Some of our greatest lessons in life can come from the most simple interactions with other people.  Maybe their attitude inspires you.  Perhaps they drop a little knowledge on you.  Or sometimes, just their perspective on a situation can completely blow you away.  As for me, I have learned many important lessons from the interesting perspectives of my children.

Most recently, my son kind of put me in my place as to how I talk about relationships.  If you recall, when Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment in Mark 12, He talks about relationships.  He is says the most important thing for us to do is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  The greatest commandment is for us to give all that we are to our relationship with God.  The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves.  So, second only to God, we should put all of our energy into our relationships with other people.

That all seems pretty cut and dry.  Jesus leaves no room for loving stuff or for being selfish.  Yet, that is what we tend to do.  We often focus on ourselves, our desires, and our stuff much more than our relationships.  That is part of our sinful nature.  That is part of being human.  That is why it is so hard to do right.

My son recently started school and has a sweet Transformers backpack.  As he was randomly wearing it around the house, because that is what kids do, I decided to pay him a compliment.  I said, “Man, I love your backpack.”  Then speaking to me as if I were a child and he was an adult, he replied, “Daddy…we don’t love backpacks, we love people.”  

Wow.  I know I don’t really love his backpack, although I may be a little jealous.  But that really got me thinking about how I talk about “stuff” and how I talk about my relationships.  If everything I said was an accurate interpretation of my feelings, it would be very clear that I value food, sports, television, food (are you really surprised that I said food twice?), and possessions much more than I value my friends and maybe even my family. 

How sad is that?  I am so careless with my language that relationships seem to be at the bottom of my priority list, when they are supposed to be at the very top.  And just think, if I took all the time I spend talking about these earthly things and dedicated it to my relationships, I would be a much better Christian, husband, father, son, brother, and friend.  I would be much closer to being the person that God wants me to be. 

How about you?  Are your relationships the most important things in your life?  Does your language, your attitude, and the way you spend your time reflect that?  

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31 NIV)

I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated by the marketing field.  The creative scenarios these people come up with to pitch their products are beyond amazing.  I would absolutely love to be able to sit in on a brainstorming session with these people, especially for the Super Bowl ads.  They specialize in making their product not only relatable to consumers, but desirable.  They can make you want a product that don’t even need.  Shoot, some of them can make you go out and buy products that you don’t even want.

Now, while I do not believe that we should manipulate people into accepting Christ, we are called to represent Him.  We do not have to convince people of who Jesus is, but we are responsible for telling people everything about Him.  Essentially, we are all walking advertisements for Christianity.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I am as good at advertising as the folks at Doritos or Chevrolet.  So what I can I do to be better at marking my faith?  I wish there was a guide or something.

1.  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV) - So, in order to effectively show people what my faith is all about I need to be full of joy, and let it be known that I am rejoicing in His name.

2.  Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) - I need to be able to share my story about my Jesus with people in a variety of ways so that it can be relatable to their lives.

3.  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 NIV) - I need to look after orphans and widows, help the poor and the hungry, and live life as a true servant.  I also need to be pure and avoid letting the world pollute who I am.

4.  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22 NIV) - And, last but not least, I need to practice what I preach. 

Oh, well, that was pretty helpful.  Apparently there is a guide. 

Evidently, in order to effectively market my faith, I need to act like a Christian.  If I am living out my faith as I am commanded, people will see Christ in my life and want what I have.  That sounds simple enough. 

The problem is that I am not always the Christian that I want to be.  I get bogged down with the hustle and bustle of life and forget to rejoice.  I tend to hang out with people that are already believers.  And there are times where I am caught not practicing what I preach.

The good news is that I know what I should be doing.  I know what will effectively spread the gospel within my community and throughout the world.  While creativity will be helpful, I need nothing more than obedience to make an impact.  Unlike those slackers writing Super Bowl commercials, I have a formula for what works.  Now it is up to me to make sure I follow it.

How do you market your faith?

Alright, I am going to use a word that usually starts a fight.  Are you ready?  Okay, here it goes: evolution.  While I have no intention of discussing evolution in relation to creationism, I would like to talk about the evolution of technology. 

In my lifetime, I have seen video games evolve from Atari to various editions of the Nintendo, then on to the Playstation, on to Xbox, and finally on to the variety of next generation consoles currently available.  I got lost in MySpace, “Like”d Facebook, #followedmyfriends on Twitter, and have finally given in to putting a pin in Pinterest. 

As soon as we get used to something, it seems like something new always comes out.  Technology is evolving so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up.  But what if you could, just once in your life, be ahead of the game?  What if you, or somebody you know, could come up with something new and innovative?  What if that happened in the next paragraph in this post?

I think you will agree that most popular technologies are developed by minute advances or creative spins on earlier technologies.  Well, that is exactly what I am trying to do.  What if we could put a Christian spin on a website that is just starting to explode in popularity?  What if we use it to not only fellowship with other believers, but to be able to share creative ministry ideas and encouraging stories?  What if ministry met Pinterest?

Think about it.  The website could be set up just like Pinterest with categories, search options, and a mechanism for capturing posts that are intriguing, inspiring, or just plain interesting.  I realize that Christians are already using Pinterest to share their faith in incredible ways.  But I feel like combining the functionality of Pinterest with a creative ministry platform would allow Christians to share ideas on a level that we have never seen before.

Christians all over the world could post pictures, stories, and ideas for effective ways to share the gospel.  We would no longer be bound to ministry ideas that we heard about on Air1, learned about from a friend, or those that have been done in our churches for years.  We would have access to what the entire world is doing to expand the Kingdom of God.

This is something I genuinely think could be beneficial, but I would love to know what you think.  As far as names go, I think it should mimic the naming combination of Pinterest (pin+interest).  Maybe something like Pinistry, perhaps? 

If this is a worthy cause, I am willing to try and make it happen.  So please share your thoughts below.  Or if you know of a way this is already being done, please share the link below so we can increase awareness about such an incredible resource.

When I was a kid, it seemed like there was an episode of every television show I watched where one of the kids ran away.  There was Stephanie on Full House, Ashley on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Mark on Home Improvement, and even Shawn on Boy Meets World.  Man, we could all use a friend like Corey Matthews.

But I never got it.  They would gather a few things, wrap it all in a table cloth and tie it to a stick.  Maybe that’s why I never ran away, I was never able to master the art of tying my belongings to a stick.  Apparently that is a requirement for running away.  And then they would go to a place that was very familiar to them.  Some went to a friend’s home, and others went to some sort of club or tree house.  They wanted to leave home for some outrageous reason, but they also wanted to make sure they were going somewhere that felt safe.

(Insert random Bible segue here)

In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to set up cities of refuge whenever they were settling a new area.  These cities of refuge were supposed to be areas where somebody who had unintentionally killed a person could flee to avoid being immediately killed by an avenger.  It was a place for them to be protected until they could get a fair trial.  It was a place for them to feel safe.

Isn’t that what we all desire?  When we are running away from things that are painful or scary, it seems that all we want is to feel safe.  There is comfort in feeling safe.  There is contentment in feeling safe.  In many cases, there is even joy in feeling safe.

There may be times in our lives that we have no city of refuge to turn to.  There may even be times when the very place we seek safety is the place we are running away from.  It is during those times that we need to remember that God is our refuge.  While He does not promise to protect us from pain and danger, the peace that He provides is beyond anything we can experience in any place or with any person. 

The contentment, comfort, and joy that God can provide is truly incomparable. So the next time you feel like you need to run, the next time you have to get away, run to Him.  He is waiting with open arms and ready to surround you with His amazing love.  Let God be your refuge.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1 NIV)

I love movies.  All kinds of movies.  Comedies, action movies, mysteries, cartoon movies.  They all have entertainment value and lessons to be learned.  For several years, approximately 30% of every conversation I took part in was a direct quote from a movie.  In fact, I had a young lady once tell me that I had no personality of my own.  Good times.

While most of the main points in movies are hammered home in the plot, often to the point of overdoing it, I usually find the most wisdom in the “throw away” lines that nobody else notices.  Maybe that’s why nobody ever knows what movies I am quoting….hmmm.  Anyway, I had a recent experience where one of those random lines that nobody notices got stuck in my head and I just can’t get rid of it.  So I hope that it will leave me alone if I write about it in my blog.  Let’s find out.

Have you seen the movie Courageous by Sherwood Pictures?  If you haven’t, you should.  It’s definitely their best film yet.  At some point during the film, a few of the main characters find themselves in a tight spot.  Luckily, backup arrives at the last minute to help them save the day.  As they are talking about the situation afterward, one police officer says to another, “Thank God for backup.”  Then they move on to the next scene without any elaboration or further discussion.

“Thank God for backup.”  Man, it is always so tempting to do things on your own.  We all want to be independent, right?  People dream about not having to be dependent on others.  The problem is that we can’t always do everything on our own.  We all need help at some point.  ♪ Everybody needs somebody sometime…♪.  And by the grace of God we are able to surround ourselves with other Christians that love us, support us, and are eager to help us when we are in need.  We have a steady supply of people standing by to step in and save the day. 

The Bible tells us that if we step up and support “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” as their needs arise, it is as if we are doing these things directly for Jesus Himself.  We often visualize this as feeding the hungry, healing the sick, or spending time with those that are lonely.  However, there is another side to that statement.  At one point or another, all of us will be one of “the least of these.”  It is a guarantee that, just as we are called to serve other believers, we will have the opportunity to allow others to serve us.  We will be hungry, in need of clothing, lonely, thirsty, or sick.  We will all be in situations where we just cannot make it on our own.  Thank God for backup.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  (John 15:13)

Have you ever needed of backup that showed up at just the right time?

I have a confession to make.  I have had it on my heart for a while, but it hurts so much to say it out loud.  I know you will probably be devastated, but that is something that I have to risk.  Whew…here it goes.  I, Jamie Boggs, am not perfect.  Whoa, that feels so much better.  Wait…what?  You already knew that?  Yikes.

If I am not perfect, why do I try to act like I am?  I am convinced that we are meant to share our lives with each other, even our struggles and failures.  Yet, we all want to appear as though we have it all together.  We want to look strong, confident, and as flawless as possible.  We consistently deny who we really are, and put on our swagger mask.

Now, let me be clear that I find it unethical and even sinful to point out the flaws of others to make me feel better about myself.  However, I have no qualms about doing it to encourage you.  That makes sense, right?  I want to show you some heroes from the Bible that were very flawed, had great struggles, and still managed to do more for the kingdom of God than we could ever dream.

1. Moses – You know Moses, right?  There is a story or two about him in the Old Testament.  He pretty much hung out with God all the time, performed countless miracles, freed the Israelites from slavery, delivered The Ten Commandments, and lead God’s people to the promised land.

Sure, Moses made a bad decision or two before God called on him to be the leader of His people.  But after that, he was God’s golden boy, right?  He talked to the burning bush, saw God’s back, parted the Red Sea, and brought water out of a rock. 

You know what else Moses did?  He doubted God.  That’s right.  After all he had seen, and all that God had done through him, Moses doubted that God would bring water out of a rock (Numbers 20).  In fact, because he doubted, God did not allow Moses to enter the promised land with the people he led out of Egypt.  The leader of Israel, their great prophet and miracle worker, was unable to join them in the land of milk and honey.  I'd say that probably got a little awkward, don't you think?

2.  David – David killed Goliath to lead the Israeli army to a victory over the Philistines.  David became King and ruled over Israel for forty years.  He wrote a large part of the book of Psalms.  David was a man after God’s own heart, and it was from his lineage that the Messiah was born. Wow…that’s pretty impressive.

However, the Bible is very clear that David messed up on the regular.  He committed murder, and then conspired to commit murder to cover it up.  Many Psalms discuss his struggles and his desire to become a better man of God.  David was very, very far from perfect.  Yet, he is looked to as such a great example of how to seek and trust God.

