Saturday, December 31, 2011

Leaving the Year Behind

"Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

I have spent a good part of this past year walking around the mountain....  again and again.  I have put ruts in the soil and my feet have cleared all the grass from my path.  Sometimes I wonder, 'will I ever learn?' 

Dear Reader, do you ever feel like you take two steps backward for every one forward?  I sure do.  These last few weeks I have felt very lonely and alone.  I became depressed because I didn't feel like I had achieved what I expected in selling my book.  I forgot the things that the Lord had spoken to me about it many months ago.  I knew that I had cut off our communication, but I fell under the lies of the devil and then wouldn't allow myself to open the door and let Jesus speak to me.  I believed that I was unworthy.  Well, who benefits from that attitude?  No one but Satan!  He has kept me away from worshipping and communing with with my God, and nothing is better than that to him!

Yesterday I finally opened the door again.  It was after my best friend prayed for me the night before as I wept and sobbed about how unloved I felt.  Here is what Jesus spoke to me:

"I love you, Deirdre.  I know that you have been suffering, but you need to rely more on Me and less on yourself.  That in itself causes suffering.  Only I can give you that peace you desire.  You must come to Me to receive it.  Don't expect to find it on your own.  The devil puts a veil of covering over your peace and he steals your joy.  Don't get out of the Word!  Don't give him entrance to your heart.

"Learn to wait.  Don't be so impatient.  I have promised you things about your book, A Christmas I Remember.  You have placed doubt about what I said in there.  You started off on a great and happy path, and wound up being miserable.  Why?  Because you stopped believing, and just like Peter you saw what was happening around you, and your world came down, you lost sight of Me, and the miracle in your life went away!

"Temptation is a hideous thing.  It is made to look beautiful and good, but it is full of filth and is putrid.  Scale off the thoughts and see what happens.  If you want to get anywhere, seek Me and My Kingdom first.  Come to Me so that I can give you sight, and clear sight.  I will let you know the good things; you will feel them in your heart.

"Don't think you can do this without Me.  I've told you this before.  Only I can show you what My divine plan is.  It is My plan, not yours.  Together, as I give you the incentive you need, we will build things that will help others.  Be caring, be giving, be a servant.

"You are disappointed in the book sales. Why?  You sold 541 books yourself!  That is a great thing!  Did you ever expect to do that a year ago?  No!  It wasn't even a thought!  Not even 5 months ago did you know that you would have to personally sell these books!  If you knew, you wouldn't have done it.

"I know that you are upset because you have hundreds of books left over.  You didn't know how many to buy or how to sell them, and you were intimidated with it all.  But look at the things you have learned!  You have stepped out of the boat and you trusted Me!  You had to place trust in Me.  You conquered demons and lies, things like, "that's just not who I am."  Well, Deirdre, in the flesh you weren't bold, or comfortable, but you know that your spirit-you wears a beautiful uniform and battles the enemy all the time! 

"The spirit-you is not afraid, she looks to Me, her Commander, and knows that she can do ALL things through Me who gives her strength! She knows that she is much more than a conqueror!

"You need to remember who you really are!  You are the righteousness of God in Me!  I am your Healer, your Leader, the Love of your life, and your spirit-you knows I could never, ever leave you alone!

"You are gathering strength for what will come next.  I do send you people to encourage you, but you don't take what they say to heart.  I knock on your door but you don't invite Me in.  Instead you brush off the compliments and the encouragement because you are afraid they will go to your head and you won't be humble or appear to be humble.

"I know your heart.  I know if you are sincere or driven by ego.  Just believe that each one I send really is from Me.  Thank them and hold the words close to your heart.  Let them give you strength!  Don't shut your ears when people say you will be blessed, or that God is working in you.  I am!  I have sent them to tell you.  Don't be like the man on the roof waiting for Me to save him from the flood.  I do

"Our work is never done, child.  You will have time to praise and worship in thanksgiving for what we have accomplished thus far.  Your name is known by more people now than before.  Your credibility is being established.  Your blog is reaching more people.  Keep it up. 

"You have books on hand because you will need them. When you allow the enemy to steal your joy, you only see failure and debt.   Did I not tell you that this book is blessed by Me?

"I forgive you for your thoughts and actions. I understand your thoughts.  But you mustn't succumb to fear.  It is a deadly thing.  Keep you mind and eyes and heart on Me, not on what things look like.

"Remember there is a difference with fact and truth.  Truth always surpasses fact.  Fact is earthly, My truth is ordained!"

Dear Reader, I believe that this message is for all of us.  For me personally it is about my book sales and the loneliness and depression I was feeling, but Jesus has a message in there for you too!  We all must know that we need to step out of the boat and keep our eyes on Jesus.  As soon as we stop doing that we sink into the depths of despair and darkness.  He is always there knocking and sending someone to encourage us, or to give us guidance.  He won't forsake us or leave us.  He can't.  It's not what He does.  We must leave behind our doubts and fears with the ending of this year.  We are new creatures in Christ and are able to start each day off anew.  Let's begin 2012 with faith that Jesus hears our prayers and intercedes to the Father for us.  Let's learn how to place our trust in Him! 

I am going to get re-baptized on Wednesday because I want to leave my fear and doubt and self-loathing behind.  I wish to arise from that pool with a new outlook and with eager anticipation of what He has promised me!  No more do I want to be a prisoner to anger.  If you haven't been baptized or feel you need to recommit, perhaps you should also check into it.  Jesus did it.



Lord, I draw my strength from You.  I don't know what plans You have for me, but I do know that they are plans of peace and not of evil, to give me future and a hope. (Jer 29:11).  I'll try to remember that always.  Thank you for opening up my eyes.  I receive Your word today!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Small Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please bless me today, as I venture out in the world.  Protect me, Jehovah Ra'ah, the Lord my Shepherd.  May your Word be with me all day, filling the voids in my heart and mind.  Heavenly Father, God Most High, fill my thoughts with You, that my mind may not be idle and fodder for the enemy.  For You alone are worthy of constant and pure thought.  I love you, Father, and today I will do my best to glorify You and show everyone that I am Your child.

