Supersized and drive through meals ... delivered freaky fast your way that are finger lickin' good. These are a few fast food 'conveniences' for our fast paced lives in the fast lane. I am guilty of participating in both ordering my share of supersized McArtery Clogger Value Meals, and using the drive through for lunch, lattes, and my banking needs. Life is busy and there is a time and a place for fast food, and fast service but there is a time and a place to SLOW DOWN.
Now as I segue to my faith journey.. I find awkward parallels to our fast food society.
1. I want the blessings on my life supersized now please,
2. I sometimes pray like I am using a drive thru window. I don't even slow down to say hello to God but place my order/prayer list with the angel stationed at my drive thru prayer window. And..
3. my patience for His answers rivals my belief that microwave popcorn still takes waaay too long.
Moral of this blurb is.. God does listen to and answer my freaky fast food faith moments (sometimes that is all I have), BUT how much better my perspective is when I slow down and savor quiet times with my Heavenly Father. Prayers that are not distracted and hurried, and devotions that are not fit in just before I go to bed and can hardly keep my eyes open. To slow down is good for my soul, and I am 'gently' convicted/impressed that I need this now.
There will be those times where freaky fast faith is all we have time for, but let's purposefully slow down and make time with God that is more than a microwaved/reheated moment of spiritual nourishment. Maybe a home cooked God's Family Meal... with desert.
Hmm.. I am getting hungry.
May God bless and use each of you for His glory in SUPERSIZED ways
Jeff (McBack Pew) Larson
I like those Info-mercials with high energy sales person pitches the latest and greatest product to
Of course Buyer beware.. not saying the are lying but still.. buyer beware.
In contrast for the unbelievably low price of FREE we can speak to our Heavenly Father and never miss out on access to the power of the creator of the universe. and there is no buyer beware asterisk regarding God.
Ok, you say you have never even had coffee with the pastor at your church so you figure God would be outside your social network. Fair enough.
King David raises that question too .. 4 What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, Ps 8:4-6
Rightfully so, this does boggle the mind, but I believe the same God who hangs the stars in the sky has shown his care for mankind since the very beginning in Genesis. The same God who.. parted seas, crumbled walled cities, fed 5,000 with fish and chips leftovers, and slayed those unsightly giants still answers prayers for each of us in BIG and SMALL ways.
So my prayer now becomes.. THINK BIG. Don't put a lid on what is possible with God on our side.
Your UNSIGHTLY GIANT.. may be health issues, literal or figurative.. spiders? (my daughter HATES spiders), finances in crisis, a looming foreclosure, addictions that feel hopeless, a failed marriage, grades below C-level, or loneliness. No matter.. God still slays these unsightly Giants in our lives.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Mt 7:7-8
Jeff (Giant Slayer in training) Larson
lyThe Lord's Prayer Matthew 6:9-13
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
These are the perfectly chosen words of Jesus covering everything we should pray for. .. EXCEPT when my busy mind and my eyes are on me and not primarily on God. All of sudden I have added a Prologue using an extra small font, then emphatically use ALL CAPS, bold and underlined fonts to emphasize the compromised (self) attitude of my heart.
I cringe as I have turned The Lord's Prayer into something that more resembles a ransom letter then it does a humble loving prayer to my creator.
Lord's Prayer Prologue
Our Father who is in Heaven hallowed (whatever hallowed is) is your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
(NOW 'MY' REAL PRAYER STARTS)
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD!! (and.. the other stuff I WANT)
FORGIVE MY SINS (and THE MESS I MAKE OF LIFE),
as we forgive those who sin against us.
and lead me not into temptation, but
DELIVER ME FROM EVIL (aka keep me out of trouble even when I am looking for trouble).
For yours is the power and glory forever (YOU CAN DO IT!)
My point is to remind myself that The Lord's Prayer is short, but so powerful. It opens the doors of our lives and gives them to God, and if anything we should get stuck on the beginning of the Lord's Prayer as we find ourselves in awe of our loving creator.
Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed (GREAT) is your name! Your Kingdom come, your will be done on Earth (in my life, in my family, your church, our nation) as it is in Heaven.
Also, The Lord's Prayer expands easily to cover the miriad of moments and issues that need God's attention. My family, my attitude, health issues, our nation, where I put my hope, where I put my trust (God), and the choices I make. Also confession of and prayers for help regarding areas of temptation and compromise I entertain. And don't forget to be forgiving of others! But all of this and more are covered in the Lord's Prayer.
This is my prayer for each of you. May we all pray to Him in a way that is God centered not self centered. There is no greater call than to be a servant of God. Think of it, the creator of the world. Like the old Navy recruitment slogan 'It is not just a job (to serve God), it is an adventure.'
Blessings on your Adventure
I have this prayer prep that I recently turn to when my mind is busy and unfocused. I slow my mind to take a glimpse of my significance.
Specifically, I am a speck on a blue ball (Earth) that spins at 1000 mph orbiting around our sun in our Solar System of 8 (or 9) planets, which is one of countess galaxies in our infinite Universe. ..
AND this existence.. my existence is just a microscopic blip on the timeline of history.
So while I admit I should lose like 25 pounds I also am feeling very small. Then to think of the intricacies of the human body the human condition, and that I have a free will and I believe a spirit that makes me a very special speck on this blue dot.
While I attempt to grasp this perspective of significance.. I pray Psalms 8:4 Who am I that you are mindful of me? .. and I am in awe of creation and more importantly our creator and His inexplicable love for each of us. Better yet, y'all best read all of Psalms 8
Now .. I am ready to pray as the world slows down.. I am an awe of God, and thankful for this day (even the bad ones), and pray that my life, my family, my friends, church, community, state, nation, and world come to realize the significance, purpose, and place as their own speck like roles on this blue dot.
Love God, love others (argue politics less).. and all glory to God on this day! Cuz ya know, the rest is trivia by comparison.
Jeff (a 225lb speck) Larson
A while back my wife Mary and I were reading Max Lucado's book He Still Moves Stones. Let me paraphrase the words of Max Lucado. The honest prayer of a hurting man, the feeble prayer of a righteous man.. the awkward prayer of the average joe/jane, the timid prayer of those emotionally/spiritually broken down.. the sincere prayer of a sinner, EVEN a 'pathetic prayer of Jeff' .. HAS GREAT POWER and WONDERFUL RESULTS.
This rambling paraphrase is of James 5:16, and gleaned from the truths found in Mark 9. Take time to read both.
Max also writes ..Our prayers may be awkward, our attempts may be feeble. BUT since the power of prayer is in the one who 'hears' it and not the one who 'says' it, our prayers make a difference.
That is great news for folk like me as lately I have been pressed with a certain situation at work. It has caused a great tension in me, and though I know I am told to work as unto the Lord and not man my emotions are not there. In layman terms, I HATE MY JOB.
I know, I know Jeff is 60 years old and as a 'good christian' he should not feel that way, but he does, I mean, I DO. So I pray what I think must a Christian version of Red Green's Man Prayer. I am a man, I can change, if I have to, I guess.. amen.
Though I share this with a smirk.. it is all very true. If I am honest, I do hate my job but am praying about it. God is telling me what I need to change, and I am convicted of this, but it's not just as easy as flipping a switch in my heart and soul... and my circumstances.
Anyways so I say my sincere prayers to God that when the words leave my mouth may sound pathetic.. but I believe God is working in ME and in my situation.
So do you ever say pathetic prayers. I am sure you don't, it's only me right? But if you do say prayers that are simply HELP! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! That's ok, because God does.
So let's unite in our prayer lives and pray with confidence to a God who loves you perfectly as our Heavenly Father. Even when you have pathetic moments like I do.
Jeff (in need of HELP) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson