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Genesis 11:26-12:4

After Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. This is the account of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. But Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the land of his birth, while his father, Terah, was still living. Meanwhile, Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. (Milcah and her sister Iscah were daughters of Nahor’s brother Haran.) But Sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children. One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran. The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

Genesis 11:26-12:4

Dear God, maybe we aren’t as great as we think we are. Maybe, sometimes, we are just convenient to your plan.

It’s interesting that Genesis doesn’t really give us any great insights into why you chose Abram. I imagine it had something to do with the fact that he was pretty much willing to do any weird thing you asked him to do.

  • Leave your family and go where I tell you (to be disclosed later). Okay
  • Listen to Sarah and send Hagar and Ishmael off to seemingly die. Okay.
  • Sacrifice your son on an altar to me. Sure.

I would imagine that the people around Abram/Abraham thought he was pretty weird. A religious zealot. But you gave him credibility through the blessings you gave him so I would imagine that was enough reason for the people around him to go along with him.

Is everything I just typed heresy? I don’t know. Maybe. But then I think of Paul. It certainly wasn’t his love for Jesus or goodness that made you call him. It was his zeal that you knew you could redeem and redirect for your purposes (is that more heresy?). Samson? Well, Samson was just a mess of a person, but certainly your person for a specific time. It certainly wasn’t his goodness or love for justice and mercy that earned him your favor. Jacob? A scoundrel if ever there was one, but you had some specific plan for this clan spawned by Abram through Isaac and Ishmael. Thousands of years later, and these are the two dominant religions in the world.

It makes me think of a Rich Mullins song called “Who God is Gonna Use.”

As part of the intro to this YouTube video he said, “Some people say, ‘Rich, don’t you feel like a phony talking about Christ?’ And I say, ‘No, I don’t because I don’t believe Christ loves me because I’m good.'” Then he goes on to sing about all of these people in the Bible you used about whom there was nothing particularly Godly. Balaam’s donkey. Pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses. Esther. Pilate.

So what’s my point in all of this? I think it’s that I can let go of any search for significance and rest assured that whatever significance you want my life to have you can accomplish with or without my decision to be significant. My job is to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love my neighbor as myself. I’m called to do that because you deserve that. As to my worth in your kingdom, one day you will hold me accountable for what I did or didn’t do with my life.

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Matthew 25:31-40

I’ll admit that I don’t try to solve every problem I see. I don’t think there is any way that I possibly can. But then again, that is why you have the body of Christ and not just me. My job is to be sensitive to what you are calling me to do.

Father, give me ears to hear and eyes to see. Help me to not embrace my own posterity, but to embrace you. Help me to also see others through your eyes. Help me to not judge. To not assign a “kingdom value” to them. I would have totally discounted Abram, Jacob, and Samson. There are national leaders whom I discount now. I definitely have my opinions about who should win the next election for president, and I will vote that way, but I can also recognize that I don’t know your heart on this and I will trust that you are working out a greater plan that I cannot see even if it looks on the surface like we are taking two steps backward.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2020 in Genesis, Hymns and Songs, Matthew

 

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“Peace” by Rich Mullins

Peace” by Rich Mullins

Though we’re strangers, still I love you
I love you more than your mask
And you know you have to trust this to be true
And I know that’s much to ask
But lay down your fears, come and join this feast
He has called us here, you and me

And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls
This drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

And though I love you, still we’re strangers
Prisoners in these lonely hearts
And though our blindness separates us
Still His light shines in the dark
And His outstretched arms are still strong enough to reach
Behind these prison bars to set us free

So may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls the drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In this Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Like those little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls the draught has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

Songwriters: David Strasser / Richard Mullins

Dear God, I was thinking about the potentially tumultuous day I have ahead of me today, and I thought of this song. I need your peace to fall on me today and then flow through me. I need it to fall on everyone at the office. I need it to fall on the patients and volunteers. I need it to fall on the staff. Peace. Peace of Christ.

What does “peace of Christ” look like? Well, it’s hard to explain because it is the peace that passes understanding. I cannot describe what the peace of Christ looks like, but I do know some things about it. First, it can get angry because Jesus did get angry. It also looks beyond the surface of others and sees them with your eyes. It comes from loving you with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving our neighbor as myself. It will help me to die to my rights and what makes me comfortable if it means doing what you’ve called me to do, and being truly okay with it.

Father, I am really going to need your wisdom, discernment, strength, and peace today. I submit myself to you and ask that you please be with me. Help me to be firm, but gentle. Help me to do something that is for your good and, ultimately, the good of everyone involved.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2019 in Hymns and Songs

 

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Funeral Songs (Part 3) – “Be With You” by Rich Mullins

For anyone reading along with these prayer journals, this is a series in which songs I would want played at my funeral. Here is a link to the original post for more explanation.

—-

Dear God, I’m up to the third song on my funeral song list and the last one for the slideshow. I decided to keep the slideshow all from Rich Mullins. In this case, this is the first ever funeral song I ever picked. I probably first heard this in my early 20s and I told my fiancé (now wife) that this would make a great song for my funeral.

Be With You” by Rich Mullins

Everybody, each and all, we’re going to die eventually
It’s no more or less our faults than it is our destiny
So now, Lord, I come to you asking only for your grace
You know what I’ve put myself through
All those empty dreams I chased

And when my body lies in the ruins
Of the lies that nearly ruined me
Will you pick up the pieces that were pure and true
And breathe life into them, and sent them free?
And when you start this world over again from scratch
Will you make me anew out of the stuff that lasts?
Stuff that’s purer than gold is, and clearer than glass can ever be
And can I be with you? Can I be with you?

And everybody, all and each, from the day that we are born
We have to learn to walk beneath, those mercies by which we are drawn
And now we wrestle in the dark with these angels that we can’t see
We will move on, although with scars.
Oh, Lord, move inside of me!

And when my body lies in the ruins
Of the lies that nearly ruined me
Will you pick up the pieces that were pure and true
And breathe life into them, and sent them free?
And blast this cosmos to kingdom come
When those jagged edged mountains I love are gone
When the sky is crossed with the tears of a thousand falling suns
As they crash into the sea
Then can I be with you? Can I be with you?

Well, it’s pretty obvious why I think this is a funeral song. What is it I want to say to those who ware at my funeral? I guess my message is, “It’s okay. I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

The first verse is really just about the reality of death. But the chorus is a worshipful response to that, acknowledging my sin–my lies, my selfishness, my vanity. Then it’s followed up by the hope. I will be recreated in a new Heaven. I will be yours. I will be your worshipper.

The second verse talks about the journey of life. It’s a struggle. It is, indeed, a journey of mistakes, wrestling with you, getting scarred up, but allowing the scars to make us stronger. Oh, Lord, even today, move inside of me!

Finally, the last chorus changes at the end and brings us to the end of Earth and the beginning of the new Earth and the new Heaven. If the apocalypse should come before my death, then can I be with you? Can I be with you?

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
 

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Funeral Songs (Part 2) – “The Love of God” by Rich Mullins

Dear God, as I go through the list of songs that I would have played as part of my own funeral one day, I’m up to the second one for the slideshow. In case anyone is reading these, here is a link to the first entry that will explain this a little more.

So now I’m up to “The Love of God” by Rich Mullins. I actually just journaled on this song a couple of weeks ago, but this is a different topic and reason for looking at this song so I’ll press on.

Here are the lyrics:

The Love of God” by Rich Mullins

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
I cannot find in my own
And it keeps this fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
It keeps me aching with the yearning
It keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless, raging fury
They call the Love of God

Now I have seen no band of angels
But I’ve heard the soldiers’ song
Love hangs over them like a banner
Love within them leads them on
To the battle on the journey
And it’s never going to stop
Ever widening their mercies
And the fury of his love

Oh, the love of God!
Oh, the love of God!
The love of God!

Joy and sorrow are in this oceans
They’re in its every ebb and flow
Now the Lord a door has opened
That all hell could never close
Here I’m tested and made worthy
Tossed about, yet lifted up
In the reckless, raging fury
That they call the love of God

I can’t for the life of me figure out why Rich said one time that he didn’t particularly care for this song. Was there something about it with which he disagreed? Were there too many times when he didn’t feel your reckless, raging fury of love?

Today, I want to focus on the mercy part of this song. In the second verse it says, “Now I have seen no band of angels/But I’ve heard the soldiers’ song/Love hangs over them like a banner/Love within them leads them on/To the battle on the journey/And it’s never going to stop/Ever widening their mercy/And the fury of his love.” It’s the journey that grows us. It’s the battle. It’s the battle against Satan. And we can fall victim to his plans or we can walk under your banner of love. Your love drives us forward. We carry your love and your Holy Spirit into the battle. And if we will stay under your banner then the battle will refine us and widen our mercy for others. It will also reveal to us more and more the fury of your love. Sorry, Rich, but you’re wrong. This is a great song.

Father, I am about to talk to a congregation about bitterness and unforgiveness. Absalom was obviously just going through the motions when he did sacrifices to you. It was a ritual to him–it wasn’t worship. If it had really been worship then he would have known that he would only be able to be king if you ordained it, not because he was good enough. Help everything that I do in relation to you be through true, God-seeking, Holy Spirit-driven, and Jesus’ redemption-receiving worship.

I pray all of this in Jesus’ name,

Amen

 
 

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Funeral Songs (Part 1) – “Elijah” by Rich Mullins

Dear God, I was talking with a friend recently about the songs I would want played at my funeral. I have a couple in mind, but as I woke up this morning and thought about praying to you in this journal, I got to wondering about those songs and what they say both about my relationship with you and what they reveal about what I want to say to others in one last message to them.

So, first, I need to look at the songs. Here is what I have:

If I can’t speak at my funeral, and I won’t get to write the eulogy, these will be my words to the people there. What am I trying to say with each one?

Elijah

The Jordan is waiting for me to cross through
My heart is aging, I can tell
So, Lord, I’m begging for one last favor from you
Here’s my heart, take it where you will
This life has shown me how we’re mended and how we’re torn
How it’s okay to be lonely as long as we’re free
Sometimes my ground was stony, and sometimes covered up with thorns
And only you could make it what it had to be
And not that it’s done, Well, if they dressed me like a pauper
Or if they dined me like a prince
If they lay me with my fathers
Or if my ashes scatter on the wind I don’t care!

When I leave I want to go out like Elijah
With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire
And when I look back on the starts
Well it’ll be like a candlelight in Central Park
And it won’t break my heart to say goodbye

There’s people been friendly, but they’d never be your friend
Sometimes this has bent me to the ground
Now that this is all ending, I want to hear some music once again
‘Cause it’s the finest thing I have ever found
But the Jordan is waiting, Though I ain’t never seen the other side
They say you can’t take in the things you have here
So on the road to salvation, I stick out my thumb and He gives me a ride
And His music is already falling on my ears

There’s people been talking, They say they’re worried about my sould
Well, I’m here to tell you I’ll keep rocking, ’til I’m sure it’s my time to roll
And when I do

When I leave I wan to go out like Elijah,
With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire
And when I look back on the stars
Well, it’ll be like a candlelight in Central Park
And it won’t break my heart to say goodbye

I think I want this song to kick off the slideshow (is this prayer too morbid?), but I think I’ll need to make sure the lyrics for all of these songs are provided for people to at least look at later.

Rich died in a dramatic car accident about one month shy of his 42nd birthday, but then I guess you know that. But I think he wrote this song in his 20s. I try to imagine him reading the story of Elijah and putting himself in Elijah’s position, but I’ve always found it interesting that someone so young could write the lyrics, “my heart is aging, I can tell.” I think there are moments, no matter how young we are, when we feel beaten down and our hearts feel old. Even a 15-year-old can experience an old-feeling heart. But there is something about this song that just feels hopeful. It speaks a message to me that says, “Yes, you can get tired on this journey, but there will be some goodness and some respite on the way–and believe me, there’s something amazing to come.

I really like the second verse when it talks about the music: “Now that this is all ending, I want to hear some music once again/’Cause it’s the finest thing I have ever found…So on the road to salvation, I stick out my thumb and He gives me a ride/And His music is already falling on my ears.” Obviously as a musician, Rich loved music. But I think most of us do. You built us to love music in a special way for some reason. Words put to a tune are even easier to remember than words without a tune. I like how he mentions here that he can imagine something that he loves this side of the Jordan is provided for, and even more so, on the other side of the Jordan.

Father, I think I’m going to spend the next few days going through these songs and thinking about why they touch me and what I hope they say about me and about you to those who are gathered to look back on my life. If nothing else, my desire is that they will see someone with flaws–many, many flaws–but who earnestly loved you and did his best to get over himself and point others to you.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Funeral Songs, Hymns and Songs

 

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“The Love of God” by Rich Mullins

The Love of God” by Rich Mullins

There’s a wide ness in God’s mercy

I cannot find in my own

And it keeps this fire burning

To melt this heart of stone

Keeps me aching with the yearning

Keeps me glad to have been caught

In the reckless, raging fury

That they call the love of God

Now I have seen no band of angels

But I’ve heard the soldiers’ song

Love hangs over them like a banner

Love within leads them on

To the battle on the journey

And it’s never going to stop

Ever widening their mercy

And the fury of His love

Oh, the love of God

Oh, the love of God

The love of God

Joy and sorrow are this ocean

It’s in their every ebb and flow

Now the Lord ad door has opened

That all hell can never close

Here I’m tested and made worthy

Tossed about, yet lifted up

In the reckless, raging fury

That they call the love of God

Dear God, I’ve always love this song—the reckless, raging fury. That’s not normally how we describe your love. We want your love to be gentle and warm, but that’s how we love. That’s how mortals do it. The omnipotent brings something else to the table. The perfect father has a love that I cannot fathom. And your desire is to break us down and mold us into the people we need to be.

As I think about the words to this song this morning, I have to confess that my heart is distracted by a difficult situation. I have a difficult thing to do, and it has to be done well. I woke up this morning thinking about it, and what I’m really wondering is how can I do it in love? How can I do it compassionately? What I’m facing feels like part of the ocean ebbing and flowing. It’s part of the sorrow that you use to form me. Oh, how I need you to help me.

Father, guide me. Guide me, please. And don’t let the pain of this situation be in vain. Make it count. Make it count for me and everyone else involved. Help me, please.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2018 in Hymns and Songs

 

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“Jesus” by Rich Mullins (performed by Ashley Cleveland)

“Jesus” by Rich Mullins (performed by Ashley Cleveland)

Jesus

They say You walked upon the water once

When you lived as all men do

Please teach me how to walk the way You did

Because I want to walk with You

Jesus

They say you taught a lame man how to dance

When he had never stood without a crutch

Well here am I Lord holding out my withered hands

And I’m just waiting to be touched

Jesus

Write me into Your story

Whisper it to me

And let me know I’m Yours

Jesus

They say You spoke and calmed an angry wave

That was tossed across a stormy sea

Please teach me how to listen how to obey

‘Cause there’s a storm inside of me

Jesus

Write me into Your story

Whisper it to me

And let me know I’m Yours

Jesus

They drove the cold nails through Your tired hands

And rolled a stone to seal Your grave

Feels like the devil’s rolled a stone onto my heart

Can You roll that stone away?

Dear God, this is one of those great songs that it’s a crime isn’t know better. Rich Mullins wrote it shortly before his untimely death. I say untimely, but I suppose everything is in your time. But it sure felt untimely at the time.

Anyway, I love the connection between Bible stories about Jesus and an aching heart here and now. I try to imagine Rich writing it and the emotions he felt that drove the request he makes in the song.

It opens simply enough: “Please teach me how to walk the way you did because I want to walk with you.” The more I become like Jesus the more closely I can be to him. No, that’s wrong. The closer I get to him and you the more I will walk like him and be like him. My salvation is one thing. My discipleship and transformation is another that I must grow into.

Then he moves on to needing healing: “Well here I am, Lord, holding out my withered hands. And I’m just waiting to be touched.” One of the first stages of the walk is seeking your healing. Healing my soul. Chris Pratt recently said in an awards show, “You have a soul. Be careful with it.” Well, a lot of us are careless with our souls, or others damage our souls. It’s really a combination of both. But we need your healing before we can really move along in our journey with you.

The next thing is tuning into you: “Please teach me how to listen and how to obey because there’s a storm inside of me.” It’s interesting that he made a connection between the storm Jesus calmed with listening to and obeying you. I don’t think I would naturally have made that connection, but I can see it. The storms that rage inside of me—the fear, the unsettledness, and the selfishness—all combine to drown out your voice. I need your healing and your calm to bring me to a place where I can hear you.

And finally: “Feels like the devil’s rolled a stone onto my heart. Can you roll that stone away?” Father, I can’t do this myself. I need you to do it. My wounded soul. My stormy heart. My sin. My selfishness. I cannot will it to be gone, and I cannot will myself to be acceptable to you. I am acceptable to you because of Jesus’ sacrifice and because you choose by your will to accept me. Thank you for this freedom.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in Hymns and Songs

 

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“Growing Young” by Rich Mullins and Beaker

Growing Young” by Rich Mullins and Beaker

I’ve gone so far from my home
I’ve seen the world
And I have known
So many secrets
I wish now I did not know
‘Cause they have crept into my heart
They have left it cold and dark
And bleeding
Bleeding and falling apart

And everybody used to tell me
Big boys don’t cry
Well, I’ve been around enough to know
That that was the lie
That held back the tears
In the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well, we are children no more
We have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits
And He watches down the road
To see the crying boys
Come running back to His arms
And be growing young, nah, nah
Growing young, nah, nah, nah, nah

I’ve seen silver turn to draw dross
I’ve seen the best there ever was
And I’ll tell you, it ain’t worth what it cost
And I remember my father’s house
What I wouldn’t give right now
Just to see him
And hear him tell me that he loves me so much

And everybody used to tell me
Big boys don’t cry
Well, I’ve been around enough to know
That that was the lie
That held back the tears
In the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well, we are children no more
We have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits
And He watches down the road
To see the crying boys
Come running back to His arms
And be growing young, nah, nah
Growing young, nah, nah, nah, nah

And when I thought that I was all alone
It was your voice I heard calling me back home
And I wonder now Lord, what was it that made me wait so long
What kept you waiting for me all that time
Was your love stronger than my foolish pride
Will you take me back Lord
Take me back and let me be your child
Because I’ve been broken now, I’ve been saved
I’ve learned to cry and I’ve learned how to pray
And I’m learning, I’m learning even I can be changed

And everybody used to tell me
Big boys don’t cry
Well, I’ve been around enough to know
That that was the lie
That held back the tears
In the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well, we are children no more
We have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits
And He watches down the road
To see the crying boys
Come running back to His arms
And be growing young, nah, nah
Growing young, nah, nah, nah, nah

 

Dear God, I first heard this song nearly 25 years ago, and although I loved it at the time, I never knew how much it would come to mean to me. At the end of the day, we all need to have our wills broken to the point where we are willing to submit to you. And it comes easier to some that it does to others. The harder the heart, the more time it takes to break.

I have those in my life now for whom I pray this song and the sentiments of this song. Some are relatives. Some are friends. And I am in there too. You are still working on my heart and drawing it into yourself. I’m still learning to get over myself. I’m still learning to repent and pursue holiness. I’m still learning to look to you for my happiness and fulfillment.

Father, I’m willing to cry, so that’s a start. I’m willing to express my hurt and my faults. That’s a start too. The last 25 years have brought wounds and scars, but they have also brought me compassion, wisdom, love, and humility. Be glorified in me and please help those whom I love.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2018 in Hymns and Songs

 

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Pressed but not crushed

Dear God, over the last couple of days, I’ve spent a lot of time delving back into some stuff that was important to me back in the 90s. One is the music of Rich Mullins. The other is a book called The Tale of Three Kings. The latter is a simply written book looking at King Saul, King David, and Would-be King Absolom.

I was in my 20s back then and life looked very different to me. I have scars now that I didn’t have then. I have some wisdom that was learned by being pressed but not crushed (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). It seems, however, that I laid enough foundation in my faith to have kept me here, praying to you. For that, I’m very grateful.

And now I’m watching my kids enter their 20s. One of the hardest things to do as a parent is let them grow and walk in the path you have for them when it looks so different than the path you had for me. I remember when they were in high school and telling a friend that I don’t know what it looks like to “turn my children over to God.” I’m still not where you draw that line as the parent of a teenager. It’s easier for me to find now, although I do find myself tempted to intervene.

I’m re-reading The Tale of Three Kings and the basic thesis of the book is that you used Saul and his treatment of David to mold David into your king. The suffering David experienced at Saul’s hand made him a better king than he ever would have been on his own. As I look at my life, sure, I’ve suffered at times, but I still have enough perspective to acknowledge that my suffering has not been beyond what I could bear, or close to what others have suffered. But I can say with certainty that it was the low times that taught me the most about loving you.

Father, help me to keep from getting in the way of anything you are teaching my children. As I bless them and turn their paths over to you, help me to have faith in you that it’s all okay. Like the father who cried out for his child, my words to you are, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. (Mark 9:24)

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2018 in 2 Corinthians, Mark

 

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Emails to God – “Peace” by Rich Mullins

Though we’re strangers, still I love you
I love you more than your mask
And you know you have to trust this to be true
And I know that’s much to ask
But lay down your fears, come and join this feast
He has called us here, you and me

[CHORUS:]
And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls
This drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

And though I love you, still we’re strangers
Prisoners in these lonely hearts
And though our blindness separates us
Still His light shines in the dark
And His outstretched arms are still strong enough to reach
Behind these prison bars to set us free

[CHORUS:]

[CHORUS:]

Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

Dear God, how do I best communicate that someone who is ashamed of themselves is safe in my presence? Better still, how do I best communicate to them that they are safe in your presence?

I have always loved how this song starts: “Though we’re strangers still I love you, I love you more than your mask.” Just the acknowledgment that we know there’s a mask there (we all have one on), and it’s okay.

Laity Lodge is my favorite place on earth. What makes it so special? Is it that it is a lovely setting in the beautiful Texas Hill Country? Is it the great food or terrific Bible teaching at the retreats? That’s all great, but there is something that Howard Butt, Jr., established there over fifty years ago that is still true today. It is a safe place. It is a place where people who feel awful or even unsure about themselves and their sin before you and everyone else and turn it into a feeling of being loved and accepted.

Father, help me to 1.) feel safe in your presence, and 2.) help others to feel your love, compassion and “safeness.” Your outstretched arms are still strong enough to reach behind our prison bars to set us free.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Hymns and Songs

 

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