Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prayer - More Than A Chance Encounter.

This morning at 2:00 a.m. I woke up. I had been sound sound asleep - in fact - dreaming. But at 2:00 a.m. - I was wide awake and praying..... Ike made landfall at 2:00 a.m. here in Texas.

Uncle Logan would not leave Texas City. He has Parkinson's like his oldest brother, Glen does, and like his youngest brother, who was also my daddy, did. Like that isn't enough - he also has cancer. He didn't see the need to leave in an effort to spare his life. I must confess to having rather mixed thoughts and emotions about his decision...

Hubby's sister and her family live in Katy... we spoke with them last night... she is suppose to call us this morning when they are able... No call yet..... Hubby's parents live in Magnolia. They decided to stay in Colorado where they had been on vacation.

This morning as the G family was eating breakfast together... we heard about Ike making landfall at 2:00 a.m. Hubby and I discussed the fact that's when I was woken up to pray. Truly believe it was a prompting of the Holy Spirit... of God. I don't discuss these things lightly. It tends to make some rather uncomfortable.... That's okay... Parker said to me, ""That's why you're speaking/teaching on prayer tomorrow."

During the years I was ill - I was often awake at 2:00 a.m. Some times I could move and would get up with the assistance of a walker or cane.. and others - I laid there. It was during that time that praying went to a whole new level. Looking back - I am beyond thankful. For while prayer had always been a part of my daily life.... it took me deeper than I might have gone otherwise.

I have had the opportunity to speak/teach on prayer numerous times since being ill and then having been healed.... and especially since daddy passed on. I am grateful. Yes, I believe in the importance as a Christ-follower of reading His Word.... But even more so than that - there is a level of communication that takes place through prayer. Some times it is me listening to what He has to say in the quiet of the moments... others.. well.... I could go on and on...

It is my prayer today.... wherever you are... that prayer will be more than some thing you do at meal time when ready to chow down. That you will stop..... get alone with The Father... and be still.. and listen.... and speak from your heart even if no audible words come out of your mouth.

It is not a chance encounter. It is an Absolute.... just as He is... even if we don't see our prayers answered immediately or in the way we thought best. It is about the relationship and drawing nearer and standing in the gap for others.

If you have a prayer request - please feel free to leave it.

As always.. you were just prayed for.

I will update on Ike and the status of family members and etc... when I know more.

UPDATE: Uncle is safe! No electricity.. not sure about damage.. but is safe. Sister-in-law and family are without electricity as well. They have downed trees, but are safe too. Still waiting to know more about damage and how best help is needed. Thanks all for your prayers!

Note: For those who have asked.... Yes, the latest Serve! ezine is up... This month's article is entitled, "The Lawn Pastor"...

Monday, September 8, 2008

When the axe fell....

Once upon a time a fat, sappy teenager stumbled across an addiction known as anime. Engrossed and obsessed, he worshiped this sinful collection of Japanese animation while playing the Church game. Over time, the fat sappy teenager (who eventually became slimmer and happier), became less obsessed, yet still held on to his little drug. He became more involved in Church and didn't play the game anymore, yet he still held on to the thing that held him from a true relationship with his Creator.

Case in point: The 16th of Wednesday in April of 2008. The Beginning of the End.

A wonderful devotional named "A Call to Die"entered my life during a stroll through the city. Coming from Bestbuy, I remember, holding the DVD set of this obsession in my hand, turned it down, went to Lifeway, and bought this book, and started a 40 day fast from anime and manga. That day was March 29th. On Day 18 of this intense devotional, a wonderful speaker named Brandi spoke on wednesday night, one of the best wednesday nights of the year. It was that night I chose to end my relationship with anime. I remember holding a piece of clay she had passed out while speaking, saying "Are you going to let God mold you into the person He wants you to be?". At that point, angel and demon Armageddon broke out in my mind. I knew why. He was asking my to give up the thing that had been in my life since childhood, which mutated into a unhealthy idolatry. I sat, as my buddy Linc led closing music, letting the battle rage. Finnally...i took my thumb and pressed it into the clay. It was finished. That was my decision. That night we didnt leave until 9pm ish, a large group who had been moved talking about what had happened. I then immeadiatly trashed the manga and stuck the DVDs in the garage.

Now re-read the last sentance of the last paragraph. "I stuck the DVDs in the garage." Hm. Why did that happen? Over time I died to it...yet something haunted me still. Maybe I still saw the garage, getting out of the a little green travel bag...the wretched DVDs, the majority of the sin materialized even still! While I went a whole summer of no anime, still in my mind, I couldnt quite get it out of there. Duh! The temptation was still there! What could be done to solve this, to finnaly break free from this obsession...?





Yes, sometimes the way to truly put something to death is to literally kill it with an axe! The punishment for my delay to fully kill my old obsession was my hesitancy at first - I debated in my mind if this was the right thing to do. When you are going to do something radical for God, dont wait. Do it now, before Satan gets a chance to give you doubts about your actions. Even though I havnt watched any of those DVDs since the day I started the fast, the temptation was the fact they were a few doors away. Now that they are in ribbons, there is no more temptation, since they are dead! After a while, it got easier and easier to lift the axe and slice them up. It was fun too! Poor tree stump.