Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Your Tally Sheet Has Been Erased

I have messed up! A couple of times in the last week, I have really made some mistakes. These are not major life changing mistakes (although, I've made those too). These are just general human errors. It is just me, moving too quickly, not slowing down to think. Unfortunately, these mistakes affected other people. I don't worry about it too much when it is just me, but when I catch other people in my whirlwind, I feel bad.

When my husband and I first got married, I used to be very good at keeping score. Not with Monopoly or Backgammon, but, with transgressions. In my head, I had a little note pad with tally marks. Every time my husband messed up, I would add another tally. They were even categorized by major and minor infractions. I would save these lists and use them as ammunition in arguments whenever I needed them.

As I started walking with God, this score keeping became more uncomfortable for me.

Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Ouch! That one stings a little. But, God knows what is best for us at all times.

I am happy to say, I have gotten better about this. I have to be very conscious of forgiving mistakes as soon as they happen. It is very easy for my old thinking to sneak back up and get the tally sheet ready. Sometimes I even need to say out loud to myself "I am not keeping score. I have forgiven that offense."

Why should we forgive others of their errors? For one thing, we are all human. We all make mistakes. It is part of living. No one is perfect. The second reason, and probably the most important reason, is we are forgiven.

Psalm 103:12 
as far as the east is from the west, 
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Have you ever thought about that? Last year, they were talking about this scripture on the radio and I haven't forgotten it! If you are travel North around the earth, eventually, you would be going South. If you start traveling East around the earth you will always be heading East. This was such a great visual for me. God has removed my mistakes and I will never be near them again!

God has forgiven us of so many transgressions and He is not done. We make mistakes everyday and if we are faithful in confessing them, He is faithful in removing them from us. Every one is forgiven! It is comforting to know we have a loving Father that forgives every error whether it is big or small.

I want to be just like Him when I grow up!

Lord, thank you for forgiving all of my mistakes. You are so loving, kind and full of mercy. Please teach me how to be like you. Help me not keep record of the transgressions that are made against me. Help me not keep record of my own mistakes. Show me how to forgive the way I have been forgiven. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Zig Zag Prayer

In my journey with God, I can look back through my journals and see different seasons that I have lived through. At times, I could not get enough of the Bible. The only thing I wanted to read was the actual word of God. At other times, I wanted to read and do Bible studies. I couldn’t get enough knowledge about Christianity or various topics. At other times, I seemed more focused on worship. Right now, I seem to be moving into a time of concentrated prayer.
I used to think I needed to do it all really well. That I shouldn’t focus on one thing and let other aspects take a back seat for awhile. I felt guilty for not sticking to a routine that included the same amount of worship, study, scripture and prayer everyday. I’m not so sure that my ideas were correct. Thinking about it now, it seems very legalistic. I know we should not take that approach when we are building a relationship with anyone, let alone a relationship with God.
Looking back over those times more closely, I think that God was leading me to different books, scripture or music. He knew exactly what I was going to need for that portion of my journey. He was always there ahead of me waiting to fulfill the need before I even knew it existed. I think that it is important to follow our instincts when we feel a need in our spirit.
A friend in my Bible Study group is a professional organizer. Recently, she used a term that got our attention. Zig-Zag organizing is basically when you move from one thing to the next without completing a task. It is not really effective or efficient. Since she mentioned it, I have been very aware of my habits. I must be a zig-zag thinker! Almost everything I do, involves zigging and zagging and very little completing.
This morning, I started thinking about how I can make my prayer life more effective and efficient to overcome the dreaded zig-zag syndrome. I have several prayer request lists and books (by Stormie Omartian) that I would like to read daily. I decided that I would make my own book that would combine all of these lists and prayer guides into one. Each day of the month I will pray specifically for my husband, my kids and myself along with prayer requests I may receive.
Prayer is such an important aspect of our walk with God. Sometimes though, I overcomplicate it. God doesn’t care if I use big words. He isn’t impressed by a well thought out eloquent prayer. He just wants to hear from His child.
James 5: 13-16 
The Prayer of Faith
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Lord, I thank you for your son, Jesus. Without him, I would not be able to come to your feet in prayer. I love your guidance and the wisdom that you have given me in your perfect timing. Teach me to be an effective prayer warrior. I want to be your partner in changing the world on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mulligan Anyone?

My husband gets up before the sun and is gone before I have even rolled over. Today, however, his schedule is different. I am in the bathroom getting ready and my dear husband comes in to brush his teeth. We don't usually have these morning bathroom meetings. I am instantly irritated. He moves in front of me to reach for the medicine cabinet. I smile (not so sweetly) and move to the side. In my mind: really? why does he have to be in here now? ugh! how many times does he have to open and close the cabinet? I am using that mirror!

