Friday, October 6, 2017

Dear Hate,

There has been a video passed around on social media since the recent shootings in Las Vegas by the title of 'Dear Hate' by Maren Morris and Vince Gill.  So very timely.  (Watch it below.)

Dear Hate 

The lyrics made me ponder a bit.  From where does this kind of hate come from...the kind of hate that causes one to snap and begin to plot and plan the demise of as many lives as is possible without even a second thought? ... The kind of hate that lies in wait to take the life of a God-appointed leader with the bend of a single finger?  Where does this kind of hate begin to take root?

The line "you whisper down through history and echo through these halls..."  Then the one word itself...'whisper'.....


This.  This is how it starts.


A whisper.


A whisper in one's mind, which turns into a thought, which then, when nurtured, becomes a stronghold.


'Hate' defined is 'an intense or passionate dislike' and/or 'hostility'.


There will be those who carry this intense dislike worldwide, but then there will be those whose hate is known only amongst a few; and finally, there may be those who carry their hostility in solitude.  Hate comes in many forms.


Hate doesn't always land in the worldly news or even grace the likes of the local news.

Sometimes, as the song suggests, it is like a snake in the grass......  
It hides in secret for only a select few to be privy to.  It lies in wait ready to 'pull the trigger' but hoping all the same that there are those who don't find out.  

Proverbs 10:18 - "Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool."

Psalm 36 2-3a - "For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates.  The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;..."

It may begin with being in discord with someONE over someTHING....because of differences in opinion or culture or religion... so on and so forth.  

1 John 2:9 - "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness."

When you have something against your brother, scripture tells us to go to him directly rather than seek revenge.   

Matthew 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’[b]17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector."

Those who contradict God's Word are not right in His eyes.  I know.  I've been there.  I've been a victim of it, and so have members of my family.  But I've also, regretfully so, done it.  And it's not pretty on either side of that fence of wrath. These whispers, when watered, start taking root in the heart and turn into some nasty kind of fruit!  


So, where does this whisper of hate come from?  The enemy....from the wiles of the devil.  

In John 8, Jesus speaks of Abraham's seed and of Satan's seed.  When He speaks of the enemy, of Satan, He says that he does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him.  Jesus goes on to call him not only a liar but the father of lies.

"He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories" (Battlefield of the Mind).


When these whispers of hate, which come in the form of jealousy, envy, pride, arrogance, discord, division, rage, etc., etc., we MUST know they come from the enemy, the father of lies. These things come from the enemy, and the people who dish out these forms of hate are being used by him to do his work.

Scripture tells us "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).


This is why we must DAILY put on the full armour of God so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).


We must not get caught up in this way of thinking making sure we bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).  

We must also remember Ephesians 6:12 when others show hatred to us in any form, knowing they are just allowing themselves to be pawns of the enemy.   LOVE them, and PRAY for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).

Can't we all just all come together and have a Coke and a smile, so the commercial sings....because, 
♫ that's the way it should be
and I'd like to see
the whole world smilin' with me
..... Have a Coke and a smile! ♫

We are all different.  Therefore, we will have differences.
But that doesn't mean we have to hate in the midst of them.
Let us embrace our differences and learn from one another by speaking softly of our differences and allowing our gentleness to be made known to all men as we do so. 
It is our uniqueness that allows one's weakness to be supported by another's strength.

After all, we all were perfectly and wonderfully made by our Father who knit us in our mother's womb.

Let's just all come together and love one another in the midst of our differences, and be bold enough to not coward away from those differences through acts of hate but rather conquer them boldly together through love; for love DOES conquer all.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Let's try to change the way we think about others who differ from us by meditating on these things:
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

 "And above all things have fervent love for one another, 
for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8

Blessings,




Friday, September 15, 2017

The Watering Hole


Every Wednesday night at church for the last 6 weeks, Todd has been facilitating a class by Andy Stanley called Life Apps. Sadly, we wrapped up this class with our last session on 'encouragement'. (I have LOVED this class, the people and the discussions we've had, and Todd & I have genuinely missed anyone who was not able to make it to every session!!)

In this last session, we learned that, in conversation, there are (6) criticisms to every (1) encouragement. That is a stunning ratio, in my opinion.

I have challenged myself today to reverse that ratio, and I have already failed.

The words 'we must edify & build up' come out of my mouth almost daily and, as a general rule, I try to be a person who encourages. But have I really made a conscious effort to be intentional with my encouragement?

This 'encouragement' session has made me try to focus more on the words that flow from my mouth. This is a good rule of thumb for everyone in every capacity, whether you are a parent, spouse, teacher, preacher, employer, employee, friend, etc. etc. Every word we say has an impact for good or bad on others and, even in kidding, we could possibly bring death to someone without even being aware of it....or we could bring life!

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue ..." Proverbs 18:21

Negative, discouraging or disparaging words ... EVERYONE suffers from them...even the messenger.

Encouraging words ... EVERYONE benefits from them ... even the messenger!

Have you ever spoken encouragement into someone's life?
How did they react?
Did they......Turn and run?... Punch you in the face? ... Refuse to speak to you any more? ... (You get the idea.)...

On the contrary. Most likely, those words spoke life into them making their eyes sparkle, giving them an extra skip in their step the rest of the day and a smile on their face for days to come.

How about discouraging words or negative remarks ... in what direction have words of this manner steered your conversation or affected the attitude or demeanor of yourself or others?

My 'thing' as of late has been to 'find joy in every day'.
We can be so easily swayed by the negatives found in the 'daily' that it can be difficult, at times, to be sensitive to the joy that's waiting to be discovered.

The same could be said of encouragement.
It can be easier to spew off that joke, or to be comically critical or sarcastic, or to continually give constructive criticism all the while thwarting the positive power of encouragement.

The scripture used in this Life Apps session was one of my absolute favorites!! -- Proverbs 11:25 - "...He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

My favorite version of this verse is "...those who water others will himself be watered."




I've always used this in relation to spiritual knowledge - as one who gleans this knowledge passing it on to others. As so many have passed on their knowledge to me - I try to pass on down to others what I have gleaned. I will now apply it to encouragement as well!

My challenge to you, and most importantly to myself, is to be that watering hole for others to which they can come and be watered and refreshed....to those who might deserve it AND to those who might not. Let's face it...it's effortless to encourage those who we feel deserve it. Equally so for the seemingly undeserved, we must find a way to love on them and encourage them likewise.

I would MUCH rather be a watering hole than be a pit of despair or discouragement!

"He who waters others will himself be watered."

I pray you be refreshed today as you refresh others!














Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Best Gift

This image from 1 year ago popped up on my TimeHop today.  




The caption beneath it was this scripture:  
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).

My quiet time today was spent in the Bible study 'Momentum' by Colin Smith, and I was given this same scripture in Romans.  I do not think this is coincidental, nor do I think it is by chance.  I think it was a reminder which was greatly needed in order to help me to not focus on myself nor on the circumstances that surround me, but to focus upward on God and to be aware of how I can walk in the Spirit serving others God places in my path.

God's greatest command for us is to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
God's 2nd greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27)

Love.

Love is the greatest of all these ...  "faith, hope, charity and love".

True Love.

True love is to be able to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep....even if the one who rejoices or the one who weeps is not so lovable.  

"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."  
Luke 6:32-36 (NKJV)
What a great word to me this morning during my Bible study, as well as the reminder of the same from exactly one year ago today!

Rejoice with those who rejoice . . .
Weep with those who weep . . .


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Country Roads

I love long drives on country roads; one of the benefits of baseball games away. 



This showed up on my Timehop today, taken about 4 years ago. This view was on my way to Union City and is always a view I look forward to, especially at certain times in the evening when the sun cast its rays off the tops of the silos making them glisten like diamonds in the sky. 

Country roads...Long drives...Wind blowing through the open windows...Music up loud...It's the simple things that can have the greatest impact. 

These snapshots were taken on the way to Troy, TN this year.  Not the greatest in the world, but it's the best I could do while driving! 

My grandmother & granddad, Mr.& Mrs. Kirk Morror & Oleta Clementine Frazier, had a weeping willow in their front yard. My mom & dad, Mr. & Mrs. Shirl Morror & Shirley Rose Lewis Frazier. also had one in the back yard in my youth.  Lightening struck & killed it at some point.



You can see the reflection of my handbag.  oops!




There is nothing more peaceful or fulfilling or satisfying than gazing upon the wonder of God's creation. It never gets old. 

Here's to more country roads, long drives, pretty days, a full tank of gas and great music!



🎼 "When I gaze into the night sky, And see the work of Your fingers. The moon and stars suspended in space. But what is man that You are mindful of him?" 🎼 (Psalm 8)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Moving On

Well, the 'Raptor' finally shut down on us for good. Will cost more to fix it than it's worth. 


For a true antique, and our having it 20 out of its 27 years, it has served us BEYOND very well.  I was expecting my oldest when we got it, and he is now 20 years old and soon to be 21!

The boys are glad to see it go, even though this is the only vehicle they've ever known their dad to drive. And for that fact alone, I get a little teary eyed to see it go. I remember the boys so excited to wash it for Todd (when they were knee high to a grasshopper!) 



I remember their sweet faces as they looked out of the back window, sitting on those little bench seats, smiling with their big grins, and waving goodbye as their dad took them to preschool and then on to 'big' school. 

That turned into the dreaded look of doom on their faces knowing they would have to squish those long legs into that little truck and under all the book bags, satchels and Todd's baseball gear, as they headed to the even 'bigger' school. 

I won't miss the truck. 
I will miss the moments that turned into the memories it helped create over the last 20 years when I look at it.  I'm sure the next 20 years will pass by just as fast, or even faster, than the last!  

Nothing lasts forever, and although the Raptor moves no more, we're moving on to new memories!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

So We Rage

During my quiet time today, I read a good word in relation to the disappointment you might face with your world leaders. It was geared towards world leaders, but it is a good word for ANY disappointment we might face in any arena of our life. The following is an adaptation from this devo with words extracted straight from the reading mixed with my own gleanings:
"WE HAVE MISPLACED OUR FAITH. Buried beneath the panic we feel due to the state of our 'world/church/job/life' is systemic disappointment. This makes us feel weak and pathetic, so instead of owning our disappointment - in our country, in our world leaders, in our church, in our jobs, in one another, and God help us, in ourselves - WE RAGE. Mad feels better than sad. It's painful to long, in the words of Hebrews 11:16, for a better country and embrace the hard, cold fact that we are strangers and exiles on earth (Hebrews 11:13).
"Grieve, mourn, and weep," James 4:9-10 says. "Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into despair. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you."
But who wants to do any of that? SO WE RAGE.
We have become like the world ".....having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power." (2 Timothy 3:2-5 ESV)
Yesterday's America (world,church, job, life, etc.) in all its honor and shame, is in ashes, but, rather than exercise the faith and obedience and earnest prayer to see God raise some beauty from the heap, some gold from the fire, we keep trying to glue ashes back together. And they won't stick. Yesterday's America has become an idol to us. It has no more breath in it and the thing about idolaters is that, sooner or later, they become like their idols. (Psalm 135:18)
God could do something new but we've lost our hope.
We want back what we've seen instead of believing Him for what we haven't.
Don't run. Don't give up. Stop trying to glue back together those ashes yourself.
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).
When we run on desperation, we are driving drunk on rage, swerving all over the road, fenders dangling and headlights shattered from out collisions with one another. Any means to our end.
Our witness to the world has become the crimson-faced hysterical screams of armageddon after Jesus said "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
We are so void of vision that all we can see is a big fat "T" in the road ahead.
It is right or left.
There is no other way.
Poor, poor God. He's down to His last two options.
And poor, poor us for having such a poor, poor God.
WE ARE CALLED TO BE PEOPLE OF FAITH IN A GOD WHO NEVER NEEDED A MAN-PAVED ROAD TO GET ANYWHERE. A dead end means nothing to a God of resurrection.
This is what the Lord says - "he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters (Isaiah 43:16) can also make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19).
Psalm 146:3-9 - New Living Translation (NLT)
3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel[a] as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
7 He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
9 The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

In November, we cast our votes. But if we cast our confidence in our candidates (in ANY man), woe be unto us.
Unbelief is not just the absence of faith as it if leaves a vacuum.  It is the substantive presence of spiritual infidelity.  *It will not be the scandals of our candidates (or any man) that slacked the jaws of angels.  It will be the unbelief of the church.
"Remember what I accomplished in antiquity!  Truly I am God.  I have no peer; I am God, and there is none like me" (Isaiah 46:9).
We are meant to look back to what God has done in the past so our faith is set aflame for what He can do in our future.  The gospel didn't come to us in seats of government.  It came to us in a stable reeking to high heaven with cow manure.  God didn't plant the Savior of the world in the womb of a governor's wife.  He planted the Christ in the womb of a peasant-girl in the middle of nowhere.  The same one who'd get to bear the reputation that she'd done something naughty and gotten herself pregnant.

Jesus never once sat on a throne here. The closest He got was the back of a donkey.  God did not blaze a trail with the gospel galloping on a horse through the halls of government.  He did it through sandals flapping on the grass.  Through the mouths of ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

It is the world's way to associate power with people at the top, but the power of the gospel is at the bottom.  In God's hierarchy, the way up is down.  The kings and queens of Planet Earth still have to bow low for power from the loft.

We cast our pleas prayerfully.  Carefully.  We plead for wisdom. The church of Jesus Christ doesn't rise or fall on the backs of men.  We have our God.  He has His people.  We don't even have to fully agree with one another to be a colossal force for the gospel.  All we have to do is agree with God that nothing is too difficult for Him and that no amount of mortal elbow grease can back His throne into a corner.

God cannot be overruled.

And it is He alone - I cannot say this loudly enough -  it is He alone who truly loves the world.
To think we care more than He does is remarkably prideful.

The responsibility lies not on anyone else.  Responsibility begins with us.  We are only as powerless as our passivity.  We still have knees to drop in contrition and desperate need for intervention.  Paul didn't tell the government to overcome evil with good. He told US to.

We are convinced that those in 'power' have the power to gag God while 2 Timothy 2:9 says the word of God cannot be chained.  Difficult days are ahead.  We cannot endure them faithlessly.  Opposition is inevitable in any arena.  But at some point we've got to quit looking to leaders to fight for our faith. FAITH WE HAVEN'T FOUGHT FOR IS FAITH WE DON'T POSSESS.

'At the top' is not the only way we effect change.  We seek it.  We fight for it.  But, if we don't get it, it has never been God's only means to a change.

God can turn Pennsylvania Avenue into the road to Damascus, for crying out loud.  He can soften the hardest heart.  Transform the vilest offender.  Thank God no sin is too great for the power of the cross.  Oh for grace to trust Him more.

We need our faith back.
Without it we cannot stand.
Without it we cannot please God. (Heb. 11:16)
Without it we can't grasp joy.
He still counts our faith as righteousness. (Romans 4:23-24)
We live by faith.  We love by faith.  --  Not by sight.

"Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. ..."  (Hebrews 11:1-3)

It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead." (Hebrews 11:17-19)


My goal for 2017, my New Year's resolution if you will, is to remember to RELINQUISH every thing to God in total surrender.  Every. Little. Thing.  
Today's quiet time revelation was a great reminder of that surrendering which I promised God I would work on throughout the new year and years to come.

God foresaw this day and scheduled our births and our deaths within it.
Keep praying for change.
Keep the faith.
Run valiantly by faith drenched with hope because this race, dear friend, ends well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Carob Tree Mentality

In the book 'The Circle Maker', Mark Batterson speaks of the life of a carob tree, stating that we must have a carob tree mentality when praying, praying long and praying hard.  

I did a bit of research on the carob tree, as I was intrigued by this.  The carob tree takes years to start bearing fruit, as early as 6 years, but it can bear fruit for up to 80-100 years. Although irrigation does help its production, it can thrive in dry areas.  

In a world of instant gratification, we are not accustomed to bearing these times of drought in our lives.  We pray 'pop-up' prayers wanting them to be answered as soon as we finish praying. We pray, and then expect a "presto" answer as toast popping out of a toaster.  

The truth is, "As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given" (Daniel 9:23), however, you may not see the answer for quite some time, maybe not even for years and years.  The ability to withstand these periods of drought is the same as having a carob tree mentality.  We must not give up. We must continue praying - praying without ceasing. We must persevere through our longings.  When we shortcut our longing, this becomes a lust, because we seek that instant gratification rather than holding out for that which we are longing. 

'Praying' is an important part of seeking that which we most desperately long for:  Jesus.    Praying long and praying hard is the answer for, in due season, we will see the fruit of our prayers.  We will see a harvest, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).  If you are restless, frustrated, disappointed, weary, unhappy, dissatisfied, or WHATEVER... just PRAY.  Pray long, and pray hard.  

I have a dear friend who once told me that I was my own worst enemy, making me realize I was looking at only the negative and not trying to be a part of the better picture.  Prayer can do this for us. Even if we don't see an answer at this moment, prayer gives us hope that the answer is coming.  

Keep praying, without ceasing. Do not give up.  We may get to a point where we are at the end of the rope and think, "I have nothing left BUT prayer."  Well, let me tell you, dear friend... Prayer is EVERYTHING.  

Prayer is not the last resort but rather the beginning of hope.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Praying Mantis and a Parking Sign


Don't give up. 

Be persistent in prayer; pray without ceasing! 

"...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Eph. 6:28). 

Pray through and never give up.

 I feel God reminded me of this through His little creature, the praying mantis, who has been following me over the last couple of weeks. 








I've been struggling with faith and trust in God in the form of 'worry' over the last few weeks/months.  I am usually pretty good about letting go and letting God do His thing, but there are 2 main areas that have given me anxiety recently.  One, of which, the praying mantis more than spelled it out for me!

There is a 'thing' I've been wanting to happen for a long time now...for several years. I have wanted it so badly that it has become an area of frustration in my life.  I have felt, for so long now, that this thing, or project (for lack of a better word), has been needed and would open doors that have not yet been explored or even thought about.  The process has begun, but the good ol' devil is trying to hinder it any way possible!  For reasons out of our control, we are at a stand still - at least for such a time as this.  This hurts my heart, as I was so extremely excited that it was finally coming to fruition, or at least, the beginning stages of the project were starting to unfold.  

When the process came to a standstill, my heart just ached and frustration set in again.  No one is at fault in this delay....it just is what it is. God has allowed this, for such a time as this, so I know He has plans underway that far exceed my expectations!

It's like building a house....once the process gets started, you are sooooo excited that it is finally happening!  Then....you run into snags over and over and over again ... sometimes you feel overwhelmed, and then frustration and discouragement set in and you think it will never happen.  

Another area of anxiety is my boys' future.  It seems the older they get, the more I worry.  Right now I worry about their chosing the right profession, choosing the right college, so on and so forth....the list goes on and on and on.

My heart has just been in a holding place....a place of worry and anxiety...
Until now.

Look at this.....



Where did this praying mantis land??  Right smack dab in the middle of a Handicapped Parking sign! 

No, I didn't 'get it' right away.  It took several visits from this praying mantis for me to finally realize that I could glean a spiritual lesson from God's little creature!

  


He started out in the parking lot, but as I was going about my business, I realized he kept moving closer and closer to my office.  Here, you can see him on the column that is located under the awning right outside my office window.  

He then decided he liked it so much he'd just hang out around that area.

  

Here he is on a bed of flowers close to the front door.




And here, my last sighting of him (in hopes there will be more), he is seen right in front of the front office window, just peeking in!  

After seeing him a couple of times, my mind went back to my first sighting of him on the Handicapped Parking sign; and THAT'S when it hit me....  sometimes we handicap ourselves by our own 'stinkin' thinkin' and thwart those areas of prosperity that God has in store for us, basically, because we do not have faith, or we have lost faith.

After stopping and thinking about this praying mantis, I said to myself, "you stupid girl....cast all your cares (anxieties) upon the Lord, for He cares for you!" (1 Peter 5:7)  
"You have been praying to Him, but you haven't CAST your anxieties upon Him!"

There are 7 different definitions of the verb 'cast' in the Webster's dictionary, all of which use a form of the verb 'throw' to define it.  So, in essence, to cast your care upon the Lord means to throw it in His direction as if to send off/away or to get rid of.

Rather than worry about this project, and rather than worry about my boys' future, I need to throw those worries to God, let HIM handle it in HIS own timing and in HIS own way, rather than getting anxious and frustrated if I don't see the future clearly or if something doesn't happen in MY time frame.  I must TRUST in His plans, for HIS plans are far better than I could ever ask or imagine!

Yes, I do have my quiet time every day.  Yes, I am in communion with God on a daily basis...every day all through the day and sometimes through the night.  However, I have gotten caught up in my own desires rather than focusing on the desires of HIS heart, and this has allowed worry to creep in slowly, but oh, so surely!  

I looked up the facts on the praying mantis and his defensive tactics:  The praying mantis will either flee from danger if necessary, or he will confront his enemy by putting up his dukes and fighting like a boxer. 

The fact that the praying mantis will stand his ground by putting up his front legs and fighting has reminded me that I may not see a quick answer to my prayers, but I must stand my ground by being persistent in prayer and never giving up until I see the answer, whatever it may be.  I must flee from the devil - from the worry - by putting on the whole armor of God - DAILY.  

God is a patient God. 
God is a faithful God.
God is a loving God.

I must be patient.
I must persevere! 

"...though he will not rise and give to him..., yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs" (Luke 11:5-8). 

Just keep asking in prayer.  "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

And, whenever you see a praying mantis, remember....it's time to keep praying!!
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).

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