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Showing posts from November 25, 2007

On a Journey

I have begun my journey to Cuba. We are traveling on religious visas from the government and we have been invited to teach religious instruction in the town of Camaguey. (Click here for a link to a photo gallery of the town and the newspaper in Spanish or English.)

I am traveling with Jim Denison, Pastor of Teaching, and Jeff Boyd, Associate Pastor of Missions, of Park Cities Baptist Church, who have been going to this region of the country for some time. Jim's a long-time friend from seminary days, and we are both connected to B H Carroll Theological Institute, for whom we are teaching next week. Amy, who is a member of Legacy, has also been to the church we will be teaching in. I'm looking forward to meeting their friends and learning the hospitality of the people there.

We'll be staying in the Hotel Colon in Camaguey. I'll let you know how it is when I get there. I'll check in through internet cafes in town and try to give you feel of what we are doing.

Please pray…

The End of the Day

I understand once again why God prescribes fasting with prayer. Fasting subdues the body and its functions to the point that it finally slows down enough to pray. When you are jacked up on caffeine and sugar and running around to complete a list of things you "have to do," you can't pray--you barely know there is a God other than he's "out there" taking care of you. Fasting brings your body to a halt and squelches appetites that distract us from the only One who can satisfy all of our longings.

We met at the church tonight for a time of worship and continued prayer. There was no doubt who had fasted today. They were quieter, more focused, and a spirit of humility was around them. We shared a sensitivity to God's Spirit that you cannot feel when you rush into a room of theater lighting and amplified sound. I was blessed to join them as we prayed for our church, community, and those who will be the focus of our attention during the Christmas series, Enter …

Noon on Wednesday

When I got to the office, I began my morning trek through email, which, by the way, is the hardest thing to fast from these days. Email has become integral to how we communicate. It satisfies us task-oriented people well because we know how many we have answered and how many left to go...but it must drive the people-people nuts--or keeps them online for hours.

For the lunch hour, I began to look forward to my message on December 9, when I return from my trip next week. (More later on this.) I am really excited about the series we will begin on Sunday: "Enter the Prince of Peace."
Troy kicks off this week with poverty and hunger. He will be at the end of the Flood's 30-hour famine, and I will continue with the topics of outcasts and aliens on the 9th.

I've read passages like Matthew 8:2-4 (leper); 1 Peter 1:1; 2:11; Psalms 68:5; and Matthew 9:28-30 (blind) to get into the first-century issues related to aliens and outcasts then. Our attitudes toward illegal aliens in Ame…

My Day of Prayer

I'm a little nervous even posting this because Jesus made it clear that when you choose to pray and fast He alone is your audience. (Matt. 6:5-18) So, I will not pray or fast in front of you, but I'll share what I am experiencing as I spend my day practicing these spiritual disciplines.

I arose at 5:30 anticipating the day. I spent the first hour or so meditating on Psalm 100, which I will reflect on all day, and journaling. That Psalm is "for giving thanks," and I wanted my thoughts to be captured by thanksgiving all day. Along with the call to give praise, the central confession for me is, "For the LORD is God and it is he who made us, and not we ourselves." (v. 3) God is God, and I am not. I did not invent him, but he created me. That is the central confession of my faith for only there can I come to know my need for a Rescuer and Leader and experience the true nature of God's love for me and others.

I journaled mostly about my experience yesterday lis…

A Day of Prayer and Fasting

This Wednesday, I have invited Legacy to practice a day of prayer and fasting as we enter the Christmas season. I do this because I need to have my head and heart on straight as the "Buy me! Buy me!" Sirens of consumerism begin to call my name.

I am also asking the church to join me in this day of focused worship because we begin our Christmas series this Sunday, called, "Enter The Prince of Peace." When Jesus came as God incarnate, he came into a world of poverty and hunger, war and injustice, religious insiders and outcasts, prejudice and hatred. We will invite that same Prince of Peace into our world, which struggles with the same issues some 2,000 years later. We begin this Sunday with "Enter the Prince of Peace: poverty and hunger."

We will conclude Wednesday with a prayer service at the church in the Discovery Room (east hallway of the Legacy Center).

The purpose of a day like this is to substitute physical appetites and distractions in order to free …