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Last night right before dinner I asked Ali, “You wanna pray”? I say it as a question, but it’s not really a question, it’s an honor. There is something very peaceful and settling to have everyone home and to hear them pray.

I do the majority of of the prayers, but I also direct others in my family when I feel led. As we were bowing our heads to pray, an odd thing occurred. A conversation I had with a guy I know from the gym from months before pop into my head.

I wrote a post about our youngest’s first day of school back in August, some of you might remember it, it is titled THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. She was nervous that day and I shared how I asked her if she wanted to pray. I described how I pushed back from the table and she sat on my knee as I prayed for her, the teachers, and other students.

I remembered the day after the guy from the gym I’ll call Carl read it and his reaction. His laugh and sarcastic tone popped into my mind and his questions, “Do people really live like that? “I thought that was only in stories”!

I find it interesting how our culture has twisted faith and trust in God into a weakness. Yet they bow and worship their God, usually their flesh inspired education, nature, or vices for their mind.

The most courageous people that God has used to change and influence the world are the ones who sought and bowed before Him. They didn’t, and we don’t kneel before man and this flesh in order to honor it, we have no faith in this flesh.

We only have faith in the God who’s imprint is all over the history of mankind. The miracle and power of God is evident for everyone to see unless a person is blinded and perishing.

I’m not yet the Stephen kind of Christian martyr, I’m more like an early Peter, looking to use a sword to cut someone’s ear off, not a great trait, but God’s working on me, have a little patience…

I shared with Carl the fact that I only bow before the Creator of the cosmos. We actually had an in-depth discussion and I have to admit I like this guy. I pray God likes him too, of course I told him that as well.

Last night even after all this time my heart breaks for Carl, I’m not saying my daughters are perfect, far from it, but they do know the truth and consider God and His will in their lives. Carl has issues with his daughter that will affect them both for the rest of their lives.

Carl has a boat load of difficulties in his life like most of us, yet with all his problems in life he scoffs at the very power that allows his every breath. As my family prayed I thought of him… I’m sad in spirit for what he could have, but doesn’t, at least not yet.

As a new year gets under way I can only think of God and pray as he puts it in my heart. God knows the desires of my heart, He knows everything about all of us. The question becomes will we live by the flesh like the rest of the world, or will we smile like Stephen even during persecution or difficult times?

What benefit will we be to the world on God’s behalf this year? What will we do with the gift of free will in 2011? We all get to use that gift to make a decision about how we’re going to live. Will we be trapped in our flesh fearing what might be around the next corner and financial quarter, or will we charge the corner and quarter with hope?

I need to remind myself of the hope we all have in God. Hope the way God designed it is confidence… I will kneel and bow my head humbly before my Father and Saviour, the only beings worthy of that respect and adoration. He will give us strength to stand back up and face the world without fear.

That is what I’m praying for in 2011…

I pray God opens the eyes, hearts, and minds of His people and this country to live in understanding of His sovereignty over all mankind.

Nothing happens here without God’s will or consent.

I believe understanding this truth alone will bring about a Happy New Year.