It’s Prayer Time…

Almighty Father, Today I wait quietly in your presence while my thoughts become silent in the depths of your being. I will not rush this process, because when I hurry my heart is earthbound not focused on you. You are the creator of the entire universe, yet you have made my home in your heart, where you know me most intimately; where you speak to me in holy whispers. Holy Spirit I ask you to quiet my mind so I can hear God’s still small voice within me. Help me to listen as God speaks love and peace to me continually. My heart is tuned to receive these messages of abundant blessing. I lay my request before you Lord, and wait in expectation. Amen.

Are You in a Place Where Jesus Can Find You?

Jesus finds woman at the well.

Twenty years ago, I found Jesus and my life changed. And years later, I continued to believe I found Jesus, until the pastor said at Tuesday Night Bible Study, “We don’t find Jesus, Jesus finds us. He’s not lost.”

I winced at those words. I heard the message, yet did not comprehend; still stuck in the notion that I had found Jesus. The days that followed, I read the gospels Mark and John debunking my belief.

First, Jesus chooses his disciples. Jesus walks beside the Sea of Galilee, spots “Simon and Andrew casting a net into the lake,” and then James and John preparing their nets.  When he says, “Come, follow me,” they immediately stop and follow (Mark 1: 16-18). They are in a place of obedience and trust.

By the lake, Jesus selects Levi, a tax collector (Mark 2:18). Levi, otherwise known as Matthew, leaves his place of business and follows.

On the mountainside, Jesus appoints his twelve disciples because he sees something special in them despite their flaws. Judas is a trader. Peter is hot-tempered. James and John overambitious. These brothers had their mother ask Jesus for a position. Ironically, after miracles, healings, and teaching when the storm hits, the disciples have little faith and hardened hearts.

How many times has my faith wavered despite miracles in my life? And when life doesn’t seem to go my way bitterness and hardened heart evident.

When Jesus set his sights on Nathanael, he says “an Israelite not a false bone in his body.” Nathanael asks, “How do you know me?” Jesus answers, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree” ( John 1:43-48). In the Bible the fig tree is a symbol of prosperity and judgment.

It doesn’t matter if our life is successful or we are under scrutiny, Jesus knows when were wearing a mask, and we should too. We have to be real.

Just as tax collectors were not the crème de la crème, neither were women or Samaritans, yet Jesus takes a detour into Samaria stopping by the well waiting for the Samaritan woman (John 4: 1-26).  She comes to the well thirsty for knowledge and truth. There he reveals her secrets, he knows her as he knew Nathanael.

No wonder Jesus found me, I’ve been bitter with a harden heart, thought I was all that and a bag of chips, full of doubt, afraid, broken, helpless, and discouraged.

However he choses us when we are: strong enough to be weak and trust Him, ready to be a servant, fall down in prayer, stop judging, ready to say not my will but your will be done and we can trusted with the things in life no matter how small.

When Jesus finds you, eventually you come running to him. And once you are with him, Jesus takes hold and doesn’t let go.

Are you in a place that Jesus can find you?

Faithwalk: Sex, Sex and more Sex

Good title huh? Is this your first visit to angchronicles? Welcome. If you like this post, click to the right and follow this weekly blog. Anyway, every one’s prone to want to know more about sex, who’s having it, or not, or how to make it better or long lasting?

Well, I’m not the expert, nor do I have advice. Except to say while sitting in the pew at a church anniversary celebration on Sunday, for a minute, my mind was not focused on the songs, worship or God but sex. Inside this place, babies, children and couples overflowed. I haven’t seen so many men, young and old, in the House of God, ever.

As I glanced around the church, I thought about the intimate dialogue between men and women bringing to mind a quip from the morning’s sermon, which became Monday morning’s prayer.  Are we like wildebeest running, running, running forgetting our focus when we stop? Sometimes, I am a wildebeest. When I stop, I lose my focus.

Here’s what happened. On Saturday, my day began at 3 a.m., studying for the GRE. At 11 a.m., a two and a half hour workshop, then an hour walk, lunch, a mani-pedi, and then the supermarket. Upon returning home, at 8 p.m., put groceries away, prepped Sunday dinner, vacuumed, completed three loads of laundry, and cleaned the living room: books and papers scattered everywhere.

Sunday morning, I woke at 6:25 a.m. to dice and season potatoes and fish. Then headed off to 8 a.m. worship service, afterwards drove eight miles north to Sunday School and another worship service. At 1:00 p.m., I headed home to cook dinner for my guest, who would arrive by 2:15. Upon her arrival, we prayed, fellowshipped, laughed and dined. Then within 15 minutes, I put away the food, washed pots and pans, loaded the dishwasher. My friend was not allowed to help, only to sit and be served. Off we went to the 3:30 p.m. church celebration.

The moment I stopped, and looked around taking note of the men and the babies in the house, I thought of my own sweetheart, 3,000 miles away. For that minute, dreamland: when will he propose, where will we have the wedding, how fun to look for a house, then make that house a home. Maybe he will not propose. Maybe he’s not the one. God knows I ain’t having no babies. Wildebeest mentality. Running wildly for a short time, then stopping, and forgetting why I began running in the first place.

Unlike the wildebeest, I know why I, sometimes, run wildly, I don’t have to focus on matters at hand: getting a full-time job, wondering which editor or agent will say yes to a book proposal, planning the holidays with or without my girls, and missing the man who is possibly the one.

Why do I torture myself with busyness even on a Sunday? Have I not learned on this journey, day 13, to be still, that prayer changes things, God has given me a small work to do, sometimes things fall apart, and that if I asked God to lead my way, why am I getting fretting.

Thank God, I did bring my thoughts back to worship while sitting in that pew.  This week I plan to be still and wait on the Lord.

What about you? Are you so busy that when you stop, you forget why you were running?