A Day of Pursuing God in Life and Mission…6/29/2010

A strange day today was.  I woke up, showered and prayed in the shower for God to show me what he was doing and how I could be a part of it. Then I put on my clothes and left for the La Sierra Coffee/Deli stop in downtown Dover.

I have been going into La Sierra for the last few mornings because it is right next to a bus stop where lots of people stop in for coffee on their way to work.  The funny thing is that most of the people speak Spanish and I don’t.  But today was a first…I was able to enter into a small conversation with the woman serving me my coffee.  She is from Columbia and is trying to learn English but admits it is difficult.  While I spoke enough Spanish to tell her that I did not speak her language well, I also told her that I wanted to learn Spanish but found it difficult as well.  God, may your will be done in this woman’s life as well as my life.

I sat down to sip my coffee, read another chapter from Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World, and then read from my Bible to hear a word from God.  One verse that comes to mind from today’s reading – “He asked you for life, and you gave it to him…” (Ps. 21.4, NIV).

Then I finished setting up my office at the church building while the cable-man installed a new phone and internet service…I managed to embarrass myself in front of him by falling down the last three steps of the stair…fortunately I was not hurt but I should really learn to pay more attention to where I am walking, especially on stairs.

The first of two reports of bad-news came.  A friend of mine whom I had not seen in several years passed away at the age of 35 from a brief battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  He leaves behind a wife and two children.  Why God?  Would you at least grant his family, especially his wife and two children, comfort?  They need it!

Before I share with you the other bad news, let me share with you the evening.  My daughter and I accompanied one of the ladies at our church to another area congregation, the Morristown Church of Christ, where they were having a revival.  This is an African-American congregation and not that race matters on iota but when you are white and have mostly attended all your life worship gatherings shaped by a white culture, it is a different and very lively experience.  But most importantly, the Christians at the Morristown Church of Christ were hospitable, loving, and full of faith, and I was reminded from Ezekiel 37 that God can bring dry bones back to life.

I came home and took the garbage out and then sat down to check the email (surprise, surprise).  Sad news.  Delphine, an elderly Christian lady whom I visited regularly when I minister with the Kandiyohi Church of Christ in Minnesota, passed away.  Delphine had been in the hospital on life support the last two weeks after a heart attack.  Here is part of an email response I sent to another Christian lady in at the Kandiyohi congregation who helped look after Delphine:

“Tonite, [Delphine’s] body is finally at rest.  That is sad for those of us who have known her and loved her.  But Delphine is victorious in Jesus Christ and she awaits the day of our Lord’s second-coming, when she will rise again and along with us who also believe and all the others – past, present, and future – who believe will be joined together again in God’s victorious conclusion to his plan of salvation that has been made known to us in Jesus Christ and promised to us with the seal of the Holy Spirit.”

That is one day spent trying to pursue God in life and mission…a day of good news and bad news, a day of both excitement and the mundane…and yet God is here.

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8 responses to “A Day of Pursuing God in Life and Mission…6/29/2010

  1. Okay, Seaman Deuce was here; checking up on you. –dc

  2. Dear brother,

    I hope you don’t dread my emails. You had a quick prayer and went out trying to enter into what God was doing that day. Doing God’s will is good.

    But we can perceive what God is doing only to the extent that we have been transformed to be like Him, and at the heart of that is prayer that enters deep into His Presence.

    Jesus encouraged the Apostles- ‘could you not wait with me for one hour.’ A good place to begin. Maybe you have an Hour in prayer at some other time of the day.

    But without serious quality time in prayer, it is just impossible to find the mind of the Lord to the extent that the Kingdom will advance.

    and you are quite a reader and much into your thoughts, and the non-cognitive , transrational aspect of prayer is sort of your ‘weak side’ where the most growth will take place.

    I am your friend, and am pulling for you , and ask for your prayers.

    • Ben,

      You are right…kingdom business requires serious time in prayer as well. Without broadcasting them, I do try to take those times as well…although probably not as much as I should.

      Grace and peace,

      Rex

      • Hmm.. These are interesting thoughts that I am pondering here about prayer. Although the practice as outlined and critiqued about is certainly good and benificial, I don’t see the method itself as being a biblical prerequisite, or instruction about how we must pray, or how to “find out what God is doing.” However, Jesus did go off alone and pray fervently to the Father for guidance. (But not to find out what God was doing). The idea of trying to find out what God is literally doing, sounds somewhat alien to me. I thought Rex was reflecting more figuratively. We have the Holy Spirit within us, and I myself see it more like being led by the hand of our Lord, where each moment or event of life is a heavenly experience, to be looked forward to. To me, the key here is being ‘God conscience’ all the time, in everything we say or do, all in His name. God talks to me through the scriptures, and He leads me by the hand through life experiences, the ups and downs, and shows and teaches me things. It is often like a two-way conversation, in the spirit. Great thoughts and sermons come to me, that I never read in a book! I find myself saying, “Thank you, Lord! –because I surely know that I alone am not that smart. Sometimes we look to well written books of men for wisdom, but now I realize that all the good parts are already in the Bible. Yes we can learn from another brother’s insights, –but where did these thoughts, the ones that are so great or good, come from, or originate? What was the source? When we are close to God, He talks to us where we are at, and in our own language, and things we know about, such as a particular trade or occupation. He talks to us through His Word, and our own thoughts, and hearts. Sin is what separates us from God, (or changes the channel) not how many minutes we did or did not formally pray at any particular time of day. We worship God in spirit and truth. So, brothers; –take this for what it is worth to you. That is the way ‘Seaman Deuce’ sees it. 8<) God bless, –dc

      • Don,

        I think we are expressing the same desire about prayer, just using different language. In Mark 1.35-39, Jesus made the decision to go “somewhere else” to preach. How did Jesus come to that decision? Presumably, his time spent in a solitary place praying had a hand in the outcome of this decision. Somehow, Jesus, after praying, discerned that he was to go to other villages and prayer. My other assumption(s) is that Jesus awareness/understanding of scripture, his historical understanding of how God has worked in previous times, have all played some role in the discernment process.

        For me, asking God to show me what he is doing and how I can be a part of it is a prayer for God to guide me – based on my (humble) understanding of scripture, my experience in pursuing God’s mission, the ways I have seen God at work in history, etc… – so that I can see how he is at work wherever I am at and how I can be obedient to his mission in that place so that ‘his will is done here on earth as it is done in heaven.’ It is also a way for me to widen my tunnel vision that too often confines me to only see my own agenda (one of the problems that disciples continually had as they followed Jesus).

        I hope that helps explain a bit more. Thanks for your willing to dialogue.

        Grace and peace,

        Rex

  3. Bro Rex, Yes I agree with you that we are expressing the same desire about prayer, just using different language. Actually what caught my attention, to write, was that post here from one of our brothers, Ben Marstin, in reply to your original post, where he had replied: ” transrational (I couldn’t find that word in my dictionary, not knowing the meaning for sure.) aspect of prayer is sort of your ‘weak side’ where the most growth will take place.” And you agreed with him. I hadn’t pictured you as being weak in prayer, from what you had written, –but, STRONG! You had mentioned your “praying in the shower.” I can identify with that. Often I get the most enlightenment while showering in the morning. That is part of the ‘all the time God consciousness’, I was talking about, as we go about our daily lives. Maybe it is because it is the beginning of a new day that the Lord has made, while our minds are still clear and fresh. Sometimes I wonder to myself if this phenomena could be tied in somehow with the act of washing our bodies clean in the Lord for a new day. After reading this latest reply from you, it reminds me that not everyone has so much “quiet time with the Lord” as I do, and that there is a need for most people to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the days in order to acquire it. Also, I certainly do not want to come across as some kind of expert in prayer. We all fall short. Since these posts, I have been thinking about prayer a little more. Of course, Jesus gives us an example, when asked, in the ‘Lord’s prayer’.
    And I think about the long prayer Jesus prayed for his disciples before his crucifixion. In the ‘Lord’s prayer,’ I notice that after praise there are requests made, followed by reason, melded together with our own initititive, i.e. “forgive us our debts, as we forgive …” and good ‘reason,’ i.e. “for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever.”

    p.s. I hope I am not driving you crazy, or taking away precious time. So, be careful not to get bogged down here, feeling that you must answer. I can still keep you posted. I enjoy the internet, and write all over it, as much as possible, to whoever and wherever. I especially enjoy blogging with non-believers, who need to find Christ, salvation, truth and real love. There is such a need, and so much ignorance out there. I find myself drawn to it like a magnet! I call my apartment, “Spaceship 7, Command Center.” The greatest thing about it is that these blogs are read by unlimited numbers of people. While talking to one person, we are also reaching thousands. I don’t know how we could ever teach and baptize all nations, just one person at a time. God provides, and where there is a will there is a way. God bless, In Christ, –dc

    • Don,

      You’re not driving me crazy. As for my responses to comments…such responses do not necessisarily mean I agree or disagree with everything in another person’s comment.

      Grace and peace,

      Rex

      • Yes Rex, That sounds like a good way to share with one another without getting bogged down. You have wisdom!

        When it comes to non-believers, I really enjoy getting bogged down, but not everyone is able, or has the time it takes to do it, or is cut out for it. Which is one reason why we all need one another, in Christ. –dc

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