FROM MY JOURNAL – PART 2
Sometimes I am focused as soon as I enter the church. Other times not so much.
February 16, 2010
My mind doesn’t want to focus and that makes my ears hard of hearing and my heart scattered instead of whole. Almost always, as soon as I open my Bible I feel led to a “topic” to pray for. Then I find scriptures. And it is as if I am the only in the church. Today I brought the world into the sanctuary with me. As I wrote I remembered this is Ash Wednesday week. Now I know. All it took was allowing God to take my thoughts.
Jesus, what did it feel like? Did you want to take a 2 X 4 to the disciples? Did you worry that there was not enough time left? Were you scared? Did you look at your mother, at your friends, at the disciples, at the world differently? Burning into your mind the face of each? Yes, I know you are human and Holy, but what was the human feeling? Did food taste sweeter because you knew that soon you would no longer need to eat or drink? Did you make a list of everything you wanted to tell the disciples? Did your prayers change? Did you feel the presence of your Father surrounding you as you prepared to offer the human body? Did you feel the pressure on your shoulders as you tried to make sure the disciples were ready? Oh, so many questions and when we meet face-to-face, there will be no questions. In an instant, we will understand.
Lord Jesus, as you prepared so let us prepare for Easter. Let our Spirit focus on the promise of the Resurrection and Eternal Life. Amen
As I look back at this entry, I realize how often I still do this. I go to pray but do not focus. I allow the laundry, the noise, my plans and ?? to disrupt my prayer time.
March 23, 2010
People look at a church and see one of two things. Either they see it as a place that is happy, caring and full of love or they see a place that is always struggling, fighting and full of sinners. Most churches are a combination of both. The church I was attending was having a time of struggles.
Scriptures on guidance: Psalm 25:5, Psalm 48:14, Psalm 73:24 and 1 Corinthians 14:12
This is from my prospective and my frustrations:
Lord, today I do not know where to start. We need your guidance. This church is at a crossroads. The congregation has refused to change. That refusal is killing the Spirit of the church. The “not in my church” shuts doors, hardens hearts and stops faith. Thou shalt not: change the time of the service I want. Allow praise hymns. Feel comfortable going to the altar or raising your hands. Come in jeans. Look different.
At the meeting tonight I ask for guidance. Actually, I ask for you to guide my thoughts and my words.
Prayer for our church: (Note: I printed the following off and passed it out before the meeting.)
To the God of all heaven and earth, Guide this church in your truth and teach us, as only you can. You are our savior and our hope abides in you 24/7. You are our God for ever and ever. We ask you to be our guide to the end of time.
Guide this meeting. Let us listen to your counsel. Let us always be in your glory. Let each person build up the church. Let this church be so built on your broad love that it gains and does not die. Amen.
I hope by now you are realizing prayers cannot be set words. Our prayers change as we grow in faith, become involved in the life of the church and life throws us a curve ball. God always loves to hear prayers of praise. He loves it when we just sit quietly and thrill at the wonder of this world he created. But he is there when we are having problems. When the church is having problems. He is ready, willing and able to guide us through – THROUGH – those problems.
October 12, 2010
He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like on being taught.
Isaiah 50: part of verse 4
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise.
WAKE UP!! LISTEN!! LIVE WISE!!
Good morning, waking up with God. Wow. Now that is something I can picture. God gently whispering in my ear, “Mary. Mary, it is time to get up. It is time to wake up. Mary, can you hear me? Are your ears awake?”
Then God would say, “Today I want you to really listen. And look, because today you have much to learn. With every step you take today there will be a light shining. That light will shine so everything – EVERYTHING – will be visible. Today, Mary, I want you to live, not as a dead spirit just going through your day, but with the light of Christ shining on you. Mary, today be wise. Wake up. Listen. Learn. Be wise. Walk in the light of Christ.”
“Now go have your coffee.”
A silly idea? NO! I can also picture God’s greeting to the church.
I can picture a light – at first soft and gentle – rising from behind the organ pipes. Then spreading around the outside walls. Always getting brighter. The light then coming up the aisle, bathing every pew in light until the light reaches the altar. At this point, every eye would be focused on the source of the light. Hearts would be beating faster. There would be so much energy, in the room, that it would be visible. The only sound would be the sound of light moving. Moving until the sanctuary was filled with light.
Then all ears would hear, “WAKE UP CHURCH! WAKE UP!”
“You sit in the pews as if you were dead. You have allowed the light of Christ to enter your heads but have built a wall around your heart. You come to MY church to – to what? Why are you here? Are your ears open? Did you wake up this morning saying, ‘Teach me.’?
I am THE SOVEREIGN LORD and I WILL sustain you, but you have to be awake. WAKE UP!!”
“Let the light into your life, into MY church. Let the light make everything visible. Let the light of Christ shine on you and make you wise. Why did you come to MY church this morning? To live as if you were already dead? OR To live in the light of Christ. Will you carry MY light in your heart? OR Will you just let the light fade away?”
And in a time we cannot measure, God’s light would be gone.
How would you react? How would the church react?
Lord, send your light into our hearts. Lord, make your light visible to others through us. AMEN
As I read these, I realized the last one holds the answer to the first two. When I allow other things to disrupt my prayers and when we allow things to disrupt God’s church, we need to
WAKE UP!! LISTEN!! LIVE WISE!!
What prayers will I find for Part 3? Come back next week to find out.