Tag Archives: guide

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

I Can Do It Myself

I come before You this morning, Father, to hear what You have for me this day. May I listen attentively and follow Your leading. Amen.

One of the biggest struggles in following You, Lord, is getting out of the way. The “I can do it myself” mentality can so get us in trouble.

A portion of this morning’s Puritan prayer reads,

Thou hast taught me the necessity of a Mediator, a Messiah…
…and this by faith in thy beloved Son who teaches me
not to guide myself,
not to obey myself,
not to try to rule and conquer sin
but to cleave to the one who will do it all for me.

It is a fairly common occurrence at work (Kohl’s) to see a parent with a young child who insists on pushing their cart. On many occasions, the child can barely reach the handle; much less see anything that lays ahead – fixtures, displays, little old ladies, etc. The child proclaims emphatically (and quite often loudly) “I can do it myself!” But mom or dad must stay close by, must be ready to react at a moment’s notice or problems can quickly ensue.

I’m just glad that I never… who am I kidding?! It has been a fairly common occurrence, in my life, to see a parent – You – with a child – me – and I insist on (fill in the blank). I can’t see what lies ahead…but You do.

When it comes to my spiritual walk, I have had to learn my lesson. I cannot “guide” or “obey myself.” I am totally inept in my attempts “to rule and conquer sin.” My only hope of success is to “cleave to the one who will do it for me.” Only in You will I find success. You alone can bring me victory. My Lord and Savior guide me, help me to be obedient to You. Enable me to leave the ruling and conquering of sin to You. You are the Parent – I am Your child.

Sept 18th, Sun, 6:35 am

One and Only Son

Massey 03

Father, thank You so much for the blessing of the last several days. Massey has been home from school and I have cherished the time You have given us to be together. Karen and I are grateful to have this fine young man in our lives – to have had the privilege to guide and protect as he grew up. As he heads back to school today, please keep Your hand upon his shoulder. Draw him to You more and more each day. You know not a day goes by that I do not lift him up to You – that You would guide and direct him, that You would bring people after Your own heart into his life. I do so again today.

It is hard for my mind to conceive that You could love him more than I do, but You surely do! I cannot be by his side through all the comings and goings of his life – but You can. I cannot help him stay true to You when temptation comes – but You can. I cannot give him a place of refuge when life comes at him from every side – but You surely can.

Many years ago, I gave my one and only son over to You and he could be in no better hands. I don’t know what the future holds for any of us but we are all in Your care.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9

Mar 18th, Fri, 5:15 am

Prayer and a Good Grilled Cheese

Father, thank You for a good night’s sleep and for gently waking me this morning. Your love is such a constant in my life. It is a river of peace and encouragement which never runs dry. What an awesome source of refreshment and sustenance! Help me to drink from it throughout this day. Remind to “jump in” when I need revived. Enable me to be a beacon shining bright, so others may share in this great Resource, too!

Colossians 4:2 (<<click here)

“Devoted to prayer”  “alert mind”  “thankful heart”

Some of the best things in life are not complicated. We can make them complicated but at their core they are quite simple, sort of like a grilled cheese sandwich. Even I can make a good grilled cheese. All it takes is bread, cheese and butter. It’s not that difficult.

Prayer – it’s not that difficult. Paul’s recipe is quite simple – devotion, an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Lord, help me to pray. Sometimes we feel like it has to be this huge list of requests that is tough to get through and we just can’t take the time to go through it in one sitting. Paul elsewhere directs us to “never stop praying” I Thessalonians 5:17 and our initial response is usually “I can’t pray all the time – I have way too much to get done!” When Paul says to “devote ourselves to prayer” it’s more of a mindset. “Lord guide and direct me throughout this day.”

Prayer is not just about talking – it’s also about listening. Getting in the habit, devoting ourselves to prayer helps us to be more attuned to hearing God’s voice of guidance. And that’s where an “alert mind” comes in. Lord, we have to pay attention! So many things distract us! And we have to be alert because as Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8 our “enemy the devil prowls around like a raging lion looking for someone to devour” Prayer helps us to pay attention to do good and to avoid and/or stand up to evil.

The last ingredient then, is a “thankful heart.” There is nothing better to keep us focused in life. Humble gratitude enables us to realize that we didn’t get where we are through sheer talent and hard work. Those are surely elements but they are also gifts our Creator has given us. Understanding that keeps as focused on Him – we need His support and guidance to get us through this life. Being thankful also goes a long way to keep our own pride in check. Acknowledging God’s generosity in our lives keeps us humble. This makes us better servants, too. We all are part of God’s loving creation and we are called to love each other.

Lord, this day and in all the days ahead, may I be devoted to prayer, help my mind to be alert to You and what’s around me and help me to give thanks when it is due and to humbly serve You in my interactions with others. Amen!

July 2nd, Thurs, 6:59 am

Definitely check out the movie, War Room, it’s a great motivator for prayer!

What? Me Worry?

Thank You, Father, for a wonderful day yesterday!  I enjoyed our worship times and am so grateful that we could feel Your presence there. Please, help me more and more to come in time with You…with what You want to take place at both Beulah and Liberty Chapel. Also, thank You for such a great day with Karen and Massey, I cherish our times together! As life marches on, these times, as You well know, get farther and farther apart. Bless our time with one another; Help us savor every moment, Father, thank You for my family!

Philippians 4:6 (<<click here)

“Don’t worry about anything: instead pray about everything.” v6a

I sit here worrying about how to respond to this passage. I sit here praying about how to respond to this passage. That’s just crazy! As I read this passage, my first thought was, “I don’t worry that much.” Now maybe there are things I don’t worry about that others do but I do worry about things. Some of those things to others would be silly. Like, many times I would really like responding to people’s posts on Facebook – I find things inspiring or sometimes posts just touch me, they make me think, they make me realize important things, they bring tears to my eyes. But then I worry, what should I say, how should I say it, will they think I’m stupid, or odd or that I’m out of touch with reality or that I’m putting too much in to what they were saying. And this can occupy my thoughts for hours. That’s just crazy!

Lord, help me…Your Word says, “Don’t worry about anything.” Guide my thoughts and actions in directions that will impact Your kingdom. If something I can say or do will draw someone to You or shed a ray of light into the darkness of this world or will provide others with a quick embrace of Your love… so be it.

Jesus, help me to pray – and act – worrying just keeps the wheels spinning but gets me, nor Your kingdom anywhere.

Lord, You surely work in wonderful ways! I’ve told You “what [I] need” v6b And right now “I thank you for all you have done” v6c and all You will do. You love me and You want me to succeed – not success as the world defines it, but success in that I will more and more fulfill my role as Your child – bringing glory to Your name!

June 1st, Mon, 8:28 am