Are you a good pray-er?
What you believe about God determines your prayer life. Matthew Six
Flying across America, from Boston back to California, reflecting just now I am. Apparently, Bostonians somewhat pride themselves on being skeptical; and if a university student, particularly skeptical about faith. Hmm, so I wonder if the praying lives of the Bostonians were measured against those of other states how they would compare.
A. W. Tozer said, ‘What we think…Continue
Added by Christine on April 30, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
The reason for prayer … and solitude. Matthew 6; Romans 12.2
This past week, I attended the ‘Q’ Conference in Boston, and among many influential thinkers, got to hear one of my favorite teachers, who has greatly influenced my thinking: Gordon MacDonald. MacDonald is now 75 and is still living the dream of serving God full out, with no sight of retirement in his vision1. His last book was aptly called The Resilient Life, and I saw firsthand how he is indeed living that life. But years…Continue
Added by Christine on April 28, 2015 at 6:49am — No Comments
“Lead us not into Temptation, but…” Matthew 6
This afternoon I got to pray the Lord’s Prayer in the Park Street Church in Boston, which is more than two hundred years old. I sat in the back with a great vantage point of the mixed congregation that seemed to have few blonde-haired individuals like myself. In front of me in the long, old pew was a family with darling twin girls about five years old—bows in their hair, dresses with ruffles…Continue
Added by Christine on April 27, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
I Forgive You. Matthew 6.14-15
Forgiveness. Perhaps one of the hardest things to render in all the world.
In the prayer he taught the disciples, Jesus talked about forgiveness. Depending on Bible translation or faith tradition, his words might be rendered, ‘Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’ or ‘forgive us our debts’ or ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’. Sins, trespasses, debts – no matter – if we want ours…Continue
Added by Christine on April 24, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Teach us to Pray. Matthew 6.9-14
Many people pray this prayer in times of trouble or sorrow, others just as part of a liturgy; still others when needing to connect and remember they have a Father above who is sovereign, even when things do not make sense to them. It is a prayer that seems to obliterate denominational lines, and unite Christ followers. If there were no other reason, I would love it for that.
It came to be at the asking of the band…
Added by Christine on April 23, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Was Jesus contradicting himself? Matthew 6.1-4
“Let’s get the record straight, Mrs. Adams—you said . . .” (The attorney asked, with an upraised eyebrow and an emphasis on the word ‘said’), and “now you’re saying something else? Which is it?” We’ve seen courtroom settings where a witness is being grilled with the apparent inconsistency of her statements. ‘Which is true—this or that? Did you mean this, and now you mean something else?! I see--is your…
Added by Christine on April 22, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
The Best Day Ever. [A Timely piece.] Ephesians 2.4-6
Today I was driving on the Pacific Coast Highway looking at the aqua blues of the ocean, which always puts a smile on my face and makes me think of the Creator. You know, some folks feel God in the mountains most keenly; yet others, in the desert. While I love the mountains, especially those covered with snow, I certainly see and feel God in the waves of the Pacific Ocean that crash faithfully upon the shore. Yes, I live in a surf…Continue
Added by Christine on April 21, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Matthew chapter Six, all of it.
Before we break it into sections, it is wise to look at a passage in its entirety. If you are looking at this Morning Briefing, you will note that all of Matthew chapter six is in red ink, meaning these are the spoken words of Jesus. He addresses doing our good deeds in front of people so as to earn the praise of others vs. doing them in private. Then Jesus answers the request of the disciples who ask him how to pray, by teaching them what some call…Continue
Added by Christine on April 20, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Default mode – God is Good.
When something in your world goes haywire, to what do you default? Sure, your computer has default settings, your brain has a default mode network, but do you, one that keeps you emotionally upright, when the world seems to have turned upside down? One that keeps its faith, even when shaken, but does not lose itself? In the recent days, I have been involved in relational settings—
--when a much-loved high school student died from leukemia at…Continue
Added by Christine on April 17, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Strength from the Rock.
Strength from the Rock. 1 Timothy 1.12; Psalm 61.2-3; Psalm 18.2
The phone rang twice from one son. The phone rang again from the next son. The phone rang yet again from the third son. I missed them all, because I had left my phone upstairs. All were calling about the same thing—a fallen brother. It has been more than a year now since Matthew (now 32) was diagnosed with epilepsy after blunt force trauma to the head, and he has actually been doing quite…Continue
Added by Christine on April 16, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Flashbacks and warm feelings. Matthew Five
Perhaps it happens most frequently with a photograph. We walk by the same picture hanging on the wall in our house every day, but on this day—we SEE it. We see it, and we remember, and it takes us back. For instance, on one wall of my home, there is a portrait of me lifting Amy’s (my daughter) veil to kiss her after she was just pronounced ‘…wife,’ with tears brimming in my eyes. Just like that, I am back in that wedding in the park and…Continue
Added by Christine on April 15, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Getting back to the Gospel of Matthew. (Chapters 1 – 5, recap)
Added by Christine on April 14, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Springtime and Growth.
Added by Christine on April 13, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Let it be Springtime in your Heart!
Springtime is here! With the harsh winter the East Coast of the United States endured, (pictured is a Chicago city street, but no doubt Boston and the New York area)-- all are looking for spring tulips to pop through the ground!…Continue
Added by Christine on April 10, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Why does the Resurrection Matter so Much? Easter, 2015. Last one.
Added by Christine on April 8, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Mary Magdalene, devoted believer. John 20.1-9…
Added by Christine on April 6, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Finished. Easter, 2015
The procession reached the top of Mount Calvary--Jesus and two criminals are to be crucified. Jesus is stripped naked, with his arms outstretched--a…Continue
Added by Christine on April 2, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Simon lightens Jesus' burden.
We follow Jesus on the road to the crucifixion . . . And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country and laid on him the cross to carry it behind Jesus. A virtual “nobody” lightens Jesus’ burden. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. Luke 23.26 and following. . .
Truth is, I was trying to devise…
Added by Christine on April 1, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments