Friday, May 24, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fret not thyself...

From the Psalmist...
[A Psalm] of David. Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring [it] to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. ...  For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked [shall be] no [more]; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it [shall be] no [more]. Ps 37 select verses (NKJV)
The Brothers Tsarnaev, Jodie Arias, Kermit Gosnell, a draconian IRS; it has been quite a ride these last 30 or so days.  I suspect that as you read the names in the previous sentence, you experienced a gamut of reactions ranging from anger to tears.  Troubling still is the fact that perpetrators of this type seem to become more and more commonplace as we barrel blindly down a dark path in our post-Christian society.

The temptation to despair looms large and gets easier when we read of bad actors like these.  But its not just the bad actors, its also the constant barrage of what I call "moral misdemeanors" that grab at our pant legs and try tripping us.  Where we may never have a first person encounter with a Jodi Arias, we will certainly suffer betrayals, back-stabbings, lies and insults.  The former is like a sucker-punch from behind while the latter is like a rain of gravel that simply grinds us down.  In these moments of both national tragedy or personal disappointment, I find David's words in Psalm 37 to be a faithful life jacket, buoying me upwards and keeping me from sinking into the deep.

David's words in this Psalm are can be direct and succinct, and I can almost envision them  as bullet statements on a PowerPoint presentation.  It is as if David were reminding us of two very important facts:  The Lord has the saint's back, and the the wicked's number.  But, this is an oversimplification that sells the psalm way short.

Psalm 37 is packed with imperatives that would serve to take our eyes and hearts off of the transgressor and onto the Almighty and his goodness.  Trust, delight, dwell, commit; these are all calling us towards a proactive pressing into the heart of God.  As we do this, we begin to experience a divine focal realignment away from the one(s) who momentarily stole our joy and onto the the true wellspring of that joy.

Unless we are duly appointed judges, very few of us are in a position to pursue and punish evil.  So really, getting or staying wound up over it is a fool's errand and a source of unnecessary stress.  Rest assured, our God is a God of pure, holy and perfect justice; He who brings all things to pass will vindicate the saint and punish the scoundrel.  Our task while He moves according to His times are to seek Him, press into Him, abide in Him and strive for faithfulness to Him.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


It's been a busy season and the world which was thrown into flux a few months back is now in the process of reconstitution.  God is good and and his grace is sustaining and sufficient.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

On the National Day of Prayer -- 2013

Prayed this cool morning on Quantico Virginia and in Suburbia Majora...

Almighty and ever-living God, we thank you for the privilege to gather before you to intercede on behalf of our nation. We thank you too, for the burden you’ve placed in our hearts for this land, and for our fellow citizens.

As we gather, we stand in the shadow of those who’ve come before us. We gaze through history’s rearview mirror and see how our grandparents sought you at the birth of our nation. We see too Lord, your providential hands that nourished and protected this young Republic. In times of both plenty and peril, our predecessors knew you to be their source of provision, protection and guidance.

As we pause in your presence, we would seek your mercy for ourselves, and for our nation.  Too often, we’ve been like the prodigal child who though desiring their father’s riches and bounty, was determined to live life on their own terms.  In this we ask your mercy, and for the strength and resolve to live lives of gratitude.

We ask that you would move within our lives, that we would be used as change agents for good. We pray that we might become channels of your peace and mercy to those you’ve placed in our lives and paths. We pray too, as public servants, that through your help, we will be faithful and diligent stewards of the nation and its collective trust and treasure.

We find ourselves today Lord, in a moment of trial.  We face enemies that would seek our downfall.  We face stealthy adversaries who strike in secret against the unarmed.    We’re wracked with internal struggle and economic woes that at times seem to be insurmountable. Surely Lord, we need your hand in such a time as today.

We lift up those who govern and lead this nation. We ask that those elected would always place stewardship and statesmanship ahead of ambition and strife; in so that they might be sensitive to your leading. In this, that our nation might be that shining city on the hill; a beacon of hope and a haven of justice for all nations.

We commend to you those in our nation who are in need or who suffer this morning.    We call out on their behalf, asking that you would open you storehouses of mercy for them.  Too, we offer ourselves that we might become you heart and hands extended to those in need.  Make us channels of your provision.

Finally Lord, we seek your protection against our enemies, both here in our homes and around the world. Not because we are deserving, but because you are one whose first principles include mercy and loving kindness. Protect us not only from our enemies, but also from ourselves that we might not only be recipients’ stewards of your blessings in this day, but also be able to bequeath your bounty to those who will follow after us.

All of this, we ask, seek and hope for in your name.