You’d think we’d pray…

“I have given her in marriage to seven men, all of whom were kinsmen of ours, and all died on the very night they approached her.” – Tobit 7:11


If you were marrying someone whose previous husbands all died on their wedding nights, what would you do? You’d think you’d pray, but obviously, none of the dead husbands thought of that.

You’d think we’d pray at the time of death. However, this is an unprecedented time of death, when millions of babies are aborted surgically and chemically each year in our country alone. Yet how many Christians are praying that much?

You’d think we’d pray in time of war. Yet aren’t we in the ultimate war between Christ and the anti-Christ, between the Gospel of life and the “culture of death”?

You’d think we’d pray when times get hard and the going gets tough. How hard does life have to be for us to pray? Isn’t it hard enough?

You’d think we’d pray when Jesus, God Himself, commanded us to pray always (Lk 18:1). Let’s obey Him and pray accordingly.

You’d think we’d pray, knowing we could go to heaven or go to hell, to Jesus or Satan…

This was taken from the book, One Bread, One Body, June 8, 2017

Daily Journal – May 8

Love's Prayer by Melissa Storm – New Release

Love’s Prayer by Melissa Storm
The First Street Church Romance, Book One
Genre: Inspirational Romance
BUY THE BOOK:
ABOUT THE BOOK:
From acclaimed author Melissa Storm comes the first in a brand-new series of sweet and wholesome small-town love stories with the community church at its center…
Summer Smith is at a crossroads in life. Fresh out of college with no idea what comes next, she agrees to take over her aunt’s flower shop for the season. She arrives in the small, close-knit community of Sweet Grove, Texas, hoping to find some answers.
Ben Davis has lived in the shadow of his family’s mistakes for years. Forced to give up everything he ever wanted for himself, he begins to consider taking his own life in a final effort to end all the pain. A desperate plea sent to the God he isn’t even sure he believes in is soon answered by a series of miracles that bring Summer and Ben crashing into each other.
Love’s Prayer offers a dramatic story about two people who must find a way to believe in each other and in themselves in order to finally find the place where they belong. This novel of finding faith, hope, and—ultimately—love in the darkest of times is sure to tug at your heartstrings and leave you craving more from the First Street Church Romances!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second.
She used to write under a pseudonym, but finally had the confidence to come out
as herself to the world. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true
stories. Writing is Melissa’s way of showing her daughter just how beautiful
life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us.
Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author
Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative,
awe-inspiring stories to share. Melissa and Falcon also run the business Novel
Publicity together, where she works as publisher, marketer, editor, and
all-around business mogul. When she’s not reading, writing, or child-rearing,
Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her two dogs, five
parrots, and rescue cat. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor or
her nightly lavender-infused soak in the tub.
Presented by:

You know who you are…

This is for you. You may believe because everyone thinks that you are the nice guy, such a loving father, that you have fooled everyone and life is good. They are only human, just like my daughters. It takes a real man, a man of God, to admit to his lies and manipulations, to put others first and try to mend what’s broken, but that’s not who you are.

What you haven’t realized is that while you pretend, you are NOT a Man of God. The humans may believe every lie that leaves your mouth. Humans are easily manipulated, but One sees all. One hears all. This is the One that matters. God will have His revenge and that should scare you. That is what keeps me breathing when my heart hurts too much to take a breath.

broken heart

Signs in Life, Finding Direction in Our Travels with God by Deanna Nowadnick – Review

Purchase on Amazon – http://amzn.to/1Vg3xbl

SIGNS IN LIFE begins with a late night encounter with law enforcement. In the harsh glare of a flashlight, author DEANNA NOWADNICK learns the consequences of speeding through a stop sign. Other incidents follow. All are linked to the divine signs she’s encountered in that bigger journey through life. Join Deanna as she shares humorous anecdotes and inspirational lessons from her travels with God. See the signs in life. She might be speeding through a stop sign–yet again!–while you’re carefully navigating a busy street, but together we’re all part of a bigger journey, a greater purpose. We’re all part of God’s great story.

Author Deanna Nowadnick is a native of the Pacific Northwest. When not writing, she serves at the Client Service Coordinator for The Planner’s Edge, an investment advisory firm in Washington State.

Deanna is active in her church, playing the violin and editing the newsletter. She loves to knit, adores chocolate, and most important, enjoys a blessed marriage to Kurt. She’s also the proud mother of two adult sons. Her first book, Fruit of My Spirit, began as a short story for Kyle and Kevin about how she met their father. It quickly became a much larger story about God’s love and faithfulness.

Deanna has just finished her second book: Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God.

Excerpt –

Signs in Life tells of my journey and the divine signs I’ve encountered along the way. In my travels, there have been directional signs, mileposts, and cautionary signs. There have been exit signs and speed limit signs. There have been signs that were seen and others that were heard. All have helped me follow God and find His purpose for my life. By sharing the signs in my life, I hope you’ll be able to see the signs in yours. I might be speeding through a stop sign—again!—while you’re navigating a busy street, but our journeys are very similar.

I think we all want to be part of a greater purpose. We all want help and guidance in our understanding of God and His plans for us. And when we miss the signs, real and divine, we want to know that God will redirect and refocus us, that He will get us back on track. My pastor, Robin Dugall says, “Life with God is not just about a heavenly destination. Our travels with God are part of His story, His purpose, travels that begin right now.”

Whenever we got in the car, I used to tell my boys, “Buckle up. We’re going for a ride.” In life we’re all going for a ride. Our travels with God are an adventure in discovery and growth, an opportunity for each one of us to repeat the words of Moses, “Here I am.” THIS WAY. This is my story, the signs in my life. So far.

My Review –

With humor and wit and knowledge gained from taking wrong turns in her life, in Signs in Life Deanna Nowadnick shows us how to listen to God. Through her stories of mishaps and wrong turns, we are able to learn to sit and be still, and listen for God’s instructions.

…why do I ignore the help? And if I struggle to get around the block, how will I ever survive the bigger journey? How will I navigate life? Not the quick trip to the grocery store, but the longer journey through adulthood? Not only the daily commute, but the more onerous trek through times of trial? Not just the trip into the city, but the turn into temptation? What about my travels as a wife and mother, sister and friend? What about my travels with God? I really do want to follow God more closely, but I’ve repeatedly ignored the spiritual guidance that could’ve help me in my quest. Too many times I thought I knew more, knew better. At other times I overlooked God’s directional signs and tuned out the audible instructions coming from life’s metaphorical console. And then there were those times I just didn’t pay attention. I’m not alone…

Signs in Life is filled with stories from Deanna Nowadnick’s life but could come from any of our lives. How many times do we zoom right through the Stop signs and caution lights of life, making wrong decisions?  Being the passenger in Deanna’s car can teach us to slow down and enjoy the ride of life. There’s no need to rush. We only have a certain amount of time here on earth and flying down the highway of life will not bring the end any sooner. We might as well learn to slow down and enjoy the scenery a bit.

Whenever we got in the car, I used to tell my boys, “Buckle up. We’re going for a ride.” In life we’re all going for a ride. Our travels with God are an adventure in discovery and growth, an opportunity for each one of us to repeat the words of Moses, “Here I am.”

Years later and all grown up, my foot was still on the gas when I sped down the road from one job to another, this time missing several professional STOP signs. Facing the Red Sea, Moses had stopped and trusted in God for direction. Facing my own Red Sea of career choices, I plunged in.

I really love this next book quote. Does it ever describe me! I plan every second of every day. Nothing is left to chance. But, I don’t always ask God what His plans might be for me.

Too often I’ve treated God like a glorified tour guide. I’ve decided where I’d like to go and then boarded God’s luxury motor coach, expecting a grand adventure with a climate-controlled interior, reclining seat, adjustable foot rest, tinted windows for a picturesque view, and heavy-duty shocks for a smooth ride. I tend to enjoy my time with God as long as He takes me where I want to go, but when He’s taken me places that are a little uncomfortable – a little steep and dusty, spiritually speaking – I’ve developed a short-sighted habit of looking at the narrow road and prayerfully asking  God to get me back to something more comfortable.

Personally I find the idea of letting go and letting God redefine me a little unsettling. If pressed, I’d have to confess that I’d rather be sitting in the front seat of God’s luxury motor coach asking that my will be done, reinforcing who I believe myself to be…”You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep reading the last one.” God reminds us that He is God, that He will lead us, that He will teach us His will and His way…

I think I’m ready to stop reading the last chapter. I’ve found me a nice country road and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life – with God as my co-pilot.

“Grace,” a designated lane in which God meets us with His mercy and forgiveness…To quote Lamott, “I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

I am giving Signs in Life five stars. It was a great book and very well written with humor and honesty. I am so very glad I slowed down enough to meander through the pages.

Purchase on Amazon – http://amzn.to/1Vg3xbl

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee may be earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

My organizing tip of the day – I read this phrase one day – “Be the example in your home.” I am a neat person. I am an organized person. I am also a person who thinks – everything should have a place, and everything should be in its place. So, I asked myself – Am I the example in my home? (Sighing) The jury is still out…what about you?

Where has all the hatred gone?

     I was at a Woman of God conference when I sat down and opened up my journal to write. The title I wrote down was “When will healing come?” I felt that it was the appropriate place to meditate on the feelings and emotions that I was feeling at the moment. After writing down the title I put my journal away to listen to a speaker and didn’t think about it again until the next day.

     Strangely enough, as I was ironing, I began to revisit the previous two days I had spent at the conference and what had transpired. God must have sensed me teetering on the brink of moving forward towards my relationship with him and decided it was time He give me a swift kick in the butt. He put people in my path that weekend that He knew would answer some of my questions and clarify others for me. Each of the women whom I was fortunate enough to spend time with had had their own struggles and willingly shared their stories with me and listened as I shared my own struggles.

     To transgress a little, it all began after I arrived at the conference Friday evening. The conference came to order and the Bishop began his welcome speech. I slowly realized that all of the hatred and animosity that I had been harboring towards him for the past two years had miraculously disappeared. As much as I tried, I could not conjure up the angry feelings. They were gone. As I learned in a breakout session, I was caught between resentment and resistance. Finally, I realized that the anger had dissipated. I just could not figure out what was going on. God was going on; I had just not yet come to the point of acceptance.

     The feelings that I had toward the Bishop ran quite deep and that would be a story of its own, perhaps even a novel. It wasn’t until the end of the conference that I realized (probably a knock on the head from God saying “Hello”) that He had taken forgiveness out of my hands and showed me what I was to do with it.

     At the conference I was surrounded by Christian women who seemed to have it all “going on.” They seemed to know where they were going and were doing so with overwhelming confidence. I had a constant longing to be on the same journey as they were; going to the same place that they were. This picture popped into my head of everyone in little cars, sort of like the Dr. Sueus book, “Go Dogs Go.” I have felt many times that I had finally found a car and was on the road but couldn’t find the on-ramp to the freeway. This weekend I felt that not only had I found the on-ramp but I had also started up.  I am still trying to merge and I may be on the on-ramp for a while but I am now aware that I am moving forward in my own journey.

     I was born and raised Catholic but never seemed to grasp what it meant. I would see others with their heads bowed in prayer but the feeling that they seemed to be experiencing always eluded me. Throughout the last few years and after many trips to the “Lost and Found” box, I finally realize what it means to be a Catholic.

     It was a culmination of events and discoveries that led me to this point. My first hurdle was the Lord’s Prayer. After going through a painful divorce and subsequent alienation of my daughters from me, I found this prayer extremely hard to recite, much less feel, especially the part, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” I struggled with these words. How could I forgive such a horrible act and the person behind it? How could I forgive someone who would betray a child’s confidence with such manipulation? I know that this prayer is a prayer of forgiveness but I just could not forgive. I eventually changed the words so I could pray the Lord’s Prayer. God created me so I am sure he understood. I added the word ‘try.’ I would try to forgive. In time, I was able to move on and eliminate my change.

     At the conference I was lucky enough to speak with a young lady and this subject came up. She is a youth director and she told me that the group of teens that she directs did an exercise where they broke down each line of the Lord’s Prayer. What she told me that I found quite profound was that she teaches the youth that Christ knew how difficult it would be for us to forgive so He left us with the Lord’s Prayer. I had not heard that particular view point before and was intrigued by it. It made sense to me. I could wrap my head around that.

     We also discussed forgiveness. I told her that I was trying hard to keep the forgiveness in my heart but when phone calls from my daughters were not returned or emails left unanswered, the anger would come flooding back. With her wisdom and kind words, I was able to discern between forgiveness and anger, the feeling and the emotion. I can forgive but that doesn’t mean I cannot still be angry.

     Something else that I struggled with for most of my life was that Catholics believe that during the consecration of the host, the wine and bread become the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. No matter how much I thought about it or reasoned with it, I could not grasp the concept. I did eventually come to terms with my own beliefs and those were that in as much as Catholics believed in their heart of hearts that the wine and bread become the body and blood of Jesus, I believed just as deeply that they represented the body and blood of Jesus. Believe me, with this revelation I have sparked many a debate, but have always found that I was not alone and that always surprised me. It seems as though there are many Catholics who struggle with this.

     The young lady that I spoke with revealed a magnificent vision that God gave her. She too, it turns out, had been struggling with this very concept. But first, before telling me of her vision, she told me of a conversation she had with a doctor friend of hers. She giggled as she said she felt doctors were smarted than priests and she was quite interested in hearing of his beliefs. He told her that what cemented the belief for him was realizing the miraculous way the body can turn the food it is fed into blood. She then told me of a vision of Jesus Christ lain out on the alter during the consecration and of his body being offered up to God. Being a “picture” person, this vision from our conversation helped me understand the consecration in a different light. I do not feel that I am at the point of believing that it is the body and blood of Christ but I still feel that it represents him. It does bring up another question that I will eventually need to answer for myself and that is can I still consider myself Catholic if this is my belief. Does this mean another trip to the lost and found?

     I shared with this young lady my beliefs for the offertory part of the mass. A few years ago I read an article explaining the parts of the mass in a religious newspaper. It was told by a woman who claimed that the Blessed Mother had visited her in church and as each part of the mass was happening, she explained the part more fully. The explanation that has stayed with me in the following years was about the offertory. The woman claimed as the gifts were being brought up to the alter, angels would leave the people in the pews to bring forth their prayers. Some of the angels were glowing, others more solemn, and still others hung their heads and were quite sad. When the woman inquired as to why this was happening, the Blessed Mother told her that the people who had God in their lives and had a lot to offer were the one with the angels who glowed. The angels of those who were troubled and had few prayers to take to the alter were the more solemn angels. And lastly, the downtrodden, the down and out, those with little hope or faith had angels who could only hang their heads as they had very little to offer. I told her that this story almost always comes back to me at this time in church and I try to have my prayers ready so that my angel will have an abundance of prayers to take up to the altar to offer to God for me.

     Another part of the mass that has become quite clear in meaning to me is the Eucharistic Prayer. I was browsing through my bible during bible study one day when I came upon a passage explaining that the Eucharistic Prayer is a reenactment of the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples. I find that instead of being distracted by the long prayer, I am now able to focus and understand what is happening. And so with all of these little pieces fitting together like a puzzle, the Catholic mass has begun to make sense and I feel more like a Catholic than I have ever felt before.

     The weekend that I spent at the Women’s Conference was an enlightening one. God put quite a few women in my path to help me along my journey. There were some great messages being showered upon all who attended and many prayers answered.

     And while my life is void of my daughters for the present time, I can feel free to enjoy those that God has blessed me with in my life right now. I have to trust that I am where I am supposed to be, that God will meet me here, and that He has a plan. And, He will reveal that plan in His time. And maybe my trips to the Lost and Found will become less frequent as my faith continues to grow, although I am sure there will be many fender benders as I inch my way up the on-ramp towards the freeway as I continue my journey. And if I can forgive the Bishop, who knows what else I can do?

First appeared 4/16/2010