I missed a call

I missed a call from one of my grandchildren this morning.  I was working and couldn’t take the call.  I was disappointed.  I enjoy connecting with them.  In our case, all our grandchildren are very far away.  We only get to actually be with them maybe once a year.  So, to miss a call is a big thing for me.

As part of my devotional time with God this morning I read,

MATTHEW 7:9-11 9″Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

These verses talk, among other things, about God’s relationship with his children.  He gives good gifts to his children because he cares them.  I can tell by these words that he values his relationship with his children.  I value my relationship with my grandchildren.  So, I was disappointed to miss the call.  I wonder if God is disappointed when we don’t take the time to call out to him?  My bet is that he is so much more disappointed than I am when his children don’t reach out to him.

Have you called out to him today?  He values his relationship with you.  Take a second and call out to him.  He’ll appreciate it…and you will too.16864590_10208241084120624_4024477391247759834_n

Are you good in a crisis?

Johnny Jackson ChurchillLife is full of crises. Most of them you probably are reacting to and are not the cause of; someone hits your car, a baby in the family gets really sick, a bomb blows up at the finish line of a marathon.  Most of those things you cannot prevent. You just have to deal with them.

How do you handle it when you’re confronted with a crisis? Now, you can freak out, scream, and run when you are faced with an emergency or you can react in a way that helps those around you through the situation too.  We certainly saw both reactions at the Boston Marathon bombing.

My dad was exceptionally good in a crisis. He didn’t lose his cool. He thought clearly and gave good direction or advice. He didn’t let the emotion of the moment get him. He focused on the task at hand…getting through the crisis as best as possible. He was a U.S. Army officer and had successfully dealt with crises.

The best way to do that is to process the steps you should take during a crisis when you are not in one. Emergency personnel have a checklist memorized as what to do first, second and third when confronted with an emergency. You can do the same thing too.

Take time alone to think it out. When you have some type of physical crisis, like a car accident, what are the first 10 things you should do? Make a list before it happens, so that when it does you’re ready. If you have an emotional crisis, like a close family member, you love very much, is going through some very difficult situation. What is the 5 things you want to do so you’ll be able to think clearly and support them.  What do you do in a spiritual crisis, like something has happened that you doubt God or your faith? Make a list.  What do you do? …Pray, seek God’s word to you in His Word, seek out trusted counselors etc.

I think Jesus was good in a crisis. During the torture before the cross and on the cross he was thinking about other people. He told John to physically care of Mary Jesus’ mother. He stopped to minister to emotional women who were crying because of the brutality. He cared spiritually for his torturers, which was evident when He asked God, the Father, to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing. Now obviously the cross was physically, emotionally and spiritually brutal, but Jesus had prepared as best as he could. I think the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane was part of that preparation. So, during the crisis he was able to stay composed and focus on others.

How do you take time to prepare for life’s crises? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Prayer is hard for me.

I’ve always struggled with prayer.  More than anything it’s because of my lack of focus for a long period of time.  I’ve just not nailed it down.  Now, I usually do have some success with short prayers throughout the day, but what happens is I miss so many people I need to be praying for.  My prayers have the tendency to be self focused if I just pray throughout the day.  So, here’s what I’ve been doing lately with a little more success than before.

I’m now praying during my morning devotional time for 10 people.  It has been really helpful to limit it to 10 and make sure I get up to 10 a day.  That seems to take care of the people most in need of prayer and I don’t get overwhelmed.  Now, when I say 10 I usually mean 10 more than my immediate family.  I try to pray for my wife, my children, and their families daily.  So, here is what I’m attempting to do:

Mondays I pray for 10 pastors. Monday’s are usually their hardest day and it’s when they really begin to ponder what to preach about Sunday.

Tuesdays I pray for 10 people in our congregation who don’t fall into one of the following categories.

Wednesday I pray for 10 people who are dealing with health issues.  I pray for those in our congregation first then others.

Thursday I pray for 10 people who are businessmen and women.  I pray for those in our congregation first then others.

Friday I pray for 10 people who are far from God.  I pray for those in our congregation first then others.

Saturday I pray 10 people who will be involved some way or another in our weekend worship service either volunteering or paid staff.

Sunday I spend time in praise and worship preparing for our worship service.

I’m going to keep at it and see if this has more success than other ways I’ve tried before.

Calling Dad

I got a call from my son this morning.  He’s just starting a career in the U.S. Army.  I am a retired Army officer.  He called just to let me know what was going on with all this new stuff he’s experiencing.  Most of it I too experienced in a distant past.  It was so good to hear from him and to hear about all that is happening in his life.  I was thrilled and so honored to be included in his day.  I was able to take it in and give a few tidbits of thought and wisdom to him since I’ve already been there.

It got me thinking.  Do you think our heavenly Father feels the same way when we come to Him?  I do!  I think he is equally thrilled and honored when we include Him in our day.  When we come to Him and tell him what is going on in our lives and listen to what He has to say about it.

Take time to give Him a call today and let Him in on all that is happening in your day, He’ll love it because He loves you. Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’