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This smartly designed companion book includes thought-provoking quotes from the three novels, with related scriptures and nuggets for life-application along with blank pages for the reader's own thoughts and prayers....
This smartly designed companion book includes thought-provoking quotes from the three novels, with related scriptures and nuggets for life-application along with blank pages for the reader's own thoughts and prayers.
Day 1-Friendly, but Not Friends
In Des Moines, Iowa, where my family lives, I grew up on missionary stories from around the world-the drumbeats of Africa ... the rickshaws of China ... the forests of Ecuador. Somehow it was so easy to imagine myself one day sitting on a stool in the African veld, surrounded by eager black faces, telling Bible stories with flannel-graph figures. Once, when I told Denny about my fantasy, he snorted and said we'd better learn how to relate across cultures in our own city before winging across the ocean to "save the natives."
-The Yada Yada Prayer Group, p. 5
Okay, I admit it. It's easier to imagine doing great things for God in some other place or culture-while failing to realize that those same opportunities (and cultural challenges) are often only a few blocks away or just across town. I'm challenged by what Jesus said in Luke 16:10: "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much."
I want to be "trusted with much," but I'm no superhero; I can't get from here to there in a single bound! God wants me to be faithful in the smaller things and willing to take small steps to share God's love outside my usual circle of friends and neighbors.
* How about you? How would you like to be used by God? What are the "small things" you can do right now, right where you are, to begin walking toward that vision? What is holding you back?
From the Word
Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:37-40)
* Pray that God would show you one small step you can take to reach out to someone different from yourself. Who might that be? Include his or her name in your prayer. ____________________________________________________
Day 2-Who Did God Create Me to Be?
I scrunched down in my seat, hiding behind the women in front of me. Destiny? Who had time to think about destiny! Trying to keep up with a classroom of thirty third-graders, half of whom could barely speak English, much less read it, two teens with raging hormones, a happy-go-lucky husband who was more generous than thrifty, and a full schedule of church meetings at Uptown Community, I felt lucky to wake up each morning knowing what day it was.
-The Yada Yada Prayer Group, p. 14
Ouch! That's me. I so easily let the cares and busyness of life overwhelm me until I can't see the forest because of all those pesky trees. Especially when my kids were young, I often felt reduced to "survival mode" with no sense of a larger purpose. (I still struggle with letting the urgent crowd out the important.)
* Does this sound familiar? List a few things in your life that have this effect on you. Do you feel like you're moving forward or just spinning your wheels? To what larger purpose might God be calling you? As you reflect on God's larger purpose for your life, remember Esther. With no choice in the matter, she ended up in the palace as a trophy wife, but God had a bigger idea. He had put her there "for such a time as this." God gave her a larger purpose: to save the lives of her people. She had destiny! ___________________________________________________________
From the Word
I called you by name when you did not know me. I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have prepared you, even though you do not know me. (Isaiah 45:4-5 NLT)
* Thank God that He has known you by name since before you were born and that He has prepared you-is preparing you-"for such a time as this." Identify three major areas in your life, and ask God to clarify what His destiny is for you in each area. If you are uncomfortable with the routine you've slipped into, talk to Him about it. ___________________________________________________________
Day 3-Letting Others See the Real You
"Who, me?" Florida shrugged. "Oh well, why not. My name is Florida Hickman. I'm five years saved and five years sober, thank the Lord. Got three kids. Two are living with me right now; the oldest one is ADD, otherwise they doin' good. My husband works full time"-she gave a little laugh-"lookin' for work."
... "But thank God, I got my GED, passed the civil service exam last year, and got a job at the Chicago post office that puts food on the table. So I can't complain. I'm blessed!" She smiled sweetly at the Hispanic lady. "Now you."
-The Yada Yada Prayer Group, p. 20
* Be honest: are you more like Jodi or Florida when it comes to letting other people see "the real you"? Why are you that way? (Me, I'm a blabbermouth, jumping in with both feet-putting my "best feet" forward, of course, and sometimes getting both feet in my mouth.) ________________________________________________________
* How do you respond to people who are open and transparent? How do you respond to people who are guarded? Why do they affect you that way? What effect do different approaches have on building relationships? ________________________________________________________
From the Word
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the LORD means safety. (Proverbs 29:25 NLT)
"Lord, help me be more willing to let others see the real me as You made me and as I am, even if that means revealing some embarrassing details about still being a work in progress."
* Talk to the Lord about those areas, and ask Him for grace to let them be known.
Day 4-Staying Focused on God
As I soaked in the murmured prayers and gazed around the group, I suddenly noticed something.
Nails. Lots of painted fingernails, no two shades of red alike. Not only that, but every dark hand, whether African or Caribbean or American, had painted nails. I glanced on either side of me. Even Avis and Florida. But most of the pale hands-Yo-Yo for sure, but also Ruth and me and Hoshi-had bald nails, though Hoshi's looked carefully manicured with very white moon-slivers at the tips.
Stu was the exception. Her nails were long, blue, and glittery.
Good grief, Jodi! Stop it! I squeezed my eyes shut. Dear God, I'm sorry for getting distracted. Help me to stay focused ... focused on You. North Shore. Had been doing it for ten years, had a good clientele. But the focus on "living into your destiny" had stirred up feelings of dissatisfaction. "I wan' to be doin' someting else, but I don' know what," she said. "Got tree kids, no mon. It's hard to jump the train."
[Later Jodi hears Chanda on the phone:] "Tomas? ... Did ya check me lottery numbers on this morning? ... On the refrigerator door, where they always put! ... Gwan do it ... Yes, I wait....
"Ya sure? ... Ya double-check? ... I was sartin I gwan be a winna ... 'cause I been prayin' 'bout it all weekend."
-The Yada Yada Prayer Group, pp. 48, 50
Sure, go ahead and chuckle at Chanda-for about two seconds. Then join me in a little guilt trip about all the times we've prayed for God to answer us as though He were in the business of fixing the lottery! Seriously, don't we sometimes treat God like a sugar daddy, hoping we can wheedle some special blessings our way?
* Yet God does want us to ask for what we need! (Check out Matthew 21:22 and Philippians 4:6-7.) Hmm. Feels a bit confusing. What do you think about that phrase "whatever you ask" in Matthew 21:22? _____________________________________________________
From the Word
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.... But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves, then, to God. (James 4:3, 6-7)
* What are three things you are seeking God for? What are your motives in each? Write these below. _____________________________________________________
* Would you feel God had answered you in a generous way if He were simply to give you "more grace"? Take a moment to thank God, regardless of how He answers your prayers. _____________________________________________________
Day 6-A Sacrifice of Praise
"I want you to close your eyes and start thinking about what Jesus has done for YOU. Some of you were on drugs, your mind so muddled you had no idea what day it was, much less how many kids you had....
"And some of you thought you were pretty good. You kept all the major commandments and managed to avoid the big mistakes. But let me tell you-you were still going to hell until Jesus saved you!" ...
The worship leader was hollering now. "Maybe you don't feel like praising today. Praise anyway. Give God a sacrifice! Maybe you don't feel like dancing. Dance anyway! Give God a sacrifice!"
-The Yada Yada Prayer Group, pp. 53-54
Excerpted from the yada yada Prayer Journal by Neta Jackson Dave Jackson Copyright © 2007 by Neta Jackson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted March 11, 2013
Dont pass up the chance to read a set of great books if your a new Christian or have been for a long time you will love this setWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.