Pause for Poetry-My Prayer For You in 2020

Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, Godly Advice, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

My Prayer For You In 2020

 

My prayer for you this new year

Is that God will pour on you

An anointing of His Spirit

Over all you say and do.

 

May His love flow through your actions.

May His joy show on your face.

May others feel His presence…

It’s called Amazing Grace.

 

May each new day be special

Filled with blessings from above.

May you feast upon His goodness…

Then with others share His love.

 

Frances Gregory Pasch

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Three Things to Help Deal With Rejection

As an author I deal with rejection. Boy howdy. Do I ever. You may not be an author, but I believe it safe to say somewhere during your life, you have experienced the pain and awful sting of being rejected. If you can’t think of anything right off, perhaps you could go back in your mind to your early teen years. Yikes.

Maybe the rejection came from friends. Family. School. Work. Business endeavor. Church…Wherever it came from, it hurt.

In her book, Embraced, Lysa TerKuerst suggests three things to remember when we go through rejection of any kind. I’d like to share those with you today.

One rejection is not a projection of future failures.

Lysa says we need to acknowledge the hurt, but don’t see it as a permanent hindrance. Move on from the source of the rejection. Don’t let it shut you down in that arena of life. Don’t let it reach into your future.

There is usually some element of protection wrapped in every rejection.

Once we get past the rejection, we can look back and see how God allowed things to unfold the way they did for our protection. In his mercy, God allowed this.

This is a short-term setback, not a permanent condition.

The emotions that feel so intense today will ease up over time as long as we let them. If we give this rejection power to define us, it will haunt us long term. If we only allow it enough power to refine us, the hurt will give way to healing.

Did one of these three suggestions for when we go through rejection resonate with you over the others? Is there something you would add to help move past rejection?

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The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one. Psalm 34:19 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others whenever you go through a rough spot.

I’ve said that to those around me. And I mean it. However, when I’m the one who needs to reach out, I find it easier to advise than to take my advice.

I’m a big advocate of prayer. I remind people often to share their concerns and requests so others can pray for them. When it comes time for me to share my concerns and requests, I’m hesitant.

Sure. I believe prayer is an essential part of our life and walk as Christ-followers. Absolutely. I pray for others daily. So why the reluctance on my part to ask for prayer? I believe it has something to do with the false and extremely dangerous belief I am to soldier through. Be strong. Overcome without asking for help. Don’t show weakness or be needy.

Does any of that resonate with how you feel at times? The old pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality?

Well, according to God, believing that way is just wrong.

As Rich Mullins sang, we are not as strong as we think we are.

The Bible tells us to cast all our cares on God because he cares for us. We are told when we are weak, Christ’s strength shows up in our weakness. We are told to lean into Jesus and let him share our burden. We are told to pray for one another. We are told to comfort as we have been comforted.

Nowhere does the Bible tell us to hold back in asking for prayer.

God places people in our lives to lift our needs before the Father’s throne. They can’t lift if they don’t know.

Right now, in this time and space, the stress of my broken hip; which is healing wonderfully, thank you, Jesus, is not friendly to my auto-immune diseases. Uncharacteristically, I asked my Bible study group to prayer specifically for the battle going on in my body. They were already praying for my hip’s healing, but this time I opened up more about my struggles and gave specifics.

Sometimes it is difficult to admit our weaknesses. Sometimes it is difficult to admit we struggle. Especially if we have encountered those who, again falsely, believe if we belong to Christ we’ll never face adversity. Jesus said in this world we WILL have trouble. He didn’t say we might.

Our strength comes from Christ alone. It’s not of our own making. For when we are weak, he is strong. His power works best in our weakness. His glory shines brightest through our brokenness. Prayer is a big part of taking our petitions to the Father on behalf of our self and others.

Have there been times you struggled with asking for specific prayer requests?

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When Gators Line Our Path

Earlier, I mentioned I broke my right hip while Pilot and I camped over Thanksgiving. What I didn’t mention were the gators which lined our path as we rode bikes mere hours before my fall.

