Tag Archives: pray

THANKSGIVING LOVE AND PRAYERS

A TIME IN LIFE to be thankful for family and friends, but most of all, to give thanks to Him each day for the love and grace that He gives to those who believe and have faith  in Him. To God be the glory, great things He hath done.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL

AND MAY YOU BE BLESSED!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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WHAT DO YOU SEE?

What do you see in your mind’s eye when you pray or talk to yourself during difficult or good times in your life? I bet you see something, even if it’s total darkness—you still see something, but likely do it without thinking about what you see.

I know it’s a crazy question? In reality, it’s an appropriate question for everyone, regardless of their spiritual preferences or lack thereof. Whether you pray and believe in a power greater than yourself, don’t pray because you believe you possess superior intellect over all things, or fall somewhere between the two is a choice you have the right to make. Whatever your situation, you probably do talk to or pray to “something” when facing difficult situations in your life—it’s called thinking. I’m not trying to change or challenge your beliefs at all. I simply want you to consider all possibilities…

It’s probably a question you have never been asked or even considered before now. You’re not alone because most people haven’t. In fact, I may be one of few people on earth asking the question.

Okay, so exactly why am I asking such a question? Well, it’s simple—I enjoy thinking outside-the-box. Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer, so don’t be concerned. There will not be a pass-fail test given at the end of this post. I just want you to think about the question based on your personal situation, so please keep reading. It will only take a few minutes, and I promise it will not harm or judge you in any way.

What do you see…,” is a question I ask when I speak to groups. I get some interesting facial expressions and responses cover a broad spectrum ranging from total darkness to detailed images. All answers are interesting, but one that does give me pause is, “I don’t waste time praying to a fictitious character.” I acknowledge the response, but I never push my personal beliefs on anyone. I simply inform, observe, and recognize that everyone has the right to choose how they cope with life. However, that particular response is a suitable topic for a whole different discussion.

Let’s get back to the point of this post. When the shock of my question wears off, the initial responses are typically, “I’ve never thought about it before,” or “I don’t see anything.” When folks think about it for a moment, the answers tend to become a bit more descriptive. To be fair, it is somewhat of an unusual question and not likely to come up in general conversations with friends. Therefore, I invite you to think about the question in private for a few moments. You may be surprised by what you actually do/don’t see or you may start visualizing something in the future. Either way, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

When I started thinking about the storyline for my first novel, I did a lot of soul searching. When I asked myself the question, I realized I was actually seeing the same thing each time I prayed. It was an image from long ago when I started attending church as a young boy. Although buried deep in my subconscious, the image of a stained-glass window formed a lasting impression on me. This image allows me to feel as though I’m having a private conversation with a friend—albeit a very special and most powerful friend.

So, what exactly do I see when I pray? Well, first I visualize the stained glass window from my youth—an image of Jesus. As I continue praying, I usually see the faces of those for whom I’m praying and revert back to the stained-glass image as I finish my prayer. The image itself is surreal for me and puts my mind at ease. It works very well for me.

Stain Glass Jesus Picture 2x2

Whether you see an image or total darkness as you pray or talk to “whomever,” the important thing is that you do it. You may not receive the things or results you ask for, or even understand the answers. You may even feel as though your prayers are going unanswered, but I believe God hears all our prayers. He will respond in His time, and in His way. He knows what is best for us, so we must be patient.

For those who do not believe in God, He still “hears” your thoughts. I wish you the best in whatever way you cope with life’s difficulties. As I said in the beginning, I will never brow-beat you to do as I do, but I will still pray that you come to know Him someday.

By the way, I see that same stained-glass image when I give thanks everyday for the many blessings I have received.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2017

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

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FINDING THE OPEN GATE

I have a five-foot-tall wooden fence around the perimeter of my backyard, which has a gate beside the house. I had been working in the yard one day and decided to take a lunch break. As I was eating, I noticed a strange dog in the backyard. Obviously, I had accidently left the gate open.

BackyardSpring

The poor dog started running back and forth along the rear fence. As he reached each fence on the side of the yard, he leaped trying to jump over. Each attempt failed and the dog crashed into the wooden slats, then ran in the opposite direction to try again. The hurdles were simply too high, and the dog lacked the strength and knowledge to find its way to out.

I went to the open gate and began whistling and calling for the dog to come my way—the only way to find paradise. The dog would look my way, but feared me; I was not his master, so he continued trying to get out using his own methods. The dog ignored all my offers to help. I had to find other means to convince the dog I was simply trying to help him find the answer to his problem—I meant no him harm.

Gate

I walked slowly toward the dog, talking softly as I approached. As I got near, the dog ran to the front fence and repeated its efforts, achieving the same results. He ran right past the open gate and crashed into the fence each time. Although the gate was wide open, the dog failed to seize the opportunity I had graciously provided. A simple fence, combined with the lack of faith and trust in me was all that prevented the dog from reaching its goal—freedom. Well, after much coaxing and showing the way, the dog finally saw the light and ran out through the open gate.

This situation made me think about how we often view God the same way as the dog viewed me. For whatever reason, we sometimes act like that poor little dog. God calls us and shows us the way to find the path in our spiritual journey. His messages are very clear, yet we seem to ignore or not understand what He wants us to do in life. We keep trying to do things our way even though we keep crashing into the fence.

Fortunately, God never gives up on us and keeps calling for us to follow Him. He has a plan for each of us if we would only listen. Unfortunately, our fear and free will to make choices also causes us to be stubborn at times—just like the dog. PrayingHandsWhen we learn to take our fences (life-hurdles) to God in prayer, He will listen and show us the way—in His own time. If we have faith and place our trust in God and start following Him, He will lead us to and through the “open gates” in life.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

John 14:5-7 (NIV)

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

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To learn what happened to one man when God called him to follow, read my story “If Tigers Were Angels: With God, All Things Are Possible” available on Amazon or by contacting me at IfTigersWereAngels@gmail.com

 

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Feeling Blessed

Feeling Blessed

There are those among us who are making a difference in the lives of young people. I am truly thankful for those who do, and feel blessed when I hear about them. The following event will likely warm your heart.

Two of my grandsons are on the high school varsity football team. They have been practicing or strength training almost every day this summer. The evidence of their hard work is obvious by looking at their new physiques. However, what I am most proud of is the story they shared with me this week.

After a hot, exhausting football session Monday morning, a group of seven players, including my two grandsons, went to lunch at a local diner they had PrayingHandsnever been to. After their food arrived at the table, they blessed the meal before starting to eat. As hungry as they were, that’s truly amazing in itself. There were no coaches or parents around encouraging them to do this. They acted completely on their own.

Glad you can’t see me right now because I’m doing a “happy-dance” as I type this post! Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight, and I can assure you, “America’s Got Talent” is not likely to have me audition for the show. However, there are more reasons for me to be dancing.

What these players didn’t realize was others in the diner at the time noticed their open expression of faith. A gentleman walked over to their table and gave each of them a gold-colored coin with a cross and a dove on it. He told them he wanted to give it to them because they weren’t afraid to thank God in a public place. He blessed them and then left the diner.

Coins 2

The inscription on the cross side of the coin reads, “Mercy is when God spares you what you do deserve.” The inscription on the dove side reads, “Grace is when God gives you what you don’t deserve.

The story continues—as they tried to pay for their meals, the server told them the couple sitting at a nearby table had already paid the entire bill. They thanked the couple for their kindness and left the diner. The small gesture of their faith had touched the lives of others in a positive way.

The excitement in their voices as they told me the story was uplifting. They did not know the individuals who had expressed the acts of kindness. It is comforting to know that my grandsons and their friends are doing this, and kind people are going out of their way to reinforce the beliefs of our youth. It may take me a while before I stop doing my “happy-dance” for many reasons. I am so encouraged by stories like this.

God bless those strangers, the players, and all who are not afraid to show their faith in public.

Have a blessed day and give thanks before you start eating your meals—you can be God’s light to others also.

May God continue to bless America!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor         LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum