November 29, 2015

Keep Praying

My phone lit up very early this morning at 5:15 with an incoming text message that was an urgent prayer request for someone’s son who was in the ICU in critical condition with congestive heart failure.   

Another lady from our class stopped me in the church lobby this morning and with tears in her eyes asked me to put her brother and sister-in-law on our prayer request list, they are not saved and do not seem to have any interest in spiritual matters. I encouraged her to keep praying and never give up hope. 

I am the designated person in our Sunday school class who writes down all the prayer requests as they are shared and then sends them out in an email to the class every Monday evening. 

Every week there are prayer requests that include family and friends with varying degrees of cancer and other diseases and illnesses. Every week there are prayer requests for ongoing troubling issues in the lives of family and friends, co-workers and neighbors.

Every week we pray. We keep praying. We don’t know what God will do and we don’t even fully understand the mystery of prayer. But when someone has an urgent prayer request, they are thankful there will be people praying. They are thankful they are not alone in this.

We have a great privilege in sharing our burdens with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we cherish their prayers for our individual circumstances. What a great comfort are the words in scripture which admonish us to bring our burdens to Him and to cast all our cares on the Lord. We can take all things to Him in prayer. 

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Hebrews 4: 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  

November 26, 2015

Give Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for and all my praise is to God,
Who captured my heart many years ago with His deep abiding love.

I am most thankful I am His-
For salvation and a relationship with Him.

I am thankful for my family, home, and loved ones
And for the grace and mercy, patience and love
God shows me every day.

I am thankful for health and freedom
For sunshine and blue skies and needed rain to refresh the earth
For the beauty that surrounds me every day.

I am thankful for turkey golden from the oven
And pies that finish off the perfect meal at small and large gatherings.

I have so much to be thankful for and all my praise is to God.

Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

I am also thankful for everyone who reads In Quiet Places and I want to warmly wish each one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

November 19, 2015

Inadequate Praise

I have this big lump in my throat because I am all choked up thinking about how awesome God is. Words can’t describe Him and words can’t describe His wondrous ways. He has blessed me in so many ways that I have to keep telling Him, thank You, thank You, Lord! Today this river of praise is overflowing from the deep places of my heart.

But “thank you” doesn’t express deep or wide enough what I have to say to God for all He’s done for me. I just hope that since my heart is wide open to Him – He knows. Some things are said in unsaid words if you know what I mean. That’s how it is with God.

I know my words are inadequate as they so often are. I am glad God knows me and knows what I am going to say before I say it or the words that are written on my heart that are still left unspoken. He hears them. He hears the silent wordless prayers that breathe their way to Him. Because He knows the heart and breath of who I am.

I would be nothing without Him but with Him I am all He made me to be. And I want to fully live this life He has ordained for me. If today that is awkwardly attempting to express my awe for Him then that is what I will do in this moment with fingers flying across a keyboard and a heart full of worship.

I come before Him today with inadequate words and an offering of thanksgiving and praise.

Psalm 100:4-5 
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

November 15, 2015

Faith: A Choice To Trust

In this journey of faith I walk with the Lord, what does walking by faith look like? Sometimes, it looks like a thousand questions to which there are no answers, leaving one wondering what in the world is going on, how can things be so messed up, how can it all be fixed and straightened out?

I have learned that I have a Choice. I have a significant Choice.

Trust the Lord. The Sovereign Holy Almighty God.

This choice brings me peace. Peace that cannot be explained because there are still a thousand questions and there are still troubling circumstances that need to be untangled. 

In this journey of faith, what does faith look like? It looks like a choice to trust God.  It's not a cliché—it's life! It is hope. It is faith. It is faith that trusts.

If I don't make this choice, then what is the alternative? Trying to control circumstances I cannot control, worry, anxiety, anger, fear, and the list goes on.

What if I make two lists? The first list would be things I understand, things I can control, and things I can fix. The second list would be things I don't understand, things I can't control, and things I cannot fix. Which list would be longer? The longer list, obviously, is the list of things I cannot control, cannot fix, and cannot understand.

There is a third list I will make. Why do I choose my faith and choose my trust in God?

The answer is – my history with God, and all He's already done for me. He saved me. He loves me. He daily pours grace and mercy into my life. He's already worked in a thousand amazing ways in my life, and that has taught me Who He is and that I can trust Him. He has strengthened my faith in a life long journey, and He calls me to this faith with every unanswered question, with every situation that is out of my control.  

Faith is the answer to a thousand unanswered questions, and it happens in the choice to fully place our trust in the Lord.