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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.


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How I Stopped Rubbing a Useless Magic Lamp When I Prayed

Spiritual Disciplines Series:  Prayer

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.

Prayers often don’t work out quite like we imagine them.    A divorce might divide a family.  A child might die.  The innocent might suffer.  Life is difficult.  It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.

Look y’all,  if you are like me, and I’m betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests.  Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of  a partnership…more of a love fest…more of an expression of trust.

Remove Yourself

I found this great verse in 1 Peter 4:7, and I have included several different versions below.  I wonder if Peter was recalling the time he and his friends fell asleep while waiting in the garden with Jesus when he wrote this?

The end of the world is near. You must be the boss over your mind. Keep awake so you can pray. NLV

Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer. HCSB

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. NIV

First of all, I suggest that you set aside time to pray…not the praying you constantly do in your mind as you go about your day…and not the nightly prayer you say while falling to sleep on your pillow.  Jesus often removed Himself from the crowds to spend time with His Father.  We too should remove ourselves from the crowds and become disciplined about our time with God.  I found a place behind my closet door where I can go to have private time with my Lord.  Click here to read How I Found a Space to Pray in my Small House.

Seek Synchronization

There are two wills at play when I pray, mine and God’s.  My will seeks comfort and escape from suffering.  God’s will is more mysterious.  God’s will incorporates parenting and His immeasurable imagination.  And sometimes it requires prolonged suffering.  I am so glad the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to include his trouble with the thorn of Satan in 2 Corinthians.  It gives us a glimpse of the mind of Christ when He reminds the tormented Paul that:

“My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

The suffering obviously came from the enemy, but the suffering was prolonged by Jesus to keep Paul from becoming conceited. (read the whole passage here)  Who can understand the mind of God?  Not me.  But what should my reaction be to chronic difficulty and trouble?  How should I respond in prayer?  Should I shake my fist at the One who knows all?  Should I feel forgotten and discouraged?  This was Paul’s reaction:

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

To be able to pray for pleasure in weaknesses, to be able to ask that His grace be enough is my idea of a partnership of wills.  I may not feel it, but I can ask for Him to help me feel it.  Strength in the middle of pain.  My ongoing prayer for myself and for others on my prayer list is to be able to withstand God’s will, to be able to trust Him when things look bleak, and to have His grace be enough.  But mainly I pray this from Ephesians 3:14-19

For His unlimited resources

For power with inner strength through the Spirit

That I learn to trust Him so Jesus will make His home in  my heart

That the root of God’s love will keep me strong

That I will be given the power to understand how wide, how strong, how deep His love is

That I will be made complete with all the life and power that comes from God

 

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.

Diversify

In the past, my prayer time has been B-O-R-I-N-G!  Why in the world would I want to linger in prayer if I am distracted or uninterested?

One way I  solved this dilemma was by gathering together the latest in worship music on my Pinterest page so I have it available as I pray.   For example, I particularly love the song “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” by Lauren Daigle as I pray over the  lost and distracted people on my prayer list.  On some days I just put on instrumental meditation music, close my eyes, breath deeply and just BE with Jesus.

On other days if I am particularly stressed about something I will use a passage like Psalm 23 to remind myself through the scripture that God is my Shepherd while using my prayer journal to write it down.  My journal then becomes encouragement for me when I reread past entries.

If I run out of words to use in praise, I go to the Psalms.

Some days I try to just be thankful and not ask anything of Him.  I post pictures of my family and feel my heart swell with thankfulness as I look at their faces and know the Holy Spirit is bringing words I cannot say straight to my Father.

Be Ready

A couple of years ago something unexpected and scary happened to one of my children.  I got obsessed and worried and discovered I was not as strong as I thought.  I begged and pleaded and I was NOT filled with peace.   There was no syncing up with God’s will AT ALL.  There was no partnership. I was a total disappointment to myself.  The fiery arrows from the enemy were burning me.  Where was that genie when I needed him?   The only way I survived spiritually was because three people I loved reminded me of the things I forgotten. They prayed with me and read scriptures to me.

Then I remembered.

It was obvious that I needed more military training. More discipline in prayer.  I needed to learn to be the boss over my mind.   I pray that in the moment when your world seems to fall apart, you won’t fall apart like I did…that the discipline of prayer and Bible study will sustain you.  Be ready… because our enemy is prowling like a lion.

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You might like these other posts in the Spiritual Disciplines Series.  Click on the pictures.

 

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

click here

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Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.


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Why Spiritual Pajamas are not a Good Idea for the Wedding Banquet

Spiritual Discipline Series- LOVE

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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Time is of the essence to me.  The enemy is a robber, a thief of time.   Because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, and that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” as the Steve Miller band sings so prophetically, I have chosen the word URGENCY to define my year.  Urgency to be dressed in spiritual depth,  suitable clothes for the wedding banquet.  It boils down to this equation:  days left on earth+spiritual depth desired=URGENCY.

Look y’all, church buildings are filled with people like me doing their best spiritual impressions…glancing occasionally beyond the surface…content with their spiritual pajamas…never time to go diving into spiritual disciplines…the word later climbing up on center stage and demanding an audience.

So now is later.

I have defined my own set of spiritual disciplines, and encourage you to create your own list.  This begins a blog series that I hope you will find useful for your own battle for time.  These include:  love, prayer and meditation, reading and memorizing scripture, private praise, fasting, and resting.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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My anchor scripture that will guide each discipline will be Luke 10:27.  Every urgency, both internally and externally, will be directed away from self and toward fulfilling this scripture.

….“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLV

Dealing with my selfish self causes my urgency to be sluggish, and my love for Him to become unfocused.  Spiritual depth for the Bride of Christ is what I am after, and it starts with love for my Father.  Loving him with all.

All.

All your heart.

All your soul.

All your strength.

All your mind.

If I am honest with myself and if you are too,  what that means is that there is no room for empty longing in my heart…no vacancy in my soul…no strength training with feathers…and  the eyes constantly protecting the mind from the fake.  Then and only then can I serve my neighbor the way the rest of the passage suggests  as myself…a self filled to the brim with Yahweh.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

More in the Spiritual Disciplines Series you might like:

 

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

i love 2

Pictures:

+  Closeup of my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress,

++  A beautiful church window found on a Hawaiian excursion.

+++  I love this gate I found in Key West, Florida

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

copyright 2016 Alice LeBlanc, Sanctified Tourist

 

 

 

 

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.


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TO THE BILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY LOSERS

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

Jesus and Culture:  The Billion Dollar Lottery Frenzy

Dear Losers Winners,

I saw you at the corner store.  You stood in line right in front of me, while I waited to buy my ticket.  I could tell you were worn down by life, exhausted and full of pain.  Your two dollars gave you hope for a few hours.  For just a moment in time you had real plans.  But now, after the letdown, you are back to square one.  Plodding along.  Working hard.  Struggling with a car that keeps breaking down, doctor bills that keep coming to your mailbox, a house note that relentlessly siphons your wages.  And not only that, you are stuck in a dead-end job with no way up or out.  At the end of the day, when I saw you in line,  you were silently calculating your life and it was not adding up.  You prayed, as you opened your wallet, for God  to cut you some slack.

Hope.

Yes, hope…but it is not found in money and riches as the enemy would like you to think.  That same anticipation you felt when you gripped that ticket in your hand can be found in Jesus.  He alone can lift your head.  He alone can bring peace in the deep places.  He alone can energize and revive.  Hope is more powerful than the strongest medicine.   Hope can drag a widow out of bed in the morning,  and encourage the desperate to put one foot in front of the other.  It can cause the dying to laugh, and the rejected to love.  It can cause the loser to win.

Hope.

Seek Him and you will find it.  It is a promise.

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which he has called you, the RICHES of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV

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I am not paid to endorse any products on Sanctified Tourist.

 

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.


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Three Attitudes to Beat the After Holiday Blues

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Being a little down after the holiday season is perfectly normal.  We see family that we haven’t seen in a while and then they quickly go.  Divorce divides the children and leaves one parent alone.   This time of year forces us to look behind us at goals not met and a new year already upon us.  We feel our age, and wonder how time has escaped us.

It’s all mental.  Warfare of the mind.  There is only one way to fight this spiritual battle of the blues.  The Word of God.  Here are three positive attitudes found in scripture along with suggested mental exercises to help in banishing these painful thoughts.

