Sunday, November 02, 2014

Day of prayer

Today at church my pastor really focused on the issues going on in Houston with the mayor issuing subpoenas and talking about persecution in America. I am thankful America has much more freedom than many other countries. We may not have these freedoms much longer. So many in leadership are working toward the best for society ... at the expense of personal freedoms.

There are pastors and church leaders in prison suffering for sharing their beliefs about the One True God.

I am sorry that things in America took center stage today as opposed to our brothers and sisters suffering elsewhere. I feel that the Houston topic should have coverage but I am praying today for the persecuted in Iran, North Korea, China and other places. I am praying for the uprising in Burkina Faso and for those in the path of the lava in Hawaii

I also pray for orphans ... there are so many children who do not have parents and struggle for basic needs. I have friends who serve with orphan placement organizations who are trying to help meet some of the kids' needs.

I am praying for a friend who is spending the last days of her father's life saying goodbye. While in mourning already, she is trying to serve him honorably in his last days while also supporting her mother who is saying goodbye to her husband, her lover and her friend.

I prayed today for friends running in Raleigh's marathon as well as the marathon in New York.

The Bible talks about praying without ceasing. How do we do that?

By making everything about prayer.

As my head is pounding, I pray Lord, help me. Lord lighten the pain or take it away. As I drive pray about the soccer mom whose stickers on the back of her car help me to pray for her honor student or that the gospel will be heard while her son plays in basketball at a local church.

While watching the news or even the political commercials that come on so often since the election is Tuesday, I pray for God to end the bitterness. I pray for those running and those helping the campaign. I pray for ISIS' hold to lessen. I pray for people to be open to the gospel.

I pray for my neighbor Donald, a Vietnam veteran whose tough exterior is often hard to get past. He is gruff and often drinking when I encounter him. He gets in my personal space. He complains about everything. He has his reasons for not going to church. He doesn't have a filter so what he says can be insulting ... even if he doesn't mean anything by it.

Lord, help me to speak peace into his life. Lord, help me to confront him with Your Truth. He says He has a personal relationship with you but sees no hope or good in the world.

I pray often ... because I am His, and He hears my prayer.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Cranking it up

Hello? ....

Hello! HELLO!

I know, it's been a long time but I decided to try to get my blog back up and running. So much has happened in my absence. I won't bother trying to update everything just yet but in the days ahead I hope to share some of the things that have happened. Some will be recent, and some will go back even before I stopped blogging on a regular basis.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and earth." (Genesis 1:1)

Let's face it ... God is a much better writer than me. Thankfully He allows me to be a part of sharing what He is doing around North Carolina on a regular basis. God is at work.

He is using N.C. Baptists to share the gospel, plant churches, provide meals and more. I am thankful for the exposure to just a glimpse of what God is doing.

The image at left is a "fully charged" symbol. I see Americans especially wearing down their energy levels with their busy lives. We need to have time to step back and recharge. You may have realized that some people require more sleep than others, but we all need sleep.

“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses." (1 Kings 8:56)

God knows you need rest. He even took a day after creating everything (Genesis 2:2). 

So how do we rest?

-- Guard your sleep. 

You have to learn how to sleep. Reserve your bedroom for rest. Do not read or watch TV in your bed.

If your body is not used to getting rest, don't expect to sleep eight hours a night right away. You will have to work up to it.

--Wake up at the same time every day.

This is one of the hardest things to do. But your body likes routine. If you go to bed late, try to get up at the same time as usual the next morning. Or at least as close as possible. I confess, I am not always great at this but I definitely feel much better overall when this occurs.

-- Take naps.

That is, if your body needs it. Some people need short naps. Some need long naps. Find out what works for you. If long naps make you grumpy try to take shorter naps. Some people do better without naps. I only occasionally take naps ... and then it usually involves a cat in my lap.

-- Restful activity.

OK, what? I know. It sounds weird. But there are some things that if I do them, they keep me relaxed. Reading (depending on the topic) usually works for me. Propping up in my recliner also works (again, for me; it is my blog after all). I like puzzles too. Find something that relaxes you.

-- Proper nutrition.

I will admit, and it readily visible, that I am not the model for nutrition, however, I feel better when I eat better. Certain foods and drinks make me feel tired and interrupt my rest. When you plan ahead it better enables you to have a healthier day.

These are just a few things that help me. And it is a process. Each moment of every day I choose. I choose to eat the cheeseburger over the salad. I choose to eat the fries over the fruit cup. I choose to go to bed at 10 p.m. instead of 11 or later. I choose to drink water instead of soda.

Rest. Your body needs it. Your mind needs it. Getting the proper rest will allow you to crank it up the next day ... Don't forget to turn your clocks back!