Jun 15

SLL week 10 ~ Praises & Prayer Requests

This has been an amazing week!  I have loved the crafty/artistic challenges that Steph has given us, the way she has drawn us to His word and helped us to apply it in our own lives.  But even more, I have loved seeing the ways YOU have responded to the challenges.  You are some pretty creative gals out there.  (Thank you Heather for being the blog guru that allowed us to share with each other on Wednesday.)  It was so neat seeing the way God shows himself to each of us differently and yet it is all the same message.  I want to share my photo for the Psalm 147:3 challenge:

Psalm 147:3

The name of this flower is “Bleeding Heart” and it has been one of my favorites for some time.  If you look at it and kind of squint your eyes a little it looks like clusters of little hearts with drops falling from them, which is probably why it is named what it is.  I have several of these planted along the side of my house and they bloom every spring.  Let me tell you a little something about them.

Bleeding Hearts are one of the first plants to come up in the spring.  When the world seems to be gray, dead and dormant a little spot of green pushes up through the hard ground and begins to grow, small at first but grow to become 3 feet tall.    The plant prefers to be grown in soil rich in compost (decayed vegetable matter) and in shaded areas.  They bloom in spring and then the entire plant dies back, making room for summer plants.

Why the horticulture lesson?  For me, bleeding hearts are an especially good symbol of God’s love and healing.  When things seem their darkest He sends a little bit of color, a little light into the world.     For me this is a two-fold reminder.  First it reminds me that when so many in the world had turned from Him, He sent THE Light, Jesus, as a little baby who eventually grew to become a bleeding heart by showing love to all through His death.  Second it reminds me that even when things seem cold, gray and lifeless God can make a way.

They remind me that even when all else fails (thinking of the compost) God can use those failings to create something beautiful and perfect and lovely.  And the fact that the Bleeding Heart is seasonal reminds me that whatever I am going through is just for a season, it won’t last forever.  I also remember, as I see the little hearts all clustered together along the stem, that God comforts through others as well, I can’t just pull back from my brothers and sisters in Christ and lick my wounds.  One flower is pretty, but when you put them all together we truly see the beauty.  One testimony of God’s healing and comfort is a wonderful testimony, but when we share it with others God really gets the glory.

I hope you have seen how God can allow us to come to a point in which things look dark and dreary so that we will turn to Him and allow Him to bring beauty and color into our lives.  He is waiting for the invite, because He truly can heal the brokenhearted in a way that no one else will ever be able to.   And I hope that every time you see a Bleeding Heart you are reminded of Jehovah Rapha – the LORD who Heals.

Blessings,
Ginny Blankenship

Are you currently at a place in your life in which you are brokenhearted?  Do you have wounds that need binding?  Members of the Online Bible Study team would love to pray with you, please share with us in the comments section.  Has He recently blessed you with healing, whether it be health, a situation, a relationship, etc.?  Please share your testimony so that we can glorify Him with you.

Melissa

Comments

  1. Pat (OBS small group leader) says:

    Ginny, what a beautiful flower and what a beautiful post!! Thank you for sharing about the cluster of flowers along the stem! I have a bleeding heart plant on the path to my front door and never thought of this…what a beautiful picture of how we SHOULD be together in the body of Christ!! I love this!!!

  2. Ginny, I don’t believe I can ever look at a Bleeding Heart the same way again! It amazes me how many different ways we can see God’s love for us in the things He created for us to enjoy and experience, this side of Glory. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful picture of beauty that comes forth from the dark places.

  3. Lynda Parker says:

    Ginny, that was absolutely beautiful! God is sooooo amazing, “The Master Artist” that creates so much beauty for us to enjoy! I love flowers, animals, anything that gives me a glimpse into His beauty and love for us and that was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing the “depth” He revealed to you in this bleeding heart! WOW! Oh, and by the way, I absolutely LOVE you!

  4. God has us in a place where we are waiting His healing. My stepson has strayed far from God and into things of which he should have no part. It is killing my husband. I hurt as I see him struggle with a situation that I know only GOD can redeem. They lost my husband’s first wife and stepson’s mother to cancer when child was only ten. He may or may not remember the last three years of his mother’s life as she fought against the cancer. My husband says at that time he trusted God to heal her and God did not. I have no answer as to why God heals some in this life and others through death. Please pray God’s healing and binding in this situation. I know HE can and HE will in HIS time when HIS will is accomplished. I am sure there is more going on than I could begin to comprehend. I choose to remain faithful to HIM and love my husband through this without a word…just living in faith, believing and praying…Thanks for joining me in this important matter.

    • Kris Danko (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

      Arla, I’m sorry to hear of all that has gone on in your hubby’s and stepson’s lives, for him to lose his mom that young. Prayers that both of your men find peace in the Lord to ease their burdens and pain.

    • Ginny Blankenship says:

      Lord wrap your loving arms around this family. I pray that He softens this young man’s heart. Show him who You are Lord. Surround him with seed planters and seed grower’s and love. Comfort dad during this time and help him to remember that You love his son even more and it hurts Him too. Give Arla the words to comfort her husband and the strength to be the wife and step-mother she needs to be during this difficult time. Thank you for your love and for not giving up on us.

  5. Bree (OBS Facebook Leader) says:

    This is a lovely and encouraging post! Thank you!

  6. Tristine says:

    Oh God is so great. I just published my #blessings post on my blog. Though I have never seen such an amazing plant, I did write about seeing the blessings when it is next to impossible. I praise our Mighty Healer, for always being with me and for healing my heart and binding my wounds.

    I have seen many miracles and blessings just over the last two weeks, as written in the blog. I praise our Father and hope to bring Him all the glory.

    Thank you Ginny!

  7. Can someone Please pray for a few unspoken requests?

    • Kris Danko (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

      Prayers that God brings you the peace and answers you need.

    • Ginny Blankenship says:

      Lord, you know the need and I join with others in praying for your presence.

      • Elaine Ledlow says:

        Father God you know what the situations are and I join others in asking that you move in your wondrous ways to remedy what is at hand. Amen

  8. Kris Danko (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

    Ginny, I love bleeding hearts and love the posting you did today with them. I, too, will never look at them the same way again!! Thank you!

    Please pray that my mom recovers from pneumonia quickly. She has been fighting lung cancer for the past 14 months and recently underwent more radiation. That has now caused pneumonia, which she did do a round of steroids to help heal. That first round didn’t work, so she is now on a stronger dose and will go back to the doctor in a couple of weeks. It is hard for me to hear her cough so much and get so winded so very easily–she has always been very strong and very “can do”, and while she is still that way (she refuses to let this get her down!), I can see the toll it takes on her. Thank you.

    • Ginny Blankenship says:

      Jehovah Raphi, I pray for you to bring healing to this woman who has been fighting for so long. Clear her lungs, Lord. Help her to breathe easy. To You be the glory.

  9. Beverly says:

    I have always loved the bleeding heart plant. I, too, will never look at one the same way again, though. Thanks for the illustration of it.

    Please be in prayer for my husband and I as we decide where and when to move. Also, we need wisdom on something. Our daughter plays “My Little Ponies” with my niece over the phone. The other day I was listening to my daughter’s side of the conversation and what I heard concerned me very much. We don’t watch the show, but my niece does, and I didn’t realize that the new ponies are into something involving a “Book of Elements” and a King Chaos that causes the ponies to forget their “destiny” and so they turn gray. My daughter was speaking for one of the ponies and said, “I will cast a spell on (whatever pony was turning gray) so that she will remember her destiny.” My husband has looked up verses and showed them to my daughter, but we need prayer and wisdom to know how else to handle this. And also for the right words to say to explain why we are so concerned.

    Thanks so much for the awesome Bible study and I’m learning a LOT!

    • Ginny Blankenship says:

      Oh my! We have experienced similar situations with other children’s cartoons. Praying God guides you in this and gives you the wisdom and the words you will need.

