Tonight, it’s a Hillsong kind of night…
Tonight, it’s a Hillsong kind of night…
As you can tell by this blog, I love taking pictures. In the past couple of weeks though, I’ve had the incredible privilege to take this love to the next level! So far, I have taken a set of engagement pictures and have also taken pictures for two engagement parties. Now, I’m creating a website for my photography!
This is a really exciting adventure, and I hope you will enjoy the pictures at:
I’m in the process of updating it and putting pictures up, but check it out sometime!
In the last post, I shared some verses to show what Scripture says about prayer. Now with those characteristics of prayer in mind, I want to share with you what I learned through evaluating my prayer life…
For the past couple of months, I had this nagging feeling in my stomach. Over and over, I would try to pinpoint what exactly it was and finally came up with the answer, “I need to pray more.” While trying to pray more was good, a well-intentioned effort, why did the nagging feeling still persist?
“In return and in rest, you shall be saved…” Isaiah 30:15
“Draw near to me…” James 4:8
Before, I looked around and saw who or what needed prayer. Now, I look within myself, and I can feel it… These situations or those people, they don’t just need words strung together and breathed out in a sentence deemed as “prayer.” They, us, you, me, it: we all need our hearts turned to the Lord, seeking Him above all things. That, in my humble opinion, is the highest purpose of prayer.
When prayer is constant, sincere, focused on others as well as ourselves, Spirit-filled, and done to us closer to God, well… I don’t have the words to describe the amazing workings of that kind of prayer, but I can certainly attest to its power. Maybe it’s the emotions that are chocking me up right now, but I’m beginning to see prayer differently now than I ever have before…
On behalf of Gerry–my Mammaw–and our family, thank you so much for continuing to keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to create a category named “Mammaw’s Updates” where all of the posts about her will be posted. Thank you again, and God is good. He is always good…
“In the path of your judgements,
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you…”
Why and when should we pray? What should the purpose of our prayers be?
In the post to follow this one, I will discuss these questions more in depth. For now though, read these verses to see just some of what Scripture tells us about prayer:
PRAYER should be…
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” — Romans 13:12
“Pray without ceasing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:17
2. For other people (as well as ourselves)
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”
1 Timothy 2:1
“Brothers, pray for us.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:25,
“Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.” — Matthew 9:38
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” — Matthew 6:7-8
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” — Romans 8:26
“Praying at all times in the Spirit…” — Ephesians 6:18
5. Done to draw us closer to God
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” — Isaiah 55:6
“O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” — Psalm 141:1-2
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” — Matthew 6:6
I hope these verses give you something to think about today!
Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,
“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.” E.M. Bounds
“Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them.” John Calvin
“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” E.M. Bounds
To all of the wonderful friends of my grandparents here in Grenada, thank you so much for the gift of food and prayer since she has returned home from the hospital! As you can see, we have been blessed to receive all of this food, and it means so much that you have shown your love and friendship through providing us with meals that, otherwise, we would have been too busy to cook! The picture above was the lunch spread of left overs. I only ate peas and lima beans though so I could have some of this….
One of the biggest joys that I’ve had since coming to Grenada has been feeding Mammaw. Whenever I was staying in the hospital with her, I would carefully watch the nurses, observing every step involved in the PEG tube feeding process. And boy, let me assure you… it is a process, indeed!
Measure out 60 cc of warm water, shake the can of formula, unstop the end of the tube, insert the syringe, unclamp the tube, pull the plunger in the syringe to check for residue, push the liquid back (if less than 100cc), and clamp the tube. Next, take out the syringe, replace the stopper on the end of the tube, take the plunger out of the syringe and set it aside. Then, unstopper the tube, insert the syringe and secure it. Pour in 30 cc of water and unclamp the tube, let it drain. Pour in formula and let it drain. Continue pouring the formula in the syringe and let gravity drain it until the can is empty. Flush with 30 more cc of warm water, hold the syringe connected to the tube high in the air to let the water drain out, clamp the tube, take out the syringe, stopper the tube, and wash the syringe. Feeding done!
I am proud to say that I have fed Mammaw by myself at least four times and have given her medicine through her PEG tube, also. When I first saw the nurses doing this in the hospital, I never thought that I would be able to remember all of the steps. Now though, I know them all by heart.
With full confidence, I can say this on behalf of my family. During this time of illness of our beloved Mammaw–Gerry Harden–we are learning the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:1– “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” Just as one season was Mammaw’s mother feeding her, the next season took place over the many years that Mammaw cooked for everyone else around her. This season lasted over 65 years! Here’s just a small taste of the times that filled those many years…
Ever since I can remember, my precious grandmother has spoiled us all rotten with cooking so yummy that it still tasted good when eaten on a full stomach! Even better than her roast or homemade rolls though, are all the memories made while everyone was finally gathered in the kitchen. While holding hands, we blessed the food that the Good Lord had provided, yet Mammaw had prepared. Forever, I will cherish the times of laughter and tears—usually from laughing too much—that took place, STILL, gathered around the dining room table. Let me tell you too, that’s when conversation is best… long after the last bite of dessert had been stuffed into the slowest eater’s belly.
Now we are entering into a new season! I am blessed to say that in this next season under heaven, our family and friends have the honor of feeding Mammaw. (Another great honor is of mine is that I am learning all of her secrets for cooking.) Even though she may not be making her world-famous roast in this season of life, Sarah Geraldine Harden is still the world’s greatest cook. Don’t even try to tell me otherwise! That includes you too, Mammaw 😉
Once again, to all of you—whether a friend, family member, or unknown reader—thank you so much for your support through thoughts, prayers, and food during this time of illness for Mammaw. We are blessed to have such wonderful friends like you and, trust me, we can feel the power of your prayers! God is always good, and your kindness is a reflection of this Truth.
With all of my love and prayers of thanks,