Tag Archives: perseverance

How We Can Hang On

How We Can Hang On

by Patricia E. Day

winter Ice and snow

PHoto by Patricia Day

For weeks I have watched snow and ice build on, then slide off, the bird house in my garden. After a recent ice storm, sunshine helped relieve the grip that the ice had on this bird condo. One side became clear of the icy mantle while on the east side, the layer just slipped, refusing to let go. It now hangs precariously in space awaiting warmer weather to continue its downward journey.

January is often the time of year that many of us can slide into depression. Too much indulgence over the Christmas period can lead us to crash – emotionally.  The joy of the holidays, and time with loved ones is over and now normal living returns.

In the cold light of day, we may allow ourselves to spiral downwards, instead of hanging on.  Whatever our condition, how we choose to respond will effectively decide the outcome.

As frigid temperatures stop the melting process of ice and snow; our choices can deter us from living life to the fullest.

We become stuck in our circumstances.

God promises that we can overcome all things if we ask for His guidance and strength. (click to tweet)

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13, CEV).

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6, CEV).

Prayer:

Abba, we ask that You help change our hearts and enable us to grow in wisdom and discernment.  Lord, help us hang on to Your guidance with renewed tenacity so we will win the freedom that Your good and wise choices bring us.  Amen.

Spring is around the corner.

spring-backyard

Photo by Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Writing has always been a passion of Patricia’s. She believes that she expresses herself better in writing. Patricia enjoys creating short stories and devotionals. Other favourite past-times include family-time; gardening; reading; walking and listening to good music.

Patricia is married and the mother of two sons and stepmom to a son & daughter. Best of all, she is Nana to ten grandchildren. Look for her devotionals at Pepe Prays  and her blog Patricia E. Day .

Patricia recently completed her first novel – Eleanor, A Stolen Childhood . she is currently at work on second novel, Priscilla – Hidden in the Shadows.

How to Persevere in Prayer

How to Persevere in Prayer

by Tanya

Persevere in Prayer

 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,

And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.

And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not (1 Kings 18:42-44, KJV).

Have you ever really stopped to consider this story?

Let’s get a summary of the entire story. Now there was no rain for 3 1/2 years. At the end of this time God sent Elijah with the message to Ahab, that the drought had come to an end and there would be rain.

After an awesome “battle” with the false prophets, Elijah went up on the mountain to pray for rain. Had not God already told him that there would be rain? Why did he now need to pray for rain?

You see, praying to God does not change God, but it is our way of communicating, bonding, communing with God. And so Elijah prayed. Not once. Not twice, but SEVEN times he prayed for rain. At the seventh time, his servant returned with the news that there was a small cloud. This was confirmation that his prayer had been answered.

But did you notice how many time Elijah prayed? SEVEN times.

You see sometimes our prayers are not answered the first time we pray.

Sometimes our faith needs to grow. Sometimes we need to give up something that is standing in the way of our prayers being answered. Sometimes we just need to learn to surrender more. Sometimes we need to persevere.

And so Elijah persevered. He did not stop at the sixth time. He knew God had promised rain and He prayed until that promise was realized.

God has promised to give us “abundantly above all that we can ask or think” and many times we give up before He can give us those things-sometimes we stop praying at the sixth time.

God wants us to persevere in prayer until all our prayers are answered.

Tweetable:

Praying to God does not change God, but it is our way to communicate with Him. (click to tweet)

God wants us to persevere in prayer until all our prayers are answered. (click to tweet)

Tanya – from God’s Character

Tanya is a child of God, wife, stay at home mom and homeschooler. She loves the Lord and loves telling people about who He is. By God’s grace her husband and she intend to live out Joshua’s statement “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And so her greatest desire is to see her Lord face to face and along with her family, join in the joyous strains of triumphant voices praising our Lord and King. Check out her blog at God’s Character.

Sunday Stillness – Matthew 6:33

Sunday Stillness – Matthew 6:33

Don’t Let Any Obstacle…

Matthew - focus

Looked for the person who took this picture but found it several places with no authorship. If you click on the picture you will find the post I found it on.

Read: Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (NIV).

 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (New Living Translation).

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met (The Message).

All of these passages speak one thing to me – FOCUS.

Tweetables:

Don’t let any obstacle get in the way of you keeping with God. 

Don’t let any obstacle block your communication with God.

Don’t let any obstacle stop you from connecting with the Source of Life.

What happens when you keep focused on Jesus?

God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it (Oswald Chambers, Sept 6).

Today is Sunday Stillness – be still before Him.

Stop and feel His touch.

Blessings,

Janis

Do you have a Scripture that spoke to you this week? Please link below. If you post to Twitter use #sundaystillness and @authorjaniscox.

Feel free to pin the picture. Follow me at AuthorJanisCox on Pinterest.

