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Friday, November 18, 2011

What's that smell?

Prayer, a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Psalm 141:2

Dear Friends,

I am so honored to have you tune in with me to share our journey with Christ. It is my desire to minister to you in prayer as well as in words. The Lord has put it on my heart to offer my prayers to you on an individual basis rather than just as "the readers of my blog." That's how I refer to those of you who are anonymous when I am bringing you before the Lord. He knows who you are. Isn't it a comfort to know that you are not anonymous to him?

I was just thinking about how I could be a better friend and intercessor for you. If you would like to have me pray for you it would be my joy and pleasure. I love to commune with the Father on behalf of others.

If you wanted to write in the comments any prayer requests that are on your heart, it would be my privilege to pray for you. I believe in prayer.

You can remain anonymous if you like. I am not able to contact you personally, the blog does not provide me with that information. The comments are only posted after I see them. So, if you say don't post on the blog, I won't. As a matter of fact, considering prayer requests confidential, almost sacred I would not post them on the blog unless you asked specifically so that all of our brothers and sisters in Christ could join us in prayer for you.

But, rest assured I will bring you and your requests before the Lord.
Let's pray together and see what our amazing Creator will do! 

Prayer is such a privilege. The fact that we have immediate access to the throne room of God and that He immediately inclines His ear to hear our hearts is a fact that seems too wonderful to be true.

But, it is true my sweet friend. 
Praise the Lord! It is most definitely true! Our only limitation to accessing the Father is our hesitation to open up the conversation with Him.

I know that life is often hard on us. We get pressed on from every side and wonder how we will ever make it. Strangely enough, it can be during the most difficult times that it is hardest for us to pray.

But, God in His infinite wisdom has provided for those times as well. 

The Bible says, In the same way the Holy Spirit also helps in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26

Wow. That's some serious stuff. I feel very well loved and cared for when I try to imagine that kind of intercession going on for me in the Heavenlies.

So you might wonder, why then, if the Holy Spirit Himself is praying for us and God knows everything there is to know about us why bother enlisting the prayers of anyone else? Good question.

The answer is because we are commanded to pray for each other in the Scriptures.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

I believe it is for the furtherance of the Kingdom. It brings us as the body of Christ closer to each other and closer to God.
At the Last Supper Jesus prayed for Simon and in doing so prayed that it would strengthen the rest of the disciples.

...but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. Luke 22:32

The greatest benefit of prayer may be that as we come into the presence of the Lord we are strengthened, encouraged and filled with peace.
When we draw near to Him we find that He is already there waiting.

So, please, won't you join me on this prayer journey and see how it enriches your life and the lives of everyone around you.
We have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

God bless your day with extra-special closeness to Him.

(C) 2011 Bonnie Mae Evans

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Of Cats and Men

Hello there dear friends.
Remember me?

It's Bonnie from Bonniefied.

Only kidding, but really, it has been longer than I would have liked since I last wrote to you.
Too long.
I do hope and pray that you have been happy and well since we last met. Thank you for checking in with me again.
So go grab a cup of tea or coffee, a codfish cake or a Pop tart, whatever is your pleasure.
But, come back soon and relax in the Lord with me for a few minutes.

It seems life has gotten in the way of my writing plans lately.
The things of everyday life have kept me busy. I'm sure all of you can identify with that. Nothing awful and for that I am very grateful. It has just been the mundane, but necessary.
Necessary interruptions to my plans for the day.
Unexpected little twists and turns that send me off in a different direction than I intended to go.

How about you, friend? Do you find yourself pulled this way and that, frustrated at not being able to carry on with your plans?

Right now I am involved in a very enlightening Bible study on Jonah by Priscilla Shirer. She calls these life interruptions-divine interventions. So, I am learning to see things differently, to cherish these unexpected detours and to look for the opportunites that God is blessing me with to help further His kingdom.

I remember the verse  My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are My ways your ways,declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

But, being a child of the King I desire to know more of His ways. Therefore, I am learning to yield to His plans on a daily basis.

(If you have the chance to take part in this Bible study don't miss it. It may be your next divine intervention.)

For the past few weeks my interruptions/interventions have gone something like this:
  • The starter on my car that decided to change its name and identity to the "nonstarter".
  • The flu bug that decided to take up residence with my son.
  • The new job opportunity that consumed hours in rewriting my resume, applying online, interviewing, getting the employment physical and recooperating from the required DPT, PPD and flu shot.Yes, this is a praise! I did get the job! (And so far I have not gotten diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, tuberculosis or the flu!)
  • Keeping up with the irregular hours of my present job and trying to make the transition easier for the patients and doctor when I leave.
  • Watching with joy as my son played in a Fall lacrosse league and then the All Star game under a cloudless blue November sky. It was a perfect day. Oh wait, that wasn't an interruption. I just wanted to tell you about it. It was wonderful!
  • Buying, returning and rebuying. What on earth made me think that I could buy shoes for my daughter without her seeing them first? I mean really, didn't I learn that lesson with the boots a few blogs back? Apparently not.
  • The trees in our yard are trying to make it into the Guinness Book of World records for the most leaves dropped overnight in between rakings. I'm not complaining. You know I love my trees.
  • The migraine headache that struck with a vengence out of nowhere.
  • The lost cat of my son's girlfriend.
Now, this is where our story begins.

How the cat named Shadow came to be lost was an accident really. An accident that my dear, tender-hearted, animal-loving son felt entirely responsible for. You see, he was leaving his girlfriend's house one night when Shadow ran out past him. He was used to going out, but not at night. My son and his girlfriend searched and called to no avail. Shadow had a plan of his own. He vanished into the shadows of the night.

Over the next few days I watched as my son suffered with the anguish and guilt of being the one who let the cat out. He loved that cat, the laid back Maine Coon. His girlfriend insisted that it wasn't his fault, but he believed it was.
We prayed constantly for Shadow to be found...nothing.

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

For the next week and a half I would make three treks to the Animal Shelter, looking at all of those precious lost little faces behind bars while my heart was breaking for Shadow and for each and every one of them. I prayed for them and for Shadow to be safe and for the people that worked there. What a hard job.
I poured over the log of all the animals that had been received in the county. Those that arrived DOA, those that arrived injured, those that were euthanized, those that were adopted, and those that were still there. None fit the description of Shadow.

Just a little plug for the SPCA-
***Please... if you are able and want a pet, go to a local shelter and adopt one. It's the ultimate in recycling. More love in those cages than you can imagine. We adopted two cats from a shelter. (I'm pretty sure one of them is an angel.) The other is just a big sweet baby.

My son and I continued to pray.
Each day that passed made it more urgent.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. Phillippians 4:6

We've seen God answer prayers before.
We know that He is concerned about every detail of our lives both big and small. He hears every utterance of a prayer spoken aloud or deep in our hearts.

Do you believe that?

What is your heartache right now?

Do you feel that it is too small to bother God with?

Or too large for Him to fix?

Well, my friend, here's good news. If it concerns you, it concerns Him. He already knows anyhow and He's just waiting for you to trust Him enough to pray and spend time in His presence. He's waiting to hear from you.
Sometimes I think it's the time spent in His presence while praying that is most important to Him. Everything else may be incidental.

Well, back to the great Maine Coon Cat hunt...

I drove around their neighborhood slowly looking in every doorway and around every trash can and bush while the girlfriend's family was out of town. I searched the sides of the road for his little carcass.
I wanted the cat to be found because I know how dearly I love mine. But, I also wanted my son's pain to stop.

We continued to pray. As more than a week went by I saw my son begin to give in to the idea that the likelihood of finding the kitty was getting slim. (I honestly believe the stress of it contributed to his getting the flu.)
We pictured a scenario where someone was in need of a special blessing and God was using Shadow. We laughed at how they were so happy with their new cat that they would never let him outside so that he could come home. We gave Shadow up for God's purposes.

Then, yesterday came the call. Two calls in fact. A lady found him and had seen the Lost Cat posters. Shadow had been found. He had been on his own for almost two weeks. Well, not completely on His own. God was there.

We praised the Lord and thanked Him for bringing Shadow home!

While this has been one of those interruption/interventions, I am once again overwhelmed at God's love and care for the minute details of our lives and that he would give me the privilege of participating.

What a valuable lesson for a couple of teens--to take everything to the Lord in prayer, to pray believing, without ceasing but most of all to relenquish everything to Him for His purposes.

To know how very important they are to Him and how He cares for each and everyone one of us.

That includes you dear one.
You are the apple of His eye.
He died for you. You are not an interruption to Him
He longs to hear your voice.

Break the silence.
Pour your heart out before Him.
Tell Him all of your hurts, fears, worries, heartaches, disappointments, hopes, and dreams.
Feel all of your cares shrink before the awesomeness of His glory and power.
Then, surrender your day to Him. Go out there renewed and look with new eyes on the unplanned "interruptions" that come your way and praise God for the opportunities He is blessing you with!

Until next time.
May our precious Lord and Savior bless you with more of Him!

(C) 2011 Bonnie Mae Evans