It’s raining. It’s pouring. This old man is not snoring. It is 12:30 am here in New Orleans. The heavens are open wide and the rain is pounding fiercly. I am in town for a doctoral workshop. It has been a good experience thus far. But, tonight I am wide awake with no sleep in sight. Have you ever had a sleepless night? At times, it is really a blessing. How so? For one, nothing is on television. Your best option is to cut it off. Secondly, there is peace and quiet in the still of the night. It allows you to slow down, collect your thoughts, and take it all in. Life is so busy you never have time to contemplate things. Tonight, I am finding that my soul is unwinding. I am thankful for this. I live in a constant fight or flee mentality. Very seldom do I let my guard down and relax. The next time you are sleepless, don’t count sheep. Don’t watch infomercials. Sit down and let your soul “catch up” with your frantic pace of life. Well, I am about to enjoy some hot tea and listen to the rain attack the ground. Good night – maybe!
Spring time is wonderful. Things bloom. The birds chirp. Best of all, winter is past tense! In the dark and coldness of winter, there is always hope for spring. It brings change for the better. Life is like the four seasons. There are times, for example, you go through a season of winter. You wonder, “When will this unpleasant darkness ever end?” “I can’t bear it any longer. When where there be relief?” Before you know it, spring comes. Your dark days are turned into days of brightness. Your gloom is turned into joy. Your heart is filled with hope and determination. In time, your miserable season is over and things change for the better. If you are going through a season of difficulty, if your winter is now, have hope. Spring is coming!
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Fred Winters is pastor that was shot while preahching Sunday. While he was there long before me, we both attended the same seminary, Midwestern Baptist. Today was his funeral. At the funeral, his wife Cindy said, “I refuse to let Satan win. … He’s not going to steal my joy. He’s not going to steal my passion. He’s not going to steal my desire to spread God’s Word. I’m not going to hate.”
This is the fourth lesson on prayer. How can you use Ephesians 3:14-21 to enhance your prayer time? Pray these requests based on the passage:
1. That God would strengthen you by His Spirit (14-16)
2. That Christ would dwell in your heart through faith (17)
3. That you would comprehend the vastness of Christ’s love (17-19)
4. That you would realize the greatness of God’s power (20-21)
After going to school most of my life, I still need help! This trimester I began my D. Min Studies (Doctorate of Ministry) at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. This is my first time being a student while doing full time ministry. I am learning rather quickly that this is challenging. I have several papers due in less than two weeks. Please pray for me as I work toward this end. I not only want to complete the assignments, but do my very best.
I did it! Last Saturday I ran and completed the Cowtown Marathon in Ft. Worth, TX. I improved my time from last year by 20 minutes. The target time was 3 hours, 50 minutes. I made it across the finish line in 3 hours, 50 minutes! It sounds crazy, running 26.2 miles. But, it is a reminder that you can do anything you set your mind to. God has greatly blessed the human body with mental and physical abilities. Very few, if any, reach the apex of what they could accomplish. You may not set out to run a marathon, but set a goal for something that really stretches you. Maybe it is to read the Bible through in one year. Maybe it is to develop a friendship with someone. Maybe it is to jump out of an airplane (something else I want to do one day). Whatever it is, go for it. Life is too short to live with regrets. The marathon was tough. The last three miles were horrific. But, I pressed on. Whatever you are going through or striving for, press on. You can and will (by the grace of God) make it!
“No one would ever have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.” Charles F. Kettering