Saturday, May 29, 2010
Story By: Lisa Petrarca
I think most people feel that they know how to pray, I know I did. But lately I've learned that prayer needs to be accompanied by faith. The two together enable the Lord to answer & bless your life.
I often refer back to Peter, recklessly stepping out of the boat. Focusing solely on Jesus Christ. He took the steps of faith. Not fearing, thinking, worrying or doubting...he went for it! He trusted as an innocent child and walked on water. But we all know what happened, He took his eyes off of Jesus & started focusing on his surroundings. First his eyes wandered, then quickly his mind followed...he rapidly began to sink.
Now if we relate this example to our prayer life, we see how quickly we also let go of faith. We pray & in the moment think, "This is actually possible, the Lord can heal, repair, fix and accomplish all things, (our eyes are on him), all things are possible."
We finish praying, so full of hope, slowly we open our eyes, and start to look around, our mind follows; "How is He going to fix this mess? I'm sure He could but nothings changed in the past. I'm too old to change my ways. That person will never change. My financial problems are so bad that nothing can help me. My illness is too bad, it's just too late for me.
I think you get the picture, just fill in your lines. We all have them, they may as well be on a never ending recorder that plays over & over again in our minds. This is exactly what needs to change. If you want to have a real break through, you need to re-train your mind. Replace those old "recordings."
I Can't = HE CAN
It Never = HE WILL
There's No Hope = THERE'S HOPE IN THE LORD
I Give Up = HE WONT GIVE UP ON ME
Why Me = HE HAS A PURPOSE FOR ME
My Problems Too Big = NOTHING'S TO BIG FOR GOD
Why Would He Help Me = WHY WOULDN'T HE HELP ME!
You know your phrases, fill in yours.
Be conscious of what your saying to yourself. Post the positive versions of your normal "recordings" on your mirrors, fridge, car, everywhere until you start to change your negative thoughts to FAITH THOUGHTS.
Prayer is Powerful
Faith is Life Changing
Put the two together and you have "A POWERFUL LIFE CHANGING GIFT FROM GOD!"
"For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help."
"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes."
Friday, May 21, 2010
A little boy is telling his Grandma how "everything" is going wrong...school, family problems, severe health problems, etc. Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake. She asks the child if he would like a snack, which of course he does.
"Here. Have some cooking oil."
"Yuck," says the boy.
"How about a couple of raw eggs?"
"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?"
"Grandma, those are all yucky!"
To which the Grandma replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Yesterday on a brisk, windy, sunny day we took our dog Allie to the beach. This is always a very special, joyous day for her. She is a Siberian Husky. When you own a husky you're told to never let them off their leash. They have a natural inborn instinct to run. Over the years we have slowly trained her. On our beach visits we let her off the leash. She runs a little ways, jumping, sniffing and playing and then always stops, looks back and waits for us to catch up to her.
This particular day seemed no different than others before it. We strolled along the white, long stretch of sand. The chill of the wind was stinging our faces, as Allie frolicked in the water, chasing dogs and birds. Allie stopped and waited every so often just as she had been trained.
The sun was lowering behind a low patch of fluffy, cotton white clouds, signaling an end to our day. Approaching the part of the beach that we attach Allie to her leash, she abruptly turned and began running the opposite direction. We cried out, "Allie, Allie...STOP, come back here!" She continued to run, farther and farther. Our cries soon becoming muffled, lost in the pounding crash of the waves, beating against the sand.
We continued to walk in the direction she was running. We were certain she would eventually stop, look back and dash towards us. She began to appear as though she was a mirage, to far away to tell if it was really her. I began to run, worried that she might scale the steep cliff and run into the heavy, rush hour traffic on Pacific Coast Highway.
She had slowed down, but was still very far ahead. She now started to approach the few people on the beach, a woman at first, and then a couple. Each time she would walk away. She appeared to realize that she was lost. Walking away from the couple, with no one else around, she stood alone in the middle of the beach, a long isolated view in front of her. I began to get closer as she stood in one place. Her head was faced up towards the orange, red & yellow sky of the setting sun. She was howling, loud piercing cries, crying out because she was scared and lost. She had gone too far and now realized her mistake.
Out of breath, I started to walk, passing a couple that was staring at Allie. The wife looked at me with large, concerned eyes, "Oh, she's crying...she thinks she's lost." Finally close enough for her to hear me I shouted, "Allie, come here, I'm right here!" She quickly stopped her howl, snapped her head down, stared frozen for a moment and sprinted towards me. Her eyes squinting through the blowing wind, tongue hanging out of her mouth, tail wagging, and wait a minute...is that a smile? Can dogs smile? It sure looked like it to me. Reaching me, she jumped up on me and kissed me.
This story sadly represents our walk with the Lord. We are safely beside him, protected, loved and happy. All of a sudden something catches our attention. It looks fun, challenging, exciting...our mind starts to run. Next our body begins to chase after it also. We are going full speed in the wrong direction. Getting caught up in the moment, enjoying our fleshly, worldly desires.
The Lord is calling us to come back. He wants to protect us. We have gotten too far away. We no longer hear his cries. They are drowned out by the loud crashing waves of this world. Pride, vanity, money, pornography, sex, drugs and alcohol...we are trapped in the middle of their false allure.
Never finding the happiness we had hoped for, our life begins to fall apart around us. We stand alone on the long, lonely, isolated stretch of sand. Crying, calling out to the Lord, "Where are you Heavenly Father? I need you. I'm so scared and alone. Please come and help me."
He is there…waiting for you to invite Him back into your life. Waiting…to call you to the safety of his loving and forgiving protection. Just call out to him, He will hear you. You are never out of his sight. He is waiting for you to stop running. Just like huskies, we have a natural instinct to run after the things of this world. These things only give us fleeting, momentary pleasure. Followed by our guilt, unhappiness and self-loathing. Stop running and look to the Lord for peace, shelter, comfort, love and complete happiness. He is waiting for you.
"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest of silver for you. Surely you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. When men are brought low and you say, "Lift them up!" then he will save the downcast. He will deliver even one who is not innocent, through the cleanness of your hands."
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
When we became adults, we somehow have forgotten to leave our selfish ways behind.
I was thinking about how many times we ask for the Lords help in our lives. We pray & pray for that “thing” that is so important to us.
Then when we are blessed with an answer, (usually something even better than we hoped for), we become too self absorbed or busy to go to church, pray, read the Bible, or help others in need.
Are we really too busy or do we no longer need God? We received what we asked for and like a spoiled child...off we go to enjoy it.
Then when the next crisis comes...we drop to our knees, show up at church and promise to change...if only He will get you out of the mess your in.
The Lord shows each of us a small sample of His love by granting our requests. But like I said, “It is a SMALL sample of what He has in store for your life.”
He gives you this gift to see how faithful you will be. Will you continue to seek Him daily and develop a closer relationship with Him? Will you turn everything over to Him and let Him guide and direct your life, or will you continue to act like a self centered child?
You can’t imagine the incredible plans and blessings God has in store for you. Don’t run away from him after you receive the sample...stay close, learn how to take on the nature of Christ, receive your true inheritance!
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Tomorrow is Mother's Day, be sure to make it extra special for your moms.
As children we don't realize all the sacrifices she makes for us. During this time, she also worries about doing a good job and making all the right decisions..she hopes to be the best mom she can be.
Somewhere along the way, we find things that she did wrong or should have done better, but then we grow up and realize...she wasn't given a rule book, she did the best she could, just as we now try to be the best that we can.
Be sure to make this day one of gratitude & thanks for all that she has done for you over the years.
I AM A MOTHER
Poem by Lisa Petrarca
We often ask, why me dear Lord?
Who am I to receive such a reward?
The child you've given is a blessing from above
Sent down from heaven to be showered with love
I am weak, sometimes scared, to make a mistake
I press on with the task...you chose for me to partake
Who am I to receive such a reward?
To raise a child of my own accord
Each step I take I hope is the right direction
As my child follows behind with pure innocent affection
I am a mother, who will offer her lifelong love and protection
Who am I to receive such a reward?
I am a mother...trusted with a life to mold
Until their gifts begin to unfold
Then I will take a step back and behold
My child has become the person I helped to shape
Who am I to receive such a reward?
I am a mother who was given a gift so rare...a life to raise, guide and shareI am a mother......
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL OF YOU MOMS!
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.