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Posted January 7, 2013

Book: On a Bench of Wood: Reflections of God's Grace
Author: Daryl Madden
Liguori Press. Liguori, Missouri. 2012. pp. 96

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

When we get caught up in the busy-ness of our lives, our prayers tend to focus on asking God to solve our problems or help us get something we need. But God is with us every step of the way, so he's already aware of what's on our mind.

To understand our role in God's plan, we must deepen our relationship with him. The prayers and reflections in On a Bench of Wood will strengthen your awareness of God's grace and help you understand that no matter how much you want him, he wants you even more.

An Excerpt from the Book:

My Own Little Swamp

Time and again, I find myself worn down, feeling wronged, edging into bitterness, and feeling stressed.

One morning while sitting by a creek, trying to spend time with God but unable to let go of my daily troubles, I saw animal tracks in the mud. That was how I felt --- stepped on and stuck in the mud.

But right next to the mud was a sparkling stream. The water was flowing over rocks and stones and making a beautiful splashing noise. I saw the sun shining through the tall trees. I realized how little I was. I realized God was there just waiting, not telling me how selfish I was or how blessed I was in so many ways. He was just there, smiling and full of compassion. I wanted to jump into his arms ---- Jesus, the river of grace.

Here I sit in my own little swamp,
Festering in my needs and wants,
Stuck in my self-pity and worries,
Suffocating in my humanity.

Help me raise my eyes to you.
Pull me from the mud and lift me up.
Bring me to the shore
And let me dive into you.

Allow me to float in your river of grace,
Bobbing and drifting in your warm embrace,
Feeling the light of your love shining on me,
Drawing me ever closer.

I don't ask to be freed from trials and challenges --
Only to place them in your control,
Always from your perspective,
Seeing everything through you.

O Father, you are the way.
Help me focus on you.
Help me just let go
And trust and rejoice in you.

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