Monday, April 30, 2012

Learning to Pray Series: "Which Art in Heaven"



The more I learn about prayer the more I realize we so often think that prayer is for us, but it is not.  Prayer is about God.  It is for God.  It is to glorify God.  And after all that is why we are here.  We were put here on earth to point others to God, to glorify Him.  

The second phrase in the Lord's prayer is "Which art in Heaven."
God is in Heaven.  He is sitting on the throne.  He is ruler over all.  He knows what is happening.  He knows what is going to happen.  He has everything under control.
I remember a message by Pastor Steve Robertson when I was in college very clearly.  It has always been one that I think about when I think about God on His throne.  It was taken out of Habakkuk 2:20
"But the LORD is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him."

Pastor Robertson said we often like to think about our problems, but we need to remember God is on the throne.  He has everything taken care of.  He knows what is going on.  He knows our problems.  He understands them.  So "Shhhh, God is on His throne."  

Psalm 93:2 says, "Thy throne is established of old: thou are from everlasting."  
and 
Matthew 26:64 says, "...Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shell ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven."

God is on His throne.  When we come before Him with our prayer requests, He already knows what is going to happen.  We do not need to complain to Him.  To worry about what we are asking.  We have no need to give it to God and take it back.

Why is it so hard for us to remember that God is not asleep.  That He is not busy.  I think sometimes that is how we act.  We come to God to pray over something and then we worry, or don't fully give it over to God.  I think of this when I think of my grandma that passed away.  I want to scream, "WHY!?  I needed her!"  But then I remember that God is on the throne.  He knows what is best.  He can comfort those that morn.  He can use her death to glorify Him.  I also realize that God knows what is best for me.  What is best for those whose lives were touched by her.  God wants us to look to Him and glorify Him with everything that happens in our lives.  And as hard as that is to understand, understanding that God is in control, He is on the throne, is the easiest way I have found to trust Him.  

I read some verses today while doing my Bible study that helped me.  When I think of God on His throne, I need to understand the character of God.  Know that He is a powerful and mighty ruler, but that He loves and cares for us.  What better way to illustrate that then sending His son to die a horrible death on a cross for us.  But this verse in my devotions helped also.

Psalm 147:3-7 "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.  He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names.  Great is our Lord, and of great power: is understanding is infinite."
It is amazing that after reading those verses I would be tempted to try to do anything on my own, when I can go to the Lord for His help.  He certainly is a wonderful God.
Now about prayer being about God.  How do I glorify God when I pray.  By acknowledging who God is, and where He is.  He is on the throne of my life.  Or at least I want Him to be.  I must daily put Him there.  I must worship Him when praying.  Not just think of prayer as when I am in trouble, or that God is a gene in a bottle to grant my wishes.  Although God wants us to come to Him when we are in trouble, it should not be the only time we visit His throne.  Nor should we only come to Him with our selfish requests. Coming "boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16) should not be the only time we come!  But I am glad that God in Heaven, sitting on His throne, desires us to come boldly to Him.  

So, next time you pray.  Thank God for sitting on the throne.  For being in control.  And glorify Him with your prayers.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kindergarten is almost over.




Teddy's first days after birth.
I can't believe how fast this year has flown by.  My little boy, the one the doctors said would never make it, will be graduating kindergarten in just a few weeks. He is ever a source of energy, entertainment, and questions!  What started so quickly has ended in a whirl! 
August started with a bang!  The first day of Kindergarten is one I will never forget.  My little boy had all grown up and now was starting school.  Something that for the next 13 years would be a continuous event.  He walked into the classroom with such confidence, and sat at his desk to begin his morning paper as if he had been doing it all his life.  With a slight wave he said good bye, completely distracted by the paper.  I kissed him and walked out.  Tears steaming down my face as I drove away from the school.  The van was so quiet without him.  He seemed to be unfazed by me leaving!  
August flew by.  In September the class celebrated Apple day!  The excitement of making apple sauce and other apple activities!!! Then all to fast September was gone as we prepared for his birthday party.  He turned six on September 29th, with his school friends and Granny and Aunt Kathy!  
October proved to be a fun and busy month.  At the beginning of the month he took a trip to Michigan when Great Grandma went to be with Jesus. He was out of school for four days (and a weekend).  When he got back he found out that his first field trip was October 27.  I think he waited the whole month for it!  How excited he was as he boarded the big yellow bus to go to the Apple farm.  October was chilly but he was excited!  
Then came November.  Seeming all together to fast.  Starting with a missing ginger bread man and ending with a class program for Thanksgiving.
December was spent looking forward to a trip to the beach for Christmas with Nana and Papa. We counted down the days til the end of the year!  Teddy had his first class party.  They made adorable crafts and had a fun lunch of McDonald's happy meals.  Then school was out for break.  Granny, Grandpa, Uncle David, Aunt Alicia, and Aunt Kathy came to celebrate Christmas!  He was so excited to have them there.  Then we met Nana and Papa at Myrtle Beach for Christmas day!  We had a great week walking and playing on the beach, going miniature golfing (Teddy's first time), and playing with cousins!  School came back quickly!
On January 23rd (Andy's birthday) Teddy celebrated with his classmates 100 completed days of school!  I could not believe that we had finished that many already!!  They had a great day.  Andy did too!  
A few weeks later in February Teddy was baptized at the church.  Earlier in the year he had accepted Jesus as his Savior at sparks.  (I need to look up the date in his Bible later!!)  Then a week later Valentines day was celebrated in the class.  They had a yummy meal of spaghetti and meatballs.  
 February turned into March and along came the Spring Party.  They got to fly kites and make pots with grass hair!  Then came Spring break along with Mrs. Sutton's baby girl!  The kids were so excited that finally the baby had arrived.  He also got to spend a fun week with the family ending with going to the Coke Museum with mommy's friends, and Nana and Papa spending a night with us!  After break they came back to a new teacher!  This month has flown by.  Granny has come twice to stay with them!  One time he got to stay home to play with her.  He was so thrilled about that!
The end of April will soon turn into May.  The month of teacher appreciation, a baby shower (that had to be moved due to the early arrival of Alayna!), and finally on the 18th they will say good bye to Kindergarten with graduation.  
I am excited for my baby boy, and sad at the same time!  Does that even make sense...probably not!  He is growing up too fast.  
Oh, the places he will go in the next 13 years and beyond.  

