Prayers Up

As we build this community prayer platform, we ask the Lord to listen to our petitions with full confidence they not only are heard but acted upon by God according to His holy will. These requests are on my prayer list and I hope you consider putting them on yours as you place your petitions before the Lord Sunday.

Approach the throne room and respond with faith and not fear, knowing the promises of God and His mighty hand will hold us through any situation! Sometimes, all it takes is just one prayer to change everything. Something extraordinary happens when two or more agree together in prayer.

What is one of the most important things we should do as Christians? Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).

And, so, Lord, we come to You with our petitions, knowing and expecting Your will to be done.

Thoughts and prayers to all worldwide suffering from the consequences of coronavirus flu – and all other strains. Many – many – of the prayer requests are covid-19 related … people diagnosed … people sick … people dying … relatives worried and isolated. We are in this together – in prayer!

Please keep the victims of household abuse in your prayers. Whether it be physical, emotional, sexual or neglect, this time in particular is very horrifying for them to be trapped in a house with their abuser(s) and not being able to escape.

We also need to pray for colorblind peace. Racism will remain a plague until we stop looking at people as black and white, but as human beings created by the same Creator. We pray for new eyes, calmer heads, and softer hearts. 

Janel spent a few days in the hospital with severe abdominal pain. No real conclusion, but she has an appointment with a specialist in September. Share good thoughts and lots of prayer.

Andrew can’t keep food in at either end, is very tired, and has massive swelling in the neck and chest, but he continues to fight the fight. Keep him in your prayers.

Abby asks prayers for the three tests she has this month.

Gail is on her way to a trauma center with her whole left side numb. Tests at the local hospital ruled out stroke after three CAT scans, but she is still unable to stand. Prayers requested.

Please send prayers for Brenda who is in ICU with stage 4 kidney failure.

Prayers up for Margie. She tested positive for covid while planning to have her gall bladder removed. Doctors want to postpone surgery for six weeks.

Please pray for Annie who has been in intense physical pain for three straight days and the pain is getting worse.

Joyce is fighting and struggling with leukemia and all/every prayer is needed!

Victoria discovered a lump on her neck which turned out cancerous and is in the middle of her thyroid pushing the gland up and out, causing a “subtle protrusion.” She will undergo surgery Monday to remove the tumor, her thyroid, and a couple of nearby lymph nodes. Prayers requested.

Bryce was rushed to the hospital with a collapsed lung. The family is asking for prayers.

Geska has been very busy between treatments, visits from homecare nurses, and bedtime. To make things worse, his hands are trembling all the time. He asks to be kept in your prayers.

Please pray for Arielle who has been experiencing chest pains that started last night .

Prayers for Richard who is looking for a job and has become very frustrated.

Please pray for Lynnette. The doctor said there is something wrong with her liver.

Please pray Sandhya who is suffering from leg pain and depression from her job in a hospital.

Please pray for Brijlani who is suffering from blindness in both eyes.

aJerome asks for prayers for his right foot wound and toe fungus.

Bruno still hurts. His tooth is healing, but his neck and head still hurt. Prayers requested.

Pray for Gracie for her high blood pressure.

Please pray for Ron whose cancer has spread.

Please pray for Al to be cancer free and live many years without suffering.

Praying for Eileen and a good healing process.

Prayers for baby Rosie’s doctor appointment to go well.

Martha has cancer and her family is struggling financially right now so they cannot afford to buy her medicine right now. May the Lord heal her and provide for her family during these difficult times. May the Lord strengthen her family and open doors for them. May the Lord lead them to the right people who will help them.

Please pray God would save Emily’s life from crippling fear, anxiety, and depression.

Please bless Ashley and give her a miracle healing since she has been taken off life support.

There were a host of unspoken prayer requests and we heard of a number of deaths this week. Prayers for their families as they go through this earthly trial. We grieve … heaven rejoices.

