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Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

draw your prayer

Sometimes, staying focused in prayer is difficult for me.  So I tried this experiment.  I “drew” while I prayed.  Actually, the concept is based on a book entitled Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth.

I found her method of coloring to be somewhat distracting because I was frequently choosing a color and became caught up in that process.  My method forces me to to concentrate a little more on the people and the prayer.

In the photo below you will see a six-paned window.  We have several of these in our home, which is what inspired this particular picture.  Each of the panes is dedicated to one member of our family.  Where the curtain splits a pane, I also included prayers for the people my children were dating at the time.

The frame around the panes contains notes that I found to be important to us at the time.  And a Bible verse–Psalm 122:1  “Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain.”

As I filled each pane with prayer requests, I was praying for that person.  After I had the inked portions laid down, I then went back and shaded the panes…praying once again for the person in that window.

This process covered my family with prayer for a couple of hours that day.  Obviously I don’t do this every day.  But when I do it, I come away feeling more focused about each person I pray for.   I have the confidence that the Lord heard my prayers–rather, the prayer of my heart, as I poured out all the thoughts, concerns, hopes, and dreams I hold for each person.

This is a very simple drawing, as you can see. (In fact, I didn’t even finish the frame on this drawing.  When I finished the panes, I had a peace and sense of completion, so I ended there.)  So you don’t need to be overly gifted in drawing.  Just willing to give it a try.  It might not be something that you connect with, but I’ve found it to be good for me sometimes.

Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Psalm 122:1

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sunday

In thinking about what I would blog about on Sundays, I started wondering about church and church attendance: who goes, why people go, what people think about church.

Going to a service on Sunday is important to many people, but others have a different view.  I’d like to hear what you have to say, via poll.  Perhaps other polls will be added in future Sundays.

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It is amazing to me that we have been attending this church for four years.  It seems so long ago, yet yesterday, that we made the decision to go there.

It seemed that God was calling us to go where our gifts could be more greatly utilized for His glory.  The distance was slightly shorter in the opposite direction of our normal drive, but travel time wasn’t the deciding factor.  Desiring to move on to what God wanted for us was.

“So has this move been successful in the utilization of our gifts and abilities?” you ask.  I would say so.  It is a pleasure to be a sort of “jack of all trades” doing many things on a regular basis and trying other new things.  (Yes, the Pastor knows that I abhor making phone calls . . . about anything but especially about scheduling school assemblies!  That was a failed experiment for sure!)

Our church is the host church for The Power Team crusades coming to Wellsville in May.  I get to use my limited graphic arts abilities to create the program; my administration abilities in many other areas.

Our church has begun having regularly scheduled women’s meetings which I get to facilitate.  We’re having a couple of special events this spring that we’re currently planning.  And Vacation Bible School is just around the corner…what fun that will be!

I get to help out with the Sunday Morning powerpoint presentations and other office stuff that keeps me busy weekly.

If you’ve seen “The Rookie” you will remember that Jimmy Morrison, after regaining his love of the game, says “We get to play baseball today.”  That’s how I feel about the use of my gifts … “I get to!”

All this “stuff” that I “do” is fun and interesting.  But it’s a constant challenge to remember why I’m doing it.  Serving Jesus in love and with joy…what better thing can there be?

And a dear friend reminded me of this just last week.  I was on the edge of lamenting that I did not take any classes this year or make any great strides toward serious writing.  She reminded me why we came to this church, then she reminded me of the impact that our church will make in these next three months.  And I get to be a part of it!

I’ll work on keeping that perspective and I hope you’ll be reading to see how things are going!

(Obviously, I didn’t mention my husband’s service opportunities.  But his gifts are being greatly used as well.)

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Desperate

This is the air I breathe;
This is the air I breathe;
Your holy presence living in me.

This is my daily bread;
this is my daily bread;
your very word spoken to me.

And I’m, I’m desperate for you.
And I’m, I’m lost without you.

And I’m desperate for you.
And I’m, I’m lost without you.

(Michael W. Smith)

This is truly a beautiful song.  Beautiful arrangement, lyrics…beautiful.

And it’s a song that I don’t like singing in a church setting.  No doubt, I agree with the theology expressed.  He is our Life and our Bread of Life and yes we are lost without Him.  It’s that “desperate” part.  Did you notice that word … “desperate”?

Have you every really been “desperate” for God?  Or even “desperate” for God to do something in your life, in your situation?  At what point have you hit that wall that painfully tells you that you absolutely are nothing, can do nothing, without Him?

I have a few situations in my life that fit into the heartbreaking and soul-searching tenor of this song.  These lyrics demand that one step back and decide…am I really desperate for God?  Most of the time, honestly, I am too self-conscious to allow myself to be forced to make this kind of an examination of my life during public worship.  Most people will sing the words, some people will even understand what’s being asked of them, few of us will actually push ourselves to be so transparent in a congregational forum.

But as the last strains of the music float to the heavens, each one of us will have to answer the questions … Is He my life?  Is He my sustanance?  Am I inconsolable without Him?  Am I lost without Him?

Creative Commons License
Havenlife by Linda A. Baker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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