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Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Ceaseless prayer is the pilgrim path through wild seaways and wildernesses.  Rejoicing and thanksgiving are the trail markers that keep the worshiper faring the way through thriving, dying, celebrating, and mourning.  The stoutest peregrine takes not one step more when self pity, rebel complaints, or conceit disoblige.  “Rejoice always,” heads the trail; thanksgiving in everything quickens tired steps; prayer companions all the way. 

The colony at Plymouth Rock knew well rejoicing, prayer, and thanks-giving.  These anchored them in the ocean and grounded them on land. Feet on the ground and Heaven bound, they had a purpose written in the Charter of the Plymouth Council stating, "In the hope thereby to advance the enlargement of the Christian religion, to the glory of God Almighty."   The "thereby" proved to be there by way of the cross. 

The way is full of paradox: advancing yet surrendered, sorrowing yet rejoicing, tried yet thankful, purposed yet yielding in prayer, planned and chartered yet coursed by God.

Thank You, God, for Your always-without-ceasing-in-everything will concerning this pilgrim, for Your glory.  Amen. 

Author: Carolyn Roehrig

Monday, November 15, 2010

From Psalm 19:7-8

The Word of the Lord is:
Perfect, sure,
Right and pure;
Converting the soul,
Making the wise,
Rejoicing the heart,
Enlightening the eyes.

God is faithful to answer His own word and the Christian who has been trained by the constant use of Scripture in prayer recognizes the sure voice of right wisdom, pure joy, and perfect illumination. There are times in our conscious prayer life when our own words are not enough; when our soul language demands an expression beyond our ability to communicate.  To some, a tongue has been given; to all, the Word of God has been given.  No dictionary, thesaurus, or language degree can answer the deep call of the soul’s need to communicate with God in soul-speak.  The Word of God is the calling card for such speech and is the hallmark of faith-filled prayer. 

Author: Carolyn Roehrig

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for you souls" (Matthew 11:28-29).

These words catch me mid-stride.  Who labors?  Who is laden?  Who desires rest?  I, for one.  The directive is: "Come to Me. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me."  The discovery is: "You will find rest for your souls."   Often all the explanation needed for the exhaustion of my soul is found in my response to Christ's directive.  When Christ says "Come to Me," I am prone to answer, "I'll be there in a minute."  When He says, "Take My yoke upon you," I might say, "First let me finish what I am trying to do."  When He says, "Learn from Me," I may say, "Hold on; I've almost got this problem figured out."   Yet there will be rest, for Christ will fulfill His own directives.  

Jesus taught this while going though the grain fields on the Sabbath.  His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.  While the world labored to keep Sabbatical laws, the disciples plucked grain, ate, and found rest.  As always, the disciples' relationship with Jesus helps us with ours.  Can you hear their imploring words to you?  "Come to Jesus!  Enter the grain field with Him and eat of the Staff of Life.  Take His yoke upon you and learn from Him; you will find rest for your souls."    

Take His yoke upon you; you can trust Him with your cares.  Learn from Him; you can trust Him to figure out what you cannot.  Come to the Lord of the Sabbath, and enter company with the One who gives rest to restless-prone souls.

Author: Carolyn Roehrig

Monday, November 1, 2010

"'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him..."' (Luke 11:5).

This was a midnight request and the friend's response is understandable: "Do not trouble me; the door is now shut.”  While most often our friends do not knock at midnight, it seems that quite often the knocking comes at inconvenient times.  Even as I write, the phone and doorbell have rung five times!  At the moment, I am identifying with the friend's response, yet I cannot escape the timing of this unusual amount of solicitation.  Perhaps I need this as an illustration to remind me of the One to Whom many came, day and night.   

Did Jesus ever say to those seeking Him, "Do not trouble Me; the door is now shut"?  No.  It is not that He was never busy, nor that He never sought quiet places, but He knew the purpose of His days.  Whether awakened from sleep, pressed by crowds, or interrupted from prayer because, as Simon said, "Everyone is looking for You," His response was always "It is for this that I was sent forth.”

Have I been wakened from sleep by a restless child, or kept awake by someone needing to talk?  Have I begun a project or chore and been inconvenienced by a seemingly trivial matter?  Have I been interrupted when I needed solitude?  Are there times when "everyone" is looking for me or when I have nothing left to give?  Oh, yes; haven’t we all?  But we have a Friend to Whom we may come with our “three-loaf requests.”  He is the Bread of life. 

Partake of the Bread and you will know better the purpose of your day.  Partake of the Bread and will never have nothing left to give to all the “everyone’s” in your life.