Quick Post: Prayer is inefficient

Why do I resist prayer? One reason is because it is inefficient. It doesn’t help me cross “to do” items off my list. It doesn’t fit into my GTD rubric. But we don’t pray because it is efficient or expedient (not to mention that the things I am praying about rarely have quick fixes or easy answers), but because it leads me to entreat my Heavenly Father to act in ways I can’t with a timing I won’t understand. Prayer does not lead to efficiency, rather it leads to deeper dependency.

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Being Proud of Myself

Words from my wife…

lydiatisdale

I think i might actually have a new emotion about last year. In the midst of the screaming anger, shrieking fear, and whimpering helplessness there is a new whispering pride. We made it. I made it. Adam’s year was awful…but so was mine. For the first time in our marriage, we struggled through something that we didn’t and couldn’t share, as chemo isolated him from everyone – including from the kids and me. It is not an overstatement to say that we survived by the skin of our teeth just as he did…we all survived different trials.
I often feel guilty for talking about my difficulties last year. Don’t get me wrong – that guilt doesn’t seem to stop me from talking about it, it just makes me feel vaguely wrong. I’m trying to get over that. I’m also beyond ready to feel better. I want to feel like…

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It’s Been A While

It’s been a while.
To feel the blood coursing through my veins.
To feel alive. 
It’s been a while.
To think clearly.
To think confidently.
It’s been a while.
To see through the fog.
To see beyond the veil of tears.
It’s been a while for cancer decimates,
Body,
Mind,
Soul. 
But,
It is not greater than the Spirit inside me.
It is not greater than the Grace given to me.
It is not greater than the Love that saves me. 
Yes, it’s been a while. But only a while.
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

Family Photos and A Need for Good News

So, very, very good from my good friend Matt.

Echoes and Stars

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Ask my wife. I hate having family pictures made. They always make one of us mad or frustrated at the kids. The smiles and laughter and beauty of the kids captured is only part of the story of those moments. Behind the scenes there is bribery, threats, and more threats of punishment.

Last night I was looking at some pictures my wife took on a short family vacation with some friends. In most of the pictures we are smiling in front of monuments and have our arms around each other.

There were a few times smiles were hard to come by. My daughter got sick because of some medicine she is taking that aggravated anxiety. The boys fought. Tempers flared. Mine especially. We were all tired. Sometimes , I couldn’t tell the difference between being upset because my kids were being disobedient and being just embarrassed of their behavior in…

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Simple Faith, Simply Beautiful

I really appreciate this short meditation by my friend Chris. Thanks for writing this!

Striving With God

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I’ve spent the better part of the day with my family at the hospital. My step-dad had a procedure, nothing too major, but major enough that several family members felt the need to join us to offer their prayers and support.

I don’t come from a particularly well educated family. I don’t say this in an insulting way, it’s the reality. This doesn’t mean they are unintelligent, in fact in real world smarts it is actually quite the opposite. Most of my family grew up very poor, and in an area that most people would call ”the country”. I often refer to my family members as “simple” people. Again, some would see this as an insult. I do not.

Along these same lines, if I were to describe the faith of my family members, I would say that they have a very simple faith. Again, for some this would not…

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Monsters of One Kind and Another

As usual, my wife writes more eloquently than I am capable of and with more truth than I can muster. I admire both.

lydiatisdale

Today is one of those days when I really need to stay away from Facebook. It is not just the obvious time-suck that I am trying to avoid (rather unsuccessfully, at that), but the engendering of the proverbial green-eyed monster. Yep. Everyone whose kid is being good, loving to write/read/obey/not act like any kid who lives in my house, everyone who is going on a fabulous trip, and everyone who is in general happy with his or her life is making me crazy at the moment. This is, of course, ridiculous. For one thing, I am not having a bad day, week, month, or even year. Finally. I simply seem to lack the basic human capacity to be happy for anyone today. Yes. I know. This is entirely my problem. See? Staying away from Facebook….

Unfortunately, my envy-monster is not the only one I’m seeing evidence of on social media…

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The Voice of Despair

I have been thinking about something in a sermon that I preached quite awhile ago that I remembered recently.  Something I need to hear and be reminded of right now.  From my sermon on 1 Samuel 27 (if you want to see the Scriptural context), I made this bit of application <in italics below> in one of the main points:  

      The voice of despair speaks into our lives, as well.  If you think about it, you will realize that we are always speaking to ourselves.  We have conversations with ourselves about our lives.   I’m not talking about hearing voices, nor am I trying to psychoanalyze here.  I’m talking about the inner monologue or even dialogue (if we get to arguing with ourselves) that takes place in our heart.    One commentator said that “all of us propagandize our souls”.   And if the propaganda is something other than the truth of God’s Word, His Character, His Sufficiency, His Promise, then we are in trouble and might begin to look to Philistia for our salvation, than to the Lord.   

    Who would you say is David’s greatest enemy?  The easy answer is Saul.   And certainly Saul has been a great enemy of David.  But the reality is that David is his own worst enemy at this very point.   And we are our own worst enemies.   We too look for heavenly comfort from earthly sources.  We buy into the idea, telling ourselves this lie, that “if only” I had or I was  __________, then everything would be okay.   And those lies then shape our decisions and the direction of our lives.    David is the fainting king.  And we’re just like him – not kings mind you – but full of fainting, faltering faith.

What does the voice of despair say to you?  What do you say to yourself in dark moments?  Where are you tempted to run instead of the Lord?  And what does God say to you, about you and about your circumstances?  My guess is that they are quite different, if we actually get around to seeing what God’s Word has to say to us.  I know that that is my need. I need a different voice in my head and you probably do to.