Getting Settled

Welcome to my new blogsite!  It was supposed to be totally finished and handed over to me in February.  However, the young lady who designed it ran into some personal problems and wasn’t able to work on it for several weeks in a row. Even now there are things still not completed, but the basic working shell is functional.

The page tabs above, for example, do not have the code worked into them so they work properly, and in the meantime I’ve sought out another designer who hopefully can help flesh out what’s missing and get the site up to snuff.

It went against my grain to go ahead and move in, but I decided to use the new site with its apparent flaws. So please be forgiving, as you try to explore any  “extras”–they WILL eventually get fixed.  All the old posts and basic information as to what the site is about is here. I’ll be glad to give you a grand tour of the place sometime when everything’s finally in place. . .

I got back from Haiti on Saturday with our church mission group, and I’m still trying to process everything I experienced there.  The capitol of Port-au-Prince is a bustling, crowded city, with encouraging signs of growth everywhere.  Yet the neighborhood of Cite Soleil, one of Haiti Outreach Ministries’ campuses where we worked several days,  is still ranked as the most impoverished slum in the Western hemisphere. The poorest in our country are rich people compared to the little that these people have! Yet in light of the earthquake’s horrific devastation, even in that very dark place, you can see the abundance of God’s grace, from the churches that have strengthened their arms of inreach into the community, to the many organizations who have jumped in to assist the neediest of needy. God truly has taken the bad and used it for His good and the furtherance of His gospel! As I sift through the take-aways of my Haiti experience, I will write more about it in the future.

I am so thankful for the many good things God has given me. . . I know I have been changed forever by this trip and have been convicted and challenged in many areas.  I am stirred now, more than ever, to tell others about Jesus and His saving grace. I want to live life differently, so others may know more of Him. . .and the incredible hope and joy that He gives. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Everything else in life we fret over, that we occupy ourselves with, pales in comparison to the Bright Lord of the Universe. He is worthy of our very best. . . and all we can offer Him. Oh, that this may be a permanent change, Lord, and that I don’t waste this precious lesson You’ve entrusted to me. . . .

Our Father, we thank You that Your gospel is not a dry, archaic story that merely happened long ago but is a living, powerful, life-altering Truth. It changes ALL OF US, from the inside out! And that you gift us with glimpses of Your amazing transformations, how You establish hope where there is no hope. . . because You are the Great God of Love Who cares! Thank You, thank You! May we stake our lives on faith in the Son of God Who loved us and gave Himself completely for us. . .

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn

 

 

Coming Soon. . . .

I will be moving into my newly-designed blogsite soon; the reins have finally been turned  over to me.

But the new place needs all the furniture hauled over (old posts) and some of the new appliances are not working quite right–the widgets have yet to be “tweaked.”

But overall, the blogsite is cleaner and less cluttered than this old one, with some great additional features. My new site is warm and homey, and I hope invites you to come in, sit down, and wander around a bit. . . .

My month-long theme for April is the Body of Christ, locally and abroad. I have a great blogpost from Betsy Vaughan that I’ll air this Friday. She’s had several chances to go to Kenya and minister there with her church. . . .I think you’ll get a wonderful blessing from what she has to share!

3 DAYS until my own mission adventure with our church group to Haiti. . .There are 27 of us going, flying out to Miami, then out to Port-au-Prince on Saturday morning the 7th. We’ll return the next Saturday the 14th. Although there is spotty internet service in the evenings where we are staying, I can’t promise a post until I return home. . .

That said, I have a couple of personal prayer requests for you to carry to the Father for me:

  • I’ve had vertigo problems lately and am concerned that even with the preemptive measures I’m taking, the plane ride over might “stir the pot”—please pray that this is not a problem.
  • Along the same lines, if you would pray that my digestive system stays functioning properly—I’d appreciate it!
  • That I reflect the Lord Jesus and truly am a flexible servant, focused on Him and what He wants me to do–
  • I pray I get to meet my sponsor child, Pierre, and give him his goodies in person. If this happens, there will be plenty of pictures to come!

May the Lord bless you greatly, my brothers and sisters.  He is worthy to be praised!

He is risen, INDEED! HAPPY EASTER RESURRECTION DAY!!

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn

The Prayer Closet

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father Who is in secret, and your Father Who sees in secret will repay you.” Matthew 6:6, NAS

The best, most important thing you can do for your children is to pray for them.

Lately God has been re-instructing me about prayer, and it has spurred me on to make some noticeable changes in how I approach Him. If we’re honest, we believers must admit to requiring reinforcement in the basics from time to time . . .

Humbly, we should be like Jesus’ disciples, who came to Him after they’d observed Him at a distance praying to His Father, simply asking: “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) This pleased Jesus, Who immediately following this request, gave us the rich pattern of praying in the Lord’s Prayer.

What true prayer is. . .It is relationship with the LORD God. First and foremost, it is a proclamation of Who God is. . and what He’s done on behalf of the human race . . and what He’s done for me personally. Then it’s a forthcoming about my own insuffiiciencies, my sin. Lastly, it’s a detailing of needs–mine and others’.

It’s a two-way street and requires much more listening on my part than my talking. (Oh, so hard to do!)

In our church’s recent University of Life class on prayer, we’ve been studying the excellent little book, How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life by Dr. Gregory Frizzell. It’s short, pithy, and to-the-point—in which he explains different kinds of prayer and why saturating your prayer with Scripture reading is SO important. (Here’s an Amazon link:)

http://www.amazon.com/How-Develop-Powerful-Prayer-Life/dp/1930285000/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1332432564&sr=1-2-catcorr

Frizzell suggests the importance of a prayer closet, and I’ve taken it to heart. This said, please do not infer that I am an expert on this subject by any means. I do think this extra step may encourage you, as a parent, or as a fellow believer, to take the necessary steps to obtain a deeper walk with Him, to know Him more intimately through prayer. May He receive all the glory!

Jesus tells me in Matthew 6:6 to go to my “inner room” to pray. My inner room, which I’ve specifically repurposed for this, is my walk-in closet.

Yes, I know not everyone is blessed with a walk-in closet! But God has given you an “inner room” somewhere. . . You just have to ask Him to reveal it to you! He will never ask us to do something for which He’s not equipped us already. So ask God where He’d like to get away to pray, alone with Him . . . .

Another possibility of an inner room for a young mother might be. . .the bathroom. Teach your children that when you withdraw in there for short periods of time, you are to be by yourself. No interruptions, if possible.

Or, perhaps in your car, when your little ones are down for a nap or during lunchtime if you’re in the workplace outside the home. . .anywhere where you can be alone, “in secret” with Him is where He wants us to meet Him.

This is key. . .it needs to be a place without distractions and where you can pray aloud, if God so leads you.

I have some favorite things I’ve put in my prayer closet. . . First, there’s a seat and writing area. Because I will be writing stuff down.

I ask the Lord quiet me and fill me with the Holy Spirit, otherwise I can’t pray what He wants me to—Psalm 86:10, James 4:8.

I use a couple of Bibles there, a couple of translations. . . I start off my prayer time reading a significant portion of Scripture (from one of my One-Year Bibles or a Bible-reading plan) and I let God speak to me through it, taking notes.

I ease into praise and worship, through even more Scripture. A dear lady recently gave me this little book, 31 Days of Praise by Ruth & Warren Myers. I find I like to read it aloud to God, one portion a day. I know this book is going to become a staple for me! (But you could just as easily use any favorite Psalm or passage that describes or praises God.)

I go through the different kinds of prayer, following wherever the Holy Spirit leads. Praise. Confession of Sin. Petition. Intercession. Meditation. It’s never the same way twice!

Sometimes a prayer need weighs heavy, and I find God wants me to dwell there for a while. I use a notecard to write key things He reveals to me about this request, and then allow Him to bring to mind any Scriptures that pertain to this request, using the Strong’s concordance to jog my memory. I write out the Scriptures on the back of each card to help me easily pray them back.

I would suggest you use a separate card for each child–changing and adapting the specifics of whatever the Lord urges you to pray for them!

I then have a prayer journal in which I record the date and the major things I prayed for that day, perhaps a quick thought or two God has left me with.

Although we humans most definitely have needs that we can bring before Him, we pray to know God BETTER. We pray not to receive the gifts He from His hand, but because we love Him and want to please our Heavenly Father.

I challenge you—find and equip your prayer closet. Pray, like you’ve never done before. And God, Who sees all, will surely enable you to see answers to those prayers, to His glory and His praise. Let me/all of us know how it goes!

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn