Coded for Worship

“…all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

Posts Tagged ‘Prayer

(Theme Song to The Jeffersons)

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Why is it that I always want to sing the theme song to The Jeffersons when I am talking about moving?  I guess it’s a weakness I have.  I didn’t even watch the show all that much as a child.  Anyway, I digress…

I bring that up because me and my family are moving.  For the first time since we’ve been a couple, my wife and I will be living away from our family and everything else that we have known as “home” for over 10 years.  We were both born here in the Huntsville, AL area.  My wife has lived here for all but 2 of her years and I have spent the majority of my life here as well.  However, a few weeks ago, God began working in our lives and on our hearts to prepare us for a move.  A big move.  An Abram-esque move.  How so?  It went like this…and I paraphrase here:

God: Go.
Me: Okay.  To Nashville?
God: Yes. Go.
Me: Okay.  But, what about jobs, place to live…and, um, money?
God: Go.
Me: Okay.

So, we’re going.  I quit my job of 5 years and, yes, I’ve got things lined up.  However, nothing is concrete yet.  The only thing that is for sure is the fact that we are moving.  Our landlord is letting us out of lease without penalty.  We’re going tomorrow to find a place to live, get new phones, and see about school and church in the area.

We’re all very excited about the new things this will bring into our lives.  Yet, we’re not uneasy about much of it.  We know that God is in this and as long as we depend on Him and put our trust in Him, we will not be forsaken.  I told my mom tonight that, were God not all over this, it would be one of the more stupid things I’ve done in my life.  Yet, with God as the one behind all of this, it makes it an amazing demonstration of His love, mercy, grace, and sovereignty.

So, tomorrow, a new adventure begins — and if you read this, please pray for the details and wrinkles to get worked out so we don’t run into road blocks and that nothing will keep us from following God throughout all of this (our flesh included).  Here is what we need, specifically speaking, to happen in the next few days:

  • to find and nail down a place to live
  • to get the utilities, phone, etc. established
  • to decide on our daughter’s school
  • God to work on my employment and the lack of security in the meantime

I will try to share more details in the coming days.  Thank you all.

Written by Andy

July 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm

The Deeps

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Over the past several months, I’ve had difficulty with my prayer time.  It’s not something I’ve been too keen on sharing with many, but now that God has broken so many chains in my life during recent days, I can speak without shame.

This morning, I was using The Valley of Vision as an aide during my prayer time and the entry entitled “The Deeps” was a great help to me and God spoke to me (loudly) through it.  I wanted to share parts of it here.

Give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach;
Help me chastely to flee it, and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be thine alone.

Give me more sweetness in the Word, deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.

I have no Master but thee … no peace but that thou bestowest.
I am nothing but that thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from thee,
I can be nothing but that grace adorns me.

Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing
with living water
.

(emphasis mine)

Amen and amen.

Written by Andy

June 29, 2008 at 7:01 am

A Pathetic Confession

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Life, for 99.9% of people, becomes a lot more than one can bear all alone at one time or another. At that time, we need help and begin seeking it out.

That is, unless, you are stubborn and think you can take care of things yourself and “fix” everything.

My mindset, as of late, has been the former. I’ve taken my reading habits and sat them aside while I tried to balance the increase of stress in my life. The same has happened with my communal habits of Scripture reading and prayer. Frankly, it’s pathetic. Especially for a person who has learned, on more than one occasion, and known for quite some time that it’s humanly impossible to overcome anything by one’s own power.

I see my friends and I see their joy and their lives and wonder what it is that has happened in my life that has stalled my actions, hampered my joy, and affected so many areas of my life, my relationships, and my ministry.

I’ve confessed it to my Lord, my friends, and my family. Has anything changed? Yes, somewhat. The problem is, though, that I’m not making progress or change in the areas of my life that are causing me pain and grief. All the while, my gracious Father continues to be merciful to me in my times of need. He continues to pour out His grace on me.

A few weeks ago, I asked a friend of mine what it would take to get him to quit telling me he was worried about me and jokingly asked if he wanted some sort of outward change — to which he responded, “yes, actually.”

