Shocking prayer becomes like a stone in the shoe.
When the reverend Joseph Wright was asked to open the new session of the Senate, everyone was expecting the usual platitudes, but instead they got an earful.
Was he ever invited again to return to the legislature? A good prayer is like a stone in the shoe; it goes home with you, worrying and irritating, until we make the necessary changes.
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good", but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
• We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
• We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
• We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
• We have shot anti-abortionists and called it justifiable.
• We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
• We have abused power and called it politics.
• We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
• We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
• We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
• Search us, oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.
There are without a doubt many issues in today's world that puzzle our Christian pates. Times have changed, but discerning what is inviolate in the mind of Almighty God is never easy.
We no longer follow the dictates of any eye for an eye, but should we also have departed from spare the rod and spoil the child?
We have accepted in the church the dissolution of Christian marriage, but should we accept the committed relationship of gays and lesbians?
Coward's Castle contains many titbids from the world and church that have irritated and offended me; we can look the other way, or we can stand up and be counted.
The offends me that we rarely hear from the pulpit that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; yet we desecrate the dwelling place of Almighty God with not the slightest twinge of regret.
Just where will He live when we die long before our time from out gross habits and the sickening stuff we put in our mouths in the name of food?
When did you last take the temple for a walk or swim; has it been on a real holiday that refreshes the mind and spirit in the last year?
Thank the Good Lord for men and women who periodically make us feel distinctly uncomfortable. In Stones in my Clog, Bernard Preston gives us anecdotes from the coalface that have disturbed his equilibrium.
Not for the faint-hearted, some of these stories may leave you too with a stone in your proverbial shoe that you'd rather not have. Available as an ebook for only $2.99, on Kindle.
You can enjoy a few sample chapters at the above link. This book would make a wonderful gift for your chiropractor; read it first yourself!
Caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit is mandatory for the Christian; along with it comes the little benefit that we are far more likely to live long in the land.
And experience a lot less pain, and not spend fortunes on consulting doctors.
Reaching a happy, healthy eighty with all our marbles intact should be the goal of every believer; life is full of surprises, 'tis mystery all, and some despite our best intensions will die in car accidents and of cancer.
But if we consistently obey the rules of the road, feed our bodies with good food, make sure we are getting our daily bioflavonoids from enough fresh fruit and salad, and take enough exercise then we can be sure to swing things in favour of the temple.
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Here are the back issues.
But getting out of bed is intrinsically dangerous. Would the good Lord not wish us to ride a bicycle, fly a glider, take out a paddle ski because some unforeseen might happen? I don't believe it.
If we feed the Lord's temple eight different coloured foods per day it reduces the incidence of all causes of death by a third. That's massive, another fifty years to serve Him.
Think of planting a Mandarin orange tree this year in your garden; freshly-squeezed orange juice bioflavonoids will give the temple a big boost.
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