Friday, November 30, 2007

The Little Way

“It is, in short, to seek out the menial job, to welcome unjust criticisms, to befriend those who annoy us, to help those who are ungrateful.” (Foster, Prayer, p 62)

I am slowly making my way through Richard Foster’s Prayer – Finding the Heart’s True Home. The pace is due to the desire to apply his insights to my life.

Today’s segment of reading is on a classical approach to Formation Prayer. Looking back at the beginning of the chapter I am reminded that “the primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son.”

With that thought in mind, read the opening quote above. What opportunities come to mind for you to be increasingly conformed to the image of the Son?

Jesus, you came to provide all the power we need for life and godliness. Why do I busy myself with the big things when you more often showed love in the little ways? The woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the woman healed by touching your clothing, blessing the little children around you. Who have I not entered into relationship with because it didn’t fit in my schedule or my expectations?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rich Minds, Rich Rewards E-Newsletter / What are you most grateful for?

I heard Valorie Burton speak at a conferenece in May 2005 and have been reading her e-newsletter ever since. Click here to read Burton's life coaching for this week, Week #47: What are you most grateful for? November 19, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dry Spells and Power in Prayer

“None of us will keep up a life of prayer unless we are prepared to change. We will either give it up or turn it into a little system that maintains the form of godliness but denies the power of it – which is the same thing as giving it up.” (Richard Foster, Prayer – Finding the Heart’s True Home, p 57)

How’s your life of prayer these days? Is it powerful and alive or an uneventful routine?

I think we all experience dry spells – I’m in one right now. These can be great opportunities for a deeper relationship with God or cause us to drift away.

It’s like trying to get in touch with a friend you talk to daily. If she doesn’t respond to your phone calls, do you just keep making phone calls or do you try something else? If the friendship has any depth at all, you will do whatever it takes to get in touch with her, first, out of your concern for her. Then out of your concern for the relationship.

I’m convinced God draws us into dry spells to help us keep our prayer life alive.

Are you having a dry spell in your relationship with God? What are you going to do about it? Maybe you just need to change the routine. Maybe God wants you to make some changes personally so that the relationship continues to deepen instead of growing stale.

Here’s a good evaluation tool I came up with as I did a search on “form of godliness.” Pull out your Bible or click here to read 2 Timothy 3:1-7. Slow down with each word or phrase in verses two through five. Ask God to release his power in your life over anything that distracts from your relationship with him.

Today I will assess everything I do with the question Lord, am I a lover of myself? When I respond with anger or become tense in relationship with a friend, family member or store clerk, is it because I am a lover of myself? Tomorrow I will ask, Lord, am I a lover of money? and so on with each item listed in 2 Timothy 3.

If you join me in this, you will have almost 20 days of new topics to discuss with God as you live out your daily activities. Let prayer jump start your day and impact every aspect with power rather than checking it off as part of your routine.

Jesus, you have called me friend. Let’s keep in touch throughout the day. I want your friendship to continually change me. Let my relationship with you be more than a routine. May I learn to expect your power and when I don’t experience it, to seek you out with all my heart until I find the direction you are leading.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Prayer of Abandonment

The words of Charles de Foucauld:
“Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O, Lord.”
(Richard Foster, Prayer - Finding the Heart’s True Home, pg 55)

What is distracting you from being fully surrendered, abandon into the hands of God? What has God called you to do and you are saying, “I can’t because…?”

This morning I wrote down a few items that are distractions either for me or for my family. After each short phrase, I wrote “You are sovereign*” as I abandoned each into God’s hands. Try it. Acknowledging the sovereignty of God brings peace.

O Lord, there are so many things that seem like obstacles and distractions. But you, O Lord, are sovereign. Nothing distracts or hinders you.

[*] Sovereign – with complete power, having supreme authority or power.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sorrow in the Garden

Then he [Jesus] said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:38-39

Rich Nathan, Vineyard Columbus, stated last night the only fear we should have is the fear of being separated from God.

Reading Richard Foster’s Prayer- Finding the Heart’s True Home this morning, I was challenged to read the account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. As easy as it is for us to think it was the physical suffering that Jesus wanted to avoid, I was reminded that it was the agony of being completely separated from God that caused Jesus to fall to his face and pray for some other way to restore mankind to God.

Since my own “Garden Experience” a few years ago, (see The Power of Love) my life as changed. I know there is something much greater than any physical suffering. Because of Christ, I will never have to be totally removed from God’s love.

Ponder on that thought a moment. Everything you see and experience in this physical realm has the essence of God in it in some way. He created everything and everything he created is good.[*] Now, imagine an existence without any of that.

Thank you, Jesus, for not only dying a painful physical death but for experiencing the death of your soul so that I don’t have to.

[*] Even the evil we experience is simply God’s creation or ideas twisted by the selfishness of man.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Speaking of Hope...

Rich Nathan at Vineyard Church of Columbus presented an exciting perspective of hope last weekend. I highly recommend it for believers and seekers alike.

Click this link to listen online --> The Difference Hope Makes

or go to to download the October 28, 2007 audio sermon.

The Golden Compass

Ah, trouble is brewing in a most delightful way. Not only an avowed atheist, the author of the books on which this movie is based has been quoted as stating “my books are about killing God.” Sorry, but I find that rather humorous.

No, I most likely won’t take my kids to see this movie but I don’t take them to see a lot of “children’s” movies. By the way, we don’t do the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus. Why? Because I don’t believe in them. So, this author doesn’t do God because he doesn’t believe in him. Have you given anyone a reason as to why you believe?

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ~ Genesis 50:20

Instead of bashing this guy for his unbelief, how about praying that God will use this movie to change the apathy in our Christian culture that seems to present God as just another fairy tale to believe in or not believe in. Then sit back and watch for the opportunities God places right in front of you to give a reason for your hope.

For more on this topic check out

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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