Saturday, September 30, 2006


It's been a while since I've posted-as much as I intend to get here, I just seem to run out of steam. It's called having way more on my plate than I should. And probably a little bit of poor time management skills. What can I say, I'm just a mess. ;)

Anyway, for those of you who don't know me, or where I live, recent events have had a huge impact. I live almost exactly halfway between Platte Canyon High School (where there was a shooting tragedy this week) and Columbine High School. The thing I think impacts me the most is how numb to it I am. It's like, "oh, there's another one." And the note that came home the next day with my kiddo about the increased security measures, I thought, "Okay."

(Because I am lazy, and well, because I'm supposed to be chatting about God on "other" issues-read my other blog if you want to know THAT story, I'm copying and pasting a post I wrote on another site, because honestly, I pretty much said it all in that one)

I realized there's a bigger, deeper enemy to pray for, one that you pointed out so well. One of the tools in Satan's bag of tricks is complacency. I'm sure I'm mixing my C.S. Lewis, but bear with me, it's 3 a.m. here and not only am I exhausted, but I'm fighting a cold, and God isn't letting me sleep until He's had His say. Anyway, I'm 90% positive it's in the Screwtape Letters-one of the tools the enemy uses is complacency.

After Columbine, I think we're all numb to this sort of violence in our schools. Honestly, when I heard the news, I thought, "oh, it's another shooting." As in, "oh, I have more laundry to do." Eventually, it did hit me harder, but you know, I look at this, and I hear about this sicko, and I don't see the level of horror in our community that should rightfully be there. There are no additional prayer services, no means of dealing with this other than a letter that went home with the kiddo outlining additional security measures being implemented effective immediately. Like having proper ID on school grounds is going to stop Satan.

The rest of the world is going on with its life, and I wonder how we'll react to the next school shooting. Because there will be more. It's just the way the enemy operates. And I wonder how many other people will view it just like the laundry, another bit of unpleasant business we have to deal with, but hey, that's life.

That is NOT life. That is not the life we have under Christ Jesus. And dangit, I am so MAD that we as Christians accept that. When DH and I were listening to Acts on CD last weekend, one of the things that struck me was how different the Christian community acted back then. How passionate they were in living the life Jesus and the disciples lived. Why don't we live like that? How would they respond to such a tragedy? Not with the ho-hum, "oh look, the world is getting worse, whatever shall we do about it," attitude that most of our country is taking.

I pray that we, as the body of Christ, not just a handful of individuals here and there, are willing to go out there, put on our armor, get on our knees, and fight. Because this war is a lot bigger than psychos shooting up schools, kids trying to kill themselves, and all the other nightmares our youth face.

The enemy of the day: Complacency. And that's one we all have the power to fight.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cutting off good intentions

The thing I love about God is that He always knows how to make sure we're paying attention. After my post about praying for the jerks in traffic, I got the wonderful opportunity to experience a whole slew of jerks. In the presence of my little two year old parrot. Fortunately, I didn't use any words of the four letter variety. However, she now yells at random intervals, "Stupid Wacko!" Which led to my five year old asking, "Why are you yelling at wackos?"

Oh. Yeah. I'm supposed to be praying for them instead of calling them names.

But I answered my daughter, and I tried to explain the intricacies of traffic and how bad it was to swerve and cut people off. And she said, "Why would they do that if it's dangerous?" My automatic response would be to say, "Becasue they're jerks." But really... do people just drive around dangerously for being a jerk? Of course not. How many drivers out there say, "I think I'll go irritate Danica today"? Yeah, that's what I thought. Which led me right back to getting down on my knees (well, as much as one can do while navigating the freeway) and remembering that I committed myself to standing in the gap for these "wackos."

Which is why, when I say that I'm no expert on prayer, I mean it with a very sincere heart. But just as sincerely, I hope to be better. I think about prayer with very good intentions, but I find that my mind often wanders-like to the lint on my pants. Or, to the weird stuff growing out of my husband's ears. And yes, sometimes even to bad places. I'm not quite sure how one manages to think about sinning while praying, but I seem to have mastered that skill.

The funny thing about praying for our enemies is that sometimes it just makes us more aware of the stuff we're doing in our lives and shouldn't be. I got so engrossed in my prayer/analysis of the "wackos" that I became distracted, and yes, I ended up cutting someone off. Oops.

I wonder what expletives that person said about me, or maybe, I had the great fortune of cutting off a person who knew a little more about grace than I, and the person said, "God, bless that wacko."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Enemies on the road

When you think of enemies, you think of people like Osama Bin Laden. The big, bad dudes. But I think it's just as valid to think of the jerk who cut you off and then gave you the bird as an enemy too. Really, anyone who puts us in that GRRRR frame of mind is an enemy. I was thinking about that today, because, yes, some jerk cut me off and then flipped me off.

And I wondered, "why?" The thing I've learned about traffic is that you don't get there any faster weaving through traffic or by being a jerk. Being unsafe does not help matters, in fact, it only makes it worse. So let's talk speeding-you realize that your 5 mile an hour gain would only get you five miles closer in one hour, right? So how much time do ultimately gain on your commute? A minute? Two? Oh no, we can't have dinner a minute or two late. I once did a study for my own personal glee as far as how much time speeding saved me commuting to and from work (this is when I was working). Interestingly enough, when I sped in the places I COULD speed because of lighter traffic, I somehow ended up taking LONGER to get to work. Never could figure out why that was, but it happened every time I did this experiment.

So what's my point, other than berating jerks on the road? The way I figure, surely the rest of the people on the planet are smart enough to come to the conclusions I did. Okay, maybe they weren't anal enough to time the difference of speeding versus not speeding. But when you consistently end up at the same light at the same time as all the people you cut off, doesn't it make logical sense that you're wasting your energy by being a jerk? Which leads to my real point-why do these people continually put themselves through this same blood pressure raising misery every single day?

I tend to irritate the people behind me, because I've always figured that it wasn't worth it to fight the jerks, I just let them in. I try to practice a little kindness to the poor guy who probably had a bad day at the office, or is coming home to a psychotic wife who just deep cleaned his man junk, or whatever it was that turned what is probably a nice enough person otherwise, into a big jerk. I wonder, what is it that I could do for this stranger crossing my path. It becomes very easy to simply say, "Lord, I don't know this person, but clearly he or she needs you. Show him or her your love and grace and help them with whatever situation is causing this action."

Maybe it makes a difference, maybe it doesn't, but I hope that the jerk drivers out there know that occasionally, they might find themselves on the receiving end of a little grace. And who knows, maybe enough people will read this blog, start praying for the jerks who cut them off rather than returning the bird, and maybe we'll figure out a way to make commuting time a little easier.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Not there yet

One of the comments I've received about this project is that it's a great idea, but they're not "there yet" in terms of being willing to pray for their enemies.

It's interesting, because I'm not completely "there" either. But there's a danger in waiting until you're "there". You may never get "there" without taking the steps to do so. I thought of this the other day when I was talking to my friend Lucy. Okay, *I* didn't think of it. Lucy did.

We were talking about a book that I'm writing, that I've been trying to write, but keep tabling because I'm not "there" yet in terms of having the right heart towards God, my readers, and in writing the book. One of the things Lucy pointed out was that perhaps the process of writing the book would be the thing that changed my heart. Not sitting around waiting for it to change, but to go ahead and work through the process.

I started this journey of prayer, not because I'm "there" yet, but because I want to be. The only way to get from here to there is to take a step. If you're not "there", that's okay. It's a process, and you have to start somewhere. So jump in and pray, even if it's "God, I am so not ready for this, but I trust you to lead me in the right direction."

Friday, September 15, 2006

My thoughts on prayer

While I can never claim to be as great as Philip Yancey, I do have to say that a lot of where this comes from is inspired by his book, Prayer Does it Make Any Difference? . I think what I love is that in the beginning, he states very clearly that he writes from the perspective of a seeker, not as a person with all the answers. In truth, that is why I feel I must do this.

I'm not a big prayer girl, at least not in the way I'd like to be. I've always felt stupid praying, not sure if I'm doing it right or saying the right things, and whatnot. It reminds me of what was my personal theme song throughout most of my college life, and into a lot of my post college world. And you know, it fits now too. Now before some of you go postal when you hear who it is, I'm not vouching for their faith. I'm one of those wackos who can see God in just about anything, and well, this piece speaks to me.

Help Me by Concrete Blonde
(there's a discrepancy in the lyrics on the sites, so I'm picking the one I like best because I can't remember where my tape is. Yes, this is back from the days of tapes)

Maybe it's just a phase
the days and the nights and the nights and the days
of tossing and turning and burning and churning
Inside my brain

Or, maybe I'm finally insane
but I don't know what to believe anymore
It's like I'm caught in some revolving door
over and over and over and over

....teach me how to pray.
....tell me what to say
help me help me help me find my way

I never could play the game
And all their faces look the same
And I won't give up
Won't give in
You know I never want to be like them I'm
Ticking away like time
Out of sync and out of my mind
well I used to know a truth from a lie
just by looking in their eyes

carry me away
farther and farther and farther everyday

help me help me help me find my way

Hanging by a thread
and waves of confusion break down on my head
when I think of all the things you said well the words

higher every day
a price I swore I'd never pay

help me help me help me find my way


But you know, I look at that song, and I feel the vulnerability in my soul knowing the terrible mess I've made of my life, and the mixture of anger and pain and sorrow and frustration. I just want God to reach down and show me. To teach me how to pray. To help me find my way.

