Are YOU Keeping the Faith?

Image result for Trusting God Sunday

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Today we reflect on John 9:35–38.

I believe.

This simple two-word statement begins so many of life’s treasured moments. When I was literally shaking as I left my mother’s minivan, nervously ready to start high school, my mother calmly shared, “I believe in you, Matthew.”

One of my favorite movie moments is from Miracle on 34th Street, when a young Natalie Wood repeats, “I believe, I believe…,” convincing herself Santa Claus exists.

At Church, “I believe,” is ingrained in our profession of faith, and it was during the Sacrament of Confirmation that I made sure I meant these two powerful words. Often we are asked, “What do we believe?” Take three minutes to reaffirm the bigger question of “Do I believe?” and enjoy the graces of a resounding “yes” to God.

—Matt Weber, author of Operating on Faith and Fearing the Stigmata

Jesus Cures the Man Born Blind

WST Heilung des BlindgeborenenThe following reflection is based on John 9:1–41.

Reflection

The man born blind washed the mud from his eyes in the pool called Siloam, which means “the one who is sent.” How is Jesus a pool to wash the mud from your eyes so that you might see?

As soon as the man could see, his life became very difficult. People wondered whether he was the same man. Has the restoration of your sight so changed you that others are surprised at the transformation?

So much fear seems to surround the restoration of the man’s sight. What fears do I now have about seeing clearly who Jesus is and what choices I must make to be with him?

The grace will come when I acknowledge that my eyes have been opened. Others may not want to believe I can see, but I know I can only keep repeating it, to myself and to them. I may experience rejection by some for claiming this new vision, but in the Light, I can see clearly the one who has healed me, and I give him thanks and praise.

 

The Consequences of Seeing

Arts & Faith: Lent - El Greco - "Christ Healing the Blind"This story is inspired by John 9:1–41, the healing of the man born blind, and Mark 10:46–52, the healing of Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus and I talked about it. His healing was immediate. Not mine. I must have looked like a fool stumbling down the road, mud on my eyes.

“What was the first thing you saw?” I asked Bartimaeus.

“The face of Jesus. You?”

“My own reflection in the pool.”

As we sat looking—just looking—at the splendid, ordinary people passing by, we asked each other: What was the most amazing, surprising thing you saw today? What would be different for you today if you couldn’t see?I’m not sure why Jesus didn’t heal me instantly like he did Bartimaeus. I had to journey to wash.

Bartimaeus said, “I really don’t think I could’ve let him put muddy spit in my eyes. You are brave.”

“Not at all,” I said. “I heard that spit heals, so I dared to hope. Besides, you’re the courageous one—shouting to stop Jesus. I didn’t even ask. Jesus wanted to illustrate a point to his followers about making God’s works visible. I was lucky.”

Bartimaeus shook his head and looked up at the sky. “But you had no hesitation. You acted. You went to the pool.”

He had me there. I was willing to do something a little outrageous. I remember feeling hesitant as I walked. An inner voice taunted, “If you accept the gift of healing, no more begging for you.” What work could I do? I was skilled at nothing except begging. How would I make a living? If I was no longer blind, my parents would have expectations for me. Halfway to the pool my steps slowed. Should I continue?

“Wait!” a stranger called. There was a pothole ahead. From there on, this fellow guided me and let me voice my doubts. I asked, “Who am I to expect a miracle? Why me? What next?”

The stranger listened—the first person who really ever did. The stranger even held my elbow and was there when I washed. After my own, his was the first face I saw. I had only felt faces before; I was surprised by the colors and this man’s expression. He gaped. What did that expression mean?

“I almost gave up on God. Now I meet you,” the stranger said. It was his turn to pour out his heart.

Bartimaeus said, “I wonder if that man needed to witness your healing. And that’s the reason you were sent to the pool.”

“Hmmm,” I replied. “The stranger was the one telling everyone about the healing.”

I thought some more. “I never expected the consequences of seeing. I didn’t expect to catch the Pharisees’ eyes, to be ridiculed and mistreated by them.”

“Well, my friend, that’s why you and I are on this journey. I didn’t expect the turns my life has taken either.”

“I wasn’t just cured. I was interrogated, mocked, and mistrusted.”

Bartimaeus nodded. “The leaders failed you.”

