marymcleary

Covering my angst with the soothing wisdom from my mother's prayer journals


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Deuteronomy 30:19

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 . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life that you and your descendants may live.

In His graciousness, God gives freedom to make choices, and even if you don’t always make the best ones He allows you to decide what to do.

Satan is a liar. He will seek to discourage you and make you doubt yourself and the choices you make. Everyday wake up, say your prayers, in Jesus name, and do something. God has the awesome ability to bless even our messes.

Praying for wisdom every day could change your life and the lives of future generations, but remember what Mother wrote in her journal,

“Just because you have won a single battle with temptations, does not mean you will automatically win the next one. We need to be constantly watchful.  Sometimes Satan’s strongest attacks come after a victory.”

Dear Lord, I thank you that Jesus went all the way to the cross when He could have chosen not to. Help me to choose life and blessing and to remember that the enemy never quits trying to destroy me with his lies. Amen


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2 Samuel 11:2

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2 Samuel 11:2

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful.

The beautiful woman was Bathsheba who was the wife of Uriah, a soldier in King David’s army. This verse is the beginning of a story full of sadness. His love for her resulted in Uriah’s death (which David orchestrated) and the birth of a child who eventually died.

When I read this story, I always feel sorry for Bathsheba because, really, who says no to a king. Apparently he couldn’t get the thought of her out of his mind, and (in my opinion) she paid a steep price for his attraction. David also lived with the consequences of his actions.

As a king, David did what he pleased and took what he wanted. He had no fear of criticism of censure, but his heart was broken by the death of the son Bathsheba bore him. That’s the lesson.

David was a powerful man whose repentance came with the death of a child. Someone’s unfaithfulness most always affects those closest to the situation. Their bodies won’t die, but their faith might.

In her journal Mother wrote, “No matter who you are, moral laxness will cause problems.

Dear Lord, Thank you for giving us free will, but help us stay close to you so that our choices don’t hurt innocent people and displease you. Help us to be faithful to you and those you’ve given us to love. Amen

 

 


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Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.

My dad could play the piano, make wonderful Italian spaghetti and tell funny stories about his experiences during WWII. His work allowed him to be home on many week days so he often did the grocery shopping and ran the vacuum. He also took my brother and me to our various lessons and practices.

I never thought of him as a hero until I started reading about the fighting in North Africa during WWII. As a Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corp, he and those he served with were expected to do heroic tasks.

God gave a regular guy the courage needed during the troubles of war.

Now, every hour of each day, news outlets proclaim national and world events that are frightening, but we can be confident God will give us extra portions of bravery when we need it.

In her journal Mother wrote, “Heroes in battle are not always heroes in daily life.”

To paraphrase John Wayne, “A hero is someone who may be scared to death but saddles up anyway.”

With God as our refuge and strength, courage will come.

Dear Lord, I thank you for those who protect us. Give them courage when they need it, and help each of us live heroically for You. Amen025


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Watching for God to Do “A New Thing”

 

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My initial purpose for blogging was to share my mother’s prayer journals. After a few years, those posts became books, In My Mother’s Words and Heart Whispers from the Old Testament. I’m glad I jumped head first into cyber expression, but once I accomplished my mission, my diligence waned.

Life goes on and recently our granddaughter began writing a blog about her experiences as a college freshman.  Her spiritual wisdom astounds me. Her writing style is from the heart with no holds barred, She’s funny and fresh and faithfilled.

When you visit her blog,Landry Lately, multiply her by millions of young people who are living their faith in this shaky world. They are the ones I think of when I read in scripture, “Behold, I am doing a new thing”. They inspire me to hope in the Lord and say my prayers.

Because Satan is the master liar, He would like us to believe that heavenly forces are dwindling and we are alone in a cruel world. He whispers hateful untruths and if I didn’t know that the Bible is the word of God, I would assume the fetal position, suck my thumb and give up.

But I do know this so when times are tough I grab that book and claim His promises. When I read any of the Psalms and pray those scriptures, peace comes.

Try Acts. Those guys were in terrible times yet they kept the faith and their children (and ours) saw a new thing.

The amazing thing to me (one of the zillions) about our God is that He never runs out of New Things. His mercies are ever new, every day for everyone. He will not run out of ways to protect and bless us.

He always provides for “such a time as this”. He has angel armies for our battles (Psalm 34:7) and he has young people, who are committed to love Him and love others.

I am so thankful for these precious children of the cross! They live their faith on Facebook. They write blogs. They join the armed forces. They go to college or go to work. They look for His will in their lives and embrace his wonderful grace.

Mother wrote in her journal, “Today as in Bible times, spiritual victories come through a continually renewed relationship with God. Keep your relationship new and fresh.”

I am thankful for young people who love Jesus and the fresh relationship they have with the Lord. My prayer is that, like them, I will be filled with the joy of my salvation and see Him do a new thing.

 

 

 

 


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A Trip to Destin and My Friend’s Intentional Obedience

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It is exciting to receive God’s blessings as a result of another’s obedience, and that happened on a beach trip to Destin with friends last summer. We were an hour from home when we stopped for breakfast and one of the women said, “Wait a minute, I want to tell you something the Lord laid on my heart. I’ve prayed about this trip and I want to pay for all the gas, meals and extras.”

Immediately there were shouts of, “Oh no you won’t!” from three of our group while I raised my hands and said, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Our benefactor smiled, “Thanks, Mary. I knew I could count on you.”

I was all about a blessing and was ready to receive what the Lord laid on her heart to give. I had no clue how humbling that would be.

That week, the friend practicing intentional obedience was joyful in her largess. Those who initially resisted became grateful and the one (me) who was so willing to receive became acutely aware of how undeserving she was.

Every acquisition during the week required me to adjust my thinking. I became acutely aware of every purchase, but not in an uncomfortably way. Her thoughtfulness made me careful, and by the end of the week I was just as eager to become the giver as I was to receive.

As always, Jesus’ words proved true, it is more blessed to give than to receive. In a world with so many needs, it is easy to become cynical about giving. I’ve heard, “I can’t give enough to do any good.” Or “If I give to this organization, I’ll get a mailbox full of requests for more.”

Our week at the beach instilled a renewed desire in me to give, and the opportunities abound:

A time of respite to a caregiver

Some money to someone in need

A card or call of encouragement

A kind word to someone who usually gets on your last nerve

Comfort for someone who is hurting.

Recently I notice a quote that read, “There are two kinds of people: the givers and the takers.” That may be true but I want to swing to and fro between categories. I want to get every blessing He has for me from whomever He chooses to deliver it, but I also want give.

Mother wrote in her journal, “From the time of Abraham, people learned that when they obey God’s voice and surrender to Him whatever they hold most precious, He multiplies it thousands of times.”

My friend’s example of intentional obedience reminded me that keeping a faithful relationship with Him will open my heart to His specific tasks and He will equip me to perform those tasks. I can choose to be obedient.


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Against the Odds

 

Joshua 23:10

One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He has promised you.

When an underdog in a sporting event fights hard and gives his/her opponent a scare, it is called a moral victory. He/she fought the good fight and came out a winner of sorts.

If a person takes an unpopular stand against overwhelming odds and doesn’t get demolished in the process, that is also a moral victory.

A teenager who lives her faith may lose popularity, but her witness through the years could impact thousands.

In her journal Mother wrote, “Victory depends not on strength or numbers but on obedience and commitment to Him.”

Heavenly Father, I thank you for strength when the odds are against us. Help us to have the courage to do whatever You ask us to do. Amen


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God Is Answering Your Prayers

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While writing Heart Whispers from the Old Testament, I heard God say, “I have a Promised Land for each of my children.” Claiming it requires a faith that comes from knowing the Truth of God revealed in His Word.

As I scanned my social media pages, it was easy to see how many friends and family members were struggling to reach their destiny when this line popped out, God is working in your life, right now, in ways you cannot imagine. Which to me translated, He is answering your prayers, and I Immediately thought of people I regularly pray for:

  1. The granddaughter starting her college career in a far away city.
  2. The grandson who started a new job.
  3. The daughter with a new class of fourth graders and an active family.
  4. The daughter finishing a chemistry degree while working full-time.
  5. The son-in-law working toward a winning season for his football team.
  6. The son-in-law finishing a difficult job away from his home and family.
  7. The friend fighting cancer.

Throughout the Old Testament, God provided ways for His people to overcome and be victorious, but they had to be bold and courageous in order to claim their blessings. That courage came from knowing the mighty God and obeying His instructions.

Those instructions still apply today, and I hope those I pray for will obey them.

Be careful what you look at, read or listen to. It is easy to let something attractive lure you away from your destiny. It can happen in a heartbeat so be watchful.

Watch and learn from others. The Bible says, “By their fruits you shall know them.” Watch how people act and what outcomes those actions produce. Learn from them.

Anybody striving for the best will run into people who hurt and disappoint them. Learn from the situation, be smart enough to avoid repeating the problem, but most importantly forgive those who harm you. Holding a grudge only takes your joy.

Even when we experience difficulties, God can use them to teach us that He alone is God, and that is a valuable lesson!

Mother wrote in her journal, “Faith is the communication link between heaven and earth. It is on this link of faith that God’s messages of love travel so quickly that even before we ask, He answers.”

Every day is full of important decisions that determine whether or not we achieve all that God has planned for us. When I pray for the people I love, I need to also have faith that God really is working in their lives, right now, in ways they cannot understand.

 

 

 

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