Our guest post today comes from Sue Midgley, mother to five boys, and wife to one husband. They lead a small English-speaking church in Antananarivo, Madagascar and hail from Pretoria in South Africa. I feel as though I have gotten to know Sue and her family through Robin’s blog The Great Escape: Life from Behind the Lens. If you enjoy humor and photography, check out his blog!
Thank You for this new day. Thank You for Your goodness and grace to me. I am so thankful Lord that You, and You alone, are my God!
I’m amazed how many people I see at the gym so early every morning – working their butts off trying to attain that “perfect” body. Suckers! It seems their god of fitness requires daily sacrifice. It’s a good thing I’m not as vain as they are – I only spend all those hours there to keep myself healthy.
Thank you too Lord for blessing me with all these amazing malls so close to home – my sanctuaries on days when I’m irritable, tired and in need of a break from the challenges in my life (being a housewife is sometimes SO difficult). Oh, how I find solace in shopping; meaning in a deep cappuccino; comfort in the warm confines of a clothing store. Thank you Lord! Oh, and that reminds me – I want to pray for the poor lady I saw begging at the traffic lights on my way home from the mall. I thought of giving her something, but I just couldn’t part with any of the groceries I’d just bought, all of which we really need at home. And I didn’t have any small change. Sigh… Sometimes I really don’t know what to do for the poor…
Someone at the church bible study last week mentioned we should be content with what we already have. I’m glad I live like that. I’m so thankful though that the builder can start working on upgrading our front entrance today. I was beginning to feel embarrassed about having people over – the colours are just so last year (literally)! And when he’s finished, I can’t wait to go and buy décor to match the new colours. It’s so satisfying to get new things (happy sigh).
Thank You for my children, Lord. Thank You for entrusting them to me. I’ll make sure they get the absolute best of everything! No one will say my children lacked for anything – I’m so
proud thankful they get to go to such a good school. And I’ll make sure they experience many extra-mural activities (I really don’t mind running around every afternoon – it’s for their good, not my reputation, after all). I won’t let them grow up having poor, undeveloped skills – they will be completely well-rounded individuals who will impress help everyone they meet!
And please don’t let my husband ever get any crazy ideas about church planting or anything like that! Imagine if I ever had to homeschool (shudder)?! Imagine if we ended up in the ‘fourth world’? I feel bad enough as it is when I have to say no to the kids (which You know is not often – I make sure they are happy). What on earth would I do with them if they suddenly had to live without some stuff? How would I keep them happy?
Oh Lord, after reading through Jeremiah, I am so thankful that You have delivered me from idolatry! Imagine if I had things in my life that distracted me and turned my heart away from serving You wholeheartedly? Imagine if there was a price I found too high for me to pay? How awful. Because today I live for You Lord – really.
Luke 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
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Methinks maybe it was misunderstood judging by the lack of comments? Ahem …
Well, yeah…I’ve read this one a few times and parts of it make sense and parts don’t seem to fit, at least to me anyway. The verse there, from what I understand about it is about justification (being declared “not guilty” by God). The Pharisee trusted in his own righteousness, especially his “religious works”, even though he thanked God and even would say that “his” righteousness came from God, it was still his righteousness, he trusted in it and, well, was not justified! The publican understood his need for a righteousness that was not his own and begged God for mercy, received it and was justified.
Some of the “Modern Pharisee’s Prayer” sounds very Pharisee like in some ways, and let’s face it, that is in all of us, and it is a buzz kill when God shows it to us. But unless I’m mistaken, it doesn’t seem to line up with the Pharisee in this verse. The Pharisee in this verse would have totally boasted in everything he did and had contempt for others. He would have never said “please don’t have my husband take us to a fourth world country and homeschool, or I don’t know what to do for the poor” he would have said, “Look at me! I live in a fourth world country and homeschool! Look at me God! Look at me everyone! I give! To the poor and to the church! Time and money! Look, does everyone see me being righteous and a good Christian? Please say yes, because after all, I’m really doing this for God’s glory. (even though he was really doing it for the applause of men, which, well yes, we all like the Pharisee love, whether we see it in ourselves or not) He would have said “I’m not like those people who just live in their materialism, drinking cappucinos, driving their kids to good schools and activities, spending their money at shopping malls, fixing their homes, and working out in gyms. Oh, I thank you God that I’m not like them! Is there anything else on the “to do list” that I can do for you God? Because I’ll do it, and then some! And I’ll make sure that everyone sees me doing it too Lord, that way I can give you glory.”
@Jill Interesting! Actually I wrote the title and I added the verse at the end because it was what it reminded me of so perhaps it wasn’t the author’s intent at all! Maybe I should have clarified that! 😉 Your comment “Some of the “Modern Pharisee’s Prayer” sounds very Pharisee like in some ways, and let’s face it, that is in all of us,” that’s what I thought about it too.
I guess what I was trying to communicate was to Robins comment about there being no comments and being maybe misunderstood. I agree, maybe I misunderstood what she was saying, and was pointing out why that might be, in my case anyway. Now that you explained it, it makes sense. What she wrote, to me didn’t quite match up with the verse, but some of what Laur Longbottom said did sound like a Pharisee, and was convicting to my heart.
@Jill Yes, it wasn’t meant to be an exposition of the verse so that was my fault! I don’t even know if she thought about that verse when she wrote it. Thank you for clarifying that! I found things convicting as well!
Susan Evans says
I just tweeted this because it is so true about our American society. We are all Pharisees, and we are blind to it. We are constantly unhappy with our homes, and we honestly don’t give a flip about the poor because for some reason we think they deserve it for being lazy. But we have no idea what their stories are. We are like that man who hoards stuff in his graneries and the the Lord required his soul that night, so he amassed riches for nothing.
Maybe the lack of comments is because it pierces the soul. I love my soul being pierced, because it makes me a better person.
i couldn’t say anything more than what i said originally, because it was a huge punch in the gut to me… i needed it, i will tell the truth. thank you for the post, esther. 🙂 prehaps the lack of comment stemmed from the thought that when the “funnies” take a time out to be serious, people get uncomfortable…. truth DOES pinch us sometimes!