For The Work, For Our Lord

A Leader's Prayer
A Leader’s Prayer

Lord God, you have placed me in your church.

You know how unsuitable I am. Were it not for your guidance I would have brought everything to destruction. I wish to give my heart and mouth to your service. I desire to teach your people, and long to be taught your work.

Use me as your workman, dear Lord. Do not forsake me; for if I am alone I shall bring all to nought. Amen.

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A written prayer by Martin Luther, (b. November 10, 1483 – d. February 18, 1546) Catholic Monk, Reformer, Theologian, Writer.

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Some General Quotes by Luther:MartinLuther

“Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.”

“So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!”

“Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.”

“In our sad condition our only consolation is the expectancy of another life.”

Visit CrossQuotes for more– http://crossquotes.org/category/martin-luther/

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Moonlight’s Singular Moment

 Archibald Wright “Moonlight” Graham (November 10 1879 – August 25 1965) was an American professional baseball player who appeared as a right fielder in a single major league game for the New York Giants on June 29, 1905.

His story was popularized by “Shoeless Joe,” a novel by W. P. Kinsella, and the subsequent 1989 film, “Field of Dreams.”

On June 29, the Giants were the visiting team against Brooklyn. For the bottom of the eighth inning, Graham was sent in to play right field, replacing George Browne. In the top of the ninth inning, Graham was on deck (scheduled to be the next batter) when his teammate Claude Elliott flied out resulting in the third and final out. Graham played the bottom of the ninth in right field but never came to bat, and that game turned out to be his only appearance in the major leagues.

“Moonlight” Graham got his nickname because the sum total of his career  was that singular fleeting moment, which passed by too quickly.  Technically, I guess he played one game at MLB level, But he never had the chance to bat and never even touched the ball.  He would never again play in the majors, but since he was recorded on an umpire’s ‘batting order’ list, technically he played MLB.

How incredibly sad.  I pulled out my baseball encyclopedia to verify his career and yes he is there.  He had his moment in the moonlight, it passed and left him with no compassion or mercy.  He has been forever marked in baseball as someone “who might have been”.

Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham, went to college and became a physician.  In the movie “Field of Dreams”, Graham (Burt Lancaster) declares this–  “You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”

Often, there is just a short window of time to respond to God’s grace. We think we can just put it off, and later make a decisive decision. But this moment maybe all you have.

“God says,

“At the right time I heard your prayers.
    On the day of salvation I helped you.” (Isaiah 49:8)

I tell you that the “right time” is now, and the “day of salvation” is now.

2 Corinthians 6:2, NCV

For some reason we think somehow we have arrived and life will always be this way.  But the only sure thing, the one solid definite fact, is the love of God for our souls.  That is the only thing that will stay with us. Our circumstances are always changing.  But perhaps we need to be faithful in this singular moment.  I think  “Moonlight” Graham would agree.

Carpe Diem.

*Baseball-icon

ybic, Bryan

Here’s a link worth following: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05176/528257.stm

Ears That Hear

Used during WWII to locate bombers over London
Used during WWII to locate bombers over London

It intrigues me as I think of how much we need each other. For most of my life, it seems the opposite was true. I thought I needed my independence, to be entirely self-reliant and to be bolder and more assertive.

But much of my struggle, through health and mental crisis’, through the death of a child, really has broken a strong back of this resolve. The question I hear now from the Lord; isn’t how strong are you– but rather, how weak are you?

“The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
    so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
    and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
    and I have listened.
    I have not rebelled or turned away.”

Isaiah 50:4-5, NLT

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples” is the NASB translation of verse 4. It is a serious mistake if we see ‘discipleship’ as a solitary endeavor. Instead, it is like the connective tissue that surrounds our muscles. The body needs to unite efforts, activities, ideas, and purposes through our combined discipleship.

Isaiah 50 advances this idea. The simple picture is of a person sleeping who is suddenly awake. Lying in bed, they start to listen. It’s not the birds singing. It is God speaking. And not only is there a gentle voice, but accompanying it is wisdom and grace to unleash what has been said. And that is an art that we must learn.

“The weary” are everywhere, but typically you share with just two or three. But the right words, at the right time, with a perfect wisdom can really rock. Lives can be turned with just a word.

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ybic, Bryan

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