Posts Tagged: prayer

Nicknamed By Jesus

DSN9118-2-MTwice this week I have heard someone mention Jesus’ family. Both times they mentioned the pressure that his younger siblings must have felt. Imagine having Jesus as an older brother…

But wait, I don’t really have to imagine. Since I have been adopted into his family, he is my older brother. I had one other older brother growing up and we didn’t always get along, but so far Jesus has been perfect. I have disappointed him regularly, I’m afraid, but he always sticks up for me and is on my side. A real advocate. Who could ask for more?

 

I also got to thinking about my biological brother when we were was kids. He had a lot of different nicknames for me, some were his own; others were given by the family or neighbors. Colonel, Tornado Tom, Red, Carrot Top, the menace; now that I give it a think the names he called me were not suitable for printing. That, or I just don’t want them to be known.

 

I wonder if Jesus has any nicknames for me, his little brother. The only one that comes to mind is “O ye of little faith.”

 

I need to do something about that.

 

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge

 

 

Small Hurt, Major Pain

DSN9118-2-MIt’s just a small bone, maybe not even a bone but bone growth from a long past injuring; a scar tissue type of thing. Whatever it is, it’s broke. Had what I thought was a bruise on the side of my foot for about a day and then one step and “POP”. Now I can’t put any weight on it and the Doc says 8 – 12 weeks for healing.

Like I said a very small bone, or bone chip on the outside and underside of my right foot. Considering the size of the rest of my body, how can something so small hurt so badly?

I need to pay more attention to people at Church who are hurting. And not the obvious hurts that are mentioned, but the pain in peripheral people who are hurting. Considering the size our church is becoming, I need to make sure I’m paying attention. I need to make sure to take care of every need before they become a major pain. (1 Corinthians 12: 26-27)

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge

Psycho Pure

DSN9118-2-MOur refrigerator has a water purifier built in. It’s amazing how much cleaner the water that goes through the purifier is. A long time ago we brought a purifier that was attached to a 2 quart pitcher. The first time we used it we were speechless. The water seemed to be clearer, even brighter than the tap water. At that point we lived on a farm and the water was from a well; there was a big different. But now we are on ‘city’ water, but the difference by the purifier is still noticeable.

Now I am not saying this because I’m on a clean water rave, but Philippians 4:8 says to think on things that are pure. When I think of ‘pure’ I think of crystal clear water. So when I am advised to think about pure things I think of things that are free from any pollutants; things that have no contaminants. Like pure water refreshes and is good for the body, pure thoughts refresh and are good for the spirit. Just like pure water that is so incredibly clear, pure thoughts are undefiled.

This is pretty hard in our culture. We are bombarded by impurities. They are unavoidable. We do well to recognize them and even better to run from them not giving them a chance to take a foothold within or thoughts. So hard… no wonder the Philippians author is so concerned.

Eliphaz asks a great question in Job 4:17, “Can a man be pure before his maker?” Psalm 119:9 seems to help us in our quest… “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”

I need to constantly keep up my guard against impurities. And God’s Word is the filter I must know and use to make sure my mind is stayed on pure things.

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge

The Tooth Paste Test

DSN9118-2-MI was with a young man who had a particularly bad morning. It was definitely noticeable and he was carrying a chip on his shoulder wanting to punish everyone around him for the circumstances causing his personal pain.

I thought of a story told by the late Howard Hendricks at a ‘Promise Keepers’ event. He was approached by another and he asked of him, “How’s it going?” to which the man replied, “Pretty good under the circumstances.” Dr. Hendricks quick-witted reply was to ask, “Well, what are you doing under there?”

It is so easy to get under the circumstances. Situations happen that may be out of our control and may place us in positions we don’t like and would prefer not to be in. We have to take action, but the usual action is to complain and wait. We don’t like being ‘under the circumstances’ but it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves and solicit pity than it is to quickly address the situation, take responsibility, and take positive action.

The man Joseph of the Biblical book of Genesis was a man who faced adversity; some of his own doing and some as a result for doing the right thing. Sold into slavery for his youthful arrogance and evoking the jealousy of 10 of his brothers. Then rising to power in Egypt he abruptly ran from the presence of temptation and, because of false testimony, was thrown in jail. There’s a lot more to the story of Joseph, you can check it out in Genesis chapters 37 through 50.

But there are a few verses in Psalm 105 (16-22) that tell a little more of Joe’s story. There’s a little phrase in verse 19, “the Lord tested him.”

Could it be a test? What I’m going through now, the circumstances I’m under, could they be a test? Is God squeezing me like tooth paste to see what’s inside? Have I cast all my cares upon Him that He may care for me? Am I trusting in the Lord with all my heart? Have I abandoned my own perspectives to acknowledge and recognize Him in every circumstance that He may direct me?

I am not to be under anything, but on top, to the praise and glory of the Lord. I know He can handle it; me.

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge

Challenging Cartoons

DSN9118-2-MPreparing to speak at a Church conference this week has been overwhelming. When I used to prepare messages weekly I had a routine and it became pretty easy. But now, only speaking on special occasions, seems to be hard work. Praying and trying to decide on messages is difficult because there is so much material and so little time.

I was asked to speak on a spring theme, like renewal. My preparations have taken me from several Old Testament passages to several New. I get started on one thing and then a new train of thought comes up. Then I think, “I should just speak on what I am going through personally; how God is directing me.”

What to do?

Since the beginning of the year I have been trying to improve my attitude. Two cartoons caught my attention, one was a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ where Calvin resolves that life needs more dance numbers and special effects. The other is a person whose doctor has just informed them that they tested positive for being negative.

I am afraid the results of my test may find the same thing, so I resolved to have more dance numbers and special effects in my life. The last few months have been a search to figure out how to do just that.

So this week I’ll speak twice and we’ll focus on experiencing more celebrations and miracles. We’ll dive into the Book of Philippians and have some very practical prescriptions for a negative attitude.

In the meantime give this a think… “The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible,
and achieves the impossible.” Sounds a bit like Philippians 4:13.

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge