Weekly Prayer: May 13th, 2018

Heavenly Father,

Our Father with the bleeding, loving heart of a mother,

We come to you, first, with thanksgiving. We thank you, Lord, for mothers.

Thank you, Lord, for the living embodiment of sacrifice and unending love that is our mothers. Thank you for these women that instinctively know how to give and give, emptying themselves out for their children, day after day, and night after night. Thank you for these special ladies that have given so much of themselves; some giving up jobs, some giving up advancement, some putting their life and dreams on hold, just to give their kids a chance. Thank you for those women that have given us other things, equally important things, like examples of dedication to a job, a thirst to succeed and achieve, role models of how to live in this world with honour, dignity, and Christlikeness.

Thank you for mothers like this. Those of us that have mothers, had mothers like this, we praise you, God, for this gracious gift.

Lord, for those that don’t know their mothers, for those who may have been abandoned, left alone, or forgotten; we recognize that this day may not be such a thankful and joyful day. With these people in mind, we ask Lord for your motherly embrace. We ask God that you would surround them, like a hen gathering up her chicks. That they would know that you love them, that you have not forgotten them when others have. Lord, you have not taken your eyes off them or tossed them aside; instead, you hold them close to your heart and whisper, I love you.

For those that may be hurting this way, Lord, I ask that you would speak to their hearts, and share that motherly love that they need and deserve.

Today, we think of those mothers, new mothers, women that have been mothers for a while, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and any variation thereof; we thank you for them, and we ask a blessing on them today.

We thank you that these women have suffered much to become mothers. We thank you that they have risked much to bring children into the world. We know that there is much more cost yet to come as children get older, but we thank you, Lord, that you have equipped, and will continue to equip these women to raise up godly men and women.

Bless them with holy strength. Bless them with a steel will, a firmness of conviction that they would stay the path, even when things get tough. Give them reassurance, give them confidence that they are able to be a mother and so much more than that. Remind them that they are more than just baby makers; they are the guardians and protectors, teachers and preachers of children. Help them to honour you as they do this.

Today, we also think of those women that are not mothers, those women that for one reason or another are not moms; we thank you for them, and we ask a blessing on them today as well.

These women are not without value. They may not be mothers, but we still cherish them. We still see them as important in the Kingdom of God. We ask Lord that you would surround them, that you would speak to their hearts. Encourage them, Father, that they would know they are not diminished and less than. That they would know, and that we would continue to show, that they are loved and welcomed here.

May you give them great strength. May you give them great passion and desire to honour you, that though they are childless, they would be spiritual mothers and grandmothers to countless women of God. May you bless them, Lord, that they would be pillars of your church, Father.

God, we ask this day, above all things, that we could continue to know and experience the great depths of your love for us, the unfathomable phantoms of your kindness and grace towards us. Whether we are mothers, or not.

In the precious name of Jesus,

Amen


Photo credit: Madonna praying, Francesco Francia, 1485-1517
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A Poem For Mother’s Day

 

For all the things I didn’t say,

About how I felt along the way —

For the love you gave and the work you’ve done,

Here’s appreciation from your admiring son.

Continue reading “A Poem For Mother’s Day”

This Is The Kind Of Faith That We Need To Have

The biblical book of Ruth begins like a Shakespearean or Greek tradgey. Nothing good happens; only problems and issues heaped upon a poor woman that has more problems and issues than she knows what to do with. And there seems to be no end in sight.

The story of Naomi does not start out well. In fact, it is a tradegy. Her nation experiences a famine. Her husband decides to drag her and her two sons from their home (possibly the only home they have ever known) to a a foreign nation. To add to this particular issue, Naomi is being dragged from the holy nation of Israel to that of their enemy, evil and ungodly Moab.

Things don’t get better any time for soon for Naomi, but that doesn’t destroy her faith in God. You would think that she would abandon her religion, give up on God after even this much (because so many have given up on God over less). But she doesn’t. When things get worse, she holds on and models for us all the kind of we all need to have. Continue reading “This Is The Kind Of Faith That We Need To Have”

True Love Looks Like This

Yes, she is a bride. And yes, she is missing an arm. And this is a perfect picture of true love.

This is Zanele Ndlovu. Her and her fiancee, Jamie Fox (not that Jamie Foxx), were enjoying a tranquil experience of canoeing on the Zambezi. The Zambezi is one of Africa’s longest rivers, described by a travel guide as “the perfect [place] for those who not only want to see the abundant bird and animal life but also want to experience the peace, tranquillity and beauty of the Zambezi River.”

Zanele saw it alright. The abundant animal life took the form of a crocodile that attacked both Zanele and Jamie. The crocodile took her right arm and caused injuries to her left. That was on April 30.

On May 5th, Zanele put on her wedding dress and walked down the aisle to be wed. Her arms were bandaged and healing still, but she was happy.

I have to say, I am thrilled for Zanele and Jamie. I’m glad that they got to keep their original wedding day, that they were able to suit up for their special day (even though it was in a Zimbabwean hospital).

But what really warms my heart, and drove me to write this, is the wonderful picture of love that this couple has shown. Continue reading “True Love Looks Like This”

I DARE YOU: To Care

Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

They are timeless. They are not restricted to a geographical location. They always pack a punch. They always demand a response.

These are the things that I keep finding as I examine the parables of Jesus. There is not getting around these 4 things, no matter how popular or unpopular a parable may be. Even the small one that are only a few verses as we’ve already seen.

While we may have heard the parable before, the challenge Jesus makes is just as fresh as ever. And it demands that you and I respond. Now. Continue reading “I DARE YOU: To Care”

Why I Want You To Tell Me When I’m Wrong

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I’m not always right. And that isn’t some kind of joke confession, like, “I’m never right because my wife always is.” This is an honest statement. I’m not always right.

I know that I don’t have 100% correct theology. I know that sometimes I write or say things that are completely wrong. I am fully aware of it. What I want, what I believe I need is to be told when I’m wrong.

For that, I need your help, and I’ll explain what I mean. Continue reading “Why I Want You To Tell Me When I’m Wrong”

To Those That Think Serving Isn’t Their Spiritual Gift…

Every week, we had to move all the chairs in the sanctuary. All of them. Over 250 chairs needed to be gathered up and put on one side of the church so that the midweek children’s program had space for the kids to run around.

It wasn’t a big deal. It only took a few minutes when everyone pitched in. The problem was, not everyone pitched in. Some weeks, only a handful of us did it.

To say that it took the wind out of our servant’s hearts is an understatement. For years, it killed any serving or servant attitude that I might have had. It didn’t stay that way. I’ve come back around to serving and giving my time and energy in the church, but I can’t say that is true for all Christians.

To them I say, I get it. I know exactly where you are, and why you are there. While these words are strong and may sting, they need to be shared. Not just for the good of the Body of Christ, but for your own spiritual good. Continue reading “To Those That Think Serving Isn’t Their Spiritual Gift…”