Category Archives: Faith and Spirituality

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Why pray The Lord’s Prayer

 

Matthew 6:9-13, NIV 

(Jesus said)

“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 this day our daily bread

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And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Lord’s Prayer

This passage from Matthew may be the most quoted from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Although traditionally called the “Lord’s Prayer”, it might also be called the disciples’ prayer.

In the book of Luke, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray.

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“‘Father,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.

various types of bread

Forgive us our sins,for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”

 

 

Christians pray these words exactly as written (although there are now many different Bible translations and paraphrases), or may use them as a model or outline for prayer. They are prayed during church services and in private devotions.

Why pray the Lord's prayer

 

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer has been set to music in various forms. A family friend sung it at my wedding. Some choose it for funerals or memorial services.

Singers ranging from amateur to professional have recorded The Lord’s Prayer in multiple languages. I enjoyed this Kenyan choir singing it in English.

Umoja English choir, Nairobi, Kenya 

In Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes,

“Jesus taught us to pray for daily bread. Have you ever noticed that children ask for lunch in utter confidence that it will be provided. Children do not find it difficult or complicated to talk to their parents, nor do they feel embarrassed to bring the simplest need to their attention. Neither should we hesitate to bring the simplest requests confidently to the Father.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer at iTunes 

The song has been recorded by a diverse group of artists including Andrea Bocelli, Susan Boyle, Barbra Streisand, Jackie Evancho, Elvis Presley. 

Find these and others at iTunes.

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Share your thoughts about The Lord’s Prayer

What does The Lord’s Prayer mean to you? Do you pray it, or use it as a guide to prayer? Please share your thoughts about this powerful prayer.

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Thanks for joining me to reflect on The Lord’s Prayer. 

Please visit some other posts with words of faith, hope, and love from the Sermon on the Mount.

                            Dr. Aletha  Faith, Love, Hope

Opportunities to do good

The surprising blessing of discomfort

How to be blessed, happy, and healthy

How to satisfy hunger and thirst

5 lessons learned when the lights went out

THE GREATEST PRAYER

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5 lessons I learned when the lights went out

LIGHT -Matthew 5:14-16

From Jesus teaching in the Sermon on the Mount

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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The day my lights went out

On a cold December morning I awoke to no electric power in my house.No heat, no coffee,no hot breakfast, no television happened that day.

During the previous night rain fell, quickly turning to ice so thick that it brought down exposed power lines. It also took down tree limbs which in turn knocked down more power lines. By dawn, a city of a half million people was largely without power, including my home and clinic.

Upon arising, we started navigating the challenge of life without electricity. We had no heat, could not cook, wash clothes, watch TV, use our computer, or recharge our cell phones.

So, after opening our automatic garage door manually, we drove around looking for an open restaurant , finding traffic signals not working, and many businesses also closed. I didn’t go to my clinic since it didn’t have power either.

Somehow we made it through the day; it was something of an adventure at that point. But at sunset, we faced an evening and night in the dark.

My house had no power for 5 days, some people as long as 2 weeks. By the third day my clinic reopened so I had access to a computer, could charge my phone, and had a warm place to spend the day.

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As inconvenient as all the other things were, the thing I missed most was light.

I felt grateful to have candles and flashlights, but they weren’t the same as being able to flip a switch on the wall or turn the switch on a lamp and have bright light flood the room.

By living in the dark for 5 days I learned

I should not take light for granted.

Natural sunlight lasts from 8 to 14 hours per day, depending on where you live- unless you live at the north or south pole,where you may be in darkness for 24 hours part of the year. Once the sun sets, you are in darkness unless you create light in some way.

Light is a great equalizer.

It didn’t matter who you were or what part of town you lived in. Rich and poor and everyone in between experienced the power outage. Some people already had generators or were lucky enough to find a store with one for sale. Otherwise, you were in the dark.

Life without light is difficult.

Sitting in the living room listening to our battery powered TV (now a relic) by candlelight, wrapped up in blankets wasn’t too bad. I just had to remember to take a flashlight to go to the bathroom or into my closet to change clothes. With no power or windows to catch a little moonlight, these areas of my home were pitch black. We couldn’t cook, and could not safely store cold food-I had to throw everything in the refrigerator and freezer away by the third day. We quickly tired of peanut butter and crackers. Dirty clothes stayed dirty for the time being.

a sketch of 5 lit candles in a row

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It takes work to produce light.

Power company crews worked around the clock, helped by  crews from other cities and states. It still took 2 weeks to get power back to everyone. It took even longer to get all the broken tree limbs picked up from  streets and yards and hauled off to a central site for burning. Subsequently the city undertook a plan to trim trees that posed a hazard to power lines  and to bury power lines.

Light should be shared with others.

Residents and businesses who had power invited others in , providing places to eat, wash clothes, charge phones, and stay warm. We were all in this together, and everyone seemed to make an extra effort to be kind to each other.

 

New York City at night

We enjoyed a view of the lights of New York City from the Empire State Building

 

 

Related scriptures about light 

Mark 4:21

Luke 8:16

1 John 1:5-7

Previous posts in my series on Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount . 

Opportunities to do good

How to be blessed, happy, and healthy

The surprising blessing of discomfort

How to satisfy hunger and thirst

 

 

God's Promises for Women NIV Bible

God’s Promises for Women NIV Bible

 

God's Promises for Men NIV Bible

God’s Promises for Men NIV Bible

Share your “lights out” experience

I would love for you to share comments about a time you learned a lesson from a difficult experience. Or can you look back on a hard time and now see something that it can teach you?

Please share your insights, share this post, and follow watercress words as we explore the HEART of health and more words of faith, hope, and love.

 

Dr. Aletha 

faith, hope, love spelled out in wooden block letters

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Do you celebrate Christmas in July?

Isaiah 9: 6, ESV

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

© 2001 – 2018 CROSSWAY

from the English Standard Bible 

Why am I sharing a Bible passage about Christmas in July? Not because stores may already be selling Christmas decorations.

This selection was read on Daily Audio Bible (DAB)  recently. I told you about DAB before and hope you’ve been listening to it with me daily or as often as possible.

DAILY AUDIO BIBLE screen shot

I listen to the chronological version, meaning the text is read in the order it happened or was written, rather than the order the books are arranged in the Bible.

(Affiliate links are used in this post. Using them allows you to assist in funding this blog at no extra cost to you. )

More info about DAB is in this previous post.

DAB is free and you can download on the App Store Appstore sm 0fc8af054ef36729b6ef1ee711c8be883bbf7600b04a74ca69fb961dec5b4d41

George Frideric Handel and Messiah

George Frideric Handel used this scripture from Isaiah in his famous work, Messiah, first performed in 1742, performed or heard by millions of people since then.

Although it’s usually performed at Christmas, Handel wrote it for Easter.

Handel’s father  was a barber-surgeon. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe, who as the name suggests performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.

 

When is “Christmas” for you?

Do you plan for Christmas year round, or wait til the week before? What does Christmas mean to you? Please share your thoughts.

 

 

Thanks for exploring the Bible, Christmas, and the HEART of health with me.

Please share this post and follow this blog where I regularly inform and inspire you about health and share words of faith, hope, and love.

I appreciate your interest and support. Please visit my Reader Resources page

and help me share the HEART of health.

Dr.Aletha 

FAITH LOVE HOPE- words created with letter tiles

These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (graphic from Lightstock.com)

man praying on holy bible in the morning

Opportunities to do good

Matthew 6:1-4, TLB-Giving to the Needy

“Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven

When you give a gift to a beggar, don’t shout about it as hypocrites do- to call attention to their  acts of charity! I tell you in all earnestness, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 

 But when you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly—don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. 

And your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.”

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

if you do one good deed your reward is to do another and harder and better one. C.S. LEWIS,

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C.S. Lewis, author 

Author of the popular The Chronicles of Narnia fiction book/movie  series,

C.S. Lewis was a writer, teacher,  and lay theologian.

His books on Christian belief are read and quoted widely, years after his death.

The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis

Women and C.S. Lewis

Helping in Secret

Leslie Koh, writer/editor for  Our Daily Bread  reflected on this passage in a devotional from November 26, 2017.

He wrote about  Denise, who mentored a hurting young woman in her church. She met with her frequently, counselling and praying.

But when a church staff member was assigned to work with the young woman, Denise felt overlooked and unappreciated.

Leslie reminded us that when we feel unappreciated (and all of us do at times) God recognizes what we do even when no one else does.

I think we might ask ourselves- What is my motive in helping others?

  • To serve myself by receiving  praise and recognition from other people?
  • To serve God, to receive His reward?
  • To serve others, obeying God’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 19:19?

Helping the distressed

Recently Leslie  reflected on the Christian response to the world wide refugee crisis. In this piece for The Christian Post, he encourages us to

not mistreat foreigners and migrants-embrace them.

OPPORTUNITIES TO DO GOOD-watercresswords.com

“Some time back, people from abroad who work in my country started gathering on the church property for a picnic every Sunday.

This evoked a range of responses from fellow churchgoers. Some fretted about the mess the visitors would leave behind. But others saw this as a divine opportunity to extend hospitality to a wonderful group of strangers—without even leaving the church       grounds! “(excerpt)

I hope we all find “divine opportunities” to extend hospitality  and help to friends and strangers.

Learning from The Sermon on the Mount 

This post is based on a passage from The Sermon on the Mount by Jesus in the Bible book of Matthew. Here are some other posts about that passage.

The surprising blessing of discomfort

How to be blessed, happy, and healthy

How to satisfy hunger and thirst

5 unexpected rewards by ditching a critical spirit

Please share this post and follow Watercress Words for more  

Weekend Words-sharing faith, hope, and love

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha                 

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a woman holding an open Bible

The surprising blessing of discomfort

Matthew 5:3-10

The Beatitudes make up several verses of the Biblical book of Matthew .

