Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Thought Catcher

From the vantage of my lifetime of counseling, I’m occasionally asked what message I’d give women today. Here’s my humbly offered answer:

Be a thought checker, desire not just any thoughts but ones that stir your soul because souls are quite important and they get too little attention today.

If you doubt this, consider when were you last asked, “How’s your soul doing?” When women get together do they chat about dates, or husbands if they’re married, kids, jobs, or what’s spiritually inspired them recently? Do young women know more about latest fashion trends and body supplements than about soul nourishment?

So my advice is to think deep, go deep with God. Make sure you’re thinking your own thoughts. This means taking time to examine ideas you absorb from our culture, being sure you agree and approve. Make sure faith is yours, one that you’ve studied through yourself.

What are your soul goals? We’re only a month into the New Year. How about forming some soul goals?

What might these look like? Maybe memorize one Scripture verse that really speaks to you of God’s love for you. Carry it in your head forever.

Find a favorite passage all your own that comforts you and turn to it often.

Read about a person deeply spiritual who lived before, how did they live out real faith and how might you take a lesson for your own life?

Open your mouth. Ask questions. Speak about the huge romance, the exciting mystery of God with someone with whom you’ve never had the conversation before. 

Leash any passion that’s ungodly – overeating, overspending, overdoing - and release every passion that’s godly. Pretty simple, pretty strong – that’s God’s plan for woman.

Also be your own stylemaker. Set the trend that fulfills your deepest longing and moral yearning for truth and beauty and goodness.

If you have children make sure you teach them to think for themselves, to study ideas, give them quiet times to reflect. My character Quid in the Tommy Smurlee series often speaks a famous quote or makes up a life thought that fits the occasion he’s in. He’s always thinking.

Married gals remember marriage is about stirring more than scrambled eggs or cake batter. Stir the souls of your spouse, become real soul-mates. Talk about cultural questions, unresolved fears. Getting back to Scripture: read a chapter together with your husband and children after dinner, or ONE verse at every meal. Probe the Bible until an applicable idea  pierces you.

Want an exciting, non-boring life packed with joy days? Go deeper with the giver of every good and perfect gift, the God who is the huge I AM and the amazing Always Was.

Speak, ask, listen. S-A-L every day.

The women who charge the home, the work place, the world get charged first with spiritual energy and keep their souls strong.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

A few thoughts, a reminder to me as well.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Favorite Way To Pray

The Gift of Unexpected Prayer

Unexpected praying is a favorite way I like to pray.  It’s praying for someone with whom I’ve had a brief encounter, a business experience or none at all.

I got started decades ago after reading that Norman Vincent Peale prayed for people standing at railway stations while he looked out the window during his train ride.

It’s 4:10 A.M. and I’ve just prayed for all the counselors and campers who ever slept under our roof when we had a children’s camp at our home for ten years, and then I prayed for those who slept there after we turned it into a B & B.

Sometimes I pray for previous marriage/ family counseling clients. Or for children I’ve taught in various classes over the years. Or any men and women who ever attended a seminar I presented.

At times I pray for people who never had someone ever say a prayer for them. Of course I don’t know specifically what to pray for, but I ask God to bless them in their area of need.

Still I don’t pray as much as I should.

Especially when I know its power. I spent a year of my life studying every book on prayer I could find including the Book of Truth and Holy Words - the Bible. I needed to know if prayer power was real, if it still worked today because I had a child who was dying before my eyes. I saw prayer work many mini-miracles that became a huge maxi – the gift of extended life after two diagnoses of imminent death.

I was on the receiving end of a huge outpouring of prayer. I KNOW it’s powerful. I could almost taste the aura of it in the air.

Yes, I know prayer is still a mystery, not every result that follows my prayers is what I WANT but I KNOW it’s what He wants after I’ve presented my prayer request to Him.

I’m thrilled God protected His Word describing His continued involvement in our personal lives via prayer and transferred this truth through 2000 years into my hands. (May each person who reads this blog know more intimately the joy of prayer, Lord.)

Of course, I love to pray for my children and grandchildren and my man, a high school prayer answered, but my gift-giving prayer is for those who totally unexpect it. They’ll never know, yet prayer power has gone forth on their behalf.

Is there a creative way you’ve prayed that you’d like to share with me? 

"Whatsoever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive." Mark 11:24