Friday, January 30, 2009

Heart Examination
God is so good. He proves Himself faithful to answer our prayers, no matter what we pray. We all probably know that the answer is either yes, no or wait.
Sometimes, however, it's not as black and white as that.
A few days ago I decided to write on a topic that has been on my heart for some time. I kept starting on the post and ending up with nothing. Usually the words flow from my heart when I'm writing. Not so the last few days. I'd start and stop. I'd look up verse after verse and just couldn't get the post to flow onto the screen. What I didn't realize was there was a wall up between my heart and my fingers, praise God!
Last night I was praying on a totally unrelated topic and prayed the following verses:
"Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth." ~ Psalm 26:2-3 (NIV)
I promise I almost felt God laugh and say, "You are so not walking in My Truth, Laurie Ann Pierce."
I paused and prayed again.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." ~ Psalm 139:23 (NIV)

I felt a strong prompting to search my own heart and ya'll, that post came to mind! I realized that my motives were so impure (hence the brick wall between my heart and the keyboard). I confessed that to God and asked Him to forgive me. Of course, He is so faithful! It's one of the things I love about my Jesus.

I asked Him to just give me the proper motives and timing for it and felt such peace as I just left it alone. Didn't think about it the rest of the night.

This morning I opened my email and had a message from a friend with some guidelines to follow on a project I was doing. I went in to fix it and stopped dead in my tracks.

There was a post I had written two weeks ago on the very subject my motives were impure over. At the time I wrote the post, my motives were very pure. I prayed and asked God if this was what I was to do and got such a peace about it. I edited one thing and let it go.

I realized in doing this that I needed to probably ask God to examine my heart a little more carefully. The irregular heartbeat could have caused major damage. Thankfully He rectified it and provided me with the pure motives I had earlier in the month. I praise Him for convicting me of the sin set before me and pray that I remain sensitive to His prompting.

Have you had your heart examined lately? Maybe it's time for a check-up.

The Hebrew word for examine in Psalm 26:2 is bachan. This word means:

1) to examine, try, prove
a) (Qal)
1) to examine, scrutinise
2) to test, prove, try (of gold, persons, the heart, man of God)
b) (Niphal) to be tried, proved
c) (Pual) to make a trial

The Hebrew word for search in Psalm 139:23 is chaqar. Chaqar means:

1) to search, search for, search out, examine, investigate
a) (Qal)
1) to search (for)
2) to search through, explore
3) to examine thoroughly
b) (Niphal)
1) to be searched out, be found out, be ascertained, be examined
c) (Piel) to search out, seek out

We need to ask God to really examine and search our hearts and minds for us each day before we speak, write, or respond to others. When we do this and He cleanses us, we'll truly know that we are walking in His truth and our path will be made clear.

The Hebrew word for truth in Psalm 26:3 is 'emeth. It means:

1) firmness, faithfulness, truth
a) sureness, reliability
b) stability, continuance
c) faithfulness, reliableness
d) truth
1) as spoken
2) of testimony and judgment
3) of divine instruction
4) truth as a body of ethical or religious knowledge
5) true doctrine

Can you think of a better path to walk down than in all these avenues of God's truth?
Father, please forgive me for the times when my motives have been less than pure. I invite You to continually examine my heart and mind and that You would enable me by the power of Your Holy Spirit to recognize when I am straying off the path of Your truth. Help me to stay on the path of truth with Your rod and Your staff to correct and guide me. Help me be a living example of Your love, Lord, and bring more people onto the paths of Your truth by my example, not for myself but for Your glory. Amen.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." ~ James 5:16 (NIV)



Friday Funnies is hosted each week by Kim at Homesteaders Heart. Please be sure to stop by her blog, link up, and post your own Friday Funny! Here are a few that made me laugh out loud...

Tooth Fairy Bonus
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I often take my four-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"
Ask a Police Officer
While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about six years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, "Are you a police officer?"

"Yes," I answered, and continued writing the report.

"My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?"

"Yes, that's right," I told her.

"Well, then," she said as she extended her foot toward me, "would you please tie my shoe?"

