I know I’m behind the times but I finally got my pictures off my SLVR I got for Christmas and into my Flickr account. I haven’t figured out how to do the nifty sidebar thing yet but here’s the address to my flickr account.
Archives for July 2007
This is going to be a short post I believe. Basically yesterday and today consisted of work. I had the implementation last night that had issues and I was on a conference call for an extra 2 hours. Today I went into the office. This evening was spent out and about with my family having dinner and shopping for movies for the trip. Movies: $80. Snacks: $20. My sanity on road trip tomorrow: priceless.
Needless to say I’m packing tonight and leaving first thing tomorrow. We’re headed to my parents house in MD and will be there until Sunday.
I just read Jaynee’s latest post this morning and then had this random conversation with L (who lives in the same neighborhood as Jaynee) on the way home.
Me: So what do you do when you’re on your own time.
L: Play on the computer, hang out with my friends.
(*lots of conversation about going to the mall and Carowinds that is unimportant*)
Me: So you have lots of friends in the neighborhood?
(*more conversation about another family we both know*)
L: Yeah, we go to the pool a lot too.
Me: Did you happen to go to the playground last night?
L: Yeah, we did actually.
Me: Really, I had a friend that was there with her son.
L: Yeah, uh, did she have a, uh, nose ring?
Me: Yeah, she did. Are you guys the one that asked about *it*?
She knew exactly what I was talking about and quickly said: I didn’t ask, my friend asked.
Me: Oh, that’s so funny, she told me what happened, what a small world.
I wanted to bust out laughing but thought I might embarass her. So I’m guessing L is the one telling the other what an STD is. But seriously, what a small world!!
Lately I’ve been having some sort of inner crisis about prayer. Why do you do it? Does it really change anything? Is it worth my time? All reasonable questions but I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years now so it seems I would have these answers nailed down. But recently I’ve been questioning. I mean, how can God know the future and yet my prayers mean anything? It all really comes down to how you view predestination and immutability of God I think.
And then, isn’t it funny how God works…the lesson for my Sunday School class today (which we ended up not having) was on prayer. And I just felt SO incompetent to teach. The lesson had this illustration in it:
Illustration: Many Christians can attest to the fact that, when they pray, God changes circumstances in their lives or in the lives of their families or friends. But, for skeptics, some independent studies on prayer have had interesting results. One study of heart patients conducted at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, concluded that intercessory prayer made a difference. The conclusion was that prayer was effective in supporting standard medical care, according to cardiac researcher Dr. William Harris, who
headed this study.
Dr. Harris studied the health of almost 1,000 new heart patients at St. Luke’s Hospital. The patients, all of whom had serious heart problems, were unknowingly randomly assigned to one of two groups. Half the patients received a month of daily prayer from five volunteers. The other half received no prayer from volunteers. The cardiac patients did not know they were in a study, and the pray-ers only knew the first names of the patients and never went to the hospital. Their only instructions were to pray daily “for a speedy recovery with no complications” for the patients.
Checking a long list of outcomes that could have befallen the patients—including chest pains, pneumonia, infection, and even death—Dr. Harris concluded that the group receiving prayers fared 11 percent better than the group that did not. Scientists consider this number statistically significant given the situation.
If prayer can change the heart of a sick person, just think what prayer can do to change the heart of a sinful person.
(Rauch, Catherine. “Probing the Power of Prayer.” CNN. January 18, 2000. http://archives.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/alternative/
01/18/prayer.power.wmd/. Accessed February 28, 2007.)
And I was stumped…do I really believe that? Do I believe that their prayer made a difference? I had been thinking about this exact question for weeks.
