The Mystery of Prayer

June 30, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
~Matthew 7:7-8, NLT

Quote

The law of prayer is to ask.
~George W. Truett

Although Satan uses distractions, he does not want us to understand that we are being distracted. If we understand that he is behind the distraction, he loses his advantage.

Satan loathes and fears believers who pray. Any sincere pray offered by believers bothers Satan. He does not want us praying. Anemic prayers, good prayers, short prayers, long prayers, any prayer is bad as far as the devil is concerned. He does not mind us talking about prayer, reading books on prayer so long as we don’t pray. His approach is to discourage us from prayer by raising an endless questions that we cannot answer.

How does prayer work? Why would an infinite God who dwells in eternity listen to the prayer of a finite human in time? If God is sovereign, how can our prayer affect His will? How can He listen to thousands of us praying at the same time? How in the world can the human prayer of today affect the weather of tomorrow? We have answers to none of the above questions. Prayer is a mystery. It is something that we are to do in spite of the fact that we do not understand how it works. One does not have to understand the dynamics of electricity to flip a light switch.

Do we know how to pray? Do we understand prayer? No, but I will pray every day. Don’t let Satan keep your from prayer. He will do everything he can to keep you out or your prayer closet. Many times, the devil has said to me, “You can’t pray, you don’t even know how.” My response is–“You may be right but I am going to pray anyway.”

extra1_0

  • We had two deaths in Danville yesterday: Sammy Crow departed this life at 3:15 pm at HH. Then we found out last night that Billy Laney’s son, James McAbee [45] was killed in an accident on 157. He was driving a tractor on 157 and got run over by an 18 wheeler. Sammy Crow [73] had a stroke Tuesday morning and never recovered. Sammy is survived by his wife Kathy, two sons, Bryan and Brett, two sisters and his mom who depended on Sammy for a lot of things. This is a shocking blow to the Danville community and the Crow family.
  • I had two places to be this morning and they were 200 miles a part but the LORD heard despairing cry and sent a helper to Columbia, Tennessee to pick up Seth who has been to summer camp.
  • I’ve been behind all week: can’t get caught up. Shohn will be carrying Clara to B’town to the doctor and I will be in an out, mostly out. Call my cell if you need me.

BLOCK PARTY AUGUST 13

1095

Parking Crew

 

Advertisements

Do What Is Right!

June 2, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

~2 Timothy 2:16, NLT

Quote

The first struggle is to do the right thing and second, is to do the right thing for the right reason.

~Ya’akov

Sometimes it is easy to see the right or the wrong in a situation and then there are times when it is very difficult. I don’t encourage divorce for obvious reasons but there are times when I give my consent and blessing. You cannot endanger your life or the life of your children. You cannot endure constant abuse; verbal or physical. It is not hard to spot an abused wife if you know what to look for.

The Nazis starved prisoners of war and some entire nations including Holland. They set up a blockade so that Holland could not get food supplies. When the allies reached Holland, they found skeletons with some flesh, skin and breath. One American soldier said, “I cannot get the images out of my head, they will haunt me the rest of my life.” These starving people could focus with their eyes but were too weak to speak or lift a hand: they were like ghost. Some were saved but many could not be revived: they had suffered deprivation too long. The same is true with an abused woman: if you don’t get them out in time, they will lose their soul, their personality. They have a body, a voice and they appear to be alive but the soul is gone. For this reason, I do not counsel anyone to stay in an abusive situation.

There are those who hollow abuse when there is no abuse. Women who are being abused will try to hide it. It is one thing to jump the nest because you have fallen in love with some one else’s husband or wife but it is a different matter if the lives and well being of your children is at stake. In such a case, you do what is right for the children. I am an advocate for children: if that bothers you the best thing you can do is avoid me.

If you are confused about what to do: begin reading your bible daily, share your problem with a Christian friend, seek professional counseling [if you can’t afford a counselor, confide in your pastor] and if your parents are living, run it by them. They love you and your children, plus they have more experience and objectivity.

Remember our goal is to do what is right, not what feels good. Often times, doing right requires much more courage and character than just letting things go. Take the high ground: it requires more effort but eventually, you will celebrate your choice.

extra1_0

  • It has been a busy week and although it wasn’t late when I got in Tuesday, I was very tired and not thinking well. We have a lot going on Sunday: PROMOTION DAY IN LCBS, Vote of Pastor Search Team, VBS workers meeting at 9:00 in Sanctuary along with all our other activities.
  • Mavis Fitzgerald is not doing well: She didn’t know Joe David yesterday. Lord willing, I am going today. I also need to check on Kathleen and Ruth.
  • We took a hit last night in youth but my group was up, maybe it was because we didn’t have choir practice. I can’t speak for anyone else, I had a ball. I loved the music. I think Brent rearranged one of the songs and I loved it.
  • Sunday night week, June 12, we are going to hear Junior Hill at the Hartselle Camp Meeting. I want at least 100 to go. Let’s make a difference.
juniorhill

Alabama’s Favorite Son…Dr. Junior Hill

Our Time of Need

April 8, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

~Hebrews 4:16, NIV

Quote

No trial is too great, no temptation is too strong, but that Jesus Christ can give us the mercy and grace we need, when we need it.

~Warren W. Wiersbe

Moses did not lead the Israelites into the Promise Land [rest], matter of fact, Moses did not enter himself. Joshua lead Israel into their physical rest [Promise Land] but not into the ultimate spiritual rest. Aaron, the first high priest and all his descendants were unable to lead Israel into this “Spiritual Rest.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the ‘Rest’ referred to in Deuteronomy 12:9,10, Joshua 1:13 and Psalms 95:11. The Promise Land was only a shadow of the reality that would come in Jesus.

Aaron and his sons offered thousands of sacrifices but the blood of bulls and goats could not take away our sins. These sacrifices reminded us of our sin but they did not remove our guilt–they simply foreshadowed better things to come. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said:

“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given Me a body to offer. You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin.”

Then Jesus said:

“Look, I have come to do Your will, O God—as is written about Me in the Scriptures.”

In light of what Christ has done in our behalf– Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. {Hebrews 4:16, NLT}

Four things we need:

  1. Confidence: {parrēsia} freedom to speak openly, frankly, without fear or concealment.
  2. Mercy: {eleos} kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
  3. Grace: {charis} that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness. God’s undeserved loving kindness and favor.
  4. Help: {boētheia} under-girding. Used twice in NT. Here an Acts 27:17. Refers to the cables or ropes that sailors used to bind or under-gird the hull of the ship to keep it from breaking up.

Jesus, as our Faithful and Sympathetic High Priest can give us all four things.

extra1_0

  • Day two of Phase-One went well and God has answered a prayer concerning Phase-Two. With Hope in mind, use the four points above to pray specifically for her.
  • We got some bad news from Athens yesterday: my sister Joy’s former son-in-law was killed in a 4-wheeler accident. He was around the age of 45 and had two sons which, of course, are my sister’s grand sons.
  • I have a wedding Saturday and for the first time in my life, I am excited in a positive way about a wedding. They called yesterday telling me  it was an Alabama wedding and to wear jeans and an Alabama shirt. Instead of pronouncing them man and wife, I am to say ROLL TIDE. Just kidding on that last part.
  • Sunday Schedule: Deacon’s meeting @ 8:15, LCBS @ 9:15, Worship @ 10:15, Business Meeting @ 11:00, AWANA @ 5:30, Visitation @ 5:30 and worship @ 6:15.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally this coming Thursday, April 14. I think Joe David said we could leave the church at 9:30 am.

Satan

April 6, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the LORD again, Satan was there among them.

~Job 2:1, GNT

Quote

There are two extremes that we must avoid in relationship to Satan: one is to disbelieve in his existence and the other is to become obsessed with his person and power.

~Ya’akov

I was reading in Job 2 yesterday morning when three words exploded in my mind, “Satan was there.” God called a meeting of the heavenly beings and Satan was there among them. Isn’t that just like him, the diabolical intruder always showing up when he hasn’t been invited. When brothers and sisters in Christ gather for worship, Satan is there among them. Have a REVIVAL meeting and Satan will show up. Have a business meeting and Satan is there. Plan a prayer meeting and Satan will try to get it stopped but if that failed, he will show up, he will be there. He is always there.

I have no intention of saying anything good about the devil but I will tell you what I know. First of all, he is an angel, a fallen angel: he is not God, he is simply a want-to-be god. He is antichrist and he hates anyone who worships Jesus. Thus he hates all believers and does everything in his power to destroy our bodies, reputations, witness, testimony, joy, confidence, integrity and courage.

Jesus has changed things forever, He came to destroy the works of the devil and He was successful. We who trust Him with our sin and shame will congregate in heaven in the not to distant future and Satan will not be there.

extra1_0

  • THE GATHERING TONIGHT at 6:30
  • I saw something last night that I have never seen. In Ty’s game, a kid grounds out to first and made a home run. Normally, that would be impossible but it happens. The kid was out by three steps and the ump called him safe, then we commit a comedy of errors and the kid scores. The P.A. announcer [probably his mom] said, “Home run for Tommy, winner of a Firehouse Sub.”
  • Dog Wood Winter is here and it gets cool with the sun goes down.
  • Speaking of prayer–Franklin Graham Prayer Rally April 14.

The Human Problem

December 4, 2015

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me.”
~Matthew 16:28, NLT

Quote

Selfishness is never so exquisitely selfish as when it is on its knees.
~A.W. Tozer
my-thoughts-red
I am reading through the Psalms in the Good News Translation and a few days back, I read Psalm 38, a prayer of David. I am aware of David’s greatness: what God accomplished through this man is unbelievable but David was human and his bent toward self comes out in Psalms 38.
Forty-eight times in this prayer, David refers to himself. He makes reference to other, including his enemies, eight times and there are nine references to God.
Most of us do not listen to the details of our prayers but God convicted me some time ago about how selfish I tend to be in my prayers. I am like an immature child, I dive right in and go to asking. My son doesn’t do that, he begins his prayers with a litany of praise. God has convicted me through him. So, I have been trying to discipline myself to put the LORD first and others second and save my supplication until last. It is a struggle.
Remember the story of the staff eating out: if I am familiar with the restaurant, I know what I want before I sit down and when the waiter or waitress comes to the table and says, “What will it be today?” Without a moment of hesitation, I blurt out, “I want the tortilla soup, the club sandwich and the salad with one of those delicious croissants.”
I did this very thing a couple of years ago and everyone at the table starting laughing. Joe David was laughing at me and they were probably laughing the expression on his face. I said, “What, did I do wrong?” He said, “Daddy is customary to let ladies order first.” I said, “But I am paying for it.” He said, “That’s beside the point.” Hey, it’s a hard habit to break.
extra1_0
  • Buford is suppose to come home today. He walked all over the hospital yesterday. PTL
  • Kane got home from HH at 8:00 PM [12/4/15] last night.
  • We enjoyed the CHRISTMAS PARTY with Jeff’s class. I love parties. I limped in and limped out but it was worth it. We had 21 counting Sue and Granny.
  • My good friend and landlord Ray Edwards is sick. We think it is a UTI: should know for sure today.
  • We’ll have a slightly different order of worship Sunday: The Choir will do their Christmas music in middle and we will close with a baptism I hope. There will also be a short sermon, I hope.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS and Senior Adults CHRISTMAS PARTY is Saturday at 9:30 at Cracker Barrel in Hartselle.
  • Deacons Meeting Sunday morning at 8:15.
  • Children’s Christmas Play and Supper is Sunday night December 13th at 5:30. This Sunday night is AWANA and Worship at 6:15.

Gary, Keri and Kane

Affliction And Prayer

December 3, 2015

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

~2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NLT

Quote

“Prayer may not remove the affliction but it most certainly can transform the afflicted.”

~Warren W. Wiesrbe

my-thoughts-red

God answers all our prayers but not in the way we expect. Sometimes it is years later before we realize He answered, we just missed the answer. Paul prayed for a new set of circumstances but God refused to change his circumstance: He choose rather to change Paul.

extra1_0

  • Kane had to spend the night at HH. His blood sugar was low and they will probably give him some blood today.
  • Speaking of blood, Anthony Shaneyfelt had to have blood yesterday but he is all right.
  • Buford has had some ups and downs but hopefully he will get to come home today. Pray that we will be able to do the Baptism Sunday.
  • Mrs. Roylean Lewis is pretty low. I haven’t been able to visit the last two days but Joe David saw her and Buford yesterday.
  • I got a steroid shot yesterday and I am already feeling a little better. Praise the LORD, I can get comfortable when I am sitting but I can’t walk far without getting the back and left leg upset. The steroids worked last time, let’s pray that they work again. I am going to limit my activities the next few days in hopes that I can fulfill my greater duties. Lord willing, I will be preaching Sunday and Joe David on the 13th.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS and SENIOR ADULT CHRISTMAS PARTY is Saturday morning, 9:30 at the Cracker Barrel in Hartselle.

Gary, Keri and Kane

The Perfect Father

November 15, 2015

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

~Matthew 7:11, NASB

QUOTE

Our Heavenly Father always sends His children the things they ask for, or something better.

