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Daily Prayer

Submissive hearts

But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."  Acts 5:29-31

Dear Lord,

You are our Leader and you are our Savior. Give us a heart to obey you. Help us to stand on your truths, follow in your footsteps, and live the way you taught us in your word.  We ask for your wisdom before we speak and act, and we ask for your blessing as we respond to those who are in opposition to you. Amen.

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Blogs

Latest Blog

2 of 3: The Savior Draws Near to You

By Chris Baxter
June 14, 2024

What is Prayer?

By Chris Baxter
Mar 2, 2024

A Double Debacle

By Chris Baxter
Jan 10, 2024
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1 of 3: The Savior Draws Near to You

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold there was a woman who had a disabling spirit for 18 years. She was bent over and could not straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her and immediately, she was made straight and she glorified God. Luke 13:10-13

Do you have something that is heavy on your heart right now? What is weighing you down?

The woman in this passage has something to teach us. We see that her physical body was bent over and that she could not straighten herself; but, we also see that she had come into the presence of the One who could help. Scripture says that Jesus saw her. She caught his eye while he was teaching and he had compassion on her. He knew all about the disabling spirit that caused her affliction for the past 18 years, so he stopped his teaching and he called her to come to him.

The crippled woman chose to respond to Jesus’ invitation. Her broken body stepped forward. Her eyes had been staring at her shuffling feet for 18 years, but in faith she moved closer to her Healer. The words he spoke to her were beautiful, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”

Do you believe that just as Jesus cared about this woman, he also cares about you? He sees you. He knows your burdens. He is intimately acquainted with all your ways (Psalm 139:3).  He also knows that you are “unable to straighten yourself.” No matter how hard you try, you can’t “fix it.” Just as he called this woman to himself, he is calling you. Hear him say these words to you personally, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

The Savior draws near to you. He has come to set your heart free from any and all burdens that you are carrying. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Will you respond to his call and approach him in your brokenness? Will you receive his promising words that bring hope within your trial? Will you allow his abiding Spirit to touch your heart with healing? If so, both peace and strength will hold you up as you steadily move forward, head lifted, eyes fixed on Christ.

The sweet ending of the woman’s story, or I should say, the sweet beginning, is that she was made straight and she glorified God.

This can be your story too.

By Chris Baxter
Thursday, June 13, 2024
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What is Prayer?

Prayer is hard to define. It's certainly mysterious. I don't know that I will ever fully understand it; however, what I do know is this, I am commanded to do it.

To simply explain prayer to myself and others, I say that it is a pouring out of our hearts to the Lord.

First of all, let's not forget that God poured out first in order that this line of communication is even possible. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, his Spirit now abides in all those who believe in him; so when we pray, we don't have to shout to the heavens to be heard. Rather, he's closer than the air we breath.

So with this in mind, let's start pouring!

We can use the acronym POUR to help us in our communication:

P--Praise

I remember asking God a long time ago, "God, why do I need to praise you? You KNOW who you are." And then I heard a gentle whisper back to my heart, "Yes, I do know, but you don't." Ahh, he was right.

When we acknowledge who God is in our hearts and minds, our faith revives. We humans tend to forget that God is Able and Almighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Holy and True, Intentional and Pursuing. We praise him because he is worthy of it. And we praise him so that we remember that he is Greater than any of our daily issues.

O--Offer thanks

How quickly I can get on the complain-train. Why do I go negative in my thoughts? To remedy this muddled mentality, I must switch tracks. Thankfulness is a choice that I have to make.

What are you thankful for, small and big? Make a mental list, or better yet write it down so you can see God's goodness. If you are reading this post, thank him for your eyes that see the page and your mind that comprehends the words. He IS good. A grateful heart is an uplifted heart. Each word of thanks is like the turning of the wheels on a powerful locomotive moving in the right direction.

U--Unload the "ugly"

Let's face it, we all have "ugly" stuff within us. I know my stuff stinks! I need to pour it out to the only One who can truly clean me up: Jesus. And he is always faithful and just to do it! (1 John 1:9). Let's learn from the physical body that God gave us. Just as he designed us to alleviate waste from our bodies, for our good, he also intends us to confess our sins to him, also for our good. It's not about shame. It's about forgiveness. He can handle the stink. Pour it all out and receive his cleansing with humbled gratitude.

R--Requests

Requests seem to come the easiest for us humans, right? I know I can barge into God's throne of grace and start pleading, "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!" And with it, I throw in an impatient, "Now!"

It is true that God wants to hear our every request and that he asks us to be specific. Therefore, I will be persistent with my pleas. But, it is as equally true that he wants to hear our praising voices, our thankful voices, and our repentant voices. These different expressions, including our requests, are the making of a melodious symphony in God's ears.

Rejoice, God has poured out his love into us through Christ Jesus. (Romans 5:5)

Now, let's pour out our prayers to him.

In doing so, we will have the privilege of experiencing a personal and loving relationship with our majestic and mysterious God.

By Chris Baxter
Saturday, March 2, 2024
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A Double Debacle

Debacle: a sudden and ignominious failure; a fiasco

Double: times 2

On December 23rd, I decided to do something very spontaneous. Fast thinking and fast action are not my norm, but it was 2 days before Christmas, and I was feeling festive. I was with my new daughter-in-law Acacia for the afternoon because our men were out duck hunting.

It was currently 2:15pm, and we were already traveling toward Nashville from a family visit in Clarksville. My heart rate increased slightly when I cautiously asked,  "Feel like going to the Amy Grant/Vince Gill Christmas concert at the Ryman?"

Conveniently, the concert started at 3pm. Perfect timing!

Acacia, who lives life in the fun lane, said, "Sure! I'm definitely down for that! I love Amy Grant, but I'm not sure who Vince Giller is." I smiled. (Sorry Vince Giller; I'll introduce your legendary voice to her soon enough.)

It was decided; we were in! While Acacia drove down the interstate, I booked our tickets on-line, quickly put in my credit card information, looked it over, and then hit "purchase"--$135 cha-ching, $135 cha-ching. Whew, spontaneity can be costly! Meanwhile, I waited for the confirmation email that provided the two tickets.

Debacle #1: I waited and waited for the tickets to be sent to me, but they never came. After a little research into my on-line order, I realized that I mistyped my own email when booking the concert. NOOOO!!! This meant that our combined $270 tickets were floating around somewhere in cyberspace.

Not to be defeated, we decided to park and get in line for the concert anyway. After all, I could show them my proof of purchase in spite of not having the tickets, right?

Debacle #2: It turns out the tickets I purchased on-line were from a 3rd party that the Ryman was not accepting for this particular concert. NOOOO double way!! Yes, the concert was a no-go.

My heart rate was now near flat.

Of course it was drizzling outside, so we went back to our $50 parking spot, and sat together in the car to discuss what we should do about this "sudden and ignominious failure; this fiasco." We made a phone call or two to cancel the tickets, but to no avail. But because we were in downtown Nashville, and because we had this gold-lined-parking spot for several hours, and because it was the most wonderful time of the year, we decided that the show must go on in some way.

That's how we ended up at the Frist Art Museum. A little down and a little dazed, we walked around and observed the art, we appreciated the art, and then we ourselves did some hand's on art. Now I'm not an artist like my daughter-in-law, but I am a fighter, and I was absolutely going to have a jolly good time, sitting there, sketching the life size mannequin soldier that stood before me, all the while resisting the thought of Amy Grant and Vince Giller singing "Winter Wonderland" in perfect harmony down the street.

Lost in my black and white sketch marks, the clock struck 5pm. The Frist was closing. It was time to put our pencils down and exit.

 

As Acacia and I walked out of the art museum and onto the downtown lit-up city streets of Nashville, we chuckled about the unexpected unfolding of our afternoon: the paid-for concert that almost happened; the memory-in-the-making that did.

Then, right there on the street corner, spontaneity hit... I took my soldier sketch that I was holding in my hand and waved it eagerly above me, saying,

"Anybody want to buy some art for $270?"

----------------

PS To finish this story on a positive note, my husband Mac, who has become quite used to my debacle-lifestyle, was extremely gracious to me when Acacia and I came in the door that night, asking how the concert went. Bless him (again). And not only that, later in the week, he was able to dispute the charge and cancel the credit card transaction altogether. So he saved the day! Maybe I should thank him by taking him to a concert at the Ryman! What do you think?

By Chris Baxter
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
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Books

40 Day Journey of Prayer

Forty Day Journey of Prayer is a devotional that helps guide the reader into a daily conversation with God. Each day begins with a focused-Bible verse or passage and then is followed by insights pertaining to it. Journal lines are provided to write out prayer requests and personal thoughts. As one commits to reading God's word and praying in this way for forty days, his/her relationship with the Lord will then be marked with both sweetness and strength.

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40 Day Journey of Peace

Forty Day Journey of Peace is a devotional that takes the reader on a quest to find out what brings God's peace. It is divided into three sections: peace with God, peace within, and peace with others. Each day focuses on a selected Bible passage so the reader can discover and apply new insights. Further Scripture references and journal lines are provided to enhance and deepen the participant's journey of peace.

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The Heartbeat of God: 365 Daily Devotions

He is so eager to hear the voice of His people. He waits. O God, You are... , is the choice way that each of these daily prayers begin. Then, a unique name or attribute of God is selected and built upon. The individual prayers are full of Scripture references that contain words of praise and petition, confession and comfort, struggle and strength, drawing the reader into an intimate dialogue with the One who hears and answers. Day after day, week after week, the reader will begin to discover that the heartbeat of God is... good, kind, pure, just, faithful... and that His name is...Comforter, Redeemer, Savior, Friend. Indeed, His heartbeat is ongoing and everlasting.

Learn More