Pray Without Ceasing – Revisited

Pray Without Ceasing – Revisited

This is never a fun thing to say, but I have to say it.

I was wrong.

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In February 2015, I wrote a post called Pray without Ceasing?  in which I questioned necessity of praying over and over for the exact same thing.  In this post, I said that after hours of searching, “I found only one valid example [in the Bible] of a person praying multiple times for the exact same thing.”

And I left it at that.  For two years, the content of this post was in the back of my mind, but I never found an example (other than Paul) of someone who repeatedly came to God about the same issue.

keep asking

A few days ago, I read Luke 18 which tells the story of a begging widow and an evil judge.  The judge had no concern for the widow’s wellbeing; he “neither feared God nor cared what people thought” (verse 2).  Because the widow was desperate for justice, she came to the judge regularly to plead her case.

She came regularly.  The exact translation says, “she kept coming to him.”  She didn’t make one earnest plea.  She didn’t hang her head and walk away.  She came, and when he denied her, she came again.  She kept coming.

After some time, the judge thought to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,  I will see that the widow gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”

Jesus explained the parable this way in verses 6b-8a:

Listen to what the unfair judge said. God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them.  I tell you, God will help his people quickly.

If an evil judge is willing to help a poor widow, surely our compassionate Father will help His children.  This parable shows we can keep coming before the throne of God.  We can keep asking over and over again.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

-Hebrews 4:16

 

P.S. – Pine Cove just posted an article that I wrote on their blog!  Go check it out 🙂

Finding Whose We Are: Reconciled

Finding Whose We Are: Reconciled

Last week, I shared my first post in a series that I am writing with Emily and Naomi, and I discussed finding identity as God’s Workmanship.   God personally made every individual that is on the earth, but not everyone can find their identity in Him because not everyone has a relationship with Him.

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Summer 2017 Plans

Summer 2017 Plans

In August 2014, I had no idea the power of a simple Google search.  All I knew was that I didn’t want to spend another summer working a desk job, so I began hunting for other options.  I typed “Christian camp photographer” into the search bar, and the rest is history…

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Finding Whose We Are: His Handiwork

Finding Whose We Are: His Handiwork

  • Career
  • Wealth
  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Accomplishments
  • Appearance

These are just a few of the many false identities that we are urged to embrace.

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Wait and See

Wait and See

Miss Shoaf, Will we use the Chromebooks in Science today?

Miss Shoaf, How many chapters of Holes will we read this afternoon?

Miss Shoaf, When will you grade our tests?

Miss Shoaf, Who gets to be the Math Magician today?

Miss Shoaf, Can I solve number 3 on the board?

Miss Shoaf, Will we have a substitute in P.E. next week?

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My answer to all of these questions is the same:  we will have to wait and see.

The constant barrage of questions I get as a student teacher can be annoying if not overwhelming.  Yet, I sit on the floor of my dorm room tonight, and I exhale my relentless questions to God.

  • Will I pass student teaching?
  • What will I do after I graduate?
  • Should I pursue Option X?
  • Why am I even a student teacher in the first place?
  • What is the purpose of all of this?

Just Wait and See

Suddenly, those words that I say to my students without a second thought are the worst words in the world.

WAIT and SEE

I don’t want to wait.  I want to know now!  Yet, I must trust that God has my best interest in mind, just as I seek the good of my students.  As hard as it is, I know that God wants me to learn and grow.  He knows that I don’t need to know yet.

And so I wait. Very impatiently.

Remember

Remember

I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.  I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.   – Psalm 77:11-12

I would be lying if I told you that student teaching is easy. On the days that I make students cry, on the days that I forget to give full instructions, on the days that my lessons fail, I am convinced that I should just switch majors.

If I had a dollar for every time that I wanted to quit…

Hanging above the desk in my dorm room is a quote from Nicki Koziarz:

Sometimes you just need to look back and remember the places God has brought you through.

Surrounding the quote are dozens of pictures. There are pictures from Africa, from when I wanted to completely give up on ever making a decent video. There are pictures taken only days prior to my overnight stay in the DFW airport. There are pictures from all 4 years of college when I was anxious for a multitude of reasons.

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And the Lord brought me through all of it. So every time that the Enemy says that I am flailing and aimless, I must look back and see what the LORD has brought me through. If He brought me through those struggles, he will bring me through this one, too.

Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Freshman Me

Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Freshman Me


Today at 9:30 am, I will attend my last class at the undergraduate level.  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I will take final exams, and next semester I will be a student teacher in a fifth grade class.  Lord willing, I will graduate in less than five months.

Looking back, I realize that some of the emotionally challenging days of college could have been avoided.

10 things I wish I could tell my freshman self

  1. God is God. You are not.  Trust His plan, and don’t try to fix it.
  2. Be humble. Be a servant.  Be like Christ.
  3. Treat your body like God’s temple. Worship in it, but don’t worship it.
  4. The accolades really don’t matter, so don’t get too engrossed in the competition. Enjoy the challenge for how it is building you individually.
  5. To have friends, you must show yourself friendly.
  6. Enjoy the moment because it is all you have.
  7. Quit worrying about money. God will supply your needs.
  8. Wear your polka-dot rain boots. Wear your green shorts.  Wear your flowy skirts.  Don’t be embarrassed by your quirky style.  When you finally get brave enough to wear those clothes in your junior year, you will get a ton of compliments.
  9. Get involved in school events and at church. You want people to know who you are.
  10. Perfection is unattainable. Quit trying so hard.

I would never claim that college is easy, but the past 3.5 years have been some of the most rewarding years of my life.  As I learned the ten truths that I listed above, I have grown emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.  I have seen God’s provision to pay for college and missions trips.  I have seen God’s sovereignty to orchestrate convenient class schedules and amazing summer jobs.  God showed His grace by sustaining me through difficult classes and long nights.

Truthfully, student teaching terrifies me, but I must “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk.”

  • God will continue to provide for me.
  • God will continue to orchestrate His plan.
  • God will continue to graciously sustain me.

Meanwhile, I will believe the ten statements that I want to tell my freshman self.