2017: Page 285

Page 285 was a beautiful day even though it looked rather gloomy outside.  Between the weather and a long list of tasks to get done, it was also another day with no new photos.  One of those tasks was continued prep work on the Growing Strong retreat and that included some time spent going through photos from a late-August trip to the retreat location with my family.  Today’s photo was one I took during an early morning walk as I could hear this guy singing loudly but had some difficulty in finding him as he was at the very top of a tall tree.  It was as if he wanted the very best vantage point to both watch the rising sun and praise his creator.  I get that.  Most of my life I had not been a “morning person”, but that changed when I realized that the opportunity provided by a sunset to be blessed and worship God in His majesty also existed with the sunrise. 🙂

The day began with the usual prayer, cleaning, and building prep time which led into some small maintenance tasks.  I also took some time to research and register for display space at the North American Christian Convention which will take place in Indianapolis next summer.  When it comes to setting up an Impact Prayer Ministry display at a large convention or conference, I always tell people I study and study the exhibit hall layout in an attempt to determine the best location still available, and then I pray that God uses my selection to reach the people He desires to connect with the prayer ministry.  The good part is that He always does a much better job of bringing people to the display than I do of choosing just the right location.  I do believe He wants me to use the intellect and logic He created within me in order to make wise decisions, but I also know He wants me to trust Him for the results.  That can be a tough balance sometimes.

I had been asked to help a prayer group get started that wanted to use the weekly prayer guides that I write, so I spent time in preparation and prayer before heading to their meeting early in the afternoon.  My part of the meeting seemed to be a combination of explaining some of my prayer routines — specifically  in regard to developing the weekly prayer guides — and answering questions about prayer focus, about regaining focus when its been lost, and about using both scripture and hymns to keep the mind centered on the things of God.  The one hour prayer meeting ended up taking nearly two hours because the introductory parts and explanations took most of the first hour and the group was committed to not just learning about prayer, but to actually spending time praying.

After the prayer group had concluded, I needed to pick up some supplies from the other side of town, so I made my way to Sam’s Club where I got a very late lunch before getting the shopping done for the things I needed.  By the time I got home, the evening was spent unwinding and relaxing with my family before calling it a day and trying to get some sleep.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • The outside often has a profound effect on the inside.  God wants us to turn that around and allow His presence on the inside of us to have a profound effect on what is seen on the outside of us.
  • God deserves our best.  I need to be deliberate about doing what it takes to worship God with my best.
  • Finding the best vantage point to worship God often leaves me with both a greater blessing and a greater sense of having truly worshiped.
  • The best vantage point for worship is the one in which we can see God best.  Sometimes that is a mountaintop and sometimes that is in what we would consider a low position of service.
  • Trusting God often involves trusting Him to use the gifts and abilities He put within us as much as it is about trusting Him to use our weaknesses.
  • Our best laid plans are only as good as our willingness to let God use and change them for His glory.
  • It is fun for me to be able to share with people about some of the how and why of what I do.
  • Instruction is great, but without practice the instruction is more easily forgotten.
  • Learning about prayer is a good thing.  Praying is a better thing.

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