Friday, July 31, 2009

Untitled [July 31, 2009]

No scripture verse today. I’m not much better. I had a very tiny positive movement in one of the anger situations…and then another huge step backwards. I’m tired of crying. I hate being angry.

I apologize for not being able to…whatever with this journal at the moment. I don’t even know why I’m saying anything here.

I know God is here and I know there are no hopeless situations. What can I do? What should I do?

There are people going through tougher situations, so what am I so concerned about?

There are people going through very joyful moments, so why can I not join with them?

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say right now. I feel like I'm holding my breath, drowning.

I want more hope. I want more joy. I hope tomorrow is a better day. I'm not gonna drown.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Untitled [July 23, 2009]

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 ~Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. [26] “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, [27] and do not give the devil a foothold. [28] He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

[29] Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. [32] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

[5:1] Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children [2] and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Oh God, I know that many times have you been angry, and righteously so. You have punished justly and justly do you turn aside your anger when your people have repented.

I am still angry, and only becoming more so, it seems. Show me how to turn my anger aside. I don’t even know if I have reason to be angry. I’ve tried to be rid of it. I’ve tried to talk to those with whom I am angry, but none hear me; I can’t even get started at times.

Though I have tried to resolve things with one person, they have not heard me. In fact, they are resolved to continue with what has angered me when I have only asked that I be considered.

Why do we hurt each other? Why does it seem like people do not care? I feel so abandoned by those who were supposed to love me.

Show me how to turn aside my anger. How can this be resolved? Please hear me now.

This isn’t who I want to be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Untitled [July 20, 2009]

Psalm 55:1-8, 16-19~
[1] Listen to my prayer, O God,
Do not ignore my plea;
[2] hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
[3] at the voice of the enemy,
At the stares of the wicked;
For they bring down suffering upon me
And revile me in their anger.

[4] My heart is in anguish within me;
The terrors of death assail me.
[5] Fear and trembling have beset me;
Horror has overwhelmed me.
[6] I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest---
[7] I would flee far away
And stay in the desert;
[8]I would hurry to my place of shelter,
Far from the tempest and storm.”

[16] But I call to God,
And the Lord saves me.
[17] Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
And he hears my voice.
[18] He ransoms me unharmed
From the battle waged against me,
Even though many oppose me.
[19] God, who is enthroned forever,
Will hear them and afflict them---
Men who never change their ways
And have no fear of God.

If the sun is a symbol of your might and power and sovereignty, then the moon represents your gentleness, your loving kindness, your guiding counsel through the darkness.

Where I am in my room at night, there is no moon; neither are there stars. I cannot see their light. It is dark and I grow fearful. Yet of stepping out into the light, I am also fearful.

And so I lay still. In my spirit I cry out to you. I know you hear me every time. Save me!

If I am being disciplined for a wrong I have done, for which I have not repented, please let me know the error. Search my heart and find it repentant. Show me what I might do to step out into your boldness again. Guide me towards your favor once more.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Untitled [July 17, 2009]

Deuteronomy 1:29-30a~ Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. [30a] The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you.”

Oh Mighty Warrior, go before me and fight for me now. I am tired. I am weak. I press on, but I am angry and bitter and sad. I am all sorts of things for which I have no words.

You have tested me in other times; I know that this is not from you. I know that this is attack from the enemy.

I need your help. I need you to carry me now.

Fight for me. Please!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

When Was The Last Time?

I have this friend who seems to have time-sensitive memory. I’m going to refer to him as “Dentist.” Dentist is great with relationships, relating with people, getting involved with their lives and making them feel valued. That’s a wonderful skill that I wish I had. But his memory is time-sensitive. He will get to know you as best as he can given a little time.

With me, however, I’ve showed up here and there. We have several mutual friends so one time Julie will bring me over to see Dentist and his family; a few months later I’ll show up with Shayna. Several years go by. I see his wife at a friends’ wedding and I talk with her. She always remembers me.

