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123123

Posted by on Dec 31, 2023 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on 123123

Evidently, this tidbit of information is out there. But a friend of mine brought this to my attention this morning: Today is 123123. That won’t happen again until 2123; and there’s a good chance none of us will see it after today.

But it reminded me of “On the Count of THREE!” or “READY, SET, GO!”

I became a Christian 49 years ago as of 12/29/23, and I have learned that God is all about preparation. He’s all about growing us up. He doesn’t desire us to remain babies or toddlers or even teens. He expects us, at every phase of our walk in Him to recognize His leading, His correction, and His redirections…and to yield to what He is saying. Part of growing up is learning His impressions and promptings in your spirit in the multi-assortment of ways He may bring them to you and then complying to what He directs.

The word disciple means “disciplined one”. Although no disciple (and that includes you and me!) has walked 100% perfectly, each of us are called to bring the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives before God on an ongoing basis and receive from Him how to proceed from there. No matter HOW bad, HOW ugly…or HOW good…you may judge yourself to be, He wants to be in on all of your reasonings, assessments, and adjustments, and if you allow Him to do so, He will then empower you to grow and mature.

123123 is the day for positioning yourself to run the race before you with a simple focus on hearing from your Maker and yielding to His promptings. Are there adjustments or corrections to make? Join the club! Don’t beat yourself up for that; simply take the time to let Him reveal His best course for you and then follow that.

I believe that the preparation that the Lord has for each of us is not necessarily flashy or instantly spectacular; but when God has His say so in your life on the quiet and often hidden aspects, the results are absolutely life changing.

123123—READY, SET, GO!

Dorothy

“…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Heb. 12:1-2

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

 

© 2023, Dorothy Frick

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My Christmas Eve prayer for you

Posted by on Dec 24, 2023 in Christmas | Comments Off on My Christmas Eve prayer for you

This Christmas Eve, whether your home is as colorful as a carnival, as turbulent as a tornado, or as quiet as a mouse, I want to offer up a prayer for you from my heart.

For my friends who feel all too keenly the absence of loved ones who are no longer with you, I pray for the calm and deep comfort of the Lord to well up within you and gird you with grace and strength. May you be blessed with the gift of “touch”—knowing that just as your loved ones’ lives touched yours, so too, does your life touch those around you very deeply; and may you feel the depth of God’s gentle love for you. And in the coming year as you reach out to those He brings your way, may you find grace to comfort them with the comfort with which you have been comforted.

For my friends who brace yourselves for the storm clouds of strife that invariably blow your way this time of year, I pray for the love of God to overtake you so that you will have the grace to speak blessing where there is cursing. May you be a peacemaker in the midst of strife and a refuge of safety in the midst of turmoil. I pray that He will give you the gift of “hearing” so that as you navigate through the noise and agitation, you will hear with clarity this is the way in which you should walk; these are the words I want you to say. I pray that the Lord will go before you and make the rough places smooth and that His glory will be your rear guard. And may the seeds of peace and love and life that you sow—even in the midst of the storm—be cultivated by God in the upcoming year to produce the powerful fruit of salvation and wholeness in the lives of those you love.

For my friends who feel isolated, lonely, and without a family to call your own, I pray that the presence of God will overtake you, not only in your spirit, but also in your mind and emotions. I pray you receive the gift of “taste” so that you may taste and see that the Lord is good. May you recognize the breadth, length, height, and depth of your acceptance in the Beloved, and may you experience, in a very real way, the intensity of the love that God personally has for you. May the coming year bring deeper friendships, warmer connections, and a greater number of mutually satisfying godly relationships into your life. May you learn to expect and receive these blessings; and may you, my friend, be a blessing in the lives of others.

For my friends who know you are fortunate to have all of your loved ones around the table again this year, yet who nonetheless feel let down by life, I pray that you receive the gift of “seeing”. May you see, by the Spirit of God, how precious each life really is; may you recognize the wealth of connection you have been granted; and may you receive wisdom from on high so you may further nurture and cultivate each treasured life given to you. May you see and experience how truly rich you are, and may the upcoming year bring forth great fruitfulness in your life.

For my friends who are harried and hassled and stretched to the limit by the demands at this time of year, I pray you find that place of quiet and refuge in the Lord, to take a breath, and to let His soothing presence minister rest and grace to your soul. May you receive the gift of “smell”—the ability to pause and smell the cinnamon, the evergreen, the cookies, and the cold crisp air. May you take mini vacations in your mind as you pause and think on the journey to Bethlehem, the song of the angels, or the newborn babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger. May your heart be lifted with the songs of the season, and may you find humor in the hustle and bustle and even in the superhuman expectations you place upon yourself. And may your joy increase more and more, along with your strength, in the year to come.

And to all of my friends, I pray that the grace, mercy, and peace of God overtake you and strengthen you, equipping you for all that is ahead of you in 2023. May you enjoy deep intimacy with the Lord, and may His voice become clearer, your sight more focused, and His Word sweeter as you journey with Him throughout the coming year.

And tonight, may every one of you find time to sneak away and snatch some silence on this holy eve. I pray that tonight, whether by candlelight, firelight, Christmas lights, or by the light of the stars or the moon, you take the time to steal away and to say thank You to the One who came to earth as that precious Baby so long ago. And as you do, may He fill your heart with His wonderful presence.

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.  (By Joseph Mohr, 1816)

Merry Christmas and may God bless each one of you, my dear friends.

Dorothy

© 2015, Dorothy Frick; updated December, 2023

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The government will rest on His shoulders

Posted by on Dec 22, 2023 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on The government will rest on His shoulders

Should Christmas and government have anything to do with one another? Many say NO—the two are entirely separate concepts, and they must never occupy the same space.

And yet—surprise, surprise—government and the first Christmas are forever bound together in Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus.

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth…And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David.  Luke 2:1, 3-4

God’s big, sweeping plan to redeem mankind from the grip and tyranny of sin was ordained before the foundation of the world. As part of that plan, He used the government of the time in an important sub-plan, laced together with multiple other sub-plans of prophetic and intricate detail to bring clarity, precision, and confirmation to His greater plan. And as His plan unfolded, most of the individuals involved were utterly unaware that they personally played a specific role in its fulfillment.

Take Caesar Augustus, for instance. Caesar’s own records (“The Deeds of the Divine Augustus”, see http://classics.mit.edu/Augustus/deeds.html, #8) reveal that he conducted three censuses during his reign. They were held in roughly twenty-year cycles, and the census that summoned Joseph to Bethlehem when Mary was pregnant with Jesus was likely the second of the three. Caesar Augustus—the self-proclaimed “divine Augustus”—was merely a mortal chess-piece played by the wisdom and hand of the one true God to fulfill His predetermined purpose. Whereas Augustus took great pride in amassing boundless wealth for his administration through taxes collected in the census, God used this empire-building monarch’s hunger for ever-increasing power to get Mary and Joseph to the right place at the right time.

Know this: There is no power or throne established by the hand of man or devil that supersedes the power and authority of our God and His Christ. Neither Caesar, nor Pilate, nor Herod, nor Nero, nor Lenin, nor Hitler, nor governments present nor governments to come can override the rule and the plan of God.

Don’t be surprised if the heathen rage (Psalm 2:1). Don’t be shaken if you see the “nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing. The kings of the earth” may indeed “take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’” (Psalm 2:1-3). The fact is that God is aware of it all and He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them (Psalm 2:4).

The God who used the governmental drive of Caesar Augustus to get His handmaiden and her fiancé to Bethlehem for the birth of the Christ child is not moved by regulations, mandates, hearings, or lawless acts of leaders—whether elected or self-appointed, national or global. He sees the end from the beginning and His purpose will be established; He will accomplish all His good pleasure (see Isaiah 46:10).

Caesar Augustus was subject to the plan of God without knowing it. And despite all that we are witnessing now—those who assume superiority to the rest of us, calling good evil and evil good—no purpose of God can be thwarted. You, as one who has opened your heart to Jesus, can be confident in your God—the Highest Authority in the universe. According to the Bible, you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8). No one—neither man nor government nor devil—can stop you from walking as a child of the Light.

Be confident and be bold this Christmas season…and forever! It is your birthright in the Lord.

Dorothy

and the government will rest on His shoulders… Isaiah 9:6b

© 2015, updated 2023, Dorothy Frick

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You will not be afraid of destruction

Posted by on Dec 15, 2023 in Psalm 91 | Comments Off on You will not be afraid of destruction

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
Psalm 91:5-6

About ten years ago I felt led to pray Psalm 91 “a thousand times.” I’ve probably done so, but according to my log, I’m only in the 770’s (I tend to forget to mark it down). But when I DO finally scratch off #1000, I know I’ll keep going…because Psalm 91 is potent!

