believer, faith, God, prayer

Children’s Letters to God

Dear God:

My Mommy is sad a lot since Daddy went away. We can’t find him. Can you?

Dear God:

My turtle died. We buried her in our yard. Is she there with your now? If so, she really likes lettuce.

Dear God:

I have scary dreams at night. Mommy says I can’t come in with them anymore ‘cuz I’m too big for that. Where do scary dreams come from, or should I ask the devil that?

Dear God:

Did you invent skateboards? Do you have them up in Heaven too? I love mine a lot and can do lots of tricks already. Do you like watching me?

Dear God:

I’m sorry I forgot the words to your songs yesterday in Sunday School. I don’t sing that good anyway so sometimes I just hum along. Is that o.k. with you?

Dear God:

Could you please make my legs be strong? I want to play like the other kids. They tease me so please make them stop.

Dear God:

Do you throw the lightening down at us? It scares me a lot when it goes BOOM. Please stop it.

Dear God:

I love Jesse a lot. When I told him, he pushed me down and made me cry. Mommy says he must like me too. What do you think?

Dear God:

Molly got new pink shoes, and I want them. Is that bad? I won’t steal them or anything, but would you send me some too?

Dear God:

I hate it when Daddy drinks his beer. He smells awful. Then he sleeps. He gets mean and yells at me a lot. Did you make up beer? Why?

Dear God:

When I get big I want to play basketball. Maybe you could make my skin black so I can play better. Also, make me really tall, too.

Dear God:

Do you like it when I pray to you? I do, too.

Dear God:

My Sunday School teacher says you always love me. Is that true? Even after what I did to Sara yesterday – or do you know about that? I really am sorry so I wish you would still love me.

Dear God:

My grandma is dying. She says you want her back with you, but I want her to stay here with me. You can have anyone you want. She’s all I have, so please let her get better and stay.

Dear God:

Did baby Jesus cry all the time? My new brother does, and I don’t like it. Mommy says all babies do, and I did when I was little. I’m six now. I don’t think baby Jesus ever cried. He’s your son, so you must know the answer. We have a bet on it, so please write back.

Dear God:

Why did you make snakes and spiders? I’m afraid of them.

Dear God:

Could you send me a horse? Caitlan has one, and she’s always bragging about how fun he is. I want a bigger and smarter horse than hers. My horses’ name will be Bullet so make him the fastest too, please.

Dear God:

My teacher is mean. She always yells at us. She’s old and ugly. Why did you make bad and mean people?

Dear God:

Help me to not wet my bed anymore. I keep getting whippings, but I still can’t stop.

Dear God:

Why do old people smell funny?

Dear God:

I saw a kangaroo and a buffalo today at the zoo. I like the lion best. What is your favorite? I think the ostrich is funny looking – did you do that on purpose?

Dear God:

I don’t like brussel sprouts. Do I still have to eat them? I don’t like milk, either. Mostly I like pizza.

Dear God:

I love you, God.

Dear God:

Would you make me a little brother? I want to have someone to boss around like my brother does me.

Dear God:

Why didn’t you make me special? Cloe is specially pretty and Janine is specially smart. Ryan can run faster than anyone and wins all the races. Tina has perfect teeth. And Carmen can speak two languages. Did you forget to give me something special to be?

Dear God:

My dog, Bowser is getting really old now. He gets up slowly and doesn’t keep up with me anymore when we run. Mommy says he’s going to die one day. Could you just make him a puppy again instead?

Dear God:

I have no best friend. Everyone at school seems to have a best friend but me. Could you send me one, please? And hurry.

Dear God:

I have a spelling test on Tuesday. I never get all the words right. Maybe you could help me this time. Or is that cheating?

Dear God:

I have a lizard named Ernie. He only has three feet ‘cuz one of them got caught in the door. I didn’t mean to do it though. Would you fix it back again?

Dear God:

In Sunday School we learned that You are everywhere. How big are You? As big as Shaq? He plays basketball and is the biggest I’ve ever seen.

Dear God:

Do you know when I’m bad or good? Or is that just Santa Claus?

Dear God:

I play worse than anyone on my soccer team. I’m the smallest one, too. That doesn’t seem very fair. Did you play a dirty trick on me?

Dear God:

Please make me pretty. Because I think I’m not very smart.

Dear God:

Do you listen to my prayers every night? Do you really know when I only pretend to brush my teeth? Don’t tell Mommy, O.K.?

anxiety, believer, Bible promises, devotional, mental health, worry

Getting Free of Anxiety

From Warren Mueller

Do you often deal with anxiety? Are you consumed with worry? You can learn to manage these emotions by understanding what the Bible says about them. In this excerpt from his book, “Truth Seeker – Straight Talk From The Bible”, Warren Mueller studies the keys in God’s Word to overcoming your struggles with anxiety and worry.

