Being Christian

Going to church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car. Garrison Keillor

car

 

I love this quote. It reminds me that just attending church each Sunday doesn’t make me a Christian. Neither does attending Sunday School and church events. It is so easy to fall into complacency. I have to do more than that. Being a Christian is deeper, more taxing, more uncomfortable. Becoming a car might be easier.

Prayer: God of wisdom, I need to understand that I must “Go forth in the name of Christ” and do your work. Amen

 

 

Works are not the whole story

As the apple is not the cause of the apple tree, but a fruit of it: even so good works are not the cause of our salvation, but a sign and a fruit of the same.     Daniel Cawdray

Show-me-your-faith-apart-from-your-works-and-I-will-show-you-my-faith-by-my-works

 

We are saved by grace through faith. We can’t work our way into God’s good graces. However, we can’t truly be following Jesus if our belief in him doesn’t produce good works. The more we follow in Christ’s footsteps the more fruit we will produce.

Prayer: Father, let our faith produce the good fruit that you expect of us. Amen

 

 

Do each daily task for God

It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.”
Thomas Merton

for God

There is a wonderful little book called Practicing the Presence of God  by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence did ordinary, everyday tasks such as washing dishes and planting vegetables. Yet everything he did was dedicated to God. Each task was done for the glory of God. He made each task holy. How different life would be if we could all do this.

Prayer: Glorious God, help us to understand that the simplest task is done for you. Remind us that everything we do each day is holy. Amen

 

 

Show me your hands

Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?
Fulton J. Sheen

WorkingHands

 We live is such a technical age. We have machines to wash out clothes and our dishes. We don’t have to put stamps on our mail and take it to the post office. We park as close as we can to the mall so that we don’t have to walk far. Then we complain that we work too hard. Most of us have no idea what real work is. Mother Theresa had those scars on her body but great love in her heart. We need to follow her example. I wonder if when we get to heaven St. Peter will ask us these questions.

Prayer: Lord, our life is easy compared with people in other countries. Many of us don’t have to work with our hands. We are called to do your work and to be your hands and feet. Get us moving! Amen

 

Our hands

““I screamed at God for all the starving children, and then I realized that all of the starving children were God screaming at me.” 

gods-work-in-our-hands-800x582

This reminds me of the old story about the man who heard about a flood on the radio and said God would take care of him. The water rose and he ended up on the roof of his house. A boat came by and offered to save him but he declined saying God would save him. A helicopter came and tried to help him from the roof. Again he refused saying god would provide.
The man drowned and when he reached heaven he demanded from God “why didn’t you save me?” God replied: “I sent a news report, a boat and a helicopter. What are you doing here?”

We expect our answers from God to be extraordinary and ignore the things in front of us.

 

Prayer: God of wisdom, forgive us when we are blind and don’t see the messages you send. Amen

 

The road less traveled

the-christian-ideal-has-not-been-tried-and-found-wanting-it-has-been-found-difficult-and-left-untried-7

The road that Christ followed is not an easy one. The disciples thought they could when asking him to sit at his right and left hand. They later found it was not easy. To choose this path is scary and difficult but it is the right one.

All knowing God, you sent your son to show us what to do. Help us to tread that difficult path. AMEN

God expects

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the star, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heave to the human spirit. ————————-Helen Keller

All through the Bible God calls on the most unexpected people to do wondrous things. Usually they start by saying no I can’t but God doesn’t take no for an answer. He knows what we can do and expects us to do it. Never think you are not good enough for what God plans. You CAN do it!.

yes-you-can

Expectant God, you have made us and know what we can do. Help us to see that too. AMEN

 

Dive in!

You give but little when you give your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.-——–Kahil Gibran in “The Prophet.”

I have noticed over the years that there are times when something needs to be done and people do what I can”throwing money at it.” They have no desire to get involved or take on work but they are willing to pay for it. That is so much easier. You are really only connected and engaged with a need when you are willing to take it on yourself.

dive in

Forgiving God, help us to dive in and truly help. AMEN

One stone

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. —–Chinese Proverb

The political situation in the USA today is monumental. We truly have a mountain that must be removed and redone. It can be discouraging and we can fall into the mistake of thinking there is nothing we can do. The truth is there is always something. The only way that things will change is with one person, one voice. Each of us must do our part. It may seem small but mountains have been moved before. We need to believe that God will help and move that one stone.

one stone

Incredible God, you know the messes we can get ourselves into. Help us to find your path through it all and do our part. AMEN

God made us!

God made me on a morning when he had nothing else to do.———-C.F. Lloyd

We can often feel this way about ourselves. We can’t imagine that we have any skills or talents to offer. We feel useless.

One quote that I have always loved is “God didn’t make junk.” Each of us has something to offer. Each of us has gifts that God has given us. We just have to recognize them and put them to use for his kingdom. We are worthy….God made us.

ta da

Imaginative God, you made each of us unique. Help us to find and use the gifts that you have given us. AMEN