To Be Heard

Pastor Larry reminded us today that despite all of the turmoil of the world, the Lord is not only with us, but hears our calls and petitions. Larry cited the 40th Psalm in his introduction: “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

What firmer place to stand than with the One who created dry land, and who calmed chaotic seas (Genesis 1)? Jesus told us that it is the epitome of wisdom to build upon the firm foundation of God (Matthew 7). That wisdom we can see manifested in our Psalm: “He turned to me and heard my cry.”

So why are so many of us silent? When we hear of pandemics, we scramble to buy toilet paper rather than appeal to the Great Healer Himself to aid us. When some see injustice in the world, they scribble placards and take to the streets, rather than asking for the assistance of the Judge of the World.

There is at present not only the rumours of wars, but actual fighting in the streets. Yes, we should be like the early church of Acts (chapter 2) and send aid, but how much more should we send our prayers! Look at Acts 6. The needs were there, and the Apostles had priorities! They appointed the seven so that they could dedicate themselves to “to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

Maybe we live in a time when we feel devalued and unlistened to. We get vague acknowledgements of our voices from our peers. We ask, “How are you?,” meaning little more than “Hello.” We are quick to think that our fears, problems, and concerns are not worthy of consideration, because that is how this world treats our appeals. But when we are patient. There is One who is faithful, and will turn to us and listen. And He promises to give us exceedingly, abundantly more than we even ask for. It is the time to not be silent. It is time to be heard.


Padre

All To Plan

There is a process and a plan

The completion of which lies not with man

Though the world seems chaotic – unsure

All things in God’s hands – will endure

Be not discouraged or give up hope1

For the Lord has promised that you can cope2

For evil will never have its own way3

The Lord has promised with you to stay4

Do not be down heartened – you will prevail5

With the Lord we are conquerors – we will not fail6


Padre

1Romans 8:28

21 Corinthians 10:13

3Psalm 21:11

4Matthew 28:20

51 John 5:4

6Romans 8:37

Promise

Message: “Steps of the Covenant” from Brian Eatock – FREEPORT FIRST

I will be your God

And you will be my people

And we will have a relationship

To which there is no equal

I will be there for you

Even when you stray

And I will pick you up

Returning to My way

You will often scorn Me

Looking for pastures seemingly more green

But you will surely discover

That their promises are bleak and lean

So I will redeem you

And show you once more the way

Though it will cost Me

More than I can possibly say


Padre

The Ultimate Complaint Department

Complaint, Statement, Clipboard, Letter
Pixabay

In the current climate of perceived self-privilege, “Karen-ism,” and taking personal affront to anything that we don’t like hearing or seeing, it’s easy to resort to complaining.  “I want to talk to your supervisor,” seems to be the general topic of hundreds of YouTube videos.  But be careful at complaining too readily. 

Sometime shorty before the siege and capture of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, the prophet Habakkuk had his go at the complaining game.  He calls on God to do something about the evil, injustice, and idolatry in Israel.   When he finished his litany of grievances, God replies.  God says that He knows of the corruption of the leaders, and of the problems that Habakkuk has laid out.  He continues to say that He will indeed act.  In fact, God will allow the Babylonians to come and conquer the land.

This response catches Habakkuk on the back foot.  “They are worse than we are!” is essential Habakkuk’s reply to this news.  God nonetheless tell the prophet that this is what will come to pass, but to remember that it is God’s hands, not in men.  He tells Habakkuk that the righteous will live by faith, and in His appointed time Babylon will be brought down and punished for their evil.

Sometimes the cure for ills is not in our comfort, or in our “rights and privileges.”   Personally, I think that the pandemic has proven that.  The greater good, such as masks or self-isolations, outweighed individualism.  This is not a polemic for blind acquiescence to governmental authority, but instead a call for us to keep perspective.  Like Habakkuk we can rest assured in the end God’s will shall be done.

For those who may still pondering governmental links (if so, sorry I brought them up), remember that the “woes” that Habakkuk cited: unfair economic practices, human exploitation, corrupt rule, and the worship of power, will all be remembered by God, and the perpetrators will be held accountable. 

Next time then, before you head to the Complaint Department, or demand a manager, remember to weigh the situation in perspective, and the possibility that you might not like the answer.


Padre

Tincture

Medical, Bottle, Pharmacy, Health, Drug
Pixabay

Through obstacles and roadblocks,

Backtrackings and steep stairs

Facing disappointment and heartache

The feeling nobody cares

When disease and disorder

Seem to have won

Remember to still hope

And by thus – overcome

For hope is the tincture

Brewed to relieve

All of these troubles

If in it you believe


I don’t not know if this form has a proper name. It is however my default poetic form using cadence and rhyme to drive it. I don’t know if I ever matured beyond Dr Seuss, but there is something in it that speaks to the inner me.

Padre

Colleen’s last poetry challenge of 2020, is to write a poem about hope, using our favourite poetry form (and on this occasion, it doesn’t have to be syllabic). She asks that we make these poems inspirational to others.

She stipulates that we should avoid negativity and politics.

We are to also tell us why the specific form we chose is our favourite.

Reflections On A Star

Holy Three Kings, Holy, Kings
Pixabay

The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn has just passed after an absence of hundreds of years. Some call this the Christmas Star or the Bethlehem Star. In this year of fires, floods, racial and social unrest, and a world-wide pandemic it is perhaps a time to take stock and to reflect on the story not of this planetary alignment, but of the star of the Gospel account. It was a harbinger of the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. It marked a transition in our relationship with the divine. The age of the Fall of Adam was coming to an end, and a promised saviour, the Messiah had come.

That did not mean that wars and rumours of wars, or fires, floods, and misfortune were coming to an end – 2020 surely shows us that. What it does say is there is a hope that is greater than those trials that is opened to us.

As I was reflecting on this I picked three YouTube videos to share which capture some of my thoughts. The first speaks of the coming of Emmanuel. The other two of the stresses and strains that Mary, the mother of Jesus may have faced in her obedience to God’s call. That obedience in the face of uncertainty and surely fears is a telling example for us all.

I wish all of you a happy Christmas, and pray that what ever the future holds for us, that we might cling to the Emmanuel – God with us.


Padre

Provision

For many months Elijah survived on water from the brook. – Slide 9
Free Bible Images

Sometimes it’s hard to see what to expect

When we look at our life ahead

Elijah from a brook did drink

And by ravens he was fed

This is no gospel of prosperity

That great wealth will your way slide

But rather that your needs are known

And God is on your side

As long as we have life and breath

Opportunities He will bring

For those who diligently trust in Him

And praises to Him sing


Padre

1 Kings 17