Monday, January 30, 2006

Teach Us to Pray Part 2 (Susan's blogging debut)

I sat and watched Freddy T. last night as he posted his blog on prayer. So I thought today I would give it a try and add to his thoughts. I began using Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotion book during some of my personal times with the Lord this year. On January 15th he talked about praying and asking God to keep his promises.

Draw the word of promise out of its sheath and use it with holy violence. Think not that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to bestow favors. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is God’s nature to keep His promises; therefore go at once to the throne with, “Do as You have said.”

When I think of the promises God has made to us so many times I think they are there to comfort us and to encourage us, which they are, but I’ve never given much thought to praying and asking God to keep his promises…“do as You have said.”

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Teach Us to Pray...

We, like the disciples (Luke 11:1ff), need our Lord to teach us how to pray. Recently, Susan and I were at an engagement dinner for some friends, where the Lord taught us a little better how to pray. We were each asked to pray specific things for them. Another one of our good friends spent some good time searching the scriptures and prayed this prayer for our engaged friends.

Boaz and Ruth—because of their strong love, both were willing to suffer loss. Boaz jeopardized his inheritance, and Ruth left her family and chose an older man rather than a younger. Their love for each other was stronger than an emotional fancy, or a one-night stand. May Brent and Courtney have a love that transcends emotion and superficial desires and goes to the heart.
Priscilla and Aquila—who stuck together amidst persecution in Rome (Rom. 16), who showed Paul hospitality and faithful service, and who traveled far, never forsaking each other though their path was long and hard (Acts 18:2, 18-19). May Brent and Courtney endure every hardship and test of their faith with indestructible commitment to each other.
Solomon and the Shulamite—who made their relationship stronger through praise and adoration, stoking the fires of love and devotion with many spoken words and graceful embraces. May Brent and Courtney remember that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21), and so may their words always bring life to each other.
We ask that Brent and Courtney would clothe themselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. They will need these qualities to make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive when offended, remembering that the Lord has forgiven them, and that they must forgive others. The best quality they can be clothed with is love, and so wrap them together in it that they may be bound in perfect harmony. In doing so, help them receive the peace that comes from Christ to rule in their hearts. For as husband and wife, as well as members of Christ’s body, they are called to live in peace. Throughout their days, may they always be thankful.
Our God, you are the Holy Spirit, who binds hearts in a cord not easily broken. Bind Brent and Courtney’s hearts together. Make their relationship strong, for you are our Strength.

Our hearts were fully engaged praying these wonderful bible truths. Just from his prayer, we were challenged and instructed to be more intentional and biblical as we pray for people. I look forward to praying this prayer for other couples and ourselves. Thanks to my good friend and Thanks to Jesus for teaching us to pray through him.

Monday, January 16, 2006

40 Wonderful Years

My Dad and Mom celebrated their 40th anniversary last week. It is difficult to find the right words to congratulate them and to describe the dedication to one another they have displayed through the years. Their commitment is rich. They are to be commended. Marriage is challenging. Delightful, but difficult. My parents have endured great challenges along the way. 40 years is an amazing accomplishment! God has been good and gracious!

We gave them a surprise party this past Saturday. We sent them on a clue hunt around town, where they were lead to significant places in their lives. I had the huge privilege of administering the renewing of vows in the church building that they were married in 40 years ago!

Way to go Mom and Dad! I love you both!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

06 hit the ground running gratefully serving our King

I'm back in Louisville now ready to start a Jan-term tomorrow morning. 8-5 everyday this week.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of preaching on worship at Southeast's College Retreat in Gatlinburg. It was a blessed time.

Jan 2-5, I was thrilled to serve as a community group facilitator at Passion 06. I facilitated our group of 1600ish into groups of 8 and then in discussion and prayer. Enjoy a photo slide show of the conference here. I had the privledge of leading "forrest green" community group with Todd Fields. Todd was a joy to get to know and work with. You can download his music here. The conference wrapped up on Thursday morning. That afternoon Dr. Al Mohler, the president of the Seminary I attend, interviewed Dr. John Piper and Dr. John MacArthur on his radio show. The interview included a good portion about Passion 06. Check out the interview here.

Please pray for Dr. Piper as he has just recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. God has raised him up in our generation in an amazing way. Let us pray for this servant of the Lord.