An inside job


For a change, I'm actually posting a photo I took. This is Santa Monica's beach. Sorry. I don't mean to make my friends in the Northern States and Canada jealous.

For a change, I’m actually posting a photo I took. This is Santa Monica’s beach. Sorry. I don’t mean to make my friends in the Northern states and Canada jealous.

The motorcycles caught us 5 miles away from the bank. As one of four guys banged the window with a pistol demanding our bags, I had no doubt that it was the bank teller who tipped them off. He had changed our check to cash. Because all our information was in our bags, I figured they’d come back for a kidnapping, so we had to return to America, our 16 years as missionaries in Guatemala at an end.

My 10-year-old son, Hosea, calls this the Leaning Tower of Pizza. I bought these for the Lighthouse Christian Academy's sports banquet yesterday. Go Saints!

My 10-year-old son, Hosea, calls this the Leaning Tower of Pizza. I bought these for the Lighthouse Christian Academy’s sports banquet yesterday. Go Saints!

God does an inside job too! Don’t bother to make external changes in yourself — they lead to (false) religiosity. Instead, surrender to His Holy Spirit in prayer daily, and let God transform you from the inside. Once you are saved, you are forgiven, you are new creation, but then God begins a work of perfecting you that will continue for the rest of your life. But it’s on the inside.

Pastor Ludving from Guatemala sent me this T-shirt. Translated: Everyday I wake up handsome, but today I'm off the charts. Thanks for the joke, Pastor Ludving!

Pastor Ludving from Guatemala sent me this T-shirt. Translated: Everyday I wake up handsome, but today I’m off the charts. Thanks for the joke, Pastor Ludving!

In regards to prayer, remember:

  • A little bit is better than none, but God wants to work on us daily, so pray daily.
  • A little bit more will increment value and power to prayer.
  • The best prayers are ones inspired by the Bible or simply taken from the Bible. Jesus dismisses “vain repetitions” — mumbling by rote words penned by another. But there is much to learn and apply from the experts, the Bible heroes.
  • The Big D (that’s Devil) constantly bombards you with thoughts that prayer is useless, a waste of time, meaningless, etc. He does this because he knows how effective it is.
  • As you pray for others, God also is transforming you — from the inside out.
  • Enjoy prayer! Think of it as a romantic date. You are spending time with your Lover, God.

21 responses to “An inside job

  1. Great post! Amazing to think how you ended back home due to the event above, wow. Enjoy this, thanks. “As you pray for others, God also is transforming you — from the inside out.”

  2. LOVE the Guapo T-shirt! Awesome. Annie 🙂

  3. Great thoughts about prayer! Thanks for sharing this!

  4. So glad you and your family were ok and not kidnapped or physically harmed. Many people get attached to a place or situation and stay despite signs that change might be the best thing then for them. Great you and your family weren’t attached or stubborn and took it as an opportunity to be open to change.

  5. Okay, so here’s the question regarding vain repititions: how does a wife gently ask her husband not to say the same (vain reptition) prayer over every meal. Who am I to criticize his heart if you know what I mean? (Besides asking me to do it, which I have no problem doing but it always goes back to the “same old, same old.” which drives me silently crazy. (short trip) I’ve turned it over to God already. Any suggestions? In church he prays from the heart.

    • mmmmm, sounds like trouble.
      r u asking me to comment on ur marriage? hmmm, i think i could get in trouble. sooo…. here comes trouble:
      1 Peter 3:1 says “without words” wins him over, even to the point of an unsaved husband. A clearer key Peter could not have given. It is not your “gently asking” your husband because that falls into scolding. God can change men better than wives. Well, at least, that’s how it works in marriage. Anytime my wife tries to “improve” me by making suggestions, all my passive rebellious machoism raises its hoary head, and instead of getting a better husband, she gets a worse one. So 1 Peter 3:1 resonates with me. I can understand why Peter said it.
      My advice: work on not letting it “silently drive you crazy.” There are things my wife does that I do not like. The cumulative of years of seeing it makes me irritable. I try to remember that she has the same problem with me, and that I should not “judge” her annoying habits. I recognize that she gets annoyed by some dumb things I do. Love covers a multitude of stupid stuff.
      Hope this helps! Hope you don’t hate me!
      😀

    • Btw, I don’t think God will be mad at him for praying the same way over the food.

  6. Ahh this is wonderful, I don’t often stop to comment but just had to say I love your thoughts about prayer x

  7. Wonderful advice given here Pastor, and the experience you have accumulated in the mission field brings home the depth of concern you share for others. I find a new friendship here [with all of you] and did cherish the sight of being able to share as the Spirit has given me to feel. It is a pleasure and a joy to know God lives, and to realize another day to praise Him is at hand. Todo es posible en el manos de Dios [everything is possible in the hands of God]. Via con Dios [Go with God].

  8. noordinaryjoy61

    Great post, as usual. But, I feel compelled to point out that this Canadian is oh so very jealous of your Santa Monica photo (it’s 0 degrees F in Calgary today). Send me some heat!!!

  9. Guapo, inside and out.

  10. Spending time with my lover, God. Okay, gracias por eso!!!

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