New Testament Christianity
October 27, 2016

Many people talk about “revival in our nation,” but not everyone thinks deeply and clearly about what this involves.

A. W. Tozer was a pastor, author and magazine editor in The Christian and Missionary Alliance church. He lived from 1897 to 1963. Here are his comments on revival and prayer from this book Keys to the Deeper Life.

“Prayer for revival will prevail when it is accompanied by radical amendment of life; not before. All-night prayer meetings that are not preceded by practical repentance may actually be displeasing to God. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” We must return to New Testament Christianity, not in creed only but in complete manner of life as well. Separation, obedience, humility, simplicity, gravity, self-control, modesty, cross-bearing; these all must again be made a living part of the total Christian concept and be carried out in everyday conduct.”

Will you join those who are returning to real Christianity?

Preparing for Christmas
December 4, 2015

The following is an Advent prayer written by Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Roman Catholic priest, theologian and writer, who lived from 1932 to 1996.

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

 

Prayer for the work we do
September 12, 2015

I came across a prayer about work, which I then edited it for greater clarity. I welcome any comments you may have.

Lord Jesus, as I enter this workplace, I bring your presence with me. I speak your peace, your grace and your perfect order into the atmosphere of this place. I acknowledge your lordship over all that will be spoken, thought, decided and accomplished within this place of work.

Lord Jesus, I thank you for the gifts you have given to me. I do not take them lightly but commit myself to using them responsibly and well. Give me a fresh supply of truth, patience and love on which to draw as I do my job.

Anoint me with creativity, ideas and energy. Help me to see that even my smallest task can bring you honor if I offer it to you. When I am weary, send fresh strength and power from your Holy Spirit.

Grant that the work I do and the way I do it will bring blessing and encouragement to all whom I contact today. And even in my most stressful moments, grant that I may rest in you.

In the name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

 

Pray Often
October 19, 2012

All our lives we will keep learning the value of prayer and learning to pray. Here is a quote to stir your thinking.

“Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” John Bunyan

Christmas Eve in Bethlehem
December 24, 2011

As JoLene and I planned this trip, we were eager to include being at Manger Square in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Again this year the Jerusalem Baptist Church, located at 4 Narkis Street, was planning a bus load to go to Bethlehem, and we were pleased that seats were available for us.

The group was international, with people from Japan, India, Holland, Norway and Canada, to name a few.
(more…)

The Worst Possible Exchange
November 18, 2011

The Bible has many promises for our encouragement and comfort; the Bible has many warnings to keep us from straying from what matters most.

Has any nation ever exchanged its gods?
(Yet they are not gods at all.)
But my people have exchanged their Glory
For worthless idols.
Jeremiah 2:12

Which leads to sober reflection.
What are the common idols that beset and mislead the church in the West?
What idols am I blindly and subtly beginning to serve?
How can I keep my allegiance strong to God my Glory?
What spiritual disciplines can help me stay God-focused rather than me-focused?

“God, help us to honor and treasure you as our Glory. We turn away from all idols to serve you as the true and living God. Even the good things – our families, our comfort, our good feelings when the work we do for you seems to go well – even these things we demote to second or third place. Only you are number one. Help us never to trade you off for anything. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

The Last Novena
June 26, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011
Quetzaltenango (or Xela), Guatemala

For various reasons, the family decided to hold seven, not nine, novenas following Mayela’s death, so tonight was the last one. Like the others, it was held in Melanie and Julio’s apartment. About 30 people crowded in.
(more…)

Praying Together
May 15, 2011

At this retreat in Spain there are several teams of two people available to pray with anyone who wants prayer. JoLene and I are one of these prayer teams. It is a privilege to listen to an individual or couple talk about the issues of life and the needs they feel, and to pray for them.

In the face of the big issues of life we feel we don’t know how to pray adequately, so we take heart from these words in the Bible:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according with God’s will.”
Romans 8:26-27

Guatemala – Tuesday, November 16, 2010
November 17, 2010

Every Tuesday the InnerCHANGE teams around the world have a prayer time, a combination of Scripture readings and prayer. Melanie led the Xela prayer time today. JoLene and I attended.
(more…)

The Bigger Picture
November 26, 2008

Sometimes we get discouraged when we see how huge is the task of doing the work of the kingdom of God and how small our efforts are. The remedy for such discouragement is to look clearly at God’s larger purposes and see oursleves in light of those purposes.

This is what is expressed the statement that follows.

(more…)