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Timeless truth in a changing world

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Sweet Words

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By all accounts, yesterday was a completely sub-par day. Work was…meh. My toddler had been fighting a cold for a couple of days. My wife had picked up said cold the previous night and was drained of energy. We were hosting a guest at the house who—you guessed it—was also sick. I had just returned from picking up my toddler from a not-so-good day at her daycare, and I still had to finish up my own work day. Then I had to address and work on some other business matters. Oh, and I had to make dinner, too. Yeah.

Our evening wound up being what my wife and I have coined a “Jekyll and Hyde” night. One minute was all smiles, giggles, and happiness. The next was a complete 180° turn filled with fussiness, crying, attention-craving, and meltdowns. So it was up to me and my five-month-old son to take care of our lovely ladies and house guest. While it wasn’t the most difficult situation, neither was it altogether easygoing. But we managed and got through it. Our toddler was put to bed at her normal time, and the rest of us were able to take a few minutes to decompress and relax before hitting the proverbial hay ourselves.

Then 10:15 pm came. Toddler was awake, wailing, and needing another dose of medicine. And then it happened. In the midst of her crying, I heard that sweet word: “Daddy.” My heart both broke and melted at the same time. Just over two hours ago I wanted nothing more than a break from adulting and parenting. But now, in her time of need and distress, all of that went out the window. Nothing else mattered. She wanted and needed me. And I was more than happy to do whatever I needed to do to help her.

As I sat and cuddled with her after getting her calmed down, I thought of how hearing my child’s voice crying out to me compares to how our heavenly Father feels and responds when any of us, His children, cry out to Him. It doesn’t matter how or why we call to Him. It could be a simple thank you. Or a request for something we want or need. Or an utterly desperate plea for help in a moment of our deepest distress. No matter the case, our Father loves to hear us call His name, and He, like all parents, will do anything to help His children.

My mind then turned to the book of Psalms, and how many of the Psalms are written in a state of need and distress. A couple of verses I found particularly apropos were:

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 17:6

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. – Psalm 18:3, 6

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. – Psalm 116:1-2

It’s comforting to read verses like this, and to know that there are many others throughout the Bible that talk about God listening to and answering us when we call to Him. He truly is our loving Father. And now as a father myself, I am coming to understand more fully how and why He loves us so unconditionally and will always be here for us. It doesn’t matter what we have done, what sort of a day we’ve had, how long it’s been since we last reached out to Him, or even how we seek comfort in Him. Nothing else matters to Him. He knows that we need Him. And He is more than happy to do whatever He needs to help us.

 

(Special thanks to guest author Anthony Hessler for the post!)

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Mary Had a Little Lamb

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Mary had a little Lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow.
Down from heav’n to earth it went
Salvation to bestow.
Continue reading “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Lenten Challenge

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(Author’s note: This post is written by guest author Anthony Hessler, who has written a handful of other articles for this blog.)

During the 40 days of Lent, it’s popular among Christians to give something up. This can remind us of Jesus fasting in the desert and of His ultimate sacrifice for us, and it can be a form of self-discipline as we turn away from things that may normally distract us from our focus on God. Depending on the person and/or their particular denomination, it’s common to give up things like consuming certain foods (e.g. meat, fish, sweets, alcohol) or limiting our interaction with technology (e.g. no TV or social media). This is all well and good, but this year, I had a “radical” thought…

Continue reading “Lenten Challenge”

Your Life is a Comedy, Not a Tragedy

In the movie Stranger Than Fiction, Harold Crick suddenly realizes that an unseen voice is narrating his life. As he tries to decide whether the story he is living is a comedy or a tragedy, he makes a tally mark in a little notebook whenever something good or bad happens to him. Considering that he is a socially-awkward IRS agent auditing a strong-minded and resentful young woman whom he finds particularly attractive, it comes as little surprise that at the end of the day he has almost a full page of tragedy tallies and only four lonely marks for comedy. As he steps out into the rainy night he remarks, “This may sound like gibberish to you, but I think I’m in a tragedy.”

Continue reading “Your Life is a Comedy, Not a Tragedy”

The Power of Words

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  As a child I’d repeat this jingle, but it never rang true.  Every dig of ridicule would cut to the heart and hurt.

Continue reading “The Power of Words”

Vanity of Vanities

“John D. and 24 others like your status.”

“Barb S. and 10 others +1 your photo.”

“Greg T. and 6 others commented on your post.”

“@someone_special favorited your tweet.”

Do these statements look familiar? If you’re registered with one of the big social networks, you are probably bombarded with alerts like this throughout the day. And if you’re like most social site butterflies, you get a euphoric kick when people comment/share/like what you have to say. But do you place too much importance and value on your social media success?

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Prayer Warriors

Author’s Note: From time to time I will run a piece by a guest author or reblog a piece from elsewhere.  This post is submitted by guest author Anthony Hessler.

 

Pray Continually. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV)

I’ll be honest. I don’t have the world’s greatest prayer life. And I’ll bet you don’t either. We might talk about how important prayer is, how we should start and end the day with prayer, and even tell people that we’ll pray for them when they need it. But we all fall short of seeing these things through. Life gets in the way. We forget to pray.

Continue reading “Prayer Warriors”

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