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What I *Won’t* Do in the New Year

2019 and Happy New Year displayed in glitter with a sparkly white background
From Covi on Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photo-3848864/

It’s the time for New Year’s Resolutions, which usually includes something you want to DO in the New Year. For now, I’ve formulated a list of actions that I want to keep from doing instead.


Chasing Sleep

Although sleeping too much is definitely something that I want to avoid, that’s not exactly what I mean here. Whenever I can’t sleep (a situation that occurs more often lately), I tend to just lie in bed for hours praying for sleep.

This habit isn’t helping me to rest and I’ve decided to just get out of bed when it happens. I keep fearing that if I get up and do something else then I won’t feel rested; however, lying in bed for hours mentally chasing sleep hasn’t helped me a bit!

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I’ve read that evangelist Ray Comfort has spent hours in prayer when he can’t sleep. And one of my favorite Bible teachers Paul Washer has reminded us that while Jesus was God in the flesh, He still sacrificed sleep and relied on His Father in prayer. (Luke 5:16, 6:12) We are made to need sleep, but we can sacrifice some bodily rest to receive spiritual rest and refreshing.

(If insomnia is a problem for you, you may want to read Ray’s book Overcoming Insomnia*. And for more on Paul Washer and prayer, check out his sermon on the I’ll Be Honest YouTube channel).

Failing to Submit

This resolution is not simply a good idea, a goal, or part of a life enhancement plan. Being submissive is a command of the Lord to all of His children, and I’m referring particularly to the command to wives to submit to their husbands.


…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21 ESV

Immediately after writing the heading for this section, my resolve was tested. I enjoy my solitude, especially when writing, and my husband frequently interrupts with questions. Obeying the Lord’s command to serve my husband trumps my desire for quiet work, however, and this resolution is going to be the most difficult to fulfill. The Lord is worthy of my obedience and my husband, as a brother in Christ and fellow image bearer is worthy of my respect.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22 ESV

We’re enjoying some new devices we received for Christmas, and he often has a million questions for me since I’m much further along in technology knowledge than he is. Instead of being grateful for these wonderful inventions, I am tempted to succumb to aggravation and an ungenerous spirit. Failing to submit is definitely something that needs to go.

Lack of discipline

My life is blessedly full. I have several self-paced online computer courses which I’ve undertaken, an active church membership, family obligations and events, along with a love of Bible study. The problem is that I float along from one task to another, often leaving projects unfinished. It’s well past time to do something about the lack of disciplined time management in my life.

With all the aforementioned technology tools, I have zero excuse. There are apps for time management, reminders, and event scheduling. And, whether or not I make use of technology to help, I have the gift of the Holy Spirit Who is a promised counselor and guide.


My first step after closing this article will be to take some time to actually schedule my day tomorrow, instead of lazily drifting into the stream of obligations with no plan or goal. With God’s help, I’ll be leaving a few sinful, bad habits in the past and greeting the New Year rested, submissive, and fruitful!

*Links to Amazon are affiliate links – I earn credits when folks purchase products using these links 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Do not fret

After all the temptation to fret, once again, the Lord provided for all our needs.

In regards to my last post, my husband remembered another friend who used to attend our church who is an electrician. We found his office number and my husband had a nice conversation with the man. He is still attending church and came out to assess the situation the same day.

He needed to bury a new wire and told my husband that if he could dig a trench out, he could come back and hook up the new wire. Well, this accomplished two good things. One) It saved us money on having someone else do the digging and Two) we have old rotten deck boards that needed to be taken out anyway. So, my husband has gotten rid of those rotten boards in the process of getting our electrical repair sorted out. Blessings!

As of last week, the electrical issue with the sump pump is fixed. The yard is a mess and we need to put sod or new decking where all the digging was done, but the fearful fretting is over.

In the middle of all of this, before my husband had finished the trench and before the electrical work was done, our BSF (see https://www.bsfinternational.org/  for more information) study handout had this important reminder that jumped off the page at me:

Often, God uses times of waiting to teach His children that His presence is more precious than any answer or desired outcome.

BSF notes Lesson 11 People of the Promised Land

I thought, “Am I valuing God’s presence more than getting these home repairs done?” Maybe for the first time ever, I could honestly answer “Yes!” I want things to work properly, I want my husband to figure things out, I want folks to respond as they should, etc, etc, but my relationship to God is supremely important. More important than all of those other (good) desires.

I finally understood what people are talking about when they describe peace and happiness with the LORD even when their circumstances are less than ideal.

There are still little things that need done around the house. I wish all of them were completed and that the bank account could support hiring repairmen to complete them all. But, my emotional and spiritual health need not be wrecked by unfulfilled wishes. I can have a solid, settled peace whether or not these are done, all because my eternal soul is safe and I have a great future with the Savior of the world.

