Questioning My Prayers

praying

Prayers can be confusing and intimidating to pray! A good number of prayers are scripted but most seem to be on the fly; made up at the moment, depending on the circumstances. I find it confusing if not overwhelming as I try to decide how to pray, what to pray and who do I pray to? Are there specific points that I should always include? When should I pray and can I pray in a wrong way? Some of my friends so naturally include the most meaningful and appropriate things in their prayers. I wish I could as well.

I suspect I’m doing okay but for one reason or another I’m being inspired to find the answers to my questions. Today, I aim to discover the who, what, when, why, where and how, to prayer.

First of all, Who, do I pray to? Do I pray to “our Father in Heaven”, “our Heavenly Father”, “Dear God”, “Dear Father” or “Dear Abba”? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes and yes!  What about, “Jesus”, can I pray to him? Yes! And the, “Holy Spirit”, Can I pray to him? Yes! There you go, and this is just the beginning.

Each are involved in my prayers. Jesus pleads to the Father and gives me access to God.(Ephesians 2:18) and (Psalm 119:19) The Holy Spirit lives in me and intercedes on my behalf (Romans 8:26) and God the Father is full of compassion (Psalm 145:8-9) I can pray, “Dear God”, “Dear Jesus” or “Dear Holy Spirit”. All are one, making up the Godhead. (John 10:30) (John 15:23) (John 14: 9-11) God the Creator (Genesis 1:1), Jesus the Savior (Luke 2:11) and the Holy Spirit is the Enabler (Ephesians 3:20). What makes a difference, is that I pray. God knows what’s going on in my life, Jesus sits at His right-hand making intersessions for me and the Holy Spirit was sent to live in me and enable me.

Okay so now;

What do I pray?  Pray about everything, and worry about nothing (Philippians 4:6 NLT) Seek God’s mercy and ask for His grace to aid me when I am in need. (Hebrews 4:16 ICB) Tell God my concerns and what is making me anxious (1 Peter 5:7 ESV) Offer thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV) Pray for healing and change (James 5:16 ICB)

When do I pray? Pray all the time no matter what happens and give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 MSG) Pray even when I don’t know what to say when I am overwhelmed with sadness, grief or pain. Just try and the Holy Spirit will fill in the blanks and groan what words cannot say. (Romans 8:26 GNT)

Why should I pray? God wants us to courageously talk to Him and He has promised to hear our prayers because he loves us. (1 John 5:14 GNT)

Where should I pray? Wherever you are. Aim for complete oneness with Him. (James 4:8 NIV) and (Psalm 145:18 TLB) Pray privately. (Matthew 6:6 ICB)

How do I pray? Prayer is just talking with God. Approach in confidence because God can’t lie and must keep His promises to hear and listen. Out load or silently in our hearts (Hebrews 4:16 NLT) (Hebrews 6:18 ISV)

Pray to Abba, Heavenly Father, in the power of God the Spirit, in the name of or by the authority of God the Son. This is the trinitarian structure for prayer in the Bible.

Is there a wrong way to pray or things not to include in prayer? Definitely!

I think it would be foolish to think that God will accept any request from anyone in any format. Am I not repenting a sin but still expecting God to hear my request? (Proverbs 15:8 GNT) God is the only judge so I must be careful not to pass judgment on others in prayer. I must not put on a show and pray for attention (Matthew 6:5 NIV). Don’t use a lot of fancy words and useless phrases, being insincere and avoid superstitions and repeating over and over the same prayer (Matthew 6:7-8 NIV). Praying for selfish motives the Bible says won’t be realized (James 4:3 GNT). I must honor my spouse otherwise I have disrupted the connection of my prayer to God (1 Peter 3:7 GNT).

Well, I am much clearer on the content of my prayers, I you are too. Practice makes perfect. Blessings to you my brothers and sisters.

Me Vs. God

When I first came back to Canada, I had a pretty good idea of the things I needed and wanted to do. I was organized and focused on reestablishing my life. It would be a cinch. After being overseas for the greater part of a decade, I would secure employment, find a church and volunteer somewhere. As I already had a place to live, in my mind it was done, in a couple of months I would have my life under control. I have written before that what I think, what I want, what I need and how I will do it is all to often a far cry from what God has planned and what He knows that I need.

