This is one I could not pass up.
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”
BY Mark D. Roberts, Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”
The parable of the lost sheep is most familiar to us in the form it takes in Luke 15:3-7. There the emphasis is upon the lost sheep who is found by the shepherd, just as a lost sinner is found by the Lord and subsequently repents.
But in Matthew, Jesus used a similar story to emphasize God’s care for those who are followers in Jesus (these little ones). Even if they should wander away into false doctrine or sin, God does not give up on them. Rather, the Heavenly Father, as a good pastor (which meant “shepherd” originally), seeks those who have gone astray and rejoices when they are brought back into the fold.
As a pastor (meaning ordained minister), I have felt the pain of brothers and sisters leaving the flock. Some have given up on their faith; others have given in to a life of sin. Yet this passage has encouraged me never to give up on those who have wandered away. One of my greatest joys as a pastor has been to see some of these folks restored in faith and fellowship.
Having a heart for brothers and sisters who have wandered off isn’t delegated simply to human pastors, however. All of us need to have the compassion of God for those who have gone astray. Through our acts of love and our prayers, we will reach out to them in the hope of their eventual return to the Lord and his flock.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you have a pastor’s heart, indeed, the Pastor’s heart, for those who have wandered away from him? Are you praying regularly for some of these folks? How are you extending the love of Christ to them?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I’m reminded to pray for those who once were close to you and your people, but have since wandered off. Some were seduced by the temptations of this world. Others found their faith battered by rampant secularism and relativism. Others simply paid so little attention to you that, over time, their hearts turned elsewhere.
So today I’m praying for lost brothers and sisters: for those who are stuck in sin; for those who have been discouraged by the recent fanfare surrounding atheism; for teenage and young adult children of my friends who lost touch with you; and for so many others. Reach out to them, Lord, by your grace. Use me where I can be helpful. Use your people as your copastors, so that the lost might be found and brought home to you. Amen.
I have been getting this newsletter for a few years now. I have found lately that the lastest writer has been sending some very profound devotionals, and I start my day looking at them. This one seems to really help me right now, so I thought I would share it on the blog. It is part of my mood right now. I have gone into shut down mode when it comes to all the insanity I see going on in the world around me. I need to surround myself with things that give me hope, so I will be writing and posting softer things for awhile. I’m sure the fighting spirit will return, but for now it’s all about what gives me hope, and that relates to my feelings about God.
Daily Reflection and Prayer
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” [Matthew 17:20]
Christians understandably honor people of great faith. I remember when I was a boy being wowed by missionaries who had gone into desolate and sometimes dangerous places to tell others about Jesus. What amazing faith they had!
The downside of our applauding people of great faith is that it can make the rest seem like second-class Christians. If we struggle with doubts, or if we’re sometimes reticent to step out in obedience to Christ, we can feel as if we don’t measure up . . . and never will.
For those of us who struggle with faith, there is plentiful encouragement in this passage from Matthew. On the one hand, we see that even the disciples who were closest to Jesus sometimes fell short in the faith category. Yet Jesus still chose them to be his closest followers. On the other hand, Jesus said that faith as small as a tiny mustard seed was enough to accomplish miracles. Though we might never have the kind of faith that impresses boys in church, our faith still counts for a lot with God.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you sometimes struggle with your faith? Why? Do you have at least a mustard seed’s amount of faith?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I can so readily relate to the disciples in this story. Though they had been authorized to perform wonders, when faced with a sturdy challenge, their faith faltered. How much like me!
Yet I am encouraged that you chose these men to be disciples in spite of their limitations. If you wanted them, then you might just want me too. How wonderful!
Moreover, though I’m no paragon of faith, I do have at least a mustard seed’s amount of faith. I do trust you, even if I waver. I have put my life in your hands. And, however inconsistently, I continue to trust you with each day. Thank you for helping me to have faith in you. Amen.
You may be wondering why I would post about a fallen hero in Georgia when I live in Indiana. Well, this post is being done because my dear friends in Georgia, Tailgunner and Lynette shared with me details, via TG’s letter of thanks to law enforcement. I wanted to take the time to show a part of this country where honor and respect still is displayed and good people come together to comfort the family of an honored hero, a hero who has died fighting terrorism for every one of us. Thank you and Rest in Peace Corporal Ayers, your duty is done. May you rest in the comfort of our Lord’s eternal love.
From: Tailgunner [email address ommitted]
Sent: Sun 7/20/2008 10:57 AM
To: Conway, Butch
Subject: ATTN: Sheriff Butch Conway
Dear Sheriff Conway
This morning my fiancee and I had the honor and privilege of being part
of the escort of the body of Corporal Jonathan Ayers.
We, along with 165 other motorcycles in the Patriot Guard Riders, staged
at the small airport in Lawrenceville, GA, and formed a flag honor line
on the tarmac as his flag draped coffin was removed from the plane and
presented to his grieving family and friends. It was loaded onto the
hearse by a 6 member military honor guard while all the PGR members stood
at attention, most holding large (3′ X 5′) American flags in a ring around
the plane and the family.
From there each and every biker followed the hearse and the family for
approximately 15 miles in a 2 mile long procession from the airport to
the funeral home. An honor to participate? Yes – and the very, very least
we could do to honor this young man who gave his life for America – for
you and me. But that is only a small portion of the story.
Along the route from the airport to the funeral home, the Lawrenceville
Police and the Gwinnett County Sheriffs Department blocked off every
intersection so that we could all – all 2 miles of us – proceed
uninterrupted in our honor escort. But there is more. So much more.
En route, there were many, many groups of people – some small, some
fairly large. Old, young, grandparents with their grandkids, parents
with their children, elderly people standing – some in small groups,
others alone. Virtually each and every one of them held an American flag
and stood at attention with their hands over their hearts as the long
procession passed. But there’s more yet.
On the opposite side of the roads we took – most of which were 4 lane
divided highways, people – Americans – pulled off to the side of the
road and stood outside their vehicles, hands over their hearts, as the
funeral procession for Corporal Ayers passed. Some even stopped their
cars or trucks in the middle of the street and stood next to their car
at attention, hand over their heart. No one, and I mean NO one, honked
their horn to get the person in front of them going or out of frustration
for being “held up”. Not one single beep.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s
Department Department, and especially the officers who provided escort
to the grief stricken family and the Patriot Guard Riders for their time
and service to the community. I am sure at least some of these officers
were off duty at the time but chose, of their own volition, to donate
their time and professional expertise to this mission. Please convey my
personal, sincere, and heartfelt thanks to them for not only a job well
done, but for their patriotism as well.
How desperately I wish Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer,
Hillary Clinton, John Murtha, Teddy Kennedy, and a host of other Washington
“surrender now” elites could have seen all of this today. I doubt it would
have changed their minds, but it would certainly let them know how far
out of touch they are with the American people and with reality.
God bless America, and may God bless you and your officers for their unselfish
service. Thank you.
Tailgunner, Stone Mountain, GA
Proud Member, Patriot Guard Riders
My friend Tailgunner received a very nice email response from the Sheriff, which follows:
From: Butch Conway
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 11:04:18 AM
Subject: RE: ATTN: Sheriff Butch Conway
Wow. Bart, what a great letter. Please don’t let it end with me, the papers
need to get a copy of it. Thanks so much for sending it to me, I assure
you it will be kept and published in our next department newsletter. If
I can ever be of assistance please don’t hesitate to let me know.
I am posting this because I get tired of reading about what the Marxist, retarded Code Pinkos do in the press. They have taken protesting a War to protesting and trying to dishonor our troops. There are many who don’t know all the personal sacrifices our law enforcement officers make to keep us all safe, and the things they do on their own time for the communities they serve. There are still people around who care and appreciate all the sacrifices military members and their families make for this country. Thanks to all who choose to serve.
From the High Calling of our Daily Work:
BY Mark D. Roberts, Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
Demanding a Sign
“Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but
the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then
Jesus left them and went away.
When Jesus failed to live up to the messianic expectations of the Jewish
leaders, they demanded him to show a miraculous sign (as if he hadn’t
done plenty already!). Jesus rejected their demand, though adding that
he would give “the sign of the prophet Jonah.” In Matthew 12:40, Jesus
explained that this sign was his resurrection. Even as Jonah was in the
belly of the fish for three days, so Jesus would be in the earth. But then,
like Jonah, he would be miraculously brought back into this world.
It’s terribly easy for us to think we can set the terms of our relationship
with Jesus. We decide the hoops he needs to jump through, and then we tell
him to jump in our prayers. If Jesus doesn’t come through for us, we can
question his goodness, even his existence. Our challenge is to accept Jesus
on his terms and to receive the revelation he has given to us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have there ever been times in your life when you
wanted God to make himself known to you in a miraculous way? What happened?
How do you maintain your faith in God when he doesn’t respond to your agenda?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I can imagine how readily I would have fallen in with
the religious leaders. Believing in you is hard sometimes, and I wouldn’t
mind an extra sign or two along the way. Of course, you have made your
presence and power known to me throughout my life. But, still, I can come
to you demanding more.
Help me, Lord, to believe in you on the basis of what you have done in
history and in my own life. When I doubt, remind me of all the ways you
have revealed yourself, most of all in Jesus, and in his resurrection.
May my faith in you be rock solid as I base it upon you. Amen.
My friends in the blogsphere have some great posts up on recent findings about the phony “man made climate crisis” that the Goracle and his minions are making soooo much money off of. Since I have several posts up on the subject and limited time to list the latest evidence coming out I will share what other bloggers have up. From Scott at Burrrrrnnnning Hot we have this and a whole lot more.
Einstein proved his Theory of Relativity with mathematics long before actual experiments were carried out to verify its truth. Similarly, various advanced physics concepts such as black holes, quantum mechanics and string theory are all proved by pure mathematical solving.
Now, despite being stubbornly obtuse to exposure of blatant lies, plain to see mistakes and murder of common sense, global warming hysterians have finally been refuted by that most logical and undebatable of sciences.
Van Helsing at Moonbattery also has a post on his blog concerning the truth behind Mr. T. Boone Pickens and his ad that has been hitting the televison. It seems Mr. Pickens has financial interests in promoting windmill and solar technology. In a free market society this is a good thing and something we should be tapping into, but when he promotes the idea “that we can’t drill our way out”, well I’m sorry but he is using propoganda to promote fatting up his own bank account. An industrious young reporter at Fox news did a little research by calling subject matter experts on offshore drilling and the findings were that Congress telling us it will take 10 years to get oil production going is simply not true. Where there is already infrastructure in place, 9 mos to a year, where we already drill in shallower locations, one to two years to produce and in the deep water as off the coast of Florida or the Carolinas, 2 to 4 years with 6 years being the maximum. Since the Senate and Congress passed the Treaty of the Sea in the last session we already have other countries like Venezuela, Cuba and China planning to drill off “our shores” and I somehow don’t think they care much about creating environmental disasters, so what is the problem with our so called leaders?
Van Helsing’s story on Picken’s:
T. Boone Pickens Windmill Ads Explained
Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens has flooded the airwaves with irritating ads, repeating the mindless Democrat talking point that “we can’t drill our way out” of our energy problems and calling on the government to spend massive amounts of money literally tilting at windmills, as if it were even remotely possible that they could replace fossil fuels. But Pickens isn’t insane — just a little greedy:
I am honored to provide a link by which you can order a book written by a true American hero, John “Top” Holland. He has been active in the POW/MIA movement from day one and has worked tirelessly to get government to do the right thing for these heros who were left behind. It is my personal honor to promote this important book and in doing so, raise the awareness of others, about what the issue is and what we as Americans need to do to make it right for so many who served and the families who were left hanging in the process. The following email sent out by Danny “Greasy” Belcher, a man who has lead the POW/MIA project called “Task Force Omega” for many years and himself a Nam Vet.
The Government Cabal That Knowingly Abandoned Our Prisoners of War And Left Them to Die
Subject: Book by John “Top” Holland
Danny “Greasy” Belcher, Executive Director Task Force Omega of KY Inc.
Vietnam Infantry Sgt. 68-69
“D” Troop. 7th Sqdn., 1st Air Cavalry
Most of those involved in the POW/MIA issue for any time recognize the name John “Top” Holland.
He is a WWII, Korea, and Vietnam infantry leader. His history is that of a legend. He has lived
a life that others could not imagine any one could ever survive one war through, much less
three major wars. He is for real.
I have read Perfidy by John “Top” Holland and Father Pat Bascio.
It will help anyone understand what has happened to the still living and abandoned POWs over
the years. It shows some of the players involved in the abandonment and those who wanted
the truth and those still alive brought home. The link below is where to order this book.
Doesn’t sound like things are going badly in Iraq to me. Obviously, our troops are not crying to “come home” if they are re-enlisting 1200 at a time! So much for all the whining on the Left that we are “losing in Iraq”. The whole story is here.
Thanks to all who serve our country, and God bless them all.