Friday, March 02, 2007
It started off Friday night. After dropping DS off at his youth group. I dropped in at our local Christian bookstore. I wanted to pick up a copy of “Power of a Praying Parent”. Our church was selling this as an accompaniment to their prayer series. I felt led to pick it up then, but wasn’t at church the days they were selling it, so I figured I’d get it at the bookstore. I just love that store, the atmosphere is so calming and peaceful. I always sense God’s presence strongly there. Anyway, I picked up my book, but then stayed and lingered, taking in the ambiance and checking out other books. I came across a book “Becoming a Millionaire God’s Way” I think was the title. It was buried a bit, but the title jumped out at me. Just the thing DH would pick up, and I would be skeptical about. Anyway, I picked it up and looked at it. It was the last copy and was a bit banged up, so it had been marked down. All the earmarks of a great book for DH. But, as always I wrestled with myself about it. After all, if I bought it and gave it to him, then in a sense I’m endorsing it. And “what if the teaching is wrong”, I protested. Then what? But still I felt led to pick it up. So, in my usual wisdom, I opened the book to a random page and read. Ok, so that page was ok, so of course I had to try a couple more pages. Each time, what I was reading either reflected things I know to be true or resonated in some way with recent devotionals. Ok God, you finally convinced me, so I picked up the book. I also found a good book on prayer for DS. One of those that has prayers to get you started, listed by topic. This one was designed for teens and their issues. I think of all the times that I encourage him to pray about things, but often wonder if he really knows where to start. So, it seemed like a good book. I didn’t find anything for DD, but I know she has a couple of her own books on the go right now, so it just wasn’t meant to be.
I received the copy of my credit report that I’d requested and by the look of things everything will be cleared in a couple of months. The proposal will still show up, but it’s showing as settled and no issues. DH thinks there may be some things showing up on his that aren’t on mine. I’ve given him the forms to request a copy, so we’ll see. But I was very, very encouraged. I feel like this is our year of Jubilee – our 7th year. Which makes sense, because everything really fell apart in 2000, and that was when I turned to the Lord in desperation to help us out of the pit we’d dug ourselves into. Now, we’re into our 7th year, and it’s like God is giving us a clean slate and a chance to start over.
Financially, many things are scheduled to happen this year. First the credit clearing up, then there’s DH’s job. He had very good news about that this week, and it seems like it should be resolved relatively soon. When that happens, there is a possibility that we’ll come into a substantial sum of money, well substantial for us, anyway. I strongly feel that this is our testing period. How we handle this coming year and the added responsibility & freedom, will impact greatly on our future.
I told DH on Saturday that I wanted to sit down and talk to him about a couple of things. One was the finances, and how I’ve been feeling about everything lately. I wanted to talk to him about checking out a couple of financial advisors for guidance on the best way to handle any large influx of funds, and put our money to work the best we can.
The other thing that I wanted to discuss was him, was the whole Jabez thing and that I thought it would be good if we would both commit to it, so that we’re both on the same page. He was in agreement to both, and has started reading the Jabez book. All in all, it was a very relaxed and productive weekend. I spent a lot of time contemplating my Christian walk and listening for God’s voice.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Anyway, a little while ago, I received this email from my wonderful husband. What a blessing he is, indeed!! Thank you Lord!
I was listening to one of my favorite songs called a good heart by Fergal Sharky,
“A good heart
the lasting kind.
A good heart these days is hard to find”
Then I got to thinking, how true it is to find a good heart, most people I know are still searching.
“I hear a lot of stories
I suppose they could be true
All about love and what it can do to you”
Then I got to thinking how lucky I was to be one of the stories that really are true.
I have found a “good heart” in you.
Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies
All my Love, D.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Several years ago, our church family studied the prayer of Jabez. I don’t really remember seeing immediate changes, but I know that the period following was one of my most active and rewarding as a Christian. I’m not sure if I ever connected the two events, but as I have been reflecting over the past week or so, I now realize the effect one had on the other, and the results I experienced from the study and incorporating the Prayer of Jabez into my life.
Unfortunately, it was a short-lived activity at the time, and I must confess that eventually over time my Christian walk has settled back into a much more boring routine. Oh, God is in my life, but over the past few years it has certainly lacked the urgency and dynamic that it had during the time after the study. Not that my walk isn’t good, but it’s not GREAT like it was.
These days I’m in a new church and lately the focus has again turned to prayer. For the first few weeks, it all seemed pretty routine and not much I hadn’t already learned and put into practice. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prayer warrior, that’s not my special gift by far, but I learned early the value of prayer and that God does in fact answer our prayers, so conversing with God has always been a part of my Christian life. I was fortunate to have good teachers when I first became a believer – this was a gift from God.
Anyway, back to the present. The sermons have gotten deeper, and I’ve been taking them in, making a renewed commitment to set aside time on a daily basis, as well as making an effort at journaling my prayers. Definitely not a strong point of mine! Then, as I’ve been praying and focusing, I remembered the Jabez prayer, and decided to get my book out.
For anyone who’s not familiar with this, there was a book done by Bruce Wilkinson regarding a small section in I Chronicles. Actually only 2 verses, but Jabez prays to God the following prayer and the bible records that God heard him and answered his prayer. The prayer itself consists of 4 parts, and basically asks God for blessings and prosperity. When we first started studying it, I was a bit uneasy, as it smacked to me of the old “name it, claim it” game. But when you really study it, you soon will realize that you’re not necessarily asking God for monetary blessings. In fact, you’re simply asking God to use you and to strengthen you, to help you do his work.
So, I’ve made a commitment to incorporate the requests that Jabez made into my own prayer time, and to set aside a specific time each day for prayer for the remainder of 2007. Here on my blog, I will record the results and we will see what happens. Actually, I’m very excited because I know how short the time I did this was last time, and I now know the results that came from that.
Note: In honor of the author, I’m not going to detail any more about the prayer itself. But I've posted the link to the author’s web site. It’s a very short book ~ 8 chapters in all ~ and comes in a variety of versions. I’d encourage anyone interested to pick up a copy. I also know from experience that when we read a book, God speaks to each of us differently, so the lines that may have impacted me the most, may have a different effect on you. Bottom line – buy the book!
DD has found a direction for her life - looking to go to university to become a teacher. There is still a lot that needs to fall into place, but I am confident that God is with her and will guide her in the ways that are best.
The biggest impact this has had is to make us realize that it's God's plan to have us stay right where we are.
We are expecting a major change ~ or maybe I should say upgrade ~ in DH's job. It has been moving slowly, but will come in God's time. Already there have been changes for the better, but I am confident that he is where God wants him and he's going to blow it out of the water.