We come to You, Lord, because prayer is the least yet the greatest thing we can do for each other. When two or more are gathered in Your name, we confidently know You are with us. What better company can we have? You reign and we trust You! We may be broken and battered but know You heal and quiet the soul. You are the source for all that happens in our lives. We thank You for the progress being made. We thank You for the many blessings we have received this week. Some we unfortunately didn’t notice. Nonetheless, those blessings are ever-present in our lives. We thank You for healing. We thank You for slowing us down. We thank You for providing us our daily needs — no more and no less. We thank You for being with us, listening to us, walking with us on this journey. We thank You for the support of our family and friends … for seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary — sunrises, sunsets, flowers, kids laughing, adventures, good news amid the bad news. We know we can come to You with our concerns and they will be heard. Through Christ all things are possible. We lift up those family members and friends who are battling various physical, emotional, financial, career or spiritual issues and ask not for Your guidance and healing (although that would be welcomed) but to keep reminding us we are not alone in our battles. Specifically we lift up Janel, Andrew, Abby, Gail, Brenda, Margie, Annie, Joyce, Victoria, Bryce, Geska, Arielle, Lynnette, Sandhya, Brijlani, Jerome, Bruno, Gracie, Ron, Al, Eileen, Rosie, Martha, Emily, Ashley, and all those needing Your healing and guiding touch. We pray for the families of all those You have called home. We grieve … You celebrate. We pray for obedience to Your Will so Your “Son” Light shines through us through the power of the Spirit. And we come to You through the confidence of the words taught by Your Son Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Keep your joys and concerns coming. They have been and will be included during my prayer time and I trust they will be on your lips as well as you approach the altar. All it takes is a couple of keystrokes under the “Contact Me” button on the top bar {or to the right if you’re not a follower yet}. I hope it becomes your best friend as you navigate around the site so we can all be viable prayer warriors. You can also comment or reach me at wisdomfromafather@gmail.com.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God. – Teresa of Avila

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Five Minute Friday — Young

Is everybody ready for Five Minute Friday?

It’s where our group of writers [okay most of them, often we have Saturday and Sunday stragglers, myself included] gather  to write unscripted for five minutes on a specific word prompt. Our prompt is diligently supplied by Kate Motaung. After we post, we link up on the community site at fiveminutefriday.com to share our pearls of wisdom or our pig’s ears and to just mix and mingle.

I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat compiled by Susan Shipe. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Rebekah. I hope she inspires you to check us out … and maybe join in?

“I discovered Five Minute Friday at a time when I was just discovering my voice. My friend Kelly sent me a link and I was immediately intrigued. Could I really put away my perfectionist tendencies long enough to write for five minutes and NOT edit it? I’m an editing machine! How can I not edit? It made me shiver just to  think about pressing “publish”. Turns out it was incredibly freeing and confidence building. I loved just getting the words out as they flowed, not having to worry about the final product. It was all about being in the moment. But even more than the freedom, I enjoyed the community! I connected with women [and a few men] all around the globe. Women who were like me. Women who were nothing like me — except — we all had a desire to write. And that connected us in a way that geography couldn’t. I treasure those connections, even if they were brief. They showed me I was far from being alone on this writing journey.”

Yes. It’s a great creative outlet. Not everything is perfect … but neither are we. It’s always eye-opening. You should check out the site and see for yourself … or better yet, try it yourself.

The prompt this week is YOUNG and the timer is set, so let’s GO…

When I was young, I played sunup to sundown, studied hard, and enjoyed myself. I learned there was a time for everything. Now that I am (considerably) older, I don’t play as in play time, but I keep myself busy — learning, marveling, and generally enjoying my more sedentary lifestyle.

When I was young, I had many friends, some of whom I still stay in touch with. Now that I am older, I have expanded my circle of friends, most of whom I stay in somewhat regular contact with. Some have been with me for a season, others for my lifetime.

When I was young, I had no real “ambitions” or career plans. Now that I am older, I discovered a career in publishing, one that has expanded my contacts and led to a fruitful fulfilling life.

When I was young, I discovered the value of family and family connections. Now that I am older, I have discovered the VALUE of family and family connections. I have had the time and opportunity to rekindle connections with cousins and friends. … STOP

When I was young(er), I discovered love and life. I embraced a wanderlust spirit. As I got older, I learned how to appreciate love and life and remained committed to a wanderlust spirit.