After brushing his teeth, he says goodbye and gives me a kiss. I am anything but nice as I offer my cheek and respond with a "bye". And then he is gone. I am alone again with my thoughts. Why did I do that? He was only in here for two minutes and I couldn't be gracious and share?

I am reminded of my kids fighting over the sink, pushing each other off of the step stool. "I was here first," one of them shouts and someone usually ends up crying. I step in to play referee. "Be nice, take turns, you can share" I tell them. Easy to say and not always easy to do.

I am reminded of Paul. Why do I do the things I hate to do and not the things I want to do? (Romans 7:15) That is not really the way I want to send my husband into the world for the day. I don't want his last interaction with me to be filled with irritation and attitude. He needs to know that I love him, that I am here for him and that I am willing to be his partner in whatever life brings. Even if that means sharing the bathroom.

I run to the kitchen where he is gathering his belongings to take to the car . I give him a pat. He stands up and looks at me confused. I throw my arms around him and give him a kiss. This one is filled with love and hope. He looks at me even more confused now. "What was that for?" He asked. "I just wanted you to know I love you," I stated.

We all need a mulligan from time to time. Maybe we are short with a response. Maybe words spoken are not filled with love and grace. Maybe we lose our temper. Maybe we are angry about a situation and take it out on an innocent bystander. Maybe we think we are right.

Photo by Bill Longshaw
We can have a do-over. When we find ourselves in this situation, we can immediately say "wait, that isn't what I meant". "Let me try that again."

How much better would our world be?

How much better would our marriage be?

How much better would our parenting be?

Lord, thank you for always knowing the kindest way to talk to us. Thank you for sending your son to be an example for us. Please teach me how to interact the way that Jesus did. I want my conversations to be full of grace and seasoned with salt, so that I know how to talk with everyone (Col 4:6). Please help me overcome any stronghold of pride that would keep me from admitting my mistakes and trying again. I want to shine your light in the world today. Amen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hold on tight

I woke up this morning thinking about Job. At the risk of my mom tuning out, I decided to write about it anyway. She does not like Job. But every time I tried to think different thoughts, he kept coming back to my mind. So, here we are.

The last two weeks have been unusually dark. Our lives have been filled with loss, death, young families being torn apart by divorce, cancer and even horror. It has not all happened, directly to our family, but it has come uncomfortably close to our door step. So, you can see why I was thinking about Job. He lost everything. His livelihood and all of his children were taken in a matter of a few short verses (Job 1:13-19). 

At times like this, it would be very easy to start questioning God. How could He let this happen? Where is the sense in this tragedy? 

At times like this, it would be very easy to start blaming God. Why would He do this? How can He hurt His children?

But, we need to take a step back. 

Job 1: 6-12

One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.  The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

It wasn't God that attacked Job, it was Satan. During dark and difficult times, we need to remember that we live in a fallen world. This is no longer the Garden of Eden where everyone is good and honest and forthcoming. There is sin, sickness and pain. There are other forces at work here.

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

It is so easy to dwell in this darkness, to be caught up in all the scary details and questions. During these Job moments we just need a glimmer of hope. At these times, I feel like anything good will be the fresh air that I need to keep pressing on.

Mark 5:21a, 25 - 33

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake,

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked,“Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her,“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

I can remember a time not so long ago that I was on my knees praying, I knew, that if I could just touch the hem of his cloak, I would be ok. During the times of sadness, we have a choice to make. We can sit and soak in the darkness or we can push through the crowd and reach out to Him. It may be desperation or determination, but either way, our faith in Him is what leads to healing.

I have hope. My God is bigger than any of the bad things that are happening around us. He is still in control. He is always good. He cannot do anything that is not based in love. He can turn the bad things around and use them for our good or the good of others.

I had a glimmer this weekend. My little sister got married. The wedding was wonderful. We had so much fun as a family. She looked beautiful and she married a good Christian man. I know that they will have rough seasons in their marriage. Two people walking through life together is not always an easy journey. The best thing they have going for them is their love of Jesus. I know that they will make it through the dark times, because I know they will push through the crowd and grab hold of his cloak.

