marymcleary

Covering my angst with the soothing wisdom from my mother's prayer journals


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Worship Will Open a Child’s Heart to The Father

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Attending worship service Sunday pointed the New Year in the right direction. The seasoned pastor with fifty plus years at the pulpit and nineteen or so grandkids spoke with authority about blessing future generations through worship.

We watch in amazement as our teenaged grandkids race to adulthood while we mosey toward our Twilight Years. Our parenting now consists of prayers for our daughters and their spouses who are in the thick of parenting in a complicated world.

As I watch them maneuver this slippery slope, I’m filled with gratitude because they do such a good job, but since I am “aged up” I know that sometimes well-raised kids from faith filled families still wind up like the prodigal in the Bible. They are deceived and become dissatisfied with what they have. This starts their journey towards the pig sty.

Praise the Lord, many quickly realize their folly and run back home where they are received by thankful families, but others spend a life time wallowing in slop. What about them and what about their parents who prayed over them, showed these guys the love of the Jesus and watched sons and daughters baptized as children only to walk away.

Sunday, while listening to the first sermon of the New Year I received a “heart whisper”. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Bring up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

In John 10:29 Jesus tells us, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

What my heart heard was, “When parents show their children My love through worship the hearts of those children are opened to Me. I dwell in them and they receive the promise of eternal life. They may be deceived for a life time, but they will come Home to Me for eternity.”

Mother wrote in her journal, “The pressure of everyday life may persuade us to focus on the here and now and forget God. That is why worship is so important. It takes our eyes off our current worries, gives us a glimpse of God’s holiness and allows us to look toward His future kingdom.”

If you are parents of young children, take and keep your children not just in church, but in WORSHIP so their hearts will be opened to the Savior and their eternity will be secured. The world will try to deceive them and sadly it may succeed, but they will eventually run home to the Father.

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Finding Our Purpose in the New Year

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One of the best things about reading a good book is seeing the results of the characters’ choices while watching the consequences of those choices unfold in a matter of hours. Talented authors leave us pondering those choices as well as our own.

If And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini, had not been chosen by our book club this month, I would not have read it since, for some reason that I can’t remember, I never finished Hossenini’s first book, The Kite Runner, but last night I finished his last book and I am pondering.

The author drew me in with an interesting fable that foreshadowed the first choice in the book – a father’s decision to sell his young daughter to a wealthy woman. The rest of the story weaves through the lives of an excess of characters and back to the woman the little girl became.

Three other characters at different times in the story find themselves responsible for the personal needs of someone who has become unable to care for themselves, and each must choose between personal freedom or the responsibility of another. One caregiver makes this observation,

“They say, ‘Find a purpose in your life and live it’. But sometimes it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose and likely one you never had in mind, and now that I have fulfilled mine, I feel aimless and adrift.”

During 2013 many of my friends took on the responsibility of caring for another person and in doing so they gave up much of their personal freedom. Their situations ranged from sick babies, a loved one with cancer, a son confined to a wheel chair because of a car wreck or spouses with dementia.

Each one stepped up to the plate with courage and grace. They may have had doubts in private moments, but their public faces were (are) noble.

Though they didn’t choose the situation, they did pick the way they handle it.
Before Christmas a friend and I made a visit to the home of someone who is taking care of his wife of over sixty years.

He calls her Ma. During our visit she sat in a wheel chair holding a baby doll, and her only response was to sing Happy Birthday when her daughter prompted her.

I commented on how pretty her hair looked and her husband said, “Ma, tell her who fixes your hair.” He smiled at me proudly because he does her hair every day.

There is a new wheel chair ramp from the sidewalk to their front door, but it isn’t for Ma. It is for their twenty year old grandson who since last year has been paralyzed from his waist down; the result of a car wreck.

While she helps her son adjust to his new reality, the young man’s mom is helping her dad take care of Ma. During our visit there were jokes and laughter, family stories, chocolate and a peace that really does pass understanding.

The past year has been demanding and hard on this family yet when they look back I hope they see that in caring for each other they fulfilled their purpose.

Mother wrote in her journal, “There is a reward (or purpose) for every sorrow; and the sorrow itself is the reward (or purpose).”

One of the blessings of welcoming in a new year is the hope it provides. I pray for His wisdom in 2014 to make the kinds of choices that fulfill our purposes, and glorify Him.