This park in southeast Texas is known for its overabundance of alligators inhabiting the lakes in the park. That’s fine. I have no problem with gators staying where they belong.

In. The. Water.

The day after Thanksgiving, as we rode the trails around several lakes, we counted twelve gators ranging in length from three to over six feet within a fifteen minute period of time.

On. The. Trail. NOT in the water.

When we met some hikers who told us there were two six foot gators stretched across the full length of the trail facing each other up ahead, I was cautious. When we met a man who said he saw an eight to ten foot gator on the edge of the trail in front of us, I told Pilot I wanted to turn around.

Always the adventurer, Pilot thought we should keep going. I said no and turned around; realizing we’d still have to run the gauntlet of more alligators until we made our way clear of all lakes.

Each time I came upon one of these gators, I remembered what David told King Saul before David went out to face Goliath in battle. Substituting gators for lions and bears.

As far as I was concerned, these prehistoric reptiles where as big a threat as any lion or bear. I don’t care how sluggish they looked to the unsuspecting passer-by, I gave them as wide a berth as I could without running into the gator lying in wait on the other side of the trail.

And I didn’t care how much Pilot wanted to get up close and personal with the ten-footer, I wasn’t about to.

So I couldn’t help but laugh after I fell and broke my hip. I’d escaped harm from the mega-gator, only to break my hip back in the safety of our campsite. Too funny.

You may never have to stare down alligators which block your path, but I bet you’ve faced your share of tests, trials, and uncertainties which are just as fierce. Even more so.

None of us will get through this life unscathed without being touched by pain and sorrow.

Fortunately, we don’t have to travel down these paths alone. No matter where we are, what type of bear or lion or gator we face, God is with us when we call out to him. Whether we feel like it or not. He will never leave or forsake us. He is our rescuer, our shield, our defender.

It may feel like as soon as we move past one gator, there’s another, larger, one waiting around the bend. And there just might be.

The key, however, is to remember the God who already delivered us from the jaw of the previous gator will deliver us from the next.

Even if the next is a broken hip.

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“The Lord who saved me from the claws and teeth of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!”

Saul finally consented, “All right, go ahead,” he said, “and may the Lord be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:37 (TLB)

 

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Death And Life Are In The Power Of The Tongue

King Solomon cautioned readers of the book of Proverbs that death and life are in the power of the tongue. As followers of Christ created in the image of God, how often do we consider the gravity of that fact? How often are we mindful of what we say, tweet, text, send?

Careless words. Thoughtless words. Abusive words. Caustic words. Malicious gossip. Words wielded deliberately like the deadliest blade intent on belittling, damaging, destroying. Words spoken without the least bit of thought to their impact.

The apostle Paul cautioned the Corinthian church about their verbal assaults on each other. He feared they had resorted to quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. (2 Corinthians 12:20) He told the church in Colossae to rid themselves of all anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. (Colossians 3:8)

James tells us the tongue is a fire that can set a forest ablaze. He asks us how praise and cursing can come out of the same mouth. (James 3:5-6, 9-12)

Our words matter. How we say them matters. The intent behind them matters. Our words can lift up. Our words can tear down. Our words can bring life. Our words can bring death.

I wish I could say my words have never wounded. But I can’t. I wish I could say I’ve never spoken out of anger, or jealousy, or arrogance. But I can’t. I wish I could say I’ve always spoken the truth in love, or never allowed a hurt to go by without responding with harsh words. But I can’t.

Maybe you feel the same.

Here are three questions to ask ourselves before our words leave us.

Is what I’m about to say true? Is it nice? Is it necessary? It might be true, but do we need to say it? Will it serve to bless, heal, help?

Going back to Paul again. “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4:29 GNT)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Our words, however they are delivered, are powerful. Since we are called to be like Jesus, shouldn’t we use our words as he did?

Our words need to speak life, not death, to those around us.

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Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18: 21 ESV

I wish you well.

Sandy

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