How often do we say that? Maybe you run into a friend at the grocery store. You talk about recent events, ball games, what grades the kids are in and your friend mentions a relative in the hospital, some big life event or whatever and ends with “pray for us” and begins moving away. “I will” you say as you check your list and keep shopping. Sometimes we get real requests for prayer from people that are seriously hurting. Do we say “I will pray for you” just to make them feel a little better or do we really mean we are going to spend time in prayer with God interceding on their behalf?
“Hey, how are you?” is a casual greeting that doesn’t mean much anymore. We don’t really want to know, and might get annoyed if they set in explaining how they have been. “I will pray for you” needs to be more than that. It would be better left unsaid than casually dismissed in passing. Sometimes we say it in all earnestness but life happens and that person, and the need, slips away. The next time you say “I will pray for you” if at all possible stop and do it right then. It might have to be a 10 or 20 second sound bite if you’re at work or holding up a line somewhere. Saying you will pray is one thing; making it so is something else. It will ensure that you do not forget altogether and maybe you could pray again later as well.
Today is the annual National Day of Prayer. In years past I would encourage you to find a group event and join them in person and in prayer. It should come as no surprise that this year things are different. Continue reading →
As mentioned last week (ironically you’re not having deja vu) the San Francisco 49ers will play the Kansas Chiefs on Sunday, February 2nd, which is also Groundhog Day. So I think it will work like this: If Tom Brady sees his shadow Sunday morning, the Chiefs will win. If he does not see his shadow and stays out of bed, then it will be the 49ers. That’s how I feel things will play out. I’m sure that Brady will get a Super Bowl ring in either case. Continue reading →
Anytime one prepares a presentation, much like a written report, article, blog post or thesis paper, there are several iterations that could become the final product. Some ideas don’t go anywhere, better ideas take their place, maybe some good talking points came from brainstorming that ended up not being developed. You may even produce more than one version and have to make a decision but in any case there are always things researched or outlined that are left out of the final product. If lines or scenes are cut from a film you might find out about them in the director’s cut or by playing the DVD commentary. Since my goal is to post new material to my blog once or twice a week, I have a creative outlet for unused sermon material. Continue reading →
If I went to every conference, seminar and retreat that I get invitations to I would never be at home. It wouldn’t take but a few weeks of missing church to get fired, seeing as how I am the pastor and what not. Having said that, I probably should make time for more of those than I do. So it was a pleasure on the National Day of Prayer to hear some good preaching. Continue reading →
In the company I keep (Baptist churches in the Southeastern United States) it is a common feature of every pray to end with the words “in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.” Whether you invoke the name of Jesus at the beginning or the end of prayer, it’s probably something you do or have heard done even if you are not fully aware of the reasons behind it. We should address our prayers to the heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, but it is important to understand why and not just keep repeating words because we’re supposed to. Continue reading →
The Read and Share File – it’s been a while since we did one of these but it’s pretty self-explanatory. Here’s a couple of posts and one video that I enjoyed and wish to to pass along. I’ve had enough time to surf lately that stuff’s piling up.
“One of the blessings of the World Wide Web is that we now have access to an unlimited number of opinions about any given subject. One of the curses of the World Wide Web is there is no search engine that screens for stupidity and poor judgment.”Continue reading →
UPDATE:This post talks about the persecuted church and what life is like for some Christians around the world. In his address today President Obama said in part: “As we give thanks for our liberties, we must never forget those around the world, including Americans, who are being held or persecuted because of their convictions. Let us remember all prisoners of conscience today, whatever their faiths or beliefs and wherever they are held. Let us continue to take every action within our power to secure their release. And let us carry forward our Nation’s tradition of religious liberty, which protects Americans’ rights to pray and to practice our faiths as we see fit.” Continue reading →
Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. Paul Wilkinson has compiled a collection of archived posts from Christianity 201 on the subject of prayer and this post at Everyday Student has several quotes on prayer (Joseph Smith and Rick Warren on the same list) and a huge collection of Bible verses on the topic. Continue reading →