DIY Family Prayer Board

This helped my reluctant to pray child become ready to pray and full of confidence.

DIY PRAYER BOARD: Pass it on       

At this point in history, on our timeline, one way God shows proof of His existence is through individual believers. I have witnessed God beat great odds and do the impossible in my life on multiple occasions.  I must pass my testimony on which is the reason why I write on this blog.

I long for the return of Jesus when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; but until then, some of the prayers of my heart are: “Allow Your word to become accessible to all people in our generation. Let me be found faithful. Empower my offspring to be found faithfully loving God and loving others. Come, Lord Jesus, come.” The wickedness I hear and read of in the news causes me to frequently ask for the return of Jesus.

I want to make God known for who He is to people in my circle of influence but most importantly I must make Him known to my children by teaching them how to have a daily relationship with Him. I can joyfully say that all of my children have asked Jesus into their hearts and proclaim Christ yet there is more for me to do. My calling as a mom is to pass my spiritual heritage on to my children which is to include the stories of God’s deliverance, protection, provision and healing in our lives through prayer and fasting. I consider this heritage rich beyond words because there is no measure for sufficiently telling about God’s great works nor is there any way to adequately describe Jesus to them. Any attempt always falls short because there is no perfect way, on this side of heaven, to convey in words the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

If my children are going to be found faithful with the life God has given them, and be found fulfilling their God-given purpose they must be comfortable praying to God, their Father. This cannot be left up to chance so I have provided ways of helping them with their prayer life and below is one of the tools we use daily.

PRAYER BOARD

 I made this Prayer Board out of an old picture frame I no longer used.Prayer board

Adoration, Confession Thanksgiving, Supplication

A.C.T.S.

What is your heart and will in this matter, Lord? _______________ I petition this in the name of Jesus.

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“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25

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“I believed; therefore, I have spoken.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

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Box of blank paper on which to write prayer needs.

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A.J. added the below request to the board tonight. The National League Championship Series now stands at Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1. Go Cards!

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Praying for the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 2013 NLCS. Go Cards!

Answered Prayers:

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There is relief, sometimes unexplainable, that only comes through prayer. So we pray for those we know and love and for those who ask us to pray for them.

My kids enjoy reading through the envelope of answered prayers.  Colson was just doing so and noticed that most of the prayers were answered in the way for which we had prayed. He also took note of the prayers that were not answered with the healings for which we had prayed. These were almost exclusively traumatic brain injuries.  Three of those were answered with complete healings in heaven. One did not have the complete healing A.J. received after his severe traumatic brain injury and another waits, after more than two months, to again be able to speak or move his body.

I do not understand God’s sovereignty regarding these T.B.I. prayer requests especially since I know there are no coincidences with God. He has for some reason brought to our attention the need to pray for several T.B.I. patients in the last year and a half.

We are thankful for the opportunity to storm the gates of heaven on behalf of others.

How I made my Prayer Board:

My nature inspired house is decorated with rustic and primitive style furniture in the colors of perpetual autumn so my goal was to make the Prayer Board blend with my other home décor.

  • I sanded, wiped clean and painted the frame the same pumpkin color as my wall.
  • After the frame dried I rubbed an old candle on the edges and in groves followed by two coats of flat black paint, allowing dry time between each application.
  • After drying, I used my Pampered Chef scraper to scrape off the candle wax revealing distressed pumpkin, then lightly sanded and wiped clean.
  • I sealed it with two coats of matte polyurethane.
  • I covered the original mat-board with coordinating fabric and measured where to place the twine in each direction (ribbon could be used).
  • I wrapped the twine all the way around the board and tied it in knots which are part of the overall presentation.
  • I used a hot glue gun on the back to help keep the twine in place then I stapled the twine along the edges for long lasting hold.
  • I cut an allergy medicine box to size then covered it with scrapbooking paper.
  • I folded and tore (or use scrapbooking scissors) brown paper grocery sacks into note size papers and placed them in the box for quick use when someone needs to add a prayer need to the board.

The Prayer Board hangs next to our table so every time we eat we can glance at it and pray for people and situations that we would otherwise most likely forget. This helped my, reluctant to pray child, become a ready to pray child full of confidence. We use the Prayer Board during our Bible study and prayer time in school also.

A chalk board, magnetic board, marker board or bulletin board could just as easily be used. My favorite part of writing the needs on paper is that when the prayer has been answered we write the answer and the date on the piece of paper and place it in an envelope to be kept for our future boasting in the Lord.

PROOF POSITIVE:

  • Create an atmosphere of prayer in your home with an easily accessible type of Prayer Board.
  • Date the prayer need when you place it on the board and date it when you know it has been answered. It will be your turn to brag on God!

Toxic Tuesday: Flashing Billboards On My Forehead

I have a history of allowing anger (toxicity) to be taken out on me so when it comes up in a relationship it feels natural but I know God is calling me to recognize and respond to it in a biblical way. This is anything but easy for me. “You want to learn this lesson in the classroom and not on a field trip.” I imagine I have more field trips logged than the average student.

Prayer Tool Box

DIY Projects

DIY Prayer Tool Box

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“I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway,” is a quote by Nicole Lavelle that pretty much sums up my life.

How then does one do what they are not capable of doing?

Prayer!

Do you have insurmountable obstacles? Do you know someone in need of a miracle? Are you desperate for an answer to prayer?  Are you concerned for someone close to your heart? Are you anticipating God’s activity in your life?  Are  you seeking a creative way to teach your children to pray and to involve your family in meaningful prayer? Are you finding it difficult to appropriately thank God for something He has done in your life?

I have encountered all these scenarios and found prayer was the tool I needed for every one of them.

I was inspired by my church’s Prayer Room, with various specific prayer stations, which we have utilized over the years while holding prayer vigils. When I compared my prayer time at home to my prayer time during the vigils it resembled drive through fast-food compared to an elaborate five course dinner with the One I love at an upscale restaurant.  I enjoy and depend on my daily prayer time but my soul found uninterrupted intimate relationship, renewed strength, and blissful zeal in the simple structure the prayer vigil offered participants.

The idea of dedicating a room in our house solely for prayer was a grand idea but did not realistically fit our family at this stage in life. So I condensed prayer tools, some of which were replicas of the prayer vigil along with some of my own, into a Photo Box. The box coordinates with our home decorated in the seasonal colors of fall because I could live in perpetual autumn.

I am teaching my kids to use this box of prayer tools which makes our prayer life richer, organized and meaningful. Although this could be used daily, we reserve it for special occasions or special needs. I want to ensure my children do not become bored and do not feel inadequate while praying. Christ’s disciples fell asleep in the Garden so I know we are capable of doing the same.

Here is a list of what I keep in our Prayer Box:

  • Step by step directions
  • Scriptures
  • Candle and matches (keep out of reach of children)
  • ABC cards. Go through the alphabet to find a descriptive word or phrase for God that correlates with every letter of the alphabet. Write the word or phrase that describes God to you in this particular situation or write how  you are asking Him to work in this situation.
  • Clay
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Psalm 100 cards
  • Hymnal
  • Journal
  • List of missionaries from our church
  • Small pad of paper and a sealed box
  • Current list of prayer requests for our church family
  • Bible
  • Essential oils: Cassia, Cedarwood, Cypress, Frankincense and/or Hyssop
  • I keep these tools in a decorative photo box

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These are inexpensive therapeutic grade oils I ordered from Edens Garden.

