Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Child-like Prayers

Luke 18:1-8 
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

When my son wants me to play with him or he wants to play with his play-doh or to paint or anything that he needs my help or attention he often say, "Please Mommy.  Please.  Please.  Pleeeeeaaaaase."  Sometimes he'll grab my hand and pulls me or gets behind me and pushes me to where he wants me to be.  If he really, really wants something he keeps pestering me until I give in.  He doesn't like to hear the word 'no' to his requests, especially if they are, in his three year old mind, perfectly reasonable requests.  I think this is how we're supposed to approach God in our prayers.  We're supposed to keep praying and praying and praying until we finally get our answer.  I have this image in my mind's eye of tugging on God's robes saying, "Please Abba.  Please. Please. Pleeeeeaaaaase."  Granted, God is much more patient with us than most of we are with our own children.  But we're supposed to keep asking.  My example may sound childish, but Jesus said in Matthew 18:2-6, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."

While searching for the image above, I leave you with this poem I found attached to it.

Pray as Children Pray
We all at times talk to God
 By sending words his way
But do we really put much thought
 Into these words we say

We thank him for so many things
 For him, his son and such
Yet being grown I sometimes think
 We leave out so very much

Sometime built on wants and needs
 Or the words others have once said
Often our prayers are even copied
 From words of which we've read

We color our prayers with fancy words
 Words in prayer we only speak
Almost as if we're trying to impress
 The ones that hear us speak

At times we do make mistakes
 Our prayers come from habit, not from heart
For being grown we get caught up in time
 And forget where our prayers should start

 If you're in doubt about my words
 Please allow me to continue on
I think, like me you'll see the facts
 I'll try not tarry on

I came to realize the other day
 How as children we should pray
No purer thoughts or kinder words
 Are those that children say

Children thank the Lord for everything
 Things as adults we overlook
Such as thanking him for Mom and Dad
 Or simply for a book

They'll thank him for all their friends
 For the rich and for the poor
For our soldiers off to war
 For airplanes as high they soar

 They remember the folks in nursing homes
 Or kids without a Mom or Dad
They ask for no special favors
 For all things they are glad

Yes from the words of children we can learn
 When we listen to what they say
So the next time you talk to God
 Pray as Children pray

Woody Woodruff

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

For What are You Thankful?


1 Chronicles 29:12-14

12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.

14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand."

This month we have much for which to be thankful.  The above picture I found on Facebook and I thought, when put like that, it is fitting that Veterans Day and Thanksgiving would be in the same month.  I would like to address Veterans Day first, not because it's more important (because it isn't) but because I find it easier to find the words.
Both my grandfathers were war veterans, my uncle and adopted aunt are Air Force veterans and my husband is a Navy veteran.  I give honor and thanks to every single veteran and active military person out there who has served or is serving to protect our freedoms.  I would also like to extend this thanks to the police and rescue people who are frequently in harm's way on our behalf.  I don't believe any of these people get enough honor, respect, and gratitude.  So the next time you get pulled over for going over by the police, be sure to thank him or her for their service, many of whom were military before they became police.
I don't know about you, but I have so much to be thankful to God for that I'm not sure where to begin.  I know the first up on the list is saving my sorry butt from what I surely deserve.  I want to thank Him for living in this country and during the times that we do.  I add that because I believe that neither my son nor myself would have lived through his delivery if we would have lived in any other time or place.  I believe many women can attest to that.  I thank God for providing for us and giving us the ability to provide for ourselves.  Here is a weird thing for which to give thanks; the last job I had I had lost when I was 8 months pregnant and I give thanks that I lost it.  It gave me the opportunity to stay home with my son, so that I can teach and train him.  I give thanks for my husband, for the strong, loving, and supportive man that he is.  I give thanks for my family, not just those in my house, but also extended family, step-family, and in-laws.  There so so much more for which to be thankful.
For whom or what are you thankful?

Psalm 69:30

30 I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I am a Sheep!

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.

Whenever people say that Christians are sheep, I have to wonder if they realize they're sheep, too.  Everyone is following something or someone, whether they know it or not.  There are no new belief systems in this world.  The New Age 'all roads lead to god' belief was based out of Hinduism.  Even athism has been around for thousands of years.  The Bible reflects this, saying The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  So this isn't new, we're all sheep because we're all following something.  There truely is nothing new under the sun.
I do admit that I am a sheep.  I am more than okay with this because I know I have a shepard.  In fact, I have the Good Shepard.  This is what I know about my Shepard:
The question is, do you want the Shepard? or would you rather be a sheep wondering astray?  God wants nothing more than to be your Shepard, too.  Your salvation is your choice.
God bless,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dealing with Disappointment

Everytime I read Ecclesiastes I am struck by how disappointed and, possibly even, depressed Solomon was when he wrote it.  For almost the entire book he is writing about trying to find happiness and satisifaction in all the world has to offer, and what he does find has no lasting value. 

Ecclesiastes 3 does provide the lyrics to a very popular folk song, so the whole book isn't a complete downer.  But it does illustrate over and over how meaningless everything is if God is not involved.  Solomon looked for happiness in his possessions and by aquiring more possessions.  He has tried looking for satisifaction in frivilious activities.  But in the end he said, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]

A friend of mine posted this last night on her Facebook page and I find this to be of some comfort:

"God has a perfect plan for everything. Our intelligence can never come close to His. There have been times when I wondered where He was. But then He comes along and sweeps me off my feet; bigger than any man could ever do. And all I am left in is awe! Stay faithful my family and friends. God stays true to His word. Situations change, challenges come, and so do dark days. But steadfastness with The Lord reaps victory! No, I'm not perfect.... even in my darkest, sinful days, Jesus still shows me how much He loves me. Why? Because I chose to believe whole-hearted that He is my Savior! This world is not the end. There is a perfect world for those who choose to believe. You can choose to disagree with me. But what if, on your dying day, you find out that I was right? Sadly, there will be nothing I can do for you. Try Jesus....He'll show you how He operates in your life! I'm inspired by The Spirit to write this. Peace be to you all."

God bless,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Impending Elections 2012

21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 
24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

Tomorrow is election day here in the United States.  If you're anything like you, you can't wait for it to be over, at least until we must deal with it all again in another four years.  For the past year we've had to endure first the primaries then the campaigns of the final candidates.  My state offers early elections and thankfully I've already cast my ballot.  In my opinion, neither of the major party candidates are trustworthy enough to hold the office, and one must do some detective work to find that there are actually two other people running from minor parties and, unfortunately, the way the campaign and election process is set up neither stand a snowball's chance in hell..  Sadly, none hold the integrity of Daniel.  
The Bible commands us to pray for our leaders.  We're also commanded to seek God's will in all things.  But if we vote for whom we believe God is leading us, and it is not the candidate for whom we vote who actually wins, then we need to understand that it is all in His hands anyway, 'for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.'  Sometimes its hard for us to grasp that God works for the good of those who love him, even if it's not what we think should be.
I await for the day when Jesus sets up his eternal government.  One that is perfect in all respects.  Perfect because he who sets it up is perfect and that is His his will.  But in the meantime we must submit ourselves to our current imperfect government. 
Romans 13:1-5
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

God Bless,