I see myself a bit like the apostle Peter. Without much of a plan or much thought we both would just dive in head first and accomplish the task. Peter was like, “Oh, I’ll never deny you lord”  and  “Hey, I’m going to walk on water, too.” Me, I’m like, “Move, job, church, volunteer, live.”

Just as Christ shook his head in bewilderment at Peter, he shook his head at me. We both needed maturity and guidance.

First, Jesus placed me in near isolation for 5 months. I didn’t plan this, I certainly didn’t want this, I needed a job. But no, Jesus sat me down to study, think and plan which was a totally new concept for me. During this time, I started this website to share my thoughts and new found knowledge.

Second, someone planted in my mind the big idea to clear out my stash of groceries and give them away. What! So, what am I going to eat? Hello, these groceries cost money and I don’t have a job yet! You can be sure this was not from me.

Third, Jesus sent me on a church shopping spree and after two strikes I found my new church home and family. Still no job and money is getting tight but Jesus thought church was more important.

Fourth, well of course, I need to be in a small group in addition to church. Now, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, I know, maybe I am seeing a real urgent need to find a job so that I could maybe say, EAT! Well God, You, know best and I do have all that I need and even more.

Fifth, I have absolutely no idea why I am volunteering, serving others and working for free when I really need a source of income. Once again, apparently, my priorities are not the same as God’s.

Sixth, finally step one of my plans was addressed. I have been hired and I scoop it up fast. I agree without thinking, it’s what immature young Christians do, right Peter?  I’m just so happy that I finally have employment. Why the heavy heart? Why the doubt? Where is this coming from? I quit my job the day before I was to start. Jesus said, “it’s not the one I have planned for you.”

Seventh, after a few weeks, more carefully this time, less eager about the money, I am called for an interview. Another two weeks pass and I accept an offer to work casual/part time, at minimum wage. Say what? Jesus said, “yes, this is the one.”

I work at a religious charity. I never worked as a casual employee but worked full time hours from the very first day. Within two months I was hired full time, after three months I was eligible for the societies health benefits package and received a raise in pay. I traveled for three weeks back overseas but most importantly I work with some really amazing employees, volunteers and board members, many of which I am now friends. Jesus brought about everything on my plan and so much more than I could have imagined but also in the perfect way. Money, which was my main concern cannot buy the blessings that God has given me.

Two Loves

I used to think I was Dr. Love. No one could love like me. Who could resist me, my money, my security, my guilty pleasures always satisfied? I had it all figured out and I bathed in it. I feasted on it and drank it until I became drunk, daily. I slept comfortably, soundly and secure in my lovely self. My obsession with self-love at quite a young age became an addiction for the better part of my life. I would never have stopped except this is where Jesus found me.

Why should I feel guilty, I mean you have to love yourself, right? The world loves themselves and I’m just another part of the world! How was my love different than others? How did it come about that I began to feel guilty for loving myself? Why was I picked out from the rest of the crowd? Jesus said, you did not choose me, but I chose you… (John 15:16 ESV {in part})

My inward love became draining, it was sucking the life out of me. It became too hard to hang on to. What I kept, just died, rotted and withered inside of me. Love was the poison I drank everyday of my life. Love within myself turned to greed and selfishness. I enjoyed taking but hated to give. When I gave, I always kept the best for myself and gave away the scraps. I would give just enough to the poor to satisfy any guilt I might have. When I became sick or suffered a loss of any type, it was the worst. Whatever others suffered; it was nothing compared to my sufferings. Self-pity reigned in my life. Love made me proud and my favorite topic was, me. A puffed up me beyond who I was. Everyone else was suppressed by my greatness. There was no chance to be as great as thou. My ideas were better, my achievements greater. What an enviable, stellar citizen I had become.      

Jesus stepped into my life suggesting that the gift of love was made, not to hoard but to be given away. He has shown me how the love I diverted into myself was love that I robbed from those around me. Love that was needed and desired by others to thrive and exist. All my selfish love ever did was create misery and suffering everywhere I went.

Every person who has ever suffered, been humiliated, grieved or hated has been deprived of love. Every person who is bitter, been dealt an injustice or is in despair has been the victim of a self-loving but outwardly loveless person of the world.

