Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Caleb took this shot of our family strolling at the park--it looks like Sunshine and Shadow. He is enjoying his new camera!


I don't know about you, but it is easier for me to clean my house from top to bottom than to spend time in earnest prayer! I am reading Listening To God by Marilyn Hontz on prayer, and it has renewed my intent and vigor to learn to work hard in prayer. Some of the challenges facing us in "prayer work" are distractions. As soon I start to pray, an item for the grocery list comes to mind, and then I am off in coupon-land, etc. To remedy this I keep a To Do/Grocery list with my Bible and notebook. When something comes to mind, I jot it down for LATER. Then I can let it go and get back to business. I like to intertwine my prayer time with my Bible reading--as I come across a verse that is apropos, I rephrase it and pray it to God. (For example, when reading I Timothy 4:7, 8 pray for godly discipline; when reading I Timothy 6:9 pray for financial wisdom.) I also have found that writing out my prayers in a journal keeps my mind and heart more focused, and I can also look back at them and see how God has ansswered, or where I was struggling a few months ago.

". . .Oh, what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."
--Joseph Medlicott Scriven, 1820-86

Friday, May 26, 2006


The one misery of man is self-will; the one secret of blessedness is the conquest over our own wills. To yield them up to God is rest and peace. If we 'stand before God', then that means that our wills are brought into harmony with His. And that means that the one poison drop is squeezed out of our lives, and that sweetness and joy are infused into them. For what disturbs us in this world is not 'trouble', but our opposition to trouble. The true source of all that frets and irritates, and wears away our lives, is not in external things, but in the resistance of our wills to the will of God expressed by external things.
--Alexander Maclaren

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


When I am in one of those "dry times" in my communion with God, I find it helpful to write out a prayer from a book of prayers that I have in my devotion basket, and pray those back to God, word for word, but saying them as from me. Today this one really ministered to my heart--it hits my struggles on the head. It was written by Johann Arndt, who was a German Pietist that lived from 1555-1621, and taught at Wittenburg where Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the church:

Ah, LORD, unto whom all hearts are open, Thou canst govern the vessel of my soul far better than I can. Arise, O LORD, and command the stormy wind and the troubled sea of my heart to be still, and at peace with Thee, that I may look up to Thee undisturbed, and abide in union with Thee, my LORD. Let me not be carried hither and thither by wandering thoughts; but forgetting all else, let me hear and see Thee.