Category Archives: Prayer

Items that deal with the subject of Prayer.

From Generation to Generation

momonphoneI’ve invited a guest blogger:  Dana Karr.  Like many moms, she wears many hats.  She is a teacher, business woman, wife, writer, carpool driver, sports fan, and friend. Dana serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Vicinity at Karr’s Wharf.  Since the moment she heard her 4th grade class applaud her creative writing assignment about a little girl’s crazy adventures she’s loved writing. Since then, her writing has taken diverse forms including professional reports, government proposals, birthday poems, and blog posts about a grown woman’s crazy adventures.  I know you will enjoy this personal intimate reflection of the impact others have on our lives, some of which are the lives of people we will never know.

From Generation to Generation

The kitchen floor has remnants of yesterday’s breakfast cereal and a glob of mayo from my son’s turkey sandwich lunch.  It’s 3 pm and in an hour I’ll head out the door to transport kids to their afternoon sports. Instead of grabbing a broom and a mop to clean up the mess, I call my mom.

“Where are you?” she asks, knowing that I usually call between the kid’s sports practices or games.

“Home,” I answer “Getting ready to go out in a bit.”

We proceed to chat about what we’ve been doing, how the kids are doing, what my dad is doing, what’s for dinner, who she recently happened to see that I might know, and what’s on the horizon for the week and weekend. Pretty mundane, just every-day stuff. These are our typical conversations.

They feed my soul.

We live about an hour apart, not close enough for a quick drop in, but just right for a day trip there and back. Phone calls, along with an occasional email or text are how we connect.

There are usually needs sandwiched in between the chatter.  School changes being considered, a child’s cough, a friend’s cancer, my nephew’s search for a new career path, concerns in our communities, family communication issues, and prayer needs.

When my kids were still in the infant and preschool ages, I called mom daily during a child’s nap time or some other quiet moment stolen from the busy-ness.  Mom is now in her 70’s.  Her children are grown and launched. I’m middle-aged and entrenched with four school-aged, home-schooled kids who are much older so my days are filled with schooling and work.

Mom and I talk less frequently, but our talks remain similar. We typically talk unfiltered, and she’s a patient listener; whatever the topic she’s there to share stories, laments, joys, and the entanglements of our day-to-day.  Our mom-daughter relationship has always been strong, but during my adulthood it has blossomed. Mom is truly my friend and confidante; she is a wise mentor who humbly and gracefully instills love into her words. Inside each conversation she tucks pearls of wisdom and usually flanks each conversation with one of the following phrases: “Well, make it a matter of prayer,” or “I know you are praying about this.”  She has experienced the hand-wringing of a mother and knows that the secret to having peace when life gets crazy is to let go of our fears in prayerful surrender to God.

She reminds me of her prayers for us;’ prayers for me, for my sisters, and for her grandchildren. These prayers are her legacy for me, and the next generation.

When we start talking about the past and she reflect on certain choices in her life versus paths she chose not to take, she’ll say, “I know that the blessings in my life are, in part, because I had parents and grandparents praying for me.”  This compels her to pray for us and to encourage me to pray for future generations as well.  Her parents and grandparents passed on a deep abiding faith in God; not faith in cultural religious customs, but a true acknowledgement of and surrender to The One, True Living God.  Mom reminds me of the fervent prayers of the generations before us and encourages me in praying not only for my children and their future spouses, but for their children and their children’s children.

And so I do.

At times I look at the knowledge and opportunities my children’s generation has and I’m hopeful. When I consider the state of the world and wonder what it will be like when they reach my age I wonder what good and bad things are they inheriting from us, the generations before them? What pearls of wisdom can be passed on to them just as my parents have done for me? Will they be teachable and receptive?

I hope so. I pray so.

I continue to do what my ancestors have done before me, to “make it a matter of prayer”; that they will know the blessings of His Peace and Joy and Truth.

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A New Phase of Life

I’ve reached that stage in life where friends and relatives are slipping away; some simply go in their sleep, but the majority submit to some disease and a necessity to make a choice for either quality or quantity time.

I’m grateful for my good health.  It enables me to experience the immense privilege of standing close by when one says goodbye and hugs a friend, son, daughter, grandchild, or spouse for the last time – and yes, after all have left the room to receive that final hug; to know that your role is simply to lovingly be present  and that somehow gives one just a little more courage in a heart wrenching moment.

During these Kodak moments I see God’s grace, mercy, and love up close.  I’m blessed to have such opportunities; I pray the one who walks with me at the end senses the same presence of peace and gratitude!

Pondering Thankfulness

Thanksgiving.  Many will spend the day pondering the blessings God has bestowed on their lives.  I’m no different.  As I reflect on God’s abundance and faithfulness I marvel at one particular friendship that has been slowly cultivated through many trying moments. This friendship has influenced my world view in ways few get to experience; I’ve met many who live in the shadow of poverty, despair, and hopelessness.  These experiences have taught me that generosity has more to do with receiving grace than what one has to offer.  Like the rich blessings of family, health, etc. (none of which should be overlooked or trivialized) this one friendship provides me with crystal clarity that God’s provision is perfect.  I’m truly blessed!

Man in the Mirror (Shaving)

Recently my wife has been pointing out that I’ve missed a few spots while shaving and she’s suggested I wear my glasses while I shave. This morning I did…and that’s when I saw my dad staring back at me in the mirror.

My dad retired from a life of faitful service in the Navy; for him to not shave was the equivilent of sin. As he grew older, and after mom passed away, I’d notice that he sometimes missed a few spots…I wasn’t overly concerned. It was just part of aging. I’ll never know, but I think he missed mom, perhaps he felt as if he’d lived long enough; he was tired. I now wonder if he was wearing his glasses when he shaved.

Seeing him in the mirror this morning made me have a new perspective on “missed spots”. Often we see what’s wrong, what’s out of place. We see the result while missing the cause.

As I pray, I hope God will grant me the ability to have eyes that truly see and ears that truly hear!

God’s 10K (Update)

In my earlier post I told you about a local church that had ASKed others to pray and submit ideas about how they might allocate and distribute $10k. Spending the 10k wasn’t the real goal.  The goal of the church was to pray and have unity about what God wants them to do with these funds.  The church leadership will be meeting this weekend to review and discuss each merit of each submission.  

Following the church leadership’s review, a summation letter will be mailed to each church member asking each to SEEK truth/discernment.  Each member will then share their views and in late Sep. the church body will hold a “business meeting” to vote.  KNOCK – persistence in getting ‘er done.  Now its time to join KCC as they enter this new season of prayer.

Jesus declared God’s name to His followers so that the love of the Father that was in the Son (Jesus) might me in us (Jhn 17:26).  Imagine if churches partnered in declaring God’s truth, sharing His love, and caring for His people.  One expression of truth/love might be to take the 10K of one church and make it 20K or even 100K through a partnership with other churches. United in love!  There would be some serious worship, prayer, and fellowship taking place! 

Learning love, sharing love…making disciples!  Wow!

Capacity Building

Matthew 18: 19-20 tells us “I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

People gather for a variety of reasons.  Regardless of the reason, there exists a wonderful possibility/opportunity that capacity will be realized.   Capacity is not ability, capability, or magnitude… these are qualitative.  Capacity is quantitative…it refers to a general ability to comprehend an issue or perform a task.                                             

We love to gather to pray in corporate settings.   I’m puzzled why we fail to actually take the time (either before/after prayer) to dialogue …do we agree?  How might we share our gifts (to lay down our lives for a friend)?      

Because God is in our midst we miss the opportunity/possibility to build capacity.  God is capacity (“I am”).

The Phone Call

Sitting in Panera (one of several places that serve as a part-time office).  As usual great Hazelnut coffee and pastries.  I needed to catch up on a lot of writing  so decided I’d escape from “appointments” and have a “me day”. 

The past weeks have been filled with those little moments where others have said or done some little tid bit that has caught my attention.  I spend nearly two-thirds of my time listening to the visions of others; each vision is unique and each person has little obstacles that keep him/her from realizing their vision.  Most of the obstacles are perceived and not real.    The only true solution is to help each direct their sights to God’s vision not to some strategy or problem solving scheme.

One special moment was a phone call from a friend who has made some very tough choices in order to be available so He could hear God and let God unfold what was to take place next in his life.  His willingness to let God be God and step aside from his own desires has spoken volumes to me about how deep his love is for God.  He still hasn’t realized his vision, but God has opened the door to an opportunity that fits so well into his understanding of God’s plan that you know his faithful, patient reliance on God has been rewarded.  It’s truly a “God thing”. 

My wife knows my friend well.  After I shared the gist of his phone call with her she quietly asked “how’s that going in your own life?”  Bam!  Nothing left to add.  Nothing left to say.  God has truly blessed me with an adventure, wonderful friends who only care about what Jesus has in store for them, and a super wife!