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Sunday, October 24, 2010


This morning I took a walk to hear God. Don't misunderstand me. I don't mean that I took a walk to hear "from God."  This morning I was fervently listening for God.

Early mornings before everyone else in the house wakes is my time for prayer and Bible study. Usually, I spend this time behind the closed doors of my home office. But this morning I took a walk.

As a pastor, husband/father, & educator, I'm constantly asking God to tell me what He wants me to say and how He wants me to deal with situations that come up; but this morning I wasn't praying for the Spirit to give me a Word. I just really needed to hear His voice, even if He had nothing specific to say to me.

You see, when I pray in the morning, I usually go through my prayer list (and pastors have a loooonnnnggg prayer list). Then I try to sit for a little while and hear from God. By this point though I'm watching the clock, because I have to get ready for work or church.

So, I deliver my report of praise, confession, intercession, petition, & supplication; closing with acknowledgment of the Lord's power and glory and the requisite "in Jesus' name, Amen." Then I ask the Lord to (quickly) give me His thoughts, orders, and approval for the day.

My prayer time had become more like a daily briefing with my Boss than an intimate conversation with the most important Person in my universe.

This morning, I didn't deliver my prayer-report as usual. I really, really listened. Like a traveller or soldier far from the One he loves, I called up God just to hear His voice.

He has such a beautiful voice.

It wasn't exactly audible this morning, but as Psalm 91 says:
2 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard

The morning breeze blew and I looked up into His heavens. To my left the sun was rising, just casting a soft, general light over the entire sky. To my right the moon, the little dipper, and a company of other stars still shown in the sky, some floating behind clouds illuminated by the rising sun. In that time, clouds, sun, stars, & moon all were God's voice.

He said (and I'm paraphrasing), "You think of sunrise as casting out the lights that illuminate the night, but it's not so. The lights that guide you through the darkness aren't meant to go away. That's why there is this time of transition when the lights for the night shine together with the brightness of dawn. Eventually daylight fills the sky in front of the other lights, but they aren't competing.  When day is fully come, those other lights remain in the background still just as bright and true. It's why astronauts blasting off in broad daylight pass the outer layer atmosphere and find all the stars of night there, shining."

When you go through a time of trial, of pain, of backsliding, of "darkness," and the Lord teaches you faith, patience, prayer, and endurance; you receive those lessons and they guide you through the night-season.

But the sun also rises and joy comes in the morning. In the full light of Jesus' blessings you learn gratitude, praise, confidence, and the mechanisms of favor.

Keep both the lessons of the night & the lessons of the day.

2 Peter 1: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

If you live only in the lessons you learn in trouble and forget what God has given you in times of peace you'll lack something. If in times of blessing you neglect what you recived of the Spirit when you had troubles, you can become spiritually nearsighted, even blind.

Remember everything God has given you.
Psalm 103: 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits.

If you ever come to the place spiritually where you feel like you are forgetting something, take a walk just before full dawn and just....listen.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


We preachers are always telling you to read the Bible. At times we probably remind you of that teacher you had (or have) who would stop class to lecture you on the value of education. That’s O.K. It’s a comparison that doesn’t offend me. In this message the Lord opened up to me why I as a pastor feel driven to push Bible study so hard. In this Word the Lord laid out in a very practical, this-is-about-the-life-you’re-living-right-now kind of way why the Word of God is something you need to know.

Listen. Comment.