Does this mean that if I start reading Scripture more often, reading for spiritual growth more faithfully, praying more fervently, and being more outwardly focused on God that things will get better for me? Not necessarily. Does this mean that these are the things that my friend is looking for? Does this mean that my Father will be pleased by those things? I don’t know.

I do know that I want these areas of my life to change and I want them to change very soon.

Part of the friendship that I have with Rod is that when either of us begin to struggle, we confess in order that whatever it is that we are struggling with or fighting against will be brought out of the secret (i.e. darkness) and its power will be significantly reduced.

Here’s my (pathetic) confession. May God honor it and change me … now.

Written by Andy

May 8, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Sabbath-Eve Prayer

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As I attempt to make a slow return to regular blogging again, I wanted to start with this. Justin Taylor is on vacation and his guest blogger shared with us a wonderful prayer for those who will be entering into a place of worship tomorrow, Lord willing.

A Sabbath-Eve Gospel Prayer
from Between Two Worlds by Tullian Tchividjian

As all of us prepare our hearts and minds for worship tomorrow, my prayer is that we go expecting to encounter the glory of God, his powerful presence, first and foremost. I pray that, as we sleep, God would expand our want to sing of who he is and hear of what he’s done. I pray that we go ready and willing to feel the grief of our sin so that we can feel the glory of his salvation. I pray that we go, in other words, to see God on display, not preachers or musicians. A worship service is not the place to showcase human talent. It’s the place for God to showcase his Divine treasure. A worship service that contains the power to change us (even us preachers) is a worship service that leaves us with grand impressions of Divine personality, not grand impressions of human personality. Isaiah did not leave the temple in Isaiah 6 thinking, “What great music, what a great building, what a great preacher.” He left thinking, “What a great God.”

Perhaps John Stott’s words will be used to grow our love for the the great Gospel we will encounter tomorrow: “The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.” Amen!

Remember: we gather for worship not to escape the real world, but to be reminded that this world is not there is. For the Christian, the best is yet to come. So worship humbly and hard tomorrow. You need it!

Amen.

Written by Andy

November 16, 2007 at 8:26 am

Posted in Church, Worship

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Praying for Your Child(ren)

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One area of fatherhood that I have failed at (if I’m being honest) is praying for my daughter. Today, the Lord brought this to me — a few things and accompanying verses to pray for your child(ren). I will be putting these on an index card and carrying it with me as a reminder to pray for my daughter.

That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13-15)

That they will respond in faith to Jesus’ faithful, persistent call.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

That their thoughts will be pure.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord’s work.
All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29)

That when the time is right, they will GO!
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

(HT: Desiring God Blog)

Written by Andy

November 15, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Posted in Parenthood, Prayer

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What I’m Reading

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Here is a quick rundown of the books I am currently working on. As you will see, I am a multi-tasker when it comes to reading.

Reviews of Communion, God is the Gospel, and The Gospel & Personal Evangelism are coming up.

Written by Andy

November 6, 2007 at 9:06 am

Continual Repentance

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A while back, I purchased a copy of The Valley of Vision. It arrived while I was in the hospital, but since I’ve been home, I’ve enjoyed the refreshing spirit that this book of puritan-era prayers. I’ve been moved by many of them as I’ve randomly read through them. However, none have moved me the way this one has. I share it here with the hopes that the Holy Spirit uses it in your own life.

O God of Grace,

Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,
and hast imputed his righteousness to my soul,
clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,
decking me with jewels of holiness.

But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
my best prayers are stained with sin;
my penitential tears are so much impurity;
my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin;
my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
no loom to weave my own righteousness;

I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,
for thou dost always justify the ungodly;

I am always going into the far country,
and always returning home as a prodigal,
always saying, Father, forgive me,
and thou art always bringing forth
the best robe.

Every morning let me wear it,
every evening return in it,
go out to the day’s work in it,
be married in it,
be wound in death in it,
stand before the great white throne in it,
enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.

Amen and amen.

Written by Andy

November 2, 2007 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Prayer

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