Tag Archives: Prayer

A God Connection: Being Available for Kingdom Work

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A couple weeks ago, I walked through security at the Tallahassee airport and headed toward my gate. I saw him instantly—an older man in a wheelchair tuning a mandolin. Not something you see every day.

I sat down near him to enjoy the melody emanating from that beautiful instrument, but he quickly began to put it away. Before I could think of a reason not to, I leaned over and blurted out something like, “Excuse me. I’m a writer, and I would love to have a picture of you holding your instrument. Would that be okay?”

Mr. Gordon with Maggie Maggie

He beamed. “Of course! Do whatever you’d like.”

We introduced ourselves, and he said his name was Mr. Gordon. He sat proudly holding his mandolin while I snapped a few photos. Then he told me all about the love of his life: Maggie Maggie (pronounced Maggie McGee). Of course, he was referring to the century-old wooden mandolin he held with pure reverence. Mr. Gordon had been the proud owner of Maggie Maggie for the past fifty years.

Our talk soon turned to the reasons for our trips. I was on my way to New York for the first time to attend the BookExpo of America. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was trusting God was going to do awesome things.

Mr. Gordon was fleeing a disaster. He had lived in Hawaii for much of his life, and now his home was being threatened by recent volcanic activity. When lava had come within two miles of his house, he was evacuated. Fortunately, he had family in Georgia, which is where he had spent the past couple weeks. Now he was headed to Tennessee to visit with some old musician friends. He wasn’t sure if he’d have a house to go back to, but he was glad for the opportunity to reconnect with those who mattered most.

Available for Service

It may have been the mandolin that caught my attention that day, but it was Mr. Gordon’s sweet spirit that drew me to him. You might call it a God connection. At the end of our conversation, I asked to pray with Mr. Gordon (something I don’t do very often), and he readily agreed. I was only slightly embarrassed as I wiped away a couple tears during our prayer. After all, it is a holy thing to speak true words of comfort over a brother in Christ.

“Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16 NAS).

I love this sign on Maggie Maggie’s case!

That encounter with Mr. Gordon set the tone for my trip to New York. I was reminded that God’s plans are greater than mine, and He is always looking for opportunities to draw others to Himself…even in the middle of an airport. I agreed right then to make myself available to Him—even in busy New York—so I could be useful for His service.

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20 NAS).

The trip to New York was awesome! We had a wonderful time, and the fruit of those meetings is still being realized. But it’s the Mr. Gordons that I met along the way who mattered the most.

Encouragement for the Week

This week, I encourage you to make yourself available and useful to the Lord. Start by saying a simple prayer like this: “Lord, life is so busy that it can be hard to recognize those you put in my path. Please forgive me for all the opportunities I’ve missed to do your will. Soften my heart and quicken my spirit so that I can be receptive to your desires. Make me a willing participant in your kingdom work. In the name of the True Servant, Jesus. Amen.”

Have you had any “God connections” lately? Did they encourage your spirit?

 

[Click to Tweet: Lord, help me to not be so busy that I fail to be useful for your Kingdom. #faithlife]

 

Waiting in Harmony

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WaitingHarmony_BSK

The following blog post appeared on Lift Up Your Day and is included below in its entirety. Check out their website to read more encouraging posts from other writers.


If there is one thing we all have in common, it’s that we hate waiting. We despise it. In our fast-paced digital world, waiting is a monotonous waste of time.

And yet right before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the disciples to stay in town and wait on the Holy Spirit. (See Luke 24:49.) He didn’t tell them exactly where to stay, how long they would be there, or what they should do with their time. Nor did He explain what it would be like when the Holy Spirit came.

He just told them to wait. And then He left His followers behind.

 

The Waiting

Fifty days. That’s the amount of time between Acts 1 and Acts 2. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but it must have felt like forever to the 120 people who put their lives on hold to wait for the Holy Spirit.

But they didn’t wait passively. During those seven weeks, they

  • prayed continuously
  • ministered to one another
  • shared what they had with those in need
  • loved and prayed for one another
  • told stories of Jesus’ life
  • mourned Jesus’ death and
  • celebrated Jesus’ resurrection.

 

The Harmony

“These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer…” (Acts 1:14 NAS). The KJV states, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication….”

That’s 120 people repeatedly gathering in one room for 50 days. Not fighting. Not panicking. Not seeking their own interests.

They were waiting in “one accord.” The Greek word for this phrase means “with one mind, one accord, one passion.” The expression combines two thoughts, “to rush along” and “in unison.” This creates a musical image, reminding us that a number of different notes must be combined to create a unique harmony.

All of Jesus’ followers were regular people. They had their own backgrounds, emotions, and beliefs about what God was doing. They didn’t check their individuality at the door when they walked into the upper room. But through prayer, they surrendered their own desires and wills to that of Jesus. As they submitted to Him, they were able to live and worship together, in true harmony.

 

The Results

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1 KJV).

When the big day came….when God showed up in full force…when thousands were gathered together outside… Jesus’ followers were ready! Because a small group of believers chose to be obedient and wait on the Lord, three thousand people were saved that day. And thus the gospel began to spread across the world.

 

Our Turn

As Christians, we still wait on the Lord. Individually, we wait for Him to give us guidance, for healing, and for loved ones to be saved. As a Church body, we wait for fresh movements, revival, and for the second coming of our King.

The great news is that we now have the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit within us! If we will allow Him to move in our lives and within the Church, He will direct us to Jesus—with one mind, in one accord, and in complete harmony.

If 120 people could start the Christian movement, imagine what the Church can do today!

Holy Spirit, help us to focus on Jesus. As we set our sights on Him, help us to live in harmony with You and with one another.

 

A Great Resource

If this topic interests you, I highly recommend the The Centurion’s Wife. This is an excellent fiction book set within the fifty days that occurred between Jesus’ resurrection and the day of Pentecost. It’s the first in the Acts of Faith series by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn.

Grumpy To Godly

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Simple Prayer

Simple Prayer

It sounds so easy – “just focus on God.” But we know that it’s easier said than done.  In my latest blog, “Grumpy to Godly,” I explain how a simple prayer helps me get my day on track.

I’m very excited that my friend, author Kristen Hogrefe, has accepted this as a guest blog on her site, www.ThinkTrueThoughts.com. Please click over to her site to view the blog in its entirety, and check out her other faith-encouraging blogs and books while you’re there.