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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Misc | 0 comments

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father Who Art in Heaven

Blogger’s note: This is the first in a series of posts about The Lord’s Prayer. I’d love to hear your thoughts about heaven. Please comment below. The first rule of communication is: know your audience. Broadcasters, public speakers, pastors, and teachers all face the ongoing task of learning about their audience. In prayer, you have an audience of one. To understand your audience, it is important to understand his where he lives. Heaven is a mystery that has been misunderstood and misrepresented for as long as poets and pundits have tried to define it. While it will remain mysterious until you see it with your own eyes, you can try to understand the fundamentals. God Lives in Heaven Photo courtesy of Robert Michie God told Moses to create a Tabernacle—a tent in which God’s people could worship. Many years later, Solomon built a permanent structure, the temple, and dedicated it with a powerful prayer. Solomon acknowledged that neither a building nor the entire earth could hold God. He prayed,...

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Misc | 0 comments

A Civil War Soldier’s Prayer: Praying for the Wrong Things

Some skeptics believe that, if there is a God, he probably sits around on a cloud removed from the lives and problems of the humans he created. Not so. God has your best interests in mind and is involved in your life even from before birth. You might feel alone and unable to reach him, but he hears your prayers and answers them with firmness and compassion. A soldier serving in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War caught a glimpse of God’s intentions before dying on the field of battle. July, 1863 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Photo by Alexander Gardner (1821-1882), public domain General Robert E. Lee shifted in his saddle and surveyed his soldiers and the opposition amassed near the small college town. The Union Army of the Potomac had a new commander, General George Meade. Meade brought a cadre of 94,000 men along with their new Spencer repeating carbine rifles to bear against Lee’s 72,000. The Union’s lines ran south-to-north along Cemetery Ridge and turned east to...

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Misc | 0 comments

Remembering on Memorial Day

Blogger’s Note: This article and image by Getty Images photographer John Moore originally appeared in 2007. Throughout my career, I have purchased many images from Getty‘s libraries. I’m grateful to see into the heart of one of its photographers. This Memorial Day, let us remember those that have died wearing the uniforms of the United States Armed Forces. And may we pray for those, like Mary McHugh, who lost their loved ones through the “last full measure of devotion.”  After spending much of the last six years covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I felt like I needed to visit Arlington National Cemetery this Memorial Day weekend. I felt like I owed it some time. I went with my family—my pregnant wife and my young daughter. Separately and together, my wife and I have covered a lot of heart-wrenching stories around the world, but Section 60 was unlike any place we had been. The beauty and serenity of Virginia’s rolling hills and awe inspiring views of Washington, D.C....

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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Misc | 0 comments

To the End of the Earth

I blogged at LifeWay Stewardship today. Here’s an excerpt. Please read the full post here. Last night, our director, John Burke, and I both attended the Commissioning Service for IMB missionaries held at Brentwood Baptist Church. Frank Page, Mike Glenn, and Tom Elliff helped 101 men and women (plus countless children) get ready to answer God’s call on their lives. For me, the evening was more personal… and surprising. Two days ago, my wife received a Facebook message from a family friend. Her daughter, Angela, was one of the missionaries to be commissioned. I thought, What a neat connection. After the service, I sought out this family only to discover that this young woman had been our flower girl at our wedding. Now the little girl too afraid to drop rose petals down the center aisle at Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) was dedicating her life to introducing The Rose of Sharon to people in North Africa and the Middle East. (see pictures below) Short-term missionary Angela T. Yemen. 2009. Angela as flower girl. May,...

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Misc | 0 comments

Will You Check Your Heart Today?

Feel free to skip my preamble and get right to the list below. I’ll provide context for those who like it. In 1995, Nancy Leigh DeMoss stood on the platform at Moby Gym on the campus of Colorado State University to address the gathered staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as Cru). She simply read the list below and added some observations about brokenness and context from the Scriptures. The agenda for the next several hours was scrapped as hundreds of staff members came to the microphone to confess sins. Others sought out those they had offended. In the hours and days that followed, God worked through Nancy and this list to restore relationships, break hearts, bring men and women to Himself in salvation, and rekindle hearts for ministry. Last night, I read these observations again. I substituted my name in the statements like this: Mark focuses on the failures of others. I want a heart God revives. Don’t you? Spend a few minutes with this list....

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