I love you, Thomas Edward Knight II.  My little Teddy!!  I am so proud to be your mommy!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

All is quiet

All is quiet. 
 Both children are blissfully napping and gaining energy for the rest of the day.  
I hear the humming of the refrigerator, and the ticking of the clock, and now the clicking of the keys on the key board as I press them down.  
Now is when I can think.  
Next to me is the Bible.  For now it is closed.  It has been opened this morning.  Now it is resting, waiting for me to pick it back up.  It is calling me!
I am beginning to see that I spend so much time talking about God.  Reading books from people that love God.  And praying to God.  But I am not spending enough time listening to God.  The hum of the refrigerator and the ticking and clicking are nice soothing sounds.  But more important is the sound of the Holy Spirit.  How much do I listen to that?  
God is tugging on my heart about my daily time with Him.  It isn't enough.  Just reading the few chapters or reviewing my memory verses are not enough.  
I desire to be immersed in the Word of God.  
So why am I writing this post and not reading.  Well, mostly for accountability.  If I write it down for others to read, than I feel convicted when I don't do it!  Seems crazy that I need to blog about my conviction to read my Bible more!  But, for me this will help.  
I don't want to be a hypocrite!  I don't want to only read the small portion that is in my devotional book or the passages that go along with the Bible study I am currently reading.  
I want to read what God has for me and keep reading until I am sure that I got it!  
I want to learn to depend on the Bible like never before.  
I hope that this post will come to mind the next time I sit still or waste time!  I hope that I will encourage others to read and read and read.  
How can we grow without understanding?  I don't want to be a child in the word. "...but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11b) I know that those childish things are thinking that a few verses will do.  
Well, now I am going to go read.  What are you reading right now.  How are you growing.  What is God teaching you.  Let's encourage each other!  Let's keep each other accountable.  Let's grow in the "grace, and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18a)
Join me, won't you?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Counting My Blessings

God really is so good to me.  Even though a lot of times I forget!  Today was one of those days.  The day when the daily grind and the tasks get to you.  I started focusing on the here and now of life.  The small stuff was getting to me.  Then I started thinking about things that I am blessed with.  It is definitely one of those things that gets me excited and thankful to my Savior!  I decided to make a list!!
1. My Salvation--it is definitely the most important blessing that I have!
2. My hubby (I can't say that enough)
3-5. My three beautiful children!! (they each bless me in their own unique way)
6. My home
7. Godly friends that encourage me!
8. Good health
9. Freedom to post about God!
10. Freedom to worship God!
11. A wonderful Church family
12. Freedom to own a Bible
13. A wonderful Savior
14. The peace that comes with salvation
15. The joy God gives me
16. A godly heritage
17. Teddy's salvation
18. The opportunity to stay home with my children
19. The opportunity to share the gospel (although I don't use it nearly enough...I am working on it!)
20. Food in my pantry, fridge, garage!!!
21. Personal needs are met!
22. The amazing gift of prayer (which I don't use as much as I should...working on that, too!)
23. Ability to use my gifts to serve the Lord
24. Ability to teach Puggles on Wednesday night (they are sooo cute!)
25. The Christian school Teddy gets to attend (and Danenn next year)
26. The Christian school Tommy gets to work for
27. An encouraging Pastor's wife!
28. My in-laws!!!  (What a blessing they are!)
29. The U S of A!!!!!!!!!
And the list could keep going...but I really need to get off the computer and finish cleaning!!!!
Wow!  Next time you feel discouraged or down about something, take time to make a list!  It is always so wonderful to see all the ways God blesses you!!!!  And this is not even nearly complete!!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tubes!

