Faith & patience

Our pastor was speaking today about the faith battle we have as believers when we’ve prayed about something—and then it seems like God just doesn’t answer. We may respond with discouragement and impatience, or being tempted to think “this is just not working.”

What should a right response be?

~ Know that God set the thing in motion when you prayed. He will work out all the details—and what is for your best good—as you wait.  (Patience is not our strong suit!)

~ Stay in faith, whether it’s long or short.  Don’t give up.  Don’t give up.

~ Deal with any blockages in your own heart—disobedience to God, failure in loving others, doubt and unbelief, trying to control things, etc.

~ Recognize that the devil is a liar all the time.  Choose to believe God’s Word about your situation.  Choose to speak His Word about the situation instead of your own doubts.

~ Rejoice and praise God in the meantime!  Your answer is on the way.

He also spoke about how to keep our minds renewed with the Word of God, citing some interesting statistics.  Here are the percentages of how much  information you retain through various methods:
  • hearing – 10%
  • reading – 25%
  • studying – 50%
  • meditating – 75%
  • memorizing – 100%
It keeps coming back to making the Word our #1 priority, doesn’t it?  All else is affected by it, and certainly that’s the way to build our faith.

So I’m starting my new week encouraged to ‘hang in there’ in faith, to wait patiently on God, and to work at those last two on the list especially.

May the Lord bless your week and fill you with renewed faith in Him!


New year thoughts

Ah…a new year. I love the word new – it’s loaded with such freshness and promise. I, like many others, love the chance to craft a new list of resolutions and goals. I write up overviews, think through the to-do’s of a busy life, journal my prayers and commit my life in the year to come to God for His leadership and strength. I consider the areas I failed in the past year and try to come up with something more effective that might work this year (you know, like ‘you don’t get dinner unless you’ve exercised’). As an inveterate box-checker, the new year provides a candy store of stuff I can happily make lists over.

I’ve even done a bit of this for 2013, will probably do more. But 2012, being the year of upheaval, uncertainty, and demand that it was for me, has drawn me into a different thought process for this year. Usually I get a ‘theme’ from the Lord of what we’ll be working on for the year, He and I. But the season before me holds the possibility of great change, and I’m not sure I have the luxury of following a comfortable checklist to keep me on track.

So my new year ‘aims’—my list for the year, look more like this:
~ Seek God more.  Learn to still my flurried heart in His presence until I have my cup filled.
~ Make time in the Word priority, work more of it in every chance I get, any way I can.
~ Then obey it!
~ Make my first response worship and praise.
~ Be more loving. Be more patient.
~ Be a better listener. 
~ Be quicker to act in obedience to the Holy Spirit and His promptings.  Be available.
~ Be more flexible. In fact, it would probably be good to go out on a limb and say ‘have no agenda’ and ‘have no expectations’—other than expecting to see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
~ Just do my best, every day.
~ Leave the rest to Jesus.
There’s probably more. Oh, yeah…one big one:  simplicity. With apologies to Martha, I think “One-Thing” Mary really embodies my heart desire this year. I am certain that the complexities and needs of her life were just as ‘met’ as Martha’s were, for all her planning and fussing—only in peace and simplicity.

That’s my aim for 2013!



I’ve had an unintended break from blogging the past few weeks, brought about by that thing called Life.  You’ve had those times too, I’m sure--you just have to walk it out and wait until things settle back to normal.  To be honest, I just haven’t felt very social, haven’t felt like blogging.  But now with the holidays accomplished, I’m wanting to have a fresh start with the new year.

I was back and forth to Arizona several times this fall, helping out as I could with my family.  My mom had a stroke in August, was in rehab for several weeks, then the day before she was to go home, had another stroke.  She passed away in mid-November from the effects of that second one.  It was a gift of God that we could all be with her during her last days.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACan I share a miracle with you?  Normally, our drive to their town takes 15 1/2 hours.  The day we drove, we were slowed down by icy roads through the mountains and it should have taken us fully that amount of time.  In the middle of the day, we received a call that my mom was failing fast, so we were all praying that we’d get there in time.  We made the drive—door-to-door—in 14 hours…and had an hour and a half with my mom before she passed.  Isn’t God good?!  He knows how hard that would have been for me not to have been there to say my goodbyes and be with my family.

In the midst of the heartache of losing her, though, we’ve had the utter assurance of the incredible place she moved to—heaven—and the joy of knowing that we’ll be with her one day there—forever.  Mom was a woman of great faith, a student of God’s Word, and I just bet she wishes she could tell us about what she’s seeing and knowing!  I miss her like crazy, wish I could pick up the phone and have one of our long, wonderful talks.  I still had so many things I wanted to ask her, share with her; hard to think that the time for that is gone.  She was one of my dearest, truest friends, and I can never thank the Lord enough for the privilege of knowing her and calling her my Mom.

We came home to face the holidays, hardly having time to catch our breath from the previous emotional weeks.  I tried to keep things as simple as possible and was grateful to have some time for rest and reflection. 

And…we start the new year with yet another change before us—after nearly 32 years with his company, my husband took a retirement offer just before Christmas and is discovering the joys of a more leisurely lifestyle.  (I have had to remind SweetPea that she and I are not retired!)  That doesn’t mean he’s sitting in his easy-chair all day; he’s busy putting in a long-awaited new kitchen, and it’s lookin’ good! 

So in the midst of this topsy-turvy time, I’m asking the Lord to breathe fresh vision and clarity into my soul as I begin a new year.  What I want most is to hear His voice, follow His plan, and face each day with His life permeating every aspect of it. 

May your 2013 be filled with blessing and a new sense of God’s love for you!