Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tools for Prayer

I've used many things in my prayer life, to remember to pray, to grow stronger in prayer, and to remember the people I'm praying for.

My first prayer journal (above), I started in Sept. 2011 and used till Nov. 2012. I wrote down everything I was praying for that day, everyday (skipping days here and there). When that became tedious, I used it to ponder on Bible verses or in a few cases to release anger by scribbling and/or writing out prayers of "anguish." This is the most filled prayer journal.

I kinda liked writing out prayers, so Nov. 2012 - Dec. 2012, I wrote out my prayers. It worked, in a way, but honestly I kinda slacked off. The next dated thing in it was from Feb. 2013 in which I did verse by verse study of Philemon. (Exciting, right? lol) In Oct. 2013 I used it for Becoming a Young Woman of Faith. In April of 2014 I used it for 30 Days of Love. This has a lot of empty pages still.

My current prayer journal is a much more usable prayer journal. Since July 8th I've written down the names of people I'm praying for, and I've been fairly diligent in remembering to pray for them. I divided the pages with a straight line down the middle, putting the request/person on one side and putting "answered!" on the cases in which they have. Because of this method, I've only used up a couple pages so far.

I've also used a couple prayer devotional books. One I think was 100 ways to Pray or something like that. I've also memorized a prayer from the Bible. I should work on a few more. I memorized Ephesians 3:14-21 a couple years ago. It is a prayer for Spiritual Strength.

I hope one of these ideas may spark your interest and that you would be able to use one in a diligent manner, yet at the same time, I pray it will be from your heart to God.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Throwback Tuesday - Changes, yet more fun!

Throwback Tuesday is going to have a few changes!

I usually pick a person from the past and dress up as them. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours trying to find someone, get the picture, and post it. As I've done it for about 10 months now, it's been getting harder for me to find people to dress up

When I have someone to dress up as, I shall do that, but if not.....

Y'all will get to see some of the vintage clothes I have!

Still a "blast from the past" and just as fun!

Today I want to share with you a super cute outfit!

This dress and matching coat were a gift from my employers. They couldn't bear to cut it up, so they gave it to me. It fits like a glove, and goes perfectly with pearls of my Mom's and a hat from a friend! It is made by "Best & Co." from Fifth Avenue sometime during the 60's. This company was terminated around 1971, so this is truly a keep-sake.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Science Saturday: Shrews, Coyotes, and Wolves

(I didn't have any pictures of the topics, so I grabbed a moon to howl at. ;~)

I saw a coyote a couple years ago on my way to dance. It was pretty cool!

A few mildly intriguing things:
  • The name "Shrew", means ill-tempered and scolding women, started off as "screawa", Anglo-Saxon, for venomous animal. The word changed to shrew in Middle English. (This is where the word "shrewd" came). So why is a Shrew called a Shrew?
  • A Shrew has poisonous saliva produced by glands in their lower jaw. It's not strong enough to kill a human but it can stupefy a mouse and give it convulsions.
  • They are voracious insect eaters. They eat more than their weight a day. Some species, if they go with out food for a couple house, die from starvation. 
  • Wolves are a part of the canine clan, so they have characteristics that are found in domestic dogs.
  • Wolves are carnivores, which means they are meat eaters. They are also social and prefer to travel in packs. They were/are diminishing, so many efforts are being made to keep them from extinction.
  • Unlike most canines they are also coursers which means they have the body and stamina to chase prey or run for long distances!
  • With wolves diminishing, coyotes have been increasing. Some people thought they were wolves, or an interbreed of wolves and dogs, but neither is true. Coyotes are coyotes.
  • They used to live out west and slowly around the 1940's they started becoming established here in the East. Eastern Coyotes are merely adventurous westerners. ;~D
  • They can interbreed with dogs, but as numbers have increased they aren't as likely to.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Prayer is......

 Prayer is......
 Associating with God
Beacon during times of trouble
Chatting with God throughout the day
Developing a deeper relationship with him
Enveloping yourself in his arms and love
Friendship with him that will remain strong and true
Getting wisdom for rough spots
Helping you occupy your thoughts in a God-pleasing way
Ignoring Satan's threats to focus on God
Just the way to get through life when it's hectic
Learning from your mistakes and releasing guilt
Messages straight to God that don't go through a post office
Never leaving his throne room when we constantly pray
Opening your mind to an infinite number of unimaginable things
Presenting your heart to God
Quintessential to growing in faith
Revering God
Sending God a message from your heart
Taking your faith to another level
Understanding a little more about who God is
Verifying your trust in God
Waiting for his answer patiently
Xylophones - harpsichords,  trumpets - organs, praise God through music and prayer
You can pray anytime, anywhere, for anything
Zealously opening your heart to God

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What is Prayer?

What is prayer? A friend of mine put it this way: 

What is prayer? Talking with God. Having deep communion with him daily, being in his presence for a time, knowing that God is with you, would be all good answers to what prayer is.

 Prayer is indeed, all those things. Prayer is simply talking to God. He knows our thoughts (Psalm 139:2), so whether our prayers are out loud or in our head/heart, he hears them.

Jeremiah 29:12 (ESV)
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

 God promises that when we pray, he will hear us!

1 Peter 3:12 (ESV)
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

Jesus gave us an example on how to pray in:

Matthew 6:5-13 (ESV; italics mine)

"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father 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 lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

 Wow. That's a lot to take in. Let me break it down so it's easier to understand.

First praise God! Thank him for what he's done that day or even praise him for being who he is! What ever you'd like to praise him for, go for it!

What's important? God is! You must remember that he is in control, he is important, and while we can ask him about anything, ultimately, his will will be done.

Provision for things on earth and in heaven. You can ask God to provide you with what you need. (And remember needs are different than wants!)

Protection from the evil one. Satan is prowling like a lion ready to devour (1 Peter 5:8). We need to constantly ask God for this. We can not fight this fight alone. He will be with us and he will help us if we ask him.

Wow, we've already gone over a lot about what prayer is, and things to pray for. I have a few more things to share with you before we conclude this first post.

Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 

Do not worry about the things going on in your life. Drop them all in God's lap (Psalms 55:22). Pray about everything and anything! Tell all your requests, your thoughts, about your day, etc, to God! And don't forget to thank him! He has blessed us more than we deserve!

So what is prayer?

Talking to God! 

We do this by:

Praising him!
Remembering who he is!
Asking for provision and protection!
Remembering that God has everything under control,  and is listening to our petitions and requests!

I pray that this is insightful and will be a blessing as we start our series on prayer!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: Princess Leia

So, I must admit, I've only see the original Star Wars......and that was several years ago! ;~D

Princess Leia: I don't know who you are or where you came from, but from now on you'll do as I tell you, okay? 

I really liked it though! :~D

I was fascinated with her hair for weeks......

I even did a post with her before!! Heehee! You have to read it!

Okay, so my cinnamon buns aren't as big...........but hey! ;~D

"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope."

Please help me, Obi-Wan hair is in serious need of help.........

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Science Saturday: Centipedes & Millipedes, Thistles and Goldenrod!

Someone is enjoying the goldenrod in our yard!

Some interesting things to know:

  • Usually Millipedes have have more legs than Centipedes. Centipedes have 1 pair of legs per body segment, while Millipedes have 2 pairs. Though some species of Centipedes have more than Millipedes.
  • While the names sound the same, they look totally different! Both of them have segmented bodies, but Centipedes tend to have a hairier appearance while Millipedes look more like worms, it's body is cylindrical.
  • Millipedes are vegetarians while Centipedes tend to enjoy bugs and things. (In the Amazon Rainforest, there is a 12in one that likes mice and things to eat! O.O Eeek!!!)
  • Most Thistles are a part of a 2 year cycle. The first year the seeds germinate and sprout. The second year they flower, produce the seeds to continue the cycle, and then die off.
  • If you try to get rid of the Thistle by chopping it up into many little pieces, each of those pieces will take root, and then you'll have more Thistles on your hands.
  • While most wildflowers are pretty to pick for bouquets, Thistles are not that way. They are covered in sharp spines all over the entire plant. If you try to pick it, your fingers will not be happy with the pain you will receive. ;~)
  • Goldenrods join us at the end of summer, so it can be disappointing to see them as it means summer is drawing to a close. I love to watch for them as their bright splashes of color are beautiful!
  • Goldenrods are popular with insects including, honeybees, bumblebees, several beetles, and flies!
  • Goldenrods are native to the U.S.! There are over 100 different kinds of species. They are often confused with Ragweed as they bloom at the same time, so Goldenrod gets the blame for causing allergies instead of the troublesome Ragweed!

Friday, September 5, 2014

An Upcoming Series: Prayer!

Over the next couple weeks I shall be doing a series on prayer. Prayer is so important, yet I haven't talked much about it on here. Out of the 600 posts (Yes, 600!!!) I've done, I've only posted about prayer.... maybe 20 times.... maybe. 

Some of the topics will include prayer tools, praying for others, praying during times of trouble, encouraging others with prayer, and more!

I hope you will join me as we learn, and grow. :~D

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: Julia Child

Julia Child is a famous chef! She learned to love cooking, and it became her career, her passion, and her life! She wrote a book called Mastering the Art of French Cooking that debuted in 1961! She wrote many other fascinating cookbooks in subsequent years!

“Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
― Julia Child

Bon appetit!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Friendships Forged with Time

I like 2 of the definitions of the New Webster's Dictionary, one says to form by heating or hammering, and the other says to move forward slowly = Forge.

Friendships are so special to me. Some friends I've known since I was knee-high, others for the past few years, and yet others I've met with in the past year. Each friend is special, and each friendship is different, but a common is that no matter how long I've known them, they've been forged with time. When I read about heating and hammering, my thoughts immediately flew to Proverbs 27:17.

Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)
Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another.

How true! My one friend and I constantly keep each other on our toes. She knows how to tell me truthfully what's best, and I do the same for her. We keep each other sharp, and focused. By doing so, our friendship has been forged, sharpened, and grown. In fact for my birthday, she gave me a plaque that says: 

"Friendship is like sunshine. It keeps us warm and helps us grow."

The definition of friend (according to the New Webster's Dictionary) is a person known and well liked by another. My personal definition of a friend is someone who appreciates you for who you are; who will stand by you, and you for them; never leaving for frivolous things; and who is always honest with you.

Recently, I noticed another friend was online, so I messaged him to find out how he was, as I hadn't heard much from him. To be honest, at the time, I was bone-tired, yet when he said he was exhausted, it gave me a boost. Though I was exhausted, I was able to show empathy. I have a quote I keep in my Bible that says it best:

"You need people to hold you up emotionally and encourage you. By doing this, you will be strengthened, and they will be strengthened."

 I have a friend, who compared to my first-mentioned friend, I haven't known as long. She's battled many health problems, yet is always ready to pray for you, even if she needs prayer more. She has unknowingly showed me the verse below in tangible ways.

Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, 
but also to the interests of others.

Many many friendships have been forged and strengthened. Each one is special because each one has been forged in different ways. In order to have a deep and meaningful friendship, you need to invest in others. Find out how they are doing, what they've been up to, and how you can pray for them. This goes both ways. You also need to be open about what is going on in your life, things you are struggling with, etc. Quite often my friends have struggled with something similar, so they are able to reach out to for pray and comfort me, and I for them. Friendships are very important to me, and as they are forged, strengthened, and withstand the passing of time, then I know I have special friendships indeed!