Tuesday, April 30, 2013

human trafficking, and when I become just like the devil

Well, you know my Tuesday drill.  For those of you who are new here to the nest, I'll explain the Tuesday drill briefly.

1. We fight. I help us become aware of the injustices all around us, and we choose to stand up, in full armor rather than plunging our heads into the sand.

2. We pray, and hopefully choose to include a form of fasting each Tuesday in order to stir our desire for more of Him by stirring our hunger as a physical reminder.

3. We decide to be a part of the solution. Here and there.  If you want, you can stop reading now, and simply DO. I promise - I'll not even be a stitch offended.

photo credit: Mary Ann Fiebert

So, I'm in the car, driving the kids to school this morning, praying and listening and planning and writing in my head. Seriously, I have no idea how my brain works so fast. It's gotta be my coffee! And as I was listening to my stomach growl and wondering why I was so hungry, I remembered again after about a half-hour of going this fast, "Oh yes! I'm hungry on purpose. Back to prayer." I'll eat later on today. For now, intercession on behalf of the girl who's being raped this very moment for money is more important.

So once again, my prayer goes back to "Why? ... Why this horror? Why so many? Why do they sell sex, and why do people buy it? Jesus, if I knew why, I feel like I could fight better, pray better, do more, give more. Why, Oh God, why does human trafficking exist?"

I've heard His answer before, so it shouldn't surprise me, but it does.


He gives us choice and will, but the bottom line is - power is reserved for God alone.  In attempts to be God, usurp God, play God, replace God, imitate God ... we all have stolen power.  It was Satan's first sin, and it was also humanity's. And it continues to ravage us, even as we ravage one another.

I almost can't drive when I realize it. I am just like that nasty snake. I steal The Father's power too.  When I hold contempt, refuse to surrender, strive for my own way, rebel against those who watch over me.

Add repentance to my intercession, and I think He's got me right where He wants me again. On my knees. At His feet. Leaning on Him. Begging Him to let me do His will. And to give me the strength to persevere in it.

Today is Tuesday.  As we look and pray and fight, let's not forget Why we have to do this in the first place. Because all power is and should be His.

Now check out this new site from my friends over at Exodus Road, and remember -
"May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right." -Peter Marshall

"Most of us assume that after a victim is rescued from modern day slavery, freedom is guaranteed.  Statistically speaking, this is not the case. After trial and release, victims still lack education, finances, or family support– the necessities which led to their vulnerability in the first place. Sadly, many victims are cycled back in to slavery."

This is the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    Loosen the chains of wickedness,
        untie the straps of the yoke,
            let the oppressed go free,
                and break every yoke.

 Share your food with the hungry,
    take the poor and homeless into your house,
        and cover them with clothes when you see them naked.
            Don’t refuse to help your relatives.
 Then your light will break through like the dawn,
    and you will heal quickly.
    Your righteousness will go ahead of you,
    and the glory of the Lord will guard you from behind.
 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer.
    You will cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am!”                                                                  -Isaiah 58:5-9 (GWT) 

Oh God, today as we seek Your sovereignty alone on this enormous mess of a globe where we've all stolen Your power from You, would You please show us Your glory?  Display Your goodness, Your redemption, Your strength over our lives and hearts as we surrender. God - rescue is needed and restoration is crucial. It's what I plead for as I'm here, on my knees, humbled in Your presence. Would You please do what only You can, and would You do it through us, Your willing vessels. Help my friends at Exodus Road, and many other organizations who are fighting for the freedom of these innocent women and children, whose only fault is that they don't have the strength to escape their precious vulnerability. This vulnerability is beautiful to You, Jesus, but it has been exploited by those who have stolen Your power. Would You please right this wrong, Lord? Would You please bring justice? And would You please send me?

Monday, April 29, 2013

If Fridays are for writing, maybe Mondays are for reading...

And I am loving books lately. I wanted to be finished with The Four Loves by today so that I could review it for us here in the nest, but ... well, C.S. Lewis is not always (ever?) a quick-read.  I'm almost finished, so stay tuned next week - believe me, we'll need the whole thing.

So for today, I'd like to share a few books on my to-read list.  I couldn't really list all of them - come to the bookstore with me some day - we'll have fun!

The first one is by this guy. I'm in a trance watching his youtube stuff - but I think this is the most concise for you. Not sure why I can't stop listening to his story, but it could be because he reminds me of a young version of my dad. More than that, though, I'm a bit obsessed with this thing God does all the time that I call the biggest miracle ever - changing a human heart.  Just watch:

So his book, Save Me from Myself, went on my kindle wish list this morning.  Can't wait to finish C.S. Lewis and start this guy. I think maybe I have some diversity in my reading taste. Maybe? *wink*

A few others I'm eyeing:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Didn't Ask to be Born (But I'm Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds

Idol Lies by Dee Brestin

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (now tell me that title doesn't have my name written all over it!)

Okay - that's enough for now. Let me know what you're reading too!

If you love books too, I want to hug you. Keep reading, Dear Ones! Look for God's truth in the pages, and hold onto His love when you see it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

when I write ...

Well it's Friday, which is as good a day as any to be writing.

I'm particularly inspired today because I've just been to one of the largest libraries near me - the Carnegie Library. And can I just say, *swoon.*  I love books. Remind my husband never to drop me off there. Not unless he wants to get rid of me for a few weeks or months. So. Much. Fun.  Oh, and the kids on the field trip might have had a good time too.  *wink*

Before we write, let's start by building our palette (not to be confused with palate [the part of your mouth] or pallet [something you lie on] ): 

Vocabulary word of the week: 

1. to make known by open declaration; publish; proclaim formally or put into operation (a law, decree of a court, etc.). 
2. to set forth or teach publicly (a creeddoctrine, etc.)

My writing prompt today is inspired by my current library read - The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis 

"[Friendship has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival."

So, how about it? Spend about 15 minutes on a freewrite - no need to edit or polish - about friendship. What does it mean to you? How important are friendships in life? What do your friends add or take from you? Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Lewis on his assertion of friendship's value? You can write a short story, prose or poem. Just make sure it's friendly.

I can't wait to read your thoughts!

Oh, and one more thing - don't forget to send me your questions for "a little bird told me" on Saturdays. For more information, you can go here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

exercise in Simple

I'm a sucker for books. Fun fact about Robyn time.

I've tried to simplify my life this year by only reading one book at a time. Yea - that's pretty hard for me. I completely regressed on this bit, and came home from the library the other day with a huge bag full. I felt like a junkie with a stash. (Actually, I don't really know how that feels, but it's how I imagine it might feel.)

And as I've started about five of them, reading through about the third chapter, I've once again realized why I really shouldn't do this. My brain gets cluttered. I can't focus and I start having all kinds of ideas of what I want to do and change and tackle and prune and pray for and start and ... ugh. It's too complicated again.

So, here I go tomorrow - back to the library to return all but one. 

Pray for me - I want to pick the right one.  But then, I can always go back and get the next one in a couple weeks.

Have I mentioned I love the Library? 

Oh, and did I mention that God opened a door for me to go the Carnegie Library this Friday on a special field trip with another little bookworm in my house? She's so excited for me to come. I don't know which one of us is more giddy.

I'm already thanking God that I won't be checking anything out. 

"Look straight ahead,
    and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

Mark out a straight path for your feet;    stay on the safe path."
            -Proverbs 4:25-26 (NLT)

Thank You, Jesus for helping me make my life Simple. Your path is all I need.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

who could redeem this?

Sometimes we lose sight of hope.  What we feel, what we see, what we hear - from within and without - points only to despair. The eyes of our hearts grow dim and the confusing doubt diminishes all light.  Abuse, violence, violation, sabotage, evil - all adds up, and who could ever right these wrongs?

The trap of darkness, the scheme - it is to envelop us into the lie that no one ever could do that.  But - the truth of light, the reality of what IS - there is an I AM who can.

This week I received a package I'd been scouring the mailbox for during the past weeks.  A thick envelope from an organization called Women at Risk (WAR), International. And within the package came real stories that testify of His power. No greater miracle I know than when He changes a human heart.  And when I read about Ipo, I remembered it again. God redeems what no one could fathom. Ipo's parents were also her traffickers, and how can a child know real love when those who gave her life proceeded to steal it back by selling her virginity and innocence?  All of my developmental education screams "There is no way a child can recover and know love after suffering that.  No attachment security. No trust of one's environment. No confidence for identity formation. She's doomed!"  I'm entirely relieved for the rest of the page ... 

