Saturday, August 13, 2011

Prayers from the Beach

The sun has risen on this North Carolina beach. The pelicans are flying low over the ocean waves. The sound of the water rolling and crashing onto the quiet shore is constant, and in some mystical way, soothing to the soul.

As I look through the railing on the deck I see little spider webs, and I can't help but notice how they obscure the view of the ocean below. Not unlike the bars and webs that seek to obscure the vision of the eyes of my heart. So, I ask You, Lord, clear my vision. Better yet, remove the webs and spindly rails that seek to shut my heart up and hold it prisoner.

From my journal for instance...

Having survived the fourth annual trip to the beach house... ("When are we going to get there?" "Where is everyone going to sleep?" "Why are my clothes all wet?")... I find myself fighting for joy. I guess I have placed too much pressure on "vacation at the beach". If I can't find joy here away from the hustle and bustle of life, amidst the beauty of Your creation, can I ever find it?

My heart knows deep down that true joy is only found in You, but sometimes in the midst of the constant barrage of pain and struggle, I find You elusive. Forgive my lack of understanding and courage. Thank You for Your never-ending patience with me.

Open my eyes to Your glory in the midst of it all. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reading Like Crazy

One of the things I love about summer, is the great opportunity to read more! I have definitely been enjoying it. Here are a few of the titles that I have read or am reading this summer. I love to hear about good books, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!

I recently finished the book, "Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life", by Nick Vujicic. What an enjoyable read! I encourage you to get your hands on a copy and be blessed by this young man's story and encouragement. I promise it will make you smile. : )

Yesterday, I finished reading "The Twelfth Imam", by Joel C. Rosenberg. It is a novel about the end times theology of the Muslims, and how it affects the lives of, well, all of us. If you are curious about eschatology, Mr. Rosenberg's books (fiction and non-fiction) will definitely give you some in depth information about the things going on in the Middle East, and how it ties in with Biblical prophecy. Mr. Rosenberg also has a ministry called "The Joshua Fund" that reaches out to the Jewish people and her neighbors. Check out his website.

I am currently reading, "Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible", by Steven Furtick. This is a great one to read if you need to inspire your faith. He challenges all believers to pray "Sun Stand Still" prayers like Joshua, in all areas of our lives. I'm enjoying it, and getting some great reminders as I read. I'll probably go back through this one, and share some quotes in a later post.

Also currently reading or about to read the following:

The Hole in Our Gospel: The Answer that Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World, by Richard Stearns

The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken, by Naomi Zacharias (I've started this one and it's not going to be an "easy" read, but definitely profound and good.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Marty, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile Vs. The Third Reich, by Eric Metaxas

Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper

There's a few more, but I'll stop there for now. God bless you! Grab a book, a glass of tea, sit back in a read!