Prayer

As many of my regular blogging friends know I’ve been giving some time to the tedious task of cleaning up the mess Photobucket has inflicted on my blog by blacking out all my photos I stored with them starting in 2006. I’ve come across some quotes and gems along the way (so far I’m only up to July of 2007). The quote on prayer at the end of this post is one I don’t want to forget.

I’ve made so many dear friends by blogging. Some I’ve met, many I haven’t met face to face. bj is one of those bloggers who is a delight to visit. On her blog she calls her dear husband Mr. Sweet.

bj from Sweet Nothings is standing by the bedside of her dear husband, Mr. Sweet (Bill), as she and her family wait for God’s perfect timing in ushering him from this earth. She’s asking for prayer for her children as they stand by their father and bj. I’m praying for this dear family and when God brings to mind bj and her family please pray for them, too.

Update: Mr. Sweet, Bill, went to his heavenly home early on July 11th…

From Between Heaven and Earth (Prayers and Reflections that Celebrate an Intimate God, by Ken Gire

[Prayer], It Brings Down the Power of Heaven

Ray Stedman, Jesus Teaches on Prayer (1917 -1992) Gifted Bible expositor, pastor, and counselor.

“Prayer has already divided seas and rolled up flowing rivers, it has made flinty rocks gush into fountains, it has quenched flames of fire, it has muzzled lions, disarmed vipers and poisons, it has marshaled the stars against the wicked, it has stopped the course of the moon and arrested the sun in its race, it has burst open iron gates and recalled souls from eternity, it has conquered the strongest devils and commanded legions of angels down from heaven. Prayer has bridled and chained the raging passions of men and destroyed vast armies of proud, daring, blustering atheists. Prayer has brought one man from the bottom of the sea and carried another in a chariot of fire to heaven.” That is not mere hyberbole, that is historical fact. Prayer has done a great many other things as well. It is an awesome, mighty force in the world of men.”

I don’t want to neglect this awesome mighty force in the world of men. Help me Father…

 

Hume Lake Christian Camps

In my 66th year I continue my reflections on my life with a very significant year, 1963, my twelfth year on this earth. A year with a decision that has shaped the rest of my life.

Nestled close to  Kings Canyon National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada is the Youth Camp that I was able to attend in 1963, 1965 and 1967. I was 12, 14, and 16 during these wilderness adventures.

I was raised in a family who attended church regularly and often, very religious. The church I was raised in gave me the impression that because I was Russian and a member of their church that I had an exclusive connection with God. What I learned at Bible Camp was that the only exclusive connection I could have to God was through Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. Being Russian and being a part of my father’s religion did not give me a direct link to God. In 1963 at Hume Lake while listening to a speaker talk about Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross to save sinners I was moved to step out and become a follower of Jesus. God’s plan of salvation was exclusively through his perfect son Jesus, who is fully God and came to earth to live a perfect life among us and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. I knew I was one of those sinners and I needed a Savior. This decision began a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows, but a journey forward with my God and Savior. When I began my new life following Jesus I was clothed with His righteousness and reconciled to God. I continue on this walk, never perfectly but with God’s grace I carry on. He will be teaching me by His Holy Spirit all the days of my life. My God and Savior is and will be faithful to see me through all of my life on this earth and I look forward with the Hope of seeing Him face to face in heaven. During this same year, 1963, my father began his journey of following Jesus after hearing Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum share the truth of Jesus Christ and why He came to earth over 2000 years ago. 1963 was an epic year for me and my family. For my father and me we became part of God’s movement of love and grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My mother was a follower of Jesus when she married my father. My two older sisters had started following Jesus before my father and me.

I’ll share this verse that Billy Graham proclaims in every interview I’ve ever heard him give. John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

High School scanned4HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP 1967

Reflections of my story from age 18 onward of my life will continue in another post.

Presently we are still waiting for that phone call. We are happy for it coming later than sooner since baby Addy is enjoying the womb and continues her growth in that comfort. We have a bag partially packed so we don’t have to wonder about something we forgot. We keep the car gassed up and ready to go. We are still in a very rainy pattern here in the Pacific Northwest. Plants should flourish well here this Spring. How goes it where you live?

My Testimony ~ In Evil Long I Took Delight- Hymn

High School scanned4HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP

Ellen’s simple version of her testimony, March 29th, 2007

I accepted Christ (was spiritually born) in the summer of 1963 at Hume Lake Christian Camp. I was a reluctant, stubborn, proud, follower of Jesus for many years. Similar to the birth process, I was comfortable in the womb (when God was calling me), but at birth when I had to get up and walk down an aisle and be singled out I howled like a baby. (Why do they say down the aisle instead of up the aisle?) I thank God He didn’t throw me back! I was a colicky baby. I fussed when anyone called attention to my bad attitudes, stubbornness, sin. I became more of a pharisee than a lover of God and my neighbor. I had my moments of obedience and peace. I had a long way to go and still do in the sanctification process. It has dawned on me more and more what an amazing thing Christ did for me and the dirty rotten sinner I am. I still need to go deeper in this reality. I’m so glad God keeps after me and loves me. If my memory serves me correctly I cooperated more in the sanctification process after my baptism in high school. I’ve had periods of growth and periods of “being asleep in my faith”. BUT – GOD IS FAITHFUL and His promises are true. I want to follow Him for the rest of my life. Every day I want to say, thank you for saving me, I’m yours Lord. Every day I want to seek Him. More and more, I’m looking forward to seeing Him “face to face”.

I read this classic hymn by John Newton (In Evil Long I Took Delight) in Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney and felt it appropriate to include with my testimony.

In evil long I took delight
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my sight
And stopped my wild career.

I saw one hanging on a tree
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me
As near his cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with his death
Though not a word he spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt
And helped to nail him there.
Alas, I knew now what I did
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.

A second look he gave which said
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid
I died that thou mayest live.”
Thus while his death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.

With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by him I killed.

Olney Hymns, Book 2: On Occasional Subjects (London: W. Oliver, 1779).

Hallelujah, ‘Tis Done

IMGP0992In my junior high and high school years I spent a week in the summer at Hume Lake Christian Camps. We would sing the chorus/refrain of this song at the Friday night campfire when someone would testify that they had been saved that week at camp. We would insert their name like this “Hallelujah, ’tis done, Ellen believes on the Son; She was saved by the blood of the crucified One;”

Hallelujah, ‘Tis Done!

’Tis the promise of God, full salvation to give
Unto him who on Jesus, His Son, will believe.

Refrain

Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One;
Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One.

Though the pathway be lonely, and dangerous, too,
Surely Jesus is able to carry me through.

Refrain

Many loved ones have I in yon heavenly throng,
They are safe now in glory, and this is their song:

Refrain

Little children I see standing close by their king,
And He smiles as their song of salvation they sing:

Refrain

There are prophets and kings in that throng I behold,
And they sing as they march through the streets of pure gold:

Refrain

There’s a part in that chorus for you and for me,
And the theme of our praises forever will be:

Refrain

Words and Music: Philip P. Bliss, 1874.

This was an great story that goes along with this song that I copied from Cyberhymnal:

“A minister from England, in telling of a certain meeting, says: Among the converts was a man somewhat advanced in years, who was very anxious about the salvation of his wife, and expressed a wish that I should visit her. I did so repeatedly, and explained to her in very simple words the plan of salvation, but she could not comprehend the meaning of my message. Every time I left, however, she would express a strong desire that I return. One day I went in just before dinner, and talked to her about Jesus, but no light seemed to dawn upon her mind. Then the thought struck me to sing something to her, and so I commenced, ’Tis the promise of God, full salvation to give. When I was through the chorus, she exclaimed Sing it over again. I did so, time after time, and when I asked her to assist me, she joined in very heartily. The light dawned on her dark mind while we were singing, the big burden of sin was removed from her heart, and her face was lighted up with holy joy as she exclaimed Hallelujah, ’tis done! I do believe in the Son; I am saved. Just then her husband walked in for his dinner, and she shouted out to him, Ah lad! I’ve got it! Hallelujah! ’tis done! Their hearts were full of joy over the wonderful discovery she had made, and I was grateful to God for a sinner brought to Christ by the ministry of holy song.

My Testimony and a John Newton Hymn

HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP

Ellen’s simple version of her testimony, March 29th, 2007

I accepted Christ (was spiritually born) in the summer of 1963 at Hume Lake Christian Camp. I was a reluctant, stubborn, proud, follower of Jesus for many years. Similar to the birth process, I was comfortable in the womb (when God was calling me), but at birth when I had to get up and walk down an aisle and be singled out I howled like a baby. (Why do they say down the aisle instead of up the aisle?) I thank God He didn’t throw me back! I was a colicky baby. I fussed when anyone called attention to my bad attitudes, stubbornness, sin. I became more of a pharisee than a lover of God and my neighbor. I had my moments of obedience and peace. I had a long way to go and still do in the sanctification process. It has dawned on me what an amazing thing Christ did for me and the dirty rotten sinner I am. I still need to go deeper in this reality. I’m so glad God keeps after me. If my memory serves me correctly I cooperated more in the sanctification process after my baptism in high school. I’ve had periods of growth and periods of “being asleep in my faith”. BUT – GOD IS FAITHFUL and His promises are true. I want to follow Him for the rest of my life. Every day I want to say, thank you for saving me, I’m yours Lord. Every day I want to seek Him. More and more, I’m looking forward to seeing Him “face to face”.

I read this classic hymn by John Newton (In Evil Long I Took Delight) in Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney and felt it appropriate to include with my testimony.

In evil long I took delight
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my sight
And stopped my wild career.
I saw one hanging on a tree
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me
As near his cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with his death
Though not a word he spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt
And helped to nail him there.
Alas, I knew now what I did
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.
A second look he gave which said
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid
I died that thou mayest live.”
Thus while his death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by him I killed.

Olney Hymns, Book 2: On Occasional Subjects (London: W. Oliver, 1779).