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Showing posts from May, 2020

Thoughts From J. Oswald Sanders

Dear Friends,

Initially I thought this excerpt might not be for everyone. Yet, if we are ministry-minded there's a sense in which it IS -- since all of us surely know someone who struggles with loneliness. Shut-ins. People who live in nursing homes. People in hospitals. People who have lost a spouse or live alone and are now in isolation -- and there are many other scenarios. Therefore I would encourage you to read it, if not for yourself, then at least for the help it might give you in ministering to others who wrestle with feelings of loneliness. It is by J. Oswald Sanders and comes from his book, "Facing Loneliness." Enjoy.
"A nine-year study by researchers at the University of California shows that loneliness has a greater impact on the death rate than smoking, drinking, eating or exercise. The study found that people without spouses or friends had a death rate twice as high as those with social ties" (ABC News). Loneliness is usually considered a m…

Thoughts From Nick Needham

Dear Friends,

Today I received a gift from a close friend. It was a devotional book entitled, "Daily Readings - The Early Church Fathers." It is edited by a church historian named Nick Needham. As one who loves history, and especially church history, I immediately turned to the readings for May and decided to pass a couple along to you today! It's a chance for you to "step back in time" and see how some of the earlier believers used the Bible, defended the faith, and sought to instruct people in the faith. Enjoy.
Both entries are by Basil of Caesarea (330-339 A.D.). In the first he responds to a pastor who apparently had people in his church who rejected the teaching that Jesus came in the flesh. In the second he encourages us to affirm the central Gospel truth of justification by grace through faith alone.
He Knits our Shattered Lives Together

"You speak of men in your midst trying to overthrow our Lord Jesus Christ's saving incarnation, castin…

Thoughts on Praying Continually

Dear Friends,

Last week we did a Zoom prayer meeting at my church for the National Day of Prayer. During that meeting I spoke on I Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." After the meeting a couple people asked me about a quote I used in explaining how we can "pray continually." Not just often, but continually.
 In this regard Brother Lawrence's short and very practical book, "The Practice of the Presence of God" was extremely helpful. But I was also helped by the spiritual guidance offered in the three quotes I have chosen to share today. And the benefits are enormous. Praying continually adds stability to our spiritual lives and helps keep us get off the spiritual roller coaster ride that can occur when we pray sporadically. And it helps us to "bring every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ" as Paul admonishes us …

Thoughts From "Streams In the Desert"

Dear Friends,

As I sat in my office today pondering what "thought" I would send out, I grabbed an old devotional book sitting on my desk, and just out of curiosity turned to see the devotion for today. It fit well with the times we are in, so I will share it with you. I also grabbed another from a friend's feed on Facebook. I had seen it years ago, but it also struck me as so very pertinent to the present time. So, today, you get two short thoughts to ponder! Enjoy.
"As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men...
who were invading Judah and they were defeated." I Chronicles 20:22

"Oh, if only we would worry less about our problems and sing and praise more! There are thousands of things that shackle us which could be turned into instruments of music if we just knew how to do it. Think of those people who ponder, meditate, and weigh the affairs of life, and who continually try to figure out the mysterious workings of God'…