Wednesday, June 29, 2011

God's Awesome Power

Jason, over at Mustard Seed Year has been keeping this blog since the beginning of 2011. Here's what he had to say about why he started Mustard Seed Year:

When I started to pray about 2011, I felt God tell me it was time to take that idea to a new level. That’s why this blog exists. Instead of just a word for the year, I’ve taken my hopes, dreams and passions and laid them all at God’s feet on January 1, 2011. I told Him then to take those dreams & take me to do whatever He wanted to do for His glory. 
I felt Him tell me to chronicle every day what happens over the course of this year. The highs, the lows, the joys, the pain, the triumph and the struggle. 
Be as transparent as I could be about what happens.

I've been following Jason's journey on his Mustard Seed Year, and while I haven't read every post he's made, I've certainly read many. Through his ups and downs, Jason has chronicled everything - the good, the bad, the ugly. He's been honest and direct in his posts. And he has certainly been an encouragement to not only me, but I feel rather certain he has also been an encouragement to so many others.

In a recent post, Jason talks about how he sensed God telling him to have his friends pray until Friday (not sure if that is this coming Friday or not). He even asked his online friends to pray as well. What is being prayed about? That God show Himself and/or His power in their lives - and then share about it.

I came into that a little late, however, Jason encouraged me to start praying anyway. And so, beginning Monday (I think), I started praying and asking God to reveal His power in my life.

As of now, I don't think I've seen anything. However, the thought occurred to me (and I shared with Jason) that maybe I'm not praying "right". Maybe, I am just asking God to reveal Himself and/or show His power in my life in the way that I want Him to, instead of the way He wants to. Or, maybe He has revealed Himself/His power and I've just failed to notice it.

At any rate, I am still on the lookout, still praying. I know that our God is an Awesome God, and His power is equally powerful. But in all honesty, I don't know if He is showing/revealing His power in my life. I'm not giving up, though. I'm still going to pray!

If you haven't visited Jason over at his Mustard Year Blog, I encourage you to do so. Why not stop there AFTER leaving me a comment ;o).

How has God revealed Himself to you today?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Still Haven't Found...

Tinker Belle
This is my cat. Her name is Tinker Belle. I've had her since she was 2 months old; she's now almost 13 1/2.

Tinker Belle's days are pretty easy. She starts her day off by eating some breakfast - if her dish hasn't been emptied over night - followed by a little nap until someone wakes up. Then when someone gets up, she meows a little welcome song (sometimes with lots of words), and comes running. Usually she follows us into the bathroom to get a drink - from a drip from the bathtub faucet. From there, she might get a treat or a bit more food if the dish is empty. This is all usually followed up by another nap.

Morning routing for Tinker Belle is pretty much the same - sleep, eat, drink some water, maybe get a treat, sleep...there's actually lots of sleep.

And then, there are scratches around the ears, on her head, her back. And she likes to play with little fuzzy mice and the laser pointer at night. And lots of purring. All in all, she is a contented little kitty. She doesn't ask for much, and she's satisfied with what she has.

The Bible talks about being content:

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. (Philippians 4:11)

My cat is pretty content. Now, me on the other hand - not so much. I still haven't found contentment, or learned to be content in whatever circumstances in which I happen to be. Mind you, there are times when I am rather quite content - but there are lots where I'm not. I guess there are times I'm almost afraid to be content because that might mean the situation I'm in might not change. So, I'm definitely "not there" yet with regards to being content.

Do you find it easy to be content in your circumstances?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there! I hope you had a wonderful time with your families.

My father died nearly three years ago. I haven't attended a Father's Day service at church since he died - it's just too sad. I'm sure I'll attend a Father's Day service again in the future, but for now it's too difficult.

This afternoon, I went to the cemetery and visited my dad's grave. I had bought a white rose to lay on the headstone (at this cemetery all the headstones are laid into the ground), but there is no little "vase" thing to pull out and put flowers into. My grandparents have one on their headstone, but Dad and Mom didn't bother getting one on theirs. Anyway, it was quite windy out as we were having a bit of a thunderstorm off and on all day. I figured if I left the rose it would just blow away. If I'd have had some tape, I could have taped it on, but since I didn't have any, that was out of the question. So, I decided to bring it home instead.

I miss my dad, and I'm not ashamed to say that while I was at the cemetery, I cried - and continued to do so on the way home as well. I didn't expect to cry, really. Yes, I had expected to feel sad, but I didn't think the tears would come.

I started writing a poem today, for my dad, but I haven't finished it. When I do, I will post it. I was hoping to have had it finished to include in my Father's Day post, but it will have to wait for another day.

So, what did you do for Father's Day today?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Needed Prayers

Last Sunday was the final day that our senior pastor was officially our senior pastor. He and his family will, after the summer I believe, head to Hawaii where he will be their senior pastor. He was actually born into the church he'll be leading, and his father had also been, at one time, the senior pastor at that church.  In the meantime, we have someone who is filling in until we can find someone to replace Pastor J, and we still have the pastor of family ministries and a new minister of music to help.

I'm not sure if the search committee has started looking for a new senior pastor or not, but at any rate, they and our church could definitely use some prayer!

In other news, I can also use prayer. Yesterday was our church family picnic, and I got a little too much sun. Not fun...the sunburn that is. The picnic was really great.

Also, I have an interview on the 22nd for the school district. From my understanding of people who've had interviews in the past, it is to put names on the long-term supply list. It's rare that a full-time job would result from these interviews, because they would choose those people from the long-term supply list. Basically, I think this interview is the first step to becoming a full-time teacher. And that's if I get on the long-term supply list. I've been told my a teacher that his school has recommended a couple of others in the past (several times, actually), and these supplies have had a number of interviews but have never been put on the list.

I also need to do up a 15 minute presentation for this interview - 10 minutes dealing with how balanced literacy will look in my classroom, and the last 5 minutes dealing with numeracy. After that, there is a 10 minute session where they will ask me questions. I'm really nervous about this, so would also like prayer for this.

Well, just wanted to give a little update on how things are going. Hope you are having a Christ-filled day!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Jesus Juked By the Man Himself

Last night I was having a quiet moment before bed. Usually this is just me listening to music (mostly Christian, but occasionally secular). It was no different last night.

I sat in my rocking chair, my ipod plugged into my ears, and I listened. While the music played, and the singers sang, I listened to the words to some of the songs and thought they were so poetic, so brilliant. I even admit that I wished I had written them; but, I didn't so there's nothing I can do about that except write my own words (i.e. poems, stories...I'm not a song writer).

After a few moments, I thought it would be a good time to pray. The house was quiet, and I was the only one awake. I changed my listening habits from being those of simply enjoying the music, to using it to praise and worship God (silently through the headphones of my ipod, and the praise/worship coming from my heart rather than my mouth).

Then, I prayed.

I started by confessing sins to God and asked for forgiveness of them. I won't go into all the details, but I will say that I told God that I know He has a plan for my life and I know it is probably not the way I think it will be or expect. I told Him how I used to cling to Jeremiah 29:11-13 (written below)when I was in university and how I'm still trying to cling to that promise (even though at one point I had someone tell me that the promise in those verses was for the Israelites, and not us...yeah.).

11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (NASB)
Now, to be honest, I have verse 11 memorized, and verse 13. I stumble over trying to quote the middle verse. So, while talking to God, I mostly focused on the verse 11, briefly mentioned that I am calling upon Him, but I just don't feel like He is listening to me.

That's when it struck me. And I'm sure it was God's nudge.

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I have been searching, seeking, talking, asking, etc. but, I haven't been doing this with all my heart. Ouch.

Is it fair to say that I have been Jesus juked by the Man Himself?

I think, the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me that the reason I haven't been hearing Him for awhile now, or feeling as though He had abandoned me (which I know He didn't do), was because when I have been seeking Him, when I have been calling on Him, when I have been searching for Him, I wasn't doing it with all my heart. I was letting thoughts, feelings, things of the world get in the way!

So, now as I seek the Lord with regard to my walk - which path to take, and seek His will for my life (present and future), I know the enemy is going to bombard me and try to get my focus put back on things that will block me from hearing the Lord, from finding Him and know what it is He wants me to do. Please remember me in your prayers that the Lord will protect me and not let the enemy get to me. Pray that now that I am aware that I need to come to Him with all of my heart, that I will do just that - and not let things or thoughts or feelings get in the way and hinder me. And, pray that the Lord will reveal to me the path I need to take.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Sun Is Peeking Through - Somewhat

My last post was written when I'd been having a few "bad" days. Today, and the previous two as well, things have felt much better, more positive.

I don't have everything all worked out. Life did not suddenly get perfect. But, I am slowly starting to see the sun shine again.

I talked with my BFF, and she actually helped me get over this hurdle - or speed bump - somewhat. We are both so much alike, it's scary. She's also encouraging, and that might be because very soon she's going to be in the same boat as I am in some areas, so she can understand what I'm going through.

I had a great day visiting with her on Wednesday, and even though life's problems didn't all get solved, we had a good discussion and came up with some possibilities.

And now, I need to take the next step - which is scary.

On a side note, my BFF's daughter (she's 11) made a good point while I was visiting. At some point I mentioned how I want a real job, and she said, "Well, technically being a supply teacher is a real job. And, it's a hard job, probably harder than a regular teacher, but it's a real job." I had to laugh. She's right, though. I told her what I meant by "real job" was a full time one, teaching every day in my own classroom. She knew what I meant, but just wanted to be technical I guess, lol. She's just like her mom!