Saturday, January 24, 2009

New and Simple

Changing the template to a blog is like painting your home, it gives a new look and it feels good.

My husband and I painted one wall in each room throughout our home in a dark bittersweet chocolate, and the other walls different shades of tan. I noticed the Starbucks near my home has simular shades.

My blog like my home still needs a few things adjusted, the picture in the header would be nicer if it covered the whole block not just two-thirds. The HTML in the template to this blog is confusing as I have mentioned. I will need to live with the way it is for now, as I do with other not so perfect areas in my life. One day I will master this problem!

I can always find away to turn a life problem into a spiritual journey: God is not through transforming me and I am not through transforming my home and blog.

Over the last few month's the urgency for prayer has heated up in my life. Since I did not finish my class on intercession today, my solution was to read a book from my library. The title of the book I choose, "Everything by Prayer: Armin Gesswein's Keys to Spirit-Filled Living," By Fred A. Hartley III. From what I have read so far, it is very interesting, and has more depth than the class. Armin Gesswein's name did get mention yesterday as I chatted with a few people after the workshop.

The first chapter in this book focused on the critical nature of Jesus stance on prayer and the importance of Upper Room. Hartley asks a question: "How does the UR (Upper Room) compare to the ER (Emergency Room) at a hospital?" One that is simple enough to answer in theory. The question is why is does it seem like other ministries are more important than the prayer ministry? I am still contemplating my question.

In chapter one, Hartley has four main essential elements he writes about, found in the book of Acts Chapter 1. The four points are: One--The Doorway to Obedience. Two--The Atmosphere of Unity. Three--The Ceiling of Spiritual Intimacy. And the Fourth--The Floorboards of Expectancy.

The book is full of great quotes from Armin such as, "People think that revival is the last thing on God's big busy list--and therefore hard to get. It is not the last thing on His list--it is the first. When He gives revival, He gives Himself."

One more quote from Armin Gesswien to end with: "In the book of Acts they are praying in every chapter except two; and in those chapters they are in trouble."

Both these quotes give us something to chew on as do the many others found in this book. Hartley writes, local churches have an Upper Room in one way or another and it is the force that moves the church. Unfortunately prayer is not usually the dominate force. Many other areas are important such as small groups, preaching, church planting, evangelism, or counseling. None of these, writes Hartley, merits Upper Room status.

Prayer needs to be first, Christ commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem (pray) until the gift God promises comes (the Spirit) to lead (Acts 1:4-5.)



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