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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The World Needs a “Day of Prayer”

In his resignation speech, the Pope said he wondered if “The Lord was sleeping” throughout the trials and distresses of the Catholic Church recently. He no doubt experienced what most of us experience–the silence of God. Although Psalm 121 teaches “He who watches over Israel slumbers not, nor does he sleep,” it is easy to feel ignored sometimes. We all need a Day of Prayer.

That’s why a day for prayer seems so important now, because so many people feel ignored that unbelief is on a rapid rise. But I do know this–prayers are answered. But many today just don’t bother. They might pray once or twice and then give up. “Pray without ceasing,” Paul writes. It is the habit of prayer, or more accurately, the habit of FAITH, that moves mountains, not a knee-jerk, slot machine style of asking.

I advise beginners to start with the simple Lord’s Prayer. Once you understand its simplicity, you can use the framework for all of your daily prayers. Once you start, it becomes a habit. A habit of believing.

For a good little e-book on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm  Comments (1)  
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World Day of Prayer 2013

Every year about this time, I begin to think what if…

What if the World Day of Prayer on March 1, 2013 really was just that– a day when believers everywhere stopped what they were doing and had a brief time of uninterrupted prayer. What if people who are now referred to as the “nones” (religiously unaffiliated) simply stopped to meditate. What if every believer of every faith stopped and sought out their source for one brief moment.

Close your eyes and imagine millions of people around this small blue planet kneeling, standing, lying prostrate, hands clasped in penitence or raised in praise. Imagine a world where people really believed. Imagine a world where generosity was the norm, charity was shared and healing was just part of the routine.

Imagine a World day of Prayer.

Get started at: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on February 26, 2013 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Can You Trademark Jesus? Italian “Jesus Jeans” maker says YES!

I am not surprised that some company would put the name of Jesus on their product. I am not even surprised that someone would come up with the idea of Jesus Jeans. That’s actually pretty clever, even though Jesus never actually wore jeans.

What I am surprised at is the fact that the Italian clothing company was able to trademark the name of Jesus, yes, that’s right–trademark “Jesus” IN THE US! How on earth can you restrict the use of the name of the Son of God in a country wich was touted to have been founded on religious freedom? What happened to Hallowed be thy name?

See the article at: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/26/italian-jeans-maker-with-trademark-on-jesus-cracking-down-on-us-apparel/

What were the trademark officers thinking? This reminds me of an All Star United song called Smash Hit. The chorus goes:

This Jesus thing is a smash hit. It’s packaged right, all stocks have split. It’s a smash hit. It’s gone worldwide.

Now realistically, I guess all they’re really concerned about is clothing manufacturers creating some kind of Jesus brand knock-off, but  it still gives me pause to think that an Italian company could have any sway over an American’s use of the name of Jesus.

I gotta go pray.

For a great little book on the Lord’s Prayer, go see:

www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on February 26, 2013 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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As We Forgive Others…

I’ve been reading some psychology articles on forgiveness recently, and I’m impressed by the amount of data that suggests that forgiveness is good for you.There was even some hint of a debate that says we forgive for one of two reasons: 1. It makes us feel better, or 2. It’s the right thing to do.

Why can’t it be both? I mean, doing the right thing should make us feel better, right? And whether purging our hearts of resentment and hurt restores a damaged relationship, or merely releases us from the weight of a damaged ego, either way it’s good, right?

People who forgive sleep better, digest their food more efficiently, and maybe even eliminate one more cause of high blood pressure. I know there are many self-help gurus who talk about both the emotional and physical benefits of  forgiveness, but there is an enormous spiritual benefit as well. Forgive us as we forgive others.

This might be the original win-win.

Pray about it…

For a great little e-book on prayer, go see:

www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Last Pope: Is the end of the world near?

It’s hard to believe I’m posting another “end-of-the-world” article in here. Before the sun rose on the Western hemisphere, the news services had not only announced the Pope was resigning–the first since AGES past–but also that according to an ancient prophecy, the next Pope would be the last.

Yep, that’s right–there are only so many (112) Popes in the pipeline (or Popeline, if you will) and Pope Benedict was number 111. St. Malachy’s papal prophecies suggest that the last Pope (#112) will be “Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.”

The Catholic church at large doesn’t put a lot of stock in this, but privately some believers are concerned. For instance, if the next Pope is really named Peter (like Peter Turkson, Cardinal of Ghana) the spiritual tension will go even higher. If the next guy is long-lived, this fear could span a generation or two (or three, if he takes office at a young age.)

I’m beginning to think that maybe we want the end to come. I mean really, the failed Preacher prophecy, the Mayan Apocalypse, two near-miss asteroids (the second happening tomorrow–Feb 15), and now…well, “May Thy kingdom come!”

I think I’ll go review the red letters.

Then I’ll pray.

For a useful little study guide on the Lord’s Prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on February 14, 2013 at 8:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Imagine there’s no heaven…

When I was a teen, I could not understand why John Lennon’s great song Imagine could create such a stir. It was, I was later informed, a subtle introduction to atheism. Just imagine–no heaven, no afterlife, no judgement, no judge, no need for a savior, no Jesus…nothing that most baby boomers had been raised to believe.

Now, thirty years later, we hear that the fastest growing religious group in America is the “Nones.” These are the people who, when asked about matters of faith and religious affiliation in surveys and censuses, select the answer “none.” More and more people are simply dismissing ideas of a supreme being, higher power, faith, etc.

While many people appear to be newly interested in things spiritual, they are not interested at all in an all-powerful, all-knowing, father-figure on a throne away off in “heaven” somewhere. NPR recently ran a series on the “nones” discussing everything from young believers/non-believers to how atheists grieve. One person in the interview, and I’m not quoting here, just gisting, said that her husband who was killed in an accident was not in a better place, but was in the ground.

When I read this, I Thessalonians 4:13 came immediately to mind: But we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who have died, so you will not grieve, as those who have no hope. And even though Paul is speaking about death, I also would add that we should not grieve as those who have no hope in life, future, finances, health, God’s will…anything.

I have to agree with the Psalmist: In you oh Lord have I put my hope. (Ps 71)

And the more I pray, the more hope I have.

Go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 12:25 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

December 21, 2012-End of the world?

If I really thought December 21, 2012 was the end of the world, I would not be sitting here blogging about it. I would be out enjoying the world, not telling myself to stay at work because I can goof-off tomorrow. I would not care a bit about trying to pay my bills, plan for the holidays, or anything else related to the future, because I wouldn’t believe there was one.

Depending on my mental state, I might become psychotically depressed and go on some crazy binge of desperation. I might become violent and want to commit insane crimes, or I might just want to hole-up somewhere like a hermit and wait for the end to come.

I might be like the other end of the spectrum and believe that what is coming is not the end, but the end of an era. I read today a website foretelling a new world on December 21. Peace and harmony will abound, UFO’s will land, and, well…you get it.

But I don’t believe any of that. I think December 21, 2012 will be a day off for me, like I had planned, and I will do some Christmas shopping, visit with friends and family, and maybe take my wife out to a nice restaurant.

I believe there is already a plan in place for the end, and it doesn’t involve the Mayans, UFOs, crop circles, or anything else outside the Bible. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we actively see “Thy will”, that is to say, the will of “Our Father.”

If the end comes–well, I’m ready. If it doesn’t, I’ll be out enjoying life.

And I might even spend some time in prayer.

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

Published in: on December 18, 2012 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Day after the Mayan Apocalypse

As the day draws nearer for fear mongers, I’m already planning for a celebration on the day after December 21, 2012. And the first thing I’ll do is send a copy of this video to my friends:

The video is from NASA, and says it all–enjoy!

Then say a prayer of thanks.

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

Published in: on December 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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