Pray About Everything – A Review

“…as likeminded believers pray together, God knits our hearts together in deeper affection and empowers us to accomplish his work” – Pray About Everything

When given the opportunity to read Pray About Everything, I was very interested.  Personally, I feel that, unfortunately, my prayer life is lacking, and I was excited to read a book to help me build this discipline.  I was not disappointed.

 

First, I am a fan of Jerry Bridges – I have learned much from him – and, since he wrote the forward, I was more willing to give this book a shot. Additionally, Mark Dever endorsed this book, and that added more credibility.

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised by the content.  Paul Tautges focuses more on corporate prayer instead of focusing on personal prayer. For whatever reason, fewer authors write about this topic.  His format gives a series of devotionals that would work well for corporate prayer meetings, and I found these to be particularly helpful.

The content does have a slight secessionist feel, and that disappointed me.  This is a minor criticism, as the rest of the content was very valuable.

I would encourage pastors and small group leaders with teaching responsibilities to look at this book. The devotionals are tailorable, and I think the format and content is beneficial.

I received a preview copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  

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Don’t Punish the Good

Today, I’m looking at the Super Tuesday II results.  I’m embarrassed at what I see.  For the first time in my adult life, I can’t believe I’m actually hanging my political hopes on New York, California, Pennsylvania and Indiana to do the right thing.

I think there are many who will abstain from voting should “The Candidate I will not Name” get the nomination.  In fact, I think that it’ll make Romney’s purported “4 Million Missing Conservative Voters” looks like a minor blip.  I will, most likely, be a part of that pool.

As a person who will abstain out of conscience, I have a few comments.

  1. Do not punish the good candidates on the ballot.  Many times, the top of the ticket determines the outcome of an election.  That doesn’t need to be so.  There are many Congressional, Senatorial, State and Local candidates that are solid, doing the work they’ve been sent to do.  Show up at the polls, and cast your vote for them.
  2. At minimum, research the various 3rd party candidates. We Americans, regardless of our party affiliation, should research all candidates. At one time, the Federalist Party and then the Whig Party were the dominant parties.  The Democrat Republican Party, and then the Democrat Party & Republican Party, replaced them. History says that, while America will probably remain a two-party system, those two parties will be replaced.
  3. If you choose to leave the top spot open (I may), vote for “other,” and fill in a name. If the 2000 election taught us anything, it taught us that election judges and poll watchers are given great latitudes in determining the “will of the voter.”  In Florida, many blanks were ultimately counted because judges determined the “intention of the voter” based on the rest of the ballot.
  4. Don’t sit this election out. As I said in my first bullet, there will be many good candidates on the ballot, and they deserve our vote.

2016 is a big election.  One the country can recover, but one in which both parties are again seeking their soul.  May they both find their bearings once again.

 

 

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Radical Works Versus Radical Grace

I’m seeing a lot of “we just need to understand them” posts coming out now, both from Christian and secular sources. This piece will help frame ISIS’s strategy and ideology. I read the article when it first came out, and, as I remember the article, it does a great job of explaining this group.

The more I learn about Islam, the more I’m beginning to understand how a works-based (versus a grace- and gospel-based) religion perverts one’s behaviors.  Islam is a works-based religion, where the good a person does is balanced against the evil. If the scales tip one way, it’s paradise; if they tip the other way, eternal torment.  Unfortunately, there is no way to know how the scales will tip until one moment after death.

Radicalized Islam, like the version highlighted in this article, give a shortcut.  To die a martyr’s death circumvents the judgment. Knowing that heaven or hell weighs in the balance, and knowing there is an alternative, leads to these results.

Christians, we’re in danger of establishing our own works-based gospel. We can easily swap our good works for the work of the cross, and, while it may not lead to suicide bombings and self-sacrificing attacks, it does lead to arrogance.  I believe that we are probably all guilty of comparing our good works against those of others, and, even worse, comparing our good works against the evil done by others.

We – I –  should always remember the words spoken by Martin Luther, “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!’”

Knowing we cannot earn salvation should lead to humility and acts of good service.  And it should motivate us to invite others to a simpler life in the saving work of Christ.

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Welcome

Good day.  Welcome to my new blog.  This is the new home for my thoughts.  If you are interested, you can see my former online life at World of Asa.

I am honored that you chose to visit my home.   Please enjoy and comment as you see fit.

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