Archive for Prayer

Submitting Our Thoughts to the Lord of Pleasantness

There is plenty of unpleasantness in our world.  Well, there is also plenty of pleasantness.

On a cloudy Monday morning, Delores and I sat down to breakfast in a bayside hotel restaurant.  While sipping coffee and waiting for our meals to arrive, we excitedly chattered about the beautiful morning.  Although a blanket of clouds hid the blue sky, small gaps in the cloud cover permitted shafts of brilliant sunlight to shine upon the bay’s rough surface.  Seagulls soared overhead, fishing pelicans crashed into the water and shrimp boats puttered about.  What marvelous displays of Father’s splendor! Read More→

Attached to the Blessed One

Potiphar worshipped the crocodile god, prayed to the sun god and trusted in all the gods of his Egyptian forefathers.  He knew nothing about the one true God, who created the universe.

Potiphar had one thing going for him: he attached himself to a young Hebrew slave named Joseph.  Joseph trusted in the one true God, the God of his forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The true God loaded Joseph down with divine blessings which spilled over into Potiphar’s life.  From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph,” Genesis 39:5. Read More→

Doing Good When It Isn’t Easy

It’s fun to do good when doing good is easy.  When rewards for well-doing abound, we rejoice in our labor.  We gladly look forward to carrying out our responsibilities and finishing “to do” lists.  Work seems like recreation. Read More→

Feeling Positive About Your Loss

After his team lost a game, I heard a basketball coach say, “I’ve never felt so positive about a loss.” I don’t know if the man was a Christian, but his statement is very Scriptural.  Every born again, Jesus-loving Christian can have the faith to feel positive about the losses that life brings. Read More→

In the Process of Succeeding

The four Gospels show us twelve apostles who stumbled through life from one failure to another.  Yes, they did some things right but the Gospel record emphasized their failures.  Then we turn to Acts and see the apostles racing from success to success.  Why such a contrast between the Gospel narrative and the Acts record?  I think God planned this to show us that we are in the process of succeeding. Read More→

When You Don’t Feel Blessed

Two thousand years ago God’s people felt unblessed.  Sure, they repeatedly read the promises God pronounced upon their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but where were the blessings?  A foreign government manipulated their lives and ruthlessly repressed all yearnings for independence.  Poverty afflicted almost everyone and religious leaders used their influence for self-gratification. Read More→

Keeping God Company

God likes company.  In fact, he likes lots and lots and lots of company.

There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,” Revelation 7:9. I don’t know why God likes human companions so much.  I guess it’s just his gregarious nature. Read More→

When It’s Polite to Stare

Our electric-powered Japanese passenger train approached Shinjuku Station.  Sliding doors quickly sprang open, and hundreds of passengers disembarked.  Surrounded by this sea of Japanese business people, housewives and school children, Delores and I stood out like sore thumbs.  I noticed two young children staring at us.  The embarrassed mother quickly pulled them away and probably told them a Japanese equivalent of “It’s not polite to stare.”

Like the little Japanese children, we Americans quickly learn that staring is very impolite.  However, there’s one exception to this rule:  It’s alright to stare at the Lord.

During my private fellowship time with the Lord, his Spirit often enfolds me in his presence.  My imagination envisions him seated upon an exalted throne.  His ornate, royal garments fill the temple; angelic creatures shout his praise.  Vivid colors fill my imagination as I gaze upon our Lord’s dwelling place.  Sights and Sounds exceed anything we have seen or heard upon earth.

His love glues my attention upon his person.  It flows around me, enters into me, soothes me, encourages me, and comforts me.  And I gaze, I stare!  I can’t take my spirit’s eyes off him. I dare not allow any thought to distract me from him.

You know what?  It’s polite to stare at Jesus.  In fact, when in his presence, you have no choice.  His unsurpassed beauty grips your attention.  “One thing I ask of the Lord…that I may…gaze upon the beauty of the Lord,” Psalm 27:4.

In the Lord’s culture, staring is totally polite.  Let his Spirit enrapture your attention.  No one will complain.

 

Your Other Atmosphere

Our Creator chose to envelop earth in an atmosphere we call “air.” Air surrounds and sustains us, refreshes us and protects us from harmful sun rays.  Air makes life possible.  Two gases comprise the bulk of our atmosphere: nitrogen, about 79% and oxygen, a little more than 20%. Read More→

My “V” in the Moonlit Sky

A beautiful full moon illuminated the night sky.  I could plainly see my own shadow in the grass.  As I looked up to admire Father’s glorious handiwork, I noticed some clouds backlit by the shining moon.

Astonishingly, these clouds formed an almost perfect letter “V”.  There I was, awestruck by Father’s moon and stars.  Then, he thoughtfully threw in a “V” for victory; he provided a reminder of the victories he generously lavishes upon us. Read More→