What Modern Technology Does For Prayers

I have had the privilege more in the past couple of years, it seems, to pray for people I don’t know. I’m not just talking about general prayers for all the unsaved people in Asia or Africa, or all the people who were affected by the latest hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc. I’m talking about specific prayers for individuals who have names and stories, but whom I’ve never met.

One of these people is a man named Greg. He and his wife are on staff, as we are, with Cru. I’ve never met them, but their story caught my attention. Nearly two years ago, Greg was the recipient of a new heart. I began praying for him after reading his story on our Campus Crusade for Christ women’s resource web page. Now, I receive email updates whenever there is something to report. Two years later, he’s had a couple of setbacks with his transplant, but he and his wife–and I who have been praying for him–are praising God for his new lease on life.

Another person I pray for is Anna, the adult daughter of a friend of mine. Ten months ago, Anna had her 7th baby. What they thought was going to be a routine delivery ended up being a nearly life-ending tragedy for Anna. I prayed often throughout the days for Anna and her family, that God would spare her. He saw fit to do so when every doctor attending her thought there was no chance. I rejoice with her family at her survival. She still struggles with repercussions, so  I still pray for her as her mom sends updates.

Then, just recently, I prayed for another friend of a friend whose newborn son was born without a trachea. My heart ached for this family who should have been celebrating the birth of their twin sons, but instead held vigil over their one who had little hope of survival. And though this baby outlived all expectations, God took him home just a few short months after his birth.

Currently, I am praying for the 13-year-old daughter of another family I don’t know personally, but they work at Cru headquarters, and we have mutual friends. When this young girl woke up from a routine endoscopy, she couldn’t remember anything; her mind was a total blank. What a weird and scary circumstance. I pray for her everyday, and I am thankful for daily updates that give me specifics.

What all these scenarios have in common, beside the fact that they involve committed followers of Jesus, is that I heard about these needs either via email, Facebook or an internet website. People literally all over the world could be praying for these people within minutes of a posting, whereas previous to these electronic avenues, that would not have been so immediately possible.

Take my sister’s little dog, Luna, for instance. My niece posted on Facebook that Luna had gotten lost a good distance from her home in Kirkland,Washington, and would we please pray for her? Immediately we started praying. We checked for updates and prayed every day. Finally, nearly a week later, I got a text from my niece: Luna has been found! Literally the minute Luna jumped into my sister’s arms, I knew about and could rejoice with her, tears blurring my eyes. And I hadn’t even met this dog. But she is important to my sister and her family, thus she is to me.

Is God different now that there’s an internet? No. But we have always known that prayer changes things. The ability to rally the troops all over the world to petition God for the needs of His saints is powerful. It’s a privilege to pray for these needs, and I’m thankful for the technology that allows me to know about these needs.

Thankful today for:

619. windows open all day

620. a profusion of pink roses

621. the Raiders on TV in Orlando, win or lose

622. companies that stand by their products

623. technology

What’s So Good About It?

Today is called Good Friday. When you think that it’s in commemoration of the day Someone died a violent, torturous death, you might wonder what’s so good about it. Here’s what I think:

The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom giving us free access, through Jesus, to God the Father. No more priests, no more animal sacrifices. When we want to talk to Him, we simply say the words.

My chains are gone; I’ve been set free. My God, My Savior has ransomed me. Amazing. (1 Thess. 1:10 “rescued us from wrath”)

I am no longer a slave to sin and death. Romans 8:1-4: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

I am so, so, so loved “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

‘Nuff said.


Thankful today for:

169. what will be a great gathering of friends at our house on Easter

170. freedom

171. new growth on rose bushes

It’s Nathan’s Big Day!

Today is my middle  child, Nathan’s, 13th birthday. Here he is a few years ago. And really, this is typical Nathan. Goofy and doesn’t care who knows it. (He put on his sister’s pink swim goggles so his eyes wouldn’t tear up while he was chopping an onion.)

This is Nathan just a couple of months ago. He really does have his serious moments, momentary though they are. Nathan is all boy. He loves to read and whack things with sticks. He loves swords and knives and bows. He’s taking a fencing class, and archery, and excelling at both. He hates math, or so he thinks. He has no idea what he wants to do with his life, since he thinks the only things he’s good at are reading and whacking things with sticks.

At one time he thought he wanted to be a missionary adventurer, traveling to exotic places and telling people about God. He loves learning about animals and buying books about animals, but when it comes to actually doing the dirty work of taking care of the animals? Not so much.

He loves God. He loves going to the youth group meetings at our church. He loves Greek mythology and learning Latin in school and studying ancient civilizations.

He’s smart and funny and cute (don’t tell him I said that). When his little sister was a baby and crying about something, he would try to cheer her up by telling her a joke or making funny faces at her. Now, if he hurts her, which is a frequent occurrence, he tries to get her to laugh about some other goofy thing he’s doing.

He tried to lie to me once. Didn’t make it past 10 minutes before he was confessing his crime.

He loves back scratches and Wii Lego Harry Potter. And food. He’ll eat about anything in many unusual combinations.

He’s lovable, irritating, sweet, goofy, moody, easy-going, a bit careful when it comes to trying new things.

He’s Nathan, and I love him to death. Happy 13th birthday, dude.

Today I’m thankful for:

25. Nathan

26. Another night when I don’t have to cook dinner

27. Middle school volcano experiments

Being a Blessing

Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts is very popular these days. I haven’t read it, but from what I’ve gathered, the premise is that you can find blessings in every single day. There are multitude tiny ways God shows us He loves us.

King Solomon had that idea long before this book came out. Ecclesiastes 11:7 says: “Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour” (The Message).

In that same chapter, Solomon says, “Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night” (Ecc. 11:1,2 The Message).

Enjoy what you have and share it with others. Live generously and you will find that God is generous with you. Sow thankfulness and you will reap a thankful heart that is a blessing to others. It’s a people magnet: others will be drawn to you because of your heart.

I’m getting a little bit of a late start, but each day I am going to list three things for which I’m thankful, so that at the end of the year, I have 1000. Maybe I’ll even read Ann’s book.

I’ll start big:
1. My salvation
2. My husband
3. The way all my children still like to hug me (my boys are 15 and 13–in 8 days–and my daughter is 9).

Feel free to join me.