Praying for the Hurting

Praying for the Hurting
 
Praying for a hurting person can be done in many ways. Recently this prayer was shown to me as a way to pray for a relative. You can substitute the name for a different  person.
 

A Prayer for Clark

 

You are the God of our Fathers… the God of Clark.

You are Jehovah… the Self-Existent One.

You are Adonai… Clark’s Lord.

You are El Elon… the Most High.

You are El Roi… the Strong One who sees Clark.

You are El Shaddai… the Almighty God.

You are El Olam… the Everlasting God.

You are El Berith… the God of the Covenant and the God who keeps His promises to Clark.

You are Eloi… My God, said Jesus and Clark’s God.

You are Jehovah Jireh… the God who Provides for all of Clark’s needs.

You are Jehovah Nissi… the Lord… Clark’s Banner.

You are Jehovah Shalom… the Lord… Clark’s Peace.

You are Jehovah Sabbaoth… the Lord of Hosts and there is no one greater in the universe.

You are Jehovah Maccaddeshcem… the Lord… Clark’s Sanctifier, who is continually conforming Clark to the image of Christ.

You are Jehovah Raah… the Lord… Clark’s Shepherd, who cares tenderly for Clark and protects and guides Clark’s family.

You are Jehovah Tsidkenu… the Lord… Clark’s righteousness and the One who makes Clark acceptable.

You are Jehovah El Gmolah… the Lord God of Recompense and the One who will restore to Clark and Clark’s family all that the mouths of the locust have eaten.

You are Jehovah Nakeh… the Lord who smites every physical… every spiritual that attempts to invade… to harm Clark’s body… Specifically smiting any complications to healing in Clark’s body.

You are Jehovah Ropheca… God… Clark’s Restorer.

You are the Ancient of Days… Who is from everlasting to everlasting.

 

You are the Rock of Israel and also Clark’s Rock… Likewise, you are Clark’s Glory… our Salvation and our Comfort.

 

My prayer… All of Who You are… and all of what You do… I beseech You our God that you rain down Your Blessings, Protection, Healing… on Clark and his family.

 

For, Lord… your ways are not my ways… and your thoughts are not my thoughts… For, I do not understand… but neither do I question… You are loving and true… kind and longsuffering… Holy… wonderful and steadfast.

For you love Clark more than we can ever imagine… Yes You do… may Clark feel your very presence.

So, I beg You to be You…

So, I beg You to move the rest of us to Glorify Your Name even times that may seem downtrodden and tragic to us… For, You alone are worthy to be Praised…

 

And another special petition for Clark…

I pray that the Shekinah Glory of God may invade every place where Clark is… as You Lord, many years ago, invaded a simple stable.

I pray that all those about him will see… hear… accept and be amazed by the full and complete power that only comes from the movement of the Holy Spirit…

I pray that all will see Him… and praise Him, for He and only He is worthy… Christ alone.

 

We Praise Your Name… and the Name of Your Son… Jesus Christ.

In the Name of Him we call Emmanuel…

The One Who shows us what we cannot explain… The One Who has shown and continues to show us how great the Father’s love is for each of us… Yes, Clark… God is with you… Yes He is…

Indeed, He is with us…

This, I pray for you…

Amen.



O’ Praise Him

O’ Praise Him

 

Have you ever opened your eyes in the early morning and had an overwhelming sense that you MUST praise our Lord…

One of those… Wow… I must praise Him… Fall on your knees and Worship Him…

Before the morning shower… before all the things of the world crash in on you…

 

I pray… this morning was another one such time… O’ Praise Him… O’ Worship Him… Then that first ray of today’s light of day, spills over the hills… softly illuminating my small space in this world… O’ such a Blessing.

 

So… today starts…

Impressed again by the heart sense that we should praise God often… For,  Praising God is such an integral part of worshipping Him.

And, as we kneel this morning…

Remember that our days in Heaven will be filled with worshipping God, and as such we should be doing that now, too.