Lord Jesus, thank you for making yourself available to us when we need you most. You are never too busy or too far away. When we reach out to you, you are faithful to turn to us, look right at us and provide the healing that we need. Thank you for blessing us with your presence and your love. Thank you for your comfort in a world that doesn't make sense. Amen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Praise Him

On the radio this morning, I happened to catch a few minutes of the Joyce Meyer broadcast. There was one thing that really stuck out for me. She said we need to fill our spirit. I have heard these words before, but what does it really mean? She went on to explain, that we fill our spirit when we read the word of God. When our spirit is full, we react better to life. When something bad, maybe I should say, when life happens and our spirit is full, we have better responses, use kinder words and we act out of love. When life happens, and our spirit is empty, our flesh speaks loudly! These are the times when we say hurtful things, lose our temper or we are just plain grumpy.

Everyday life is draining! I don’t always find it easy to act the way that I know God wants me to act. There are days that my patience dwindles, everything upsets and irritates me. These are the days that I need God the most! These are the times I need to stop whatever I am doing and turn to Him. Often, these are the hardest times to reach out to Him. I think it is possible that I let myself get so empty that there is nothing left. It is scary how quickly our flesh takes over: you don’t really need God. How is that really going to help you? What has He done for you lately?

The longer that I walk with Him and the more I know about Him, the easier it is for me to recognize these “empty times” in myself and even in my kids. I see the signs. Actually, I usually hear the signs before I see them and I have found a few ways to fight back against the darkness that can so easily take over.

Like every household, our morning routine is pretty rushed. I have one child who happily bounces out of bed and another who would love to sleep until about nine a.m. everyday. One or the other eventually gets upset about the toothpaste, the unequal amount of cereal in their bowl or some other great offense. When I hear the voice levels raise, I know it is time to pull out the praise music! I have stopped trying to solve the disputes or argue about who gets what color juice cup. I invite God into our morning. I have a playlist of songs that we all love. They are fast, uplifting and fun! We often “get our praise on” right in the middle of breakfast. Sometimes there is dancing, sometimes there is silliness, but there are always smiles.

Another way that we have found to fill up our spirit is, our praise jar. I got the idea during one of our Tuesday morning Bible Studies. I don’t really remember how the idea came about, but I was trying to think of ways for my little ones to be more conscious of our day and our faithful Lord. I started with a vase. It is one of those simple ones that comes with a flower arrangement that I never know whether to keep or get rid of. I cut up some pieces of colorful paper and put them in a bowl and then put a pen right there. This collection now sits on a shelf in a high traffic area, right in eye sight. It is an open invitation to praise Him. Sometimes it is one word, sometimes it is a name, sometimes it is something we saw outside, sometimes it is when are spirits are full and sometimes it is when our spirits are empty. I have found that when I am empty, I really need to look at what I have. This praise jar reminds me to focus on Him rather than on me. Physically writing it down and focusing on the good snaps me out of the darkness. I am reminded that I am not really as empty as I may feel.

Ezekiel 3:3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. 

I love this passage. My NIV study Bible says, “ Ezekiel must ingest the Lord’s message... so that it becomes part of his being. The words of God are sweet to the taste.” The more we fill ourselves with the goodness of His word, the sweeter our life will be. The more we praise, the happier we are. The more we spend time with Him, the more like Jesus we become.

I love looking through our praise jar. My kids are just learning to write. There are a lot of papers that say “Mom”, “Dad”, “God”. There is even one that says “elephants”. But really, what else do we need?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Buried Treasure

You never know when God is going to show up. Earlier this week, I was mindlessly going about my morning routine. I pulled the basket out of the coffee pot to throw away the old grounds, and then opened the cupboard to pull out the garbage can. I was caught of guard. First, there was a fresh garbage bag, which doesn't often happen. We play the game of garbage balancing in our home. You may be familiar with this game, the rules are simple, just put your garbage on top and if it topples over, you have to take out the trash. But, second, in the bottom of the can was a little treasure!

My daughter is in first grade this year. She is really enjoying reading and writing. She has truly found freedom and fulfillment in sounding out words, putting sentences together and then drawing pictures to go with them. She spends most of her free time making books or writing stories. The treasure that I found in the garbage belonged to her. I garbage picked it!

The words weren't spelled correctly and usually, I can sound it out to understand what she is writing, but this time I couldn't do it. I got most of it, but not the whole thing. I set it aside, in a prominent place, so that I could be sure to ask about it later.

The morning routine was crazy, I didn't have a spare minute to talk with her about it. I needed more than just a quick answer, I wanted to have a conversation with her. It stayed on top of the microwave for the day. Every time I walked past, I looked at it and tried to unscramble the message. Similar to a puzzle that you can't walk away from, it was in the back of my mind all day. I couldn't wait until she got home. 

After she had a few minutes to unwind from the busyness of the day, I picked up the piece of paper, handed it to her and asked her to read it to me. 
"I follow my heart. Step, by step, by step. You will make it right for me." 
"Did you hear that somewhere?" I asked. 
"No" she replied, "I was just writing a song, and I made it up." 
My next question,"why did you throw it away?"
"I messed up", she said sadly. 

Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless. Daniel 11:35

I was silenced. Her words were so simple and yet, so true. How many times have we been following God along the path and we mess up. We don't know how to undo what we have done so instead, we throw it away.

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Romans 11:11a

I made my request. "Can I have this?"
"Sure." Pause.  "Why?" She wondered.
"I like it. I want to write about it. Is that okay?"
"Yes", she smiled.

though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:24

God placed it on my heart to use this as a teachable moment. "You know, God loves us all the time. Even when we mess up. There is nothing we can do to make Him stop loving us. If we apologize and ask Him for forgiveness, He always forgives us."
"I know, Mom", she said. As she rolled her eyes and walked away.

I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. Prov 4:11

I could have taken offense, but I didn't. She heard me. It will be there when she needs it most.

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov 3:6

Father, I praise you for your goodness, favor and mercy. Thank you for loving me so perfectly. I know that I am human and I am going to make mistakes. But, I also know that you forgive every one of them. I am grateful for your wisdom, guidance, knowledge and for all of the times you have picked me up and put me back on your perfect path. Amen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Life. Some assembly required.

This past weekend, I went to a fundraiser for the firefighters who were recently hurt in a Detroit business fire. The fundraiser featured several local rock bands and was held in a bar. This used to be a comfortable place for me, but in the last several years, places and scenes like this have become increasingly more uncomfortable. But, we had friends injured in that fire who are struggling to regain their lives and so, we have made an effort to support them whenever we are able.

I sat on a stool surrounded by my husband and friends and I began to look around and do some people watching. I saw people of many ages and a true mixture of styles. I have been making jewelry since high school, and so this is often one of the first things I look at. I was surprised to note a great number of crosses. It stirred my soul. I began really thinking about it.

What does the cross mean to you? 

As my journey progresses, I would answer this question differently now than I would have even a year ago. The more that I understand and live, the more that the cross represents to me.

How has your life changed since accepting Jesus? 

Accepting Jesus is the first part of our journey and for most, it is the easiest part. This however, is just the beginning. If we accept Jesus today and then go about our lives the same way we did yesterday, we are missing the point.

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity (Hebrews 6:1, NIV) 

On the radio this week, the DJ said, “Christian means little Christ”. We are supposed to become more like Christ and be little Christ’s in the world. Everyday, we need to work to be more like Him. For me, this has been the hard part. 

Imagine if I gave you a pile of materials like wood, screws, nails and various tools and then I said “I will give you one million dollars if you build a birdhouse”. Piece of cake you think, even without woodworking experience, I can fake my way through this and put together a birdhouse. Even if it is not pretty, it will be functional. “Here is the catch”, I say. “It has to look exactly like mine”. Things just got a little tougher, but bring it on, you think. “Oh, and you don’t get to see mine, and you don’t get any instructions”, I add. At this, your heart might sink. There isn’t much chance that your birdhouse will look exactly like mine, and that million dollars will not be going home with you.

Now, imagine God doing this; “I will give you eternal life if you live a live exactly like I planned for you. But, I’m not going to give you any instructions.” I have lived this way! Struggling with decisions, trying to be a better person through my own strength, wondering what God really wants for me. Life with Him is not supposed to be that difficult.

God gave us the gift of Jesus, some assembly required. The building and assembly, however, is us. God has given us all the instructions and all the tools we need in order to succeed. But, we will never make it if we don’t know what He wants us to do. It is so important to get into His word. Read the instructions that He has given us. Find the tools that He has given us and use them.

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us. (Hebrews 6: 18-20, The Message) 

Keep your eyes fixed on Him and on His word. The more we use the gifts He has given, the more we hold on to the promises He has made, the more we will be like Him.

There is always another option with a gift. We can choose to return it.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. (Hebrews 6: 4-8) 

There are people who have completely rejected the gift of Jesus. They have seen the goodness and the power and have chosen to give it back. Unwanted. It is a scary thought. It leaves me with the same uncomfortable feeling I had this weekend.

Don’t leave this gift in the box. Open it up!

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to waste the gift you have given me. I want to read your instructions, put my life together according to your plan and I want to be more like Jesus. I don’t want to remain unchanged. Please open my eyes, ears, heart and mind to all of your promises. I don’t want them to go unused. Amen. 



