Digging Past Our Situations

I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 2 Timothy 1:3

woman praying_edited-1

Someone is Praying

When writing to Timothy, Paul said, “I have remembrance of thee.” The word remembrance means to remind, bring to, call to, and put in. In the Greek, remember has the same root word as the word tomb or sepulcher. The idea is before we can pray we must dig past the current circumstances.

For example, when overwhelmed we find it hard to think of anything but the present situation. Such was Timothy’s case. But Paul said, “I put you in remembrance” commanding Timothy to dig, get past, removing all that stood in his way.

Likewise, there are times we must dig past the mental anguish, the physical pain, and the spiritual battle to remember where God has brought us from and what He is doing at present. It is one of the hardest things to do when facing trials.

I have several friends and family who are facing stressful situations at this time. I wanted to remind everyone that God hasn’t forsaken us and to share a couple of my favorite verses.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Jeremiah 30:17

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18

In the coming weeks, as you press through this season, I pray you will find comfort in God’s Word and remember people are praying for you.

I would love to hear from you. When going through difficult times, what scripture comes to your mind?

 

Building Walls of Prayer

My propensities to “fix” problems often sets my body in motion to calm my racing mind. But when my hands are no longer busy, and my feet have stopped moving, I often feel helpless. But then, I’m reminded there is still something I can do. I can make a difference through prayer. Prayer gives me a chance to move from helpless to hopeful. From defensive to offensive. From powerless to powerful!

Nehemiah was miles from home when he heard Jerusalem’s walls were broken down and her people were in trouble and disgrace. The walls protected the city. Without walls, the people were defenseless and prey to their invading neighbors. With walls, they were a fortified city–safe and secure. Therefore, the walls had to be rebuilt. But what could he do so far away from home?

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said,

I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

Neh 1:11  O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer. Nehemiah 1:4-11

Prayer changes things.

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. Nehemiah 6:15

Salvation Walls

If you are familiar with Nehemiah’s story, you know this wasn’t an easy task. They were constantly dealing with their enemies.

They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.  Nehemiah 4:17-18

Like Nehemiah, we need to pray for our cities. We need to pray for the sins of our country. We need to turn our face to God and seek His counsel. And then we need to put feet to our prayers and make a difference in our communities.

Will you continue to join with me and build a wall of prayer around our nation? Together, we can make a difference!

Just Breathe

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Solomon 2:13

There are no sweeter words to the human ear than the call to rest at His feet. A place where the known speaks with the unknown. The seen fellowships with the unseen. A place where the heart finds peace. And the spirit is renewed.

When I began this journey, I promised myself I would always answer His invitation. The time spent at the feet of Jesus transforms me. I become a better daughter, wife, mother, friend, and writer.

So, dearest reader, I am taking a break to spend time with my one Desire. I will be back in a while.

Thank you for understanding and continued support of this blog.

In the meantime, if your world is a little crazy, take a moment and listen to “Breathe” by Johnny Diaz.  Great advice for this busy life. But, you’ll have to wait for the chorus to get it.

Blessings,

Gail

 

Sparrows and Gravy

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31)

The house was a dilapidated jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. Innocuous black snakes often found their way inside through the ill-connected joints. Rags filled the broken window panes, a barrier against the frigid air. It was a sorry sight to most, but it was home to me.

There were seven of us. Poor as hanks, survival meant eating whatever was set before you. Squirrel, rabbit, or deer, we didn’t ask. We weren’t worried so much about saving the planet back then as we were about saving ourselves. Dad worked continually, but he never seemed to catch up. It was either feast or famine, there was no in between. So more times than not, we did without.

My twenty-two-year-old mom tried her best to keep five kids happy. One particularly cold day while camping in the kitchen with just the stove to keep us warm, she threw a blanket over the table and we all climbed under, our imagination doing the rest. For a while, we played oblivious to our persistent problem. The need for food.

But Mama was praying. And God was listening!

Around lunch time, my granny, Mattie and my great-granny, Blanche, brought two whole fryers expecting to fry them, until Mama explained she had no grease. Blanche asked for Chicken N Gravy-1butter. Mom gave her all she had–several small pieces from blocks she used to butter her pans when cooking (Before the days of Pam). Undaunted, Blanche melted the butter and pan-fried the chicken. Then she made butter gravy with the drippings. We feasted on the best Chicken ‘N Gravy we had ever tasted before—or since.

I make this recipe when I want comfort food. Back then I didn’t eat much. I didn’t like deer, rabbit, or squirrel. And I refused to eat fried bologna! So when I found something delectable, I kept it near my heart. Each time I eat this dish, I’m reminded I am more valuable than the sparrows.

