Thursday, October 21, 2010

Redemption Story

"Your God will be my God." Ruth 1:16 (NIV)

Bobbye and I are Bible studying with some of our grandmother friends, working through Kelly Minter's Ruth: Loss, Love, & Legacy.

Refusing to turn back home, the determined and dedicated Ruth declared to Naomi, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God!" (Ruth 1: 16).

Ruth's story remains an impressive one. After suffering great loss, this courageous foreign woman demonstrated noble character: strong loyalty, genuine humility, proper work ethic, unwavering commitment, and... she found love in the end!

Ruth married her kinsman-redeemer ( Ruth 2: 20; Lev. 25: 25-30), the kind and generous Boaz, a man of great wealth and a descendant of the prostitute, Rahab (Josh 2; 6: 22-25), who had also come to fear the LORD and live among His people.

Not only did Ruth discover the love and redemption of a great and wonderful man; but, she experienced the loving redemption of the great and wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ!

Because Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own (Titus 2: 14), each one of us can have a wonderful story of redemption. What's your story?

Let's tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,  his power, and the wonders he has done (Psalm 78:4). Share your story, both orally and through the written word. Creative Memories co-founder Rhonda Anderson recommends beginning with prayer, asking God for discernment as to what stories to record and what details to include. Next, record your story - such as your redemption, marriage, or a birth story. Finally, share your story with a loved one.

  • For descendants to experience the redeeming love of Jesus Christ, so that our God will be their God. Titus 2: 14; Ruth 1: 16
  • To share the hope you have in Christ. 1 Peter 3: 15
  • That nations turn to the LORD and worship Him. Psalm 22: 27

Share your redemption story, and pray continually!

Monday, September 20, 2010

See You at the Pole 2010

"See You At the Pole" is an international day of student-initiated and student-led prayer. Throughout the world, young people will meet around their school flagpoles, or other designated spots, before the start of instructional hours. Beginning in 1990,  the annual event takes place on the fourth Wednesday in September.

As a former private school teacher, I hold dear memories of our students gathering on this occasion  to call on the name of the LORD.

Parents and grandparents can encourage our descendants and their friends to be  part of this special gathering. We can also pray for students of all ages to take part, and to pray God's Will be done on school campuses. Adults desiring to pray that morning are encouraged to meet in alternate locations, so that students are allowed to lead their own prayer meetings.

Please set aside time on Wednesday, Sept. 22 to pray as our Lord taught:

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be they name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Matthew 6: 9-13


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Beginning of Knowledge

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." Proverbs 1: 7 (NIV)

Much evidence exists that America's founding fathers desired public education to include religious training. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities were started to train gospel ministers; and educated many of America's early leaders. All three schools produced signers of the Declaration of Independence and/or the U.S. Constitution. One of these founding fathers was Fisher Ames.

In 1789, Fisher Ames wrote, "We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools." An author of the First Amendment, Fisher Ames suggested its wording which was adopted by the House: "Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the right of conscience." He believed the Bible should be an instruction book and would not find its use in public schools to be unconstitutional.

Passage of laws such as the Old Deluder Satan Act (1647) and the Northwest Ordinance's Article 3 (1787) supported the importance of religious education. Early textbooks such as The New England Primer and the McGuffey Readers included lessons in religion and morality.

Yet, in 1962 (Engel vs. Vitale), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that government-directed prayer in public schools violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. In 1963, (Abington vs. Schempp), the 8-1 Supreme Court decision declared sanctioned organized Bible reading in public schools to be unconstitutional. The protection of student-initiated prayer not interfering with school hours, as well as the reading of religious verses during non-instructional times, remains.

Research by David Barton published in "America: To Pray of Not to Pray" indicated that from 1963, SAT scores rapidly declined for 18 years in a row. The research also indicated a dramatic increase in crime, sexually transmitted diseases, premarital sex, illiteracy, suicide, illegal drug use, and divorce rate. Abortion became legal in 1973.

As our hope is in God alone, we will pray for students, parents, teachers and staff members, coaches, administrators, and board members:

David Barton, Four Centuries of American Education, Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 2004

Monday, August 9, 2010

Legacies of Faith

"So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5: 6,7 (NKJV)

During our eleven-year history, three of our grandmothers entered eternity, where there is no more suffering, no more pain. These godly women lived by faith, each in their own special way.

An accomplished concert pianist and teacher, Laurene, first taught her daughters to play the piano, and they taught their children. Every year, the family presented an Advent concert, glorifying God and the birth of his Son, Jesus. Her grandchildren received a rich inheritance of musical gifts used in service to God.

Reta loved the Lord with all her heart. Her grandchildren were like the diamonds adding sparkles of joy to her life. Learning faith from her parents and grandparents, she desired and prayed for her descendants to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Sharing stories of faith that had been passed down was her favorite pastime with family and friends.

Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jan fought a courageous fifteen-week battle. Rather than withdrawing, she left her front door unlocked for family and friends to visit. With a bald head and a big smile, God's grace surrounded her, and all who visited were blessed. A student of God's Word, she was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

"Faith is the substance of thing hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. What legacy will you leave your grandchildren?

Pray for descendants and each other:
  • To be surrounded by faith-filled witnesses, who exemplify life in Christ.
  • To become students of the Word of God.
  • To share personal faith stories.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Remember God

"My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long."
Psalm 71:8 (NIV)

Faded blue ink stains the opening page of an old family Bible. This Bible, written in Norwegian, was given to my great-grandmother, Ingeborg, from her sister-in-law, Marit, in 1886.

I long to know the faith stories of these two immigrant women. How did the Lord work in their lives to bring them to their new homeland? What fears did they face? What victories did they experience? What were their favorite Bible passages?

Susan Livingston, founder of Release Ministries, encourages us to remember God and the great things He has done for us and to record our faith stories to share with others.

Click here to read Susan's inspirational post, then remember and tell others of His great deeds!

Let's also pray for one another that the Lord will provide opportunities for us to share our stories of  His unfailing love with our family, friends, and neighbors. No matter what season of  life you're in, please share something that God has done for you in our comments section. In other words, you don't have to be a grandmother to participate!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Preparing for Crisis Times

"Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it."
Prov. 8:33 (NIV)

Hurricane season is here, and the 2010 Atlantic forecast is "active to extremely active" according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Local leaders encourage citizens living in coastal areas to prepare early using a hurricane safety checklist.

I begin my hurricane preparations each spring. I pick up a few extra cans of non-perishable food items every time I grocery shop. I stock up on bottled water, and make sure we have plenty of batteries and other necessary items.

For what do you need to prepare? And what action do you need to take?

After interpreting Pharaoh's dreams regarding famine, God gave Joseph insight to prepare for the impending crisis. Joseph advised Pharaoh to put a wise, discerning man in charge over Egypt, to appoint commissioners to collect a fifth of the harvest during the seven years of abundance, and to store up the grain to be used during the seven years of famine. God determined (directed, arranged, established) the famine (Gen. 41: 32). Nothing could be done to stop it. Because Egypt followed instructions during the good years, huge quantities of grain were stored up. When the severe famine came, Egypt had plenty, and other nations journeyed there to buy food, including Joseph's family (Gen. 46).

Noah prepared for the flood by believing and obeying God (Gen. 6:22). Queen Esther listened to wise counsel, fasted and prayed, and took courage before approaching the king (Esther 4 & 5) on her people's behalf. Before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26), and then went humbly and obediently to His death (Phil. 2). Believers are to abide in Christ, so that when He returns, we will be confident and not ashamed (1 John 2:28).

How do we prepare for unavoidable disasters? Let's be women who listen to wise counsel, are courageous and obedient, meditate on God's Word, and pray continually! And let's encourage and pray or others to prepare as well.

Pray for each other, our families, and our nation:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Laus Deo

"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."
Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

On the aluminum cap atop the Washington Monument are two words: "Laus Deo" meaning PRAISE BE TO GOD!! These very important words are 5. 125 inches high, standing 555 feet above the ground and overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, the capitol of the United States of America. The US Pledge of Allegiance states "one nation, under God".  There are many other inscriptions found in (and on) public places in the nation's capitol where one will find the signature of God.
As a nation under God, and as prayer warriors, we must be the "watchmen standing guard"! So many forces abound to STOP prayer in public places and to remove any reference to our God from the national culture. We cannot let this happen on our watch! We must humble ourselves and  pray (2 Chronicles 7: 13-14).
Pray with us for:

* The dominion of God over the nation. Psalm 22:28

* National, state, and local leaders. Proverbs 16: 9-10

* Wisdom for all leaders. Daniel 2:21

* Nations to be blessed of God. Psalm 33:12

* Our descendants to put their faith in God. Psalm 33:22

Laus Deo! Praise be to God for the things He has done!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

God is My Rock

"God alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken."
Psalm 62:2 (NLT)

Psalm 62, a psalm of David, reminds us of God's character. God alone is our salvation, our rock, our stronghold, our refuge. Power belongs to Him, and He is merciful. God repays every man according to his work.

In the midst of opposition, as his enemies plot his destruction, David finds rest in His God and confidently places his trust in the LORD.

King David gives wise counsel to his people, instructing them to always trust in God, rather than men or riches; and, to pour out their hearts to Him, their refuge.

In application to prayer, we too, can begin by praising and thanking God for who He is, then, expressing our concerns to Him and interceding for our descendants (our people), and concluding with more praise and glory to His Name for the things He has done!

Let's pour out our hearts to Him, and pray for our people and their world- their friends, teachers, role models,  and church and political leaders- to:

* Seek God as their rock and refuge, and constant source of stability (Psalm 62:1-27Isaiah  33:6).

