SHOULD WORSHIP BE LIKE PRAYER?

I have blogged this before, but was reminded of it again after church on Sunday. We need TRUE worship! Take a look … -anita

The Gathering Journal

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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In the title of this blog, the question is asked, “Should worship be like prayer?”  The intent of the questions is this….  “Should worship-true worship, be unceasing?”  Take a look at the verses below.  They uphold the idea that worship, like prayer should be a constant in our lives!

After looking at the verses, read the excerpt that follows by John Piper.  It’s an eye-opener, to say the least! -anita

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Psalm 68:4-5 NIV Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him — his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

Psalm 116:1-2

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ON DEMAND

“You Get what you demand..You Encourage what you tolerate.” Tom Landry, Head Coach Dallas Cowboys.

WOW! I happened to see this quote the other day while my husband was watching a Football special.  It hit me like a ton of bricks!

This is what happens when we listen to the devil as he whispers negative things in our ears.  You know what they are…we’ve all heard his lies!  ….  “You’re worthless!”  “No one loves you!”  “You can’t do that…you aren’t smart enough!”  “Go ahead…take that drink (cigarette, drug)…it won’t hurt you!”  …And the list goes on…

The very second he comes knocking at our door, we need to run to Jesus!  When we tolerate his presence and listen to his lies…we encourage his curses to come upon us!

Next time he comes around…call on the name of Jesus!  HE is on demand.  You WILL get what you ask for!  HE will make the devil flee!

Anita

WRITTEN BY MEN, BUT THE WORDS ARE FROM GOD

Here’s a good one from Lee….  Take a look. -anita

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I was reminded of an important aspect of Holy Scripture the other day: while God superintended the pens of some 40 men who wrote the books of the Bible, the words they were given to write came from the heart and mind of God, Himself.

 Too often, I find myself reading passages of Scripture as if I were reading some work of literature, rather than reading them as intended by God. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness….” [2 Tim 3:16]  His written handiwork, intended to teach us and shape the conduct of our lives.

  I was reading in Dr. R.C. Sproul’s Tabletalk about the uniqueness of Holy Scripture: “Sacred Scripture does not consist of merely human writings. Instead, the Scripture is inspired by our triune God and deserves our full attention and submission.”

 As I thought more about the Bible, it occurred to me that these are God’s own words, His thoughts; concepts poured out from His own heart! I sometimes feel as though, through my own conduct and decisions,  I’ve drifted apart from God. I’ve left His side as I conduct the day-to-day of my life. And then I find myself  longing to be back closer to Him. I miss Him and I feel the loss. I know I can’t touch the hem of His garment—not in this life – but when I take the time to slow down, take the time to read His Word, I can once again snuggle up close to Him in some way.

 After all, the words of Holy Scripture are not just random thoughts and opinions. Words penned by some chance author whom I might choose to read. These are the thoughts poured out from the heart of God, our Creator and sustainer! I can look around and see His great works evidenced in all of the nooks and crannies of creation, but that’s a fairly passive endeavor. But when I sit down to read the Bible, I’m getting inside God’s own head, His own heart. Reading words He has chosen to put there, just for me – and you – to read. This is a chance to be as close to God in this life as I can be.

 While I fully accept the fact that God’s Spirit indwells me and every believer, and, as the old saying goes, “is as close as the mention of His name,” reading His word is almost liking sitting down with Him. Sitting  at a table over a cup of coffee and having a conversation, albeit one that is quite one-sided. But, like Job, I don’t really have much to say to instruct God: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge….” [Job 38:2] My best choice is to sit and listen to the words of my great God. The One who has all the knowledge of the universe and who loves me more than I love myself!

 The Bible is not just a compilation of words; no, these are very special words. Words uttered by One who knows that of which He speaks. Words to be believed and held fast onto. Words I can’t get from anyone anywhere else. This is God Himself speaking… I hope you’re listening.

-Lee Pierce

I KNOW HE WILL!

I covet the prayers of all my readers.  I started back to work yesterday after being retired for almost twelve years.  You’ve all heard the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”….  Sad to say,  but it may be true! 🙂  Just pray for me…

Here is the promise I drew this morning:

…Behold, i am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest. -Gen. 28:15

The little poem that accompanied it said this….

“Yesterday He helped me, today I’ll praise His name; because I know tomorrow, He’ll help me just the same!” -Unknown

Thanks for holding me up before the Lord.  I really appreciate it!

Anita

WHOSE PRAYER SHOULD GOD ANSWER?

Here’s one from Lee…

WHOSE PRAYER SHOULD GOD ANSWER?

I’ve been out in Illinois visiting my only sister, Mary, who has been battling cancer for the last couple years. She is unable to tolerate chemotherapy and is receiving only vitamins to combat the disease at this stage.

I have been faithfully praying for her for many, many months now, and one of the hallmarks of my prayers is the request that God would show kindness to her and would extend her days to be with those who love her and whom she loves. I was thinking about that prayer the other morning: is that prayer to extend her life really the best thing for her? Is that the best thing God should do for her?

As I prayed, it came to me that, for God to answer that prayer, would mean that He would have to delay the time when she finally came home to Him. So who is that prayer really meant for; who most benefits? Her, or is it me and those who love her here on Earth? We don’t want to see her leave us because we love her and love having her in our lives. And I’m sure she loves us; Mary is the one who always remembers every birthday and every anniversary. And cards appropriate for the occasion come every Christmas, of course.

But to be fair, Mary has been pretty sick for a while now. She has had a mastectomy and surgery to remove some cancerous lymph nodes. She now has cancer detected on her lungs and liver and is having difficulty breathing. She is very much aware of the probable outcome of all of this disease and states clearly: “I’m not afraid to die.” She flatly refused to take any more experimental chemo because the doctor warned her that she would be mostly incapacitated and would likely spend her last days bed-ridden. “That’s not really living, is it?” she says.

When one reads the, albeit somewhat limited, description of heaven in the Bible, one gets an idea that it’s a pretty special place. And there one has the unimaginable experience of being face-to-face with the Lord Himself. I’ve often thought that, if you look around this world with all of its attendant wonders and God-created artistry, one can hardly even imagine what Heaven will look like in comparison. After all, that’s the place where God Himself resides. As I look around this world, I often conclude: O, the wonders heaven must hold!

So, as much as I hate to even consider the thought, Mary would probably be so much better off in Heaven. No sickness, no worry, no pain…only God in His glory. To want to keep her from that almost is mean at its worst and selfish at best.

I’m so going to miss her loving smile and kind words when she leaves us…but I’ll be so glad for her to be where every Christian wants to be: in the loving arms and clear sight of the God we dearly love! Intimately present with Jesus, the God-man, who purposefully and intentionally died to give us the opportunity to be with Him… forever! I love Mary, but He loves her even more!

Lee Pierce

WHAT A GRACIOUS GOD I SERVE!

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercyThe Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8-9. … He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.

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Please forgive the tardiness of the blog today…first day of school!

Some, if not most of you will be able to relate to the following.  How many of you live from pay check to pay check?  The oldsters used to call it, “…living from hand to mouth.”  It doesn’t happen always, but sometimes, unexpected things come up and must be taken care of-that happened to us this month.

We were blessed to be gifted with another car!  It is perfect in every way.  All we had to do was get the insurance and plates for it, and fix a couple of minor things!  God is so good!

Well…here we are, in between pay checks, and found ourselves short…or so we thought.  We kept believing in the Lord and His mercy and love for us and trusted Him to make a way.  And, of course He did!

We were actually counting out how much we had…Oh us, of little faith! 😦   But God in his mercy made it so that we were able to get the insurance, temporary plate, school supplies…and still had gas money left over!

God IS Good!  He is merciful!  He is kind and compassionate to His children!

Thank You Lord!

Anita

NOTHING TO FEAR…

I know so many people…close friends and relatives that are plagued with ‘panic attacks’.

You very seldom heard of this malady in years past…but now it has spread to epidemic proportions!  At first it was the older folks that seemed to have these.  Not long after, we heard of middle aged, and even young adults being afflicted.  Now…it has even come to those of a very young age.

What is happening?  Why is this curse so prevalent in today’s society?

Now, keep in mind…I’m speaking from experience.  In fact, I “experienced” it last night!  My ten-year old son came down with a cold.  His nose became stuffy, and he just didn’t feel too good for most of the day.  I doctored him up with the usual home remedies and over the counter medications, and he seemed to be feeling better.  However, when bed time came, he kept coming into my husband’s and my room into the wee hours of the morning.  Finally, after hours of being woken up every ten to fifteen minutes, I told him to bring his blankets and lay in our room.  That worked for awhile…but not for long.

You see, FEAR had gripped his little heart and he was afraid if he went to sleep…he wouldn’t wake up!

How many times has this type of fear gripped your heart and soul?  How about the time you got laid off and was worried about finances?  Or when your marriage was on the rocks and you were at a loss as to ‘how to fix it’?  What about the time when the doctors report came back…and it wasn’t good news?  We’ve all been in a place at one time or another when FEAR took over and commanded our steps!

But the Bible says:

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Also, look at this….

Be sure…”God, Himself, is looking over your shoulder…” -2 Timothy 4:1  Again in Luke 4:10-11 it says, “For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 

The world may fear because they don’t KNOW the Lord of heaven and earth…but if you know Him…and I mean truly KNOW Him as your Lord and Savior, you have nothing to fear!

Anita

NEARER THAN YOU THINK…

Do you ever wonder if God really knows what’s going on in your life?  You know…the pressures of financial difficulties…health issues…marriage problems…loss of a loved one…disappointments….

I know many people who question His very existence.  Some even go so far as to declare, “There is no God!”

But the Bible says, The fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no god!’  But Jesus said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you!”

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him in truth. -Psalm 145:18

Be assured!  He is right beside you, every step of the way through this life’s journey!  He is right here!  Count on it!

Anita