Judy Beno

Every church has an angel. Well not really an actually angel, but that old lady who is the kindest person you’ve ever meet and ever will meet. Cornerstone has one. Ever church has one. More importantly though, growing up, our church angel was my Sunday school teacher. Her name was Judy Beno, and I am forever indebted to her graciousness to me and my classmates.

I remember one day in Sunday School, she taught us this silly acronym to remember how to pray. “ACTS” she said. “A is for adoration. Telling God how great he is. C is for confession. Telling God our mistakes. T is for thanksgiving. Telling him what you’re thankful for. S is for supplication. It’s a fancy word for asking God for things.” I remember in my small Kindergarten mind thinking about how one of the letters didn’t make sense. C. I understood the concept, but I never saw anyone do it. Not my parents, or my pastor growing up. Honestly, I didn’t want to tell God I made mistakes. Wouldn’t he be upset with me? The short answer is no. God loves our honesty even though being honest may be telling God our mistakes.

What does the bible say about confession? Well, a lot. However, one passage sticks out to me. Psalm 51:3-4a says, “For I know my transgressions [fancy word for sins] and my sin is always before me. Against you and you only, have I sinned.” David, the author of this psalm, is writing a prayer to God and he is telling God about all the ways he has messed up. It’s a dense passage, but I think the point is when we are honest with God about our sins, somehow, someway, He heals us from them. David later in the Psalm says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me” verse 12. He believes as he is honest with God that He will be healed by God.

That means when we pray part of it is confession. I think confession means, honestly telling God about where we are at with our thoughts, actions, and emotions. That means confession isn’t just telling God we took a cookie from the cookie jar. It is also telling God how we are frustrated being stuck at home with all of the Corona Virus stuff. It is also saying, God why would you let this happen? You may think God will be upset with you. I promise you though, God will love you no matter what. – Jack Hein

Journal Guide: Answer these questions alone in your journal. They will help you process what God might be trying to tell you.
1. Do you think God will be upset with you if you are honest with him? Why or why not?
2. Try to define confession in your own words.
3. Where have you made mistakes in your faith this week? Write them out.
4. Write a prayer to God using the ACTS acronym.

Conversation Guide: Ask these questions to your siblings or your mom or your dad. We think around the dinner table or right afterwards is the best time.
1. If anyone could have any B-level super power what would it be? (For example, calories don’t count only on Tuesdays. You can fly but only 3 feet off the ground).
2. What’s been the hardest thing about being at home for so long?
3. How can I pray for everyone tonight?

Prayer: Read Psalm 51 and quietly read this prayer to God
Father God, you are so wonderful. The Bible says all of your ways are good, and I believe this too. You hold the heavens in your hands, and I am so happy you love me. I am sorry for all of the ways I have sinned. I want to love you with all of my heart, but I always seem to fall short. Thank you because of Jesus you have already forgiven me. I am so thankful for your love and your forgiveness. Please help me and my family to love each other as you love us. Amen.