40 Days of Lent – Reflections #3, A Series

This past week in The Prayer Journals’ 6-Week Lenten Series to spiritual awakening with daily fasting, prayer with a prayer journal prompt for personal reflection, there was much to pray upon – kindness, humility, judgement, forgiveness, enemies, and tragedy.
40 DAYS OF LENT - Series #3

A National Day of Prayer: COVID-19

As I draw closer to God so I can now Him better, there are times that I am dismayed. Sometimes it seems the more I get to know Him, the more I do not understand. At this point, I realize the distance between us. The goal of knowing Him better seems further from my reach. What makes these times unfamiliar is when I do not understand the tragedy around me like the current national emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic.

19 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT

Many people are naturally fearful of getting sick, fear of dying from this illness, and fear of being isolated from family, friends, and the outside world in their self-quarantine. When I read the entirety of 1 John, chapter 4, I am reassured beginning in verse 14 and ending in verse 19 (GW):

“We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.

God’s love has reached its goal in us. So, we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him with regard to love. No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love. We love because God loved us first.”

I hold on to my faith in Jesus Christ.

When I give in to something like the bad habit of fear, I soon realize the tremendous control is has over me. Even though I may say, “Oh, I will not give in to it,” I know I can’t when I willingly give in to it.

“Lord, help me to turn off the outside world when it panics and turn to You instead.”

I belong to God. God, who is in me, is greater than anything in this world. Misery comes when tragedy tackles me; and I become fearful. Whatever befalls me, God assures me He loves me. When darkness comes and I am isolated, I endure because I know God is with me. Whether I live another day to love, or die to live forever in love with Christ, everything is possible with God, Mark 10:27 (GW), who loved me first.

“God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (GW)

On this day, March 15, 2020, may we all turn to the God of peace and “trust the LORD with all (our) heart, and do not rely on (our) own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (GW).

When I pray

I encourage you to periodically refer back to the initial invitation for this 6-week Lenten series, 40 Days of Lent – An Invitation for further journal writing guidance for the daily prayer journal prompts for the reflection topic. Please know that I am praying for you in this spiritual awakening journey toward the Easter celebration. You may reach out to me by email at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.

I hope you will join me daily on The Prayer Journals Facebook page during the Lenten season (and beyond) for spiritual growth. May I also ask that you share this blog post on your Facebook page and other social media, as well as, the daily Prayer Journals Facebook posts?

I appreciate your participation and value your prayers.

I am praying for you!

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series #3

In the first post in this series, Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series, I touched upon an unforeseen event that occurred in my life in the summer of 2009. It not only affected my life, but for many, especially in the United States. It was the economic crisis of 2008 that resulted from the mortgage industry bust. Never in my wildest imagination would I think my life would take such a dramatic and frightening turn as it did that summer. My career suddenly ended. My family’s entire future was at risk. The old aphorism comes to mind when we suddenly find ourselves in dire straits – “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

Yet God doesn’t only get our attention when unusual circumstances cause extreme stress or fear; He can turn us toward Him with wonderful unforeseen surprises too.

A Love Story

It was the year I would turn 31 years old. My father had passed away suddenly the year before. I began to take stock of my life and wondered about my future. I was single, unattached, and my friends had not only married, but we’re beginning to start a family. My career kept me traveling during the week and it was difficult to meet new people. I decided to put a personal advertisement in the local newspaper. This was before the Internet and personal ads were the thing then to meet new people and potential significant others.

After considering what qualities in a significant other I desired and the activities I enjoyed, I crafted a specific and concise personal ad. I decided that the photo was optional because after all, the person was taking a chance on my looks too.

Several weeks prior to placing that personal ad, my best friend suggested, “Perhaps God doesn’t want you to be married and have a family.” Like a dagger in my heart, I was crushed to think God did not want me to have a life companion. While I felt desperate at the time and I wondered if I was making the right choice in placing a personal ad in a newspaper, I relied on God to show me if I was meant to be with someone. I was willing to accept whatever direction and answer He gave me.

“Everyone should live the life that the Lord gave him when God called him.” 1 Corinthians 7: 17

After a few anxious days of my personal ad being published, I received a total of 24 letters many from whom had not bothered to read my personal ad. I had letters from men ranging in age far from my designated target range. There were inarticulate letters and others that seemed like essays on why they would be the “one.”

notecard1There was one card that kept drawing my attention. The handwriting on the envelope was small and neat. My heart had skipped a beat when I pulled the Henry Matisse note-card from the envelope. I had the exact same note-cards. After several days of examining and re-examining the note-card and gathering my courage, I decided to call him. After several weeks of dating, and discussing our individual hopes for the future, he asked me to marry him. Fearful of rushing too quickly into marriage, we waited a year before getting married on a Maui beach in Hawaii. In a few short weeks on February 14th, my husband and I will be married 27 years.

Love

“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Vinny Sal Soul Mate

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, Thank you, Lord for getting my attention in unusual and unforeseen circumstances to that I may turn to You who knows me best. You have created us for companionship and have re-created us for fellowship in our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord for helping me to find friendship among those who know the constant love and mercy of Your Son especially my husband. Help me to continue to live under your direction, always ready to hear the call, “Follow me.” Pour into me Your good Spirit, so that I am not afraid to follow, and fall, and follow again. In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. Amen

Getting to know God

I have written a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. Has an unusual circumstance dropped you to your knees? Draw closer to God. I encourage you to begin a prayer journal today so you can know Him too. When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. Is He trying to get your attention today? Answer the call. I know you will be glad you did.

Getting Our Attention – A Faith Series is a four-part series. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read the third post in this series. I pray you will continue to follow The Prayer Journals blog.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved