Friday, June 19, 2015

Still a God of no coincidences

I've been preparing to start up a sorely needed men's group for the church I go to. At first, I had some grand plans for a really deep and intense set of meetings and materials. However, I paused (undoubtedly through the quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit) and began to turn to God for guidance. I felt that I should start out more simply and easily so as not to make anyone uncomfortable right away or maybe even scare them off! So, I started thinking about the Christian walk and the two things that are critical for it: Bible study and prayer. So, with the help of Hank Hanegraaff's book "the Prayer of Jesus," I decided to start out with the topic of prayer. And wouldn't you know it, God has clearly confirmed that decision. In the days leading up to the first meeting, our pastor has had a Sunday sermon about prayer, a member of our Saturday night service (who, mind you, doesn't attend our Sunday service) talked about prayer in a message given the same week as the pastor's sermon, and just today, I tuned in to Wretched Radio's first hour and they were talking about -- you guessed it -- prayer! All of these things came about independently, which can only be attributed to the power of the Holy Spirit working out the Father's will. Now I'm really, REALLY looking forward to seeing what God has planned for this group.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Still just a sparrow in His hand

My family had been facing a serious financial crunch coming up thanks to Obamacare. Our medical insurance rates were going up significantly at the end of this month, to the point where it probably wouldn't be affordable to us anymore. (FYI, we had to get insurance independently because my wife's new job doesn't offer insurance themselves, opting to pay employees more so they can buy their preferred insurance.) This potential crisis had been weighing heavily on our hearts and minds for a while and it was something we had been praying about. Well, God just answered those prayers. In fact, one could argue that he had already answered those prayers when I got my job back in December! I became eligible for insurance under my employer during this past month and we applied just yesterday. The plan fits our needs and is less than half as expensive as what our previous insurance would be starting next month. God is truly awesome!

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?

Yet not one of them will fall to the ground
apart from the will of your Father.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

--Matthew 10:29-31

Monday, November 29, 2010

God DOES answer prayers

My family and I moved to another city (because we wanted to so we could be closer to family) a couple months ago. I had been out of a job since that time. Recently, I was advancing through the job hunting process for selling mobile devices at Target and was up to the background check and drug screen level. It was an okay-sounding job, but it didn't really feel right. After a glitch with them sending me the drug screen paperwork via email (they tried to send it twice and had the right email address both times, but it never got to me and it never bounced back to them -- the email just vanished), I began to wonder if there was something more at work, so I prayed. I prayed to God that He would make it clearer to me if this job wasn't right for me and SPECIFICALLY for Him to place another, better-fitting job that I had applied for in my path. I got my answer to that specific prayer when I got offered that very job today! God is absolutely awesome and anyone who says He doesn't answer prayers -- SPECIFIC prayers -- is a fool.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Compare and contrast

Two views of our little world and humanity.

Carl Sagan (an agnostic at best): "Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people."

Jesus Christ: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

I'm sure you non-Christians reading this will understand me taking the latter over the former.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What I am

I am not what I ought to be — ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be — I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be — soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, "By the grace of God I am what I am."
--John Newton (1725 - 1807)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Ephesians 5 - Wives and husbands; submission and sacrifice

A discussion on the IMDB forum for the movie Fireproof inspired me to share this.

What does "submit" actually mean? Briefly, it means to yield authority. Is that really such a bad thing?

Now let's look at what the Bible says about wives in Ephesians 5 (the text that's at the center of all this business):

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

Three sentences. That's it. That's what all the fuss is about. Three measly little sentences. The way the Christian-bashers talk, you'd think there was a whole book of the Bible devoted to putting wives in their place.

Okay, so now what about husbands?

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Holy cow! That's quite a lot more, isn't it? And look what's expected of the husbands: they are to love their wives the way Christ loved the church. CHRIST SACRIFICED EVERYTHING INCLUDING HIS LIFE FOR THE CHURCH! This means that husbands are to sacrifice as much as they can - up to and including their very lives - for their wives.

So tell me, who has the better deal: wives, who merely have to submit authority to their husbands, or husbands, who have to sacrifice everything for their wives? (I'll give you a hint: it's a trick question and the answer probably isn't as obvious as you might think.)

Friday, March 06, 2009

I need to learn to wait better