Praying for the terrorists

It is so awesome to see so many people on social media united in solidarity for Paris. It is even more awesome to see so many people PRAYING for Paris. But I can’t sleep because my heart is so heavy with this question, of all the people praying for France, how many are praying for the enemy?
I know, it sounds crazy right?
Pray for the terrorists who kill HUNDREDS of people?!
Yes!
Didn’t Jesus come to seek and save those which were LOST? Can’t we stand united in prayer for a revolution in the hearts of those who are led astray with hatred and power? Isn’t God able?!
We are under the impression that through war or retaliation WE are able. But it is NOT by might, NOR by power, but by HIS Spirit. HE IS LOVE. The greatest war we could rage is through prayer, being of one mind, one accord.
God brought to remembrance Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
That means that the God of love is able to turn and cleanse the hearts of the wicked. For it is God’s will that NONE should perish.
It is so easy for us to pray for the good guys, but it is the bad guys who need our prayers the most.
We pray for those who have been attacked, but what if we prayed for the attackers? Perhaps if we unite in prayer for the enemy we wouldn’t find ourselves mourning loss, but rejoicing for that which was once lost.

Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I encourage you to pray for the enemy!
God bless ALL of His creation!

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The safe road

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I love country driving.

Tonight was the perfect night for some. The sky was sending small, gentle drops. The last light of day was loitering about. I was in unknown country. I wanted to explore.

The part of town I am familiar with, is the prison and its surrounding block. It is a marvelous sight, but the life behind the marvel is daunting. I wanted to discover the country outside of those walls. I began to drive, turning up one back road I once was acquainted with. (I had slept in its corners one night in my car.)

I turned up the music and opened the sunroof. The trees along this country were thick and green. Farm fields were freshly laid with manure, the rows of beauty overpowering the smell. The farmhouses were picturesque. I was lost in the awe of it all. Gorgeous.

Before I knew it, I was deeper and deeper in the country. I loved it, but I wanted to be able to make it back. Cell service was sketchy. I began to fear, but for a moment. I was calmed with these words, “Don’t worry, I’ll get you where you need to go.” I said, “AMEN!”

I kept driving, relaxing in the beauty. My soul resting. Before I knew it, I was where I needed to be.

That drive, with all the favor of beauty, was a blessed reminder…I can be in foreign country and not fear. I can rest, trusting in Him to get me where I need to be. I am on the safe road. I don’t have to know where I’m going. I might have a dirt road or two. But, I don’t have to worry…I’m going where I need to be.

Spread Cheer

Encouragement. This was the initial desire that moved me to start a blog. I know it’s been many days since I’ve shared encouragement here. But today, I need release, and my best release comes through my writing.
Twenty years ago today I was encouraged by my beautiful, 33 year-old, mother to stay after school and participate in my schools basketball  cheerleading tryouts. My mom loved that I was a cheerleader, and encouraged me often to cheer at home, for her. I remember some pictures she took of me in my middle school cheer years. They have since been lost in all the change. She was a proud cheer mom.
As I sat, waiting for tryouts, chatting away with my friend Jill, I was called to the principals office. Odd, I thought. With a serious face and fairly somber voice, I was told I had to ride the late bus home. I tried to explain that I was waiting for tryouts at my mothers request. But the verdict remained, I was to go home.
I huffed in anger back to my friend, where I complained and pouted. I begrudgingly got on the late bus, leaving behind my friends, the cheerleaders.
We lived about a mile from where the bus dropped off, as our 4th and most recent move led us  out of the district. With sympathy from Mom and the school we were allowed to ride the bus, but it was our responsibility to get there. This afternoon our neighbor was waiting to pick us up. This was not terribly unusual, she sometimes picked up the younger kids from the late bus. What was unusual on November 2, 1994 was the amount of cars parked out in front of our house. When I saw those cars my stomach was instantly sick. My grandma, who was suffering greatly from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was living with us at the time. I think the consensus in the car was something terrible happened to her. But I felt something different. I vocalized that with a, “Mom” as I opened the door of the still parking car. I jumped out and ran inside that house to see my moms family sitting around our dining room table. Their faces red and wet from crying. I myself felt the wetness roll down my face. No words were necessary. My mom was gone.
The events of that day are seared in my memory. It was a day that would drastically change my life.
Remembering her this day, twenty years later, I can still hear her voice. I can hear her encouraging  me to keep being the cheerleader. I don’t need a uniform, I have the heart and a voice. Today, there are so many people in need of a cheerleader. I commit to being just that, if only for one person in need. Encouragement, like despair, is contagious. What will you spread? 
On behalf of my encouraging mother, I encourage YOU, go spread some cheer!
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:2 (NKJV)

The stormy, shaken ground

I just finished reading about large magnitude earthquakes shaking the earth in Nicaragua. My heart is special to Nicaragua as it is the place I committed my first mission to the Lord. I immediately opened a devotion and was led to Psalm 29. The Psalm so happens to be a reminder that our God is the commanding voice over nature. Therefore, when the ground shakes, in Him we can find strength and peace.
How different could this be as we walk along our spiritual path?
We will be walking a smooth road that is flower laden. We enjoy breaths of fresh air upon our cool face as we walk in contentment. But, without notice, the ground below our feet trembles. We’re no longer able to experience the fresh air or the joy that previously surrounded us. It could be we’ve lost a job, spouse, home, or ourselves.
Can I encourage you? Perhaps myself a bit too.  “The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11)
It doesn’t say He might. It says He WILL. Be patient. Endure. Plant flowers in the storm. Gods got your back.
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Escape

I tell a story with my body.
I use no words, I have no thoughts, only movements.
With grace and purpose I move,
Recognizing nothing in the room,
Not even myself.
Only beauty, love, and peace encompass me,
And I just dance.

In love and trust in Him, Samantha Grace