A Poem by Brian Law
I am willing Lord
Take me to the Ends of the earth
Or keep me home
I don’t care
As long as I am
In your poem
That work You have for me
I am willing Lord
But not Able.
Is what I am.
But not Able
To be found in You
That is my desire
To be led out and in
To find Your strength in my weakness
This is my biggest wish
But I am not Able
So fulfill in me Thy promise
“I can do all things through Christ
Who strengthens me”
I am not Able
But You are
And I am Willing
by Laura Cowan
People outside the church are rebellious, apathetic, and self-absorbed; while people inside the church are rebellious, apathetic, and self-absorbed.
This isn’t the way it should be, but it’s nothing new. The climate of the church back in Samuel’s day was cloudy with a chance of judgement- 100% chance. The climate hasn’t warmed much. The outlook can be downright depressing, and yet…God is calling. He called Samuel, but though Samuel served in the church, “Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.” (1 Samuel 3:7) Yet God kept calling, and eventually Samuel got the message. Samuel could’ve found plenty of reasons not to serve the Lord; his mentors were doing a pretty lousy job of it. My focus can not be on what the rest of the world -or the church- is doing; the question is, “What am I doing?” He’s calling, He will keep calling. May our response be as Samuel’s when he finally picked up, “Speak, Lord, your servant hears”.
“That is why the Holy Spirit says,
“Today when you hear his voice, 8 don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. 9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years. 10 So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’ 11 So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.'” 12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:7-12
by Laura Cowan
The Inauguration, and the gamut of responses- mine included, reminds me of a conversation between Joshua and the Lord.
Joshua asks the Lord, "Are you on our side, or allied with our enemy?"
The Lord replies, “No;"
I find this answer humorous. "No." as in, "Wrong question, buddy." While this word has also been translated to say, "Neither," I think there's deeper meaning to the original translation. I think it spurs us to focus on the right questions.
I did a little research on all our past presidents and their terms of office. Among them, I found acts of moral corruption, fraud, extortion, embezzlement, and every kind of evil; along with acts of courage, heroism, and justice and kindness. Some presidents were abhorred, others adored, and many were both.
Through it all, we have continued to exist, and will, until, as the Lord said to Joshua,
"No; but I am the Commander in Chief of the army of the LORD and NOW I HAVE COME." Loud speakers will continue to thunder our national anthem until the Lord pulls the plug.
I vote, I pray, and I "honor the king" (though it's a tough discipline some years); but may my response to things outside my control be as Joshua's was in that encounter: "Joshua fell on his face to the earth in reverence and worshipped Him, and said, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" (Joshua 5:13,`14)
A better question than, "Whose side are you on?" is "How shall I now live?" The answer remains this: In Christ. We take our cues from the One, "in whom we live and move and have our being."
"Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Have respectful fear of God. Honor the emperor." 1 Peter 2:17
(That verse should keep me busy for at least a lifetime).
From Laura Cowan's Blog ...
I was almost robbed this morning. Robbed of joy. In this most joyous of seasons, “thinking over” became over-thinking, and I nearly twitched with anxiety way before my first sip of caffeine. The issue, so insignificant as to be invisible to the naked eye, magnified to outrageous proportions thanks to a little help from my “friends” a.k.a. “thoughts”. I even picked a fight with John. Thankfully, he slept through it all.
So I started thinking about joy, and joy-stealers. I have experienced pure, inexplicable joy in the most unlikely circumstances. Like, years ago when the FBI told us a hit-man had been hired to do us in, and we chose to stay and serve the church John pastored, rather than change our names and move out of state via the victim witness program. As we traveled home from that meeting, joy filled our car like cream fills an eclair.
So, if circumstances doesn’t rob joy, what does?
Unbelief. Unbelief pretty much leads to every dastardly deed in my life. I don’t believe God is in control, so I worry. I don’t believe God’s Word is relevant to my situation, so I disobey. I don’t believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, so I judge other’s disbelief. I don’t believe God has a plan, so I lick my wounds, take control-ha! what a ridiculous concept- and snuff out one of the most convincing proofs that God exists, and lives in me: JOY.
So today I choose joy, because I choose to believe. And in those times when my heart beats to a different drum, I will pray as the desperate father did in Mark 9:24: “I believe- help me in my unbelief!”
“The Bible is a book of joy. There are 542 references to joy in the Bible. The gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ is a passport to joy. The secret of Jesus was-and is- His inner joy.” S. Wirt