It was late in the season. The Heat led the series against the Lakers 2–1, with Game Four taking place today at 3:30. I was busy. I was always busy, but today she had invited guests over for lunch, so busy had taken on a whole new dimension.
She had a lot of friends. Isn’t it funny how your younger sister seems to have always had more playmates than you? I tried not to mind. I didn’t care much for her friends anyway—never had, frankly—but of course,one still wants to make a good impression. And a good impression takes a lot of work.
I want to be a very present companion, counselor, and help to you—not merely someone you know of, or someone you met once but rarely think about or talk to, or even an advisor that you consult from time to time when you have a problem or need to make an important decision. I want to be a constant, loving presence.
I’d just arrived in the port city of Tampico, Mexico, and I was being shown around the townhouse our volunteer work would be based out of. It is located fairly close to the busy downtown, but also not too far from the poorer outlying areas where we conduct most of our projects. What a nice setting, I thought to myself, looking at the beautiful lagoon where folks gather to mingle in the cooling twilight, and also just a short drive from a clean uncrowded beach.
Do you sometimes forget to pray, or not know where to start or how to go about it when you do remember? It takes a while for prayer to become a habit, but it’s one that’s worth cultivating because it can solve so many problems, sometimes before they even happen. If your prayer times need a jump-start, these tips should help.
It all started when we gave in to the children’s pleas and bought a cute little rabbit. At first, the little fellow was too small to be left alone in the garden while the children were at school, but neither could he remain in his hutch all day without any exercise.
So the task fell on me to take the rabbit out in the garden daily. It soon got to be our little ritual. Whenever I’d unlock the screen door in the morning, there’d be a “Thump!” from his hutch, as if he was saying, “I’ve been waiting for you!”As soon as I set bunny on the ground, he would do a few little happy jumps, showing how glad he was just to be alive.
“If anyone says that they love Jesus,” the catchy song in my daughter’s Christian cartoon goes, “they should walk as He walked too. Walk and talk and be just like Him, in everything you do.” Many of us are probably used to hearing advice along those lines, and maybe we take that to mean we’re supposed to live by a set of rules and regulations, or we make resolutions that we end up not keeping, and we get discouraged.
Some time ago, I found myself facing a situation that was beyond my ability to resolve. Alone in the stillness of the night, I racked my brain for a solution and finally sent up a prayer for direction.
As I lay on my bed, waiting to hear an answer, there was only silence. My patience started to wear thin, and just as I was about to get up for a glass of water, the still small voice spoke: Are you sure you are being totally quiet and still?
Come to Me when you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest and teach you how to be meek, like I am.1 The meekness I’m referring to is really strength, but it is manifested with gentleness and kindness. It doesn’t need to assert itself or boast, because it knows its strength.
According to Dr. James H. Bossard, a former professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the greatest weaknesses in family life is the way parents talk in front of their children. After studying extensive recordings of table talk, he wrote, “I have found that family after family had definite, consistent conversational habits, and that the critical pattern was the most prevalent. These families rarely had a good word to say about anyone. They complained continuously about friends, relatives, neighbors—almost every aspect of their lives, from the lines of people in the supermarket to the stupidity of their bosses.
As you take time to be filled with Me, I always replenish your resources. The more you give Me of yourself, the more I can give you of Myself—My love, My power, My anointing, My gifts, My insight, My wisdom, My blessings, My strength, My provision, My protection, My creativity, My intelligence, My contentment, My joy, My peace.
All these things are part of My goodness. All are yours for the taking and can become a bigger part of your life, day by day. As you get to know Me better and learn to receive from Me more clearly and directly, you can have more and more of these wonderful gifts and treasures. They grow and multiply within your own heart, and spread into the lives of others whom your life touches.