Amen.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

God's Response to What I Have Learned

This is the response I received from yesterday's post, Things I Have Learned.

"Deirdre, You need to seek Me the right way.  Your heart needs to be pure.  You need to come to Me in humility and humble adoration all throughout the day.  You need to better remember that those blessed with a pure heart will see God!  (Matt 5:8)  You see me when your heart is pure and you have humbled yourself.  When you come before Me in worship, then you feel so good and you learn so much, and you get filled with my Holy Spirit.

"Keep both feet in the Kingdom.  Seek Me first.  Don't worry about things not yet here, like your books.  Don't think about those things that will come from Me in My time. Concentrate on the here and now; on each moment you are living.  See My beauty.  Feel My breath on you.  Know that I am here, and that I am in charge.  That I will defend you and give you strength  as you need it.  Know that I will never give Satan permission to take your life.  You will not be stolen from Me.  But you have free will to choose which direction you will go.  You can get very hurt going the wrong way, and you don't want to be hurt!

"I will allow you to help those I send your way, but you must do your part as well.  You have to pray, praise, and worship.  You must always show Me that I am worthy of your praise.  But don't worship me this morning and then speak trash this afternoon,where will that get you?  Certainly not further on the Kingdom path!  It is your choice to learn, repent, and move forward or circle around that big mountain one more time.  Which will it be?

"Be a better steward of all those things I have given you, especially your heart.  Don't allow corruption to enter and get a stronghold.  Only allow what is good and holy to enter and leave your heart.  Change your thinking by thinking before doing!  Pray, ask for guidance.  Don't just throw yourself into something, even if it seems good, that is like jumping into a raging river above a waterfall!  Where is the sense or safety in that?

"Go with peace in your heart.  I have enjoyed this time with you.  I love your desire to learn.  It makes things much easier, doesn't it?  I love you very much, Deirdre, I always will.  You are a blessing when you want to be.  And I love your spirit!  Have a beautiful day.  I'll be here, call anytime!"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Things I've Learned in 2011 - Part I

Dear Lord,

I have learned many things in 2011.  I am going to share with my readers some of those things You have taught me.

I learned that You brought me a book when I hadn't asked.  You answered my prayer to help me remember something from when I was a child to write for Kindra.  You brought Vel along to tell me it was a book.  You used other people to bless me.  You directed me to Tate Publishing.  You showed me many things about the process involved in publishing a book.  You gave me something small, but reminded me that I should not despise the day of small things (Zec 4:10).  I should not resent the seemingly small beginnings.  Instead, I should give myself wholeheartedly to the things that You are asking me to do, and trust that You will bless them and cause them to prosper and grow.  I should remember, as I am faithful with little, You will entrust me with more (Matt 25:21). 

I have learned to believe You. That there will be other books. But how they become reality, like A Christmas I Remember must come from You, in Your time, with a divine plan in place.  I should continue writing until You tell me to do something else.  I should not focus on a book, but on what You are teaching me.

I learned that it is not enough to ask You to touch me, but that I need to touch You.  I need to remember that it is not as important to ask what You can do for me, but what I can do for You!

I learned that without You I am nothing.  But to You I am everything!  You love me with a love I can't understand.  You care for me, You give me my heart's desire.  You love me!  You will not let me die without first knowing You.  You have befriended me, You have taken Your time to form me, to choose me, and to teach me.  Thank You that I am important to You.  And what does it matter if I am nothing to someone on earth?  They cannot make my hair grow, or my smile fade, or my soul sing.  Only You!

I love You, Lord.  I thank You for this opportunity to trust You once again.  Each time I put something out here I am trusting that You will send the right people to read it.  I will place Your answers on this page tomorrow.  In the meantime, I am living and breathing for You and because of You.  I will do my best to make You proud of me today!

Your daughter,
Deirdre

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Should I Go On?

Should I continue with this blog?  Does it help anyone?  I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Our King is Born! Hallelujah!

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14 NKJ

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in  a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."  Luke 2:7 NKJ


Merry Christmas!  Our Savior is born, Christ the King, whom shepherds watched and angels sing! 

God bless you, dear Reader, today and everyday, with His mercies great!  May you find hope in the greatest of all Christmas gifts, the One for whom this joyous season is proclaimed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULzXJ6PAnco

Saturday, December 24, 2011

O Holy Night!


"For where the treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matt 6:21 NKJV

Today I opened a Dayspring Christmas card I received from my dear sister.  The words on the front say:

'Wise men came with the treasures of earth in their hands.... and left with the Treasure of Heaven in their hearts.'  Inside it says, 'Celebrating this Christmas because Jesus still gives us the greatest treasure of all--Himself!  Blessings to You.'

What a beautiful sentiment!  Tears filled my eyes because it is so simple.  They came with earthly treasures for the Child, treasures of the most valuable things on earth-- gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they but left with the greatest treasure of all, having seen and worshipped the Savior of the world, the Messiah! 

We also come to Jesus giving what to us is the most valuable thing we have -- ourselves.  In this world of  'me, me!' that is what we consider to be the most treasured of our possessions, our own lives.  In reality, our lives are a filthy and totally inadequate gift for the King of kings.  But it is the best we can do; and a celebration of God and heavenly hosts occurs when we offer our lives to Jesus!  God our Father rejoices for every single person who gives their life to Christ.  He actually sings!  God sings!!

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

And the angels throw a party! 

"Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she'll call her friends and neighbors: 'Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!' Count on it—that's the kind of party God's angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God." Luke 15:10 Message

This Christmas, when the world seems to be going down the drain in a whirlpool of sin and idolatry, why not rededicate yourself to Jesus of Nazareth, to Emmanuel, God with us.  Let Him take your dirty heart and cleanse it in the blood He shed for you.  Let His life be your example.  Stop rushing, instead allow someone else to go first.  Lend an ear to someone who needs it.  If you see someone who looks lost in a store ask if you can help them.  It's so easy to be kind, and it makes you feel better.  Pray for those that hate you, as strange as it sounds, you will feel so much better! You will release all sorts of stresses that may be ruining your life and health! 

