Payh Blog
save us out from the darkness
May 29, 2008

Impossible!

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Scriptural Basis:
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Anderson’s Applications:
As a boy growing up in a family who regularly had family worship and family prayer, I remember quite vividly praying for one family member who was not a Christian. I can trace this specific prayer request back to my earliest memories. As many years passed this prayer was not answered in the way I expected; namely this person has not become a believer in Christ and as of yet his life has not been miraculously transformed. Seeing no visible results, I must admit that I became weary in practice of faithfully praying for his salvation. As I became an adult and left home the regularity definitely faded, though the request never completely left my heart and mind.
Later in life I met a godly man who asked us if we prayed for God to do the impossible; that is, a request which we really struggle to believe God will answer as we asked. He himself always kept a list of 10 “impossibles which he consistently and earnestly prayed for God to act on. As God brought about the desired change in any one of the requests, he replaced it with another. He was never short of ten, and he saw God answer hundreds of “impossibles over the years.
Growing weary, losing heart, giving up is not difficult. In fact it comes all too easy for us. This is hard, disciplined work we are constantly tempted to lay aside, moving on to something more “attainable. When we see no desired change over a long period of time, even though it is something we believe God would also want, we succumb to the thought it will never happen and we experience what the Bible refers to as “losing heart. The memory fades, sometimes altogether, somewhere along the weary road.
The texts above along with many others in Scripture paint a radically different picture: Don’t give in to weariness! Instead, persevere in faith. The key to persistence is “the proper time” and hope; a hope based on faith in the One who is always faithful. “In the proper time (as God determines it) we will reap a harvest. The prayers for which we labor the longest and hardest return a harvest of greater joy, more generous growth, and more astounding results in yours and other lives.
See if you can right now think of ten “impossibles which you consider as something or someone God will never change; in your perspective it just will not happen! Then consider whether it is something God also values and as far as you know His heart, would want changed in the way you see it. Normally, something or someone of this nature, an “impossible, is dear to our heart. Nevertheless, such love is wearied in the stresses of life and the weakness of our flesh. It is not so much our love for it or them that produces perseverance; it is our love for God, which urges us to truly persistent prayer. Scripture says, “Christ’s love compels me. May it compel you to not grow weary in praying for the impossible to change, and for you never to lose heart!
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, strengthen my feeble knees. Give me the grace necessary to persist in prayer. Compel me by Christ’s love to never give up until I am taken from this life to my eternal home.


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Outdoor Portrait Of Multi-Generation Family Walking In Countryside Against Flaring Sun
May 29, 2008

20 Ways To Lose Your Teen

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20-Ways-To-Lose-Your-Teen

Do you want to know how to lose your teen?

  1. Allow them to watch television whenever they want, preferably in their bedroom—and make sure they have unfettered access to MTV, HBO, Cinemax, and premium movies channels.
  2. Put a computer with a high speed Internet connection in their room or in a place where they can use it without your supervision.
  3. Respect their privacy—never go in their rooms, monitor their email, or check on their Internet activity.
  4. Don’t monitor, question or in any way restrict their music or entertainment consumption.
  5. Subscribe to Playboy or Penthouse and keep a Victoria’s Secret catalog on the coffee table.
  6. Allow them to have a “flexible curfew.
  7. Let them date early and often—preferably with older teens or young adults.
  8. Allow your daughters to dress like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan when they go to school, or out with their friends.
  9. Encourage “Safe Sex,” give them condoms and put your daughters on birth control pills.
  10. Give them a lot of spending money but don’t make them responsible for any chores.
  11. Stay out of their social life and don’t ask questions about their friends.
  12. Avoid talking with the parents of their friends.
  13. Never talk about God, pray together or encourage them to participate in religious activities.
  14. Encourage them to drink responsibly.
  15. Allow them to work more than 20 hours per week, preferably the 4-to-midnight shift in a fast-food restaurant.
  16. Try to be their best friend.
  17. Work or volunteer as much as possible so you are seldom present when they come home from school or at dinner time.
  18. Encourage your kids to eat dinner whenever its convenient for them. When you do eat together, be sure to do it in front of the television.
  19. Avoid getting involved with their their school or talking with their teachers.
  20. Teach them to make moral decisions based on the circumstances or how they feel at the time.

