Weekly Prayer: May 27th, 2018

Lord God,

We know that you are our Redeemer, that you alone could and have graciously saved us. We are no longer captives to sin and death. We are free because of Jesus.

Help us to know what that means. Help us to set our hearts and minds on these things.

Help us to know what it is to be redeemed. Help us understand the tremendous cost, the great lengths that you went to see us set free. May we be overwhelmed by the power of your grace and goodness. May we be found swimming in oceans of your love and radical forgiveness.

Help us to know what this freedom is that we have in you. Help us to understand that we are not shackled to the ways and patterns of this world. We are able to live by your Spirit, the way of Love.

Move us by your Spirit. Teach us by your Spirit, Lord, that we would be drawn back to you with renewed awe and worship.

We pray in the mighty name of Jesus,

Amen.


Photo credit: Godsgirl_madi, via pixabay.com

This article first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

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You Are Not Alone

Every parent prays with and for their kids as they go to sleep. We pray for a good sleep, no bad dreams, and things like that. But for my  oldest daughter, Annah, my wife and I pray something very specific. Something we don’t pray for our son.

We pray and reminder Annah that she is not alone.

We aren’t totally sure why she feels lonely when she goes to sleep. She can hear her brother, William, talking and kicking the door and walls when he is supposed to be sleeping too. She can hear the dog bark, or the tv on when my wife and I unwind. Yet, some nights, she will cry and call out our names as if we were a million miles away. All she wants is to know we are there.

We pray and reminder Annah, ‘you are not alone.’

It’s a simple thing, something that you won’t ever have to tell an adult. And yet, as Rusty George points out that we very much need this reminder. Maybe more than my daughter does. Continue reading “You Are Not Alone”

Weekly Prayer: May 20th, 2018

Holy Father,

We come to you today with eager anticipation and rememberance. We remember today that you did not leave us alone. That while your Son ascended to your right hand, You sent your Spirit to us.

You sent us the Holy Spirit, to encourage us, to equip us, to lead us in all righteousness. You sent us the very Spirit of Christ, that we would know your heart and go forth to do you will in holy power.

We remember the disciples gathered together, unified in one accord, all equally equipped, all equally blessed, all equally baptized by your Spirit.

We remember these things, and we eager anticipate our baptism in your Holy Spirit. We long for the gifts, the holy abilities that you would bestow on us. Not for us, but to do your will, Lord. To further your kingdom, to glorify you, to make disciples as Christ called us to.

We eagerly wait for your Spirit and fire to burn away all of us so that Christ would shine through us, and draw people to You. We desire to have that close relationship with you that comes with the indwelling of your Spirit.

Lord, we are a people, hungry and thirst for you. Fill us with your Spirit. Overwhelm us with your Spirit. Cleanse us by your Spirit. Move us by your Spirit.

May your name be glorified in our remember and our eager waiting, Lord.

In the powerful name of Jesus,

Amen


Photo Credit: Saint Peter in prayer, Matthias Stom, 1630-1644

This article first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.

The Gospel According To Judges

Welcome back to our ongoing series about the gospel of each book of the Bible. Our premise is a simple one—what if there was only one book from the Holy Bible, as our sole source of divine Scriptures? What would this one book teach us? What Gospel would we find there?

In this way, we not only find out that all the books in the Bible are useful for edifying and equipping, but we also see the consistent story that is found throughout all Scripture. We see that the Bible is a coherent story of God’s love for us, throughout the different eras, different authors, and different genres of writings.

The book of Judges is a truly unique book. There is no main character. Previous books have focused on Moses or Joshua, but not this time. This is almost an anthology, a grabbing together of historical stories after Moses and Joshua, and before the days of kings in Israel.

Such a book gives us a unique look at Israel’s history. And as we do in this series, looking at this book as if it was alone paints a very interesting, but familiar, picture. It is a picture worth looking at and learning from.

The Gospel According to Judges points out three things that we need to remember. Three things that we see here and ultimately in Jesus. Continue reading “The Gospel According To Judges”

My Apology to Eastern Canada

“If you replace whoever it is that you hate with the word “Jew”, do you suddenly sound like a Nazi? Then you are racist.”

I’d heard that said numerous times. I’ve seen it on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, I may have like or retweet the same sentiment. But I hadn’t thought about the people that I hated.

When I sat down and thought about, I realized that I was racist. I did hate a particular people group, but not of an ethnicity or gender, but of a geographical location.

As the realization hit me that I was just as bad, I was just as wrong to hate as white supremacists, the KKK, or Neo-Nazis, I knew that I needed to start making things right.

So, I am apologizing to you Eastern Canada. I am sorry. Continue reading “My Apology to Eastern Canada”

What Men Being The “HEAD” Actually Means

I’m glad someone finally explained it so well.

Not that I believed other wise, but it was nice to see someone put it down in writing. And then to see the powers that be affirm that they missed the mark and were working on doing a better job.

I’m talking about the PAOC Statement of Affirmation Regarding Gender Equality In Leadership, in case you were wondering. Whether you know the denomination or not, this is worth looking at.

I’m not a pastor under the PAOC anymore, but I still keep up with what they are doing. I was, after all, raised in the denomination, educated by them, and still friends and aquantiances with many people in the PAOC. So, when the General Superintendent of the PAOC, Dave Wells, shared new documentation about gender equality and women in minstiry, I knew I had to read it.

I love how they nailed down something I have always believe, in a way that makes sense beyond “because God made us all equal”. I believe what the PAOC wrote in this document is something that more “Christians” need to understand about women in leadership, gender equality, and even what the apostle Paul wrote. Continue reading “What Men Being The “HEAD” Actually Means”

The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel C. Rosenberg: Book Review

Marcus Ryker was a Marine right out of high school, serving overseas in the Middle East. After his tours were over, he married and settled down. But when the itch for action became to much, he scratched, and join the Secret Service. His life was in chaos before joining the Marines, and now things were almost as he had always dreamed. What could possibly go wrong? More than he knew or could have dreamed.

Oleg Kraskin was an aspiring lawyer with his heart set on marrying the daughter of a high-ranking Russian official. But his marriage came with much more than a bride. Suddenly Kraskin found himself working not in a law office, but in the heart of the Russian secret intelligence building, the Kremlin. While he had the girl of his dreams, things have become much more intense and worrisome than he ever imagined. Can he stand idly by as things heat up? Time will tell.

Though miles separate these two men, circumstances beyond their control have them on a collision course. They will meet, and the fate of the world will fall into their hands. Continue reading “The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel C. Rosenberg: Book Review”