Why do we pray before meals? Habit? Tradition? For the answer, click here:
When I read this eight years ago it changed my pre-meal perspective and consequently my prayer. Now instead of asking God to bless my food, I bless God, the provider of my food.
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Volunteers in Phoenix, Maryland renovated the home of a terminally ill child where this note was found written on a scrap piece of drywall. It reminded me of a poem.
The Best Carpenter
Tools in the days gone by.
Building dreams of gold
A carpenter nailing my life.
His words are so bold.
They are built on wisdom.
The best carpenter can build you.
Let Him use His nails.
He’ll turn you into something new.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Grandma is this a front cold?”
“Yes Michaela, I think it is,” I answered as I took my grandaughter’s hand and ran toward the car. She must have heard her Dad (my oldest son) and I talking earlier about the expected cold front.
Before we entered the store, the wind was calm and the temperature was in the 70s. Ten minutes later, we stepped outside to a blast of wintry air and cold misty rain. The sudden chill sent us scurrying to our warm Toyota shelter.
Life’s climate can change suddenly too. One phone call delivering tragic news can cause our lives to go off course. The death of a loved one, a serious illness or a severed relationship can chill us with shock and disbelief. Yet in spite of life’s “front colds” our God is constant (Malachi 3:61). He doesn’t change.
So when I’m overwhelmed, I sprint to the one who’s steadfast and sure. I run to Jesus–my rock.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2
During a weary time in my life I asked the Lord,
How Long? How long do I stay faithful?
Later that day I found the answer.
. . . be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.
Clip-clop, clip-clop. That sound meant one thing–the horse-drawn ice cream cart.
Years ago Mom and I flew across the Atlantic to her homeland of Lancashire, England. While visiting, I discovered the Accrington ice cream vendor, an old man atop a yellow stagecoach-style wagon pulled by a horse.
Every afternoon I waited on the street and listened for the clip-clop. I hadn’t been around horses much. So when the wagon stopped in front of Auntie Ray’s house, I gave the man my tuppence then he turned to scoop my frozen treat. That’s when I studied his horse. Chestnut brown, black mane, black tail. There was just one thing I couldn’t see, no matter what angle I looked–his eyes. Blinders, leather squares attached to his bridle covered them. I figured they must be there to keep him looking straight ahead.
Last Sunday, as the congregation sang, O Magnify the Lord, I saw that horse again–blinders and all.
Mary, when you magnify something you make it big, so big it’s the only thing you see. Forget who’s around you . . . what’s going on at home, at work, and yes . . . even at church, and worship me.
Yes Lord. Blinders on.
I sang and worshipped. When my pastor preached, I absorbed the message. Then came the closing song and altar call. I bowed my head. Sometimes I’m the one in need of prayer. Other times, I’m compelled to pray for someone else.
Yes Lord. Blinders off.
Digging through the charred rubble of the Su Valley Junior-Senior High School near Talkeetna, Alaska, volunteers recovered several musical instruments. Clarinets, brass horns and a tuba passed from person to person. Elementary School music teacher Sandy Shoulders called it “music from the ashes.”1
A few years ago I experienced a low time in my life. Weeks turned into months and eventually my mental cloud dissipated. Then one day something funny happened at work and I erupted with a loud belly laugh.
“Mary, I’ve never heard you laugh like that,” my co-worker said.
It was true. I hadn’t laughed in a long time. The sound of joy returned, and like the salvaged band instruments, it was music from the ashes.
A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22 NIV
1 Associated Press. “Searchers salvage musical instruments from Su Valley rubble.” KTVH-TV June 18, 2007 http://www.webcenter11.com
“Mary, you’re so funny.”
I heard this twice last week. I’m not a comedian by any means, but the sound of laughter confirms the inward joy that God has restored in me. I’m free from things that oppressed and weighed me down. I’m free to be myself. Free to laugh, dance, run, sing and shout. Yes I’m free.
Thank you Jesus.