January 23, 2016

The Practice of Praise!

The Practice of Praise. By Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892). Whitaker House, 1995.

"They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and sing of thy righteousness! " ~ Psalm 145:7

Chapter 1:
Steps to Praise
1. Look for God's goodness!
2. Remember and Record God's goodness!
3. Smile, Speak, and Sing about God's goodness!  

Excerpts:
" If you hear a sermon, what you remember afterward is the point that most forcibly strikes you while you are listening to the discourse. At the time, you say, "I will jot that down. I do not want to forget it, because it comes so closely home to me." Whether you use your pencil or not, memory obeys your wish and records it on her tablets."

"That which has made an impression upon the mind by observation is fastened on the memory. Memory seems to consist of two things: first, in retaining an impression, and second, in recollecting it at a future time. I supposed that, more or less, everything that happens to us is retained in the mind, but it is not easy to reproduce the fainter impressions when you wish to do so. I know in my own mind a great many things that I am sure I remember, but yet I cannot always recall them instantly. Give me a quarter of an hour to run through a certain arrangement of ideas, and I can say, "Oh, yes, I have it. It was in my mind, but I could not recollect it at the time." Memory collects facts and afterward recollects them. The matters before us are recorded by memory, but the tablet may be mislaid. The perfection of memory is to preserve the tablet in a well-known place from which you can bring it forth at any moment."

How are we to strengthen our memory about God's goodness? First, we should be well acquainted with the documents in which His goodness is recorded . . .  According to some, you link one idea with another and recollect a date by associating it with something you can see. . . For instance, let your bed remind you of God's mercy in the night watches, and let your table bring to remembrance His goodness in supplying your daily needs. . . All around us there are memoranda of God's love if we choose to read them. . . Next. . . diligently observe memorials. . . Cherish devoutly the precious memorial. Great events in nations have been preserved in the memory of future generations by some ordained ceremonial. . . Strengthen your memories, then, by reverent attention to the historical documents and the memorial ordinances. . . By giving the truth expression, we deepen its impression upon our minds."

"Today, if your harps have been hanging on the willows, take them down, if you have not praised the Lord as you should, begin to do so. Wash your mouths and get rid of the sour flavor of murmuring about bad trade and bad weather. Sweeten your lips with the pleasant confection of praise."

Homework Assignment: "Begin with the goodness that shines in our election. Follow the silver thread through redemption, the mission of the Holy Spirit, the calling, the adoption, the preservation, and the perfecting of the chosen. . . Let every personal mercy be written upon your personal memory."

My Story:
When I was about ten, we were having a revival in our church. I don't remember who the speaker was, but when he gave the invitation to come to the altar at the end of his sermon, I wanted to go and be prayed for. It's hard for me to explain, but I remember the feeling of being dirty and unclean in my heart and I could feel the tug to go up there and I wanted to be washed as white as snow. My grandmother had a little book of colors that she "read" to me as a child -- a dark color (I don't remember if it was black, navy, or brown) represented the sin in my heart, and red meant that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me. White represented his washing of my heart, making it pure as snow. There were other colors in that little book, but suddenly I understood its significance to me.
After the revival ended, I went to our Pastor and asked if I could be baptized. She came to our house, sitting down with my mother and me and quizzed me for some time until she was satisfied that I knew what baptism meant and that I was ready for that next step. I was and I asked my mother if I could call my beloved grandparents to come witness my baptism. They lived an eight hour drive away, but they came and were seated in the congregation when I was immersed in the tank of water behind the choir loft in front of our church. In my ten year old mind, I was sure the angels were rejoicing when I was lifted out of that water, at least it seemed so to me.  That day, I rose with a Princess crown on my head, me, a Daughter of the King!
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More and More 
Chapter 2:
 
"But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more." Psalm 71:14

Homework Assignment: Define words.
Grace = 1.) The unmerited but freely given love and favor of God toward man; 2.) the divine influence operating in man to regenerate, sanctify or strengthen him; 3.) the state or condition to be pleasing & acceptable to God; 4.) any divinely inspired spiritual virtue or excellence.
Hymn = a song of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, etc.
Holy = any spiritually pure person regarded with reverence because of association with God
Hope = 1.) to desire with expectation of fulfillment; 2.) confident expectation; trust 3.) that which is desired or anticipated; 4) one who is causing success; promising 
Mercy = kind or compassionate treatment of an offender, adversary, prisoner, etc.  2.) a disposition to be kind, forgiving or helpful; 3.) the power to show mercy or compassion; 4.) a thing to be thankful for
Praise = 1.) an expression of approval or commendation; to applaud, adore;  2.) ''the glorifying and honoring of God, ruler, hero, etc. especially, worship of God expressed in song.

