Day of Prayer

As I made my commute this morning, I listened to Focus on the Family. I am not a regular religious radio listener. What caught my ear as I channel surfed was the voice of someone, a non-professional, praying an earnest prayer. After the Amen, another began. Then another. And another.

The voices were recordings of call-ins who simply wanted to pray for the nation, leaders, schools, veterans, public servants, etc. I had to pause for a moment and think about the fact that anyone who knows what day it is–The Day of Prayer– will at some point in the day–stop and pray. Think about that for a second. On a day not Sunday, people all over America will pause and pray.  Think of the spiritual power moving around at the moment hundreds of thousands of believers are turning their hearts and minds toward God and speaking a prayer.

I decided to remember what day this is– The Day of Prayer–and turn up my spiritual sensitivity and just see if I notice any difference in the day. I mean, if people all over the US are praying, there should be some noticeable difference, right?

Take some time today to not only pray, but to listen.

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

Published in: on May 1, 2014 at 7:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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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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National Day of Prayer

It seems a little strange to me to see that we still have a National Day of Prayer. Not that it’s a bad thing…it’s really needed. But an ever-increasing number of people now identify themselves as “nones” — that is, unaffiliated with any religion.

But the National day of Prayer isn’t the National Day of Religion, it is a day of prayer for all peoples of all faiths to take even just a brief moment to pray, meditate, think, or just pause to reflect on their place in the Universe.

Maybe we just want to thank the Creator, ask for something from a Prophet, ancestor, or some other Avatar. And as much as we seem to get annoyed at those who do not believe like us, we still appreciate the freedom of Religion we have here in America.

It’s the National Day of Prayer. So take that day! And PRAY.

For a great little book on prayer ideal for the National Day of Prayer, Bible School, Bible Study, or any other prayer emphasis, go see: www.therealprayer.org

The God Particle

A few years ago, Leon Letterman published a book about the search for an elusive particle called the Higgs Boson. Physicists are still befuddled about the nick name-God particle, as it has, in their opinion, nothing to do with God or religion.

It is simply the smallest bit of matter we have ever witnessed, and it is this tiny particle which gives mass to our world. Other exotic particles like neutralinos and B_s mesons are also out there, but they don’t carry quite the same weight as the Higgs-Boson.

As I mentioned, physicists don’t like the moniker “God particle” and neither, I would imagine, do theologians. I don’t care for it, but for other reasons. Many well-intentioned believers enter into this discussion like a man in a gunfight with no bullets. All you can do is throw your gun.

My goal here is to remind readers that the physicists are right–this has nothing to do with religion, faith, God…nothing to do with these things at all. It is a wonderful discovery for science and for the better understanding of our world, but it neither proves nor disproves anything I believe related to my faith or religion.

Indeed, it puts me in more awe than I was before, by showing the incredible complexity of God’s creation. The Creator does great work!

Let’s celebrate that!

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

Published in: on March 19, 2013 at 11:36 am  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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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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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

Mayan Apocalypse-End of the World?

In the famous words of Dr. Evil–“How about ‘NO’?” As the end of the final cycle of the Mayan Calendar approaches, the media is beginning to stir the pot a little. After a bit of a hiatus from the chaos of the initial revelation about the Mayan calendar, we are now hearing about believers running to gather on a mountain in France to await the end. Some clever entrepreneur is selling shelters from the cataclysm and many others are telling of suicide scares.

What at first was just a bit of an annoyance for most Christians is quickly becoming an issue with society as a whole. And the more we talk about it the worse it will become. I’ve quoted news sources and even scientists: “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than four billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012,” NASA researchers write in an apocalypse-debunking FAQ.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50202547#.UM0a5-T7KSo)

The final words on the issue come from the final authority on all things cosmic–Christ, who said

“Now concerning that (final) day and hour no one knows–neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son–except the Father only. Matthew 24:36

As I once heard a wise old preacher say “Trust the red letters.” If you’re old enough you’ll know what that means. If you’re not, find an old Bible and look around.

Then pray.

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

Published in: on December 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm  Comments (1)  
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