Tuning the Radio Frequency

German Heliogen brand radio showing "bask...

German Heliogen brand radio showing “basket-weave” coil, 1935 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuning the Radio Frequency.

The true nature of prayer seems to me to be a difficult thing for many people to grasp. As I have contemplated why this is the following illustration comes to mind.

Prayer is a lot like trying to find a clear frequency on our car radio. If we turn the radio on and we hear nothing distinct or just a bunch of static, we don’t give up and just turn it off. No- instead we typically search for a station we wish to hear by turing the dial or pressing the seek button. We work with it until something becomes clear and discernible. We work with the radio dials until we find the music we are looking for.

In the same way we should approach prayer. The problem for most people is that they are so distracted with the day’s events or the messages in their head that they simply can’t hear past the static. After running through their laundry list of needs, they simply quit speaking, never bothering to quite “tune in”. Thus they miss the presence of God.

Practicing ” the presence of God” is an art that allows us to be tuned into the eternal at all times. It allows us to always be set at the correct frequency, and to always experience crystal clear reception. When from time to time, life interferes and we lose “the God Station”, we become immediately aware and know to begin retuning.

The difficulty lies in learning how to recognize ” the God Station”. Until we learn to recognize the sound of that which comes over those airwaves we will remain perpetually out of tune. Much of what is wrong in our world is that people don’t realize they are out of tune. They don’t seek the right channel. They don’t recognize ” the God Station” and in fact, are tuned into some other really lousy stations instead. Learning how to tune into the presence of God through prayer, scripture study, worship, is essential to learning to recognize His voice amongst a myriad of other forms of noise and static on our radio dials. So the next time prayer seems to be not working for you remember to adjust your tuner. Search the dials. Wait and listen. Practice the art of listening as well as speaking. Learn to sit in His presence. Be still and know. After awhile, you may just find that you are tuned in quite clearly to ” the God Station”. Amen.

Wise Investment

Gold Bar and Investment Jewelry

Gold Bar and Investment Jewelry (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Wise Investments

We know from experience that we must be careful in how we invest our money. There are people who are unwise in such things and will gladly spend our money for their foolish endeavors and come back again and again asking for more.

We know when it comes to our time and energy that here we have an even more precious investment. Whereas money can be replaced, a lost hour, a moment of opportunity, those years spent in a trivial pursuit; these things cannot be regained. Time, once squandered, is simply gone.

So then, when it comes to the time we spend with people we must also be wise. Unfortunately, there are some who have no desire to truly grow in Christ. Many who attend church, seek office or position in the church, or call on the phone with a need consume vast amounts of precious time and resources, but in fact have no intention of seeking to grown in Christ.

Herein we must seek discernment that we invest our time wisely with those who are really seeking Him. God knows whose heart is a fertile field, whose is a rocky field, and whose is a hard beaten path. God alone knows whose life is so full of weeds that nothing of His can grow. With so little of ourselves to invest in others let us be wise and discerning in the use of our time. At first glance this seems a harsh position. Shouldn’t we in the ministry be seeking to help everyone all the time?

The life of Christ is a good example of how to spend time wisely. If you look at the New Testament, you will find that the vast majority of Jesus’ time was spent with the twelve disciples. Yes, he also taught the masses and attempted to teach the Pharisees as well, but most of his three year ministry was spent teaching and developing those whom He had called. These men were where He invested His time. He did not waste time on those who did not hear His voice nor answer His call. This self same strategy would serve us well today. Our focus should be on the building and empowering or true disciples instead of watering down a message designed to appeal to the masses. Christ was uncompromising in his message which is exactly what lead to his crucifixion. This is clearly a difficult stance to take today, but it is, I believe, the correct one. We should be seeking to please Him not men. We should spend our time as He did. We should develop disciples as He did. After all, His ways are perfection! Why do we think we know better?

Littered Landscapes and Love

English: Roadside litter bin Why do they do it...

English: Roadside litter bin Why do they do it? The old logging road off a lay by on the A701 is littered with garbage. There are no litter bins in the lay by but surely they could take their rubbish home with them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Littered Landscapes and Love

Relationships are like a beautiful landscape. When they are newly discovered, there is much wonder at the beauty all around. Everything seems to be bursting with color, fragrance, light. The experience can often take our breath away.

Sadly, over time, litter begins to accumulate. Harsh words. A broken promise. Unforgiveness. Records of offenses kept. Soon we see that our once beautiful landscape is littered with trash, debris, and worn out rusting junk. The scene can once again take our breath away; not for its beauty but rather for the tragedy of what has been lost. That once beautiful place where we lingered over coffee and time itself seemed to stand still, that place of holy conversation, has been littered by the trash of life and this sacred space nearly destroyed.

Yet look closely. The beauty is still there beneath the litter and debris. It is often tempting to look around and be overwhelmed by the mess we see. Rather than contemplating rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on trash removal duty, we dream of escaping to a new landscape. The tragedy in this is that this is a denial of the beautiful landscape we once beheld with such joy. What does it say of us that we are unwilling to pay a price to restore even a small piece of it? The temptation is to walk away in search of greener pastures, an uncluttered landscape, and a fresh start. The problem with this is that over time, the same litter seems to have followed us to our new and improved location……wherever we go, there we still are.

The true test of love long born is not in the initial beauty we find in the landscape of our love, but rather in our dogged determination to clear away the litter of our thoughtless passing. It is in learning new and better ways to tend to that love. It is in learning about the ways in which we litter and destroy our beautiful landscape and somehow learning to avoid them.

Yes, it is easy to abandon what was once a sacred space in search for fairer ground. But that is not what our Lord did for us. He did not leave us in our littered landscape, He redeemed us. He did not abandon us in the mess we made, but rather took on human flesh, became one of us, and lived among us. He showed us how to live, modeled love and forgiveness, and taught us the importance of preserverence until the end. Amen

Winter Brings Life!


Trees (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

In winter the cold weather, short days, and seemingly endless nights force all signs of life from the trees. Late in autumn the last leaf clings reluctantly to the branch fearing that its last gasp will end in the death of its’ mother tree. Yet little does the leaf know that its’ death is key to the life of many, future leaves awaiting birth in the spring.

It is only in this season of retreat from life, hidden from every mortal eye in the roots deep beneath the soil, that the promise of life renewed resides. There, hidden by the difficult rigors of winter’s cold breath, where light cannot penetrate, rests the promise of abundant life. This cold winter Sabbath of God holds the ever present promise of timely release from death’s cruel grasp. There, in this season of dormancy, the tree begins to give life to new roots. It is the renewal of these roots that allows the tree to draw strength from untapped earthly resources.

To those unschooled in the wisdom of our great Creator, the joyous blossom of the tree in spring is a mystery. But deep beneath the sun’s warming rays there lies the secret of life this new life… death and renewal. This life-giving death is not true death at all, but a temporary condition awaiting the blessed end of that third day. After which we experience the sure and certain promise of an ever-loving God- eternal life!