Relationship with God

Reminder of God

February 28, 2005

Lions. They are beautiful, and fierce. Yet as fierce as they are, the prey of a lion falls into one of two categories: those animals that are weak or injured, and those animals who get separated from their herd. We, too, are in danger when we are in the same situations! The difficulties of life do in fact cause us injuries. Too often we will withdraw from others turn away fellowship, when we turn to lick our wounds. When that happens, watch out, for the enemy is stealthy while stalking his prey. As we read in 1st Peter 5:6-8 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Have the circumstances of life wounded you? Have you withdrawn to yourself? Do you hear the paws of the enemy preparing to pounce? Here is help:

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

Hebrews 10:23-25

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

I was reminded of these truths this past week, as I watched a couple of very good friends endure trial after trial. Fixing their eyes on God and surrounding themselves with fellowship, they stood firm, they were not devoured. Wounded and need healing? Turn to Christ. Feeling alone? Do not forsake fellowship. Do that, and you will see lions flee.


February 24, 2005

In ancient times in Persia it was forbidden under penalty of death to enter a kings presence with a frown. The king was always to be greeted with a smile. They were to see only a persons gladness at being in their presence. Well, let me tell you this, the kings of Persia should have surrounded themselves with dogs! Today upon returning home from coffee with friends the age old ritual of homecoming was reenacted: Three fuzzy faces attached to three bodies wiggling from tail to neck in wags greeted us, steaming up the window next to the door with their breath as we approached. Upon the key entering the lock, twelve paws thundered off in different directions. By the time the door was opened, those same paws had propelled each dog back to the door, now each with a toy in their mouth. Yes, our dogs always greet us with toys. They will search high and low, yet upon entering into our presence, they will always greet us with the best toy each can find. After settling in, I began my study time in prayer, and realized that the first thing out of my mouth to God was my daily "to do" list for Him--as if I could delegate to God! Convicted, I stopped, and turned my mind to the thanksgivings at what God has already done in my life. After all, entering God's presence I have found is much more apt to change me than to change my circumstance. Shouldn't I enter then with praise, thanksgiving?

Psalm 100:4-5

Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.

My dogs great me at every encounter by bringing me their toys; should I not greet my God at every encounter by bringing Him my joys? Praise God, He is good. Have a great day!


February 23, 2005

From the Middle Ages on, individuals of varying ethnicities in the major cities in Europe would build for themselves within those cities specific areas in which to live that were exclusive for that ethnic group alone. Often times these areas would be walled. Walled in order to keep others out. It was never just one ethnic group that did this. Italians would build their area, the Spanish theirs, the French theirs, etc. Within these areas individuals would socialize, transact business, generally live their lives, only with each other These areas were known as ghettos. These ghettos were not necessarily poor—some were quite affluent. Based on fear, the purpose of the ghetto was simple—it was a self imposed segregation. A way of keeping the rest of society out. Over the past twenty five years or so I have noticed something in Christendom. We have moved from being a principle participant in our national culture and the arts, to setting ourselves up as judge over society and the arts, to withdrawing from our society and any real influence in the arts. We have built for ourselves a Christian ghetto, when what we should have been building are bridges.

John 12:44-47

Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it".

Note that Jesus did not say this quietly—He cried it out! A reminder that Jesus Himself found this concept important. Yes, a time will come when Jesus does return to judge. That is His right. He has earned it, we have not. Are we to assume His right, which he has reserved for Himself, in the future, of judging, or are we to fulfill His current mission of reaching out? One of these choices usurps His very authority, the other carries forward His mission. Today, will you build walls, or bridges?


February 22, 2005

Failure...and leadership. The two seem juxtaposed. Yet, of all of the individuals I have known in my life who were viewed by others as great successes, if one looked closely at their lives, one would see more than the average amount of failures. Babe Ruth, home run king for generations...also strike out king. When asked to explain this he is said to have stated "It just seemed wrong not to swing." The philosopher David Hume--Bertrand Russell wrote of him "In 1744 he made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a professorship at Edinboruough; having failed this, he became first a tutor to a lunatic and then a secretary to a general. Fortified by these credentials he ventured again into philosophy." Then consider Moses. A murderer. Fleeing civilization, then spending forty years as a shepherd. Then came his encounter with God:

Exodus 3:4-6
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

The God of Abraham--Abraham who let his wife be taken into another man's harem...twice. Abraham who impregnated his wife's maid. Isaac--Isaac who so mismanaged his family that his sons wanted to kill each other--literally. Jacob--thief, conniver, liar, who wrestled with God and never held to God until finally wounded by Him. Jacob who walked with a limp from that time on. And yet each of these men used by God in mighty ways. God's call to Abraham was a way of saying "Abraham--I am the God of failed men. Failed men like you, whom I have used to accomplish tasks so much larger than themselves." Have you felt like, do you feel like, a failure? Acknowledge God's call. Turn to Him, and He can lift you up and use you in ways you've never dreamed of. We all fail. Those who move on in God's strength accomplish God sized tasks.


February 21, 2005

Presidents Day. Thinking on that, I was drawn today to look at the life of Abraham Lincoln, a man whose courage and determination brought freedom to so many. In an address at Cooper's Union, New York, in 1860, Lincoln stated "Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith lets us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it." From anyone else, that might be easily dismissed as a trite nicety, yet Lincoln was a man of action, not just talk, and in his actions came emancipation. Yes, right makes might...but it must be a right which transcends mere intellectual ascent. "Right" must be acted upon if it is to be a change agent, must be lived, not just spoken of, if it is to bring freedom. Our Churches these days are filled with many men and women who know many lofty ideals. Know them, yes, but are they acted upon? Seriously, if we are to feast regularly on the Word of God, and yet never take action upon that same Word, will we not grow fat, weighted down with the torpor of inaction? Our call is not to an increase in theoretical knowledge, but a call to action. There is no place in the ranks for a "bloated believer". Let us move forward then, and take action, for when we take action, it cannot be otherwise than the abolition of the slavery that so many live in today will be realized. Yes, let us be men of action, and step out in that faith that right does indeed make might.

James 1:22-25
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.

Not a forgetful hearer, but an effectual doer. Let us remember that faith, by its nature, requires action.


February 17, 2005

Weary, bone deep weary. I've been feeling like that all week. Have you ever felt that way? So many items weighing on you from so many fronts: financial fears, concerns for career and future, deeply moving issues that loved ones are dealing with, and/or just too much work. You end up feeling like you are one pat of butter, expected to coat a whole loaf of bread...thin, innefectual. We have all felt as if we have run out of gas. C. S. Lewis noted once of that feeling of weariness that "A car is made to run on gasoline, and would not run properly on anything else. Now God has designed the human machine to run on Himself. He (God) Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other." Well said.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.

1st Peter 2:1-3

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

To keep the automotive analogy going, talk about a rest stop! Both rest and fuel, at the same place. And fuel that cleanses as it burns! How long has it been since you took the time to partake of either? Of both?


February 16, 2005

It makes no sense to my dogs why I go to my desk to work each morning. It makes no sense to them that I catch the tennis ball with my hands instead of with my mouth. I drink out of a glass instead of from the toilet, and they will just cock their heads and look on in wonder. Genetically the difference between my dogs and I is just the difference of the coding of a few chromosomes, and yet what a vast difference in understanding. The difference between ourselves and God is even greater--who among us can claim to be self existent? And yet whey do we then think that we should expect God to behave as we would, expect Him to be tamed to our sensitivities? As Howard Macey remarked, "The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. It is always frontier, and we who live in it must accept and even rejoice that it remains untamed." True statement, very true, and yet do we actually live that, or give simple ascent to it, while our lives model something completely different? Doe we live our lives making common sense decisions, or do we follow the leading of faith?

Galatians 3:11
Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "The righteous man shall live by faith."

Isaiah 55:8-9

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

No, God is not tamed. To follow Him is to follow His course. No where are we ever told that "the righteous man shall live by common sense and cleverness". Faith. To listen, to discern, to step out even when common sense is not in agreement. That is the life we are called to, and it is a life of adventure, not a life of suburbia. That is the life Paul described--Paul, who gave up a successful legal career to spread the good news. Paul who wrote:

Galatians 2:20-21
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.


February 15, 2005

Isn't it funny, frightening really, how when you are in the midst of a bad dream, you are always alone? Bad dreams, nightmares, are never team sports. That is part of the terror, the sense of loneliness, which is very different than a sense of solitude! In a time of solitude, you are enjoying the company of one, which can be very engaging. Loneliness however is a different mettle. In loneliness one feels not simply a lack of companionship, but the isolation of having no one who understands, no one to lend an ear or sympathetic glance, no real witness to your existence. Fortunately, that in reality is never true, for with one's faith in God, one is never alone:

Hebrews 5b-6a
...for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you," so that we confidently say,"The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.

Imagine if you will that kind of love. The God of the universe pledging to always be personally with you, never turning His back, never forsaking, a constant loving witness to the art of your life, bringing meaning, validity to your being. Brings to mind the second act of A Midsummer Night's Dream, when Helena says to Demetrius "Therefore I think I am not in the night; Nor doth this wood lack the worlds company, For you in my respect are all the world: Then how can it be said that I am alone, when all the world is here to look on me?" How can it be said either that you are ever alone, when your God has promised never to leave, never to forsake you? Stand tall then and face the day, knowing that you are in good company, company that stands by your side, and bears witness to your existence. Any feeling to the contrary is simply the false fabric of bad dreams, bearing no substance, no reality.


February 14, 2005

Last night I was awakened by an elbow to my stomach. In her sleep, Glenda rolled over and her elbow found its mark. I wasn't upset to be awakened, I was having a weird dream anyway. As I lie awake then, the sweet scent of Glenda's hair wafted over. In the dark I pictured her in my mind's eye, hair like sunshine, the beautiful glow of her skin, eye's that show mischievousness and warmth all at the same time, and a smile that bids one permission to make the most out of what life has to offer. As I lay there I thought "My wife...loves me." "My wife loves me." My wife loves me! This beautiful, bright, fun woman loves me... A realization like that cannot help but lift the spirits, build self esteem, and make one think of all of the wonderful possibilities that life has to offer. My wife loves me, not because of, but in spite of. That realization brought to mind the words of a poem by George Herbert:

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick eye'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack'd anything...

That's the amazing thing about love--it fills in what we lack. I awoke early this morning, before dawn. As I looked out my back window, the crimson and yellow striations of the sunrise reflected upon the clouds. Looking at the beauty, I thought "My God...Loves me." "My God Loves me."

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

Think on that a moment. Pause to ponder. We've all heard that verse, in fact it has become so familiar as to be invisible, but when we think on it, really think, we cannot help but say in amazement "My God Loves me!" My God loves me, not because of, but in spite of... What does a realization of that magnitude do to your self esteem? What permission does that give you in how you will live your life? The love of God, filling in what we lack. Revel in that! Happy Valentines day!


February 10, 2005

Storks bring babies. Now where did that come from? Well, in all actuality, the myth of storks bringing babies originated in Northern Germany about five centuries ago. Why would anyone think up such a bizarre story? Well, actually, from observation… You see, Storks re-appear annually to Germany around the same time that many women give birth (yes, there is seasonality to that still, although in the Middle Ages the seasonality was much more pronounced). In fact, here’s an odd little fact for you. Several statisticians have done some research on Stork nesting and the delivery of human babies (I am NOT making this up!) in central Europe. It ends ups that in their study of 12 cities, performing a linear regression on the population of Storks, women, and baby birth rates in each town in a given year, the R2 for the presence of storks and the baby birth rate is .67. What that means is that by this study, 67% of the human baby birthrate can be explained by, is caused by, the presence of storks. If that were true, then one wonders what new ways there might be to practice birth control... Of course, any sane person realizes that there are unknown variables which are affecting the equation—male population in the towns, the age of women in the towns, nutritional and medical factors, simply to name a few. Yet on the surface it is easy to be deceived. Each of us has an innate ability to draw poor conclusions. Given data with missing sets, we fill in the missing information in our minds, and bad data results in bad conclusions. Point in fact: there is a lot of evil in this world. Children abused, good people falling ill, whatever. In the face of that, it is easy to draw the conclusion that if there is a God, He at least must be distant, at worst, uncaring or evil himself. That conclusion, however, draws from insufficient data.

Romans 8:28-30
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

There is evil in the world. Bad things, very bad things, do happen to very good people. This passage doesn't say that we live charmed lives. What it does say is even more amazing--God will take those bad things that have happened, and will happen to those who trust in Him, and turn around and use them for good in the lives of that person. Of course, God does bring us beauty in exchanges for ashes. He is, after all, in the business of resurrection, and with resurrection comes glorification, so take heart. The bad must yield to the Good. More than that, it will be used for good.