Live in the NOW

Regrets can haunt.  The only thing that looking over your shoulder is good for is education.  Look back and learn, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Looking to the future can bring fear and dread.  The only thing good about looking to the future is education.  Look ahead and prepare, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

 First Mental Exercise:  Use your phone to record yourself spontaneously  thanking God for everything you see as you walk around your environment.  Play it back for yourself.  Sometimes the best teacher for yourself is yourself.

Take Control

How easily it is for the mind to wander.  Today on my walk, someone’s naughty, little pooch stood just outside a dog-sized hole in her fence yipping at me.  She had squeezed through the gap, intent on wandering the neighborhood.

This is exactly what my mind does y’all when I don’t keep it contained, controlled, fenced in…thinking only  of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) … when I allow myself to squeeze through the culture-sized hole in the fence of my mind and wander away from safety, dwelling on things that crush my joy.

Second Mental Exercise:   Take a break from social media and listen to a Christian speaker on YouTube or maybe a little private praise with your favorite worship music.  Look on my Pinterest page for some ideas.

Hope

Sometimes lost hope creates a pity party.  The enemy loves to fill you with dark thoughts about yourself and the life you lead.    The Liar throws shadows on truth until all you want to do is watch TV and eat ice cream.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Satan urges you to forget that God is highly invested in you and has beautiful plans for your life.  Plans for you to do good works in His name.  Plans for you to live for Him, not for self.

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

Third Mental Exercise:  This is where the church comes in y’all.  It’s time to phone, email, or text a friend.   Find a believer who knows scripture and explain exactly how you are feeling.  Request scriptures and prayer.  Spend time looking at the scripture given to you as if it were sent from God.

It was.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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One final scripture for you to meditation on…

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:7

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+  Picture taken outside of my classroom one morning on a foggy day

++ Picture taken at the Grand Canyon of me taking it all in…

+++Picture taken after at storm at the family ranch in Montana

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Broken glass and a clumsy streak led to a powerful story of the brokenhearted. God can take anything and create meaning y'all.


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How God Used my Clumsy Streak to Share a Story of the Brokenhearted

Broken glass and a clumsy streak led to a powerful story of the brokenhearted.   God can take anything and create meaning y'all.

I sat down with a good book and two of my homemade soft tacos for lunch yesterday.   My first yummy bite was surprising and jarring.  The investigation that followed led to a horrifying discovery (see picture).  shard of glass  How did glass get in my taco?

If you decide to follow my blog you will quickly find out that I believe God is a God of stories, a God of parables, a literary genius, who uses the unfolding happenings of our lives to teach us deep personal truths if we are willing to keep in step with His Spirit.

Back to the glass.  I have been having a bit of a clumsy streak lately.  Y’all,  within 24 hours I broke  two large serving bowls and the glass in a large display frame where two panes of glass were pressed up against themselves to showcase a see through type picture.  All three times the glass shattered everywhere and had to be gingerly cleaned up so as not to cut anyone.  Little did I know that some of the glass escaped into my cabinet and undetected into the skillet I used to cook taco meat.

Surely there is a spiritual  story to be learned from all this broken glass.

The Drop

Someone I love had her heart dropped and broken recently.  She came to find out that after two years of marriage her young husband had been having an affair with a woman at work.  She was willing to forgive, but he was unwilling to reconcile, so they divorced.  Her heart shattered.

The Cleaning

Those that have been smashed by evil have been left with sharp edges, and it is sometimes a slow, painful process to help with cleanup.   Sometimes the ones closest to the broken can get cut and bloody even after gentle handling has been applied.  Sometimes after much time has passed, and the room has been swept, a tiny piece might still be discovered by a bare foot on the kitchen floor, or may have bounced undetected into a bowl used later for taco meat.

The Mending

At some point in the cleanup process, the ones helping realize that the pieces will never go back together the way they were before.  They are helpless in the face of such great suffering.  So they prayerfully box up the fragments and hand them to our Father, the God of comfort.  It will take a miracle…the pieces are so tiny…it seems so hopeless…

YAHWEH, King of Kings, Lord of Lords

His specialty is broken hearts.  And once those pieces are held in His hands,  fused backed together by the heat of His love, they will be a work of art.

Broken glass and a clumsy streak led to a powerful story of the brokenhearted. God can take anything and create meaning y'all.

 

Blessings, Alice

Picture:  This is the double frame glass that I broke.  I used Pic Monkey for the scripture and my title.    The shard in the taco was about 1/2 inch long.

 Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.