Monday, July 29, 2013

How to Pray Effectively

That's a great question that I had to address by email, recently.  The answer depends on how we look at prayer and our relationship with God.  This is what I shared in that email to help the person that asked about it.  I’ve only changed the wording slightly to fit a larger audience in this post.  And this isn’t an exhaustive study, but just an overview.  But I think there’s  enough meat here to keep us all praying as God would have us to.

I think of prayer as half of my conversation with God.  Just like with my earthly father.  His response back is often in words by His Word.  But it could be in the form of His response.  We'll get to that.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Power From The Incorruptible

Acts 1:8 (KJV)
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 

That verse was the verse for the day in one of my Bible apps.  It reminded me of something shared by a pastor friend of mine, over several days, online. "In the natural, I would like to minister to normal people who are okay that only need to hear the good news. Decent, clean, and ideal.”  “But God loves those who are not who I prefer to minister to. Lord, give me the capacity to love the unlovely, the unclean, the least among my brethren. Only by grace, mercy and compassion will you teach me your ways." ~ Pastor Clyde de la Calzada.

The fact is that the church is the spiritual emergency room.  At the same time, our flesh rebels against dealing with that much damage and pain.  Take a look at what I mean.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stability In Change

Malachi 3:6 (KJV)  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
James 1:8 (KJV)  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
We’ve been talking about change.  In that context, those two verses make an interesting contrast, worthy of consideration.  We said last time that change isn’t the problem, but what we change from and what we change to.  The process of change can be equally at issue.  Let’s take a look.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Change Not?

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. ~Nelson Mandela
Change can be good or bad.  But that depends on what you’re changing from and what you’re changing to.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Is It Reality or Illusion of the Flesh?

Greg Winfield wrote a blog post on Saturday that summed up part of what we’ve been talking about over the last several weeks.  He talks about some of the consequences of negative communication.  It’s well worth the read – we’ll give you the link at the end of this post.

One of the problems with negativity is that it can come out of us far more easily than positive thoughts.  No matter how spiritual we may think we are, our flesh will fight for life with every last gasping breath.  And that’s where we get in trouble.

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Favorite Things

That’s the title of a well known tune.  The song is by Rogers and Hammerstein, from the musical “The Sound of Music”.  It quickly became a Christmas classic.  One of the best known versions is a jazz instrumental that John Coltrane recorded in 1961.  It was 14 minutes of bliss for any real jazz lover.  All of that came to mind as I was thinking about my favorite Bible verse.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Joyful Noise Replaces Nervous Worry

This is Sunday morning's message from Pastor Tom Schaller.  It goes right along with the last several posts, here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Leadership Forgiveness

Luke 23:34 (KJV)  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
We mentioned, last time, that we had the privilege of meeting Richard Wurmbrand and spending some extra time with him.  It wasn’t because I was anything special.  But God engineered it so I’d learn some things close to His heart.  And that’s where our starting verse comes in.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Heaven Now

“I do not have to know why everything happens since I know God is good, He loves me, and life on earth is not the whole story.”

That quote is from a graphic floating around the web.  I wish it included a name so I could credit the author, but I guess that’s part of not having to know everything.  But it does point to my thoughts on God and heaven.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

At The Tree of LIFE, Happy are We...‏

Another great devotional from Todd Parsons:

 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:
 For whom the Lord loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.
 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding, Prov 3:11-13. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Full of Faith

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (KJV)  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
1) obsolete : full of faith
2) steadfast in affection or allegiance : loyal
3) firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : conscientious
4) given with strong assurance, binding
5) true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original

Are you getting the same picture I am?