Life update and encouragement

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When I decided to post today, I intended to write something along the lines of “Hey, there. So I moved cross country to Denver! Surprise. Life is full of working and job hunting, so please pray for me and understand why I’m not blogging regularly.”

That was the plan anyway. But with the subject on my mind, along with the anxiety I’ve been battling about finding the right job in Denver, something surprising happened. I remembered the amazing things that happened before I moved here, as well as all the ways God provided for me 14 years ago to allow me to move to Washington, D.C. when I was just out of college and had no very little savings and no connections.

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IDOP 2016

Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).

Hebrews 13:1-3 states, “Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”

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How A Longer Commute Strengthened My Prayer Life

7633664078_8212c46e2a_zSometimes God uses annoying things to bring us closer to Him. In fact, when I think about it, he probably uses those things much more than things we’re happy about. He’s certainly used disappointment, pain and frustration to improve my character over the years and to remind me of his own grace and faithfulness.

In any case, a few years ago my employer’s office relocated much further from my home. Suddenly my pleasant 20-30 minute commute was an hour, each way. Spending two hours each day on the road became a huge routine loss of time and reduction in what I could accomplish day to day.

Initially, I started listening to podcasts like Fighting for the Faith in the car so that it wasn’t a total waste of time. At some point I realized that if I spent time in prayer while driving it would ensure that I was praying regularly and get me focused on Jesus before starting my work day. Listening to a few hymns, worship songs or most recently old gospel music and then praying the rest of my drive has been so beneficial for my relationship with Jesus and certainly kept my mind and heart more regularly fixed on the cross and the gospel than it would have otherwise been.

It also had the added benefit of cutting down on my frustration with other drivers. No small feat considering DC consistently ranks at or near the top for the worst drivers in the nation.

7 Ways Prayer is Worship by Paul David Tripp

I rarely use devotional books. I really don’t see the point of most of them and if I’m going to attempt to read something daily, I want it to be the Bible itself. That being said, Paul David Tripp’s devotional New Morning Mercies is actually quite good and on occasion I read a daily entry or two.

The entry for Sept. 13, was focused on how prayer is a form of worship it included these seven statements which I found helpful:

  1. Pray acknowledges God’s existence
  2. Prayer bows to God’s glory
  3. Prayer submits to God’s plan
  4. Prayer confesses allegiance to God’s kingdom
  5. Prayer rests in God’s provision
  6. Prayer celebrates God’s grace
  7. Prayer commits to God’s work

The Word for Maundy Thursday: Jesus in the Garden

Matthew 26:36-36 (NASB) Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.  Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

Go Deeper

Matthew’s gospel is not the only one to recount the events of that evening, of the last supper or Jesus with the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane praying before his betrayal and arrest.

Bible.org examines three passages side by side and examines them in detail. If you want to go deeper today into the events of that night, I recommend this helpful article.

The Word: John 17:13-21

“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. Continue reading

Praises and Prayer Requests

My friend Sara who had the corneal transplant is doing great. She’s back to work with full vision. Praise the Lord!

This weekend I had the opportunity to witness a Dare 2 Share conference. Seeing teens get fired up about sharing the gospel with their friends and family and actually being taught practical strategies for doing it was pretty incredible. I will probably write more about this at some point, but for now just keep those kids in prayer.

Lastly, a reminder to be thankful for all God’s blessings. Yesterday, as part of D2S, I joined a few teenagers who set out to talk about the gospel with anyone willing to talk. They met a homeless man named Donald and talked with him a long while. Donald has lived in a tent for three years. So if you’re like me and have a roof over your head tonight, and don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, thank God for his blessings and pray for those who don’t.