Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Holy Spirit, Editor in Chief

In our last Sunday evening service, Pastor led a study on prayer and pointed us to Romans 8:26-27:
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 
I was captivated by the idea that the Holy Spirit—God himself—intercedes for me when I don't know how to pray—or when I do pray but not according to the will of God.  It's like having the world's best editor who will kindly take my rough draft (at all hours of the day or night) and expertly rework it into a thing of beauty and truth.
_ _ _

Holy Spirit, Editor in Chief:
I yield my prayers to you.
Keep what can be salvaged—
More each time, I hope—
And change the rest.

When I demand instead of ask,
When I ask more than praise,
When I praise with trite speech,
Correct my prayers.

When I bring up the old guilts,
Long since forgiven,
Strike them through
With the blood-red flow of Calvary.

When I get the pronouns all wrong,
Replace the I's and Me's with You's.

Revise, refine, rework, reshape.

And in those moments
When doubt and searing pain
Have robbed me of all words,
Holy Spirit, be my Ghost Writer.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014

What a year.

My personal theme for 2014 was "Learn to labor and to wait" (a line from Longfellow).
I grew in both diligence and patience (Heb. 6:11-12).  Mostly just learned how much I need to learn.

New friendships; also some painful goodbyes.
Buried more friends than in any previous year.  Heaven seems sweeter now.

Recovered from my first surgery, not sure how I would pay for it...
And then got a happy, happy surprise that the majority of my bills would be covered.

Strategic planning at Key Radio... meetings, goals, lots of prayer, some failure, more prayer.

Heard Fernando Ortega and Ravi Zacharias in the Mormon Tabernacle, of all places.  (pictured)
Light shining in darkness.  Still pinching myself.

A part-time job that paid ridiculously high wages for two months.  More pinching.
Another job fell into my lap in the fall, just when I needed it most.

National Religious Broadcasters convention at the Opryland in Nashville...  (pictured)
Ate breakfast with Erwin Lutzer, sang hymns with Joni Eareckson Tada.  Pinch, pinch.

Two witnessing opportunities stand out: one in front of the MTC, the other over BBQ.
Still praying for both people.

The 25th anniversary of Provo Bible Church.  Soli deo gloria.

The world's largest scavenger hunt, right here in Provo.  Is it legal to have that much fun?

Held a workshop for children's ministries workers: a longtime goal.
Spent a day going door-to-door in a polygamist community.  Strange and heartbreaking.
Roughed it at Bible camp for a few days.  Shared my home with an intern for a month.

A supporting church sent a group to spend a July week with me.  Ain't nobody like Kansans.  (pictured)

A few refreshing days with my folks in the rugged majesty of Capitol Reef Nat'l Park.
Another few days at the missions conference of Appalachian Bible College: more refreshment.

Got an accountability partner and a new morning routine including memorization time.
Memorized Colossians 3 and Psalm 25.  All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth...


Three of the most spectacular Utah hikes I've ever done:
Mt. Timpanogos via Timpooneke  (pictured)
Y Mountain (the true, less-traversed summit)
Grand Wash Trail, Capitol Reef

Good reads included:
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (for the 3rd time)

...And in all of this, the Father's goodness and grace and faithfulness proven each day.
An excerpt from my journal entry, March 2, 2014: