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Monday, April 22, 2013

Pencil Ready? Pray!




Pencil Ready?  Pray!

Do you pray much? I know I’m getting personal here.

When I was in my 20s, I lived alone in a little house in Alton. No TV. It was the days before computer or internet.


My phone was mounted on the wall and I could not in my wildest dreams imagine carrying it in my hand beyond the length of the coiled cord.


I had a radio, period. No i-pod. Wait a minute. How could I forget? I had a record player.

I listened to John Denver singing “Rocky Mountain High” with a slight “pop” where the record was scratched.

I was young and enthusiastic and busy and excited. I wore my feelings on my sleeve. It was easy for them to get hurt there.

Not much has really changed for me, except I‘m not young.

Back then, however, I prayed. I prayed and prayed and prayed.

I filled notebook after notebook with long conversations with God. I wrote to God about my day. I wrote to God about my confusion. I wrote about my fears.

I still have the notebooks. I look back at those prayers sometimes.

I think those conversations were good. I need to have more of them:

“Today, God, you’ve sent me a morning to soar. - Great sunlight, God. The birds are a nice touch, too, and that breeze…that breeze whispers the promise of spring. Thanks, God.”

I don’t write that kind of stuff in little notebooks any more. Sometimes, I think I should.

I should turn off the computer and TV and cell phone and take a walk. I should pull out my little notebook and take time to talk to my Father in Heaven.

I bet He misses the books.

God and I wrestled through more than a few problems on those scribbled pages. Ultimately, He answered my questions, even if His answer was “Wait.” I always tried to write God’s answers down.

Do you pray much? I think I need to….more.

May 2 is the National Day of Prayer, but every day should be prayer day. Let’s shut down some electronics and tell God we want Him in our lives.

Let’s have a conversation with Him, a conversation about everything. Let’s listen and write down His answers.

I’ve got my pen and notebook ready. Do you?







Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hope

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31




There’s a crisp, clean smell to the air. I step into the cool morning and soak it in.

As the breeze swirls leftover leaves at my feet, I have this feeling…this great feeling…everything is OK.

Winter has been playing tag with us this spring. I drove home from spring break in a blizzard. Tag, you’re it, the storm seemed to say.

The blizzard retreated. In came spring-like weather. Even as I write this, however, forecasters warn of winter chasing us again.

I know I should start running, but, right now, in this spring morning, I savor the sights, smells and hope of spring. This is a God moment.

Spring always reminds me of God’s renewing strength.

I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty winter-withered sometimes. Life’s not-so-pleasant encounters chill my soul and stunt my growth.

God’s love gets me growing again. -Leave it to the “Son” to shine on me.

If I’m not careful, I might even flower before May, as long as I keep my eyes on God.

Right outside my door is a wonderful patch of daffodils. Their bright yellow heads seemed to just pop out of nowhere one day. That was a pleasant surprise.

I’ve picked seven blooms and spread them through the house. Everything in there was looking dim from the winter. We needed a touch of spring inside.

I think I need a touch, too...of spring inside, that is.

Before I walk across the parking lot, I lean against my car, close my eyes and linger in the springtime sun.

“Come into my life, Jesus. Help me be renewed in your strength.” It’s a short prayer.

The school carpoolers are eyeing me suspiciously as I lean there in the sunlight.

I'm just checking in with my source of spring, folks. No problem here, only HOPE

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Stop Grumbling!



 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.  -- Phil 2:14-15


I always know I'm in trouble when the vein sticks out on my forehead. 

Yesterday, my brows knit together and that bump on my forehead was evident. 

I was mad. 

No one in my family was noticing  my "unfailing sacrifice."   I swiped dishes off the kitchen table like a disgruntled busboy. I huffed at any family member who happened by...clueless to my need of assistance.   

-Will anyone EVER understand my worth in this family? -Will anyone EVER help?

I grumbled and scrubbed each dish with angry fervor.  My family breezed by in contented bliss.

That's when I spied my open Bible on the table.  It was time for an attitude adjustment. 

I slopped the soap from my hands and glanced at my Philippians Bible Study.  

Enter: Philippians 2:14-15.   Leave it up to God to give me what I need...when I need it.

I slumped into the chair, feeling a wave of peace.  I think the vein was subsiding. 

God's got some great ideas.  They really help my face.