Game-Changer

My prayer life was stale. Talking to God seemed like a duty, and I treated God like a genie. However, Praying the Psalms by Michael Wolff was a game-changer! The devotional has Scripture lingering throughout prayers written in the vernacular, then some author thoughts to contemplate, and space for reflection. The prayers guided me graciously and pointed me to go deeper with God, which is the ultimate message.

I’m also glad for the encouragement to say what I’m thinking to the Lord, and drop the idea that I have to say the correct words at the correct time. Most importantly, this book taught me how to pray God’s Word back to him, which is not only an incredible experience, but a powerful tool to take down Hell’s gates. Praying the Psalms puts believers on the offensive, rather than the defensive!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

See this review at Amazon.

Short-Cuts

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Short-Cuts

See the mountain in the distance?  It would be tempting to try to find a short-cut past the valley. The goal is ahead, but it’s the process that makes the ambition worth the distance. Oswald Chambers said, “Temptation is a suggested short-cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim – not towards what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good.”  Temptation isn’t the bad things we want to do, it’s taking the short-cut to the good things.  What might require some work to avoid short-cuts in your walk with the Lord?

As seen at the Hope for Haiti Blog.

Houdini

Author’s Note: Thank you to Janet Grimes and The Christian Pulse, who originally posted this in December 2012. Also a thank you to my devoted Word Weavers writing group. Based on a true story from a co-worker.

“A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ “‘If you can”?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”

Mark 9:17, 22-24 NIV

Granddaughter Joselyn pushed back her hair with chubby hands and huffed. Her grandfather and grandmother tracked Joselyn’s progress as she learned about life. At age three, some things went over her head. But on this night, he had the privilege of explaining death.

Their cat, Houdini, actually died a year earlier. But since that time, little Joselyn came over to their house and asked, “Where is the cat?” Each time, he explained, “I’m sorry, but the cat won’t come back. He has passed on.”

At dinner, it was her chance to pray. As a proud grandfather, he allowed the precious moment to sink into his heart. She began, “God, thank You for food. And when is Grandpa’s cat coming back? Although I don’t think he can. Amen.”

Grandpa turned his thoughts to the man with a possessed son. A man came to Jesus, and asked him to heal his son, if He could. “If I can?” Jesus retorts. The man realized it’s not his faith that needed help, but rather during the times he didn’t believe. The man knew that Jesus had power to do as He pleased. He trusted God, but could his faith support healing a demonized son? Jesus used the occasion to applaud the man’s honesty. Sure, Jesus could heal his son.

Joselyn asked for the cat to come back. Would her faith to allow her to see the cat again? It’s worth asking, even with little faith. Grandpa stifled a laugh, and thanked his granddaughter. In her innocence, she asked for a cat—named Houdini—to come back. This is a miracle yet to happen, but no one shunned the girl for asking.

What do you ask for, but don’t really expect Jesus to do? Jesus healed a possessed son, so He can fulfill your prayer, too. Who knows? Just as the real Houdini escaped chains and straight jackets, maybe Houdini the cat will escape death, based on a little girl’s prayer.

PRAYER: God, I’d like to ask You for a big thing. I want to trust You when I’m up against something big. Would You help me when my faith falters and I’m not sure You can do it? Thank you for the times You do so without me asking.

Houdini (2012)

Photo by Cédric VT on Unsplash

© 2012, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

The Extra Mile

Haitians walk miles to meet strangers.

“They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying.”  Acts 28:23a

When Paul came to visit, the people traveled 33 miles on the Appian Way to see him.  When visiting Bataille, many of the Bataille people come to help by carrying backpacks and gear on their heads.  Not because they have to, but because they want to help and meet their visitors.  They go the extra mile by walking extra miles with strangers.  How can you meet someone where they are at and walk the mile with them today?