Tag Archives: blessings

Blessings #2

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I know it’s not music, but Beth Ann’s post on Blessings prompted me to post this prayer.  It was published in The Lutheran Prayerbook, 1992,  and the author is unknown.  It’s titled “Answered Prayer.”

He asked for strength that he might achieve;  he was made weak that he might obey.

He asked for health that he might do greater things;  he was given infirmity that he might do better things.

He asked for riches that he might be happy;  he was given poverty that he might be wise.

He asked for power that he might have the praise of men;   he was given weakness that he might feel the need of God.

He asked for all things that he might enjoy life;  he was given life that he might enjoy all things.

He has received nothing that he asked for;  all he hoped for.  His prayer is answered.  He is most blest.

Does anyone else feel they got not what they asked for, but what they really needed the most?

 

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Blessings

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Michele challenged us a while back to blog about a song that really spoke to our hearts.  I know, I’m just now getting around to this, but I do have many songs that speak to me in so many different ways.  But one song stands out from the rest, “Blessings” by Laura Story.

All of us have times when we wonder if God’s left us.  Life takes a nasty turn and we feel that the Lord has turned his back. When I first heard this song I was struggling to trust the Lord in my situation.  My husband was disabled from a brain tumor and his health was getting worse.  I was still supporting my son and his family, which included two autistic sons.  Sometimes the tension around the house would be thick since my husband and son didn’t always get along and other various things that happen when you mesh two families together.  It was during this time that I first heard the song “Blessings”.  The words struck my heart and found a home there.

After I had heard the song several times I looked up Laura Story and found out that her husband had also had a brain tumor and that was the situation that brought this song about.  That had to be a God thing; her husband had a brain tumor, too?

Here is a quote from Laura Story regarding “Blessings”:

The song shows that we still have more questions than answers. But there’s a decision that I find God is asking us to make. Are we going to judge God based on our circumstances, or are we going to choose to interpret our circumstances based on what we hold to be true about God?

Our circumstances have magnified the blessing of marriage. As high school sweethearts, we faced the strong chance that our long-awaited marriage bond might last just two years. Once you’ve rallied through a life-threatening illness together, the rest of it is like a surprise; every day is a new gift that might not have been there. It’s not as big a deal now if he leaves his socks on the floor.

The words of James 1:2–“Consider it a great joy … whenever you experience various trials”–ring especially true and duly influence the joyful, wisdom-loving tone throughout “Blessings.”

Don’t get the wrong idea. It hasn’t been easy. Everyone wants to be a mature and equipped follower, but would I have signed up had I known what it would take? God has grown us up, deepened our faith, our awareness of our great need for Him as a Savior, daily. We knew it before, but we didn’t see it.

I hope you are as blessed by this song as I continue to be.  Here are the lyrics:

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

Chorus:
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

 

Taking Care of God’s Stuff, pt 2

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Micah 3-10Yesterday I wrote about taking care of God’s stuff in a really simplistic manner.  I even said that I didn’t want to get into a discussion about original sin, free will and the evil in this world.  After I slept on it I thought, why not?  Why not go into the reasons we have so much trouble with this subject?

Our free will got us in trouble from the start.  It’s the Adam and Eve thing.  God wanted us to be with him but to also be free in our decision.  To freely love Him without any problems.  So God created the evil (serpent) and the Tree of Life.  We were to choose Him over the Tree.  But that free will thing got in the way and Adam and Eve got curious…

When I was writing the blog yesterday I could almost hear everyone going “But…”  I agree, this is a really hard thing to do.  We need to take care of everything and everybody.  Do we do that?  No.  And now more challenges have come our way; Puerto Rico, Houston, Florida and the evil that happened out in Las Vegas.  These are large things that are happening.  Many people are there, right now, to help.  If I jumped on a plane to go help I don’t think I would have much to offer, but I would if I had the means to do it.

So we give money to the church or to an organization like Samaritan’s Purse to help.  I’m not knocking that, I wouldn’t be able to go to the corners of the earth to help and they do.  Do we give that magical ten percent? Some do and some don’t.  It really doesn’t matter as long as we give.

But then, what about your neighbors? They weren’t effected by flood.  But they have other needs.  We need to be actively looking around at the needs that surround us.  We need to be asking “Lord, what can I do?”.

In the Old Testament God made it a law that ten percent of the first-fruits should be tithed to Him.  I have one of the scriptures up in the meme at the head of this blog.  God wants us to test him.  But I don’t think that he only means our income.  Yes, we can give of our income and support our church, organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, the local christian radio station, the homeless shelter down the street; the list is endless.  We also need to give of ourselves.  Help our neighbors, friends and others through the needy times.  Be there for them.  Give them hope and encouragement.  Pray for them and for all these other organizations that are the hands and feet of Jesus.  Then we need to get up to join them.

 

Taking Care of God’s Stuff

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In the beginningYup, I’m the one that said that. Stewardship is all about taking care of God’s Stuff. Oh, I know that a lot of people get bent about the 10% and the giving to the church. “Does it have to be 10%, and is that from the gross or the net?” I just shake my head… They don’t realize that Stewardship is about much more than giving to the church.

There are those people who give, and give generously, to the church, christian missions and other christian endeavors. I’m not going to put those people down in this blog. However, (here it comes, you think) if those same people think their work in God’s Kingdom is done BECAUSE they give generously then I’d have to say they are wrong. Let me start at the beginning, literally…

If you believe that God created this earth, then it’s all His.  He made it, it belongs to Him.  If you believe that God created humankind, then we’re all His, everyone of us.  There is no getting around this.  Think hard about it for a minute.  Everything on this earth his His.  EVERYTHING!!!  This would include the animals, the trees and the sea.  Everyone of us belong to Him.  We owe every breath we take to our creator.  I don’t want to get into a long discussion about original sin, free will and the evil that walks this earth.  Those are, indeed, complications.  That’s not where this blog is going.  I want you to think simply.  Go back and then come forward in time and you’ll see it.  It’s all His.

We are called upon to take care of God’s stuff.  So when you start thinking about money, that is only the beginning.  We need to take care of ourselves since we were created by God.  We need to take care of others since they were created by God.  We need to take care of nature; the animals, trees, plants.  We need to take care.  Period.  When we have taken care and God has blessed us we can only give Him the glory.  That’s when the giving and the taking care come full circle.  As we are blessed, we give more blessings (and more care) to others.

Blessings

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This post has some good practical ideas about how to love those who need us the most.

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As my wife and I sat looking out at the heavy snow this past weekend I thought what great blessings God had made in my life. At that moment the blessings I counted very dear were those of shelter and the necessities of life–food, water, clothing, etc.  But then the Lord brought me another thought–what are the blessings He was giving to the least and the last in our society? How was He blessing those who were living in tents or taking a day or two in the cold weather shelter?  If I’m so blessed, what are their blessings?

And then the answer came to me (no doubt from Him).  We are their blessings.  God is blessing those who are the weakest in our society with people who can care for them in the midst of their poverty, illness and trials.  God has blessed the poor with people who…

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