Daddy Let’s Pray

This month my husband has a birthday. It is a big one! Last week his cousin sent a story she found written by Gene’s mother in 1964 about an incident from 1945. My Mother-in-law loved to write and share stories of how God worked in the lives of her family. We have many of them, but this one is special. She wrote it in the voice of her husband because it is his true story. It is long, but worth the read. With little editing, I want to share it with you. (The image is a google image and not the actual place of the story.)

The river was aimlessly winding its way down stream at the rock quarry. It was a perfect day along this riverbank where I loved to come to meditate. I felt closer to God there among His handiwork of nature. The water was crystal clear flowing over the rock bottom. Often big fish would come down stream and one could almost catch them with their hands.

Other times, when the gates of the dam were open upstream, the water came rushing along in torrents, seemingly in such a hurry to join other rivers far beyond. But the sound of the water was so fascinating as it rushed on its way.

I went to the rock quarry with my pick shovel to dig out layer upon layer of the most beautiful colored sandstone. Perhaps it had lain in this place thousands of years for it was the Master’s hand that formed all those different shapes, colors, and formations.

Builders had contracted me to furnish sandstone for those beautiful stone houses they were building. This place was like a sanctuary to me. This was where I could sing at the top of my voice, laugh, cry, and worship my God for there was no one near for miles. Often, I would look up to the sky and visualize one day soon my Lord would come and stand, over there, beyond that knoll. I was constantly looking for Him because His presence was so real.

One day I brought my small four-year-old son, Gene, with me. He would play along the bottom of the quarry throwing rocks into the river. To him this was like a picnic as we would bring our lunch. When he got tired, he would lay down in the seat of the truck or on a blanket on the grass and go to sleep. On this day I was digging out stone under a big overhanging cliff. Some days I would place a stick of dynamite far back under the rock to get the dirt and scrap out, but this day the stone was coming out in such beautiful layers of rock, all I had to do was put in a wedge and pry it up.

Suddenly, my small son, Gene, came running to where I was working and said, “Daddy, let’s pray!”

“Well sure son in just a minute we will.” I thought it was nice that my son wanted to pray, but this stone was coming out so easy that I hated to stop. Little Gene went on and played a little while longer. Finally, he came running over where I was under the cliff. Emphatically he repeated, “Daddy lets pray!” This time I listened thinking, “This is wonderful. If my child wants to pray that badly, then I better stop and pray with him because I always taught him prayer was important.

Gathering my tools, I went over by the riverbank and knelt down. While we were praying, without any sound or warning, the entire side of the overhanging cliff came crashing down into the bottom of the quarry. Tons and tons of rock and dirt fell covering the exact place where I had been working.

Needless to say, I really did pray then! This had been no childish whim but had been the divine hand of God using a child for both our protection. So overwhelmed with thankfulness to God, I really did laugh, cry, and praise Him.

While we were still kneeling, my nephew arrived at the quarry. As he came down the hillside and saw us kneeling, he looked at all the tons of rock in the quarry and stopped short. He asked, “Why did you put all that dirt and rock down there?” With a choked-up voice, I answered him, “I didn’t…God did!” We were so happy that God protected us, we cried tears of joy.

We had many experiences that summer. This place had truly become God’s sanctuary to me. I know God saved both my son, Gene, and I for a purpose.

Now many years have passed since that day. As I reminisce over the goodness of God and His protecting hand, I feel that my son and I both owe a debt of gratitude to God. God saved our life that day. Now the least we can do is dedicate our lives back to God.

Written by Priscilla Davis Grounds for Murl Grounds

In later years, Murl Grounds became a minister of the Gospel and Gene Grounds became ordained into the ministry as a Crisis Chaplain.

 

 

Lord of All Creation

 

As I was looking back through my journal this morning, I found this poem I wrote on January 3rd of this year without knowing what the year would bring, personally and nationally. Today I find it very appropriate as a prayer for those who do not yet know the Lord of all creation that they would seek Him. His name is Jesus.

LORD OF ALL CREATION

Lord of all creation

humbly I bow at your feet

seeking your hand of mercy

to touch and give me strength.

To the weak and the weary

Your grace you have shown

to fill our hearts with hope

as we await our heavenly home.

Thank you for mercy and grace

in the sacrifice you made

that we could experience your presence

and from your free gift, be saved.

And now, O Lord, I ponder

how it can be so

that we receive such great love

and out of your wisdom, we can know…

The Loving Savior, Jesus!

“And it shall come to pass

that whoever calls on the name of the LORD

shall be saved.”

Acts 2:21 (NKJV)

Sit With Me in the Rain

“Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.” HCSB

We have a promise from God that as we strive to know Him better, His presence in our lives is a sure thing. And by His presence, He will teach us in a way that we flourish and grow. We have His promise that He will stimulate growth in us as we open our hearts and minds allowing Him to make conditions right for learning.

Many years ago, I went with friends to a retreat in Colorado that was held on a ranch. The theme was “Loving Jesus”. On the last day, the speaker challenged us to take our Bible outside, find a place of solitude and listen for the Lord to speak through His word. Being a ‘girly girl’ back then, I didn’t want to get my hair messed up or my clothes dirty so I looked and looked for just the right spot. Finally I saw a slab of concrete and prepared to open my Bible. But just about the time I was settled, it began to rain. Oh my goodness, you can’t believe the grumbling and complaining coming out of my mouth and God heard every word. As I gathered my things to go back inside, the Lord spoke through a still small voice as if He were standing right there in front of me. He said, ‘Virginia, don’t you love me enough to sit with me in the rain for a moment.’ Whew! My knees gave way and I immediately sat again knowing I had heard a word from the Lord.

The funny thing is that as soon as I opened my Bible again, the rain stopped! But funnier still is that the passage I opened to was Hosea 6:3. As I look back on that occasion, I realize that God was testing my love and obedience to Him.  He wanted me to recognize that my priorities were messed up; that I was more concerned about my appearance, my hair and clothes than I was spending time in solitude with Him. God wanted to stimulate spiritual growth and maturity in me. Even though it has been at least 20 years since then, I remember it as if it were yesterday. God wants us to love Him enough to sit with Him in the rain if that’s what it takes to get our attention so we can listen, learn and grow.

God got my attention that day. In James 4:8, it tells us that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. That is what He did for me that day, and that is what He will do for you. If you hear what God teaches through His word, if you come to Him and acknowledge who He is in your life; you will find His assurance. That assurance is this:

  • The more we listen, the more we grow…
  • The more we grow, the closer we become to God.
  • The closer we become to God, the more we are assured of His love and faithfulness.

Studying the Bible is about new life. It is about growth and relationship. If you want to be able to trust God more, to experience His strength, to have greater confidence; you need to read His word. You need to listen and ask ‘how does this apply to me’. Pay attention to what it says and then act upon it.

Tuned In …

… When He Speaks

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said…” Acts 13:2a

Nothing draws us closer to the Lord than when we worship Him, especially in a time of prayer and fasting. That is when we are the most tuned in to hearing when He speaks. In Acts 13:1-3, we see that the Holy Spirit spoke when the prophets and teachers were worshiping and fasting. We know they heard the message because they acted upon it and obeyed the message.

It was not a planning session these men attended, it was a time of worship and fasting. It wasn’t the plans of man but the leading of the Holy Spirit that sent Saul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey.

The Holy Spirit told them to “set apart” these two men for the work He called them to do. They were appointed to be separated from the others and sent on to be about this work in response to hearing the Holy Spirit speak.

This is why we have worship before the pastor stands to preach the word of God. It is to prepare our hearts to hear quotethe message and apply it to our lives. But if we do not allow ourselves to participate in worship because our thoughts are elsewhere, we are not prepared to hear what God is saying to us personally and, therefore, do not act upon it.

There are occasions when we may be present at church, but not as a participant. Worry, circumstances, pain and even criticism can get in the way of worship. Therefore, focus is distorted and we are easily distracted by those around us. On those days, we leave the church disheartened and critical because we “didn’t get a thing” out of the service.

If this sounds like something you have experienced, set you mind on worship before you arrive at church. Make a determination that you will focus on the words of worship in order to have your heart prepared for the Word spoken. Yes, I know… we all have different tastes when it comes to music and different opinions when it comes to worship. The drums are too loud or the beat is too jazzy or someone raised their hands. Or if you are younger, you may think it is too boring or traditional. But if you can focus on the message rather than the volume, the beat or the movement, you will be drawn into worship where your focus is fully on the Lord.

In Acts, it was when the people were worshiping that they heard the Holy Spirit speak. If you want to hear a word from the Lord, worship Him. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.