Failure and Prayer

“The mature Christians I have met along the way are those who have failed and have learned to live gracefully with their failure.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Saturday, May 31, 2014. Last day of May. Summer is on its way.

Today is Speak In Complete Sentences Day. Haha! Facebook and Twitter would shut down for a day if that was enforced!

Christi got a verbal offer from Mindtree, yesterday, matching the offer that we foolishly turned down about two months before she got laid off at Dex Media. We have decided that the best course of action is to take that offer. It is significantly more money ($15K), the health insurance is better (cheaper, with a co-pay, and lower deductible), and the vacation policy is not nearly as strict. Plus (and a big plus), there is a 10% bonus! Christi has already spoken to the lady at ASAP, who was very understanding. She said that she had even gone to their VP to see if there was any way they could match, but the just couldn’t compete. It was all very cordial, and Christi was even told that, if this didn’t work out, she could call them back. It’s very nice when you don’t have to burn bridges to make decisions. There is one bridge that is safely open. In the meantime, we will await the written offer, which is supposed to come on Monday. This, of course, would also delay her starting back to work for a week or so.

Today is our church day, and our service meets at 5:45 this evening. There will be a prayer gathering at 4:45. We always arrive around 4pm, as Christi usually does the slides for the service, and we help set up. If you happen to be in the DFW area and have nothing to do this evening, come check us out. We meet upstairs in Harvest Baptist Church, in the old school area. Here is a link to the map.


On this date in 1997, Ila Borders was the first woman to ever pitch in a minor league baseball game. I guess we are referring to official MLB minor league affiliates, here, as we all know that there was a woman’s league in the mid-1900s. This, however, is a case of a woman pitching for a “men’s” team. She came into the game in relief for the St. Paul Saints. Mike Veeck owned the team and had signed her for publicity. Turns out, though, that she could throw strikes and was more than just an attraction. Her first outing did not fare well, but she overcame the nerves, and after being acquired by the Duluth Dukes, made 15 appearances, helping the team move from last place to the playoffs, and even contributed a scoreless inning in a playoff game.

Just so you know I’m not making this up. . .

Ila Borders--Duluth Dukes
Ila Borders–Duluth Dukes

Today is the birthday of Alexander Cruden, Walt Whitman, Norman Vincent Peale, Don Ameche, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Paycheck, Happy Hairston, Joe Namath, John Bonham, Tom Berenger, Lea Thompson, Corey Hart, Brooke Shields, Colin Farrell, and Jake Peavey. It’s also the birthday of Peter Yarrow, born on this date in 1938. He was the “Peter” in Peter, Paul, and Mary. Here is their song, “500 Miles.”


(From The Divine Hours)

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.

Psalm 66:8-9
. . . that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Psalm 67:2
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Psalm 31:19
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 36:5

“O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon all of us who
watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship
may give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Psalm 22:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Luke 11:1-4

This is the weekend reading from “In Touch” magazine.

“Many of us have redesigned prayer to fit in with the busyness of our lives and to make us more comfortable.” We have organized it to suit ourselves, and in the process, we’ve forgotten what the heart of prayer really is–our relationship with the Lord.

“Prayer is to be a time of separation from the world in order to be with God. It occurs when we surrender our schedules, our priorities, and ourselves to the joy of drawing near to our Father in heaven. It’s a time to experience His love and express ourselves to Him; to remember that life is centered on Jesus and that our priority is to obey Him. It’s where our souls are nourished and we gain strength to continue.

“For us as children of the King, prayer is the means by which we communicate with Him about our needs, work, desires, and even our mistakes. It is also one of the primary ways for us to receive His responses. Most importantly, it’s a time to bask in the presence of God our Father and Jesus our Savior–and to be guided by the Holy Spirit in heavenly conversation.

“The value of prayer is seen in the life of Jesus. He often withdrew from the crowds and even from His own disciples in order to spend significant time with His Father. What value to you place on praying? Whom or what do you seek through your prayers? How often do you enter the throne room just to spend time with your Father? Commit to seeking a prayer life like the Savior’s–with God Himself as your focus and top priority.”

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Power In His Weakness.”

“The mature Christians I have met along the way are those who have failed and have learned to live gracefully with their failure.” We are faithful when we risk everything on Jesus, are willing to keep growing, and ready to risk failure.

In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isaiah 11:11-12

Father, I thank you for the failures in my life, but only because you have taught me through them. I still have so much more to learn, and each time I fail, which seems to happen daily, I learn that I still have much to learn. You are gracious and patient to continue to work with me, allowing me to grow in very small steps. But all of those small steps will, one day, add up to much maturity, I pray.

Help me to continue to grow my prayer ministry. The reading about prayer, today, spoke to me in many ways. I still don’t do enough private seeking of you and your glory. I need to concentrate more on the right things when I am in my “closet.” There is ample opportunity to shut off the outside world and seek only you. It requires discipline that I have yet to accomplish. I pray that you would help me do that, by the power of your Spirit in my life.

I pray for the remainder of this day. As we prepare for this evening’s prayer and worship time, may we focus on you and what you would have us do as your children and servants. May our worship time tonight be exactly that . . . worship. Give us the ability to focus for just a couple of hours on nothing but you. May everything that happens this evening be to your glory and honor.

We are thankful for the way things seem to be working in Christi’s job situation. We are very thankful that this other job offer came through, with the higher salary. May you be glorified in this and may we honor and glorify you with all of our possessions and money.

Your grace is sufficient.

Failure is inevitable. And in spite of what some “leaders” say, it most certainly IS an option. It is always an option. But it can be used for learning, in any and all circumstances in our lives, spiritual and otherwise. It is part of our path to maturity.

Grace and peace, friends.