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Our Father

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Without a doubt, the “Our Father” is the most universally recognized Christian prayer, uniting believers throughout the world.  It’s a prayer that many of us learned as children and has become so routine, that we might rattle off the words without giving a second thought to their meaning or what we are asking of God.

As I reflect on the words of the Lord’s Prayer, I was struck by three distinct phrases that inspire and challenge me.

First, “Our Father…” We address God in a most personal way. God is our father and we are his children, no different than the loving, caring, relationships we hold dear with our children and families.

“Thy will be done…” In a world that promotes self-centeredness and that it’s all about me…we state in the Lord’s Prayer that it’s not about my wants, but God’s will which is to be done.

The third phrase, and most significant: “Forgive us, as we forgive…” How do we want God to treat us?  By forgiving us in the manner that we forgive others.  How we act towards others, is how we are asking God to treat us!

C. S. Lewis wrote: “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it means to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves.

The next time you pray the most common of Christian prayers, “The Lord’s Prayer,” reflect on what the words truly mean and what you are asking of God, “Our Father.” I guarantee your prayer will take on a whole new meaning and become anything but common.

Trust

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In the past three weeks, I’ve had my credit card compromised, I’ve received three fraudulent emails (hackers trying to get me to click on a link to steal my identity), and one suspicious phone call with a man asking me for money.

My trust level is at an all-time low. And I know I’m not alone. We live in a world of looking over our shoulder and questioning “does this look and sound right?” Unfortunately, we have to be prepared for the worst as the scammers are out in full force these days.

But then I think about my faith. Has my trust worn thin in my faith? Do I truly “put things in God’s hands” and let him guide my life? Or do I worry and obsess over things? Do I let the little things in life bother me? 

True trust means letting go, even when we’re afraid. God has told us so many times, “I’ve got this. Trust me.” Yet we don’t always let go of our anxiety. Isn’t it time we let down our guard? Isn’t it time we let God lead the way.

You can check your email and watch your credit card. But when it comes to your faith, just remember one thing. God’s got this.

Posted by Dan Herda
Tags: faith, trust, worry

God is Alive

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Sharing in the mission of Jesus is difficult; yet each one of us is called to do so. The notion of discipleship is a powerful one. To be a disciple means you strive to hold nothing back from your commitment to follow Jesus. Over the past year, my commitment to Christ was tested in major ways. I still struggle with many unanswered questions. In and through these difficult experiences I never said, “That’s it God, I don't want to continue to try and be a disciple for you”.

 Why? I have come to know against all odds that God is alive. He is my hope, deliverer, Lord, Savior. I am thankful for all of my life experiences whether difficult or joyous. They helped to shape me into His disciple. Just recently, I was introduced to a song that has become my “discipleship” anthem. It was a great help to me when facing a tragedy in my family. It’s called, “Raise a Hallelujah”.

 “I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me

I'm gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you're gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

 I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!”

Do you have a discipleship song? Share it with us.

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