  10. Janet F says:

    I love your post about the bleeding hearts Ginny. We had them by our house when I was growing up and always loved them but never thought of them the way you just wrote about them here. Thanks for the insight and sharing. I love the part when you wrote “One flower is pretty, but when you put them all together we truly see the beauty.” We are more beautiful when we are together serving and living for the Lord, the light shines brighter when there are more of us together!!

    My sister-in-love is in need of a kidney and liver for a transplant or a miraculous healing from the Lord. She has 14 children and they want their momma around for a long time. She is in kidney and liver failure right now as she waits for donors. She is stable right now,but in need of prayers, thanks ♥

  11. I love your example of the ‘bleeding heart’ flower. I have one in my backyard and love when it comes up every spring. It’s pretty much done now. Now I know why it appears to die. I thought I was killing it. When I am doing my spring clean up it always gives me hope that something will grow. This year as I was weeding that area of the year, I really focused on the many hearts that I knew that were bleeding or hurting in some way. It gave me a time of prayer and as I am normally doing this on my own, it is very quiet and peaceful. Blessings!

  12. Karen L. says:

    So amazing to see your devotion and photo on bleeding hearts and the insightful lessons. I had actually posted a garden photo to my daughter last month who has had a broken heart with infertility problems. My bleeding hearts in my garden are surrounded by forget-me-nots……to remind me that He has not forgotten us when we have broken hearts.
    I would post the my garden photo here but i don’t know how to do it.

    • Ginny Blankenship says:

      I love that! Beth Anderson posted the picture on Facebook. You can view it here. http://bit.ly/11gYV8Q What a beautiful way to remind us that God doesn’t forget even when we have a broken heart. He truly does heal the brokenhearted and bind up our wounds!

  13. Please pray for me as I wait to go into senior housing. I pray it won’t be too long.Also a prayer thanksgiving a family member of mine had to be taken out oof the nursing home due to a heart attack. He is back at the nursing home doing better but still in need of prayer.

  14. Tabitha Jones says:

    I love your post Ginny. I will never look at that flower the same way again. Janet I will be praying for your sister in law.

  15. My heart is broken. In 2008, I went through a divorce. I was married for over 10 years but with my former husband for over 20 years. The divorce was not what I wanted but we were unwilling to allow God to restore our marriage. I have been so hurt in my life. In 2009, I began a relationship with a man that quickly became sexual. I did not behave like a Christian woman and allowed him to stay over as he wanted to. Over the last year I became convicted and stopped the sexual part of the relationship which did not go over well. I think he is being unfaithful now. My heart is torn and I am feeling such mixed feelings. I have a teen aged daughter. I have confessed to her that I was wrong and have asked for her to forgive me. I am so ashamed and confused. I have made a mess of things. I need prayer and the strength to end the relationship completely. I am having trouble focusing on God. I hear Him in my heart saying to “Be still and know that He is God.” I want to trust Him.

    • Jennifer says:

      Mary, I pray you will hold close to the knowledge that there is nothing you can do that can separate you from your Abba’s love, and that He is working to comfort and strengthen you as you walk faithfully with Him. I honor your hard work to make the hard choices and to be an example to your daughter in a world that permits anything as long as it feels good. I pray that God will comfort you and offer you peace during this painful time, and that you will be faithful to the path He is calling you to walk, knowing He will redeem this hard time in an amazing way as you allow Him to change and guide you into the beautiful woman He created you to be.

      Much love,
      Jennifer

      • Jennifer, thank you. I looked for a response and you were the one that reached out to me… I needed another human to hear me and to care even though I know that God is near and that He has greater things in store. It is very meaningful to me. I ended the relationship today and I do feel God’s peace, purpose and His Love for me. He saves me from disaster after disaster. One day, He will allow me to be thankful for this day. Thank you sister in Christ for whatever prompted you to reach out to me. God is SO good.

  16. I have a heavy heart. I had researched and planned for my golden retriever puppy for months and got her (Molly) on June 6. I have mentioned in prayer requests about my health condition, and gradually I found out while caring for her that I could not care for Molly. I was having trouble housebreaking, how to deal with yapping and chewing and too tired to react and take her outside. I had two meltdowns in 6 days!

    So when I visited my vet this past Friday and he was willing to take Molly. He has a 5 year old golden and he had been looking for a puppy. I was relieved initially but now I am missing her. I was trying to have some love in my life.

    There must be a reason I was too blind to see my shortcomings or still believing I was as healthy as before. I am thinking of an older golden now.

    God heals the broken hearted and binds their wounds. I know he will mine.

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh, Ann, I’m so sorry – I can laugh now, but my golden retriever puppy was a huge source of strain on my marriage – and he ended up going into puppy boarding school for two weeks and us into classes for months after that. We brought him home while our oldest son was three and we were about to put our house on the market, and the truth is that my sister housebroke my dog when she took him to live with her while we were in an apartment transitioning from one house to another.

      Golden’s are amazing, but those first two years are crazy hard – and don’t let anyone tell you differently! We are blessed to have had our Jake for 9 years now, and with two kids younger and still at home, I might be tempted to do the puppy thing again, but not after – it just requires eyes on the puppy all the time so you can catch them doing bad – and that’s just plain hard!

      I encourage you to look at registering with the golden rescue society – it might be a wonderful way to find a more mature dog that would not be such a drain on your health and yet an opportunity to enjoy a truly amazing breed.

      Much love,
      Jennifer

      • Jennifer – thank you so much for your reply. You get it! Puppy boarding school – I should have done that! I did hear of a girl who is a “puppy” whisperer and was going to call her. You had a lot going on awhile raising your golden! Golden’s are amazing – such a sweet soul. I will look at rescue and hope to find my calmer furry friend. Thank you again for responding. God Bless

  17. Heather W says:

    Wow, I see this flower in a whole new light. A beautiful one! I am really struggling with eating and food (emotional eating) and desperately wanting to lose 25 lbs. not so ill be skinny, but it truly is the only time where feeling content with myself at that point physically allowed other areas of my life to be happy and more simple- especially in the parenting area. Not sure how that is all connected but it is for me. I am praying about eating fruits and veggies for a while and see if that is God’s plan for me. I went for a long run today and was so thankful that He gave me that opportunity! Thank you for your prayers!

    • Jennifer says:

      Praying for you! The one thing that works for me (not that I’m consistent about it!) is food tracking – however you do it – on the internet, on paper, etc – it provides a level of accountability to what goes in my mouth I don’t find anywhere else. I struggle with this one, too, and pray God will give us both peace to remember how loved we are no matter our size.

      Much love,
      Jennifer

    • Nancy Dye says:

      Heather, I have been in your place and it’s definitely a challenge. In this OBS study where we were asked to write a prayer to the Lord mine was to allow me to turn to the Lord as opposed to food in the refrigerator when stressed. The comfort of the Almighty is SO much greater than any food that goes into my mouth. I should also say that I will pray for you to find the peace that I found five years ago. I went on Weight Watchers, lost the weight, got into a regular exercise routine and have kept the weight off since. The temptation for “comfort” via food is still there but it hasn’t taken control. I wish the same for you and that He can help you reach a goal of being comfortable at whatever weight you choose.

  18. I just finished having a two week visit with my mom and it’s the best one I’ve had in years. We’ve had a rocky relationship over the last few years. I know it is totally an answer to the prayers of many of my sisters in Christ, both in my OBS group and my in real life groups.

  19. Lee Roberts says:

    I have a prayer request for my marriage. I really need to see the truth in what’s going on in our marriage. I also need my spouse to see it too. This week has been rough for us both. Continue to pray that God will lead my husband and I to make healthy decisions regarding our relationship to each other. Also we need some jobs and I want us both to do Sunday mornings and comes and leads a bible study both of these are at a nursing home. He doesn’t have a paying job. My prayer is that he will be able to get a paying job to support his ministry and help support me. I am actively looking for a job. Thanks so much.

  20. On April 7, 2011 my husband and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary. At 4:40 that afternoon Jesus came into a hospital room and walked our nine year old daughter into the Father’s kingdom. She is our oldest. She was daddy’s girl. She had more faith than most adults and she trusted her life and her death to the Father that began wooing her at age four. The peace of God was very real in her hospital room. So real that I could not cry or feel grief for quite some time. But when it came it was deep and long and dark. There were moments when the weight of grief made breathing a struggle, and honestly times when the struggle seemed pointless. There were moments when I felt like I was losing my mind. Times when going to the cemetery was impossible because of a crazy desire to get her out just so I could hold her. The most shocking part of this grief was the spiritual warfare. My father passed away six months before our wedding, and that was hard. Losing our daughter was more than just hard. It became a struggle for my mind, my peace, my marriage and our other children. I started having panic attacks. I could feel when the devil was messing with me. There were times when I would audibly have to tell him to leave me alone. I would cry out to God and always He would bring peace. I can relate to your flowers. Somehow, in the midst of cold, dark death you start to feel the warmth of bleeding. It’s the bleeding that brings cleansing. When we are wounded our blood is a sign to others that we need help. But the bleeding heart sometimes only God can see. He binds those wounds. He brings the healing. I long for the moment when I can thank Him face to face. He is good.
    Our daughter had a bone marrow disorder. She produced no blood products. We learned a lot about blood cells and bone marrow. I am forever thankful for those who donate red cells and platelets. And also to those who are signed up to be bone marrow donors.

    • Karen L says:

      Nicole, thank you for your intimate post from your heart. I cannot imagine much worse in this life than losing a child….and i constantly remind myself that God gave up his ONLY child so that we all have the opportunity to be complete, whole and peaceful again. Thank u for sharing deep faith in a time of such darkness and grief. Prayers for your continued healing , hope, and the joy you will have when u are reunited with her in heaven when He comes back for all of us!

    • To honor your daughter, I am going to find out how to donate my bone marrow. I pray for your strength to get through this. This is on this side of heaven. One day it will make perfect sense. I pray for you sister.

    • Becky Kneller says:

      Prayers for you. My husband & I are on the bone marrow registry. We have donated Blood & I donated platelets. Thankful that God has given you peace & comfort. Your daughter will be waiting for you with her heavenly Father.

  21. Miranda says:

    I just loved this post. It was so Awsome and so heartfelt thanks for writing iy

  22. Paige Ward says:

    I love bleeding hearts. They have always reminded me of my mom.

  23. Loved the flowers! Myheart has been broken and shattered on May 30th when i got the call that my dad died peacefully at home. He is now with my mom and happy. NOW IM JUST NUMB

  24. Nancy Dye says:

    My four adult children have decided that they do not like their stepfather and want nothing to do with me. He is a good man who takes great care of me. It is a painful realization and one that is in God’s hands. As I read about OBS sisters losing children who are in a better place, it’s also difficult to know that children on this earth have abandoned me. I get on my knees at night and ask God to help me pass the test for the endurance of dealing with this painful estrangement. I do believe that He listens and find comfort in knowing that He never gives us more than what we can handle. Please pray for my ongoing strength.

    • Becky Kneller says:

      Nancy. Praying for healing in your family. Give your children time. It took my children a while to accept their stepfather. It is hard to share Mom with someone else.

  25. Kara Williams says:

    PRAISE GOD! Our family was blessed with a miracle! My father was diagnosed with liver failure last year and was told that he would have to have a liver transplant. After much prayer, including the team of proverbs 31 ministry, he went back to the doctor for his checkup and was told his liver has been cured!! The doctor couldn’t believe it!! THANK YOU DEAR LORD!! And thank you for all the prayers that were lifted up in his name! My family will be forever grateful! miracles DO happen thanks to The Lord our God! Love and prayers go out to everyone of you wonderful women! Thank you!!!!!

