>Prayer Request and Blessing out of Trial

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“Selah” is an incredible trio of vocalists! Like all of us, they are not immune to trials and tribulations.

Todd and his wife Angie (who is not part of the trio) are in the midst of a trial to which most of us can not relate. Angie is carrying their fourth daughter, who has many issues that make it apparent the baby will not survive. Against some medical advice, they have determined not to end the pregnancy.

Angie is writing a blog that is simply incredible. Her ability at putting her deepest pains and joy in writing is astounding, and I recommend when you have some time you go to the blog, scroll down to the beginning, and read it consecutively.

And, obviously, join me in praying for a miracle! Here’s the website: http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/

>CHRISTless Christianity; RELIGIONless Religion

>The February 11 issue of “Newsweek” has a “Modern Family” column on page 60 titled “Talking to Kids About God.” The author, Kathleen Deveny, is a self-described “cafeteria Catholic” (I admire her honesty…come down the serving line of the Catholic faith and take want you want; pass on what you don’t like…and, alas, it is not just Catholics who do so).

She thinks “it is easier to talk to (her) daughter about sex than about God. Perhaps that’s because I have a pretty good idea where babies come from, but I’m still a little fuzzy on the details about God.”

Well, since she is (again, by her own admission) picking-and-choosing tidbits here and there about her faith, it is no wonder she is “fuzzy on the details.”

But the saddest part in her column occurs as she quotes a friend who has a nine-year-old daughter, “I kind of play down the religious aspect of church…At a recent meeting to discuss what we would like the Sunday school to teach, I got quite a few funny looks when I said I didn’t want a lot of emphasis on the spiritual side of things.”

Man, I sure am glad she got some “funny looks” instead of applause!

I was raised in a non-church-going family. Christ grabbed me when I was 26. These many years later I still can’t understand why people (regardless of denomination) go to church if they don’t believe. Obviously for some it is a cultural thing; some, I suppose, go for the “sake of the children.”

But to verbalize one’s belief that Sunday school should not teach spiritual things amazes me. That’s not even “holding to a form of godliness…”

>The Beatles Quote God?

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http://youtube.com/v/lfsvE4j4ExA

I recall one of my drill sergeants screaming at a recruit who couldn’t accomplish a task, “What do you want me to do, hold your hand?” Obviously this was not voiced in a pleasant or helpful way.
But look at Psalm 37.23,24: “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.”
What a promise of a “very present help.” What a promise of security. Abba, Daddy, holds the hand of those who try to walk in His way…

>Patriot Killers and a Thinkaboutit

>My oh my. I admit I was not looking forward to the game; I thought it would be a Patriot pounding.

Instead it turns into perhaps the best Superbowl I’ve watched. Manning getting away from the sack, that amazing catch-on-top-of-the-helmet; the chumpy way the Patriots coach wimped off the field of play…

Here’s an appropriate quotation as the Hagers wait on the Lord to see to the details of our upcoming move to Missouri:

God has a time for everything, a perfect schedule. He is never too soon, never too late. The when of His will is as important as the what and the how.
Richard C. Halverson

>THINKABOUTIT

>“The good news of the kingdom is not freedom from hardship, suffering, and loss. It is the news of a Redeemer who has come to rescue me from myself. His rescue produces change that fundamentally alters my response to these inescapable realities. The Redeemer turns rebels into disciples, fools into humble listeners. He makes cripples walk again. In him we can face life and respond with faith, love, and hope. And as he changes us, he allows us to be a part of what he is doing in the lives of others. As you respond to the Redeemer’s work in your life, you can learn to be an instrument in his hands.”-
Paul David Tripp
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands
(Phillipsburg, Pa.: P & R publishing, 2002), 16.

>Don’t Mope, Hope!

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The dictionary on my desk defines “hope” as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”.

Hope is a marvelous, marvelous gift. Though non-Christians may speak of “hope,” the genuine gift of hope is for those who have been redeemed – Ephesians 2.12 describes our pre-salvation state as “…having no hope and without God in the world.”

Colossians 1.5 speaks of a warehouse-in-heaven, “…the hope laid (stored) up for you in heaven.” The psalmist confirms that the gift of hope is from God: “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” (62.5)

Though the ultimate object of our hope is the Lord, He gives encouragement to hope in His Word: “Remember Your word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope.” (Psalm 119.49) and “Those who fear You shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in Your word.” (Psalm 119.74)

Romans 12.12 urges Christians to “Rejoice in hope…” and Romans 15.4 reminds us of the hope-giving power of God’s Word: “For whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Some times the translators give the same word often translated “hope” the word “wait.” (as in “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength”) At least for me this “translates” into sometimes gritting teeth even while I hope.

I’m not a good “waiter.” Yet even that impatience (sin) is laced with hope. And, ultimately, hope is not in circumstances, or realtors (!), or doctors, or anything/anyone else. Peter reminds me, “…your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1.21)

One heritage of my four years in the army is a tendency to make acronyms. For instance, I take my last name and use if often for prayer, that I would be Holy, Active, Gentle, Enthusiastic, Reliable.

So it’s not surprising I have an acronym for “hope”: He Oversees (and Overrules) People and Events.

A prayer for me, mine, and you is Romans 15.13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”