Almighty eternal Father! As I pass through this life, I humbly ask for three gifts: Strength, courage and wisdom: Strength that I may be victorious over any and all challenges set before me. Courage that I may press onward resolutely despite the odds. Wisdom’s guidance in all my endeavors, whether they bring me good fortune or ill, such that I may learn their lessons. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Note to the reader: This blog has been revised since its initial release of September 2015 to reflect Klaus’ passing in March 2019.
For many weeks now, I have been holding a prayer gathering at my house on Friday afternoons. The Lord laid it upon my heart to begin them when I learned of a good friend of mine had cancer. Sometimes I have guests, fellow prayer warriors, and sometimes it’s just me and my cats, Raleigh and Georgia.
Here is just one invitation I have sent out with a few edits. I always like to quote or close with scripture to give people a reference point to begin their meditations. I think this email captures the spirit of the gathering, and so I share it with you:
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Thus far I have hosted three prayer meetings in my house…. We have sent a wealth of prayers heavenward in support of our friends Dana and Brenda, as well as many others, our nation and the world as a whole. (Even a few cats.) The Lord hears our prayers, as Dana is doing much better.
I realize that not everyone can make it, as some of you live in faraway places. I earnestly hope that you will start a prayer group of your own wherever you call home. Many opine that nothing can be done to change the world in which we live as we confront manifest evil in the hearts of our leaders, watch the persecution of Christians and Jews begin anew, as we see the darkness descending, enveloping us. I disagree. Change begins with you, your heart, your friends’ hearts and those of your leaders. Change begins here and now in every prayer and supplication, in every faithful gathering.
Remember Christ was only one person. His message simple, yet profound. He gave his life on the cross for you—through believing—you would have eternal life. His sacrifice changed the world.
Blessings to all,
I leave you with Ephesians 6:12-18:
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints….
As I have repeatedly told my fellow prayer warriors, my dream is to spawn millions of little gatherings throughout the United States. Despite the fact that attendance at mine has been sporadic, I will not give up. In the words of my friend Klaus, who has struggled with health issues, “You must never give up!” He told me that the morning of the day after Barrack Obama was re-elected. Looking out into the ocean at an orange November sunrise, I was devastated by that news.
Klaus ought to know about perseverance and endurance. He and his wife Monika survived both Nazi and Communist Germany. When they could do so safely, they traveled here to the United States to work and to raise a fine family. Among other marvels, he invented the detection device which enabled the u2 spy plane to see the missiles in Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis. When we talked about his faith in God, Klaus said, “I have always had [faith in God.]” When I remarked that I found his faith curious since he, as a materials scientist, had peered through the lens of an electron microscope at the very elements of matter, he gazed out into the ocean, describing how at one time mankind thought the horizon was the end of the known world. Due to advancing Alzheimer’s disease, he struggled with his words, but that is essentially what he said. It was one of those profound moments–one when you finish each other’s thoughts, when you comprehend the unspoken. During that time we walked together, we enjoyed many such mornings, whole years’ worth. I remember one cool morning vividly when we walked the many wynds of our island, gently picking up blackened geckos that had been stunned by a quick frost. I’ll bet we saved 50, if we didn’t save 100, tenderly picking them up one by one, careful not to break off their tails, as Klaus instructed me. We then carefully deposited each one under a bush, or under some leaves, so that it could thaw out and burrow if needed.
I have never asked him what drove him–intuitively knowing the answer. My observation: Klaus never stopped to ask himself if he was good enough, if he could accomplish something, if he knew how to do something, he just donned the “whole armour of God” and walked onward, reasoned, overcoming every obstacle and foe. Monika told me that he survived internment in a concentration camp, a miracle in and of itself. For all his brilliance, he was an amazingly modest man, rich in humility and slow to anger.
I always marveled at the fact that intellectually he dwarfed me, yet there we were in rapt conversation every morning. I never had the feeling that he was bored by our discussions, quite the contrary. What stands out in all our interactions, is that he was there for me and I for him, notably after my major back surgery and during his continuing battle with Alzheimer’s, a time when neither one of us had anyone with whom to walk. I recall daily assisting him in finishing his sentences–struggling to get at the meat of what he was trying to articulate– and his encouraging me and helping me up off deep sand at the beach when I stumbled. Curiously, in his later years my dad wore a Mickey Mouse watch of which he was oddly proud. He would delightedly show it off to anyone who inquired. Imagine my surprise when I noticed Klaus sported one too. For his kind heart, I shall never forget Klaus.
Rest in peace Klaus, my great friend!
(Photo credit at top of page: Plane: KPG_Payless/Shutterstock)
One of the hardest truths for a man to grapple with is the sure knowledge that he may be the only one, other than the Lord himself, who shares his convictions. I press on undaunted because I know the stakes.
(Photo credit at top-Hiking Path: Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock)
Chilkootpass is a blog about my faith journey with a bit of conservatism thrown in. I’ll write more as the days progress, but I wanted to get this out:
I find it amazing that today’s Verse of the Day, Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Bible Gateway comes from Isaiah 48:17 which reads: 17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” so perfectly captures what I want to write about today.
I share with you an email that a wrote to a friend last Sunday. To me, it is so very poignant: Take a minute to watch the video to which I refer. I think I have seen it at least ten times since last Sunday. Forthwith my email:
Dear true friend,
I awoke this morning to find this video in FB, first post I explored. I share it with you in the hope that you might be inspired to think a tad more positively about our future. (Imagine that, me encouraging someone else to think more positively about the current political situation.) This is the story of one man’s journey: struggle, redemption and deliverance: http://ipost.christianpost.com/news/dying-man-finds-miracle-in-abandoned-church-11272/. Look at the odds that this man has overcome.
I take it as a metaphor for my life now and the time in which we live, and I intend write about it in my next prayer call. Just struck me that his church looks an awful lot like Larison’s Corner Church, my home church: Thankfully, the old, diseased blue spruces have been removed: http://larisonscorner.org/Home_Page.html.
God’s spirit is alive in that church—felt it from the moment I walked in—and that is why I continue to attend whenever I go north. Mention church and in my mind’s eye, I always see a white, wooden-framed church like the one Greg Thomas is saving, very 18th century. The question I pose myself is this: ‘Am I looking at my recent past with what I see, or am I looking at something I saw in the 18th century?’ A normal day pondering the imponderables….
Thanks for coming by today to chat on the porch. Always good to see you! We must never lose faith! Those who do are dead already. A deep, abiding faith in God will restore this country. We must all do what we can to spread the Word in our every act and deed.
God bless you,
I love the idea Greg Thomas’ pew is a set of concrete steps. You cannot get any more authentic than concrete, unless it’s plain old dirt. With all of the space in the pews of the church, this humble man choose the steps as his altar, the outdoors as his congregation. Look what God has done through him! To me, I find his choice fascinating—a man after my own heart. Give me a road to walk, some corn fields and open sky for inspiration!
For a moment, reverse his role, think of the steps as his altar, his lectern, with the unpretentious little church in the background, orphaned waif, now refreshed and reinvigorated by the fruits of his labors. From those steps Greg Thomas, an unpretentious self-effacing man, words and deeds spread potentially to touch the whole world. He sits on God’s porch, as it were, any given day—unburdening his heart, baring his soul, asking for healing. Trusting his Lord. The Lord has granted his prayers. What a beautiful metaphor! Don’t you just want to meet him?
At Sharon this past Sunday, these words revealed themselves from our Second Scripture Lesson: James 1:25:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
I don’t know about you, but the Lord calls me repeatedly until I hear His voice and heed his call.
Finally, this just came to my attention, bear with me:
With all of the murders of police officers during these past few weeks, we know how desperately needed God’s word is in our land. The lecherous hand of evil is spreading throughout America like never before.
David Barton and Glenn Beck have called for a special prayer tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. central, 12 p.m. Eastern, the time of officer Darren Goforth’s funeral. Here is the prayer they suggest, but please adapt it as the Lord indicates:
Prayer for Those Who Protect and Serve
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come before you with humbled hearts. We pray Your protection over all our law enforcement as they faithfully serve our communities. We lift up to You the family of Deputy Darren Goforth and all the families of our first responders and our military who have lost loved ones. Comfort them and provide them with Your peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of unimaginable grief. God, we ask for Your healing over our communities. Let us come together and unite in peace and prayer.
In Your name we pray,
Wherever you are tomorrow, I hope that you will pray for all who have fallen in the line of duty.