For, there is so much to praise Him for…

 

I know that it is impossible to mention even a small portion of God’s Blessings… 

But prayerfully here are some for us all to think about…

 

<> We should praise Him simply for Who He is… “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.” (Deu. 4:39)

 

<> We should praise Him for His Holiness… “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.” (Psa 29:2)

 

<> We should praise Him for providing for our salvation…  “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of His glory.” (Eph 1:13-14)

 

<> We should praise Him for His dependability… His faithfulness… “I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and Your truth from the great assembly.” (Ps 40:10)

 

<> We should praise Him for providing for our everyday material needs… not always our wants, but our needs… “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28)

 

Let us remember to praise God each day… Let us remember the eternal and temporal benefits…

 

Draw Close… He is Near



“After Christmas”

“After Christmas”

Now that another Christmas day is past… pause for just a few moments… breathe the cool morning air… be still and consider what we just celebrated.

Christmas…

O’ that special intimate time that in a most remarkable moment, God became a man. 

Close your eyes and envision…  envision Heaven opening herself and placing her most precious One in a human womb.

O’ there’s more…

For Jesus came, not as a brilliant flash of light, accompanied by rolling thunder… Not even as an unapproachable conqueror… But… As a new born baby… whose first cries were not heard by kings or queens or even leaders of the religious… But… Simply heard by a peasant girl, a humble carpenter and a few assorted farm animals.

Now… look more closely… at the hands that first held him… un-manicured, calloused, and dirty.

And… now look onward… catch the glimpse of His future thirty-three years… That time when he would feel everything you and I have ever felt… Yes… at times, weak, weary and even afraid of failure… He even got His feelings got hurt.

As I send this, I have a knot in my heart… For, to think of Jesus in such a light seems almost irreverent.

Indeed… there’s something about keeping him divine and predictable.

But… seemly distant…

For sure… His Holy Sprint shan’t have us go there… For, our Precious Lord and Savior desires for us to see Him as human as He intended to be.

So…

Today… let Him into the mire and muck of your world.

Why?

For, only if we let Him in can He pull us out.

Now… remain still and praise Him from the stillness of your heart.

Go forth and spread The Good News… He is with us.

 



In Times Like These

Maybe some of you are like me, stunned, saddened, concerned and even sometimes angered by the news.

 

Daily we are saturated with heartbreaking news concerning mass killings, all kinds of other violence, civil, business and political misbehavior and insensibility.

 

Perhaps you remember a few weeks ago when Conan O’Brien spoke about the mass killing in Las Vegas. His head script counsel had come to him with the words he had spoken following the long list of previous mass shootings…  O’Brien was obviously deeply affected as he again considered what to say… “we’re all tired of hearing reporters, let alone comics, discuss mass carnage in the most affluent and influential country in the world. Something has got to change.”

 

For most, I sense such occurrences are not the sort of daily news we had hoped for. For most… the kind of world in which we’d like to live is much different… one more peaceful and hope not only for ourselves but also for our neighbors. And now… it seems that this vision continues to elude our grasp.

 

Thinking… sometimes saying… “God it’s so painful”… It’s so close (thanks to today’s connectivity)… O’ how our dream of peace seems so far out of reach…

 

Today… The intensity… the in our face awareness of all of this violence can leave us speechless and consequently, feeling helpless.

 

Frequently, when we don’t know what to think or say, reaching for the words of others… songwriters can help us find ways to come to terms with ourselves, the world around us and the tasks that lie ahead.  Their words often not only express our grief and anger, they can also call us back to those truths we hold most dear.

 

Whilst I was thinking about all of this and researching helpful material, a memory of the melody “Finlandia” swept through my audio consciousness… this melody supports a lyric written long ago (in the 18th century), which itself is an adaptation of an older lyric… the 42nd Psalm.

 

My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

 

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:

how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

 

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. (Psalm 42:3-6)

 

As I continued into my time of prayer and discovery, also thought about a lyric from the hymn “When Aimless Violence Takes Those We Love,” written by Joy Patterson. The third and fourth stanzas tell highlight truth…

 

Our faith may flicker low, and hope grow dim, yet you, O God, are with us in our pain; you grieve with us and for us day by day, and with us, sharing sorrow, will remain.

 

Because your Son knew agony and loss, felt desolation, grief, and scorn and shame, we know you will be with us, come what may, your loving presence near, always the same.

