Thursday, August 27, 2015

Praying Before Dinner

A first grade class teacher, for the "Natural World" section of her class, had a lesson about owls. She explained to the class about how they are nocturnal, how they can swivel their heads so far in either direction that it looks like they can turn them completely around, etc. Then she described how the birds swoop down to get their prey for dinner.

Following the lesson, she asked the children to draw a picture of one of the fascinating things owls do. Looking over the pictures, she praised and applauded each child on their efforts. She was puzzled, however, by one drawing. It was of an owl with its wings neatly folded, its eyes closed and a dead mouse nearby.

"Exactly what is this showing?" she asked.

The little girl explained, "It's just like you said 'The owl swoops down and prays before dinner'!"

I'm fairly certain that's not what owls do, but it certainly should describe what we as Christians do. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote about some who would forbid the eating of certain foods.

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith....commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving." (I Timothy 4:1,3-4).

We have done a good job of not giving in to those who want us to abstain from food! But have we done a good job of receiving that food with thanksgiving? I'm not asking if we bow in prayer before we eat our meals, although that's very important. I'm just concerned that we sometimes offer those prayers out of habit, not because we are truly thankful.

You see, it's easy for me to think that what I'm about to eat is on my plate because because of what I have done -- I brought home the paycheck, I went to the grocery store, I cooked it. Am I really thankful to God? By that I mean, do I fully realize and appreciate that God is responsible for what I have on my plate (as well as everything else I enjoy in my life)?

May you truly be thankful as you pray before dinner this evening.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What Is That Supposed To Be?

A tiny but dignified old lady was among a group looking at an art exhibition in a newly opened gallery. Suddenly one contemporary painting caught her eye.

"What on earth," she inquired of the artist standing nearby, "is that?"

He smiled condescendingly. "That, my dear lady, is supposed to be a mother and her child."

"Well, then," snapped the little old lady, "why isn't it?"

I've seen some of that "modern art", so I can relate. But it makes me stop and wonder: Does the same thing ever happen spiritually in my life? I'm "supposed" to be a Christian, a child of God, a person whose life dedicated to serving God.

Peter reminds me: "You ought to live holy and godly lives." (2 Peter 3:11)

But is there anyone who looks at my life and says, "I know what he's supposed to be, so why isn't he?"

"Father, please forgive me for those times I have let you down, those times I have not set an example of holiness that You intend for me to. Please strengthen me in my desire to live in such a way that others around me will have no doubt that You come first in my life."

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Before I Was a Mom

(author unknown)

Before I was a Mom,
I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom,
I slept as late as I wanted.
I never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom,
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys.
I never forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been . . .
puked on
pooped on
spit on
chewed on
peed on
or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mom,
I had complete control of my mind, thoughts and body.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a Mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never known . . .
the warmth
the joy
the love
the heartache
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much . . . before I was a Mom.

"She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed." (Proverbs 31:27-28a).

May God's richest blessings be with each of you mothers.