Archive for March, 2015

Bending Our Knee with the Celtic Saints

Bestow upon your mind the wisdom of God, and start with Proverbial Thought!

As we continue through prayers of the Saints, today I am taking a slightly different approach. Firstly, the prayer today brought to mind this passage.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:15-23, ESV

Secondly, this prayer is not attributed to any single saint, but as we finish the month of March it feels right to use a Celtic prayer.

Lastly, seeing as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord this weekend (in what is commonly referred to as Easter these days), this is also a fitting prayer.

I am bending my knee
In the eye of the Father who created me,
In the eye of the Son who purchased me,
In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me,

In friendship and affection.
Through Thine own Anointed One, O God,
Bestow upon us fullness in our need,
Love towards God,
The affection of God,
The smile of God,
The wisdom of God.
The grace of God,
The fear of God,
And the will of God
To do on the world of the Three,
As angels and saints
Do in heaven;

Each shade and light,
Each day and night,
Each time in kindness,
Give Thou us Thy Spirit.

Eight Century Celtic Prayer

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/29/2015

Do not get distracted by the world’s “wisdom”. Find true wisdom through some thoughts at Proverbial Thought!

Please understand: I actually like squirrels. I had several “friends” when I first went to college at Olivet Nazarene University.

The poem today is more of a commentary on the spiritual ADD of the Western Church, and it is based on the following passages:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. . . . For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
2 Peter 2:1-3, 18-22, ESV

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”
Matthew 6:5

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16

 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

Are we too squirrelly at times in our culture?

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squirrelly

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are we too much like squirrels

do we hoard our belongings

like being in high places

and think people just like watching us

are we too much like squirrels

 do we run around not really going anywhere

 get into little and meaningless fights

 and just watch others as they go by

are we too much like squirrels

 do we spend a lot of time cleaning ourselves

 keep others at a distance

 and run away when people get too close

why are we so squirrelly

why do we always seem on edge

why do we hide or run away from people

A Steadfast Heart with Thomas Aquinas

Find understanding to know God, and get a start at Proverbial Thought!

As we continue this series of prayers from the Saints, I could not help but think of Psalm 51:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
vv. 10-12, ESV

 

Give me, O Lord,
A steadfast heart
Which no unworthy thought can drag downwards;
An unconquered heart
Which no tribulation can wear out;
An upright heart
Which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.
Bestow upon me also,
O Lord my God,
Understanding to know Thee,
Diligence to seek Thee,
Wisdom to find Thee, and
A faithfulness that may finally embrace Thee;
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

How Do You Treat Something Priceless?

Anthony has had many good thoughts lately (I think he has been listening a little better to God!), hence my sharing more of his thoughts.l

I like this one for a couple reasons: 1) This is the reason Christians should NOT be racists, and 2) we can disagree with people, but this is the reason we should not hate them, seek revenge against them, nor insult them – at least not maliciously and/or consciously.

By this last statement I mean that by simply presenting the Gospel we can insult people (see 1 Corinthians 1:20-25). Sometimes the truth hurts, and people will feel insulted, offended by the truth. It is also possible that something we say will offend someone due to their own past or misconceptions that cloud their understanding. (I know it has happened to me too many times to count, both ways.)

The Recovering Legalist

Do you think of other people as valuable? How valuable? Would you consider them priceless?

Just imagine, what if you could say you held in your hand a small item, a one-of-a-kind, totally unique, and personally made by God Himself? How would you treat it?

Would you hold it carefully, caress it, watch over it?

Would you toss it in the trash, make fun of it, or abuse it?

Are we not unique? Are we not “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God? Are we not valuable beyond compare? Did God not offer His own Son as a ransom for our souls?

Then why do we treat each other the way we do?

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Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/22/2015

Find the peace of wisdom and avoid the torment of foolishness, and get started with Proverbial Thought!

You might also think of this passage after reading the poem today:

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Romans 7:7-25, ESV

It can be tormenting to live with such a dichotomy inside!

Yet, we know there is help!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7

Suddenly we find ourselves in this … peaceful torment … which leads to our hope:

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Romans 8:22-24a

Praise His name!

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a peaceful torment

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my flesh and soul are at war within me
i cannot deal with it
although the Blood of Jesus set me free
this my flesh would omit
and though He has restored me completely
my flesh will not commit
yet that pushes me towards the Deity
to trust in the Spirit
and the anguish my spirit feels daily
is a peaceful torment
for with His Spirit working within me
His Peace helps deal with it

Christ Be with Us and Patrick

May the wisdom of God instruct you, and may it start with Proverbial Thought!

There is so much in this prayer from all over the Bible that point to God’s attributes and sovereignty!

In honor of his day, here is a prayer from St. Patrick:

May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore.
Amen.

Patrick (387-461)

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/15/2015

Change your mind, and find the wisdom of God through some of the thoughts at Proverbial Thought!

There is no need for a great debate on Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, or any other -isms of soteriology (study of salvation) based on the poem today.

We should all agree that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession”. In fact, this poem is based on that very passage of Scripture:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-12, ESV

Regardless of how free a choice we had in the process of salvation, it is still true that God chose us as His own, and He has given us the command and the privilege of sharing the Gospel with our fallen world.

chosen

 

chosen before i knew You

selected for Your purpose

still needing Your Truth revealed

to have any usefulness

when i finally came around

and You got through my thick head

my heart became softened

my life redeemed from the dead

now i seek out Your chosen

finding them still evil

telling them how You changed my life

and resisted the lies of the devil

no longer deceived by lies

now aware of all Your Truth

they can truly live their lives

knowing they are chosen by You