When I was young, I learned about the fragility of life. As I got older, I felt that fragility up close and personal. It taught me how to appreciate the moment — not yesterday (although those are memories I cherish) and certainly not tomorrow. Right now. This day. This hour. This minute.

When I was young, I learned about God and His ever-present presence in my life. As I aged, I learned more about God and His mysteries, how He has been the rock that allowed me to step stone through life, how He was and is with me stride by stride.

When I was a child [younger], I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. — 1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV I would modify that slightly. As I got older, I never gave up my childish ways because Jesus said … “Let the children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” — Luke 18:16 ESV

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. — Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. — Psalm 118:24 ESV

… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. — Matthew 5:16 ESV

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. — Frank Clark

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Hallmark Moments

I’ll be the first to admit it. I am a hopeless romantic and I enjoy settling in with a good Hallmark movie. Of course, lately, I enjoy the fact I can “rest my eyes” for a minute or two and still follow the storyline. Besides, I still have quite a few hundred ways to go before I nail the 1,001 ways to present a Hallmark script — not including the seasonal fare like Christmas, Christmas in July, Valentine’s Day, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

The romantic side of me dates back a few decades when Karen and I would cuddle up with a good chick flick. We called it our Saturday dinner and date night, courtesy of Netflix before streaming. She would generally pick out the weekend movie and await the little red packet to arrive sometime during the week. Occasionally, she would let me pick out the movie with the caveat, action is okay but mindless mayhem isn’t. We never had to worry about horror or the supernatural because neither was in our respective genre tastes.

Of course then came DirecTv, which we purchased for the football package (go Green Bay. It included the Hallmark Channel. HGTV, DIY Network, and the Food Channel were her during the day watching preferences, but Hallmark and selected broadcast shows flashed on the evening screen — and often on DVR to be watched at a later time.

Viewing patterns become ingrained. After she died, I found myself watching the same series — including the insanely stupid Psych — and genre of movies we watched together. And I found myself drifting more and more toward the Hallmark Channel for entertainment sans the dinner and the date. I looked forward to its Saturday night premieres and, with the advent of its separate offerings in Drama and Movies & Mysteries, I now had additional DVR material.

I bring this up because last night while watching Timeless Love, it struck me how riveted I was to Hallmark. It reminded me how I had to set my alarm about 18 months ago to find out just how the main characters in One Winter Proposal advanced from Cara returning to the chalet in casual attire from a day of snowboarding to being all dolled up as she found Ben under a rose-laced trellis overlooking a picture window showcasing the snow and mountains.

Fantasy. Sweet fantasy. Besides, in addition to the gushy romance, a number of storylines center on two of my favorite things — food {from cupcakes to restaurants} and writing {book stores, book tours, writer’s block}. That, of course, brought me down another rabbit hole. As I scanned all Hallmark has to offer, it struck me how many I have already watched — more than half, well more than half. In fact, I would be pretty scared if I hadn’t taken a nine month hiatus while I was on the road.

Do not fear, however. I have the DVR set for Aug. 1 when Romance in the Air premieres … and still enough “to be watched” films in the queue.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Three things in life that are constant: God, Change, Death.

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Midweek Mirth

One of the misconceptions about being a Christian is non-Christians think we don’t know how to have fun or have a sense of humor. Trust me, if the Big Guy can have a sense of humor when it comes to dealing with us mere mortals, so can we.

The difference for Christians is we don’t have to debase ourselves or others to generate a smile. Laughter at life or ourselves is a gift from God.

Here’s this week’s edition of Midweek Mirth  … so let’s smile a little!

Getting the Message

A four year old had a large bruise on her leg. When her Mom asked her how she got it, she replied, “It’s not a bruise, Mommy. It’s a message.”

When her Mom asked again how it happened, the little girl said, “Well, I was jumping on the couch even though you told me not to, and I fell off and hit the table. That’s when I finally got the message.”

… And now the bonus to cool us off during the heat wave …

Listening to Dad

A blonde driving a car became lost in a snowstorm. She didn’t panic however, because she remembered what her dad had once told her. “If you ever get stuck in a snowstorm, just wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it.”

Sure enough, pretty soon a snow plow came by, and she started to follow it. She followed the plow for about 45 minutes. Finally the driver of the truck got out and asked her what she was doing. And she explained her dad had told her if she ever got stuck in a snow storm, to follow a plow.

 The driver nodded and said, “Well, I’m done with the Walmart parking lot. Do you want to follow me over to Best Buy now?”

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever. – Walt Disney

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The Hook

One of the questions I heard this week was the prospective author felt the story she wanted to write has already been written.

My initial reaction is she is right. Her story, your story, my story has been written — or at least the bones of the tale are often quite similar. What makes it unique, however, is you and I put the spin on it. We take our experiences and weave them into the story line. We use our imagination to put meat on the bones. That’s how stories are written — from our perspective. We share the same emotions. We often have very similar encounters. What separates us, however, is  the author — YOU.

As an example, if you’ve watched one Hallmark movie, you’ve probably watched most of them. The locations may change, the characters may be different, but almost invariably the narrative follows a similar script — an introduction of characters (in Hallmark’s case, often as opposites), a connection is made, there is a late foil (usually an ex-love), always the plot twist of a misunderstanding, and a final resolution.

Yet each of those authors, each of those screenwriters made their particular story unique because they injected themselves and their experiences into the account. They made it their own … their unique own.

It all starts, however, with the first words. That’s the hook. After the synopsis, the success of your yarn often is determined by the first few pages. That’s what people read first. If you lose them there, chances are they are not going to make it to page 2 or 3 or the end.

So today I thought I would include some opening lines. Some will be familiar; others not. I want you to decide {yes, this is an assignment} whether the quick snippet leads you to ask “what’s next” or “who cares.” There are no right answers and feel free to share an opener that caught your attention … or just plain turned you off.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.” — Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

“Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know. I had a telegram from the home: ‘Mother passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Yours sincerely.’ That doesn’t mean anything. It may have been yesterday.” — Albert Camus, The Stranger

“In fairy-tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black coats, and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES.” — Roald Dahl, The Witches

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.” — Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” — Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“As she surveyed the royal banquet from her high vantage point in the Minstrel’s Gallery, Justine Parker twisted slightly to get more comfortable in the tight bodice of her gown.” — Jonathan Posner, The Witchfinder’s Well

“The Mustang muscled its way through the early mid-May night, each twist and turn on the northern New Jersey back roads to Greenwood Lake, NY, responsive to my touch. It was 1966. The top was down, allowing the humid air to whip around the car and its occupants. The radio was turned all the way up, fighting the outside noise with music of the night. The four of us were already screaming to be heard – occasionally punctuated with off-key singing – screeching, actually – when Cousin Brucie picked a relevant platter to play.” — Joe Siccardi, My Name is Sam … and Heaven is Still Shining Through.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Three things in life that can destroy a person: Lust, Pride, Anger.

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Don’t Look Back

The late legendary coach John Wooden gives us this poem and message as our Words for the Week.

Don’t Look Back

The years have left their imprint
On my hands and on my face.
Erect no longer is my walk
And slower is my pace.

But there is no fear within my heart
Because I’m growing old,
I only wish I had more time
To further serve my Lord.

Success is doing your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Three things in life that make a person: Hard Work, Sincerity, Commitment.

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Turn Annoyance into Gratitude

Our reflection — a one minute devotional — is from Guideposts.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways.” — Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

It’s not easy feeling thankful when you are aggravated by setbacks. No matter what you face, one thing remains the same — God. He is with you through life’s big and small problems. Thank Him for being there and trust Him to see you through.

Today’s Prayer: Lord, help turn my complaints into praise. Praise for You!

Guideposts reaches millions of people, inspiring them to believe anything is possible with hope, faith and prayer. This is accomplished through its many outreach programs that allow them to connect with people and help sustain them in times of spiritual need. The power of faith in action helps transform the lives of people who call on them for help in creating joy out of deep sadness, courage out of fear and restoring hope from the depths of despair.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Three things in life that should never be lost: Peace, Hope, Honesty.

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Love & Prayers

As we build this community prayer platform, we ask the Lord to listen to our petitions with full confidence they not only are heard but acted upon by God according to His holy will. These requests are on my prayer list and I hope you consider putting them on yours as you place your petitions before the Lord Sunday.

Approach the throne room and respond with faith and not fear, knowing the promises of God and His mighty hand will hold us through any situation! Sometimes, all it takes is just one prayer to change everything. Something extraordinary happens when two or more agree together in prayer.

What is one of the most important things we should do as Christians? Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).

And, so, Lord, we come to You with our petitions, knowing and expecting Your will to be done.

Thoughts and prayers to all worldwide suffering from the consequences of coronavirus flu – and all other strains. Many – many – of the prayer requests are covid-19 related … people diagnosed … people sick … people dying … relatives worried and isolated. We are in this together – in prayer!

Please keep the victims of household abuse in your prayers. Whether it be physical, emotional, sexual or neglect, this time in particular is very horrifying for them to be trapped in a house with their abuser(s) and not being able to escape.

We also need to pray for colorblind peace. Racism will remain a plague until we stop looking at people as black and white, but as human beings created by the same Creator. We pray for new eyes, calmer heads, and softer hearts. 

Andrew continues to struggle. As he said, “things worse than they have been for me, with the pain and pukes and runs uncontrolled, with food being something to force … the possibility of the miraculous becomes real The veil has been lifted, and I can see across forever.” Keep him in your prayers.

Mary asks we pray against her anxiety and her bladder infection.

Tamar was rushed to the hospital earlier this week after a possible suicide attempt.

Leah sees her gastroparesis specialist Thursday, and would be very grateful if anybody would pray for wisdom for my doctor. She is not doing well at all, having a difficult time eating without feeling completely miserable.

Prayers of strength and healing to Conchata as she battles for her life.

Zubair asks for prayers. Both kidneys are infected and he has renal stones in both kidneys.

Rosemary is struggling to keep O2 up to 90 and is spending most of her time on CPAP.  Pray she can get through the weekend without having to go to the ER.  

Prayers requested for Kerry, who is still very ill with water on his lungs.

Please join in prayer for Noah’s test results to be clear and doctors can figure out what is wrong with his stomach. He is only six.

Please pray for Steve who has an eye injury that isn’t healing. He’s scheduled to have his eye sewn shut.

Please pray for Thelma who has breast cancer.

Sangeeta is experiencing hip and abdominal pain. Prayers requested.

Cecilia is scheduled for radiation for cancer. Prayers asked.

Dianne prays her memories return and her mind stays clear and focused on the Lord. She asks us to join her in prayer.

Evelyn has breathing problems and thanks you for your prayers.

Al was diagnosed with cancer and asks for prayer.

Please continue to pray for Ann’s miraculous recovery from sepsis.

Please pray Ruth will heal from cancer.

Pray God restores Eric’s brain so he can speak, eat, move his body, and walk again. In Jesus’ name!

Please bless and heal Sierra of epilepsy and reduce seizures.

Betty asks for prayer for the complete healing of her left frozen shoulder and for full range of motion to return.

J needs a miracle healing to take her pain away. Prayers requested.

Prayers asked to bless Ana and all pregnant women to have healthy babies.

Prayer asked for Rose’s pain to subside following back surgery.

Please pray for Dawn’s health! She has an aggressive cancer and is in a lot of pain.

Becky asks for prayers her tests come out well and help doctors find out what is going on and a course of treatment.

Please pray Trudy’s healing from a stroke and extensive colon surgery. She is sooo very very weary and discouraged.

Coleman is asking for healing prayers for his  stomach and throat.

Jay was concerned about blood clots and went to the ER. No clots were found, but valves aren’t closing all the way allowing blood to flow backwards. Prayers requested.

There were a host of unspoken prayer requests and we heard of a number of deaths this week. Prayers for their families as they go through this earthly trial. We grieve … heaven rejoices.

