On Friday evening, November 7, I was channel surfing when I happened upon a special program to honor evangelist and preacher Billy Graham’s 96th birthday (Rev. Graham was born on November 7, 1918). What drew me into it was the amazing array of individuals – politicians, entertainers, preachers, writers, and others – who took the time to go on camera and give truly heart-felt witness to the impact Rev. Graham has had throughout his career. As I watched, I marveled at the footage, much of it grainy and black-and-white, showing Rev. Graham as a younger man, preaching to thousands of people at a time, or sitting in prayer with one or two individuals.
And, as I watched, I rejoiced in two things: The power of the Gospel to move hearts and claim souls, and the dedication of one person to travel and give of himself so that the Word would reach fertile ground.
I found out later that the program was produced and aired on TBN (http://www.tbn.org/watch-us/our-programs/billy-graham-birthday-special). I don’t know if it will air again, or be available for viewing elsewhere, but it’s worth a look if you ever get the chance.
What a life!
If your prayer life has become a bit monotonous, or if you think you’re not making progress in your attempts at conversation with God, try varying your levels of prayer.
What do I mean by levels?
Think pace, height, and volume.
First, try praying so quickly that you don’t enunciate clearly. This helps you focus not on words, but on your emotions that underpin them.
Next, think of where God is for you at that particular moment. Is God above you, looking down? Try bringing Him more to your level. Is He somewhere deep inside of you, so deep you cannot hear Him? Try focusing on a part of you that you can see (your hands or your feet, perhaps), and bring God there.
Finally, regulate your volume. That is, shout your praise, whisper your fears. Speak boldly of your intention, and quietly of your pain.
Varying your levels of prayer can take you out of your comfort zone, but it is usually in that place that is most unfamiliar to us that we finally and fully hear what God is saying to us – as we pray.
Joy and peace,
All the efforts to standardize healthcare can be very confounding for those of us with chronic illness. We oh, so often don’t fit into the neat little codes and pigeon-holes developed by others, and we frequently find ourselves beyond frustrated with trying to explain complex situations to healthcare workers who expect everything and everyone to fit into those “neat little codes.”
Today’s TLC Tuesday is meant to remind each of us that we are different, we are distinct – and it’s all right! In fact, it reflects God’s love for each of us; He called each of us by name, knew each of us before we were born. God does not have a list of codes into which each of us fits, in a group, neatly and scientifically.
The difference in you is what makes you wonderfully you! It enables you to bring your difference to make a difference (if everyone were the same, there’d be no hope of getting beyond those limitations). It enables you to express love, bring joy, and mend broken hearts.
Today, embrace that wonderful you – and the next time you feel frustrated by someone who expects you to follow the herd, take strength in knowing how beautiful and unique you are – because you are made by God!
Joy and peace,
Image courtesy of Aduldej/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We all have our favorite books, movies, music, and other artistic creations. But sometimes, after we’ve listened to the same song over and over again, or watched the same movie for the um-teenth time, the art loses its impact. Does that mean we don’t like it anymore? Not at all. But it might mean we’re ready for something different…But what?
Haven’t been to a museum in ages? Visit one!
Haven’t listened to a totally different genre of music? Lend an ear!
Tired of heavy book topics or fluffy fiction? Pick out an author you’ve never read, or a subject or genre you’ve never been exposed to.
In short, if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to entertainment, try something totally different. You might discover a new world to enjoy, or perhaps you’ll go back to the tried and true with grateful, welcoming ears and eyes!
Joy and peace,