Saturday, November 30, 2013

Teach Me How to Pray

Today, I’m just popping in quick to share with you a song that has been both blessing and slightly challenging for me.

“Teach Me How to Pray”, by Jim Reeves

(Daddy, my daddy teach me how to pray.)
One night a sleepy little boy knelt beside my bed.
He smiled and looked into my eyes and this is what he said,
“Daddy, my daddy, you’ve taught me lots today.
So daddy, my daddy teach me how to pray.

“You brought me home a brand new kite, and showed me how to fly.
And there ain’t no other kid who’s dad can knock a ball so high!
I’d like to thank God for you but I don’t know what to say.
So daddy, my daddy teach me how to pray.”

I had to turn and leave his room, and he began to cry.
I didn’t want my boy to know—but so did I.
His best pal forsaken him, but what was there to say?
For daddy, his daddy had forgotten how to pray.
(Daddy, my daddy teach me how to pray.)

This song was more written for parents and especially fathers, but I think that this is the kind of song all of us can learn from. No matter what our station in life, there are things that we know that we can pass on to other people. The joy of Jesus. How being a Christian really is—happy and peaceful, not because we have no storms but because He is always with us, even in the darkest storm.

I know I haven’t pulled everything there is to learn from the song out, but I think this is a start.

May God bless you as you begin another week to glorify and praise Him!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Reprimand

At the sound of Mr. Troy’s bell, Eleanor Graves vanished into his private office. Ten minutes later she came out, with a deep flush on her face and tears in her eyes.

“He lectured me on the spelling of a couple of words and a mistake in a date,” she complained to Jim Forbes. “Anybody’s liable to misspell a word or two in typing, and I know I took the date down exactly as he gave it to me.”

Jim looked uncomfortable. “I would not mind,” he said awkwardly. “We all have to take it sometime or other. Besides,” he glanced hesitatingly at the pretty, indignant face, “I suppose the boss thinks we ought not to make mistakes.”

“As if I wanted to!” Eleanor retorted, stiffly.

But she worked more carefully the next week; for her pride was touched. Then, with restored confidence, came renewed carelessness, and an error crept into one of the reports she was copying. The error was slight, but it brought her a sharp reprimand from Mr. Troy. It was the second time, he reminded her, that she had made that blunder. At the reproof the girl’s face flushed painfully, and then paled.

“If my work is not satisfactory, you had better find some one who can do it better,” she said.

Whirling round in his swivel-chair, Mr. Troy looked at her. He had really never noticed his latest stenographer before, but now his keen eyes saw many things that showed that she came from a home where she had been petted and cared for.

“How long have you been at work?” he asked.

“This is my first position,” Eleanor answered.

Mr. Troy nodded. “I understand. Now, Miss Graves, let me tell you something. You have many of the qualities of a good business woman; you are punctual, you are not afraid of work, you are fairly accurate. I have an idea that you take pride in turning out a good piece of work. But you must learn to stand criticism and profit by it. We must all take it sometime, every one of us. A weakling goes under. A strong man or woman learns to value it, to make every bit of it count. That is what I hope you will do.”

Eleanor braced herself to meet his eyes.

“If you will let me, I will try again,” she said.

—from Stories Worth Rereading, by Various

Photo courtesy Ethan R on Flickr.

Friday, November 15, 2013


This post came from The Pursuit (you can read others from the website here). It was originally posted on April 3, 2011. Used by permission—thanks, Ariel!

Hey Girls,

I want to talk about something that has always been challenging for me as a Christian: witnessing.  We've all read it in the Bible; God wants us to publicly share our faith.  That sounds easy, but when you are in a classroom surrounded by people who only make fun of Jesus and live to party, it's extremely hard to open you mouth (I know from experience!).  So, often (at least I do!), we just kinda twist that command to mean that we only have to live good lives and that will be our testimony…right????

Well, not exactly.  Sharing the hope of the Gospel with our mouths is very important, something we can't just slink around.  So, you may be wondering, how exactly should I go about this? What can I say that won't come across as preaching or condemning them or just plain stupid?  I've had these same questions, so let me try to answer them:

1) Pray! Pray that God will open up doors of opportunity as well as make you sensitive to His voice and prompting.

2) Look!  Look for the right situation, the right moment when you can appropriately bring up the subject. This is crucial, because if you try to shove the Gospel on someone at the wrong moment, you could actually turn them off, causing them to be less interested in what you have to say.

3) Speak!  Don't try to summarize the whole Bible all at once!  Maybe question their way of thinking or behavior and then offer a different way or approach (one that is biblical of course).  Or present a smaller facet of the Gospel to them, one that fits the occasion.  Or maybe simply challenge their belief about God…there are so many ways, just be sensitive to what is appropriate and what is most beneficial to them.

I want to challenge you guys to think of three people you know who aren't saved and whom you care about.  Pray for them daily.  And then witness to them using these three steps (if you want ;).  I hope this helps and challenges you all!


Megan Brainerd, from New York, is a busy nursing student who loves to hang out with her friends, read, and play the piano. :) Contact her at piano93[at]verizon[dot]net.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Love Unconditionally—or Just as a Friend?

I’ve always been intrigued by the story of the Lord and Peter in John 21:15-17.

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Peter, right after denying Christ.I’ve read it over many times, and I always wondered to myself, what’s the point? Why does Jesus ask Peter the same questions over and over—three times, to be exact? I’ve heard it explained before that Jesus had to ask him three times, once for each time he had denied knowing Jesus. That could be the case, I don’t know. What’s really interesting is to see the words used here.

In verse 15, Jesus says, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” The word “lovest” here is the Greek word “agapao”, which is the kind of wholehearted, unconditional, devoted love Jesus showed when He died for us.

Peter replies, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” Peter replies, but uses a different word—“phileo”, which means to just love like a friend.

Jesus asks again, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you agapao me?” Do you love me unconditionally, so much you’d lay down your life for me?

Peter says, “Yes, Lord; you know that I phileo you.” Peter loved Jesus like a friend but he wasn’t willing to try go agape Jesus—he’d already failed at that.

You can almost hear Jesus sigh as he asks the third time—“Simon, son of Jonas, do you phileo me?” Are you even willing to love me like a friend, Peter?

Peter was (naturally) very distressed at this point. Here Jesus had been asking him to lay down his life for Him, and he wasn’t sure he had the strength to do that. So he replied, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I phileo you.” Peter was so ashamed of his denial of Jesus, and he wanted to make things right but he was afraid he wasn’t up to the task the Lord had set for him. Thankfully, we know history and we know that, in the end, he did end up agapaing Jesus—he died for Him.

I find this bit of scripture very interesting because here, very soon before Jesus went up to heaven, he’s testing Peter. Seeing how far he’s willing to go.

And that makes me think of myself, of my own life. Of the fear that I have. What if I don’t agapao Jesus? What if my love is only phileo? Would I still stand strong for Jesus if I had to choose between Him or my life? I find it pretty scary to think about. Because I don’t think I am that strong. I don’t think I have enough faith. And that’s scary.

So I pull out my Bible and read, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (1 Corinthians 12:9) And my fear is stilled.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think Jesus’ purpose was in talking with Peter like this? Do you agapao Jesus? Or is it just a phileo love? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


First photo courtesy La Vista Church of Christ Pictures.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Live for Something

Live for something; be not idle—
Look about thee for employ;
Sit not down to useless dreaming—
Labor is the sweetest joy.
Folded hands are ever weary,
Selfish hearts are never gay,
Life for thee has many duties—
Live for something, while you may.

Scatter blessings in thy pathway!
Gentle words and cheering smiles
Better are than gold and silver,
With their grief-dispelling wiles.
As the pleasant sunshine falleth
Ever on the grateful earth,
So let sympathy and kindness
Gladden well the darkened hearth.

From: The King's Daughter and Other Stories for Girls. Book is in the Public Domain

Friday, November 1, 2013

The White Woman’s Prayer

At church a while ago one of our pastors shared the following story.

He told us he had been speaking with a certain member of our church (a lovely elderly Chinese woman) and asked her how she became a Christian. This is apparently what she said.

She said that one of her ancestors (great-aunt or something like that) was very very sick and was almost dead. The sick woman’s family, knowing that they couldn’t do anything more for her, took her into the city in the hope that they would find help for her. But they had not money to pay for hospitals or anything so she found herself on the street, near death.

That was when a westerner (white woman) walked by. This lady stopped when she saw the Chinese woman who was critically ill. Taking compassion on her, she knelt down beside her, and, speaking in her own language because she knew no Chinese, closed her eyes and prayed to Jesus for the healing of the sick woman.

The sick woman got well.

All of her relatives knew that the white lady’s God had healed their sick family member. So they decided that since that God was so powerful, they must worship Him! He must be the true God! Since the white woman had prayed in her own language, they didn’t know which God to worship though. All they knew was that the white woman had prayed with her eyes shut.

So they set out on a mission to find the God to whom people prayed with their eyes shut. They found a church full of Christian people and eventually the whole extended family got saved.

And now, six generations later, this lovely elderly Chinese member of our church here in Christchurch is a Christian because many years ago a kind white woman took pity on a sick Chinese lady and prayed for her. Isn’t that amazing?

I’m sure the lady who prayed for the sick woman didn’t think anything of her action. I’m sure it was just a spur-of-the-moment thing. She probably didn’t even remember it! But I can just imagine when she gets to heaven and sees this entire extended family (and lots of generations, too!) of Chinese people coming to greet her…and she gets told that they are all there because she prayed. Such a simple act! But with such incredible results!

Matthew 10:42 says “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.

About the Author: Bonnie is the second eldest in a homeschooling family of nine children. She plays the violin and piano and loves dancing and singing. Among other things, some of her hobbies include playing and umpiring netball, sewing, writing, climbing trees, crocheting and knitting, drawing pictures, taking photos and playing practical jokes on people. She blogs at Bonnie’s Blessings.

Photo courtesy jamesclk on