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Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY – 
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community

Still Saturday

 Sharing His Beauty

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Scripture and Snapshot

http://christianmommyblogger.com

The Weekend Brew



Watchful Wednesdays – Opportunities

Watchful Wednesdays – Opportunities

Twice this week I was offered an opportunity to guest post. I realized for the first time that I really like to write. I will write about anything where the Holy Spirit gives me a prompt.

Haiku

The first one Angelview Inspirations was about perseverance. Sharon Kirby wrote a comment on that post.

You know, most of the time when I hear that word, I think of trudging along in spite of circumstances – mostly with an exhausted spirit, and a disgruntled attitude. However, I think you’re right.

Perseverance is a process.

And rather than a destructive windstorm that serves only to erode us, it’s more like a chisel in the hand of a master sculptor. (tweetable)

God uses our perseverance to work on our character. And so, the longer we persevere, the more we’ll look like Him. That IS a lifelong process, but worth it for the joy that awaits.

Then another opportunity at Grace Thorson’s blog –

Grace reminded me that I love poetry and I shared one of the first poems that I wrote while questioning God about everything – and how He showed me exactly Who He is.

Follow the link to read my post called How Writing Changed My Life.

I love opportunities – to meet new people, to try new things, to stretch the mind God has given me.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord for opportunities. May I always move towards them when you give me a nudge. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

What opportunities has God been giving you? I would love to hear from you.

Guest Posting

Guest Posting

Today I have the pleasure of guest posting over at Angelview Inspirations. Here is part of my post.

Perseverance

It sounds like perseverance will not get finished with me until I am fully mature;…To me this means that perseverance is a process of life.

God is working on me every minute of the day.
I may not notice it but I know He is. (tweetable)

You can read the rest of my post about perseverance on Angelview Inspirations.

WEDNESDAY’S WORD – Perseverance

Wednesday’s Word – Perseverance

Ant - Perseverance

The ant is always working. Never gives up.

 

This past week I had a wonderful Sabbath Rest from blogging. I did try to keep connected but I stayed away from the computer more than usual.

Study God and his strength,
seek his presence day and night; (1 Chronicles 16:11, The Message)

What did I learn this week? The word that kept coming to me was perseverance.

There are times when I feel overwhelmed with the ideas and jobs that God has put in front of me. If I look at the forest (the whole week ahead) I can get overwhelmed.

When my daughter first attended university she felt that way. Being her first time in a semester system she saw the end looming before it even came. She saw all her assignments that were due. She panicked. Everything seemed impossible.

I know how she felt. Do you feel this way sometimes?

You take a look at your calendar, your responsibilities, your commitments and you feel like crawling in a hole, burying your head in the sand or pulling your head inside your shell like Tadeo Turtle.

Enter Jesus.

Jesus certainly had commitments, crowds of people following Him, disciples questioning Him. But how did He react. Always calmly and with much patience and love. He only got angry with the Pharisees calling them, you brood of vipers, (Matthew 12:34, NIV) and the money changers. Jesus overturned their tables. (Matthew 21:12-13, NIV)

And Jesus also went away to pray. He sought the solace of God. He knew He got His strength from His Father. And so can we.

I find that if I keep going in my own way without a thought of praying, I don’t get much done and I can feel overwhelmed. But if I ask God for help first – then He comes and His power, His Spirit and His passion can flow through me.

Seek His Presence day and night.

Each Wednesday we hold a Wednesday’s Word Community. Please check the rules of Wednesday’s Word if you are here for the first time. Feel free to add your link below about God’s Word. And we all love comments.

Remember when you feel everything closing in on you,
look to Jesus and He will help you through. (tweet this)

After you link please go to the blog that is in front of you and comment on their site. Words of encouragement mean so much to each of us. If you have time visit more of the writers.
Linking on Wednesdays to:
Winsome Wednesdays

 

Simply Helping Him Wisdom Wednesday
 



I’M HERE – WHERE ARE YOU?

I’m Here – Where are You?

by Patricia Day (reprinted with permission)

QUESTION

John 14:1-3 “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you. And you know where I am going and how to get there”. (NLT)

We are a one car family and so when I need the use of our car, I have to get my body out of bed early enough to travel with my husband, into town and deposit him at his workplace. At the end of the day, I reverse that order and journey to bring him back home again so he can relax and enjoy the comforts of home. Hopefully, it welcomes him with a modicum of order after I have done necessary housekeeping through the day, thus making it a place for each of us to enjoy come evening.

I tend to be very punctual and so, when my husband is not at the appointed place at the agreed time, I begin to display my ‘antsy’ disposition.

“Ok, I’m here, where are you?” or “Come on, Mister, I’ve worked hard at home cleaning and preparing supper and I’m tired too, I need to get home” or “I’m here, come and find me then I can take you home”.