Excerpts:
"Am I nearer heaven? Then will I be doing more of the work that I will do in heaven. I will soon use the harp, so let me be carefully tuning it. Let me rehearse the hymns that I will sing before the throne. Even though the words in heaven will be sweeter and richer than any that poets can assemble together here, the essential song of heaven will be the same as that which we are presenting to Jehovah here below: ' They praise the Lamb in hymns above, And we in hymns below.' The essence of their praise is gratitude that he suffered and shed his blood; it is the essence of our praise too. They bless Immanuel's name for undeserved favors bestowed upon unworthy ones, and we do the same."

"Prepare yourself by making your heart ready. You need the Spirit's aid to make your soul fit for praising God. It is not every fool's work. Go then to your chamber, confess the sins of the past, and ask the Lord to give you much more grace that you may begin to praise Him."

"It is all a mistake to think that we must come to a church building to praise God. You can praise God in your shops, in your kitchens, and in your bedrooms. It is all of a mistake to suppose that Sunday is the only day in which to praise God. Praise him on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, everyday, everywhere. All places are holy to holy people, and all engagements are holy to holy people, if they will do them with holy motives, lifting up their hearts to God. Whether a man swings a blacksmith's hammer or lays his hands to the plow, that which is done unto the Lord and not unto men is true worship."

His prayer for me = "But, beloved, I am persuaded of better things for you, things that accompany salvation, though I write so. I pray that God will lead you on from strength to strength, for that is the path of the just. May you grow in grace, for life is proven by growth. May you march like pilgrims toward heaven, singing all the way. The lark may serve us as a final picture, and an example of what we all should be. We should be mounting. Our prayer should be, "Nearer, my God, to Thee." Our motto might well be, "Higher! Higher! Higher." As we mount, we should sing, and our song should grow louder, clearer, more full of heaven. Upward, sing as you soar. Upward, sing until you are dissolved in glory. Amen!
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Morning and Evening Songs
 
"To show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.
~ Psalm 92:2
 
Chapter 3:
What Promises Did He Faithfully Keep Today For You? Provision? Protection? Guidance? Illumination? Comfort? Upholding?
 
Excerpts:
"When the daylight lifts its eyelid, it should look out upon grateful hearts. We ourselves have newly risen from our beds, and if we are in a right state of mind we are thankful for the night's sleep.
 
The evening rests our wearied head,
And angels guard the room,
We wake, and we admire the bed
That was not made our tomb."
 
"Let us take care, while we are fresh, to give the cream of the morning to God."
 
"I saw a tombstone the other day that pleased me. I do not know that I ever saw an epitaph of that kind before. I think it was for a woman who died at the age of eighty. The inscription said of her, 'who after a happy and grateful enjoyment of life, died.'"
 
"If there is any one topic that Christians ought to speak about thankfully, bravely, positively, and continuously, it is the faithfulness of God to them. It is that on which Satan takes a dead aim in the minds of many tempted ones. Therefore, you should center the strength of your testimony on God's faithfulness, so that tried saints may know He does not forsake His people."
 
Homework: "Then SING of the loving-kindness of God to yourself since your new birth. Remember the mercies of God. Do not bury them in the grave of ingratitude. Let them glisten in the light of gratitude. I am sure that you will find this a blessed morning portion that will sweeten the whole day.
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 Chapter 4: Acceptable Praises and Vows

"Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion; and unto thee shall the vow be performed. O though that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come." ~ Psalm 65:1-2

Excerpts:
Praise is the chief ingredient of the adoration of heaven.
 
We frequently hear of prayer meetings but seldom hear of praise meetings.
 
Prayer is for ourselves; praise is for God.
 
We come to pay our adoration at the footstool of the Great King, to whom alone be glory forever and ever.
 
When we praise God, we expect to see more of Him soon and, therefore, wait for Him. We bless the King, but we desire to draw nearer to Him. We magnify Him for what we have seen, and we expect to see more. We praise Him in His outer courts, for we will soon be with Him in the heavenly mansions. We glorify Him for the revelation of Himself in Jesus, for we expect to be like Christ and to be with Him where He is. When I cannot praise God for what I am, I will praise Him for what I will be.
 
My praise should not only be thanksgiving for the past, which is but discharging a debt of gratitude, but my faith needs to anticipate the future and wait upon God to fulfill His purposes.
 
We have our common mercies. We call them common, but, oh, how priceless they are: health to be able to assemble together and not be stretched on a bed of sickness. I count better than bags of gold, to have our reason and not to be confined in an asylum; to have our children still about us and dear relatives spared still to us, to have bread to eat and clothes to put on, and to have been preserved today from the snares of the enemy! These are godlike mercies, and for all these our praises will wait upon God.
 
Infinite love has made us completely clean, though we were black and filthy. We are washed--washed in priceless blood. Praise Him for this!
 
Praise is superior worship, for it is elevating. It is the utterance of a soul that has received good from God and is returning its love to Him in acknowledgement.
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Chapter 5: The Power of Prayer and Pleasure of Praise.
 
Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. for our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience , that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:11-12
 
Excerpts:
Gratitude to God must never become an excuse for ingratitude to man.
 
Paul asked for it, "Brethren, pray for us" (2 Thessalonians 3:1). All God's ministers to the end of time will ever confess that this is the secret source of their strength. . .Pray for your ministers, that God may make them mighty. . . In nine cases out of ten, if not in ninety-nine out of every hundred, the prosperity of a church rests on the minister's life. . . If the true minister is kept and made to hold fast to his integrity, there should be constant gratitude to God on his behalf.
 
Praise should always follow answered prayer.
 
He who preaches what he would wish to have displayed in the sunlight, or who has the sunlight shining right through him, is the true minister of God. I am afraid none of us is like clear glass--most of us are colored a little -- but he who seeks to get rid of the tinted matter as much as possible, so that the light of the Gospel may shine straight through him as it comes from the Sun of Righteousness, is happy.
 
I pray that all of you will believe in Jesus, for until you do, you cannot pray or praise! Oh, that you all believed in Jesus! Remember, this is the only way to salvation. Trust Jesus and you will be saved. May Christ accept you now, for His own love's sake. Amen.
 
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Chapter 6: A Lifelong Occupation
 
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. ~ Hebrews 13:15.
 

Excerpts:


Let us more and more earnestly make known His glory and His grace. If reproach is bitter, praise is sweet. We will drown the drops of gall in a sea of honey. . . While the enemy reproaches us continually, our only reply should be to offer "the sacrifice of praise" continually to the Lord our God.
 
We are to praise the Lord our God, not only in this place or that place, but in every place, not only when we are in a happy frame of mind, but when we are downcast and troubled. . . You cannot always be speaking His praise, but you can always be living His praise. The heart once set on praising God will, like the stream that leaps down the mountain's side, continue still to flow in its chosen course. A soul saturated with divine gratitude will continue to give forth the sacred aroma of praise, which will permeate the atmosphere of every place and make itself known to all who have a spiritual nostril to discern sweetness.
 
Praise is -- heart-worship or adoration.
Praise is -- heart-trust and heart-content with God.
Praise is -- heart-enjoyment, the indulgence of gratitude and wonder.
Praise means -- you and I are appointed to tell forth the goodness of God.
 
Does not our conversation need more flavoring with the praise of God? We put into it too much vinegar of complaint and forget the sugar of gratitude.
 
To praise God continually, you need to cultivate perpetual gratitude. . . Remember, every misery averted is a mercy bestowed. Every sin forgiven is a favor granted. Every duty performed is also a grace received. The people of God have an inexhaustible treasury of good things provided for them by the infinite God. For all, we should overflow with praise for Him. . . The happiest moments you have ever spent were those in which you lost sight of everything inferior and bowed before Jehovah's throne with reverent joy and blissful praise.
 
CHOOSE TO PRAISE!

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The end!

January 19, 2016

Persevere!

"A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'
Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'
Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'
The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'
'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'
Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'" ~ Luke 14:16-24.
 
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Just as Stephanie says, I am only showing you what I'm doing to inspire and encourage you to document your faith. Do it as your heart leads you to do. I've had three join with me in a Documented Faith group. Pray to get nine altogether. We're in the process of exchanging photos of each other, getting addresses, emails and  prayer requests.
 
I found it very helpful last year to make up  document templates on Microsoft Word such as this prayer list to print out. If you don't have a computer, you can just use a piece of lined notebook paper folded in half lengthwise and opened back up with room to write dates, prayer requests and dated answers. I find it helpful for me to have prayer requests in one place and so encouraging to see God working in people's lives when getting an answer to that prayer. It's amazing to me how much I've learned to rely on having a physical faith-book available (I keep it on the end table next to my chair), so when I temporarily misplaced it the other day, I was in panic mode! grin! Guess where I found it? It was under a blanket on a recliner chair in the living room!  *whew!*
 
Microsoft Word Table -- 4 columns, 36 rows equally spaced.
 

Learning Styles: There are three basic learning styles -- visual, hands-on (kinesthetic) and audio. I'm a combination of visual and hands-on with audio being my weakest (music is my white noise) and I suspect Stephanie is a hands-on type of person too when she likes having the hard-copy presence of her Documented Faith journal in her nail-polished hands! grin!

My husband's parents were overjoyed to find that nobody was scheduled to work this last weekend, so we all made our annual holiday trek to the country for our Christmas get-together. There were twenty-two of us plus a dog and a cat. I'm grateful our guardian angel on our car hood (traveling mercies)  kept us safe as we traveled there and back. I took my faith-notebook to work on after our gift-giving time, while everyone else either watched sporting events on television or played games.


My 2016 Faith-book cover. I used black and white checked, striped, and dotted paper for the front and back covers & a strip of check for the side. The flowers are stickers and are only on the front. I have me a perennial  flower garden!

 
I finished adding decorative washi tape to each outside edge of the pages in my Faith-book. I was going to stamp in the months and days on my 2016 calendar, however, it did not go as planned, as the black inkpad I brought with me was nearly dry. Good thing my hubby came to the rescue with an ink pen! However, then when I thought I was done, arrgh!  I had written in 2015 instead of 2016, so I had to cross all those out and write it in right. Oh, for a white-out pen!  And, I brought colored markers to use as colored ink on  those planner rubber stamps for the holidays and found out I was missing a few -- here's a list to look for next year: a crown, a fall leaf,  a tiny flag, a turkey, a tiny birthday cake or candle, a snowflake, a tiny clock for daylight savings time - "spring forward, fall back," and a tiny female and male smiley for Mother's Day and Father's Day.


This is my theme word and scripture sheet for the verses this month that Stephanie sends weekly along with the theme word of the month. Last year, I wrote out the verses on index cards, but adding them to my Documented Faith notebook made it bulky and this year I wanted a slimmer version, hence a MS Word table document made of two columns and three rows and hung from this nifty wooden pants hanger and removable hook.

And guess what coloring page for my January divider won out? Clue: I'm royalty!

 
 
We had a homework assignment from Stephanie last week -- we were to cut out a reminder about gratitude and attach it to our faith-books. I added both of them to the back of my monthly divider, however, I must say, worry is not the same as grieving for present relationships that may never be healthy. Even though I believe God is in control of the universe, he gave people free-will, and they may resist God's tug at their hearts. That said, it is where I am at, praying for three healthy relationships which may never happen, yet I don't give up hope for change. Lord, I hear your call to persevere!
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Writing Campaign: I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks and finally came to a conclusion and resolution - - a junior family member has been purchasing some Snickers candy bars with  the new wrappers for me -- with negative character traits like drama mama, loopy, and goofball. He thinks it's funny, but it is actually an underhanded slam-dunk.  As of today, I won't be tolerating it any longer, because it bothers me on so many levels, especially since I joined Jennifer McGuire's card making challenge last November for the Kind Campaign,  showing a photo of  a "carpenters extending  golden ruler" that I had previously made for my Sunday School kids during the week of the  challenge I was sick.  Right after that, I read an online Katie Couric article about the Campaign (even boys need lessons in kindness) and after thinking it through,  in my opinion,  I think Snickers could have done a better job of advertising their product. I can think of some positive words that could be used instead on their candy bar wrappers that are sweet like the inside candy -- such as lovely, precious, sweet, thankful, and so forth.
So today, I wrote them a letter of complaint. Now this kind of complaint is the good kind meant to change something for the better not grumbling against God. If you think the wrappers are  a bad idea too, please join me in writing a letter to the candy company. One person changed the world. You can too! Perhaps if enough of us complain, they will change their wrappers to promote blessing instead of off-handed bullying. Click here  for the Snickers contact form. And, in advance, thank you.


January 06, 2016

DF Theme: Pray

A friend, Julie, asked me the Christmas of 2014 to join her in a new venture she was sure I would like -- Stephanie Ackerman's Documented Faith. I wasn't sure just what Documented Faith was all about and she said she had been following Stephanie for some time and if I didn't think it was for me, I could quit anytime. So I joined up, however, I was a little slow in getting started as I don't do Facebook anymore and since I didn't understand the concept of what it was all about, I decided to go to the source -- Stephanie's blog to find out more about her. What I found was ten years of blogging, so I plunged in and began reading. I had never read a complete blog before and I began at the latest post and read all the way back through to her beginning post. It took several weeks of reading several months posts at a time, but I gained a better understanding of  Stephanie,  a creative person made in the image of God.
 
Because of that one invitation from a friend, I signed on and felt my way through Documented Faith 2015 and prepared  myself in advance for Documented Faith 2016 by watching many videos on art journaling, planners, and scrapbooking at YouTube.  I gained a better idea of what I want to continue doing and what I want to change this year. So my definition of a faith-book is a combination of a calendar planner, a scrapbook of my spiritual life and where I keep favorite quotes & Christian art whether it is my own or others.
 
One thing Stephanie is moving towards is small groups of friends where we may pray for one another, encourage each other,  talk about the verses we receive weekly by email from Stephanie, send postcards by snail mail to each other, and if possible, perhaps craft together.  I sent out an email to 22 of my friends and family and I have received one answer back so far.
 
Purpose for Groups: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
 
Since I operate creatively on a shoestring budget, I won't be purchasing Stephanie's new binder set and monthly companion packet, but I am changing the color of my small planner binder to black. I found some black and white gingham scrapbook paper plus dots & stripes, my favorite patterns at the moment and a set of Martha Stewart calico paper flowers that was on clearance at our local Michaels Craft Store that I couldn't resist. I was going to wait and take a photo of the completed notebook, but I'm working on it a little everyday and will show you the completed notebook when I'm finished (see procrastination tip below. grin!)
 
And then I'm going to be making my own monthly dividers with pages from this coloring book that I received for my birthday. I haven't decided on January's page yet -- it's a toss-up between "All that we behold is full of blessings." (Wm. Woodsworth) and "The Queen of Everything,"
 
 
 
mostly because of the inflatable crown gag gift our son gave me for Christmas. Not only does it go with the Mary Engelbreit theme, but I immediately thought of one of my favorite Scripture verses that goes along with a Princess Daughter of the King theme: "How Great is the Love the Father has Lavished on Us, that We should be called Children of God!" ~ 1 John 3:1.
 

 
I made my own blank calendar pages in Microsoft Word on my computer. I made a table of 7 columns and 6 rows in the portrait format. And they are already printed out. I'm going to find some new Washi tape to go with my Mary Engelbreit themed notebook and decorate the outside edge of the calendar page with it and use it on other pages as the need arises which I shall share with you later. I googled the 2016 Calendar so that I could stamp the numbers in the correct boxes.  Here in the United States of America, we begin our week with Sunday and end with Saturday, however, I know that some countries begin with Monday at the beginning of their week and the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, is truly at the end of the week. I've messed up a few days on a calendar  page just because I wasn't observant enough.

 

 
All I need to do is to add in the months, holidays, and dates either by hand or with these stamps and ink (dye ink pads or markers) I have in my stash here at home. The foam holiday stamps are from Stampin' Up -- probably retired by now, but there are several other companies out there, such as Hero Arts who has tiny holiday planner icon rubber  stamps or Purple Onion, who Stephanie designed for, that carries her Celebitties holiday stamps.
 
 
The alphabet rubber stamps probably came from Wal-Mart or Michaels, but the number and page flag stamps came from Target's bargain bins. If I didn't have the stamps already, I guess I could have used my own handwriting, but this makes it fast and fun!
 
 
I still have my twistable colored pencils from Documented Faith 2015 (you know, they all disappeared after Thanksgiving in our local stores, but I did manage to find twistable crayolas for a couple of coloring book gifts). And I also have watercolors and a water pen.

 
Stephanie has a woody word "pray"  in her first binder companion packet, but I found this woody "Faith" word at Hobby Lobby and another one that I will share later from Michaels Craft Store.  I thought I might drill a couple of holes in both "F" and "h" at the top, paint it white and hang it in my kitchen window. Kinda pertinent for Documented FAITH, don't you think? *grin*
 
Stephanie also has some other items in her companion kit such as sticker strips which are like washi tape except they come on a flat sheet instead of a roll. I was thinking my Xyron 150 would make nice 11 inch long strips of stickers too and I could just store them in a document sleeve in my 3 inch binder notebook, which by the way, all the Documented Faith 2015 paraphernalia will be moved over to a nice scrapbook album after I sort through what I want to keep and to toss.  And I could perforate/cut smaller strips from the wider Xyron stickers with my perforation tool, a small paper cutter or scissors, whatever is on hand.

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Longsuffering friends can only stand the strain of your wallowing in self-pity only so long, even if you think you just want a little sympathy and then they want you to problem-solve and get on with your life, however, you can turn to Jesus -- he can stand the strain. Look at how many people he cares for -- it's mind-boggling and yet so many are unaware of his existence and those that are, sometimes forget he is there for them to listen, to comfort, to perhaps even help them solve their problems. I know that sometimes, in a Puddleglum (C.S. Lewis) frame of mind, I forget to go to Jesus and it affects my ability to find things to be grateful about.  After a recent conversation with a girlfriend, I realized I've been grieving for some relationships in my life that will never be what I would like them to be -- close, loving, supportive and validating -- unless God performs a miracle of healing and the only way to get some is to ask him for it. duh!

 That's why I really like  the Bible verses in Stephanie's devotional this week (1/2016)  about why we should pray for our friends:

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.  Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:13-16 (NIV) 

and

 “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:18 (MSG) 

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 Grateful I remembered these old tips:
  1. When I find myself procrastinating to get a job done, I spend 15 minutes working on it. I set the timer for 15 minutes, work on it until the 15 minutes are up. If I want to continue, now that I've gotten over the hump of actually beginning on the project, I set the timer for 15 more minutes and continue. At this point, if I want to finish the project, I go right ahead, but I remember to set the timer for 15 minute increments until the job is finished OR  I set it aside until I can come back to it and work on it the next day and so on until I complete it.
  2. I write out a "I DID IT!" list instead of a "TO DO" one and check each job off as I accomplish it. I don't know what it is, but ADD people like myself can get overwhelmed with HUGE to do lists, hence the procrastination, but if I write out a "I DID IT!" list with space beside it to check it off as I complete the job or scratch out with a highlighter marker right through the listed chore, it can bring a wonderful sense of accomplishment. And if I keep those lists, say in my faith-book in the planner section,  the next time I'm are feeling guilty about not getting anything done, all I have to do is to just take a peek at the former "I DID IT!" lists to tell myself "see you can accomplish anything you want to. You've done it once, you can do it again!" Very helpful as a reminder when you're feeling like a failure!
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This week was the first time I took my old planner book and some extra paper to church and took my first sermon notes for my Documented Faith-book. Collecting church bulletins and newsletters is a passive method of documenting faith, however, taking sermon notes gets me actively engaged in it.  I have a clipboard, I think, out in my craft barn and a lap desk but didn't think  of either until I was on the way to church and by that time it was too late to turn around and get one or the other, however, next week, I shall be better prepared. Stephanie says to write down all the stuff that jumps out at you or is meaningful in some way to your situation at the moment. It's the kind of notes that I wrote down in the margins of my Bible, but neglected to date. As a crafter, the best highlight from this Sunday morning's notes were two words:



Matt. 28:19 "Therefore GO and MAKE. . ."
  
(grin!)