My newfound peace was tested again a couple of days ago, when I found that our homeowner’s insurance had quietly billed our mortgage company again, after more than doubling our premium. We’d received an email regarding a change in rating, but nothing else alerting us to a rate change. Again, the temptation to fret and carry a sinking feeling around with me threatened to rock my peace. But instead of giving in to fretting, I prayed and remembered the promises of God to sustain me and care for me.

In less than two days, after a quick quote from our auto policy provider that also offers homeowners insurance, I got a better policy with similar coverage. I’m hoping my mortgage escrow account can be readjusted soon as the former homeowner insurance double billing was now requiring over $200 more each month for our mortgage payments, starting next February. But, guess who’s not fretting as she waits for the mortgage company to sort all that out? Haha, you’re right if you guessed it’s me– THIS GIRL!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Trials and Testings

The latest trial involves a needed home repair.

A few days ago, I noticed a puddle in the yard near the septic tank. Oh no. A sinking feeling in my stomach began. My husband didn’t really know what to do. I don’t know about septic systems (or electricity or plumbing, etc) and I had expected him to know more. That was most discouraging to me, that he didn’t more about what to do.

However, instead of doing my usual routine (fretting and doing internet searches on the problem and getting more and more upset when I can’t find solutions) I knelt and prayed.

image of an open bible with bookmark
Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

As it turned out, the breaker to the pump had tripped. After resetting, all was well. It just came to my mind to check the breaker panel. I shared with my BSF Bible study on how I was learning not to fret so much, and how God had taken care of the situation. I had stopped to pray when I noticed the puddle, and tried hard not to let impatience and fear rise in my voice when trying to figure out what to do. I refrained from trying to take matters into my own hands (completing frustrating internet searches, emailing DIY forums or contractors in a frenzy) and lean on the Lord.

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I felt as though as I had taken a step forward in sanctification until yesterday. I was running the dish washer, and thought I would check the breaker panel again, just to make sure the pump switch hadn’t tripped again. (When I discovered the tripped breaker last time, I had been running both the dishwasher and the washing machine. We reasoned that maybe it was too much stress on the circuit. I am not sure now if that even makes sense — shows how little we know about circuits and electricity). Well, it was tripped again.

After resetting, my husband said he would get a replacement part for the breaker panel. But, before he could do that, I checked the panel again today, and noticed the breaker had tripped again! I wasn’t running anything either. I reset it but it keeps tripping.

Psalm 37:8 New International Version (NIV)

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

do not fret—it leads only to evil.

So, the issue is not resolved and I am struggling not to fall into despair.

My husband didn’t do anything about it and wanted to attend a funeral this evening but says he will call his friend who is an electrician tomorrow. We haven’t had much success in the past with his “friends” and family members helping. He has friends or family in HVAC, fencing, electricity, and roofing, yet when we’ve needed help with these issues in the past, none provided help (or if they did help, it didn’t save us any time or money. One didn’t return a call for weeks). So, I’m not relieved yet.

I’m afraid to run water or flush toilets until this is resolved. I’m going through a list of past victories, how the Lord helped with repairs in the past, how He has provided, how I was able to get through trials and find peace again. It’s not helping as it should. I can’t seem to get out of this mud of despair. I feel so weighed down.

My mom suggested calling an uncle who is handy. He wasn’t sure if I needed an electrician or septic tech. When we bought this home, we did get a one year home warranty that covers many systems and appliances. We’ve already used it once for the air conditioning. That was a blessing, though it does cost $75 for each service request.

What is more stressing is that we paid several hundred dollars getting access covers and an alarm installed for the septic system. Well, we’ve discovered the alarm is on the same breaker (not even sure if I’m using these terms correctly) as the pump, so when the breaker tripped for the pump, the alarm doesn’t work! If I hadn’t seen the puddle in the yard, we wouldn’t have known there was a problem until junk backed up into the house!

So, this electrical problem has snowballed into me mulling over past decisions, questioning past actions: This home purchase, paying extra for the alarm and access covers, questioning my marriage too, as my husband doesn’t seem to know how to handle some home repairs. This fretting is frightening, disheartening, unsettling, and extremely discouraging.

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What prompted this post was that I wanted to start documenting how I get through trials to try to bolster my faith and keep me from so much discouragement during trials. I’ll post again on what happens. For tonight, I plan to keep praying, search the Scriptures, and go to bed early. Please help, Lord.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2018 in Trials

 
Aside

Please make sure to contact me or leave a comment on any post if you find any broken links, typos, grammatical errors, or any other issues that you feel should be corrected. I appreciate the corrections. Thank you!

