Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Position of Disposition

 Often we are not in a position to have freedom to think , to weigh our thoughts. Family obligations , work loads and projects. No time for reflection or prayer, we find ourselves in bed trying to pray and reflect half asleep. In reality the best time to pray is at least two hours before bed time. It often will set the stage for a rest full nights sleep. I found this out after getting caught up in life and thinking I would pray myself to sleep as we were taught as children, Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake , I pray the Lord my soul to take. Yes- I remember that child hood prayer.
 If you ask the experts bed time is not the time to pray, it is the time to rest and allow your mind and body to heal. Please try this method of praying two hours ahead of bed time to see if that helps even if it seems inconvenient. I think God will enjoy your company more if you are not yawning and making it an afterthought. I once heard a Methodist minister say we must pray face down outstretched on the floor, others say the kneeling position with hands clenched is best. Some pray in the lotus meditation position. I often pray sitting in my chair with eyes closed , back straight as if just in a conversation with a friend. It may seem odd or irreverent and some even pray while walking down a garden path or nature trail, alongside a brook. Some need to be a chapel or at an altar -it is not really important where or what position we pray. The attitude is most important - I often recite the Lords prayer as Jesus taught and then say a personal prayer, for the world , then community , then family and friends and lastly my own needs. By the time I get to my own needs they seem small in comparison.
  We often read scriptures for meditation on spiritual teaching. I usually separate prayer and meditation as one would learning and communicating. In meditation I listen ,read and learn. In prayer it seems a time to talk to God. I was once told Jesus is not our friend , he is God. But that is not scriptural for throughout the bible new testament Jesus does not ask for worship, he asks for friendship. "No longer will you be my servants but my friends." We should be humble but also not be disposed for Christ died for us , he intercedes as our friend. I do not feel separated from Jesus , and will always treasure our friendship even as he is Lord, he is also a friend. -peace.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day - what it means to me.

 Veterans day - I asked for a half day off to pray for the veterans still serving our country. Now, I do not have a license plate or stickers on my bumper. I did serve during the Vietnam war (8years) a veteran and my wife Frances (Liz) did serve in the army as a medic in a MASH unit. We do not however live in the past and glorify in these epics. I do not wear war pins and hats , all my medals and ribbons are buried in my garden. We live for today to serve our community - my wife is a nurse and I minister to elderly at bedsides and deal with grieving families. Often visit hospitals and when I left work today that  was my intention but ended up spending time with my grand children.
  War is not something you dwell on - it was just another part of our lives. My family and community are grateful for those still serving and some are nieces and nephews. We keep in touch on a regular basis not just on Veterans day. Today a friend who became a Major- General spent the day with Barack Obama, it was nice to see him home from war to be honored. I remember being at his fathers bed side and praying with him before he died. He took my wife to the prom when they were young and we followed his career, his brother was my sons god father. My father was a Korean War veteran serving under MacArthur as his aide.
 Veterans Day - is for honoring those still serving and veterans that have served. I will tell you my prayers are continually with them not just on a single day, so it almost eludes me as a holiday except my wife works for the state and gets the day off. I think that war should be a last action and only for defense and therefore do not relish in it. I remember a few young men who could not deal with the post traumatic stress and ended their lives leaving behind small children. It is a sad loss especially when they made it home only to not be able to matriculate back to society,one was a co-workers son. I had a few friends who were Vietnam vets and were homeless one stayed with me for awhile, then ended up living with his mother on serious medication, we are still in touch through emails. I turned to Jesus and the Lord helped me to deal with the stress but it also helped to bury the ribbons and medals in the garden.
 I am glad that many of our soldiers are coming home but also know the reality of the scars war leaves on a person. We need be prepared as a nation to deal with those scars , the invisible ones. -peace.


 I was in bed thinking about hunger not in the food sense but in the spiritual. No, it was not a midnight raid on the fridge. I had a sudden hunger for scripture and put on the light and read a few verses. My soul satisfied quietly went to sleep. One of the things that was on my mind was all the things we hunger for. Many hunger for love - I often say this in my quotes it is better to hunger for love than for food. The world is in a famine today - they hunger for love. That is correct - most of the world population is hungry for love and will not get their fill.
 We often see pictures of starving children and it breaks my heart - I wish we would not plow the crops under to raise the price of food. I wish the world were a perfect place free from predators , free from hunger and disease but the world is not a perfect place. I remember being hungry as a child, my parents were not wealthy and when the groceries were gone for the week, you ate leftovers if you had ketchup or condiments you ate them with bread. The amazing thing is we survived , through it all but I can tell you looking back my greatest hunger was love. With both parents working to make ends meet and the coldness of today's world love is missing more than ever.
 We often hear of hungering after righteousness and Jesus said man cannot live by bread alone.
Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
  When I first learned about Jesus and saw the effect the word of God had on people. I was so hungry for more ,  my desire grew even past the desire for food. It may seem odd but anyone who has experienced this desire will also testify of that first hunger. We should see this as a good hunger, hungering after righteousness. Thirst is what follows hunger after eating a good meal often we need to wash it down - to help the digestion. I believe hunger and thirst go hand and hand and that is why the writer is saying to thirst also. Thirsting for the living waters after reading the scriptures often the Holy Spirit will quench my thirst by filling my vessel.

 How can we not see the world around us is not hungry- hungry for love. Children , elderly , persons of all ages , color , ethnic backgrounds all want the same thing. Do not be fooled - the world desires to know God. We often are told people are not interested in what you have to say but I am sure of this- they are. They see something you have and they want that more than anything. The world is a void, emptiness. Only Gods love can fill that void and you are the means.

Matthew 4:4
  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 What more can I say - pray for the hungry , pray for the homeless but also share Gods word. I remember once picking up a hitch hiker and he said - he had not eaten and was hungry. It was my intention after dropping him off at the place where I was going to turn home to leave him a ten spot for food, but I remembered a tract with some good scriptures on it and included that. He may have just thrown it away , then again I have to believe that Jesus was right.-peace to you.