If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sifted Like Wheat


“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Don’t let anyone tell you the devil is not seeking to sift like wheat any member of your church leadership team. From the pastor to the deacon, from the teacher to the choir director – and all points between – our mortal enemy seeks first to destroy church shepherds and leaders. In so doing he maximizes the damage he can cause to the person in the pew and in the community outside the church.

And let’s also be very clear, even those who do nothing more than sit in the pew each Sunday are not safe from the devil’s stratagem. Simply because you are a Christian means you’ve got a bull’s-eye painted on your soul. If he can destroy your testimony, then think of the collateral damage he causes in your family and among your friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

If you are walking close to Jesus, no one has to tell you the days in which we live are evil. A deep, visceral, spiritual darkness has fallen across our world like a rancid wool blanket. All the more reason we desperately need each others prayers to remain faithful to our Savior.

You might remember Peter’s earlier bravado when speaking to Jesus: Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” (Mark 14:29) To which Jesus responded: “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” (verse 30)

Peter protested, this time vehemently: 31 “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” (Verse 31)

Oh, how often have I sounded like Peter. Perhaps you have, as well. That is surely why the Holy Spirit warns us: So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Any of us – we or our church leadership – any of us can falter in the Satanic battle for our souls. Any of us can be sifted like wheat. Oh, God! Remind us often to “pray for one another, so that [we] may be healed.” (James 5:16)

Oh, Lord, hear our prayers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

In His Time -- a YouTube message



God does not work according to our time line or our spatial relationships. That demonstrable truth is CRITICAL to our ability to cope with and to manage some of the things we face in our life. I talk about it during my 25-minute message I call: “In His Time”   https://youtu.be/CWHn584J2Ko

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

His Name is Jonathan



His name is Jonathan. Our meeting this evening at Kroger’s Market is nothing short of God-ordained.

It began earlier today when Nancy returned home from shopping and told me she lost her credit card – probably in the Kroger parking lot. We knew it would be useless to try to find it, so she called the bank and cancelled the card. A few hours later we had dinner, and I decided to take my usual after-dinner walk. We needed butter, so I walked the 15 minutes to the store.

When I arrived, I thought on a whim to ask the woman behind the customer service desk if anyone had turned in a credit card. She told me, “No,” so I thanked her and walked away. Not ten steps later she called me back. A man – Jonathan – was standing at the customer service counter. He had just turned in a credit card. He said he found it in the parking lot.

It was Nancy’s.

Suddenly aware of how this meeting could not have been planned by anyone but God, I repeatedly thanked Jonathan for his honesty and then told him I was going to pray for him. When I opened my walled to offer him money to emphasize my gratitude, he said to me, “I’d rather have your prayers than your money.”

How extraordinary!
 
If you are of a mind to do so, would you also pray for Jonathan – for health, for finances, a relationship – I’ve no idea what he needs most. But God certainly does. I cannot doubt, considering the randomness of the timing of our meeting, that our meeting was orchestrated by God. Nor can I doubt that God has

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Poetry in Motion

"For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus . . . ." (Ephesians 2:10)

The apostle could have used other words for ‘handiwork’ when he penned this verse. But God inspired him to use ‘poiema’ – the Greek word from which we get, ‘poem.’

Ponder a moment what that means. The Holy Spirit wants us to know that those in Christ Jesus are God’s profoundly artistic handiwork. Whatever your appearance, whatever your past or present, to Him you are poetry in motion, a wondrously beautiful composition of His ineffable creative love.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Crouching at the Door -- Sermon



God told Cain he had a choice:  Do well, and your  countenance will be lifted up. Do wrong, and sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you.  You must master it.” That was Cain’s choice. It is also our choice.  To do well or to do wrong.  I talk about what we face in the year 2017. You can listen here:  https://youtu.be/b-LN6colYp0