How often have we, the people of the world full of self-love known of an abused man, woman or child and stood by in silence? How many of us are so in love with our careers that we don’t have time or even try to make the time for a parent, a grandparent, great aunt or other past loved one, who sits alone loveless at home or in an old age home. How many of us self-loving fine and upstanding people know of someone who has committed suicide? How many of us proud individuals know of a family in need of food, clothing or simply some friendship, reassurance, or an invitation? How many beauty queens and self-proclaimed models loathe the fat woman, the disfigured man or the misbehaved child? How many times have you stood by as someone was reprimanded unfairly? Do you know the husband or wife who is cheating on their marriage? Do you know of someone in prison? What have you done about it?  How about the unemployed person? Have you thought how you could help by hiring him for a day, or referring her to an employer? Have you ever considered supporting the starving family overseas?

There are so many ways to feed our hunger for self-love and in every case, we support and contribute to pain, suffering, inequality, injustice, discrimination, grief, and hatred. The way I see it, self-love is the leading disease supporting the broken world we live in. And yet, we dare to blame God for allowing it all to happen. We say, why doesn’t He fix it?

We were made with love, by love and to love. We know it too, but we pretend not to.  1 John 4:7-12 NIV

Earth is our classroom and it’s here where we must learn to love, not ourselves but God and each other. If we learn well, train ourselves in the subject and carry out God’s plan, then our final examination upon death will be easy. There are two loves and I have discovered that to choose between them is to really live. 1 John 2:10-11 NIV Will you choose to love yourself or to love God and one another? Matthew 6:24 NIV

Faith

Faith is the ability to completely trust in someone or something. We are told throughout the Bible to place our faith in God and when we do, He will reward us in one way or another. Read, Hebrews 11:1 ICB and Psalm 120:1 ICB.

I believe in God whole heartedly and I have seen His graces poured out on me, time and time again. The main theme of this website, is my testimonies or records of God’s favors upon my life, since becoming a new born Christian. Read, Mark 11:24 ICB.

Up until this very day all the post that I have submitted have been written after the fact, after I have prayed and received God’s blessings. Anyone can write a testimony, but today I submit my declaration in faith to God, before you the reader. I have not yet received His blessings and you will witness for yourself God’s response to my prayer. In essence, I am presenting a future testimony in the making.  Read, Matthew 6:33 and Hebrews 11:6.

I would like to share my prayer and I invite you to take part in this faith building exercise. Believing that Jesus Christ is your lord and savior, John 8:24. Look up to Heaven, raise your arms above your head and from your heart with complete trust, place your life in God’s hands. Read, Matthew 21:22 ICB.

Dear Heavenly Father:  An invisible enemy has come to my doorstep in the form of a deadly virus. Thousands of people worldwide have had their lives cut short. I am no different than any of those people except for the fact that I may be more vulnerable than some of them. (list your weaknesses) I am pushing sixty years old, I am overweight, I have high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Abba, with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ beside be, (Psalm 16:8 ICB), Your Holy Spirit within me, (1st Corinthians 3:16 ICB), and You, watching over me from above, (Proverbs 15:3 ICB) I renounce all power of the Corona virus over me. I claim Your promises to provide for me and to protect me. I have honored you and will continue to praise you. Psalm 50:15 ICB, Isaiah 41:13 ICB and Jeremiah 29:11 ICB. Dear Lord Jesus keep your promise and protect my family and I from this Novel Coronavirus, John 14:13-14 ICB.

With all the faith I have within me I declare dominance over this virus, it will not take me down and I will overcome any attacks it may try to make against me. Matthew 17:20 ICB. The only effect this virus will have on me will be to keep me even closer to you. I thank you in advance Heavenly Father for the victory you have granted me. I rest in Your perfect love and I will not fear this virus. 1st John 4:18 ICB. You are in charge Dear God and already the world has seen how you have saddled this beast and used it to bring many of your children back home to You. Most importantly Abba I seek Your will, for Your superior plans to be accomplished in me. Whatever Your will is for me I gratefully accept.

All power and glory to You, God our Father, for ever and ever. I pray this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, A-Men

Jesus’ Claim, Defended

resurretion

All of Christianity is based on two main events, “Christmas” and “Easter”. The Old Testament prepares us for the delivery of Jesus Christ who is to become our savior from all sin. The New Testament delivers Jesus to us, proves he is the prophesied Messiah and we see the foundations of our Christian faith laid out.

 The other day I outlined my own account of Easter week, day to day. However, something was amiss. Jesus’ claim that he would be raised after three days and three nights did not add up. (If you have not read the blog, “What’s it all About” you may want to read it right below this one, before continuing on).

Was Jesus mistaken? Are the accounts in the Holy Bible wrong? The Bible is God’s written word, it stands for truth, hope and love. If the Bible is false then there is no such thing as Christianity. We are living a big lie.

I am not a theologian and the answer to this dilemma is deep. To find the truth it involves a lot of reading and referencing throughout the Bible. I am sure I will loose most of my readers if I were to try to explain why Jesus was correct and not mistaken.

Thank you, Abba for leading me to a very simplistic chart that makes all the research more easily understood, even by one such as myself. I do not have permission to replicate this chart but there is a reference to its true designer in the bottom right hand corner. If I am asked to remove this chart by the owners I will.    

Please search and read the Bible references given for a more thorough understanding.

Christianity stands strong. The integrity of, “The Holy Bible” stands strong. All Christians can still have faith in Jesus and know we will all live together in eternity because of this Easter season. Hallelujah, praise God.  

Imagen taken from www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/

What’s it all about?

crucifixion

What a flurry of activity this Easter Season brings. So much happened, all in such a short time that it’s really difficult to take it all in. The culmination of Jesus’ life all brought together, fulfilling God’s will. Demonstrating to the world, the greatest love we will ever know.

Jesus’ life, although short, appears long and full when I consider all that he achieved. Now, he ties it all together in just one week. Willing submission, humility, abandonment, promises, patience, endurance, accusations, compassion, forgiveness, death, resurrection and victory. This week is the climax of the loving purpose he was sent for.  

This intense week of the Easter story begins with Jesus arriving on foot to the small town of Bethany, not too far away from Jerusalem. Here Jesus begins the last chapter of his journey. He is brought a young donkey to ride on, he will enter into Jerusalem as a king. Near the city a huge crowd greets him, laying their coats down on the road while others cut palm fronds and laid them down before him. The crowd cheered him on and children joined in with praises. Yes, you guessed it, this was last Sunday. Palm Sunday to everyone now-a-days.

Two days later on Tuesday at the temple in Jerusalem Jesus has a confrontation with the religious leaders angering them by calling them out for what they really are, a brood of venomous vipers. Later up on the Mount of Olives Jesus answers some of his apostle’s questions concerning the future. Jesus speaks of great wars, starvation, sickness, serious crime and large earthquakes. He says God’s kingdom will be taught worldwide. This is so exciting for me because all of these things have happened. Jesus has promised that after these birth pains he will come back and clean up the mess that has been made of this world.

The next day, Wednesday, Judas Iscariot one of the twelve apostles makes a deal with the high priest and agrees to lead them to Jesus so they can arrest him. Thirty pieces of silver is apparently all that He thinks Jesus’ life is worth.

The following day Jesus and his twelve disciples celebrated the Passover meal in an upper room, remembering when God’s angel ‘passed over’ the homes of Israel but killed the first born of every Egyptian man and animal. After dinner Jesus demonstrated the very first communion giving the apostles a physical way to remember himself after he dies.

Sometime after midnight which now brings us to Friday, Jesus and his apostles go into the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knows he will be arrested, mistreated and sentenced to hang on the cross until he dies. He asks his apostles to pray with him and he heads off to pry alone. Three times he was disappointed that the apostles are not praying but rather fell asleep. Jesus was arrested and what we refer to as Good Friday was in fact the most horrific and unimaginable day anyone could visualize in their worst nightmares.

Jesus willingly submitted himself to the authorities in humility. His disciples abandoned him and they broke their promises. Jesus patiently endured wrongful accusations leading to beatings, lashings and eventually sentencing, to be crucified. Yet after all of this, with only the compassion that God would be able to give under these circumstances, Jesus begged for our forgiveness, promises one of the thieves also being crucified a place in paradise and then died on the cross.

Now it gets really sticky. Jesus said he would be resurrected in three days and 3 nights. (Mathew 12:40 ICB)  No matter how you try to add it up or from what angle you choose to look at it, Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is only one and a half days, half of the time Jesus claimed for his resurrection. Jesus wouldn’t lie, he can’t lie otherwise he would not have been the perfect sinless lamb sacrifice required to cover our sins. He wouldn’t have been mistaken; he was in constant communication with God. Something has gone amiss here. What am I to believe? 

I have the answer but I’m out of time and space here. I’ll guarantee you this, there is an explanation and it is Biblical. Can you figure it out? 

Better Than Jesus

betterthanJesus

The other Day I woke up as usual at five in the morning. Adhering to my daily habit, as soon as I placed my feet on the floor I prayed. Each day I thank our Heavenly Father for His protection and a good night’s rest. I acknowledge who He is to me and I thank Him for his mercy and His grace. I confess that I do not deserve Him. He gives me everything that I do not deserve and he withholds from me the things that I do deserve.

I head off to the bathroom and I continue to thank God for each thing I am grateful for. Thank you, God for plumbing, inside the house. It’s still fresh in my mind having to first build an outhouse on my farm so I would have a place to do my business. Thank you, Lord for electricity I still remember relying on a flash light to find my way down a dark narrow path to the outhouse. Thank you for an endless supply of water. The push of a handle to flush away waste certainly beats scattering ashes over your business deep down inside a dark hole. Hot water, supplied straight to a shower head and pressurized too. What a novel idea! Thank you, dear Abba for this. A true blessing considering that on my farm I carried one-gallon plastic bleach jugs full of water a quarter mile up a steep slope, daily. I boiled it and out of a dish pan, I had birdy baths in the open air. Thank you, God for clean and safe water to drink and brush my teeth. No one told me I could not drink the water supplied to the property line of my farm. I learned otherwise after I became so ill that I had to be hospitalized.

Thank you, God for soap, shampoo, tooth paste and a tooth brush, wash cloths and towels. Thank you for a house to live in with forced hot air heating and central air conditioning. The shipping container I lived in on my farm was cold at night when I wanted it warm and stifling hot at noon when I wanted a cool retreat from the blazing sun.

After expressing gratitude for these and many other moment by moment blessings. My mind turned to the hardships that Jesus endured throughout his life. Jesus didn’t have a mattress to sleep on, or a pillow to rest his head, fresh sheets or a comforter. I bet he woke up more times than enough with an aching back, hips and sore shoulders. I’ll bet there were many nights he woke up shivering from the cold and dampness from the hard ground. I have a comfortable secure house to sleep in and even on my farm I had a shipping container to protect me from the elements, wild animals and thieves.

Jesus didn’t have a constant supply of water at the flip of a tap. He either drank from streams or carried all he could with him, filling up when he had opportunity. Jesus never knew the luxury of an endless supply of hot, clean water to shower under for as long as he wished.  I doubt he ever felt the softness of cotton bath sheets and certainly not the softness of velour robes or memory foam slippers on his feet. Hot freshly ground coffee with cold milk, a hot bowl of cereal, a tart glass of chilled orange juice. I haven’t read anywhere in the Bible where he could select from a large assortment of clothing, a cool short sleeved shirt knowing it would be a hot and dry day. A day when he would want to chose shorts rather than heavy blue jeans. His sandals sufficed rather than comfortable, arch supporting, aerated, running shoes for his long treks.  

My thoughts then turned to something I had never considered before. With all the endless blessings that I receive from God each and every day and contemplating all that I enjoy that Jesus never ever had, I actually live, better than Jesus.

Where I enjoy the luxury of a city bus that actually kneels down for me, Jesus walked. I can ride across the city in 30 to 45 minutes. It would have taken Jesus the better part of the day to walk that same route. Forget about returning to his starting point, no, he just forged onward. It wouldn’t have made sense to walk all the way back.

Why has God provided me, a life better than Jesus? I’m certainly not better than Jesus in any way. Why am I blessed with luxury and comfort while God’s one and only son ruffed it with next to nothing?

Once again, my musings changed direction. Is my thinking that I live better than Jesus, founded on the materialism that the world dictates as needs? Jesus had an entirely different focus. He focused on God, our Father in Heaven, believing and trusting in Him to provide all that he needed. Jesus slept just fine in the peace of the Holy Spirit and unlike me, where ever he traveled he was invited into people’s homes to eat and rest. I have to pay for restaurants and motels. Jesus bathed in the never-ending supply of crystal clear, warm tropical streams, rivers and lakes, as often and for as long as he wished. I have to pay for my water to be heated, treated and piped into my home. Jesus was provided with basins of water to wash his feet and on occasion had his weary feet washed for him. I have never had anyone offer to wash MY feet. Jesus wouldn’t have wanted to ride a bus, he would have missed out on countless people to bless, heal and converse with. I can’t speak with anyone on the bus they all have earbuds plugged into their ears. Specialized clothing meant nothing to Jesus. His only goal was to please God, and for that, God provided for his every need.

