Mar 2, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Friday Father!
Today Lord, You’ve led me to repost an article I wrote on this date last year about remembering the life of a truly wonderful author on the anniversary of his birth. His works have touched countless lives including those of mine and my children, and I’m honored to again share this tribute.
Father, today marks the birth of someone who greatly influenced my early years, as well as the lives of many other children throughout the world. And while he’s no longer with us here, the legacy he left behind continues to inspire, educate and delight those who read his works. I’m of course speaking of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name of Dr. Seuss.
While he made a point of not speaking to any one religion or group in his writings, his messages of tolerance, understanding and peace were obvious and recurring themes in the books he wrote. Through whimsical characters, engaging stories and tongue-twisting rhymes he made learning fun while passing along the underlying positive messages to his young audience. Even as an adult, I still get a smile reading his stories.
The one published exception to his self-imposed rule of not writing works with obvious religious connotations came in a full-page, full-color article in the December 23, 1955 issue of Collier’s Magazine, where he wrote “A Prayer for a Child”* :
“From here on earth,
From my small place
I ask of You
Way out in space:
Please tell all men
In every land
What You and I
Both understand . . .
Please tell all men
That Peace is Good.
That need be understood
In every world
In Your great sky.
Both You and I.)” – Theodor Seuss Geisel
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts this man brought to me and to so many other children. While his words may not specifically carry Your name, Your Light shone brightly through his works all the same. Amen.
*The poem and image used are Trademark and Copyright of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
Feb 24, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!
Well Father, it’s certainly been a little while since I’ve sat down and written to You. And while our conversations haven’t diminished in the least, I have missed bringing the fruits of our time together to the written word. So Lord, when You laid it on my heart today to share this post, it gave me a much needed early-morning smile. 🙂
Back in January Father, my family and I attended a viewing at our church of the movie “Facing the Giants”. It was an absolutely excellent film, filled with inspiring messages and poignant reminders of where our true motivation and priorities should lie. At one point in the movie, a statement was made that really captured my attention, and has stuck with me since…
“God will send the rain when He’s ready… You need to prepare your field to receive it.”
Such a simple truth Father, and yet one I’ve missed on so many occasions. While I try to recognize Your many Blessings in my life and in the world around me, in many cases I’ve not been proactive in aggressively preparing myself to receive those gifts. I want to live my life expecting Your presence at every turn Lord; sowing my seeds in earnest…
Knowing without a doubt that Your Heavenly rain is coming.
Such is my desire Father… Today and every day.
Continuing to count Your many Blessings in my life Lord; these past weeks have been truly filled with Your Grace, and I’ve been especially grateful for:
571. Being given 18 wonderful years with my dog Brandy.
572. A marriage that not only has grown us as a couple, but also allows us both to grow as individuals.
573. Bourbon manhattans with a splash of grenadine.
574. An absolutely beautiful, warm sunny drive into work this morning.
575. Our caring, compassionate veterinarian who made a very difficult situation much easier.
576. A beautiful Valentine’s Day dinner out with Shannon.
577. Seeing Your grace powerfully impacting the lives of some good friends.
578. That no matter what missteps we make or how far we fall, when we come to You we’re welcomed with open arms.
579. The amazing outpouring of encouragement and concern we received upon Brandy’s passing.
580. A number of significant new jobs this past couple weeks.
581. A good “check up” service on Shannon’s van with no major surprises.
582. Those people You place in our lives that connect to our hearts in truly powerful ways.
583. A fun night out with friends last Saturday night.
584. The view of the world I receive when I look through eyes cleansed by faith.
585. The healing power contained in the smile of a good friend.
I thank You Lord, for the wondrous gifts You continue to Bless our lives with each and every day; both those that cause the Heavens to ring out in song, and those that whisper Your mighty love quietly from the shadows.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
Feb 14, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Valentine’s Day Father!
Today Father, much of the world’s attention turns to “all things love” as we celebrate Valentine’s Day. And yet, while the greeting card, candy and jewelry companies would like us to spend our time and money focusing on the romantic and tangible side of our affections, I choose instead to take this time to reflect on those aspects of love in my life that touch me most deeply:
The amazing, intimate bond I have with my wonderful wife, Shannon…
The powerful sense of care and commitment I have for my children…
The deep, very personal relationships I’ve established with a few close friends…
And the overwhelming, transformational and ever-deepening connection I have with my Lord and Savior.
Such wondrous examples of Your love for me Father; such astounding Blessings in my life.
Thank You Lord;
For seeding Your love in me,
For seeking me through my brokenness,
For reminding me that I’m Your Beloved Child,
And that above all else,
You love me; perfectly and completely.
I’m Yours Father. 🙂
Feb 7, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!
When I was little, one of my favorite Bible stories was that of Daniel in the lion’s den. The Children’s Bible I read it from contained some beautiful illustrations and a wonderful translation of Daniel’s “adventure”, and I found myself returning to it often.
Yesterday Lord, my morning Scripture readings led me once again to the book of Daniel, chapter 6:
“Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.
Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.” – Daniel 6:16-23 (ESV)
Now Father, when I read this as a young boy, the amazement this story inspired was mostly directed at the Angel’s presence in that den; Your benevolent power protecting Daniel’s life. When I read the passage now however, I’m struck by the powerful truth of Daniel’s trial in that den…
When we lay our faith and trust in You, You’ll always be by our side.
I know I’ll be beset with trouble in my life Lord
And things may not go the way I expect or desire,
But I give myself to You Father… wholly and faithfully
And lay my life at Your tender mercies.
Thank You Lord,
For protecting me from the lions.
Feb 2, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!
Yesterday morning, I hit the wall Father. The cumulative weight of many insomnia-driven nights had finally exacted its penance on me. And when the alarm abruptly announced it was time for me to awaken for our time together, for the first time in a great long while Lord, I shut it off and laid back down.
An hour or so later the alarm once again fulfilled its mission, brutally reminding me of the day that lie ahead. Caving in to its insistent call, I pulled myself from beneath the covers. As I sat on the side of the bed desperately attempting to shake the cobwebs loose from my resistant mind, the loss of my “Still time” in Your presence sat uneasily in my heart…
I count on that time…
I look forward to it…
And yet, today I’d missed it.
Determined to refresh my spirit, I reached for my daily bread; the daily devotional message I read each morning from my Stand Firm men’s magazine. This attempt however, also proved fruitless as I realized that a new month had begun, and my February edition was nowhere to be found.
“Wow…” I thought. “I’m really not doing very well for You today Father…”
As my failings of the morning took deeper root, my weariness took on new life.
And then my mobile phone lit up.
“Hmm… No one texts me at this hour… This can’t be good.” I thought.
Resolved to more of the morning’s direction, I begrudgingly picked up the phone and read the message…
“Good morning. You came to my mind, so I prayed for you and your family. Just wanted to let you know that. :-)”
And in a single moment Father, my day changed.
I’d missed my Scripture time…
I’d misplaced my devotional…
You found a way Lord,
To remind me that You love me,
Through the heart of a friend.
Thank You. 🙂
Continuing to count my Blessings on this sunny Thankful Thursday Father, this week I’ve been especially grateful for:
541. An upcoming visit from some dear friends.
542. Some beautiful unseasonal, spring-like weather this week.
543. Getting to catch up a little with a friend I haven’t seen in a while today.
544. The honor of being asked to pray for someone in need.
545. “Remote Control” software that allows me to service computers anywhere.
546. A wonderful surprise gift of a Jason Gray CD, containing the song “Remind Me Who I Am”.
547. A wonderful, long walk in Blackbird State Forest this past Sunday with my two boys.
548. Finally getting to watch the movie “Courageous” with friends this past Saturday.
549. Getting to “Sit in” on a worship practice today.
550. The most powerful act of love in history.
551. That a good friend of our family is experiencing the relief of Your healing following some serious health problems.
552. The opportunity to assist another church with their web presence.
553. Text messaging on my phone that helps keep me connected to those I care about.
554. Chicken Cordon Bleu, shared with friends.
555. Seeing Your hand at work in my relationships with others.
I thank You Lord, for all the many Blessings You bring to our lives each and every day; both those that boldly reveal Your presence, and those that grace us in the silence.
In Jesus’ name we pray,