Uncommon Devotion

“Trust the Lord always because the Lord, the Lord alone is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:4 GW

An uncommon life.

Every morning on my way to the office, I pass by a billboard for a local Lutheran university. The billboard advertises the university’s new slogan, “Live Uncommon.” Their website blog, https://blog.cuw.edu/brand-promise/ explains their slogan this way:

“There is something quite different about Concordia University,” says University President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D. “What sets us apart, what makes us uncommon, is that our ordinary university is attached to the Word of God and connected to His promises. Our assurance of eternal life through our Savior Jesus Christ compels us to go out into the world, utilizing the gifts with which he has graced us, to share the extraordinary.”

An uncommon devotion

I used to feel inferior to other Christians who were educated in private Christian schools and college, even though I was baptized and raised in the church by attending weekly services, Sunday School and catechism class. I made it a point that my children would be raised in Christian schools so they would be given a solid start and foundation in their faith.

It wasn’t until years later that my inferiority was unfounded. Although formal Christian education is a blessing and encouraged, it need not be a prerequisite for being a Christian grounded in biblical understanding. My daily communication with my Lord and Savior, my daily reading of his Word, and prayers requesting His presence in and direction of my life makes me no smaller than those who have a formal Christian education.

The Holy Spirit’s goal is not to fill my mind with information from the Bible, but to bring me to a deeper level in my relationship with my heavenly Father. He wants me to understand the truth, so I can know the love of Jesus Christ more intimately. The depth of Christ’s love motivates me to want to know Him better, spend time in His presence, and read His Word, the Bible.

Although I am not a graduate of a Christian school or university, I choose to live an uncommon life with a devotion to God who has blessed me with my own gifts to share with those who also may feel or have felt inferior in whatever circumstance.

Paul Honors Christ Whether He Lives or Dies

“Yes, I will continue to be happy for another reason. I know that I will be set free through your prayers and through the help that comes from the Spirit of Jesus Christ. I eagerly expect and hope that I will have nothing to be ashamed of. I will speak very boldly and honor Christ in my body, now as always, whether I live or die. Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I die, I’ll have even more. If I continue to live in this life, my work will produce more results. I don’t know which I would prefer. I find it hard to choose between the two. I would like to leave this life and be with Christ. That’s by far the better choice. But for your sake it’s better that I remain in this life. Since I’m convinced of this, I know that I will continue to live and be with all of you. This will help you to grow and be joyful in your faith.” Philippians 1:18-25 GW

A child of God

A genuine and intimate relationship with Christ awaits anyone who listens and allows the Holy Spirit to reveal the thoughts of God in their life. As I draw closer to Him every day writing and praying in my journal, reading His Word and praying for clarity in my life and others; He draws closer and I feel, see, and hear His presence and guidance in my life.

The Power of Prayer

Jesus said to his disciples, “Suppose one of you has a friend. Suppose you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine on a trip has dropped in on me, and I don’t have anything to serve him.’ Your friend might answer you from inside his house, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I can guarantee that although he doesn’t want to get up to give you anything, he will get up and give you whatever you need because he is your friend and because you were so bold.

“So, I tell you to ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find, and for the person who knocks, the door will be opened.

“If your child asks you, his father, for a fish, would you give him a snake instead? Or if your child asks you for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? Even though you’re evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Luke 11: 5-13 GW

God is Here

God is Here.jpg

My Prayer

Lord of my life, I know that my life is not my own. By Your death and resurrection, You made me Your own. Help me to live under Your direction, always ready to hear the call, “Follow Me.” I am grateful for You and the angels you have placed in my life under Your direction that I may do the same. May I always be aware of Your presence; always know that I have received the gift of Your Spirit; always living so that others may receive Your love and mercy through me.

Show me again that there is love and forgiveness and mercy in Your hand. Use me despite my reluctance, doubt, and disobedience. May I live that uncommon life devoted to You that I may not be afraid to follow and fall and follow again. In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. Amen

My Spiritual Journey

The Prayer Journal’s blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!

I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.

Blessings on your day,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

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God is working in me

When I attended catechism classes in 7th and 8th grade, I distinctly remember two lessons. I do not remember which lesson came before the other, however, I have thought of these lessons often over my lifetime… even if I didn’t always believe or abide by the pastor’s instructions.

God stands beside me

Pastor Etzel said to our catechism class, “God stands beside you. Be careful of what you say and do because God hears and sees you.” This must be a common lesson in the catechism instructor’s book. My friend of 38 years, Mary, who is nine years my senior and who also was instructed in another Missouri Lutheran church this same lesson on how we should ask ourselves the following question before we act:

“If you knew God was standing next to you, what would you do (or say)?”

“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.” Galations 6:4-5 NIV

Proverbs 16

Daily disappointment

I am certainly God’s daily disappointment. Even though I try to ask myself that question, my actions and reactions are often done without a moment’s hesitation. I like to think, however, my intentions always come from a good place, but I know that isn’t always true.

“Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5

God has a plan for me

The other lesson from pastor’s catechism class was that God has a plan for my life. In fact, the pastor said, “God has a plan for you and it is already written.”

“Really?” my younger self said at the time. Even today as I look back on my life, I am beginning to finally understand what the pastor was trying to tell his impressionable class.

Last week’s reading of God’s Word revealed the following annotation next to Genesis chapter 11, in part:

“Although there is no scriptural reference to Job during this period of time, there is compelling evidence to believe that an important historical figure named Job should be included come the ancients. His home is in the land of Uz…. Job is a righteous man… However, disaster strikes Job when a series of disasters strikes him…. Even worse, all his children are killed, he is stricken with a terrible, painful disease… Job nevertheless maintains his faith in God. As a result, his wealth is restored to double its original worth, more children are born to him, and he dies a happy man.” (This excerpt is taken from page 22 of The Daily Bible in Chronological Order, NIV translation, Harvest House Publishers, © 1984.)

The author of this annotation, compiler, F. LaGard Smith writes in the same annotation that Job’s story is a story of great faith, and his apparently successful struggle with the reason for his struggle is one that has comforted generations of fellow-sufferers. “That fact alone might well have something to do with why he was called upon to experience such adversity.”

Could God’s plan for my life be a source of comfort to others?

While Job’s life ended well for him, will my story of faith end as well as Job’s?

What am I doing with my life?

“Work hard to show the results of our salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in You, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” 1 Corinthians 4:5

My Rainbow

Dear Lord, I give You all the praise and glory. Help me to break free from the selfishness in thought, word and deed that prevent me from reflecting your holiness. I pray for the light in my darkness that my life may reveal a story of great faith for others who may also find comfort in You.

I pray this in the name of Christ, who is the true light. Amen

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction to writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series of posts relating to this theme. If you have just joined The Prayer Journals, I hope you will take the time to explore previous posts on this site.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. Use your gifts to communicate with God however you wish in your prayer journal.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Other ways to connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook:      https://www.facebook.com/PrayerPrompts/
Twitter:         @PrayerPrompts
Email:            Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

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