Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

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“DID ANYONE NOTICE” – Jan. 28

January 28, 2016

“And he said to me, “Son of Man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary?…” Ezekiel 8:6

This is a post inspired by this article from Pew Research Center: Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population


 

If your life never spanned beyond a day, would you know the sun sets?
If a shadow never moved, would you recognize the dimming of radiance?
If Fall never yielded to Winter, could you comprehend a sweltering sun?

How can you miss what you’ve never known?

Did any Priests see it go?  Did any holy man know?
Did the sacrifices seem different?  Did the smoke feel distant?
Did worshipers sense an absence?  Did any prayers miss His presence?

Did anyone notice God’s glory go?  Did anyone see a covenant’s closing show?

“Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim.”  Ezekiel 10:18

What did the next generation think?  What did they accept as normal, natural or spiritually chic?  They would never know a temple filled with the Holy One’s blinding brightness; an inner chamber clouded with a living God’s danger.  How could they know it had become a show?

They were confined to their own time. Their experience in traditions ways. Yet, God’s plan spans every generations day.

How can you miss what you’ve never known?

Has Western Civilization’s time come?  Are we too living in age where “spiritual” is more of the theatrical?  Has anyone noticed God’s glory go?

lede_globalchristianityI don’t know how the Spirit flows.  I don’t know from whence He comes or where He goes.  I don’t know if this time is a Spiritual high or low.

Was the early Church the pinnacle?
How am I supposed to know?

Was the Great Awakening better?
If it is true, should I be bitter?

Are today’s abominations more than times long ago?
There is no one left who really knows.

What happened to the faithful in Ezekiel’s day?  Those who sighed over admonition’s sway?  When God’s glory left, did they still obey?

“And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”  Ezekiel 9:4

What if the glory of God has lifted once again?  Am I of a time filled with mere traditional feign?  Has He gone forth from the north; preferring the austere of the other hemisphere?

Am I hanging onto an echo from another day?
How can I know what is beyond show?

I’m confined to my own time.  My experience bound in traditions ways.  Yet, God’s plan spans even my generation’s day.

I’m prone to compare the temperature of my soul; gauging my fire on a consensus poll.  I have my traditional ways but from what era?  It is hard to say.

It may not matter.  Who am I to say to the Potter, “I should be the primary vessel of the day”.

What I do know, is that the Spirit comes and goes.

He resides within me; marking me for eternity.  I am called to follow but not to know.  I don’t know if this time is a Spiritual high or low.
All I know is I want more.

So, I will continue to sign and groan over abominations secret and known.
I will continue to pray as a social dissenter from a place no longer at the epicenter.

I will continue to give my life, heart, and soul, to the One whose glory overflows.

“And the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord.”  Ezekiel 10:4

PRAYER: Lord, I read the news about all the abominations celebrated and normalized.  I watch friends and family accept ways contrary to your world with an indifference to what you have called sin.  Father, I sigh and groan as someone who is not home.  Keep me uncomfortable with this world. Conform me to your will.  Transform me into a slave of righteousness.  Help me to understand my time.  Lord, do not harden this generation.  Do not leave my society in its works of flesh.  Father, send your Spirit to move mightily in this time; revive us Lord.  Draw this rebellious generation to salvation.    I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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QUOTE (George Orwell)

January 21, 2016

George_Orwell_press_photo“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
~ George Orwell

In honor of George Orwell, British author of Animal Farm, who died on this day in 1950.

Resources:
George Orwell
On This Day

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“DILATED SOUL” – Jan. 20

January 20, 2016

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:4-5

The door swinging shut was like plunging into an abyss.  I stood for a moment in the stunned shock of a lost sense.   A long repressed fear manifested in a disquieting shiver as the gloom of darkness seeped into my being.

In the disorienting gloom, my hands spring out as like the sudden sensory loss might cause me to crash into a surrounding wall.  I groped for a wall.  My fingers, landing upon textured drywall, immediately began sweeping the surface as if trying to read indiscernible Braille.  My eyes strained against the blackness in a futile attempt to distinguish the outline of the light switch.

I knew the switch had to be somewhere near the door, in its usual place.  My hands began to swing in large radii in the desperate attempt to find light.  My search was going disconcertedly nowhere.  In mounting frustration, I paused.

In that pause, my eyes adjusted to the lack of light.

RedeyeThe pupils of my eyes dilated to a degree that captured all the light available.  I had not noticed any light when the door had initially closed.  However, my eyes now collected a sliver of light that was penetrating the door at the threshold.  It was not much light but it was enough.

Having opened up to the light, my eyes were able to distinguish the faint outline of a switch right in front of me.  I flipped the switch without thinking and immediately was hit by a rush of light into my wide open eyes that nearly dropped me to my knees.

My floundering in darkness reminded me of the amazing nature of the eye.  The eye is a marvelous organ for the regulation of light.  The iris of the eye has two types of muscle.  There is a ring of sphincter muscles that encircle and constrict the pupil down to a couple of millimeters across to prevent too much light from entering.  There is another set of dilator muscles that can expand the pupil in low light.  The function of the iris is to pull in all the light necessary so that we are not blind.

The human body was created for light.
We were specifically designed to let light in.

I wonder if our soul isn’t similarly designed.

We were designed to have the true light of the world within us.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

Yet, sinful man sits imprisoned in the gloomy darkness of a closed off soul.  The sinful desires of the flesh have constricted their soul, preventing the light of the world from entering in.  They grope about in search of the light but they cannot find the source.  Yet, the source is all around them.  They cannot see because the pupil of their soul is closed.

I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.  Isaiah 42:6-7

Every person needs God to dilate the pupil of their soul.  God overcomes the power of sinful flesh in order to open our souls to His penetrating light; He opens the eyes of the blind.  The light of the glory of God flowing into a dilated soul drops every sinner to their knees.

Iris_close-upThe Christian life is merely learning to live in the light; learning to live with a dilated soul.  Our sinful nature continues to want to clamp down and close out the light of the world; it has malfunctioned into regulating the amount of light that can be let in.  Repentance and following Christ is a continual process of yielding to the dilation of our soul.

We were created to have the light of life.  Thankfully, God has not left us in the darkened prison of our closed souls.

“The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.”  Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for not leaving me in darkness.  Thank you for sending your Son, the light of the world, to lead me out of the dungeon of my own darkened soul and into the light of life.  Father, continue to dilate my soul; continue to open up my heart to your light.  Do not let the cares of this world constrict my desires and prevent your light for entering into me.  Help me to walk in your light in all things and at all times.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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QUOTE (T.S. Eliot)

January 4, 2016

T.S. Eliot“So long…as we consider finance, industry, trade, agriculture merely as competing interests to be reconciled from time to time as best they may, so long as we consider “education” as a good in itself of which everyone has a right to the utmost, without any ideal of the good life for society or for the individual, we shall move from one uneasy compromise to another. To the quick and simple organization of society for ends which, being only material and worldly, must be as ephemeral as worldly success, there is only one alternative. As political philosophy derives its sanction from ethics, and ethics from the truth of religion, it is only by returning to the eternal source of truth that we can hope for any social organization which will not, to its ultimate destruction, ignore some essential aspect of reality. The term “democracy,” as I have said again and again, does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces that you dislike––it can easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God) you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.”
~ T.S. Eliot

In honor of Thomas Stearns Eliot, one of the twentieth century’s major poets, who died on this day in 1965.

Resources:

T.S. Eliot, If You Will Not Have God
Today in Christian History

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“DON’T JUDGE ME – I’M A FAN” – Jan. 3

January 3, 2016

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.  Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory!”  Psalm 72:18-19

I have struggled for motivation to climb upon my bicycle while it is clamped into the trainer.   However, I have to do something because the digits on my scale are continuing to increase inversely to the outdoors temperatures.  I’ve sought may aids to curb the monotony of a cycling trainer; music, cycling training videos, Tour de France videos, sermons, audiobooks, and even stand-up comics.  None has been able to keep me contentedly pedaling beyond 30 minutes.

However, I finally found my tonic for trainer tedium – Dark Matter.

Dark_Matter_Intertitle

My tonic is not the invisible matter constituting the majority of the universe.  Mine comes from the Syfy channel.  I got hooked on this story of a spaceship crew who awakens from stasis with no memory of who they are, what they have done, or why they are on board a mercenary spaceship.

I love a good story and if it is set in space, then it’s even better.

I saved watching Dark Matter as the carrot before my motionless bike.  I easily pedaled through each episode as subsequent adventures revealed mysteries of forgotten pasts.  I was actually starting to look forward to my time on that accursed contraption when it all came to an end.

The final episode of Season 1 successfully left me spinning on the edge of my saddle, wanting to know what will happen next.  I went to click on Season 2, to spin through another episode, but made a stark discovery.

There is no Season 2.

I was done.  I climbed off my bike and felt that familiar disdain for my next date with the trainer.  I searched the internet to discover whether there was another season with a growing concern.  I learned more about Dark Matter than I had intended.  I learned about the actors and the production.  I read reviews, both positive and negative.  I was delighted to find that there will be another season but annoyed to know that it is only in production.

I even discovered the WordPress blog of Joseph Mallozzi – Josephmallozzi’s Weblog.  He is the co-writer and creator of Dark Matter.  He has a lot of behind the scene photos of the current filming of Dark Matter on his blog.  I flipped through each post in my developing sense of fandom.

I learned that Dark Matter was originally a comic book that Joseph Mallozzi co-wrote.  So, I did what any newly minted fan would do.  I got on Amazon to see if I could buy one.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the compilation book of all four comics should arrive in two days.  I haven’t bought myself a comic book in three decades.

Don’t judge me, I’m a fan.

I find it interesting that I wasn’t really a fan of Dark Matter while Netflix held a trove of unwatched episodes.

It wasn’t until the streaming dried up that I even thought about the writer.
It wasn’t until the entertainment stopped that I began searching.
It wasn’t until I was forced to wait that I became a fan.

My reaction to Dark Matter reminded me of this quote from A.W. Pink.

Pink

I can testify to these dry seasons of the soul.

Most Christians will experience these periods of drought
if they follow Christ any length of time.

It is part of sanctification.

Have you ever wondered why we experience these periods where the river of God’s presence feels like it has dried up?

Some may say that these seasons are periods of preparation or testing or due to sin.  I agree in part.

However, I wonder if dry periods are simply a process to make us into fans.

When I enter a dry period, I tend to think more about God.  I confess that my thoughts often sound like complaints, “why is God doing this to me”, but my eyes definitely get focused back on Him.

When I feel spiritually lethargic, I tend to search more earnestly in His word.  I start digging into the mysteries of God and realize that I am usually not even asking the right questions.

When I am waiting on God, I inevitably begin to ask myself, who I am waiting for, which brings me back to the Gospel, the wonderful treasure of the good news of Jesus Christ and I become more of a fan.

A dry period  will inevitably
bring me to the glory of God.

It will make me a fan.

When I am a fully glorifying fan:

I am prepared to follow Christ in whatever He has called me to do.

I am ready to persevere through the suffering and trials that are before me.

I am willing to turn my back on the temptations of this world for the surpassing worth of my loving Savior.

The lukewarm Christian is a lukewarm fan.

Christians should be more enthusiastic than any of the fans in a sports stadium.

Our demeanor should clothe us as followers of Christ more than any avid comic con attendees.

Our homes should proudly display our fandom of the One.

We were created to be fans; we were created to worship.
A true fan should be easy to spot.

God wants us to be easy to spot.
God wants us to be true fans.
He is willing to take us through those dry periods to teach us that our fandom rests only in Him.

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that you will make me into a fan.  Help me to want to join my voice with that of the Psalmist and declare your wondrous deeds in unabashed fandom.  Help me to accept the dry seasons.  Help to see that you are taking me to greater happiness.  Father, do your work in me even when I am not fully cooperating.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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QUOTE (William Gladstone) – Dec. 29

December 29, 2015

gladstone“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”
~ William Gladstone

In honor of William Gladstone, four-time British prime minister, who was born on this day in 1809.  He has been called “the epitome of all that the evangelicals and the English public asked for in their politicians” (see issue 53: William Wilberforce and the Century of Reform).

Resources:
This Week in Christian History
William E. Gladstone Quotes

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TRUSTING AN ENGINEER – Dec.28

December 28, 2015

“As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you.”  Jeremiah 44:16

Not every problem requires an engineer.

Many problems can be solved by substituting calculations with trial and error.  Most people have experimented with trial and error problem solving.  You try one solution, then check to see if it worked.  If it didn’t, you try again, making a small adjustment in the variables.  By this method, one iterates their way into an approximate solution.  We have all trialed and errored our way into the perfect cookie recipe or a parking slot.

While trial and error may work for some problems, it is frowned upon in the design of buildings, bridges, refinery plants, etc.  Therefore, engineers are called upon to calculate solutions for these problems whose failure poses too great a risk to lives and pocketbooks.

Engineers are the ones who have the task of applying the current theories and laws of science to the problems of our everyday lives while keeping everyone safe.  Every day, people drink water from faucets, drive across bridges, fly in airplanes, and enter elevators.  Every day people trust their lives to the calculations of engineers.  Engineers who are placing 100% of their trust in the science of cause and effect.

This is my world.

I am an engineer by profession.  My education has been in engineering.  My work experience has been in engineering.  Over half of my life has been spent learning and practicing the art of engineering – cause / effect.  I am a firm believer in the laws of physics.  It is how I see the world.  I am more aware than most of how often we trust our lives to engineered solutions.  However, I know the limitations of our knowledge.  I have never completed a design with perfect knowledge of all the variables.  Engineers are just really good at buffering our lack of knowledge with factors of safety.

Yet, engineered solutions require at least a fundamental knowledge of causation.  If one does not know the cause, then we are left with mere trial and error solutions; very risky.

The following passage from Jeremiah reminded me of the importance of correctly identifying causation.

But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour drink offerings to her…(f)or then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster.  But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.  ~ Jeremiah 44:17-18

The Israelites incorrectly identified the cause of their prosperity.  They arrogantly thought that they knew the source of the food, prosperity, and safety they had experienced while worshiping the queen of heaven.  Having lost those blessings, they logically inferred that the cause of their desperate condition was an abandonment of the queen of heaven.  They got the cause wrong.

The Israelites proved that you will never get the desired effect by starting with the wrong causation.

Their knowledge was limited.

Today, many will arrogantly criticize the Israelites lack of knowledge by substituting science into the “queen of heaven” role.  However, we know that our knowledge of the physical universe is limited.  We also know that our knowledge of the spiritual world is limited, if one will admit that it even exists.

The limited knowledge of science does not rescue us from inferred causation.  Therefore, we don’t escape the risky world of trial and error by putting all of our trust in science.

The Israelites got themselves in trouble when they went outside the revealed knowledge of God.  They entered a world of trial and error with deadly consequences.  Their error is still a temptation today; maybe even more in these days dominated by science.

It is the temptation in every undergraduate science class;
It is the basis of most philosophical urges;
It is in the desire behind “what does this passage mean to me” question;
It is the allurement in religious “gray area” discussions;
It is the error lurking in every comparative religions class;
It is the comforting scratch to that troubling “meaning of life” itch.

We want to think that we have all the answers.
Knowledge is a comfort.
Intelligent decision making is empowering.

The reality is that most of our elegantly engineered solutions are merely an iteration toward a solution whose consequence has yet to be revealed.  However, no one knows the number of iterations that they will get, if any.

As Christians, we believe that there is only One who has complete knowledge; there is only One who knows all causation.  We believe that our eternity is dependent upon the right solution to the problem of our lives – sin.  We believe that the risk is too high to place our trust in limited knowledge and trial and error solutions.  We believe that God has given us the perfectly engineered solution in His son, Jesus Christ.  We believe that all the knowledge that we need to live in His engineered solution has been shown to us in His revealed word, the Bible.

One of the greatest stumbling blocks of mankind is intellectual arrogance; that refusal to acknowledge our limited knowledge and the resultant implications.

Intellectual humility is a gift that keeps us from wandering down the path of false causation.  It does not mean that we cease to study or investigate.  However, it means that we study from a basis of faith and not doubt.  It means that we investigate the mysteries of God in order to increase the treasures of belief, rather than balance the scales of unbelief.  Intellectual humility enables us to receive the perfect engineered solution.  It is the basis of faith.

There are limits to every mind.
We have to trust an engineer.
The risks are too great.

The engineer you trust will be either yourself or God.

Just remember, we will live with the consequences
of the solution  we choose to follow.
I am not going to trust that to iterations.

I choose Jesus Christ.

“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”  ~ G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for giving us an engineered solution.   Thank you for not leaving us in our limited knowledge.  Thank you for saving us from our trial and error solutions.  Lord, keep me from sliding back into intellectual arrogance.  Keep me from the temptation of modifying your revealed Word based on my limited understanding.  Humble my intellect so that I will trust you in all things.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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WRITTEN IN THE SKY – Dec. 24

December 24, 2015

“saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:2

I love art.
I am a fan, not an expert.

As a fan, I can appreciate the beautiful; marvel at mastery; admire creativity; absorb emotion.  However, the artist’s meaning is often lost in mere fandom.  An artist’s message often flies over my engineering oriented head as I just appreciate the exhibition.

I am greatly assisted by the art experts who explain the symbolism crafted into a piece.  I love the pure joy in reading a work of literature for entertainment.  I also love the delightful astonishment from the revelation of a carefully crafted message imbedded in a work of which I was oblivious.

I often appreciate art in its various forms and know that I am missing a deeper meaning.

This is how I feel about the night sky.
I am a fan, not an expert.

I marvel at the beauty of the stars on a cloudless night.
The images from the Hubble space telescope are as beautiful to me as any painting.
It is easy to get lost in the fandom of a star-lit sky.
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I know that many who stare at the same sky, will not see any meaning.  They see chaotic beauty.  They see an expanding universe of fascinating happenstance.  They may wonder what is out there, but they don’t see art because art necessitates an artist.

I see an Artist.
However, the meaning in the artist’s art flies over my head on most nights.

This is why I appreciate the film The Star of Bethlehem.  This film provided me with that feeling of delightful astonishment in the revelation of the Artist’s meaning in the night skies during the marvelous events that we are celebrating this Christmas.

jupiter1

In that night sky:
Jupiter, Planet of Kings, was coming into a close conjunction with the star, Regulus;
Sharu is what the Babylonians called Regulus, which means ‘king.’;
Rex is what the Romans called Regulus, which means ‘king.’;
At the beginning of the new Jewish year, the Planet of Kings met the Star of Kings.
~Bethlehem Star Coronation

In that night sky:
Jupiter, the Planet of Kings, was rising in the east;
Over a period of months, Jupiter reversed course in what is called retrograde;
However, Jupiter was to reverse course on three occasions, closing in on Regulus each time.
Jupiter, the Planet of Kings, created a halo around Regulus, the Star of Kings.
~Bethlehem Star Coronation

In that night sky:
As Jupiter was beginning the coronation of Regulus;
The constellation Virgo, The Virgin, was rising in the east behind Leo (Lion);
The Lion of Judah is the symbol of the tribe of Judah;
When Jupiter and Regulus were first meeting, Virgo rose clothed in the Sun;
A new moon was symbolically birthed at the feet of The Virgin.
~ Bethlehem Star: The Birth of a King

In that night sky:
Jupiter traveled on through the night sky from Regulus;
Nine months later, Jupiter aligned with Venus, the Mother Planet;
They aligned so perfectly that neither planet was distinguishable;
Their alignment made the brightest star within the life time of those living;
If one looked from Jerusalem toward Bethlehem in December of 2 BC,
the Planet of Kings hung over prophesied city of the Messiah’s birth.
~ Bethlehem Star: Westward Leading

stars-and-planets-photo-img355-JPG

The Bible tells us about wise men coming from the east in search of the newly born King of the Jews whose star they had seen.  What an understatement.  I doubt if Matthew or any of the disciples understood all that had been written in the sky when the visit of the wise men was  chronicled.

Most missed the meaning in those night skies.  The few who looked up, probably saw a display with the appreciation of a fan at most.  It was only a small group of experts, wise men, who saw the meaning of the Artist.

The Artist created in the origination of His work the meaning of this ordained event.

The Artist was not surprised by anything in His creation.  History has not been His correcting of creative mistakes.  His masterpiece, proclaiming the coming of His Son in human flesh, was cosmic mastery of planets and stars, creating the most spectacular of birth announcements on the canvas of a night sky.

It was and is an extraordinary masterpiece.

Remember, as you gaze into the night sky of Christmas
that the meaning of this season was truly written in the stars.

God painted the night sky with:

A Star of Wonder
A Star of Light
A Star of Royal Beauty Bright

That Star is still guiding us to the Perfect Light!

COME AND SEE WHAT GOD HAS DONE
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD GIVEN FOR US!

 

PRAYER: Lord, you are GREAT and GREATLY to be praised.   I praise you Lord for you are my God, my Redeemer, my Savior.  You are my Lord who adopted me by giving the Light of the World for my sins.  Thank you for creating at the foundation of earth this story of amazing love.  Thank you for displaying your glory for all to see – give me eyes to see your glory and a voice to proclaim it.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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WOVEN BY FAITH – Dec. 23

December 23, 2015

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God., so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”  Hebrews 11:3

MainTheater_Back-panoIn my opinion, a “good” movie requires a nice, tidy, conclusion.  I want to know how the story ends.  It is a relatively low standard for Hollywood to meet my expectation by providing a proper resolution.  I don’t need to pay money for an inconclusive tale.

