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Prayer

A friend of mine (yes I do have some) posted the following on Facebook.

It is listed as Author Unknown

I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.

Praying The Lord’s Prayer

pray105“Our Father which art in heaven,”
Yes?
“Don’t interrupt me. I’m praying”
But you called me
“Called you? I didn’t call you. I’m praying. “‘Our  Father which art in heaven,”
There you did it again
“Did what?”
Called me.  You said, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Here I am.  What’s on your mind?
“But I didn’t mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying  my prayers for the day. I always say the  Lord’s Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like  getting a duty done.”
All right. Go on.
“Hallowed be Thy name.”
Hold it.  What do you mean by that?
“By what?”
By “Hallowed be Thy name?”
“It means. It means …. Good grief, I don’t know what it means.  How should I know?  It’s just a part of the prayer.  By the way, what does it mean?”
It means honoured,  holy, wonderful.
“Hey that makes sense. I never thought about what ‘hallowed’ meant before.” “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth  as it is in heaven.”
Do you really mean that?
” Sure, why not?”
What are you doing about it?
“Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up  there.”
Have I got control of you?
” Well, I go to  church.”
That isn’t what I asked you.  What about your  temper? You’ve really got a  problem there, you know.  And then there’s the  way you spend your money – all on yourself. And what about the kinds of  books you read
and what you watch on TV?

“Stop picking on me!  I’m just as  good as the rest of those people at church.”
Excuse me. I thought you were praying for my will to be done.  If that is to happen, it will have  to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.
“Oh,  all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups.  Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.”
So could I!!
“I haven’t thought about it very  much  until now, but I’d really like to cut out some of  those things. I would  like to, you know, be really free.”
Good.  Now we’re getting somewhere. We’ll work together, you and I. Some victories can be truly won. I’m proud of you.
“Look, Lord, I need to finish this up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does … Give us this day our daily bread.”
You could cut out the bread. It would help you lose weight.
“Hey, wait a minute! What is this, ‘Criticize, ME day?’ Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.”
Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind  up changed, you know.  That’s what I’m trying to get across to you. Keep praying.  I’m interested in the next part of your prayer.
(Pause)
Well, go on.
“I’m scared to.”
Scared?  Of what?
“I know what you’ll say.”
Try me and see.
“Forgive us our sins, as we  forgive those who sin against us.”
What about Ann?
“See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord she’s told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She
never paid back the money she owes me.  I’ve sworn to get even with her!”
But your prayer?  What about your prayer?
“I  didn’t mean it.”
Well, at least you’re honest.  But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness inside you, is it?
“No. But, I’ll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbour. She’ll wish she had never moved into this neighbourhood.”
You won’t feel any better. You’ll feel worse. Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But, I can change  all that.
“You can? How?”
Forgive Ann. Then you’ll sense better My forgiveness for you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann’s problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.
“Oh, you’re right. You always are. And, more than I want to get revenge against Ann, I want to be right with you. But, (Pause) … (Sigh) … All right. I forgive her.  Help her to find the  right  road in life, Lord.  She’s bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it.  Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to  others has  to be out of it.  Someway, somehow, show her the right way.
There now!  Wonderful!  How do you feel?
“Hmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. I feel pretty  great. You know, I don’t think I’ll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won’t be so tired from now on because I’m not getting enough rest.”
You’re not through with your prayers. Go on.
“Oh, all right. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.
“What do you mean by that?”
Don’t turn the TV on when you know the  laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up.  Also about the time you spend with your friends, if you can’t influence the conversation  to positive things,
perhaps you should rethink the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbours and friends shouldn’t be your standard for “keeping up.” And please don’t use me as an escape hatch.

“I don’t understand that  last part.”
Sure you do. You’ve done it a lot of times.  You get caught in a bad situation. You get in trouble  and then you come  running to me: “Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I’ll never do it again.” You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?
“Yes, and I’m ashamed, Lord, I really am.”
Which bargain are you remembering?
“Well, there was the night that my husband was gone and the children and I were  home alone.  The wind was blowing so hard I thought the  roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember saying, ‘Oh God, if you  spare us,  I’ll never skip my devotions again.”
I protected you, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?
“I’m sorry, Lord I really am. Up until now I thought that  if I just prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked.  I didn’t expect anything  to happen like this.”
Go ahead and finish your prayer.
“For Thine is  the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen”
Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?
“No, but I’d like to know. I want to please  you. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life. And I can see  how great it  would be to really be one of your followers.”
You just answered the question.
“I did?”
Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have  people like you truly love Me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, there is no  telling what we can do together.
“Lord, let’s see what we can make of me, OK?”

God bless you

Ray

http://www.Christian-housesitters.com

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It is Easter. But are you alive?

Today is Good Friday and we remember that Jesus died in our place. Soon it will be Easter Sunday and we will rejoice that He is alive.

Yes Jesus is alive.

He has risen from the dead and because He lives we can also live! That is why Jesus could say “I am come that you might have life  and have it more abundantly”

But ……….Are you alive in Christ. Alive?

Here are 7 very simple tests used to establish if something is actually alive.

