Category Archives: prayer

Pray for Brookings, OR

I haven’t spoken about this, but it’s been on my mind and in my heart. You may have seen a couple posts I’ve shared among friends on Facebook, but…
 
My hometown in Oregon is in as severe danger as Texas, but because of fire, not rain. The fire is consuming over 100,000 acres of forested lands and is growing very quickly. It’s only 5 miles from the city limits. My beloved Mother in Law and her husband still reside there, for now. It may not be long before they’ll be required to evacuate. I know their two dogs are affected by the smoke in the air. Please keep them in your prayers.
oregon-wildfires-burn-across-state-of-oregon
Photo: Amanda Douglass, via Inciweb
 
My Mom and her husband also live in Brookings. My younger brother is also there. Between them, they have two dogs. I’m sure they’re affected by the fire as well. Pray for them, please?
 
In addition, there is an extremely large homeless population in my hometown due to the housing crash in 2015 (the same year we became homeless!) There are countless children, infants, women and elderly who are severely affected by these conditions. I know that our prayers are desperately needed.
 
I regret not posting anything sooner. It’s just that this situation is too close to my heart and if you know me well, you know that some things I have to process before I can ever discuss in detail. I don’t ever plan to return to Brookings in this life unless the Lord physically forces me back there for some reason.
 
 
If you’d like to keep up to date on what’s happening there, I’ve provided a link. I’m sure there are countless links to fundraising sites, however, if you truly want to help, I will direct you to one reliable source to give that has more than 20 years track record of reaching out to homeless, elderly, disenfranchised and children. St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church is the hub of homeless ministries and their Vicar, Father Bernie Lindley is a local fisherman and has his hand in many different community organizations. He was born and raised in Brookings and knows the people well. He’s well respected by local first responders and government officials and has the community’s backing to help those in need. You can reach Father Bernie Lindley at St. Timothy’s on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 am and 12 noon (PST) by calling: (541) 469-3314 or by email: office@sttimothyepiscopal.org or bernie@sttimothyepiscopal.org
 
Or you can get more information on the ministries they offer by clicking: St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church
Thank you for your prayers and support of the community during this time.

There’s a Plank In Your Eye, Miss!

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Matthew 7:1-3 ESV

Ah…this scripture. I love it and yet…I find that it drives a stake right into my heart every time I read it. Yes, it kills the monster in me that just want to scream “You’re a fool!” to some random person. You see, I can’t do that because I’m a fool, too.

We all are going to make mistakes daily. We’re all struggling in some way to do something right all the time, but we’re never going to reach perfection. We’re not God. We are called to sharpen our brothers and sisters by gently rebuking them, redirecting their attention to the scriptures and by praying for them, but we are never called to monitor their every move in order to harshly judge them or call them a fool. Search your hearts, brothers and sisters. You may not be doing exactly that, but there may be something similar going on in your life right now and you…as well as I, need to stop it right now.

We are not loving our neighbor when we’re people watching only to create websites that display the foolishness of humanity. ( Yes, I’m talking to you, People of Wal-Mart.) We are not loving our neighbor when we call out their insecurities and make fun of them for it. We are not loving our neighbor when we feign friendship only to gain insight for scholarly gain. (Term papers, social studies, etc.) And we are certainly not loving our neighbor when we’re consistently, without love, calling out our neighbor for mistakes they’ve made in life. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all done some variation of this. We have to check our hearts, folks. If we’re not correcting out of love and concern for their souls, we’re judging harshly and inappropriately. Check your heart and then lead your heart.

Most of us will naturally become annoyed with anyone with whom we’ve spent too much time. We’ll step on each others’ toes and make silly mistakes that don’t feel silly. They’ll hurt feelings. We’ll intimately get to know our neighbor and yes, we’ll discover hot buttons that when pressed, will create deep wounds. We are not to take advantage of this, or even use this to “correct” our neighbor when we finally find out “what’s wrong with them.” Chances are that whatever “issue” you are finding fault with in your neighbor is more your problem than theirs. We will see our own issues and insecurities manifest themselves in others when that is what we’re placing our focus on. Regain focus. Look to Jesus and pray for your own heart, then look back to your neighbor with a heart full of Grace and love. What do you see? If it’s not a person made righteous by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, then you’re going to need to look away again and refocus your eyes and your heart on Jesus before you can safely (without sin) look at your neighbor again.

I am speaking to you, too…self. I am having such a problem with this issue as well. I really struggle with making harsh judgments towards those with whom I am spending too much time. God has placed my family in an interesting and sometimes extremely uncomfortable situation right now. I’m learning that God doesn’t care too much about my own comfort as He sets my heart right.I am very grateful for this and that He checks my motives before giving me the desires of my heart!

Jesus has already died to set you free. You are no longer a sinner, but a saint. (read: 1 Corinthians 1:2) You are made perfect in God’s eyes because Jesus absorbed all of your punishment on the cross. (read: 2 Corinthians 5:21) We are not called to obey the law in order to retain our salvation. (read: Matthew 5:17) We’re called to obey the law out of love. (read: Romans 13:10) We need to live this out every day, to the best of our ability. When we can’t or don’t, there is grace. Please don’t abuse that! (read: Romans 6) We are all in need of grace. None of us are in competition with anyone else for our salvation. We already have it. Just look to Christ to grow you and mature you more each day. You can do this! God has equipped you with everything you need.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, we come to You boldly, in the name of Your son, Jesus. We thank You for the Holy Spirit that loves us and guides us. We ask that You would make us sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Help us to hear it more clearly and know when we’re making harsh judgements and when we’re truly seeking to correct or rebuke a brother or sister out of love. Help us to focus first on You, Lord and correct our behaviors, thoughts and attitudes before we even dare to look to others. Thank You for growing us and for fulfilling Your word that You began a good work in us and You will see it to completion. We confess that sometimes we don’t trust that. Sometimes we also try to do things on our own and that leads to burnout. We get frustrated with ourselves and become critical of others. Our focus is lost and we sin against You by sinning against Your children. We are sorry and we humbly repent, admitting that all sin is against You and Your will for our lives. Thank You for Jesus who has borne our sin and those of our neighbors as well. Fill our hearts with Your love as we reset our focus back onto You and away from idols and sin. In Jesus’ Holy and perfect name we pray. Amen.

 

Prayer: Let Love Shine

Lord, we lift up to You all who are hurting and desperate for relief. Clear their minds of all their sins and fill their hearts with Your love. You promise to keep in perfect peace all whose minds are focused on You. We ask that You would fill our minds with good, pure and pleasing thoughts of You. You have done so much for us and You never give up on us, never leave us. Let Your light shine and your love transform us. In Jesus Holy Name we pray. Amen.