Drawing in the net

I cannot count how many times I’ve heard a sermon or lecture or seminar speaker talk about the idea of “drawing in the net.” It has to do with becoming a fisher of men. Even the story of Jesus telling his disciples to throw their nets on the other side of the boat and filling their nets to breaking includes this concept in most church school lessons.

Now, think about this…

I came out to my car a few cold mornings ago and after buckling my seat belt felt something strange against my skin. I had gotten into a spider web as I entered my car. I swiped it away and drove off to start my day. The next day, the same thing: I get in my car and feel the spider web on my arm. Then the next day the same thing.

I finally realize that the spider is IN my car and making webs at night on my steering wheel! I can’t find him so I just wipe off the web and go on my way. This goes on for days, but with an amazing difference: the webs are getting smaller and have more gaps in the design. The construction gets thinner and the gaps get greater until finally one morning I find no web at all.

A few days later I am getting some materials out of my car, and I see it: a tiny dead spider. He must have starved to death. He didn’t realize he was spinning his web in an area where no food existed. No flies or ants were going to be trapped in his web for dinner. So he kept working away, finding no food, not knowing why, and finally dying.

If someone had only told him: cast your web (net) on the OUTSIDE of the car! There is food there. You can feed there. There is abundance there.

The fishermen in the Bible weren’t fishing for converts…they were fishing for food. And Jesus showed them where the abundance was: believing.

If your net isn’t full, if you can’t get your daily bread, if you aren’t receiving blessings, then maybe you should try another location. Stop spending all you effort in a place where there is no bread. Stop acclimating yourself to a life without abundance. Stop telling yourself that zero blessings is normal.

There are blessings all around you if you cast your net…

and BELIEVE.

For a handy little book on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org 

Published in: on November 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Remember Me

Back in the 80’s, MacDonald’s restaurants launched an ad campaign called “Mac Tonight.” The commercials featured a singing crescent moon who crooned like a lounge singer in the style of Bobby Darin’s famous Mack the Knife. An injunction by the late singer’s estate later caused MacDonald’s to pull the ad.

It was, however, a brilliant idea. Millions of children across America, on nearly any summer night, could look up into the sky, see the real moon, and say “Hey, It’s Mac Tonight! Daddy can we go to MacDonald’s?” What a great reminder that some family time could be had down at the corner MacDonald’s! (And, inexpensively, I might add.) In effect, every crescent moon was FREE advertising!

The idea was to take something free, normal, routine, easily connected with, and turn it into a reminder of something important–in this case, hamburgers and fries with the kids.

Imagine someone taking something you do anyway, everyday– say, sitting down to dinner– and telling you “Every time you sit down and have some bread and wine…remember me.”

Get it? Gives a whole new meaning to your daily bread.

For a neat little book on the Lord’s Prayer (and prayer in general) go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on March 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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King of Israel

On my morning commute during the holiday season, I listen to Christmas carols. With the exception of some new R&B almost-quasi-emotive-christmas-ish-sounding song from the last few years I know nearly every Christmas song there is. Whether pop, jazz standard, ancient carol, up to and including the Kinks “Father Christmas,” I can sing along.

This morning I was singing “The First Noel” along with some new pop star and actually admiring how heart-felt it all seemed. Then I sang the words “Born is the King of Israel” and suddenly felt distracted. There is no king in Israel. A president, yes, but no king. There is no pharaoh in Egypt,either. There is a president in Syria and also much political strife and killing, but no king.

The last King of Israel was a guy named Hoshea who ascended to the throne by killing his predecessor and who surrendered his throne to the Assyrians when Israel was conquered in c. 728 BC. Israel remained a non-nation until 1968 or so. Since then the strife continues, wars threaten, unrest is the daily bread, but no king.

Even when Jesus was born and eventually proclaimed King by the prophets, priests, and followers, it was not official. Jealous rulers, both church and state, vowed to silence him and squash this kingdom, even if it was only a spiritual kingdom.

It makes me ask–“Who would I have been?” Would I have been his defender, his supporter? Would I have made my aim the promotion of his teachings, a propagator of the faith? Or would I have simply gone on my way, ignoring one more in a long line of rabble-rousers, knowing what his end would be, knowing that if I ignore him, he’ll go away.

I hope somehow, one of these Christmases, we’ll remember Jesus. Whether we remember him as a king, babe in a manger, prophet, teacher, whatever, will not matter as long as we remember him. And maybe, with a little practice, we will recall, and perhaps reclaim, his true mission–to be King of Israel and Savior of the World.

It could be the start of a great conversation.

For a great little workbook on prayer, go see:  www.therealprayer.com

Craigslist (or is it Craig’s List?)

Craigslist has received some bad press of late because of the unfortunate activities of some of its customers.  The premise of Craigslist is sound: create an environment where those seeking can connect with those offering to their mutual benefit. Most ads placed on Craigslist are free, but again, what started out as a good idea has been infiltrated by some bad ideas.

The Lord’s Prayer is somewhat like that. It was touted by Jesus as a way those in need (us) could connect with supply (the creator.) He was pretty clear with the instructions, too. He said “Don’t pray just to be heard by others,” and, “Don’t just pray the same thing the same way again and again.” But as history shows us, we did turn it into the vain repetition he warned us about. Nowadays, those who don’t repeat it week after week don’t use it at all.

Used as a guide, The Lord’s Prayer, or Disciple’s Prayer, is the path to many things. Understanding, abundance, peace, supply, change, all can come if one prays from a faithful heart. Get in the habit of saying this prayer differently so it remains fresh in meaning to you. Easy ideas are at: www.therealprayer.com .

Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Earth Day Mass Save

I just read about a great program available to the people of Massachusetts. As part of a new ecological emphasis, they can take an old energy wasting appliance and trade it in on a new energy-saving one. The rebate is worth up to $250. Imagine–you get rid of your old appliance, get a new one, get lower utility bills, and get $250 on top of all that! What’s not to love?

All our lives should always have opportunities like that, right? In so many places in scriptures, we are told that our faith and expectation is what “makes us whole,” –Biblespeak for heals us, or supplies us, or fixes things. When we start down that road of faith, even the smallest victory should be celebrated and cataloged. These events then seem reasonable and probable to us and we begin to experience more of them. Pretty soon, the abundant life is the normal life for us. Our daily bread is truly that-daily.

And it all begins when we exchange our old life for a new one.

Check out an easy to use study on the Lord’s Prayer at: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 11:32 am  Comments (1)  
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our daily bread

Not long ago I was reading an article about, of all things, marketing. There was an insight there about how some people can hinder their sales if they view the prospective customer as a limited resource. It’s hard enough to get a customer to buy if they believe their resources are too limited to make a purchase, but if you believe that, you’ll never sell them anything!

It made me look at my own dislike of sales people. I always feel pressured to buy something I don’t really want from someone I don’t really trust. But at the bottom of all my disdain I found something worse: my belief in my own limitations. And confronting sales people just reminded of those limits. Each time I thought of buying anything I would always just sigh and think “I can’t afford that now. Besides, I better save my money.” Why? I was sure that something bad would happen and I would need the money later and regret the purchase. I put off having something that would bring me joy to prepare for something that would bring me pain. I anticipated lack. I planned for hurt. Worry was my daily bread.

Then I came across the teaching that there was no use in hoarding. I came to know that I will never have it all. I will never get it all done or planned for. The bread that comes into my life is to be enjoyed then shared! I am not to be a storehouse for bread. I am to be a conduit through which bread flows. I simply direct the blessings which come my way.  And they never stop. I never run out. I don’t feel stressed, or worried, or compelled to save and scrimp. What I need is all around me, because the Provider is all around me.

And now that is my daily bread.

For an easy-to-use e-workbook on the Lord’s Prayer go see: www.therealprayer.org or http://store.payloadz.com/detail.asp?i=241025

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

our daily bread

I remember my aunt occasionally telling me something like “Take it easy on the milk, it’s all we have.” Meaning don’t gulp it down with dinner–you won’t be getting another glass. I heard that so many times I grew up with a programmed fear of running out. So many times we ask for our daily bread in the same manner.

We want just enough to get by, not enough to waste, or look “hoggish.” We operate from a mindset of only getting by, not getting ahead. Getting ahead sounds evil, selfish, not self-sacrificing. We have a fear of getting too much.

If our creator could only get us to see the truth that the supply never runs out! Remember the story of the loaves and fishes? Jesus took a little and made a lot out of it. Too bad there was just not enough to go around. People were turned away hungry. Sad faces stared helplessly at this so-called miracle worker as he literally ran out of bread.

I hope you’re thinking “Ah, wait. That story’s not in my bible…”

Yeah, mine either. Mine says there was plenty to go around and when everybody had eaten their fill, there were twelve basket-fulls leftover. Our daily bread is just that: daily. It is just a thought away and it never runs out.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if even just a few so-called believers really believed that?

Check out a study guide for the Lord’s Prayer at www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 8:09 pm  Comments Off on our daily bread  

Give us this day our daily bread…

Being raised in a time of need, I used to think that if God gave me something, he had taken it from someone else. Since resources were limited, we all couldn’t have all we needed. Later I realized how that one small item limited my faith. My subconscious was operating on a principle of insufficiency. God, however, operates on the principle of abundance. There is always more than enough.

For many, our daily bread is a half hearted plea for “just enough” and no more, lest we feel guilty for our abundance. I frequently hear people say “Well, I wasn’t in the obituaries today, I guess that’s a blessing!” But is that your only blessing? Again and again we are instructed “Ask.” “Ask that your joy may be full.” “Ask, and it shall be given.” That sound like abundance to me, not just “getting by”.

For others, their daily bread is complaining and resentment. Daily bread for these people is the attention they attract to themselves by always seeing what’s wrong with everything and complaining to everyone they see. They believe that if everything was right in their world, no one would pay attention to them at all.

But for a few, daily bread is a simple way of life which expects and receives the good in life. Some view this attitude as child-like, even simplistic, but for those for whom daily bread is joy, optimism, and expectancy, good things happen. They attract the good. They move around in abundance. They know happiness.

Today, before you ask to receive your daily bread, take a moment to see what it really is for you. Then you can decide if you want more, or if you need to change recipes.

For more on a study of the Lord’s Prayer, go see www.therealprayer.com .

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 7:32 am  Comments Off on Give us this day our daily bread…  
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