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November 8, 2014

Fuel for the Weekend

by Dave Malnes

I remember as a young father climbing up a tree to retrieve a lost ball that was stuck in one of the branches. I first tried to shake the trunk to dislodge the ball, but that didn’t work. Instead, I found myself dangerously extending my body onto the branch to try to reach the ball.

I stretched and stretched my arm until I finally was able to flick the ball. Thankfully, the ball dropped harmlessly to the ground and I gave a prayer of thanksgiving that I didn’t fall with it.

Ahh.. prayer. Do you sometimes view prayer as shooting arrows of thanksgiving into the air? Random thoughts enter our minds and we process them through prayer. The idea of an extended conversation is difficult to grasp.

Sometimes I view prayer as kicking a ball into the trees. It seems to be a lost art that I have a very difficult time grasping. I extend and stretch my faith, but not able to grasp it’s importance or purpose. Trying to understand the importance of prayer gets in the way of making my prayer life more meaningful.

I wish I could do a better job in my personal prayer life. Is that the same for you?

My fuel for the weekend will be on prayer. Lately, I am discovering that the purpose of prayer has little to do with asking God for something to happen or even to give him praise and thanksgiving. We pray because God wants us to pray. It’s a means by which God grants us confidence and peace that He is working out all things for the good. It’s a way to confess that ultimately we are not God. We do not have control over all things. With that sense of relief, we can lay unfinished work, unsolved problems, and unfulfilled hopes into His hands. It’s a matter of trust.

These thoughts have had a great effect on my prayer life. Our prayers don’t have to be long or short to be effective, but simply a conscious acknowledgement of God’s grace, love, and strength in our lives.

“Thank you, Lord, for bringing me safely into this weekend. Thank you that you have kept me from all harm and danger. Continue to give your angels charge over all those who are dear to me. Lead me and direct me, Lord, to do what is right in your sight. Amen.”

"This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." (Is. 66:2)

“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” (Is. 66:2)

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (Psalm 5:3)

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3)

 

FAMILY EVENTS

Almost ten years ago, our family became a part of the virtual school movement. We were guinea pigs for k12 who were launching a national virtual high school program. Our daughter, Chelsea, was part of one of those first high schools. Since that time, three of our children have graduated from a virtual high school along with a daughter who will be graduating this spring. All of our children participate in athletics.

A national blog interviewed Lori about our children and how they incorporated college athletics and virtual learning. Click here to read the post.

As a result of this blog, Lori and I, along with our daughter, Meagan, were invited to attend a iNACOL national conference to address the issue of why the NCAA is ruling that many full-time virtual students are no longer eligible to compete as student-athletes. The three of us enjoyed a quick, but splendid two-day visit to Palm Springs, California on Tuesday and Wednesday. Beautiful! And relaxing. Both Lori and I hope that we can return someday and enjoy the beautiful weather during the winter.

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GOblogOD BLOG POSTS I READ THIS WEEK:

The Three Unexpected Kinds of People the World Really Needs

Well-known author, Philip Yancey, recently wrote a book that describes “many of the things we Christians do poorly and ask whether the Christian message truly represents good news in a modern world. As I was writing, a friend mentioned to me, “There are three kinds of Christians that outsiders to the faith respect: pilgrims, activists, and artists.”

Designing Worship Spaces with Millennials in Mind

Since I have kids who are considered “millennials” and struggle with many other Christian churches on how to effectively reach them, I am drawn to articles that attempt to help. This is another good one.
Have a blessed weekend!

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