Usually, at the beginning of the year, I see an influx of new people at the gym for exercise because their New Year's resolution was to work out. However, this year I only noticed a couple of newbies. What about you? Did you make a New Year's resolution? Has it gone by the wayside already? Often by the end of January, lots of people have given up.
I thought it might be a good idea to make a monthly resolution instead of one for the entire year. As we go into February, my proposal is that we read a Psalm each day. February is a short month; Psalms are short readings. Let's go for it. Read any Psalm of your choosing. I would be happy to have your thoughts posted here on the Psalm you read that day or you can even post a verse or two of it. Let us encourage one another this month of February with a Psalm.
No matter whether we were happy with the outcome of the U.S. election or not, on this inauguration day, it is good to remember Paul's advice to Timothy (1 Tim 2) that we pray for our governmental leaders.
Father, we ask that you grant wisdom to the President and his staff, the members of Congress and all who work for them, and the Supreme Court. Help them to seek you as they make decisions that affect so many. Give them the wisdom of Solomon and the boldness of Paul as they pursue what is right and just.
"Pay only 10% down," the ad said. Then make monthly payments for 42 months. What the ad implies, of course, is that they are offering you a loan at a certain annual percentage rate until the item is paid for. In order to get that loan you have to give them all of your pertinent financial information so that they can check you out to see if you are a good risk for repaying the loan. The 10% deposit serves to show your good faith, intent to purchase the item, and pay off the loan.
God, oddly enough, has paid a deposit down on us. In fact, he has invested a lot in us. Through the Old Testament, God kept his word and stood by his people though they were rarely faithful. He also invested the lives of the Old Testament prophets, the life of John the Baptist, and the life of his son Jesus. We often say, "Jesus paid the price," or "The price has been paid in full." The life, death and resurrection of Jesus was the last installment payment to be made.
But then, after all that has been done, St. Paul says, God has given us the Spirit as a deposit, as a down payment of what is to come (2 Cor 5:5). If we have already been bought with the blood of Christ, if the final payment has been made, why does God make a new down payment? St, Paul must not mean a deposit in the sense of buying something, he must mean a deposit in the sense of a sample. Your local bakery will give you a sample taste of a new muffin in hopes that you will buy the whole thing. At a department store you may try a new fragrance. These samples are enticements, lures, or bait to get you to buy something.
The Holy Spirit that we have experienced thus far in our lives is therefore only a small part of the whole experience of the Spirit that is to come. The deposit of Holy Spirit in our lives guarantees that there is more to come. With God there is always more. Come, Holy Spirit.
All 39 species of Birds of Paradise have been photographed (for the first time) for an exhibit at the National Geographic Museum. The male birds’ plumage are gorgeous and their mating rituals amazing as they do their best to attract a female. The birds live on the island of New Guinea, near Australia, where food is plentiful and they have few predators. In evolution-speak, because of the bounty of food and lack of predators, they have had plenty of time and the inclination to develop fancier and fancier feathers while the females could afford to be pickier about choosing a mate. If the male doesn’t look good, strut his stuff and shake a tail feather better than the others, he’s out of luck. Unlike Genghis Khan (see
the post of 1/7/13), his genes don’t get passed on.
What does this have to do with prayer? Birds and fish were the first living things in the creation account that God told to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:22). God repeats that command when Noah releases the birds and other living creatures from the ark (Gen 8:17). The Birds of Paradise give praise to God by doing what he created them to do. They are being fruitful and multiplying in their own unique way.
They also provide a lesson to us: “Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt 6:26-27). We have just entered a new year. Many people are worried about the future, worried about the economy, worried about their jobs. Worrying accomplishes nothing good and, in fact, shows a lack of faith in God.
Prayer, on the other hand, shows trust in God. Place yourself and your family in God’s hands. Trust in him. He knows what you need (check out Matt 6:25-33). Seek him, his kingdom, his righteousness. He will take care of the rest. And you will have peace.
If you need help praying, don’t hesitate to call (301.760.7744) or write prayerrequest@MannaPrayerMinistries.com).
Genghis Khan has 16 million male descendants. According to a genetic study conducted in 2003 (as reported in Newsweek, December 10, 2012) 16 million men carry an identical Y chromosome and it is speculated that the prolific progenitor was Genghis Khan, who lived about 1000 years ago.
That story reminded me of the promise to Abraham that God would make him a great nation (Gen 12:2) and that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars of the heaven (Gen 15:4-5). Abraham lived much longer ago than Genghis Khan, so presumably he would have more than 16 million descendants. Still, even 16 million is a large number to think about and to consider the ramifications of one person being on the earth - many more than for George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.
But wait, that's only half the story. Abraham has more than natural descendants; he has supernatural descendants. All those who belong to Christ are Abraham's seed, and if you are Abraham's seed then you are heirs of the promises made to Abraham (Gal 3:29). God's promise to Abraham was: "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Gen 12:2-3). That is the promise to which Christians are heirs. That is good news worthy of rejoicing.
Praise the Lord. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars (Psalm 148).
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.