Posts Tagged ‘father in heaven’

A Polite Conversation With Him

Jan 07

A Polite Conversation With Him 010712 2by Victoria Robinson

What in the world does learning how to use etiquette in conversation and learning how to converse with our heavenly Father have in common? Actually, quite a bit. Conversations with Him are what we think of as prayer. In the 1896 etiquette book, The Secret of a Happy Home, Christian author, Marion Harland, speaks of the satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener.

“Undoubtedly there is a momentary satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener. When the auditor is a friend, and a trusted friend, whose sympathy is genuine and whose discretion is vast, there is a comfort beyond description in unburdening one’s soul.”

Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Fortunately every one of us has a trusted friend we can unburden our souls to. King Solomon told us, “… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The friend  he is referring to is Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Our Lord and Savior gave us detailed instructions on having a polite conversation in prayer with our heavenly Father. He told us, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

“Some people are always bored. May it not be because they look at everything animate and inanimate from a selfish standpoint, with the query in their minds, “How does that affect me?” The old definition of a bore as “a person who talks so much of himself that he gives you no chance to of yourself,” may apply not only to the bore, but to the bored. When you find yourself wearied and uninterested, be honest enough to examine yourself calmly, and see if the reason is not because your vis-a-vis is not talking about anything which interests you especially. Should he turn the conversation upon your favorite occupation or pastime, or even upon your personal likes and dislikes (which, by the way, might be an infinite bore to him), would he not at once become entertaining?”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Listening to the other person is an important key to polite conversation. Nobody enjoys chatting with a boorish person who only is concerned with prattling on about themselves. Your heavenly Father is not interested in having a one-way conversation with you. Besides, if you are not listening during your prayer, you cannot possibly attain His wisdom for your requests. Conversing with our heavenly Father must always include listening. In her 1860 book, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley gives us instruction on the importance of listening while conversing.

“It seems paradoxical to observe that the art of listening well forms a part of the duty of conversation. To give up the whole of your attention to the person who addresses himself to you, is sometimes a heavy tax, but it is one which we must pay for the privileges of social life, and an early practice will render it an almost involuntary act of good breeding; whilst consideration for others will give this little sacrifice a merit and a charm.”
Florence Hartley, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness 1860

Genuine praise is another important aspect of good conversation. Marion Harland gives an excellent example of developing the habit of praising the one you are talking with.

“Ten girls whom I know formed a society for the repression of unkind criticism. The members themselves to try, as far as in them lay, to speak kindly of people when it was possible for them to do so, and when impossible to say nothing. At first it was hard, for self-conceit would intrude, and it is hard for one girl to praise another who dislikes her. Little by little the tiny seed of effort grew into a habit of kindly speech.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

This story is reminiscent of the hardness that can develop in our hearts and hinder us from praising our heavenly Father during prayer. The enemy of your soul will always point out why God is not worthy to be praised. A direct contradiction to the Scriptures! The psalmist tells us, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Just as Marion Harland reminds us that no true lady complains while conversing with others, neither should we bring our request to the Lord in a complaining manner.

“But if you do not feel this, for politeness’ sake refrain from making your listener supremely uncomfortable by your complaints. No true lady will so far forget her innate ladyhood as to be guilty of this rudeness.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

An extremely descriptive picture of the perils of complaining while praying are found in the book of Numbers. The Israelites were whining about not having meat and my oh my did they ever get their request granted! The Lord said, “The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

Polite conversation sometimes involves forgiveness. The person chatting with you may say something offensive and it is important for you to overlook the words that have wounded your heart. The Lord instructed us that prayer also involves forgiveness. In the book of Matthew, Jesus told us, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Our prayers will be hindered if we approach God and have unforgiveness towards others.

