God answeres prayers

Transitional Friday: When God Answers Prayers

answers

 

 

 

 

I’ve discussed discouragement and waiting for God, but eventually He will answer?

However, what happens once you finally have prayers answered?

I’ve had prayers answered that showed me this was not God’s will for my life and took me down a dark path.  I’ve also had prayers answered that only God could orchestrate and proved this was God’s will for my life.

God answeres prayers

  1. Thank God for answered prayers
  2. Ask God if this is His will for my life
  3. Understand the lessons God has been teaching along the path
  4. Praise God for His blessings and provision
  5. Remember that God likes to show off to show what He can do
  6. The lesson in the wait is Faith, but we can’t abandon it once our prayers are answered
  7. Sometimes we have to get out of the boat and take the first step in faith
God answers

Transitional Friday: Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayer

God hearsFor years I waited, longing and struggling to change and improve my circumstances and situation.  After leaving an abusive relationship, the journey to heal and recover took years.

I wondered if I would ever find the person I’d lost along the path.

I longed to be able to stand on my own two feet and to find a way to do this, but nothing seemed to be working.

I wondered if God heard my cries and prayers!  Had He forsaken me!  Would my circumstances ever improve?

Don’t get me wrong, my circumstances weren’t awful and were a whole lot better than they had been in the abusive relationship.  I just wanted more to my life.  There are still things, such as a family, that only God knows if and when that prayer will be answered.

God reminded me:God answers

  1. His reasons are often beyond are grasp
  2. He hears all of our prayers, cries, and tears
  3. His way is better than my way
  4. He is preparing me for a future that only He knows
  5. His timing is not my timing
  6. Sometimes His answer is no or not right now
  7. It’s not all about me.  There are times we are where we are to help someone else.  One example is being a caregiver.

What have you learned in the wait?

Churchill quote

Transitional Friday: 9 Ways to Bounce Back from Failure

Failure success

 

 

There are times when no matter how much we try, we continuously face failure.  There have been several areas of my life, where nothing I’ve tried has succeeded.  I continue to face one failure after another.  Over time, this is enough to make anyone grow weary, frustrated, overwhelmed and even defeated.

So how do you continue to move forward when nothing is working?

  1. Don’t Give Up—if you are pursuing a dream, never give up, no matter how much defeat and frustration you receive.  I’ve heard some writers say that they received thousands of rejections before receiving a break through.  I’ve heard artists say that they worked for twenty years before making it big.  However, they never gave up.
  2. Keep Bouncing Back—this is much like never giving up, work through the emotions and bounce back.Churchill quote
  3. Evaluate—often I’ve had to go back and evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, and the why for each one.  Then I figure out what I can do differently and how to move forward from there.
  4. Be Realistic—often it’s easy to reach for our dreams without being realistic.  You will not become a concert pianists, if you refuse to practice the piano.
  5. Set Goals—often I feel like a fish at sea, but when I set goals and see where I’m going and what needs to be done to get there, I make much better progress.
  6. Be Open to Change—sometimes we need to be open to change, whether this is going in a different direction, taking a different approach, learning a different technique, etc.
  7. Never Stop Learning—continue to read, study and follow the experts in your field of interest.  There is so much that we can learn from these experts, including not on the subject matter but also what to do and not do.
  8. Be Open to Feedback—be open to accepting constructive criticism from others.  Yes, there is the occasional person{s} that wants to pull you down, however most people want to help you.  One critique method is the oreo method.  This starts with a positive, then adds what needs to be changed and ends again with a positive.
  9. Prayer—pray, seek God’s will and be willing to go in the direction in which He is leading.

Remember, you are not alone.  There are numerous examples of people that have failed before success.

Walt Disney faced numerous hardships before reaching success
Walt Disney faced numerous hardships before reaching success
  • Henry Ford had 5 businesses go broke before Ford Motor Company became successful.
  • Walt Disney faced multiple occurrences of being fired, bankrupt and failed businesses before succeeding.
  • Thomas Edison had over 1,000 unsuccessful inventions before inventing the light bulb.
  • Winston Churchill lost almost every election before being voted Prime Minister at age 62.
  • Before making it big in I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball was considered a failed actress and B movie star.
  • Vincent Van Gogh is considered the greatest artists of his time, but only sold one painting in his life time.

 

How do you bounce back from failure?  Who else has inspired you?