Ipo came to a WAR, Int'l. safehouse and found God's love there. She suffered a miscarriage, but received safe treatment and is in school to become a beautician. I read that part and pray somehow God will show her the meaning of true beauty at His school too.  Ipo has hope for a new life, and I know - oh how I now know - only God can redeem her from that to this.  To His. 

The prayer devotional booklet gives prompts for how to pray for Ipo - for her peace and strength in Christ, for healing from the devastating loss of a child, and for her to finish her training and new life skills.  They give me a Scripture to pray over her:

He heals the brokenhearted
    and bandages their wounds. 
         -Psalm 147:3 (NLT)

And in so praying, asking Him to restore and redeem her hope, isn't my hope redeemed too?  

And if He can take her from doomed to destined, why should I think anything I'm facing should be different? And that hope - the hope I see as I read, words becoming soul-warming light - that hope is what I apply as I pray - not only for Ipo, but for all this trouble around.  Can you see it? 

If you've been diving into the reality of Human Trafficking here in my nest with me, you know that I've learned it must end. And we begin to end it when we begin to pray. Not that prayer is all we will do, but prayer is also where we will finish. Our fight for the end of this begins in our asking the One who can put a stop to the horror by redeeming the hopeless to HOPE.   

You can get a prayer kit too - here.  It's beautiful hope sealed in an envelope. Hope that applies because the Source is boundless.  He transcends paper, screens, words, and flesh, and He reaches to the place no other can - to the heart. And He does this in response to prayer.

"The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with." - James 5:16b (Msg)

I want you to pray with me. With the army of prayer warriors and freedom fighters who are standing up to the injustice against the vulnerable children and women like Ipo.  Please contact me if you are interested in fighting too. It begins to end when we begin to pray.

Leave a comment below or email me: robynleelangdon@gmail.com.

God, today we ask You once again to be our Redeemer.  We've realized that only You, only the Divine, can take the darkness and make it the light.  And when You do - You get what You've wanted from the beginning - glory.  We praise You today for rescuing and restoring Ipo, and so many others. We know You will have to be in this to end this, or it won't end at all.  It's You we ask, with You we plead, to You alone we come. Strengthen us, Oh God, for Your work and Your purposes. Show us how to pray, and go and give and restore. Give us the great honor and privilege to be Your hands and feet. Please guide every victim's precious, unique heart and soul to Your redeeming love. Guide her hopeless life to You. You are hope. You are able. You are worthy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

to all my ordinary friends ...

I don't know about you, but justice issues like gendercide and orphans and abortion and human trafficking and AIDS can get intimidating to me.  I tend to bite off more than I can chew in general, but to take a bite out of this crime (maybe I'm the only one who remembers those Officer McGruff commercials) ... usually seems impossible. Sometimes I don't really know what to do, so I stare at the screen and read. I have to say, that's not really the progress I'm looking for in the face of this monstrosity of evil. 

But that is always the lie of intimidation. It's too big to do much, so you might as well do nothing.

Ever been there?

Well, as ordinary people like you and me increase our awareness, I hope we are also taking steps to fight.  Because as children of the King of kings, we are not of those who shrink back. Intimidation has no place among those who follow Christ. We must press on and start by doing something. 

Even if we start small and get our courage by small successes rather than huge leaps. I get it - a red X on my hand isn't going to save the world. But for someone just learning about human trafficking, maybe just the guts to look different among their friends at school or co-workers is a big deal.  And maybe, just maybe the donation you would give out of your meager budget when your spouse really doesn't get why you care about "prostitutes" anyway ... well, maybe that 50 bucks is a huge thing in your world.  And maybe you're not used to praying for people you don't know, and there's not a chance in #$^^ you'd pray aloud, and perhaps fasting for a whole day to pray for child slaves around the world is a ginormous mountain for you.

We have to start somewhere.

In my book, and in God's, to do something small is far greater than doing nothing at all.  Especially if it's where you start, committing to fight in greater measures as you grow stronger, vowing to work your whole life on the behalf of others if that's what it takes.

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
    to break the chains of injustice,
    get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
    free the oppressed,
    cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
    sharing your food with the hungry,
    inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
    putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
    being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
    and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
    The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
    You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you get rid of unfair practices,
    quit blaming victims,
 quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
  and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
  your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
  firm muscles, strong bones,
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
   a gurgling spring that never runs dry." 
             -Isaiah 58:6-9

It doesn't matter to me where you start, but I think He cares. I think Jesus wants you to step out and obey His instruction. If you don't know what that is yet - hit your knees, close your eyes, and ... ask. While you're there, pray for the victims.  When you get back up, obey what He reveals.  It could be something that seems too small to make any kind of real difference, but obedience is always the weightier matter.  Or it could be something so huge, it will be impossible without His help.  Whatever you do, don't stop there, thinking, "Good for me, I can check justice off of my list."  Oh no - this is the beginning, friends. And you may be doing something ordinary today, but you are a hero to someone.

Who are the ordinary heroes of this fight?

Rescue Isn't Jason Bourne, It's You.mov from The Exodus Road on Vimeo.

For more information on how you can be one of these heroes, check out The Exodus Road.

"Is it not the great end of religion, and, in particular, the glory of Christianity, to extinguish the malignant passions; to curb the violence, to control the appetites, and to smooth the asperities of man; to make us compassionate and kind, and forgiving one to another; to make us good husbands, good fathers, good friends; and to render us active and useful in the discharge of the relative social and civil duties?" - William Wilberforce

So - to all my ordinary friends out there ... Thank you.  For praying, giving, going, speaking out, fighting.  You're my heroes too.  We can only do this together!

Lord, would you show us Your plan for righteous fasting? Would You make Yourself known here on earth as You establish Your justice through our efforts and fight. God, we know You have called us to act. Not to be silent. Not to stand by. Not to turn away and give up just because it's monumental.  These great atrocities do not go without Your notice. We proclaim to You that we are willing to do whatever we can, to start small and learn how to grow ever-grander in our influence.  You alone can help us. Only Your power will do.  Encourage us, Spirit, and don't let us give up until the race is won, the slaves are rescued and restored, and You are glorified.  May this be what our Christianity, our religion, our fasting is all about. You.

I'm still looking for prayer partners in a "virtual" intercession circle. Would you join me in the following?

Three initiatives of prayer I'd like to begin/pass on to you, my readers. If you'd like to participate, please let me know in the comments below.  I believe as we join together to encourage one another and pray for Justice, God will be pleased with that unity and look upon our requests with favor.

1. Red Light Prayer - every time you stop at a red light while you're driving, spend the time in prayer for red light districts and slaves around the world. Ask God to rescue those who have been trafficked and abused, and plead with Him to guide them to restorative care that will show these cherished souls His Gospel and great love.

2. Pray with your group - if you have a small group through your church, a group of friends you meet with regularly, a Bible study, etc. you can pray with them.  Intercede together on behalf of abolitionists, rescue fighters, and restoration counselors, and victims, as well as for the criminals, traffickers, and sex-buyers to be restored and reformed.  I will be giving you some resources for prayer starters in a group, including those from a few of the organizations I support.

3. Fasting once a week. I plan to fast one meal or one day per week for the purpose of praying and interceding as well.  Most likely I'll choose Tuesdays, but if another time works better for you, don't let that get in the way.  During these times we'll be praying specific Scriptures on behalf of justice and the value of life to prevail.

My [audacious] goal for this prayer initiative is to have 100 of you on my list of prayer partners.  Will you join me?  If yes, I have three ways for you to stay connected to this virtual prayer circle.

1. email me robynleelangdon@gmail.com 
2. leave a comment with at least your first name below
3. message me on facebook (Robyn Mills Langdon, if you're not already my friend)

It starts and ends with prayer. And I need you to stand here in the circle with me. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

a little bird told me ... {fear and peace}

Here's the letter I got last week -

I have a question! I have heard pastors say that, when facing a decision, you will know the answer based on the peace that you have. As in, God will give you peace about the right answer. The other options won't feel "peaceful" but the correct one will. 

I've also heard pastors say that sometimes we have to "do it afraid." As in, if God is urging us to do something, we might have to do it while still somewhat afraid. This confuses me.

I know we are not to operate in a spirit of fear. We can feel some fear, but still step out in faith, casting that fear down and moving forward anyways. 

So these statements seem contradictory to me. Am I waiting for peace, or am I doing it afraid?

And can I be peaceful, but still have some fear? Is that the part I'm missing? That a person could have peace from God, but still feel a little scared? It doesn't seem like one could be both.

