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Good Morning God

by Ken Noltie

  So God, what if today were the best day you’ll ever give me?  Did I spend it wisely, did I live up to your standards, did I put a smile on the face of someone who was having a down day?
     If today was as good as it gets, was I as good as I get?
     Amen.

     God, the best gift you ever gave me was the gift of challenge.  I have been challenged with friends, events, animals, inanimate objects, myself, even attitudes – theirs and mine.  And for each challenge you left me to my own devices to figure it out on my own so that I would learn that a challenge is not discipline for doing something wrong, but a reward for doing something right.
     Amen

     God, I had an amazing revelation today…I AM…period!  I don’t need any noun modifiers, any qualifiers, any superlatives, or any seven-syllable adjectives.  When all the descriptive words are removed, I can still stand tall because I AM!  You made me that way and if that’s good enough for you, that’s good enough for me.     
     Amen.

     God, why is it that sometimes the hardest conversations I have are with you?  You already know what’s going on and you hear the conversation going on in my head.  I have all kinds of ways to talk to a person sitting next to me, but You seem so intimidating sometimes.  Is it ok with You if I need something I don’t know how to talk to about to just let you wander through my thoughts and let you take charge for awhile?
     Amen.

     What are you up to, God?  Every time life has kicked me in the butt, you have given me a pillow to sit on, but today you have outdone yourself.  Today you let me soar on eagle’s wings!  When you reminded me to take a breath, let go of the angst, and enjoy what I have instead of worrying about what I don’t have, the smile came back.  I’m not sure how you do it, but you always give me what I need, when I need it, in a form I can understand.
     Thanks!
     Amen.

     God, some time ago somebody wrote that you love a cheerful giver.  Do I have to be a cheerful giver when it comes to giving to the tax man?  Sometimes things come up that require me to smile and do something I’m not really happy to do.  Is that you sending me a lesson?  And if you are trying to teach me a lesson, why did you have to give me such a big ego?
     Amen.
 

     God, you and I were talking the other day about what a challenging time it has been the last few weeks.  I asked why you weren’t helping me out and you answered, “Silly boy, you didn’t ask for any help.”
     Message received.  Next time I’ll ask.
     Amen
 
     So, God, when I was sitting in your living room last Sunday, counting my blessings, I realized lately you seem to be answering every prayer with a “yes.”  Now I’m nervous that with what you have given me you’re going to expect me to deliver.
     Then I started thinking that for every challenge that has come my way, you’ve provided what I needed to rise to the occasion.  Then I started getting more nervous because I started wondering what you had in mind next.
     All I ask is you keep providing me what I need when you send me out to show people that you love them the way you made them.
     Amen

     God, the greatest service I can do is to do what needs to be done.  In among the football games and the parades and the leftover turkey sandwiches have I done enough to give someone else a reason to be thankful?
     My prayer of Thanksgiving this year is to ask that you shine your light on an area of need where I can make a difference.
     Amen.
 
     God, Fall is back and I’ve noticed something ironic.  I was wondering if you planned it that way or if we may have gotten off course just a little bit.  How is it that when you start slowing down the world and get ready to put it to bed for awhile we let our lives get out of balance and don’t really notice that slowing down to recharge is a good thing?  Could you take some time and show me how to slow down a little bit?
     Amen.

     God, December is here and that means the end of another cycle — the end of the year, the end of the fall season, the end of the rush and hurried season we have been going through for the last couple of months.  It also means the beginning of something great — a fresh start for me because of the gift you gave me and not just the one that was delivered in a manger.
     The gift I appreciate the most is the calm of Christmas Eve.  When the sun goes down the world gets quiet and calm and then I get the opportunity to listen to you uninterrupted, because you speak the loudest when the world is quiet.  That is when I am recharged, when I can truly appreciate the gift of peace you promise us.
     Amen.