Don’t forget a box of Kleenex or a travel size pack of Kleenex

We find a comfortable spot and gather close. (There are times when I use the box in private).

We do not consider quiet time during prayer uncomfortable but rather an opportunity for God to speak to our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is good to discuss something with the Lord and then be silent as we wait on Him. (This is a discipline I lack and hope to enjoy the benefits of before moving to my residence in heaven).

We follow the A.C.T.S. approach to prayer and worship time. We read the scriptures and instructions out loud. You may use all the tools/helps or choose according to your prayer topic. Pray the printed scriptures out loud; add your own prayers anywhere you choose.

A drop of Cedarwood may be rubbed into the palms of your hands before beginning your prayer and meditation and/or a drop of Frankincense to symbolize you are bringing your best to Jesus.

“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.” Revelation 5:8 (NIV).

“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.” Revelation 8:3 (NIV).

“May my prayer be set before you like incense;
    may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2 (NIV).

We read in scripture that incense represents the prayers of the saints and in the tabernacle the altar of incense was before the throne of God, the arc of the covenant, burning continuously because we are to pray without ceasing.

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved…                    2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV).

Take a moment to light a candle, or light incense, and as you enjoy it’s sweet aroma, be blessed to know that your prayers are always a sweet aroma to our Heavenly Father.

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ADORATION

“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,  knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.” 2 Corinthians 4:13-14 (NASB).

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him… Savior, Master, Yahweh. There is something about that name!

Use the abc card and go through the alphabet to find an adjective, word or phrase for God, that describes what you are asking of God in this request. When you are finished take time to read the list back to God, just fill in the blank —

“Lord you are_____________________”

(We believe, therefore we speak!)

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When you have finished this card, pick one of your words and find a hymn or praise song for that word/adjective. Meditate on that song and sing it to God, either out loud or in your heart.

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 God “inhabits” the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3). As your heart begins to adore him, you’ll sense his presence more deeply.

CONFESSION

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (The Message).

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“Change my heart, Oh God.” Make it ever true. Change my heart, Oh God. May I be like you. You are the potter; I am the clay; mold me and make me; This is what I pray…

Take a piece of clay from the bag. As you work the clay into the shape of a heart, use this time to search your own heart. What do you need to give Him? Pride, greed, selfishness, anger, lust…

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(Symbolically use the hand sanitizer to ‘cleanse’ your hands.)

Use a drop of Hyssop as a symbol of the cleansing work Christ has done for you. “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 (NIV)

“… let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.”                             2 Corinthians 7:1 (The Message)

 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

 Accept God’s forgiveness and cleansing and thank Him for it.

Use a drop of Cypress which scripturally symbolized purification and can be used as incense.

THANKSGIVING

 “We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!” 2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (The Message)

“For all that you’ve done, I will thank you. For all that you’re going to do, for all that you’ve promised and all that you are is all that has carried me through, Jesus. I thank you.

And I thank you, thank you Lord! Thank you for loving and setting me free. Thank you for giving your life just for me. Jesus, I thank you, gratefully thank you.”  -D Jernigan

Take time to meditate on Psalm 100.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

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On a Psalm 100 card, write your own personal Psalm 100  by filling in the blanks.

Know that the Lord is ________________________________________________

It is He who ________________________________________________________

And we are His ______________________________________________________

Enter His _____________________with ___________________________________

Give ________________________to Him and ________________________His name.

SUPPLICATION

 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

 If you are praying over someone in your presence you may anoint them with drops of Cassia, a holy anointing oil, used during Old Testament times.

Pray for the people on your prayer board, church prayer request list or your church missionary list.

Other prayer needs:

  • Church staff, leaders, teachers and members including families, singles, widows, sick and shut-ins.
  • Life’s difficulties, struggles, relationships, finances, studies or job.
  • Friends, loved ones, relatives, neighbors, co-workers. Talk to God about their needs. Ask for their salvation.
  • Our nation: President, legislators, justices, judges, governors, mayors, police and emergency personal.   Grant us wise leaders. Turn our nation’s hearts and minds to you, God. Pray for righteousness. Pray for the weak, the oppressed and the enslaved.
  • Internationally: Pray for the weak and oppressed and pray against modern day slavery. Pray that God’s word is accessible to all people in our generation. Pray for pastors and churches in countries where Christianity is persecuted. Pray for the poor and the starving that Christ will provide their every need. Pray for Israel to recognize their Messiah and pray for their purpose and safety.

Use the journal to record and date thoughts, prayers, dreams, etc.

Use the small pad of paper to write down your struggles and give them to God. For this I have a completely sealed box (glued & tied) where the struggle may be placed.

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Another option is to pray for ourselves or others and then give the request to God by releasing a seed outdoors. The seed symbolizes something we need to let go of. When we release it outside we are showing God it now belongs to Him. We may see the fruit of our prayer some day or God might be the only one who knows the outcome of the prayer/thrown seed.  We know whatever the outcome— it will be a supernatural work of God. (I have found gourd seeds to be vigorous.)

I hope you find this prayer time refreshing and that it makes you long for the next time you come before the Lord. I pray that God ministers to your heart, soul, mind and strength during these prayer times and that you begin to notice and remember answers to prayers.

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Completed Cards

More information on the above mentioned essential oils:

CASSIA* (Cinnamomum cassia) Cassia was an ingredient in the Holy Anointing Oil given to Moses. This exotic fragrance of vanilla/cinnamon might be similar in its aroma to cinnamon, but it is physically and chemically much different. Care must be taken in topical use as it may cause skin sensation. It is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and an anticoagulant.

Scriptures: Exodus 30:24; Ezekiel 27:19; Psalm 45:8

Historical uses of Cassia:

  • A drop placed in the hands rub hands together and cup over nose for a joyful, uplifting feeling.

CEDARWOOD* (Cedrus atlantica) Produced mainly in Morocco, it is the species most closely related to the cedars of Lebanon. Of all essential oils, Cedarwood is highest in sesquiterpenes, which are oxygen-delivering molecules capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Scriptures: Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 52; Numbers 19:6

Historical uses:

  • Diffuse or inhale from bottle to enhance prayer and meditation.
  • A drop of oil in your palms and then cup them over your nose and mouth. Inhale, breathing deeply to help with mental clarity.
  • Used as an effective insect repellant).
  • A drop to a cotton balls and place in drawers to repel insects.
  • Egyptians used 1-3 drops rubbed into the scalp may help to inhibit hair loss.
  • A drop or two rubbed on wounded skin may help to clean, disinfect and protect from infection.
  • Rub a drop or two on the chest area to help relieve symptoms of (difficult breathing) bronchitis.
  • Applied to help with sleep.

CYPRESS* (Cupressus sempervirens) The oil of Cypress has been used since ancient times for purification and as incense.

Scriptures: Genesis 6:14; Isaiah 41:19; 44:14; I Kings 9:11; Song of Solomon 1:17

Historical uses:

  • Used to help with healing cuts and healing of scars.

FRANKINCENSE* (Boswellia carteri)  It’s a generational tree that takes forty years to produce its first resin. One of the gifts of the wise men to our Savior, frankincense would have been rubbed all over the body of the baby. Egyptian tradition says that “Frankincense is good for everything from gout to a broken head” or in other words “good from head to toe”. If in doubt, use Frankincense. Other names for frankincense are “olibanum” or “Oil from Lebanon”.

Scriptures: Exodus 30:34; Leviticus 2:1, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7; Numbers 5:15; I Chronicles 9:29; Nehemiah 13:5, 9; Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:6, 14; Isaiah 43:23; 60:6; 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20; 17:26; 41:5; Matthew 2:11; Revelation 18:13

Historical Uses:

  • It was used improve concentration.
  • Spiritual oil that enhanced and promoted emotional and spiritual feeling.
  • Diffused to elevate mood.
  • A key ingredient in the holy anointing oils and the oil that stopped Biblical Plagues. 

HYSSOP* (Hyssopus officinalis) It has a very long history as a cleansing herb.

Scriptures: Exodus 12:22; Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52; Numbers 19:6, 18; I Kings 4:33; Psalm 51:7; John 19:29; Hebrews 9:19

Historical uses:

  • Used to prevent the Plague.

 

You will love your new prayer tool box!

DIY Projects

DIY Prayer Box

DSCN1898

“I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway,” is a quote by Nicole Lavelle that pretty much sums up my life.

How then does one do what they are not capable of doing? Prayer!

Do you have insurmountable obstacles? Do you know someone in need of a miracle? Are you desperate for an answer to prayer?  Are you concerned for someone close to your heart? Are you anticipating God’s activity in your life?  Are  you seeking a creative way to teach your children to pray and to involve your family in meaningful prayer? Are you finding it difficult to appropriately thank God for something He has done in your life?

I have encountered all of these scenarios and I have found prayer to be the tool I needed for every one of them.

I was inspired by my church’s Prayer Room, with various specific prayer stations, which we have utilized over the years while holding prayer vigils. When I compared my prayer time at home to my prayer time during the vigils it resembled  drive through fast-food compared to a sit-down steak dinner, with the One I love, at an upscale restaurant.  I enjoy and depend on my daily prayer time but my soul found uninterrupted intimate relationship, renewed strength and blissful zeal in the simple structure the prayer vigil offered participants.

The idea of dedicating a room in our house solely for prayer was a grand idea but did not realistically fit our family at this stage in life. So I condensed prayer tools, some of which were replicas of the prayer vigil along with some of my own, into a Photo Box. The box coordinates with our home, decorated in the seasonal colors of fall, because I could live in perpetual autumn.

I am teaching my kids to use this box of prayer tools which makes our prayer life richer, organized and meaningful. Although this could be used daily, we reserve it for special occasions or special needs. I want to ensure my children do not become bored and do not feel inadequate while praying. The disciples fell asleep in the Garden so I know we are capable of doing the same.

Here is a list of what I keep in our Prayer Box:

  • Directions that can be followed step by step
  • Scriptures
  • Candle and matches (keep out of reach of children)
  • ABC cards. Go through the alphabet to find an adjective for God that correlates with every letter, write a word/phrase that describes God to you in this particular situation or write how  you are asking Him to work in this situation.
  • Clay
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Psalm 100 cards
  • Hymnal
  • Journal
  • List of missionaries from our church
  • Small pad of paper and a sealed box
  • Current list of prayer requests for our church family
  • Bible
  • Essential oils: Cassia, Cedarwood, Cypress, Frankincense and/or Hyssop

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These are inexpensive oils I ordered from Edens Garden. If you are using essential oils for therapy/healing purposes I recommend using only Young Living Essential Oils.

Don’t forget a box of Kleenex or a travel size pack of Kleenex

We find a comfortable spot and gather close. (There are times when I utilize the box in private).

We do not consider quiet time during prayer uncomfortable but rather an opportunity for God to speak to our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is good to discuss something with the Lord and then be silent as we wait on Him. (This is a discipline I lack and hope to enjoy the benefits of before moving to my residence in heaven).

We follow the A.C.T .S. approach to prayer and worship time. We read the scriptures and instructions out loud. You may use all the tools/helps or choose according to your prayer topic. Pray the printed scriptures out loud; add your own prayers anywhere you choose.

A drop of Cedarwood may be rubbed into the palms of your hands before beginning your prayer and meditation and/or a drop of Frankincense to symbolize you are bringing your best to Jesus.

“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.” Revelation 5:8 (NIV).

“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.” Revelation 8:3 (NIV).

“May my prayer be set before you like incense;
    may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2 (NIV).

We read in scripture that incense represents the prayers of the saints and in the tabernacle the altar of incense was before the throne of God, the arc of the covenant, burning continuously because we are to pray without ceasing.

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved…                    2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV).

Take a moment to light a candle, or light incense, and as you enjoy it’s sweet aroma, be blessed to know that your prayers are always a sweet aroma to our Heavenly Father.

DSCN1903

ADORATION

“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,  knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.” 2 Corinthians 4:13-14 (NASB).

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him… Savior, Master, Yahweh. There is something about that name!

Use the abc card and go through the alphabet to find an adjective for God, or a word that describes what you are asking of God in this request, that correlates with every letter. When you are finished, take time to read the list back to God, just fill in the blank —

“Lord you are_____________________”

(We believe, therefore we speak!)

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When you have finished this card, pick one of your words and find a hymn or praise song for that word/adjective. Meditate on that song and sing it to God, either aloud or in your heart.

DSCN1915

 God “inhabits” the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3). As your heart begins to adore him, you’ll sense his presence more deeply.

CONFESSION

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (The Message).

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“Change my heart, Oh God.” Make it ever true. Change my heart, Oh God. May I be like you. You are the potter; I am the clay; mold me and make me; This is what I pray…

Take a piece of clay from the bag. As you work the clay into the shape of a heart, use this time to search your own heart. What do you need to give Him? Pride, greed, selfishness, anger, lust…

DSCN1906 DSCN1904

(Use the hand sanitizer to ‘cleanse’ your hands.)

Use a drop of Hyssop as a symbol of the cleansing work Christ has done for you. “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 (NIV)

“… let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.”                             2 Corinthians 7:1 (The Message)

 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

 Accept God’s forgiveness and cleansing and thank Him for it.

Use a drop of Cypress which scripturally symbolized purification and can be used as incense.

THANKSGIVING

 “We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!” 2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (The Message)

“For all that you’ve done, I will thank you. For all that you’re going to do, for all that you’ve promised and all that you are is all that has carried me through, Jesus. I thank you.

And I thank you, thank you Lord! Thank you for loving and setting me free. Thank you for giving your life just for me. Jesus, I thank you, gratefully thank you.”  -D Jernigan

Take time to meditate on Psalm 100.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

 DSCN1912

On a Psalm 100 card, write your own personal Psalm 100  by filling in the blanks.

Know that the Lord is ________________________________________________

It is He who ________________________________________________________

And we are His ______________________________________________________

Enter His _____________________with ___________________________________

Give ________________________to Him and ________________________His name.

SUPPLICATION

 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

 If you are praying over someone in your presence you may anoint them with drops of Cassia, a holy anointing oil, used during Old Testament times.

Pray for the people on your prayer board, church prayer request list or your church missionary list.

Other prayer needs:

  • Church staff, leaders, teachers and members including families, singles, widows, sick and shut-ins.
  • Life’s difficulties, struggles, relationships, finances, studies or job.
  • Friends, loved ones, relatives, neighbors, co-workers. Talk to God about their needs. Ask for their salvation.
  • Our nation: President, legislators, justices, judges, governors, mayors, police and emergency personal.   Grant us wise leaders. Turn our nation’s hearts and minds to you, God. Pray for righteousness. Pray for the weak, the oppressed and the enslaved.
  • Internationally: Pray for the weak and oppressed and pray against modern day slavery. Pray that God’s word is accessible to all people in our generation. Pray for pastors and churches in countries where Christianity is persecuted. Pray for the poor and the starving that Christ will provide their every need.

Use the journal to record and date thoughts, prayers, dreams, etc.

Use the small pad of paper to write down your struggles and give them to God. For this I have a completely sealed box (glued & tied) where the struggle may be placed.

DSCN1975

Another option is to pray for ourselves or others and then give the request to God by releasing a seed outdoors. The seed symbolizes something we need to let go of. When we release it outside we are showing God it now belongs to Him. We may see the fruit of our prayer some day or God may be the only one who knows the outcome of the prayer/thrown seed.  We know whatever the outcome may be — it will be a supernatural work of God. (I have found gourd seeds to be vigorous.)

I hope you find this prayer time to be refreshing and that it makes you long for the next time you come before the Lord. I pray that God ministers to your heart, soul, mind and strength during these prayer times and that you begin to notice and remember answers to prayers.

DSCN1976 DSCN1928 DSCN1895

Completed Cards

More information on the above mentioned essential oils:

If you are using essential oils for therapy/healing purposes I recommend using only Young Living Essential Oils.

CASSIA* (Cinnamomum cassia) steam distilled from bark. Cassia was an ingredient in the Holy Anointing Oil given to Moses. This exotic fragrance of vanilla/cinnamon might be similar in its aroma to cinnamon, but it is physically and chemically much different. Care must be taken in topical use as it may cause skin sensation. It is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and an anticoagulant.

Scriptures: Exodus 30:24; Ezekiel 27:19; Psalm 45:8

Historical uses of Cassia:

  • A drop placed in the hands rub hands together and cup over nose for a joyful, uplifting feeling.

CEDARWOOD* (Cedrus atlantica) steamed distilled from bark. Produced mainly in Morocco, it is the species most closely related to the cedars of Lebanon. Of all essential oils, cedarwood is highest in sesquiterpenes, which are oxygen-delivering molecules capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Scriptures: Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 52; Numbers 19:6

Historical uses:

  • Diffuse or inhale from bottle to enhance prayer and meditation.
  • A drop of oil in your palms and then cup them over your nose and mouth. Inhale, breathing deeply to help with mental clarity.
  • Used as an effective insect repellant).
  • A drop to a cotton balls and place in drawers to repel insects.
  • Egyptians used 1-3 drops rubbed into the scalp may help to inhibit hair loss.
  • A drop or two rubbed on wounded skin may help to clean, disinfect and protect from infection.
  • Rub a drop or two on the chest area to help relieve symptoms of (difficult breathing) bronchitis.
  • Applied to help with sleep.

CYPRESS* (Cupressus sempervirens) steam distilled from seeds. The oil of Cypress has been used since ancient times for purification and as incense.

Scriptures: Genesis 6:14; Isaiah 41:19; 44:14; I Kings 9:11; Song of Solomon 1:17

Historical uses:

  • Used to help with healing cuts and healing of scars.

FRANKINCENSE* (Boswellia carteri) steam distilled from resin. It’s a generational tree that takes forty years to produce its first resin. One of the gifts of the wise men to our Savior, frankincense would have been rubbed all over the body of the baby. Egyptian tradition says that “Frankincense is good for everything from gout to a broken head” or in other words “good from head to toe”. If in doubt, use Frankincense. Other names for frankincense are “olibanum” or “Oil from Lebanon”.

Scriptures: Exodus 30:34; Leviticus 2:1, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7; Numbers 5:15; I Chronicles 9:29; Nehemiah 13:5, 9; Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:6, 14; Isaiah 43:23; 60:6; 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20; 17:26; 41:5; Matthew 2:11; Revelation 18:13

Historical Uses:

  • It was used improve concentration.
  • Spiritual oil that enhanced and promoted emotional and spiritual feeling.
  • Diffused to elevate mood.
  • A key ingredient in the holy anointing oils and the oil that stopped Biblical Plagues. 

HYSSOP* (Hyssopus officinalis) steam distilled from stems/leaves. It has a very long history as a cleansing herb.

Scriptures: Exodus 12:22; Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52; Numbers 19:6, 18; I Kings 4:33; Psalm 51:7; John 19:29; Hebrews 9:19

Historical uses:

  • Used to prevent the Plague.

LivingWell     Thoughtful Spot

Flashing Billboards on My Forehead

TOXIC TUESDAY warning

“I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”

Philip Yancey

Conflicts: Dysfunctional. Abusive. Boundaryless. They can happen to anyone including Jesus followers who daily spend purposeful time with God through reading the scriptures, in-depth Bible study and consistent prayer. You may be a godly person and a good neighbor, boss, employee, co-worker, parent, spouse, child, sibling, relative or friend finding yourself in an unwanted and uncalled for difficult relationship or circumstance.

I have had relationships in which I interceded for the other person through prayer by asking Jesus to heal them of their dysfunction, mental illness or sin. Most scriptural records of Jesus healing a person were instant, complete and permanent. Even though the person I prayed for had not asked for the help or healing and I could not physically take them to Jesus; I could spiritually bring them before Jesus.

I have previously witnessed Jesus provide in ways that seemed impossible to me relationally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and even legally. He is so like that. When I have been at my wit’s end believing there was no possible way, no hope, no healing, no relief, no safety to overcome an obstacle; Jesus did the impossible. My mind had not previously conceived what He chose to do on my behalf. It was so out of the box that only He could have done it. There lies the beauty; Jesus has no box and I cannot put Him in one. Whoop — whoop!

That being exclaimed, I must also add that I have known Jesus long enough to realize not all prayers are fulfilled the way I wish, in my timing, or sometimes they may not be answered in my lifetime and I know I’ll have to wait until heaven to see how it is eventually answered. My heart may sometimes doubt Jesus heard my prayer but my mind always knows better. He hears, remembers and acts. Always.

If you use Pinterest, the online bulletin/pin board, you have likely read quotes about trusting your heart: “There is no instinct like that of the heart.” “Trust your heart. What is true feels good. What is false causes doubt.” – Monica De Liz. “Always listen to your heart.” “When you can’t believe your eyes you can always trust your heart.”  “Trust your heart and you will be with the one you love” -Aunt Wu.

Here is what trumps all these quotes: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV). Our hearts need to be established in Christ first and even then scripture tells us not to trust in our heart, but with all of our heart, trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV).

I knew Jesus was capable of healing the person I was praying for. Scripture told me of His great power and; moreover, scripture states the power is for us. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1:18-20 (NIV). I have longed for this kind of power to be exerted in to the heart, soul, mind and strength of someone I knew on multiple occasions. The bottom line was they had to want it and believe Him for it. When they did not —I was not quick to give up on them. I’m stubborn like that.

Often when I sense God has released me from relationally reaching out to someone and has shown me the exit door from a dysfunctional, abusive or boundaryless relationship; I usually look for a detour and go back for the person. I find myself wondering, “Have I done everything I can?” I do not want to question if there was possibly something else that would have worked. I continue to pray and ask if there is please, another way. I must know I did everything I could and when I look back; have no regrets. If I am going to error I can live with erring in faith but I could not live with erring in what was convenient. I am capable of missing the proverbial boat when it comes to discerning the voice, the will, of God and I want to make certain I clearly understood his heart and will for this concern.

On the other hand, I have a history of allowing anger (toxicity) to be taken out on me so when it comes up in a relationship it feels natural but I know God is calling me to recognize and respond to it in a biblical way. This is anything but easy for me.

Sometime I imagine I have a flashing sign on my forehead that reads, “Easy to Manipulate: Free Test Try” or perchance “Bounaryless: Trespass without caution.” God keeps the lessons in these areas coming at a steady pace and He is determined to teach me how to soar by handling the issue without becoming nervous, shaky, lightheaded, heart pounding out of my chest or; as in my most recent lesson, feeling like Icy Hot was rubbed on my chest. I never before experienced this sensation during a difficult confrontation and fortunately was able to laugh at myself when the conversation had finished. Icy Hot — seriously — I never knew!

Thankfully, God is a patient teacher who does not give me a failing grade. He just keeps teaching me new applications and giving me new situations in which to work them out. God has also given me a godly, humorous private tutor who happens to be an Ace when it comes to practical application. God is very serious about me learning this lesson and passing on to you what I learn. I must add that these lessons are not easy and are sometimes painful. To quote Beth Moore from a lesson in Daniel: Lives of Integrity, “You want to learn this lesson in the classroom and not on a field trip.” I imagine I have more field trips logged than the average student.

In an upcoming post I will refer to toxic relationships, or what the Bible refers to as relationships with fools. Until then; if you, like me, have a flashing billboard on your forehead — turn it off! And keep clear of Icy Hot.

Toxic Tuesday: The Supernatural

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

 

Last week provided opportunity for me to sit down with my children and use our prayer tool box. I take this prayer box out when I want to spend lengthy concentrated prayer on an issue or need.

Last week such a need was upon us. There was a possibility of seeing a long-awaited prayer request answered concerning a toxic person from our past. This toxic person had wreaked havoc in four innocent children’s lives that we knew of and possibly, according to investigators, in hundreds of other children’s lives. After sixteen years of praying for children’s safety I could possibly see God’s hand provide permanent protection. I believed I had received the answer to the prayerrequest over two years previous but felt the pressing duty to pray it into being.

Please understand I was not fighting against a person. I fought for the safety of children from childhood victimization but more than that; I fought for their heart, soul, mind and strength. Because perhaps nothing can mess with a child’s heart, soul mind and strength more than being victimized in the name of Jesus while being told how special they are, how loved they are, and that God is going to use them in great ways for His work. ENOUGH! There are things worth fighting for, through the power of prayer, and this was one of them.

By products would be the vengeance of the Lord, vindication from my past for the hundreds of people who never knew the truth of why I left this relationship, and a reminder to those who knew but refused to do anything about it that God knows all, sees all, and will hold them accountable for the harm that came to the children.

I was in desperate need to see God’s final answer of justice, in this case, on this side of heaven, “Please Lord?”

“A hostile world! I call to God, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!” Psalm 18:6 (The Message)

Ah yes, that is how I feel every time I take out our prayer tool box; in His presence—a private audience!

Here are two of the prayer cards we filled out during our time praying for justice in this court case.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Write your own Psalm 100 by filling in the blanks—

 

Know that the Lord is powerful and in charge

It is He who brought this child abuser to trial

And we are His prayer warriors praying for justice

Enter His arms little children with assurance of rest and healing,

Give praise to Him and trust and glorify His name.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Describe how you are asking God to work in this circumstance:

A mazingly swift

B elieve the children (jury)

C omfort the children

D eliver defendant to prison

E mpower prosecutor & team

F inish the trail this week

G uilty verdict

H elp children to remember

I ntercessor for the witnesses

J udicious

K indness toward children from the defense

L ove the children tenderly

M ighty to save

N ever forget what happened

O verwhelm the jury with truth

P eace while giving testimony

Q uiet the court room

R emember the victims

S ave the children from fear

T welve guilty verdicts

U understand defendant’s history & character (jury)

V indicate the children

W onderful counselor

X tremely wise jury

Y ielding professional testimony

Z ealous for the children; the apples of Jesus’ eyes

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We were extremely bold in our asking; after all, the book of Psalms sets the precedence for asking boldly for victory against our foes.

“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.” Ephesians 6:12

Two days later I was present in court to hear the verdict with my own ears: Guilty.

See previous post: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin

We need to wake up, pray up and speak up. Sin, specifically childhood victimization, wants to shut us down and shut us up but God has so much more for us.  God wants us to join Him where ever we see Him working; including protecting children. Jesus left His believers supernatural power to get the work done. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

So I will boldly speak out. God’s church has often been quiet about childhood victimization sometimes treating the victims as the problem. Why? Because it is an uncomfortable ugly topic and it is next to impossible for many people to believe abusers, molesters and pedophiles exist.  They would rather not talk about it and if they must; please leave the shocking terminology out of the conversation. Smooth it over, soften it, make it nicer. No one should have to hear about such things.

I strongly disagree. Many Christians need to wake up, know the facts and do everything they can to protect the children; at the very least, believe the children and pray for them.

We must participate in God’s cause, battle and victory against the forces of darkness. Bad things happen in real life. You can’t hush it, soften it, rewrite it or ignore it. Be real! Childhood victimization is real! If we will not intercede for the children, who will? If we will not bring to light the sin hidden in darkness no one will.

Do you know of a toxic person who needs brought to justice? Join God and fight for the children. Pray.

Here are two links to help you with prayer tools as you take on remembering to effectively pray.

DSCN1898Prayer Tool Box: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/?s=prayer+tool+box

Prayer boardPrayer Board: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/?s=prayer+board

 

Here are three links with helpful scriptures to pray over abused children and the abusers.

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/p-r-a-y-e-r-for-innocent-children/

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/pedophile-or-molester-content-warning/

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/mene-mene-tekel-parsin/

 

P R A Y E R acronym

 

word filled linkup

A Little Bit of Chocolate and a Whole Lot of Jesus 03/22/2014

Little Bit of Chocolate final

There isn’t any problem a little bit of chocolate and a whole lot of Jesus can’t fix.

DEVOTION for March 22, 2014

 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Exodus 33:17

 MY PRAYER:

Father,

I love being in your Word, Lord. Thank you for leaving it for all people. Your word excites me, heals me, it shows me who You are and who I am.

You are beautiful, majestic, mysterious, tender, healing, merciful, gracious, and loving—perfect in every way! I’m never bored when I’m with you; instead I am thrilled with anticipation of what You are going to teach me next, who You are going to minister to through me and how You are going to make my heart more like Yours and my mind more like Jesus’. I love being with You! I long to hear You pronounce over me what you spoke over Moses in Exodus 33:17.

In Jesus’ name I pray; Amen.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Romans 3:21-26

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 

Romans 3:21-26 teaches the Old Testament believers looked forward in faith to Christ’s coming and were saved, even though they did not know Jesus’ name or the details of his earthly life. Salvation came as, Father God, anticipated the work of the coming Messiah (Is. 52-53).  Because of the sacrifices (offerings) for worship and forgiveness of sin we read about in the book of Leviticus; Old Testament believers understood the cost of their sin and that they could not forgive themselves. They were taught a temporary way to receive forgiveness; and salvation was offered through their faith as they looked ahead to the cross.

And now we, New Testament believers, have the free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ. Our God is not difficult with a long list of rules to follow in  hopes of reaching heaven. He is not mean or impatient. He requires nothing other than our faith being placed in His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. This is grace.

Webster Dictionary defines grace as:

a :  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I do not have to perform work to remain saved, but out of a grateful heart I choose to spend time with God, I choose to pass on what I have learned, I choose to care for other’s needs and I choose to make a difference in  my community, nation and world. I have found through internet technology the world is reachable from my kitchen desk via my laptop computer.

Tears flow as I read the stats from my blog. I cannot see who specifically reads my blog; I can only see the nations from which they come but when I see the numerous nations, I am drawn to pray for those who are reading. Readers come from nations closed to Christianity, nations who persecute and put to death Christians, nations with different world views and nations who worship gods of other religions, cults or practices.

My heart aches for those of you suffering through difficult relationships and circumstances; as I see that is how many of you land on my blog.

My hearts skips a beat with happiness I as see those of you who land at this blog through Pinterest or “Prayer”, “Prayer board” and “DIY Prayer Box” google searches.

I hope you are helped and encouraged to the uttermost!

NLCS Champions: St Louis Cardinals
NLCS Champions: St Louis Cardinals

We’ve listened to the catchy phrases: Red October in Cardinal Nation. It is Winsday for Winwright. (Wednesday for Wainwright for you non-Cardinal fans) and we have seen pictures of Fozzie Bear wearing a Cardinals’ cap with the caption, “Wacha, Wacha, Wacha” for our rookie pitcher, Michael Wacha, who was the MVP of the National League Championship Series.

Wacha Wacha

WARNING: In St. Louis, Facebook is not a place for non-baseball fans to spend the weekend of October 19, 2013 because social media has been taken over by Red October fans.

We are thrilled, we are proud and we are looking forward to watching our team of hard working, humble, best in the league; seasoned, young and rookie ball players do their thing.

I want a 2013 World Series win for them but I especially want it for Coach Matheny (1st World Series Win as coach), Adam Wainwright (because he was injured during the 2011 World Series), Matt Holliday (injured during the last World Series and was not able to play at the top of his game {plus he is from my hometown of Stillwater, OK and many of us are naturally  proud of him}), Yadier Molina (best catcher ever in my opinion), Carlos Beltran (is deserving of his first Championship ring), and Michael Wacha (because I think the sports commentators have it all wrong concerning the best young pitcher in baseball. It’s not  Clayton Kershaw, of the L.A. Dodgers — it’s Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals. Wacha also pitched better than Greinke). Additionally Coach Matheny,  Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter, Trevor Rosenthal, Jake Westbrook, David Freese, Jason Mott, Kolton Wong and Shane Robinson are many of the Cardinals known as Christ followers.

This team brings me great fun, smack in the middle of fall, and helps boost my joy level as I thrive despite some of life’s difficulties.

BTW – A.J. updated his prayer board entry: “For the Cards to beat the Dodgers”                “Won! 10-18-2013”

He posted a new request tonight: “For St. Louis to win the 2013 World Series”

I have two very happy young boys in my house tonight. It is midnight and now time for them to stop watching the post game interviews and, as Colson stated when the Cards were three outs away from winning the NLCS tonight, “Yay, I want to see the whiskey fight!” A.K.A. celebrating by spraying champagne on each other in the locker room.

Good night, Cardinal Nation! You are the best baseball city with the best baseball fans of anywhere I have ever lived. {Kansas City, Denver, Houston and Atlanta}

Go Cards!

Twas the Day of Game 6

Twas the day of Game 6
And all through the town
Every citizen’s in red
For what’s about to go down
The hoodies were on
Hat’s covering their hair
October in St. Louis
Has a nip in the air
The fans were all nestled all snug in their chairs
In hopes that a pennant would soon be theirs
And I in my jersey
And also my hat
Had just settled in
Before the first at-bat
When out of Busch Stadium
There arose such a cheer
I sprang from my seat
Nearly spilling my beer
When what, to my anxious eyes should appear?
A very tall pitcher, and eight others showing no fear
His name was Wacha
Lanky and tall
He knew what to do
All he needed was the ball
He took the field
His teammates did the same
Then he whistled
And he called them by name
Now Freeser! Now Carpenter! Now Kozma and Jay!
On Beltran, On Adams, On Yadi and Holliday!”
“From the very first pitch
Until the last out
Let’s leave it all on the field
He sprang to the mound, and gave the team a wink
They took their positions, not knowing what to think
Leaving no doubt”
Then they heard him exclaim
With all of his might
“Happy Wachtober to all
We’re doing this tonight”

~Copied from Facebook, uncertain of author

Lynn Messer: Praying for Justice

I’m still believing justice is on the way. I believe silence and slow movement in the case is for a positive reason. The integrity of the case is more important than public perception or providing answers to the family. These types of cases can take years to build a solid case. Don’t mistake it for inaction or indifference. Time is now on Lynn’s side. I’m still praying for Lynn’s reversal of destiny. Read more in this rewrite of ‘Reversal of Destiny’.

Lynn Messer case history

This is where you’ll find many of the past articles I’ve written about Lynn Messer. They are listed by title and dated from recent to earliest. You may also type ‘Lynn Messer’ into the search bar in the margin to find more articles. March 28, 2018, Lynn Messer family history Two and a half years … Continue reading Lynn Messer case history

Who is Spring Thomas: By Aarron Messer

  This article is from Aarron Messer’s Facebook page. He has given me permission to print it in its entirety. Our frustrations can be overwhelming. There are so many questions we do not have answers too that at times you wonder if there is anything you can do? One of those questions is what role … Continue reading Who is Spring Thomas: By Aarron Messer

Freedom Run for Ronald (McDonald House)

Run-for-Ronald-logo-2014-300x194

A grateful heart…

 

family room

Ronald's kitchen
Ronald’s kitchen

I wish I could find the pictures of our family using the Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The room, staffed by volunteers, offers the families of patients a comfy home-away-from home setting. Friends can drop off meals, marked with the patient’s name, for the patient’s family in Ronald’s fridge; these can be warmed and eaten at the family’s convenience.  The Family Room provides computers with internet access, a T.V., beautiful sofas for lounging, a kitchen, dining table, fully stocked snack and refreshment bar, laundry facilities, toys, books, board games, phone and an immaculately clean bathroom with a hot shower for family members to use.

Family room
Family room

Bleach and a pair of flip-flops could not entice me to use the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit’s shower for patients’ family members. I don’t know how anyone can manage to spray the walls, floor and the outside of the toilet with human waste of almost every kind, but someone did. And did it every day. Nasty!

Don’t get me wrong, we were and are grateful for the hospital, doctors and staff. Some of the best in the world! But some of the visitors had not been taught good bathroom etiquette and the importance of good hygiene.

January 1, 2011- Day after middle of the night brain surgery

 

Our family benefited from McDonald’s charity when my son, A.J., had a severe traumatic brain injury three, almost four, years ago.

Blessed Beyond Measure briefly chronicles A.J.’s hospitalization.

Celebrating an Answered Prayer Again was in celebration of A.J.’s 11th birthday.

Improving by the hour. Day 4
Improving by the hour. Day 4
Day 5
Day 5
About three months later with his puppy, Clancy.

Fast forward to October 2014.

A.J. has been on a mission convincing me that he needs more opportunities to serve others so he can become more like Jesus. He’s looking for ways to be involved in helping, serving and learning. He, better than anyone besides me—his dad—his brother (poor little brother)—and his sister—maybe add a few close friends—okay anyone who knows him, understands his bossy side. But he wants to become a servant leader.

A.J. and Colson have enjoyed participating in the local 40 Days for Life prayer chain the last few years. Recently they began preparing  food platters for Parent University, classes offered to parents who have chosen life. Our church hosts classes where parents can learn positive ways to parent, run a home, and build relationships.  Because of his heart for the unborn, A.J. wanted to run in the pro-LIFErunners 5K on the Katy Trail in Jefferson City, Missouri, but found out he had to be twelve to enter; he’s only eleven.

This led to looking for a local 5K for his first ever running event. I found the Freedom Run on the internet, sponsored by Missouri Baptist University. It was in honor of veterans, and his dad served in Desert Storm as a Marine. Plus it was benefiting the new Ronald McDonald House at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. Perfect! He already held a warm affection for Ronald McDonald because of the Family Room at Children’s Hospital.

Farm Boy signed the two of them up and they began walking and running to prepare for the race. Their goal was for A.J. to finish in under 45 minutes considering the short training time for his first 5K race.

Signed in? Check. T-shirt and bib number? Check. Streeeetch and stretch some more. Check.
Lost in the pack at the start line
Lost in the pack at the start line
Start!
He’s so excited that he runs 13 minutes without walking.
Excited! Feeling nothing but positive thoughts about running this for the Ronald McDonald House.
Excited! Feeling nothing but positive thoughts about running this for the Ronald McDonald House.
Colson and I are waiting at the finish line. The race began at MOBAP and finished at the new Ronald McDonald House.
Introducing the Ronald McDonald House at Mercy Hospital.
Introducing the Ronald McDonald House at Mercy Hospital.
36 minutes. He beat his goal.
36 minutes. He beat his goal.
Carbs and fruit for the runners.
Carbs and fruit for the runners.
He said he never once regretted the race, was only happy, and wants to help out next year.
He said he never once regretted the race, was only happy, and wants to help out next year.

He also hopes to run without walking next year.

One last surprise of the morning. He was put on the spot and invited to the podium to briefly tell his story about being in the hospital. It was purely by chance that the organizer found out about A.J.

A.J. had his serious face on as he explained he had a brain injury and that the Ronald McDonald room and staff helped his family while they stayed with him in the hospital. He ended by thanking them.

A.J. made me promise that I would not post the video on social media.

I promised.

 

Happy Veteran’s Day to the brave, honorable and loved men and women who have served and presently serve our beloved nation, the United States of America. Thank you!

Oorah! (For Farm Boy)

 

 

 

Toxic Tuesday: Tasers and Tea

TOXIC TUESDAY warning

What did I do when I found out my daughter had something ‘weird’ happen to her? First, I gathered details and talked to a witness about the weirdness. Second, I called the police. This was not the comfort I had hoped for; in fact, I understood the ‘weird’ may or may not have been part of a planned attempted abduction. Third, I informed the college campus security of my concerns and then I went to my friend Kim’s house to discuss Tasers over a cup of hot tea.

 

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I’m a mom. A mom who is wildly; crazy in love with my children. I have spent my motherhood years protecting, teaching and nurturing my children. It has been a long and difficult road full of bumps, broken bridges and over the cliff falls; a few of which I was not able to protect them from. Life is hard!

I know I cannot protect my children from all the evil in this world but I can pray to the One who is able. So I along with my husband, sons, parents, sister and her family; as well as, friends are covering this in prayer. Since God has set the precedence that a spoken word can be more powerful than a word thought or read, I am praying scripture out loud over this situation. Please join me! I have included scripture at the end of this post.

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I confess I have lost sleep over this but it has not been unproductive lost sleep! What else is a mom to do when faced with possible danger; or at least a question I would like to have answered? I mean, besides driving her college age daughter nuts with concern?

My brain has been churning with questions and answers.

Why do men do this? Answer: SIN! Pornography addiction and/or extreme mental illness.

What type of victim are they looking for?

What do they want to avoid?

What can children, young adults and women do who find themselves in an attempted abduction?

Better yet, how can they avoid being the target of abduction?

 

I will begin with the last question first.

How can children, young adults and women avoid being the target of abduction?

I recently attended a community education class on public safety at my church led by, Officer Melissa Doss, of the St. Peters Police Department. She had a valuable power packed presentation. Here are a few tips she gave:

Make it a habit to look people in the eyes when you are in public and to notice the type and color of clothing they are wearing. Would be criminals do not want someone who can identify them.

Do not dig in your purse for keys, a cell phone or anything else while you are walking to your car. This shows you are distracted and that your hands are not free to defend yourself. Have your keys in your hand before you are walking to your vehicle.

Do not text or talk on your cell phone while walking to your car. Again, this shows you are distracted and that your hands are not free to defend yourself. (There have been instances in the news where teen and college age girls were abducted while talking on their cellphones.)

If someone approaches you in a parking lot, on the street or in the store you do not have to reply to them. We believe we need to be polite; not rude, but this does not apply here. Be rude! They can find help from a man, the store’s customer service desk, or they can call the police. Do not turn around to look at them, do not stop walking and do not answer them. You are not being rude or un-Christlike. You are being safe!

Do not have iPod or MP3 ear buds in your ears. This shows your thoughts are elsewhere, you are distracted, and you cannot hear everything around you.  You also should not drive with ear buds in your ears.

Always walk with your keys held in your hand as a stabbing weapon. Use the keys for stabbing in the eyes and face.

Park in a well-lit place.

Park your car away from other cars so no one can block the view to your vehicle; thus keeping the public from seeing the abduction.

If you think someone in a store is watching you or following you; go to the Courtesy/Customer Service desk and request to be escorted to your car. Any store will provide this for their customers.

If you are alone at work after hours or on the weekend and see  a car with a driver in the parking lot as you are leaving; stay inside the building and call the police. They will gladly come to your place of employment and see you safely to your car.

When I spoke to the local Sheriff’s department about my daughter’s situation these were some of their instructions for her: Pay close attention to other drivers while driving. If you think you are being followed, keep driving and call 911 to report your location. Do not pull over and do not go into a building or store. Stay in the car and wait for the police to find you/catch up with you. They will pull over the car behind you for questioning.

I must remind you that many abductions and molestations are committed by someone the individual or the family knows so teaching Stranger Danger to our children is not a sure answer to the problem.

Our family is password protected. If a friend or extended family member should need to pick one of my children up from an event or appointment because I asked them to do so; they will have to tell my children the secret password for my children to safely go with them. I also taught my children at a young age to look for a mommy with children and ask her for help if they are lost or if they are being led out of a store by a stranger.

 

Additional helps in an attempted abduction:

Always have a weapon with you: Mace (pepper spray), a Taser, a stun gun, a knife, and/or a key in your hand for jabbing in an attacker’s eyes or face.

Missouri is a conceal and carry permit state. Those age 21 and older with skills and who have attended and passed a gun safety class can keep a concealed gun with them.

I am going to add a whistle to my keychain. They are loud and will draw attention if you need it. If you have an older car without an alarm system, or a panic button, a whistle could be blown if you think someone is following you to your car. People will look to see who is blowing a whistle; you! I think this would make an abductor look elsewhere for a victim.

Always check the back seat of your car and the back end of your van before getting in; even if you had the doors locked while away from the vehicle.

I walk quickly when walking to and from my vehicle. I hope it looks like I’m in a hurry to get somewhere or to keep an appointment. Let an abductor believe someone is expecting me; therefore, I will be missed if I don’t get to where I am going.

In one of the recent attempted abductions there was a man standing by the young woman’s car. If you see someone standing by your car or hear a stranger talking to you; don’t hesitate, turn and run back into the store and ask for an escort to your car and/or call the police.

Keep your doors locked and your widows up while driving.

If you get a flat tire in a dark or seemingly dangerous place I would slowly drive on the flat tire to a public place. I would rather damage my car than risk my life.

I keep the local police phone number programmed in my cell phone; as well as, a local towing company. I should never have to walk anywhere or accept help from a stranger.

Here is a plan that I have gone over in my mind several times. If you are abducted and forced to drive the car, find an object into which you can crash the car—preferably at a lower rate of speed. An emergency room visit it far better than what the abductor has in store for you.

There have been abducted and bound victims who have kicked the back lights out of the trunks and poked a foot or hand through the opening for passing vehicles to see. If bound and in the back seat or on the floorboard, kick at the windows for a passing vehicle to see your feet.

If you cannot outrun your attacker and there is no one in sight run around your vehicle if you can. Putting something between the two of you as he pursues you may frustrate him causing him to give up, or give you more time to be seen by someone else.

Most abductions of women and children in the U.S. are sexually motivated and once the abductor has you in their vehicle the chances of being found or found alive are slim. Yell for help. Resist. Try to escape. You DO NOT want to be physically taken from where you are. Be loud, run and don’t look back until you have reached safety.

The goal is not to have a witness to the crime but to receive help with the crime. Reacting in the moment is much easier said than done so having a well thought plan is important.

I am going to use the example of the boy referenced in the below  news clip: http://fox2now.com/2014/03/18/another-attempted-child-abduction-reported-in-st-ann/

He did the right things by ignoring the car, continuing to walk away and then running. But I think another element to teach our children is to yell loudly. Attackers do not want to be heard, seen or identified so, you,  be heard and, you, help them to be seen and identified. A victim in this situation could yell any of the following as they run, “I don’t know them!” “I am being chased by a red car with two men it.”  “I’m being kidnapped!” “A man with short dark hair is trying to take me.” “A man with brown hair is chasing me.” “That man has a gun!” “I don’t know him.”  “A man with a green coat is chasing me. “ These types of responses will need to be practiced in advance so a child is resolved to respond accordingly if abduction is ever attempted.

If you are being abducted in a crowd, grab a hold of a person or object (a pole, a chair, a fence, a bike) while yelling statements like those above. This will draw too much attention and require the abductor to think twice about messing with you.

Kidnappers and rapists are looking for easy targets. Be difficult and fight until you have no fight left in you. They don’t want someone who will struggle with them—so keep fighting. (These guidelines are not necessarily the same when traveling in a foreign country. I am applying this to my country/society.) They also don’t want someone with a weapon. If your weapon is in your purse it is useless because they will most likely take control of your hands and arms before you can reach for the weapon. The weapon needs to be in your hand or on your key chain which is in your hand.

If your car is hit from behind keep your doors locked and your window up. Call the police and wait for them to arrive.

 This is not a conclusive list. If you have another safety tip to add you are welcome to do so in the comment section.

 Resources:

http://www.corneredcat.com/contents/ Written by a homeschool mom. A Woman’s Guide to Concealed Carry: She doesn’t go around threatening to maul people. She’s cuddly, she’s cozy, she likes to curl up next to a crackling fire on a cold winter’s day. She’s great company. But don’t try to trap her in a bad situation.

http://www.taser.com/products/self-defense-products Tasers and Stun Guns: Best products on the market.

http://www.homeselfdefenseproducts.com/product/TASER39056 Tasers, Stun Guns, Mace, Pepper Spray and other safety products.

 

Please join me in praying…

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:17

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Every conversation with God has limitless possibilities attached to it because, “He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. II Corinthians 10:4-5

but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. I Samuel 17:45b

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18

for the joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10b

Hasten, O God, to save me;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.

May those who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
turn back because of their shame.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Lord, do not delay. Psalm 70: 1-5

 

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73: 27-28

“Out My House”

I been sittin’ here thinking
And I’ve come to conclude
That you’ve been takin’ things that really don’t belong to you
Sit down, better yet get outAnd now you actin’ up
‘Cause you know that I’m on to you
And now I’m ’bout to tell you what you’re gonna do
Get out, get out, out my houseDon’t want you on my porch no more
Stop looking through my window open
‘Cause you’re my enemy and not my friend
(Not my friend)
I can see clearly and I don’tWanna hear you on my radio
Don’t wanna see you on my TV screen
Don’t wanna read you in my magazine
(Movie scene)
You need to hear me(You know you’re wrong)
Tryin’ to run them games on me
(And you know you’re wrong)
Tryin’ to put them chains on me
(I need yougone gonegone gone gone)I need you gone, gone, I need you gone
So now you’re gonna have to yield the floor
And one thing more
I’m gonna have to show you to the door
And when you go
(And when you go please stay away)(Get out my house)
I don’t ever want to have to see your face round here no more
(Get out my house, out my house, out my house)
(You need to get out my house)
I don’t ever want to have to see you come around here no more
(Get out my house, out my house, out my house)Stop messin’ with my family
I’m takin’ back what you stole from me
‘Cause now, I’m living in victory
And you don’t scare me, I’ll tell you why

God is for me so I’m not afraid
My escape is already made
And His life it was the price He paid
(Price He paid)
And now you’re under my feet

(You know you’re wrong)
Tryin’ to run them games on me
(And you know you’re wrong)
Tryin’ to put them chains on me
(I need you gone gone gone gone gone)

I need you gone, gone, I need you gone
So now you’re gonna have to yield the floor
And one thing more
I’m gonna have to show you to the door
And when you go
(And when you go please stay away)

I need you gone, gone, gone, gone, gone

I just really need you gone, gone, gone, gone
So now I have to tell you so long
It was all wrong and what I don’t want
Is you to ever come back ’cause I’m

Not in the mood to negotiate, I know
God is for me and I’m not afraid
Gone, gone, gone, gone
And when you go and when you go please stay away

(You know you’re wrong)
Tryin’ to run them games on me
(And you know you’re wrong)
Tryin’ to put them chains on me
(I need you gone gone gone gone gone)

I need you gone, gone, I need you gone
So now you’re gonna have to yield the floor
And one thing more
I’m gonna have to show you to the door
And when you go
(And when you go please stay away)