Tag Archives: forgiveness

THE MODEL PRAYER

Our Father Who art in heaven….
Yes, You are in heaven, and You’re right here beside me.
Hallowed by thy name….
May I remember that, Lord, about Your name. It’s not a word we throw around to make us sound religious. It’s not a good-luck charm.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done….
Not my will, Lord, but Yours. You’re not a genie in a bottle. You’re the God of the universe Who somehow cares about me.
In earth, as it is in heaven….
It’s Your will I need to search for, long for, desire; not my own; from now until I reach my final home.
Give us this day our daily bread….
Just what we need for today, Lord. May we not worry about tomorrow–because tomorrow you’ll give it all over again.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors….
Why is this forgiveness thing so hard for us mortals? It must be a full-time job for You to keep forgiving us, but yet You gladly do it, over and over again.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil….
Lord, I know you don’t tempt us, but please keep us away from the areas where temptation comes more easily.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever….
And that’s a long time!
Amen….
So be it.

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TEL AVIV

Looking out onto Mediterranean Sea

Looking out onto Mediterranean Sea

This is our first hotel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea,  in Tel Aviv.  A tel is made out of a number of layers of constructon that accumulated over the years, after each layer was grazed or burnt down by the conquering armies.  At a rate of destruction every 100 years or so, many layers have been accumulated, and the height of the hill grew from one layer to the next (from Israel Tour Book 2007).   

This is also close to the area where Jonah tried to run from God.  (Jonah 1:3)

I wonder if Jonah’s last name was Evans.  He seems a little like me.   God told him to preach to the people of Ninevah.  He didn’t want to, so he ran instead.  He found himself in the belly of a big fish, so had nothing to do but pray.  The fish probably thought he was being a little too religious, so he coughed him up.  Then God told him again to preach to Ninevah.   He did.   I can see Jonah’s hands on his hips as he hollered, “Forty more days and Ninevah will be overturned.”  Yikes, Jonah, couldn’t you sing a hymn and pray first?    Sure enough, the people confessed.  Jonah didn’t like that.  It was too simple.  These people were mean.  They didn’t deserve forgiveness.  God saw their hearts and had compassionon on them and did not bring the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:10).  Jonah pouted. 

No matter how many hills we hide under, we can’t really run from God.  Or we’ll find ourselves smelling like fish.

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A DAY OF TUMULT

I’d like to get back to the hymns for some of our discussions. 

I’m looking at the song from the 1800s, “Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult.”  I don’t think I ever looked up that word tumult.  Even as a kid, I somehow knew it meant a confusing day when you’d rather go back to bed.  I don’t know what Cecil Frances Alexander 120px-cecil_f_alexander1had in mind when she wrote:

“Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea.” 

She doesn’t look too wild and restless.  She looks more put together than I do on my days of tumult–or any day. 

Today started out as one of those mini tumult days.  The electricity went off, the clock was off, so I woke David up two hours late.  The rest of the day was OK, I was just so sleepy–in spite of a little extra sleep, and it was Monday.  It still is.  And last night I lost the pictures on my computer. 

colorado-yosemite-037

What about real tumult?

*I attended two funerals last week.  One sweet friend was younger than I am.  *The economy looks worse daily.  Bailing out doesn’t seem to be the answer. 

*There’s crime and war and sickness. 

For these more serious tumultous days, let’s look at more of our song.

“Day by day His sweet voice soundeth….” 

*  You can follow Me or you can follow the stock market. 

*  You can believe me when I say, “I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:19) or you can hope our leaders figure out how to keep us safe. 

*  You can confess, accept God’s forgiveness and believe Romans 8:1, “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” or you can decay in your guilt. 

*  You can rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 3:1) or you can mullygrub like I did this morning. 

I wonder if she ever felt tumultuous over being named Cecil!

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