Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Leaving a Spiritual Legacy

"...We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. " Psalm 78:4b

Surrounded by stained glass and maternal family members, I sat in the sanctuary of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, the church of my grandparents, Anna and Louis. It was the place where they dedicated their babies to the Lord, and then years later, were confirmed. The old black and white confirmation class photos hanging on wall proved it. Historically, it is a Norwegian Lutheran congregation. That particular morning was the tenth anniversary of 9-11. I was glad to be in a house of worship.

Over and over, I reflected that this was my grandmother's church. This is my mother's home church. And then, the Holy Spirit's reminder..."This is where your spiritual walk began". With that realization, and the horrific memories of September 11, 2001, the choir began to sing "Jesus Loves Me", a familiar childhood Sunday school song. I was nearly undone with emotion.

How sweet the Lord to orchestrate my days and take me back to my spiritual roots on that day of remembrance. I quickly jotted down my memories of this spiritually significant morning. I did not want to forget.

Recording our faith stories help us to remember  ways God has worked in our lives. We can use our stories to teach and share our faith. We can record stories of significant events and people who influenced us. Journaling our prayers and God's answers help remind us of His faithfulness.

Archival safe scrapbook-type albums, journals, notebooks, video technology, digital books, and even blogs are available to preserve our faith stories.

For faithbooking ideas and inspiration, I use Creative Memories.

I encourage you to begin recording your faith stories to share with your children and grandchildren. Tell them of the Lord's presence, power, protection, and provision in your life. Tell of His goodness and unfailing love. Tell them how He sustained you in challenging times.

Begin by asking the Lord for His direction. If you struggle with fear and procrastination to begin your faithbooking project, ask for His help. Ask for His wisdom, and to help you overcome the temptation to overbuy supplies. Schedule a time to work on your faith stories. Enjoy the journey!

So, where did your spiritual walk begin? I'd love to hear from you!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Prayer

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)

As we remember our loved ones this Valentine's Day, let's also remember the One who gave His life for all!

Gracious Heavenly Father,

Great are you LORD! We give you thanks for your unfailing love. Your love is amazing! Thank you for loving us so much that you sent your son, Jesus the Christ, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Give us, our families,  friends, and neighbors a deeper understanding that nothing can separate us from your love. May our loved ones grow to believe in your Son Jesus Christ; and, may they love you with all their heart, soul, and mind. May they love others as you have taught us. Fill their hearts with love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. In the Name of Jesus, we offer this prayer...amen.

May the Lord bless you and yours this Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Media" Prayer

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Heavenly Father,

As grandmothers, we are concerned about the media's influence on this culture and the power it has over our grandchildren. Give them discernment, wisdom, responsibility, and a strong conscience to know and understand what is right in Your eyes. We rebuke communication that is not of You. We pray each grandchild will desire to please you with their communication.

The Bible, Your Holy Word, is Your written communication to all, and therein, the precepts for daily living. Create in our grandchildren a desire to study Your Word, so they may be fully equipped to influence their culture. In JESUS Name, Amen.

Thank you for joining us in prayer. You are welcome to add short, simple prayers regarding the media in our "Comments" section. I love your praying hearts!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

God and Culture

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
Romans 12:2 (NAS)

Culture is defined as "the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group." In our lifetime, behaviors and beliefs regarding marriage have changed drastically. The media contributes to cultural shifts.

In New Testament times, a Jewish couple participated in a betrothal (engagement) ceremony in the presence of witnesses. After the ceremony, the young woman was called a "wife." During the betrothal period, she could be widowed, divorced, or even put to death for adultery. The marriage might take place up to a year later.

A sharp contrast exists in the American culture. Engagements can be broken, and marriages quickly terminated. In 2011, a reality star divorced her husband 72 days after their wedding. Many couples choose to live together, rather than marry. The media presents television programs not aligned with God's precepts. Infidelity and divorce among celebrities, politicians, and professional athletes make big news stories. God's people who choose abstinence until marriage may suffer ridicule.

According to  a report published December 14, 2011 by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan group that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world, barely half of all adults in the U.S. - a record low- are currently married. Pew reported, "In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years. Other adult living arrangements- including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood - have all grown more prevalent in recent decades."

Cultures change; but God does not (Psalm 102: 27; Malachi 3: 6; James 1: 17). His Word is eternal (Psalm 119: 89; Isaiah 40: 8). He calls us to live in purity and holiness (1 Peter 1: 15-16; 1 Thessalonians 4: 3; 1 Timothy 4: 12), and instructs us not to be conformed to this world...not be shaped by the culture, but to be changed into another form - as a caterpillar turns (morphs) into a butterfly. The Father desires to conform us to Christ's image (Romans 8:29). God's truth renews our minds.

Join us as we pray for our descendants and the world they live in. Pray for the media to present truth and morality (Proverbs 12:22; Matthew 12: 36-37; Philippians 4: 8), young people to choose abstinence until marriage, purity, provision of godly spouses (Genesis 2: 18, 21- 24; Ephesians 5: 22- 33), healing and stability for those affected by divorce (Psalm 147: 3) strong God-centered marriages, and fidelity (Exodus 20: 14).