Praying with the faithful at a little country church…

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Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Daniel 9:17-18

My parents were faithful members of a country Baptist church. They believed in the power of prayer.

Every Wednesday night they attended a service with Bible study followed by the prayers and petitions of the faithful and sometimes not so faith-filled. There were no time limits. If you needed prayer, they stayed and prayed.

Some nights I sat there astonished at the requests. Yes, they prayed for someone’s boils and another’s warts, but they also prayed for life and death situations and believe me when I tell you…they prayed in earnest. Whether it was what we might consider trivial or life threatening, each prayer was met with sincerity and seriousness.

My Dad used to say, “Not all prayer requests are the same, but all requests are to be considered and lifted to the Lord.”

I like that way of thinking. Too often we believe that the trivial isn’t worth bringing to the Lord but in fact, everything is worth asking God’s help to resolve.

Bring your petitions to God and sit back and watch what happens. It might not be what you expected, but it will be more than you can imagine. I have seen the power of prayer at work.

A little country Baptist church remains faithful to God’s call and someone is comforted.

God is good…

Amen.

Sometimes there are no answers…

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This past week has been a hard one for people of faith.

In the one place you expect sanctuary, respite, and acceptance is the Church. This was not so in South Carolina.

Nine precious people were overwhelmed by extremist hatred and paid for it with their lives.

It doesn’t make sense. There are no answers. God did not cause this.

I do know this…

Hate will not win. Darkness is overcome by light. Love never dies and God still sits on His throne.

I look for a brighter and better tomorrow but I won’t forget the sacrifice of so many.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates?

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For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Life is not like a box of chocolates.

Life is hard, tough, challenging, hate-filled, disappointing, chaotic, mind-blowing, surprising, and unpredictable.

Life is also, fun, crazy, fast, joyous, rewarding, loving, amazing, glorious, stupendous, surprising, and unpredictable.

Given the options though, I love the unpredictable nature of this mad, mad world and the glorious journey we are all walking together.

Life may not be like a box of chocolates but it is more than dog food or champagne, oatmeal or caviar. Life is better than mere words or movie taglines can possibly describe.

I can’t wait to start another day, pass the Godiva.

You are Special!

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My Dad gave me lots of advice. I was wise enough to listen.

Dad had every reason to be pessimistic about the world. He was shot down over Germany during WWII while piloting a B-17, interred in a POW camp and lost his hearing. His career as a pilot was finished due to war injuries, and he was born with the name Shirley. Yes, I said his name was Shirley. It would be easy to fall into the muck and wallow in self-pity but that was not his style.

My Dad was a die-hard optimist. Life was good and every day was special.

When I started my business, one of the best things Dad told me was “always remember to make people feel special.” Dad grew up with a desire to help and to enrich the lives of others. He succeeded.

Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to tell you his or her story. You just need to listen.

This is not so surprising. What IS surprising is that more people don’t realize this. When you care about people, and show a genuine interest in their welfare, your life is all the better.

Try this with clients, friends and, most of all, family. Make today the start of a change in your lifestyle. Make someone’s day.

Make someone feel special.

Leave everyone you meet feeling valued. Ask about their day; ask about their lives; just ask and then listen.

Expect little and give much…you will be amazed. The gift of giving someone a sense of self worth is beyond measure. Now that’s special.

Have you been called?

Path of life sculpture garden, Windsor, VT, October 9th, 2010

Path of life sculpture garden, Windsor, VT, October 9th, 2010

I sell real estate for a living. It is my calling.

Everyone is “called” to do something. It is the wise person who listens to that voice directing you on your life’s path and leads you to success if done right. You must know with absolute certainty that this is what you were meant to do.

If you feel like what you do is work, an obligation or drudgery, it is not your calling.

When you love your job, look forward to work and the day’s journey; you have found your calling. If you can’t wait to help others, then you have found your calling.

Some people might call it passion. But you can be passionate about something and it is not your calling.

Martin Luther King said it best:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Whatever you are called to do…do it well.

Do it with conviction.

Do it diligently.

Do it with persistence.

Do it.

God will bless you for it.