I look at our enemies, the people who make our lives miserable, and I wonder what it is that they lack in their lives that make them feel as though the only way out is to harm us. I look at some of the requests from folks who've posted. Camy's situation, where these jerks think that by taking down an innocent man that they will somehow gain from it. Jana's situation, where these other jerks continually make her feel bad. Tom W, who shot and killed a guy for no good reason that anyone can figure out. Jamie Lynn, who lost a son and is blaming a lot of people who don't need the blame. I wonder, do these lost people, do they need God to reach down and help them find their way? To teach them how to pray?

And maybe, there's something dark in our hearts, like the darkness that has me plotting the murders of loser freaks like the guy who gave me the bird today because I had the audacity to get in his lane and *gasp* only go five over the speed limit. Perhaps it's needing to learn how to pray for those things too.

Because honestly, what do you say to God when praying for your enemies? Doesn't He realize that you HATE these people? He knows that you aren't really asking, "Please Lord, bless this person." He knows you're saying, "I'm asking you to bless this son of a gun, but really, I want you to inflict him or her with boils, or if I really don't want to be bothered, just smite them off the face of the earth."

However, I find comfort in my beloved Philip Yancey. He talks about our relationship with God as a friendship, and the qualities we wish for in our friends. Yes, God knows what we're really thinking, even behind our holy words and holy actions. But when we get down on His level and openly say, "God, this sucks. These people suck. And I know I'm supposed to be praying for them, but I simply don't know how to love someone that I hate," we're connecting with Him in the honest, intimate way that true friends are supposed to communicate.

I love his quote of Tim Stafford on page 58 of his book:
We do not pray to tell God what he does not know, nor to remind him of things he has forgotten. He already cares for the things we pray about... He has simply been waiting for us to care about them with him."

Did I mention I love that quote?

I should also probably say that I haven't even finished the book yet. I'm still working through it, getting so much out of the first few chapters that I'm not even on the praying for our enemies part yet. I'll get there though.

The thing about praying for our enemies, and I'm fairly certain this is where Yancey goes with his book, is that while we may not start out on that same page as God, when we pray for our enemies, we're asking God to show us those people through His eyes. Just as He sees past our blemishes, He sees past theirs. And maybe, starting out on this journey, I shouldn't be so up front about that. Because the thing about enemies is that we don't want to see past their blemishes. We don't want to see their humanness. It's so easy to hate an "enemy".

There's this great childrens book out there called Enemy Pie . The thing I love about the book is that when the kid spends the day with his enemy, he realizes the human side of the enemy, and in seeing his humanity, realizes the enemy is really a friend. Yeah, I know, none of us are going to be inviting bin Laden over for tea anytime soon. But I can't help but remember how Jesus sought out traditional "enemies" of the Jews like lepers and tax collectors and turned them into friends.

But who knows? This could all be just another installment of "God is messing with Danica's head". Maybe the point has absolutely nothing to do with the enemies themselves, or even the fact that our hearts are hardened enough that we have enemies. Maybe I'm overthinking as usual and it really is just as simple as God using this as a way of saying, "My child. My friend. Come and spend some time with me. Tell me about your enemies. Not because it's anything I don't already know, but because I want to spend time with you. Time to show you that I care about what you care about. Time to show you that I love your honesty." Whatever.

And maybe, just maybe, we'll get really lucky and have the chance to watch Him smite a few of them. Too bad I'm not gifted in songwriting. I could write a whole new worship song: Rain down sulfur on the Taliban. Smite those al Qaida operatives.

Yeah, I know. God's got a lot of work to do on me yet.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


That Man and I never watch the news. It's too depressing. But tonight, just as we were watching the tail end of CSI, the preview for the news caught our eye. It seems that one of our local teachers, a teacher both of the older children had, has been arrested for child pornography.

I do want to point out that I very much believe in the American justice system, and that you are innocent until proven guilty.

But you know, I'm a bit shaken. He seemed like the last guy on earth, if you know what I mean. The kids all loved him, and IMO, he was one of the best teachers the kids had. He made such an impact on the oldest, that he even came to his high school graduation party, and he teaches elementary school. I just-I can't picture it, and yet they showed footage of his IMs with a supposed 13 year old as well as him on his webcam. ICK.

I just don't know what to think or believe right now. But I do know, that if these allegations are true, it's just devastating. Even if they are false, a man's life is now ruined and the peace of mind of a community is just destroyed. I keep thinking in my head that he taught two of our children. He seemed like such a nice man. If he could do such a thing, and I still can't wrap my brain around the idea that he would, how can I be certain that my children are safe in the future. I couldn't pick this guy out.

But like I said, he was arrested, not found guilty, and I'd like to believe in his innocence, even if the bits of evidence on tv were pretty convincing.

So please pray for him-if he is innocent, that he would be able to survive this ordeal, as the information on the news was pretty overwhelming and bad. If he is guilty, I pray for his healing. And I also would just like prayers for his family as well as the community at large. He was so loved by the people in the school-I can't imagine what a shock this is for them as well. And of course, please pray for the victims and their healing. The news report said all of this was with an undercover police officer, but who knows if he did anything (if he did do it) to an actual child.

Is he a friend? Is he an enemy? I don't know. But my heart is breaking over the whole issue and I know there are a lot of broken hearts out there needing to be healed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

When do I pray?

I am, by nature, a multitasker. And when embarking on this journey, I realized that I'm going to need time to pray. So I decided to set a time. Sort of like when you're fasting and the hunger pangs are a reminder to pray, well, for me, my enemy prayer time is when I'm on the toilet.


I mean, what else is there to do while you're doing your business? It's always driven me nuts that there simply isn't an activity to do while on the toilet. What a waste of my time. I know some people read, but then I get engrossed in what I'm reading, and before I know it, I've spent way more time on the toilet than I intended.

So today, as I sat on the toilet, pondering what I could do during this colossal waste of my time, I decided to make getting rid of my body's waste a time to pray for the waste of humanity: our enemies.

Yeah, I know. God is either up there rolling with laughter, or trying to figure out a way to school me on proper prayer etiquette. Until then, I'm going to use my toilet time efficiently.

More folks to add to the list:
The evil dead stepfather who is still haunting people from the grave
The person whose thoughtless words hurt me today
The soon to be ex-wife of a friend
The idiots on this one loop that I want to kill

Peace be the journey people!

More prayers for the list

I've had some requests come via IMs and email, and so I'm updating here. If people want to keep requests anonymous, that's perfectly fine with me. I also think it's okay to use a different name for the person we're praying for, because I know that God knows who we mean.

So, adding to the prayers, we have:
Jamie Lynn (actually not an enemy, but she really needs some love and support)
Tom W (who killed a friend's cousin)

Let's lift these folks up! Lord, please shower them with your love and grace as you teach us to love them as you do.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Prayers round one

Well, I guess if I'm going to be a successful enemy prayer blogger, I should probably start by praying for some enemies.

So I'm going to start with the obvious. Those of you who read my other blog heard my Al-Qaida example. Since I stole the idea from Philip Yancey's talk (and will be stealing many more ideas from him as I read his book), I think it's only fair to follow his recommendation: I'm praying for a specific Al-Qaida member: Usama bin Ladin. Yep, the big head dude. But I figure, I want God to do great things, so why not start at the top. Honestly, I don't know what to pray, or even how to pray, but I know the Holy Spirit will intercede on my behalf. I just want the Lord to touch bin Ladin's heart, to work in his life, so that even Usama bin Ladin will clearly see who God is, and know the Lord. I pray that his eyes and his heart will be opened up.

On a personal level, I wish to pray for Judy. Lord, I ask that you give me compassion and love for this woman who constantly torments my thoughts. A woman that I find myself disliking more and more every day, despite my best efforts not to. I also ask you to bless her, even though I often wish for her to be cursed. Lord, it is my hope that you would also open up her heart and her eyes, and even though she is the last person on earth I ever want to be friends with, I ask that you open a freeway of compassion between the two of us, so that we can find common ground.

Finally, because I just wouldn't be me unless I had something shallow in here, I wish to pray for some of the Hollywood celebrities who annoy me: Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Lord, I don't know these women, and I should not be irritated every time I hear their names, but I am. I know it is wrong to dislike them, and I ask that you give me compassion in my heart towards them. I ask you to bless their lives and show yourself to them. I ask you to protect their loved ones, especially Britney's children and family. I ask that you bless and strengthen their relationships, that you would shelter them from strife. Lord, I ask that you bless those who would use these women as role models and create in them a reflection of you so that those who would imitate Paris and Britney would imitate those qualities that reflect you.

In Jesus' Name...


So yeah, I realized when you look at my profile, I'm already threatening to kill people. Well, I've made it 31 years and so far, the biggest thing I've ever killed was a pheasant. And that was an accident. I do think it's by the grace of God that I haven't completely snapped, so trust me, I need to be praying as much as humanly possible.

I want to make that clear, because folks, I am human. I make lots of mistakes, and if I ever stand up here and say how perfect I am, please slap me. Because I obviously have finally gone off the deep end.

So I'm here. And I'm praying. And I hope you'll join along with me. Will it work? Well, we may not get our enemies jumping up for joy and saying we're the best things in the universe, but you never know what sort of positive impact we'll have. Join in, share your stories, your prayer requests, but most of all, I hope you'll help us pray.