Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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A Servant’s Heart

A servant with a true heart will respond like a servant when treated like one.

I’ve heard that or something close to it said a couple of times, and to be very honest, the first time I heard it, I was kind of shocked. Not because of the idea. It makes sense. But because I’d never thought of it that way.

A Christian is Christlike, right? In public school, when I was in 5th grade, there was a question on a test that said, What does “Christian” mean?

Correct Answer: A follower of Christ. (I missed it, because I spelled follower wrong. A flower of Christ just doesn’t have the same meaning.)

A follower of Christ is one who walks with him. Does what He did. They’re like Christ.

I get that, because in Okie Land when I was a kid, most little girls were taught to act like that. In fact, I don’t remember a girl in grade school who didn’t at least claim a church.

And it wasn’t only our parents who taught us that kind of thing. School teachers did, too. “Be nice. Play fair. Don’t leave anyone out. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Remember the Golden Rule.”

Matthew 7:12

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Trouble is these days, people don’t always respond in kind. If I’m nice to you, you’re supposed to be nice to me. Right?

Philippians 2:5-7

5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Gulp.

What, exactly, was a servant back in Jesus time? Probably not someone named Jeeves, who wore a tux and answered the door when the bell rang. And probably not a woman who wore a white apron and silly cap, who bobbed curtseys and said, “Yes, mum.”

I’ve mentioned I’m not a Bible scholar. I’m not a Bible historian, either. I can’t tell you exactly how a servant was treated during the time Christ was on earth, but I can’t imagine it being much fun.

I doubt the family the servant worked for remembered please and thank you or gave them the same food as the family ate. Or a clean bed to sleep in.

I think a servant’s role was to work his/her heart out for a family that was more often than not rude and ungrateful. They were probably talked down to, berated and blamed for things they didn’t do.

I figure with all the drama in a household, they were supposed to do their work in a cheerful manner. (Who wants to be around a grouchy servant? I don’t even like grouchy waitresses.) And, of course, a servant should fade into the woodwork but be johnny-on-the-spot when needed.

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Ever been treated like a servant and had your hair catch on fire? I have. 😦

Ever been treated like a servant and treated that person like a servant right back? I have. 😦

Ever been treated like a servant and left in a huff, never to return? I have. 😦

Ever seen someone you love treated like a servant, and not been able to forgive it, even after many, many years? I have. 😦

Ever wish you could have “helped” God when He decided what a true Christian is? I have. 😦

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I don’t mind serving, as long as I don’t get treated as if that’s my due. I want to be appreciated. Loved. Applauded. Appreciated for what I’ve done.

But Jesus wasn’t. He was beaten. Spit on. Denied. Nailed to a cross for my sins.

After all that, He said, Father forgive them. They just don’t get it. Yet. (My paraphrase.)

Luke 23:34

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Forgive me, Lord, when I just don’t get it. Yet.


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Today’s the Day to Pray

I took photo with Canon camera.

Image via Wikipedia

This is the National Day of Prayer. Is it a day set aside for our entire nation to pray or a day set aside to pray for our nation? Whichever way you understand it, today is a day to pray!

According to Wikipedia, the first Thursday of May is “an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked ‘to turn to God in prayer and meditation’. The law formalizing its annual observance was enacted in 1952.”

So there has been a NDOP for a looooong time. I don’t know when I first heard about it, but it has always seemed just a little bit silly to me to set apart a day to pray. Don’t most Christians pray every day?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version, ©2011)

 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 Did we need to have a day set aside for it?

Recently, I started thinking. (Good thing to do now and then.) It’s not really a day to remind Christians to pray. It’s a day set aside to remind everyone in the world that America is a praying Christian nation.

We may not all pray in the same posture. Some do it standing, some kneeling, others face down on the floor and yet others lifting hands to the Lord.

We don’t all pray the same prayers. Some pray only scripture, some prayers written by others and some of us wing it. 

And we don’t all pray in the same way. Some pray aloud, some silently, some murmuring and some through tears. (And some of us combine them all!)

But the point is, we are a praying Christian nation. And the world should know.

While I’m on the subject of prayer, I wanted to share a blog I happened on today that really blessed me. It’s written by a woman in Denver. I don’t know her, but I loved what she had to say.

This woman has a sweet voice, and on this blog she has a Bible Study she wrote on a “new” way to pray. (It’s not really new, but she shares it with a fresh view.)

If you have a moment, check it out. It’s called Pale Pearl. In the upper right hand corner, there’s a link to her Bible Study.

 In it she refers to scriptures that thrill the heart. James 4:8-“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” Zephaniah 3:17-“The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.

Don’t you love the idea of God taking great delight in you? Not just delight but great delight! And to think of God rejoicing over each one of us, singing, just brings me to tears. 

Check out Jennifer’s blog if you get the chance.  

And don’t forget to pause today to pray.


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SSMT #5–@BethMooreLPM

March 1’s SSMT for #4 and me is Phillipians 4:5-7

 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.

A lot to think about, isn’t it? Being thankful in every stuation. Every means E-V-E-R-Y   O-N-E! Whatever happens, loss, tragedy, pain, we’re to be thankful.

Is that thankful for whatever our situation is (death of a loved one, pain caused by cancer, etc) or are we to be thankful for the maturity we’ll attain from surviving that situation?   

I really don’t know.

And I’m to guard my heart and mind in Jesus. Live with only the peace of God on my heart. I love the idea of it, but doubt that living it can be as easy as it sounds.

 Are you doing SSMT? I know Jesse is and I enjoy reading her memory verse when she shares it. But I know there are tons of other Siestas out there who also blog. I’d love to read yours.

Let me know where your blog is and I’ll try to connect all of us in my sidebar. (If I can figure it out. LOL)

All you have to do is put your blog’s URL in my comment box. Even if you don’t blog, share your SSMT verse with us. After all–

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

And if you aren’t doing SSMT, how about  sharing your favorite scripture? I have a feeling it says a lot about you.