Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jesus Prayed for You and Me...Today!

A study of John 17: 20 - 26, reveals how Jesus prayed for his disciples, and for those who hear the word as a result of them sharing the good news. In other words, Jesus was praying for us! We have heard the good new from those who heard it from those who heard it, and so forth. And because of this, we can claim that Jesus was praying for you and me when he said:

John 17: 20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Does the authority of Christ commissioning us all to be one with Him and the Father get any clearer? More importantly, doesn't it become clear that we are to be ambassadors for Christ, through this prayer? This is an evangelistic beginning for the church we claim today.

The point is that we believe that God, the father, sent Jesus for us all. He commissioned his disciples, though they didn't understand it at the time, to bear witness that God sent Jesus for us all. This prayer is the beginning of the church as we know it, although it was prior to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus prayed for us!

Some question the be it. Some may question the filling of the Holy Spirit at be it. But these words spoken by Jesus in prayer to the Heavenly Father, predate all of this. This is His prayer for us. As a result of this prayer, I believe. As a result of this prayer, we believe. As a result of this prayer, there is a commissioning of the disciples that makes everything else subordinate to it.

The power of this prayer, the last prayer Jesus prayed with his disciples, puts it all in perspective for generations to follow. Ah, but the joy of sharing the resurrection and ascension makes it all the more powerful. Before Christ proved his Godliness, he empowered his followers with this prayer. How utterly pregnant the notion.

Thank you, Jesus, for praying for me before you proved your true nature. I look to that prayer and accept that it was for me, 2000 years later...thank you, Jesus.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Spiritual Rebirth in the Death of a PC

The death of a PC can be a spiritual experience. Yesterday my personal PC died. I will build a new one but will be thinking about how to start fresh. I have to start from scratch, leaving my old PC programs behind, and build a new system. Sights, sounds, manners of communicating, all start over again. In this process of deciding what I want and what I need, I'm finding myself looking at what was important before, and what may or may not be important now.

I'm now assessing again what is important and what is not. I'm now assessing again how and what to do with the new PC (me). Do I need all those time-wasting games and distractions? Do I install those programs again that I don't have a license to use on more than one PC? Shall I make it a clean start or rummage for remnants of the past? I can't help it...this is becoming a spiritual thing.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Quiet Time - in the River

It's May first, and in my part of Alabama, it was about 85 degrees. I have the blessing of living next to a river that is one of the ten cleanest rivers in the nation. Today, for the third time this season, I went swimming. On the first two occasions it was like tempting fate...trying to say it was nice when it was really cold. But today, at 5:30pm, I went swimming and loved it!

Some can't appreciate, but there is a special quiet time with lungs full of hyperventilated oxygen, when lying on the bottom of body of water, holding to a rock so as to not float was a special, quiet time. At that time, I was in a place that few go. There was a sense of weightlessness, a oneness with everything, that goes beyond description. It was...wonderful!

In these times in the river I have a special oneness with nature, a special oneness with all of God's creation, a special oneness that goes beyond description. I've been knocking off early from work this week to be at home in the wilderness, and taking in everything. Tomorrow I may go for a walk in the woods...but today, it was in the river. I lamented the fact that I didn't bring my goggles with me to view the little darters and other minuscule creatures, but that will be remedied next time.

I cannot describe other than to say, at the bottom of the river I was at one with everything wonderful. I was at one with God. When I came out, there were flying insects all around, and I prayed for God to protect me from them, and the buzzing stopped, the trepidations ceased, and I was at one with everything, everything in God's creation.

Words cannot describe, but I type nonetheless. I had a glimpse of it all. I had a moment in the splendor of creation. I was fortunate enough to taste the dew of heaven. WOW! I will carve out more time for more of the same in the days and weeks to come. I come back from these moments invigorated and inspired to share the wonder and the joy of the Kingdom. But I harken back.

In 1984 I was driving with my friend/boss on an interstate highway at the peak of rush hour. He pulled over, got out a camera, and said, "Stop and smell the roses". He took pictures as if he could never take another picture again. I was inspired by that moment, and have never let it go. Can we all stop and smell the roses, in the spring, summer, winter and fall, smell the roses of the beauty of God's creation where it presents itself, regardless of the time or the season?

Today, I had quiet time in the river. In the Tallapoosa River, in Alabama. The water was refreshing, the silence, deafening, and the presence of God abundant. Typing this seems like cheating the moment, but I cannot keep it to myself. May tomorrow be a time of me overflowing with the splendor of today's moments, and magnetic to the point that someone wants to know what this "Jesus stuff" is all about. Because, it is all about Jesus and the Holy Spirit, filling me with awe and wonder as to the greatness of The Father's creation. I stand in wonder!

A quiet time in the river...that was today. A quiet time in someones heart tomorrow, that's what I yearn for. May I be sharpened to the opportunity, and emboldened to act, in the name of Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for today. It was GREAT!