Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Abba Father



Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6 (NIV)


Abba Father
(my Daddy God)

A matchless Father reigns in heaven above,
One so faithful and full of love.    
“Call me Abba,” He says with a smile.
“Come to Me and rest for a while.”

Heavenly Father understands my heart’s cry,
He longs to encourage when I slump with a sigh.
He knows my needs in times of distress.
In His Hands are my tears, with those Hands He can bless. 

Dampened memories run down my face, 
While I soak in showers of His amazing grace.
He fills me with peace as I remember my dad
He heals the wounds that make me sad. 

When death came knocking at the door,
Sorrow gushed from within my core.
I stood close by, gripping Dad’s hands,
Striving to trust Abba Father’s good plans.

He now lives in heaven, free from all pain,
With a cloud of witnesses where our Daddy God reigns.
Some day surrounded by a heavenly throng,
We’ll praise God together in glorious song!


I wrote this poem to the glory of God. Daddy God's presence in my life healed my broken heart when my earthly daddy died. Eleven years have passed and still Abba Father's peace continues to carry me when memories flood my mind. Thank you, Lord God, for loving me so. 



Many different names describe God in Scripture. All of His names are important, yet a most significant name is “Abba Father” as it helps us understand relationship with God. Abba is an Aramaic word closely translated as “Daddy.” Some people say it signifies the intimate relationship of father to child. Others say Abba really means “father” or “one’s own father.” 

I personally don’t think God cares whether we call Him Father, Abba, or Daddy as long as we seek relationship with Him. He certainly desires relationship with us. 



The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NIV)




Children of the Heavenly Father
Text: Caroline V. Sandell-Berg, 1832-1903; 
trans. by Ernst W. Olson, 1870-1958.

1 Children of the heavenly Father
safely in His bosom gather;
nestling bird nor star in heaven
such a refuge e’er was given.

2 Neither life nor death shall ever
from the Lord His children sever;
unto them His grace He showeth,
and their sorrows all He knoweth.

3 Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne'er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
to preserve them pure and holy.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Delight in the Lord

Discouragement, doubt, and distress—a few of the feelings I battle on a regular basis. But I'm not alone. Discontentment grows within families, workplaces, churches, schools, and governments all over the world. How can we change the world we live in? What can I do to make a difference wherever I go? 

King David said, "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

So I choose to change my focus. I choose to keep my mind stayed on the One who created the world and died for the world in order to save it. Yes He loves you and me that much. 

What can we do for Him in return? Love Him with a whole heart and delight in His ways of truth. Before long we'll see life differently. In the meantime, this is my prayer for you and me. 


A Prayer

Lord, help me to be a formidable force,
One who will act for thee.
One who fights the way you fought
With compassionate words, gracious and free.

Lord, help me to be a patient person,
One who will endure with ease.
One who awaits tender times
With helpful, persevering peace.

Lord, help me to be a wise woman,
One who knows you and reveres.
One who reads, studies, writes, and prays
With quiet lips and open ears.

Lord, help me to be a forgiving friend,
One who ceases to blame.
One who tries to forget the wrong
Of trials that can bring shame.

Lord, help me to be a loving lady,
One who brings good cheer.
One who will share the sunshine
With those that are and aren’t dear.

Lord, help me to better personify you,
With wisdom, patience, and grace.
Loving and forgiving with all your strength
Until we come face to face!



Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Man of Prayer




“HERO” 

The real “heroes” of the world 
are the men who take the time 
to make a difference 
in the life of a child.
(from Pop’s funeral bulletin)

H - humble
E - earnest
   R - righteous
  O - obedient


In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

I knew a man who prayed. Most likely you know someone who prays. Possibly you even pray. It’s easy, right? Say a few words of thanks for blessings. Offer a couple of praises to a Supreme Being. Then plead for well-being on behalf of a friend or family member. Because remember—we told them we’d pray for them, casually maybe, but we said it. Do we follow through? I mean, do we really pray for them?

I repeat. I knew a man who prayed. Daily down on his knees for hours at a time, beginning at night and continuing into morning, he prayed. He lifted up, actually recited, over four thousand names to his Heavenly Father. Those names consisted of his family, friends, and the entire staff and student population of the high school where his grandson attended. Many, and I mean a whole lot, of those named considered him their hero. He, on the other hand, literally and personally called each one of them his hero. And everyone knew him as “Pop”.

Whether football games, practices, or FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) morning worship, Pop showed up to the high school to support his grandson and fellow students. He attended a tremendous amount of school events, personally connecting with teens and adults. When he returned home, his nighttime ritual of prayer included their names and the names of many others he never even met. Numerous names belonged to troubled teens. Pop desired to place each name in the care of our loving Heavenly Father at the start of the day, every single dayThe fact that he included me and my ministry of “mothers for prodigals” blesses my heart. 

How does one go from casually throwing out names in quick breath prayers to falling down in humility with pleas of concern for people? By earnestly seeking a righteous God and believing He has the power to overcome life’s situations. Praying in this way provides sweet fellowship with a loving God and builds faith in the God of the impossible. This type of prayer obediently follows the example of the God-man who walked on earth regularly praying. 

I know this God-man who continually prayed to His Heavenly Father. He is my personal Lord and Savior. He was born to save the world and died on a cross, carrying the sins of the world. After three days, He arose in victory over sin and death. He offers His very power through the Holy Spirit to those that believe in Him. His name is Jesus the Messiah or Christ.

Scripture gives examples of Jesus’ prayer life (Luke 6:12, Mark 14:32, Matthew 26:36, Luke 22:39-40). He often went away alone to pray. He taught His disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13). He prayed for them and us, you and me (John 17). And Pop knew this God-man of prayer named Jesus. 

Because of Jesus, Pop was clothed in righteousness. Because of Jesus, Pop walked in obedience. Like Jesus, Pop lived a humble life. Like Jesus, Pop prayed earnestly. Like Jesus, Pop loved people. And like Jesus, he desired for all people to be saved. 

The front cover of Pop’s funeral bulletin included the words of the apostle Paul from the second book of Timothy. It says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (4:7). While living, Pop responded to this Scripture verse saying, “My prayer is that I can say the same thing.”

What a hero. But this hero would be the first one to tell you about the greatest Hero of all—Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? If you do, keep your relationship with Him fresh and alive through daily prayer and reading His Word. If you aren’t sure about Him, simply get on your knees in humble prayer, searching with your whole heart for the One who created you and died to redeemed you. He is the Almighty God, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. AND HE LOVES YOU.


The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
    the Lord accepts my prayer. Psalm 6:9 (NIV)

The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29 (NIV)

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NIV)

It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12 (NASB)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. Revelation 5:8 (NIV)


I can only imagine what Pop sees now……


Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Heart of Relationship


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 (NIV)

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)



Mothers.
Hearts.
Synonymous words? 
A kindred connection in meaning, in life?   
A wellspring of emotions, bubbling over.

To live with the heart of both mother and child,
To be the heart between a mother and child,
Forms sentiment linked in love and affection
Or bound by loathing and regret.
Relationship reveals the depths of the heart. 

A mother’s sweet care caresses the soul,
Creating an alliance with goodness and grace.
While a mother’s rejection hardens the spirit,
Stifling the worth of a creature of God.

To nurture a child generates work beyond measure,
Provision, education, protection, guidance,
Relentless hours of selfless sacrifice.
Will the love be returned for all time?

Life offers options,
Choices become reality.
Selection determines the health of a heart.

Mother or child, it matters not,
Decisions affect the core of both souls. 
Selfless living pours forth joy.
Heartache surges from selfishness.
Heartfelt matters influence the quality of life.


Hearts. 
Jesus.
Complete connection!
A wellspring of life, accomplished and full.

No matter your lot in life,
Whether blessed by a mother’s love
Or stressed from its lack,
Whether seeing her now 
Or later in eternity,
You are loved.

Single, married, or mother of multiples,
It matters not because……
You are loved.

The Maker of all things took great care to uniquely create you.
And He, the Name about all names, desires a personal relationship with you. 
Lord God Almighty yearns to nurture your heart, wounded or blessed.
Whatever its condition,
Heavenly Father loves you with a passion. 

Regardless of your life’s position, accomplishments, neglects, even sins,
He yearns to fill your heart to overflowing with His mercy and grace, peace and strength.
Give your created heart to the God who made it,
The One who died to heal it.
His name is Jesus.


Allow its beating to synchronize with His.
He’ll fill the holes until your soul is whole.
When your heart becomes His, You’ll never be the same.
Joy’s overflow will refresh life’s journey
Until heaven is a reality.


Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23 (NIV)

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Psalm 105:3 (NIV)

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)


The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

God of All Comfort



Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NASB)


They came long distances to see Him, to be healed by Him. Most likely the journey, whether on foot or by animal, heightened their pain. People with a multitude of diseases gathered while friends and family assisted. Before Jesus stood lepers, the blind, the deaf, the paralyzed, the demon-possessed, those having seizures. Some even hoped He would raise their dead loved ones (Matthew 4:24). One thing the afflicted all longed for—comfort. 

It tends to elude us, this feeling of comfort. If we acquire it, the experience seems brief due to life’s guaranteed issues. If we become too comfortable, we take it for granted and forget its peace and rest. No matter what, humans crave comfort because of life’s afflictions. 

Affliction—anything causing pain and suffering. 

When we encounter persistent trials, the heaviness of hardship bears down on us casting gloomy shadows. Those proverbial dark clouds hover. There seems to be no light at the end of that fictitious tunnel. Despair surges. Distress disturbs sleep. Hopelessness seizes the day. WHERE DOES HELP COME FROM?

Stop.

Don’t give in to fear. Throw worry to the wind cause I’ve got good news for you.

The God of all comfort yearns to soothe your breaking heart. He longs to unleash your shackles. Jesus has been anointed to address your afflictions. He offers the power of His Holy Spirit to give you peace. 

Yeah, right. He could never fix my problems. And anyway, what did He do for those weary sick travelers? 

Scripture says, “…..and He healed them.” (Matthew 4:24)

God’s Word continues with more proof, saying, “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” (Matthew 11:5)

Are you experiencing troubles? Do you need God’s strength? Sit still and breathe in His power. Be filled and know He is God. Believe He is in your midst—that dark cloud doesn’t keep Him away. Because the clouds are the dust of His feet (Nahum 1:3). He is near you. 


I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NASB)

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. Psalm 119:50 (NASB)


"Need You Now" by Plumb


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