We come to You, Lord, because prayer is the least yet the greatest thing we can do for each other. When two or more are gathered in Your name, we confidently know You are with us. What better company can we have? You reign and we trust You! We may be broken and battered but know You heal and quiet the soul. You are the source for all that happens in our lives. We thank You for the progress being made. We thank You for the many blessings we have received this week. Some we unfortunately didn’t notice. Nonetheless, those blessings are ever-present in our lives. We thank You for healing. We thank You for slowing us down. We thank You for providing us our daily needs — no more and no less. We thank You for being with us, listening to us, walking with us on this journey. We thank You for the support of our family and friends … for seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary — sunrises, sunsets, flowers, kids laughing, adventures, good news amid the bad news. We know we can come to You with our concerns and they will be heard. Through Christ all things are possible. We lift up those family members and friends who are battling various physical, emotional, financial, career or spiritual issues and ask not for Your guidance and healing (although that would be welcomed) but to keep reminding us we are not alone in our battles. Specifically we lift up Andrew, Mary, Tamar, Leah, Conchata, Zubair, Rosemary, Kerry, Noah, Steve, Thelma, Sangeeta, Cecilia, Diane, Evelyn, Al, Ann, Ruth, Eric, Sierra, Betty, J, Ana, Rose, Dawn, Becky, Trudy, Coleman, Jay, and all those needing Your healing and guiding touch. We pray for the families of all those You have called home. We grieve … You celebrate. We pray for obedience to Your Will so Your “Son” Light shines through us through the power of the Spirit. And we come to You through the confidence of the words taught by Your Son Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Keep your joys and concerns coming. They have been and will be included during my prayer time and I trust they will be on your lips as well as you approach the altar. All it takes is a couple of keystrokes under the “Contact Me” button on the top bar {or to the right if you’re not a follower yet}. I hope it becomes your best friend as you navigate around the site so we can all be viable prayer warriors. You can also comment or reach me at wisdomfromafather@gmail.com.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “thank you” that would suffice. — Meister Eckhart

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Five Minute Friday — Smile

Welcome to Five Minute Friday. I come willingly because whatever the prompt word for the week is, it forces me to think and let the words flow from the recesses of my heart and soul. It does the same for the hundreds of others who participate in the weekly exercise. We wait for the prompt, we let the word sink in, then free write for five minutes {or so}, visit fiveminutefriday.com, share our words and read the contributions from others in the group. It’s a win-win for all of us.

But don’t take my word for it. I’ve been sharing words about how valuable the exercise is from contributors as chronicled in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat, compiled by Susan Shipe. Here’s an anonymous entry.

“One word. Five minute. No edits. No fine-tuning. Raw. Real. Get down writing. The way I like it.”

This week’s prompt is SMILE. The timer is set so it’s time to GO…

I love to smile. I like a good joke, especially if it’s somewhat clean and reflects the idiosyncrasies of humanity. I like to laugh out loud. And I try to make other people smile … through an unexpected word at an unexpected time.

Somehow, as Christians, we are painted with a broad brush that shows as unsmiling and always living in fear. It just ain’t so. We’re humans and if we can’t smile at ourselves, something is missing.

That’s the reason I dedicate one day of the week on my blog — Wednesday’s Midweek Mirth — to smiles and laughter. That’s why I shared a cartoon daily with my wife {I still do}. That’s why I send an encouraging word to family and friends, often with a humorous cartoon.

I believe in … STOP

the words of Ecclesiastes 3, especially verse 4a,  a time to weep and a time to laugh … Yes, there is a time for everything — and everything has a time.

In my sometimes warped mind, I can see the positives — the smiles — amid the negatives. Even in the Bible, humor abounds — if you look for it.

I had to look it up, but I remembered an article by Robin Gallaher Branch, a Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies from the University of Texas-Austin, titled “Laughter in the Bible? Absolutely!” as a blog post for the Biblical Archaeology Society. It was on point. The one phrase that stood out was “Jesus must have been a compelling personality to keep the attention of crowds for days and the steadfast loyalty of at least twelve disciples for three years. In addition to being a riveting teacher whose words brought life, He was likely the kind of personality that was just fun to be around.”

That’s the Jesus I point people to … the fun Jesus … the fun Jesus with a message people can relate to … the fun Jesus who died a horrible death then laughed at Satan with an empty tomb.

The message doesn’t always have to be couched in fire and brimstone. Sometimes, a light touch can be more effective. That’s why I generally open my sermons with a little levity. It draws the congregation in and hopefully opens their ears and hearts to the point of the homily.

One of the misconceptions about being a Christian is non-Christians think we don’t know how to have fun or have a sense of humor. Trust me, if the Big Guy can have a sense of humor when it comes to dealing with us mere mortals, so can we.

The difference for Christians is we don’t have to debase ourselves or others to generate a smile. Laughter at life or ourselves is a gift from God.

In that spirit, I’ll leave with today’s note:  Nillionaire adj.  Someone having little to no money.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Three things in life that never comes back when gone: Time, Words, Opportunity.

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Maine Checkup

I just got back from a regularly rescheduled, rescheduled follow-up doctor’s appointment. All is well for this septuagenarian. Lost 10 pounds. Blood pressure was “best” since they’ve been seeing me. A1C jumped a tad to 6.7, still below the threshold. Lungs were clear as a Maine stream. Heartbeat was normal.

Those have been typical responses when I visit the doctor up here in God’s county. Over the years, my New York doctor often told me to go back to Maine. My numbers seem to level along with my stress level as I cross the Piscataqua River Bridge.

 I was feeling pretty good about my health assessment. Then I stood up.

As I did, the doctor noticed I “froze” for a second or so to get my bearings. Instead of walking out the door, she sat me back down for a “talk”. Next thing I know, she sets the wheels  in motion for a precautionary CT scan. She referred to my brain bleed almost four years ago. My responses to her note-inspired questions — yes, I have been freezing in place for a few months, plus I’ve had more headaches [not debilitating] than usual and vivid dreams — resulted in the diagnostic given the previous stroke. However, there is no talk about a neurologist at this point.

The other thing she noticed was a wince as I stood and sat, so we’ll be keeping an eye on my knee. I hyperextended it in January and it still is an issue, especially when a front comes in and the arthritis flares. If it continues to be an issue, we’ll get more aggressive following my next appointment in January … sooner if it gets worse.

I’ve always been a dreamer and I always had nighttime dreams. They’re especially vivid after a repast of sausage or pepperoni. I’ve even shared some of them with you in the past.

But immediately following my tiny brain bleed, it knocked me out. I couldn’t get enough sleep … five minutes here … 15 minutes there … early to bed … late to rise. And each and every time I dreamed. Lately, that has been happening again. I attributed it to winding down after nine months and about 7,500 miles on the road.

Somehow, all the files in my mind have been tossed out of their neat little compartments again to rustle through the caverns of my grey matter. And they’re intermingling with the free range thoughts grazing my brain.

It makes for some interesting entertainment when my eyelids droop.

On short trips to la la land, the eyelids screen highlight little pop-ups like puppies jumping for frisbies, sunrises, sunsets, rolling clouds, geometrical shapes, silhouettes and waves.

Nighttime REM dreams have been just as regular and vivid. I can’t say I remember them all, but I remember I did dream. The other night I dreamed about visiting my great-grandmother. I spent more time with her in my dream than I did when I was a kid. My Mom, Dad, Karen, a distant relative I haven’t seen for years, and some long lost friends — some alive and others deceased — have stopped by the twilight zone.  And there have been more mundane mind pictures as well — lakes, wildlife, the ocean, rainbows, panoramas. 

As then, as I reflect on these dreams and mini dreams, they were all good memories. No nightmares. No unpleasant thoughts. No dark shadows. I’ll take those any time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll take a little nap.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: When you stop worrying about tomorrow and you focus on today, and you focus on your Heavenly Father who knows everything you need, what seems so big and so far becomes so do-able.

 

 

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