Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Pray?

We had a healing service at our church for Gary Mowrey a few weeks ago.
We met and prayed and cried and begged for a miracle.
A few people asked afterwards...what does it matter, we don't get to boss God around, do we? 
My response was....It matters, because we matter to God.

There is never a time that God responds to our prayers with "Huh?"
He gets it. 
He gets us.
"He knows what you need before you ask Him."- Matthew 6:8

"Prayer works because He does. Prayer changes things because God changes things. Prayer matters because you matter to God."- Max Lucado

"The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective."
 -James 5:16

In 30 minutes we meet to plan a memorial service to celebrate the life of Gary Mowrey.
I believe with everything in me, that God heard us that night at the healing service....
and not only did He hear us...
He answered us. 
He answered us a Father. 
A Father that knows best.
Just because we prayed for one thing and got another does not mean He didn't move in miraculous ways.

God, Thank You for leaning in closely and hearing us that night...and today....and tomorrow and every day after that. May Gary Mowrey rest in peace with You and his beloved Michael. Please continue blanket Jane and Patrick in Your Presence.

In His Dust,

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ashes to Ashes....

Many people, have no idea why we walk around on Ash Wednesday with dirty black smudges on our foreheads. I will more than likely make an "ash" out of myself probably 3-4 times today, at the very least...This the the day when I approach total strangers everywhere from HEB, The Apple Store, AT&T and at church,..Yes, even there at church.
I look twice and may or may not motion to them, that there is something on their forehead. 
Make no never mind, that I TOO have a cross of ashes on my very own head. however, I quickly forget over and over and over again....
Every year I stick my ashen foot right in my mouth and walk away embarrassed. Surprised by my ability to remember.
We forget we are mortal....and we forget where we came from.

"We are dust, and to dust we shall return" ~Genesis 3:19

The big discussion before Easter- "WHAT ARE YOU GIVING UP????" Facebook, salt, liquor, meat, sweets, flour...or 
"WHAT ARE YOU ADDING???" more quiet time...more devotional, memorizing 400 jillion scriptures before Easter am??
no wonder the kid below is so sad.
When you look in the mirror tonight or pass a stranger in the frozen food section and see that "smudge", let it be a reminder...not about how deprived we are going to be for 40 days....or what sacrifices we are making (cue world's tiniest violin)
Let is remind you 
that we all forget....
that we all need grace and that we all need forgiveness
And we ALL have a God Who is alive and active. He is quick to forgive and to offer grace. He is calling on each of us to "prepare"...we are quickly approaching the greatest celebration of all time– Easter. The Resurrection of Christ!

God, Thank You for Your gift of Easter and the 40 days of Lent to prepare for it.

In His Dust,

Monday, February 9, 2015

Jesus and Sam Smith....

The 2015 Grammys are behind us....and once again, I am confused by multiple things, 
I think, I saw. 
Speaking of behinds...

Madonna. Stop. Just stop it. You are embarrassing all of us raised in the 80's.
Sia. What on earth did my eyes see? If the goal was to make me feel 400 and un-artsy- well played sir, ma'am or muppet.
Weeknd. Is that a hat or hair? And while I have your attention, did you know there was an "e" missing from your name..or was that on purpose?
Why? Why did you turn your raspberry beret into a shiny dreamsicle.
Our Senior year, Francie, Shannon, Anne and I might have snuck to Austin to see you in concert and not noticed then, but is an entirely different story. You are a weird-caned-scrawny-little dude...possibly even doll.
What a difference 30 years makes.

But then there was "Stay With Me", by Sam Smith...which leads me to the spiritual portion of today....
What are the odds Jesus sang this in The Garden of 
Gethsemane? Low.
To me this morning? High. 

There was a definetly a clear message in my Bible about the concept of Staying with Him.

"Little children, remain in Him." - 1 John 2:28

I am currently doing a study on 1,2 &3 John, by Kelly Minter. 
One of the latest lessons was regarding the word "remain."
It is rooted in the Greek word meno. It means not to depart, to continue, to be present, to endure. 
To stay in a given place, state, relation or expectancy. 
How hard can that be?
At times very.
"What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you." -1 John 2:24a

As Sam Smith won multiple Grammy's last night....Stay With Me, was played each time...
As I hummed along I realized it was "remaining" with me.
It would not was was within me.

Even more so should these words get stuck in my head, heart hands and feet
"As the father has loved me, so I have loved you, remain in my love." -John 15:9

God, Thank You for reminders along the way in the most unexpected places.

In His Dust,