Mom, what happened to the back of my clothes??
Andy got tubes in his ears today!  He did great!  A little grumpy after he woke from the anesthetic.  I am so glad that we got them done.  I debated back and forth deciding if it was the right thing.  But when the ENT said that he had hearing loss, I knew it was the right thing!  We already have noticed a difference in his hearing, today!!!!  God is so awesome that he has given man the knowledge to do such a simple procedure to help in such a powerful way!

Isn't he so cute!!!!!

Ladies Fellowship

 Titus 2:3-4 "The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

I am so blessed to be part of an amazing Church family.  One of my favorite benefits is Ladies Fellowship.  What a blessing to gather with sisters of Christ once a month to learn how to be more beautiful in God's eyes.  It is truly a Titus 2 thing!  When I go to the ladies meetings I get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the most faithful, loving, and godly women!  I get to learn from a Titus 2 lady!  Who would want to skip that!??  

Tonight was no exception.  As I continue to learn to really pray, I was excited that tonight's devotion was on The Garden of Prayer!  Isn't God so faithful to give us what we need to hear.  I am going to continue to meditate on the lesson tonight, given by a godly missionary wife.
As I post this I hope that you will remember  
Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together."  

But as a warning when you assemble remember to focus your hearts on Christ, and learn from the older, godly women that the Lord places in your life!  It is fun sometimes to get together to have a good time, but put Christ first.  I find it is a much better time to be had by all.  Also, we younger women have a tendency to exclude the older, or mature, women.  Don't!!  God wants us to learn from them.  They have so much experience and godliness that we can learn from!!  
Okay...I will get off my box!

I hope each of you that are reading this are in a church body that you can learn and glean from the Titus 2 ladies there!  If not, find a Titus 2 lady you can shoulder up to, and gain wisdom from her years.  And as you do that, you can become a Titus 2 lady to someone else.  Most of us are older than someone else!!  We could be the only example of Christ someone has.  

Now I know that this was a rambling post!! LOL!  But I hope that it encouraged some of you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Learning to really pray

"Next to the wonder of seeing my Savior will be, I think, the wonder that I used so little of the power of prayer" D.L. Moody

I have always struggled with the business of prayer.  I never grasped the importance until I was in college and from there I struggled be consistent.  I guess we probably all struggle with something when it comes to spiritual growth.  It is one thing that I really want to grow in.  One thing that I want to become more strong.  How many times have I heard people say that their mom was a "prayer warrior."  I want to be a prayer warrior!  

 I decided to study the Lord's prayer and write a verse for each section of it.  Starting with "Our Father."  Because God is my father I can come to Him in prayer.  He loves me and takes care of me.  

Romans 8:15 "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

How amazing that we can call our Heavenly Father, Abba, which means Daddy.  I think of my children when I think of this verse.  When they cry Daddy, Daddy runs to take care of them.  He stops what he is doing to help.  Just now my husband was mowing the lawn while the kids were playing outside.  My daughter fell while running and I heard her cry out, "Daddy!" He stopped the mower and ran to help her up.  How much more our Heavenly Daddy wants to, and can, help us.  

Luke 11:13 says, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him."

God loves us so much more than our earthly fathers.  Sometimes that is hard for me to think that someone could love me more than my earthly father and mother.  They took such great care of me while I was young and continue to show me love now that I am grown with my own children.  But my Heavenly Father loves me so much more.  

Our Father.  He is our Father.  We can come to him for anything.  We can come to him to sit and talk about life, it's heartaches, and it's joys!  We can learn from Him and grow closer to Him, and eventually we will see Him.  Our Father.
God is so good to me and I am so weak.  I fall and falter.  I fail Him over and over again.  Yet, if we are His children, if we are saved by God's grace and Jesus' blood, we can cry out to Him and He will pick us up 

Psalm 40:1-2 "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." 

Our Heavenly Father loves us so much.  He never gives up on us.  He never throws in the towel and says, "What is your problem!" Although He probably could so many times.  He is so patient and loving.  Just keep thinking of that.  Our Father.  When you pray tonight or tomorrow morning, start out by thanking God for being Our Father, our heavenly Daddy!  Thank Him that He loves us and cares for us so much.

As I continue to learn to pray, to use the power of prayer that God gives us, I hope I can strive towards being a prayer warrior.  To come boldly to the throne of grace.  To ask and knock and continue to knock!  

"Mind how you pray.  Make a real business of it. Let it never be a dead formality." Charles Spurgeon