Tag Archives: encourage

Why Don’t You Call Me Home?

Good morning, Father!  Thank you for a good night’s sleep (I wasn’t up even once) and my shoulder isn’t aching at all. Praise You for this beautiful day!

Philippians 1:20-26 (<<click the green)

Lord, I pray that throughout my life that I would have the perspective of Paul, torn between joining You (i.e. leaving this earth, it’s hardship and heartache) and staying here to lift up and encourage people on their journey with You.

Reading this passage I cannot help but think of wonderful followers of You who at the end of their earthly lives were so overwhelmed by physical adversity that their only desire was to leave this earth and join You. I could never think poorly of them for they were pillars of faith, mentors, individuals who taught me much of You and things I do in following You I gleaned from their influence (Grandma Provance and Rev. Tom Lasley). But they despaired and questioned why You let them linger here – why You didn’t call them home. You had Your holy reasons and I am sure You understood their responses. It makes me cry even now to think of their heartache in their last days!

Lord, You know my heart and You surely know my love for them. Help me continue to embrace their great love for You and how they strove to serve You and talked with You for they loved You dearly but I would ask that my heart’s desire, regardless of what would happen to my body or mind – and only You know the possibilities – would be that You would grow me to the point that I would give up being with You, and all that means, so that I could encourage one more person in their walk with You, would say one more prayer lifting up the down-trodden that they would persevere and overcome by standing faithfully by Your side.

I pray here and now that You would give me a heart for the lost, that I would be constrained to have the heart and soul of Pastor Rick Warren’s dad whose final breaths on this earth were “Got to save one more for Jesus!” over and over again! Lord, please give me Your heart, Your love for Your world! At this point it is not me – forgive me! I plead for Your courage to speak exactly what needs spoken!  I plead for Your tenacity to never give up on people but to be persistent in pursuing them for Your glory!

“Open My Eyes that I may see!” what You see!  Feel what You feel!  And act as you would act! Help this to become my overwhelming desire. “Mold me, make me, fill me, use me!” Praise and glory to Your Holy Name!

May 14th, Thurs, 6:55 am

I Need You

Good evening, Father. This weekend has been full. I am weary but it is important that I sit down with You. I am listening – may I hear what You would say to me. Amen.

I’ve begun a sermon series on the importance of the Holy Spirit playing an ever present role in our lives. As I preached through my sermon for the second time this morning, a closing paragraph grabbed my heart. I pray that those who hear what You lay upon my heart, Lord, are moved by You. Quite often I am moved in preparation and it is definitely not unusual that I am moved when I preach as well.

The paragraph, penned by Wes Humble when he was pastoring in Newark, Ohio some years ago, reads as follows:

“God I need you. I need you to keep changing me. I need you to make me more like you. I need you to help me love others like you. I need you to help me overcome my addiction. I need you to help me forgive. I need you to give me the right words to say at home, to my neighbor, to my friend. I need you to use me. I need you to work through me.”

The phrase “I need You…” occurs nine times in that short paragraph. I stressed to those listening this morning, that that concept is the crux of our walk with Christ. We lack the ability to walk alone. We will fail without You, Lord. We are utterly incapable of doing what we should do without You as a part of the equation.

As the week begins, Lord, I place myself squarely in line with You.  You state in Your Holy Word,

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  Matthew 11:29-30

Holy Spirit, guide me, direct me, stop me, encourage me, use me. “I need You…”

Aug 13th, Sun, 9:29 pm

Stand Firm

It is dark…but for the lamp by my chair. It is quiet…but for the occasional vehicle zooming by. In this moment, it is just You and me, Father. May I hear Your voice. May I follow Your leading. Amen

1 Peter 5:12-14 (<<click here)

Peter’s purpose in writing this epistle – this letter – is to encourage…and assure [us all] that what [we] are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for [us].” Then he states, Stand firm in this grace.”

Lord, as I sat here pondering these words, my mind was working in the attempt to form a picture, an example, of what it means. As I did so something that took place in the Old Testament came to mind and along with it a correlating hymn.

The Old Testament story is from Exodus 33:12-23. Moses and God had a very close relationship – they spent a lot of time together. Moses was the voice piece of God to the people of Israel. In the course of establishing his place in the will of God, he asked of God, Now show me your glory.” God agreed to do so. All His “goodness” would pass in from of [Moses].” He would “proclaim [His] name, the Lord, in [Moses’] presence.” God spoke of having mercy and compassion on whom He chose. In connection to today’s passage, I believe His grace fits in here as well.

But because no one sees God’s face and lives (v.20) due to the purity of His holiness he placed Moses in a “cleft of the rock” and covered Moses with His hand until He passed by. He saw God’s back but not His face.

No matter what life throws at us, we are truly in God’s hands and we can “stand firm in this grace.” Absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38-39

Oh, and that hymn? It is He Hideth My Soul written by Fanny Crosby.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

Lord, I cling to Your mercy, compassion, and grace. Amen.

Feb 25th, Sat, 6:25 am

GO!

Thank You, Father, for such a good day yesterday. It was a good day at work, with a luncheon served to supervisors by our management team. I enjoyed spending time with Karen running a few errands AND we picked Massey up at the airport for Christmas break! A great ending to a great day! Thank You, Father, for Your many blessings!

2 Timothy 4:1-2 (<<click here)

”preach the word of God.” – motivated by the fact that we all will stand to be judged by God

“patiently”– everything we do – “correct, rebuke and encourage” must be done with patience – love being implied

Lord, what a call to ministry! Timothy was being admonished by Paul, as am I. Timothy was a faithful pastor, as am I. But, Lord, this is not just a call to pastors. Jesus, You said that we all are to be Your witnesses “…to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) At that moment You were speaking to Your disciples but Your Great Commission is for us all. We are believers today because Timothy and thousands like him were faithful to their mission. And it is vital that we also spread the Good News. My Study Bible* states, “Half the people who have ever lived are alive today, and most of them do not know Christ.” What a task we find before us! Lord, may we all willingly, and enthusiastically answer Your call to proclaim You to our world. And, Lord, may we be patient, though diligent, in everything we do – loving people with the love only You can provide!

Dec 22nd, Tue, 8:52 am

Slander

I am thankful today, Father, for the many blessings in my life, family and friends, a good job (Kohl’s) and a fulfilling vocation (ministry), many, many material things and a loving God who wants to spend time with me!

2 Timothy 3:3b (<<click here)

“…slander…”

When I think of slander Lord, it seems to go hand in hand with gossip. The older I get, the more these traits bother me. Soiling someone else’s reputation or sharing tidbits of truth with little embellishments of our own accomplish no good. It is very tempting to want to hear (and spread) such maliciousness. Yes, we may be displeased with someone’s life choices or responses to things we hold dear which they disdain but how does it help us or others to disdain them in response. No one is lifted up (except maybe our egos), no one is encouraged – nothing changes except the downward slide of our attitudes. Lord, especially amongst co-workers and family may I not participate in such unfruitful behavior. It can be very difficult but please help me to love others even if what they do hurts myself or those I love and care about. Enable me to be the “salt and light” that You have called me to be (Matthew 5:13-16).

Nov 27th, Fri, 2:43 am (Black Friday)