After reading this article last night, I was heartbroken. Like, literally heartbroken. If that was true, that means that when prayers were “answered”, that simply meant I happened to pray what God had planned in any case meaning if I had not even prayed, it still would have happened. Their explanation of when Hannah prayed for a son, God had already planned to give her Samuel whether she had prayed or not. But in my thoughts even through the past weeks, I remember Sodom and Gomorrah and God changing his mind about how many righteous people there would have to be in order to save the city. Was God just teasing Abraham, treating him as an infantile or was God really changing His mind? I just cried out to God literally, I don’t understand! And in an ironic twist of sorts, I prayed to God to help me understand. I had already searched Scriptures the past few weeks. And it’s very clear we are to pray. And as I mentioned, I remember reading about Sodom and Gomorrah. I went back online for another explanation, hoping something would point me to scriptures that seemed to lined up to what happened with Abraham. And I came across this site, and although I was reading about Moses and not Abraham, he does cover Abraham with Sodom in another article on there and to me, his explanation is what I’ve been looking for. I love the mental image of a rocket needing to get to the moon as its destination and there’s more than one path to get there. I’m not talking about more than one way to get saved, I’m talking more about things like praying for healing of someone or even the death of someone like mentioned here or maybe even a blessing of some sort. We can pray for things according to his character, best interests, reputation and I truly believe God can change His mind and do things out of the requests of His children. The Scripture I cling to when I doubt this is:
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)
and also from the story of Moses
“Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.” (Exodus 32:14)
and from Sodom and Gomorrah
“Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (Genesis 19:21-22)
The point of these I take from it is that there has to be the request and then, the obvious fact that God “will give” or “relented” or “granted the request” after it was asked of Him. The article can probably explain it much better than I but what I take from this is how important prayer is. That I can have an affect on my life and other people’s life. So all that being said, I hope that my prayer life improves from here on out.
Update: I just checked that first article I read, and it is from the Reformed Christianity belief (they seem to hold different beliefs toward free will so it makes sense now) whereas the second I would say is more akin to Baptist beliefs. Interesting that I go to a Baptist church and leaned toward believing that even before I knew what either were.
I have that song stuck in my head from High School Musical which I’ve watched twice today. The girls actually really liked watching it with me. Finally a movie we can both enjoy. I had seen parts of it on the beach trip back in February but never watched it through. It’s a cute little movie. Reminds me of Grease a lot.
So today in a nutshell was church, pool, nap, choir, ice cream, Mom’s house, High School Musical. Yeah, not much more to say about that. Nothing really interesting.
Well, one thing sort of sticks out. When we were at Bruester’s (how do you spell that?? Brewster’s, Bruster’s, I don’t know) this couple with a young son probably 18 months old or so had two dogs in their car. Lexi insisted on going to see the puppies (that’s what she calls dogs most of the time) and the couple was hanging around their car with their ice cream. I had noticed because their car tag said Hawaii which I thought was interesting since I’m in the South and all. Anyway, they were very gracious and opened the hatchback and let the girls pet them. Lexi asked their name and it was Koa and Maui. I said, are you guys from Hawaii? They said yeah, we just moved here. I mentioned noticing their tag and they joked about how long of a drive it was. They seemed like a REALLY cool couple. We walked away and I told Heather I wish there was a way you could just say, hey, you guys seem like really cool people, want to be my friend? I don’t know why they still stick out to me, I guess I’m hoping we run into each other in town again. Who knows, it’s a small enough town for it to happen.
I’m becoming depressed at all these entries talking about boys I merely *looked* at…the only redemption I see is that I was 11 when I wrote this.
Today we went to Sam’s then went to the Rock Hill Mall. We passed these 2 guys (cute). We went to Deb’s and they kept going back and forth. Then we went to Stuart’s. They came in and the one said, “I need to get something for my mom.” We were like “Right”. They did the same thing passing by. The one was looking and Stacy waved and he waved back. Ronnie [Stacy’s dad] came and got us and they were sitting on a bench, they followed down to Belk and I waved good-by. Then we went to Heritage and I saw 2 other guys. They kept looking at me. We had no hope together, but it was fun while it lasted. Anyway, I gotta go!