  26. I know I am late to respond to this. But better late than never! I am determined to do what I can on this study. My prayer request is still to find connection and friendship. Since we joined our church three years ago I went from being an active part of my church to being a face in the crowd and most of the connections I made were acquaintance friendships. I have been sick a lot and with my reactive airway have not been able to always be in church. Most people when we came here already had their close friends or they just don’t want to go there. But I am not an easy person to go there either. And the people I have tried to have that relationship with are already there with a friend. So I am still lonely and still feeling so disconnected. I know it is partially a heart thing, and partially a situational thing. But I am asking for prayer in this.

    • Stephanie, I will be your friend. I am in the same boat…due to illnesses and anxiety issues. Look me up on Facebook if you want. Otherwise, I will be praying for God to bless you with some awesome godly women to encourage you. -Yvette Parsons

  27. Wow Kara!!! That is incredible and so encouraging!!!

    I feel like since I had my son 1.5 years ago that my body has just been all whacked out. Since we moved last October things have intensified and I have seen multiple docs for multiple symptoms and still have no real diagnosis other than anxiety. Duh, who wouldn’t be anxious with so many things going on and so many tests and Appts. I would humbly like to ask for your prayers that God would reveal to me what is going on or if that is not his will then just that I could have peace and healing from Him alone. Thank you so much ladies!!!

    • Kara Williams says:

      Yvette, I will absolutely be honored to pray for you! I finally have come to a place in my heart where I have true peace. I have prayed for years it seems like, sometimes many times a day! I have finally given my heart, soul and mind completely over to God and it has been life changing! I will sing his praises ALWAYS! My prayer for you is to have true peace in your heart even in these stressful medical conditions. Thank you for reaching out to me. You will forever be in my prayers! Love, Kara

    • Girl I know that can be so frustrating. Praying you soon receive the answers you need so you can begin feeling better and move forward. Hugs!!!

  28. Myrtle Cash says:

    Please keep me in pray for my follow-up appt. This doing.nothing can get Old real quick. I go Tuesday the 18th at 2 Thank you GOD for the rest but I’m getting restless PRAISE GOD for showing DR the problem but now I need to know what I can & can’t do !

  29. Becky Kneller says:

    I am asking for prayers for my sister. She converted to Islam to marry her husband 27 years ago. Their marriage has been on the decline. Basically, they are living separate lives. Divorce looks highly probable. Please pray that she returns to Christ as she goes through this very painful period in her life. Also, that my niece who has never experienced Jesus ,come to know and love him.

  30. Can you please pray for my husband, Steve. He was in an accident wednesday. He was on his motorcycle andsomeone came into him. Nothing broken and no brain injuries. praising God there for he wan’t wearing helmet. Lots of road rash and cuts and bruises. He’s been resting and was told he has to go to work tomorrow full force. His left leg was ran over and is pretty swollen and bruised. thanks so much ladies..

    • Myrtle Cash says:

      Praise God he didn’t get hurt worse he will definitely be in my prayers. My friend rides a Harley but always wears her helmet.He was blessed he wasn’t hurt worse God please watch over our motorcycle riders they have a Right to Ride too.

    • Oh girl I am so sorry. Praying for you , your husband, and family.

  31. Karen R. says:

    I am again asking that you pray for my cousin and her husband. He has now turned bad enough that they have admitted him to the hospital until they find a liver. Please pray that that will find one soon and it will be a match! I know that my cousin is tired from all of the traveling she has had to do so please pray for her weary sole and that God would give her rest and renewal for the times ahead!! Thanks ladies!

  32. I love this post Ginny! Beautiful comparisons. I love how God uses His creation to teach us His wisdom and truth and to speak into our lives. Thanks for sharing with us today :)

    I would also like to ask for prayer for an old roommate of mine who was recently diagnosed with stage 3 hodgkins lymphoma. Her name is Paula. Your prayers are appreciated.

  33. Asking for prayers for God to move in our circumstances. It’s been a long, dry season.

    Thanks