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven;" Matt 44-45 NKJV

Dear Reader, if you have not given your life to Jesus but you want to, or if you have gone away and wish to rededicate yourself, let today be the day that you do.  It is Christmas Eve 2011.  You will receive a treasure worth more than anything and everything here on earth--your promise of life everlasting in Heaven with the King of Kings!  So be renewed, be born again, for "Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3 NKJV

Please pray this prayer with all your heart:

Heavenly Father, I come to You admitting that I am a sinner.  Right now, I choose to turn away from sin, and I ask You to cleanse me of all unrighteousness.  I believe that Your Son, Jesus, died on the cross to take away my sins.  I also believe that He rose again from the dead so that I may be justified and made righteous through faith in Him.  I call upon the name of Jesus Christ to be the Savior and Lord of my life.  Jesus, I choose to follow You, and I ask that You fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit.  I declare right now that I am a born-again child of God.  I am free from sin, and full of the righteousness of God.  I am saved in Jesus' name.  Amen 

Welcome (back) to the Kingdom of God and eternal life!  You may want to find a church tonight or tomorrow morning to worship and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ.  You have a very large family now!   Merry Christmas and God bless you!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkFsyLaUhLw

Friday, December 23, 2011

Glory to God in the Highest!


"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 
       “ Glory to God in the highest,
         And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."
Luke 2:8-20


Can you imagine being one of the shepherds that holy night?  Can you imagine taking care of your flock (as this Child would one day) and being interrupted by an angel of the Lord?  And then a 'multitude' of heavenly host appear and in heavenly choir sing praises of glory to the Lord?  Can you imagine the depths of wonder your soul would experience?  In the light of the stars and moon and in the glory of the angels, you must be unbelievably scared!  But you are told to not be afraid but instead to know that a Savior is born and He will take care of you forevermore!

So after the angels disappear, imagine standing there in the field with your sheep and your friends and wondering what was going on!  Your life is changed completely!  You didn't see just one angel, as Abraham and Jacob did, you saw a multitude of heavenly host!  A multitude!  How do you catch your breath after that?  After the honor that was bestowed on you to be a witness to such a miracle!

And then you do what they told you and you journey to the cave that houses an infant who will save the world!  How do you even comprehend all that?  You see His young mother cradling the Savior of the World and His earthly father watching nearby, protecting them both.  You fall on your knees and you worship the Babe.  You tell about what the angels told you, and you see His mother listening intently.  What an amazing honor to be chosen to be one of the first to see this and to bring a message from heaven to Mary!

You know how when we see a newborn baby we always marvel at the perfection of their lips and their eyelashes and tiny fingers?  Can you imagine seeing Jesus just hours old?  Knowing, because the angels told you, that He would save the world?  That He was the King of kings?  Do you dare to touch His little hand so that His fingers rest around yours?  What would it be like to touch the Son of God? 

Dear Reader, we can touch the Son of God anytime we want to!  He is in each one of us.  He is in your wife, your child, your husband, your friend, your co-worker.  He is in the guy down the street that doesn't bring his garbage can up right away.  He is in the homeless, he is in the downtrodden, he is in the teacher, the fireman, the executive, the secretary, he is in us!  Bless someone today with a hug.  If that is too uncomfortable for you, than bless them with a smile right from your heart!  Think of that person as Jesus, your Savior!  Love your fellow man; today do something extra special for someone you don't know.  Let the angels sing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men." 

Have a beautiful Tuesday, and God bless you today and always.  Wrap yourself in the miracle of Jesus' birth!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE7Y01JMWko&feature=related


Thursday, December 22, 2011

When Love Was Born

Have you ever held a newborn child in your arms?  It's a little intimidating at first, they are so small and powerless.  Usually their eyes are closed and they seem very content and happy just laying there.  But our big hands, hands that cover so much of their little bodies seem awkward.

I remember holding my newborn baby girl.  What an amazing feeling that was!  She was only 4.9 lbs, and 19 inches long.  She had blond fuzzy hair and very dark eyes.  She had perfect little fingers and toes.  She was mine and my husband's love exemplified!  She relied on us for everything she needed.  God made us stewards of the most precious and sweet gift imaginable; His baby girl, His innocent child.  He blessed us that day 29 years ago and He counted on us to take care of her and to bring her up in His ways.

Our little girl (it doesn't matter how old she is, she is my precious child) is a blessing to me that you can't imagine.  She is kindness, and goodness, and an example of patience in a lot of ways.  She has gone through battles in her health, her marriage, and her spirit life, and is going through some as I write.  I know that I have not always been there for her for whatever reason there may be, whether she didn't want me, or I was too stubborn to lend her an ear or a hand because I didn't want to understand what she was going through; it didn't line up with the Word or what I knew was right.  So I abandoned her.  I judged her actions and not her motives.  I could only trust God for so long, and then the door would open and the devil would walk in.  I wasn't patient enough, I don't like to wait.

When someone we love falls, shouldn't we be there to catch them?  I did when she was a baby, is there a time when that stops?  When did it become okay to say, 'they're adults now, they can live their own life' and just walk away?  We have things we go through our whole life!  Does it not make sense to go to someone for help who has already been there?  Why should we pretend that just because we are older we can figure it out ourselves?  I would always like to be there for her.  It completes me as a mother to know that my child still counts on me for advice and guidance.

She is one of my best friends.  I love my best girlfriends, they make me all gushy and happy inside.  I smile thinking about the peace they give me.  I have three, and I am enormously blessed.  Each is so different from the other, but God gave each of them a gift for me.  One has wisdom that I rely on, another is my encourager, and one is my joy giver.

This Christmas, I thank God for the Baby that He sent to this earth to redeem us.  I praise You, Lord Jesus, and I thank You for your sacrifice.  I know your Mama loved You, like I love my baby.  I would do anything for both of you, Lord, just have patience as I morph into the woman You are changing me into, and please give her the strength to endure as I change.  Let her know that she is more important to me than anything, and though at times I may be distant, we can come together in prayer and reach each other's souls.  I keep falling, and sometimes it's not enough to walk around the mountain and learn, apparently there are days when I must crawl, seeing the dirt in my face so that when I look up and see You it is that much more beautiful and appreciated. 

Please bless my baby today, Jesus, give her wisdom, and insight, and show her how to rest in Your peace.  Guide me to be the best mother possible.  Thank You, Lord, I love You!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKSU9Dbxvrw&feature=related

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Dear Father God,

I am coming to You in trust.  I need help.  I need guidance, I need answers.  Please take me in Your arms and hear my prayers.  I have no where else to go but to you.  I am so  sad this Christmas, it is unlike any I have ever had before.  I have accomplished some good things in my life this year, and I have fought some demons.  I have moved forward in what You planned for me to do, at least I hope I have, but my heart is weighed down and I am in pain.

I miss my Dad, Lord, and I wonder what he would have thought if he saw the book I wrote!  He is right there on the cover, shoveling snow.  He is in my thoughts often, as is Mom.  What would

 

she and I have laughed and talked about as we made Christmas dinner together?  I miss them both a lot, especially this year.  I miss my in-laws, Lord.  We always had a really good time even if it was just over the phone, we'd share and giggle and feel almost as if we were together despite the miles between us. 

Lord, we don't hear much from Trace anymore, I guess she is busy planning a summertime wedding for her daughter.  Please take care of her, and I truly hope that one day she comes back to us all. 

I miss my friend Embie who moved away and has her own life, one that doesn't include us anymore.  I think I miss her the most because she and I were so much alike, and I truly loved spending time together, especially when we were much younger.  As we got older, things changed and we started growing apart, but You always let us find time to laugh and share and even cry our problems to each other.  But all that changed this past year, God.

Why did she have to leave us all so unexpectedly, and why do I feel in my heart that we will never have a relationship again?  I have prayed so hard, Father, I have cried a thousand tears asking that You would restore her life, give her back the love for the man she left, let her see that he tries to understand the place she has gone to, and only wants to rescue her from the danger she has put herself in.  I have cried for her husband, who continues to work on himself and his newly restored relationship with You.  He perseveres.  He has a love and devotion I had never seen before.  But his pain is so deep as she shuts the door over and over again, but doesn't say goodbye.  He would do anything for her, but she wants no part of it.  Please bless him this Christmas with an encouraging person to help him heal.  He only wants her back, so please make his Christmas dream come true.

Lord, I can only come to you with two words resounding in my heart - trust and wait.  This is so hard for me to do, but You told Paul that Your grace was sufficient.  He knew that he could go on because You said you would give him as much as he needed.  You told us that although we will find temptation in our lives that You would also give us a way out.  So we try to not think the thoughts that are so easy to think, and instead hold Embie up to you.  I let go of it now, Lord, there is no current relationship between us, just the formality of saying the obligatory hello.  But I thank You for the good times we did have over the years, and I ask that You bring answers to her problems.  I ask that you send an angel to show her the way.  I ask that if she ever has lonely nights that You place someone there for her to go to.  I ask that you keep her healthy and rid her of any bad habits that may be hurting her, because even though we are no longer close friends, I do still care.  Help her Lord where the rest of us couldn't, and help me to go on without her.  Bring her godly friends who live the life of a Christian and hold Christian values and morals high.

I love you, Lord, and I rely on you for restored relationships, ones that seem impossible to restore. Ones that we can't fix, but somehow, even though it seems it could never happen, You can.   I trust You and I will wait.   Show me a miracle, bring Embie back!

Thank You for those that are in my life, Lord; for my husband that loves me.  Please bless him especially, he has listened for hours as I cried to him, and he understands my pain.  Please keep him healthy and prosper him in his walk with You and in his employment and in his plans for the future.  Thank you for my friends and family that have loved and supported me this year.  They have helped me so much by selling books and encouraging me.  Please give them all their hearts' desire, and maybe someday we will all be together for Christmas, if only in my dreams. 

In His name, Amen.









Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas is Coming Soon, Prepare Your Heart!

Dear Reader,

I know I have to trust God.  I am going to borrow something from Nurture, by Lisa Bevere.

"I know that He answers in His own timing and manner.  The trick is walking away from your time of prayer believing the answer is yours when in that moment you did not hear a thing."

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6

There are several things I feel I must write about, but unfortunately I have not got the words at the moment, so I must believe that the Lord is not finished telling me how to approach a certain subject.  I just want to say, never let your dreams die, never give up.  Jesus is there to guide us if we just listen to what He is saying to us.  That is for all of us, not just me.

Have a blessed day today, and praise God, He is with us!  God bless you today dear Reader, with peace in your heart, and love on your lips.  May you feel His presence surround you today!  And when He calls you to do something, move and obey!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1NQRklP5Ug

Deirdre

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, Just Like the Ones I Used to Know!

This is the last week before Christmas.  It's 6:13 in the morning on Sunday, December 18th, 2011.  It is 51 degrees outside, so it's warm.  Christmas is the one time of the year that I don't mind the cold.  I don't mind the snow.  Living in Central Texas gives us little hope of a white Christmas, but I can remember Christmases past in New Jersey when there was so much snow our boots weren't high enough to keep it from falling into them and on our feet!

I remember sleigh riding at the country club nearby.  There was a hill that we all dragged our flexible fliers up and came racing down.  Sometimes we would run and throw ourselves on the sled so that we could start out going fast.  Flexible fliers were the best sleds you could have.  You could lie on your belly and go face first down the hill, you could sit and hold the rope and steer with your feet, or you could make a 'train', on your belly with your feet locked into the front of the sled behind you.  It would take a little bit of time to get going because of the weight, but once it got started, look out below! 

