Sunday, November 25, 2012

A modern day Nehemiah's prayer

Would this prayer be appropriate for us today?
(based on Nehemiah chapter 1)

O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of our country and land. I confess our sins, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not fully obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Jesus Christ.

We remember the commands you gave by your servant Jesus Christ, saying, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."  And  "I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

We are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.  O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor. And please send rain to end this drought.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good bye, and a few pictures.

Good bye.  It was funny Dawson caught a glimpse of this truck and tractor later that day down at Sweetwater.  I haven't heard anything from the buyer so I hope this is the end of the story.

 Just a picture of Mikali.  Ain't she purty?

Just a couple pictures of Stinker.  And a video of course:

And for a while now I have been sending a weekly email newsletter to some in our congregation that gives updates on events and the prayer list.  I also have been writing up some commentary to go with it.  This is this weeks writeup:

I am a tool guy.  I like tools.  I like good tools.  When I was a kid about this time of year we would get our Sears Wishbook for Christmas.  Us kids would page through it looking at all the great toys we hoped we could get.  As I got older I did the same with Sears Craftsman Tool Catalog.  Ok, sounds a little silly but really I would look through it and maybe order a few tools from time to time.  I have always been thankful my Granddad Clark has a shop full of tools we use to fix our old farm equipment.  We have a lot of special engine repair tools and heavy duty tools for tillage equipment.  There are a lot of special tools that have a unique purpose, and we could not do a lot of repairs without them.

Sunday morning Bill has been dealing with unity in class.  Ephesians Ch. 4 As members of the church we each have unique talents and purposes.  These are God given abilities we have at our disposal to bring glory to God.  It is a good thing we are so diverse in our abilities and tastes.   Our unity is unity of purpose, faith, love, hope, baptism.  (One body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. v.4-5)  We all want to be members of the one Body working towards the same goals.  Sharing the same message.

If I were to go in the shop to fix something I would be quite disappointed to find only screwdrivers in the tool chest.  I wouldn't be able to fix anything.  If we were all teachers, or song leaders, we would never accomplish our goal of spreading the gospel.  Can you imagine going to worship where the same song was sung every Sunday at the same time?  Because that was the only one anybody knew or liked.  Or nobody had the talent to teach?

I recently overhauled the engine in one of my tractors.  It took screwdrivers, end wrenches, torque wrenches, even a special "ring compressor" tool.  I remember I was having a difficult time with a bolt that was hard to reach.  It took me several different tries with different tools to accomplish my goal of reaching that bolt.  

To reach and teach those outside, we need all kinds of talents at our disposal.  Squelching or running down other's attempts at developing these talents is working against God.  (Do not quench the Spirit1 Thess 5:19) We should encourage and help develop these talents in each other.  This is why it is so important we spend time together.

Romans 12:4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV