Hey, God!

How do you address God when you pray and what does it say about the quality of your relationship ?

I have heard any number of names and phrases to address God through the years. Here are just a few of them.

Dear God. Father God.  Heavenly Father. Lord of the universe. Abba Father. The Man Upstairs. Hey, You, if you’re listening.

What do these names say about their respective relationship with God?

We’re these terms close and intimate or formal and distant?

What kind of  father is God and can our view of our earthly father affect how we view God? 

If we had no Dad then God will be a father to the fatherless. He’s perfect. Anything is better than nothing. 

If our earthly dad was abusive and mean it’s harder to have a clear view of God as a merciful father.

If our dad had a temper, was impatient, judgmental and demanded sinless perfection our view if God is severely danaged. 

I realized that my view of God was deeply influenced by the relationship I had with my earthly father. 

My dad fell in love with Jesus when I was fifteen years old. He became a wonderful father. But by then my view of God was already impacted by my view of my dad.

For years I assumed that God was angry at me and that I had disappointed him. It is only through the lens of the Bible that I have come to understand how God really views me. I am his child. He loves me even when I don’t love him in return.

This renewed view of him has led me to change how I pray.

I’ve started saying Dad instead of Father God in my prayers. It was an intentional act on my part. It just feels right. 

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10 Lies Our Parents Told Us

I know they were well intentioned, but there were things that my parents told me that just weren’t true. Here are the top ten lies my parents told me. 

1. That no one will remember that you had a bad short haircut on the first day of school in first grade. I still carry the nicknames TURTLE and BULLET with my oldest friends. 

2.That you could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up. At 5 foot 9 inches no one would give me a try out to be the starting center for the Boston Celtics.

3. That you needed to have clean underwear when you went to the emergency room. I’ve been there a couple of times and no one has ever commented on my underwear. 

4. That fighting never solved anything. Sometimes It did. Surprisingly, it sometimes led to a lifetime friendship.

5. That if you kept making faces your face was going to freeze that way. I’m still waiting for it to stick. Okay. Maybe it did.

6. That you would grow out of that awkward stage. I am a master at awkward and I’m still waiting to grow up.

7. That duct tape and airplane glue could fix it anything. It didn’t work on a broken heart or a glass vase. 

8. That sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never harm you. Words can hurt worse. Especially when they come from someone you love. 

9. That if you ignore a bully they will go away. That actually seems to make them madder and more intent on getting a response from you. 

10. That comic books and toys are just for little kids. All the best movies today are based on comic books.

10 Benefits To Being on Vacation On A Monday.

There are 10 benefits to being on vacation on a Monday. 

1. You don’t have to call in to work sick. 

2. You don’t to respond to your work voice mail or email.

3. You don’t have to tell your coworkers how the weekend was way to short.

4. You can actually take a lunch hour away from your work desk. 

5. You won’t start the morning off with a tension headache. 

6. You won’t have to sit on your hands in traffic to avoid inappropriate hand gestures. 

7. You won’t have three mandatory meetings scheduled at the end of the day. 

8. You actually have time to stop and smell the coffee. 

9. You can take a shower that lasts more than three minutes. 

10. You can stay in your pajamas all day and order pizza delivery. 

Life Interrupted

It’s been said that, “Man plans, and God laughs”. With what I know of God’s character, I don’t believe that is true. But there are days that it feels that way.

Life has so many interruptions. The death of a loved one, the birth of child. Car trouble. An unexpected surgery. The loss of a job. A divorce. A military deployment. Cancer. Older parents moving in with their kids. 

How we view these interruptions makes all the difference.

These interruptions should cause us to reevaluate our plans and our priorities. 

These interruptions can become the catalyst for positive changes in our life. 

What was considered an interruption can become a divinely inspired appointment. 

We may come to view the interruption as better than the original plan.

7 Ways to Deal with Pain

There are at least 7 coping mechanisms to deal with physical, emotional or spiritual pain. Some are more successful than others. I have tried them all.
1. Denial. 

Sometimes I have denied that I am experiencing pain. Blood is flowing from my forehead. Everyone who sees me knows that I am hurt. But I will not acknowledge it. I walked on a broken ankle for months denying there was a problem. As a result of this denial I now wear an orthopedic insert in my shoes.

2. Withdrawal.

There have been times I have taken a very public fall, got up and said I was fine. But then I withdrew to tend to my wounds. This has happened to me numerous times through the years in verbal arguments.Withdrawing from a painful conflict only delays the argument.

3. Self medicate.

There are various ways to self medicate. Pain medication. Sleeping aides. Alcohol. Overeating. Shopping to buy something that will create a temporary high to lift my spirits. Whenever I try and feel the void with an activity I know I am in trouble.

4. Isolate self. 

Pain always seems worse when others are around. They are happy and I compare myself and feel like I’m lacking in some way. I know I am not pleasant company and I want to have a self pity party for one. 

5. Create a mask.

Sometimes it is easier for me to smile and act like everything is okay. If others don’t know I’m hurting they will not try to fix my problem. 

6. Devote ourselves to others 

Helping others causes me to put my pain in perspective. Others are in worse shape then I am. I feel better about myself and my circumstances when I help.

These six coping mechanism have had varying degrees of success in my life. But none of them actually resolved my pain. Sometimes I have to admit I’m in pain and deal with it head on.

7. Embrace the pain.

When I fully embrace the pain I’m forced to find the source of the pain and take corrective action. Then the process of healing can begin.