“I don’t fault my parents for staying neutral. This way they didn’t get kicked out of the synagogue too.”

Bartimaeus looked pensive. “If you had to do it again, would you choose to remain blind?”

“And wallow in self-pity?” I said. “It may have been easier. But Jesus saw something in me and knew I could face those Pharisees.”

“Would you go to the pool again?” Bartimaeus asked.

“In a heartbeat. And I pray for the grace to be sent again.”


Reflect further on John 9:1–41 with an Arts & Faith: Lent reflection video inspired by the image, El Greco’s Christ Healing the Blind.

 

 

 

   ~~~Dion Todd

Throw Out The Bones

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. Don’t quench the Spirit. Don’t despise prophesies. Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 WEB

While traveling through Milwaukee Wisconsin, we stopped at an old smokehouse restaurant and ordered some wood-smoked baby back ribs. They cooked them right over a wood fire and they were nothing short of amazing, but they were full of bones which we had to slowly pick through. It was so worth it, and years later I still remember eating there. We ate the meat, and threw out the bones.

In our church experience, I have heard great men of God say things that I did not understand, or really even agree with. I used to try and make it all fit somehow anyway, but that created a mess in my mind. In the end, I had to start over and only keep the simple things that I can understand, and let that slowly build. Albert Einstein said: ‘If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.’ When I hear something that doesn’t seem to fit now, I put it on the shelf and think about it a while, and it may just get thrown out.

On the other hand, there have been sound biblical truths abused and now mentioning them is almost considered ‘taboo.’ Yet the truth will always be the truth. Our enemy loves to make our messages out of balance, too much or too little. He works to blacklist the blessings of God and to quietly erase them from our messages. In order to rob us of the blessings, he will make something that God intended for our good, look bad. Then what could have been a blessing, is turned into a curse.

‘Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)’ will always work, regardless of how many charlatans have abused it in the past. By hiding this truth, and removing it from our messages, the enemy essentially hides the key to the cell door of poverty prison and keeps God’s people locked inside. Many begin to agree with him and believe ‘Keep it all for yourself and you will prosper.’ Yet, that is not what Jesus told us. The truth has been reversed, and the blessing made into a curse (Malachi 3:9).

Another important truth that has been neglected is that we are not to ‘quench’ the Spirit of God. This essentially means ‘Putting out the fire’ and it is speaking of the Holy Spirit, not about people who may be speaking out of order. The Holy Spirit brings warmth and light to the Christian life ever since the day that He came on the Apostles as ‘tongues of fire’ (Acts 2:3, Matthew 3:11).

Paul especially singled out one spiritual gift with ‘Do not despise prophecies’ (1Thessalonians 5:20). When you enter a church that is spiritually dead, water has been thrown on the fire, and what you are left with is a cold, dead, religious experience. I know the hair on your neck is probably rising, but I am only writing what the New Testament teaches as the truth. We cannot treat the Bible like a buffet and silently drop the parts that our denomination disagrees with, or even reverse their meaning into ‘Despise all prophecies.’ The Holy Spirit is still alive today, the book of Acts is still as relevant as ever, and so is prophecy.

Be open to new things. Keep what is good, throw out the bad. None of us are as smart as all of us combined. None of us have the entire truth, only parts of it, but all together we make up the body of Christ. Do not try and keep what you do not yet understand. God is able to quicken His word and make it understandable, when He chooses to.

We are to test all things and keep what is good. We cannot ignore truth because someone abused it in the past. We cannot limit God to our church experience so far. Jesus did no mighty works in His hometown because of their unbelief, but He did miracles everywhere else (Matthew 14:57). What if we are like them?

Prayer: Heavenly Father I believe, help my unbelief. Lord do not pass me by but include me in what You are doing today. I want more of You in my life. Teach me what I need to know and fire me up God. Dry up the water that has been thrown on my life and make me a torch for You in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

Bible Fun Fact: When they awoke Jesus in the boat and He calmed the sea, there was more than one boat! (Mark 4:36).

 

 

Heartlight

Unstoppable! ‘The Power and Importance of Delegation’

[The Twelve said,] “And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility [for equitable distribution of food].”

Key Thought

True spiritual leadership isn’t about exercising control but about delegating tasks and developing future leaders. So, spiritual delegation is asking others to do specific tasks, but not telling them how to do those tasks. As the apostles remind us in this passage, spiritual delegation involves choosing emerging new leaders who are:

  • Respected.
  • Full of the Holy Spirit.
  • Full of wisdom.

Then, these new leaders need to be empowered with authority and given the responsibility to get their work done, as the Spirit guides them. True spiritual leadership is not about control, but about accomplishing God’s work and equipping others to serve!

Today’s Prayer

O Father, please raise up new leaders from among us. Keep our leaders’ eyes on younger and emerging potential leaders. Please help us find leaders who are not controlling, but empowering and trusting as they delegate responsibility and authority to people who are respected, spiritual, and wise. Give your people the wisdom to see true leadership and call for true spiritual leadership among us, today. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Passion for Praise: ‘Sunrise to Sunset’

Illustration of Psalm 65:8 — Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.

 

 

Daily Prayer for March 22
————————————————————

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:5-6, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, grant that we may come to you as your children. Grant that we may come to your Spirit, that something of trust and perseverance may be born in us for our life on earth. May we always be loyal and full of hope, working and striving not only for what is earthly, but for the tasks that have been laid on us for your kingdom and its righteousness. Let new light shine out among us again and again. Let many understand when your voice is speaking to them, so that they may gain courage. Let your voice be heard so that the great gospel that makes us your children may be proclaimed to people of all circles. Amen.

 

 

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

Brown rockThe morning prayer determines the day. Squandered time of which we are ashamed, temptations to which we succumb, weakness and lack of courage in work, disorganization and lack of discipline in our thoughts and in our conversation with others, all have their own origin most often in the neglect of morning prayer. Order and distribution of our time become more firm where they originate in prayer. Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God. Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and simpler where they are made not in the fear of men but only in the sight of God. “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men” (Col. 3:23). Even mechanical work is done in a more patient way if it arises from the recognition of God and his command. The powers to work take hold, therefore, at the place where we have prayed to God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work.

Source: Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible

 

 

 

Prophetic Insight newsletter

A Prophetic Perspective on COVID-19

About two weeks ago, I was on a phone call with prophets from around the world concerning the coronavirus. Cindy Jacobs called us together to prophesy into the issue and to pray.

You have to understand, none of this came as a surprise. Chuck Pierce, who is the covering for Awakening House of Prayer, prophesied about this coming last September.

At the beginning of the Hebraic year 5780 he prophesied we would face “a massive plague-like invasion that would test us until Passover” and that “nations would come into turmoil until that time.”

The Lord showed me the enemy engineered something to bring fear to the nations and disrupt economies around the world, and that this would not be the last such commotion. This is not the first time we’ve seen a deadly virus and it won’t be the last time. As a matter of fact, we will see more of this as time goes on.

Watch my video teaching for a prophetic perspective and encouragement. While we must obey the government, we do not want to respond to news out of fear.

 

 

This Week: Prayers for protection

Care, Pray, Trust, Obey

Christian fatherhood and leadership in the time of coronavirus

Aaron M. Renn

MARCH 19, 2020

Today is one of those key times in which the way we act will not only help shape the outcome of the current coronavirus pandemic at some level, but also to a much greater extent shape how our spouses, children, and neighbors see us in the future. As a husband and father who also publishes a newsletter about Christianity, masculinity, and the modern world, I particularly think about the way to act from that perspective. But most of these thoughts apply to everyone. Our credibility and trustworthiness in the future will be shaped by how we behave now.

What makes this particularly challenging is that we find ourselves in a time of great uncertainty when we don’t always know who to trust or what to believe or what we should do – or even what we can do. Events are unfolding at a very rapid pace that is difficult to keep up with. While the virus has directly affected relatively few people so far, millions of people are suddenly facing real financial risks. Some people, such as restaurant employees and small business owners, are already facing dire financial prospects.

I don’t like to give advice, and that goes double in these circumstances. But I do know we all need to find ways to lead. This doesn’t need to be “heroic” but does need to be about the way we are caring in everyday life for our family and neighbors.

Everyone’s circumstances, personal skills, and inclinations are different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all. Part of leading is to accept that you are responsible for figuring it out in your unique situation.  But I want to share two things I’m doing as a Christian husband and father.  These are rooted in existing life practices inspired by a pastor of mine who profoundly shaped how I live as a Christian.

The first thing I’m doing is making sure our family is intentionally and corporately putting our trust in God. This sounds like a platitude but it is not.

For a long time when I experienced bad times I was hesitant to publicly express much confidence in God, particularly around non-Christians. Because I wasn’t sure he would come through in the way I hoped, I was afraid this might end up making him look bad to others. I almost felt I had to protect God against harm to his reputation.

What this reveals of course is that my own faith was weak. Something my pastor used to do in these situations was to gather his wife and six children together and pray to God and trust in him corporately for difficult situations they were facing. For example, one time the transmission in their van went out. It was going to cost several thousand dollars to fix and represented a major financial burden to them. He gathered his family together and repeated the prayer of King Jehoshaphat from 2 Chronicles 20. In that story, an army of Moabites and others was invading Judah – an army so big there was no hope of defeating them. Jehoshaphat gathered all of Judah together, including the women and children, and prayed to God, reminding him of his promises to them. He led his people as king by praying before them, “We are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” God provided a great victory for Judah without them even having to fight.  Similarly, my pastor lifted his family’s van repair need before God, who provided a means for them to get it fixed.

I have adopted this approach as a pattern, even though my son is still too young to really appreciate what is going on. When we face difficult circumstances as a family, whether that be a health issue with our son or financial challenges, we come together and corporately bring them to God and place our trust in him. While there’s no guarantee of what will happen, he will be faithful to us in whatever the future brings. Just as trying times are our opportunity to demonstrate our leadership to others, they are a time for God to demonstrate his faithfulness to us. Let’s be sure we are once again first putting our trust in him. Because, friends, God is faithful. Those who put their trust in him will never be put to shame (Ps. 25 and Rom. 10:11).

a girl walking across a log over a stream to her dad

Morgan David de Lossy (Public Domain)

The second thing I’m doing is making sure our family is in submission to the governing authorities (see Rom. 13:1–7). Let’s be honest, this is an age in which the authorities of this world are often not worthy of our trust. But God has called us to submission to authority even and perhaps especially when that authority is not particularly worthy of our trust or when we are in disagreement (see 1 Peter 2:11–3:7). I want my wife and son to respect my leadership, so I need to be sure to submit to the authorities over me, who also have a sort of fatherly assignment from God. Of course my family is praying for them too, as we are also commanded to do (1 Tim 2:1–2).

Those are two of the things I am personally doing right now. I would encourage you to think about how you can lead and conduct yourself as a Christian and a citizen in this time. Trust in institutions has been declining steadily in recent years. I’m not so naïve to suggest that the coronavirus will finally bring a reckoning for failed leaders and institutions. But we can take this opportunity to be part of the rebuilding of societal trust by walking in a manner worthy of our calling, leading well, being faithful in what’s in front of us, and earning the trust of others for the future. And in this time of uncertainty, let’s rely on God for our future. Because, as he said to King Jehoshaphat through his prophet Jahaziel, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”

 

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

Plough Music Series

MARCH 13, 2017

The Plough Music Series is a regular selection of music intended to lift your heart to God. This is not a playlist of background music: each installment will focus on a single piece worth pausing to enjoy.

“Saint Patrick’s Breastplate” is an ancient Irish prayer traditionally attributed to the fifth-century Saint Patrick himself. The title reflects the medieval custom of knights who placed inscriptions of prayers in their breastplates and then recited them as they rode into battle. So strong was this association that one of the hymn’s alternate titles – Lorica, Latin for “breastplate” – came to be used broadly for any prayer for protection.

Over the centuries, many myths sprang up around this poem, one of which gave rise to yet another alternate title: “The Deer’s Cry.” Aware that a group of pagans who opposed his preaching were lying in wait for them, Patrick and his followers chanted this prayer as they marched through the forest. The men who lay in hiding ready to kill him saw only a doe followed by twenty-four fawns.

The text itself recalls Ephesians 6: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Some scholars also see echoes of 1 Corinthians 13 in the prayer’s triple structure: (1) faith – the confession of belief in Christ and the Trinity; (2) hope – for God’s protection and for eternal salvation; and (3) love – the expression of love for God.

