Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wanted: Your Opinions on Either/Or Situations… Is praying for both outcomes a long winded Pater Noster

Pater Noster is another way of saying the Lord’s Prayer, and I was wondering of I was mimicking this the other night as I ended one of my prayers… I was praying for a friend’s family as they go through a rough time. As time goes on, all I can do is watch and pray. And as I see it, they are in a deep valley that is testing their strength and pushing them to limits that is personally too much to bear. As I watch things unfold, one thing is clear: their troubles are taking a toll on their kid. Their child is lashing out in anger and frustration. I’m concerned for the child’s future and how this deep valley is affecting their faith in God.

I’ve heard stories of people who once had a relationship with God, went through a traumatic childhood experience and now denounce God any chance they get. They tell me God didn’t hear them when they were a kid so why should they give Him any attention now? If He did hear them, He didn’t intervene so forget God and everything He stands for. This is one of my concerns for the young family. As the child gets older, this trauma will fuel the child’s separation from God.

But as much as I’ve heard people share their frustration and anger toward God during a rough time, I’ve also had people tell of great struggles and how they cling to God in times of great need. During these times the Lord is all they have. Despite being surrounded by darkness and despair, these people refuse to give up believing in God. Enduring their trauma while seeking the Lord, has solidified or affirmed their faith in Him. Now living on the other side of their deep valley, they come out stronger and have a more intimate relationship with the Alpha and Omega then before.

There are times I don’t know what to pray for, but I am concerned. I know there is pain involved so I pray for healing whenever I think about it. I pray for the child that the hurt and pain they feel would dissipate. I also hope and pray that God would protect the child’s faith and they would get stronger instead of walking away. Truth be told, I have no idea what the future holds for this young family; nor do I know if this difficulty will be too much for the young one to bear.

As much as I hate to admit it, it is possible for the young one to walk away scathed and angry at God for not lifting them out of the deep valley. So I pray in the event that the child abandons God that their story would be like that of the prodigal son. Though they have wandered away, the Lord would keep his hand on them to restore what once was lost.

As I ended the prayer, I found myself praying in the event of both outcomes. If the kid walks away bring the young'un back, but if the kid chooses to hang in their and walk with God through the valley give’em strength. Then I began to wonder … is it ok that I pray this way? Is it demonstrated in scripture? What about the Lord’s Prayer? Particularly this part:

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Matt 6:10

Are Jesus’ words here a simpler way of saying “Dear God, in an either/or situation, be in BOTH!”… HMMM

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Popular Marriage Blessing

What is it about the summer months and weddings? I know of at least 10 people who have either been part of or have taken the plunge, said their vows and decided to have a wedding in the last 4 weeks. One of these couples are my friends Randy and Melissa Glasel.

Shortly after Randy popped the question, the two of them decided to include me in their big day by praying for, and blessing their marriage. For the prayer, I decided to include a scripture passage and let that be the base of my prayer. Then I finished it off with the old school King James Version of The Lord’s Prayer. To my surprise people enjoyed it immensely. Shockingly it has gained some popularity with the people I have shared it with so I figured why not post it here? So here you go; here’s a copy of it for you to see and perhaps use yourself.

PSALM 44:1-8
We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.
You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.

Oh Lord, like many others here I rejoice in the marriage of Randy and Melissa. Lord Jesus I ask that you bless this marriage. Bring them together like no one else can. In times of joy may they seek you. In times of trouble may they seek you for you are the one that provides. I believe that you brought them together and I ask that you keep them together. I don’t know what the future holds for these two but whatever it is, I ask that you provide for whatever Melissa and Randy need. In all things, may they rejoice that you were with them guiding and directing them.

Our Father, who art in heaven
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

*** If you decide to use this, creates some inspiration for you, or find it fascinating yourself I would appreciate a comment articulating so. Thanks and be blessed! Tim Bits!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Satan's plan?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. - Jesus Christ


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Charismatic Enigma: Keeping The Dream Alive

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. He taught them many things by parables…
Mark 4:1-2
A few weeks ago Calgary’s oldest community hosted one of the city’s annual street festivals. Commonly known as The Inglewood Sunfest, the community hosted the event in conjunction with the start of the Calgary Fringe Festival. Taking advantage of the warm weather, I attended the event. For nearly three blocks the street was lined with tents and their vendors offering their goods or services at a reduced rate. Jewelry, chiropractors, fashion boutiques, food vendors and even those running in the civic election lined the streets attempting to solicit attendees.

The thing that impressed me most was the street performers. They’d set up their gear at an empty intersection, draw a crowd and perform their show. One of them was a hula-hooping cheerleader named Minnie Maniac. At one point she was cracking a whip and hoping to generate more interest and garner a larger crowd of onlookers. Armed with tricks that included changing from her street clothes into her cheerleading outfit while hula hooping, she would dazzle the crowd. She finished the show with her best skill – sitting on top of a human pyramid while simultaneously twirling 6 hula hoops on her body. In exchange for a great show, she’d asked those who watched to support her by paying her what they thought the show was worth.

The impressive thing I saw in the street performers was their ability to draw and keep a crowd. In the case of Minnie Maniac, drawing a crowd required some effort using a whip to get peoples attention. Regardless, being able to do that is still quite the feat. I’ve seen magic performers do the same thing with no whip in hand, and still I’m puzzled. Is it charisma, pheromones, the Holy Spirit or some other enigma that adorns masses?

In Christ’s ability to draw crowds, it’s so easy to assume the people who were drawn to him were explicitly led to the lakeshore by the Spirit of God. But Mark 3:3 points out some that followed him were keeping tabs on him waiting to slam him for blasphemies and anything else that could be used to halt his growing influence. Furthermore, Jesus spoke in parables. Alan Carr, a North Carolina pastor suggests Jesus spoke in parables for the benefit of those who hadn’t rejected the truth. In a parable, “those who were sincere and hungry for the truth would have that truth revealed to them. Those who were closed minded to the truth would have that truth concealed from them."

I could go on providing a laundry list of things that attributed to the masses Jesus generated. But to make it easier on my fingers and your reading, the reasons can be summed up in two things: the Holy Spirit and his reputation provided the bulk of his enigmatic quirks. But what about those of us who live 2000+ years after Jesus did? What makes people interested in what we are doing? Is it charisma, pheromones, the Holy Spirit or some other enigmatic quirk that keeps another’s interest?

I can’t help but wonder if these questions are tugging at your heart today. Perhaps you’re in leadership and have hit a plateau. At one point you started something and the momentum you once had has faded. Now you find your dream on the brink of collapsing beneath you. If your dream is facing foreclosure; don’t give up! Not yet; especially if you are still reading this particular blog entry. Maybe there’s something I’ve said that has sparked a glimmer of hope in you. Do you look at your dream and see nothing but a train wreck? Most train wrecks occur because something interferes with the train’s momentum. Perhaps you need to crack the whip and rediscover the enigmatic anomaly that started your train’s momentum!?!?!?!