No One Was There to Help Me

I’m posting this today before God asks me any more embarrassing questions!

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This summer has been difficult for our worship team. After our bass player died, we found a young man to help out. He lives an hour away and cannot commit to every Sunday.

Our guitar player finished college and started his career in Des Moines. Joe came back, but his schedule makes him unavailable for many weeks. Rachel, our synth player, was unavailable for 4 out of the last 5 weeks.

That left me.

Between the 2 keyboards, I can cover the synth and the bass. I learned a few “lead lines” for when we didn’t have a guitar player. But I’m tired.

Isaiah 63:3, 5, 6, “I’ve been treading the winepress alone. No one was there to help me. Angrily, I stomped the grapes;… (5) I went ahead and did it myself, fed and fueled by my rage. (6) I trampled people in my anger…” The Message

After my devotions today, God nudged me to finish watching a movie. I thought, “That can’t be God!” 

I argued with Him, “I don’t watch TV during the day!” He persisted and I gave in.

I got out a jacket from which I plan to remove the lining. I turned on the movie and started basting the edges of the jacket. (I don’t want it to lose its structure. I will use an invisible stitch after the lining is gone.)

There were only 5 minutes left of the movie. It was a classic fight scene. After the hero knocked the bad guy out, his wife entered the room.

“Steve, you look awful! We’ve got to get the wagons through the pass today. What about our schedule?”

“Come ‘ere, you,” Steve replied. THE END.

from the movie “Bullwhip”

The movie ended but I was only partway around the jacket. I shut off the DVR and listened to regular TV.

“You’ve got to tell him!” said Barney Fife.

“I have to wait for the right time,” replied Andy Griffin.

from “The Andy Griffin Show”

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“We enjoy the blessings of change, but not the process of change. We’re creatures of habit. We form our habits, and our habits form us. …The truth is, without change there is no growth. When you have the right attitude every experience – positive or negative – becomes an opportunity for progress.” The Word for You Today, July 19, 2018

When I finished basting my jacket, God asked me some hard questions:

  • Do you run over people?
  • Do you stick to your schedule instead of following God’s leading?
  • Do your relationships trump your tasks?
  • Do you wait for God’s timing before you speak?
  • Are you forming good habits?
  • How is your attitude?

I see room for improvement.

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Get Your Prayers Off the Ground

I’ll just leave this here…it hit way to close to home.

Isaiah 58:2-4, “They’re busy, busy, busy at worship, and love studying all about me. To all appearances they’re a nation of right-living people – law-abiding, God-honoring. They ask Me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’ and love having Me on their side. (3) But they also complain, ‘Why do we fast and You don’t look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and You don’t even notice?’ …(4) You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. …The kind of fasting you do won’t get your prayers off the ground.” The Message

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“In Isaiah 58:1-4, the prophet most likely described the situation in Jerusalem soon after the exiles returned…Not only did the community have to reclaim the land for farming and reconstruct the city; they had to rebuild all their economic institutions from the ground up. …religious devotion had become a substitute for ethical behavior. …No matter how properly ‘religious’ their behavior was, it did not address the real need of the community: the need to share the scarce resources that were available to the returnees. …did not see the necessity of relating their religious devotion to their social and economic practice. God thought that they should.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

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“Prayers are not wishes; prayers are conversations. God does not grant but God gives, God is not summoned, but God speaks. …There is no one right way to speak to God, no guarantee of answers or outcomes, but the words themselves will take on life as they leave your lips, they will find their way to Jesus, they will be heard.” “Forgiving God,” Hilary Yancey in “You + Hard Thing = Not Talking to God (or the Silence Where God Speaks),” Ann Voskamp

(Note to self: Things to overcome – complaining and bickering. Enough said.)

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