Monday, March 29, 2010
As we approach Holy Week 2010, let’s remember that Christians are spiritual firefighters, rescuing those who are in peril of being engulfed by the raging fires of Hell. This Firefighter’s Prayer is as appropriate to our spiritual mission as it is to the heroes of our communities. When I am called to duty, God, wherever flames may rage, give me strength to save a life whatever, be its age. Let me embrace a little child before it is too late, or save an older person from the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out. I want to fill my calling to give the best in me, to guard my friend and neighbor and protect their property. And, if, according to your will, I have to lose my life, please bless, with your protecting hand, my family and my wife.
Monday, March 22, 2010
In many non-Western churches, Christians often pray aloud—all at the same time. The idea is to lift individual prayers to God in concert. Try it with your small group. Share prayer concerns and requests first. Then have everyone pray at once in low voices. No one hears specific words, just murmurs. The sound this makes is beautifully soothing. Imagine what it sounds like to God! An added benefit is that this form of prayer can help you focus on God and prevent your mind from wandering while someone else is talking to the Lord. This idea from NavPress e-newsletter March 9, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Leaning into another. It’s what we do when having a picture taken, when frightened at a movie, when feeling close in love, and when weeping in heartache. Practice leaning into Jesus in times of grief and sorrow and find assurance there. Jesus faced grief in a spiritually and emotionally healthy way. He wept – over the spiritual death of Jerusalem. He cried – at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. He agonized – as he faced his own impending death. And still, in his grief, he focused on his Heavenly Father, on his Father’s love, and on his Father’s purpose. He leaned into his Father’s strength, wisdom and love. He grieved while keeping his focus. Learn from Jesus. Lean into him, into his understanding heart, his strong love, his life-giving embrace. Words are not necessary, sobs and sighs are welcome. Lean into Jesus, weary one, lean into Jesus.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
God loves the delightful things he has created; and when we enjoy them, he enjoys our enjoying them. The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!" He created us to enjoy him and his creation. We certainly experience the Lord’s goodness at the communion table. No question about that. But meal times and snack times can also be sweet. You know, don’t you that in enjoying any satisfying morsel you can experience God’s goodness, for the Lord God made it all. At meal time, or whenever you enjoy a tasty delight, just thank the Lord. Turn the corners of your smile upward and say, “The Lord is good!” Or, just sing the Johnny Appleseed Prayer – “Ohhhh, The Lord is good to me. And so I thank the Lord. For giving me. The things I need. The sun, the rain and the apple seed. ...the Lord is good to me.”