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Showing posts from January, 2009

Thoughtful Praying

OK, I've been thinking about this for years. I'm finally going to blog about it. Hopefully it will jog some thinking in the lives of others the way it has in mine. I'm talking about those thought-less public prayers that often revolve around memorized phrases, or throw in the words, "Father", "Lord", "Dear Jesus" as punctiation. I think that quite often when people are called on to pray in public, they pray more for the hearing of the people in the room than for the audience of One. I also have a problem with the perfunctory prayer to open and close meetings. Not that it is a bad idea, but that it very seldom means anything except to signify that the meeting is about to start or end.
I think that the privilege of prayer is not to be taken lightly. We are to give thought to what we pray. If that means writing it down before we lead in prayer, then so be it. I know, there are many people who hate the thought of a written prayer, but I…

Home Again! How Sweet it Is!

Well, we finally got home. Our 2 1/2 week holiday vacation turned into almost 4 weeks. The last week and a half were spent waiting for our van to be repaired. We were fortunate that the breakdown occurred near relatives, so we didn't have to bear the extra expense of motel and fast food. Be that as it may, it was good to finally pull into our driveway at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night after a 12 hour trip. Although there were still Christmas decorations to take down, pack and store, and a months worth of mail and newspapers to sort through, sleeping in our own bed was worth it.
Next week, the Lord willing, I will celebrate my 70th birthday. One thing that I'm becoming increasingly aware of is that the older I get, the more home sick I become. I'm talking about my eternal home; with Jesus. I don't have a death wish. I'd rather Jesus show up (as long as my last two grandkids are saved). But, I'm ready to be HOME. I really understand where Paul was coming fro…

Redeeming the Time

In Paul's writings on a couple of occasions he reminds us to "redeem the time because the days are evil." I'm practicing that right now. Not that I have come up on "evil days", but I have a situation that is out of my control. I can either fret or choose to redeem the time. I should have been back in Florida a week ago last Saturday (Jan. 10). Instead, due to a major melt-down of our van, I'm cooling my heels (literally...it's been cold in AL) for the past 9 days. We have passed two promised deadlines for the repair, and are coming up on the third tomorrow. Each repair seems to reveal something else that is amiss.
Anyhow, I have chosen to use the time to read, pray, and work on some books that I am writing. In the meantime, I'm meeting new people almost everyday, and being reminded of life in a REALLY small town. My wife went to Dollar General Store the other day. When she mentioned that to a resident, their remark was, "Oh, you…

Circumstances

Words fascinate me. I love to find out their etimology (another neat word). The word "circumstances" would seem to me to mean; "circum" or surrounded, "stance" or position. A surrounded position. I find myself in a surrounded position today. Yesterday, on our way to visit my wife's mom in the nursing home at Aliceville, AL, suddenly our van lost power, then pretty much, locked up. After getting towed to a garage, picked up by my brother-in-law, we finally got a rough estimate of $1200. The major problem was a broken timing belt, which we had replaced only a month ago. Calls to the mechanic in FL who had done the work, did not provide any financial help as we had hoped. Finally we called my brother back in Cullman and he and his wife drove down to pick us up. We're back in Cullman while our van in waiting in Reform, AL for parts to be delivered on Wednesday. Looks as if we will be at least a week late returning to FL.
All of this is the b…

Focus

I'm currently reading Erwin McManus' book "Wide Awake". The portion I've been reading today is about focus. One of the lines from the book is "You always hit what you're looking at.". Sounds simple doesn't it? However, with so much going on around us at any given time, it is easy to get distracted. I've always been a person with many interests. I jokingly say that I'm mediocre at many things and not really good at any one thing. Kind of like the old saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none.". In college I had a professor tell me that I'd never be great because I had too many interests. He said that most great people were focused on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. That used to bother me until I began thinking of people like Leonardo Di Vinci; Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Albert Schwitzer. All of these guys had multiple interests, and were accomplished in many fields. It seems to me that…

Family

We just enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner with my brother, sister and their spouses. Even though there is as much as eight years difference in our ages, we all got married the same year, and are all still married to the same spouses (going on 43 years). As we ate, chatted and reminised, it was almost as if we haven't been separated by almost 1,000 miles. Family is a wonderful creation of our Heavenly Father. Even more than the nuclear family, we have our local church family and the family of all believers. I've had the privilege of some international travel, and found that, even with language and culture differences, the familial bond of common belief in our Lord causes one to feel right at home. Because I've been a believer for most of my life, I really don't recall what it was like to be without this extended family. I can't imagine how the vast number of unbelievers cope without such a support system.
Quite often when one is sharing the gospel with an unbel…