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Showing posts from 2021

My Hope, My Friends, This Life

  The Second Sunday in Lent and as you probably know Sundays are days of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. During the forty days of Lent, Sundays are excluded from those days. We gather - whether in person or online - to worship our Savior - our resurrected Jesus Christ. This morning I'm thinking - afresh - of dear friends who have gone home to be with Lord. I have three close friends just in the last eighteen months. Wayne Pferdehirt was a man who knew how to be loving and kind while enjoying the company of whoever he was in. He took his relationships seriously, and yet kept everyone at ease around him. I miss him much. Milo Bishop's friendship goes all the way back to the early '70's in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A Seminary friend, we moved to different parts of the country. Thought about starting a church together, but lived at a distance. Still, over the years whenever we got together - whether in person or by phone - we picked up our conversations as i

Lenten Sacred Spaces

  'For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea. ' - Habakkuk 2:14 During Lent we have the opportunity to spend time in reflection and the wonder of the Cross. We realize that Jesus came to "live among us" - literally "tabernacle" - with us. God made his presence known to us in that "when you have seen me (Jesus), you have seen the Father". John 14:7   If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Is it possible to have that kind of experience where we spend time with God - in his presence - prayerfully and worshipfully entering into a quiet sacred space. I believe it is. The Celtic Monastics were a group of Christians who brought Christ to most of what we know as the United Kingdom - beginning in Ireland, then to Scotland, England, Wales, and even into Europe - these Christians practiced a spiritual work and worship rhythm for l

How Do We Pray

 With Lent just two days away, I want to preface today with a suggestion that you join me for the 40 days of Lent beginning Wednesday.  If you would like to you can buy my book on Amazon, "A Lenten Sojourn", which will aid in following along with a rhythm for thinking, musing, praying our way through the Lenten Season.  The link will be at the bottom.  The purpose of  Lent is to help us to pause and focus on the purpose of God in sending His Son, our Savior, Jesus, to this world that eventually he might die upon the cross.  Last week I posted about Prayer and God's hearing.  Today, a short reminder of praying Jesus' prayer for our own sake: How Do We Pray? Pray then like this: 'our Father in heaven. . .' Matthew 6:9 This prayer begins where all true prayer must start, with the spirit of  adoption : "Our Father." There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, "I will arise and go to my Father." This childlike spirit soon perceives the

He Remembers Our Prayers

Spurgeon's ability to look at a text and "see" behind the context to the special grace contained in God's word has always amazed me.  He sees what others pass over and shares what others do not comprehend.  This one is about "prayers". Acts 9:10-11  Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. When our hearts are broken and we bow in prayer, we are often only able to employ the language of sighs and tears; still our groaning has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music. That tear has been caught by God and treasured in the receptacle of heaven. "Put my tea

Till now the Lord has helped us.

 From the Master Teacher C. H. Spurgeon Till now the Lord has helped us.  1 Samuel 7:12 The phrase "till now" is like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and still "till now the LORD has helped us." Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honor, in dishonor, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "till now the LORD has helped us." We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. In the same way look down the long aisles of your years at the green branches of mercy overhead and the strong pillars of loving-kindness and faithfulness that support your joys. Are there no birds singing in those branches? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "till now.

What's your Motive?

  WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVE? I no longer have the card, but the question is now indelibly etched on my mind. I ask it almost every day of my life. It has proven to be an essential checkpoint I now apply on a regular basis: Why are you planning this? What’s the reason behind your doing that? Why did you say yes (or no)? What is the motive for writing that letter? Why are you excited over this opportunity? What causes you to bring up that subject? Why did you mention his or her name? What’s your motive, Pollasch? Searching, probing, penetrating questions. Because the path of servanthood is so perilous, we need to cultivate a sensitive walk with God marked by obedience.  

Why do my prayers go unanswered?

  From the Pen of C.H. Spurgeon: Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered? Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you.  Isaiah 30:18 God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in the Bible. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day--he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia received no answer for a long while. Paul asked the Lord three times for "a thorn . . . in the flesh" 1  to be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it would be removed, but instead a promise that God's grace would be sufficient for him. If you have been knocking at the gate of mercy and have received no answer, shall I tell you why the mighty Maker has not opened the door and let you in? Our Father has personal reasons for keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show His power and His sovereignty, so that we may learn that God has a right to give or to withhold. More often the delay is for our benef

God is with Us!

 This is a guest blog from a friend, Laura Novey.  It's an insightful picture from the Old Testament Prophet that has application to our own time. Isaiah 8—In the days of Isaiah, things were going downhill FAST. Doom was on the horizon. Things were in turmoil, infused with evil, spiraling in the wrong direction, terrifying, confusing, hopeless. And yet in the midst of all that, God promised to “take to [Himself] faithful witnesses for testimony.” He was STILL actively working amidst those dire circumstances through people He had called to be His.  …and He still does the same today with a believing remnant who walks in His ways.  Twice in this passage, even in the midst of prophecies about impending disaster, the word “Immanuel” is used which simply means “God is with us.”  We need to remember that. When presidential elections and social upheaval are chaotic, “Immanuel.”  When COVID wreaks its havoc, “Immanuel.” When life gets hard and it seems like all around us is darkness and evi

Pandemic Insights, a guest blog

 My friend Joel Alberti is a pastor in Madison, Wi.  He has written this to help us think our way through the Pandemic from a God-ward view.  He sent it out and I asked if he'd be ok to have me post it to my blog.  Its wisdom and sensible things to think. What is God teaching us in this season of life? In all my years I have never seen a year like 2020. With the ravages of a global pandemic which has killed nearly 2 million people; an economic depression that is second only to the Great Depression of the early 1930’s; racial tensions which have caused unprecedented civil unrest; and a divisive political landscape which has ripped our country in two; this has been chaotic, confusing, unsettling, frustrating (throw in your own adjective) and extremely challenging year for all of us. With all that is going on, there are many voices out there. Wherever you turn, there are strong opinions about why things are the way they are and what should be done about it. Dogma and intolerance a

New Year, New Goals

 As the New Year begins, I'm working on some new goals in both writing and learning.  One of the things is to increase my reading time each day.  Currently I'm digesting several books at a time and I love the variety from Theology to Church History to Puritans to Contemplative. Also, I started a new reading plan for Scripture as I work my way through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation once again.  I use the Bible Reading Plan Generator where you make your own plan for reading - here's mine: Bible Reading Plan Generator I am editing last year's journals into an Amazon Kindle Book, that I hope will be released by the end of January.  In the meantime if you are interested in getting the first month's readings email me at Lastly, I plan on blogging through the Psalms this year, so keep coming back as I get started after the editing is over. Blessings on your New Year plans and goals

Reading Thru the New Testament in A Year?

  I am in the process of editing last year's blogs of "Reading the New Testament in a Year" and publishing it to Amazon Kindle as a book by the end of January. Right now I have a working Microsoft Word doc that is about 1/2 edited. It will take me a couple of weeks or more to finish. The issue is how Kindle requires formatting, and to that end, I had to work at "fixing" the doc, not the content, in order for Kindle to put it up. SOOOOOO... this is a long-winded way of saying, IF you are interested in the book, I'd be happy to send you the first Month's readings and devotionals to get you started. It is set up to begin this Monday, the 4th. Email me if you want it -