I remember the first time my Dad took me ice skating.  I was four years old.  He took me to a frozen pond at the same golf course and held my hand as he turned in circles and then let me go!  Off I went on legs like Bambi.  I don't recall if I fell or not, but I loved to ice skate!  Peggy Fleming was my heroine.  Dad took us to the Ice Follies and the Ice Capades at Madison Square Garden and it was the most amazing, colorful, fun time!  Oh, how I wanted to be an ice skater and wear those beautiful sequenced outfits!

I remember that the signal to let us know if school was closed for the snow was that the fire whistle would blow.  We would wake up, look out the window, and if it was snowing out we would lay back and wait to hear the whistle.  If it didn't blow, it was time to check with the radio.  If school wasn't cancelled, we'd better beat feet as they said back then and get ready or we'd be late.  I remember how disappointed we'd be if we had school.

The trees where I lived were 80-100 feet tall.  Just beautiful oak and maple trees.  I remember Christmases when there was so much snow, the branches were covered, the streets were like tunnels, and the beauty of the star-filled night was magnificent.  God in His glory!  I remember making the first footprints in the snow.  I remember getting so cold, our gloves soaking wet from playing and having snowball fights that our hands were bright red and just plain hurt.  But we didn't want to risk going home for a dry pair and being told we couldn't go out anymore that it was getting late and we had had enough for the day.  Had enough?!  Oh no, not this kid! So I learned to keep an extra pair of gloves or mittens in my pocket.

I would go Christmas caroling with my friends and hope that someone would give us a quarter.  It would make it all worth while!  Climbing over the piles where the plow had just been and getting snow in my boots, ugh, it was so darn cold!  But we kept going.  Christmas would be over soon enough. 

Christmas will always be memories of snowball fights, sleigh riding, caroling, and ice skating to me.  Beautiful nights, blindingly bright days.  We don't have that in Central Texas on Christmas Eve, but I always think about how nice it would be.  Just for that one night.  Just for fun. 

Thank You, Lord, that you gave me memories.  Thank You that I can still 'go back' to those more innocent times, relive them in my heart, and smile.  I can see my Mother young, my older brother's smile, and almost feel the cold wind freezing the water in my eyes! 

I don't know if you have snow where you live, dear Reader, but if you do, I understand all the work involved with clearing the driveway (boy DO I, we had to shovel, no snow blowers) but I still wish I had it here.  I'd just walk and take pictures and slide down the hill in my backyard.  This is a picture of snow at our home last February. It lasted about 8 hours.  It wasn't Christmas, but it was beautiful!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_90Q91RAfIU



Merry Christmas, and God bless you. Remember a Christmas that makes you smile and thank God for it!  I can still dream, can't I?  God bless you everyone!
Deirdre

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Walk On!

Christmas is a joyous (the most joyous) time of the year.  This is the time of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  As Christians we take a very special joy in singing hymns and Christmas songs, and doing nice things for people we don't even know.  But sometimes even we feel down.  Sometimes hope has been stolen from our hearts.

This year there are many of us who can't afford even a small gift for the one we love.  You may not be able to pay the rent next month, the children are sick, your spouse may be thousands of miles away fighting a war, or someone you love may be incarcerated.  You may be in a relationship that has gone wrong somehow without you even noticing until it was too late.  Maybe you can't afford to fly home to see someone you love who may be sick, and this may be your last chance to see them before they die.  Maybe you just put down your loving dog or cat, and you can't imagine coming home everyday and not having them waiting with tail wagging.  Is your heart heavy and you cry alone, thinking nobody would care anyway, and if they did, what could they do about it? 

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is to make ourselves feel happy.  Sometimes we hide the hurt and the pain we carry around because as a Christian, aren't we always supposed to feel happy and carefree because we have a God who loves us?  Well, yes, we should take great joy in knowing that God will never (and I mean never) leave us nor forsake us.  How do I know that?  He says so.  Again and again in the Bible.  He loves us.  But sometimes our natural man overwhelms us, and this time of year seems to be a time when that happens most. 

So we cry and we ache and we long for someone to put their arms around us and give us hope.  We cry into the pillow, and we hope the shower washes our tears away.  We have never felt so alone, so lost, so empty. 

Sometimes we really need the cleansing of crying.  When Jesus' friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept.  It hurt Him to lose His friend.  We have all lost someone, whether through death or through broken relationships.  Even divorce is a death of dreams and hopes.  The two who were one are now separate, and there is a void where once there was completeness.  And when someone we love dies, we are lost for awhile without them.  Who do we call on that date when they were born or married?  Who do we go to in our times of need?  Who do we share our dreams and successes with?  Who will fill that void? Where is that loving embrace?

My dear Reader, it is still there.  Although it may not be in the arms of your mother, father, child, husband, wife, sister or brother, or from cuddling the greatest pet in the world, the best embrace comes from the One that died for you.  You CAN feel His embrace, if you just sit back and rest in His peace.  You may not be able to find that peace until you have wept ten thousand tears, but eventually, like a baby, you cry it out.  This is not to say that you won't cry again tomorrow, but for now, the retching of your sobs has worn you out.  That's not when you're the weakest, you know, that is when you are the most open.  That is when you are ready to listen, to hear the truth--that you are not alone, not at that minute or at any other time in your life.

Although there may be no one around you that you can smile at or touch, there is our Jesus, who is with you every single minute of the day and night.  He is right there, you are resting in His embrace.  He is breathing life into you!  Don't give up!  On the contrary, take hold of the hand He offers and draw near to Him!  He will carry you when you can't go on, but He will also lift you up on wings like eagles, He will give you strength, and He will show you the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Today may seem dark and your heart may be filled with despair, but have hope!  Jesus awaits!  He will kiss your face and place His arms around you.  He will never, ever, go away and leave you alone. 

So take hope, have faith, and walk on!  God bless you, dear Reader.  Give Him a chance today!  Let Christmas become a beautiful time of the year again.  Look at it with hope once again!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=IQze9nTh-qo

"When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone"
Rogers and Hammerstein

Friday, December 16, 2011

Good Morning, World!

I just want to wish you a good day today, filled with all the blessings of the Lord.  There are only 9 days left til Christmas.  I haven't finished getting ready!  I will accomplish great things today, in the name of the Lord Most High God!  He is my Salvation and Strength, He takes pleasure in watching me grow!

Today I commit my day to Him.  I don't know what the enemy has in store, but he doesn't leave me alone for too long at any one time, so I am going to rely on Jesus to get me through it all.  I would say that is trusting God, wouldn't you?  I need to just rest in the Lord.  I want to sit at His feet, feel His heartbeat.

Enjoy the song and have a blessed day!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4crRPpqoW4&feature=related

Til tomorrow, go with God!  Let Him lead you down that road to Heaven's Gate.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trusting God for Healing and Restoration

"Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.  Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’"  Isaiah 58:8-9 (NKJ)

I have some friends that are in need of prayer for healing.  I trust that God will answer the prayers of all those who believe in His healing powers.  I have two friends that had replacement surgery, one for her hip and one for her shoulder.  I have one that is undergoing tests to find out what makes her feel dizzy and why she gets pneumonia so often.  Another has a mass around the bottom of his esophagus that has caused him to lose an enormous amount of weight.  The doctors aren't sure what it is, it doesn't seem to be cancer, but they are not sure about what to do, as they have never seen this before.  I have a dear friend who almost 'bled out' last week, a few days after having a polyp removed during a colonoscopy, who thankfully is better now.  And another, a very sweet woman I only met last week had a biopsy come back positive.  She will be having a pet scan soon.  I don't know exactly what that is, but I do know what I will be praying.


Like I said, I only met this young woman last week, but her faith in God impressed me.  She is a lovely girl (I say girl because I'm old enough to be her mother).  She had breast cancer in the past, but I don't know how long ago or what the prognosis was.  I cried thinking about her yesterday.  She has a little girl who is 8, and a little boy, only four years old.  I refuse to believe that they will grow up without her!  I just won't accept even the possibility!  I rebuke Satan and claim clean health and purity of her cells in the name of Jesus of Nazareth!  I claim that she will be there when her daughter goes to the prom and graduates high school and will help her get dressed on her wedding day, and will cuddle her grandchildren in her arms on cold winter nights.  I claim that God will get the glory for this Christmas miracle!

James 5:16 says:  "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."  So I am in prayer.  This morning on my way to work I thought about what was the most important thing to me this Christmas, what I wanted very much.  I have a large inventory of books I desperately need to sell so that I can pay for them. 

But you know what, dear Reader?  Today I lay them at God's feet.  This is His book, after all, and I have done my best.  It's time for me to sit down and let Him do the rest.  Let me watch a miracle happen.  I will do my signings this weekend in Georgetown, Tx and Salado, Tx, but other than that, I will be prepared for people to come to me and buy, but it's time to give the Almighty a chance to do what He does best.

I have traded my hopes of my entire inventory being sold for healing and restoration.  This young lady needs her body healed and restored to God's original design.  I know of a young couple whose marriage suffered a considerable amount of damage and it needs healing and restoration.  This couple means the world to me.  They don't know the enormity of how much I care about them and their marriage being restored.  They are spending time hours apart learning how to listen to God and how to know who they are.  I think that's all well and good, but I think their separation has become a crutch.  God ordained their marriage; whether they want to admit it or not, He was at their wedding, and He blessed it.  By not following God's plan for their lives, for putting Him on the back burner, Satan managed to go in there and destroy their lives.  They have since turned back to God, but it is taking a long time for them to turn back to each other.  Please, Lord, fix these things that are broken!

That's all I want for Christmas.  Healing and restoration.  So many lives are affected because the enemy has attacked the two things that are most important to us, health and relationships that were blessed by God.  John 10:10 says, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."  As my Pastor says, "He will kill you with a hangnail if he can."  The devil doesn't care HOW you suffer, just that you do.  But we have to remember the second half of that verse, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."  Trust Him!

I don't have any money put aside for gifts this Christmas, and I am quite in debt because I wrote a sweet little book about childhood innocence.  But you know what?  This is God's book, He brought it to life, not me, I didn't have any inkling about writing a children's Christmas book!  He just needed me to get it out there.  He has already determined who will buy the book.  God has a plan that I have been obedient to, and I don't regret my financial status at the moment, because I trust God to move the inventory.  I can't buy anything for my loving husband, or my daughter and son-in-law.  I just don't have the cash right now.  But you know what?  I don't care!  And neither do they!  It's not about the presents as much as it is about the presence!  We will sit down together in thanksgiving to God and Jesus and have a wonderful Christmas roast!  My Christmas will be complete knowing that my family is together, even if only for a little while before the kids have to leave.  If I did have the riches of a monarch, I would trade it for my friends' healing and restoration!

Please believe with me this Christmas that God hears all prayers and will take back from the enemy that which was stolen.  He has already gone before us and claimed victory!  All we have to do is receive it.

Dear Father In Heaven,
I come before you in the name of the Kings of kings, Jesus of Nazareth, my Lord and Savior.  I ask you, Father, for a blessing I can hardly contain.  I ask that instead of giving me my Christmas wish of selling books, that you instead use my blessing to heal my new friend, to make the tests show that there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with her.  Let the doctors be baffled, let the glory go to you!  Let there be a wonderful testimony about how much you love us!

Father God, I would do anything to see this marriage restored.  These young people mean more to me than I can tell them.  Their marriage is so important, I believe that they don't even know exactly how important it is.  Lord, in Matthew 19:6, you say, "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”  Please, Father, bring them back together.  Not as friends, but as husband and wife.  Let the hurts of the past be forgiven, let their eyes be opened to the changes that have taken place in each other, let each see the other's desire be to correct where they have gone wrong.  They have reached out to You, my Lord, in faith and trust.   I know that You are there, and I know that I must trust You.  Ecc 4:12 (NLT) says, "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."  You are the Third, with You all things are possible for those that just believe!

Thank You for hearing my prayer, Father, and thank You for my life.  Although I struggle, I know that I am growing.  I know that I am making progress in the Kingdom when my desires are for the benefit of someone else.  I give them to You, to heal and restore.  I trust You, God!  I trust You!  And please bless those that read this today that their prayers are also answered and a peace comes to them.  Thank You!

Your daughter,
Deirdre
 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trust, Trust, Trust

I have quite a few books in my house that I need to sell before the end of the week so that I can have them delivered for Christmas.  I need to pay the bill on these books, and all I know to do now is to pray that God will sell them.  Will He?  It's His book!  That's what everyone keeps telling me.  I am supposed to watch Him perform a miracle.  Well, dear Reader, that's exactly what I am going to do.  I have a very large bill that needs to be paid.  God has the resources.  Is there anything the Lord can't do?  I have to say emphatically NO!  Will He?  I must trust in His word that He will not leave nor forsake me.  Why would He place this book in my life and then leave me in debt, worried through this beautiful season? 

He wouldn't.  But the devil would!  Christmas is only 10 days away now.  I still have two signing events this weekend, but other than that it all comes down to who is going to buy these books on line through my website.  I am going to believe that has all been accomplished in His name, by those He chose to buy.  There is more exposure because of the TV show and the radio broadcast, so I will put my faith (the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen - Hebrews 11:1) and trust in Him today.  I am going to spend the next 10 days looking forward to Christmas. 

I am going to believe in healing in family relationships, that all those that are separated from their husbands or wives will be returning safely and with a renewed love for each other.   I pray that they will be coming home for Christmas.  Not just for a visit, not to keep a distance between each other because of past hurts, no, they are coming home because that is what God intended.  That marriages heal. 

All marriages suffer growing pains, it is a given, we are all different, that's what attracted us to each other in the first place.  We have times where our pride comes between us and nobody wants to be the first to say I'm sorry, I was wrong.  Or if they weren't wrong, to instead of holding on to a crippled memory, say, I forgive you.  I need you. 

For those that are struggling with being the one to make the first move and open the door to what God ordained in their lives, to grasp once again the innocence of that new love so long ago (it's still there, you know), I say, TRUST! TRUST!  Let God heal you.  Have the courage to kick the devil in the teeth and declare, "Not by my strength, but by God's, by Jesus of Nazareth's authority, I take back that which was stolen!  I ask God to restore my broken heart and my broken marriage!  Give us back the dreams we had in our youth, and show us one again that with Christ, ALL things are possible!" 

Be bold!  Go to the throne of God and ask for His divine help in bringing your marriage back together, to help you to remember why you got married in the first place, and the changes that came because you didn't keep God first.  It's not too late, He is just waiting for you to say, "God, help me.  Give me the courage to make new memories, to know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"

Ask Him for forgiveness of your sins, for straying not just from your spouse and maybe your family, but for straying from Him!  He celebrates our devotion to Him.  He understands when we walk off the path!  He longs for us to come to Him and ask for His forgiveness and help.  And dear Reader, believe me, He WILL NEVER say no to you when you want to do something that is good.  He will get the glory!  How wonderful!  Give God a gift!

Come home, forget the hurt, don't make excuses anymore.  It is the right time.  No one will judge you, and you walk in God's light.  Tell the devil to go to Hell, you are a child of God, and your Lord is Jesus of Nazareth!  Pick up that sword and fight!  Hold on to your spouse and fight together!  Your marriage is God's gift to you.  Don't toss it aside and say it's broken!  God fixes all things if we lay them at His feet!  Don't be afraid. Fear is not from God, it is from Satan.  Fight!  Show him that God is first in your life, that even if you can't see the good outcome, God can, and He will make it right.  Don't wait a minute longer!

Have a blessed day, dear Reader.  Go with God.  His ways are not always understood by us, but they are always right.  If you hear the calling of the Holy Spirit to go home, now, start packing, then do it.  Obey.  Don't reason, don't use logic, don't disobey.  Just do it.  You'll see, He is there.  Let Him drive the car.  You just sit back and see what He has for you.  Don't look back, evil awaits there.  Look forward!  Smile!  He is holding your hand!

God bless you.  I don't know who that is for, but we all love you very much.  Let us know how things worked out.  Happy Wednesday!
Deirdre

To buy a book, go to www.deirdretolhurst.com, shopping page.  Thank you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yesterday's Interview

Now is one more time to trust.  I am going to put my interview out on my Web page so that you can see it.  You come from all over the world, so it is not just my little world of Central Texas that will view it anymore, now it's there for you too, Dear Reader!  Maybe this will give you the incentive to email or comment. 

I am so thrilled, I said 'Jesus' and 'God' on TV (and not Public Broadcasting Station)!  There are two videos, the first half and the second half.  Enjoy, and may God bless you today and always!
Deirdre

http://ww2.momseveryday.com/video?clipId=6541045&flvUri=&partnerclipid=&topVideoCatNo=193714&c=&autoStart=true&activePane=info&LaunchPageAdTag=homepage&clipFormat=

http://ww2.momseveryday.com/video?clipId=6541063&flvUri=&partnerclipid=&topVideoCatNo=193714&c=&autoStart=true&activePane=info&LaunchPageAdTag=homepage&clipFormat=

Monday, December 12, 2011

Trusting God This Afternoon

Today I will be on local TV.  This is something new for me.  I haven't been on TV since I was 3 or so.  I was on the Bozo the Clown show in NY with my sister and brother.  I don't remember much about it.  Today I will be on the Mom's Everyday show on local TV.  I am very calm.  Twice my appearance has been cancelled.  I don't know why the first time, but the second time, last Friday was because a young man from Baylor University, Robert Griffin III, known as RGIII, had become a finalist for the coveted Heisman Trophy.   So the station ran a repeat show with his Mom.  I have no complaints about that, it is a great achievement, and he is a young man of God!  Congratulations to them!

So today I will be on.  Maybe God didn't think I was ready on Friday.  Maybe I wasn't.  I have a peace about me today.  I trust God today.  I took the day off work to spend time with Jesus, reading the Word, and praising and worshipping Him.  I want to feel His presence all around me as I travel and sit in the studio.  Christmas is only 12 shopping days away now, and I have many books to sell.  But He has told me that He will take care of it, not to worry or fret, but to trust Him. 

I don't know all the plans God has for me, and I don't know when they will come, but they will come, because He doesn't just leave us alone to go nowhere.  When there is a desire in a heart, as there is in mine, He speaks and gives direction.  It's up to me to listen and follow His rules or to sit back because it is too difficult.  Believe me, being on national radio and now TV and signing books and selling my book would not have been easy for me in the least had I not gone into His rest.  He has so much more for me that I don't even know about yet.

But first He wants me to cross the raging river, and all I see are the waves and the debris going by.  "It's too hard" I cry!  "I can't get over to the other side!  Why did You tell me to cross?"  I can see my reward on the other side - my husband's dream house, just like in the picture we have. God is saying, "Trust Me, follow Me," and He has His hand out, ready to lead me, and all I see is the river, the white caps.  "No, I can't!" I cry again. 

I don't trust Him, I'm afraid of being swallowed up in the water.  He is very patient.  Maybe He steps back and lets the water reach to where I am. Finally, I will have to take His hand, because there is NO PLACE ELSE TO GO!  And what will He do?  He won't push me in the raging torrent and yell, "Swim, Deirdre, I taught you to swim."  No, He will lead me to the bridge that was just out of my sight, just around the bend!

I was so consumed with the here and now that I couldn't see anything but failure.  I didn't realize I caused my own failure.  If I just took His hand and trusted Him, as a child would, I would have crossed that obstacle that much sooner.  Instead, I walked around the mountain one more time.

Dear reader, we must learn to trust God in everything that goes on, not just in our own life, but in the lives of all those we love, and of the world, and all the governments.  God is in charge!  God has the vault where the tornadoes wait for Him to release them.  He has rooms full of hail, and lightning.  He causes the rain!  But just the same, He brings the cloudless sky filled with warm sunshine and gentle breezes.  We have a destiny.  And we have the choice to let it be a great and rewarding destiny or one filled with trouble and despair.  We either 'let go and let God' or miss out on the glory after glory He wants us to enjoy.

So let's try harder today to trust Him.  Let's start with an hour at a time, or a minute, whatever it takes.  He is very gracious and will wait.  Let us draw our strength from Jesus, because it is through Him, after all, that all things are possible.  (Phil 4:13)

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Lord Listens to Our Prayers

I received this today as an email and thought I would attach it.  It gives us a lot to think about.  Do you pray as if He is listening?  Do you mean what you pray?


Our Father who art in Heaven.
Yes?

Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.
But -- you called Me!
                         
Called you?  No, I didn't call you.  I'm praying.  Our Father who art in Heaven.
There -- you did it again!

Did what?
Called Me.  You said, "Our Father who art in Heaven."  Well, here I am.  What's on your mind?

But I didn't mean anything by it.   I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day.  I always say the Lord's Prayer.   It makes me feel good, kind of like fulfilling a duty.
Well, all right.   Go on.

Okay, Hallowed be Thy name. .
Hold it right there.   What do you mean by that?
             
By what?
By "Hallowed be thy name"?

It means, it means . . good grief, I don't know what it means.   How in the world should I know?  It's just a part of the prayer.  By the way, what does it mean?
It means honored, holy, wonderful.

Hey, that makes sense.  I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before.  Thanks.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Do you really mean that?

Sure, why not?
What are you doing about it?
             
Doing? Why, nothing, I guess.   I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control, of everything down here like you have up there.  We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
Yes, I know; but, have I got control of you?

Well, I go to church.
That isn't what I asked you.  What about your bad temper?  You've really got a problem there, you know.  And then there's the way you spend your money -- all on yourself.  And what about the kind of books you read?

Now hold on just a minute!  Stop picking on me!  I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at church!
Excuse Me.  I thought you were praying for my will to be done.  If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it.  Like you -- for example.

Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups.  Now that you mention  it, I could probably name some others.
So could I.

I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things.  I would like to, you know, be really free.
Good.  Now we're getting somewhere.  We'll work together -- you and Me.  I'm proud of you.

Look, Lord, if you don't mind, I need to finish up here.  This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.  Give us this day, our daily bread.
You need to cut out the bread.  You're overweight as it is.

Hey, wait a minute! What is this?  Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.
Praying is a dangerous thing.  You just might get what you ask for.  Remember, you called Me -- and here I am.  It's too late to stop now.  Keep praying.  ( . pause . . )  Well, go on.

I'm scared to.
Scared? Of what?

I know what you'll say.
Try Me.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
What about Ann?

See? I knew it!  I knew you would bring her up!   Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories.  She never paid back the money she owes me.  I've sworn to get even with her!
But -- your prayer --  What about your prayer?

I didn't -- mean it.
Well, at least you're honest.  But, it's quite a load carrying around all that bitterness and resentment isn't it?

Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her.  Boy, have I got some plans for her.
She'll wish she had never been born.
No, you won't feel any better.   You'll feel worse.   Revenge isn't sweet.  You know how unhappy you are --  well, I can change that.

You can? How?

Forgive Ann.  Then, I'll forgive you; and the hate and the sin, will be Ann's problem -- not yours.   You will have settled the problem as far as you are concerned.

Oh, you know, you're right.  You always are.  And more than I want revenge, I want to be right with You . . (sigh).  All right all right . .  I forgive her.
There now!   Wonderful!  How do you feel?

Hmmmm. Well, not bad.  Not bad at all!   In fact, I feel pretty great!  You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight.  I haven't been getting much rest, you know.
Yes, I know.  But, you're not through with your prayer are you? Go on.

Oh, all right.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Good! Good!  I'll do that.  Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.

What do you mean by that?
You know what I mean.

Yeah. I know.
Okay.  Go ahead. Finish your prayer.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.   Amen.
Do you know what would bring me glory -- what would really make me happy?

No, but I'd like to know.  I want to please you now.  I've really made a mess of things.  I want to truly follow you.  I can see now how great that would be.  So, tell me . . .  How do I make you happy?

You just did!