“Pray Your Way Through 2017”
I have a very long prayer list. It’s so long that we refer to it as “The List.” Currently, there are 127 items on it. I pray out loud through The List at least 3 or 4 days a week, and the other days, I silently read through it. I’m sharing this information because I want you to know that anyone can pray. If you had told me four years ago that I would have an extensive prayer list and would spend hours a week in prayer, I would have laughed. I didn’t really consider myself a person of prayer, and I certainly didn’t spend a lot of time praying. My prayers were short and sweet, and even though I would occasionally make a list of things to pray about, it never took me very long to pray. I didn’t understand how people could pray for hours.
I’ve read about people who pray extensively and there is usually something uncontrollable that happens that drives them to their knees. Sickness, tragedy, heartbreak, hunger…The thing that drove me to my knees was being fired. My life changed in an instant. Actually, it was my husband and I both being fired from our jobs at the same time on the same day that drove me to my knees. The life that we thought we were building crumbled around us. We pulled into the driveway of the dream house we had just built, and the sense of doom was overwhelming. There was no way that we could make the house payment with no jobs. Our savings would be depleted in a few months, and it wasn’t likely that we would be able to replace our lost income at the level necessary to maintain our lifestyle. We would most likely lose the house.
There were other factors–emotional pain, the negative effect the situation could have on our sons, embarrassment, to name a few. Even though I had not been (as the old timers called it) a “prayer warrior,” I found myself becoming one very quickly. I had no options. We were helpless, powerless, and hopeless. I could barely think straight, but I had heard enough sermons, been to Sunday school enough, and had read enough scripture to know that God is my helper, He is powerful, and He is my hope. So out of sheer desperation, I began to call out to God in prayer.
I wrote my prayer requests down and wrote my prayers out word-for-word. I printed out prayers in books that other people had prayed. I read the book of Psalms and noted the prayers that David prayed, and I prayed them too. I just kept praying! One day, I was praying and felt that God asked me if I would pray two hours a day if I knew that He would change my life. I said, “Yes!” and started getting up before sunrise to pray.
I cannot imagine my life now without prayer. If I sleep in or start another project and don’t pray for a day or two, I feel incomplete. Prayer is my time to meet with God. Even as I write that sentence, I’m amazed! I get to meet with the God of the universe. The One True God who created me, you, the sun, moon, and stars, who keeps the perfect amount of oxygen in the air, and the earth the exact distance from the sun, listens to me pray. In ancient times, only the High Priest of Israel could enter into the place where God resided. Now because of Jesus, we can come boldly before the throne of God. We get to the throne of God in prayer, and that’s where we receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it (Hebrews 4:16).
I’ve prayed for God’s help, and I’ve received it! I’ve had more answers to prayers than I could have ever imagined. And I know this because of The List. I’ve kept track of the requests I’ve made and the prayers I’ve prayed, so when something happens, I realize that it is an answer to prayer. If I hadn’t made The List, and written out the prayers, I wouldn’t remember what I had prayed for. And if I don’t remember what I’ve prayed for, I wouldn’t know that I had received an answer to the prayer! Things still happen and it takes me a while to realize it’s an answer to prayer, but I start flipping back through four-year’s worth of notes until I find where I prayed it, and there it is.
Answered prayers strengthen our faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). We pray in faith believing that God hears us and answers us, so when realize that He has, our faith gets stronger. Then the next time we make our request, we can look back at what God did before and be assured that He will answer us again! A friend recently called it “dusting off the old miracle.”
I’m not saying that the last four years haven’t been hard. They have been. What I can say, however, is that I wouldn’t go back to life before 2013 for anything! You see, before then I didn’t know God the way that I know Him now. I hadn’t been desperate for His help. I hadn’t known I was powerless to do anything to change my circumstances. I didn’t think I was weak. Now I know I’m nothing without God! I know that anything I’ve ever achieved is because God blessed me. Falling on my knees before my Heavenly Father has taught me that He’s in control.
It’s liberating to know that God is in control. There’s freedom in knowing that I don’t have to make things happen. I get up each day expecting God to do something amazing because He can! I can’t–but He can! So I pray that He will, and I’m humbled and honored when He does. I trust Him with my life, my dreams, my hopes, my family, my salvation because He has proven Himself to be trustworthy and faithful!
I invite you to “Pray Your Way Through 2017.” Open a notebook, write the date, make your prayer list, write out your prayers, and watch God move in your life. I’ve heard it said that prayer doesn’t change things as much as it changes me. That’s true, but I’m writing from the desk in my dream house, so I know it changes things too!
I was raised in a family of all daughters. My two sisters and I watched the Miss America Pageant every year and had slumber parties where
we practiced putting on makeup. Then I left home to pursue my music career, and I was suddenly the only girl on the road with a bunch of guys.
I married my husband, Gary Koreiba, and when we became parents, we were blessed with sons. We have three dogs–all male. My sons and their friends have made our house a headquarters for all sorts of activities that I don’t understand. They play video games in “The Man Cave”
so loudly that one would think that they were actually involved in a war. They have turned the sport of ping pong into a physical game that allows the ceiling, floor, and walls of our basement to be considered in bounds. They hunt for armadillos at midnight and then come home and eat more food than my sisters and I would have eaten in a week!
When my boys were little, I would joke that I wanted one of them to become a plastic surgeon and a chiropractor–so they could take care of me when I’m old! But my plan doesn’t seem to be happening. My 17-year-old son, Alexander, races his Go Kart at State Line Speedway in Blue Eye, MO, and has great plans to become a professional race car driver. My oldest son, Gary II, is 21 and has just graduated from a television production school and wants to move to one
of the coasts to purse a career in filmmaking.
I’m happy that at this time, both of my sons, and two of their childhood friends, Jared Lee and Justin Oller, are all on stage as the 21-and-under crew at our show, Sunday Gospel Nights. Years ago, I could not have guessed that the laughter that fills our home when these guys are together would be heard backstage at the show that has been a dream of ours. I’m cherishing the moments that we have together because I know that life moves on, children grow up, and one day the basement will be too quiet. Thanks, guys, for all of the joy that you bring!
“Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22).
I’ve had this painting in my home for years, and I just noticed this morning that the couple portrayed in it are praying. I’ve looked at this painting many times before, but for some reason I only saw a pastoral scene from probably somewhere in Europe in the 1800’s with a young couple out in a field that they are working in. But this morning…I see that they are praying. In reverence, his hat is in his hand and her head is bowed. There is some type of wheel barrow or cart behind her and a pitchfork beside him, so they are obviously in the field to work, but something is causing them to stop what they had been doing and pray.
The need is great enough that they sense their lack of ability to overcome it alone, so they turn to God. Maybe they’re asking for him to bless their crop. Without a crop, their family could starve. Without a crop, they may not have the resources to trade or buy the provision they need to get through a harsh winter. So they are asking in prayer for their need. They are turning to God who they believe will hear their prayer and provide a way for them.
I think I finally realized they were praying today because I was sitting under this painting praying. I mean really praying. Not the regular, “God bless me and help me today,” sort of prayer—I’m praying my heart out. I’m bombarding the gates of heaven. I’m “declaring a thing, and it will be done for you so light will shine on your ways” (Job 22:28). I’m begging, pleading, crying, beseeching, believing, standing in faith—I’m serious in this pursuit. So serious, in fact, that I’m considering what is an absolute last resort for me and my low blood sugar—fasting. Jesus said that “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:20,21). He was speaking in this reference about a demon, but I’m desperate enough at this point to consider fasting for my non-demon possession case!
I have the feeling that something is just around the corner. I’m sensing that excitement that happens when you KNOW something great is happening. I know the answer is here. I know God is faithful. I know His promises are true. I will keep asking in prayer, believing, I will receive.
I will stand in the middle of the field God has placed me in, bow in reverence, and admit my need. I can’t make the crop grow. I can’t provide the resources needed for the crop to produce a harvest. But I can:
Give the work to God,
Plant the seed, be a good steward of what He produces,
Thank Him for His provision,
Give Him the glory for the harvest!
Thank you, God, for using a painting to encourage, inspire, and guide me today in my pursuit of You.
