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Lord, please crave out for Peter those moments for the two of you together that are so hard for us to make for ourselves. Please don't let him miss them. (And feel free to throw in a few for me, too.) Thank You, Lord! I love you.
Then ask the Lord what else can be resolved with a click, or a brief, "I'll not be able to address this as planned."
Be at peace, my brother.
Yes, plenty of people come to church as a comfortable place to meet like minds. There are also far too many people who snub church to go in search of the lost, happy to direct a sinner's prayer, then move on to look for more souls. They are more satisfied with making a convert than doing the hard work of making a disciple. If effective ministry within the church is a priority, ministry will be more effective in the streets. If we are "not known for our love, compassion and kindness," then best we get it right at home before setting a bad example to the world.
I recall these words appearing on a recent post here: "Christians are arguably more like the world in one respect than any other: criticizing Christians." The way to encourage virtues of love and compassion to the world is by exemplifying them "without boundaries," not condemning others for failing at them. Berating Christians does not encourage them.
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
Also, what example would we show the world if we loved those outside at the expense of those inside? If the world sees that we treat the world better than our own bretheren, would they not prefer to remain outside?
I'm willing to share three resolutions here:
• Every morning, I'll read Scripture and pray before I check emails or Twitter
• I'll give my two youngest children reading time each day before I write the daily devotion I publish
• I'll have a first draft of my next novel complete by March 31, 2010
My recent post Heavens Shaken
I can't think of not remembering this one.
Just imagine the people waiting for us in Heaven.
When the Lord speaks, His voice carries conviction of what to do, with the encouragement and strength to do it.
When the enemy speaks, his voice carries condemnation, with the discouragement for all accomplished not by us, but by Christ in us.
Allow Him to carry you, my brother. "Fear not," or some form of that statement, was the most frequent imperative Jesus spoke. He purchased you with His blood. You are greatly beloved, and of great worth in His sight.
I am comforted to know that you are parted from Debbie's grandmother for just a short time. Parted, but not separated. The same Spirit who gives her life for eternity is living in you for eternity, and death cannot separate that Spirit from either of you, or from Debbie.