Aloha Friday Message – October 31, 2008

844AFC103108

The Best Way to Pray:
A priest, a minister, and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer while a telephone repairman worked nearby.
“Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray,” the priest said.
“No,” said the minister. “I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven.”
“You’re both wrong,” the guru said. “The most effective prayer position is lying down on the floor.”
The repairman could contain himself no longer. “Hey, fellas!” he interrupted. “The best prayin’ I ever did was when I was ‘hangin’ upside down from a telephone pole.”

This story came in a little package called “Cute Church Stories.” (The others are inserted toward the end of this AFC message) Like the lineman here, for many of us the best time to pray is in a time of duress. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. A circumstance that leads to a boost in faith is a good way to turn our minds toward God and to recognize we are not always our lives and realize we are not always as “in charge” as we often think. An urgent situation can lead us to an urgent prayer, but there are other circumstances and methods of prayer which are usually more consistent.

There is another story about urgent prayer that Crucita and I have remembered many times. There was a very serious flood in a small town close to a river. The water was rising rapidly. A man was standing in front of his as the water inched closer and closer. Just as the edge of the water reached his door, a National Guard truck came by, “Hop in!” called the sergeant driving the truck. “We’ll get you out of here safely!” “No,” replied the man. “I’ll stay. I’m confident the Lord will deliver me.”

The rains came and the flood went up. As the flood waters reached the window sills of his house, the man was standing waist-deep in the cold muddy water. A neighbor in a rowboat saw him and started rowing against the current to go get him. Throwing him a rope, the oarsman shouted, “Grab the line! We can fit you in and take you to safety.” “No,” replied the man. “I’ll stay. I’m confident the Lord will deliver me.”

The rains came and the flood went up. Very soon they were above the edge of the roof on the man’s house. The rose steadily, and finally there was no place to go but the chimney. As the man clung to the chimney, a helicopter flew over and lowered a rope ladder. “GRAB IT! THERE’S A BIG CREST COMING. WE’LL GET YOU TO SAFETY!” “No,” replied the man. “I’ll stay. I’m confident the Lord will deliver me.” The helicopter left. The crest came. The man drowned.

The man realized he had died and was now standing in Heaven. He saw Saint Peter and asked him, “Why didn’t God deliver me?! ” I stayed because I was confident the Lord would deliver me. But he didn’t do anything and now look what happened!”

“What do you mean, ‘He didn’t do anything?'” said Saint Peter. “We sent you a truck, a rowboat and a helicopter. All you had to do was take one of those to safety.”

Looking at both of these stories we can see that there are more times a ways to pray than just in urgency, and that’s it is important to remember that our prayers are always answered by God, but often not in ways we imagine.

So what, then, can we decide about prayer, praying, and receiving answers? It is good to pray, so good in fact that we all should do it more often and for more reasons. We pray to worship and praise, God, or to offer thanks, or for assistance in our temporal needs. Some of us say our prayers in the morning, some as we go to sleep, and others whenever we remember that we CAN pray.

Here is some advice for a very wise teacher, Saint Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians. In chapter five he says, ”

1 Thessalonians 5:13c-22 Be at peace among yourselves. 14 We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good (both) for each other and for all. 16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 Test everything; retain what is good. 22 Refrain from every kind of evil.

“Pray without ceasing.” Easy to say, hard to do? Not if you make your whole day a prayer by consistently giving everything you think, say, or do to God. That way you will be remembering to pray for your friends who are ill, to pray for Peace, to pray for our leaders, to pray for your loved ones, to pray for those who ask for your prayers, to pray for your friends and benefactors, to pray for the grace of prayer. And it’s easy to do. In another passage Paul explains that we can do everything in God by doing all things for God. Our works, our prayers, our joys and sorrows, our victories and defeats, our fear and anxieties, our hearts desires, everything we do and everything we fail to do become His. That is prayer without ceasing.

And so, Moon Beam Members, we pray for each other with the moon as a reminder that we have been given the grace of prayer. Keep praying. It’s working.

Now, the other Cut Church Stories.

Front Row:
An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps. “Where would you like to sit, ma’am?” he asked politely.
“The front row, please,” she answered. “You really don’t want to do that,” the usher said. “The pastor is really boring.” “Do you happen to know who I am?” the woman inquired. “No,” he said. “I’m the pastor’s mother,” she replied indignantly. “Do you know who I am?” he asked. “No,” she said.
“Good,” he answered.
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Show and Tell:
A kindergarten teacher gave her class a “show and tell” assignment. Each student was instructed to bring in an object to share with the class that represented their religion.

The first student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Benjamin. I am Jewish and this is a Star of David.”
The second student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Mary. I’m a Catholic and this is a Rosary.”
The third student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Tommy. I am Baptist, and this is a casserole.”
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Waking Up for Church:
One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, “I’m not going.” “Why not?” she asked. “I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One, they don’t like me, and two, I don’t like them.” His mother replied, “I’ll give YOU two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church….
“… One, you’re 46 years old, and two, …you’re the Pastor!”
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The Twenty and the One:
A well-worn one dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.
The twenty dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country. “I’ve had a pretty good life,” the twenty proclaimed. “Why, I’ve been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean.”

“Wow!” said the one dollar bill. “You’ve really had an exciting life!” “So tell me,” said the twenty, “where have you been throughout your lifetime?” The one dollar bill replied, “Oh,… I’ve been to the Methodist Church,… the Baptist Church,… the Lutheran Church…..”
The twenty dollar bill interrupted, …”What’s a church?”

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Goat for Dinner:
The young couple invited their elderly pastor over to their house for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having for dinner.
“Goat,” the little boy replied.
“Goat?” replied the startled man of the cloth. “Are you sure about that?”
“Yep,” the youngster said.
“I heard Dad say to Mom, “Today’s as good as any to have the Old Goat for dinner.”

Have a beautiful day, Beloved. Pray for us (you, me, and the whole MBN).

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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