Practicing Christian

My journey to getting it right….

Lord, Teach Me To Pray

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I came across this image in my Internet travels and it immediately struck a chord with me. I have never been one at ease with daily prayer. Sure, I was taught the standard mealtime and bedtime prayers every child learns in their early Christian education, but their simplicity never seems enough as one grows and deals with the complexities of adulthood. I try with the written routine of devotional and fall out of habit, and then I look around at friends able to bring forth the most fruitful prose with ease…and feel inadequate and incapable in my efforts.

Even these six simple actions seem paltry, especially compared to the major woes and tragedies Life seems to keep tossing into my orbit. And yet, it is something I feel is within my grasp…something I am able to do. Some that I HAVE been doing thinking it’s not enough. I suppose it’s just in our nature as humans to think there is more we can do to make sure God notices us, particularly if His timing seems slow to nonexistent. And that repeating the same paltry actions is only ceremonial and incapable of changing anything.

Still practicing…..

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The End of Sermon Time as We Know It | Holy Soup

http://holysoup.com/2016/02/02/the-end-of-sermon-time-as-we-know-it/

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What Not to Say to Someone Who Has Been Hurt By Church | RELEVANT Magazine

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/what-not-say-someone-who-has-been-hurt-church

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Dear Church: An open letter from one of those millennials you can’t figure out • Ponder Anew

http://www.theologyinworship.com/2015/05/13/dear-church-an-open-letter-from-one-of-those-millennials-you-cant-figure-out/

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I Don’t Need to Change, and I Certainly Don’t Want To! – Refresh The Church

http://wwv.group.com/refresh-the-church/blog/need-to-change/#.VVo7RMko7qD

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Why I’m Not in Love with Christianity’s Sub-Culture

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kirkfranklin/2015/01/why-im-not-in-love-with-christianitys-sub-culture/

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Devotional reading for November 20, 2014

(One of the hiccups of sharing directly from the app–since it started me in the middle things are slightly out of sequence. Still, I must have flagged it for a reason.)

http://bible.com/r/x.T Today I am reading day 29 of Life Application Study Bible ® Devotion:

Job 21:22 (NLT)
But who can teach a lesson to God, since he judges even the most powerful?

Although baffled by the reasons for his suffering, Job affirmed God’s superior understanding by asking, “Who can teach a lesson to God?” The way you respond to your personal struggles shows your attitude toward God. Rather than becoming angry with God, continue to trust him, no matter what your circumstances may be. Although it is sometimes difficult to see, God IS in control. We must commit ourselves to him so we will not resent his timing.

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Bible In A Year* (….and a half, by now)

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So I re-started this journey through the Bible sometime last year, as I chronicled here. After many, many date shifts and catch-up days I have managed to muddle to halfway through. It’s a little more difficult now that the phone reminders have stopped; once my plan calendar reached (this date) and the last chapter of Revelation they considered their work finished. Updates to the YouVersion app allowed me to discover a tab for the entire plan laid out by month instead of just by day, and in that view, you can click on any of the individual days you missed. Right now I’m wading through Leviticus for the Old Testament and Mark’s gospel in the New Testament, plus the typical Psalms and Proverbs passages. Can I tell you that reading about all these ceremonial specifics and qualifications is EXTREMELY TEDIOUS? I have to believe there is some practical purpose for reading about sin, guilt, burnt and praise offerings in this day and age….but as I’m not bringing livestock to the altar unless it’s those big wooden figures we use for the Nativity, I’m struggling to see the point. And to say that my mind wanders is a gross understatement.

Nevertheless, I continue to try. Being partially unplugged for this Consecration Fast effort (the social media component I’ve handled fairly well, but I’m probably taking liberties with the diet) has helped to free up some time so at best, the falloff has been maybe two or three days. Discovering the audio on the app is a mixed blessing–it helps in those chapters full of unpronounceable names and even adds the readalong book experience I enjoyed as a child, but more often than not I’ll play it just to listen and wind up falling asleep on it and having to listen several more times to ingest it all. Bible by osmosis is not what the goal is.

Of course, once I DO manage to get through it the first time, I’ll need to go back for deeper study and analysis. But this is a daunting enough task as it is. I’ll just focus on these small samples for now until I’m ready to sit at the grown-ups’ table.

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Devotional reading for 1/16/2015

http://bible.com/r/x.1O Today I am reading day 86 of Life Application Study Bible ® Devotion:

Going to God’s house can be a chore or a delight. For the psalmist, it was a delight. As a pilgrim attending one of the three great religious festivals, he rejoiced to worship with God’s people in God’s house. We may find worship a chore if we have unconfessed sin or if our love for God has cooled. But if we are close to God and enjoy his presence, we will be eager to worship and praise him. Our attitude toward God will determine our view of worship.

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He WILL Come….Right?

Been going through my music collection and replacing some tracks that “mysteriously” disappeared from my phone during the last upgrade/SD card swap…lots of favorites on Mandisa’s True Beauty album, but this one struck me tonight, particularly with all of the turmoil I’ve been dealing with and this numbing sense of loneliness I feel.

That I managed to find an ASL rendition is a plus, as I appreciate the dual poetry of language and motion.


He Will Come
Mandisa, from the True Beauty release (2007)

If what you thought was the truth, is a lie
And what you thought to keep on breathing has died
You faced the lonely nights and wrestled with the dark
And you reach to find the love to fill the space inside your heart

It’s hard to put it into words, the way you feel
It’s a naked emptiness that lingers still
Are you a victim of the past without a trace of hope inside?
And it all goes by so fast without a way to make it right
If you worry, don’t worry

God will come and wrap His arms around You
It wouldn’t be too much for Him
To love You as He found You

And it may seem like You’re too far gone
But He loves you like His only son
And He will come, He will come

From the bounty of a river, there’s a flow
From the beauty of the Father’s heart’s a home
That never leaves you empty, no, and never leaves you bare
So come and bring your guilt and shame, come and leave it there
If you’re weary, He’s willing

God will come and wrap His arms around You
It wouldn’t be too much for Him
To love You as He found You

And it may seem like You’re too far gone
But He loves you like His only son
And He will come

Oh, you don’t have to be worthy
You don’t have to be anything
But willing to fall into His arms
Willing to fall into His arms

God will come and wrap His arms around You
It wouldn’t be too much for Him
To love You as He found You

And it may seem like You’re too far gone
But He loves you like His only son
He will come

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