Saturday, July 28, 2012

Prayer of an African Christian

SOURCE:  From Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Walking with Africans, p. 23. Translated by Mary B. Crawford.

O God:
Enlarge my heart
     that it may be big enough to receive the greatness of your love.
Stretch my heart
     that it may take into it all those who with me around the world believe in Jesus Christ.
Stretch it
     that it may take into it all those who do not know him, but who are my responsibility because I know him.
And stretch it
     that it may take in all those who are not lovely in my eyes, and whose hands I do not want to touch;
through Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hearing Only the Critics

SOURCE:  from an article by Brian Hiatt in the Rolling Stone.  Quoted by David Collins.
KEYWORDS:  sin, criticism, image of God, 

There was a story about Larry David (one of the funniest men alive) in Rolling Stone a while back.

In it, Brian Hiatt writes,
 “One night during his stay (in New York), David went to Yankee Stadium to see a game. His image went up on the big screen as Curb Your Enthusiasm’s theme song played over the big speakers. An entire stadium of fans stood and cheered for the hopeless case from Brooklyn. It should have been a life-defining moment, the redemptive final scene in the biopic. But as it turned out, not so much. As David left the stadium, a guy drove by and yelled, “Larry, you suck!” “That’s like, literally all he heard,” Berg (David’s friend) says.
David spent the ride back from the Bronx obsessing over that moment, running it over and over in his mind. It was as if the other 50,000 people, the ones who loved him, didn’t exist. “Who’s that guy? What was that?” He asked. “Who would do that? Why would you say something like that?”
I like that story. It has a lot to say about how we listen to our critics, but not our fans. (God being our biggest fan, after all)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Grace and Gratitude

KEYWORDS:  compassion, love, abuse, grace, gratitude, redeemed,

In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England , opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. The dog had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had quite clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a female greyhound, to the Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a man named Geoff Grewcock, and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or otherwise in need.

Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.
Jasmine, however, had other ideas. No one quite remembers how it came about, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It would not matter if it were a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal. Jasmine would just peer into the box or cage and, when and where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.