 

 

So…

Where is our God in times like these?

 

Hear this clearly…

God is here in the middle of the suffering.

God is here confronted by evil and bearing the agony that is evil’s intent but not only as an act of divine empathy.

God in Jesus bears this evil as an expression of defiant love and life.

 

When the lyricist’s words bring us to the suffering of Jesus – a suffering for which these days have increased our sensitivity (we can add every other tragedy and natural disaster of which we are aware), they also bring us to an awareness and celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Just as our grieving finds resonance in the suffering of Christ, so Jesus’ resurrection draws our sorrow and anger into hopefulness – perhaps not all at once; we may need to be patient with ourselves.

 

Those of us who sit slack jawed, sometimes not even fully believing the news we’re reading… hearing… seeing… are called again and again and again to the hope that violence and death will not have the last word. For… this last word belongs to life – Jesus Christ has made it so.

 

And so…

With this… having begun to find our words again and in our words, hope… we begin to put the pieces together that will result in action.

 

We pray…

We talk with one another…

We seek to learn and understand the nature of the world in which we are called to serve.

 

Then we again take up our vocations anew and work for life.

Each of us will go at this differently… for, our vocations are not exactly alike… but none of us will do this alone.

 

For… God in Christ Jesus is with us…

With us in our shock…

With us in our concern…

With us in our pain…

 

Together, we who are with the Body of Christ… the people of God… are with Jesus in the hopefulness of life.

 

Yes…

There can be a tenaciousness to the hope of those whose trust is in God.

 

Well, I won’t back down / No, I won’t back down You can stand me up at the gates of hell / But I won’t back down (Tom Petty with Jeff Lynne, I Won’t Back Down)

 

Draw Close, He is Near

 

P.S.

 

Ruth Caye Jones composed this song long ago… It has been a blessing and comfort for many.

 



Come Down From The Mountains

Come down from the mountain… the work is in the valleys

“Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Mark 9:5)

Peter had just experienced the most wonderful, powerful event in his life. He had been caught up in the glory, taken to the summit of the mount with his master, the Lord Jesus.  The sights of his surroundings and the constant murmur of men had overshadowed his world with a sense of glory that he had never known before. For a moment, for a brief moment, he had lost himself and wanted nothing more than to forget everything and everybody that he had ever known and stay on that mountain top forever. The temporal things of the world had become his enemy and he no longer wanted anything to do with them. He wanted to rise above them in rapture, stand on the summit in victory, and set up an eternal tabernacle on that mountain top.

How many times have you wished for the same?

How many sweet times of fellowship with my Lord have you longed to have last forever? 

How many times have you been content to sit on the mountain top… marveling at the beauty of His handiwork… content to listen to the gentle whispers moving from peak to peak… through the rocky crevasses… singing their high mountain song in the clear, cool, frosty air?

When you reclined at His table and took the cup and the bread in your hand in remembrance of Him, or during the nights that you spent at the altar in prayer… 
How often did you wish to set up a tabernacle in that place? 

But, too soon you heard the stirring of people, the hushed voices of those around you… soon, the doors open and people gather as life shows up again.

Have you often mourned over having to leave that special place too soon.

Exclaiming… “Why do I have to go back?  Why can’t I just stay here? This is a good thing. This is a special place. I don’t want to leave! Why must I always leave the quiet place to return to the roar of the battle? Why won’t my Lord allow me to do what Peter asked and make for Him a tabernacle here?”

But know this… The answer we receive is the one given to Peter – “Get up and go! This is not your rest.” 

For, you see… men were not made to remain on the mountain. 

We were made for the valley.

The place that is best suited for the soul of man is not the mountain of glory, but the valley of ministry. 

Listen as you descend….
Listen to the voices at the foot of the mountain… the voices of the multitude who need to be delivered. 

Hear their cries as they come up the cliffs from the valley of their humiliation…

Now, hear His clear voice speaking to you…
“Do you believe that you are too good to enter into the tents of suffering of these?”
“Do you believe that you are above being able to help to those bound up by sin?”

Heed His voice… His counsel… His gentle push… Do not fear… Do not dwell in such thoughts, for He will be with you…

Now, as you begin your descent… The veil of the mountain is parted for you… Yes, it is drawn away for your good. 
Descend now…  down the mountain…

There is much He has planned for you.
Hear His Words clearly… 
“Go forth… Build your tabernacle where many need to hear the Good News.”

Draw close… He is with you… go!

 


“A Foggy Morning Blessing”

A Foggy Morning Blessing

 

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him.” (Psalm 32:1 & 2)

The other morning, I awoke early and went into mountains.  As I arrived in the Moraine Meadows I was greeted by our Lord with a damp fog that enveloped me completely. 

The nearby mountain tops, some climbing to 14,000 ft, were barely visible as the early morning light began to illuminate the eastern sky.

Deep in the meadow I could hear the elk awakening calls… but their shapes were hidden by the fog.

 

As I paused, I thought it a bit strange because lately I had been praying for God would allow me to see deep into the things around me…

For Him to give me an ability to more clearly describe what He sees and allows me to see on a different level…

For Him to give me His insights into what is seen and unseen. 

So… I wondered…

Why the fog?

 

And now, as I walked forth (camera in hand)… 

I sensed… this was different that times before when I have stepped into fog…

For, this morning I saw things I’ve never noticed before. 

 

I remember the nudging of the Holy Spirit… 

I remember His quiet voice…“There’s some things to learn in this fog”.

So… I ventured on, cinching my jacket to block the frigid air of the high mountains.

As I meandered into the meadow, frosty grass crackled like panes of glass beneath my feet. 

I pursed my lips and exhaled a stream of warm air. 

Steam formed and it swirled gently, never dissipating rather clinging to the mist that surrounded me. 

 

Then, I sensed the hand of the foggy haze reaching out… taking me in its grasp leaving a dampness that chilled my arms. 

The fog pushed in and out as though it were waves breaking gently onto an imaginary sandy mountain shore. 

My vision began to clear as I squinted in the early grey light with growing shades of pick, red and canary… trying to find just a bit of sight through the foamy whitewash.

I gingerly blew a second breath into the wetness of the air. 

Again the cloud twisted and turned, lifting itself into the vapor that washed past me. 

The cool moisture chilled my lungs as I took it in. 

Lifting my hand, I softly swatted at the smoky cloud and it moved, caressing my hand like sand filling crevices… constant and conforming. 

This blanket that covered the early morning hours pressed against me, wrapping me tight in its clutch. 

This is early winter in the mountains. 

 

Looking over my shoulder I could see the pinhole of light growing in the darkness, forming a single ray of light. 

Yes… daylight comes.

With each fleeting second that passed I watched the curtain rise and with it, the dense ocean of fog. 

The amber glow of the morning light became increasingly bright as the mist cleared and my skin lost its tackiness. 

 

Soon….

God began taking the blanket of fog… 

Moving it in smaller portions into the deep valley…

Then blowing it slowly up the tall mountains…

And folding it neatly to be stored in the heavens. 

And…

As I watched and listened to the birth of a new morning I saw with different eyes…

Standing in newfound amazement… I saw clearly again… the tremendous cloak of forgiveness which the Father offers me… offers each of us.

This deep feeling of abiding within the arms of a God who can cover me fully, forget the wrongs I’ve done, and yet warm me completely, brought me to a new level of humility I’ve never known. 

So…

As my request was granted…

“There’s a lot more to fog than being blinded isn’t there?” I asked the Father. 

And…

I remember His voice dee in my heart…
“Indeed. Took you awhile to notice.” 
“I guess was only looking at the surface.” 

I felt a warm breath that pushed away the chill of the morning air. 

“There’s so much more to see when you look deeper – squint a bit. Fog is really not just something to inconvenience you when you drive.” 
I smiled. “I get that now. It’s a cover. A quilt of sorts.” 
“Yes… What else did you see?” 
“I saw the movement in the mist. It carried your forgiveness toward me and it washed my fallacies out of sight. It clung to me, touched me physically, tickled my skin.” 
“So you saw something in a different light?” The Father asked. 
“Yes I did. I could see the thick film before my eyes, yet, my vision was perfectly clear.” 

“Good. You understand my love a bit better. If only more people would stand still long enough to look into the fog.” 

This morning was an exceptional Blessing…

God taught me that winter in the high mountain meadows offers sight to the blind. 

He covers us with His mighty love and forgives completely. 

I saw that… deep within the cold foggy mist of the Rockies.

 

I pray that each who read this will share in this Blessing…

And know…

He is ever so near…

Draw close… unto Him.

 



The Master Painter

God… The Master Painter of Sunrises

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning –the first day.” (Genesis 1:3-6)

I sense that sunrises may one of the most beautiful things in the world. 

I am always amazed by what our Lord can do with light… this is true at any time of the day… but there’s something O’ so special about sunrises.

That’s why I arise when it is still dark and venture up into the mountains to discover what He has planned for the opening of this day.

It is always special… never seen before and not to be repeated.

 

So up I go… 

Sometimes simply stopping and leaning against the car…

Sometimes hiking to a high vantage point…

Sometimes hiking around a mountain enclosed lake to watch what He has planned in 360.

This special time… as God Paints a new day on the canvas of night.

So… as my new day begins… in total darkness, pitch black… bit within a matter of minutes the transformation happens. 

Just over the horizon a pinhole of light appears. 

I squint to see it. 

Is it the new day beginning or a distant low hanging star? 

But it widens to a broadening slit. 

The first inkling of light squeezes through the crack spilling over into the darkness.

Then a burst of light springs forth… yellow, red, pick, and finally lavender. 

One color after another stretching across the sky… reflecting on everything and providing a special treatment to any clouds who have shown up to participate.

 

Soon… it extinguishes that last gasp of night. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The brightness of the new day’s light washing like a wave
 
over the dark sky taking away all that was hidden by the night. 

Each day… the world opens her eyes and sees the beauty of the light. 

It is truly amazing.

I often wonder how I would react if the sun chose not to shine… a day without the light’s healing, therapeutic, warming for the soul. 

I remember places I have visited where there as constant darkness… where I soon longed for just a small amount of light.

Those places were cold and it was difficult without light to stay on the proper path… to find your way. 

When God crafted the world He began with daylight, offering the void of emptiness respite. 

With the light He provided hope and within the hope He gave us His promise… a promise to heal our hurt and offer us an opportunity to open our eyes renewed and fresh into a new day.

So today I ventured into the mountains with a dear friend… 

Such a special time… to watch as the sky open its eyes.

 

Quietly… I asked the Father, “How do you do it?”
“Do what?” He whispered on the crisp mountain breeze. As if He didn’t already know.
“How do you paint such different pictures every day? Each, better yet, why?”

“My portfolio is vast. I have an eternity of paintings to choose from, and you ask why? Because I can…Because I want to…Because I know your heart… I made it you know…Because I care that you see the “newness of new” every day. For, when your heart is seeking or sad, you can look into the sunrise and know that I am here.”

My heart jumped again for joy and I again remembered… indeed that’s truly awesome… He does this for me… He loves me so much.
And then… hearing my thoughts…
“Yes. without hesitation. Every day. Day in and day out. For you. Because I love you.”

And as I raised my camera, yet again to capture His gift…

“Wait, let me touch it up just a bit…” said the Father. 

And He took His finger and gracefully drew into the darkness, brightening the colors and rearranging the mountain clouds in a truly amazing way.

 

 

But He wasn’t done yet…

“Turn to the west… behind you” he said.

And as I did, I lowered my camera in deep amazement and gratitude… 

As, He painted a rainbow in the sky, amid the light mist in the western mountains.

And as before, as I raised my camera again to capture His latest masterpiece…

“Wait… let me begin adding a second bow of light.”
 
 

 

 My friend who was with me commented that “he had never seen such deep colors”.

 

So…

I do not know know if you happen to be walking in the Light of His Love… or a season of temporary darkness… of seeking His Love…

But… 

Please know that our Lord… or God is amazing…

He loves each of us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us that we might have a Way to be with Him for eternity…

But, just as in this encounter…“Wait… Jesus said… I have more… If you accept Me… I send My Holy Spirit to indwell your heart… So you may know I am always with you.”

