes, figuring out what Jesus would do is a no-brainer and is what I would probably do anyway. Other times, it’s harder to know what He would do, or, what frequently happens, I act or react before asking myself the question. In cases of hasty actions or reactions, I almost always conclude that I was not being very Christ-like.

A couple days ago, I got in an argument with Sam and reacted in a non-Christ-like manner. He stunned me by asking, “Is that what Jesus would do, Mom?” That stopped me in my tracks, and I had to admit that no, it was not what Jesus would have done. I apologized to Sam and thanked him for reminding me of my commitment. He informed me that he, too, is trying to live his life with that question at the forefront, and we agreed to help each other stick to it.

Today, a real challenge presented itself. I don’t watch a lot of television, but the shows I typically choose to watch are ones that are intense with in-depth plots and lots of intellectual content for me and Sam to discuss. Unfortunately, most of those shows also contain elements that I have decided are not things Jesus would approve of, and I’ve had to make a decision about whether or not to continue watching them. Today, the new season of “House of Cards” was released on Netflix. Sam and I have been eagerly anticipating its arrival. Then, I dropped the bomb…I told Sam that I don’t think Jesus would watch “House of Cards” or some of the other shows we enjoy.

Sam is heartbroken! One of our favorite things to do, generating some of our closest moments of bonding, is discussing all the plot twists and turns on those shows. To be honest, though, I have always felt a twinge through some of the racier scenes, and now I just don’t think I could even get through an episode without feeling that I would be very embarrassed if Jesus walked in on me watching it.

I know some would say that it’s a small area of my life, so it’s not a big deal. However, I remembered that Jesus said that even though we keep the whole law, yet offend in one point, we are guilty of all. While I am well aware that I will never be perfect, and I will sometimes do or say things that Jesus never would, I feel like it would be wrong for me to willfully do something that I’m pretty sure He wouldn’t do. That’s why I’m giving up some of my favorite tv shows and who knows what else in the future.

Month of Thanksgiving: Day Twenty-One

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Today I am thankful for God’s provision. Yesterday, I had a need. I knew I would have the money for it in a couple days, but I needed it yesterday. I didn’t know where it was going to come from, but I knew God would provide it at just the right time. And…He did! Someone who needs me to do some work for them next week went ahead and paid me in advance. God is so cool!

Exceeding Abundantly

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase “exceeding abundantly.” According to the dictionary, “exceeding” means extraordinary or exceptional, and “abundantly” gives the idea of being more than adequate or oversufficient. The connotation is one of extremes.

That phrase is found in Ephesians 3:20(KJV). It says that God is able to do “exceeding abundantly” above what we could ask or even think. So, that means that God can go to extremes in doing things for us, and that is an exciting concept.

Sometimes, I think we are timid in asking for what we need, even from God. So, it’s a good thing He will go beyond what we ask. What got me, though, was that He can also go beyond what we can think. I have a hyperactive imagination, and I can think of ALL KINDS of stuff! It’s awesome to know that God can fulfill all my dreams, plus some.

Having grown up in church and Christian schools, I have known this verse for as long as I can remember; but for some reason, that phrase never jumped out at me until a couple weeks ago. I got to thinking about what it meant, and I had a very interesting conversation with God. I reminded Him that He created me with a strong imagination and started telling Him all the great things I had thought of, and I told him that what would make it awesome would be if He actually did some of those things and even went beyond the scope of my imagination.

I guess God agreed with me, because this week He has worked out some pretty amazing things for me and Sam. I truly am in awe at most of it. Stay tuned, because in a few days I’ll tell you about some of what’s going on. (Right now, Sam has declared that everything is “Top Secret” until we see how it’s all going to play out.)

Back to Grace

I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to music. I like all kinds! Lately, though, I have been listening to Southern Gospel more than any other genre, which is why my car radio is usually set on Joy FM. I often hear songs on there that I love and look them up on youtube when I get home. That’s how I came across this song. I’ve heard it on Joy FM several times, and I couldn’t get it to stop playing over and over in my mind. So, I looked it up on youtube so I could listen to it repeatedly. The words are reassuring and hopeful. We all go through times when we stray, and it’s so important to realize that God will always take us back. My favorite line in the song is: “You can never go so far His mercy cannot reach to where you are.” I’m so glad God gives second chances and wish more people would follow His example.

 

I Asked The Lord

As I stated in my last post, I’m currently taking a hiatus from facebook and focusing my attention on things going on around here. Facebook tends to be too much of a distraction, and I decided that I needed to shut if off completely and spend more time seeking God so that I can gain wisdom on what I need to do and the decisions I need to make.

I have not taken a hiatus from the internet completely, just from facebook. On twitter, the people I follow tend to strengthen my faith, which is always something needed. So do the blogs I read. Yesterday, I came across a blog with a hymn I had never heard. The name of the hymn is “I Asked The Lord”. The words were written by John Newton who wrote “Amazing Grace”. The words are powerful and, though over 130 years old, still relevant today. Here are some of the words:

I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request,
Andy by His love’s constraining pow’r
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry pow’rs of Hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more with His own hand He seemd
Intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low.

As the song goes on, he asks the Lord why this is happening, and if He is going to pursue Him to death. The Lord responds that this is how He answers prayers for grace and faith. The song ends with the Lord saying:

These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in Me.



The past couple weeks have been really rough ones, but I realized (partly, after hearing this song), that it was likely a tool God was using to get me to focus more on Him and less on people and things around me. There are several issues I have been praying about, and it seemed that everything was going the opposite way I thought they should. The past few days of intent prayer and seeking God’s guidance have made things a little clearer. The path ahead is looking a little brighter today than it was a week ago.