3.  Peter – Peter means “rock.”  Jesus gave him this name as a metaphor of the fact that Peter was to be the rock that Christianity would be built upon.  He was to be the foundation.  And in case you haven’t noticed, with millions of Christians all over the world, he did a pretty good job of taking on that challenge.  In the book of Acts, we see him taking charge and leading Christ’s disciples in what seemed like a suicide mission (and was for many of them) to spread the good news of Jesus.  He preached repentance, love, and salvation to all.  Peter seemed to live up to what Jesus expected of him.

But, as I’m sure you know, that was not always the case.  Peter had a tendency to stumble in some pretty big ways.  In addition to denying his relationship with Jesus three times prior his Jesus’ crucifixion, there was actually a time when Jesus told Peter to “Get behind me, Satan!”. 

Geez.  If Jesus referred to the foundation of Christianity as Satan, what would he say about me?  More importantly, if these flawed individuals are such a pivotal part of God’s plan to expand His Kingdom, why am I so afraid to admit that I am not perfect?  Why is it that I put on my swagger mask and act like everything is great, when I could just admit my faults, work on improving them, and move forward toward being who God wants me to be? 

I am nowhere near perfect.  But if I truly put my faith in God’s word, I should know that I don’t have to be.  He will forgive me, help me get back on my feet, and use whatever circumstances I get myself into for His glory.

Have you perfected the art of being imperfect, or do you still spend too much time pretending you are flawless?

I really enjoy watching movies.  Almost any movie, actually.  I feel like most movies have something to offer, whether it is an inspirational story, a few thrilling action scenes, or some witty humor.  And aside from Back to the Future completely letting me down with the Hover Board, I believe movies are great at predicting the future. 

So, as scary as it may be, it seems like a zombie apocalypse may be inevitable.  And it is vital that we are all prepared.  While the basic survival rules for such an event can be found here, I believe that we should also be aware of our Christian responsibilities in a zombie (or walker) infested environment.  While this list is a working document and nowhere near exhaustive, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1.  Zombies are not vampires. – In vampire movies, Christians usually try to survive by keeping the undead at bay with their crosses and holy water.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t work with our zombie friends.  Unless you use the cross as a weapon, it will do you no good when a walker is coming at you and trying to eat your face.

2. Understand the sixth commandment. – “You shall not murder.”  The Bible is very clear about this.  You should not unlawfully take the life of another human being.  However, if I am clear on the definition of zombie, they are no longer human beings.  Actually, they are not really alive.  So, if you ask me, taking down a walker in self-defense is completely justified.  And if you want to survive and pursue countless dead ends of cures and safe houses, then you may have to drop a zombie or two.

3. Keep your head on a swivel when you are in The Witness Zone.  – I get it, when you are trying to lead somebody to Christ you have to be completely focused.  However, if a horde of zombies is ripping your limbs off, you will be doing very little to spread the gospel.  So do me a favor, just make sure you remain aware of your surroundings, and maybe spend most of your time in the middle of a football field where nothing can sneak up on you.

4.  Baptism in Aquafina – Just because the world is plagued by a virus that is likely to eliminate humanity, that does not mean that we should stop being obedient.  Of course new believers should still be baptized.  However, while most zombie productions leave out the fact that all fresh water supplies are likely contaminated, you should avoid creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes at all costs.  That is not to mention the fact that you should avoid all faucet water because it likely comes from a common water source that could also be contaminated.  What does that leave?  You guessed it: bottled water. 

Based on my understanding of the Bible, baptism by full immersion in water best represents what the early Christians and Jesus Himself did.  Yet, since I'm sure bottled water will be in short supply, I'd say you'd be good to go ahead and sprinkle. 

5. Share your ear buds. – Unless you are super cool and you rock those colorful Dr. Dre headphones, you probably listen to music through ear buds. At least that’s what I see most of the kids doing nowadays.  Either way, in a zombie apocalypse type situation, you need to make sure you ONLY listen to your worship music through ear buds. 

It seems that the walking dead are attracted to noise since they usually find food nearby.  So it is vital that you are as quiet as possible when rocking out to Todd Agnew.  (If you do not currently rock out to Todd Agnew, stop reading this and go download some of his stuff immediately.)  Additionally, DO NOT PLUG UP BOTH OF YOUR EARS.  If you have an ear bud in each ear, you are stupid and deserve to be eaten by zombies.  Share the love and share your worship music with a friend.  That way you can work together to avoid an ambush.

