Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Praying for a Better Prayer Life

I fall short in my prayer life. My wife says the same, as do a lot of my friends. Despite the fact that we are called to be in prayer constantly, it is a struggle setting aside time to speak to and listen to God. I feel like a poor example of a good prayer life. But I have a great mentor.

He’s not prideful. He is not vain. He is probably the happiest and most faithful person I know. However, he can be really, really selfish. But that can be excused, as he is only two years old. He is my son, Noah. One of the most beautiful and inspiring things about my son is that he reminds my wife and I to pray. At every mealtime he holds his little hands out to each side and says, “Prayers?” And he wants to make sure we say the right prayer, the one he is familiar with:

“God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food.”

We had Pastors Andrew and Nicole Conard over for dinner one night, and I began saying a different prayer. Noah was having none of that. He started trying to interrupt me so that we made sure we said his prayer. It was important to him that he participate. And it was wonderful to see that prayer was important to my son so early in life.

At nap time and bedtime, Noah knows that after we read our third story, it’s time for prayers. So he stretches out his hands again, and we say a different prayer. It’s a modification of a prayer my parents taught me as a little boy.

“Dear God, we love You. Protect us. God bless Mommy and Daddy, little Noah, grandmas and grandpas, Uncle Bryce and Aunt Amanda, cousins and friends, and everyone in the whole wide world. And all the puppies. Amen!”

The ‘puppies’ part was imperative to him, and the Amen is always emphatic.

Christ tells us that we must be like little children when we come to him, and in my son I see how true this is. His faith is unwavering, unquestioning, unintentional, unrelenting, unshakable, and undeniable.

If my faith were but a mustard seed, I know I could move mountains. My son’s faith shakes the ground I walk on. If each adult I knew prayed with the fervent intensity that I see in my son, his little friend, or the masses of children I see at church, I guarantee this world would be a better place.

God, I ask that You help me pray like my son. That You forgive me for not giving You the time You deserve. And God, help me not forget those puppies too.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Penny and the Feather

A penny and a feather were resting on the sidewalk. The penny asked the feather, "What do you want in life?"

"I want to float through life, experiencing anything and everything," said the feather. "What do you want in life?"

"I want to be someone's wish and end up in that fountain over there," the penny replied.

"That is a boring existence," the feather replied.

"It's what I want to be," said the penny.

Just then a breeze lifted the feather into the air. It sailed through the city, seeing all sorts of things. But soon it came to rest in a gutter where it was swept up and placed in the garbage, then taken to the dump. The feather was very unhappy with the way things had turned out.

Meanwhile, the penny lay on the sidewalk until a little boy came upon it. He picked the penny up and threw it into the fountain, making a wish as he did. The penny was overjoyed at having achieved its one goal.

For those who know what they want and what they were made for, it is very probable that they will achieve their goals. But the aimless are often disappointed, because they did not know what they wanted before they set out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Psalm 68 in Rhyme

I was recently approached by a publishing house that is interested in publishing The Bible in Rhyme. This is very exciting, but also a bit nerve racking as I did not have an agent, and was not sure how to navigate the negotiations of a publishing contract.

So since my last post (about KU winning the championship), I have searched for an agent, found an agent, signed with an agent, been reviewing and discussing the publishing contract in hand, and editing furiously to get the manuscript into good shape. Right now my head is above water, but I don't know how long that will last.

Anyway, I thought I would post Psalm 68 from The Bible in Rhyme for today's post (and since Pastor Conard posted it on his blog Thoughts of Resurrection).

Psalm 68

May God arise and scatter his foes.
The wicked will perish as everyone knows.
Sing to the Lord who rides on a cloud.
Extol your praises, crying aloud.
A father to orphans, the widow’s defender;
He honors believers and cuts down pretenders.
We marched through the desert with You as our guide
and gained our inheritance, though we were tried.
Great was the glory of those who announced
God and His name, but those who denounced
His honor were struck down, peasant and king.
But all who have seen His power now sing.
God sends one thousand chariots out
and crushes His enemies. Now who will doubt?!
The twelve tribes have come proclaiming a song.
Egypt and Cush will submit to the throng.
Announce that He’s come across all the earth.
All who know Him know what He is worth.
Wherever we tread and wherever we trod,
He will be with us. Praise be to God!

Being Lazy is No Good

It has been forever since I've posted...and I've even had guest blogs go up on Pastor Andrew Conard's blog since my last post. So I'm going to start by getting those posts up and trying to get going again.

My humble apologies...