This has been bugging me for a while. Thanks for opening your blog for questions.

Photo Credit: Rolf Hicker

Dear Stuck Between Fear and a Peace Place,

Since I'm a bottom-of-the-line type of gal, I'll start with the simple answer - It's Both. Let me explain how.

Peace and fear are both just emotions if they are not grounded in the source of the Holy Spirit.  If your peace is from the Spirit, you will see Scriptural peace-confirmation (it helps to ask Him for it), and also peace- confirmation from wise, trusted spiritual influencers (it helps to ask them, too). If you have an emotional, come-and-go warm and fuzzy feeling, that's not the peace I'm talking about, and I don't think your pastor would be either. So, yes - on big decisions in life especially, take the time to pray and seek God's heart - you will find His hand if you are seeking His heart.  And wait on Him to answer with His peace, not yours. [Yours is really a question of how to hear from God, methinks.]
AND ...
Don't let fear stop you. Fear is not from God, unless it is of God - that reverent respect that says He could end your life, or give you discipline, or bless you with favor at any moment, and that IS all His prerogative. If you are afraid of anything else though, the source of that fear is either 1) your own deceptive emotions or 2) straight from the devil as a scheme to deter you from God's good plan.  The Bible has over 366 references to either "do not fear" or "take courage" - one for every day of the year, if you need! God does not give the fear, so we should not make decisions based on it.  Indeed, after receiving a portion of peace and courage, you will many times face a measure of fear.  We may be resolved to go and obey, only to be met with fear; in which case- we must remember the peace and confirmation we received from God and wise leaders, and pull that peace back around us like a scarf or cloak as we strip off the lie of fear, casting it into the the devil's face.  We press on despite of the occurrence of emotional fear, or "do it afraid" as your pastor said.  My rebuttal to that phrase may be, however, that you don't have to give in to that fear. It's possible to throw it off, and do it with confidence, boldness, courage - but only in the power of the Holy Spirit.  It IS possible to "do it confident," which I believe would be God's first choice for you.  He wants to prepare you to face fear as you go.  The way to do that is to be well-armed to face fear's attacks, and also to become an expert Sword-wielder, bringing the truth of His Word to fight the devil's lies.  Fear is one of Satan's most effective lies over humanity, so he uses it a lot - to deter, distract, disengage, and delineate God's call and purpose for our lives. We must be aware of fear as a possibility when we obey Him, but He has not left us unprepared, or unable!  Fear doesn't have to be our constant companion.

In my own personal experience, I have faced this very thing often. And I even face it now - as I write vulnerable words into the cyber-madness! What will you say in return? ... What will he or she think of me? ... What if those I respect disagree? ... Do I really have the voice to be proclaiming all that I do? ... Most of my fear stems from the sin of insecurity and/or my enemy's deceitful attacks on my identity.  The truth which I must continually learn to wield with greater effectiveness is that of my identity in Him.  When I declare the truth of my security and acceptance in His love, when I speak the same things of me that Jesus does, I am strong enough to shake off the fear and walk in the peace God gives. (I have an entire notebook full of verses that speak of my identity in Christ, which I refer to often when the ugly lies of insecurity come back to haunt me)  It's not easy for me either, but I HAVE found success over my familiar lies in proclaiming His truth over my life.  It is a choice, but He has never been anything but faithful to help me when I need it most.  He loves me that much.  

And He loves you that much too! And so, Dear Soon-to-be Confident One - take heart!  Jesus Christ will give you the peace you need to pursue all that He has for you.  He knows your heart will face fear also, and He has made provision for you to fight it, finding the fear of the LORD a beautiful fear that casts out all others.

So, to recap:
1. Pray - ask for direction, Biblical confirmation, and peace from God.
2. Also, seek wisdom from spiritual leaders you trust to confirm the direction and dreams you're pursuing. Ask, "Do you think God could want me to do this? Why or why not, according to your knowledge of the Bible?"
3. Obey.
4. Recall the peace you received and take hold of it again.
5. Prepare to face fear, and learn how to fight back with courage.

A few Scriptures that came to mind this week as I was praying about my answer:

" Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel." -Philippians 4:6-8 (CEV)

"Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9 (Amp)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." -Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)

" For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLV)

"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." -John 14:27 (NLT)

I truly, sincerely hope this helps you today. Here's how I pray for you (oh that you were here and I could take your hand!):

Lord, today would You speak Your peace and confidence into the life of this dear brother or sister? I ask You to bring peace like only You can - not just a warm emotion, but TRUE PEACE that passes our understanding. God, would You help this person to fight back with the pure strength of Your True Word when the devil sends darts of fear-fire into his or her mind. I thank You today that You have not left us defenseless, but that You are always faithful to keep Your promise to confirm Your calling and desires with peace. May Your kingdom come in this person's life today, God. As only You can do. In the precious name of Your Son, Jesus Christ ... Amen

And so how about you?  What questions do you have, Dear Heart?  I'd love the privilege of helping you to discern God and His Word too. 

In these posts, I'd like to field a question from you. If you send me your questions, I will answer with His love and truth, and straight from His Word. You can email it to me, and sign it like a "Dear Abby" signature. I vow to keep your name out of the post, even if I see it in your email address. Here's an example:

Dear Robyn -
Sometimes I hear other people talking about God's "presence".  What exactly do they mean? How can I tell whether or not I've been in His presence?
Feeling Out of the Loop 
And then I'll answer with a post here under the label a little bird told me.  I promise to shine His love through my words, and offer His Word and wisdom in my answer.

Sound good?

So - how about it? Will you flood my inbox?  Send me an email today with your question - about life, God, the Bible ... anything. (Okay, that last one was slightly scary, but I'm believing Him for answers, so I'll be alright.)  Of course I reserve the right to answer you in a private email as opposed to here in the nest if for any reason God guides me to do that.   

So, right now, before you forget - won't you write me? robynleelangdon@gmail.com [Please insert "a little bird told me" in the subject line so I can flag it.]  I'll be answering your questions every Saturday!

I can't wait to hear from you ...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fridays are for writing ...

... so let's get to it!

Photo Credit: Dino De Luca

First, let us include another "color in our palette" - vocabulary building time: 


per-SIP-ee-uhnt  , adjective; 1. having perception; discerning; discriminating: a percipient choice of wines. 2. perceiving or capable of perceiving.    noun:1. a person or thing that perceives. [courtesy of dictionary.reference.com]Here's my sentence: The man was so percipient, he could tell if I was having a bad day before I even spoke.

Next - one of my favorite quotes about writing:
"Thoughts disentangle themselves when they go through the lips and the fingertips ... writing makes a man [or woman] more precise." - Rick Warren

And now - your prompt:

Today's topic: POWER ... Take 15 minutes to freewrite [no editing, just type what comes to your thoughts] about what power means to you, or an experience you recall regarding power. Feel free to include poetry or turn it into a fiction scene also. When you're finished, paste it into the comments below, or the link to your blog post. I can't wait to read what you're thinking.

Finally, a prayer:

Father, would You bless our writing for Your glory? May you use what we write every day to refine us, build our simple faith, grow our character, and spread Your Gospel and glory.  We live to honor You alone, and Your power is what we need again today. We love to serve You, Jesus.

"In the same way, you should see yourselves as being dead to the power of sin and alive with God through Christ Jesus." - Romans 6:11 (NCV)

[Tune in tomorrow for a little bird told me ...]

Thursday, April 11, 2013

every good thing ...

Someone once asked me, "Do you really think all the good is from God? Like if anything good happens to you, it's always His doing?"

Uh huh.  Not only do I think that, but I believe it.  Which means it's not only in my mind, but in my behavior, speech, and attitude.  Or at least I want it to be. I aim for it to be a conviction, a belief, a lifestyle of my faith. I'm not perfect, but I am reaching.  Because He is good, defines good, grants good.  If it's good and I have it, then it came from Him and He chose to give it to me. From His hand to mine.  I'm in love with this song:

No really - you have to take four minutes and listen/watch.  I'm not kidding. When it comes on the radio in the car my kids hide their eyes in embarrassment because I'm dancing in my seat.  No joke.

And it's so true.  Look - 

"I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    all the good things I have come from you." -Psalm 16:2 (GNT)

Today I get to share a few of the good things I've counted during this last week:

- a fun and funny date with J at Chick-fil-A and the mall, and the gift you give him of making friends easily

- encouragement to persevere, and faith to put aside shame for Your Gospel and the boldness to proclaim it with the voice You give me (Romans 1:16-17)

- a sunny day to do yard work (even if I did pay for it later)

- campfire and time with our friends

- a wonderful conversation with my aunt and grandmother about my Lola, the memorial, and our hilarious family

- the color cerulean

- J asking to sit on PJ's lap, and the yes ... and that You say that to me when I ask to climb into Your lap too, Father

- happy bird songs

- hope and self-control, again - just when I need it most ... Lord, You are nothing if not faithful

- open windows and fresh air

Lord, Jesus - I am so very thankful that You are good.  I trust You to give me good, and that's why I live with open hands. I offer this worship of thanks to you on the altar of my heart and my nest today - may You be pleased as I proclaim your goodness and faithfulness.  I hope because You are good. I breathe because You give me breath. I run because You give me strength. Help me put a smile on Your face as I do.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What's prayer got to do with it?

Another piece of my heart today ... and it's broken, if it's anything.  Does God care?  Yes, and not only does He see my tears over injustice, He brushes them off my cheek, saves them, and prepares them to be poured out as a precious offering of prayer and praise.

"And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people." - Revelation 5:8 (NLT)

When we cry our prayers, they move His hand, because when they are poured out, they will be pleasing offerings of worship as He answers.

I'd like to dedicate myself more and more to pray over this, because I do believe the root cause of this is evil. Satan does not care about human life.  It's why he loves abortion and slavery and the devaluation of women and sex, which God originally intended to bring forth life, not to steal it.  God values our lives. They are treasures to Him. And when we have His heart, we have His eyes - eyes to see and to cry these precious intercessions for the lives of women and children all over the globe.

Would you join me?

Three initiatives of prayer I'd like to begin/pass on to you, my readers. If you'd like to participate, please let me know in the comments below.  I believe as we join together to encourage one another and pray for Justice, God will be pleased with that unity and look upon our requests with favor.

1. Red Light Prayer - every time you stop at a red light while you're driving, spend the time in prayer for red light districts and slaves around the world. Ask God to rescue those who have been trafficked and abused, and plead with Him to guide them to restorative care that will show these cherished souls His Gospel and great love.

2. Pray with your group - if you have a small group through your church, a group of friends you meet with regularly, a Bible study, etc. you can pray with them.  Intercede together on behalf of abolitionists, rescue fighters, and restoration counselors, and victims, as well as for the criminals, traffickers, and sex-buyers to be restored and reformed.  I will be giving you some resources for prayer starters in a group, including those from a few of the organizations I support.

3. Fasting once a week. I plan to fast one meal or one day per week for the purpose of praying and interceding as well.  Most likely I'll choose Tuesdays, but if another time works better for you, don't let that get in the way.  During these times we'll be praying specific Scriptures on behalf of justice and the value of life to prevail.

My [audacious] goal for this prayer initiative is to have 100 of you on my list of prayer partners.  Will you join me?  If yes, I have three ways for you to stay connected to this virtual prayer circle.

1. email me robynleelangdon@gmail.com 
2. leave a comment with at least your first name below
3. message me on facebook (Robyn Mills Langdon, if you're not already my friend)

Here is a sample of what we might pray:

"But deal well with [her], O Sovereign Lord,
    for the sake of your own reputation!
Rescue [Your precious daughter]
    because you are so faithful and good.
For [she is] poor and needy,
    and [her] heart is full of pain.
[She is] fading like a shadow at dusk;
     [and] brushed off like a locust.
[Her] knees are weak from fasting,
    and [she is] skin and bones.
[A] joke to people everywhere;
    when they see [her], they shake their heads in scorn.
Help [this helpless victim], O Lord my God!
    Save [her] because of your unfailing love.
Let them see that this is your doing,
    that you yourself have done it, Lord.
Then let them curse [us] if they like,
    but you will bless [Your beloved]!
When they attack [her], they will be disgraced!
    But [we], your servant[s], will go right on rejoicing!
May [her] accusers be clothed with disgrace;
    may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
But [we] will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
    praising him to everyone.
For he stands beside the needy,
    ready to save them from those who condemn them."
             -Psalm 109:21-31 (NLT)

Finally, I want to leave you with This song.

May it bless your heart and move you to prayer. If your prayers lead you to tears, remember where those tears are going - straight to His throne as incense, pleasing in favor and guiding His hand to move on her behalf.

I look forward to praying with you, my friends.  

Together we fight with the truth of His love.  His love of each life.