How to start the new year

In my RSS feed a daily post shares information about some people group who, in the eyes of the organization behind it, has not been reached by the gospel. Now, the organization and I have a different idea of what the gospel is. But I appreciate the effort, and each day I have determined that I will look at the information about the people group selected and pray that the Lord will send workers with the true gospel to them. It’s one way in which I seek to fulfill the Lord’s order to pray for more workers to be sent into the harvest. Besides asking for workers in our own region.

I’d be interested in hearing how you go about praying about this need. Really interested.

You know, if you’ve read much here on TFR, that I’ve been making an effort to encourage prayer. In Bible college you’ll study two or four years of the sacred text. I don’t recall a single course being offered on prayer. Why is that? Do we assume that people know how to pray, but that people don’t know how to pick up the Bible, start reading, and understand what it says?

What things start with prayer? How about the new year? Here in Brazil, many brethren begin the new year with prayer in their gatherings. A fine start, don’t you think? What other things begin or can begin with prayer?

  • A marriage. (“I now pronounce you man and wife. Let us pray.”)
  • A meal.
  • A Bible study.
  • A new birth, after baptism.
  • A trip.

¶ Some years ago, a Protestant author wrote a book about three problematic areas of sex, money, and power. I don’t recall how much he dealt with their positive aspects. But do you think that when we teach against sin in these areas that we ought to emphasize as much or more the positive blessing of these three and how they are gifts of God to be used in the Kingdom?

¶ The year ends without a single rearrangement of personal habits, often called “resolution,” having been made. (Running in the family this year.) Not sure whether to be ashamed or proud of it. If you would be so kind as to share one of yours in the comments area below, I might be motivated to adopt it or inspired to drum something up of my own.

¶ I hate the process of getting a haircut, but love the result (some of the time, anyway, when the barbering whacker has done a decent job). Is this a microcosm of life, or what?

¶ As a participant in a number of open-source social networking efforts, I’ve noted that, although developing software presents a technical challenge to write code, an exact and precise exercise, no less human drama follows those involved in it than in any other undertaking.

¶ A saint must never forget that the work of God reaches far beyond one’s own town or country. We may even talk about national tendencies and bewail, with certain reason, the direction of the part of the brotherhood that we see. Even in the Internet age, however, we know precious little of all the marvelous things that the Most High is doing. “God’s work surpasses the sight of any one person or group,” we wrote elsewhere, some years ago.

¶ Generally, I will like, comment, reblog, or share something I’ve read if it is (1) well written, (2) properly spelled, (3) nicely formatted, (4) truthful, (5) written by a brother in Christ, and (6) appropriate to the moment or applicable to the need. If it has a pretty image, I care not. The more of these items are found in online content, the higher its chances with me. I suppose I’m peculiar that way.

¶ Fear causes the strangest reactions. Because of it, people act angry, berate or insult others, lash out to attack, or else isolate themselves. Fear probably lies behind much of the behavior that stupefies others. It is a primary motivator. Actions are not excused by it, but perhaps we might understand others better by taking it into account, be it fear of loss, hurt, or the unknown.

¶ Politics and me? I seldom make political points or commentary. Earlier, I made a list why I don’t.

  1. Politics will not save us.
  2. Politics is a downhill slide, i.e., it has no redemption.
  3. Politics has better defenders than I, and has defenders.
  4. Missions according to the divine plan has few proponents, even in the church.
  5. I need to keep my nose to the local grindstone, a need I am becoming increasingly convinced of.

¶ Finally, a fragment of scripture, from Psalm 101, speaking of sailors in the storm and maybe one or two of us:

… all their skill proved ineffective. They cried out to the Lord in their distress; he delivered them from their troubles. He calmed the storm, and the waves grew silent. The sailors rejoiced because the waves grew quiet, and he led them to the harbor they desired.

Ah, to be led by the Lord into that harbor that we so much desire!

#corollaries, #fear, #happy-new-year, #prayer, #reblogging, #resolutions