Thursday, June 20, 2013

Let's talk about prayer!

"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
Matthew 6:8
I love this today because it opens up the conversation about prayer. What purpose is prayer if God already knows what we need? (Notice how it says God knows what we NEED not what we want!) God knows what we want too, but that's another Heidi-Gram! Today, this got me really pondering prayer. Do we pray with the purpose of changing God's mind? Like, God was going to have one thing happen, but then, as a result of our prayer, God decides to have something else happen? I struggle with that. I think our prayer is for our internal benefit, not so much about changing the outcome of events. God doesn't need our prayer, but we do. We need to come before God and hold out our hands and ask for the REAL things God gives us: strength to endure the calamity we are going through, or wisdom to weigh out our decision to make a good choice. I don't think God makes things happen as much as God gifts us with the ability to live with the things that happen. In this reading from Matthew, Jesus teaches the disciples the Lord's Prayer. "Give us this day our daily bread...forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." And the most important part, "Your will be done." Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

God loves our "not yet"

"God loves what in us is not yet."
Carlo Caretto, as quoted by Brennan Manning in "The Ragamuffin Gospel"

Wow, that is fun to think about isn't it? God knows and loves us so deeply that God even loves that in us which is not yet. Hummmm...As I was thinking about this, this morning, I thought about a seed. A seed has everything it will become within it even in its seed state. The small seed has all the makings of a plant, flower and fruit, right there. As far as we humans go, we have all that we are to become within us too. I work with many elderly ladies and I often wonder what kind of little old lady I will be one day, when it's time for me to be a little old lady. The point of this reading today is to ponder the fact that God loves that little old lady that I will become, well before I become her! Fascinating! Blessings on your Wednesday...let's celebrate the fact that our God loves every bit of us now and whoever we will be! Love, heidi

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Your will be done...

"...your kingdom come, your will be done; on earth as in heaven."
Matthew 6:10

We, who love the Lord, can get in a pickle when it comes to asking for God's will. Are we really praying for God's will or are we actually praying that God's will coincides with our own? In praying for something we want or need, we may pray that "this" happens or "that." We know what WE want. So we pray for that to happen. But, what of God's will? We can't really pray for God's will to be done and then complain when it doesn't jive with our own will, can we? Oh, but we do! We see a situation and think we know exactly what the best thing will be. We are so convinced that it is difficult to imagine that God would have another opinion! Being a grown up Christian is hard. Sometimes we have to accept, graciously, what we do not understand. And we need to have faith that God's will is actually going to be better for us in the Big Picture. We can surely take comfort in the fact that God is with us as we deal with circumstances and situations, and will bolster us up and give us everything we need to thrive, regardless of the situation. So, in our prayer, today, let's pray simply, what Jesus taught us to pray: "Your kingdom come, YOUR will be done..." Love, heidi

Monday, June 17, 2013

What can we do?

"In the concrete circumstances of my life situation, what is the Lord Jesus Christ asking of me in the way of material poverty?"
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"
I live in an adorable doll house. I have everything I need, but certainly, sometimes, "want" more. For example, I have a thing for downloading music and buying white shirts. (In my defense, I am perpetually trying to replace the perfect white shirt that I ruined by washing it with a chapstick several years ago). I think the question is, "Do I ever deny myself something I think I want?" "Do I ever sacrifice something that catches my eye, fits, and would look wonderful in my closet or on my mp3 player?" What really is the difference between want and need? With so many millions of people in the world suffering from REAL want--lack of food, clean water, basic housing, what little can I do to make a dent in that? Pope Francis said that wasting food is stealing from the poor. That is one way to begin. Use it up, finish it to the last drop, wear it out or give it away. Share a bit of every paycheck with the poor as a way of showing gratitude for having a job. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, only run the dishwasher or washing machine when full. Turn off lights. Ride your bike to work. Reduce, re-use, recycle. What material poverty are we being asked to live today? My guess it is relatively painless. Let's do our part to make a better world! Love, heidi