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PRAYER AND THE MOTORCYCLE
There was a woman at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter.
She returned to her car to find that she had locked the keys inside the car when she went into the pharmacy and was now unable to get into her car to drive home.
She didnít know what to do and started to panic, so she called home and told the baby sitter what had happened and that she did not know what to do. The baby sitter told her to find a coat hanger and see if that would open the door.
The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground, possibly by someone else who also had locked their keys in their car. Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I donít know how to use this." So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help.
In so doing, she obeyed the command to never stop praying. Do you think God would reward her for that?
Within five minutes a motorcycle roared up and pulled into the parking space next to her car. A rough, dirty-looking biker got off and saw her situation. He asked if he could help her. The woman thought, "This is what you sent to help me, God?"
She finally told him yes, as she needed to hurry and get home to her sick daughter. He walked over to the car, and in less than one minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, "Thank you so much! You are such a nice man."
The man replied; "No, Iím not, Lady. I just got out of prison for car theft." The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out to God, "You even sent me a professional."
1 Peter 4:10-4:10
1 Peter 4:1-4:11
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DO YOU KNOW HOW TO PRAY
I heard a story of a ship that was sinking in the middle of a storm, and the captain called out to the crew and said, "Does anyone here know how to pray?"
One man stepped forward and said, "Yes sir, I know how to pray."
The captain said, "Wonderful, you pray while the rest of us put on life jackets--we're one short."
Author unknown. Taken from pastorlife.com.
Writer & speaker Joni Erickson Tada was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident. In her book Secret Strength, Joni wrote about facing temptation.
I was in my late 20’s, single, and with every prospect of remaining so. Sometimes lust or a bit of fantasizing would seem so inviting and so easy to justify. After all, hadn’t I already given up more than most Christians just by being disabled? Didn’t my wheelchair entitle me to a little slack now and then?
Joni went on the ask her readers;
When God allows you to suffer, do you have tendency to use your trials as an excuse for sinning? Or do you feel that since you’ve given God a little extra lately by taking abuse, that He owes you a "day off?"
Hard times can often lead to temptation... In our suffering the evil one is quick to come to our aid and offer one of his solutions; pursuing pleasure to numb the pain, coping an attitude, becoming bitter, getting even, feeding anger...
Thereís nothing like a good crisis to increase my energy and remind me how much I need God.Ē
The New York Times reports that during the attacks of
September 11, the communication between rescue workers and their commanding officers was not good. Instead of reaching the workers by radio to warn of the imminent collapse of the Trade Center Towers, a messenger had to be sent by foot across acres, dodging flaming debris and falling bodies, to deliver the news in person. He arrived with the information less than one minute before the first tower fell.
Maybe your life feels a little like September 11th. It is completely out of control with the falling debris of debt, family disfunction, work pressure, bad health, or all the above! But your communication with the Commander can be different.
Can you hear him calling out the orders "That guy is bad news." "You're going to spend all that on what?!" "Love her like I loved you!"
Open your ears and hear what God is saying. Open your mouth, and ask him what to do. ďDoes He who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see?" (Psalm 94:9)
Source: SermonCentral staff. Citation: Jim Dwyer, New York Times, January 30, 2002.
Through prayer we can carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow, all conflicts and agonies, all torture and war, all hunger, loneliness and misery, not because of some great psychological or emotional capacity, but because Godís heart has become one with ours.
One of the loneliest times we can have comes when we face a time of need without having a loving friend to talk to about it. Everyone needs at least one trusted friend in whom to confide. Elisha A. Hoffman, author and composer of more than 2,000 gospel songs, was pastor of a church in Lebanon Pennsylvania. He visited a woman who had experienced many moments of emotional pain in her life. She told Rev. Hoffman of the many burdens on her heart and concluded with the question, "Brother Hoffinan, what shall I do? What shall I do?" He replied, "You cannot do better than to take all of your sorrows to Jesus. You must tell Jesus." For a moment, the lady seemed lost in meditation. Then her eyes brightened and she exclaimed, "Yes, I must tell Jesus."
From that experience Elisha Hoffman wrote a hymn which we still sing today: "I Must Tell Jesus." The beauty of this hymn is its honesty. The Christian life is not always happines, but God always hears us.
My son Nathan is autistic, so he struggles everyday with many things most of us take for granted. We, as his family, struggle too along with him. Things like speaking, a change in his environment, certain sounds, interruptions in his plans or routine and a host of other things often cause him great frustration, fear, anxiety, or turmoil. He cannot readily communicate these emotions and his actions and reactions get extreme and even volatile. He is a smart boy and his thoughts are increasingly complex like many five year olds. Regrettably, he is largely unable to reveal them to us, ask any clarifying questions or negotiate an improved situation in his times of need. Still as he grows, I see that heís picking up acorns for later. He is learning, though very slowly at times, to live in a world he perceives quite differently than we do.
I donít know what Nathanís future is going to be like. Will children ever want to play with him for any length of time? Will he ever make and keep any close friends? Will he always struggle to learn? Will he find a suitable mate one day? Will he one day obtain and keep a good job? Maybe; maybe not. These are acorns right now for him. But like others in Nathanís life, I see potential. I see the strong oak tree my ďlittle acornĒ could become...
Lieutenant Andrew Moffatt
We humans tend to come to blockages and stop. The other day I was using a vacuum cleaner, the nice new yellow one here at the hall, I turned it on and it worked (tuned it on made all the right noises). But it had no suck. It had become blocked and jammed with hay where the hose met its body, thanks to the Christmas manger. What to do, get down on my knees and unblock it, it then worked really well. Like the vacuum we humans have a fault that when we get blocked instead of sorting the blockage we either try to keep going achieve nothing and burn out or we, say thatís too hard turn off and put ourselves away in a cupboard. When all along we should get down on our knees engage with God and sort out the problem. Then continue to move forward, engaging with the lost, the last and the least and do our bit to clean up the world by engaging people in the Kingdom of God.
Theodore Roosevelt said, "There has not yet been a person in our history who led a life of ease w...