2018 – Exploring the Soul

As 2018 approaches, I reflect on this past year personally and outwardly. My experiences, my confessions, my attitude and actions are having me pause spiritually. I see it in my daily writing in my journals as I question my entire life’s past, the world as it is currently evolving, and yes, even questioning God’s Word at times.

Submission

Many aspects of my and my scripture reading are causing me to embark on an intense spiritual journey in 2018 and the beginning of a spiritual memoir. I don’t know where the journey will take me in 2018, or beyond for that matter. But nonetheless, I feel God, as He usually does and continues to do with me is tapping me on the shoulder and oftentimes urgently, is nudging me out of my comfort zone. Let me be honest. God did not nudge me in 2017, I will say He pushed me and He is continuing to push me until I complete this exploration.I’ll be exploring God’s Word and some points I take issue like the following passages from Ephesians, 1 Corinthians and Timothy.

Mutual submission – Ephesians 5:21-33

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is about the exalted relationship between Christ and the church revealing lessons regarding the church, personal righteousness, earthly relationships, and the Christian’s relationship with God.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ… each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

No doubt. I do.

Master-Servant Attitudes – Ephesians 6:5-9

“Obey our earthly (authorities) with respect, fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.”

Okay, Lord. I have a problem with the current presidential administration. While I serve wholeheartedly my employer and local authorities, and I do pay all my taxes; I take issue with what I see as the current administration’s seeking to harm the less fortunate with increased taxes and taking away healthcare and access to communication and media while lining the pockets of the wealthy. How shall I respond? What am I supposed to do?

Women not to lead – 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36*

Paul is addressing the particular problems Christians are facing in the pagan city of Corinth and the issue of fellowship with pagans.”

“As in all the congregations of the Lord’s people, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but are in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for its disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people is has reached?”

The role of women – 1 Timothy 2:9,10*

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, a young evangelist, on matters of church organization and conduct, particularly the role of women, qualification of church leaders, widows and Christian attitudes.

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man, she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

*Scriptures readings were taken from The Daily Bible, In Chronological Order 365 Daily Readings, New International Version, Harvey House Publishers, Copyright 1984

Submission

How does that world view in the time of Paul and Timothy apply to today’s world view? Because, Lord, I cannot abide by what Paul is instructing Timothy. Because it is the very act of submission since I was a child that innocence, dignity and feelings of worth have been taken by people I expected to act otherwise. The word, submission is a tough one for me.

Let me be clear

Lord, there is nothing that can come between me and You. I’m just asking questions.

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”

So, I ask you, Lord…

What’s up with all this? Help me to understand.

My prayer

Gracious Lord, it is beyond my comprehension that nothing can separate me from your love. That Jesus Christ was born to love me… love me, who questions… yet dies to make an opening for a way to eternal life with you. I am grateful that you love what you see in me to help me to understand my role here on earth. May this spiritual memoir, this journey bring glory to you. Amen

Obstacles

May I pray for you?

My extended prayer is that you will continue to read along in 2018. Whatever your journey, I know God is here with us and I am praying for you.

 

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

 

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My Christmas List

It’s that time of year for making my Christmas list.

Christmas, a time of giving praise and glory to God, our Father at the birth of His son, Jesus Christ. As I look forward to this time of celebration, I also reflect on this past year.

What a year it has been for me personally and for many in our nation and around the world. How about you?  Yet, out of adversity comes blessings if we keep our eyes, ears, and heart open to God’s purpose in our lives. This has been made clear to me time and time again particularly in recent years, and indeed this past year.  All I need to do is read and re-read my prayer journals to know this to be true.

#1:  Prayer

Thank you to those of you who continue to follow the Prayer Journals. I am blessed by your presence and input here. I pray you will continue to follow and be blessed by the power of prayer and keeping a daily prayer journal. My prayer is for new readers and writers to join us here at The Prayer Journals.

#2: Prayer

And it is my prayer journals that will be the basis of a writing project, a spiritual memoir I am beginning in the new year. I ask for your prayer as I begin this new spiritual journey.

#3: Prayer

As part of this spiritual journey, The Prayer Journals blog has taken on a new look, a new format and vision of helping you and I draw closer to God in our hearts and in our lives. In addition to this website, you can follow along on Twitter @PrayerPrompts. The Prayer Journals now has a Facebook page too! Click on this link to LIKE the page: The Prayer Journals. I ask for your prayer that God inspires the writing of this blog to fulfill His purpose for both of us.

Psalm 73:22-24

I was stupid, and I did not understand.
I was like a dumb animal in your presence.
Yet, I am always with you.
You hold on to my right hand.
With your advice you guide me,
and in the end you will take me to glory.

Matthew 28:20

Teach them to do everything I have commanded you.
“And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”

#4: Prayer

Surely as God is with us, He is here in this world to bring blessings over the adversities that seem to confront us at every turn. My last request on my Christmas list is another prayer and that each day we end our prayer journal writing session reciting:

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen

Surpasses understanding

What’s on your Christmas list?

Connecting with The Prayer Journals

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God bless you!

Sheri