This majestic performance in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, is a setting by Sir Charles Stanford based on two traditional Irish hymns. The words as sung are an abridged translation from the Old Irish by Cecil Francis Alexander; a full translation appears below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxA2zOSAuxc

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

 

Covering the Cover: Faith & Politics

Rosalind Stevenson

MARCH 16, 2020

Alot of ideas came to mind as we began designing the cover for the Spring 2020 issue of Plough Quarterly, and we veered from realistic to abstract representation and back again. Faith and politics occasionally do work together, but at root they are in conflict, and to portray this ambiguity took some head-scratching. (A close runner-up for the cover art was a striking image of oil and water.) Many examples came to mind of people in history who caused waves by bringing faith into politics, from biblical characters such as John the Baptist and Jesus himself to St. George (of dragon fame) and Emperor Constantine….

In the end we did settle on this image of the emperor Constantine the Great – or to be exact, of his statue outside the York Minster, designed by Philip Jackson and unveiled in 1998 on the site of Constantine’s accession to the throne in AD 306. Constantine was the one who made the momentous move, seven years later, to make Christianity legal, giving official privileges to the church (he himself was baptized in his last hours). While it was actually his successors who made Christianity the official religion of the empire, he remains a symbol of the fusing – or the clashing – of the realm of the state and the realm of the church. For this, he’s both celebrated (Orthodox Christians venerate him as the “equal to the apostles”) and criticized as the figure responsible for mixing Christianity with state power.

Even for those who won’t recognize his identity, the image of a man contemplating the sword hilt in his hand remains suggestive – as a symbol of the state’s might which, ironically, also takes the shape of the cross.

front cover of Plough Quarterly No. 24: Faith and Politics

 

 

 

A Prayer for Anxiety and Stress

By Rebecca Barlow Jordan on Mar 19, 2020 08:00 am

Anxiety - A Prayer for Anxiety and Stress

During this challenging coronavirus outbreak, is anxiety, stress, or fear holding you hostage and keeping you from rest? Do you feel burdens pressing in that seem too heavy to bear? When stressful thoughts pull you in the wrong direction, and you’re struggling to find balance, the following prayer might express your thoughts and help you find relief and freedom:

Lord Jesus, the stresses in my life often reach a dangerous proportion—or so it seems. My body, mind, and spirit struggle to keep up physically, mentally, and yes, spiritually. Some days anxiety stalks me like a deceitful predator, and the temptation to worry draws me in. I know better, but some days the challenges outweigh the truths buried inside. My trust in You fades into the background, giving fear and concerns permission to discourage me.

In those moments of apprehension, help me remember that I belong to You, and that You are not the author of fear or anxiety, but the giver of love and a sound mind. Teach me Your ways to respond to problems by giving thanks in them. Your Word assures me that You are always there with me.

You Are the Blessed Controller

You are the Blessed Controller of all things, and nothing escapes Your attention in my life. You have given me every tool and spiritual blessing to fight against those things that try to steal my peace. You’ve promised that when I’m stressed and burdens are trying to weigh me down, I can come to You. You will give me sweet rest!

Whether the anxiety stems from potential illness, work, parenting, finances, physical issues, or even world conditions, You are there, Lord, to shoulder the weight. Teach me to recognize the stressful trials as tools for you to shape me and rearrange me. Through those difficult times, You will teach me patience, enlarge my faith, and help me see things I couldn’t see earlier—if I will only let You. When I’m clueless as to what to do, Lord, I want to turn to you first, not last.

I Want to Trust You More

Forgive me for trying to handle things on my own, Lord. The need to be in control sometimes gets a stronghold on my life. That only makes things worse. I want to trust You more and see things from Your perspective, not my own. No one makes me feel uptight, angry, or stressed, and no one forces me to react negatively. I choose to respond according to my beliefs—or lack of them.

Do I believe You are in control? You created all things and hold all things in Your Hand. Do I believe You are truly good? When an anxious thought creeps in, help me to stop and relax, to take that thought captive, and to turn apprehension into a calm prayer for deliverance. Revamp my belief system, Lord. Show me a new way to handle life according to Your Way.

Turn Stress Into Lessons for Growth and Trust

No matter what issues I am dealing with; no matter how big the problems or situations, I’m laying them all at Your feet today. Turn these potentials for stress into lessons for growth and trust. When I can’t see any possible solutions, I choose to believe that You are working things out for my good—in Your own time. Show me what to do, or what not to do. As I focus on You, remembering Your promises and Your words, I believe You will fill me with a peace that is beyond all understanding.

Help Us to Pray and Encourage Others

In times of crisis that affect others as well as my own life or family, help me to remember to pray for others, and to do what I can with the resources you have given me, to help encourage others not to fear, but to trust in You. Lord, You are our Refuge and Strength in all times of trouble.

Draw us close to you and each other even when we have to distance ourselves from one another to protect against things like disease. Through prayer, through calls, through cards, and through social technology, You have give us many ways to stay connected. May we do our part so that no one feels alone or forgotten.

In Your precious name,

Amen

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6 NIV).

Crosswalk first published this prayer I wrote, although I added some to it. Although I’ve published it previously, I felt that many could use this encouragement during our current worldwide crisis. I hope you will also find these former posts of mine helpful to you: Five Ways to Redress Your Stress and 10 Simple Stressbusters for Women, as well as this Prayer for Peace Within.

Is Anxiety Holding You Hostage?

It’s Your Turn

What about you? Is anxiety, stress, or fear holding you hostage? What is causing you to feel anxious? How has God and His Word ministered to you in times of anxiety?  I love to hear from readers. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.

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THAT’S MY KING

 

For many years I have enjoyed and been blessed by the following text. I will share it with you in the hope you also will be edified and equally blessed as I have been. This minister passed away April 4, 2000 but these words will continue.

 

That’s My King! Do You Know Him?” by S.M. Lockridge 

Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, San Diego, CA 

 

The Bible says my King is a seven-way king.

He’s the King of the Jews; that’s a racial king.

He’s the King of Israel; that’s a national King.

He’s the King of Righteousness.

He’s the King of the Ages.

He’s the King of Heaven.

He’s the King of Glory.

He’s the King of Kings, and He’s the Lord of Lords.

That’s my King.

Well, I wonder, do you know Him?

David said, “The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.” 

My King is a sovereign King.

No means of measure can define His limitless love.

No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply.

No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings.

He’s enduringly strong.

He’s entirely sincere.

He’s eternally steadfast.

He’s immortally graceful.

He’s imperially powerful.

He’s impartially merciful.

Do you know Him?

He’s the greatest phenomenon that ever crossed the horizon of this world.

He’s God’s Son.

He’s a sinner’s Savior.

He’s the centerpiece of civilization.

He stands in the solitude of Himself.

He’s awesome.

He’s unique.

He’s unparalleled.

He’s unprecedented.

He’s the loftiest idea in literature.

He’s the highest personality in philosophy.

He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism.

He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology.

He’s the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion.

He’s the miracle of the age.

He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.

He’s the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Savior.

I wonder if you know Him today?

He supplies strength for the weak.

He’s available for the tempted and the tried.

He sympathizes and He saves.

He strengthens and sustains.

He guards and He guides.

He heals the sick.

He cleanses lepers.

He forgives sinners.

He discharges debtors.

He delivers captives.

He defends the feeble.

He blesses the young.

He serves the unfortunate.

He regards the aged.

He rewards the diligent.

And He beautifies the meek.

I wonder if you know Him?

Well, my King is the King.

He’s the key to knowledge.

He’s the wellspring to wisdom.

He’s the doorway of deliverance.

He’s the pathway of peace.

He’s the roadway of righteousness.

He’s the highway of holiness.

He’s the gateway of glory.

Do you know Him? Well!

His office is manifold.

His promise is sure.

His light is matchless.

His goodness is limitless.

His mercy is everlasting.

His love never changes.

His Word is enough.

His grace is sufficient.

His reign is righteous.

And His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable.

He’s incomprehensible.

He’s invincible.

He’s irresistible.

You can’t get Him out of your mind.

You can’t get Him off of your hand.

You can’t out live Him, and you can’t live without Him.

The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.

Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.

Herod couldn’t kill Him.

Death couldn’t handle Him,

And the grave couldn’t hold Him.

 

Yea! That’s my King, Father.

Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever.

How long is that?

And when you get through with all the forevers, then, AMEN and AMEN!

 

 
Robert Turnage

 

 

Humor—

Aunty Acid for 3/22/2020

Bob Gorrell for 3/19/2020

Mother Goose and Grimm for 3/22/2020

Image result for Maxine

Image result for coronavirus humor

 

 

 

IMG_9508.JPG

 

 

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