An Amazing Testimony
I just got the most amazing email from a friend of my friend, Danielle. Many of you may remember that two years ago, I met Danielle when she was searching for the answer to the question, “Is there a God?” and she came upon my video of the song, “Not Too Far From Here.” Long story short, Danielle accepted the Lord. Later I got an angry email from one of her friends who felt that I was giving Danielle false hope in God and His ability to heal Danielle’s cancer. I assured this friend that God IS real, and I had not promised Danielle that God would heal her, but that He can heal. (BTW, Danielle’s cancer is in remission now!)
This morning I got an email from the friend. In it she said that she wanted to apologize for her earlier email, and that “after seeing such a dramatic change in Danee, my husband and I started attending church and recently gave our lives to Christ. I want to personally reach out to you and say that I am very sorry for my unkind words and to thank you for being an instrument that led both of us to a life in Christ.”
I’m crying as I’m writing this post. This testimony makes everything that Gary and I and our sons have been through for the last 2 1/2 years worth it! God knows what He’s doing. When we think life is falling apart and don’t understand how it can possibly get better, God still has a plan that is for our good. Jesus is our hope! He was Danielle’s hope when she had no hope. He was the hope of Danielle’s friend when this friend was angry and lost. He is your hope! And as I wrote in my book, “He is God Almighty. We cannot comprehend His ways, and we cannot understand His plan. But we can stand up, brush ourselves off, and believe that He has one.
Praise and glory, wisdom and thanks, honor and power and strength, be to our God forever and ever. Amen! (Rev. 7:12)
My husband and I were sitting on a bench outside of an auto shop in small-town Missouri waiting for his truck inspection to be completed. He had his arm on the back of the bench with his hand on my shoulder. I was snuggled in next to him as we talked about being one day away from our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
The moment could not have been more perfect if we had been on the balcony of a luxury hotel overlooking Waikiki Beach. If we had been watching the sunset over the hills of Tuscany, the moment may have been more peaceful, but it would not have been more significant. Because it was right then that I realized why so many marriages go wrong. Or why so many marriages are more of a contractual business deal than they are a privilege. I was just thinking out loud when I said, “It’s sad that _____ will never know this kind of love. His wife will never be as in love with him as I am with you. She will never feel this way about him. And the reason he won’t, and she won’t, is because he doesn’t deserve it. He has not earned her love.”
Often when couples “fall in love” and get married, they are banking on the emotional euphoria of being in love to sweep them into a lifetime of happiness, romance, wealth, 2.5 perfect children, and the house with the white picket fence. Anyone who has been married more than six months knows that it takes more than feelings to stay married. It takes–big gulp!–the sacrificial decision to put your spouse’s needs above your own needs. It takes the many daily decisions to do what is best for the marriage and your family, rather than what one may feel or want to do personally.
As of today, I’ve been happily, joyfully, would-do-it again-in a minute, my-life- would-be-awful-without-you, married for twenty-five years, so I believe that I have the credibility to reach the conclusion that my husband has indeed earned my love. He has done it in a million different ways. He earns my love when he says that I’m pretty. You would think that after twenty-five years, I wouldn’t need to hear it anymore, but now that some wrinkles and grey hairs have surfaced, it may be silly, but I need to hear it even more. He earns my love every day that he loads up lawn mowers on a trailer and sets out to earn a living in the hot sun, instead of in a cool, dark theater doing what he loves, holding a microphone and singing his heart out.
He earns my love when he counsels our 21 and 17-year-old sons on what a real man is and does. When he quizzes them on the principles of manhood that he taught them when they were small boys, they listen and learn because they have watched him live out those principles, and in doing so, he has earned their respect and love. He earns my love when he gets up from the dinner table and does this dishes. He earns my love when he can make me laugh at myself, and he even enjoys it when I make him laugh at himself.
He has earned my love and respect so thoroughly that I trust him completely. I have never worried that he would be unfaithful. I have never had to second-guess his integrity. He has never lied to me. He has never raised his hand to me. He has never threatened to leave me. He would never consider making a decision of any consequence for our marriage or family without consulting me and valuing my opinion. And the few times when he’s overruled my decision, I may not have been happy about it, but I have accepted his decision because he has earned my love and respect.
He’s had to put up with a lot from me, and I admit it openly. I’m usually even-tempered and pride myself on not being a “silly” woman, but when I get on a rampage about something, I can be a handful. When I started experiencing hormonal changes, he treaded lightly. He jokes that he would get up in the morning, peer around the corner into the kitchen, and wonder if he was already in trouble! Yet, in spite of it all, he has treated me like a queen. Yes, he has, indeed, earned my love.
Now here’s where it gets fun! Because he has earned my love, and I trust him to have my best interests at heart, I want to earn his love–not because I don’t have it, because I do. But I find myself wanting to be a better woman and wife because I want to be as good for him as he is for me. This cycle of living and loving each other, and the two being better together than one is separately, is what can make twenty-five years of marriage a joy!
Husbands, earn your wife’s love. Wives, earn your husband’s love. Don’t take him or her for granted. Show love, speak love, give love, receive love. Last week, we sat with an eighty-four-year-old friend whose wife passed on two years ago. He’s lost without her. He misses her everyday. He told my husband to hold my hand and tell me that he loves me everyday because he would give anything in the world to have his wife back for just one day. That’s true love.
I’m going to give this article to my sons. They need to learn the importance of earning a woman’s love. They’ve watched it, and soon it will be time for them to live it. They must become men of integrity who deserve to be honored the way I honor their father. There is no one I would rather be with, talk to, laugh with, be held by, or cry with. Thank you, babe, for twenty-five years. You have earned all of my love.
I found some sermon notes taken from a sermon preached by Pastor Steve Davis at least ten years ago. In the sermon, Steve said, “Nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.” Wow, what a statement! It’s true. You can walk around in shallow water. You can sit in shallow water and play. You can stand in the shallow water and fish (if you throw the line out far enough). But that’s about all you can do in shallow water.
There’s a lot more that you can do in deep water. You can swim out over the deep waters of a coral reef and snorkel. There you will see some of the most beautifully colorful creatures that God created. Or if you’re brave enough to scuba dive (which I am not!), I hear that you can explore the ocean and be both soothed and exhilarated by the sights you see.
In the deep water, you can swim, surf, ski, cruise, sail, and motor your way to freedom in and on the water. And in the deep water, you can be scared. Scared of the storm that comes up when you’re far from shore. Scared of the creatures that you can’t see that may be all around you. You could also drown in the deep water.
So here is the dilemma: Do you take a risk to enjoy the rewards of the deep water or do you stay in the shallow water of comfort and familiarity?
When our circumstances changed a little over two years ago, my family was thrown right out into deep water! Every instinct I had told me to start swimming hard for the shallow water. The shallow water means safety, comfort, ease, and familiarity. But nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.
When Jesus came walking across the water (Matthew 14) to the disciples, He wasn’t walking across shallow water. While that still would have been miraculous, it certainly wouldn’t have been as spectacular. He came walking across the very deep water in the middle of a raging storm. And to make the miracle even more spectacular, He invited Peter to walk across the deep water in the middle of the storm to meet Him. Peter bravely walked across the water with His eyes on Jesus, but when he looked away from Jesus and focused on the storm, he started to sink. Jesus, of course, reached out and saved him.
The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened next. Did Jesus hold Peter’s hand until they reached the boat and got in? Or did Jesus pick Peter up in His arms and carry him to the boat? All we are told is that they climbed into the boat and the storm died down.
Here’s what this story teaches me: Jesus expects us to be out in the deep water, but He doesn’t expect us to be there alone. When we need Him, He comes to us. He takes our hand, helps us back into the boat, and quiets the storm. He doesn’t expect us to live our life out in the deep water, in the middle of the storm, all alone, with no help. He knows that we will live in a constant state of change, going from the shallow water to the deep water. Sometimes it’s calm, and sometimes it’s stormy. Sometimes it’s peaceful, and sometimes it’s chaos.
While the shallow waters of life are calmer, easier, and safer, it’s in the deep waters of life that we grow, mature, and transform more completely into the image of our Savior. Jesus must have enjoyed the deep water because He called Peter to come join Him. He’s calling us to do the same. Take a leap out into the deep because nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.
“God, I’m tired. I’m weary of the fight. I need something–some encouragement, glimmer of hope, confirmation–anything to let me know that You’ve got this.”
These are the words I wrote in my journal this morning when I sat down to study and pray. Bottom line–I’m discouraged. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last couple of years though, it’s this…God has a plan for my life and I’m not in control of it!
As I finished writing my prayer, I opened my Bible. I’m reading a one-year Bible, and the reading consists of an Old Testament passage, a New Testament passage, and a section of a psalm and a proverb. The Old Testament passage today is the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. You know the story. These young Jewish men refuse to bow to the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar, and so they will be thrown into a furnace because of their disobedience to the king. They say, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us” (Daniel 3:17). And He does! When they are brought out of the blazing furnace (after the king saw them and a fourth man who “looks like a son of god” unharmed in the middle of the inferno), Nebuchadnezzar says, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego! He sent His angel to rescue His servants who trusted in Him…There is no other god like this!” (Daniel 3:28,29b). I love how The Message Bible paraphrases this verse: “There has never been a god who can pull of a rescue like this.”
The New Testament reading was from I Peter 4. It started at verse 7 which reads, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.” And then verse 19: “So if you’re suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you.”
In the Message version, those two verses read: “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be very glad that you are in the thic
“I am worn out waiting for Your rescue, but I have put my hope in Your word.” Psalm 119:81
k of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner…So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing, and He’ll keep on doing it.” (emphasis mine).
So, I guess I can file this under the heading of “Ask and you’ll receive!” I had just prayed for some encouragement, glimmer of hope, confirmation…and I certainly received it. Last year, I very clearly heard the voice of the Spirit speak these words to my heart, “Do you trust Me?” and I said, “Yes.” I think today is one of those days when I needed to be reminded that He is trustworthy. I may not always feel like He’s in control, but His word tells me that He is, so I will trust Him. I will pray honestly the prayer of the psalmist (that was also one of today’s Bible readings!), “I am worn out waiting for Your rescue, but I have put my hope in Your word” (Psalm 119:81).
I’m writing to get your input. I have been talking with some very influential, knowledgeable women about the need for women’s ministry events that instruct women on issues and topics that are of specific importance.
What are the issues that you (woman, married/single, stay-at-home mom/ working mom, friend, and/ or daughter) deal with and need help with? If you were going to take the time to attend a women’s conference or event, what do you want to have learned, done, or come away with? Some topics to consider are:
Biblical principles and their practical, daily application
Marriage and relationships
Health: aging, exercise, eating habits, weight loss
Beauty: makeup, hair, skin care
The importance of your home, homemaking, decorating, cooking
Inspiration and encouragement
Finding your calling and purpose.
Let me know your thoughts.
Holy Anticipation: The Parable of Letting Down the Nets
I am at a crossroad. I don’t know which way to turn. There are too many questions that need answers…too many decisions to make…too much heaviness…too few resources…it’s just too much!
My husband, Gary, and I seem to be living in a state of uncertainty. It’s as if every conversation that we have leads to the same conclusion. And the conclusion is “We don’t really know what to do.” The circumstances in our lives have changed so drastically (and unexpectedly) in the last six months that we find ourselves unsure of what to do. We have rarely, maybe never, been in this much confusion.
We sit down and attempt to logically address where we should go, what we should do, when we should do it, and why such and such a decision is best. We weigh the risks vs. the benefits. We think it through. We are praying it through, but at this moment…nothing.
I keep coming back to an old piece of paper that Gary found while going through a box of stuff that we were going to throw out. It’s Gary’s handwritten notes of a sermon that he heard. Neither of us remembers who preached the sermon nor when it was preached, but evidently Gary heard it. The sermon was based on Luke 5:4-11, the parable of letting down the nets. Jesus had been speaking to a crowd from a boat that he was standing in. When he finished speaking, he called over to a fisherman named Simon and told him to take his boat out into deep water and let down his nets. Simon said that he had been out all night long and had caught nothing.
I don’t know whether it was great faith or complete desperation that caused Simon to make his next statement, but it changed his life. He said, “Nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” So he went out into deep water, let down his nets, and caught so many fish that the net started breaking! He had to get another fisherman to bring his boat over and help him. Not only did the catch fill Simon Peter’s boat, it filled the other boat too. As a result of this catch, Simon Peter, James, and John left their fishing business and became the first of Jesus‘ disciples.
The sermon notes Gary found made these points: (1) Jesus moved Simon Peter from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen, (2) Jesus led Simon Peter “out into the deep water” where the bottom could not be touched before He commanded, “Let down your nets,” (3) Jesus moves us from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen, (4) Jesus uses the familiar to do the incredible, (5) Jesus conceals His surprises until we follow His leading, (6) Jesus reveals His objective to those who release their security, and (7) Nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.
In our situation, sermon point number one has occurred: we have definitely been moved from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen. Point number two is occurring: we have been led out into the deep water where the bottom cannot be touched, and now we must be obedient to let down our nets. To a fisherman, letting down the nets meant doing his part to put himself in a place to be successful. We are certainly trying to do that.
Sermon point number three is past tense. We have been moved from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen. Figuratively, we are standing at sermon point number four. I believe this is the crossroad. How will Jesus use the familiar to do the incredible? We keep praying that God will open doors of opportunity that He wants us to walk through, and that He will shut the doors that would cause us to walk in a direction that is not His plan for our lives. Once we KNOW that we are walking through the open doors of opportunity, then I believe that He will start revealing His surprises(sermon point number five). I know that He will reveal His objective to us (point number 6) because our security has been released. It wasn’t our choice, but nevertheless, it was released.
God wasn’t surprised when our security was released. We were…but He was not. In The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson writes, “Sometimes we act as though God is surprised by the things that surprise us, but by definition, the Omniscient One cannot be surprised. God is always a step ahead, even when we feel like He’s a step behind. He’s always got a holy surprise up His sovereign sleeve.” He goes on to write, “We can live in holy anticipation because God is ordering our steps.”
That’s what I need to know. That’s what Gary needs to know. Maybe that’s what you need to know. If we truly attempt to follow His commands, live His way, and seek His kingdom, Jesus said “all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). What “things” do you need to be added to you? What are you living in holy anticipation for? Physical provision? Direction? Healing? Restoration? Me too! Do you sometimes feel as if you are drowning? Me too! But here’s the thing…No one ever need drown in shallow water. So if you feel as if you are drowning, then you must not be in shallow water. You must be out in the deep water. As far as holy anticipation goes, that’s the best place to be because nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.
I love the beginning of a new year! It feels like a fresh start. I don’t like to make New Year’s Resolutions because they usually don’t last very long. I do, however, like to spend time seeking direction for the coming year. For 2013, I believe that the direction I’ve been given is this: God is God, and I am not!
This phrase comes from the book Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically by John MacArthur. I’m reading the book to supplement my Master’s degree studies in Christian Counseling, and as so often happens, God speaks to me when I don’t know that I’m even listening.
God alone is eternal; He knows the end from the beginning,
and thus He is able to comprehend exactly how all things will in fact
“work together for good,” no matter how distressing
some of those things might seem to us…Therefore, God deserves
to be honored, worshiped, trusted, feared, and loved as God.
Our responsibility and privilege is to glorify Him: to enhance His
reputation in the minds of rational creatures and to live our lives
and order our days so that all who encounter us will have a
higher regard for God than they might have had they never
encountered us! But our besetting temptation is to glorify self:
to live life as if we were the center of the universe, as if the
enhancement of our reputation were a meritorious pursuit, and
as if our contentment were the greatest good of the cosmos.
That is why every believer must continually be confronted with
the demand that God be honored as God (p.55-56).
To live by the words “God is God and I am not” will require an understanding of the words of Jesus in John 12:25, “He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.” It will require self-denial and self-sacrifice to understand that I can’t make things happen, I’m not in control, and I don’t run the show of my own life. It will mean accepting things that I would normally balk at. It will mean keeping my mouth shut when I would rather say what I think.
Crud!!! Do I really want to have these words as my directive for 2013? No, I probably don’t, but I believe that I’m supposed to, so here goes. This could be an interesting year!