Remembering Randomly…

angelPhoto courtesy of Zan Phillips Photography, Jackson, Mississippi.

 

My Honored Guest Blogger today hails from Mississippi. It is not a pattern here folks, just a lot of artistic talent comes out of the deep south and I am blessed to be connected to the source! Amy Hines is a gifted writer, artist, and graphic designer. In fact, she had a blog before blogs were cool! I am very pleased to share one of her posts with you today and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Remembering Randomly

I’m a prayer, if I say I’m going to pray for you I will. Or at least that is my sincere intention.

As a prayer, one of the worst things that has ever happened to me was someone thanking me for praying for them– when I hadn’t. I was mortified, horrified, and victimized. I usually responded with something like, “I’m glad you are:” A. Better, B. things worked out, C. still alive, or D. All of the above. Then I would feel terrible that I had not actually prayed for you. I would pull out my “bad-Christian” banner and wear it for a bit. Meanwhile, guilt, condemnation and Shame would cheer and snuggle up a little deeper.

Surely I’m not the only one who has ever experienced this? I can’t be the lone non-prayer? If there were a non-prayer’s anonymous, I’m confident I would not be the only one attending the meeting, right?

For the most part, this is no longer an issue because I pray on the spot.

Note: if you attempt the on-the-spot method, be careful. This will freak some people out! Also this only works if all parties are willing participants, and please, use your manners!

I forget lots of things- especially things with dates, like birthdays, and I know the reason I forget things.

I’m human.

My brain is a little tired.

I am busy, busy. That is an entirely different topic of discussion. I think we need an after school special on “BUSY: A Life Sucking Vermin”. Sigh, moving on…

I’m much better than I’ve ever been. I’ve made some changes. I pray randomly throughout the day, because that is what works for me. I use post-it notes. I’ve cut back or eliminated things that sucked my time, all good stuff.

unfortunately, there still is the rare occasion where something slips past my radar. It doesn’t happen often but it did happen this morning. Several hours after the cheers of the GCS  ( guilt, condemnation ,shame) triple threat died down, a guy I know randomly crossed my mind. I stopped and prayed for him. Randomly, after I finished praying, I remembered when Paul was chatting with Timothy and the folks in Philippi and said, “at every remembrance of you…” (Phil 1:3)

That’s a lot of random and remembering in a short time. That’s Smokey and the Bandit fast.

“At every remembrance of you” is me-speak for “whenever you cross my mind”. I like that. It’s organic and easy. There is a simplicity and a flow to it.

Paul then follows that up with, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in your will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 1:6 NIV)

To me, that is him saying, “I pray for you when I think about you, but regardless, God’s has GOT THIS. PERIOD.”

There’s freedom in that. You never had to take the floor at a NPA meeting and confess your sin. Your off the hook trying to remember every detail, freed from the guilt of forgetting and confident in knowing God will always help you randomly remember.

 

Thank you Amy for such refreshing honesty! I to have forgotten at times, the guilt is crushing.  I carry a notepad every where I go and write my prayers now. For myself and for other’s. Your name is in my prayer journal more than once, dear friend!

The photo used with this post is again, courtesy of Zan Phillips, Jackson Mississippi. Please visit her Facebook page for more incredible images or to contact  Zan.

God Grant me the Serenity…

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Photo courtesy of Zan Phillips Photography, Jackson, Mississippi. Please visit Zan on Facebook to see more of her wonderful work.

God Grant me the serenity…

Such richness in this sentence, five simple words.

First as we address God, we acknowledge our Higher Power. The only power who has power to restore us.

Second, we ask for a grant. To grant means to bestow or confer, especially by a formal act or to agree or accede to a request.

Third, we are asking for ourselves. We are not focusing on anyone or anything but our own need, our own circumstance, our own heart.

And fourth we are requesting serenity. God’s own peace to be granted to us. But does God just give us serenity? Is it gift wrapped and handed out Christmas morning? Can God’s peace be poured over a restless heart and instantly soothe or is there some part we must play? Does water poured into a cracked pot stay or run out?

I think the key to being able to hold God’s peace in our heart lies in the next sentence of our prayer: to accept.

The key to being able to receive God’s grant of serenity is to accept it. No gift can be bestowed on an unwilling heart.

To accept that His peace surpasses our circumstances, our emotions and our powerlessness. To accept that our Higher Power is in control of each and every situation.

And once we do that, we are able to accept the priceless gift of serenity.

 

Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come to thee.         Job 22:21

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.      Philippians 4:7  NKJV

 

This post is an excerpt from Alana’s book, The Little Engine who Could Not… available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback.

Photo courtesy of Zan Phillips, please see Zan’s FB page for more examples of her amazing photography.  

 

Have you seen War Room?

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My honored Guest blogger today is a friend of mine from Mississippi, Chris Martin. Chris and I are both old enough to remember when long distance was not free and chatting with friends in other states simply did not happen! But now we can call anyone, anywhere and watch entire football games! And so it was in late December we were chatting and watching a bowl game. A discussion of movie channels led to current movies and I asked Chris if he had seen the movie War Room with Priscilla Shirer. Chris had not, but was interested when I told him how inspiring the movie was and what a thrill it had been to see the local theater full to capacity for a non violent, non R rated, Christian film. In subsequent texts I kept bugging Chris that he needed to see this movie and….

I’ll let Chris take it away from here!

I was seeing a lady named Cassie who also kept telling me about this movie and she wanted me to see it. One night she was not working she brought it over for me to watch. I had heard this was a good Christian movie but I was unaware of what was in store for me spiritually speaking. As I watched this movie it kept bearing witness in my spirit. I watched it again and it really touched me deeply, in my spirit. God spoke to my heart. It was revealed to me that this movie is all about spiritual investment. God wants us all to do something no matter how large, or how small for His kingdom. I knew at that point that I needed to get people to watch this movie. Then if they would agree to watch it, pray, if they felt led to go out and buy a copy of this movie to give away. And when they give a copy away, give it with a note that the movie is not to be kept but given away again, because the more who watch it the greater the spiritual investment.

I have been doing this at my job. God has blessed me to met people from all over our country. There is now a woman in Nebraska who started sharing and giving away copies at her job as well. A local pastor I met has now included sharing the movie as part of his neighborhood outreach. A young man who had just lost his brother got a call while at my shop that a close family member had been killed, talking about the movie gave me a chance to minister and pray over this hurting man and he promised to see the movie then start sharing it as well. So from Mississippi to Nebraska and most states in between we now have people actively sharing this movie and it’s message. I want everyone to have a chance to make this spiritual investment. Share this with others and do the same thing. To God be the Glory, forevermore, Amen!

Wow! Thank you Chris, I am inspired again by your testimony! I encourage everyone reading to pick up a copy of War Room and get in on the action!