Another few years go by and we’re all at a high school graduation dinner. Dentist stops to talk to another friend, Joker. I’m sitting right next to Joker. Dentist doesn’t seem to see me, as I sit talking to his wife and kids.

We all go inside as the dinner begins. I sit at the end of the table across from his wife. Dentist starts talking with Joker again. Then Dentist looks at me, his eyes grow wide. He calls out, “I know you!”

I don’t mean to embarrass Dentist; he’s a good man.

I want to ask you something: When was the last time you prayed? How long has it been since you’ve talked to God? Was there a time in your life when you weren’t sure if God remembered you?

Like my friend Dentist- actually, even better than my friend- God remembers you. Not only does he say, “I know you!” but God knows your name. It reads in Isaiah 49: 15 [NIV], the Lord says “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”

Psalms 139: 1-4 says: “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”

And Joshua 1: 5b, 9b: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. [9b] Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go.”

God remembers you. God has never left you. If you pray today, God will say, “Yes my child, tell me. I’m here.”

I often mention how for me last year, 2008, was about prayer. I prayed constantly. Before 2008, I prayed a lot, but I didn't depend on it so much and I didn't know what it meant to pray constantly. That practice didn’t stop when 2009 began; I am still praying, constantly! When I pass on from this world, I hope my headstone reads, “She prayed.”

And today, I felt a strong urge to encourage you to pray. It doesn’t matter if you prayed yesterday or a year ago…or even never at all. God knows you and he’s waiting to hear from you. It doesn’t matter if you pray to complain, to unload a heartache, or to praise and thank God. He delights to be in conversation with you. Yes, YOU. And you, too! And me.

Mahalo for reading! Off to pray…

[Photo of friends coming together to pray over a church family who moved recently. We miss them!'d better believe that wasn't the last time I prayed! :) ]

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First and First

I’ve done it, mission accomplished! From Genesis through Revelation, read by me over 18 months. My first time, completed just yesterday. Yet it is not my glory but God’s, for I did not accomplish this alone but with his help and those he sent to encourage me along the way. I had tried so many times before but I think God saw that I was ready now to receive all of his word.

As I write to tell you of this triumph, God is speaking to me. He’s revealing to me what the real battle was and what is in the victory of having completed the reading of his word. I am overwhelmed with awe this very moment as I write these words. I’d like to share with you what he’s told me but at a later date. I need some time to soak it all in.

Reading through the Bible is one first; the second is that last night I gave my first sermon. Our BS leader is taking us through a preaching class and so we are to prepare sermons and present them in front of each other. It’s very interesting stuff. Seven people heard my first sermon! I have a lot to work on but it’s fun.

Reading through the Bible for the first time and giving a sermon brings a few things together for me. I’m sensing that they were completed in the same day for a reason.

Having read the Bible, I have a different confidence in it and in my relationship with God. I sense that I am different person than I was the day before. I think I might have just reached a new level of maturity in my faith. 2008 was about learning to trust God through constant prayer. Perhaps my plan of finishing the read-through by the end of 2008 would have been taking on too much for me. God knew I needed to learn to trust him first and take more time with the Word.

And the confidence I gained from reading his Word helped me in my confidence to give a sermon. I felt God telling me, “Go ahead, you know what it says. I’ll show you my words that you will need.” One of the criteria for a good sermon is biblical accuracy. I was most concerned about the accuracy. It is the perfect word of God. Who am I? I was amazed that I scored on the upper end for accuracy, but why should I be amazed when I had the help of God. God is faithful not only to his word that is written, but his word that he speaks to us today.

Another thing: I did not give the sermon I wanted to give. I have had several subjects on my mind for months now. I thought I would talk about one of those but God put something else on my mind for last night. I gave the sermon that God gave me.

I’d like to give another sermon! However, I shall wait to see what God has for me.

Mahalo for reading!