Thursday, November 4, 2010

I don't know anything

What do you know? You don't have the credentials for this. You have never been to school for this kind of thing. I know all of your weaknesses, who do you think you are fooling? How can you tell people this stuff when you are so far from perfect?

These are all things that I heard this week. Earlier, I mentioned the quiet whisper of God and I realized that there is another small voice that I often hear. However, these things are not supportive, encouraging or loving. They are destructive, debilitating and crushing.

Throughout our lives, we hear many different voices talking to us. Parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, spouses, bosses, the media, the enemy. While most of these voices mean well, they may (or do) tell us things that are hurtful.

It is so easy to hear things and accept them as truth.

Now that I think about it, the things above are true. I don't have the credentials to write this blog. I don't have the education to interpret the things of God. I am not good enough on my own to direct people down the path of Jesus.

Don't listen to me... What do I know?

Looking back over my previous posts, I am the one who needed to hear these things the most. These are the things that God was speaking to me. These are the lessons that I needed (and still need) to learn.

So, what do I do with those bad whispers?

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)

I have a choice to make. 

I can quit writing. I can go back to my shelter, where my life was hidden. I can stop sharing my story, my struggle, my experience. I lived there for a long time. It was comfortable and it is not that far from here.


I can continue down this unknown path. Through my lack of education, I can continue to share. I can tell you about my ups and my downs. Perhaps they will help you, perhaps they are only helping me.

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2

I know that God is leading me. There are things that I have written that I know did not come from me. He has placed things on my heart and at times I feel I will burst if I don't write them down and share. I pray every time, before I write a word. Please God, let these be your words and not mine.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Today, dear friends I am boasting in the Lord. It is Him and not me! I am foolish, weak and lowly. He is all knowing and all loving. These are things I will never be. But, I will choose to be obedient!

Lord, I thank you for being good all the time. Thank you for always knowing what is best for me. I am nothing without you. Thank you for teaching me, for encouraging me and for leading me. I seek to serve you as Jesus served. I love you and I give you all that I am, even in my weakness. Amen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I have to say I was very excited to see the reading today. One of my very favorite verses is found in Jeremiah 29. I started to write the blog in my mind. 
“Oh, this is going to write itself!” 
I felt God speaking to me. “Finish reading”.
“But this is it”, I said.
“Finish reading.”
God doesn’t usually want us to go the easy way. There is no chance of growing through the easy route. When I got to Titus 3, I read His message for today. 
Praise God for His perfect timing.
What could be more appropriate on election day? Titus 3:1-2, Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
As Christian’s we should be setting a good example for the people around us. We should do our homework, find out who is the best person for the job and make sure we get to the polls and vote for that person. I know it is difficult, because not every candidate is perfect in their views on various subjects and so, there are times when you have to look at the bigger issues and vote according to those. Our local Christian radio station has done their homework on the “big” issues and has been encouraging people to get out and vote. I will admit that I am not good about following the news and what is happening, so this information has been helpful to me.
The part of Titus 3 that really stood out to me, was “slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” It is very common to hear people cutting down our authority figures or elected officials, the choices they make, their character and even their race. I really have a problem with this. I may not agree with all of the choices that our leaders make, but I am a Christian at all times, I need to act accordingly and be respectful. It is one thing to disagree and completely another to tear the person apart. 
I like what The Message says, no insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous (Titus 3:1-2, emphasis mine). For me, that is the bottom line. You can’t get much more straightforward than that.
I am one little person in a little town in the middle of nowhere. I won’t be making any big impact on government any time soon. But, God is bigger than anything I can do or even imagine. The most powerful thing I can do is pray. Pray that I make the right choice at the polls. Pray that the right people get into office. Pray that God’s will be done on election day. But, it doesn’t end there. The best thing we can do once the elections are over, is pray for our leaders and officials. Pray that they will make good decisions and follow God. Pray for their strength to do the right thing. Pray for protection and good counsel around them. Prayer is so much more effective than criticism. 
I encourage you to vote today. You are only one person, but you have the Creator of the Universe on your side. The Victory is His!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Father, thank you for your word and your perfect timing. I want to vote responsibly today. Please open my ears and my heart so that I can vote for your people, so that your will is accomplished. You know the perfect person for each position on the ballot, use me as your instrument to get those people into office. Please protect each of our representatives from evil and from darkness. Lord, guide them in their decisions, actions and work. Your word says, to support and respect the people you have placed into positions of authority. Help me to build up rather than tear down. Teach me to be constructive rather than cruel. Show me how to be a light in my community and my country. Thank you Lord, for always knowing what is best for me. I know that you are in control today. In Jesus precious name. Amen.


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