Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Privilege of Prayer

People need prayer.

I'm just now beginning to understand this as a discipline. The bigness of it. The effects of it. The privilege of it.

There are so many awesome scriptures on prayer. So many quotes by really wonderful people on prayer. So many good pray-ers. No one really needs me to write a blog post on it.

But here lately, I have been finding so much joy in praying. Instead of it being a monotonous ritual or an anxiety filled plea - it's become more of a communing. It's something I crave. Something I need. Not something I dread. Not something I fear. It's also been more about intercession. That is, praying for other people - interceding for them. I have found so much satisfaction in this. Excitement, even! I've discovered that praying for another person's needs causes a fountain of love and contentment to well up inside - causing the tumult within my own heart to cease. Sounds cheesy but it's true.

Our whole family is experiencing the same thing. Right now, there is a light-up rotating globe sitting on my kitchen table - at the request of my husband. It has become our centerpiece, if you will. It serves as a reminder that there is a whole world of people who need the love and compassion of Jesus. And it reminds us to pray for them. It's powerful. It's even had an impact on our 4 year old. This week - he chose to pray for Portugal, Spain, France, and all of Africa. He gets it.

His Mommy is trying hard to get it, too. That's where you come in! What can I pray about for YOU? Please take me up on this. It would be my pleasure to lift you up in intercession. I'm setting aside some extra time just to pray for you. Take courage in that!

I'll leave you with some wisdom far richer than anything I could ever conjure up! Be blessed, friends - and know that you are loved....

Pray without ceasing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

"I am so grateful I did not wait until I was perfect or had everything straight before praying for others, otherwise I would never have begun." - Richard Foster

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. - Jeremiah 33:3

"Understand that praying is more than bowing your head and saying your prayers. Your whole life can be a prayer." - from Checklist for a Woman's Life

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He made abide with you forever. - John 14:16

 Lord, lead me in prayer. Meet me in prayer. Teach me how to pray. Let the Spirit pray through me. Bring people and things to my mind that you want prayed for. And let me heed the call. Please bless everyone who stops by my blog with a deep reassurance of Your goodness. We praise you. 
In Jesus, Amen.

Monday, January 17, 2011


One of the things that gets me through winter... is food. When the weather is cold - I turn into a corny, June Cleaver-ish, cooking and baking freak.

I'm not a cold weather person. The chapped lips, cloudy skies, and freezing cold temperatures don't exactly do it for me. I need some sunshine. Some warmth. Some life, please.

While I'm cooped up inside with two antsy children all season - I turn to Jesus. And then I turn to my stove.

Throughout the winter months - I make my Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup at least once a week. It's a great way to get some veggies into our bellies. It's not loaded with junk. (Like bouillon cubes, for example. Those things might be totally safe - I have some sitting in my cupboard. But seriously, what's in those 'chicken flavored' little squares? Kinda scares me.) It's not super expensive. And I read somewhere that chicken soup really is good for your immune system. I'm up for anything that will fight off a virus or two. Sign me up, please!

You want to sign up, too? You got it. Here's the recipe:

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup - from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook - 14th Edition

1 3-4 pound chicken, cut up, or 2.5 pounds meaty chicken pieces
8 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1.5 cups dried egg noodles
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley (I don't always add this.)

1) In a 6-8 quart Dutch oven combine chicken, water, onion, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 1.5 hours or until chicken is tender.

2) Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones. Discard bones and skin. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; set aside. Discard bay leaf. Skim fat from broth. (I don't always skim the fat.)

3) Bring broth to boiling. Stir in carrot and celery. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes. Stir in noodles. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes more or until noodles are tender but still firm. Stir in chicken and parsley; heat through. (I let it simmer for a bit after I've added all the ingredients. Maybe 15-20 minutes.)

 It's so good. While it warms up our bellies - it warms up our hearts. I told you the cold makes me corny :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

They Bring Peace

I'm crazy about the book of Ephesians.