February 9, 2005

Had a good talk with my old friend, Phil, last night. We were bemoaning how for so many people, moralism has replaced any spiritual content in Christianity. It is easy to forget that morality really is Satan's counterfeit for holiness. Morality builds a stratified structure of what a person or persons deem to be right or wrong in behavior. Morality gives a checklist to see who is "better" than the next man. Holiness is different. It is the call to be set apart, to live a lifestyle which brings glory to God. Holiness respects individual differences, while morality imposes homogeneity. One brings freedom, the other condemnation. In our conversation, Phil brought to mind the very true reminder that there is only one accuser in scripture, namely Satan himself. God however extends acceptance. forgiveness.

Romans 8:33-35a
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Conviction is not the same as condemnation. When one is convicted of the need to change, one is motivated to change direction, to move forward, to live life with greater skill. When one is condemned, (another Satanic counterfeit--this time of conviction) one is crushed, put down, stopped in their tracks. Conviction says "I can do better, will do better". Condemnation says "I am have failed, and will always be a failure". The voice of conviction and holiness, and the voice of "morality" and condemnation ring in the heads of all of us. Which voice do you choose to honor with your attention today? Now that you know the author of accusation and condemnation, you can tell that voice to go, literally, to hell.


February 8, 2005

Courage. Not the facsimile that the lion in Wizard of Oz wanted, but the real thing, is truly amazing. The stuff of immortality. Nelson Mandela is a man who has exhibited much courage. A political prisoner for years in South Africa, where he continued to lead the fight against the Apartheid system from his prison cell. Mandela gave us an insight into one of the foundational elements of courage when he stated "There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were made to manifest the glory of God that is within us...And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Did you pick up on a key element of courage? True courage transcends the individual. It looks to that which is larger than self, with the result that we are enabled to perform deeds so much larger than we are.

1st Corinthians 4:6-10
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Think of that--The glory of God in the face of Christ. That treasure in our earthen vessels. Something greater than we are indwells us. The key is for us to remember to look beyond the outer appearance of our own vessel, and acknowledge the treasure contained within. Friends, I have yet to meet a man who has accomplished anything great, who has not first had the courage to face a challenge larger than himself. The glory of God abides in you. Manifest that glory, and you will find that you are indeed liberated...and others, seeing your individual courage, will be emboldened themselves.


February 7, 2005

The other day I went to visit Glenda at work at Barnes and Noble. While I was wandering through the store, a book title caught my eye: Co-Dependant No More. It looked intriguing, but I couldn't decide whether or not to buy, it without asking Glenda first. Ok, just some silly humor there, but it's Monday morning for most of you, and I thought you could use a laugh. And yet, there is a point to the humor, namely, sometimes the most obvious thing is that which we will overlook. Either we've seen it so often it has simply become a part of the background, or we are too close to perceive it, whatever. It really is true that often the most obvious is that which we will overlook. Even when it is vitally important. Consider this:

Romans 1:19-20
...that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

The invisible attributes of God--so obvious they are easy to overlook...In other words, all of creation, the beauty that surrounds us, the stars in the sky, the song of the birds, the order of the arrangement of sunflower seeds in the sunflower, the warmth of an embrace, the twinkle in your lovers eye, all of creation screams out that there is a God, and He is inviting you to enjoy a relationship with Him. Today, what are you going to do about that? Move on in a hurry, or pause to reflect, to accept that invitation, and order your day in like fashion? Yes, it is Monday, and this is the day that the Lord has made!


February 4, 2005

Consider the worst "celebrity" product endorsement ever...for the VW Bug. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche (yes, the designer of the sports car) had a utopian philosophy in the late 1920's. Having seen Henry Ford's success with the assembly line, and how Ford had paid his workers liberally, allowing them to move up several tiers in the socioeconomic structure, Porsche had an idea to do the same, with some refinements. He planned to build an entire utopian city around an automobile plant based on principles of egalitarianism. Dr. Porsche, however, could find no bankers...until his plan caught the eye of none less than Adolph Hitler. Hitler, a fascist who claimed to be a socialist, deemed this experiment proof of his care for the working class. And so, he endorsed the Volkswagen, literally, "people's car", and the money began to flow into Ferdinand Porsche's factory. Then came the onset of hostilities. As war raged, Hitler imported "undesirables" into the village surrounding the Volkswagen factory. The "Utopian village" became a slave labor camp, working in the factory until the end of the war, when the slave laborers were set free by Allied forces. Morale of the story? Be very careful where you turn in search of your dreams, in search of freedom, no matter how noble your ideals; you and others might just end up enslaved by your "backers".

