We are preparing for a great event at First Baptist Church of Columbia. Our annual Prayer Conference is going to take place on January 26 & 27. It is always an exciting time as we learn how to pray more effectively and spend time praying together. Beth Greer will be leading us in worship, myself and Katie Whitaker, from the South Carolina Baptist Convention, will be teaching on prayer. I was reading Psalm 4 in my study on prayer. Psalm 4 is a Psalm of David as he is running from his son, Absalom, who is trying to take over the kingdom. Continue reading →
As we watch devastation around the world unfold on all of the many news mediums and deal with our own personal storms, we question if there’s a solution to the madness. I wrote in the previous post about finding our hope, peace, strength, and solution in Christ. I had begun to write a second part that contained more actionable steps, but for clarity and length decided to leave it out of that post and make it a separate one.
God is the great Author and He has given us the privilege of being a part of His great Story. He could leave us out of it. He could exist apart from this story, but He’s chosen to write this one and make us active participants, not just spectators. As part of His story, we’re charged to tell of the good news of salvation, love our neighbors, and relieve suffering. Yes, there’s conflict. That’s part of what makes a story. Characters have obstacles that they must overcome to achieve goals. In order to achieve our goals of loving others and spreading the gospel, here are three things that we can do.
I love food. If this were a food blog I would fill you in on the recent culinary findings that have changed my life, but since this is a church blog I will talk about prayer – specifically prayer before meals. Last week as I was eating a sandwich at my desk (shhh don’t tell our Continue reading →
I just got back from a 10-day trip to the Holy Land. It was a life-changing experience on so many levels. To be where Jesus was – to walk the streets – to see the sites – was absolutely incredible. I had no idea what to expect once I got over there. I had several people tell me that their lives were forever changed by their visit to Israel, so I went with great anticipation. My aunt has been several times and she told me that often she finds God uses the unexpected places to minister to her while she is there. I had a similar experience.
We sat on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus calmed the storm. We walked the street (the exact street, the same stones) that Jesus walked on his way to Calvary. We saw the empty tomb, sat on the Mt. of Beatitudes, we were baptized in the Jordan River. We visited the house of Caiphas and sat in the same pit Jesus sat in while he awaited his crucifixion. We did it all! Each of these places was so special on the trip – I filled my journal with notes and thoughts at each spot. But, as it happens with my aunt, it was an unsuspecting place that stuck out to me the most on this trip.
It happened on Mount Precipice.
Luke 4 gives the account of Jesus teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, his hometown. His listeners were pleased with him in one moment and filled with rage the next moment. They drove him out of the synagogue and up to Mount Precipice. The intent was to throw him off the cliff.
No one from his hometown spoke up. No one came to his defense. They all went the way of the crowd.
Luke’s account tells us, “But passing through their midst, He went His way.”
The scheme didn’t work – Undeterred; Jesus went from there to Capernaum to teach some more.
On this mountain, I prayed for my kids. Here is what I wrote, “God, surround my kids with friends who will stand in the gap with them.” That’s all, a simple prayer with a lot of meaning.
Parents, how are you praying for your kids? A lot of my prayers concerning my kids are prayers for the future and how God will use them. This is one of those “right now” prayers and it involves more than God’s protection.
“God, give my kids wisdom and discernment to surround themselves with godly friends who will fight along side them, cry with them, laugh with them, minister to and with them; friends who will truly stand in the gap when things get difficult.”
Rev. Philip Turner
Interruptions – sometimes they bring surprises that are exciting, but usually they are unwelcome. A few years ago I had an interruption from God. I had just come back from vacation when I started having double vision. The eye doctor said it was sinuses so I went to a general practitioner. By this time my eyelids were half closed and puffy. He had no clue what was going on suggesting a sinus infection or the need to see my thyroid doctor. Therefore on day 3, I went to the thyroid doctor who saw, not only the above symptoms, but also that I had trouble chewing and slurred speech. He claimed the other 2 doctors should have figured it out and said it was just a sinus infection. By this time I couldn’t drive and my mom was staying with me to help navigate – literally. On the evening of day 4 since nothing had improved we made plans to go to the Urgent Care the next morning. Thank the Lord for a doctor with great deductive skills – he knew almost immediately that I had Myasthenia Gravis (I call it MG for short). MG is an autoimmune disease where the nerves and muscles don’t communicate thus the drooping eyelids, double vision, trouble chewing, occasional slurred speech and muscle weakness in extremities. He referred me to a neurologist, but told me it would take 2 weeks or more to get an appointment! However, God is faithful! One of my best friends was telling others at church what the doctor had diagnosed and the referral problem. One of those listening said a friend was a neurologist and she’d call him. Not only did she call him, but the doctor saw me the next day! He confirmed the diagnosis and was impressed that a general practitioner, not a specialist, diagnosed it.
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