Tag Archives: Heart

Okay, at the beginning of yesterday's sermon, the pastor showed a PowerPoint slide of a yogurt foil label.

I took that visual in a different direction than I think the pastor intended.

Stirrers, skimmers, diggers...We have all of these types in the Christian body.


Those who stir, those who skim, and those who dig.  The beauty is that each of us shows all of these tendencies at some point or another.

When you hear "stir" - what do you think of?  Is it the negative "stir up bottom muck?"

Or do you think positive?

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, (Hebrews 10:24 ESV)

As believers, do we stir up one another to look more like Christ?  How does this work?  For me, getting into the fringes of something, then finding another person, taking that "something" and running with it...with that other person, pulling more and more people into this "something."

Or simply encouraging another into a deeper walk.



I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, (1 Peter 1:13)

what was Peter "stirring?"  The list begins... faith, virtue, knowledge.

I see (rightly or wrongly) a lot of anti-intellectualism in a lot of people.  "Knowledge" is third on Peter's list and knowledge is what leads to self-control,  steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love.

They're in this order for a reason, and each acts a foundation for the next.

How do we stir our spiritual siblings to greater faith, virtue, knowledge?



Merriam-Websters has one definition:

to look over or read (something) quickly especially to find the main ideas

Yeah, okay.  That works.   Why would a Christian "skim?"

We may skim a chapter of Scripture, then settle on the "main idea" and go for a deeper study of that idea that the Holy Spirit is laying on our heart and mind.

We may skim the church bulletin and rest our eyes on something that intrigues us.

We may skim community groups until we find one that we really click with.

Somebody may ask a question and we skim material looking for information.

These can show good fruit.  I know a little bit about a lot of different things.  Enough so that if somebody asks me a question, I can point them to good resources.  A lot of these things I have not dug into deeply.

I pass over a lot of ministry opportunities that are not in my range of interest...

Waiting to find the right place is good.

but...you if you stay in that "skim" place, or if ALL of your places are skim place, that shows a shallowness that does not show good fruit.

You have to


I can skim Philippians, then land on "I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,"

What does the Bible say about persecution?  Start digging...

I can skim the church bulletin, then land on one opportunity that screams at me...start digging.

But we don't exist in a vacuum.  Help others dig!

So, in some things, I'm a skimmer, others places a digger.  In still other places, I can stir up others to do their own skimming and digging.

And...that's where I took that PowerPoint slide...

I'm going through a devotional of prayers, "Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith"and yesterday's really struck me.

My thoughts first, then the devotional.


I work with the "least of these."  Yet, every single one of these people, the non-verbal, the violent, the kids who can't count to...two.

Every.  Single. One of these has made a contribution to my life!  From the one who can make me smile on a very dark day, to the one who only sees the positive in life...from a wheelchair.

It struck me that Paul described Onesimus as "formerly useless." - what made him useless?  and then...being with Paul, he's useful to both Paul and Philemon.

It was only serving Jesus, through Paul, that made Onesimus useful.  No matter who we are serving, who we are teaching, who we ARE...if it's in service to the King, we are useful.



A Prayer about Formerly “Useless” People

Accordingly, although I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you— I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) (Philem. 8– 11)


Dear Jesus, what a great story these few verses tell— the story of how one man’s “useless” slave became another man’s beloved son. Stories like this make the gospel so beautiful and believable. I see myself in this story, both as Onesimus and as Philemon.

Jesus, thank you for not giving up on me, for coming after me when I was running away from you as fast as I could, just like Onesimus ran from Philemon.Overtly and covertly, I did everything I could to avoid you and ignore you, but you found me, you bound me to your heart through the cords of the gospel, and slowly but surely, you’re changing me. The journey from slavery to sonship hasn’t always been easy.

Jesus, I also know what it’s like to be Philemon. I’ve been failed and I’ve been hurt. I’ve been betrayed and suffered loss. But forgive me for labeling anyone as useless. Paul saw something in Onesimus that Philemon didn’t see. Jesus, you saw something in me that no one else saw. Please give me your gospel eyes to see what you see in others: broken people just like me.

Who have I branded “useless,” with either my actual words or unspoken words? Who have I written off? Who have I renamed “failure,”“worthless,”“you’ll never amount to anything,” “never to be trusted again”?

I know you’re calling me to be wise, but I also know you’re calling me to love others as you love me. None of us is beyond the need of your grace and none of us is beyond the reach of your grace. I pray in your chain-breaking name. Amen.

Smith, Scotty (2011-09-01). Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (Kindle Locations 1059-1076). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

It's the New Year and changes are coming. Tom is dropping out of college and the rule was (for both kids) that if they're not in school...they leave.

I don't know what's going to happen in my personal (romantic) life, but my relationship with my son is not good.

anyway... the post title. I love this song. "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name

"A Christian is one who make it easier for other people to believe in God."

I believe that a Christian is a person who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation and eternal life.

Is "making it easier for other people to believe" part of the mission?  In a way, yes.  But in a big way, no.

It's my job to preach the gospel.  It's the job of the Holy Spirit to regenerate the heart and draw people to the Father.  So, in a way, the preaching of the gospel IS helping others to believe.

But I suspect what is meant by "make it easier for other people to believe" is really

"make the gospel so non-threatening to the lifestyle of sinners that it becomes meaningless to save, but people can go on believing that they're okay because nobody ever made it clear that they weren't."

There is a cost to believing, and we are to count the cost.  If we make the gospel "easy," when life isn't, faith is shallow.



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A Prayer for Friends Struggling with Pornography

Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 7:21-8:2

Jesus, my heart goes out today for friends and their spouses whose lives are being assaulted by the ravaging and enslaving grip of pornography.  I know of no other power sufficient for the task but the gospel. This is why I run to you today with grave concern, but also with great hope.

I invite you to read the rest. (HT: Challies)

My reading for the day...

It struck me that in this chapter God, through the prophet Nathan, promised that the throne of David would last forever.

God's Word will not fail...

Even as we speak, the Son of David...Jesus...is sitting on the throne above, at the right hand of the Father...

"Before the Throne of God Above" (my version by Sojourn)

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!