30 Days That Really Promises Victory, Joy, and Hope

30 Days That Really Promises Victory, Joy, and Hope

There have been so many challenges over the last 30 days. Challenges that pushed and pulled at my heart. There came a moment when all of life seemed to crash in around me. Suddenly overwhelmed with tears, I cried. I cried for struggles my daughter was facing, I cried for the suffering and death of a woman I knew by name only, I cried for the struggles a son was facing, I cried for a husband’s loss of his life partner, I cried for mom, and I cried for all the suffering of the world. So, did all of this matter? Do all of these prayers make a difference? Yes, a resounding yes!!

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© Kevin Carden/Licensed from GoodSalt.com

 It is there where He restores me, cleanses me, and renews my hope.  He provides me with His guidance for today and the future before me.

I began this 30 day prayer challenge with you. This was an additional challenge to myself. Before this I believed I prayed a lot; but, I had not set aside a time specific to pray with no interruptions 30 minutes each day. At the same time, I promised you that I would post every day for all thirty days. God is so good and so gracious. Many mornings I awoke with no idea of what to write. By the time the 30 minutes of prayer ended; I had clarity to write for the day.

What are the benefits of such a prayer life?

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How to Really Discern God’s Will for Your Life

How to Really Discern God’s Will for Your Life

How do I really know what God’s will for my life is? That is a question we often ask in our lifetime. We ask it about our relationships, about our careers, and about where to live. How can I know with certainty that the choices I make are the ones God desires for me? It must begin with prayer. We are on day 29 of this prayer challenge. The only way to know God’s will for your life is to spend time alone with God. There in the quiet hours with him, he will guide you through the help of the Holy Spirit.

40399546_mRemember what Christ said in Luke 11:” 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Look very closely here. He did not say that whatever you ask, you will be given. He did say that “God will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”

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Poetry Sunday-I Was There By God’s Grace

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I Was There by God’s Grace

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

Across the room I saw her there

Seated in that chemo chair

I knew too well that empty stare

For I was there, yes, I was there

 

 

portrait used with permission 123rf.com

I crossed the room with gentle smile

To hold her hand, a little while

God’s love was all I had to share

For I was there, yes, I was there

 

She found Christ that day through me

While angels sung in Jubilee

And then I sat my chemo chair

As I was there, yes, I was there

 

Chorus

Would I lift up this cross?

And face all this loss

Would I willingly face all this pain?

Would I love you the same?

Though I don’t know your name

If I knew that my loss was your gain

 

Let God’s joy fill my heart

While His love I impart

Til I see your salvation is won

Let me show you His face

His love and His Grace

Let me point you to Christ, God’s dear son

The last two days we have been looking at grief, pain, and sorrow through a bigger lens.  My question has been, “is there any sorrow to great to bear for the salvation of one soul?”  If my trials, tribulations and sorrows are used by God to bring even one person to Christ; wouldn’t it be worth every tear I have shed?  If my entire lifetime is but a split second in time compared to eternity; why wouldn’t I be willing to suffer a lifetime, if need be, so that one person might spend an eternity in the presence of God being showered with love, joy and glory?   If I see my trials as God’s means to spread Grace to a world in need; wouldn’t I face trials differently?  Are my trials an act of God’s Grace and Love to me and to the world?  If I know that; then, why a gloomy face?  Shouldn’t that knowledge fill my heart with joy, hope, compassion, and love? Yes, indeed; and that I learned through many tears and sorrows.  God is my greatest treasure and my joy!!  We are at day 28 of this 30 day prayer challenge.  How have you been doing?  I will return to my 3 day a week posting this week; but, I do encourage you to spend time alone with God every day.

The artist that drew the picture “A Broken and Contrite Heart” featured on my header    Please go to his website ( http://www.barba-art.com) for information regarding obtaining copies or to commission him to create a masterpiece for you.  Feel free to email him at Ron@Barba-Art.com to discuss any art projects.

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Is The Salvation Of One Valuable Enough To Me To Suffer?

Is The Salvation Of One Valuable Enough To Me To Suffer?

I left off with a question yesterday. What if our suffering was a means God uses to bring another person’s salvation; would we see suffering differently?

In Psalms 22, as David prayed in great anguish to God, David presented a picture of Christ. Was David aware that thousands of years later, we would see Christ? Could someone reading those words, followed by Psalms 23 and 24 open their heart to Christ and be saved? If indeed our moments of greatest anguish could be the catalyst that caused one person to alter their eternal destiny, would we be willing to embrace the suffering?

Pete

 

 

 

 

In Memory of Pedro Barba Arroyo (1/15/42 to 7/23/1994)  A life transformed through suffering and pain—Salvation’s story of mercy and grace.  One soul saved to an eternity of joy, love and glory in God’s presence.

 

Portrait of Pedro Barba Arroyo as done by Ronald Barba

 

 

 It certainly was for Christ. I have learned it is for me.

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3 Psalms Proclaiming Hope, Joy and Grace to the World

3 Psalms Proclaiming Hope, Joy and Grace to the World

David’s life with all the ups and downs, the great victories and the moments of failure is a portrait of our Christians lives. Each step of the way, David was drawn toward an ever increasing passionate love for God. David had moments of great joy and seasons of deep sorrow. His Songs to God reflect these very emotions. Yet if we look a little closer we also see the gospel of grace being portrayed. How amazing it is that David’s moments of conflict were used to portray Christ’s crucifixion is Psalm 22. Then raised from the dead the shepherd cares for the sheep in Psalm 23. And finally the chief Shepherd appears as King of glory to own and reward the sheep in Psalm 24. A trilogy of Psalms portraying the Gospel. Look a little closer.

THE CRUCIFIXION PORTRAYED

jesus christ picturePsalm 22:(NIV) “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?” Are these not the same cries that we hear from the cross of Christ? Is this not the good shepherd who gave his life for the people?   Then we see the foreshadowing of Christ again  as  they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.” Are these not the same cries of the people against Christ in Matthew 27:43.
picture used with permission of Ronald Barba  for information about his artwork go to  http://barba-art.com         

   Then we see the picture of the cross itself. ” I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint.  My  heart has turned to wax; it has melted within   15 My mouth[d]is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.” This  is a picture of crucifixion. The joints being pulled out of place, the blood and water poured forth, the intense perspiration, the parched lips, the intense strain upon the heart and the death. Then we even see the “18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” David with great detail gave us the picture of Christ to come. Was he aware of that? Or did God use David’s moments of conflict to form the words that would point to Christ? A question we must ponder as we look at our own moments of conflict. Are they a means to portray Christ to the world?

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When Agonizing Prayers of the Heart Persist In Silence?

When Agonizing Prayers of the Heart Persist In Silence?

We have all been there at some point in our prayer life. The most agonizing prayers of our heart seem to be screams into the darkness with only silence as our response. We take a deep breath and say, “Well, it must not have been God’s will. I will trust Him.” Sadly, we lay down the prayer; afraid to pick it up again. Sorrow fills our heart and instead of trust doubt fills our minds. So what do we do then?

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© Phil McKay/Licensed from GoodSalt.com

Let us look at some of the agonizing prayers of the Bible and see what God’s response has been.

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How to Overcome the Sabotages to Prayer and Praise

How to Overcome the Sabotages to Prayer and Praise

Monday evening I went to visit Mom at the assisted living. I have been very regular to go two evenings a week and always leave with the laundry list of things she wants me to bring the next time. This time her list was even longer and she had wanted me to go back out to get it right away. Her lists consist of a stockpile of groceries to hide in her room and eat between meals. Her stockpile wasn’t empty; but, she still wanted now. I knew it would take at least an extra hour. I was very tired, so I told her next time. Thinking all is well; I headed home. At 11 pm I got a call from the facility. Your mother insisted that we call the ambulance and send her to the ER because she says she has been coughing and has chest pain. (Mom doesn’t have heart disease and since I had been down this road before when she lived with me—I rolled over and waited for the second call.) Besides as a Nurse Practitioner, I knew the EMTs, nurses and doctors would take care of her. They would call me if needed. The second call came at 2 am. “Your mother is ready to be taken back to the assisted living.” Frustrated, tired and angry with Mom for being so manipulating; off I went to get her and take her to back to the facility. I made it home at 4 and sat down to pray. As I tried to tell God of my frustration with Mom’s selfish behavior, the conviction of my own selfishness hit me. I protested. God sat quietly. I made excuses for myself. God waited and listened. “25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11 NIV). So, finally prayer came. Then, I wrote yesterday’s post and all was well. So, I thought.

pride blurs

We try to deny its presence. We pour over scripture. We pretend it is gone. We “pride ourselves for being merciful and kind.” Still, there it is- pride!

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Can I Really Engage People In A Computerized World?

Can I Really Engage People In A Computerized World?

It has been an amazing journey since 2010. I began when Dr. Bajaj asked if I could start sending a devotional email to the staff every day. From the devotional email, I got the idea of starting a blog post. If my emails could reach or encourage a few, perhaps on the web I could reach more. I had just published my first book of poetry and was working on another book that was dear to my heart. Perhaps I could reach a larger audience for Christ. At the same time I had begun speaking in a jail ministry. Not having much capital, I did obtain some help from a young man who understood computers and how to set up the website.

A FAILURE TO READ THE MANUAL

Pretty much later, I had to figure it out. Sadly to say, I have one of those brains who has trouble reading the instruction manual. You know the type, the one who tries to figure it out. Well, that was me. I did watch a few YouTube videos for how to. You can imagine how I have stumbled along this path. Hours and hours sometimes to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Still work was too commanding and chaotic to ever consider taking a class in all this technical stuff. (My difficulty with reading the manuals is why I so often have lead you through entire books of the Bible or series. The one manual I do want to learn, is God’s Word. When I am taking you through a series, I am committing myself to fully read, study, and understand before I teach you each section.)

prayer for you in computer world

You see, every step of this journey called life has been a journey reaching for hope, joy, and peace in the midst of chaos. The thought of not sharing the wondrous mysteries of the gospel with you would be an unbearable thought.

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How to Actually Overcome with Joy when Satan Roars

I Peter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

Roaring Lion? Do we know Satan as such? After all, were he to come at me roaring; I would see the danger, right? I am so aware of Satan’s hissing, whispering sounds of a lying snake. How often have I heard His hissing questions? “What makes you think God could love you, look at you?” or “Surely God could never use someone like you.” Or “Do you really believe that is what God has said?” Or “If God really loved you, He would never have allowed the suffering in your life?” And so the whisperings of Satan go, planting seeds of doubt and feelings of despair; promising that we might have greater joy if we would just………. But roaring?

when satan roars

How does Satan roar? He encircles us with pain. Pacing around us with evil, tragedies, destruction, illness, rejection, and despair. Roaring as he circles—pacing, roaring while inciting fear and doubt. As, he roars “Where is your God, now?  God love you, really?  Look what He did.”  Satan knows that we are looking to Christ, the Lion of Judah, to protect and guide us.  So he cloaks himself with the image of a lion; yet, instead of being the protector, he roars forth with anger and suffering until our hearts would faint and our faith would vanish.

How can I shut the mouth of this roaring Lion?  I found there are 3 keys to shut Satan’s roars.

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Poetry Sunday: Sit Here at Your Feet

Sit Here at Your Feet

By Effie Darlene Barba

IMG_7138Oh, Father Dear

I long to come

And sit here at your feet

As you draw near

Before the dawn

Your presence oh so sweet

 

What kind of fool

Have I been  all these years?

That I would be

The source that caused your tears

 

With arms raised high

I asked for so much stuff

I did not see

That You, You are enough

 

My Precious, Lord

You are the one

The  one my heart does need

My life restored

By your Dear Son

Who for my sin did bleed

 

And here I am

 Unworthy of your love

Yet, still you called

To me from high above

 

To be your child

To sit here at your feet

To rest in you

And never see defeat

 

Oh, Father Dear

I long to come

And sit here at your feet

As you draw near

Before the dawn

Your presence oh so sweet

He is our greatest treasure, our dearest counselor and best friend.  Why would I ever want to start my day without talking to Him first?

Do you have a story or a poem you would like to share?  You can by clicking here and leaving your comment.

The artist that drew the picture “A Broken and Contrite Heart” featured on my header    Please go to his website ( http://www.barba-art.com) for information regarding obtaining copies or to commission him to create a masterpiece for you.  Feel free to email him at Ron@Barba-Art.com to discuss any art projects.

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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