How should I pray ?

 I am going to Pray Sincerely.

I will not allow my  prayers to flow out of an experience that happened years ago. 

I want my prayers to be  today prayers. 

I will be honest about myself, the situation and the need.

I won’t allow my prayers to be exercises in meaningless talk.

I will pray specifically. 

I will pray expecting an answer.

I will pray today believing that God is going to hear my prayer.

 I will put my faith and confidence in Him.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

IT IS THANKSGIVING !

I am aware this morning that there have been many Thanksgiving Days in my life.

I can’t remember all of them. I can remember the simple ones when I was a young boy, when travel wasn’t so easy, and family was not always able to be together. And, I can remember the more complicated ones when 30-35 family members would meet for the day.

One Thanksgiving Day of the past stands out in my mind. It was early in our ministry. We were far away from family. Broke and no one to borrow from. A chicken replaced the traditional turkey and the trimmings were not what they will be today but we were thankful nonetheless.

Today I am thankful that the doctors prognosis and the Great Physicians plan for my life were not the same. I am thankful today that God has chosen to allow me to be with my family and friends.

I am thankful to the many, many friends who have stood with me and prayed with me during  the last 19 months.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, friends and prayer warriors. 

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Getting to God Eventually

One Thanksgiving season a family was seated around their table, looking at the annual holiday bird. From the oldest to the youngest, they were to express their praise. When they came to the 5-year-old in the family, he began by looking at the turkey and expressing his thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not tasted it he knew it would be good. After that rather novel expression of thanksgiving, he began with a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey. But then he went beyond that. He joined together a whole hidden multitude of benefactors, linking them with cause and effect.
He said, “I thank you for the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I thank you for the grocery store people who put it on the shelf. I thank you for the farmer who made it fat. I thank you for the man who made the feed. I thank you for those who brought the turkey to the store.”
Using his Columbo-like little mind, he traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then at the end he solemnly said “Did I leave anybody out?”
His 2-year-older brother, embarrassed by all those proceedings, said, “God.”
Solemnly and without being flustered at all, the 5-year-old said, “I was about to get to him.”

Isn’t that the question about which we ought to think at Thanksgiving time?                                   Are we really going to get to Him this Thanksgiving?

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I AM Thankful

I am Thankful for the look in someones eyes when they know that they have been helped. 

I am Thankful that we only elect presidents once every four years
I am Thankful that teenagers will grow up and that one day they will have children that will become teenagers of their own
I am Thankful that I am not a turkey this week
I am Thankful that the space available for messages on T-shirts and bumpers is limited.
I am Thankful that hugs and kisses  do not add weight or cause cancer
I am Thankful that TVs, Radios, & CD players  can be turned off
I am Thankful that God’s love never fails

I am Thankful for every opportunity that I have to help someone

In the Bonds of Calvary,

How can I say thanks to God?

I have learned that a Heart Full of Praise Cannot Complain

My heart is full when I list my blessings and I  develop an attitude of gratitude

I have learned that a Heart Full of Joy Cannot Be Contained

 It will overflow into the lives of others and  inspire dedication and commitment  

I have learned that a  Heart Full of Love Cannot Be Ungrateful 

And,  it will assure me of  future blessings

In the Bonds of Calvary,

“He Never Flinched.”

“By faith he left Egypt not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.”

Those last words are words which should instruct us. Moses’ eyes were on God and he was able to endure. The Living Bible says: he “kept right on going!”

Moffatt’s translation says, “He never flinched.”
Moses had staying power – even with all the changes that challenged him.

He kept his eyes on God, not the obstacles.

He endured in his eighties, in his nineties, and then some.

He endured despite the contempt of Pharaoh.

He endured the stubbornness of the Hebrews who grumbled, maligned him, complained, and rebelled.

He endured amidst the criticism of those closest to him: Miriam, his sister; Aaron, his brother; Dothan and Abiram, his companions.

“He endured! As seeing Him who is unseen.”

He fixed his eyes on the Lord, and never looked back.

And I can do the same! I can endure by fixing my eyes on the Lord.

Then I will be courageous:

Even when conspirators seem to prosper

Even when the wicked seem to be winning

Even when the pressure seems to be unbearable

Even when the critics won’t shut up

Even when big people act contemptibly small

Even when I feel as though I’m all alone

Even when wrong is enthroned and truth is fighting for existence

Whatever it is I am facing – I will  look at Christ!
As I stand on the edge of a new change, a new challenge, a new commitment — I will look at Christ!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

God Is Still In Charge!

 God Is Still In Charge!  God Never Changes!

Our world is in the grip of the infinite, all-powerful God of the universe.

He is in control.

 He never loses track of what’s going on.

He never gets confused.

He never frets over decisions.

He always makes the right decision. He always knows what He will do even before the circumstances arise.

God has a grip on the reins of the world and His purposes will be carried out.

For I am the Lord, I change not. These words were spoken in a time of great change: Worship had become flippant and causal as people gave their left-overs to God. The moral law of God was being disregarded. Divorce was a national disgrace.  Neither priest nor people took seriously the threat of approaching judgment.

We must have a renewed vision. We must have a passionate and clear vision of what God has called us to do and of what we need to be. Too often we have taken our feet off the pedal and looked too long in the rear view mirror at past glories.

Someone has said: “When we have more memories than dreams, life is over.” When we have greater memories than dreams we will never make a difference in changing our world for God. We must know where we are going and what we are going to do!

I am not afraid to dream today.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I Don’t Like To Shop

My wife likes to shop. I don’t like it at all. I do almost anything to keep from having to walk through the store while she excitedly touches everything from socks to peanuts. Almost anything is better than trekking through store after store “just looking”.

Wal-Mart, Target, Penney’s…I already know what’s in there.

So I checked to see if I am the only one that feels like this…..

According to recent survey, 90% of Americans say Christmas is their favorite holiday, but only 20% say they enjoy Christmas shopping!

That reminds me of two men who were next-door neighbors who decided to go sailing while their wives went  shopping. While they were out in the boat, a terrible storm arose. The sea became very choppy and they had a difficult time keeping the boat under control. As they steered toward land, they hit a sandbar and the boat grounded. They both jumped out of the boat and began to push and shove with all their might to get the boat back into the water. As the waves bounced him against the side of the boat, and his hair was blowing wildly in the wind, one of the men said with a smile on his face, “It sure beats  shopping, doesn’t it?”

That’s the way I feel even though I know I’m gonna be in trouble if anyone tells Sandy.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

PEOPLE OF FAITH MUST BE CONSIDERED A THREAT

Most often, I don’t often speak out publicly against injustices . I gues that I am not that radical. But several days ago I watched in horror as the Ft. Hood terrorism report unfolded. Innocent people died! Heroes died! Hundreds are intimately affected.

If our faith is to have meaning at all, we must understand our purpose as making a critical difference in the world. As people of faith we should be considered dangerous and a threat to every system and instrument of injustice, destruction, and human alienation.

Whenever and wherever efforts are forged to divide humanity and wage war, we should be driven to declare God’s will. We are called to remind the powers-that-be that we are divinely ordained to live in peace with justice for all; we are called to be makers of peace. In order to have courage to take bold, unpopular positions, we need a well-developed practice of prayer. In order to act appropriately and not just emotionally, we need a clear line of communication with God. Prayer makes the difference when disaster is imminent. We are on a collision course with unthinkable consequences.

In our effort to be “politically  correct” we may have overlooked the high calling  to which God has called us.

None of the funerals, widows,parents, and children who have lost their parents, can possibly be comforted by “politically correct”.

We need prayer.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

My Resume

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore.

It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit.

But is a resume a comfort on a cold winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good?

Here is my resume:

I am a good father. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen, I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my wife. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

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