Holy Offerings

Gentle Words

A conversation can easily turn to full on gossip if we are not careful.  We know this, gossip does not please God and it can cause a deep wounds that never heal.  If we are women who constantly find ourselves participating in gossip, it should be no surprise when our lives are filled with stress.

Prayer Prompt:

Father, teach me to become a woman who can keep a confidence. Let the words out of my mouth always be truthful.  I want to become a woman who puts fires out, not one who feeds them.  Fill my heart and mouth with gentle words that grow into a tree of life.

Scriptures: 

A gossip goes around telling secrets,
but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.  Proverbs 11:13

Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.  Psalm 34:13

Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.  Proverbs 26: 20-21

Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.  Proverbs 15:4

 

Holy Offerings

Placing Your Child on the Potter’s Wheel

Our God is the God of do-overs.  When we pray for our children young, old or in between, we place them on the Potter’s Wheel.  This is the place where they hear His words and He molds and shapes them.   When He finds places within them that are marred, damaged or spoiled He forms them into something new.

Prayer Prompt: 

Father, I rejoice as I come before You, our Maker.  I thank you that __________ is the clay and you are the Potter, __________ is the work of your hands.  See the parts of him/her that are marred and help ___________ to hear your words as You mold his/her life for the good.

Scriptures: 

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  Psalm 95:

But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.  Isaiah 64:8

“Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.  Jeremiah 18: 2-4

Holy Offerings

Giving Thanks on Thursday

Is it really possible to give thanks in all circumstances?

Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy spent eighteen months in the Nazi concentration Camp, Ravensbrook.   Their barrack was filled with sadness, death, filth and fleas.  One day Corrie found herself, at the prompting of her sister, giving thanks for fleas.  Here is their conversation:

__________________________________________________________________________________________

We lay back, struggling against the nausea that swept over us from the reeking straw.

..Suddenly I sat up, striking my head on the cross-slats above. Something had pinched my leg.

“‘Fleas!’ I cried. ’Betsie, the place is swarming with them!’

“‘Here! And here another one!’ I wailed. ‘Betsie, how can we live in such a place!’

“‘Show us. Show us how.’ It was said so matter of factly it took me a second to realize she was praying. More and more the distinction between prayer and the rest of life seemed to be vanishing for Betsie.

“‘Corrie!’ she said excitedly. ’He’s given us the answer! Before we asked, as He always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!’

“I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. ‘It was in First Thessalonians,’ I said. We were on our third complete reading of the New Testament since leaving Scheveningen.

“In the feeble light I turned the pages. ‘Here it is: “Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all…’” It seemed written expressly to Ravensbruck.

‘Go on,’ said Betsie. ‘That wasn’t all.’

“‘Oh yes:’…“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.’”

“‘That’s it, Corrie! That’s His answer. “Give thanks in all circumstances!” That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!’ I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.

“‘Such as?’ I said.

“‘Such as being assigned here together.’

“I bit my lip. ‘Oh yes, Lord Jesus!’

“‘Such as what you’re holding in your hands.’ I looked down at the Bible.

“‘Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all these women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.’

“‘Yes,’ said Betsie, ‘Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!’

She looked at me expectantly. ‘Corrie!’ she prodded.

“‘Oh, all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed suffocating crowds.’

“‘Thank You,’ Betsie went on serenely, ‘for the fleas and for–’

“The fleas! This was too much. ‘Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.’

“‘Give thanks in all circumstances,’ she quoted. It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.

“And so we stood between tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.”

“Back at the barracks we formed yet another line–would there never be an end to columns and waits?–to receive our ladle of turnip soup in the center room. Then, as quickly as we could for the press of people, Betsie and I made our way to the rear of the dormitory room where we held our worship “service.” Around our own platform area there was not enough light to read the Bible, but back here a small light bulb cast a wan yellow circle on the wall, and here an ever larger group of women gathered.
“They were services like no others, these times in Barracks 28.

“At first Betsie and I called these meetings with great timidity. But as night after night went by and no guard ever came near us, we grew bolder. So many now wanted to join us that we held a second service after evening roll call.

There on the Lagerstrasse we were under rigid surveillance, guards in their warm wool capes marching constantly up and down. It was the same in the center room of the barracks: half a dozen guards or camp police always present. Yet in the large dormitory room there was almost no supervision at all. We did not understand it.

“One evening I got back to the barracks late from a wood-gathering foray outside the walls. A light snow lay on the ground and it was hard to find the sticks and twigs with which a small stove was kept going in each room. Betsie was waiting for me, as always, so that we could wait through the food line together. Her eyes were twinkling.

“‘You’re looking extraordinarily pleased with yourself,’ I told her.

“‘You know, we’ve never understood why we had so much freedom in the big room,’ she said. ‘Well–I’ve found out.’

“That afternoon, she said, there’d been confusion in her knitting group about sock sizes and they’d asked the supervisor to come and settle it.

“But she wouldn’t. She wouldn’t step through the door and neither would the guards. And you know why?”

“Betsie could not keep the triumph from her voice: ‘Because of the fleas! That’s what she said, “That place is crawling with fleas!’”

“My mind rushed back to our first hour in this place. I remembered Betsie’s bowed head, remembered her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for.”

The conclusion of Romans chapter eight became one of the scriptures that sustained them: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” ~Romans 8: 35, 37

From the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

______________________________________________________________________________

Prayer:  Father I want to become a woman who can truly give thanks in all circumstances.  Teach me to see everything, the good, the bad, even the awful through a thankful heart.  I know that is Your perfect will for me.

Scripture: 

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

Holy Offerings

No Regrets

Ever get stuck in the desert of regret? Actions and words we wish we could take back along with missed opportunities to do or say something good and encouraging. God has made a way for us to name them and move past them, if we will bring them to Him.
 
Prayer:
 
Father, You see all of my regrets, my mistakes. I refuse to dwell in them and let them destroy me, I choose to bring them to You. I lay them down and pick up Your salvation. You are faithful to forgive me and to wash my sin. I’m finished looking back at the old things and choose to look ahead. Thank you for doing a new thing in me and making a road for me to press forward.
 
Scriptures:
 
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
 
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43: 18-19

 

Holy Offerings

Mountain Moving Seeds of Faith

Some days we feel ‘faith-filled’ and other days ‘faith-less’.  For those ‘faith-less’ days we need a reminder that even one tiny seed of our faith can move mountains!

Prayer Prompt: 

Father, help me to trust You when I cannot see how or even when You will work things out.  Show me when I am relying on my feelings, which can cause me to be tossed around like the wind, causing me to doubt.  Thank you, that my tiny seed of faith in You, can move the mountains in my life!

Scriptures: 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  Matthew 17:20

Holy Offerings

New Series – Holy Offerings

After reading a blog post on writing from 4 Things Beth Moore Taught Me About Writing.

I was able to see my writing life very clearly for the first time.  As I read, “Each Idea Has a Shelf Life’.  I realized that I am a short writer.

I have also realized that my opinion on matters, doesn’t really matter.  I mean really, the blog-o-sphere is full of everyone’s opinions.

It caused me to take a nice long look at myself, my writing and why I was writing.  Was I writing to simply build a platform in hopes that one day someone would take a risk and give me the long shot of publishing a book?  Do I even have enough to say to fill the pages of a book?  I’m not sure.

As I looked over years of journals I saw one constant.  It was my prayers that filled the pages.  I have been praying alongside other women for over twenty years. Not just praying my words, but God’s words, over family, friends, community and the world.

Maybe you would like to follow along and pray too.  You can find my short words here Holy Offerings

Many Blessings,

D