Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let Him Pray….

dontforget to pray
A friend of mine posted that on Facebook recently.  As we pointed out in our last post, prayer is close to God’s heart.  How we pray, what we get out of prayer, what our prayer says about our relationship to Him.  It mirrors our thinking in good times and bad.

James 5:13 (KJV)  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Prayer and praise.  James recommended prescription for getting through life.  And we have a prime example of that.  In a conversation I was having with someone about their marriage, the person mentioned that Christ prayed often.  And that thought piqued my curiosity.  What were the circumstances?  How often?  What was behind His prayer?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pray Without Ceasing….

1 Timothy 2:8 (KJV)  I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
 
My pastor has instituted a monthly day of prayer and fasting at our church, on the 1st of the month.  There are hour prayer sessions at different times of the day, so that at least one of them will fit into everyone’s schedule.  And the fasting is optional.  An hour of prayer once a month, fasting is only optional – pretty easy.  But it may be the most essential thing we can do.  And it got me thinking about my own prayer life and prayer in general.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who Am I? It Is Finished…

Another Todd Parsons devotional:

When I am asked, or when I may ask someone the question, "Who are you?", we so often defer to what we do to give answer to our character.  But that does not really answer who we are, does it?  That can never fill the void in us of "Who am I?"  We work so hard to fill up who we are and, inside, when we put our heads on the pillow or are alone in our weakness, there is no assurance in us of who we are.  Because that can never fill that God size void...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Our Cross

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (KJV)  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
 
That verse, while having nothing to do with the original intent of this post, clearly expresses my experience with song titles.  I had a topic in mind, based on lyrics from a worship song that was performed in my church recently.  I called one of our worship team members to get the song title.  He told me it was “This Is Our God”.  Go to Google with that title, asking for lyrics, and we discover there are two well known songs by that title.  And neither was the right one. 
 
Maybe I misunderstood and it’s “This Is My God”.  There are several of those.  And the one that appears to be the one I was looking for, by Don Moen, doesn’t have the full lyrics online and no recording to verify that’s the right one.  It’s never dull.  But let’s get to the subject at hand.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Being Filled With What?

It’s Friday, which, unless we’re in the middle of a series, will be our guest post day.  Last week, it was Pastor Tom Sliva.  Today, Todd Parsons returns.  So, without further ado:
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Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour, Pr.14:9.

     Made righteous by the LORD's doing, we have fellowship around His Grace...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Conversation With God About Our Leadership – Part 2

Last time, we shared the beginning of an imaginary conversation between God and me.  The basis of the conversation is our country’s present leadership and the upcoming election.  Let’s eavesdrop some more.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Conversation With God About Our Leadership – Part 1

Every once in awhile, I like to have an imaginary conversation with God about various things.  It helps me clarify what I understand and what I believe.  Recently, with a Presidential election coming soon, I sat down with God to figure out where things stand and get His take on it and what I should do.

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Me:  Hi, God.  I’m glad you’re free to talk to me.  I’m confused about a few things.

God:  What’s confusing you Bill?

Me:  Well, the leadership in our country is so messed up.  I keep praying for our President to be taken out of office.  And now would be none too soon.  Are You sure You knew what you were doing when You let him be elected?  And what about Congress?  They all seem more interested in reelection than actually solving our problems.

God:  Gee, Bill, you keep posting those pithy graphics on Facebook that say I’m in control…no matter what.  Are you questioning that’s true?

Me:  Well, no.  I’m not questioning that.  But our present leadership is really taking us in the wrong direction.  That can’t be Your will!

God:  Don’t forget that I don’t interfere in your free will. So, if enough of you aren’t hearing Me properly, you’re free to vote in the wrong leadership.  I do try to nudge you in the right direction.  But you don’t always catch on to what I’m showing you.  I pretty much said there’d be consequences in Isaiah 3:4-5.  And remember what happened to Israel when they wanted a visible king?  They voted for Saul.  And look what happened right up through a few decades after My Son visited you guys.  That didn’t go so well did it?  It led to foreign rule, followed by Jerusalem getting destroyed.

Me:  Wow!  I never really saw that comparison so clearly.  So, how do I make the right decisions about who leads me and my country?

