Listening

Been up since 4 AM,
Listening to the silence of a sleeping house.
Listening for the still, quiet voice of You.
Listening with expectant ears.
Listening with a hopeful heart.
Listening
This world is noisy and my ears are tired.
Too many voices.
Too many sounds.
But now the silence, oh the silence.

[Tick, tock]
[Distant car engine outside]
[House creaking]

Even those small noises are loud.
Longing for silence, if just for a moment.
No distractions.
Just You.
I need Your voice.
I’m here,
Listening,
For You.

Hope-Filled Heart

Merry Advent everyone! That’s right, Advent is here but better yet, Jesus is coming. No, not some earthly birthday party where presents are exchanged in celebration, but rather our King is coming – here – soon – to bring his Church home.
That’s the joy in my heart.
That’s the excitement in my soul.
That’s the longing of my heart – my hope.
So join me in worship as we sing praises to God our Father through Christ Jesus the Lord.


Father in heaven, it is fitting and natural to sing Your praises at all times and in all places as joy overflows from our hearts. You sent Jesus to be born in our likeness – to take on our frail form and then to suffer and die, only to shatter the fetters of death that we may be free. And now we anxiously await Jesus – this time to gather his church for an all-out banquet feast as we engage in uninhibited worship of You, oh God, with all the saints. And so, we prepare our hearts to receive our King as we join with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing our joy-filled refrains of praise to You.

Adventing

Everybody is waiting for something:
Sales
Opportunities
Meaning
Healing
Everyone is waiting,
and waiting,
for something.
Waiting anxiously
Waiting hopefully
Waiting expectantly

But how time is wasted waiting wrongly?
How much energy is expended?
How much hope is drained?

Dashed hopes

Wait on Jesus and you won’t be disappointed.
Hope
Peace
Joy
Love
Wait on Jesus

Thanking the Lord

I thank the Lord above that Santa Claus is coming tonight…

Thanksgiving has come and gone and thus the Christmas music season has begun. Overheard on my Pandora Christmas music station this morning were the above lyrics. Being the feisty pastor that I am, I immediately took notice –

thanking the Lord above that Santa Claus is coming tonight.

Hmmm, but I really should not be surprised by this because, after all, that is the mentality of our culture today: Materialism. Children clamoring and begging for the newest toys and gadgets. Adult scrambling for the best Black Friday sales. And apparently buying your spouse an expensive car for Christmas is so common place that car manufacturers produce Christmas commercials urging and supporting such a practice. [heavy sigh]

Yup, people left and right are thanking their lord (notice the small “l”) that new stuff is coming soon.

Each and every year I am reminded very quickly of the mission field in which we serve. You see, you don’t need to create opportunities to witness your faith – those opportunities are all around you. People are begging for meaning and purpose. They are grasping for something to which to cling. Your friends, family and neighbors are thanking the wrong lord. Make it a point this Advent and Christmas to thank the Lord (notice the capital “L” this time) above that Jesus Christ is coming to town…soon.

Yes, Jesus is coming. Through his death and resurrection (The best “door buster” ever), Jesus has conquered death and now is THE Way to eternal life. This is awesome news – that Jesus is coming to bring you home. And that my friends, is the best Black Friday deal around. There is no waiting in line for that. Just receive Jesus as your Lord, confess your sins and receive forgiveness, and repent – giving him thanks and praise.

Every Black Friday deal of this world will fade away and fall into obscurity. Jesus Christ is you Life and Hope and Salvation, forever and ever.

I thank You, Lord above, that Jesus Christ is here and coming to town for me, that I may live with him in everlasting peace and joy. Amen!

Bless My Child

I wrote the following prayer as I sat in my daughter’s room last night. We had just finished stories and prayer time. I tucked her in, kissed her forehead and said, “Good night my sweet“, and sat down to watch over her. She always wants me to stay until after she falls asleep, to which I am happy to oblige. As a sat looking at her I started praying and the following prayer started to take shape. I finished my prayer for my little girl and then prayed this for my little boy.

Parents, this probably goes without saying but I’ll it anyway:
Pray for your children.


Oh bless my child this night.
Give her rest.
Guard her dreams.
May she wake in the morning
With a smile that beams.
Protect my child this night.
Keep her life.
Guard her soul.
May she wake in the morning
Feeling that she is whole.
Thank you, God, for my child.
I’m thankful,
And praise You.
May she wake in the morning
And see a day that’s new.
Oh bless my child this night and always.
Give her peace.
Give her hope.
Give her Jesus.

Yes God!

Yes God! My Father and King, holy and true and reigning on high, it is right and salutary that i praise You always and everywhere and at all times. You sent Jesus to redeem a fallen creation – coming in love to save my soul. You reign in glory to shine Your light. Oh God, my King, defend me from those who would rip me away from Your love. Protect me from the Evil One – sending him scurrying away back to hell. Lead me through the storms that rage. Fix my eyes that I my fix them on Jesus. Tune my ears that I may listen to Your voice. Heal my hurts that I run to others – shouting the glory of Your name.
You are faithful and true.
Mighty and gentle.
Awesome and holy.
Oh God, my Father and King – YES! – it is right to praise You.

Aching Heart Prayer

I read a story this morning about a church for whom my heart aches. I hate to see them going astray and so I penned (as it were) this prayer that I plan to use in worship this morning. To God be the glory!


Holy God, I don’t claim to be perfect, but there are many straying from the truth – ones who once held to the truth but now have been seduced away. They have gone the way of the world in search of calmer and more peaceful waters. They search and search, drifting further and further away. They water down Your Word to make it more palatable. And worse yet, they think they are being faithful. Oh, my God and King, my heart aches for them. Their only hope is a supernatural breakthrough by Your Holy Spirit. And so, I boldly ask that You may steer them back on course. Send now Your Holy Spirit – not for the sake of unity but for the sake of Your glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Raise up faithful leaders in these apostate churches, oh God. Show them the Truth. Forgive them. Redeem them – as you have redeemed me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.