Tag Archives: circumstances

#SundayStillness – Are you focusing on God or your circumstances?

#SundayStillness – Are you focusing on God or your circumstances?


Photo from freedigitalphotos.net.

 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.  (John 15:11-12, The Message). (my emphasis on JOY)

What is a wholly mature joy? I have been thinking about that. This summer has been a joyful one – family, more family and more family. I have loved it. Even though others have complained about a cool summer – really it was lovely. Love filled the summer.

But in the past, I didn’t always feel “joyful”. I found myself tired, overwhelmed, disorganized and confused. Why?

I think Oswald says it best:

The first thing that will hinder this joy is the captious irritation of thinking out circumstances (Oswald Chambers August 31).

I used to let little things bug me – laundry, dishes, meals, cleaning. Instead of just doing them joyfully. I used to let the fact I was tired bug me.

Instead, I needed to be rightly related to God,
and then my joy will come without any effort on my part. 

When I figured this out – I could be joyful during anything.

So I had a wonderful summer during tiredness, sickness, and sleepless nights.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, or confused:

STOP – pray.

Get right with our Lord, thank Him for all His blessings.

When we focus on God the rest falls into place.


Lord, sometimes we let the trials of the day drag us down. Instead we need to look to You for our strength and joy. Help us to get closer and closer connected to the mainspring of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


When we focus on God the rest falls into place. (tweet this)

God Arise – and scatter all your foes. by Robin Mark. Find joy in God. (tweet this)

Follow #UTCOP to read the prayers of our contributors. (tweet this)

Join us as we continue to pray this month – for all sorts of things. Follow Under the Cover of Prayer by subscribing to this blog by email.

Feel free to pin any picture you find to Pinterest.

Enjoy God Arise by Robin Mark.

Today is Sunday Stillness – others join me to link their posts about what God is teaching them. Enjoy.


Five Minute Friday – Ordinary

Blue Sky of Arizona

For me right now – this is ordinary.

Linking in with Lisa Jo to write for  5 minutes only. See the bottom of the post if you want to join.

 Synonyms for the word ORDINARY:

common – usual – regular – normal – habitual – customary

I love ordinary. I love when things are going regularly. Everyone is well. Everyone is happy. There are lulls like this – and I breathe them in.

But I know too even for me, that ordinary doesn’t last. There are things that come to break that ordinariness. Sometimes those things are good; some not so good. But in all of them I still stand on the Word of God. God is always in our circumstances.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).

And then there are those not so ordinary God experiences. I have had several this week.

In one case I heard of a friend’s daughter who saved her child and another child when they fell in a not-so-frozen lake. And the daughter is 8 months pregnant. How did she manage to do that? – God – for sure, for sure. And the prayer of others for protection for families.

In another I heard how God is working in a life to make changes in a heart so that there is no fear, only acceptance and love.

Myself – I see how God puts people in my path, both for my writing and for prayer. That is so awesome – to see it is God.

Though I like ordinary
I am looking out for an extraordinary God
who is unfathomable, unchangeable, unordinary God. Tweet this.

Can you see God at work in your ordinary life? Let me know in the comment section.



1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you {and if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to say howdy}

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.



Prayer in Times of Divine Chaos

by Judith Lawrence

In the book, Entering the Castle, by Caroline Myss, subtitled An Inner Path to God and your Soul, the author speaks of chaos as an organic expression of the divine. She says that divine chaos cannot be stopped, manipulated, postponed, or bargained with.

It sweeps into your life, taking charge of your life path and redirecting you according to its own plan—not yours. …There is a divine purpose that moves in tandem with every event in your life, painful and joyful.” P. 135/136

When some unforeseen, unpleasant event comes into our lives, wreaking havoc in our ordinary and planned life, and causing chaos and unexplained trials, our first instinct is to ask God to take it all away, make it better, and remove our pain and anguish. But we need to remember that out of divine chaos new life can emerge.

In Genesis, chapter one, we are told that out of chaos God formed the planet earth and brought life, plant, animal, and human, to the earth.

If divine chaos arrives in our lives, new spiritual life and growth can be the outcome when we ask God to guide us in God’s holy path.

In order for this to happen, we need to ask God, not to remove our difficulties but to give us guidance as to how best to cooperate with the divine chaos so that we can make the most out of the new life that God wants to bring to us.

Judith Lawrence

Judith is a Professional member of The Word Guild and author of two non-fiction books, Prayer Companion: A Treasury of Personal Meditation, and Glorious Autumn Days: Meditations for the Wisdom Years, as well as one book of mystical poetry, Grapes from the Vine. Judith writes a monthly meditation, which can be found on her website: www.judithlawrence.ca.  Judith’s latest spiritual book, Highway of Holiness: Soul Journey is now available. You can purchase it through Wipf and Stock Publishers.



Simply Saturday

I decided to move A Better Way to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Since I also produce another blog called Under the Cover of Prayer that has posts that run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I thought it better if those who subscribed to both blogs got a new post a day instead of two posts in one day.

For that reason we now have a Saturday blog. I also have been following Gypsy Mama – and she has a wonderful idea to help get our ideas flowing – she calls it Five Minute Fridays. So I am going to jump on that idea and call my Saturdays – Simply Saturday. I will only write for 5 minutes – that’s all and then post. Of course, this will also take prayer so I can have inspiration. I hope Lisa-Jo doesn’t mind my using her idea.

For other bloggers, if you want to feel challenged try writing for only 5 minutes in your blog. Then put the link in the comment section and others will read your thoughts. There is no topic like there is at Gypsy Mama. I would love to do the Gypsy Mama challenge but I can’t write on “topics” – I like to feel the Spirit flow through me.

I really wanted to keep my Saturdays simple.

Here is my first simple post: I timed myself – 5 minutes only.

First – my prayer:

Lord, help me to write Your thoughts in five minutes. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN


I had a guest over a few days ago. We started to have a discussion on regrets. He stated that regrets pull him down into a state of depression.

I suggested that he try to let the past be in the past and live in the moment that God has given us to live in – which is now.

He said that was too hard, that his thoughts kept bringing him back to things “he should have done differently”.

What if he filled his thoughts with gratitude for the present? I like what Paul wrote in Philippians:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).

What are your experiences? Has God helped you get over your regrets? If so, how? Please leave your comments below.

OOPS – my five minutes are up! Your turn.

Post Script:

Here is a poem I found that I had written in 2003

Establish the Work of Our Hands

                                          Psalm 90: 1-17

Forget yesterday

It’s flown by

Regrets we must let go

Worries about tomorrow we give to you, O Lord

For today is the only truth

Today has the only meaning

We live to experience

We live to love

We live to give ourselves  to you, O Lord

Help me today to make it

A good day for YOU