I have life for that.  

Life is a series of inconclusive tales.  It seems that we are continually living a sequel as the story of our existence plays on.  We rarely get nice, tidy, conclusions before the sun rises and we are into the next scene.

I don’t know how the story of my life will play out.  I don’t know how the stories of my family members will play out.  By faith, I know how the grand story ends, but I don’t know how all the minor parts, my parts, will be played.

Many are accustomed to resorting to living by faith through the big storylines of our lives.
Yet few, myself included, seem to consistently live by faith through the minor parts; the parts that we think we can handle; the daily parts that just happen.

Every storyline of our lives are being woven together into a tapestry that will tell our tale.  The majority of that tapestry will come from the daily fabric of these minor parts.

Honors_Tapestry_Fortuna

As Christians, we are called to live by faith.  Our tapestry should carry a theme of faith through every thread of fabric.  How can we weave together a tapestry of faith if the minor parts, the majority of the fabric, doesn’t carry that theme?

Great faith resides in our response to the daily fabric of our lives.  The minor parts are played out in the trivial aspects of today.  The grand resolution resides in tomorrow.  I believe it will arrive but I don’t know when.  The minor parts will happen today and cause me to demonstrate whether I am a person of faith or intellectual adhering to a belief system.

For me, prayer is the most practical method of weaving faith into the daily fabric of my life.

Daily prayers for the seemingly trivial are the calisthenics by which my faith is strengthened and woven into my existence.

However, just like physical calisthenics, I am prone to abandon my spiritual calisthenics.  I prayer journal because of my tendency to live by self through my daily life.  A prayer journal reminds me that God is in control of all things and alive and active in the daily aspects of my life.  My prayer journal applies at least a couple stitches of faith into every day.

I have been using an app for my prayer journaling called Mobile Knee.  This app has helped me to double the amount of faith stitches from my prayer life.  There is really nothing new with this app; it just revealed a deficiency in my prayer life.

The first stitch is the act of entering and praying for a request.  This is the active act of acknowledging that God is sovereign over everything and has the power to change anything, even the trivial.  Therefore, I put down all the mundane concerns that are troubling my mind as an act of faith.  Each entry is a stitch of faith; each prayer weaves faith through my day and my life.

The second stitch is what I was not consistently and consciously acknowledging.  The app forces me to do something with the prayer requests that I have entered.  I can’t just turn the page.  I must either mark the request answered, archive it, or delete it.

Here is the problem; I don’t know what the resolution of most of my prayers are.  My intellectual mind argues that I can’t mark a request answered if I don’t know.   How can I mark a request answered when it clearly wasn’t?

By Faith! 

That is how I mark by prayer request answered.  It is an act of faith.  When I review a request, I acknowledge that God heard me, that He is my Father and is for me, that He answered that request in His sovereign knowledge and plan, and I press “answered” by faith.  A stitch of faith comes with each entry watermarked with the word “answered”; every prayer acknowledged as answered weaves faith through my day and my life.

Our lives are continually being  woven together.  My prayer is that the weaving will be a tapestry themed by faith.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for hearing my prayers.   Thank you for answering my prayers.  Lord, give me a heart that desires to pray; pray fervently, with importunity, and by faith.  Weave faith into the very fabric of my life.  Help be to walk not by sight but by faith so that faith will be the tapestry of my life.  Thank you for the gift of faith.  Father, help me in my unbelief.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
~ Benjamin Malachi Franklin, The Weaver

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nearly FREE EBOOK FRIDAY (E.M. Bounds)

December 18, 2015

Bounds Quote (1)

 

I made a goal at the beginning of 2015 to make prayer a more consistent part of my life (Training Plans).  I don’t feel like I have made much progress in that area.  Although, I did read the very insightful and challenging book on prayer, The Necessity of Prayer by E.M. Bounds as a result of my desire to improvement my prayer life.

Bounds Quote (3)

I enjoyed The Necessity of Prayer so much that I am currently reading Power through Prayer by E.M. Bounds.  I am more convinced than ever that the Church doesn’t need better methods; it needs better men.  The Church needs men, distinguished by Bible-reading and prayer, possessing the soldier element, to live the Christian life in love and kindness.

Bounds Quote (2)

I highly recommend E.M. Bounds.  You can get The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds for $0.99.  It is not free but fairly close.  I hope you enjoy his writing as much as I have.

 

 

 

 

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