Cell Phone Etiquette

Friends and I were chatting over dinner in a restaurant. A man at the next table told his cell-phone caller to hold on. Then he stepped outside to talk. When he returned, I said, "That was very thoughtful." "I had no choice," he nodded and said to me. "You were making too much noise."

Blonde Joke (sorry if it's offensive but I laughed till I cried!)
A blonde is watching the news with her husband when the newscaster says "Two Brazilian men die in a skydiving accident." The blonde starts crying to her husband, sobbing, "That's horrible!!! So many men dying that way!" Confused, he says, "Yes dear, it is sad, but they were skydiving, and there is always that risk involved." After a few minutes, the blonde, still sobbing, says, "How many is a Brazilian?"
I recall a time when my son was about 18 months old. I had him strapped in a backpack and was rushing to catch the bus. Apparently I mis-stepped and fell down an entire flight of stairs, (13 to be exact). I was bruised, bleeding and I had torn my jeans ... but my main concern was, naturally, for my child. My fears were alleviated though when from behind me I heard a gleeful giggle followed by, "Again!"


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Security

Lori, at Lori's Reflecions, is hosting Thankful Thursday again this week. The theme she chose is security.

Insecurities may plague many of us but we need not give into the fear of them. We can be confident women in a world that is ever changing and seems to grow more unstable with each passing day.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33 (NIV)

We are promised security in so many areas of our lives.

Security in the Word of God

Security in the steadfast love of the Lord

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;" ~ Lamentations 3:22 (ESV)

Security in the protection of God

"But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy,and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you." ~ Psalm 5:11 (ESV)

Security of eternal life with the Lord

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." ~ John 3:16 (ESV)

Security in assurance of eternal life with the Lord

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand." ~ John 10:28-29 (ESV)

Security in the strength of the Lord

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." ~ Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Security in the Name of the Lord

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." ~ Proverbs 18:10 (ESV)

Security of safety in the Lord

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." ~ Psalm 4:8 (ESV)

Security of the concern of the Lord

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered." ~ Matthew 10:29-30 (ESV)

Security in the return of the Lord

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." ~ John 14:1-3 (ESV)

Security of plans of the Lord

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV)

I'm sure there's more I haven't listed. We have so much to be secure in with God. May His Name be praised forever. I am so thankful for these and all other securities! What are you thankful for this week?

To participate in Thankful Thursday, click on the button below. Be sure to drop Lori a line thanking her for hosting for Iris for the rest of January! What a sweetheart she is to do this.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paul was writing to the Thessalonians of the coming of the Lord in the verse mentioned above. During these last days here on earth, let's continue to encourage others and build each other up.

The Greek word for encourage is parakaleō. Let's look at some of the meanings below:

1) to call to one's side, call for, summon
2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
a) to admonish, exhort
b) to beg, entreat, beseech
1) to strive to appease by entreaty
c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort
1) to receive consolation, be comforted
d) to encourage, strengthen
e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging
f) to instruct, teach

In what ways do we summon others and teach them, comforting and exhorting them in these days (weeks, months, years) before Christ's return? We need to literally beg others to make Jesus the Lord of their lives if they are not in a saving relationship with Him. Wouldn't it be a shame not to encourage and strengthen others, teaching them about Christ and have them miss out on Heaven because we neglected to share Him with others?

I am very shy when it comes to face-to-face witnessing. I don't have a hard time talking to Christian friends at all about Christ and the matters of my faith; however, set me in front of someone who is in need of salvation and I stumble over my words. I can write to them all the day long about it, but a face-to-face conversation scares me. I have missed opportunities to share Christ with others boldly. I tend more to lead by example and strive to make my walk one that I hope would engage a person to talk with me about what I have that they don't (and that has happened.) I can comfortably share when they open the door to the conversation, but I just can't seem to initiate a conversation about it.

I finally figured out what the reason for this was. When I was a senior in high school we had a Crusade where I was a counselor. Sure enough when the altar call was given on my night, a girl in my class came down. She actually chose not to receive Christ that night! I was very discouraged over it and pursued the matter with her once at school. She told me bascially to shut up about it or I would push her farther away. My grandmother told me not to take it personally, that maybe I had planted a seed and all that. Still, rejecting my Savior hurt and I wonder if I could have done anything differently to change things.

Satan loves to plant seeds of doubt like that. He tells me that I cannot witness effectively and I believe him. I get tongue tied. He tells me that I shouldn't even try and I go years without sharing my faith with others, selfishly keeping Jesus to myself.

And then one day I read this verse. "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) Christ tells me through the apostle Paul to encourage others and bring them closer to Him. He tells me that I am able to encourage. It is a verb, implying action!

We are also admonished to build each other up. The Greek word for this phrase is oikodomeō. It means:

1) to build a house, erect a building
a) to build (up from the foundation)
b) to restore by building, to rebuild, repair
2) metaph.
a) to found, establish
b) to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness
c) to grow in wisdom and piety

I am now on a mission to promote growth in Christ among those who are saved and those who aren't. I want people to grow in wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness and blessedness. I want to plant seeds in their hearts that cause them to come to a saving knowledge of my precious Savior and Lord. No more keeping Him to myself!

Are you shy about witnessing to others? Find ways to encourage others and build them up before Christ returns. Pray about what may be hindering you from sharing His love, and take action to encourage and build others up in Christ!
Time is drawing short. I believe that we are living in the last days, and I believe God has a harvest out there ready to reap.
But how will they know if we don't encourage them and build them up?

E - Encourage others now; don't delay. "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." ~ Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

N - Never believe the lies of the enemy; believe the promise of Christ. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~ John 10:10 (NIV)

C - Commit your plan to encourage others to God. "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." ~ Psalm 37:5-6 (NIV)

O - Open your heart receive the words God would have you say. "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, " ~ Ephesians 6:19 (NIV)

U - Understand that we merely plant the seeds; God causes them to grow. "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow." ~ 1 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV)

R - Read the Word of God daily so you stay prepared to encourage others. "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." ~ 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

A - Act wisely when you encourage others to come to know God. "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." ~ Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

G - Go to God in prayer in humility in order encourage others to come to know Him. "We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection." ~ 2 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV)

E - Examine your heart and make sure you are walking your talk. "May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame." ~ Psalm 119:80 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Faithfulness- IOW Tuesday & Tuesday's Together (In the Word) Combined Post
Denise from Shortybear's Place is hosting In "Other" Words Tuesday today. Please be sure to visit her and link up, sharing your own take on the quote below.

Taking the first step in anything God has called you to is an exciting time! It can be scary, but obedience to whatever God has called you to is what He wants. God has really been growing me in prayer this year. I have had to really step out on faith to pray some bold prayers and trust Him to handle some thngs that I know I cannot handle on my own. He has been so faithful to give me the wisdom to deal with what I must and to take from me what He knows I can't handle. He has helped me establish boundaries with an emotional abuser in my life that I have never been able to stand up to before. He sent a great friend to aid me with this and by her encouragement and faith in God, I have grown stronger.

I think of all the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11. From the formation of the universe to the persecution of martyrs in the New Testament, we read time and time again how much began with one step on faith. How these truths inspire me!

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

I wanted to combine my TUESDAYS TOGETHER (in the WORD) post with this In "Other" Words Tuesday post because both related so well to each other. Truly, they are intertwined.

I have really enjoyed reading through the NT, Psalms and Proverbs.

This week I wanted to share one thing that stuck out to me as I read.

In Luke 18, Jesus shared a story, or parable, to show us to pray and never give up.

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' " And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"" ~ Luke 18:1-8 (NIV)

A story of faith is shared in praying. This widow, when she first asked, probably didn't know that her request for justice against her adversary would be granted, yet she kept asking and asking and finally the judge said, "...beacause this widow keeps bothering me..."

The Greek word for bother here is a combination of parechō and kopos.

Parechō means:

1) to reach forth, offer

2) to show, afford, supply
3) to be the authors of, or to cause one to have
a) to give, bring, cause one something either favourable or unfavourable, to occasion
4) to offer, show or present one's self
5) to exhibit or offer on one's own part
a) to render or afford from one's own resources or by one's own power

Kopos means:

1) a beating
2) a beating of the breast with grief, sorrow
3) labour
a) trouble
1) to cause one trouble, make work for him
b) intense labour united with trouble and toil

I am reminded in this verse to always reach forth and offer my prayers to God, bringing my case before Him and presenting my whole motives to Him. No matter what my griefs or sorrows are, I can always have faith that intense prayer, united with trouble and toil (a sacrifice of prayer, if you will), is always fruitful.

Jesus asked in vs. 8,
"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Look at the definition of faith here. The Greek word for faith, pistis, means:

1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
a) relating to God
1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
b) relating to Christ
1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
c) the religious beliefs of Christians
d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
2) fidelity, faithfulness
a) the character of one who can be relied on

Let's strive to be FAITHFUL women, in our prayers, character, and words!

F - Fear God and serve Him faithfully. "But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." ~ 1 Samuel 12:24 (NIV)

A - Accept that sometimes you can't see what God has in store for you ahead. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

I - Ignore the temptations of Satan to be weak. "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." ~ James 4:7 (NIV)

T - Trust God to guide you through trials and temptations. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~ James 1:2-4 (NIV)

H - Hold firmly to your faith. "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess." ~ Hebrews 4:14 (NIV)

F - Find freedom in faith to approach God in prayer. "In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12 (NIV)

U - Understand your faith is something that should never stop growing. "We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." 2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)

L - Live your faith out loud as an example to others. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." ~ 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

Click the button below for more In "Other" Words Tuesday posts.


Tuesdays Together (in the WORD), is hosted DeeDee Warren at I Have No Greater Joy...


Monday, January 26, 2009

Praying Bold Prayers

One of the ways we can pray is boldly. God knows our every need, even before we express them, but He longs for us to have the confidence to come to Him boldly with our requests, showing the strength of faith we have in Him.

The Greek word for boldly is parrēsia, which means:

1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech
a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment
b) without ambiguity or circumlocution
c) without the use of figures and comparisons
2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance
3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity

I have an uncle who has, in times past and more recently, battled melanoma. When I pray for him, I don't say, "Lord, please, if You can find time and have it in your heart, look upon Jimmy and heal him."

No, my prayers are bold for him. A recent prayer of boldness for Jimmy that I prayed was: "Father, Your Word shows time and again that You have the power to heal. I have seen You heal others and I praise You for this ability, and know that You are able. You know Jimmy's battle with cancer. You know that he is a good man, husband, father and teacher. He is a strong leader in the community and in Your church. I love him so much, Lord, and I pray that You would place a hedge of protection around him and keep cancer from re-invading his body. It seems to keep popping back up, Lord, but I know that when You act, nothing can penetrate the hedge of protection You place around those You love. Yours is the power and greatness to do this, Father. My heart trusts in You! I believe it would be just be a shame for those who love him to lose him to a disease that I fully believe You have the power to destroy. Using Your wisdom and knowing the plans for Jimmy's life, I pray that You would keep cancer far from him. Give him the wisdom and strength to withstand the drugs You have gifted others to make, and help him to live a long life, to see his boys grow up and to win more souls for Your kingdom and glory. Father, I ask in the Name of Jesus that You would reign victorious and display Your glory in Him. My choice would be that Jimmy would be with us for a long, long time. I trust You to make the right decision and that Your good, pleasing and perfect will would be done in His life. Lord, Jimmy needs Your healing and Your mercy. This is his greatest hour of need, and In the matchless Name of Christ I pray, Amen."

By boldly coming to the Lord in prayer on the matters of my heart, as in this example, I can trust God to provide the grace and mercy I need and that Jimmy needs in his struggle with this disease.

The Greek word for mercy is eleos, which means:

1) mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them
a) of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one's self merciful
b) of God towards men: in general providence; the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ
c) the mercy of Christ, whereby at his return to judgment he will bless true Christians with eternal life

The Greek word for grace is charis.

1) grace
a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
2) good will, loving-kindness, favour
a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
3) what is due to grace
a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
b) the token or proof of grace, benefit
1) a gift of grace
2) benefit, bounty
4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

At the time of this writing, Jimmy is cancer free. He is still taking chemotherapy pills and has undergone radiation treatment, but has no signs of melanoma!

Though God may not always answer our prayers in the way that we desire, He does desire for us to pray boldly to Him! We can find mercy and grace in our hour of need, no matter what His answer is.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

Jesus gave the following example after teaching His disciples to pray:

"Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. " ~ Luke 11:5-8 (NIV)

Boldness in prayer comes from friendship with God. With certain friends, we are more bold than we are with others. Let's say that I get a call in the middle of the night (while my husband is out of town and my car is in the shop) and am told to come to the hospital immediately because my Daddy has been admitted. I have a new aquaintance who lives in my neighborhood that I see on occasion. We talk, we email and we even have walked together once. I'm just not that close to her, though. However, I have a best friend named Harriett who lives about 20 minutes away. I would not hesitate to call her in the dead of night and say, "I need you!" She'd be there in 15 minutes and knowing Harriett, would stay with me until we found out what was what. I can count on her because I have established a bond, a relationship with her, that allows me to be so bold.

Are you close enough to God to pray boldly to Him?

B - Believe God is able. "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." ~ Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

O - Open your heart to grow in Him. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." ~ 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

L - Look to the Lord for strength. "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." ~ Psalm 105:4 (NIV)

D - Deepen your intimacy with God. "My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." ~ Psalm 63:8 (NIV)

L - Leave it in God's hands. "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah" ~ Psalm 62:8 (NIV)

Y - Yearn to grow bolder in prayer. "My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." ~ Psalm 84:2 (NIV)

Father, help us come to you boldly as we approach Your throne in prayer. Help us never to hesitate to ask for anything, trusting that if it is in Your will, You will not hesitate to provide it. Lord, I ask that You draw us closer to You, so that we will talk with You like the Friend You are to us. We respect You and love You and fear Your Name. Through Jesus, Your Son, we pray...Amen.

Please be sure to visit this site by clicking on the button above to vote in a contest recognizing blogs that minister. They are accepting nominees through Jan. 30th, 2009. The rules are listed on the webite. What a wonderful way to recognize and connect with blogs that bless!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I began my day this morning with prayer and Bible reading in my home. On the way to work I listened to Christian radio. I worked on two devotions with Bible-based themes to post later. I emailed with friends who share my faith and Christ was discussed. I visited blog after blog where God is clearly glorified. Throughout the day I paused in prayer. Off and on I read in public The Power of Simple Prayer by Joyce Meyer. I have a Bible in plain site on a table in my office at work. On the way home I talked with Steve about a prayer need.
Oh, the freedoms I took for granted today! Earlier this evening I was headed to McAlister's and happened to catch the news on AFR.

In a little country of about 5 million people, 3,000 people are imprisoned for their Christian faith. Two people lost their lives as a result of torture and complications of illness. This just breaks my heart! I was so moved at the thought of people being willing to die for their faith, just like those written about in the Bible, that I had to pause and pray.

I prayed for the their strength and comfort and that God would bring to their minds Bible verses and hymns to help them in their hour of need. I prayed that they would know that their deaths were not in vain and that the very people torturing them would be brought to Christ. I prayed that they would not feel death's blow but would be ushered quickly into the Presence of the Almighty God. I prayed that He would protect them and keep more from being found out until more could be brought to a saving knowledge of God. Ya'll, my heart just broke! It's not like torture stories are new to me. I feel that Holy Spirit is saying, "Laurie Ann, put the news out. People are dying for Me. Ask your friends to pray for them, particularly the ones in this country called Eritrea. And, are you willing?"

I am. I enjoy the freedom I have right now and pray it is never taken from me, but I would give my life before I would ever deny Christ.

Please read the article below and pray as you are so moved.

Imprisoned believers die in Eritrea

Allie Martin - OneNewsNow - 1/23/2009 5:40:00 AM

Two more Christians have died for their faith while imprisoned in Eritrea.

This month, two Christians died while being held in government-run prisons. Reports say one of the believers died as a result of ongoing physical torture and complications from an illness. Jerry Dykstra with
Open Doors USA says there are approximately 3,000 Christians being held in Eritrea simply because of their faith in Christ. "It just seems unfathomable that this little country of about five million people located between Sudan and Ethiopia on the Red Sea, really targets Christians," he contends. "And they've been on our World Watch List with Open Doors, and they're also on the 'Countries of Particular Concern' list issued by the U.S. government." In 2002, Eritrea's government began a systematic crackdown on Christian activities, churches, and ministries.


In obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit,


Friday Funnies is hosted each week by Kim at Homesteaders Heart. Please be sure to stop by her blog, link up, and post your own Friday Funny! Here are a few that made me laugh out loud...
Severe Thunderstorm

A passenger jet was suffering through a severe thunderstorm. As the passengers were being bounced around by the turbulence, a six year old boy turned to a minister sitting next to him and asked, "Preacher, you're a man of God, can't you do something about this storm?" To which he replied, "Son, I'm in sales, not management."

Magnetic Letters

A kindergartner was practicing spelling with magnetic letters on the refrigerator: CAT, DOG, DAD, and MOM have been proudly displayed for all to see. One morning while getting ready for the day, he bounded into the room with his arms outstretched. In his hands were three magnetic letters: G-O-D. "Look what I spelled, Mom!" with a proud smile on his face. "That's wonderful!" his mom praised him. "Now go put them on the fridge so Dad can see when he gets home tonight." The mom happily thought that the Christian upbringing is certainly having an impact. Just then, a little voice called from the kitchen. "Mom? How do you spell ZILLA?"

Good Manners

"Grandpa, I'm really proud of you," said the little Johnny.

"What's to be proud of?" asked the old man.

Little Johnny replied, "I noticed that when you sneeze, you put your hand in front of your mouth."
"Of course," explained Grandpa. "How else can I catch my teeth???"

Missing Homework

"Johnny, where's your homework?" Miss Smith said sternly to the little boy while holding out her hand.

"My dog ate it," was his solemn response.

"Johnny, I've been a teacher for eighteen years. Do you really expect me to believe that?"

"It's true, Miss Smith, I promise," insisted the boy. "I had to force him, but he ate it!"

Last Election Joke

Not Republican or Democrat - Since the presidential campaign is over, I figured some political humor might be in store. The following is a supposedly funny and true story shared with a friend by one KC Williams who teaches High School Government. In one of KC's classes, they were discussing the qualifications to be president of the United States. It was pretty simple. The candidate must be a natural born citizen of at least 35 years of age. However, one girl in the class immediately started in on how unfair was the requirement to be a natural born citizen. In short, her opinion was this requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president. KC and the class were just taking it in and letting her rant, but everyone's jaw hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating .. "What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by c-section".

And someday she'll vote!

Happy Friday, ya'll!

"A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired." ~ Proverbs 17:22 (MSG)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lori at Lori's Reflections is hosting Thankful Thursday this week. The theme she has chosen is prayer.

She had this to say. "This week the United States has a new President. No matter how we feel about him, the Lord calls us to pray for our leaders. So this week my theme is prayer. Martin Luther had some strong words about prayer, “Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon.”"

I heartily agree and am praying for our new leader.

I am so thankful for prayer. Prayer is a privelege, not an obligation. There are many ways we can approach God in prayer. Whether we pray in private or publicly, whether we pray God's Word back to Him or pray the heartbeats of our soul, we may count it a precious opportunity to talk to and listen to God.

The word pray and many of it's derivatives is mentioned 508 times in the KJV Bible. It's an important word and an important act that we as believers should note.

Did you know that your prayers are powerful and effective?

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.." ~ James 5:16b (KJV)

The Greek word for righteous is dikaios, which means:

1) righteous, observing divine laws
a) in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God
1) of those who seem to themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves in their virtues, whether real or imagined
2) innocent, faultless, guiltless
3) used of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in the heart or life
a) only Christ truly
4) approved of or acceptable of God
b) in a narrower sense, rendering to each his due and that in a judicial sense, passing just judgment on others, whether expressed in words or shown by the manner of dealing with them

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you are considered righteous in Him. Only in Christ may we be made righteous.

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." ~ 1 Corinthians 1:30 (NIV, Emphasis, mine)

What a privelege to be called righteous in Him! And it is because of our righteousness in Christ that are prayers should be and can be effectual and fervent.

The Greek word for effectual fervent is energeō, which means:

1) to be operative, be at work, put forth power
a) to work for one, aid one
2) to effect
3) to display one's activity, show one's self operative

We can be sure that our prayers display our commitment to God to seek His will and purpose for our lives. When we put forth the effort and show ourselves to be prayer warriors to God in this manner, our prayers are strong and are answered by God.

The Greek word for availeth is ischyō, which means:

1) to be strong
a) to be strong in body, to be robust, to be in sound health
2) to have power
a) to have power as shown by extraordinary deeds
1) to exert, wield power, to have strength to overcome
b) to be a force, avail
c) to be serviceable
d) to be able, can

What confidence we can have in prayer! We must trust God to answer our prayers according to His will and purpose for our lives.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28 (NIV)

How is your prayer life? Do you find prayer more of an obligation or a privelege? I have found that I cannot get through a single day without it. I begin each day in prayer, find myself praying throughout the day, and end it in prayer. I am simply unable to fall asleep (unless it is midnight and I'm rocking a grandson) without praying first. I have made it such a habit to pray before I sleep that I simply don't rest if I haven't prayed. I never get discouraged in my prayers to God. My complete faith is in Him to work His will for the situation I bring Him. I admit that I get concerned, but mostly it's when I take my eyes off Him and expect things to be done in my timing and my way. Then I must re-focus on Him and remember never to give up in prayer.

Prayer doesn't have to be complicated. It's meant to be liberating! As children of the Most High God, He longs for us to communicate with Him. How would you feel if one of your children went for days at a time without speaking, or only spoke to you when they needed something? God longs for us to call out to Him in prayer so He can act on our behalf according to His will and purpose.

"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." ~ Psalm 37:5 (NIV)

One thing I used to try to do was pattern my prayer life after examples of other people. I thought I had to pray a certain formula, like ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) or was it CATS (Confession, then Adoration, Thanksgiving and Supplication)? I thought I had to pray the Lord's Prayer in there somewhere and pray for at least 20 minutes at a time. While we can certainly pray this way, and I do sometimes, prayer should never get so legalistic that it loses it's thrill. We should remember to talk to God, although in reverence and awe, as though we are talking with a friend.

Whether we pray a quick one-sentence prayer for someone in passing (Lord, please be with Michael, I know he's struggling in his new job...thank You for letting that car not rear-end me!) or whether we set apart a quiet time to come before Him and pour our hearts out to Him, we can be thankful for this:

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." ~ 1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)

Yes, what a privelege it is to pray! My heart is so thankful for prayer.

P - Present your all your requests to God with thanksgiving. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

R - Remember that His purpose will prevail and trust in His will. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

A - Allow for multiple prayer times throughout the day. "Pray without ceasing." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

Y - Yearn to spend more time with Him in prayer. "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

E - Exalt and praise God in prayer. "The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!" ~ Psalm 18:46 (NIV)

R - Remember to ask for His cleansing when needed. "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." ~ Psalm 51:6-7 (NIV)

To participate in Thankful Thursday, click on the button below. Be sure to drop Lori a line thanking her for hosting for Iris for the rest of January! What a sweetheart she is to do this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grand Opening

I'd like to introduce the new site for At the Well!

Be sure to visit this new site for exciting things to come!

In Christ,

WFW - Commitment...Trust...Action

One of the things I've learned in prayer is that when we pray, the Lord moves. Often, it isn't in the way that we want or even the timing that we want, but to see Him move in His perfect will leaves me humbled in spirit.

The word Hebrew word commit is galal. Some other English words for galal are roll, seek occasion, wallow, trust, remove, run down. This is the basic meaning of commit. Roll. It's a verb. That means it requires action. Sometimes, if you're like me, you have to re-commit, and more than once!

When we roll down our desires before God, seeking occasion for trusting God, removing any of our own plans, and running down our pleas before God in humility, we are truly releasing them to Him. We are stating that we can't do it ourselves. We are acknowledging His authority and ability to do that which we need.

One of the things I've committed to this year is going deeper in prayer with God. This means that my level of commitment must not waver. I trust Him to act when I commit my ways to Him.

The Hebrew word for ways is derek. This noun means:

1) way, road, distance, journey, manner
a) road, way, path
b) journey
c) direction
d) manner, habit, way
e) of course of life (fig.)
f) of moral character (fig.)

Every aspect of our lives should be committed to Christ. In prayer, including the paths and directions we take in life, as well as our character.

Once we have committed something to God, we need to trust Him. I once worked in a job where I was crispy fried. Burned out. I was at the end of my rope in the field I was in and after committing my future direction to God in prayer, letting Him know all that was on my heart and mind, I then had to trust God to act. It was beyond my ability to do anything. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to apply for a new job and take a chance of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire; however, I knew that to stay where I was I had no chance of staying sane. I had to trust God to tell me what my next step was.

The Hebrew word for trust is batach. It means:

1) to trust
a) (Qal)
1) to trust, trust in
2) to have confidence, be confident
3) to be bold
4) to be secure
b) (Hiphil)
1) to cause to trust, make secure
2) (TWOT) to feel safe, be careless

I felt confidence in leaving my worn out self with God in prayer and asking Him for direction and guidance. I felt that bold sense of security He so often gives when we are at odds with ourselves and don't know what the next step is. This is where trust came in, though. Nothing happened for a few weeks, and then, when I thought I could stand it any longer, He moved.

God is so awesome in His timing. Although I had not applied for any other position and had only told one trusted friend that I was praying about leaving my job, God stepped in and acted. I had committed and trusted God to act and He showed Himself faithful. The Hebrew word for act is `asah. It means:

1) to do, fashion, accomplish, make
a) (Qal)
1) to do, work, make, produce
a) to do
b) to work
c) to deal (with)
d) to act, act with effect, effect
2) to make
a) to make
b) to produce
c) to prepare
d) to make (an offering)
e) to attend to, put in order
f) to observe, celebrate
g) to acquire (property)
h) to appoint, ordain, institute
i) to bring about
j) to use
k) to spend, pass
b) (Niphal)
1) to be done
2) to be made
3) to be produced
4) to be offered
5) to be observed
6) to be used
c) (Pual) to be made
2) (Piel) to press, squeeze

One day, seemingly out of the blue, (but God!) I received a phone call from a former friend and co-worker's Director asking me if I was interested in a totally different position. Um, yes! As I recall, I interviewed at lunch the next day. He all but promised me the job, and I reconnected with my old co-worker, who, as it turns out, was still friends with that friend I had confided in. We had all worked together at one point years ago, and they actually threw my first bridal shower back in the day!

The position I was offered was "beneath" the position I held at the time and I would be taking a significant paycut to go there. Steve and I knew that the timing and the job was only by God's loving action toward me. Because I trusted in God and committed my way to Him, I was blessed. I was able to work in an environment that was much less pressure than what I was under at the time. Even though the pay was less, and we had just bought a brand new car, God provided someone who needed that car and I was able to sell it to them and pay it off, buying a used vehicle that saw me through some great road trips. In four years, I was offered a position in the same office making more money and I am now well over the salary level I would be had I stayed at the job I was doing, and am still surrounded by wonderful people. I love my job and although salary isn't important, what I'm saying is that He brought me back up and then some.

The best thing about Him bringing me to this job is that I met the best friend I have ever had in my life here on earth. She is my sister in Christ and we are able to share with each other on a daily basis things we need prayer on.

I can see how God has changed my life by this job for three reasons and in three ways:

Commitment in prayer

Trusting in Prayer

His Action through prayer

Is there something you need to commit to God? Trust Him to act. His Word assures us that He will! How can we commit? By total trust in Him to act.

T - Trust God to hear your prayer. "O you who hear prayer to you all men will come." ~ Psalm 65:2 (ESV)

R - Remember His love for you. "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;" ~ Psalm 103:11 (ESV)

U - Understand that His timing may be different than yours. "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." ~ Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

S - Seek to know the God you trust. "You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek." ~ Psalm 27: (ESV)

T - Take everything, no matter how large or small, to God in prayer. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." ~ Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.