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Category Archives: Prayer

A Devotion of Praise and Thanksgiving

O MY GOD, prayer on rock silhouette

Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,

my heart admires, adores, loves thee,

for my little vessel is as full as it can be,

and I would pour out all that fullness before thee

in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee

ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,

ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,

ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,

crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,

for adorning it, sanctifying it,

though it is fixed in barren soil;

for the body thou hast given me,

for preserving its strength and vigour,

for providing senses to enjoy delights,

for the ease and freedom of my limbs,

for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,

for a full table and overflowing cup,

for appetite, taste, sweetness,

for social joys of relatives and friends,

for ability to serve others,

for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,

for a mind to care for my fellow-men,

for opportunities of spreading happiness around,

for loved ones in the joys of heaven,

for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language

to express,

for what thou art to thy creatures.

 

Increase my love, O my God, through time

and eternity.

 

Valley of Vision is copyrighted by Banner of Truth

 

 
 

Praying for Renewed Strength

True story. I blew it on Christmas Eve. It was a disaster. I knew I shouldn’t have made my famous peanut butter fudge. The sampling of it was all it took to get me “out of the box” (HMR weight management term). We had all of our adult children over for Christmas Eve, and quite a few delicious foods were being served. It was pretty overwhelming. I gave into the temptation to eat outside of the newly created diet box for the first time in over 13 weeks. Looking back this morning I have figured out what went wrong. We were so busy preparing for the arrival of everyone that I didn’t consider to plan for my meals so by the time the foods were being prepared I was pretty hungry, and gave into eating naughty things. Next time, Lord willing, I plan on being prepared.

My bride had to work on Christmas day so it was a little easier to eat the foods I should be eating. Today I have been praying for renewed strength and self-control, and the Lord has been faithful. I have the day off and got on the treadmill for 35 minutes first thing this morning. After a hot cereal with banana and some cleaning, I made a double protein shake with PB2 and took it and a bottle of water up to the exercise room and worked out my shoulders and triceps for another 30 minutes. I am feeling re-vitalized and strengthened. The Lord is good. Always!

Soli Deo Gloria!!

 

Casting your lots

While scanning some of my daily news sources I came across a headline that caught my eye and proceeded to read the article. The article began by talking about the new comedy film titled “Lottery Ticket” featuring the rapper known as Bow Wow. I have seen the trailer for this movie and it does  look pretty cute and entertaining. I can tell by the trailer the movie pokes fun at the silly and ridiculous scenarios folks who win millions in the lottery get themselves into. But when those same scenarios occur in real life it is quite sad. I’m sure we’ve all read some stories about folks who win millions and five years later have to file for bankruptcy or worse end up homeless or dead. The age old wisdom says that what is in the heart remains in the heart. Money does not change it. The same article points to this heart flaw by reporting some statistics of past lottery winners. These winners / losers have the same heart flaw as the sinful servant in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), only worse because they tend to lose it all. There is a difference though. The talents in the parable were given to the servants by their Lord to invest. The lottery winners are given the money based on the purchase of a ticket with the same numbers as the lot that is cast or the modern-day randomly selected batch of numbers. I liked how the author of the article concludes the article with a quote from an economics professor that reads:

If you’re one of those people who fantasizes that winning the lottery will fix your financial woes, it’s time to stop dreaming and get a real handle on your money.

This quote got me to thinking again about financial stewardship and what the scriptures have to say about lotteries and gambling. Now the bible does not explicitly say “Do not gamble”, and I’m sure some folks will question this by referring to the disciples casting lots to choose the replacement of Judas. God spoke to the apostles through that method to determine His will in the matter. The only means of financial gain the bible encourages is through hard work, inheritance, or by wise investment. Grace To You resources presents five reasons gambling is wrong.

  1. Because it denies the reality of God’s sovereignty (by affirming the existence of luck or chance)
  2. Because it is built on irresponsible stewardship (tempting people to throw away their money)
  3. Because it erodes a biblical work ethic (by demeaning and displacing hard work as the proper means for one’s livelihood)
  4. Because it is driven by the sin of covetousness (tempting people to give in to their greed)
  5. Because it is built on the exploitation of others (often taking advantage of poor people who think they can gain instant wealth)

My bride and I have been attending a series of seminars on how to properly use our resources for financial gain. This article and the thoughts it invokes, bring the principles we’re learning, and the principles taught in scripture about stewardship to the forefront of my praying. I pray that anyone reading this post will consider that God owns it all and ask yourself, as I will, would He approve of the way your are using those resources He has entrusted you with. I am by no means a great example, but by God’s grace and wisdom I am learning. Stewardship Rawks!!

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2010 in Christianity, gambling, lottery, Prayer

 

Puritan Quote – John Owen

No heart can conceive that treasury of mercies which lies in this one privilege, in having john-owen-bigliberty and ability to approach unto God at all times, according to his mind and will.

This quote from the Puritan John Owen was mentioned in his work  The Discourse of the Work of the Holy Spirit in Prayer. In the context of this work Owen follows with:

It is a matter of praise and glory to God, in an especial manner, that He hath granted an amplification of this privilege under the gospel. The spirit is now poured forth from above, and enlarged in His dispensation both intensively and extensively.

Which is to say that we, as believers, should not take lightly this treasure and resource from the Lord. To even imagine the wealth of wisdom and grace would be a fruitless effort on our part. In preaching to myself I would have to ask, what prevents me from participating in this freedom and going to the throne of grace? It is only sin that prevents me.  My old nature. By God’s grace alone I shed this old man and seek after His mind and His will.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2009 in Holy Spirit, John Owen, Prayer, Puritan, quotes

 

Ray Boltz has come out of the closet.

I remember listening to Ray Boltz when my wife and I first discovered Christian music many years ago. He sang some pretty moving songs like “Watch the Lamb” and “I Pledge Allegiance To the Lamb”. Thinking back I don’t recall how theologically sound the lyrics were, but he still had quite an impact on the Christian music world. Now he has “come out” as the homosexual society puts it, and says he is happy again. Oh how the heart can deceive us into believing what makes us happy is right. There is an informative and interesting article about Ray Boltz at The Washington Blade that sheds some light on this story.

How should we think about this? There is a simple illustration I can think of. I am unhappy about having to obey the traffic laws, especially when I am in a hurry to go somewhere. It would make me very happy if I could ignore those laws in those times that are not convenient to me. But the traffic laws have a reason, and that reason is to keep us all safe while we are driving. God has given us laws as well. Whether we like them or not they do exist. Unlike state laws, these laws from God are not negotiable or subject to legislative changes. I believe that some of His laws exist to keep us safe as well. Regardless of the reason they exist, God, the Creator, demands that we obey them. These laws have been revealed to us in his scriptures. As believers in Christ we can choose to obey them or not. But please don’t fool yourself into believing there will not be consequences or an accounting for the foolish decision to ignore them.

As for Ray Boltz, we should be praying for him and his family. We should also be praying for those who will stand up and not be passive while this kind of behavior continues to filter into the local churches. We should also pray that we would make this stand in love and for the ultimate repentance and restoration of those like Ray Boltz. This brings up a thought for consideration. Can you be a Christian and also be gay? Please consider reading 1 Corintians 6. In verses 9 and 10 of that chapter you will find:

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

The apostle Paul goes on to write to the Corinthians in verse 11:

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The scriptures make it clear that believers of Christ have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Christ. We should no longer practice those former things. That is great news. Only by trusting in the Christ, will you have the power to fight against those former sinful things. Amen?

ht: Christian Theology Blog

 

Blogging from Cincinnati

I just wanted to post a small update. This weekend we are in Cincinnati, Ohio for the Schneider family reunion. Yesterday we met with some family I haven’t seen in years and Robin has never met. We had a nice dinner at the hotel last night and visited with my cousin Judy and her husband Howard (nicknamed Ole Weird). Howard raises bees for a hobby and he had some interesting information about the nature of bees. My Rib was quite interested, so we may have some hives in our yard before long. I would suspect she will blog about it sometime soon. Today we went to Jungle Jim’s, which is a huge international market. We also drove downtown to the Ohio river so we could get some photos. Please pray for opportunities to present the gospel to those family members who are not believers, and pray for sweet fellowship with those who are believers. We are having a blessed time with family. All glory belongs to God. Soli Deo Gloria!

 
 

Prayers have been answered – an update

Although we will miss her, my mother went home to be with Jesus Thursday morning May 22nd. She is absent from her worn out earthly body and now present with our Lord. I want to thank everyone for their prayers for our family. God is so faithful and I delight in His eternal righteousness. I just wanted to share a verse of hope for those who have ever exprienced the death of a loved one who is a believer.

1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened, not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.

2 Corinthians 5:1-11  

And one more verse found at the end of Psalm 16.

11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Holy Scripture speaks of this joy in the presence of the Lord and what is being prepared and waiting for us in heaven. If you have an unbelieving family member, please be steadfast in your prayer for them. May God draw them to Himself and grace them with the salvation only found in His Son Jesus Christ.

Mary Katherine Mauney Schneider: January 13th, 1940 – May 22nd, 2008