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spiritI’d never claim to be a Bible scholar, but I read about the Bible, and I read my Bible.  Sometimes, without my understanding why, something I read sticks in my head.  Last week, I read a Guidepost article by Debbie Macomber in which she discussed the role that 2 Timothy 1:7 plays in her life.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

Then a few days later, I found out that I’m losing a job.  As a freelance writer, this happens every now and again.  A magazine folds, a company closes, or a new editor comes in and wants to build her own stable of writers.

It happens, but it’s never a good feeling.

The next night, I had a women’s meeting at church.  Normally, I ask for prayers for other people, but tonight, the verse from 2 Timothy popped into my head.  Now was the time to be bold and put myself out there.  I asked for prayers.  The next night, I asked for prayers from a few of my friends in choir.

And, do you know what happened?  I didn’t feel exposed.  I immediately felt surrounded by God’s love.  One friend recalled another time I had been through this. “It’s never easy but you’ll find something.”  Another friend had a humorous cat post on my Facebook wall before I even got home. I suspect she did it before she even pulled out of the church parking lot.  Hugs and prayers and a good laugh go a long way toward holding you up.

There is power in prayer and I immediately felt that warmth of God’s love through my fellows.

What about the self-discipline mentioned in the verse?  This week I’m going to be sending out even more of my work and making contact with more editors.  Something good will come of it. How do I know?  Because I’ve already had an e-mail from an editor.  I don’t know the details yet but something good is coming and it only happened because, in the past, I’ve had the self-discipline to get my work done and out.

You may not immediately understand why a verse speaks to you, but pay attention and don’t be afraid to ask for prayer.  It is one of the most powerful tools that we have.

–SueBE

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temple with text 2It was only three words in a Facebook comment.  “How are you?”

I was tempted to give the socially acceptable response.  “Fine.”

But the reality of the matter was very different.  The last week had been rough with unexpected expenses and a cancelled trip.  Then a family member had a cancer scare and her own share of unplanned bills and household disasters.  Next came the icing on the cake with a phone call from the social worker.  “It looks like dementia.”

Nope.  I was definitely not fine, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to admit it.

I didn’t lie and type fine.  I simply didn’t answer.  Instead I kept the window open for hours.  Every now and again, I’d click over to it but I didn’t answer.  I even refreshed the screen a few times to see if that would solve things.

Finally, I typed out my response.  I told my friend what was going on in my life.  But I didn’t send it right away.  If I just left it sitting there, maybe the computer would spontaneously reboot and the message would be lost.

At last, I clicked the mouse and my message was on its way.  “I would appreciate a prayer or twelve.”

My friend and her husband are both devout Christians and her answer didn’t surprise me.  They are both holding my whole family up in prayer.

And, you know what?  It’s working.  Simply knowing that people are praying for us is a weight off my shoulders.  I’m not going it alone.   There are people all around me holding us up.  I am indeed part of a community of believers.

All I had to do was open my eyes and see them all around me, and then ask.

–SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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