The Lord’s Prayer (gnv)

After this manner therefore pray ye, Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done even in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13

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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.

Confessions

Jesus Christ, the historical man who walked this earth a little more than 2000 years ago, is the son of the living God, who created all we see and works even to today in the lives of men. This same Jesus died, was buried, and rose again showing himself to witnesses who wrote about these events so you and I can know about them today. He is now in heaven, working in the hearts and minds of men, to bring them to a knowledge of God so that people may be saved from their sins and can live with him forever.

“until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts”

Sorry I have been gone. I have been absent in my own mind. Still am. Thank God for his mercies and tender love.  Let him who has ears to hear, hear before it is too late.

God bless.

Giving Gifts

I am greedy. I love to get gifts and I really stink at giving gifts. I am not the only one in my family with this problem; however, I am the only one who is an adult. Ouch.

You expect for children to have difficulty with selfishness and some greed. All you have to do is examine a few Christmas lists to get a good idea of what I mean. But, they are innocent. They do not understad how the national economy and supply and demand make it very difficult for Santa to deliver scuba gear for the family pet dog and cat. They think big. Adults think big too but we have no excuses for our bad attitudes and greed. We should know better.

This Christmas I spent time thinking about some examples from scripture about giving.

The Rich Young Man

The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?”Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. Matthew 19:20-22
The Widow’s Mite

And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44

Ananias & Sapphira

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Acts 5:1-4

James’ Faith

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. James 2:14-17

Forgive me for the over simplification. So much more can be learned from these scriptures. For now, what strikes me from these verses are refusing to give up what is mine, giving out of my surplus, giving to get gifts (in this case fame), and ignoring the immediate needs around me. Truth hurts.

Well, the past is gone. Thank God for His Son’s shed blood. Time to move forward making some changes. Here are my suggestions.

  1. Give your things away. I like them, maybe someone else will too.
  2. Don’t buy junk. Give things away you would want or even need for yourself and don’t have.
  3. Give in secret. God said he will reward this kind of giving. Even if you never receive any physical reward, the spiritual reward is emmense.
  4. Don’t ignore the people around you. Neighbors, coworkers, people you pass on the street.

I know I can do better. I am looking forward to it. God bless.

Post Sibling Birthday Depression

I know you have had this syndrome before. If you have a brother or  a sister you know all about what I call Post Sibling Birthday Depression. Its symptoms include sulking, slumped shoulders, down-cast countenance, and foot sliding. At least that is how it looks at our house. The symptoms manifest in a sibling who has not had the last birthday.

Okay, how about some plain english (southern that is). Our older child had a birthday party this weekend. It was a good one. Several friends and family members came over and we had ice-cream and cake. Oh, yes, there were some presents to. I think that is what may have started the depression. Little sister felt somewhat left out. Despite getting one or two gifts for herself and having a friend over to play with during the party, she was still not happy.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We see someone getting recognition, an award, or receive a good gift and instead of feeling proud for the receipiant we are jealous. Our thoughts turn inward and we think only of ourself. You can detect this type of attitude in yourself by listening to the thoughts you tell yourself…

  • Why doesn’t anyone reward me?
  • They really did not deserve that.
  • I never get any good gifts.
  • I never win anything.
  • I wish I could have that too.
  • I am not as good as that person.
  • No one notices me.
  • I don’t have anything nice.

I am sure we could make a longer list but it does no good. This kind of thinking only makes the depression worse. I needed a quick cure for my daughter, so do you.

The cure? Taking a good look at yourself and the blessings you have. The old song “Count your Many Blessings” always comes to my mind.

When upon life’s billows You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged, Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, Name them one by one
And it will suprise you What the Lord has done.
More at Lyrics.time.

So often we just want more we are not content with what we own. A quick test, would you take one million dollars for everything you have right now? Everything? Your house, your cars, your cat, your dog. Ah, but what about your family? Your children? Your parents? There are times I wish I could teleport my family to some of the places I have visited in my life. We could zip off to a under developed country somewhere and see what it looks like to have nothing.

I am not sure the trip would mean much yet to my children. They are young. But I have no excuse. I am grown up. The author of Hebrews said it this way, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.” Hebrews 13:5 Not so easy to do sometimes.

How about another exercise… Visit a local nursing home. Go volunteer at a food pantry. Do something for someone who may be a little less fortunate as yourself.

How about this from Paul,

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

The key to it all is thanksgiving. Be thankful for all your blessings. Count them one by one.