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Millennium Cross on a top of the Vodno mountain hill above Skopje, Macedonia
May 22, 2008

Memorial Day: Will We Hide It from the Next Generation?

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Scriptural Basis:
“We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done. Psalm 78:4
Anderson’s Applications:
“Fourscore and seven years ago is how it begins. How many readers know what I am talking about? How many of your children or grandchildren do? These were the beginning words of a speech once considered worthy enough for American school children by the millions to memorize as a requirement in their curriculum. Not any more. Yet the greater concern arising from a willing amnesia of the honorable past is this: How many of us have genuine appreciation for the meaning and purpose of Memorial Day, celebrated this Monday, May 26th? Do we who live in 21st Century America believe we stand on the shoulders of those who went before us; enjoying the benefits of liberty won at the cost of ultimate sacrifice? Or do we believe, that is, should I say, without giving it any thought do we take for granted that our precious freedoms are ours by birthright; something we deserve, and certainly not anything for which we owe gratitude, remembrance, and devotion? Goodness gracious, is this something for which we should devote any amount of time on our holiday?
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, considered one of the greatest speeches in American history, is noteworthy, not only for its remarkable brevity, but for its elegant expression of the true character of a nation grateful for its authentic blessings. Being just a few words over 17 typed lines of text, the speech lends itself to meditative thought upon each sentence. What is more it is of such content and character that the Christian should see its relevance to Psalm 78. Do we consider the forming and sustaining of our American nation a praiseworthy deed of the Lord? And do we consider the deeds that America has been used by God to perform in the world a result of His work? This is not to equate America with the church, or with the New Earth promised in the future. We know we are sinners, but we also know we are a nation blessed by God and under Him. We can properly give praise to God for His sovereign providence in guiding the affairs of this nation through the years. And we can be grateful for those fellow citizens who died on the battlefield to preserve liberty and the freedoms associated with it, including the freedom of worship.
President Lincoln said, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We too today are engaged in a war that is testing whether we can continue to endure as a nation of liberty and for liberty in our world. This is not only a war against Islamic jihadists who seek to destroy true liberty here and everywhere. We are engaged in a war in our own nation for the continuance of freedom of worship and freedom of speech. It is under assault in the name of tolerance and political correctness, multi-culturalism and an interpretation of the “separation of church and state clause seeking to remove Christianity from the public market place.
Let me make a suggestion for Memorial Day: Go to the grave of an American warrior, to a VA Cemetery, or any cemetery and take a copy of The Gettysburg Address (you can “Google it on your computer). Take your family with you. Read it aloud and carefully at the grave sites. Then thank God in prayer for our liberty won with the cost of blood, sweat, and tears, and, yes, the very lives of those who sacrificially fought to preserve it. God is glorified with such honor and devotion. This is a biblically worthy activity, and it is a good thing for you, and for developing in your children, and your grandchildren, godly character. We will not hide these honorable sacrifices and their worthy intent from the next generation!
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, I am deeply grateful for the sacrifices made for me and my family. May I honorably manifest such gratefulness this Memorial Day and everyday.


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From Time to Timelessness
May 15, 2008

How Boring is Living Forever?