God:  Well, My main way of communicating is through My Word.  I’ll use pastors, preachers, writers, bloggers, etc. to make sure it gets out and any of the tricky stuff gets explained.  But even they don’t always get it right.  Look at the clash between the “all grace” crowd and the Calvinists, for example.  Both deny the other has anything right.  I’ll have to fix that before the Millenial Reign.  But focus on My Word and you’ll eventually get it.

My Word is really the only source of good information.  Everything else is questionable.  Look at what I said in Matthew 24: “4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”.  Some will say they represent My heart, some will say they’re Me or My Son.  But not everyone who claims to be connected with Me will really have that connection.

Me:  Oh, I understand that one!  The conservative is Mormon and claims that makes him Christian.  The present office holder has had tons of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) flying around about him and his spiritual standing.  We’ve got a lot of Christians praying and saying all kinds of things about both of them.  It can get really confusing at times.

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There’s more to the conversation.  We’ll get to the rest, next time.  What are you doing to make the Word of God a priority, especially in making election decisions?

Friday, September 14, 2012

God’s Way

This is the first of what, hopefully, will be ongoing revisits by our dear friend, Pastor Tom Sliva.  Pastor Tom has "paid his dues"and successfully navigated some pretty dark times in his life.  The result has been a unique and deep relationship with our Lord.  Enjoy his insights.

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“A thousand souls hear His call every second, but most every one then looks into life’s mirror and says “I am not worthy to leave this sadness” Theresa of Avila

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gee, Did I Do That? – Part 2

Sometimes you need to start over so you can do it right! – Sonny McDonald

God's grace erases our past so that we can start over with a clean slate from moment to moment. It's a pity that sometimes we hang on desperately to the past and get weighed down by past sins and experiences, and we wonder why we are not moving forward. God has a great plan for us, but He always puts the new thing out of reach of the old, forcing us to let go in faith in order to move on towards His perfect will for our lives. I once heard someone say: "If the horse has been dead for years, get off..." – Lize van Wyck

Keep thinking about those two quotes from Part 1.  But add a quote that Tully NewsInfo shared on Facebook.  It speaks directly to part of today’s topic.  It says, “If you make friends with yourself, you will never be alone.” – Maxwell Maltz.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Let Us Not Forget

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana

Proverbs 4:5 (KJV) Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Those of us who were alive in the U.S. that day will remember exactly where they were when we learned of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  It was a day that changed history.  What does it teach us?

Those two verses are important.  Perhaps we could have learned, both intellectually and spiritually, from the past.  Things that may or may not have changed that day in history..  But there are more important things we need to remember.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gee, Did I Do That? – Part 1

Sometimes you need to start over so you can do it right! – Sonny McDonald

God's grace erases our past so that we can start over with a clean slate from moment to moment. It's a pity that sometimes we hang on desperately to the past and get weighed down by past sins and experiences, and we wonder why we are not moving forward. God has a great plan for us, but He always puts the new thing out of reach of the old, forcing us to let go in faith in order to move on towards His perfect will for our lives. I once heard someone say: "If the horse has been dead for years, get off..." – Lize van Wyck

Those two statements were recently posted in a thread on Facebook.  And go right along with some things I’ve been considering, lately.  Things I’d like to share, today.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Peace I Give Unto You….

lake_sunset-spike12 

That’s Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada, taken by Hamel Tailor.  Taken with his Blackberry.  The scene looks so very peaceful.  It made me think about how peaceful our lives can be when we’re one with God.  Even in the midst of turmoil.  What the Word says about peace is worth considering.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Believe: A Thought Married

Here's another Todd Parsons devotional.  Enjoy. --

"Being committed to a conviction brings in conversions to my soul,". (P. Stevens). Circumstances will try us and the question to ask myself is where will I stand... I made a commitment to my wife, Tricia, to be her husband till death do us part. I believe that. It is a thought I have married....


Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Grass is Greener…. – Part 4

1 Timothy 3:6 (KJV)  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Revelation 9:1 (KJV)  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

We’ve talked about familiarity and influence.  Today, let’s look at ego -- giving our self interests and comfort a greater place than they deserve.  Without that, we might not succumb to familiarity or influence.  Here’s what I mean: