Come and visit us over at our new location!! This location will no longer be updated, and will be deleted probably sometime next week. Hope to see you at our new spot! 🙂

“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hallow of his thigh; and the hallow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, execpt thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with man, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:24-30, emphasize mine).

In this passage, why did God ask Jacob his name? Was it because God didn’t know his name? Did God forget his name? No. God asked Jacob what he name was to get Jacob to own up to who he really was. You see, Jacob’s name meant “usurper and deciever,” which is exactly what Jacob was.  (Read Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-40.) God wanted Jacob to get honest with Him and acknowledge who he really was.

You know, just as with Jacob, God already knows everything about us. (See Psalm 139.) Yet, we still struggle with being honest with Him about our feelings, our thoughts, and sometimes even our sin. Why do we struggle to much to get honest with Him, when He already knows it anyway?

I believe that it’s such a struggle, because it requires humility. It requires humility to own our thoughts and feelings. It takes humility to say, “Yeah, God, this is what I really think, feel, have done, etc.” It’s a humbling experience.

In conclusion, I encourage you to begin getting honest with God about your thoughts, feeling, sins, etc. After all, He alreadys knows them all anyway, so just go ahead and tell Him! 🙂

Have you noticed that praying is hard work? Does it seem like the older you get, the harder praying becomes? Our lives just seem to get busier, and we just don’t have time to pray…or so we think.

Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to accomplish today, that I must spend the first three hours in prayer.” Whoa!! Is our response like Luther’s when we have a lot to do? I know mine isn’t. My responce is usually, “I have so much to do today; forget abour praying. I don’t have time for that.”

You know, that exactly where Satan wants us to be? Yes, he fears our prayers, because when men pray, God works. He loves to get us to think that we’re too busy and don’t have time to pray. However, notice the difference prayer makes.

~The Difference Prayer Makes~

I got up early one morning

And rushed right into the day;

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t take time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,

And heavier came each task;

“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.

He answered: “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty–

But the day toiled on, gray and bleak;

I wondered why God didn’t show me,

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

I tried to come into God’s presence,

I used all my keys at the lock;

God gently and lovingly chided:

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

I woke up early one morning

And paused before entering the day;

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

~ Author Unknown

So, why is prayer so hard, you wonder? Well, like I said earlier, Satan doesn’t want us to pray. He fears our prayers. Eph. 6:12 gives a good reason why prayer is so hard. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

So the next time you don’t feel like praying because it’s hard, remember that you’re not in this alone. There are many of us who experience this same struggle–myself included. Also, keep in mind that when you don’t feel like praying, that is the time that you really need to be praying. Remember the difference prayer makes and travel on your knees. Start small and watch for big results! 🙂

Wonderful news!!! Our New Life Singers new CD is out!!!! The CD is entitled, “My Light, My Strength, My Song.” If you’re looking for some Godly, uplifting, encouraging, conservative music, then this is a CD that you’ll want to get! This CD has a total of 15 songs on it–11 were sung by the New Life Singers, 2 by the Girls Trio, and 2 by the Young Men’s Quartet. (The members of the trio and quartet are also members of the New Life Singers.) Some of the songs on there are “I will Glory in my Redeemer,” “In Christ Alone,” “I am Determined,” and “My God, You are so Wonderful.”

If you would like to purchase one, they are $15 each. Please leave me a comment if you’d like to buy one, and we can work out getting the money to me, etc.

Written Tuesday, June 30, 2008:

Lord Jesus,

For almost 18 yrs. now, my life has been mapped out for me. It’s been school, school, and more school, with a summer break each year. Now that I’ve graduated, my life is no longer mapped out. I have no idea where you are going to lead me. Yet, I do want and desire that you lead in the paths you have planned for me. Lead me, God, step by step, day by day. May all your dreams for me be fulfilled. Lord, make my heart beat with love for you today…

From a Heart Looking for Guidance,

Allison

Imagine that you are a farmer, and it’s time to plant your crops. Suppose that you want to grow corn, so you plant squash seeds. By harvest time are you going to have corn or squash? Right. You’ll have squash. Why? Because you planted squash seeds.

It’s silly to think that you’ll get corn from squash seeds, isn’t? However, many today–including Christians–think that they can sow all the wrong things, and yet, get good results. I’ll admit that many times I’ve been in that group. I’ve thought something along the lines, “I’ll keep speaking unkindly now, but one day in the future I’ll just all of a sudden speak kindly.” Ever thought something like that? Debi Pearl says, “We live under a law of sowing and reaping that is as certain and unrelenting as death and disease.”

Hosea 10:12-13 says, “Sow to yourselves righteousness, reap in mercy…Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies; because thou didst trust in thy way.”

In conclusion, if we sow bad things, we’ll get a bad “harvest.” If we sow good things, we’ll get a good “harvest.” And just remember, you’re going to reap later than you sowed, and you’re going to reap more than you sowed.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap  life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8).

This past week was kind of a rough one as I sought to recapture my first love, pick up my responsibilities that I had carelessly let slip, and deal with some pain in my life. With the Lord’s help, I was able to begin doing my responsibilities that I had let slip, and I was able to recapture my first love! However, there was still this issue of some unresolved “pain” in my life.

I’m not even sure how I began thinking about it, but I was laying in bed one night thinking that I would like to feel loved by another person. (Yes, I knew God loved me; I knew friends loved me, but why could I not feel it?) The Lord reminded me that I’m surrounded by love each and every day–siblings who really miss me when I’m gone and welcome me home with lots of noise; parents who tell me that they love me. Yet for all of this I don’t feel their love.

As I continued laying there thinking about it, I came to the realization that somewhere in my life, I had stopped feeling. I believe this to be true, because when I was younger, I would keep everything inside–swept under the rug; stuffed down inside. Also, I tried to disassociate with my pain by living in a fantasy world. I also became a very unemotional person. I hardly cried at all, and if I felt myself on the verge of tears, I’d bite my tongue and tell myself, “I’m not going to cry.” Basically, as I said before, I stopped feeling. (I still haven’t found out when that first started happening or what caused it to happen, but I’m working on it!)

Well, as I was thinking/working on the above, I had some real actual pain to deal with. You see, I was in the clothes closet at our church yesterday looking through bags of clothes people had brought. I saw a big black trash bag over in the corner, and proceeded to open it to look at the clothes inside. All of a sudden, my mom walks in and is like, “No! Stop! What are you doing!?” (Come to find out, it was a bag of trash, not clothes!) I immediately started apologizing and saying that I didn’t know, and that I was leaving. Why was I leaving, you ask? Because my mind said, “We’ve been here before. Bad situation. Get out.”

A few weeks earlier: I had come running down the stairs one Sunday morning and grabbed the first water jug I saw to fill up my water bottle. All of a sudden, my mom goes, “No! Stop! What are you doing!?” (Come to find out, that was her water jug, so she could see how much water she drank each day.) I immediately began apologizing, saying how I didn’t know.

Two situations. One reaction. One response. How did that happen? Well, as I lay in bed thinking about it last night, I determined that in both situations, I felt like I was being attacked. Why? Well, because I felt like I couldn’t do anything right to please my mom.

When did I first feel like this? Well, I remember when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I was standing in the kitchen trying to do something to help my mom. Then she came downstairs and started yelling at me about it. That was the first time I remember feeling like I couldn’t doing anything right. (This same situation occurred again a few years later.) Then, I just focused on the pain and allowed myself to feel the pain once again. (Not fun, but essential to the healing process.) After that, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to know about  the fact that I can’t do anything right, and nothing I do is good enough for her. As I listened, I heard Him softly say, “My Father’s eyes,” and “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” That brought fresh tears streaming down my cheeks. I realized that ultimately I’m not living for my mom’s approval–for her eyes. I’m living for His eyes–His approval! 🙂 What freedom!!

It no longer matters if I feel like I can’t please her, because if God’s pleased, that’s all that matters! It was so freeing! I had been carrying around that pain for 10+ years and finally it’s gone! Praise the Lord!!!

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).