All of it - but particularly chapter 4. Will you dive into it with me for a moment? Just look at these nuggets of truth:

Verse 1 says: lead a life worthy of your calling
Verse 2 says: be humble and gentle...patient...making allowances for each other's faults
Verse 3 says: keep yourselves united in the Spirit...bind yourselves together with peace
Verses 5 and 6 say: there is one God who is over all and in all and living through all
Verse 14 says: we should no longer be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine
Verse 17 says: no longer walk in the futility of your mind
Verse 22 says: throw off your former way of life
Verse 23 says: be renewed in the Spirit of your mind
Verse 25 says: put away lying
Verse 26 says: do not let the sun go down on your wrath
Verse 28 says: use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to those in need
Verse 29 says: let everything you say be good and helpful...and an encouragement to those who hear them
Verse 30 says: do not grieve the Holy Spirit
Verse 31 says: get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander
Verse 32 says: be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another

And in between all of those words are more awesome words of truth. Go ahead and check them out. Dive in. Test the waters. It feels good.

When I first started getting serious about studying God's Word - I did a personal study of Ephesians. I didn't just read it - I relished it. Rolled around in it for a while. Chewed on it for a few days. Cross referenced it. Compared translations. And memorized a few verses, too. (Not because I'm super-duper righteous or anything.I'm not. - But because I couldn't help myself.) I also prayed that the Holy Spirit would speak to me through it. He did...still does....and He'll do the same for you.

The few phrases I listed above - and the other sweet words you'll find in this book - are not words of bondage. They are not regimented. Or haughty. Or even religious. They are life-giving. They bring freedom. They edify. They bring peace. To you - and to those in your sphere of influence.

Don't you just think that's beautiful?

Me too.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let's Seek Him

Welcome to 2011! And welcome to JottinMama's new blog! It's high time I get my act together and do this blog thing the way it's meant to be done. Well. Weekly. Wonderfully. That's my intention... we will see how I do :)

2010 was life-changing. And awesome. The Lord was so up close and personal with us last year.... getting into our business and onto our cases like never before. I'm hoping and praying for more of the same in 2011.

And I think I'll get it because...

I had an interesting little exchange with the Lord one day a couple of month ago. I was driving down the road - praying. About my faith...about the doubts whirling around in my mind. And as I was praying and pondering - I had a tornado of quotes and thoughts filling my brain....from theologians, books, articles, and preachers that I had listened to recently.

"Well this pastor says....."

"But this theologian thinks that..."

"And this author believes....."

It was so noisy. And overwhelming. When all of the sudden I felt like the Lord said...

"But Kate, who do YOU say that I am?"

Immediate calm flooded my mind. And then I thought about the Bible passage where Jesus asked the disciples the very same thing. It's in Luke 9:18-20, if you're interested.

Ever since...I've been repeating the question over and over in my mind. Who do I say that Jesus is?

The only way to answer the question is to know Him personally. Through scripture. Through prayer. Through worship. Beth Moore can't do that for me. Ravi Zacharias can't do that for me. Max Lucado can't do that for me. My pastors can't do that for me. While they are all excellent Bible teachers and while I do learn from them and enjoy their teachings (and while I will probably quote them often this year here on my blog).... I have to find out who Jesus is my own self. I have to get my own nose into The Word. I have to get on my own knees and pray my own prayers. I have to lift my own hands in worship.  And friends, when I do those things, when I position myself at His feet (through serious Bible study, prayer, fasting, fellowship, quiet, stillness, service, obedience, etc...) I'm able to give Him an answer to the, "Who do YOU say that I am?" question that pierced my heart that day.

And that's important. For me. And for you.

So this year, please join me. In the Word. On your knees. In worship. Out in the world - serving and seeking. For I'm beginning to understand that in these things ...a person does a lot of finding. Revelation happens. Our eyes are opened. Our faith is strengthened. Our influence is lengthened. We are guided, girded, and hoisted up to catch His wind in our sails.

Oh friends. I'm thankful for you. And for this new year. And for a God who wants us to know Him. Really know Him. In 2011, may the Spirit break into our lives, homes, hearts, churches, and communities like never before.

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give to you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. - Ephesians 1:15-19 NKJV