Tom and I went with friends to the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago where I took this picture. When I look at it today, it doesn't seem real.
Truth be told, when I took this picture it didn't seem real either! I was there and I was seeing it, but it was surreal.
f you've ever stood on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and bathed in the view, you know what I'm talking about!
We were meandering along the south rim trail and saw a young woman casually walking toward the edge, she was talking with someone on her cell phone. As she approached her first real good look at the gaping landscape of the Grand Canyon, her eyes filled with tears and I heard her say, "I gotta go...I'll call you back in a bit. This is--this is--" And she just hung up because she didn't have words for what she was seeing.
Have you ever been there?
Perhaps not on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, but where words simply aren't enough to describe what you're experiencing?
A few weeks ago as we hiked in...
Prayer of Confession—The Omnipresent God
Oh Lord, forgive us for forgetting.
Forgive us for allowing the circumstances that surround us to overwhelm Your constant and consistent presence with us.
Forgive us for focusing our emotional energy and attention on the smoke screens the Deceiver puts in our path to keep us from living the truth of Your presence.
Forgive us for behaving as if You are waiting on something from us in order to grace us with your presence.
What can we possibly do that could add to what You have already done?
Forgive us for failing to walk humbly with You when you are walking consistently with us.
Forgive us, LORD for acting as if you’ve left us when You are dwelling in our midst every minute of every day.
Forgive us for crying out so desperately for you when we are already sustained by You.
Forgive us for being so self-absorbed...
The quick answer is NO!
Grab and partner and pray this prayer together.
In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” (Hebrews 1:10).
Your story has no beginning and no end.
You are the Creator, not the creation, and while everything in the universe is present in one place in time, You are everywhere present (omnipresent) for all time.
Solomon said, “Who is able to build a temple for You, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain You?” (2 Chronicles 2:6)
You are not a tree or a rock, but You do sustain “all things by Your powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3),
If You ceased to exist, so would all creation.
We cannot think of You as being in one place or another.
David wrote, “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there....
Sometimes we forget.
We forget that God is high and lifted up.
and over earth.
All powers and authorities are ruled over by Him.
Our lives, our homes, our careers--everything that makes up our world is determined by our Loving Father who sits undeterred on His throne.
For this reason, now is a good time to worship Him through prayer.
Consider praying this prayer today:
The Glory of God
Lord, You are holy, distinct and separate from all other things.
You are exalted over all the nations and you live above and beyond all creation.
The stain of sin and evil that defiled the world never had any effect on You.
You have always been morally perfect and separate (or transcendent) from the rest of Your fallen creation.
None of us has ever fully grasped your glory, however, a few people witnessed a portion of your holiness.
Moses asked to see your glory and You hid him in the cleft of a rock, and...
Father we confess that while You are holy, distinct and separate from all other things, we continue to love the things of this world.
We confess our affection for what the world has to offer us.
We confess our pursuit of happiness when You have called us to a pursuit of holiness.
Forgive us for failing to worship You in spirit and in truth. Our minds are so preoccupied with ourselves that we often attend worship, sing the songs, sit for the sermons then leave unchanged—unmoved—so pre-occupied with the cares of this world that we completely miss the opportunity to come face to face with Your glory.
Those of us who are leaders even dare to lead worship, teach lessons and participate in ministry plans all apart from You.
Forgive us, LORD for bringing the world’s ways to the work You’ve called us to.
Forgive us for depending on our own strength, our own power, our own cleverness and our...
Do you want the key that opens heaven's doors?
Afterall, a key like that could certainly be put to good use at a time like this!
I don't know about you, but I always thought of heaven as some distant land called "Beulah."
Not that Beulah is a bad name, but it sounded a bit old-fashioned to me, even if it does mean "married" and it's contextual meaning is that the land is "married to the LORD."
Wait, take a pause here and think about the beauty of that word!
Beulah--the land (and people) married to the LORD.
Precious in His sight.
In a covenant relationship with Him forever.
But when I heard about the Beulah land of heaven, it seemed to me to be a lofty place somewhere suspended in the sky--afterall we call our beautiful blue, sometimes stormy, other times starry sky --the "heavenlies."
And if you pressed me further regarding my visual image of heaven, I would have to admit that it involves sitting on soft fluffy clouds playing...
There's an encounter in the Bible of a mere mortal and an angel. It goes something like this.
The mere mortal says to the angel, "Whose side are you on? Ours? Or theirs?"
And the angel replied, "Neither! I'm on the side of the LORD!"
I can't help but think of this angelic encounter during these final days leading up to the election.
The 16th president of the United States said this (the last time we were severely divided from one another):
"I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right; but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation may be on the Lord's side." - Abraham Lincoln
I hope that when you cast your vote you will let your biblical convictions guide your decision.
I also hope that you will join hundreds of thousands of like-minded believers all across the US who are pleading with God to usher in peace, unity and truth. Let's continue to exercise our powerful privilege of prayer and pray with Honest Abe...
Oh, God please! Draw us back to...
Come Pray! Is a simple way to mobilize the people in your congregation to get off their blessed assurance and onto their knees to pray--even during the Covid-19 social distancing and ban on public gathering.
Simply open your worship center for individuals and families to come and go during one day of the week. We open our worship center on Wednesdays from 6AM-4PM. We set up 3 prayer stations where people receive instruction to help them direct their prayers. Here are suggestions for 6 prayer stations. (We change our prayer stations every two weeks.)
Come back often and find more prayer station suggestions.
Weeks 1 and 2:
Powerpoint welcome set at the front of your place of worship, continuous loop. (Each line represents a separate slide.)
Welcome: This is a sacred space.
A place where we remember that God is on His throne and all is well.
This is a place where we will worship…
…and trust that the God who invited us to meet Him will
hear from heaven
“If we come to see the purpose of the universe as God’s long-term glory rather than our short-term happiness, then we will undergo a critical paradigm shift in tackling the problem of evil and suffering.” –Randy Alcorn
Hmmm...kinda hits you in the gut, doesn’t it? I mean, most of my prayers are directly connected with my natural tendency to gravitate toward desiring happiness. Don’t yours?
But what if, my temporary angst (I love that word, “angst” it was not in my vocabulary before I had young adult “children” but in this season of my life--it has become a favorite of mine!)...What if, my temporary “angst” and my momentary trouble--my discomfort, trial, confusion and frustration were all necessary in order for me to be used by God to bring about something great?!
Would it be worth it then?
Yes. It. Would.
Especially if you were to remember that He is the...
Let’s talk about a couple women we meet in Genesis, and see what they have to teach us about FACE time with God (and one another).
For fun, I’ve given these women a “face” for our story. Sarai (pronounced S’rI) will be played by...
And Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian handmaiden will be played by...
These two women, according to Google, represent two of the prettiest faces in the world!
Think about faces...why are faces important?
I’ve heard someone say, “the eyes are the window into the soul.”
And I think I agree with them. When I think of the people I love, I don’t think about their feet, or their hands, or any other part of their bodies. When I think about the people I love, the picture that comes to my mind is that of their faces. And when I think of their faces, I’m not deciding whether or not they...