1 Corinthians 1:18-19, 25
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. I Kings 19:11-13
I once heard Billy Graham tell an interviewer that God had never spoken to him audibly, but that He had “spoken” to him in many other ways. I’m sure most believers can relate to what Dr. Graham was saying. Through the years I have personally heard God speaking to me most clearly during my morning devotions: sometimes a word of encouragement; at other times a word of correction and admonition; and at still others a word of affirmation. I would like to share with you three of those occasions which stand out most clearly in my mind.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
As the director of student ministries at my church, I spend the majority of time with children and youth. It's in the times spent with my middle and high school youth that the subject of prayer is brought up most often.
What ever happened to “community” anyway? The earliest Christian circles certainly understood the value and camaraderie that comes with holding together a group of earnest disciples of Jesus and his Apostles. Acts 2:42–47 explains the communal aspects of the first groups of believers who “were together and had everything in common,” and “broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.”
What a way of life!
I could feel the intent and even apprehensive gaze of the congregation as I sat down on the floor for Children’s Sermon. I knew what they were all thinking, and I was thinking the same thing: will I be able to get back up off of this floor?
I was appointed to the charge back in July, three and half months pregnant. Now, entering my ninth month, the congregation has been able to lovingly as well as amusingly watch my transformation over the last several months.
On October 10, the cover of our church's bulletin depicted the silhouette of a cross on a church steeple surrounded by high-rise office buildings in a large city at dusk. The scripture quoted there is Jeremiah 29:7, “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Philip and I were out of town that Sunday and missed what was no doubt was a very inspiring message, so I picked up my Bible and read “the rest of the story” in Jeremiah chapter 29, verses 1-14. The Jews were in exile in Babylon and Jeremiah was giving them guidance from the Lord.
There are many words to describe the past few weeks of my life as pastor. Some of those words are “too much,” “overload,” “migraine-inducing,” “an abundance of activity,” “are you crazy?” or “typical life of a pastor.”
The week before Convocation fit all of the above.
There are seven or eight paved roads in this boom-town that went bust. Each morning at sunrise, or shortly thereafter, Mr. Vernon covers each of them, slowly ambling back and forth, up and down, to the edge of Mr. Ronald’s fields and back –always turning around in front of the church, briefly touching the tip of his cap as a sign of respect to the old, white building that he has never been invited to enter.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven. - Matthew 5:16
As a pastor in the local church, one of the things that truly inspires me is the stories of people who both initiate and establish new ministries. I’m talking about people who believe their calling is a “God thing.”
“O LORD, you have searched me and known me…”
How wonderful – and how fearful – it is to be known by God.
The Psalmist says in Psalm 139, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me.”