I started writing my thoughts about this psalm verse by verse a few years ago, but got refocused on other things while writing about verses five and six. And now it’s high time to pick this thread back up—with the second half of verse six:

You will not be afraid of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

I love how this Psalm blatantly states what seems to be emotionally impossible considering the onslaught of scary news blasting our way on a regular basis.

This is what the Word of God declares—you will not be afraid of destruction that lays waste at noon.

Fear is powerful. Tyrants of all generations have used it to control populations to bend them to their will. Fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of sudden attack, fear of sickness, fear of “If you don’t do as I say, you’ll suffer greatly,” spoken out of the mouths of those who purport to know better than the rest of us continue to haunt people who simply want to live and let live.

I have found that the best way for me to live fearlessly is to recognize fear as soon as it starts to take hold and to face off with it. However, in the past I chose to pretend that I wasn’t afraid; I pretended that nothing all that bad was going on, and I simply buried my head in the sand, closing my eyes to reality. Instead of trusting God, I trusted my own imaginary ability to pretend away danger. This was an exercise in futility; this was NOT an exercise of faith in God.

So how do you face off with fear once you recognize it in yourself? Best way I’ve found is to first acknowledge it to God, and then prayerfully go to His Word and find those scriptures that bring comfort, strength, and the ability to resist both the fear AND the thing that created fear in the first place.

I was a natural born scaredy cat; but when I started turning to the Word to combat my fears, I found it a very effective weapon. Even now, when “things go bump in the night” or frightening news grips my emotions, I unashamedly turn to Psalm 56:3 (which, I know from experience, is easily memorized!), “What time I am afraid, I will trust in YOU.”

No one should be made to feel ashamed when dealing with fear. It happens. But when it does, forge a fast path to the One who can help you—who won’t condemn you—but who will give you all that you need to stand in the face of it while He covers you.

I have also learned that instead of allowing my imagination to play all the different scenarios of destruction over and over again, I am to take those thoughts captive (not ignore them or pretend them away) to the obedience of Christ while I declare my trust in Him to help me, come hell or high water.

In addition, I’ve learned that I don’t have to tell Him HOW to help me. He is very capable of doing so in a multitude of creative, jaw-dropping ways. I merely trust Him to do so, and He does. Often it is rather mundane appearing; but now and then He has astonished me with such inexplicable deliverances from danger that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt—this was God.

Psalm 91:5-6 describes four of the most common fears experienced by the human race. Terror by night; the arrow (bullets, too) that fly by day; disease that stalks in darkness; and destruction that lays waste at noon. And yet, to those of us who “dwell in the secret place of the Most High and who abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1), we have Someone to turn to when we face those fears.

Remember, He does not expect any of us to be fearless apart from Him…He knows none of us are Superman or Wonder Woman, even if we pretend to be. We simply put our trust in Him when we are afraid, knowing that He will never fail us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

One more thing—His faithfulness is your shield and buckler (Psalm 91:4, last part). You may not have a whole lot of faith in your own faith, but that’s not all that necessary. Why not? Because it’s HIS faithfulness—to you and to His Word—that shields you. You merely need to trust that HE IS faithful, and that takes care of the faith factor. Your faith works because HE IS FAITHFUL, and when you put your trust in that fact, His faithfulness WILL be your shield and your buckler.

Thankful for the faithfulness of God!

Dorothy

© 2023, Dorothy Frick

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Suffering according to the power of God

Posted by on Sep 29, 2023 in Daily walk, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Suffering according to the power of God

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” 2 Timothy 1:8

I don’t know how often I have read 2 Timothy, but this verse recently jumped out at me, as if for the first time. I come from a faith tradition that does not preach or teach much on suffering; I know some who do teach about this topic, but it makes sense to me why it’s not an extremely popular or sought after subject. Who wants to be reminded of suffering?

Here I go, anyway.

This phrase in 2 Timothy 1:8 kept rumbling around inside of me—suffering for the gospel according to the power of God—and then shortened to simply suffering…according to the power of God.

I thought of the apostle who wrote this letter to Timothy and how his entire life as a believer in Jesus was punctuated with suffering.

I love comfort. I told God that. But being a realist, I recognize that this life has its share of suffering, and no one is exempt. Whether the suffering comes in the form of rejection, mockery, lack, pain, illness, loneliness, or any number of other sources, it struck me that there is a way to suffer according to the power of God. Therefore, if I am to undergo suffering of any kind, I choose to do so according to the power of God.

Psalm 91:15 reveals an amazing statement from God. It declares, “I will be with you in trouble”. If you are IN trouble of any sort, know this for certain: That is exactly where the Living God is as well. He is WITH YOU. IN TROUBLE. He’s not like so many whose instinct is to ditch you at the first whiff of difficulty. NO. He’s right there with you in the middle of your trouble. Where you suffer. And if you dare to believe that, then you will be empowered to suffer according to the power of God, a suffering in which the Almighty bears the brunt of your pain and will turn it all around for your good. Why? Because HE’S good.

In August of 2003 I underwent bypass surgery to correct an anomalous right coronary artery. When I awoke in ICU, it felt like my chest had been crushed by an 18-wheeler. Immediately the Scripture came to me, “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was CRUSHED for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5a). And I experienced (as I was waking up from a 14 hour stretch of unconsciousness) the Lord’s crushing in place of mine. My pain was still there, but I was keenly aware of the intense pain He endured for all of us and mine became miniscule in comparison. Without being aware of 2 Timothy 1:8, I had entered into suffering according to the power of God.

And today I was reading Hebrews 2. In verse 17 I read that He was made to be like all of us in all things (the Greek meaning of “was made to be” is He “was obligated to be”. That means if He refused to be made like us in all things, then none of us would ever taste the freedom of being forgiven and cleansed or the joy of experiencing the love of God and eternal life with Him. For us to be fully accepted in Christ, He was obligated to become human…and hence, to suffer like we suffer—and beyond.

Hebrews 2:18 continues, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

There is something about suffering that is readily linked to being tempted. Resisting temptation carries a form of suffering—you refuse to pamper or give into whatever is luring you to disobey God. However, I saw something deeper here as well. Suffering of all varieties brings with it great temptation to be outraged at God and ditch HIM for all kinds of reasons. “Why did this happen? I PRAYED!” “Why won’t this go away? I don’t get it! I did everything the Bible says to do and I still hurt (lack, feel depressed, am lonely, etc.)”

Jesus was tempted in the very things He suffered. Don’t think He wasn’t tempted like we are when we suffer to scream, cry, yell, question God and tell Him off, slap faces, punch holes in the wall, kick the dog or cat, and throw an absolute hissy fit and a great big pity party! But He didn’t. Why not? Because He suffered according to the power of God. And in that, He conquered temptation and never gave in to a bit of it.

This verse goes on to say that as a result of His temptation in the things He suffered (and the inferred overcoming of it all), He is ABLE—He has the POWER—to come to the aid of all those who are tempted. That includes you.

Are you in the middle of some kind of suffering that is tempting you to question your faith and everything you know about God? Then you qualify to receive His ability and His power to aid, assist, and support you right where you are, in whatever condition you find yourself.

The victory is not in avoiding suffering altogether (although He so often is gracious to cause us to bypass it), nor is the victory in how short the suffering lasts (although He frequently brings about quick deliverances).

The victory IS found by fixing our eyes on Jesus despite whatever we may be suffering, and to know that the Greater One IS at work in our lives and that He will turn this whole situation around for good. Press on despite it all. Victory IS yours.

This is how you suffer according to the power of God.

Dorothy

© 2023, Dorothy Frick

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God in the clouds VS the Cloud is god

Posted by on Sep 1, 2023 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on God in the clouds VS the Cloud is god

I wrote this is in a comment on a secular news site and decided to share it here:

“The push to veer human thinking into the concept that there is no God in the clouds—that the Cloud is god—comes from anti-free will enthusiasts who want to circumvent human free will so that when we have nothing (by their oh so god-like design), we will be happy.

“Free will in humanity was definitely a risk for God—many choose not to follow Him, many mock those who do—but He is quite big enough to handle those slights. But those who are anti-free will and want to form Human 2.0 without a free will also want total control thinking that will make them god. Sorry Charlie, only the One big enough to handle rebellion and turn things around for good to those who love Him can wear the name God effectively.

“But the little gods will have their hour, and it won’t be pretty.”

Here’s to the God in the clouds!

Dorothy

© 2023, Dorothy Frick

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Mom

Posted by on Aug 10, 2023 in Help from God | Comments Off on Mom

Thirty-seven years ago on August 11, my mom left her worn out body and moved to Heaven. She was still young (in terms of dying, at least), not even to her mid 60’s, but she simply wore out. A lifelong smoking habit (which she stopped cold turkey with great difficulty a few years prior) had taken its toll on her lungs. In turn, to keep breathing, she became dependent on steroids, and they had taken an unseen toll on some of her other internal organs.

A week before she passed, she underwent a simple procedure to remove her ovaries. The concern we had at the time was that the pain she had been experiencing may have been cancer, but we received the post-op “all-clear”—the removed ovaries were simply calcified; and we rejoiced.

The next afternoon, however, my dad called. “Come home right away. Your mother is dying.”

I called my friends, Jack and Mary, who I knew would pray with me about it. I slept on their couch that night after praying with them so I could make the four-hour drive to Springfield, MO in daylight.

That August morning, Springfield was gloomy and dank; the sun was nowhere to be seen. I parked at the hospital and found Mom in her room with my dad sitting beside her bed, concern etched on both faces.

Later that day as my dad was holding her hand, she said to us, “Let me go!” Dad quickly pulled his hand away, and she said emphatically, “No! Hold my hand but let me go! I want to go to Heaven!”

The next day after tests, the team had discovered the problem: while removing the ovaries, they had accidentally perforated her small intestines (according to the team, they were tissue paper thin due to her continued use of steroids), and they were decaying within her at the rate of an inch per hour.

As soon as an operating room was available, she was whisked away for emergency surgery. She never regained consciousness and remained in a coma for two more days before she died.

My friend Betsy showed up to support me while Mom was unconscious. I will never forget how graciously she spoke to my mom about what a wonderful mother she had been for me, how she had instilled a love of nature and good character into me. I watched my mom’s face as Betsy spoke to her and saw a tear roll down her cheek. Speak kindly and speak encouragingly to those you love who are seemingly unconscious. They will likely hear you. Let your words be life to them as Betsy’s were.

When Mom passed, I was exactly half her age; I was the age she was when she gave birth to me.

I knew she went to Heaven. Although she never spoke much about her faith, she made it very clear one day while listening to a debate between my ex-brother-in-law and me. He contended that Jesus was merely a good man; He never was supposed to be an object of faith. Of course, I disagreed and was diving into the argument.

Then my mom interrupted us. She spoke with calm confidence and said something to the effect of “You know, I never really raised my kids to believe the way Dorothy does, but she is right. Jesus is the only way to God the Father.” It was a mic drop moment, and the topic changed.

I had two very unusual experiences as well before that sad week in August that showed me, first of all, that God was ordering my steps, and second, that my mom was indeed Heaven-bound.

You see, I had been planning an exciting vacation to start the first week of August with my friend Ellen. We were going to drive down the Gulf side of Florida and up the Atlantic side, alternately camping out and staying in motels until time or money ran out. But during the last two weeks of July a sense of gloom and anxiety started growing so much that whenever I prayed about the trip, I felt nothing but dread. It was like I was being tackled in my spirit. I had to break the news to my friend that I didn’t know why, but I could not proceed with our planned trip.

On August 11, when Mom died, Ellen and I would have been somewhere camping on a beach. And since there were no cell phones back then, no one would have been able to reach me. God wanted me by my mom’s side and “tackled” me in that unusual way to make sure I would be there.

The second unusual experience happened the day before her “simple” surgery. I felt rotten. My throat was sore, and my head and body were aching, telltale signs of flu. I went to bed that night still bummed about missing my “dream vacation” and sick as could be.

In the middle of the night as I slept, I dreamed that someone was praying for me. The love I felt as they prayed in a heavenly language while placing their hands on my aching shoulders and back, was tangible. I turned around in my dream to see who this amazing person could be, and there she was—my mom. Now understand, in all my years with her she never prayed with me, but that prayer was so real, so powerful, and so full of love I wept in my sleep.

And in the morning, I woke up 100% well. She had prayed in my dream, and the signs of a believer had followed her. (See Mark 16:17 and 18.)

As I remember that impactful time, although the sadness was raw and real, the sense of utter peace and comfort was every bit as real to me as well. I know I will see my mom again.

Dorothy

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