Archive | October 2013

In Spite Of!

In Spite OfNovember is the month of being thankful…but let’s take it a step further and be thankful, not only “because of” our circumstances…but “In Spite Of” our circumstances!  Join us on the facebook page – Carol McLeod, Bible Teacher & Author, and list 3 things you are thankful for with the hashtag #inspiteof

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Superpowers, Superheroes, & A Boy Named Ian Wesley

Ian 1Let me tell you a story about a little boy and his grandmother.  The little boy is 4 very precocious years old and his name is Ian Wesley.  The grandmother is exceedingly young and lives thousands of miles away from all of her grandchildren.  All 5 of her  bright and darling grandchildren call her, “Marmee”.  She thinks that “Marmee” is the most beautiful word in the history of mankind …

As Marmee was saying her final good-bye to her little boy genius, Ian, she held him in her arms and he held her face in both of his hands.  He was kissing her on her wrinkle-free cheeks and finally the Marmee reluctantly put him down.  Ian then clung to her legs with all of his might.  Ian 12

“”Well, buddy, Marmee needs to go now.  But … remember … change the world!” were Marmee’s parting words to this little bundle of energy, enthusiasm and perpetual liveliness.

“What?!  Change the world?!” Ian incredulously asked. “I tan’t change the world!!  I don’t have superpowers!!”

His parents and I grinned at each other and at the remarkable response of this remarkable little man.

As I began the nearly 1,500 mile drive home to an empty but clean house and away from those who are forever in my heart, I thought to my Marmee self, “Oh!  But Ian!  You have it all wrong because you do, indeed, have superpowers that will change the world you live in!”

“Ian … you have the power of love in your little soul.  The power of love is a game changer every time in every relationship.  Unconditional love is the basis for all healthy relationships; vibrant love is the launching pad for all young lives and their dreams; tenacious love is the glue that holds families together.  When you choose to love somebody difficult and cruel … it is the greatest superpower of all! Ian … you really can change the world with love.”

Ian 4“Ian … you have the power of prayer at your every day disposal!  When ordinary human beings talk to God … He listens!  When we ask in faith … mountains are moved out of the way and that changes every one’s world!  When we diligently and relentlessly knock on the door of God’s heart through prayer … demons flee and so do bad guys!  Ian … prayer is more exciting and game-changing than super-heroes who leap buildings in a single bound or possess the power of x-ray vision.  Ian … you really can change the world on your knees!”

“Ian … you have the superpower of wisdom!  Wisdom is thinking like God thinks!  Wisdom is better than being best friends with Superman, Batman or Captain America!  When you ask God for wisdom, He transfers His great and powerful mental capabilities into your human brain and heart.  Wisdom will help you always win in life and will keep you away from dark and threatening places.  Buddy … when you ask God for His wisdom … you really can change the world in partnership with God!  Imagine that!”Ian 5

“Ian … the words that you speak hold the power of life and death!  The words that you choose to say to your mom and dad … to your cousins … to your friends … to your teachers … and to your Marmee and Pa … can change their lives forever.  When you choose to say kind words to someone who is having a bad day … their life is forever changed by you!  When you choose to encourage someone who is discouraged … their life is changed instantly by you!  Ian, your words are powerful capsules of world-changing capacity, so only use your words as an instrument of peace and never as a weapon of mass destruction.

Ian 6“Ian … you hold in your heart the power of forgiveness which is one of the greatest superpowers known in all of recorded history.  When somebody is unkind to you, you can forgive them … then love them … then pray for them!  Wow!  That’s three superpowers all at once!  Forgiveness is eternally powerful because it is what Jesus did for you.  And, when you forgive someone who has hurt you, you are acting just like Jesus … the greatest Hero of all time!  No bad buys or evil powers can stop you or destroy you when you choose to act like Jesus and forgive someone.

Ian 13“Ian … when you become best friends with Jesus Christ, nothing will be impossible for you!  You might not be able to leap buildings in a single bound or move faster than a speeding bullet … but you will be able to do extraordinary exploits and go on exciting adventures with Him.  You will pray for people and they will be healed of sickness and disease!  You might follow Jesus, the Superhero of all Superheroes, to places like Africa, China or India!  Together you and Jesus can tell other boys and girls about the power that only He can give!”

“ So … Ian … my little boy who will soon grow up in the blink of an eye just like his daddy did … you do indeed possess superpowers!  You can change the world because you belong to Jesus and He belongs to you.  And Ian, just let me tell you that I am waiting for it!  I am watching your life with grand anticipation because this Marmee knows … I just know … that you are one of the extraordinary superheroes who have been chosen at this moment in history to change the world.

Ian 11Ian 3 Ian 2

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He Sees

Be encouraged today that God sees your circumstances and your struggle…no matter how long you’ve suffered…Jesus is watching your life. You have His attention! Let His glory shine through you…

When I Pray

Prayer blog pic 1Now He was telling them a parable to show them at all times they should pray and not lose heart.” – Luke 18:1

I long to be a prayer warrior.  I want to live in that influential place of heartfelt communication and sweet communion with God.

Prayer is the force that makes hell quiver in fear and causes heaven to stand to its feet with joyful applause.

I know it deep within my soul.

Nothing eternal is accomplished on earth without the power and focus of a saint who is committed to the discipline of prayer.

I know that I know that I know.

Prayer is the vehicle through which the greatest work of my life will be done.

I absolutely know it.

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. – Mark 11:12

Why do I feel so bad at it then?  Time after time after time, I feel like a failure in the arena of prayer.

I long for my prayers to move mountains, to calm storms and to heal sick people.  I long for it day after endless day.

And yet … day after day after day … all I see is one mountain range after another.  And over all of my mountains, there always seems to be fierce and defiant storms brewing.

What is it with prayer and me?!  What is it with prayer and anybody?!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4: 6 & 7

I must tell you … I refuse to give up.  I refuse to be paralyzed or crippled by what my eyes see.  I will pray when others give up. I will pray in spite of a quiet heaven.

I will pray.

I will pray when storms sneer and when mountains mock.

I will pray.

“Pray without ceasing.” – I Thessalonians 5:17

I defiantly refuse to believe that prayer is a waste of time.  I will set my resolve and pray on when nothing changes.

I will pray in the dark of night when the towering mountains minimize my value.

I will pray when the howl of life’s storms threaten to drown out the volume of my solitary and desperate prayer.

I will pray in the face of sickness and pain. I will beg for God’s sweet presence to heal and restore.

“ In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” -Romans 8:26 & 27

Prayer blog pic 2It’s all I have.  Prayer is all I have.  It’s the only power with any potential of making even a temporary difference.

I will wear out the carpet beside my bed with the pressure and insistence of 2 middle-aged knees whose resolve has been set.  Nothing will move me from the battle that takes place from this position.  Nothing.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:12

I will get up in the morning with worship in my heart and a prayer on my lips.

I will choose to pray rather than worry as I fold laundry, dash to the grocery store and answer e-mails.

I will lay my head down at night with the determination that any day is a magnificent day that has been given to prayer.

“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – II Thessalonians 1:1

My calling is to prayer.  It is my life’s work. God’s responsibility and response is to answer and to move.

When I pray, my desires are fulfilled in Him and not in the magical change of situations, circumstances or events.  When I pray there is a mighty work that is done in me … it is a work of faith and power.

I will stand in faith and continue to believe for the miraculous change of situations, circumstances and events.  And while I stand, I will pray on.  It’s my calling, remember?

While my prayers may not change a situation, I now know that my prayers change me. 

When I pray, Jesus is glorified in me and I am glorified in Him.

When I pray, His grace is dispersed into my world.

I have learned that you don’t have to be “good” at prayer for prayer to be “good” in you.

I now know that in order to be good at prayer … you just have to mean it.  And I do.

Pray then, in this way:

Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation, but delivers us from evil.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Matthew 6:9-13

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