Of all times to have the airline lose my luggage! It was only my toiletries case with my one pair of good shoes, but of all places to wind up without them!
I’d flown out to Farmington, New Mexico, for a one-day seminar sponsored by the Southwest Christian Writer’s Association. “No one will care about your shoes,” Margaret, the group’s president, assured me.
Doubtless Margaret was right, but of all times. Even as I said it, a phrase came to mind:”……we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee.” At all times.
We met at the First Presbyterian Church. At the seminar’s close, several writers came up to the speaker’s stand. Suddenly there was a terrifying crack. Then a woman shouted, “Lie down! Everyone!”
Two men were outside, one of them brandishing a gun. The sound of exploding glass had come from the window. Later we learned that the men had been drinking and shooting at telephone poles. From the wall beyond the speaker’s stand the police recovered the tip of an electric screwdriver fired from a homemade pistol.
While Margaret filled out the police report, the rest of us said good-bye, each no doubt recalling a step forward or a delay that had kept him or her out of the line of fire.
For my part, I was tracing a trajectory, from the window to the wall, an inch over the spot where I’d been standing. I was thinking of a pair of two-and-half inch heels in a missing bag, and echoing a prayer:” ……we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to Thee, O Lord.”
By faith Sarah, herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
Prodigal: I think I will spend a couple of minutes praying before I leave.
Me: That is a great idea.
This is from the book Out Live Your Live by Max Lucado
Gracious Lord, in the Bible you are called “the One who sees me,” and I know that your eyes are always upon me to guide and protect and bless and correct. You have given me eyes too. Grant me the power to use them to truly see. Help me see those you put in my path–really see them, with all their hurts, their desires, their longings, their needs, their joys, and their challenges. As you open eyes, prompt me to open wide my arms to offer whatever help and encouragement I have to give.
In Jesus’ name I pray. amen.
Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.
Prodigal: Thinking about my prayers to God from the past.
Me: Great reflection
This is from J. Oswald Sanders in Robust in Faith
I asked of God that He should give success
To the high task I sought for Him to do;
I asked that every hindrance might grow less
And that my hours of weakness might be few;
I asked that far and lofty heights be scaled—
And now I humbly thank Him that I failed.
For with the pain and sorrow came to me
A dower of tenderness in act and thought;
And with the failure came a sympathy,
An insight which success had never brought.
Father, I had been foolish and unblest
If Thou hadst granted me my blind request.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
Prodigal: He’s so stupid he couldn’t roll rocks down a hill.
Me: I don’t know if that is the nicest thing to say to someone.
Prodigal: Probably not.
This is from the book The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven. This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion. We are at the opposite end of the pole from there. Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God,” and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence.
Today is a day to listen. Just listen.
The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
Prodigal: I understand, sometimes things cannot wait.
This is from the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan
LUKEWARM people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever. They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness (Matt 23:25-28).
If God had told me some time ago that He was about to make me as happy as I could be in this world, and then had told me that He should begin by crippling me in arm or limb, and removing me from all my usual sources of enjoyment, I should have thought it very strange mode of accomplishing His purpose. And yet, how is His wisdom manifest even in this! For if you should see a man shut up in a closed room, idolizing a set of lamps and rejoicing in their light, and you wished to make him truly happy, you would begin by blowing out all his lamps; and then throw open the shutters to let in the light of heaven.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.