Five Finger Prayer

June 2nd, 2010 |

I found the Five Finger Prayer here.

I think it is definitely worth sharing.

THE FIVE FINGER PRAYER

1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a “sweet duty.”

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger – the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you. ” Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Psalm 119:33-40

February 15th, 2010 |

Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.

Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.

Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.

Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.

Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.

Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.

How I long for your precepts!
Preserve my life in your righteousness.

This is an awesome prayer. It reminds me of the words of Jesus, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all these things will be added unto you.”

Popularity: 6% [?]

God works everything for your good

December 16th, 2009 |

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

It’s hard to see at times, but it is true. We often demand things from God. We question the valleys He places us in. We ask about our situations and circumstances. Many of us often forget the above scripture.

I am as guilty as the next person about questioning God’s moves at times, but I would like to give a real life example of how the above is true.

After several miscarriages, a doctor removed my wife’s fallopian tubes. It became physically impossible to have a child without in vitro fertilization (IVF). I thought I had good insurance with my company until we went to the doctor and found out IVF is not covered. In fact, most insurance companies consider it “elective” surgery and refuse to cover it (except in some states where law deems it must be covered). For the next couple of years, I worked hard, trying to save $12,000 so we could have a baby. Then I lost my job. I spent a year looking for a new one and went through all my savings.

Near the end of that year, I began questioning God. Then I gave up. I prayed God would either give me a job or take me from this earth. Babies were the last thing on my mind at that time. A couple of days later, I got a call for a good job. Not only do I have the potential to make much more than I had been, but IVF is actually covered by the insurance. We had our first consultation yesterday for a whopping $30 copay. The usual $10,000 fees are all covered. The only thing left now is to find out if the meds, which usually run around $2,000 are covered. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Two grand is easier to save than twelve!

God is faithful. He works everything to the good of those that trust in Him.

Popularity: 7% [?]

One Path to Heaven

December 14th, 2009 |

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12)

It is no surprise that non-Christians will disagree with this verse from the Bible. What always surprises me are the “Christians” that deny this truth. Those Christians that say, “there are many roads to God” or “All religions lead to heaven.” Really?

Logic dictates that all roads cannot lead to God just as all roads in the world cannot lead to Disney Land. Some roads are dead ends. Some are too short. And some head in the wrong direction.

Let us look at a couple of other religions. Does the path of a Satanist lead to heaven? How can one who faithfully worships Satan be rewarded by going to heaven to sit with Jehovah God while that person’s master burns in the lake of fire? What of the path of the Mormons who believe the best Mormons will become gods and have universes over which they rule? Mormonism is not a path to God, but a supposed pathway to godhood–which is the same temptation the devil offered Eve in the Garden of Eden.

There is only one path to God and heaven, Jesus Christ. His is the only name and only gospel that will grant us entrance into heaven. It is He who will sit upon the throne judging us, not according to our works, but according to our faith. If we do not have that lamb’s blood applied to our lives, we will find ourselves locked out of heaven. If we place our trust and hope in Him, neither death nor life nor height nor depth will keep us from the love of God. On the obverse of that coin is the truth that faith applied anywhere else is misapplied and will separate us from God.

Popularity: 17% [?]

Blessings from Disasters

December 7th, 2009 |

We hear all the time about silver linings. The McKameys did a song that said, “God will make this trial a blessing” and that’s what I want to talk about.

When I lost my job last year, I trusted God would find me a new and better job quickly. He didn’t. As I have already admitted, my faith faltered. I wondered why God was taking His time in helping me.

I have that new job now. Being in sales, I have always enjoyed the opportunity to go out and meet new people, to learn about them and their businesses, and to help them solve problems. With this new job, not only do I get to do all that, but I am finding so may opportunities to talk about God, His greatness and His mercy.

This job has proven an excellent position in which I can testify and witness about the love of Christ. It may not have been exactly what I was looking for, but it is more than I could have hoped for. In the end, the jobs we hold do not matter. The only thing that will matte is what we have done with our time here on this earth.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2009 |

In a few hours, it will be Thanksgiving. Let us offer thanks to the King of Kings for His graciousness and mercy. With these turbulent times, it may seem there is little to be thankful for, but if you are in Christ, you have everything to thank Him for. As it is written, if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul, what has he profited?

For those who know Jesus Christ and trust in Him, we know He supplies every need. We may have lost a job or have loved ones fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, but we are still heirs to the Kingdom when this world passes away.

For those who have not yet discovered the good news of Christ’s coming, I encourage you to look at the blessings in your life. Even if everything seems grim, there is hope. For starters, you have a God who loves you. He loved you enough to carry all your sins to the cross. That you’re alive means there is still time to find salvation. On top of that, here are some things for which you might be thankful:

a job, loved ones, pets, a car that works, gas money, a roof over your head, food on your table, a bed to sleep in, friends.

We all have so much to be thankful for every day, but oft times, we forget. We take every little thing for granted–expecting it will always be there. But nothing lasts forever except heaven, our souls, and hell. So give thanks, not just today, but every day, for the blessings Jesus Christ has bestowed upon you.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Stay Faithful: God is Watching

November 24th, 2009 |

6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 

7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

We all face trials and temptations. The key is trying to hold on to our faith in the midst of such turbulence. I wish I could say I am an expert. I wish I could say I am as faithful as a mustard seed. But I confess, like everyone else, I am not. Even Peter had his moment of weakness, denying Christ three times before the cock crowed. But that was the end of Peter’s faltering faith. Once Peter received the gift of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, his faith never waivered again.

Oh, that we could all be so bold in our commitment to Christ. That we, as Christians, could take up our crosses and carry them, never questioning Jesus Christ in our moments of strife.

If I can offer you anything today, let it be this: God is faithful. Hold on to your faith. He will see you through your times of struggle and you will emerge victorious. Through Christ, we are more than conquerors. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God. Hold true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and no matter what happens, you can rest assured a better day is coming. If not in this life, then in the next.

Popularity: 5% [?]

God is Great

November 16th, 2009 |

… and greatly to be praised. (Psalm 96:4)

Yes, I paraphrased a bit, but the thought is the same.

In the past seven years, many things have happened in my life. My wife miscarried a couple of times. After the first time, I told myself it was God’s will. That when He was ready, we would have a child. Each time after that, when the pregnancy test came back positive, I thought God figured I was ready. Then a few weeks later, that hope was always gone. Three years ago, my wife had an ectopic pregnancy and the doctors went in to look for it. They ended up removing both of her fallopian tubes due to endometriosis. I admit I didn’t understand. I trusted God would let it happen at the perfect time and then it became a physical impossibility for us to have a normal pregnancy. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is now the only possible way for us to have a child of our own. Unfortunately, the company I worked for had insurance that refused to cover any portion of IVF. Yes, I was broken hearted, but I continued to believe God would make a way for us to save the $12,000 required for IVF.

Just over a year ago, I lost my job. I spent a year looking and praying for a new one. I exhausted all of my savings in that year. Last week, God came through for me, letting me finally start a new job. While it’s a commission-only job, I believe God placed me here to be successful. I’m in sales and already have at least one or two deals coming down the pike. More than that, the insurance with this company covers IVF and–I believe–the expensive medications required for it.

God is faithful if we remain faithful. I could not see where He was taking me. It looked like I was on a black road spiraling down into the abyss all alone, but He has remained by my side. As David said, in Psalm 18:33, “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet and setteth me upon my high places.”

If you are going through tough times, if this portion of your life seems black and empty, I encourage you to remain faithful to our Lord and Savior. You may feel abandoned, but He promised us, “I will never leave thee nor foresake thee.” To paraphrase Paul, we see things through a dark glass right now. We don’t know the future and what God holds in store for us. We can, however, rest assured that He will make every trial a blessing if we will just refuse to listen to that voice of despair. If we will continue to praise Him even in hard times, God will make Himself manifest in our lives and carry us through the valley, setting us high upon the mountain on the other side.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Bless them that curse you

November 10th, 2009 |

One of the things Jesus told us was

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matt 5:44)

It isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Often times, our flesh gets in the way. We feel someone wronged us, perhaps they actually did, and we want God to punish that person, not bless them. After all, why should we want to see good things happen to someone who just harmed us?

I would like to give you a real world example I am wrestling with. I lost my job over a year ago. I didn’t get unemployment. I blew through my entire savings. I am struggling to make ends meet. A couple of days ago, I stepped out on my back porch and realized someone stole my pressure washer. It was a Huskie 1550 PSI electric washer I bought just before losing my job. I only got to use it 2 or 3 times.

As a side note: earlier this year, someone came into my back yard and stole a rose bush. Yes, they acually took the time to dig up a small bush I bought for $5 or $10 at Wal-mart. So, this theft made me feel doubly betrayed in my small town of Decatur, Alabama.

When I realized someone stole my pressure washer, I sat down. I admit I felt hurt, violated. I wanted to cry. No, I wanted to curse. But I prayed, “God, please get me to the place where I can forgive this person and ask that you bless them.” Then the thought came to me. As we forgive, so are we forgiven. I admit it, I didn’t feel it right then, but I continued my prayer and asked God, “Please, LORD, let me forgive this person. Please bless them.” Over the past couple of days, I have continued to ask for God’s blessing upon this person. It is my sincere hope that God will bless this person with a job or money so they do not have to go around stealing from people who are also facing hard times. I hope God will forgive the person. Hell is a horrible place and going there because you didn’t want to work to buy a  pressure washer that was only $100-$150 would be a shame. So, I pray God forgives him. And I pray God blesses this person with a conscience. And that God will bless the person with salvation.

Praying this way not only helps me to forgive the person–so I feel better–but it also blesses others I do not know.

If God should bless this person as I have asked, it means other people will not have things stolen from them. So, they are blessed. It may also save the thief’s life. Recently, a teen was shot and killed when he broke into a man’s house. As this thief goes around stealing, he might try to steal from the wrong person and get shot. This blessing would not only keep the homeowner’s conscience clear from having killed someone over something small, but it would also save the thief’s family the grief and expense of burying a loved one. Perhaps this person will even father a great man of God if he lives long enough. I don’t know.

I do know that when we pray for those who despitefully use us, when we bless those that curse us, we are also asking God’s blessing upon many others we do not know. We may never see God’s blessings in these lives, but we can rest assured they are there.

If you’ve been wronged, if someone has injured you, I encourage you to pray for that person. Don’t pray that God will punish or hurt them. Pray that God will bless them. You’ll feel better and you’ll be helping more people than you know.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Christian Intolerance

July 23rd, 2009 |

We often hear about how intolerant Christians are–about how Christians hate homosexuals and non-Christians, but is it true? Does repeating something enough times make it so?

If five billion people claimed 2+2=5 would they be right or would the one billion claiming it is four be correct? Hopefully, we can agree the latter group would still be correct, despite the overwhelming majority’s concurrence.

While I confess there are a handful of people who claim the name of Christ, but do not share His compassion, the majority of Christians are extremely tolerant.

Calling something like homosexuality a sin is no more an example of intolerance than calling a Ford a car is. Since homosexuality is such a heated topic though, let us look at it through a different prism. Is it intolerance when a Christian says raping and murdering a child is a sin?

The truth of the matter is we are called to love sinners while being intolerant of sins. But we cannot live others’ lives for them. So, we must be intolerant of sin within our own lives. It is like when Jesus asked, “Why do you complain about the splinter in his eye when you have a whole plank in your own?” (Yes, I’m paraphrasing Him.)

Telling someone something is a sin, however, is not a matter of splinters and planks. Nor is it judging another. It is a simple statement of fact. As an analogy, let us consider someone says, “I have a great idea. Let’s go to the theater and shout, ‘Fire.’” If you tell them, “That’s illegal,” are you also arresting and convicting them? Of course not. You simply told them something was against the law. That doesn’t mean you think you’re better because you only violate other laws. Nor does it imply you are perfect.

If you love your brothers and sisters even as Christ loved you, you will tell them what is sinful.

Popularity: 6% [?]