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Scriptural Basis:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. I Corinthians 2:9 “The man who does the will of God lives forever. I John 2:17
Anderson’s Applications:
One of our Board Members at the PAYH just told me of a conversation he had this week with someone who was not in the least interested in living forever. The thought held absolutely no attraction for them. Gary Larson of Far Side fame used one of his cartoons to depict a similar feeling. He drew the typical image of a man with angel wings and a halo sitting on a cloud alone, bored as much as any castaway marooned on a desert island. The caption portraying his thought was, “Wish I’d brought a magazine.
Not only do many people have erroneous ideas of God, they are really just as foggy about what heaven and eternity are all about. Nor do they think of the alternative to heaven as if they had a choice to NOT live forever in one or the other. Whether or not someone is a lover of the gospel and Biblical truth, how long will they continue to hang on to the lie that they are somehow autonomous and their destiny is anything they want it to be, even annihilation (eternal nothingness)?
Randy Alcorn points out that there has been little thought and study exhibited in books on the subject of heaven, at least as evidenced by the number of pages devoted to it in theology books, or the sheer paucity of books written solely on the subject. Consequently, he wrote a BIG book on it (Heaven, 2004). But for the person who grasps anything of the beauty of God and the beauty of what He does reveal to us of eternity, what little we know or imagine is anything but boring. And certainly how can anyone know they will NOT enjoy “living forever since it is something of which they have no experiential knowledge?
Alcorn tells the story of young Florence Chadwick who in 1952 stepped into the sea from a beach on Catalina Island to swim to the California mainland. Earlier she had been the first woman to swim the English Channel . . . both ways! This morning was a foggy, chilly day and she could hardly see the boats accompanying her. 15 hours into her swim she begged to be taken into a boat alongside her. Instead her mother encouraged Florence to continue, saying she thought she could do it and did not have much further to go. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled into the boat. Once onboard she discovered the shore was less than a half mile away. Later at a news conference she said, “All I could see was the fog. . . I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.
In the “sea of life” it is not without good reason the Apostle Paul encourages us to “Set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (i.e. heaven). Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2) Likewise we read, “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and completer of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2) If you do anything otherwise, there is little doubt you will remain in the fog about your future. You will eventually succumb to emotional, physical, and spiritual exhaustion, and you will never have a clear view of the shore. One thing is certain; we all need to see the shore!
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, the swimming is tough. I do not know how much further it is, or how far I can go. Increase my faith to see the shore; that eternal shore on which I want to step one day.


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Funny Little Boy With His Father Playing With Garden Hose
May 08, 2008

Giving Attention to "the Little Things"

Scriptural Basis:
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Song of Songs 2:15
Anderson’s Applications:
How often we hear the rebuke, “Don’t major in the minors! The one who says that to another normally means, “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. In other words we should not be offended, nor lose our self-control, friends, or family, over those things that are of minor consequence in the final analysis; those things that should never disrupt unity. Of course, the greater problem is our lack of proportion and wisdom in what things we find offensive and what things we seem to be willing to overlook. It is a healthy exercise in everyone’s life to periodically evaluate what “stirs your fire and on the other hand what you are more willing to “shrug off. But no matter how well you deal with this issue, it should never lead you to simply ignore “the little things in your life as though they are unimportant in the grand scheme of your “becoming mature and complete and “growing up into Christ, who is your head.
I am very taken, as most are, by the utter beauty of vineyards, row upon row of neatly planted grape vines, covering hillsides, stretching for miles. The tranquility of the scene resonates in the spirit adding beauty to what our eye takes in. What you do not see from this perspective are the little foxes hidden under the vines doing their damage in little, unseen ways; gnawing on the vines where they attach to the root with devastating results. It is the accumulation of the “little things, the “little sins in our lives that take their toll on our hearts, day after day, and hold us back from experiencing a “peace that passes understanding, and stunting our growth in Christ. Life in the home is often not the picture that the world sees of you or your family outside the home. In the seclusion of your life alone, away from the eye of any other, is your life different? Are our words, our facial expressions, our body-language in the mundane humdrum of life, any different than our life when we “rise to the occasion before the world we wish to impress? No one needs to point out to us all the things we might consider “little or “unimportant which make up so much of life. The Holy Spirit does it for us. The law of God written on the heart is an inescapable “still small voice, if we are willing and open to listen.
The sheer energy demands of life in the 21st Century (Who is not “busy?) easily becomes an excuse to not tackle “the little foxes that ruin our vineyard. How much of your prayer life even asks for your Master to “catch for us the foxes, the little ruinous foxes in our life? And how much of our effort under grace is intent on seeing the foxes flee. If the little things, “taking every thought into captivity for Christ, are dealt with, you will be amazed at how the “big things, once so out of kilter, fall into place.
King Solomon asked above all else for wisdom. God granted his request and Solomon shared it in Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes and some of the Psalms. Here is a wise word of advice to take to heart so that the blooms in your vineyard will break forth in fruit.
Encouragement:
“Father, give me wisdom to deal with the “little things in my life. If they are “hidden, open my eyes, humble my spirit, and put them to flight.”


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