Uneasiness

One of “those days.”
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  – 2 Cor 10:5
Today was a weird day. I was busy but didn’t get anything I planned done. I washed clothes, prepared the meals, went to the dentist, planned a party, walked around the neighborhood, chatted on Facebook and cleaned the bathroom. But I felt uneasy and uncomfortable most of the day. 
It started with unsettling dreams, which stayed with me even after I woke up. Feelings of apprehension ran unhindered in the back of my mind like a bad programming. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until early this evening that I was able to identify and confront them. 
I’ve found that strange feelings, like peculiar dreams, can be a sneaky attack of the enemy to distract and discourage. It worked on me for most of the day. One of the things I’m learning to do is to reign in my thoughts and emotions. This is not an easy task, especially when the attack is subtle. Once I took my thoughts captive and made them obedient to Christ, I felt God’s peace once again. 
Jesus, help me to identify the subtle attacks of the enemy and focus my mind on things that are good, pure and true. Thank you for the victory and peace that is mine when I take my thoughts captive. Amen
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Letter to God

Jan Parrish, (c) 2010
Dear God,
You do so much for me every day and I am full of gratitude. I have so many thankful thoughts sifting through my mind that I decided to write you a letter of praise.
Thank you for the gift of life, for telling me to go to the ER, and for giving me the strength to recover. Thank you for giving me the faith and fortitude to face two more surgeries. Thank you for the joy I have in you, despite my circumstances. 
Thank you for the dear friends and family who’ve brought meals, gifts, cleaned, and visited. Thank you for all those who prayed, sent cards, donated money and placed me on prayer chains. I am grateful and humbled by their generosity. 
Thank you for the teenager who sent $20 of her babysitting money to my fundraiser saying, “They need it more than I do.” Bless the struggling families who gave in spite of their lack. I am rendered speechless in the face of such generosity.
I’m so grateful for the letters you sent with money and gift cards. I felt your love in each envelope. Remember the day I prayed you’d send me some money and hours later one of your cards arrived?  Thank you for the generous souls who hear your voice and obey. Give them favor and blessings in miraculous ways.
Thank you for the wonderful friends who helped us move, some we didn’t even know.  Please bless them with good health and friends who stick by in times of crisis. Thank you for friends and family who sent notes of support, and for those who called right when I needed to hear an encouraging voice. 
Thank you for my mom, sister and husband who all took turns spending the night with me in the hospital, sacrificing their sleep so I could rest easier. Thank you for my precious family, who prayed with me before surgery, showered me with love during my recovery and for the strong bond we share. Thank you for an amazing husband who stood by my side without complaining and encouraged me when I needed it most. Thank you for our incredible children, and their wonderful spouses, who make me proud to be their mom.  Thank you for our beautiful grandbaby, who showers us with joy and helps us to look at life in new, exciting ways.
Thank you for sending such a skilled surgeon to operate on me, for his compassion and his expertise. Thank you for the infectious disease doctor who kept me from having allergic reactions to meds and reacted quickly when needed. Thank you for the amazing nurses who went beyond their call of duty to make me comfortable; and for the fabulous nurses in the infusion center who made an unpleasant experience bearable. 
Thank you for loving me in spite of my impatience, as my health improves and I try to do more than I should; for lifting my head and my spirits and reminding me of all you’ve done. Thank you for your blessing and protection during my health crisis, and for a life that has meaning, simply because you’re a part of it. 
Your grateful daughter,
Jan

Through it All

This has been my theme song for the last few months. The words are at the bottom. I pray it blesses you as much as it blessed me.

Through It All Lyrics

Verse 1:
I’ve Had Many Tears And Sorrows,
I’ve Had Questions For Tomorrow,
There’s Been Times I Didn’t Know Right From Wrong.
But In Every Situation,
God Gave Me Blessed Consolation,
That My Trials Come To Only Make Me Strong.

Chorus:
Through It All,
Through It All,
I’ve Learned To Trust In Jesus,
I’ve Learned To Trust In God.

Through It All,
Through It All,
I’ve Learned To Depend Upon His Word.

Verse 2:
I’ve Been To Lots Of Places,
I’ve Seen A Lot Of Faces,
There’s Been Times I Felt So All Alone.
But In My Lonely Hours,
Yes, Those Precious Lonely Hours,
Jesus Lets Me Know That I Was His Own

Chorus


Verse 3:
I Thank God For The Mountains,
And I Thank Him For The Valleys,
I Thank Him For The Storms He Brought Me Through.
For If I’d Never Had A Problem,
I Wouldn’t Know God Could Solve Them,
I’d Never Know What Faith In God Could Do

Praying for a Miracle

Heavenly Father, we boldly come before your throne to ask for a miracle. We ask not because we have earned it, but because we are your children, heirs to your kingdom. While we do not understand the circumstances we find ourselves in, we continually look to you for our sustenance and provision.

Since you own the cattle on a thousand hills, meeting our bills this month is not too great for you. You can pull a home out of foreclosure at the eleventh hour and at the same time supply a car for another family in need. You inspire your people to leave groceries on a struggling family’s porch or anonymously mail them gift cards. We believe that you can provide clients and favor at work in spite of a lagging economy. Nothing is overwhelming or impossible for you. Nothing.

Bring peace and comfort to those who are out of work. Open doors that only you can open, so that your name will be glorified.

Help us to be strong and courageous. Keep us from fear and doubt. Thank you that you go before us to pave the way and thank you that you will never leave us or forsake us. We thank you for the miracles you are about to perform and for the ones you have already performed.

In Your Holy Name,
Amen

“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5 (NIV)

Groanings too Deep for Words

Double Rainbow (c) Jan Parrish 2010
In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. –  Romans 8:26-27 (NASV)
Have you experienced such extreme grief that sorrow seems to permeate your entire being? Words can never express the depth of your heartache and uttering a prayer feels like a herculean effort.
Thankfully, God in his infinite mercy sent the Holy Spirit. He understands your anguish and groans to the Father on your behalf.  Whatever your circumstances, the loss of a loved one, financial devastation, a severed relationship or broken dreams; you are never fully alone in your suffering. What a beautiful, soothing promise.
Thank you Father, for sending your Holy Spirit to minister to us when we are heartbroken and feel alone. Thank you that you never leave us or forsake us.

Prayer 101

What is prayer?
Very simply, prayer is a conversation with God. Talk to Him and tell him about your day. Then be still and listen to what He says. Prayer is not a one way conversation. It’s unlikely you will hear an audible voice; rather, he will place a thought in your mind.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (NIV)

Prayer has no rules. You don’t need to:

• do something in order for God to listen
• pray in a specific location or church
• fold your hands or kneel
• use a prayer book or memorized prayer
• speak with eloquent words
• pray through a saint or priest
• pray the rosary
• light a candle

Why don’t more people pray? Because they:
• don’t believe in God
• think God is busy doing more important things
• don’t want to take time
• don’t know God so it’s awkward
• feel it’s a waste of time
• aren’t getting the results they want
• are angry at God
• are estranged from God because of sin

Where is it appropriate to pray?
• While driving
• In the shower
• At the office
• At the mall
• In church
• In court
• While cooking
• Basically, anywhere and everywhere

It’s appropriate to pray when you:
• need a listening ear
• feel grateful
• want to tell God how much you love him
• need to confess
• are making a big decision
• are worried about something
• need comfort
• are working through a problem
• read the Bible
• are just living life