Matthew recorded these lessons that Jesus taught in his “Sermon on the Mount”, some of the most well known and often quoted verses of the Bible.

a ceramic cross with the Beatitudes Matthew 5:3-10

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Also well known and often quoted is a daily devotional book, “My Utmost for His Highest”, by Oswald Chambers. Some consider it the most beloved devotional book of all time.

Chambers was a Scottish Bible teacher in the early 1900s who was popular due to his penetrating examination of the Bible. After his death his wife Biddy chose many of his talks and published them as a book of daily devotions.

Now almost 100 years later, Christians still find comfort and challenge from his pointed observations and interpretation of scripture.

 

Here is an excerpt from the devotional for July 25 in which he reflects on Matthew 5:3-10.

“The Beatitudes seem merely mild and beautiful precepts for all unworldly and useless people but of little practical use in the stern world in which we live.

…we have to decide whether we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words.

The teaching of Jesus is out of proportion to our natural way of looking at things and it comes with astonishing discomfort to begin with. “

 

 

 

Oswald Chambers’ book continues to be available in print and now through modern technology another way to access his insights-

the My Utmost for His Highest app for iPhone and iPad

Read daily inspiration from My Utmost For His Highest in the edition of your choice.

  • 365 days of thought-provoking devotions.
  • Automatically opens to the current daily reading.
  • Join the conversation on each day’s reading.
  • Set reading reminders.
  • Download on the App Store

 

Listen to music inspired by the devotionals

 

 

 

 The Beatitudes-The surprising blessing of discomfort-watercresswords.com

Author Kim Phuc Phan Thi also referenced a Beatitude in her memoir Fire Road 

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”  (Matthew 5:6)

“I would run my finger along those phases, wondering if those words could really be true. If I pursue your ways, God, will you really satisfy that which is hungry in me?”                    

excerpt  from FIRE ROAD 

                                Read a review of  FIRE ROAD 

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Your personal reflection

After you read through the Beatitudes, leave a comment- which one makes you the most uncomfortable and why? Is it good to feel uncomfortable sometimes?

Please share this post and follow Watercress Words for more  

Weekend Words-sharing faith, hope, and love

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha                 

And now these three remain-faith, hop and love, as read from a Bible

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FAITH LOVE HOPE- words created with letter tiles

Seeing is loving

 

1 John 4, English Standard Version( ESV)

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

if we love one another, God abides in us and his  love is perfected in us.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; 

for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen 

cannot love God whom he has not seen. 

And this commandment we have from him:

whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

© 2001 – 2018 CROSSWAY

let religion be less theory, more love

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G. K. Chesterton Quotes

G. K. Chesterton, Collection novels

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Related posts

Opportunities to do good

Share the HEART of health

 

 

Wishing you faith, hope, and love today and always. Thanks for visiting my blog. 

                                         Dr. stethoscope with a heartAletha 

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Why we should love our neighbor

Mark 12:32-34 New International Version (NIV)

 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.

To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, 

“You are not far from the kingdom of God.” 

And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

FAITH, HOPE, LOVE in wooden block letters

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 Dr. Kent Brantly, missionary physician to Liberia

Dr. Kent Brantly awoke feeling ill- muscle aches, fever, sore throat, headache and nausea. As his condition progressively worsened to include difficulty breathing, he learned the cause of his illness- the Ebola virus.

Having spent the past few weeks caring for patients caught up in the Ebola epidemic that swept Liberia in the spring of 2014, Dr. Brantly had contracted the disease himself, and would likely die, as almost all victims do.

Dr. Brantly, a graduate of Indiana University’s School of Medicine, had volunteered to work at ELWA Hospital in Liberia which was receiving aid from Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. This hospital served as Monrovia’s Ebola treatment center and Dr. Brantly headed the unit.

As his condition deteriorated, his physicians decided his only hope for recovery was use of an experimental drug, ZMapp, previously untested on humans. Since otherwise he was likely to die, he received the drug by infusion into a vein.

By the next morning he felt well enough to arise from bed and shower. Unknown to him, thousands of people around the world had been praying for him.

During this time his colleague, nurse Nancy Writebol, was battling her own Ebola infection. She also was treated with ZMapp.

Samaritan’s Purse arranged for both of them to be evacuated to the United States. There, they could continue receiving supportive medical care, as well as allow infectious disease specialists to learn from their conditions. It also would relieve the workload on the doctors who continued to care for Ebola patients at ELWA.

Dr. Brantly and his wife Amber, who had just left Liberia to return home for a visit, wrote a book about their experience,

Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic.

I hope you enjoyed these words of faith, hope, and love; please share and follow watercress words as we explore the HEART of health.

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Learn more about how you can Share the HEART of health.

Dr. Aletha 

WATERCRESS WORDS-Medical stethoscope and heart on a textured background

 

 

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