Anxiety (Worry)

Life is full of many concerns stemming from the absence of certainty and control over our future. While we can never be completely free from worry, the Bible shows us how to minimize worry and anxiety in our lives. Philippians 4:6-7 says do not worry about anything, but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known to God and then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Pray About Life’s Worries

Believers are commanded to pray about life’s worries. These prayers are to be more than requests for favorable answers. They are to include thanksgiving and praise along with the needs. Praying in this way reminds us of the many blessings God continually gives us whether we ask or not. This reminds us of God’s great love for us and that He knows and does what is best for us.

A Sense of Security in Jesus

Worry is proportional to our sense of security. When life is going as planned and we feel safe in our life routines, then worries subside. Likewise, worry increases when we feel threatened, insecure or are overly focused on and committed to some result. 1 Peter 5:7 says cast your cares upon Jesus because He cares for you. The practice of believers is to take our worries to Jesus in prayer and leave them with Him. This reinforces our dependence on, and faith in Jesus.

Recognize a Wrong Focus

Worries increase when we become focused on the things of this world. Jesus said the treasures of this world are subject to decay and can be taken away but heavenly treasures are secure (Matthew 6:19). Therefore, set your priorities on God and not on money (Matthew 6:24). Man worries about such things as having food and clothes but is given life by God. God provides life, without which the concerns of life are meaningless.

Worry can cause ulcers and mental problems that can have destructive health effects that shorten life. No amount of worry will add even one hour to one’s life (Matthew 6:27). Therefore, why worry? The Bible teaches that we should deal with each day’s problems when they occur and not be obsessed with future concerns that may not happen (Matthew 6:34).

Focus on Jesus

In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visits the house of the sisters Martha and Mary. Martha was busy with many details regarding making Jesus and his disciples comfortable. Mary, on the other hand, was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what he said. Martha complained to Jesus that Mary should be busy helping but Jesus told Martha that “…you are worried and anxious about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

What is this one thing that freed Mary from the business and worries experienced by her sister? Mary chose to focus on Jesus, listen to Him and ignore the immediate demands of hospitality. I do not believe that Mary was being irresponsible, rather she wanted to experience and learn from Jesus first and later, when He was done speaking, she would fulfill her duties. Mary had her priorities straight. Put God first and He will free us from worries and take care of the rest of our concerns.

From an article posted at by Warren Mueller

His bio at:

believer, devotional, prayer

A Prayer of St. Anselm

A prayer of St. Anselm

Lord Jesus Christ; Let me seek you by desiring you,
and let me desire you by seeking you;
let me find you by loving you,
and love you in finding you.

I confess, Lord, with thanksgiving,
that you have made me in your image,
so that I can remember you, think of you, and love you.

But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults,
and darkened by the smoke of sin,
that it cannot do that for which it was made,
unless you renew and refashion it.

Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.

I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.

Source: The Oxford Book of Prayer, George Appleton (gen. ed.), 1985, 2002.
believer, brokenness, devotional, God, grace, Jesus Christ

Thoughts on the Mercy of God

A Liturgical Christian’s Understanding of Mercy

Bryan’s note: As I travel the internet I occasionally find something out of the ordinary.  Something that stands out and blesses me.  The following text is a wonderfully precise definition and application of God’s mercy.  I hope it blesses you the way it blessed me.


Many people remember the Russian couple, the Rosenbergs, who were tried in court for treason against the United States. The trial was a long and bitter one. As the final sentence was pronounced, the lawyer for the Rosenbergs cried out, “Your Honor, what my clients ask for is justice!”

Judge Kaufman replied, “What the court has given them is what they ask,  justice! What they really want is mercy. But mercy is something this court has no right to give them.”

The One who has the right to give mercy is God.

The Theme of God’s Mercy

This is brought out in the Gospel reading of the Pharisee and the Publican. “God, be merciful to me the sinner,” prayed the Publican. His only plea was for mercy, Kyrie Eleison!  Without this prayer Christianity would be a philosophy, a history, a code but not a religion that saves.

The same theme of God’s mercy is expressed again in the Gospel lesson of the Prodigal Son. Listen to the words of the following hymn from the vesper service of the Prodigal Son:

“As the Prodigal Son I come to you, merciful God. I have wasted my whole life in a foreign land; I have scattered the wealth which You gave me, O Father.

“Receive me in repentance, O God, and have mercy upon me.”

One of the most beautiful examples of God’s mercy is the prodigal son, who leaves home, wastes all his father’s resources in sin, ends up living with pigs, remembers his father, repents, and returns home where he is embraced by the waiting father, who declares a feast to celebrate his return. That is God’s mercy.

The same theme of mercy is emphasized again in the Gospel reading which deals with the second coming of Christ. Listen to the words of the following hymn from the Orthros:

“Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy upon me. I cry to you, when you come with your angels to give to every person due return for his/her deeds.”

From the Matins’ Services of Lent
 After the Gospel reading at matins on each Sunday during Lent, we hear the following beautiful hymns of repentance:

“Open to me the doors of repentance, O Life-Giver …But in your compassion purify me by the loving kindness of your mercy.

“When I think of the many evil things I have done, wretch that I am, I tremble at the fearful day of judgment, but trusting in Your loving-kindness, like David I cry out to You. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your great mercy.”

These hymns are preceded by the reading of Psalm 51, one of the most used psalms in Orthodox worship services. In this Psalm, David asks God’s mercy for his sins and proclaims that God’s steadfast love and mercy are greater than the sins of His creatures:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love. According to Thy abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Ps. 51.1-2) .

From the Penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
 Another place where the call to God for mercy is heard during the first week of Lent is in the penitential canon of St. Andrew of Crete sung each evening during compline. Listen to some of the hymns:

“I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned against you.
Be merciful to me though there is no one whose sins I have not surpassed.
I cry to You, O Lord: Have mercy, have mercy on me!
When You come with Your angels to give due reward to each person for his deeds.

“I have sinned as no other person before,
I have transgressed more than any other, O Lord.
Before the Day of Judgment comes be merciful to me, O Lover of Man.

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me!”

David once showed us the image of true repentance in a psalm he wrote exposing all that he had done:

“Be merciful to me and cleanse me!” he wrote,

“For against You only have I sinned, the God of our fathers.
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me!
I have distorted Your image, O Savior, and broken Your commandments.
The beauty of my soul has been spoiled, and its light extinguished by my sins.”
in David’s words, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.”

“But have pity on me and,”

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me!
Return! Return! Uncover what is hidden!”

“Say to God who knows all things:
‘You are my only Savior and know my terrible secrets.’
Yet in David’s words I cry to You:
‘Be merciful to me, O God, according to Your steadfast love.'”

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me!”

humor, satire, internet, Sunday humor series, theology

Sunday Funnies: The Other Ten

Thou shall not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.


Thou shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.


Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.


Thou shall face each problem as it comes. You can only handle one at a time anyway.


Thou shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.


Thou shall not borrow other people’s problems. They can better care for them than you can.


Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now!


Thou shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear different ideas from your own. It is hard to learn something new when you are talking, and some people do know more than you do.


Thou shall not become “bogged down” by frustration, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.


Thou shall count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.


     – Author Unknown


artwork, believer, C.S. Lewis, God, Jesus Christ, theology

C.S. Lewis takes on the Incarnation

The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation.  They say that God became Man.  Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this. . . .
“In the Christian story God descends to re-ascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity . . . down to the very roots and sea-bed of the Nature He has created.
But He goes down to come up again and bring the ruined world up with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders.
Or one may think of a diver, first reducing himself to nakedness, then glancing in mid-air, then gone with a splash, vanished, rushing down through green and warm water into black and cold water, down through increasing pressure into the death-like region of ooze and slime and old decay; then up again, back to colour and light, his lungs almost bursting, till suddenly he breaks surface again, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing that he went down to recover. He and it are both coloured now that they have come up into the light: down below, where it lay colourless in the dark, he lost his colour, too.
In this descent and re-ascent everyone will recognise a familiar pattern: a thing written all over the world. It is the pattern of all vegetable life. It must belittle itself into something hard, small and deathlike, it must fall into the ground: thence the new life re-ascends.
It is the pattern of all animal generation too. There is descent from the full and perfect organisms into the spermatozoon and ovum, and in the dark womb a life at first inferior in kind to that of the species which is being reproduced: then the slow ascent to the perfect embryo, to the living, conscious baby, and finally to the adult.
So it is also in our moral and emotional life. The first innocent and spontaneous desires have to submit to the deathlike process of control or total denial: but from that there is a re-ascent to fully formed character in which the strength of the original material all operates but in a new way. Death and Rebirth–go down to go up–it is a key principle. Through this bottleneck, this belittlement, the highroad nearly always lies.
The doctrine of the Incarnation, if accepted, puts this principle even more emphatically at the centre.  The pattern is there in Nature because it was first there in God.  All the instances of it which I have mentioned turn out to be but transpositions of the Divine theme into a minor key.  I am not now referring simply to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.  The total pattern, of which they are only the turning point, is the real Death and Re-birth: for certainly no seed ever fell from so fair a tree into so dark and cold a soil as would furnish more than a faint analogy to this huge descent and re-ascension in which God dredged the salt and oozy bottom of Creation.” 
C. S. Lewis, Miracles (New York: Macmillan, 1947), 112, 115-17.