Tag Archives: miracle

Study and George MacDonald

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, March 14, 2017

bible, study

Study and George MacDonald

In the feeding of the 4000, Jesus did a big miracle. The miracle was multi-faceted. In this reading from our book today, George MacDonald not only explains the miracle but also unpacks the surrounding verses.

Sometimes I feel like the disciples. What part of Jesus’s words and actions do I not understand? (I know. A big part.)

A chunk of MacDonald’s commentary on this passage particularly struck me: the section where Jesus and the disciples talk about leaven. Yet again, the disciples do not understand. As MacDonald suggests to his readers, Jesus wanted them—and us—to learn from the experience. So many instances can be found in those teachings, as well as the actions of Jesus. A huge object lesson, if we consider it that way, and MacDonald lifts it up for us to learn.

Let’s set the stage. In the aftermath of the huge extravaganza of the day (for that was what the miracle of feeding had quickly become), Jesus and His disciples withdraw to a boat. In other words, they have a getaway car ready and waiting.

Jesus warns about “the leaven of the Pharisees.” His disciples have only a foggy idea of what He might be referring to. Their thinking is primarily concerned with their stomachs and what could possibly concern their day-to-day living.  (Oh, Jesus must be talking about how we didn’t bring any bread out to the boat for this trip.) Yet—are we any better? Do I have the same weaknesses of faith as the disciples?

Penetrating questions, and some particularly thought-provoking ones in MacDonald’s teaching on the feeding, too. Dear Lord, help me to glean information from George MacDonald, too. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er.

God’s Son Took on Flesh

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Virgin Mary and Child icon plaque

God’s Son Took on Flesh

In today’s reading, Bonhoeffer said that the Eternal Son took on flesh. He became human. What’s more, He did this out of pure grace; “our being, our nature, ourselves. This was the eternal counsel of the triune God. Now we are in Him.” [1]

We know today, from the testimony of all the Scriptures, that Jesus is at the same time fully God and fully man. Yes, that is why He came down from heaven to be born of Mary. This is the good news brought to us by the angel chorus. The Eternal Second Person of the Trinity, Creator of the whole universe, God the Son, emptied Himself of all God-ness. Took on humanity, and was born as a helpless Baby. Good news of great joy for all the people.

Jesus. Messiah. He will save His people from their sins. Fully God, fully human, at the same time. Yes, it’s a mystery. It’s a miracle.

One of my favorite Christmas hymns is “Once in Royal David’s City.” Please notice the words of verses 2 and 3. Talking about Jesus being human. And then, verse 4 tells us of the future, when we will be with Jesus forever, in heaven.

Yes, it’s a mystery. Yes, it’s a miracle. Jesus, come down to earth from heaven. God’s Son took on flesh. Amen, alleluia.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, trans. O.C. Dean, Jr., compiled and edited, Jana Riess (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2010), 77.

Celebrating Someone Special! Praying All the Way.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – February 7, 2015

grateful for everything

Celebrating Someone Special! Praying All the Way.

What a wonderful thing, celebrating God’s gift to me—of someone special! I immediately thought of someone perfect for this prayer suggestion. And, there is going to be a big birthday bash for this big guy next Sunday at my church!

Yes, our church has a very special boy. He was a miracle baby, and he has grown into a miracle big boy. Levi was a tiny, tiny premature baby when he was born. Through and because of many people’s prayers, good thoughts, support and encouragement, Levi will be two years old next Sunday. And—we all will be having a wonderful birthday luncheon after the service.

I’ve already taken part in the preparations for the service before the luncheon. I’ll be doing the usual things, readings and prayers—except we will have a time of prayers and thanksgiving for Levi during the service! So, for sure I will be planning that.

Today’s prayer suggestion is such a joy. Imagine, planning a celebration of gratitude for God’s gifts to some particular person or persons you know.

Let’s pray for Levi and his parents.

Dear God, what a wonderful occasion. Thank You for Levi and his parents. We pray for this growing, loving child. We thank You that by pointing to Levi, we are also pointing to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your creative hand describing what happened in His life, death and ascension.  We pray Your blessing on Levi and his parents.

God, in Your mercy, hear all of us as we pray. And celebrate!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

Masks? Or No Masks?

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, January 1, 2014

honesty expensive

Masks? Or No Masks?

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players;” – William Shakespeare.

“Are we being true to who we are? What masks do we wear during one day?” – Rich Lewis

My writing associate Rich wrote these words (above) the other day, referencing the Shakespeare quote. Both statements resonated with me, deeply.

Who are we, anyway? I know I have many roles I play each day. Mom, wife, sister, co-worker, friend, acquaintance. Are they roles? Masks? Do I hide behind these facades?

What mask(s) do I hide behind, in my relationship with God? In my relationship with fellow believers? I know certain people who I usually see only at a worship service. Sometimes I see them with their “church face” firmly in place. I don’t really know them. I may attend worship with them of a Sunday, but that’s about it.

And what about God? How often and how much do people try to hide in their dealings with God? People talk about loving God, praising God. Coming before God. How much is honest and true, and how much is a good fake job?

It won’t work, you know. No matter how hard I try, God ends up knowing everything I attempt to hide, anyhow. I want to be honest and open with God. Come before him with a willing heart and open hands. At least, that’s what I want to try to do. So help me, God.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for this new year. Thank You for the opportunity to come before You with an honest, open countenance. Forgive me for falling short in this endeavor. You know me far better than anyone in the world possibly can. And the miracle is, You still love me! Thank You, God! Help me love, praise and worship You in spirit and in truth. So help me, God! Amen.