The Guy on the Other Side

 prayer, relationship with God  Comments Off on The Guy on the Other Side
Jan 232017

Recently I’ve been noticing what I focus on when I talk to God – help in a difficult situation, relief from stress,  better ideas about how to handle a problem, something I need, getting someone to change, etc.

It suddenly came to me while listening to all of the great prayers during the 45th U.S. presidential inauguration…there’s a Guy on the other side of those prayers.

When I pray, the Guy-on-the-Other-Side is listening intently to my every word, because He’s in love with me! He wants to be with me, talk with me, exchange ideas and feelings, draw me into a deeper friendship with Him…relationship stuff.

I need that. I get lonely and emotionally needy and people can only do so much. Expecting or requiring them to do more than they can do leads to frustration. Expecting or requiring people to do what God wants to be doing in my life is a kind of idolatry and leads to worse things than frustration.

This change of prayer focus – from results to relationship – is liberating, empowering and full of hope. I’m excited to see where this leads us!

Thank You Jesus, for giving me access to a relationship with the Guy-on-the-Other-Side!


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Mar 172015

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Many will celebrate this festive day by wearing green, decorating with 4-leaf clovers and leprechauns, and maybe even a good bit of drinking, but is that all there is to be known and celebrated today?

Who is St. Patrick?

Patrick was born to a wealthy Roman/British family. At 16, Irish raiders dragged him off to serve 6 years as a slave in Ireland. Patrick found God while a slave, and in prayer, God told him to flee for freedom. After becoming a priest in what would later become England, Patrick responded to God’s leading to return to Ireland and share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is said that Patrick often used the 3-leaf clover to help explain the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Patrick died on March 17, 461, and is buried in the homeland of his servant’s heart – Ireland.

A reason to celebrate

Patrick became Ireland’s patron saint because of his love for the Irish people. Patrick’s heroic obedience to God’s call, and his courageous self-sacrifice to return to the land of his captivity, brought the penetrating light of God’s love and truth to clear the spiritual fog engulfing Ireland. Heroism, courage, self-sacrifice, love and truth – all good reasons to celebrate!

So, even though this has become a day for dyeing the Chicago River green, drinking green beer (perhaps to excess), and laughing at the antics of leprechauns, YOU know the real meaning of this day, and YOU can celebrate better than ever based on that deeper, richer, more fulfilling knowledge.

As the Good Book says, “…add to your faith, virtue, to virtue knowledge…” (2 Peter 1:5)

Better than a pot ‘o gold!

Folklore spins a tale about leprechauns secreting away a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Folklore also says that if you catch a leprechaun, it can grant three wishes in exchange for release. But are leprechauns really as silly, playful and harmless as portrayed in our common culture?

First of all, leprechauns are not real, they are not part of God’s creation. Secondly, leprechauns were understood to be the offspring of evil spirits (demons) and mischievous fairies. Current depictions of leprechauns are based on derogatory 19th century stereotypes of Irishmen.

As a college literature major, I learned that fairies, elves, trolls, genies, etc. were invented in literature to represent actual spiritual beings. Those that do good represent the angels who remain loyal to God. Those that do evil or mischief represent the fallen angels whose aim is to destroy mankind. What do you think? Were leprechauns invented to represent benevolent spiritual beings? And if not, do we really want to populate our homes, cubicles, or even church fellowship halls with them?

The Good Book says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”      (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

As we think about St. Patrick today, we don’t have to settle for drowning our sorrows, or hoping for leprechaun wishes or their gold. As the warm light of God’s uncommon love and truth burn away the spiritual fog perpetrated by common culture, we can celebrate this fun day with knowledge and wisdom and genuine faith, all of which are much more valuable than gold! (Psalm 19, 1 Peter 1:7)

And if there is sadness, heaviness, worry on this day, the Thinking Christian Woman can take it to God in prayer (James 5:13), and throw it over onto Him, because He cares for her (1 Peter 5:7). And as for wishes, I believe God when He says in Psalm 37 verse 4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

I won’t settle for anything less! How about you?


© 2015 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved


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Sep 102014

Bookcases for the attic - smaller

Pictured two bookcases for the newly-finished attic to hold journals and such. Not important enough to spend money on, but a want none-the-less, so I asked the Lord to provide them in a way that would glorify and please Him, if it was His will for me to have them. (remembering back to things like the gardening table in Convicting Blessings – a webfession)

Within a week, I was driving down the alley and saw one perfect bookcase in one block, then two more about a half block on down, and finally a fourth! Came back later with the wagon and picked up the best two. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

The thinking Christian woman knows that the Lord doesn’t always answer with a “Yes.” He always answers, but sometimes the answer is “No,” and sometimes “Not now.”

This time, it was as if He was saying, “Take your pick my love, or take all of them! I came to give you abundant life!”

I am giving Him glory for being such a sweet, attentive, and faithful friend, and for giving me more-than-enough (abundant) bookcases!

There’s NO God like Jehova!


© 2014 Melody K. Anderson All Rights Reserved

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Jul 212011

On Northern Indiana visits during warmer months, I sometimes ask the Lord to let me see a snake. Though not my favorite critters, they operate with such stealth that sighting one is a special event.

Mom’s house is on Center Lake where nature abounds with ducks, turtles, Canada geese, woodchucks, chipmunks, cardinals, heron, muskrats – even a deer once – and the occasional legless reptile.

Memory holds a vivid picture of the big blue racer (snake) that chased my friend Ed up our back hill when we were kids, but by and large nature is gentle around here. Bushes are thornless and barefeet are safe from pricklies nearly everywhere. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the only poisonous snake in these parts – the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake – is rare and lives as a recluse in remote wetlands.

37 years ago, my brother Lane and I won the 3.5 mile 4th of July Tippecanoe River race (where one major goal is to avoid tipping on Tippy!) and Mom still has the canoe that floated us to victory. This is the story of one fine summer day when I took that canoe out on Center Lake and the Lord answered my reptile request.

I’d paddled about a half mile from shore when, suddenly and silently, a 13″ black snake dropped onto the centerline from under the vacant bow seat, and there we were, having fellowship – defined as two fellows in the same ship!

It wasn’t a rattler, but my first instinct was to jump out, not knowing what would happen when the little guy realized our predicament. I also wondered what might be under my seat! It was an uncomfortable situation, to say the least, for me, and likely also for the stowaway. Alternating between elevating bare feet and legs on the gunwales and the stern thwart, I paddled hard into the nearby canal hoping to haul out and persuade him (or them) to disembark, but the shore was all rocks and seawalls.

What a relief to spot a man fishing off the end of his pier. Remember the lanky Sheriff Woody doll in Toy Story? Pull his string and you might hear, “There’s a snake in my boot!” Well, I called out, “May I dock at your pier, there’s a snake in my boat.” Rather than wave me in, however, the wary fisherman asked, “How big is it?” Sensing perhaps “we” were not welcome, I turned around and tried for home. It seemed to take forever.

About halfway there, the little guy slithered into the enclosed refuge under the bow deck and disappeared. Of course, I still didn’t know if he was the only one. Eventually we made it to dry land. I hauled out and flipped the boat over, but never saw my first mate again. God had answered the snake-sighting prayer with a resounding and memorable yes!

This experience highlighted that God’s answers to prayer can:

  • Catch us by surprise. 
  • Come in unexpected, possibly even undesirable, ways.
  • Come under circumstances that challenge our comfort level.

What an adventure for the Thinking Christian Woman to share with Him all the big or little things on her heart, then stay alert for His creative and sometimes unusual responses!

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

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Jul 152011

County fair time here in America. Few things sweeter than being in one’s childhood hometown, greeting old friends on the midway, riding the Ferris wheel, smelling caramel corn, eating sweet corn on the cob (fresh from the Mid-American corn belt) and ice cream churned by the powerful putter of an antique tractor.

Btw – though “pleasure wheels” have been around since 17th century Bulgaria, Mr. Ferris invented the first giant one as a landmark for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair to outdo the Eiffel Tower (the wonder of the 1889 Paris World’s Fair). Must have been quite a sight rising 250 feet above Lake Michigan with train-car sized gondolas!

Back to my Hoosier hometown – last year around this time I was watching barrel racing (where riders are timed navigating their horses in figure 8’s around barrels) with my sister and her daughter Stacey. A cell phone rings. “Mom, you’re calling me!” she exclaims. While my sister rifles through her purse, Stacey jovially answers, “hello, hello, hello.” not expecting anything because that phone often dials hers by accident.

A woman answers, “Is this Stacey?” Puzzled, Stacey replies, “Well, yeah.” The mystery caller identifies herself, “This is Janae!” Turns out these two attended K-12 school together, but hadn’t seen each other in many years. “What are you doing with my Mom’s phone?”

Janae explains, “I was putting my three little girls in the car, but one of them wandered off. I looked and looked but couldn’t find her and I was starting to panic. When I bowed and prayed, ‘Lord, please help me find my daughter,’ there was a phone in the grass at my feet. Mine was at home so I picked it up and called 9-1-1. We found my little girl in the fair, and I just now called the last number dialed and got you!”

Stacey headed to the main gate and spotted her old schoolmate – unmistakable in her signature bright red lipstick, giant beads and a dress, with her three daughters, each dressed like the other, happily reunited. The old friends hugged and marveled at what had happened.

By humbly bowing and asking for God’s help, Janae opened a channel of blessing for both her and my sister. In God’s abundant economy, her fervent fair prayer resulted in a blessing two-fer!

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person
has great power and wonderful results.” (James 5:16 TLB)   

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

Happy Birthday Stacey!

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