Forgive Us Our Debts AS

As I have explained before, I have tried to make it a habit to think though the Lord’s Prayer word for word before I get out of bed some mornings. I wish I could say every morning, but I have never been that organized. As result I have worked through the prayer hundreds of mornings and found that far too often the words have become so familiar that I not only miss the meaning I often overlook the words themselves.

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Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

The Jews had long believed in what we now call “prosperity theology”. Their concept did not make God into some kind of deified vending machine. They just thought that wealth meant being blessed of God and poverty meant being cursed. There did not seem to be any set cause of this condition it was more or less God’s random pick. They did not have TV Evangelist they could plant a seed with, (write a check), and somehow force God to pay off. The evidence of God’s pleasure was land, cattle, camels and sons. Daughters, not so much.

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Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done

An estuary is formed when fresh water and salt water join together as a river runs into the ocean. Some estuaries look barren on the surface while others are quite beautiful. In every case underneath the surface there are plants and animals that have learned to adapt to both salt and fresh and thrive in health and beauty. The nourishment from both salt and fresh strengthens and develops them.

Our world is an estuary of various colors, cultures, life styles and faiths and the vast majority of its inhabitants…

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Hallowed Be Thy Name

I was getting my shoes shined in a barber shop. The person doing the shinning loved to talk and seemed to want everyone in the room to hear his words of wisdom and philosophy. The only problem was he could not say a sentence without a GD or so. It was GD this and GD that until it was grating on our ears. His shine chair was in the front window of the shop and the Baptist preacher walked by outside and waved at those of us in the shop. My very verbal shine master began telling us how stupid that preacher was about the Bible and how right his church was. I quietly asked him about

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Who Art in Heaven

One of the most enjoyable things about my looking at each word or phrase in the Lord’s Prayer has been the sudden discovery of statements I have said thousands of times and never stopped to notice what I was saying or what the words meant. “Our Father who art in Heaven” became just one flowing jumble of words that seemed to go together quite well and flowed off the tongue with ease. Then it hit me that these words were more than just a description of which God I was speaking to; these words were a statement of faith. These words proclaim that I believe God is real and heaven is a place. They also bring me face to face with my doubts.

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Father

I was a guest speaker in a church and was asked to speak about “The Lord’s Prayer.” In an effort to show how shocking Jesus’s opening remarks were I said, “He started His prayer by saying “Daddy” I lost the audience and never got them back. The next day the pastor was bombarded with calls telling him to never let me speak there again because I had blasphemed the name of God by calling Him daddy.

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A Three Letter Word that Could Change the World

Something over fifteen years ago I started going through The Lord’s Prayer word for word in my mind during the few moments before I get out of bed. I am not organized enough to claim that it became a habit because I don’t always remember but I have continued the effort all these years and still find new meanings and appreciation for the words. I really want to share what these words mean to me.

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Purpose

Several years ago, two books about different sea birds appeared with vastly different levels of acceptance. One was Jonathan Livingston Seagull which became a best seller and a movie. The other was Celebrate the Sun which was about Harry a pelican. Jonathan was a hit because he exemplified the American work ethic of striving to be greater than any seagull had ever been. He was the epitome of all of the habits of highly successful people we have idolized.

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Salt

The fastest growing segment of the U. S. population are people who do not affiliate or attend church. They are called the “Nones”. The number has grown from 14 million in 1990 to almost one fourth of the U.S. population in 2014. If they were a denomination they would be second largest behind the Evangelicals which are made up of several groups. Catholics would be third and Baptist fourth.

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Beatitudes: Blessed are the Persecuted

I am having a hard time finding some way to get persecuted at least the kind talked about in this beatitude. It says “Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness sake” which means being like Jesus and I am a long way from that. But, It seems to me that right now most of the persecution, criticism, rejection, and name calling aimed at Christians comes from other Christians. Liberal Christians think conservative Christians have sold their souls for political power, while conservative Christians think the liberals are being used by some enemy to destroy America. That is not persecution, that is just blind stupidity.

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