1. GROWTH. Living beings grow. This is an irreversible growth not like a crystal.

Are you growing and maturing spiritually?

2 Peter 3:18 Grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ

2 Thes 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you…because your faith is  growing

2. MOVEMENT: Living beings move. The ability to move as a result of the expenditure on energy. Animals move to search for  food, Plants move towards or away from stimuli such as the sun.

Are you moving closer to God?

Not content with present spiritual state seeking to improve.

Phil 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

3. SENSITIVE: All living things are sensitive to changes in their environment and are therefore able to react to these changes. So for example as the sun moves across the sky the sunflower follows its movement.

As Christians we need to be sensitive to God’s voice so that we can respond to His directions.

John 10;4-5 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.

John 8:47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

4. FEED: All life forms seek nutrition.

1 Peter 2:2 Like new born babies crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation

If we are alive in Christ we will seek sound Biblical teaching. Having sought and found food living things then use that food, they eat. So too as
Christians we need to not only study the bible but apply it on a daily basis.

John 14:23 Jesus said if anyone loves me he will obey my teaching

1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey His teaching

5. RESPIRE: No not just breathing. In Biological terms this refers to the release of energy which takes place in all life forms.

As a Christian our “source of energy” is God, not ourselves. We are energised by the power of God in our lives. It is not us but Him.

Eph 3:16 I pray that …He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.

Phil 4:13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

6. EXCRETE WASTE: Leave behind that which no longer belongs

Rom 6:1-15 (Look it up)

7. REPRODUCE: Living beings naturally reproduce.

Mat 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

2 Cor 5:20 We are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us, we implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.

Are you experiencing the LIFE Jesus rose to give you?

You can.

If you know you are a Christian but you are not experiencing the Full Life which Jesus died and rose again to give you then today Easter is a perfect time to surrender all to His control.

If you have never done so before you can turn yourself over to Him. Exchanging your existence for real LIFE.

John 7:11

 

God bless you,

Ray

 

 

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Patience Needed. But please hurry.

patience neededI do know about being patient.

I know about it but that does not mean that I find it easy. Oh no! I am by nature impatient. I do not enjoy waiting around for things.

Yes, I am aware that this is nothing to be proud of or to boast about. I remember the patience of Abraham, Joseph, Job and even Simeon in the New Testament. But once again knowing does not seem enough at times.

Does that mean I am lacking in faith? I hope not but in all honesty I guess if my faith was stronger I would not become impatient but the truth is that I do trust God. I do believe He is in control and I actually believe His timing is perfect but I still get impatient.

What has brought this about?

We are waiting to hear from a lawyer who is looking into how badly Marilyn was treated when she was in Worthing Hospital a few years ago. We were promised that the findings would be available no later than the 18th of August. As that date approached we were given a bunch of excuses and asked to wait another month. We agreed. As the next deadline approached we were told it would be the end of September. Again we agreed and guess what. Come the beginning of October we were still waiting. I contacted the lawyer who thanked me for our patience (if he only knew) and said we would hear within a week. So come Monday I contacted him again. He said he had everything ready and that he was posting it to us. Well it is now Thursday and nothing has arrived. I have emailed him and he is not even replying.

I know we will hear and I do believe God will bring a just result to this enquiry but my patience is wearing thin.Grow faster please

As you know we also run Christian House Sitters. Until August we were almost flooded with houses, sitters and enquiries. Great! But for the past month things have been deadly quiet. In all the years this ministry has existed I have never known it so quiet.

Oh I know it will soon buck up again and there will be at least the normal flow of new houses, new sitters, etc but at the moment my patience is again being tested.  So many people all over the world count on us to enable them to have a rent free vacation. But we are naturally dependent on others making their homes available while they are on their vacation. The children at the home we run in Kenya depend on this ministry for their food, clothing, accommodation, schooling and everything.

Please pray for us that the lawyers will do the right thing and do it soon. Pray also for Christian House Sitters. Finally please pray for me.

Thanks,

God bless you,

Ray

 

NOTE: The 2 pictures used were obtained from email I received. I do not know who created them.

Role Models and Vacations

2 Pastors discuss vacations

I was sent the above a few days ago and it appealed to my rather odd sence of humour.

Sadly it contains more than a grain of truth. I have met many Christians who feel that they need to work 7 days a week and 365 days a year. They have the very best intentions. They want to serve God and do not want to waste time BUT I have to ask myself if, in the long run, they are actually very effective or indeed if they are really living  in God’s will.

God clearly told us that He rested on the 7th day. I have real difficulty in thinking that God was tired. He rested and by doing that showed that we too need to take a day each week to re-charge our batteries.

Psychological and medical research has clearly demonstrated that people who do not take a regular vacation are prone to more illnesses and are less efficient at work.

If you are interested here are links to just two such articles.

Relax! Vacations Are Good For Your

Health Take Back Vacation

One reason many people do not take a vacation is the cost. But remember Christian House Sitters can help make a dramatic reduction in the cost of your next vacation. We can help you find rent-free accommodation all over the world and we can arrange, if needed, for reliable Christians to look after your home and your pets while you are away again with no cost to you.

So have a look at the website. CLICK HERE

God bless you,

Ray

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