 

 

mourn

Transitional Friday: When Change isn’t your Idea

Life throws us a curve ball at times and change is forced upon us.  This can be through the loss of a job, loss of a loved one, abusive relationship, natural occurrence, decision of another person, tragic accident and number other causes.

So, how do you deal with change when it isn’t your idea?

  1. Cry—sometimes we just need to cry and express our pain.  There are times when there just aren’t words. mourn
  2. Mourn your loss—a loss is a loss, regardless of how large or small.  Even if the change is one that we want, our life is changed and we need to mourn and say goodbye to that part of our lives.  Sometimes this is a few hours or a day and other times it is months or years.
  3. Pray and ask God for guidance and to help you move on—in all things we need to pray and ask God what He would have to do now.
  4. Accept your new normal—we have a new normal, even if it is for an interim time.  We have to accept this and learn how to live in this new reality.
  5. Determine your ultimate destination—we need to decide what our goals are.  What do we ultimately want in life?  Sometimes it takes weeks or months to determine what we may truly want and what God’s will might be for our lives.  We mustn’t forget to seek God’s will.
  6. Make a list of steps to reach that goal—now that we know where we are going, we need to access where we are and the steps to get from one place to the next.  Again, sometimes our goals are short term and other time they are long term.reach
  7. Work hard towards those goals—we work hard to meet these goals, whether it is returning to school, searching for a job, selling a house, etc.
  8. Continue to put one foot in front of another—there are days when life gets difficult and we don’t feel that we can keep going.  We take a deep breath and continue to put one foot in front of the other.
  9. Reach for your dreams—never give up—if this is truly what God has laid on your heart, never give up.  Ask for His help and keep pushing through no matter how difficult life gets at times.

Sometimes life altering events, lead to positive change.

What other ways do you deal with change?

 

Tweetables:

When Change isn’t your Idea

Techniques to deal with change 

ashes and dust

Transitional Friday: Ecclesiastes 3: 18-22, The Purpose of Life

We are wrapping up our look at Ecclesiastes 3 and a season for all times.

I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals—God tests us to show us that we have the beastly quality of animals and will prey upon others.

 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals—man is frail     ashes and dust

the same fate awaits them both—their existence is temporary

As one dies, so dies the other—all living, breathing animals {whether human or not} will died one day

All have the same breath—we all breath the same air

humans have no advantage over animals—we do not have long to live in righteousness and honor before God

Everything is meaningless—if we’re not living for God then it is all meaningless
 All go to the same place—life is fleeting and we all go to the same place

all come from dust—we came from dust ; Abraham asked in Genesis 18:27, “who am I but ashes and dust”  return to earth

and to dust all return—one day we will all return to dust; think about the burial ceremony, we say “ashes to ashes and dust to dust”
 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?—only God knows if the human spirit goes up and the animal spirit goes down.  Some may say if the saved goes to heaven and the unsaved goes into the earth.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work—God wants us to enjoy our work and to work hard

because that is their lot—because that is why He made us.  He has a purpose for ALL of our lives.
For who can bring them to see what will happen after them—only God knows the purpose for our lives, how we will touch others and what will happen in the afterlife.  He also knows the rewards this life will bring into the afterlife.

What is your purpose in life?

 

Tweetables:

The Purpose of Life

dancing for God

Creative Thursday: Worshiping God With A Creative Spirit

Often we think that we can only worship God through prayer and Bible study.  This is a great way to worship God and very important, but it’s not the only way to worship God.  There are some creative ways that we can also worship our Lord and Savior.

 

  1. Journaling—journaling is very popular and you hear many people talking about journaling.  Journaling allows you to pour
    art journaling
    Art Journaling

    out your feelings on paper.  I often find that when I pray I can’t find the words, but when I write a letter to God the words just pour forth.  Journaling comes in many forms: writing God a letter, keeping your thoughts in a daily journal, etc.

  2. Art Journaling—I had a friend that introduced me to this recently and I found it greatly freeing.  Again, there are numerous options to what you can do.  This can be coloring a picture, drawing a picture, stamping, cutting out designs to paste on the page, etc.  Within the picture or design you can write your prayers or you can allow your picture to show your prayer or just pray as you journal.
  3. Painting or Sculpture—a few years ago our church had a man come in and paint a picture of Jesus during the service.  The skills of this man is amazing and he worked so fast.  We may not be at this skill level but can still paint or create a sculpture while praying and praising God.
  4. Dance—dance is a great way to praise God and show him your heart.  This can be done in church or the privacy of your home.  Often we hear churches say that we should not dance, but we’re told that King David danced for the Lord with great abandon.  If he can do it why can’t we?  {2 Samuel 6}
  5. Music—in church music is a vital part of worship, but you can also worship through music in your home or car.  Whether you play an instrument or just sing to the Lord.  We are told to “make a joyful noise.”  {Psalm 95:2}  As musician there are times Idancing for God cannot find the words to express my heart to God, but can lift up my voice to the Lord in song.  I always feel better.  Whether you turn on the radio, sing a capella, play a CD, use soundtracks or play your own music, God doesn’t care as long as we praise Him.  Music also lifts the mood.
  6. Drama—this most likely would be done in a group, but you could also act out a scene or monologue in the privacy of your home.  Drama is a great way to express yourself and show God your heart.
  7. Design—this option has numerous possibilities, because you could design an area in your home to pray and worship, design a piece of jewelry to wear, design a craft project, etc.  Just remember that regardless of what you are designing, you are doing it to the glory of God.

What are some creative ways you’ve worshipped God?

 

Tweetables:

Worshiping God With A Creative Spirit

time to be born

Transitional Friday: For Everything There Is A Season

In Ecclesiastes 3, we are told that for everything there is a season.  There are seasons of life that we love and seasons that we can’t wait to get finished with.  While we wait for the next transition, the waiting is often the most difficult aspect of our situation.  In our humanness we wonder what God is doing, why it’s taking so long and when He’ll be finished and life will be better.  At least, that’s what I wonder.

So what does God say about this.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven {v.1}: everything has a purpose under heaven.  God has ordained a season for each part of our life.  time to be born

A time to be born: at some point we were all born from our mother’s womb.

A time to die: one day we will all die.  You’ve heard the old saying the only two certainties in life are death and taxes.

A time to plant: in all of the waiting, we may be planting and sewing seeds.

A time to pluck up that which is planted {v.2}—eventually we will reap what we have planted.

A time to kill—we could take this literally, but it also can mean to end the things that aren’t good for us.  This could be a relationship, friendship, job situation or even selling a house.  Are there things in your life that are bringing you down or need to be left behind?

A time to heal—sometimes we just need to heal and work through the process of what we’ve dealt with.  This can be anything from a divorce, to losing a job, to damaged friendship or a sickness.

A time to break down—I’ve discovered the hard way that sometimes God needs to break us or situations in our lives to get us to the point we need to be so that he can build us back up.

A time to build up {v.3}—once we’ve been broken, God wants to build us back up. He wants to set us on the path He has in stores for us.

A time to weep—weeping is good for the soul, it releases the pent up emotions we keep buried.  I often cry easily, while I have family members that seldom cry.  I’m not saying one is right or wrong, I just know that I feel cleansed after a good cry.laughter

A time to laugh—laughter is good for the body.  After her heart attack, a friend had her doctor prescribe for her to laugh each day.  We all need to laugh more {at least I know I do}.

A time to mourn—we will all mourn at some point, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a friendship, a job, a relationship, our dream house, our independence or the pain over decisions our children are making there will be a point at which we mourn.

A time to dance {v.4}—God wants us to be joyful and to express our joy.  King David danced before God in the Old Testament.  Would you be willing to dance before God?

A time to cast stones—no one wants to have stones cast at them.  Sometimes we watch the media and are so thankful that we are not the one that has made a major mistake broadcast around the nation or world.  Also, this could go back to the passage that says, “we reap what we sew.” We could be casting out stones for a new job, to build a house, buy a car, etc.

A time to gather stones—often we want to call people out on something they’ve done wrong.  Just as we do not want to have stones cast on us, we need to tread carefully when we are gathering stones.  We need to check our facts, search our hearts and pray before accusing or confronting another individual.  Gathering stones also relates to showing passion or affection for people and events in our lives.

A time to embrace—there are moments when life gets difficult and we just need a hug and the reassurance that everything will be alright.  As stated above, at times we need to just accept that we are going through and that it cannot be changed at the moment.

A time to refrain from embracing {v. 5}—there are other situations when it is best to refrain from embracing someone, no matter how much comfort you long to provide.

What season of life are you in right now?  What seasons have you struggled with?

Next week: Ecclesiastes 3: 6-10

 

 

Tweetables:

For Everything There Is a Season

Probing the Seasons of Life mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3