Saturday, June 18, 2011

"...for all kings..."

I received an email today that I found disturbing. It spoke about praying a specific scripture for President Obama---Psalm 109:8---which says,

 "Let his days be few and brief; 
and let others step forward to replace him."

I get the joke, and while I'm not a fan of the current president, I am commanded to pray for him.

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,  for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth ." 1 Timothy 2:1

" Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. " 1 Peter 2:17

 However, I doubt Psalm 109 is what God had in mind!  In Matthew 5 we're told:

 “You have heard that it was said,‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. "

 If that's how we're supposed to treat our enemies, how do you suppose we should be praying for the President?  How about praying things that will not only bless his life eternally, but the lives of every American as well?  Here are some suggestions:

"And this I pray, that (President Obama's) love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that (he) may approve the things that are excellent, that (he) may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ ."  Phil 1:9-10

"...that (President Obama) may be filled with the knowledge of (God's) will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding ."  Col 1:9

"...that (President Obama) may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God ." Col 4:12

"...that our God would count (President Obama) worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power ." 2 Thess 11 

 Every book of the Bible has something you could pray for our President, things that could change our whole nation.  As you find them, post them under "comments" so I can pray them with you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Love Your Face!

I was there the day you were born.  I watched your Mom all through labor with tears in my eyes because my baby was having a baby.  I remember how you felt in my arms the very first time I held you.  Everyone said it was "just gas" but I know you gave your first smile to your Grammy!  I remember singing to you "I love your face, Megan Grace" and how it would make you giggle.  I remember when it was time for you to go home from a visit with me and I would put my finger on the outside of the car window and you would put your finger in the same place from the inside.  I remember not only throwing kisses but hugs too!  I remember our tea parties for two---coloring Easter eggs---you helping me in the kitchen for Christmas dinner.  I remember the Christmas you sat in front of the fireplace and asked me to "take a movie" of you, then you proceded to give your heart to Jesus.  And yesterday I watched a very grown-up girl in a cap and gown receive her high school diploma, grinning from ear to ear.  Where did the time go?  In the blink of an eye it will be wedding dresses and baby showers, and God willing, I will hold my great-grandchild in my arms.  I love you Megan Grace, and I especially love your face.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spiritual Spa Treatment

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who offered their wisdom in response to my last post. I not only had comments on this page, but also through personal emails. Believe me, I shed tears over each one and counted the blessing of having so many loving people in my life. But one analogy really hit home with me and then the Lord confirmed it. One of the greatest luxuries of my money problem-free days was spa hopping. One of my favorite spas was Burke-Williams where they had a treatment called "Hunter's Retreat". Here's the description:

Created by Burke Williams to soothe and replenish not only your body, but your spirit as well, this body treatment is one of life’s truly calming experiences. It begins with the application of an exfoliating granular scrub rhythmically massaged into your skin. Then, you are thoroughly cleansed with wheat stalks soaked in exotic, essential oils. All the while, cascades of warm water immerse your entire body. After being toweled dry, a light moisturizing oil is kneaded into your skin. There’s only one word to describe the feeling: reborn.

Sounds positively spiritual, doesn't it? The exfoliation was wonderful because it removed all of that old dead, toughened skin on my body, while the oils left it baby soft again. I think that's what happened during my time away. The whole weekend was like a spa treatment "exfoliating" all of the deadness I had been feeling from a long series of trails. I let down my guard in the presence of cherished friends, and time with them was like soaking in "exotic essential oils", softening me and transferring their own sweet aroma of Christ to me. All the while, the Holy Spirit was scrubbing and cleansing me, covering me with a "cascade of warm water" and anointing me with His "moisturizing oil". I left feeling "reborn".

But just like a spa treatment can leave your skin overly sensitive, so my spiritual pampering left me feeling spiritually sensitive and all of the things of the world that were waiting for me at home in my "real life" hurt! Back in my spa days I made a habit of purchasing some of the oils and lotions used on me so I could continue to moisturize my skin at home until a time when I could return to the spa for another treatment. That's what I needed to do SPIRITUALLY.

God had shown me during my beach retreat that I needed more time with my godly friends to keep me soft and smelling of Jesus; I needed more time alone in His presence where He could examine my heart and " sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26); I needed to take time to worship Him in song so the Holy Spirit could anoint me with oil that would bring His power back into my life. I had jumped right back into my routine without taking time to do at home all He had shown me at my Spiritual Spa.

The funny thing is, after speaking on a retreat I ALWAYS warn the women to prepare for the valley as they leave the mountain top. But I had neglected to remind myself to prepare for the desert as I left the beach. Thank You Jesus, Lord of my life, Lover of my soul, for reminding me through the wisdom of precious friends.