Adventure

I delight in You, and the adventure ahead . . but only because You’re in it.

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Published in: on June 13, 2014 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reflection on stuff

These things I think I must have . . They keep my heart from knowing you more and more.

Published in: on June 12, 2014 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Loved

I am not going to Heaven because I’m lovable, but because you love me.  There’s a big difference.

Published in: on June 11, 2014 at 9:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love worth prayer & petition

I love Ben so much.

Tonight, God delighted me with the joy of another treasured time with Ben. I see such a sweet compatibility in Ben and I, a ‘fitting-together-ness’ that God in His great grace has molded.

When I was thinking of how much I love Ben tonight, I was reminded of something: Naghmeh loves her husband like this, too. She has that sweet compatibility with him, that ‘fitting-together-ness’ that God in His great grace molded for her and her husband.

If it was Ben in prison, I’d be trying to convince everyone everywhere to join me in prayer and petitioning for his release. Saeed is Naghmeh’s “Ben”. She loves him just like I love Ben. If you haven’t signed this petition yet, take a few moments out of your day. http://beheardproject.com/saeed#sign And please, please pray. ♥

Published in: on November 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Focus II

God, bring You into focus until You’re all that matters in my life.

Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above-where Christ holds the highest position. (Colossians 3:1, GW)

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Photograph by Eric Wüstenhagen profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/eriwst/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.
Published in: on July 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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more than Your own body

How comforting, Jesus.  How comforting that You love us more than Your own body.

. . the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took a loaf of bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it in pieces, saying, “This is my body that is for you. Keep doing this in memory of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23b-24, ISV)

Music

I want the melody of my heart to be for You, God. I want the moments of my life to be music notes for you.  I want my soul to be a stanza in the symphony of Your work, not another abrupt noise in the cacophony of Satan’s work. I want my life to be music You hear most and best, like a daughter playing her instrument in a room empty except for her father.

 

Published in: on June 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wesley’s Covenant Prayer

A dear friend from my Bible study back home shared this prayer from John Wesley via email.

Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things

to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

I have decided to paraphrase it in modern language for myself, for it to be real to me, today.

Covenant Prayer

I no longer belong to myself, but I belong to You, God.

You give me the work You want me to do; You rank me as You see my value and place (not as I or any one else ranks me).

I want to do the work You give me, even when I have to give something up I really don’t want to give up, even if I would one day, in another culture or another mood of my culture, suffer for You.

Work me all You want; but I also accept when You lay me aside like a Potter waiting for the pottery to dry enough to be shaped some more[1].  Whatever You choose for me, set me apart for You.

If you want me to raise in fame and popularity so I can speak Your Good News to the masses, all right, God!  If you want me to be humbled and to remind me that no one responds to me or my work, but only to You and Your work, yes, God, that’s okay, too.

I want to be filled with Your Presence.  Yes, God, bring that about!  But when you don’t gift me with the experiential piece of my salvation, when You let me sit hungry for You, reminded of my dependence on You, that’s okay, God, too.

When I have all the relationships I seek, all the delights of Your goodness in this world, when I feel fully content, let me worship You and not those things.  And when the relationships in my life aren’t working, when I’m lonely or missing someone, when I see the sorrows of the entrance of sin in the world and focus on that and struggle to find Your goodness here, when I feel nearly faithlessly discontent, let me worship You anyway.

This is hard, God, but I want to give You all I have.  It’s not so hard for me with my stuff, but it’s awfully hard to yield my thought patterns, my choice of words and jokes, my behaviors and nuances, my comfort zone, my expectations, my dreams, and my thirst to be in control over to You.  But I give You these, too, recognizing my gift is fearful and trembling; wrest it from my hands before I pull it back and hold it tight in idolatry to my chest again.

What I give, I give for Your delight and Your use.  I struggle to remember that what is for Your glory is not against the good of the world, but rather for it.  That You would draw every soul to Yourself.  That glorifying You is not participating in the rote action of singing familiar songs or praying compulsory prayers, but that glorifying You is delighting in Your love, and delighting in the sharing of that love with all who I can.  All who I can.

And now, my glorious and blessed God, my Father and Judge, my Redeemer and Advocate, and my closest Friend and Guide, You–in a way I do not understand–belong to me.  You give me Yourself as an inheritance.  And I–in more of a way that I do understand but do not wholly yet practice–belong to You.  Instruct and strengthen me so I can believe that You belong to me, and sanctify and shape me so I can be more and more Yours until the day I die and I am finally yielded fully to You.

So be it.

This is the covenant of belief that I’ve made on earth, but

You will seal the deal in Heaven through the blood of Jesus Christ.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6-7, NLT)

Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, . . (from Hebrews 12:24, NLT)

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[1] Credit to Day of Discovery’s beautiful video, The Potter: Reflections of a Master Artisan You can watch it for free by clicking link or this website: http://www.dod.org/Products/The-Potter–Reflections-of-a-Master-Artisan__DOD2332.aspx

Use or abuse of prayer?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

(John 14:12-14 ESV)

That last sentence is often pulled out of context and misused. People will tack “in Jesus’ name” to the end of a prayer as if it’s a magical incantation that binds Him to give you whatever you want. (I’m not saying it’s wrong to use those words, just to use them as if we can obligate Him).

Jim uses the analogy of a policeman saying, “Stop in the name of the law.” Why does he say that? He has no authority on his own to make them stop, but as a representative of the law, he does. It is not merely the policeman giving the command, but the law itself, through him. Likewise, what right do we have to ask anything on our own authority? But in this passage, Jesus gives His followers the authority to pray in His name. Not just as sinful, fallen humans, but as His representatives on earth.

However, there is a flip side. The policeman cannot throw out any command he wants and say, “in the name of the law” with the same authority. He could not, for instance, say, “Steal that TV in the name of the law.” Perhaps someone would listen, but both would get arrested in the end. The policeman has authority to speak for the law, but only if he speaks in accordance with the will of the law. Likewise, Jesus has given us authority to pray in His name, but that only works if we’re praying in accordance with His will.

If we first seek His will in a situation, then pray in His name, in accordance with His will, then whatever we ask will be done.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

(John 14:12-14 ESV)

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From Ben.  A good job explaining a very difficult passage.

Prayer for release

Lord, I’m afraid to give this to you, but I want you to have it anyway.

Cupped and open hands 2

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23)

Published in: on March 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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