Babies are born into the world expressing their discontent...bright lights, new surroundings, loud noises and cold hands.The first few weeks they make their needs known at all hours of the day and night with loud crying.This behavior is expected of a child, but for an adult to behave that way, we would call them selfish and uncaring.
We must often seem to our heavenly Father to behave much like a child when we go to Him with nothing but OUR wants and desires.Prayer needs to be more than that.Try this simple acrostic as a pattern for prayer:
A-dorationFather, I adore you.
C-onfessionForgive me for I have sinned.
T-hanksgiving Thank you for your blessings.
S-upplicationGim-me, or Give me, if you have
forgotten your childhood lingo.
Often we get our praying bottom-side up, always sticking out our hands for a need and rarely taking time to praise our Lord for who He is.
GospeLines Prayer:'Father, teach me to pray!'Amen and amen.
Where are you at midnight?Unless you’re a night owl, you’re probably deep in slumber.Unbeknownst to a vast majority, there is a segment of society who are in a grocery store around 11 pm at the first of every month, “killing time until their accounts are replenished” according to a recent story in USA Today about midnight grocery runs.
Monthly government benefits drop in individuals’ accounts at the first of the month.Often by that time, individuals have been rationing things like milk, ground beef, toilet paper and are anxious to stock up again.They rush for the checkout counter at the stroke of midnight.
One gentleman interviewed in the article said his family needed food-stamp benefits because his job as a restaurant server didn’t quite cover expenses for their five children.He and his wife arrive at the store between 10:30-11 pm to fill up two baskets and will be ready to check out by midnight.
According to statistics, one in seven Americans lives in poverty and more than 41 million are on food stamps.One of six receives some form of government assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid and extended unemployment benefits.
Other examples of families stocking up were featured in the story.Various grocery stores noted the upswing around paydays.Stores are trying to adapt to the spending trends, including luring customers away from dollar stores for staples such as mini-laundry soap.
Most of the shoppers also do their homework – comparing prices at multiple stores – trying to get the best bank for their buck and to stretch payments until the beginning of next month when this scenario plays out again.Experts predict this will be the norm for some time despite the fact the recession is allegedly over.
Prayer:Father, I don’t understand.Sometimes, I don’t know what to pray for.
Stand in the gap for those brethren who need You and help us let Your light shine for those who are less fortunate.It is still hard to fathom that we have people in our nation who are barely getting by.We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but it appears it’s directed toward more self-interests.
I know that we are to help our brethren no matter where they are in the world, but doesn’t charity begin at home?We need only to look out our back door, in our respective communities to know that people are hurting and hungry.
Give us insight and fortitude to do our part to contribute to the welfare of others less fortunate.Help us to see the big picture and not be one who slumbers peacefully knowing that someone else may be unable to sleep due to hunger and thirst.
May they thirst for the knowledge and love of You, Father.May we not ignore the invisible among us and give generously from our hearts.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, November 10, 2010
A Duck Out Of Water
There were many quotes and sayings I grew up with in Southeast Texas.One of them was about feeling out of place in a particular situation.That person would be described as a "duck out of water."
I remembered that quote on a Saturday morning while enjoying a one-night-get-away at a beautiful hotel resort south of Houston, TX.I stepped out on the balcony to see the hundreds of yachts in the harbor below.It was a foggy morning, the wind was blowing from the north, but the view to a land lubber was breathtaking.
My gaze fell upon the swimming pool below, following its 180 foot contour past the cabana and the waterfall, I spotted something unusual.I don't know if it was there because of the fog, but it looked perfectly content and appeared that the surroundings were not unfamiliar.It was a mallard duck, swimming listlessly in circles, unconcerned that he was probably in a restricted "For People Only" area.
Being out of place is more about how we feel regarding a situation than how we are perceived by others.Sometimes it's about self-confidence, or the lack of it, that gives us discomfort with our surroundings.Some of us have been told for so long, "You don't belong!" that we have begun to doubt our worthiness.
God has made you in His image and has enabled you to live without fear or intimidation!
While the duck may have looked strange to me, it is likely that his ancestors inhabited that area long before the hotel was built.He was just reclaiming what was his in the first place.
You have a high calling in Christ Jesus!Let no one shoo you away from standing tall in the work of the Lord.
GospeLines Prayer:Lord, give me the bravado of the duck, so that I will not hide when someone tells me “Shoo!You don’t belong!”Thank you for courage which allows me to float around in obscure places, and sometimes even swim against the current of popular trend and meaningless ritual. Amen and amen.
Many people are good Christians.“Good” in every sense of the word.They don’t smoke, drink, curse; they give to the poor, tithe, evangelize whenever possible and really practice loving their neighbors and themselves.But, these same people get cancer and die!Why God?Why?
Some people are the polar opposite of these good Christians.They continually break every commandment in the Bible and live in a way that would make most of us recoil in disgust.Yet, these people live rich and comfortable to a ripe old age.Why God?Why?
A very dear friend recently learned that his wife’s cancer treatment isn’t working.His heart breaking cry was, “My God, I am so afraid…”Why God Why?
What can we say?How can we answer the question of why some who appear to walk as close to God as humanly possible are taken from us and others who seem to only bring pain and heartache to all around them remain?
God has given everyone a free will; and, for now, we all (good and bad) live with the daily consequences of our collective decisions.
“...He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45 - KJV)
For a season, God has stayed his hand against the actions of men; but, in the end, the earth will be restored to its original paradise state.
Does that answer our question?Not really… but it may give us some insight into the state on mankind - a state where the world relies on its own resources and understanding instead of giving everything to Him.
God never promised us all the answers.Our pets don’t understand us; why do we think we should be able to understand God?When our pets are hurting, they may even try to bite us; but, we don’t turn our backs on them; we love them all the more because our understanding is far beyond theirs and we can love them in spite of their anger. When we cry out to God in frustration (even in anger) when we’re hurting, He understands and His love is never ending.But, He may not choose to give us his reasons… not just yet.
God said: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways… For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV)
We don't know (can’t know) God’s reasons for all that He does.All we can do is to remember the words written in Habakkuk 2:4 and repeated in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
GospeLines Prayer:Father, we humbly ask that you comfort us when we cry out in anguish, frustration and fear.Help us to hold on to our faith and not waver in the face of things we cannot understand.Fill us with the resolve to trust in You and not be afraid.Remind us of Your Sons words: “In the world you will have trouble: but take heart!I have overcome the world.”Amen!
Be made new in the attitude of your minds and have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that was in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:4-7)
Pioneer 10 phoned home on a Saturday in April, 2001!It was the first time the spacecraft had been heard from in seven and one-half months.
On March 2, 1972 it rocketed toward the constellation Taurus, and took close-up shots of Jupiter in 1983.For NASA to talk to it by radio today, the signals take 21 hours and 45 minutes to make the roundtrip between the Earth and the ship.Listen to this!The spacecraft travels at a speed over 27,000 miles per hour, is currently 7.29 billion miles from Earth, and to reach one of the stars of its destination will take another 2 million years.Just in case it is retrieved by the likes of "E. T." it carries a gold plaque with an engraved message of good will and a map showing the Earth's location.
If you want to communicate with an "out-of-this-world" being, I have a suggestion which is a lot less expensive, doesn't take three hours to be heard, and is guaranteed to be received.It is called PRAYER...and the Person on the other end is the Lord.
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I rejoice that you are not somewhere out there, making it difficult for me to talk to you.Thanks for listening to me even when I may feel a little less important than science and spaceships and gold plaques hurled toward the unknown."Amen and amen.