 

O’ what an amazing God… One who paints life anew every single day and He does it for you and for me.

Draw close… Unto Him.

 



Glorify God in All You Do

Do you glorify God in all that you do?

Yes… even work?

 

Consider this…

If Christ is Lord over all of life, then He must be Lord over work, too.

Our identity must be wrapped up in who we are, not just what we do.

“Whatever we do for work, we should do it in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col 3:17), that is, with a concern for His approval and in a manner that honors Him.

 

The Spirit empowers us to live and work with Christ-likeness.

Christ gives the Holy Spirit to help us live in a way that pleases Him that has enormous implications for how we perform our work.

 

Know this…

God values our work even when the product has no spiritual value.

 

A measure of the significance of a job is its perceived value from the eternal perspective.

For example…

Will the work “last”?

Will it “really count” for eternity?

 

Shallow thinkers would suggest that… God values work for eternity, but not work for the here and now.

 

This is not a biblical truth, but heresy.

Keep these truths in mind when you are tempted to deem secular work as second-class Christianity.

 

– God Himself has created a world which is time-bound and temporary (2 Pet. 3:10-11).

 

– God promises rewards to people in everyday jobs, based on their attitude and conduct (Eph. 6:7, 9; Col. 3:23, 4:1).

 

– God cares about the everyday needs of people as well as their spiritual needs. He cares whether people have food, clothing, shelter, and so forth.

 

– God cares about people, who will enter eternity. To the extent that a job serves the needs of people, He values it because He values people.

 

Hear this clearly…your work does matter to God.

You and I are called to first be a Christian… But whilst we are spending some time this side of Heaven… We are to labor in love in the profession to which He has entrusted us.

 

Draw near… unto Him… each and every day… Endeavor to glorify Him in all that you do.

 

 



Heroic Roots

Heroic Roots

Discovering your heroic Spiritual ancestors From Open Doors

 

“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised…” (Hebrews 11:39)

 

Ron Boyd-MacMillan of Open Doors shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I need to encounter the Persecuted Church.”

 

It was early 1980’s in a village in Czechoslovakia, and I had just given the pastor of a rural church a Bible in his own tongue. It was leather bound, with a gold zipper, and was the first complete Bible he had held. I remember him sniffing it, marveling at the leather smell, playing with the zip and being almost afraid to touch the thin precious pages. Then he began to talk to the members of the church.

 

Pointing at me he said, “This gentleman is your heroic spiritual ancestor. Every time the Bible comes into a culture, it is a threat, and is opposed. So it takes men and women to risk all to bring it to us. This man has taken such a risk.”

 

I was embarrassed, but he went on to say to me, “The Bible also came into your culture. It was also a threat. Tell me, who are your heroic spiritual ancestors?” I am ashamed to say I did not have a clear idea of who these men were in my country of the United Kingdom.

 

So I returned to my country with his challenge ringing in my ears, “Find out the story of how your Bible came to you, and you will discover your heroic spiritual ancestors.”

 

What a dramatic story I uncovered. Full of spies, deaths and power politics. I learned so much about John Wycliffe, the first man to translate the Bible into English in the world of the 1300’s, when most clergy could not even recite the Ten Commandments. He formed a cadre of guerilla preachers to comb the country, with hand copied versions of the Bible, a book banned by Parliament. Wycliffe died of a stroke from the strain.

 

In the 1500’s, William Tyndale benefited from the invention of the printing press. He had to leave England to accomplish the task, never to return. At age 29 in 1524, he settled in Cologne, and by 1526 was ready to smuggle 6000 copies of the Bible in English into Britain. The whole British naval fleet was put on alert, and boats were stopped and searched. First tens and then hundreds of the Bibles got through. The bishop of London tried another tack. He sought to buy the entire print run through an intermediary. His intention was to burn them all. Tyndale got wind of it, and approved the sale, saying, “Oh he will burn them. Well, I am the gladder, for I shall get the money from these books, and the whole world shall cry out upon the burning of God’s Word.” And so it was. He burned them, and Tyndale used the money to improve the translation and print more…at the church’s expense.

 

Tyndale was captured by assassins and then strangled and burned in August 1536 for “heresy.” His last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” This prayer was swiftly answered, and the English reformation was quickly fueled by a spate of translations. What a story it was. And what heroism from my spiritual ancestors!

 

+++

 

Today… Let us each thank God for our spiritual ancestors who brought God’s Word to our land.

Today… Let us ask God if we may somehow, someday, be used to bring His Word to needy people… needy in the Word… Y’a know… that place my be in our own country… state… city… or neighborhood… And yes… maybe even restoring the Joy, Excitement, Reverence of His Word in our churches.

Let us push inward through nearby closed doors and outward into our world that is spiraling out of control… with His Word in our Hands… Jesus on our lips… and His Spirit in our Hearts… Let us reenergize our commitment that all peoples… all languages… all cultures may hear and be able to read Gods Word in their native language.

Let us allow The Spirit of God to show us new ways to expedite the processes of translating His Word into all languages.

Let us not be timid or fearful to GO and take His Word wherever He sends us… even if it is simply across the street, or our workplace or into the hinterlands.

Let us…

Yes…

Let us

Embolden us Lord!



“Finding Your Way Out”

Are you in a Black Hole?

 

Yep… that swirling darkness that seems to bend or consume all light around it… That pit of darkness that eats up positive feelings… even those good things that come along.

I’m not talking about blah feelings or those times when you are simply in a grey-funk… bouncing in and out of levels depression.

 

I’m talking about those times when no matter what you try… no matter what your friends do or say… No matter what …that swirling black hole consumes all worldly efforts to escape its grip.

 

Remember these words…

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you…” (Joshua 1:5b)

 

A black hole is a place of total nothingness.

 

Consider…

It may be a time in our life when God allows the removal of the resources and supports that we normally rely on to feel secure… Maybe… our careers, our finances, our friends, even our family, our health, our comfort and so forth.

 

Know this…

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you…”

 

My experience is that it is a preparation time.

 

So…

When you find yourself in a black hole experience, don’t bounce off the walls in total frustration… or just sit in a corner and brood.

 

Wake up…

Take stock of your life.

Take a clear look at your relationship with God.

 

1st…

Ask God if there are any sins, habits, or attitudes that He might be judging in your life.

It’s important to discern whether the trial we face is the result of God’s discipline for our sin?

Or…

If He is preparing us for a future role… even a leadership role.

 

2nd…

When you enter a black hole… please do not trust your feelings.

Trust God.

Your feelings will tell you, “God has rejected you. Abandon hope. He has left you utterly alone.”

Feelings are fickle and change…

But, God never changes.

Feelings come and go…

But, God is always with us.

 

3rd…

Remember that your black hole experience is not only intended to refine and define you; it’s also intended to influence and change the lives of others… maybe even hundreds or thousands of other people.

Our adversity is not just for us, but others in our sphere of influence.

 

4th…

No matter how painful or oppressive the experience may feel… do not try to hurry the black hole process along.

Remember, when Joseph was in the depths of the pit, there was nothing he could do about it.

He couldn’t climb out, jump out, levitate out, or talk his way out.

All he could do was pray and wait upon the Lord.

 

5th…

Lean on God.

Even when you don’t feel like praying, pray.

Even when you don’t feel like reading His Word, read.

Even when you don’t feel like singing songs of faith, sing.

When you pray, don’t just talk; listen.

Be silent before Him and listen for His still, quiet voice.

 

6th…

And… Please be alert to new truths and new perspectives.

During a black hole experience, God often leads us to amazing new discoveries (He always has for me).

A black hole can be a storehouse of unexpected riches for the soul.

 

One last thought…

The black hole experience may reoccur… or at least for me they have.

Maybe I’m just a slow learner or maybe it’s the jobs He has ordered along my path… So… Don’t be surprised if you again find yourself struggling with a pesky black hole experience… Remember the time(s) before… Press into the lessons He taught you… and the promise that He is with you.

 

Draw Close… He is ever so near.

 

Dallas L. Nash