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

The ends never justify the means. Trust in God, Acknowledge Him, and follow the path He sets forth for you. Others have other paths, and that is not your concern. What is the path God has for you?


February 3, 2005

Set backs, discouragements, overwhelming odds. We have all faced them, and will face them again, if we choose not to live a timorous life. These are the building blocks of triumph, the mortar of courageous victory. In August, 1776, George Washington commanded a ragged, poorly armed, ill prepared army facing a massively superior British force. Before the battle of Long Island, he addressed his troops: "The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their house and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them...Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die." Reading that, and seeing the result, I marvel at how the characteristic, the choice, of resolve, to be resolute, can carry a man so far beyond his own stature. It certainly carried Washington's army. Consider, too, the life of Paul: a murderer, guilty by his own admission. Transformed after an encounter with God, yet still a man who saw many set backs, as is shown that each of his epistles was written to counter some problem with one of the Churches he started, or with an individual who was his disciple. At the end of his life he had been abandoned in prison, as he wrote again to his disciple Timothy, asking him to come and visit. And still, at the end of what most would have found to be a discouraging life, this is what he wrote:

2nd Timothy 4:5-8
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Paul was a man who was resolute; he knew what he had to do, and he did it. The course before him was unique, just as the course God has laid before you is as well. Paul measured his success not in the lack of difficulty in his life, but by his faithfulness to do what he knew to be right, irrespective of difficulty. Do we model that same courage? Let's get personal--Are you following the right course, or the expedient course, for your life? Can you stand with head held high and say that you have fought the good fight, you have finished the course, you have kept the faith? Resolve...


February 2, 2005

Happy Groundhog Day! I always like to go get Glenda some flowers to mark the occasion! Funny how some folks really seem to beleive that the randomn act of whether or not a groundhog sees his shadow actually controls the duration of winter. Still, seemingly more random events have set off a cascade before... You know, come to think of it, our moods alone can be so very randomn. As Augustine noted "who can map out the various forces at play in one's soul? Man is a great depth o Lord...but the hears of his head are easier by far to count that the movements of his heart." Interesting quote from a man given to meditation and study...I wonder what he'd think about the movements of a mans heart in our entertain me, consumer driven economy? And yet, no matter the temptations, we are to stand firm, to recognize with Christ as our faoundation, we need not shift and bend with every wind of popular culture or popular theology. As Paul wrote to the Conrithians:

1st Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

A child is ruled by his or her desires. An adult is ruler over their desires. As you look at your life this morning, who is serving whom? Are you really an adult, or still a child? Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all you do be done in love.


February 1, 2005

I e-mailed a prayer request to my good friend of 25 years, Brad. This e-mail dialogue, while completely real, is used with his full permission. After my prayer request to Brad, this is what followed—Brad’s comments are in blue, mine are in green:

My prayer request given to Brad—his response…You caught me on a morning that I'm fasting, since I'm not all that righteous I need to be very hungry! (Please do respond to the theologically incorrect self deprecation- but you can buy me a cheeseburger!)…..So pray for new, good , business. It's been great to have a believer at the office.


Thanks Bro, you got the prayers!

On the theological issue and self-deprecation, remember that Your Righteousness is seated at the right hand of God, so closely are you identified with Christ! May not feel like it, but that's reality! Glad you have some fellowship at work!


Brad’s response…

Rogers - a simple proof reading on my part would have inserted the word NOT. as in Please do NOT respond... In my famished state I failed to proof read before clicking on send, thus receiving a Theological statement from you when I only WANT A CHEESEBURGER & A DARK BEER! Oh well, maybe I can sell my birthright...


Ok, there are some formatting issues pasting our e-mails here--please overlook. The point is this--we all often say things, request things the wrong way, or even request the wrong things. It's easy to even get superstitious in our prayers, trying to make sure that we say exactly the right thing to God in the exactly right way. The reality is, God knows our hearts better than we do. He has already made provisions for us...

Romans 8:26-27
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Don't know how to approach God? Don't worry, He has something better than spell check. He knows your heart, knows your need! He'll fill in the needed details!


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