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Thursday, September 20, 2012

D.I.Y.


D.I.Y.  (Do It Yourself.)  A growing trend thanks to places like Home Depot and Lowe's.  Why have a professional do something that you can do on your own?  Fix up your own house.  Spruce up your own lawn. 

Thanks to home kits we can dye our hair at home, give ourselves pedicures, manicures and facials.  And, thank you software specialists.  You give us the professional tools we need to do our own taxes like a pro.  We can pat ourselves on the back and say, "We did it all by ourselves."


But, there are some things we just can't D.I.Y.  

I've yet to see a home kit for a root canal.  I can't say I've ever seen equipment on the market that allows you to do a bone marrow transplant or open heart surgery on your own.  Those things are not meant for us to do ourselves.  We need a professional.

When it comes to our spiritual lives, some of us take the same D.I.Y. approach.  Why trust The Professional when we can just do it ourselves?  We want to say we did it on our own.  If I'm good enough and maintain a decent 'good works' resume, He'll keep me on Heaven's Enrollment List.  Or, maybe we have trusted Him for our Salvation, but the rest in life we want to do on our own.  Our marriages.  The raising of our children.  Provision for our family.  Our future...

Some say, "God helps those that help themselves."  But, I say, "God helps those that ask Him."  God is not going to force Himself on us by any means.  If we want to D.I.Y., He will let us.  But, Oh the Joy that is found when we put down our D.I.Y. kits and say to Him, "Daddy, I think I need a Professional."


 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Milk Delivery


I remember hearing a story like this years ago...

There was a man who was driving home one night and as he approached a certain house along the road, a thought came to his mind.  "Go buy a gallon of milk for the people that live in that home."  The man chuckled to himself as he played out the scenario in his head.  How ridiculous he would feel holding a gallon of milk and knocking on a stranger's door.  They would certainly think he was a lunatic, decline his offer and abruptly close the door in his face.  The man continued driving and went home.

The next day, the man was driving home on the same road again when the exact same thought came to his mind as he approached the same house.  But, this time, the feeling was stronger -- like a warm compress on his heart.  But, the man ignored it.  "How ridiculous," the man said, excusing the idea from his mind.  He continued driving and went home.

Two days later, for various reasons, he found himself traveling down this same dirt road.  He looked over to the house he had been thinking about all week.  The porch light was on.  And, of course, the feeling in his heart to buy them a gallon of milk was still there.  "Why won't this ridiculous idea leave my head!" the man said to himself.  "God, if this is You and you want me to buy them a gallon of milk, I will willingly do so.  But, I want you to know that I still feel like a fool."

So, the man picked up a gallon of milk, walked up to the house and knocked on the door.

A little girl answered. 

"Hello," the man said.  "Is your mommy or daddy here?" 

Just then, a woman holding an infant walked to the door and stood behind her daughter.  "Can I help you," the woman said.

Looking down at his shoes for a moment and then at the bag in his hand, the man looked back at the woman and asked awkwardly, "You wouldn't happen to need some milk, ma'am, would you?"

The woman's eyes opened widely and filled with tears.  "Yes, we would!  My husband lost his job and we have been struggling to pay the bills and feed our children.  This milk gives us Hope that God is hearing our prayers.  Thank you so much.  This means more than you know!"

The man was stunned at this unexpected response.  As he walked away, he realized that this, indeed, was not just a silly idea in his head. 

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Incomplete Measure

An incomplete measure is a musical term that describes a measure in music that does not have all the necessary beats in it.  See, in music, every beat in a given measure must be accounted for in order for it to be considered a valid measure.  If it is supposed to have 4 beats and it only has one, it is then labeled an incomplete measure. 

It's a great way to describe how we can feel sometimes.  We may say to ourselves, "I feel like something is missing, like I'm a single beat in a measure that should hold 4." 

The good news, in music, is that the definition does not end there.  It goes on to say that the answer is on the other side of the song.  All missing beats are found in the last measure. The incomplete measure is completed by another measure that provides the exact amount of beats it's missing.

Feeling like an incomplete measure can remind us that we are not an island and that the Missing Beats in the Melody of our lives are found within the Song.

 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Special Eyes


When I was in first grade, I broke my arm at a school skating party.  Just call me 'Grace'!  (I had a knack for hurting myself.)  I didn't go to the hospital right away, though, because we couldn't tell by looking at it that it was broken.  It was an injury on the inside that needed 'special eyes', an x-ray, to see what the naked eye could not. 

And, so it is with a broken heart.  It's a hurt on the inside that no one else can see.  Especially if a person has well-developed coping mechanisms, a broken heart can be even harder to detect.  They smile their way through their day.  They run to the bathroom to cry and wait to 'melt' when they are by themselves.  Even to their closest friends and family, it is hard for them to show on the outside the trauma that has taken place on the inside. 

But, "Special Eyes" see it all.  Though man only looks at the outward appearance, God looks straight into the depths of us.  Nothing is hidden from His Sight.  And funny enough, He knows us more than we even know ourselves.  So, when it's all just too deep for words and we don't even know how to pray, we can be speechless with Him and He still completely gets it.  No explanation needed.