What You Need:

Whole fryer or 4-6 breast, thighs, or legs seasoned to taste

½ cup butter or margarine

½ tsp of salt and pepper (according to taste)

½ cup flour (see note)

2 2/3 cup water (see note)

 

Here’s How:

Place butter in pan or Dutch oven and heat until butter sizzle.

Brown a few pieces at a time, turn, and cook until tender.

Remove from pan

Combine flour and salt. Add to drippings to make a roué. Stir until medium brown.

Add water and whisk until smooth and creamy.

Return chicken to the gravy and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes.

Serve with rice, homemade biscuits, or pasta, and a salad.

Note: With different chicken pieces comes more drippings. Reduce drippings and flour as needed to make perfect gravy. The more you make this recipe and become familiar with it, adding more or less of things, the better it will taste.

Do you have a favorite dish that reminds you of God’s goodness?

Have you ever had someone to show up at your door just when you needed a helping hand?

Ain’t God good?

Blessings

Gail

Now I Know In Part

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

In 2009, while in my pantry, I felt the Lord urging me to give a substantial amount of money each month in an offering. I immediately questioned His timing.

Father, Are you sure? You know we are struggling at this time and I feel I need to save more, rather than give more. Still, I couldn’t shake the need to give.

In the midst of my argument, He asked, “When do you sow? In harvest or planting season?” That’s when I realized He was up to something.

In the past, when He had asked something from me it usually had more to do with what He was trying to accomplish in me, than the action He was asking of me.

I continued putting away my groceries when suddenly the account of the Shunammite woman leaped to mind. I stored the remaining cans and walked to my desk. Opening my Bible, I turned to the fourth chapter of Second Kings and began devouring the passage with a new interest.

  • She fed Elisha when he traveled in her area.
  • She had spiritual perception, recognizing Elisha as a man of God.
  • Along with her husband, she created a small living space for Elisha.

I understood that she had the money to feed, build a room, and decorate it for Elisha. What I did not gather was her “need” for anything, or so I thought.

Although she was fruitful in many areas, one area of her life remained barren. The Bible does not give a reason for her infertility. We’re told only that Elisha, grateful for her hospitality, desired “to give her” something. When Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, noted her childlessness, Elisha prophesied that she would “embrace a son.” The Word tells us that she conceived and brought forth a son.

It wasn’t so much as “the gift” she gave to Elisha as it was the “act of obedience” needed to position her to “receive” something God deemed necessary in her life. Elisha was the last piece to bring that divine purpose to reality. Could God have given her the son without Elisha? Of course! But that wasn’t the plan.

I recalled my prayers for every area of my life to become fruitful. Trust and Anger issues from the past kept me from being prolific in the present. Could it be God was trying to position me for answers? Would my obedience trigger a reaction in my life?

As I pondered these questions, I saw puzzle pieces on an ornate wooden table. A hand guided the diverse sections to the right place at the right time to complete the image. At that moment, everything clicked into place.

The Shunammite’s actions brought a reaction resulting in Elisha becoming a part of her life. She needed Elisha in her life more than he needed her gifts in his life.

The promised child died, Elisha prayed. The child lived again. When warned of a famine by Elisha, she sojourned in the land of the Philistines (2 Kings 8). Seven years later, she returned home to petition the king for the return of her house and her land.

When she approached the king, Gehazi was with him telling the great things Elisha had done. When Gehazi heard her petition, he told the king, “This is the woman and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” The king ordered everything restored unto her “since the day she left the land, even until now.”

Did she realize when she built that little room for Elisha what she would get in return? I think not. What would have happened if she’d withheld her gift? Would she still have had a son? If she’d never met Gehazi, what would’ve happened to her house and lands? Hmm.

Pixabay Public Domain

Pixabay Public Domain

I repented of my reluctance. I needed to stop focusing on what I was giving up, and just trust Him. To free-fall in faith wasn’t going to be easy, but it was necessary if I was ever going to move forward. I chose to obey and haven’t looked back since. My obedience taught me trust and eventually, I let go of the anger. I came to realize I needed God in my life more than He needed my gifts.

Is there something God is asking of you? Are you struggling? If so, you are not alone. With every mountain, comes another level of faith. Like the Shunammite, it’s not about the “action” so much as it’s about the chain “reaction” that will take place afterward.

God works in mysterious ways. We only see in part. Yet, He asks us to trust and obey until that day when all is revealed. Take the leap and free-fall in faith!

Blessings

Gail