This message was the first thing I read when I sat down to tap out today’s post.
I was not feeling like I had much to say. So many people are hurting and there is so much chaos and confusion going on. Sometimes I want to just eat a lot or take a nap or shop or do anything except face the tasks at hand.
So I make lists and put them by the coffee pot and I have a zillion pep talks to get going with the next thing and then God meets me right where I am in my obedience.
How personal is that message this morning for a lady who named her blog “Journey Onward”?
So if you came here today, I pray you get some hope and encouragement. We are sojourners, traveling along together for such a time as this.
I was able to read the two books for October, with the honest disclosure that I have 54 pages left in one, but I am bound and determined to finish it today so I am counting it as done. Checked off. Finito. Finished.
Heres a refresher:
I am still working on the Jude study by Jackie Hill Perry. If you are looking for a true Bible Study, I highly recommend this. The videos are available to rent through Lifeway and this one is one of the best Bible Studies I have done in a long time.
The Lutzer book is the one I have almost finished and I want to say a few things about it.
There is so much noise out in the world right now.
The noise comes from sources that include political, social, cultural, economic, media, marketing, and opinions of every single person you run into over the course of a day.
Far left to left to center to right to far right and then just take a marker and draw lines out from that in every direction and that is the inflow of information we get regarding everything from trash pickup delays to health care to climate control to ”Did God really say?”
So I am starting to be very wary when people speak.
I try to listen with an open mind, but there are a lot of filters being applied from outer sources plus the filters I have developed through learning and experience and such and so when I saw the title of this book, I assumed….
ooohhhhkay…..here we go.
This is going to be a rally cry for Christians to be loud and proud and demand we are heard.
I was so far wrong, I cringe.
While this book definitely calls out some serious errors in what is being fed to us through trickle down Marxism, it is a call to the Church to remember who we serve and why we believe what we believe.
It is a charge to us to remember that we are placed in the times and seasons of our lives to share the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ; to love and to reach those who are deceived, confused, lost and even outright against us. A day of judgment will come for all and we will be held accountable for our part in warning others and holding fast to truth.
The author continually reminds the reader that since we believe the Church of Jesus Christ is the answer to the problems of humanity and human nature, then we must be preparing our hearts and minds to step into the mess and be the place of hope and healing that we were called to be.
Lutzer calls out our sins as a nation regarding many of the hot issues of the day. He doesn’t excuse it away. It is a call to accountability and being wise. It is about speaking the truth in love and bathing our efforts in prayer and submission to God and His ways. It is about recognizing where we have let sin and greed of the nation to infiltrate our faith and we can not let old ways continue.
I have marked this one up and it will be resource for me going forward as it points to Christ as the Lode Star of all I believe.
And now for the surprise second book I finished.
I received this as a gift from a friend in 2011 and it has been on the shelf since then.
My eyes fell on it as I was dusting and I pulled it off and read in a short few days.
It is so encouraging. I offered it to Russ to read, and he also finished quickly but agreed it is such a positive and sweet book of hope and the power of praying for others.
I have always enjoyed this artist’s music and have a respect for him that was enhanced when he came to a local church and played the best concert for a church filled with people. I can’t even remember if we bought tickets, but if we did the cost was minimal. He had a keyboard and just sang and talked to us and led us in worship.
During Covid, he would hold a worship service in his home on Saturday evenings with a keyboard set up in his living room or studio over YouTube. His genuine concern for people feeling isolated and alone was very touching to me.
The book is based on a prayer he began to pray over his audiences at the end of concerts years ago and the impact it had on people was so powerful, he put this book together to share some thoughts behind each portion of the prayer.
I don’t think he would mind me sharing the prayer with you.
The book itself expounds on the lines and is rich with added meaning to the words. It would make a lovely gift for someone this Christmas.
Here is the prayer:
The Prayer of Blessing
In the name of Jesus Christ, I bless you with the promises of God, which are ‘yes’ and ‘amen.’
May the Holy Spirit make you healthy and strong in body, mind, and spirit to move in faith and expectancy.
May God’s angels be with you to protect and keep you.
Be blessed with supernatural strength to turn your eyes from foolish, worthless, and evil things, and to shut out the demeaning and the negative.
Instead may you behold the beauty of things that God has planned for you as you obey His Word.
May God bless your ears to hear the lovely, the uplifting, and the encouraging. May your mind be strong, disciplined, balanced, and faith-filled.
May your feet walk in holiness and your steps be ordered by the Lord. May your hands be tender and helping, blessing those in need.
May your heart be humble and receptive to one another and to the things of God, not to the world.
God’s grace be upon your home, that it may be a sanctuary of rest and renewal, a haven of peace where sounds of joy and laughter grace its walls, where love and unconditional acceptance of one another is the constant rule.
May God give you the spiritual strength to overcome the evil one and avoid temptation.
May God’s grace be upon you to fulfill your dreams and visions. May goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your long life.Michael W. Smith
I hope that prayer blesses you like it does me.
I also hope you will take time to pray that over others in your life.
There is great power in prayer and no shame in using a good one to springboard off of as you search for words to pray <3