~Richard Cecil

my-thoughts-red

As an earthy father and grandfather, I respond to my children and grand children’s request with all the wisdom and resources available. My wisdom may be in question but not my generosity. When I read Matthew 7:11 yesterday morning, I had a WOW moment. Here is the point; I am evil and yet I love to give to my children and love giving to my grand’s even more. If you are hoping that the word evil is a bad translation, forget it: it’s either evil or wicked. It means a malignant and active form of evil. We have all been infected with an evil virus, it is in our blood stream.  In contrast, God is not evil, He is perfectly and infinitely good. He is not limited in resources or wisdom. Jesus challenged us to ask and keep on asking. Our heavenly Father will respond if we ask. He loves to give so keep on asking.

extra1_0

  • Full Schedule today–Deacons meeting at 7:45, Donuts and Biscuits at 8:30, LCBS at 9:15, CELEBRATE JESUS at 10:15 closing with a baptism. Sunday evening is AWANA and Visitation.
  • Tomorrow is the last opportunity to give money to Renee Bass if you want to sponsor a child for OCC. I think it is 25$. Next Sunday is the day to bring them to the altar.
  • I want to thank the YOUTH for showing up big time for the yard project. Mrs. Edith treated them to Cracker Barrel. I thank David and Noah for helping me finish.

Gary, Keri and Kane

Jesus Stopped!

November 5, 2015

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him.

~Luke 18:40, NLT

QUOTE

By persistence, the snail reached the Ark.

~Charles Spurgeon

my-thoughts-red

Luke 18 opens with…One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. Chapter 18 ends with Jesus leaving Jericho in route to Jerusalem where He would die for the sins of the world. Can you imagine what it would be like to know you were going to be crucified in less than two weeks. In spite of this heavy burden, Jesus takes the time to help a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus who was yelling to the top of his lungs, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those around him told him to shut up but he yelled louder. Jesus heard him and stopped. On His way to accomplish His mission in life, Jesus stopped and listened to the man’s desperate prayer.

How difficult is it to get someone, anyone to stop and listen. What an awesome heart warming thought: Jesus the Creator-Redeemer stops and listens.

Everyone around Bartimaeus discouraged him, “stop crying out–Jesus is too busy to hear a beggar like you. He has a mission on His mind and He does not have the time to help a poor beggar like you.” Bartimaeus didn’t pay any attention to the nay-sayers, he just kept hollowing, Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. What a comfort to know, Jesus is not too busy, not too preoccupied with running a universe, that He doesn’t stop and listen. What a privilege to carry, everything to HIM in prayer.

extra1_0

  • God is good, what can I say: so much to thank Him for…[1] The YOUTH really respond to Wade, their section was packed and they were singing during the praise time. [2] Six precious professions of faith. [3] Mattie is being baptized this Sunday. Rebecca is down for the 15th and  Buford is scheduled for the 29th.  [4] The praise and worship has been phenomenal: I’ve never seen anything like it. It was the van kids and the praise that go me fired up Monday night; up until that point, I was dead on the inside. I thank God for restoring my soul. [5] I think Wade’s offering was good, I think I misunderstood Willard. June told me that I was a thousand dollars off but I’m afraid to say until I make it official. I think it was better than last year. Thank You Church.
  • TURKEY’s are a done deal. We have all 10 Turkey’s for our Luke 14 banquet. Hannah will do the dressing for one table and we will let some one make it for the second table if we have a volunteer. We will help you on the ingredients. Let me know ASAP.
  • Debbie Gilliland has a lot on her plate: we need to lift her up. She is basically responsible for her brother–she doesn’t get much help and he depends on her. KT’s mom got to come home but her dad is still at DGH. Jim was with him yesterday. I think his breathing was better but he is very weak. Michael’s father-in-law’s surgery was a big success: they got better news than expected.

Gary, Keri and Kane

A Definition of Insanity

October 20, 2015

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

~Mark 5:17-18, AV

QUOTE

In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not.

~C.S. Lewis

my-thoughts-red

I had not noticed until my bible study yesterday that there are three prayers in Mark 5:1-20. The first prayer is by the demons in verse 10, Then the evil spirits begged Jesus again and again not to send them to some distant place. The word ‘begged’ in NLT is besought in the AV. In the Greek it is parakaleō, to summons and is translated 10 times as pray or prayed in the AV.  So it is a prayer word. You will notice above the AV uses the word pray and prayed in verses 17 and 18. In each case it is the exact same word parakaleō. So what we have here is three prayers:

  1. The Demon’s prayer–Don’t send us to some distant place.
  2. The Gerasenes prayer–Go away and leave us alone.
  3. The Miracle Man’s prayer–Can I go with you?

