Do It Scared Pt 1

doitscared1

Starlet Ware on Encouragement and Prayer

And regarding the question friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer.  First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.  Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.  I Thessalonians 4:13-14 (MSG)

Wonderful verse to cling to when love ones step over into the presence of God and see Jesus face to face.  It has been stated my response is sometimes quite different than others in the faith.  The focus of funerals seems to have changed from sadness to home going celebrations.  It is now; “Let’s celebrate my loved one is at home!”  Yes, we will miss them but we will be there soon enough so we will keep living until we die (as opposed to being alive but walking around as though we’re dead)!

Do you find yourself in the “I can’t go on because my loved one isn’t here” or “I will live till I’m called home?”  Let me hear from you.  My brother says I am his emotional sister so there is a heart in my chest cavity.  Both categories have held my attention.  Tears have rolled for near strangers when their relationship with Jesus wasn’t clear.  I know only God knows their heart and knows if they repented just before that last breath.

Years ago, a friend’s brother was on his death bed.  She kept me informed of his progress.  One night, she called really late.  She was crying and could hardly speak because her brother had taken a turn for the worse.  I asked if I could come see him because she wasn’t sure if he knew Christ.  She said yes but warned me he wasn’t able to speak.  Praying occurred letting God know I was going even though afraid since evangelizing skills were lacking.  This young soldier prepared a list of verses from the Roman road, verses that tell of God’s love, repenting and then accepting Jesus prayer.

Armed but quaking inside, I walked in the house.  It was quiet.  She introduced her family and then led me to her brother’s room.  His room was dark and quiet.  Memory fails if she left the room or not because prayer was on the mind.  I introduced myself to him, asked if he wanted to see Jesus when he breathed his last breathe and instructed him to roll his eyes back and forth for ‘yes’ and no movement for ‘no.’  Not sure he could hear me, I kept talking, asking questions, reading scripture and praying.  I was so nervous.

Thank you God, his eyes shifted when I asked if he accepted Jesus in his heart.  Hallelujah!  I squeezed his hand, prayed out loud and I left.  In the car, emotions came flooding through, excited, unsure and thankful I had obeyed God to go in the first place.  He will be in Heaven.

Tune in next week for the rest of the story.  Father God, thank you for allowing me to be in your plans.  What a blessing you are.  You are awesome, worthy, confident and sure.  Bless each reader and let them do what you ask of them whether they are confident in it or afraid.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Multi-Tasking or Distracting

MultiTaskingorDistractingI used to be able to multi-task so very well. No one could tell me any differently either.

The definition of multitask is: to work at several different tasks simultaneously according to Definition.com. I can now admit that I am not the best at multi-tasking but I can be distracted from the task at hand with the best of them. Since starting to write today, I have gotten hungry numerous times, I have started a few loads of laundry and I have talked to my husband who asks “aren’t you supposed to be writing?” Well, yes, yes I am.

Definition.com defines distraction as that which distracts, divides the attention, or prevents concentration.

It may be because I am older and ‘slower’ (no children in the home so not moving at wharp speed) or because I am older and ‘wiser’ (I will go with this explanation) and know I am not doing each of the things very well if I am not giving it my full attention.

Either way, all the things I have to get done need to be done with care and accuracy. I like to do my assignments well. I am a wife, mother, daughter, writer, teacher, business owner, employee (when I take short-term temporary assignments), sister, aunt, friend, great listener and wise counsel.

I look at that list of what I do and I am like, wow, I didn’t even realize I was juggling all those roles. I’ve gotten so accustomed to doing what needs to be done next. Whew, I want to take time and thank God for the things He has entrusted to my care. Without him, I would be overwhelmed. Due to Him, I am not overwhelmed unless I am distracted for too long and the deadline(s) arrives. I then, am rushing to decide/think of a relevant topic, formulate the story in my mind so it comes forth down my arms, through my fingers to the awaiting blank page.

Loved one, don’t be distracted by all you have to get done or get to do.

Pray, prioritize, praise and enjoy the process!

Starlet

Christmas Time Trial (continued final)

warefamily in2008As I mentioned at the end of last week’s article, George and I argued about how the other was ‘handling’ the stress of our baby’s diagnosis. It was a very stressful time in our marriage. I may not recall exactly what we did for Christmas that year but with Brandon in the home for Christmas, my regular way to celebrate with him was to have him read Luke 2, Jesus announcement of birth and the Shepherds arriving.

After reading the verses, he would open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas day. I remember trying to keep peace around him so as not to stress him out.

George and I grieved and processed separately. I remember being on my own to pray, cry, process. A friend of mine was very near death during December and when I got word he was in his last few moments, I remember asking if I could come over and see him. I wasn’t allowed to because his family didn’t want anyone to see him looking so bad. I was devastated because my thought was to go over and send a message through him to God asking him to save Miles. I cried good and long for not being able to get that message to this man’s ear to take with him to Heaven. I knew I was praying and lots of others were praying but I still wanted to get the message to God through one of his mighty warriors. My friend died in December 2007 and my Miles was born in January 2008.

My scheduled date came, January 23, 2008. I was induced. We waited and waited. I don’t dilate much so we had to do a C-section. We had a room full of people waiting anxiously. My sister and Mom were among them. Friends brought my Brandon from school to the hospital.

Miles Ethan Ware made his debut at 9:41 AM. He lived a little less than two hours. He was loved by many in his life, my prayer is he drew many to Jesus his loving Savior!

God bless you this Christmas May you seek goodness in all your days!
 
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Starlet

Christmas Time Trial (continued)

Last week, I talked about our high risk pregnancy where we were asked if we wanted to carry our baby  to term or have an abortion. We, of course, chose to carry to term because this little life had a chance so long as God was on his throne and we prayed and had others praying in agreement with us.

babyangelAfter the doctor’s appointment was over, I went back to work and sent an update email letting everyone know how to pray specifically for us and our baby. The response was so encouraging and amazing. People forwarded my emails on to their praying friends and family and sent up prayers on our behalf. I was so thankful we were covered with prayers because my George was having a really, tough time dealing because he blamed himself for the diagnosis.

He felt like his choices were the cause of our baby’s health issues. Isn’t that what we do? We do have consequences for our sins but I don’t believe we are powerful enough to cause sickness in an unborn.

Ezekiel 18:20

The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him.

As our pregnancy continued, we had many debates, arguments because George thought I wasn’t ‘sad’ enough and he felt since I already had a child, I wasn’t really concerned. I would explain over and over that I had put Miles into God’s hands and whatever the outcome was, it would be OK with me. I did pray a lot during this time that God would allow a miracle so the doctor who didn’t know him would witness the miracle and accept Jesus.

Hang in there with me, I will tell the rest of the story next week.

God’s ways are higher than our ways and He is in heaven doing what He wants to do,
Starlet

[pray] con•tin•u•al•ly BIBLE WEEK PT 2

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.bibleweekpicAnd we’re back for the second part of our three part series in honor of Bible Week. Today we’ll be discussing the next verse in this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians as highlighted above.

Verse 17 seems simple enough, it plainly tells us to “pray continually.” Although it may appear basic, it most certainly isn’t anything of the sort. I’d venture to say that to “pray continually” is one area we (as Christians) struggle with often. Let me explain.

There are some people who are prayer warriors, praying all the time. Praying is what they do and they do it well. Some others pray sometimes, it may be more of a routine (i.e. at bedtime, mealtime, tragedies, etc.). In addition, there are some who either don’t pray at all or they pray very little. I’ll admit that I’ve been in each of these categories.

Most of us know what prayer is, however, for those who don’t, it is defined as “to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc. to God”, according to Dictionary.com. It is basically how we communicate with God. The word continually is defined as “very often; at regular or frequent intervals; habitually, etc.”

In the previous verse, the word always (1Thessalonies 5:16) pertains to length of time whereas in this verse, the word continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) relates to the frequency of it.

Trust me when I say I’m not suggesting that we pray as often as we breathe, I’m not sure that’s possible, but I am challenging you to step up your prayer game (take your prayer life to the next level). If your first response in stressful situations, is to talk to your husband, BFF, etc. about it, I encourage you to take 5 minutes to pray about it before discussing it with anyone. If your initial reaction to an incident is to worry or get angry, take a 5 minute prayer break before you reply. If your schedule is too busy to pray, add 5 minutes of prayer time to your agenda. You get the idea. J Be intentional about praying and the habit of doing so will soon follow.

We should be in the habit of praying, regularly talking and listening to God. Praying should not be based on the posture of your body but the position of your heart. In our society, there are times we won’t be able to kneel and pray, however, that shouldn’t stop us from praying. We can pray silently or aloud, through tears of sadness or joy, individually or with a group. The emphasis is on praying not the details of how and why, just do it: “pray continually” – it’s both complicated and simple. Some studies propose it takes about 17 days to form a habit – that’s it! One who persistently practices prayer, perfects the habit of it.

May the habit of praying be with you,
Takiela

 

Stay Tuned: Next we’ll be discussing “give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

(the third and final portion of this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

See You at the Pole 2014

lilbynumsseeyouatthepole2014“See You at the Pole” is an annual day of global student prayer. It’s where children in schools worldwide come together at the flagpole and pray usually about an hour before school starts. Hands down it is one of the most powerful teen movements I’ve encountered that’s student lead.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this worldwide event but as Christians and especially as parents, guardians, or loved ones of a student, you MUST get involved and support. If you can’t be at the poles at the designated time/date of the event, at least be in prayer at that time. We are quick to talk about this generation of children when they do something bad, instead let’s talk about it even more so, (not only) when they do something good but when they do something godly.

Today was the first time my husband, our youngest son, and I were able to participate in SYATP, however, our older two have been doing it for a few years now. God used our children to teach us, the parents, a valuable lesson and we’ve vowed to be involved with *See You at the Pole* from this day forward.seeyouatthepole2014lilbynums

Our youngest son shared with our entire family, his desire to participate in See You at the Pole. However, as he continued to talk about it, his body language and facial expressions conveyed something contrary to what he was saying. Initially, my husband and I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on with him. Finally, we began to ask him questions:

Husband and I: Son, are you okay?

Youngest Son: Yes, I’m okay.

Husband and I: Are you sure you want to be involved?

Youngest Son: Yes, I really want to do it…(his head dropped down).

Husband and I: What’s wrong? Is anything stopping you from wanting to do it?

Youngest Son: Well, it’s just that, I mean, I want to do See You at the Pole and pray at my school, but I’m afraid to do it.

Husband and I: Why are you afraid? You are great at praying! The best eleven year old prayer warrior we’ve seen!

Youngest Son: I’m afraid because may get into trouble. We are not allowed to pray at school. Plus, I’ll be the only one at the flagpole.

Next, before my husband and I could answer, our two other children chimed in on the conversation.

Older Son and Daughter: You won’t be alone baby brother. We’re coming with you. If you get in trouble, we’ll all get in trouble.

There were several lessons learned from this incident:

  • we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us
  • where two or three are gathered together in my name I will be in the midst of them
  • stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
  • without faith it is impossible to please God
  • love the Lord your God with all your heart
  • lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path

I could go on and on. God is constantly watching over His word to perform it. He is definitely a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I am truly grateful for orchestrated opportunities created by the Lord to instill godly wisdom from unorthodox methods – all for my/our benefit.

May we all unapologetically have faith in Him, until the day we see His face.