BY KENT BUSH
Which God do you pray to?
If there is only one God, why do our prayers sound so different?
Rev. Willard Kern helped me understand that. This pastor earned the title reverend. He knew his Bible. He loved people. He even had the booming pastor’s voice that just made you want to call him reverend.
When he prayed, you felt like your soul was riding an escalator straight to Heaven.
But for one week, he stepped down from his revered status.
Our church needed a male counselor for our youth camp at Falls Creek in Oklahoma. When duty called, Rev. Kern answered. But something interesting happened to the good reverend that week.
For that week, he became “Sweet Willie.”
BY JAMES DAMAN
It's getting hot in Arizona (It was over 120 today), people are putting cookie dough in baking sheets, leaving them in their cars to make cookies and cooking eggs and ham on the sidewalk. This is the time when I reflect back on when things were cooler (all the way back to a month ago). (Cue the Montage music) I see myself spending time outside and enjoying lots of hiking.
I had never even hiked before I moved here and I made the mistake of joining a pastor friend of mine on one of the most difficult hikes in Arizona for my first hike ever. We got halfway and realized that we were off the path, he had me in the front and I was inadvertently knocking rocks back towards him. In my mind, I immediately pictured myself kicking a rock on him, killing him. My immediate thought was about how I would explain this to his congregation tomorrow.
We eventually stopped and prayed, got back on the trail, and made it to the top of the mountain. This hike was so tough that now when I face difficult circumstances, I say, "Well, I made it up that mountain!" Even though I have since hiked from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other, I still consider this hike the toughest. The reason is because it was my first time stepping out and it was scary to me!
Joseph Brazil | @blackdog575
Can there be another more gut-wrenching response to a young person who’s finally worked up the nerve to profess their affection toward that special someone?
“You’re really sweet and all, but let’s just stay good friends.”
Sadly, this is much the same as when we speak to the Lord. Sure, we’ll acknowledge how He’s the creator of the universe and how there is no other name above His name, but do we really give God the respect He deserves in our prayer life?
If you’re like me, this is about how most of your prayers sound: “Dear Lord, here’s what’s happening today. Please lead me and watch over me and show me your will today. Amen.” I might even throw in a “thank you for,” or I’ll ask for an occasional “hedge of protection” around me and my family, but do I sincerely pause amid my busy life and give Him what is due?
I’ve spent a good amount of time in and with youth groups, and I still remember when asked who Jesus was to someone how flippantly the reply came: “He’s a friend who’s always there for me.”
It really hits below the belt to think of the almighty God in such a small scale.