The Five Fingers of Prayers

Michael Goghlan

Photo Credit: Michael Goghlan via CC Flickr

I came across this little, fun way to pray many, many years ago that I always thought was a pretty good idea and a terrific way to remember not only who or what to pray for…but HOW to pray.

This is beautiful – and it is surely worth making the 5 finger prayer a part of our lives!

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1.Your thumb is nearest you.

So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you.

They are the easiest to remember.

To pray for our loved ones is,

as C. S. Lewis once said, a “sweet duty.”

2. The next finger is the pointing finger.

Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal.

This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers.

They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction.

Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger.

It reminds us of our leaders.

Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators.

These people shape our nation and guide public opinion.

They need God’s guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger.

Surprising to many is the fact that is our weakest finger,

as any piano teacher will testify.

It should remind us to pray for those who are weak,

trouble or in pain.

They need prayers day and night.

You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger

– the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves

in relation to God and others.

As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.”

Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself.

By the time you have prayed for the other four groups,

your own needs will be put into proper perspective

and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

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Life is Hard….

Photo Credit: Loren Kerns via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Loren Kerns via CC Flickr

There are thousands upon thousands of books, articles, and countless other kinds of information which tell us how to deal with the hardships of life.

Sometimes, it is the simple thoughts and / or stories that will remind us the most of the important things in life that we can use to remember. 

Thus is the reason for today’s short story.

Is your life hard? Are you struggling with some difficult situations right now? Hopefully, today’s little tale will help you make your life a little easier.

A farmer had a dog who used to sit by the roadside waiting for vehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down the road, barking and trying to overtake it. One day a neighbor asked the farmer “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a car?” The farmer replied, “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me is what he would do if he ever caught one.”

Many people in life behave like that dog who is pursuing meaningless goals.

Life is hard by the yard, 
but by the inch, 
it’s a cinch. 

–Gean Gordon

“Fifty Bucks is Fifty Bucks!”

Photo Credit: Canned Muffins via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Canned Muffins via CC Flickr

Many people today have created a Bucket List. A Bucket List is a register of things that a person would like to do before the die. The list can be anything…ranging from something simple to a desire to accomplish that might be almost impossible to complete.

Such is the case of Ed, husband of his lifelong sweetheart, his wife, Norma….

Ed and his wife Norma go to the state fair every year, and every year Ed would say, ” Norma, I’d like to ride in that helicopter “

Norma always replied, “I know Ed , but that helicopter ride is fifty bucks,
and fifty bucks is fifty bucks! ”

One year Ed and Norma went to the fair, and Ed said, “Norma, I’m 75 years old. If I don’t ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance”

To this, Norma replied, “Ed, that helicopter ride is fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is fifty bucks”

The pilot overheard the couple and said, “Folks I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and don’t say a word I won’t charge you a penny! But if you say one word it’s fifty dollars.”

Ed and Norma agreed and up they went.

The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again,

But still not a word…

When they landed, the pilot turned to Ed and said, “By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn’t. I’m impressed! ”

Ed replied, “Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Norma fell out, but you know…fifty bucks is fifty bucks! ”

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Hope this comical story made you giggle!! Have a great day!!!

The Talk of the Town

Photo Credit: Judy Baxter via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Judy Baxter via CC Flickr

Every once in a while, I come across a story that reminds mes how important it is to keep the things that happen in our lives in proper perspective. Such is the case of today’s tale…

Funerals are a somber moment, aren’t they? It’s hard to imagine a situation where you would find them light and funny.

But then, maybe it’s something like that that you need to keep your perspective on the more important things in life. Read on and see what I mean.

Consumed by my loss, I didn’t notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend, my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer.

The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissue while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father’s death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life. When mother’s illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27 year old middle child with no entanglements to take care of her.

I felt it an honor. “What now?” I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife’s hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband’s shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child.

All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication.

Now she was gone. My work was finished, and I was alone. I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick steps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle, “I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary.

After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, “Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of Margaret?”

“Because that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary. No one called her Mary”, I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn’t have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

“No, that isn’t correct,” he insisted, as several people glanced over at us whispering, “Her name is Mary, Mary Peters. That isn’t who this is? Isn’t this the Lutheran church?”

