Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Beauty of Prayer Warriors

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)

Last week while attending a writers conference, I was able to spend time with a friend I've not seen in 2 years. On the last day, she gave me something I'll never forget. It was something that can't be bought with money, it can't be won in a contest. Susan Stilwell gave me the gift of prayer. Over the last 2 years, I've had her as a sweet prayer warrior. But to have her put her arms around me and say, "let me pray with you," meant the world to me. Out of all the classes I took and all the people I was fortunate to meet, that was the highlight for me. God brings people into our lives when we least expect it. Though we met at a writers retreat, I don't think either of us knew the friendship that would develop. Who in your life is a prayer warior?

Father, thank You for bring such awesome women into our lives. Help us to not take them for granted, to cherish them always. Lord I ask You provide my readers with someone they can call on at anytime for prayer. Lord give them a sweet prayer warrior like I've found in Susan. In Jesus name, amen.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Eyes on the Unseen, by Ann Tatlock

“Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day….We look not at what can be seen, but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”
           2 Corinthians 4: 16,18 (NRSV)

“You should see what they’re cookin’ up in the town for ya!”

Oddly enough, this obscure line from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” flitters through my mind fairly often. The line is spoken by George Bailey who’s talking on the phone to his younger brother, Harry Bailey. Harry has survived the war and it about to return to his hometown of Bedford Falls. Because he earned the Presidential Medal of Honor, the town is planning a huge celebration for Harry.

I thought of those words again two days ago when I went to have a passport photo taken. The girl at the drug store took my picture, popped the memory card into the photo developer and scrolled through a series of face. When she finally stopped at one, I thought, “Leaping lizards, who’s that old lady!” Unfortunately, it was me!

Most of the time, I can ignore the aging process and just go on happily about my business. But then there are those moments when I come face to face, so to speak, with what’s sometimes called the ravages of time. That’s when I realize that the years are passing, and the day is going to come when time really does run out for me.

The thought threatens to send me into a panic, because I’m all too often tempted to think as the world thinks: I’m growing old without accomplishing half of what I wanted to accomplish. I’m running out of time to spend with my friends and loved ones. Another blink of the eye and it’ll be curtains! The end of the show! That’s all folks!

What a despairing thought. And I’m glad that in my heart of hearts, I know it isn’t true. When I’m finished doing my part on this spiritual battlefield, I’ll be ready to go Home. Time will run out but eternity will begin, an Endless Now in which to praise the Lord, be with loved ones, and even do meaningful work.

Even now, I imagine my loved ones who are already in heaven looking down over me and hollering, “You should see what they’re cookin’ up in the town for ya!” With that thought, I can’t help but lift my eyes to the sky in wonder.

Father, we can’t imagine how glorious it will be when we’re finally in Your presence! That will truly be life as you intended, with no more tears, sorrow or death. Meanwhile, while we’re still here in the “battle lands,” help us to set our minds on the things above, and to carry in our hearts your promise of eternal life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ann Tatlock – Guest Blogger

Ann Tatlock is the author of ten novels. Her newest, Sweet Mercy, was released in May 2013 from Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, Promises to Keep, was a 2012 Christy Award winner and was named by Booklist Magazine as one of the top ten historical novels of the year. She has also authored a non-fiction eBook, Writing to a Post-Christian World. Ann enjoys teaching at various writers conferences throughout the year. She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband Bob and their daughter, Laura. Her website is