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The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: prayer (page 2 of 2)

Multitude of Mercies

I love driving into town. No sooner do I pull out of 2837 onto the highway, when the dialogue starts. 
I usually pray out loud in the car, and while He never answers out loud, yet He speaks

* * * * * * *

This morning I opened my Bible to Psalm 5. And my mind went back to yesterday, halfway home.

“Your Grace, disobedience of the slightest sort is high treason against the Crown.
And we are traitors. Deserving of death.

I do not remotely understand You.
I mean, I get it… But I cannot fathom. 
I just can’t.

Normally, if mercy is strong enough to commute the death sentence for treason, it certainly does not restore the traitor to trust. 

But time and time again, You pick your little ones up from the dirt, and trust…


Multitude of mercies…  

How long can You keep trusting traitors?”   
The last question was rhetorical. But after a moment of silence, He saw fit to answer in a still, small voice with the distinct tones of a smile–
Until My blood runs out.   And that, my boy, won’t happen any time soon.

“But as for me, I will come into thy house in the
 multitude of thy mercy, and in thy fear 
will I worship toward thy holy temple.” Psalm 5:7

Asking to Give

Because my heart is full, but my hands are empty. My pockets are empty.
My words are empty.

I lie on my back trusting weight to white cotton rope.
And I stare up at glistening green needles against blue.
And I wonder.
24 hours and I’ll be in Atlanta.
24 more hours and I’ll be in the Alps again…

Large loom the many lessons that have recently precipitated out of rough water around here, but these two are paramount:
All that is human is flawed; futile. And,
Heaven alone is worth living for.

Then Lord of Glory, fill your people through our emptiness… 
With Your Own overflowing heart. 

Lean Harder

“Lean harder…”

The ground dropped away before them, a steep rocky slope covered by an unstable mat of pine needles.

“My footing will be better with both your weight and mine.”

I watched their feet; the two strong ones on the outside and the weaker in the midst.

Suddenly there was a solidity of step, as the weight on the shuffling feet was trusted to stronger ones downhill.

. . . . . . 

Hours later I thought:

God is like that.

He needs all of my weight for optimum footing in my life. 
I can insist on using my lame feet when the slope is particularly scary, 

but I put myself at risk for a fall…

Jesus, help me remember.

Seventeen – Smiles Against All Odds.

An excursion down memory lane just landed me on some old treasures… A few would probably make you smile, (maybe they’ll have their chance in the near future) but one in particular rivets me this morning…
The year I learned to pray.

I knew something special was going on even back then, but now I really see it. And to this day, that nine-letter word dances on my tongue whenever my friends start talking about the best years of their lives. 
That was a loaded year. A year of transitions… And one of the fullest and toughest of my life. 
But it was pure happiness.
I still remember standing in line to register for classes at a public university… And thinking over and over again on the first day of classes: “What on earth am I doing here?”
But what I remember more is being in that treasured spot in library at the top of the hill, day after day, every time the clock in the bell tower struck 12:00, to keep an appointment…
It didn’t start there, of course. It started months and months earlier on the hillside at home. In fact, it was probably the greatest factor in my finishing 4 years of high school in a year and a half. 
It was “quiet hour.” 
Just me, and my God, and my journal.
And just as I had done all the year through when normal life, well meaning people, interruptions and “important” things tried to eclipse it, I had to fight to keep it. I had quite the time scheduling and re-scheduling 19 credits to keep it free.
Am I ever glad I did…

My life looks a bit different now. 
Instead of 19 credits, it’s the joys and challenges of virtually full-time ministry with books to write, CDs to record, planes to catch, people to love, the gospel to share, and our lives to pour out… (for which we both tremble, and thank our God constantly)
And there are the duties of home to make all of that logistically possible… 2 corporations  soon to be 4, (for myself and my brother) the joys and responsibilities of being family, such as helping to maintain home and property, gardens and a greenhouse, and claiming my share of the honor of taking care of a grandmother with severe dementia…  
But still. Still…
My life is pure happiness.
Even though I am always facing impossible odds.
There’s just nothing in the world like shedding everything for a moment (or an hour) right when it feels like it’s going to kill you, and leaning on Jesus with your head on His knee…
Smiles against all odds… 
I still call 17 the best year of my life. 
But maybe that’s not really fair… For since then, they have only gotten better.


I have never heard anyone pray like that… 
He was a stranger to me, a seasoned gentleman of years. But his prayer sent chills up and down my spine. 
And it wasn’t because he chose words of special depth or gravity. A child would have prayed as such. It was the way he said one word: please.
I wish you had been there to hear it, because I hardly know how to make it graphically representative. We were praying together, just he and I and one other in a room full of Doctors all doing the same thing.
But when he asked for the Holy Spirit, he didn’t ask like we normally do.   
He begged as though his heart would break. As though he would die without it… 

I stand not as a judge of the hearts of men, but if I have ever been sure of anything, I am sure of this: If anybody gets the Holy Spirit, he will. 

“If you will find time and voice to pray, God will find time and voice to answer.”

Let us Return…

Oh, my soul aches for a better land. For a better life…

We are weak… A crippled army. A sleeping nation. An apostate generation. 
We are wounded… And we are so busy tending our own wounds, we can’t even think of healing the wounds of others. 
We are weary… So weary that as soon as we are finished fighting our own battle, (if indeed we fight) we sink down to the ground with thoughts only of ourselves and our great struggle… But what of the little sister struggling within arms reach, weak, and ready to die? Shall we stay there in a heap catching our breath and lend no hand while she goes down to ruin? 
We have a problem. 
A serious problem. 
But God has the solution…
Isaiah 30 says we die because we do not return. 
I happen to think this return is a graphic one. I mean, it’s more than just a spiritual turning after a season of wandering… 
It’s a constant turning, and returning to a position of humility before God. A place of repentance. A place of intercession… The place on your knees. 
Read it that way. Because you and I don’t return to our knees, we die, and the world dies around us.
Lord, forgive us…
I detest the distractions that keep our eyes on ourselves…
It’s time to change our battle plan.
Rise up, oh men of God!
Let us return…


Isaiah 14/15
I have been silent, but not still… Yesterday was the climax of the Texico Conference Campmeeting, and my viola was out of its case more than in it, precluding a post.
And then, there were other reasons too… 
I’m the kind of guy that expends a great deal of energy on invisible conquest. In fact, most of the people I fight for don’t even know it. (Maybe never will). But that’s ok…  
Anyway, all day, and all this morning, verse 1 of chapter 14 kept tapping at my consciousness, waiting for quiet… And finally, I got it.
“For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel…”
Even though they had stumbled and fallen. Even though He had picked them up and brushed the dirt off of them countless times before. Even though their mistakes were not always innocent ones… Still…
I cannot tell you what that means to me. Even though He’s picked me up out of the dirt ten thousand times, yet He has mercy. Yet He chooses me. Does that even make sense?
It reminds me of my favorite word. “Nevertheless.”
Actually, it’s the reason behind my favorite word. Because His unwavering commitment to my salvation (nevertheless) calls forth the best I can give in return… 
If His “faith” in me is strong enough to make Him pick me up again when I fall, risking His name over and over again by claiming me as His child, then I am worse than a fool not to honor Him with my trust in return. 
And so, am I a man committed. 
And though I admit that for the Christian in this world, pain and hardship, toil, sacrifice, grief and loss and suffering are very real, very often… (here comes that word–)  

A Year Full of Promise…

I learned something this morning…
Gold is most dazzling in its liquid form…
Wood is most colorful when it’s about to turn to ashes…
And the face of Jesus was “never more beautiful” than when stained with blood, and showing the marks of pain and exhaustion. (Desire of Ages – “In Pilate’s Judgement Hall”)
There’s something there for me. And something tells me I’m going to find it this year… 
Especially if I intend to reveal through my life the beauty of the King in more dazzling color than ever. 
That is my prayer. That is my intention. Oh, give me Jesus…
And oh, if you are a child of the Highest, and if you have read this post, pray for me. 

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