Friday, August 18, 2017

What about a prayer group?

Several years ago we started a prayer group in our house, called Prayer for the Nations. With a group of friends we would come together once a month and specifically pray for our European continent.

There are prayer groups in most of our cities and churches of course, but we noticed that they are often focused on people and personal needs, and not so much on nations. And boy, do we need to pray for this struggling world.

During Prayer for the Nations we focus on God's Word, not on the daily news. We proclaim Psalm 67 over the nations of Europe, May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

We pray for governments, for the church, the economy and the harvests. We pray that God's righteousness and truth will be revealed, that His peace will become known and His love shared. We cry out for God's will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven. The prayer meetings are very encouraging and inspiring.

We no longer meet in our house. We have moved to Twinkeltje, a little 2nd hand shop that friends of us opened up a year ago... with all proceeds going towards our non-profit organization Traveling Light. We often present pictures from the countries we visit during our travels and that really helps to pray specifically. With contacts in more than 30 nations there is always something to pray for!

I am curious about the prayer group(s) you are involved in. Anything you want to share?
If you're not involved in a specific group, may I encourage you to start a prayer group? 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Times of trouble bring rays of joy

I love it when the blogging community gets stirred because one of us has published a book. It doesn't really matter whether it is a first try at having one's work in print or whether it is the next book in a growing bibliography. Writing a book takes determination, effort, passion, and lots of work. So, having said that... congratulations to Cecelia Lester for bringing out a devotional book, titled Times of trouble bring rays of joy.

What I really like about Cecelia's book is that she has kept the devotionals short and to the point with a scripture to read, her personal reflection, several questions for the reader... and room to write! I love journaling, so any book that allows me to scribble what the Spirit is telling me while reading, gets a big plus. Well done Cecelia.

The subtitle of this book is 'Thoughts of God and His Word', and that is certainly what I, as the reader, can sense. As Cecelia shares her personal thoughts and questions , she opens up her heart and mind for the reader to be inspired. She is not afraid to question popular thinking and the ways of our present-day world. I quote:

"In our twenty-first century society, we sometimes forget that God is sovereign. We try to manipulate Him into doing what we want. We should be more polite and ask Him for guidance before we make decisions."

The devotions have been grouped in a series of topics such as: strength, faith, humility and peace. That makes the reading even more practical as it is possible to pick a devotion fitting our circumstances or needs.

Times of trouble bring rays of joy is available on Amazon as paperback and e-book. Do Cecelia a favor and leave her a review if you enjoy her writings. Let's encourage one another!

About the author:
Cecelia Lester lives in central Indiana with her husband. She started blogging back in 2008. Her mission statement is: "Quiet Spirit writes with the focus to minister to those who hurt, to them who search for God, and those who wish to have a closer walk with Jesus."

See also the interview with Cecelia on my blog back in 2013.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Give me a Z

Back in August 2015 (yep, two years ago) I started my Bible alphabet blog series, no need to say I took some detours along the way :) but here we are... Z stands for Zeal.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary zeal, or fervor, is an eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something.

In the Old Testament zeal is often attributed to God, as in Isaiah 37:32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. In this context the Hebrew word קִנְאָה is being used, which is pronounced 'qinah' (ardor, zeal, jealousy). God's love for Israel comes with a healthy jealousy to keep her as His own.

In the New Testament zeal is more a form of enthusiasm as mentioned in Romans 12:11, Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. The Greek word is σπουδή, which is pronounced 'spoudé' (haste, diligence, earnestness, enthusiasm). It is a call for the modern day believer to stay excited and diligent; refusing to fall asleep on the couch of dead religion.