James 1:2-4 (New International Version)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Prayer has been a significant part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether it was prayer before bed or a church-wide prayer event, I was consistently experiencing some type of prayer. As I grew up, the expression, "I'll need to pray about that," or "take it to prayer," became common usage in my communication. But, what does that really mean? I find that as I mature in my faith, I often ask the same thing of Jesus as disciples in Luke 11:1, "teach me to pray."
For many years I have read and reread the stimulating sermons of J Wallace Hamilton. He was the dearly loved pastor of Community Church in Pasadena, Florida. He was called there in 1932 and long before the term “mega-churches” was common-place in America, he pastored one. Ushers counted 3,450 cars one Sunday with families sitting in them and listening to messages from amplifiers on posts and in the trees to this instinctive, brilliant, present tense truth teller. The building held about 1,500, but over 8,000 of his members never came inside.
Whether you like your job or not, the best part of working is coming home to your family. In this season of life my favorite part is coming home and seeing my daughter when I come in…the way her eyes light up. The way she screams DADDY!!!!! And runs to me and wrap her arms around my leg.
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine. Our discussion centered on the ordinance of communion. He explained, “Sunday morning is the highlight of my week because it means that I can partake in communion.” He went on to explain, “this activity is so enriching because I feel in touch with Christ, at this moment, more purely than any other time throughout the week.”
Ever since The Message was published, I have been intrigued by Eugene H. Peterson and his writings. He insightfully shares about Jeremiah in his book Run with the Horses. Among the dramatic dialogues between Jeremiah and Jehovah, the LORD revealed that the divine purpose of Jeremiah’s life was to be found in knowing that God “gave” him to the nations.
I rarely hear leaders talk about it these days, but I am convinced that nothing is more important to the health and success of the believer’s experience than making room for the “Secret Place.” I define the Secret Place in this way.
Politically Correct=Pleasing a standard that was developed by a society. People of the society voluntarily accept a standard that has been placed upon them. It is an unofficial declaration. It is not based on an official absolute, therefore, it is subject to change according to the convenience and pleasures of that particular society
In Mark chapter five, Jesus confronts a demon who makes the statement “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High.” This is another way of saying, “What do we have in common?” Similar expressions can be found in the Old Testament (e.g. 2 Samuel 16:10;19:22), where they mean’ “Mind your own business!” The demon goes on to say “I implore you before God, do not torment me! The demon sensed that he was to be punished and used the most substantial basis for an oath that he knew, though his appeal to God was strangely ironic.