Who lives or lived better than who?   Yeah!   I continued with my moment by moment prayer of gratitude. Thank you, Heavenly Father for your endless supply of love. Thank you, Abba for your guidance, knowledge and understanding……………….

May God our Father be praised forever and ever. A-men (Philippians 4:20, Contemporary English Version)

Faith or Fear? Worship or Worry?

Hope in Jesus

The very same day that The World Health Organization declared the Corona Virus a pandemic, people reacted. Some started to stock pile face masks, others swooped in to buy all the toilet paper and others scooped up all the hand sanitizer. A lady came into our store and bought flannel sheets to cut up into pieces, to use as a toilet paper substitute. Usually we Canadians are pretty laid back and approach life in a more relaxed manner but now, shear fear is taking over.

As the next days unfolded it became very apparent that the vast majority of the people were panicking. They were out buying everything and anything. There were two and a half hour long lineups to enter big box stores. The grocery stores had their shelves decimated. I went to one grocery store to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy after work. I walked around the store to see what everyone was talking about. All pasta was sold out, all the rice, all the bread, all of the frozen vegetables and almost all of the canned goods. There was no toilet paper, napkins or paper towels and no hand sanitizer just as everyone had said. I bought two cans of tomato paste that I would use the next day to make a favorite soup. I bought a new flavor of cookies for dunking in my coffee, coconut/mango, and I bought four liters of 1% milk for my coffee and cereal. Nothing I bought was for long term survival, nor was anything a need. Everything I bought was a want on impulse.

I felt uneasy as I walked through the store. I wasn’t fearful and it wasn’t shock or bewilderment with the vacant shelves but rather a deep feeling of pity and sadness for the droves of people who were there before me.  We live in a first world country where everything is so plentiful, we have become wasteful. This day I was looking at the evidence of chaos, brought about by fear and uncertainty.

Just one short week ago my city, my country in fact, or shall I say the world, was largely basking in an overabundance of pride, sufficiency and contentment. Then suddenly, overnight, greed, selfishness, scamming and scheming, and distrust became the new normal.               

 20 years ago, the big worrisome fear was Y2K, do you remember that? Mass hysteria, panic, ill thought out plans, opportunist and scams cost large companies and individuals millions upon millions of dollars. People wouldn’t fly because they thought planes would drop out of the sky. They wouldn’t drive because automobile computers would fail. It was speculated that trains and subway cars would crash.  This fear came and passed and in hindsight, was there really anything worthy of the fear that was felt?

Today the runner up is the Corona Virus or Covid-19. Will it pass? Absolutely! The big questions seem to be, what will the health impact be and what will the financial fallout look like? Who knows? Can you or I control it? NO! All the worrying in the world won’t fix a thing! I’m placing it all in God’s hands and I’m trusting Him to solve these problems.

Listen, all this panic is from Satin. God is calling us to faith. Turn your thoughts to Jesus Christ, our savior and be free of fear. I’m not in a panic. I know my God. Everyone who knows me will testify I am at total peace. All you have to do is turn your worries into worship. You cannot worry and worship at the same time, they are opposites of one another. When you worry you are not worshiping and when you worship you don’t worry. 

It’s so sad to me that very obviously all of these panic shoppers have no connection to God or Jesus. Even members of my church are panic buying and they say they know and trust in the Lord. So, even more disturbing to me, is that many so-called Christians do not have faith in their God.

Are you at peace with God? Can you place your faith in Jesus Christ to get you through this pandemic, unscathed? If not, would you like to know what props me up? Would you like to witness the peace that surpasses all understanding? Read, Psalm, chapter 91. For easy understanding here it is from the International Children’s Bible

Those who go to God Most High for safety
    will be protected by God All-Powerful.   (go to Him now with the prayer below)
I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
    You are my God, and I trust you.”   (say it out load, now)

God will save you from hidden traps
    and from deadly diseases.   (you must believe it)
He will protect you like a bird
    spreading its wings over its young.    (picture a hen with her chicks under her)
    His truth will be like your armor and shield.    (now that’s protection)
You will not fear any danger by night    (you’ll rest peacefully)
    or an arrow during the day.   (you can walk in peace)
You will not be afraid of diseases that come in the dark    
    or sickness that strikes at noon.   (that includes viruses)
At your side 1,000 people may die,    (unbelievers and followers of Satin)
    or even 10,000 right beside you.    
    But you will not be hurt.        (Christians with faith in God)
You will only watch what happens.
    You will see the wicked punished. 

The Lord is your protection.  (A-men)
    You have made God Most High your place of safety.
10 Nothing bad will happen to you.
    No disaster will come to your home.   (your family is protected because of your faith)
11 He has put his angels in charge of you.   (angels plural, more than one)
    They will watch over you wherever you go.   (global protection 24/7)
12 They will catch you with their hands.    (that’s security)
    And you will not hit your foot on a rock.    (Satin will not be allowed to trip you up)
13 You will walk on lions and cobras.      (Satin will be kept below you)
    You will step on strong lions and snakes.  (you will walk all over Satin)

14 The Lord says, “If someone loves me, I will save him.      (praise God)
    I will protect those who know me.      (get to know Him, today)
15 They will call to me, and I will answer them.  (He’s listening and waiting for your call)
    I will be with them in trouble.     (now and forever)
    I will rescue them and honor them. 
16 I will give them a long, full life.
    They will see how I can save.”  (witness His blessings with me)

Matthew 23: 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and kill with stones those men God sent to you. Many times, I wanted to help your people! I wanted to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you did not let me.    

(You must want Jesus to help you. You have to let him help you. If you don’t want help and won’t let him help, he won’t and he can’t.   If you’re drowning and your thrashing all around trying to help yourself, no one can help you but when you get tired and give up, cry out and then you can be saved. Give yourself up to Jesus and stop trying to do everything your own way, then he’ll help.

If you have not given your heart to Jesus and you want his immediate protection, say this prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus:                                                                                                                                

I don’t understand everything about you and our Father in Heaven, but I am ready to accept you as my lord and savior. I understand that you voluntarily went to the authorities knowing they would wrongfully convict you and sentence you to die on the cross. I understand that you were perfect and sinless and yet you took ALL of the sins of the world (mine included) into death with you. Through your sacrifice I have been forgiven and made pure in God’s sight. I believe that three days later you were resurrected and after 40 days of showing yourself to your friends and many witnesses, you ascended into Heaven to sit with God our Father. I understand Lord Jesus that the only way I can be saved and enter into Heaven is through you. I give you my heart, mind and soul. I desire you to be my guide, my shepherd, my teacher and my savior. In your name I pray this prayer. A-men     

Read Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 To see God’s blessing on you.

My Stolen Backpack

my stolen backpack

Two weeks ago, my backpack was stolen right out from under my nose.

I went into work on this particular Monday morning and learned that I was being reassigned from my warehouse job to driving truck. Because I start work a half hour later than the truck drivers, I was already a half hour behind schedule. The assistant to the truck driver had already scraped the frost off the windshield, mirrors and side windows, started the truck with my key and had the heater warming the cab interior. He left the running truck to go inside and use the facilities and according to policy he locked the doors with a second key.

This is where I came into the picture. I approached the truck, attempted to open the door and it was locked. Unable to place my backpack inside the cab, I set it on the ground beside the driver’s door and walked about 25 feet away to the warehouse entrance door and inquired as to the whereabouts of my assistant. Within seconds while standing in the doorway to the warehouse, some movement caught the corner of my eye. I turned around and immediately noticed my backpack was gone. I ran around to the front of the truck and I saw someone on an e-bike turning right onto the street in front of the charity where I work.

There went my credit cards, debit cards, driver’s license, health card, social insurance card, free coffee loyalty cards, library card, points cards. My bi-focal eye glasses, gloves and toque, my camera, a half bottle of muscle and joint pain relief, my lunch, my clipboard with my instructions for the day, other work-related items and approximately $20.00 in change that I keep just for handing out to the beggers. These are just the things I can remember, other things will come to mind when I discover I can’t find them.

Immediately I told my manager that my backpack was stolen and I could not drive the truck with no driver’s license. Next with the much-appreciated help from my co-workers I began to call the police and cancel my bank cards. The next thought was that the thief had my I.D with my home address and a single house key. It wouldn’t take much to put the two together and knowing I was downtown the thief could clean out the house. Right after the police took my statement, I left work to go home and meet with my sister who had a key to let me in. Someone had to be there to make sure the thief did not make a visit. That night the locks were changed on the house.

There were so many things to consider and act upon that I really didn’t have time to get angry and by late evening I had accepted that my backpack and all of its contents were gone never to be seen again.

GOD IS GOOD!

I could not believe the focus and organization of my co-workers; it was as if God was guiding them in the perfect order to help me ion a most efficient way. They provided the phone numbers I needed to call and the website to file a police report. The manager downloaded the video surveillance of the person stealing my backpack as the police would want to see it.

Weeks ago, I believe that Abba put certain things in order. For instance, the loss of my eye glasses was not the end of the world as through a series of events that happened led me to owning if you can believe it, four pair of glasses. This is a story too long to go into here, but I still have three pair to rely on. I had a cash stash in the house, which was odd because I never use cash. I always use my credit card so that I can collect points. For whatever reason I had the cash on hand it made it easy to weather the storm until I received the first of my cards being replaced.

My manager took me aside the next day and explained that she was paying me for the full day at work even though I had left work early. I suffered no loss of income.

No charges had been made on any of my credit cards, a miracle considering I have the convenience of tapping for payment on both my debit and credit cards.

Two days afterward someone donated a Nikon D3000 DSLR camera which is a hundred times better than the Olympus point and shoot camera than I lost to the thief. I was able to purchase it at a mere fraction of its value.

A church friend refused my twenty-dollar payment to him for my ticket to a men’s breakfast convention saying to me this will help cover some of your losses due to the thief.

All of the other items including another backpack have been replaced as the charity that I work for had everything on hand which I purchased again at a fraction of the original cost..

I eventually had my lunch when I went home early so I didn’t suffer any.

Inside my back pack the thief would have found a dozen post cards referring him or her to my Christian website and a book I was reading on St Vincent de Paul whose life interest was feeding the poor and caring for the needy. The thief would be exposed to a good dose of spiritual loving.

On my clipboard I had a scrap of paper with scripture pertaining to thieves. I had been researching thief references in the Bible so I might be able to quote scripture while walking pasts a suspected shoplifter in the charity store. Shoplifting has been increasing lately in our store. That aught to have spooked the thief some.   

Several of my co-workers expressed anger over my loss but God guided me to not show hatred or a willingness to curse and seek revenge of the thief but rather calmly state that everything is okay and not to worry about it. Everything that can be done at the moment has been implemented. God sees all and He may very well be watching my reactions. My integrity stands and I am seen by my co-workers and volunteers as a true Christian.  

God truly can use evil for good. We just have to step aside and let Him handle the situation.  Genesis 50:19-20 NLT

Here are some Bible verses that helped me. They may help you in the future to deal with any inconveniences you may suffer. Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 7:12, Romans 3:23, Romans 8:35 and 37, Exodus 14:14, 1 Peter 2:23.

An Intimate Message from God to You

I bought a book from a second hand store and on about the fourth day of reading it I finally investigated a neatly folded paper placed in the center of the book. It touched me deeply when I read it and there was no question that I just had to share it.

I ran the letter through a plagiarizing site and quickly discovered that it was 100% plagiarized. I then investigated further and discovered its origin. The credit for this letter belongs to the author Barry Adams. You can find various versions of this letter in many languages at www.fathersloveletter.com

My Child

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm139:1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2) I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm 139:3) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31) For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27) In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28) For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28) I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5) I chose you when I planned creation. (Ephesians 1:11-12) You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16) I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts 17:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6) I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44) I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16) And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:28) Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40) For you are my treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. (Jeremiah 32:41) And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) When you are broken hearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18) As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11) One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4) And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4) I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. (John 17:23) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. (John 17:26) He is the exact representation of my being. (Hebrews 1:3) He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. (Romans 8:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:19-19) His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. (1 John 4:10) I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. (Romans 8:31-32) If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. (1 John 2:23) And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. (Romans 8:38-39) Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7) I have always been Father, and I will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15) My question is…Will you be my child/ (John 1:12-13) I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32)

                                                                                 Love, Your Dad

                                                                                 Almighty God

*** Verses have been paraphrased and originate from the New International Version Bible.