Dearest girlfriends, let us endeavor to develop polite conversation when we pray.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. … ~ Psalm 55:22 NLT 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
 
If you are having trouble, you should pray. … ~ James 5:13 CEV
 
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:24 NIV
 
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:3 NKJV
 
“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” ~ Numbers 11:18-20 NIV
 
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. ~ Proverbs 12:16 NIV
 
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:7-13 NIV
You can read these antique etiquette books from the library of Girlfriend’s Café by clicking on the links below.
 The Secret of a Happy Home
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness

A ♥ S ♥ K

Jul 13

ASK 071311by Victoria Robinson

Our Lord and Savior told us three important ways to attain success. He said, “So I say to you:  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” He goes on to paint a picture of success, ” For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

He also reminds us that even in our sinful state we give good gifts to our children when he says, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Prior to this story we see someone asking his friend for help. This man boldly goes on an “ASK” mission. His need was bread. His friend had bread. However, the bread was behind a locked door. First, he knocked on the friend’s door. Second, he asked for help. Third, he continued to seek what he needed. His mission ended successfully. Our Lord told us this story to exemplify how to ask Him for our needs.

Seeking our heavenly Father for our needs is scripturally supported as well as His desire to provide for us.  However, we must recognize that our heavenly Father is not a “Genie in a bottle” who grants all our wishes. As His children, we are not to be brats telling Him what He must do. We are to be godly children and ask of Him what lines up with His Word. These are the requests we know He will answer.

Dearest girlfriends, let us boldly go on an “ASK” mission to our loving heavenly Father in order to attain what we have need of.

Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. ~ Luke 11:5-10 NIV
 
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! ~ Matthew 7:7-11 NIV
 
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15 NIV

Sending Best Wishes

Feb 10
by Victoria Robinson
 
There is a famous southern cook who always ends her television show with, “I send y’all love and best dishes …” This is of course a cute spin on the phrase, “Sending best wishes.” Many greeting cards have this same sentiment. In the book of Acts we see the apostle Luke sent his best wishes to the early church.
  
The question is, “Do we really always send our best wishes to others or do we sometimes wish destruction on those we consider our enemies?” Or dare I say, even on those we love but find ourselves jealous of? Ouch! That hurts to think about. But, if we are really honest, there can be times when we do not send our best wishes to foe and friend alike. Maybe they have not taken our advice and in our proud hearts we desire to be right to the point of wishing them proved wrong.

As for wishing our enemies best wishes, quite simply put, it is in our own best interest. King Solomon who is considered one of the wisest men in the Bible told us, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.” If you are struggling with loving your enemy try praying for God to bless them. Perhaps even taking it a step further and doing something nice for them. This will free you from any bondage Satan has you in.

Dearest girlfriends, let us develop godly hearts that are full of best wishes for friends and foes alike.

… We send our best wishes. ~ Acts 15:29 CEV
 
Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives, send you their good wishes. ~ Romans 16:21 NLT
 
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? ~ Matthew 5:43-46 NIV
  
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. ~ Proverbs 25:21-22 NIV

Forgive Me, But …

Jan 23

by Victoria Robinson

Do you long to have the redemptive forgiveness of your heavenly Father? If He is your Father, which can only come from accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have eternal forgiveness. Your reservation in heaven has been written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and you have been given the greatest forgiveness that exist. Yet there is still the need to seek His forgiveness on a daily basis. Jesus showed us this truth when He prayed, “Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”

The key to forgiveness is not to insert a “but” into our request. In the book of Jeremiah we see an example of those asking for forgiveness that came with a “but”. Their, “but” was they had no intention of discontinuing their sinful ways. A clear understanding of repentance came from the psalmist who knew his prayer for forgiveness was heard because he understood the importance of not cherishing sin in his heart.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek forgiveness with a pure heart that does not cherish sin.

So I, the Lord, refused to let the spring rains fall. But just like a prostitute, you still have no shame for what you have done. You call me your father or your long-lost friend; you beg me to stop being angry, but you won’t stop sinning. ~ Jeremiah 3:3-5 CEV
 
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  … Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. ~ Revelation 21:1-2,27 NIV
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. … Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:9,11-13 NLT
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! ~ Psalm 66:18-20 NIV
  • Afterthoughts …

If you have not received eternal forgiveness, please click here:  Heaven

My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins. But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free. ~ Acts 13:38-39 CEV