I agree – it is sadly not the best attitude and certainly not a godly one.

continue to read Patricia’s post at I am Here – Where are You?

Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Writing has always been a passion of Patricia. She can express myself better in writing, than verbally.  She enjoys creating short stories and devotionals. Her favourite past-times: family-time; gardening; reading; walking and listening to good music. Married.  Mother of two sons; step-Mom to a son & daughter and Nana to ten.

Look for her devotionals at Pepe Prays and her blog at Patters Matters.

Patricia has recently completed her first novel – Eleanor, A Stolen Childhood – which is in the process of publication.  Her second novel, Priscilla – Hidden in the Shadows is now being written.

ARE YOU STRIVING IN PRAYER?

Are You Striving in Prayer

by Mark D. Roberts (reprinted with permission)

Are you striving in prayer?

Are you striving in prayer?

Read: Romans 15:20-33

“Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:30 NLT)

Earlier this month I watched on television as the University of North Carolina Tar Heels won the NCAA Basketball championship. The Tar Heels dominated their opponents on their way to victory in this year’s “March Madness” (which finished in April, by the way).

During the interviews after the final game, the players talked about how hard they had worked during the last year. They were focused on one goal: winning the championship. This focus translated into countless hours of exhausting practice as they honed their skills and learned to play as a unified team. The result for UNC was a happy one: their fifth national championship in basketball.

If the Tar Heel athletes were speaking ancient Greek, they might have used a verb to describe their efforts that Paul uses in Romans 15:30 to talk about how the Romans can share in his ministry. He urges them to “join in my struggle by praying to God for me.” The Greek verb translated as “join in my struggle” came from the realm of athletics. It described the activity of an athletic team as it gave its all for victory. Most of the Roman Christians would never actually go with Paul on his missionary trips, but they could become his partners in striving through their prayers.

You and I have been called into the ministry of Christ wherever we are.

Part of this ministry includes the privilege of teaming up with God’s people who are on the front lines of his mission throughout the world.

We may never travel to South Africa or China or India or Moscow or Tijuana, but we can strive in prayer for those who serve in these hot spots of the kingdom. When we remember our goal—that the world might know Christ and be transformed by him—we find the strength to “join in the struggle” of prayer.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:

Do you ever experience prayer as something like an athletic effort? When? Are you regularly interceding for your partners in Christ’s mission.

PRAYER:

Dear Lord, I thank you for calling me into your mission. I am privileged to serve you each day right where I am. But you have also challenged me to pray for my mission partners who serve both nearby and far away.

And so I do pray today. First, I pray for those who serve in my church…

[Note: I’d encourage you to pray for the leaders of your church and for your partners in mission. What follows is my example.]

I pray for the elders in this time of pastoral transition, for Ryan and Christi in their work with the youth, for Phil and Derek as they lead worship, and for all who serve you in the work of St. Mark Presbyterian Church.

I think also of my partners in your mission throughout the world. Today I remember especially those who serve in southern Africa. I pray for the Siakis as they minister in South Africa, for Thembe and Buhle Bhembe and their work among the poor in Soweto, and for Pastor Solomon and the New Life International School in Swaziland. Give these folks strength, safety, wisdom, and power.

Help me, Lord, to be more faithful in striving alongside others in prayer. Amen.

 

Mark D. Roberts

 

 

Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts is Senior Advisor and Theologian-in-Residence of Foundations for Laity Renewal, a multifaceted ministry in the Hill Country of Texas and the parent organization of Laity Lodge. He has written several books, including his most recent: Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2007)

 

He blogs at  http://www.patheos.com/community/markdroberts, and writes a daily devotional for http://www.thehighcalling.org.

STAY – Five-Minute Fridays

Stay

The work of God is this – to believe in the One He has sent.

Linking to Lisa Jo’s Five-Minute Fridays with the word STAY.

The first thing I thought when I heard that word today – was Stay the Course. And then I thought – what does that mean? Where did it come from?

Wikipedia says:

Stay the course” is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism.”

And a free on-line dictionary says:

“to continue doing something, even when it is difficult”

When I think of that term I think of what I need to do as a Christian. We are in a battle – “a battle that is not of this world”. We need to pursue the goals of Christ no matter what the obstacles.

Sometimes that is very difficult when we live in this world. We try to live the beatitudes; we try to love God and our neighbour. But it is a battle to do the right thing all the time. Do you feel that way?

“because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:3 NIV).

Once again “I” get into the picture. I live with me. And I sometimes don’t see things the way Christ would want me to see them.

The more I learn and study, though, it becomes clearer at least what Christ wants me to do. Then I have to “stay the course” and just do it.

Blessings to all who love Christ and for being on this journey with me,

Jan

Five-Minute Fridays

One of my favourite praise songs. Desperation Band “Counting on God”.

Words: “We are in a battle that’s not of this world”.