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October 11, 2014

Fuel for the Weekend

by Dave Malnes

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

This familiar verse is on many calendars hanging on our wall, covers of worship bulletins, or part of our laptop display. It is a reminder of God’s promises for all those who place their hope in Him.

More often then I dare to confess, I find myself squirming rather than soaring, jogging rather than running, fainting with worry than brimming with hope. A preoccupation with my self taps into an empty reservoir that hardly renews my strength. My self-pursuit distracts a soul from plugging into God’s promises.

Why do we do that?

Our sinful nature is forgetful. It does not keep a very good track-record of blessings received by grace, but focuses on the next problem, the next challenge, and how we are going to solve them. We attach weights of worry that keeps us grounded rather than turn them over to the wings of hope so we can soar. Our sinful nature rarely minds its own business. We keep trying to help God and carry out His business — take over His will — provide our own purpose on what we think is best. Instead of soaring on the wings of hope, we choose to carry the heavy burdens like saddling a donkey to climb a mountain.

the_calm_after_the_storm_by_pedroerodrigues-d4hy0ckPerhaps today we can renew our strength by fully trusting in God. A simple request, really. Yet, it requires us to let go of our stubbornness of doing things our way, to let go of our pride of what we think is best, to admit to our foolishness and stop trying to be God. It is the discovery that in our weaknesses there lays strength. In my dependency on God, I shall not be weary. In my walk with Christ, he carries me that I shall not be faint.

“Lord, I come to you in prayer, acknowledging you as Lord. So often, I desire to be in control. And when I do that, fears, worries, and anxieties reign. Help me to stop doing that. Like a phylactery the Pharisees wore during the times of Jesus, may your promises work the same way. Staple them in front of my forehead, if need be, to remind me time and time again that your promises are real, trustworthy, and reliable. It is my desire for my spirit to soar and the only way I can do that is to rest in you. Thank you Lord. Amen.”

Quote of the week:
This is from a book that I’m current reading entitled, “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” by Timothy Keller.

[Heaven] is not a future that is just a consolation for the life we never had but a restoration of the life you always wanted. …every horrible thing that ever happened will not be undone and repaired but will in some way make the eventual glory and joy even greater.” (Timothy Keller)

blogGood blog posts I read this week:

Are you crazy?
Inviting Mormon missionaries into your home to share God’s Word? Are you crazy? It’s one thing to open the door when Mormon missionaries appear at your doorstep, it’s quite another to invite them in. This blog post introduces a new approach of sharing God’s Word where a surprising number of Christians are participating. Note the comments from Christians below.

Confessions of a Mormon housewife. A recent report from CNN talked about the startling amount of drug addiction in Utah. Stressed out Mormon women are taking anti-depressants at astonishing levels. One LDS women gave her perspective. This blog post reviews her perspective by providing insight on the faith life and culture of the Mormon church.

Not so Happy Meals.  The kids who grew up on Happy Meals aren’t so happy with McDonald’s anymore. This is an interesting perspective from a Millennial. McDonalds is probably one of the best barometers of our culture.

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