What would a Financial Ambassador from the Kingdom look like?

Good Morning, Abba. You are the unexplainable, invisible force holding every particle of this Universe together. And somehow You’re also a Being with personality. You are so much more and greater than I can ever comprehend with my human mind. You love me more than I can ever understand. You’re bigger than the largest planet and right here in my heart. I breathe Your Spirit. I live and move in an ocean of Your love. You are everywhere, always. And there is nothing good You can’t do.

I confess that I have grown comfortable and self-absorbed and I have no passion for Your purposes. I want to be about Your business, but I don’t even know how to do that in this world. I don’t know how to be an ambassador of a place I’ve never visited. And I confess that I don’t really know Jesus anymore, and I’ve allowed our relationship to drift. I don’t know what I believe exactly, and I’m not even really trying to sort it out.

Thank You for my beautiful, healthy, happy children. Thank You for this new school that opened up as a possibility for Ben. Thank You for Your steadfastness, independent of my performance. Thank You for my husband and that we’re getting along better now. Thank You for grace and forgiveness and the maturing process. Thank You for the reconciliation with Gramma as well, and for the Manna Room and the CalWorks & CalFresh on the way. Thank You for this crazy season and for the people we’ll be able to minister to as a result.

Please teach us wisdom in finances so that we can teach our children and others a better way. Please build a financial education ministry through which we can serve and rescue those being led away to slaughter. Please bring us into community with the friends and mentors that will round out our tribe and be our family for the next season. Thank You!

In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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The Gift of Depression

Abba, You are. You are absolutely amazing. You are the reason for all of this. You are the brilliant creator and inventor of every natural thing. You came up with the very idea of life. You breathed existence into being. You can end everything in one millisecond. You. You. You. You are outrageously powerful, and here with me every second of my day. There’s nothing I need to hide from You, even if I could, because You get me. You get why we have wayward thoughts and feelings. You can heal them and set them straight in a moment, as soon as we turn to You.

I confess that I allow depression to make more of an impression that it really needs to. I resist the thoughts that lead to my feeling defeated, instead of just laying them at Your feet. I confess that I’ve built patterns and habits that lead to that defeated feeling, when You have called me to live in vibrant victory. I confess that I have not been thriving, but allowing the one who came to steal, kill, and destroy to have his way with my life.

THANK YOU for the gift of depression. Thank You that it leads me into deep rest for my soul. Thank You for Your healing power. Thank You for the internet and electricity and our laptop, and for the ability to reach out to the world and communicate, to share my heart and soul with the global family. Thank You for the real-life friendship circle that is building around me. Thank You for the mending of our relationship after the fight with Gramma. Thank You for miracles.

Please guide today to make it all it can be. Redeem these hours. Lead us into Your presence and set our feet firmly on the paths You would have us walk. Please keep the children strong and healthy as we head into the thickest part of Halloween week. Please give us wisdom and inspiration and guide us in our creation of the Discipline Junkies project, and my work on the marriage journey for the Mommy Launch Pad. Please give us the knowledge of how best to use the disciplines to position ourselves at your feet so that we can receive You and Your goodness. THANK YOU!!!!

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

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O Life, Where Is Your Victory?

Good morning, Abba. I come before Your throne in worship, for You are Almighty God. The beginning and the end. You are the reason for all of this. The source. The original. The inventor. Creator. Artist. Explorer. Author. Healer. Patient leader. Tenderhearted father. Loving shepherd. Fierce warrior. Protector. Defender. Redeemer. And ultimately you will set all wrongs right and make everything beyond worth it.

I confess that I pretty much lived another day only for myself. I just get so caught up in the sensual pleasures of life, the business, the lure of the outer and the attempts to reach worldly success. Then I switch over to self-loathing and the opposite end of the not-focused-on-You spectrum. O Life, where is Your victory? My flesh is so weak to do what You would have me do, and so strong to lead me astray and distract me. I confess I have not disciplined my flesh and my mind to stay focused on You and things above.

Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You for the high calling on my life. Thank You for the power of prayer. Thank You for the people You have given me, who are just waiting for me to step up to my position of power and create the space for them to learn about the disciplines and join together in a community of believers who are taking the disciplines seriously without getting cultish. Thank You that we do have internet access much of the time, and that the finances to provide that consistently are on the way. Thank You that we are well-fed and cared for and that our own home will be here soon. Thank You that I get along so well with my husband most of the time. I know that is pure miracle. Thank You for our health and our magical family.

Please guide us today. Keep us close to You and don’t let us stray too far. Help us to actually do what needs to be done to experience Your sweet victory!! Teach us what our part is exactly. Send us Your Holy Spirit to instruct us and comfort us. Open our eyes to actually SEE You as You said we would! Or, if that’s a misunderstanding of the scripture, please open our minds to understand that, so we aren’t left feeling defeated. Bring us community that is committed to You and living for You, so that we can build each other up and reach victory together. Bring hymns to our mind throughout the day, to keep our hearts on You and Your heavenly reality. Make this day a day to remember forever. A day of victory for Your Kingdom.

In Jesus’ name I pray, and so it is! Amen!

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If I Truly Had Your Spirit, Wouldn’t I Be Gentle in the Face of Foolishness?

Abba, You are always supremely gentle and kind, even when I have been foolish and deceived and disobedient and hateful. You just keep on offering your peaceable unconditional love and warmth. You cause the sun to shine on the obedient and the disobedient, just because it’s Who You are. You are benevolent and nonjudgmental, You Who have more right and ability to judge than any other. You never hold my wrongs against me. You continue to offer love and healing and support no matter what we do. You are pure love.

I confess that I have been hateful and disobedient. Even worse, I confess that I was a terrible witness for You. I repaid malice for malice, to one Who doesn’t know Jesus. She calls herself a Christian, but she has mostly rejected Your Son and only acknowledges You. Since I’m the one who goes to church every week, I MUST be the one to show what Your love looks like in the face of mistreatment. I confess I cannot do that on my own. I failed miserably. I acted just as foolish. I was just as deceived. Titus 3:23 says to “ALWAYS be gentle toward EVERYONE, for we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating each other.” I confess my disobedience.

THANK YOU that you are faithful and just, that verse 4-7 goes on to say, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Thank You for this verse and its implications. Thank You for the Manna Room and my auntie.

I ask that You would please make this passage true of my life, that You would wash, regenerate, and renew me by pouring out Your Spirit abundantly in my life. Please show me if there’s anything I need to do or get out of the way in order to make that happen. I’m useless to go on even one more day without Your Spirit, and I can see by the bad fruit of my life that I don’t have Your Spirit, even after all these years of thinking I was following you. PLEASE please please pour Your Spirit on me now, so that I will be justified by Your grace and become an effective ambassador–an heir according to the hope of Eternal Life NOW!!!

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

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When Falsely Accused: Violent Hatred or Graceful Trust?

Abba, You are so much bigger than any human drama. You have had Your name dragged through the mud millions of times. You are well-acquainted with false accusations. You manage to love people even as they are speaking filthy lies about You. You are incredible. You are amazing. You are so infinitely above and beyond.

I confess that I well up with violence and hatred in the face of false accusations. I brim with self-righteous defensiveness. I seethe and inwardly rage and wish for revenge. I want to hurt and harm. I “know” that my accuser is broken inside and incapable of understanding the truth, but I am unable to love her anyway. On my own, I can only return hate for hate. You must remove my heart of stone and give me Your heart in its place.

Thank You that with You anything is possible. Thank You for this opportunity to grow, to have my heart exponentially expanded by the experience. Thank You for the chance to turn to You for something that is so much bigger than me. Thank You that You can and will–and already HAVE–overcome this and all other problems of the human condition. Thank You for Gramma and her generosity. Thank You for my beautiful children. Thank You for my supportive husband. Thank You for the grace to get through this time. To THRIVE through this time. Thank You that this too shall pass. Eventually we will be in our own home, and then in Heaven with You, leaving all our human suffering behind for good.

Please give me extra grace today. Soften my heart. Give me Your perspective on the situation. Help me to breathe and not jump into reaction mode. Help me to set a great example for my kids. Please guide my actions, my words, my thoughts, and my entire life. Show me how to crawl up into Your lap and let You take over. And show me where I need to grab the wheel or pick up a hammer and build. Help me to remember that I am an ambassador of Your Kingdom, and it is my job to display unconditional love in the face of any mistreatment. Show me how to do that!!! Help me to trust You and place my hope and comfort in You in the midst of battle and attack.

You are amazing. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

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Rogue Warrior (Prayer Warrior, that is)

Good Morning, Mr. Abba!

You are God! You are beyond comprehension. You are eternal and forever and everywhere and all-knowing. You are the One Who created all this. You invented the idea of Life itself. You invented human beings and all animals. There’s nothing You don’t understand, nothing that confuses You, nothing that You take personally. You love all of us, all the time. You ARE love. You forgive everything. You understand that we don’t know what we’re doing, so You don’t hold a grudge. You offer all of us grace and mercy and a chance to try again. You never grow old, but always maintain a childlike optimism.

I confess that I am self-obsessed and “success”-obsessed. My idea of success is ridiculously small and earth-bound. I spend almost no time in prayer, when I know very well it’s the most important thing I do all day. I confess that while I know I have the power to actually help the people in my life and to make a difference and to potentially heal their relationships, I don’t take the time to do it. That’s disgusting.

Thank You that You’ve brought this to my attention. Thank You that You are patient and not angry. Thank You that You will help me to remedy this situation and make the time to pray for my loved ones. To rescue those being led away to slaughter. To take my spiritual power and calling seriously. To live as if Heaven is even more real than earth. To live as an ambassador of Your Kingdom. Thank You for my beautiful family and friends. Thank You for the Manna Room and CalWorks and the breakthrough You worked in me to be able to be honest and vulnerable and reach out to ask for and receive help. Thank You for the compassion and empathy this period of poverty has created in me.

I ask that You would bring a spiritual mentor into my life who can help me stay on track with prayer and help me take that part of my life seriously. Please speak to my husband and give him a clear vision for our future and for how best to be spending our time now. Please give him strength and courage and mentors and friends who speak into his life. Please also give me a circle of girlfriends who can do the same for me. And a community circle for our family–other families we can do life with. Please cut the fat off of my “work” time and give me a laser-focus to get done the essentials every day. Please provide the work that will enable us to get a home of our own here or elsewhere. A home where we can bless others by hosting them for meals, workshops, or even weekends and week-long vacations. Thank You!

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!!

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In This World as an Ambassador of Your World

Abba, You are the Creator of everything on earth and in outer space. You invented humans, mountains, oceans, planets, creatures, water, light, energy, and emotions. There is nothing You can’t do, nothing You don’t know.

I confess that I’m a mess. I want You and only You in the morning and the evening. You’re the bookends of my day. But all day long, I think of nothing but earth and business and “success.”

Thank You that You can overcome this divide. You can build a bridge and network of connections to bring the two worlds together. So that I can be IN the world while OF Your World.

Please make this happen today. Bring Your World into my daily grind. Remind me of You during the day. Show me how I can integrate the spiritual disciplines into my secular business day. Remind me that nothing is secular. Teach me what it means to be an ambassador of Heaven when I’ve never actually been there!

I love You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!

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