Janice S. Garey's Posts (6)

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Prison Ministry

Christian Library International takes donations of used Christian books, Bibles (large print and Spanish are especially needed) and places them with prison chaplains for their lending libraries or as gifts to prisoners. It is a wonderful opportunity to show love and tell prisoners about Jesus.


The Christian Library International stamp is placed in each book that goes out so the prisoners may request to do a Bible study. It is a very worthwhile ministry that people here at Pray! may want to check into for finding places for their books that need new homes. Also, I am part of the prayer team helping to support the ministry in that way.


I am currently writing a book review column in their quarterly newsletter in case anyone here would like to make any suggestions of books on prayer that would be especially helpful to the prison population. I would love to hear your suggestions and why they would be appropriate.

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Lessons Learned From Children

     During a Sunday School discussion on forgiveness, a young child asked, "Should we even forgive a person who drags us on the ground by our feet?" I could tell she thought some sins could be too much to forgive. I said that sometimes it is hard to forgive, and when we do forgive it doesn't mean we forget. I told her we need to remember the person is made in God's image, and we can hope and pray they will do better in the future.

     I believe the child will ponder what I said along with the message she heard from the other teacher about Jesus. She will be noticing if what we said lines up with her life experiences. She will consider if the way of Jesus helps her to get along better in life.

     The lesson I learned is that I am not always prepared for the questions the children bring into the classroom. I have to trust in God to give me answers on the spot. I realize these early hurts the children experience  are only the beginnings of a line of hurts they will have to work through for all of their life spans. They don't yet recognize  many ways of dragging people down exist other than just being pulled by the feet.

     I pray for this girl and all the children in the class to be developing the habit of true forgiveness that can only come through Jesus. They are too young to fully understand the depth of His forgiveness of our sins, and the depth He gives us in forgiveness of the sins of others. But they are old enough to think about the difference between forgiving and forgetting. You can forgive at the same time as you stay out of the way of those who try to drag you down.

Proverbs 14:26    In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.

                                   (He gives us confidence that we can forgive even the worst, as He keeps us safe from harm.)

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Lessons Learned From Children

     I watch the children engaged in Sunday School activities. One child, dressed in costume as Ezra, steps up on a wooden platform and reads the Bible aloud to a small group. Another child, pretending to be Ezra the scribe, sits and copies Bible verses. Nearby, children are bowling, knocking over labeled juice bottles and arranging them in Bible book order by division: Law, History, Poetry and Wisdom, and Major Prophets. A third group is engaged learning a Bible verse with a bean bag game. Prayer, thought and preparation birthed these learning activities.

     Yet, when I glance at another area of the classroom, I see a few children who have wandered away from learning about God's word. They are enthralled with a handful of micro toys one boy brought  from home. These children are momentary lost sheep of this Sunday School activity time. I am challenged to plan better and study these individual sheep more to know how I can keep them in the fold. They are worth the extra effort. After all, I realize I spent decades as a lost one. My Shepherd, Jesus, made extra effort to bring me into the fold. How could I do any less for these young sheep of His pasture?

Isaiah 53:6  "We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (NIV)

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December Birthdays

I experienced a  childhood (which went into adulthood) of hating to have a birthday so near to Christmas. Now I have the greatest of appreciation for sharing my birthday with celebrations of Jesus' birth. As a Christian, Jesus lives  in my heart so of course it makes sense we would share in celebrations. If a Christmas party happens to fall on my birthday I no longer feel robbed of having the spotlight for the day or evening. I am now in full recognition of the gift He gave to me that is so much bigger than any gift another person could give. It is a gift that increases day by day for it covers all  the days of my life into eternity with Him in heaven.


A very good friend and I exchange a postal flat rate box with each other for birthdays and Christmas. The boxes are rather small but have reasonable postage rates so we tend to find several small gifts to fit into each box. This December my friend included a small decorative plaque with the words, "Good friends are like stars---the darker the night, the brighter they shine." Of course those words remind me more of Jesus than of myself. The quote is true on the human level, but it is so much truer in the spiritual realm.


Recently on another website there was a question posted as to who is your best friend. I posted about categories of best friends and then went on to say that Jesus is my very best friend. Some people posted that they did not like to think of Him as a friend because it seemed to lessen His value as Lord and Savior. But I pointed out through Scripture that He calls us His friend if we obey His commands. He also treats us as friends rather than as slaves or servants because He shares with us what the Father tells Him. He has given us His Word! (another of His magnificent gifts to us.) He laid down His LIFE for us, His friends.


May you never fail to recognize the infinite value of the birth of Jesus in the plan of God the Father to save us all. I am ever grateful to God for making me realize that my birthday is of no value unless I have received His greatest gift.


Thank You, Father God, for my December birthday that includes joy over the Savior's birth.


Merry Christmas to you, friends!

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A Prayer Resource

A prayer resource set that I have found effective is the "Power of a Praying Woman Bible" (Stormie Omartian, General Editor) alongside the related "Praying Through the Bible: A Prayer Journal". I found the Bible on sale at Christian Book Distributors and the Journal at Bookcloseouts, both on sale and at reasonable prices. The study Bible has a feature, Going Deeper, in which Stormie suggests a passage to read and then she has commentary on it. I read both the passage and what she has to say about it. Then I go into the journal and write my own prayer based on the reading. I will share my prayer that I wrote after reading Habakkuk 1:1-11.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I wait and watch, wondering what will You do to the wicked. Surely the day of Your justice will come. I wait upon You to administer justice. You do know all---You alone see the whole picture. You have rewards for those who try to keep Your laws and You allow consequences to punish those who are disobedient to Your laws. Thank You for the features of Your law. It surely proves Your love for us. Through Jesus, Amen

I don't think it was intentional or noticed at the time of writing the prayer but now that I look back on it, there is a lot of alliteration in that first sentence of the prayer! When I wrote it I was not considering it for public view. But I share it in case someone else may be encouraged to start prayer journaling based on Scripture reading. Previous to this I kept a prayer journal but it was usually about asking God to provide for the needs of people in my personal realm and it was not so much tied to Scripture. I found this to be a refreshing change that added depth to my prayers.

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