Hold On To Instruction

Hold On To Instruction

I write a weekly prayer guide that I publish online and send out via email.  Each week I put together a series of daily prayer points that cover different aspects of a topic.  This week’s focus is about some things the Bible says we ought to hold on to.  The emphasis for today is to hold on to instruction.

“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”
Proverbs 4:13 (NIV)

Perhaps you live by the old adage, “When all else fails, read the instructions.”  For many, that seems to be a common approach to life.  It is not until things become difficult, or go very wrong, that we stop long enough to check on how we were supposed to be living.  God tells us that we ought to hold on to instruction . . . but not just any instruction, His instructions!  When we choose to follow the instructions of God’s Word, we find that there are some difficulties that we are able to avoid and others that we become equipped to endure because of the life we obtain in Christ.  While following God’s instructions doesn’t exempt us from the troubles of life, doing so gives us a life that can see beyond the troubles to a greater hope and promise.

My prayer is that you and I would find a life in Christ that is worth holding on to.  I pray that we would not take the instructions of scripture lightly, but that we would cling to them as the true source of life.

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Fully Alive! (Sermon Audio)

 

This is the audio from the April 1, 2018 sermon, “Fully Alive!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.

Text: John 10:10 & 1 Corinthian 15

Here are the main points from the sermon:

In Christ we are fully . . .

  • Accepted
  • Loved
  • Included
  • Victorious
  • Embraced
Time For a Break

Time For a Break

After two years and nearly three months of writing a daily page, I’ve decided it is time for a break.  I’m not sure how long the break will be and I’m not sure if I will go back to a daily page when the break is over, but it just feels like this current writing adventure needs a break.  I do suspect I will still write and post from time to time but it will be based on having something to write rather than simply on it being another day.  For those who have followed these daily blogs, thank you for the encouragement!

Given that I enjoy taking photos of the moon, it was probably fitting that there was a full moon shining brightly overhead as I took trash out tonight.

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I Was There

Re-posting a poem I wrote 4 years ago as it says a lot about this day we call Good Friday.

Tom's Treasure

I sit here tonight
     and pray as I should.
As I do reflect
     on this day we call “Good”.
I try to imagine,
     if I had been there.
Would I have noticed,
     would I even care? 

People are dying
     out there on the hill.
That’s just what happens
     to that kind of swill.
The crowd’s cheering loudly,
     is that my voice too?
I want no part of this,
     this king that’s a Jew. 

Why do the shouts seem
     so loud in my ear?
What did I do that
     has brought me so near?
It seems I am stuck here,
     suspended in air.
I wish that the truth was,
     this punishment’s not fair. 

But as I consider
     the things I’ve done wrong.
It starts to sink in,
     this is where I belong.
I lived…

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2018: Page 88

2018: Page 88

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • It felt like a very short night as I was up for a time during the night as another seizure took hold of my daughter.
  • Even with the interrupted night, I found myself awake shortly before the alarm clock was due to go off.  While continued sleep would have felt nice, work doesn’t get done by itself so I headed that way and went about the morning cleaning and building prep as I prayed for my daughter.
  • The day felt long as my eyes were heavy from a lack of sleep, but as I took care of the building I also worked on the sermon for Sunday and worked ahead on the prayer guide for the following week.
  • The prayer guide that will go out on Easter Sunday is about new life but the one I worked on today for the following week is about being renewed.
  • I suppose the topic was helped along by my weariness today, but it seemed like a good follow-up as God not only wants to give us new life, He also wants to renew us in the times when we become weary.
  • It was an interesting combination to be working on a sermon about being fully alive and a prayer guide about being renewed, but I think God’s ability to renew us each day is a part of what makes being fully alive even possible.
  • At various times today I’ve found myself thinking about the difference between being needed and being wanted.  I’m afraid there are many times when people put a lot of effort into trying to be needed because they don’t believe they will ever be wanted.
  • I am thankful for a God who is not in need of anything, including you and I, but wants us with such a passion that He not only made a way through Jesus to give us new life, He promises to renew us as we daily put our hope in Him.
  • Today’s photo is from yesterday as I didn’t take any new ones today.  It made me think of God’s promise that “they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up on wings as eagles.”

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2018: Page 87

2018: Page 87

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • The supplies I picked up yesterday on the way home were put to use first thing this morning as I took care of some maintenance tasks before starting the cleaning and building prep routine.
  • My morning tasks were accompanied by hymn lyrics including, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
  • Keeping my focus on Christ doesn’t typically remove the attention needed by the things of this earth but it does help keep them in perspective.
  • My day was filled with a lot of things that needed my attention as I took care of maintenance issues, worked on a sermon for Easter Sunday, and did some more writing for my next devotional book.
  • The writing focus today was a chapter that includes seven daily devotions covering the topic of serving with kindness.
  • It is amazing, and sad, how much notice even a small act of kindness receives in our culture simply because it stands out as being unusual.
  • When we serve with kindness, we represent the nature of God in our dealings with one another.
  • As the day went along, it became clear that my weekend was quickly becoming crazy busy because of events that will be taking place.  
  • While it would be easy, and natural, to focus on what the events will require of me, the greater focus was to pray for the families that would be involved in these events with greater needs than mine.
  • It was another long workday, so I ended up with a late lunch/early dinner combination on my way home.
  • After I got home we decided to head down to Potato Creek to see what we could find to photograph and/or take a walk.  
  • Susan had a seizure at the park so we skipped the walk but we did find a good variety of wildlife to photograph.  There were several kinds of ducks, a loon, some swans, a few herons, several osprey, and a bald eagle showed up for some photos as well.
  • Today’s photo is of a heron that was having some pretty good luck fishing.  The photo reminded me of the need to have balance in order to be successful.  This heron would perch in absolute stillness on top of this stump and when the time was just right, it would dive into the water and come up with a fish.

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