Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Makeup and My Prayer Life

Leave it to an analogy to makeup to lead me to a better understanding of how important daily prayer is. I guess you talk to a child in terms he understands, so the same goes for me. Talk to me about makeup and the clouds part, light bulbs go on, angels sing. I get it! I see the light!

In this blog from the Faith & Family website, the blogger, Heidi Bratton tells about a very special tube of Mary Kay foundation that she has on reserve for special occasions. It's her favorite- perfect color, perfect application, but kinda pricey. It collects dust because she uses it so seldom. One day she saw it and tried to recall the last time she used it. It was 18 months earlier. Here was her moment of clarity:

Pondering the mentality of my make-up use, I couldn’t refute the thought that it really wasn’t about the money.The cost difference between the two products is only about $7, and while I’m not a spendthrift, I’m pretty sure I’ve squandered at least that amount since our 20th and probably in just one impulse buy at Walmart. The longer I thought about it, the more my makeup economizing seemed to be more closely linked to a philosophy—really a heresy—that I’ve also heard applied to prayer.

I’ll call this heresy the “Economy of Prayer Heresy.” In a nutshell, it proposes that we really shouldn’t “bother” God by praying about the small details of our everyday lives. We should, instead, wait until we have a need that is big enough or special enough for God to get involved. Here’s the problem. Where does that leave us and our relationship with God in the meantime? It leaves us with the best possible product for addressing our real and ongoing spiritual needs—that is prayer—gathering dust on a shelf.

Heidi goes on to remind us that no prayer is too small or trivial for God to care and that the concern doesn't go away just because we choose to ignore the need for God's hand:
In the same way that our skin care needs don’t just go away because we choose not to address them, our spiritual needs don’t just go away because we choose not to bring them to God, either. In fact, when we choose not to “bother” God with our little needs and concerns, we most likely buy into poorer substitutes, that is people, products, or promises that aren’t anywhere near as effective as God’s help and guidance.

The good news, unlike the Mary Kay foundation, God has an abundance of grace and mercy and he won't run out. Even better, if he's been collecting dust and only been brought out for the "very special occasions," he's ready and willing to hear your prayers and answer them. Heidi posted Philippians 4:6 to her bathroom mirror as a perfect reminder:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Read her whole blog here.

- Abby

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Amazing Music Video!

I came across this sweet music video by the band, OK Go. A few things came to mind while I was watching it:
1. Mousetrap (that game lasts like a week before you start loosing pieces)
2. I didn't pay close enough attention in physics class
3. How many takes did this require before they got it right? Judging by the amount of paint on them, a few, but not too many. Again, amazing.
4. Kudos to the camera operator!


- Abby

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10AM on Wednesday

Thank the Lord! It has come! Spread the Word is just three weekdays long (plus the weekend before), but it's a grueling few days. When the clock struck 10 this morning, Carlos and I breathed a sigh of relief. Our "shift" was over.

Thank you to everyone who called in with a faith promise. That term really came to life this week. So many callers asked for prayer for a job. How do you make a gift when you don't have a job? That's faith in action. We're gifted $1, $5 and $10 gifts, $500, $1500 and $5000 gifts. Each one helped us reach those hourly goals and get over those hurdles.

We do a lot of praying and thinking during these campaigns. What makes people give? Why do they pick up the phone? God, please move people to call. Help us to say the right thing. What is that statistic? Like 3% of people who listen to listener-supported radio actually give. That's disappointing. Do people just tune out? Do they go away during Spread the Word or Shareathon and then come back when the coast is clear? If you listen throughout the week, you know they are missing out on a lot of great moments. Moments of teaching, witnessing, cheering, laughing and most important, miracle moments.

If you tuned out and now you're back, welcome back! We're happy to have you. You're as much of a part of our Spirit FM family as the person who gave $500 or $1200. If you don't give to this ministry for whatever reason, I'm asking you to consider it. Consider what you get from the music, the prayer, the discussion and then ask yourself what it's worth to you. It doesn't have to be Spread the Word time for you to make a gift. You can make your gift here.

So many lives are touched through your Faith Promise. One man emailed us listening online in Ontario, Canada. He listened to prayer time and appreciated the Thought for the Day. Another woman said her husband always wanted her to listen and she never did. He passed away in August and on the way to the cemetery she turned on Spirit FM. She's listened ever since and it makes her feel connected to her husband. There are countless emails just like that, so don't think you're just giving to a radio station. That's the least of what your gifts do.

Thank you again for praying for us and this ministry. Know that your prayers were heard and answered.


Friday, March 26, 2010

All I Need

I love many (actually most) of the bands we play at Spirit FM and I've been to A LOT of concerts. It's an interesting role I play at these shows. I'm a Spirit FM employee but also a fan, so naturally I am more excited to see some artists than others. With that being said, I have a top 5 list of bands that I want to see live and will always go see no matter what. In no particular order, they are: Shawn McDonald, Needtobreathe, Article One, Mat Kearney and Mercy Me. I've had the pleasure of seeing Mercy Me a few times and two weeks ago I saw Needtobreathe. They were absolutely amazing. Last night I checked another off the list when I saw Mat Kearney at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Three down. Two to go!

Mat did not disappoint. I really was impressed. The band was great. His stage presence was great. His banter was great. And you can tell that even though his lyrics are "subtle-Christian" lyrics, that he loves to Lord. He told the back story on one of my favorite songs of his, "All I Need." He said he had friends from New Orleans who had just gotten married and had come to stay with him to avoid a storm. Turns out it was Hurricane Katrina. Here are some of the lyrics from "All I Need."

The walls are shaking, I hear them sound the alarm
Glass is breaking so don't let go of my arm
Grab your bags and a picture of where we met
All that we'll leave behind and all that's left
If everything we've got is blowing away
We've got a rock and a rock till our dying day
I'm holding on to you, holding on to me
Maybe it's all we got but it's all I need
You're all I need

And if all we've got, is what no one can break,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take,
the tears are coming down, they're mixing with the rain,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take.

The lyrics are great and the music is even better. If you've got a minute, check it out on iTunes. It's on the album "Nothing Left to Lose." Maybe you're not facing a hurricane or a flood, but we all face trials where we feel like we've lost everything. "All I Need" encourages us to hold on to the ones we love and to Christ Jesus, first and foremost. Just like the line: "We've got a rock and a rock 'til our dying day." He's all we need.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let It Rain

The Leaky Roof
I just read this and had to share it: "Sharp afflictions are to the soul as a soaking rain to the house. We know not there are such holes in the roof till the showers come and then we see it drop down here and there. Perhaps we did not know that there was such unmortified cuts in our soul till the storms of affliction came, then we found unbelief, impatience and fear dropping down in many places."
That floored me. I just sat there mouth agape, blankly looking down at the page thinking to myself, "How true is that!"
The moment I read that a flood of a thousand memories past came pouring into my brain. Times when under the strain of the situation (the storm) I was dealing with, my spiritual roof began to leak. Its times just like those that test us as Christians. That test me and my faith in God. If there are any chinks in our armor, trust me, under pressure they show up.
I forget the Psalm that says something to the effect of, "Save me, God! The waters have reached my neck!" but it comes to mind now with all this water and leaky roof talk. Sorry, that was more side note for me than anything...
But something that I have learned in life is that when we go through these times of trouble, God is able to reveal to us the areas we need to address. As a home owner you don't even realize you have a leak until the roof of your home has a yellow stain pop up or you see water coming down from the ceiling. As Christians it can work the same way! We may not realize the areas where we have let holes open up in our lives until the storm comes and we are up to our necks in water. (I knew I could tie that verse in somewhere) Its during these times that God can deliver us from whatever the situation may be and show us places that by prayer and yielding to the Him we can make the repairs we so desperately need.
Troubled times are not always bad things. When we go through them with God, we grow in our faith, we deepen our commitment and we stretch those spiritual muscles a little bit. So if your roof is a little leaky, go to God and let the Master Craftsman get to work.
Be Blessed.