Tag Archives: Prayer

What “Living Biblically” says about religion and culture today

Great read by Dr. Jim Denison. Enjoy.

Television is producing more shows with religious themes, as the sitcom Living Biblically illustrates. The show depicts a lapsed Catholic who is married to an atheist and decides to live by the literal commands of Scripture with the help of a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest. I found it mildly humorous at times, cringeworthy at others.

Other religiously themed shows include a young man preparing for his bar mitzvah, a young genius who struggles with his mother’s Christianity, and a stand-up comic who wrestles with his faith.

What they seem to have in common is this: they treat Christianity as a religion more than a relationship.

“That’s easy-it’s grace”

In What’s So Amazing About Grace?, Philip Yancey describes a conference on comparative religions in which experts were discussing whether any specific belief was unique to Christianity.

The debate went on for some time, until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked. He was told that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among the world’s religions. Lewis responded: “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”

When we focus on the grace-centered, intimate communion we can have with God Almighty, those who don’t understand may mock us for listening to our Father’s voice. Recall Joy Behar’s claim on The Viewthat Mike Pence, who claims to hear God’s voice, has a “mental illness.”

As Eric Metaxas notes, “If Mike Pence is crazy for believing he hears God’s voice, then so are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama-all of whom said they listened for the still, small voice of God.”

The good news is that some in Hollywood really understand the good news.

For instance, Letitia Wright, who plays Princess Shuri in Black Panthertold an interviewer that a few years ago, “I was pretty much obsessed with acting, and it became my world. It became what I used to be happy.” So she went on a hiatus from acting: “I said, ‘Okay, Jesus, I’ll try you,’ and I haven’t looked back since.”

Now, she says, “I don’t really consider myself religious. I view it more as a relationship. And if anyone thinks that’s weird, then okay.”

When we work, God works

How can you and I build a more transforming, empowering relationship with the Lord of the universe?

Our self-reliant culture would expect me to encourage more church attendance, Bible reading, time in prayer, and other spiritual activities as the answer to the question. The brilliant theologian Henri Nouwen agreed that such disciplines are vital: “Discipline is the other side of discipleship. Discipleship without discipline is like waiting to run in the marathon without ever practicing. Discipline without discipleship is like always practicing for the marathon but never participating.”

Then comes the grace-centered surprise: “It is important, however, to realize that discipline in the spiritual life is not the same as discipline in sports. Discipline in sports is the concentrated effort to master the body so that it can obey the mind better. Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.

“Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.”

Said simply: When we work, God works. When we make time for God, we position ourselves to receive what his grace intends to provide. We cannot earn what he can only give. But we must be close enough to receive what he wants to bestow.

“O Lord, do it again!”

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). His Father promised us, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3). Our Savior added: “Whoever is of God hears the words of God” (John 8:47).

But know this: after God speaks to us, he intends to speak through us.

Yesterday I reflected on Mark Batterson’s terrific new book, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God. I’ll close today with my favorite story from the book:

“In 1940 Dr. J. Edwin Orr took a group of Wheaton College students to study abroad in England. One of their stops included the Epworth Rectory. The rectory now serves as a Methodist museum, but it was the home of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement.

“In one of the bedrooms, there are two impressions where it is believed that John Wesley regularly knelt in prayer. As the students were getting back on the bus, Dr. Orr noticed that one student was missing. Going back upstairs, Dr. Orr found a young Billy Graham kneeling in those kneeholes and praying, ‘O Lord, do it again!'”

Now it’s our turn.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry


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Acuna, Mexico, 1 year after the tornado of 2015

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On May 24, 2016, A small team from Texas Tech University traveled to Acuna with our Missions Pastor, Shon Young, my family, and Arvin Mendez, the Pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista Acuna, MX. We are photographed here standing one on of the devastated areas, but now it is a beautiful park area.

We haven’t forgotten the people or the community of Acuna. We have continued to be in prayer and give support to those in need.

Monday, May 25, 2015 was not your typical Monday. The day began with heavy thunderstorms with a magnificent lightning show. The smell of coffee began to permeate the house, and breakfast was about to begin, when I was asked from a friend via text if we had power on at our house, since they had not. I said we did and we invited them over for coffee and breakfast. As we finished up around 9 am, I received notice if I seen the pictures of the tornado damage in Acuna, Mexico which is 6 miles to the south of us. I had not, so we started an internet search and the pictures were very alarming.

13 people had been confirmed dead, and many more hundreds were injured. Reports were coming in and there were missing people. As I was there I was interviewed by a Mexican news station. I was able to speak with a few of those who lost everything and they conveyed to me that the tornado lasted a brief 10 seconds. I later found out that it was only 6 seconds, and it was in fact an F5 magnitude.

Here are some pictures from that day:

May Jesus be the King of Acuna, as recovery is still taking place.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Praying for Acuna

Before we unload a box truck loaded with supplies headed for Acuna Meico, we gather to pray and give thanks for the opportunity to minister love to our neighbors.   

God is Great!!

Pastor Larry


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In Everything Go To God



When you face today, remind yourself about this one thing: Whatever you are going through, you can present it to God!

God is always available to you. He is never to busy for you. He is the only One who can give you true inner peace when you need it the most. The verse in Philippians 4:6 says that we (me & you) are not be anxious about anything because we have the greatest listener in the world. God is begging you today to ask Him anything by way of prayer.

Go ahead and ask. He would love to hear from you today.

Stay in the Light 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry


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