Report broken links, typos, etc.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Paul Washer on Prayer

In my continuing study on prayer, I thought I’d share what I gleaned from a video that I happened upon. I found an excellent video on my YouTube feed with Paul Washer speaking about prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit of Christ. As best I can tell, he was speaking here at a past G3 conference (There are a few that I found but here is the link to the specific video on which I’m writing:  The Importance of Prayer).

He brings out many points, but two were very helpful to me:

  1. There may be seasons where your prayers are longer and more fervent than others.
  2. Your prayer life does not have to look like the prayer life of another saint.

I feel guilty about the length of my prayers lately. I am concerned that I am not as fervent as I have been in the past. There have been some occasions in the past when I prayed longer upon first getting up in the morning. Mr Washer speaks of a season where he would pray all night and where his prayers were especially fervent. While he doesn’t give any excuse for not spending time with God in daily prayer, he says that he hasn’t had a season like that since then. The Holy Spirit guides and directs our time with Him. The Lord enabled him to pray like that before special times in his ministry. It was helpful to know that it’s okay that we don’t always pray for three hours at a time with tears flowing!

Mr. Washer also cautions against measuring our prayer life according to the standard of another man and points out that some saints may simply be more gifted in their prayer life. He gave the example that while every Christian should evangelize, not everyone evangelizes like Ray Comfort. (Ray Comfort – Living Waters ) He mentioned that there are many preachers, but not all are like Dr. Steven Lawson. ( Steven Lawson – OnePassion Ministries ) Perhaps it’s the same with prayer. We each have our own gifting from the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV)

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I’m also reminded that since God is sovereign and good and merciful to His children, we can pray *for* the ability to pray longer and more fervently. We can ask that the Lord would give us more of a heart of prayer and that He would allow us to feel more of His presence as we pray. As for feeling more of His presence: I know that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); however, we also have not because we ask not (James 4:2b), so I’ll be asking the Lord to help transform my affections and emotions!

 

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2018 in encouragement, Prayer

 

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Prayer

I borrowed a book from our church library titled “LORD Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days” by Kay Arthur. Hands folded in prayer on an open Bible
In an effort to get back into regular blog posting, I decided to post what I glean from reading through the book. Like many of Kay’s book, this one is designed for either personal or group study, with daily Scripture reading and exercises.

The book starts out by reminding us of how prayer should be one of the most important activities in the life of a Christian.The author points that out than when the early church encountered a problem, the apostles refused to be sidetracked from their priorities.

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.1

The solution for the apostles was not to ignore the problem or engage in food distribution themselves but rather to delegate tasks to other men:

Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.2

As we are told elsewhere to be praying continually 3, we can be sure that all followers of Christ are to consider prayer to be of utmost importance. The example from the book of Acts is given as an illustration of that principle, not to suggest that only church leaders should be engage in prayer!

Some key items of which I was reminded as I read the first few chapters and exercises:

  • Jesus wants us to learn how to pray4
  • If we pray according to His will, then we can be assured of having our requests granted5
  • Be persistent! Don’t stop asking!6

I am encouraged and excited about this study. None of these principles are new to me; how wonderful it is to be reminded of these precious commands.


1 Acts 6:1
2 Acts 6:3-4 (bold emphasis added)
3 1 Thessalonians 5:17
4 Matthew 6:9a
5 1 John 5:14-15
6 Luke 11:5-8

All of the above verses can be read on this web page: Verses on Bible Gateway – NIV

You can order the book on Amazon here: Purchase on Amazon (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2018 in Prayer

 

I’m thankful for…

baby bird snuggled next to adult bird

In the rush and urgency of getting all my prayer requests before the throne of God, sometimes it’s helpful to stop, be still, and just be thankful.

I’m thankful for:

  • Rescue from the wrath of God (His just wrath due to my sin)
  • Access to a heavenly Father by Christ the Lord
  • The Holy Spirit who prays for me, as I don’t know best how to pray
  • The Holy Spirit’s empowering me to obey and follow Christ
  • The Scriptures — the truth and the lamp for my feet (to know what to believe and what how to live)
  • Being chosen for an eternal relationship with God
  • Provision for this life — food, clothing, shelter, and loving relationships
  • Answer to prayer — for a church home, husband, job, wisdom
  • A mom and a husband who believe
  • Friends like Barbara, Vera, and my Sunday school ladies
  • Rest when I need it
  • Discipline when I need it
  • Faithful pastors and teachers to help us know God better
  • My health and abilities
  • Favor among my various relationships (landlord, employers, coworkers, neighbors)
  • Verses like “Be anxious for nothing…” and “Cast your cares upon the Lord…”

 

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Blessings

 

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