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Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come …

Read all of Ecclesiastes 12

JP: K & I just finished Ecclesiastes.

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Fifteen reasons for unanswered prayer

JP: Good article from Pulpit Magazine. Notes: I extracted and listed 15 reasons God will not answer prayer. I encourage readers to view the entire article for explanation and support.

Does God answer the prayers of unbelievers?

So, does God answer the prayers of unbelievers? A strict yes or no answer is difficult without qualifying the answer in various ways. However, it is noteworthy that the [below] mentioned principles represent some of the key characteristics of an unbeliever. Thus we can safely say that, in general, God does not answer the prayers of an unbeliever.

God does not answer the prayer of those:

  1. Who have personal and selfish motives.
  2. Who regard iniquity in their hearts.
  3. Who remain in sin.
  4. Who offer unworthy service to God.
  5. Who forsake God.
  6. Who reject God’s call.
  7. Who will not heed God’s law.
  8. Who turn a deaf ear to the cry of the poor.
  9. Who are violent.
  10. Who worship idols.
  11. Who have no faith.
  12. Who are living in hypocrisy.
  13. Who are proud of heart.
  14. Who are self-righteous.
  15. Who mistreat God’s people.

JP: I’m one who needs God’s grace and God’s help! I’m sure you are too! James 5:16, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”.

“It’s grace, Jake; it’s all grace.”

JP: A very good article. Hope it will be a blessing to you. What follows is the last article of a 90 year old retired Pastor (Rev Jacob D. Eppinga).

Of Death and Grace

Excerpts:

I am dying. Of cancer. This past Christmas was my last. Spring always has been my favorite season. At this writing, I hope to see the spring of 2008. Since childhood, I have loved baseball. Today my marvelous palliative-care physician told me there is a chance that I will watch my dear Detroit Tigers on television on opening day. But that I will not see the World Series.


When I was a boy, I feared going to the dentist. My father took me there anyway. When I was sitting in the chair, my father near me, I begged my father to rescue me from what lay ahead. My father did not do so. Instead he told me that he loved me and that I would be all right. After that, all I could do was trust my father. My father knew what was above and beyond my understanding at the time—that I needed to go to the dentist.

In a similar fashion, tragedy and death are above and beyond my understanding. I pray for God to take them away. For some reason, God doesn’t answer my prayers in the ways I want.

But here’s the point: Above my understanding. But not God’s. He loves me, this I know, so all I can do is trust him, my only comfort in life and death. My father knew, and my heavenly Father knows, things that were and are beyond my comprehension.

Praying boy at McDonald’s

Recently I’ve had a bad experience and then a good experience at McDonald’s. I will briefly mention the bad and then focus on the good.

In both cases, Kathee worked late and I drove home alone (her “coming home” to be by Metro Transit # 793).

Yesterday Kathee joked with me and asked what I would be doing for dinner. I told her I would be making Beef Stroganoff and “did she buy the necessary ingredients?” (I wouldn’t even know what those ingredients would be!). She knowingly (knowing that I don’t cook) kindof gave me that smile and I “criticized” her for not buying the ingredients. Then I said “oh well, guess I’ll go to McDonald’s”.

Basically I need someone to fill my drink and carry my try at McDonald’s. Several weeks ago K worked late and the McD’s manager gave me grief when I asked him to bring my meal to the table.

Last night (a different location – McDonald’s at 169 & Medicine Lake) my experience was all different. The order taker (seeing me coming with hands busy gripping my crutch handles) volunteered to bring my meal to my table. That was pleasant.

Along the way a young couple with (I’m guessing his age) an 8 year old boy sat at the table next to mine. Before they ate, Dad asked his Son if he would like to pray to thank God for dinner. The boy had one of the nicest prayers. He started “Dear Heavenly Father”. He remembered various prayer requests. He prayed for some of his relatives. He thanked God for dinner. And he ended the prayer “in the name of Jesus”.

Wow! Made my day! While I did not want to invade their privacy, I did briefly comment to the young man as I left. I commended him for being a person of prayer.

1 Timothy 4:4,5 “nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

JP: Terry Lange addresses balancing family, study, church, and work. Terry and his wife Heidi are faithful members here at Fourth Baptist.

The Delicate Balancing Act – Family, Ministry, Work & Seminary

Excerpt:

Trying to strike a balance is always difficult when you have many things competing for your time (family, ministry, work, seminary) All of these are important, it is just how you manage them. I am no expert by any means and what I do now, may not work next week or next year, but it is an attempt.

JP: Read full blog entry as he discusses each area of his life.

Scripture: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33)

Joining the Battle (Ephesians 6:10-20)

JP: Outline for our Bible Study for tonight

  1. The capstone of Paul’s epistle – “Finally, my brethren”
  2. The commands (all imperatives)
    • “be strong” (vs 10)
    • “Put on” (vs 11)
    • “take up” (vs 13)
    • “Stand therefore” (vs 14)
    • “take the helmet” (vs 17)
  3. The kind of battle are we fighting
    • It is a spiritual battle (not physical / not political)
    • It is a defensive battle
    • It is an offensive battle
    • It is a battle on many fronts
    • It is a battle until Christ comes
  4. The location of this battle fought
    • In the world
    • In the heavenlies
    • In our own hearts
  5. How to prepare for and fight the battle
    • We must follow our Leader
    • We must receive His strength
    • We must put on His armor
    • We must stand our ground
    • We might fight together
    • We must herald the Gospel

Life is More Than Laundry

JP: Diane Heeney on balance in life. Diane formerly was on the faculty of Bob Jones University. She and her husband serve in Mt. View Baptist Church, Lander, WY. More on her here.

Intro:

Over Easy: “Life is More Than Laundry”

One Saturday a couple weeks ago, my husband was having a particularly trying morning. His conclusion was that the only sensible thing to do was pack everyone in the car and go fishing…have a picnic too.

I was not so sensible that morning. Had you been in the kitchen while I was attempting to wrangle a picnic lunch without any heads-up, you would have heard (out of ear-shot of the kids, of course):

“Doesn’t he realize I have three lessons to finalize today for church tomorrow?”…”How can I get a lunch together for the whole family? It would have been helpful to be able to plan for this!”…”And what about the laundry??? I’m up to my eyeballs in it!” “The baby is due for her nap in about 30 minutes, too!”

I had had the day perfectly planned in my mind. I knew exactly how each of the little colored containers of leftovers in the fridge would be employed that day. I was going to work on my lessons while Katie napped. My laundry would be happily humming away while all of this was transpiring…blissful multi-tasking. I would get so much accomplished!

Now, to my mind, I would get nothing accomplished except watching poor little crickets meet their demise as fish fodder. …

Full article