It is Right to Ask

I love the story of Hezekiah. The intimidating Assyrian army is just outside their gates because Hezekiah had decided to no longer give in to their demands. I love what it says Hezekiah did. “He went into the temple of the Lord.” And the coolest thing . . . the Lord heard him and helped him.

This army had a history of obliterating those they went up against. And on that basis Hezekiah could have crumbled and given in to their demands. He could have reasoned that it would be better to muddle through life than to risk not having life. He could have wondered why the Lord would help him when He had not helped so many others.

I wonder sometimes when I pray, why I expect to be helped when there are so many who have it so much worse. Whether I am praying for myself, my family or someone else, I wonder. It is tempting to give in to the demands of life.

Instead, I make the same decision that Hezekiah made. I go into the temple of the Lord. I believe it is right to ask for what is right rather than to accept what is wrong. I believe the Lord gave us this story of Hezekiah to show us that He is in favor of us asking for what is right.

Honoring Special Days

I am the worst. My wife is the best. She never misses a card. I rarely have one to give. I don’t dislike special days; it’s more that I like making some days special and they just don’t ordinarily fall on the days already laid out. Maybe as I approach a special day, I start seeing it as a formality. I don’t like formalities. Yet when I get the card my wife picked for me, I like it and regret that I didn’t take the time to do the same for her.

I did the same thing this past weekend. Only this time it was Jesus’ special day. I blew right by all the Good Friday posts – formality. I blew by most of the Easter Sunday posts. But later that day it hit me what I had done.

This morning, though a little late, I made an ordinary day special. As I was writing my thoughts, I remembered a couple things I had read recently. In 1 Kings 13 a man of God, after his mission, set out to return the way God told him to return. He turned down an offer to do otherwise. While he was on his way, another man of God caught up with him and made him a similar offer. The original man of God accepted this time. He started well but he didn’t finish well. It cost him his life.

This morning I thought of it in relation to Jesus. He not only started well but He finished well. In my opinion, the most pivotal point in human history is the point recorded in John 12 where Jesus decided to finish well. He was struggling. John is the only one that records it. I can’t improve on how Jesus put it. John couldn’t either evidently. He used Jesus’ very words.

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:27


Your praying creates a vein through which the grace, help and love of God can flow.

In the Course of Time

Where are we In the Course of Time? Are we on the outer edges of the time the Bible refers to where the antichrist runs the world? Are we seeing the formation of that rise in power with ISIS? Has God put us in such a stupor that we are paving the way for it to flourish? Are we seeing the beginning of that time of which the Bible says we will be forced to accept a number in submission to that power (which results in a denial of Christ) to be able to buy and sell?

Either Satan has deceived them into believing they are doing God a favor and God is waiting on us to stop them, or God has stirred them and put us in such a stupor that we have no will to stop them. There is really only one way to know for sure. If Satan is behind it, they can be defeated. If we are on the outskirts of the end of times, we may remain in our stupor. But my prayer is that we will be stirred into action—swift and decisive action. If God is with us, we will win. If not . . . we can assume the curtain has been drawn.

Back to Work

I stumbled across an analogy a few years ago that helped me in the area of faith. It all started with the question the disciples asked Jesus when they had been caught red handed at not being able to heal the boy who had seizures. Their question, “Why couldn’t we heal him”, struck me. It became my question.

It’s funny how if you just stay with something, instead of sweeping under the rug, as the disciples had tried to do, hoping Jesus wouldn’t find out; that Jesus must enjoy our searching. It really is like looking for jewels. They’re not just laying out in the open; you have to dig for them. And if you stay with it, every now and then you will find one.

So, this is the jewel I found. Jesus told them if they had faith even the size of a mustard seed, they could move mountains. And it hit me. Jesus’ faith is like a dozer. He can move a pile of dirt pretty quick. Mine on the other hand is like a shovel. I can move the same pile of dirt; it’s just that it will take me longer. Faith believes that if you stay with it, it will be moved. Not that it might be moved, but that it will be moved.

It was the perfect analogy for me. Being a builder, I have had plenty of opportunity to move dirt with both equipment and the old shovel and wheelbarrow method. Little by little, if you stay with it, the latter will get the job done.

It is important when we invest our time and energy in physical labor that we see progress—evidence that our labor is paying off. The same is true, it think, in the area of spiritual labor. We’re bad about praying for something a couple of times and then quitting if it doesn’t happen. But to see evidence of progress; that is enough to confirm you are on the right track.

A few years ago I took to task, praying for a girl who had seizures. After months of praying from time to time, and maybe even a couple of years now that I think about it, the only evidence I saw was when her mom said the seizures had become less frequent and less severe.

Two or three years have passed and the mom just mentioned in a comment, that the seizures were still, “less frequent and less severe”. Funny that pile of dirt is just where I left it. When I laid my shovel down, it quit getting smaller.

So this morning, I am picking it back up again. As with any pile of dirt, it is not a matter of trying to move it—hoping you can move it—hoping it will eventually be moved. It is a simple matter. Stay with it, shovel by shovel, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, and eventually it will be moved.

I believe it.


We bought gifts this weekend for our 3 granddaughters. They won’t receive them for awhile. In fact they don’t even know that we have them. It made me wonder how many gifts my heavenly Father has for me that I, at this time, know nothing about.

A Frantic Search


“After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy stayed behind, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to look for him. After three days they found him.” 


Luke tells this story of Jesus when he was 12 years old.  It was time to head back home and after a full day of travel Mary and Joseph stop to set up camp with the friends and relatives they are traveling with.  It was safer to travel in a group – and it had to have been a pretty big group for Jesus’ absence to go unnoticed for an entire day.  But it wasn’t until they stopped to set up camp that they realized he was missing.


So while everyone else settled in for the night, Joseph and Mary set off – on their own and in the dark – back to Jerusalem.  They made it of course, but imagine the actual journey.  They traveled in a group for a reason.  But here they are by themselves in the black of night.  And yet, more than the fear of what could happen along the way, was what could happen to their missing son.   


I’m sure they hoped they would get into town and he would come running up to them and all would be well.  But it didn’t happen that way.  It took three more days of searching after they got there before they found him.  Luke tells us that when they finally found him, Mary said, “Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” 


He was missing.  Who knows what had happened to him.  We read it all in just a few verses and know rather quickly that it ends well.  We don’t have the time to experience the worried sick feeling they felt while they searched day after agonizing day. 


Sometimes our searching for Jesus – if we’re really going to find him – will pull us away from our normal way of doing things.  Did I mention that it might take longer than we think it should?  That there might be a little agony involved?    


When Mary told Jesus that they had been frantically searching for him, she also asked, “Why have you treated us this way?”  He knew they were looking for him.  Why didn’t he make himself a little easier to find?  Why didn’t he meet them when they first stepped into town?


I wish I knew the answer to that.  Sometimes our seeking is hard and just gets harder.  Mary and Joseph, after 3 days of agonizing searching, have found Jesus.  After a brief celebration and sigh of relief, it’s time again to head home; only this time, since their friends and relatives are probably already there, they will be traveling alone.




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