A Prayer for Comfort

Righteous Father and Friend,

Holy living and true. Thank you for your love and tender mercy. Your love is so great You gave Your good Son for us your rebellious children.

Have mercy Lord.

In our lives we are painfully aware of loss. Our hearts are broken when friends and family pass; however, nothing compares to the lose of those who leave too soon. When a parent loses their grasp on a child…

We the living are left to go on. Those who have not lost a child cannot share this loss. However, You do understand. Father please reach out your loving hand and touch us. Comfort us. Let those who are suffering feel your warm embrace.

Father, with only the meager faith a parent has we commit our children into your hands. Take care of them there is so little we can do. You are God, you can do great things with them.

May your grace be on those who have already laid down and gone asleep in your pasture. For the living, Father, have mercy on us. Give us comfort beside quiet waters, courage in the darkest valley, and faith to keep walking in your light.

For it is in Your child’s name we lay our prayer. Amen.

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Rain

I have always enjoyed watching rain fall. Actually I love to stand out in the rain and watch it fall. The colors, the sound, and the tranquility it brings me. Most of all I love the smell.

I know I am standing in a storm. But I don’t see that. I see the pieces. I feel the wind. Hear the thunder. See the clouds. Smell the water in the air.

Despite the storm around me, I feel peace.

I think about how the rain cleans the air and the earth. It reminds me of the water that cleans me through baptism.

In Spring, the rain makes the flowers grow. The Dogwoods blossom. It makes me think of Christ and his resurrection from the dead. And my new life through Him.

Storms always remind me of the time Jesus calmed the storm while his friends panicked. Life is a storm and Jesus calms storms.

I love rain. I hope you do to.

God bless.

Cutting Through The TV Static in My Mind

My mind is filled with static. Kinda like the static on an analog TV. Wikipedia says it is caused by electromagnetic radiation being picked up by an analog TV receiver. Here is what it looks like. (Thought it might be helpful in our digital world.)

Like a TV, my mind is filled with all the noise of life. Work, family, hobbies, national news, politics, personal problems, sin, guilt, worry, friends, and on and on.

The noise makes it hard to focus. I find I cannot keep a thought for more than one or two minutes before I am off on some worry or concern. When in prayer, I get distracted by thoughts. When the fog clears, I remember I was praying.

Here are my thoughts about getting through the static to get a clear connection to God. (Apologies for the corny TV analogy)

Shield your antenna

I find the only way to stay focused on God is to tune out to the crazy things going around me. Turn off the news, quit reading new web sites, no talk radio that does not build up or focus in on my object of affection, God. Work hard at work and then leave work at work or within well defined limits at home. Let go of all the things in life we have no control over. Matthew records these words of Jesus in Matthew 6:34, “do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Point your antenna in the right direction

So often I find myself looking for peace in all the wrong places. I get stressed and I start eating. Bad habits start to creep in and then guild follows. None of these things help me in my prayer life. I get busy trying to fix things my way only to have things get worse. Panic and depression are the only result of looking for help in the wrong place. This is where the world is. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:12-13

12remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to (the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Stay tuned into THE source of peace

Once we get the signal (I know, I am sorry), we have to stay on target. When we are far off, we have no hope. But now, we are near to God. Paul continues in verse 14, “for he himself is our peace.” Christ the Prince of Peace has finished the work of Salvation. Now I stay in the word. Pray often. Meditate on Christ. I don’t let the world creep back in.

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:6-8

Don’t think for one moment God is not listening because you cannot focus. Instead of getting down on yourself, talk to God about it. Ask for his peace. Keep working on it, do not give up. Stay faithful. He loves us so much.

God bless.

You Lie, I Know You Do!

I do.

I have to be honest. I lie a lot more than I would like to admit too. Isn’t that kinda like lying? I am so funny. How honest are you? I bet you are saying I don’t tell lies.

I am reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s new book Little Teal Book of Trust. He makes an interesting point.

Being honest when you’re dealing with others is easier to do because your honesty is on the table for all to view.

Being honest with yourself is more difficult because you only have to justify it in private where no one can see it.

It is easier to tell the truth when you know you will get caught; however, when you know you can get away with it, now that is a different story. Gitomer challenges his readers to think about how they lie to themselves. It is easy to do because we have no one to justify our actions too.

I lie to myself. How? By being dishonest about the consequences to my choices.

“One more piece won’t hurt.”

“Just one more time.”

“Dummy!”

“Your just not good enough.” (This one is the worst)

Lying to myself is hurting me. I want to lose weight and know I cannot unless I put the chocolate down. I want to be more positive but can’t unless I stop filling my mind with doubt. It does hurt when we lie to ourselves. It makes us disappointed, think down on us and feel guilty. To add insult to injury, we let God down.

Gitomer writes,

Becoming honest with yourself takes a hell of a lot of courage – because it means doing the right thing when no one’s looking. There’s pride in honesty. There’s pride in being honorable.

and

A big part of honesty is self-discipline, personal resolve, and taking pride in who you are as a person and what each action means to your character.

Everything you do either adds or takes away from who you are. I am either building myself up by putting good things and thoughts into me or tearing down by putting bad things and thoughts into me.

22For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,

23but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

24Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.  Romans 7:22-25

When I look in the mirror and stare into my own eyes. I see a man I know everything about. I can remember all the lies I have ever told myself. Then I remember, “Thanks be to God.” I have been set FREE! The old lies don’t count anymore.

13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Now I can go and stop telling lies. God bless.

What Gives Hope?

We all want something to hope for. As Christmas approaches I bet you are hoping for a few presents. I have been thinking about Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:13. Here is something from Lamentations. Not the first book in the bible I would have looked for a lesson on hope.

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:21-26

We have hope because of the great love of God. He loved us so much he sent his son to die for us. Not that we deserved it first, no, because he loves. AND this God is good to those who hope in him and who seek him. Seeking is very important when it comes to finding.

One thing I think is hard is waiting quietly for the salvation of the Lord. God works in his own time and way.

God bless. Seek, have hope, keep the faith.