6.  Pray with your eyes open. – Believe it or not, there seems to be no scripture commanding us to close our eyes when we pray.  Actually, there are several Bible passages that talk about praying with your eyes lifted to heaven.  So, in a world where clumsy, grunting zombies somehow display amazing amounts of stealth, I would say that you need to find a happy medium where you can focus on God and still be able to notice a horde in the distance.  Since praying with your eyes open is in the Bible and it could save you from walkers, I’d say that’s what they call a win-win.

7.  Share in everything. – While I’m still a little blurry on the line between pillaging to survive and habitual thievery, I’m pretty sure than anything left abandoned is up for grabs.  After all, the first Christians essentially put everything they owned in a big pile and took as they had need.  That sounds like it would be a perfect model to follow in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  In fact, I believe that everyone still alive after the initial epidemic is safe to operate under the finders keepers principle. 

Like I said, this is not an exhaustive list.  I'm sure there are many other Christian-specific situations that will present themselves when the virus starts to spread.  Are there any other rules you can think of that Christians should keep in mind after the zombies take over?

_Have you ever heard the term “mondegreen”?  I hadn’t either until I started doing a little research for this post.  Mondegreen is the term used to describe a word or phrase that is a result of mishearing or misinterpreting something said or sung.  In other words, “hold me closer, Tony Danza” would be a mondegreen of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer.  Or perhaps if you like to “rock and roll all night,” you may also like to do so “part of every day.”  That’s how I roll, anyway.

Don’t be embarrassed.  This happens to all of us at some point.  In fact, Cingular and Volkswagen have made some pretty entertaining commercials based on commonly misheard lyrics.  And honestly, does anybody know all of the words to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody? (If you do, please keep it to yourself.  I feel like revealing the words would ruin the magic.)

This most recently happened to me at church.  It wasn’t during a song, however.  It was during a prayer.  Yeah, that’s probably a little worse…right?  Well, let me explain.

During a prayer, a member of my church family thanked God for His “presence” in her life.  She went on to ask for His “presence” in our service.  All in all, she probably said “presence” four or five times.  However, every times she said it, I heard her say “presents.” 

While I knew what she was saying, I kept picturing God handing down beautifully wrapped boxes with fancy bows.  It reminded me of a little kid at Christmas thanking their parents for gifts, but continuing to ask for more.  I started just to laugh it off, and it hit me that our prayers really do sound like that sometimes. 

In praying to God, some popular topics include: praising God and acknowledging His holiness, giving thanks, asking for forgiveness of sins, asking for healing, asking for guidance, asking for strength for various reasons, asking for needs of others to be met, asking for our needs to be met, asking for our desires to be met, then hopefully taking some time to listen to how He responds.  In Jesus name, Amen. 

I don’t know about you, but I was a bit overwhelmed with the number of times the word “asking” appeared in that paragraph.  I realize that several of the things we ask for are to help us serve and grow closer to God, and that’s awesome.  But we need to pay close attention to how we spend our time during prayers.  The amount of prayer time we give to certain issues may reveal more about our lives than we realize.

If you are spending a lot of time asking for the needs of others to be met, you might want to see if there are additional ways you can contribute to meeting those needs yourself.  If you are praying mostly for forgiveness, you need to seek additional help and accountability to stop the sins that are plaguing you.  If you spend the majority of your prayer time listening to God, you are desperately needed to help others make the best use of their prayer time.  And if you are spending more prayer time on your desires than anything else, you need to stop worrying about “presents” and focus more on the gift of His “presence”.

How do you spend your prayer time?

Have you ever heard anybody talk about being in “the zone?”  That is often how people describe a time when they are able to be incredibly focused, under control, and productive.  It is a time when you can shut out the rest of the world and be great at whatever you are doing.  Whether it is an athlete, a musician, an artist, or a writer, they all have techniques they use to try to get themselves in the zone.  When they are performing on their biggest stage, they do everything they can to get themselves in that mindset.  That is when they are at their best.

As Christians, I feel like we do the same thing.  We read, we pray, and we discuss our faith with other believers so that we will be prepared and able to be our best on the biggest stage.  For Christians, our premiere venue is really any chance we get to share our story, or witness, with people that don’t know Christ. 

That is a term that I heard thrown around a ton when I first became a Christian.  People were always talking about the opportunities they had to witness to people or that they wanted to improve their ability to witness.  I used to spend a lot of time wondering what they meant by that.  I felt like I must be doing something wrong if I was never entering into these magical witnessing sessions that led people to Christ.

Was there some kind of trigger or indicator that meant “it is now time to witness to this person”?  Were there code words that I would learn as I became a more experienced Christian?  When you are talking to someone, is there like a switch that you turn on, and then you turn your hat around backwards to get in “The Witness Zone”?  The way many Christians talk about this makes it sound as though there is only one interaction or conversation that ultimately leads people to Christ.  Is that how we are supposed to share our faith?  If so, I need to start wearing a hat more often.

If we are spending all of our time working toward “The Witness Zone,” we are missing so many opportunities to plant seeds with people.  If we are constantly waiting for that one moment to lead people to Jesus, we are missing so many chances to show them what God’s love is all about.  We can and should share our faith with people no matter how close they are to being ready for The Witness Zone.  In fact, if we are not taking time to share our faith with them in the meantime, they may never be ready to accept Christ. 

As Christians, our mission and our goal is to help people come closer to God and become better disciples.  Just as everyone else with a goal, we often tend to focus on the end of the game.  We seek out the victories and constantly think about what it will be like to be in The Witness Zone. 

However, this can cause us to overlook the work that we should be doing in the meantime.  We forget about the day to day activities and opportunities that ultimately lead to that end goal.  So please do not get it in your mind that you only get one chance to help a person come closer to God.  Just think how successful we would all be if we could have the focus, determination, and passion all the time that we have when we are in The Witness Zone.  How much more effective would our ministries be?  How many more victories would we have?

“Be careful what you wish for.”  That’s a pretty common saying, right?  When somebody really wants a job, and then they start doing it and find out it is more work than they bargained for.  A teenager begs to watch a scary movie, and then they have nightmares.  I ask for a dozen donuts, and then I get sick because I eat them all in one sitting.  I get it.  We don’t always consider all of the possible outcomes of getting something we think we want.

I rarely hear that saying applied to prayer, though.  I find that kind of odd.  I feel like we often pray for things that we wish we had.  So why aren’t we more cautious about what we pray for?  In my opinion, we should be.

I believe that prayer works.  I have seen people healed, situations resolved, and peoples’ hearts both broken and cured due to prayer.  I have personally had prayers answered in the midst of a prayer.  However, there is one request that God granted for me that I instantly regretted asking for…patience.

Some of you know what I am talking about.  If you ask God for knowledge, He will put you in a situation where you can acquire it.  If you ask God for advice, He will often surround you with Christian counsel to help guide your decisions.  And if you pray for patience, God will bless you with situations where you are forced to be more patient than you ever dreamed. 

For the vast majority of folks, being patient isn’t fun.  That’s why I wanted help with it.  I wanted to magically be able to wait at the DMV for hours without ever worrying about where I needed to be.  I wanted to be able to ride out tantrums with my kids without ever getting frustrated.  I wanted to be able to wait…and wait…and wait for whatever God has planned for me. 

So what did God do?  He made me wait for answers for many things.  He put me in frustrating situations that seemed like they would never end.  He put me in situations where I felt like I was going to go crazy if something didn’t happen soon…and of course, nothing did.  I did become more patient during those times.  There is no doubt about it.  But it was definitely not what I was hoping for.

While I appreciated the opportunities to become more patient, I have definitely learned my lesson.  I will only pray for things that I am ready to acquire through direct application.  Nowadays, any time my family is going through a troubling time that seems to never end, I find myself wondering who asked for more patience.  I may or my not be guilty for accusing my wife of doing so on occasion.  I’m telling ya, you have to be careful what you pray for.

Have you ever had a prayer answered in a way that was more than what you bargained for?