Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just a Little Talk With Jesus

There's so much I could say (confess) to explain this entry.  Suffice to say today I was on the receiving end of a "come to Jesus" talk - literally!  (In Texas that means I got a healthy dose of correction concerning my behavior!)

See, I've been feeling sorry for myself quite a bit lately.  I whine about how much "I" have to do.  I whine about how no one really "understands".  O poor, poor me!  If only...

How patient is our Father (and my husband)!  Whew!  I would've put me in some serious "time out" some time ago!

I should tell you that it did not come from my husband but a string of events likely orchestrated by my loving heavenly Father.  Ok, I get it.  Thanks, Dad for reminding me it's not all about me.

*A little side note:  The scripture was selected by the organizer for our 40 Days of Prayer and give at random (hmm, really?) to the different contributors.

The following is a prayer written by my husband as a part of a series we are doing in our congregation as a 40 day focus on prayer.

1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.
      O Israel, the one who formed you says,
   “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
      I have called you by name; you are mine.
 2 When you go through deep waters,
      I will be with you.
   When you go through rivers of difficulty,
      you will not drown.
   When you walk through the fire of oppression,
      you will not be burned up;
      the flames will not consume you.
 3 For I am the LORD, your God,
      the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
   I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
      I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
 4 Others were given in exchange for you.
      I traded their lives for yours
   because you are precious to me.
      You are honored, and I love you.
 5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
      I will gather you and your children from east and west.
 6 I will say to the north and south,
      ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
      from the distant corners of the earth.
 7 Bring all who claim me as their God,
      for I have made them for my glory.
      It was I who created them.’”
  Isaiah 43:1-7 (NLT)

Father, I cannot begin to list all the blessings You have showered on my family;  I would not have enough time to describe all the prayers I know You have answered for us, and I am sure I would be awed by those I haven't even realized You had answered.  But when I look at my three grown sons and their families, and I get hugs from my darling wife and young daughter, I need look no further for evidence of Your love for me.

But Father, even with these constant reminders of what I have been given, I need to always remind myself that I need to give.  Not to give from a percentage on a tally sheet, but to give from the heart.  I pray that You strengthen that resolve to give not only in my heart, but in the hearts of my brothers and sisters in our church family.  We need to look for ways to use the material and physical gifts you have given us -- To find a passion and give of our time and money to fulfill it.   Whether it is a simple as giving a "cup of cool water" or a lifetime commitment of adopting a child, help us realize that we shouldn't share our blessings from the leftovers, but from the "first fruits".

Please help my church family and I to have the strength not to take our eyes off the goal and slip away from your light and into worldly comforts and daily distractions like those of your children we read about in Ezra.  We need that strength to resist a world that vies constantly for our attention -- a seductive call to satisfy all our desires because "we deserve it".  Help me to seek the comfort of Your loving arms of Grace and stand on the bedrock of Truth that you have provided through your Word.

And Father, thank you for your Son.  I can never be grateful enough for the wonderful gift He gave me because "He paid a debt He did not owe"

It is in His name I bring this prayer to you.

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