Answered Prayer and the Love of God

Distracted prayer isn’t the best, but sometimes it’s the best I’ve got.

Like today, for instance. I was sitting at my desk praying when several worrisome things started swirling around my mind. I tried to push them down, asking the Lord to keep my mind stayed on Him.

Finally, I stopped and said, “Lord, this is a struggle. Is it always going to be a struggle?” That’s when my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw the call was going to be about one of the worrisome things which had attacked my prayer time.

I reluctantly answered and in doing so found out the issue was soon to be resolved–that I would have one less thing to occupy my thoughts during prayer.

Again, this was right after I admitted my struggle to God and asked Him if it was always going to be that way.

This type of thing rarely happens in such an obvious way to me. It is rare that I ask God something and He immediately gives me such an explicit, in-my-face answer. But when It does it makes me pause and remember His steadfast love for me.

A love that is present whether it is so obvious or not.

Praying for Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt has been the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach longer than I have been alive. She doesn’t know me, but I know her.

I know her eyes. Her intimidating glare has watched over the Lady Vols basketball team for 37 years. She has watched over 8 National Championship teams. Her eyes have seen women’s basketball evolve dramatically throughout the years.

I know her competitive drive. She has won 1,071 games over the years by getting players of varying skill and committment to perform at the highest level. Year after year after year she has shown that a person with determination can reach the loftiest of goals.

I know what she means to the people of Knoxville. No–not everyone here loves her, but a lot of us do. And I am convinced that all of us appreciate that she has accomplished all that she has with dignity and class. While other coaches have come and gone, Summitt has continually been a source of succcess that the people of my hometown can be proud of.

I know other things about Pat Summitt, but there is one thing that I know right now more than I ever have.

Pat Summitt needs our prayers.

Yesterday it was revealed that Summitt, the winner of more games than anyone else in U.S. college basketball history, has early onset dementia.

Behind all of the wins, behind all of the accolades, behind all of the championships–there is a real person. A real person who isn’t invincible. A real person facing an uncertain future. A real person with a often devastating diagnosis.

She is going to fight it, doing all that she can to slow its progression. She is going to keep coaching, giving it all that she can for as long as she can. She is going to need more help than ever before, relying on her assistants to fill the gaps.

Pat Summitt doesn’t know me and probably never will, but I know her.

And I know that I will be praying for her, her family, and those closest to her.

I hope you will be doing the same.

I’m Your Man

If you need help reaching something on a high shelf–I’m your man. That kind of thing is right up my alley. In fact, I am certain that this is one of the reasons that Kristy wanted to marry me.

If you need something carried–I’m your man. I’ve been carrying things nearly all of my life. I am a ninja when it comes to carrying bags of groceries. People have been known to follow us home from the store just to watch me carry our groceries inside our house. Not really. But they should. Free entertainment is hard to come by.

If you need to hear corny jokes–I’m your man. Corny jokes are just about the only kind that I know. I specialize in elephant jokes, but also enjoy a stupid pun on occasion.

But…..

If you need someone to help you match your clothes–I’m not your man. I see a guy on a regular basis wearing plaid shorts and a striped shirt. Apparently this is a fashion “no-no.” Especially when none of the colors match. What do I think whenever I see him? “That doesn’t look too bad.”

If you need someone to try an exotic food–I’m not your man. My in-laws put mayonnaise in their mashed potatoes. Yes–mayonnaise! Which is essentially flavored snot! Whenever they make mashed potatoes, they always make me a separate batch minus the mayo. I know mayo is not exotic (unless you think beanie weenies are extravagant) , but you probably get the picture.

If you need someone to not freak out when a kid throws up–I’m not your man. We have 5 kids and because of this I have dealt with more than my share of nasty stuff. I have been dealing with dirty diapers for 9 years with only a 6 month break  to provide a breather. I am been peed on, pooped on, and puked on. Yet I still act like a squeamish kindergartener when it comes to seeing projectile vomit. Don’t judge me.

So…if you need certain things–I’m your man. But if you need certain other things–I’m not your man.

But if you need someone to pray for you–I am definitely your man.

I haven’t asked how I can pray for you in a while and now that I am no longer a pastor I have more time to pray for you than I have in the past.

So–how can I pray for you today?