Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Thanks is not Just for Thanksgiving Day

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thanksgiving should never be lacking in a Christian life. It is not enough to observe one day in the year for ‘Thanksgiving’ although that is a beautiful thing to do. Nor is it enough to put a sentence of thanksgiving into our daily prayers, although that, also, is proper.

It is the grateful spirit which pleases God, the spirit that is always full of praise. There should be a note of thanksgiving running through all our life.

Too many of us go to God only with . . .
our requests,
our burdens,
our worries,
our troubles
–while we but rarely go to Him with any word of thanks.

We are not to be thankful only for the pleasant and agreeable things that come into our days–we are to be thankful, too, for the things that appear to us to be adversities. “Give thanks in everything” That means . . .
in the sad days–as well as in the glad days,
when clouds are in the sky–as well as when the sunshine is pouring everywhere.

It is said here that this is the will of God for us. The Christliest life is the one that is always keyed to the note of praise and thanksgiving.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful!” Hebrews 12:28

“Overflowing with thankfulness!” Colossians 2:7

At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father!” Ephesians 5:20 

(J.R. Miller, “Christian Essentials”)

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Ten Questions to Ask

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Ten questions to ask at the start of a New Year, or on your Birthday

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

[This] is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are ten questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God:

1. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year–and what will you do about it?

2. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life–and what will you do about it this year?

3. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

4. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

5. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?

6. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

7. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

8. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

9. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

10. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

If you’ve found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace–on your phone, tablet, day planner, calendar, bulletin board, etc.–where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

~Don Whitney

Cisterns or The Fountain?

Friday, April 1st, 2016

While thinking this afternoon of some friends who have been running eagerly from one place to another after a celebrated, and, I suppose, most interesting preacher–this idea forcibly struck me: Why manifest such undue concern after streams, when we have the Fountain always accessible? I can, in my humble cottage, approach the footstool of the Father of mercies, and enjoy the manifestation of His love!

“My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves–cracked cisterns that cannot hold water!” Jeremiah 2:13

~Gleanings from the diary of Ruth Bryan – November 21st, 1830

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The Challenge of 30

Friday, February 26th, 2016

A sermon challenge prompts today’s word-of-the-week…

THIRTY

Our pastor challenged us to pray for our city for 30 days.

The number rattled in my head, and I wonder what choices I’ll make in the next 30 seconds that will change someone’s path for the next 30 years? A decision, a comment, a choice. Saying yes or saying no. Walking toward or walking from.

Do we realize how we spend the next 30 seconds, 30 minutes, or 30 days will guide us toward the next 30 weeks and months and years? That number won’t leave my mind. I guess because so often I’ve failed to realize the importance of what one choice or one month can do to many lives.

Of course, pray for your city for the next 30 days if you can muster that much discipline. But also pray for and pay attention to the next 30 seconds as well. They’re the beginning of the rest of your life.

It might be a good week to pay attention.

Have a great week!

What Would You Ask For?

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Pretend someone said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” What would you ask for?

Perhaps you or a loved one suffers from a life-threatening disease. Would you ask for healing?

When you lost your job, you found a new one. However, it pays you half of what you used to make. Would you ask for a job with benefits that pays you more than what you used to make and will keep you until you retire?

What if you lost your home in the recession? Would you ask for the home of your dreams with paperwork that says it’s paid for?

In Gibeon, the Lord appeared to King Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Imagine God’s delight when Solomon answered, “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties . . . So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:7 and 9).

God was so pleased with Solomon’s answer, that he not only gave him a discerning heart but also wealth and honor so that no other king would have what he had. God even promised him a long life if he would obey him.

In view of God’s answer to Solomon, what will you ask God for?

I Kings 3:5: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Dear God, help me to ask according to your good, acceptable, and perfect will. Amen.

Application: What day this week will you spend time with God to pray over your request?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of
“Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward”
Download her One Sheet at http://www.yvonneortega.com.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

New Years: Taking Stock

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Happy New Year!

When someone says, “Happy New Year,” do you think of a party with hats, streamers, noisemakers, food, and music? I used to connect the two.

Now I schedule time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to sit with my calendar, my Bible, and my journal. I go back over the year to see what I’ve accomplished of lasting value. I look at what I’ve done in terms of the legacy I will leave behind. What about you?

After that time of reflection, I prayerfully consider what one word I’ll place on a sticky note on a kitchen cupboard, my bathroom mirror, and my desk and what Scripture I’ll claim for the New Year. Have you done something similar in the past? If you haven’t, try it for a year and let me know how it goes.

On New Year’s Eve if not sooner, I again sit with my journal, my Bible, and my calendar to think about goals and dreams for the coming year. Do I have a new book on my heart to write? What about a speaking topic to explore? What speakers’ conference would I like to attend? What about a writers’ conference or retreat? I ask God about those things to see what his will is.

My book, Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward, came about in 2015 because of my quiet time in 2014 pondering the New Year.

Those of you with children might consider activities and travels with your children. I still remember the year I took my son to Mexico for a six-week study program. We stayed with a pre-screened family in their lovely home.

My son wasn’t interested in learning Spanish until he spotted a cute little Mexican girl at the college café. Then he learned whole sentences one after another.

I urge you to plan for 2016 to be better than 2015. Look forward to it with joy.

Happy New Year!

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!
Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of
“Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward”
Download her One Sheet at http://www.yvonneortega.com.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

FREE recovery magazine “The Gabriel”

Friday, December 18th, 2015

The latest issue of CIR’s FREE recovery magazine “The Gabriel” is now available for Download

You are encouraged to download this, print it out or put on a diskette and share it with your loved ones, church, pastor and/or recovery group. It is jam packed with inspiration, tips, resources and information for everyone in recovery

Are You Being Heard by God?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Do you ever feel like you’re not being heard? We cannot live without air to breathe or water to drink or sustenance for the body. But, our true self, our ID, can’t live without being heard. If you experience a deaf ear for too long, your soul will shrivel up to a distortion of your potential. It’s been said that being heard is the better part of true communication.

No, this is not just silly words – you and I must be heard! Good news! No matter what your state of being, God will hear you. Even if what you are saying is skewed or distorted-he will listen. And that is the beginning of opening up a fresh relationship with God.

Maybe you’ve known Jesus for years; but, your inner core has shut down. Just open up, share what you feel or think-even if it is wrong. Start somewhere. That was one of the reasons God called David, “a man after his own heart.” Seemingly; everyday, he poured out his heart to God. It took “real” faith to do that.

Something almost magical – certainly mystical happens when we are gut level honest with God. When we feel heard, we start listening better as well! When we are confident of being heard; no matter what is going down, we come to a ‘silence of listening’. When heard, we hear.

I dare you to try this experiment with God: Write down all that comes too your mind – no matter how wrong or nonsensical it may seem to your logic, reason, or understanding. Then read it out loud to God. Then say it in the form of prayer – address him personally.

Then: with “your” perspective, mind, intellect, tantrums, rantings, opinions, judgments and emotions emptied out-listen. You will become assured of being heard. Write down what you hear after getting everything out in the open with God.

I love God, because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently (even as some translations read – “bent down or leaned down”) as I laid out my case before him. Psalm 116:1-2, The Message, (parenthesis mine).

“Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”

How about you? You can be called a man or woman with a heart after God. Just follow David’s example.

In the grip of Papa’s hearing grace!

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Where Will You Go for Help?

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

My late son’s birthday is this week. He enjoyed Chinese food, and I usually eat it at his favorite restaurant on his birthday. A social event postponed that tradition, but it hasn’t cancelled it.

The past week I spoke in Pennsylvania. I stayed with a widow, and we exchanged memories of our loved ones. We even laughed.

For example, I told her about my climb up a water slide because I didn’t want my four-year-old son to suspect my fear of the water. When I hesitated at the top of the slide, he pushed me down. The lifeguard blew the whistle on him and warned him if he did that again, he would have to leave the pool. I was safe, and that lifeguard became my friend.

The widow shared how her husband bought her a gift certificate for a day at the spa of a luxurious hotel every year. She still hadn’t used the last gift certificate he gave her six years ago before his death. They had always gone together. I suggested she invite her daughter to go with her, as I invite a friend to go with me to the Chinese restaurant.

As we talked, I realized we had walked the healing journey the past six years. Tears will come at unexpected moments, but we could focus on the good times.

God makes the journey through grief possible. Will you give him your struggles, heartaches, and losses?

For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. Psalm 116:8

Dear God, help me through death, tears and stumbling. Amen.

 

Application: What will you do this week to allow God to deliver you?

 

When Trust Is Shattered

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

“He told me he’s sorry and will never look at another woman again,” Betsy said. She reached for the tissue box on my desk. “He said he loves me. I don’t believe him anymore, Ms. Yvonne.”

“His infidelity has shattered your trust. Right now, you can’t trust him.”

With a nod, Betsy said, “I don’t. If he says he has to go to work early or stay late, I think he’s lying.” She unbuttoned her purple jacket and removed it. “If the phone rings, and he races to answer it, I wonder if it’s the other woman.”

“That’s a natural reaction. If the situation were reversed, he wouldn’t trust you right away either. Trust is earned over time.

I explained that in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, to repent means “to change one’s mind or purpose always . . . for the better.” Vine’s also says that in the New Testament, repentance refers to sin, and “this change of mind involves both a turning from sin and a turning to God.”

She sat in silence for a few moments and stared out my office window. Then she whispered, “How will I know if he’s really repented and has turned from infidelity?”

“You may not for a while. Time will tell. It will require patience on your part and his.

Can you identify with Betsy? Because of your husband’s infidelity, do you wonder whether you can believe a word he says? Does he try to make you feel guilty for not trusting him immediately?

2 Corinthians 7:10: “Godly sorrow brings repentance.”

Dear God, my husband’s infidelity left me devastated. Show me what to do. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to help you understand the process of rebuilding trust?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of
“Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward”
Download her One Sheet at http://www.yvonneortega.com.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com