“No, the Lutheran church is across the street, I believe you’re at the wrong funeral, sir.” The solemnness of the occasion mixed with realization of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I cupped my hands over my face hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious.

I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing too, as he glanced around deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit. I imagined my mother laughing. At the final Amen, we darted out a door and into the parking lot. “I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled.

He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt’s funeral, he asked me out for a cup of coffee. That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place.

A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time. In my time of sorrow, he gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, I now had love. This past June we celebrated our twenty second anniversary. Whenever anyone asks us how we met, Rick tells them “Her mother and my Aunt Mary introduced us, and it’s truly a match made in Heaven.”

The Day A Doctor Changed The World Forever

Photo Credit: Riley's Children Foundation

Photo Credit: Riley’s Children Foundation

I love reading the “story behind the story” of why things happened and turned out the way they are today. For example…where did the name “Sloppy Joe” come from? Where did Walt Disney begin his Disney World empire?…etc. Well, I recently read the following story on a site “Gabe’s Fascinating Stories” that fell into this category. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In the early 1950’s an Austrian educational specialist published a study in America called “Why Johnny Can’t Read.”  His study argued that the Dick and Jane primers used at that time throughout American schools to teach children to read weren’t working.

He believed they were horrible educational tools; according to him they were stupid, pointless, tasteless little readers.  He doubted whether any middle-class, middle-income, middle-IQ student could learn anything by reading  “Look, look” or “Yes, yes” or “Come see Spot” or “See the funny, funny animal.”

He believed the stories in these primers were boring and the books ineffective at best in helping American children learn how to read.

William Spaulding, a publisher from Houghton Mifflin’s Publishing Company who worked in the educational division and read this Austrian study, thought it might be right. He met a man a few years earlier who he’d published a few not-very-well-known but very imaginative children’s books that his children really loved to read over and over.

Mr. Spaulding thought this unknown writer of children’s books might be able to write a book that would really be good for teaching American children how to read, want to read, and read over and over again. So he invited the author over for dinner one night and explained the dilemma to him.  Then Mr. Spaulding asked, “Can you write a book with a simple story that first-graders won’t be able to put down and will just want to read over and over again?”

Stunned by the question and not sure how to respond, the writer asked if he could have some time to think about it and work on it.  He left that dinner and spent the next nine months composing a book he thought would meet the goals of Mr. Spaulding.

A meticulous editor and reviser, he believed that a children’s book must be kept simple.  Every chapter had to be boiled down to just one simple paragraph so a child would be able to understand it.  He worked especially hard on the word count as he wanted to use as few words as possible.

The small children’s reader this writer finally produced at Mr. Spaulding’s request is now considered to be the most popular children’s book ever written in American history. Within less then a year of its initial publication, it was selling 12,000 copies a month and within five years from its release it had sold over a million copies.  This was an incredible feat for a children’s book.

His book contained a grand total of 1,702 words but the kick is he only used 220 different words in the entire book. His simple yet effective book revolutionized the way children in America learn to read.  The book he wrote and presented to Mr. Spaulding nine months later wasThe Cat in the Hat.

Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel) is without a doubt the best-selling children’s book author of all time.  He has since written 63 other children’s books in all, including Horton Hears a Who! (1954), One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960), Green Eggs and Ham(1960), Hop on Pop (1963), Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (1975), The Butter Battle Book (1984), and of course, The Cat in the Hat (1957).

A Letter From The Tooth Fairy

Photo Credit: Travis Isaacs via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Travis Isaacs via CC Flickr

One of the things that I really enjoy finding, are the interesting and creative ways that parents teach their children the importance of learning life lessons. Such is the case of the following letter that was left by our friend, the Tooth Fairy, tot his little girl….

“My Dearest Emily,

I came by tonight to retrieve your tooth and leave your payment – however, because of the condition of your bedroom, I had a horrible time even getting to your bed safely. Once there, I was unable to locate the tooth pillow due to the amount of pillows, blankets, and bodies in your bed.

I will have to come by on a different night – perhaps you can take the time between now and then to properly clean and organize your room. I bet if you ask your mother NICELY, she will even help you do it.

Much love,

The Tooth Fairy”

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Absolutely Priceless!!!