What’s even more amazing is that Jesus heard and answered all three prayers. This is going to upset some part time theologians. Jesus said, “Yes” to the demons and the Gerasenes but “No” to the healed demoniac. Can you explain this? I sure am glad you can’t: I would hate to worship a God that would fit in your little box of brains.

I understand a little about the first prayer: the demon recognized Jesus, they knew He was the Son of God and they acknowledged His authority because they had no choice. The second prayer makes no sense at all: why would anyone pray such a foolish prayer–“Go away and leave us alone.” Jesus got in the boat and left and I don’t know that He ever came back. I do know that the Romans wiped the Gerasenes out when they invaded in the 1st century. I can’t see myself asking Jesus to go away and leave me alone. You talk about insanity, asking Jesus to go away and leave you alone is insane.

We all understand the third prayer: Jesus commissioned this New Creation: sane, clothed, and full of the Spirit to go back home and be a Missionary to his people. He obeyed and told everyone he saw about Jesus. I would be willing to bet my life that he lead some of the Gerasenes to faith in Christ. When Jesus says “No,” there is always a reason.

extra1_0

  • OK, the fellowship is on: Sunday night at 5:30–bring your favorite soup, chili or stew and we eat in the FORTE. Hayrides will begin around 6:15. Lance and I are doing the Puggles and Shohn and her workers will do the other children.
  • FRONT PEW SHOWER for MILESTONE MINISTRIES this Sunday Morning. The are in dire need of toilet tissue. Its 30 females living in one building, do I need to say more. Toilet paper, paper towels, hygiene items, anything you want to bring but especially toilet paper.
  • I meant to talk to you Sunday but I forgot. The Blackwood’s are basically be forced to retire and they do not have a car. A church is Birmingham is going to give them a place to live but we are going to give them a car LORD willing. We have just the man to help us and I’ve emailed Allison to see what kind of vehicle they want. Gregg will find it and finance it and all we have to do is make the payments and we can do that with one mission offering a month. If you have wanted to do more for an IMB agent, here is our opportunity. I am excited.
  • Bill Wilbourn’s surgery went well but he is not out of the woods by any stretch.
  • KANE BREAK: PTL, if nothing changes, coming home Friday. Colon is a little better. Kane starts chemo tonight. Thursday another sonogram and if all is not worse he will get Aro-c which is a treatment that takes all day. If all that happens we will be rolling into Danville as soon as we are packed. {Raise them up folks, let’s get them home for a break}

Gary, Keri and Kane

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!”

~Exodus 14:15, NLT

QUOTE

We cannot do what God does and God will not do what we can.

~Oswald Chambers

my-thoughts-red

A woman woke her husband in the middle of the night telling him that she was in labor and needed to get to the hospital. He grabbed her by the hand and said, “Honey, let’s pray.” She said, “I have a better idea, get your clothes on and get the car.” How do we know when to wait on the Lord patiently in prayer and when to act decisively in faith and obedience? Many people use prayer as an alibi for disobedience. I have asked professing believers to do things clearly commanded in the word or God and they say, “I’ll have to pray about that.” After 46 years, I know what this means, they aren’t going to do it. They lack the courage to be honest. Instead of saying, “I have no intention of helping you preacher,” they spiritualized their fear and rebellion by saying, “Let me pray about it.”

The LORD said to Moses, “This is no time for a prayer meeting, tell the Israelites to get going: I want to see some wet feet.” 

Actually, there are several things you don’t need to pray about:

  • Tithing
  • Sharing your faith
  • Helping someone is need
  • Worship attendance
  • Loving our neighbor

The most hypocritical thing we can do is to ask God to do something that we are perfectly capable of doing. God will not honor our prayers when we refuse to be a part of the answer. Some circumstances call for fervent prayer while others demand prompt obedience. May the Lord give us the wisdom to know the difference.

extra1_0

  • Bill Wilbourn is in ICU at DGH.
  • Chanda’s Grandmother, Mrs. Corey Orr is very sick. She is at USA in Falkville. I visited with her briefly yesterday. She is very weak but in good spirits.
  • Gary Garner had his second or third treatment yesterday and is walking on his own. He walked 800 steps yesterday. He is very thankful. I don’t know that I have seen a more grateful soul than Gary. He thanks you for your prayers. He said, “I am convinced Bro. Jack, that it was the pray that made the difference. That is what I believe,” He said. I agree!
  • We had 104 for the GATHERING: PTL
  • Kane Update: The blood pressure meds seen to be working. Blood work and MRI tomorrow. Blood pressure check Friday morning then we head home. This all depends on how the blood work goes. Pray us home folks. We are tired of Memphis!

Gary, Keri and Kane