       God, it’s time for us to go out exploring your world again.  Help us keep in mind that while we are out and about we need to do things so that people can see You in us.  What good does it do for us to be among the masses if they don’t see how You work in even the smallest of ways?  Help us stay mindful that You feed others with what we leave behind.
     Amen

     God, it has been a rough couple of weeks for us.  Life has sent some of us running for cover to hide  while we regroup.  Until we’re ready to venture out again, please stand over us to give us calm, stand in front of us to run interference for a while, stand beside us to give us a shoulder to lean on, stand behind us to provide us support and prop us up and let us stand on your shoulders to give us a solid base that will not shake us loose.
     Amen.
 
     God, the greatest service I can do is to do what needs to be done.  In among the football games and the parades and the leftover turkey sandwiches have I done enough to give someone else a reason to be thankful?
My prayer of Thanksgiving this year is to ask that you shine your light on an area of need where I can make a difference.
     Amen.
 
     God, Fall is back and I’ve noticed something ironic.  I was wondering if you planned it that way or if we may have gotten off course just a little bit.  How is it that when you start slowing down the world and get ready to put it to bed for awhile we let our lives get out of balance and don’t really notice that slowing down to recharge is a good thing?  Could you take some time and show me how to slow down a little bit?
     Amen.
 
     God, our schedules are back at full speed now that summer is over.  As we all get back into our routine help us to remember to take time for ourselves, to stop and breathe and maintain our center around You.
     Amen               
 
     God, you know I can be a little stubborn and I hate to ask for help.  So this is my question.  Why is it so difficult to surrender to my pride if everyone will benefit?  My needs go unmet and their gifts go unused.  If I don’t ask for help am I denying them the opportunity to let you shine through them?
     Amen.
 
     God, one of the lessons I learned a long time ago was that the house does not clean itself, literally or figuratively.  Now that we are at the time of year when we are supposed to make promises to change our behavior for the better, I need your help on one to help me clean up my house.
There is that thing I do, that only you and I are aware of, that I want to change.  As the New Year rolls in, I am asking your help to change, to get rid of that monkey on my back.
     And, God, one more thing.  Thanks for everything You and I did together last year.  The learning curve you put me through was a lot of fun.
     Amen

     God, all the exciting holidays are past and now comes the time in our lives when we should start reflecting on your son’s 40-day journey in the desert being tempted.  It is easy to find all the bad stuff, help me to find one new joy a day to celebrate for the 40 days in Lent.  If I can find 40 new joys, how can people around me not become aware that You are a positive presence?  Help me use my 40 new joys to witness to those who do not know that You love them just the way you made them.
     Amen   
 
     God, the other day sitting in the airplane at 40,000 feet I was thinking about a correlation between faith and flying.  I was wondering if faith is stronger because we are being lifted up by something we can’t see, or if we believe because when we’re on the ground we can see and touch things that you created.  Is faith supposed to be a totally abstract concept, and if we need concrete things to prove our faith, is our faith less?  You’ll have to help me on this one.  I’m not sure which way to go.
     Amen.
 
     God, you gave me a visual recently while I was sitting around a table surrounded by friends sharing a meal.  During a lull in the conversation, you gave me a visual of my mom and meals we shared.  It was then that I realized why you place so much importance on sharing meals.  It’s about sharing your love for us.  Next time I am sitting around the table with friends, help me to remember that while I’m passing the butter I’m passing along your love, because a meal at a loveless table nurtures no one.
     Amen

     God, one of the lessons I learned a long time ago was that the house does not clean itself, literally or figuratively.  Now that we are at the time of year when we are supposed to make promises to change our behavior for the better, I need your help on one to help me clean up my house.
There is that thing I do, that only you and I are aware of, that I want to change.  As the New Year rolls in, I am asking your help to change, to get rid of that monkey on my back.
And, God, one more thing.  Thanks for everything You and I did together last year.  The learning curve you put me through was a lot of fun.
     Amen

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