* Trust God at all times, rather than men or riches (Psalm 62: 8-10; Proverbs 3:5; Isaiah 26:4).

* Develop habit of prayer, pouring out their hearts to Him (Psalm 62: 8; Jeremiah 33:3).

May you rest in God, your Rock!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Be Still...

"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized, too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased'." Luke 3: 21-22 (NIV)

"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

Prayer opens heaven and allows us to enter the throne room of God, the Creator of heaven and earth and all living things. After being baptized, Jesus returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit into the desert- a place of solitude- where he fasted and prayed forty days (Luke 4: 1-13). The desert was also a place of temptation, and Jesus responded with the Word of God!

Solitude with God is necessary for a full and healthy spiritual life.  We are constantly flooded by words and noise generated by our culture and environment. These very distractions prevent us from being attentive to the still, small voice of God. As Jesus was being led into the wilderness, he could still hear God's voice " Son...with you I am well pleased" ringing in his ears.

Growth into a more mature faith will summon us to periods of solitude and silence where one waits in the quiet presence of God to hear His voice. It is these times that strengthen our soul.

Identify a place of solitude. Enter this area in silence, and think of yourself in the wilderness for forty days. Meditate on the LORD and all His loving kindness to you. Allow the Presence of God to surround you, to love on you, and to heal your weary heart. Call to your remembrance all of God's promises and allow them to encourage you. Then, sit very still and quiet, blocking out all distractions, and allow the sweet voice of God speak to your spirit...Spirit to spirit. Avoid the temptation to rush, and to allow a parade of thoughts to interfere. Finally, approach the throne of grace with confidence, to receive mercy and find grace to help in your time of need (Heb. 4:16).

I love your praying heart!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First of All, Pray...

"I urge, then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 (NIV)

Paul instructs Timothy to continually pray for all people, specifically for rulers and all those in positions of authority; so that they might live tranquil and quiet lives in godliness and dignity. When Paul wrote this letter, the Roman emperor, Nero, was in power. Nero, a pagan ruler, murdered his own mother and persecuted Christians.

God's Word tells us, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes" Proverbs 21:1. It is God who "removes kings and establishes kings" Daniel 2:21.

We desire our grandchildren live in reverence to God in a peaceful and prosperous nation. As we submit to God in obedience, and pray faithfully for leaders and others, we can trust God to fulfill His promises to bless our land.

Pray for political leaders at all levels, spiritual leaders, and descendants:

*Give thanks for talent, skill, and knowledge given to our leaders (Exodus 31: 1-11)

*Direct hearts of leaders to govern rightly and justly (Proverbs 21:1 ; Jer. 22:3)

*Raise up new leaders who will govern diligently (Romans 12:8)

*Peace and prosperity (Jer. 29:7)

*Bless with wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 3:13-18)

*Good stewardship with resources (Matt. 25:14-30)

*Repentance and salvation (2 Chron. 7:14; 1 Tim. 2:4)


This month, I am memorizing the first two verses of 1 Timothy chapter 2.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The New Has Come

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Cor. 5:17 (NIV)
New Year-New Beginning...the old has gone, and the new has come. God has graciously given us another year. What will you do with this special gift of time? Some make new year resolutions, only to check off one or two at year's end and leave others undone. Life just gets in the way, doesn't it? But wait a minute...if you are in Christ, you are a new creation, and in Jesus we have everything we need!
Let's begin the new year with God's Word..."Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105). We can "pray and ask God for everything we need, always giving thanks" (Phil. 4:6). I challenge you to "hide (treasure, store up) God's word in your heart (and mind)" (Psalm 119:11) by memorizing a new scripture every month, week, or day- according to your ability- in the new year. Seek the Lord every morning, always giving thanks for what He has done for you and yours, and ask for an extra measure of faith to fulfill your day. Then start on your memory work, saying it out loud so YOU will hear and digest the scripture.
What will be the first scripture you memorize in this new year? Please respond in "Comments".
Pray for:
  • Wisdom and inspiration to learn and teach the Word of God.
  • Salvation for each household for generations to come.

Thanks for being a praying grandmother!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation

"My eyes have seen your salvation..." Luke 2:30 (NAS)
Simeon was a righteous and devout man. He waited anxiously, expecting the fulfillment of a promise- Messianic salvation. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
As Simeon held the baby Jesus, he blessed God and said, "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." (Luke 2: 29 - 32).
2009 is behind us. And we consider what our eyes have seen: rising unemployment rates, a mounting national debt, corruption, deception, droughts, fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wars, and more.
We have also seen the Lord's goodness and His faithfulness. He has heard, and continues to hear our prayers. And He answers. We have seen His provision, His protection, and His healing power. We have seen His blessings of wisdom, direction, and favor. We thank Him and praise Him for the things He has done!
In this new year, share with your descendants "the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done" Psalm 78:4.
Have a blessed New Year!!