Aaron Summers

7 Prayers of a Wise Heart

In Gospel Living on February 16, 2017 at 11:28 am

blog_individual_praying_for_isis

  1. Lord, purify my mind, my heart, my voice, and my hands. May you bring innocence to my life once again.  Make me holy and right in your sight.  Cause my mind to wander into your presence.  Create in me a clean heart, O Lord.
  2. Lord, free me from anxiety. In the mess in which I live, help me see your path to peace.  Help me to lay my burdens at your feet and then leave it there.  I cannot always fix what is around me, but I can let you fix my heart during the storms.  Create in me a calm heart, O Lord.
  3. Lord, free me from legalism and the hurt it causes others. Help me to see others as you do.  Help me to know the situation before casting judgment and spewing criticism.  Help me be gentle, not lenient, in my dealings with others.  Create in me a considerate heart, O Lord.
  4. Lord, adjust my mind to be open to you. Help me to be willing to listen to your Word and adjust myself to its demands.  Help me to be submissive to your ways and not my own.  Create in me a compliant heart, O Lord.
  5. Lord, may I produce the good, good fruit of mercy to those in need. Help me to see the need.  Help me to meet the need.  Help me to be kind.  Let my actions show concern, even if I don’t feel they deserve it.  Create in me a compassionate heart, O Lord.
  6. Lord, free my judgements from prejudice. Help me to live out the truth that you created all mankind and we are all equally guilty of sin and in need of a Savior.  Help me to see beyond the outside and sense the heart of a person.  Help me to shed the hypocrisy I have clothed my life with by allowing the culture to drive my belief and behavior.  Create in me a consistent heart, O Lord.
  7. Lord, let my life be an open book for all to read and see your great love and life. May I be sincere in my words and deeds.  Help me to be authentic.  Help me be genuine.  As you call me to love, laugh, and live may it be real.  Remove all the fake from my life.  May it be burned off as dross from silver to reach purity once again.  Create in me a committed heart, O Lord.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:17-18

Stop Looking At My Container!

In Life and Culture on February 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Beautiful senior woman smiling at camera

Miss Mary brought a dish to the church lunches for a long time but recently quit.  No one thought much about it at first.

  • Maybe she wasn’t feeling good.
  • Maybe she was extra busy.
  • Maybe….

The next one arrived and Miss Mary did not bring anything that day either.  Some of the people came to the pastor and asked if he knew what the problem was with Miss Mary not bringing her beautiful dish as always.  They couldn’t imagine what the issue was.  They missed her dish.  They wanted her dish.  He told them that they should go speak to her if they saw it as a problem.

So, Margaret, Sarah, Esther, and Mabel all went over to Miss Mary’s house.  The yard looked fine.  The flowers were blooming.  The porch was clean.  They rang the doorbell and Miss Mary came to the door.  They noted to themselves she seems fine.  Invited in, they went to have some tea.  The house looked fine.  The tea tasted right.

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?

They all sat down and meandered around the issue until Miss Mary spoke up.

“You all here to see where my dish has been?”

Trying to fake shock, they all tried to deny it.  Finally, Mabel spoke up and explained that they were just concerned something might be wrong.

“Oh, there is.”, replied Miss Mary.

“Every time there is a church lunch we all bring our dishes.  Some are filled more than others.  Some are more worn than others.  I look down the table and then I listen.  I listen as we all discuss how beautiful someone’s dish is.  I look at the younger woman.  I look at the little girls.  Then it dawned on me.  It’s not about the dish.  It’s about the food.  We comment so much on everyone’s dish or platter or bowl.  But we have stopped talking about the food inside the container.  Ladies, if we are only concerned about the container, we have missed the point.  We don’t gather to evaluate one another’s dishes but to enjoy the food inside.”

At that the ladies were silent.  They knew it to be true.  They all vowed to make a change.

At the next church lunch, they all brought their broken and worn out containers and filled them with beautiful food.  As the little girls came in they made sure to point out how good the food was and that it didn’t matter as much about what it arrived in.  They made sure that the young moms understood that whatever they brought was more important than the container.

That was the most enjoyed meal that little church had eaten in a long time.

Moral: 

We teach our girls that the container is more important than what is inside.  May we stop evaluating the containers and start enjoying the food inside.  There we find joy and health and love.

Gimme a Break!

In Life and Culture on January 30, 2017 at 7:31 am

I was helping out with a boys group on Wednesday nights called Royal Ambassadors.  During the winter months we build pinewood derby cars and race them in February.  A critical part of this process is getting the weight distribution right along with the total weight of the car.  A buddy of mine and I were working in his shop one afternoon when I rediscovered this important truth:  a fresh battery works better than a dead one.  That may not come as a shock to you, but when you forget to put the spare on the charger everything grinds to a halt.  How often do we forget to recharge our batteries for the day, week, or month ahead.  How long has it been since you relaxed?  When was the last vacation?  How long has it been since you read a good book, played with your kids, or slept in?

The concept of re-creation has been smashed together into recreation.  Trust me, there is a big difference.  In our culture today we all find time for recreation.  We play golf, soccer, basketball, and softball.  We party on the weekends to forget the week we just had.  We overspend at the mall because we “owe” it to ourselves.  Our recreation is over-compensating.  The idea of re-creation is that we take a day, or part of one, every week to get in touch with ourselves, our Creator, our purpose, and that which matters in life.  At the end of 6 days of creation God had

  1. Established Balance
  2. Provided Definition
  3. Revealed Priorities
  4. Managed Time
  5. Taught Reproduction
  6. Made Distinctions

Now God “rested” from His creative efforts.  He did not stop existing.  He simply put into play a practice for us all.  He later came to Moses and more firmly stated that 1 day a week was to be set aside as holy.  This principle of re-creating is important because our lives have become on-demand 24/7.  Technology is a beautiful thing in computers and phones.  However, there is a stress that comes with being available all the time.  Some of the stress comes from other people demanding our availability.

I was drilling the holes in the cars to add the weights when the drill quit cutting.  I thought the bit was stuck.  It wasn’t.  I thought the bit was dulled.  It wasn’t.  The battery was out of juice.  Because I did not plan ahead by charging the second battery, I had to stop.  No more work could be done until such a time as the batteries were charged.  That headache, or fatigue, or sickness, or depression, or marital fight might be simply related to our lives running down with no backup battery.  You have to stop and recharge now and then.  Most of our recreation wears us out more. 

Re-Creation is unique in that it charges you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. How do you re-create?

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