Tag: prayer

Angels of Christmas – The Message to Zechariah

Angels of Christmas – The Message to Zechariah

Christmas, Encouragment
This advent season my thoughts are on the angels in the Christmas story. In the Old Testament books, we see a smattering of angelic visits and even fewer after Jesus’s resurrection. But in the Christmas story, angels are everywhere. Angels appeared to Zechariah to foretell the birth of John the Baptist, to Mary and Joseph, to the shepherds, and to the magi. In some of these instances, their appearance was real, in others as a dream. In every instance, they proclaimed a message from God. This flurry of noticeable angelic activity highlights the momentous event of Christ’s birth. The first time an angel appeared in relation to Christ’s incarnation is often overlooked. Well over a year prior to the events of Bethlehem an angel appeared to Zechariah. The story is recounted in Luke 1:5-
The Hunter

The Hunter

Encouragment, Short Stories
The mark was easy. A country hick that wandered into the wrong alley of City Center, my alley. So, I welcomed him to our crusty city by relieving him of his bulging wallet and cheap watch. I didn’t even have to pull out Bertha, my six-inch bowie knife. Just the threat had him shaking like a California earthquake. I can hear the sirens already; the rube must have called 911 from Sam’s Corner Deli. No worries, there are plenty of alleys, backstreets, and dark corners in my hunting grounds. Tucked in a shadow of another alley I watch as my most recent benefactor recreates his story to two patrol officers. I almost laughed out loud when he stands in my footprints and tries to look like me. I’m more menacing than I thought. Good. “There is no fear of God in your eyes,” a voice said wit
Practically James – Practical Prayer

Practically James – Practical Prayer

Encouragment
Perhaps you’ve seen those magic quadrant charts that seek to make the complex easier to understand. They typically identify four extremes and then plot points between them. One such chart seeks to understand the diversity of human personality using the tensions between individual and collective, interior and exterior. Is your identify individualistic or community driven?  Would you prefer to be alone or in a group? The chart begs us to plot ourselves in between those poles. James has a similar magic quadrant. The difference, however, is that no matter where you are at on the chart the encouragement is the same - pray. Magic Quadrant of Prayer James wrote, “Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should
ABCs of Faith: Confident Faith

ABCs of Faith: Confident Faith

Encouragment
Sometimes a court of law will throw out a case due to lack of standing. Unless you’re into legalise, this may sound strange and has nothing to do with physically standing at the right time. Instead, “standing” means that the plaintiff, the person suing, has to meet a certain number of criteria before the court may consider the matter. Has an injury occurred? Were they the ones injured? Is this lawsuit in the right jurisdiction? The term “standing” is actually far older and goes back to when kings judged. Did the person have the right to stand before the king to plead their case or cause? In similar terms, we are invited to confidently approach God in faith. Confidence Several verses mention confidence. The writer of Hebrews said, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne
Show and Tell

Show and Tell

Encouragment
As I was reading and searching for what God wanted for this article, I ran across something Paul wrote to the Corinthians. “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1–5, NASB95) I hope that in some measure this applies to Lambchow as well. Our writing here at Lambchow is not in the high language of learned theologians or the persuasive angl
Trained for Battle

Trained for Battle

Encouragment
As we read the Bible, there is a constant challenge of bridging the gap between then and now. Sometimes that gap is very narrow, the words, context, and purpose falls easily in line with our own experience and need. Sometimes the gap is extremely wide as we struggle to connect the thoughts, feelings, and problems of long ago to our modern lives. The verses we’re about to consider contains both. David wrote, “Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me.” (Psalm 144:1–2, NLT) As I read all of Psalm 144, I can see King David sitting in the palace. A sharpened sword across his lap as he co
Got Your Ears On?

Got Your Ears On?

Encouragment
“Breaker, breaker two one, got your ears on Blue Darter?” Some of you know what that phrase is all about, to others it is a mystery. Grandpa Kindred was a CB’er (a Citizen Band Radio Enthusiast) long before it became a fad in the 70’s. From his basement he’d listen and talk to the static laced voices of folks from around the county and truckers on the nearby highway. It was a whole other world with strange codes, unique words, and “handles” for names. For the uninitiated, that strange phrase we started with could be interpreted as, “Excuse me Channel 21, Grandpa Kindred (AKA Blue Darter) are you there? Can you hear me?”  God, in a way, once had a similar conversation. We are told in 1st Samuel 3 that “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was
David’s Bad Day Prayer – Psalm 86

David’s Bad Day Prayer – Psalm 86

Encouragment
This article is much longer than our normal Lambchow Article. It is an edited transcript of the sermon Dale presented at Vineyard Church Peoria on June 11th, 2017. Thank you VCP and Pastor Ben Hoerr for the opportunity. The audio can be listened to on their iTunes podcast or from their website - http://www.thevineyardchurchpeoria.org/2017/06/11/davids-bad-day-prayer/ We’ve all had bad days. One of my bad days happened early in my career as a computer networking consultant. The office machine company I worked for had recently launched a division aimed at this new opportunity of making PC’s talk to one another. There were two of us dedicated to growing that business in Peoria. One of our early calls was to a local Police Department. They had a particular kind of server, and we want

Walking Through 1st Peter – Good Stewards of God’s Grace

Encouragment
One way or another we all care about something or someone. A child cares for their toys. A student stewards their time and focus. A factory worker sees to their machine. A husband and wife manage the home. Your pastor shepherds souls. A farmer husbands his field, flock, and harvest. We are all stewards of something. Peter reminds us that those who have chosen Jesus and walk with him are called to steward the gifts of God. Welcome to our 19th edition of our Walk Through 1st Peter. Feel free to join in even if this is the first article of this series you’ve seen. Previous articles are on our website – lambchow.com. Peter wrote, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another
Walk Through 1st Peter – Wives and Husbands

Walk Through 1st Peter – Wives and Husbands

Encouragment
The next step in our walk through 1st Peter is like a walking a high tension wire over a deep canyon. Peter bravely steps into our closest relationship, drops words that are challenging for some and troubling to others. We can think of a thousand exceptions and nearly as many objections. We can either skip over this part and declare it to be a cultural abnormality. Or we can take it hyper-literally and change our most intimate of relationship into something akin to slavery. I will endeavor to do neither. I trust God’s word, and so we will wrestle to find the balance inherent in Peter’s words to walk the wire. Welcome to our 15th installment in our Walk Through 1st Peter. Previous articles can be found on our website – Lambchow.com. Peter wrote, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive
Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

Encouragment
Sometimes the burdens of life itself are too much to bear. Like there is no answer, no solution, no way out from under the situation or circumstances we’re in. Maybe things have gotten so bad, so impossible, that ending it all seems like the only answer. There’s this one guy in the Bible, well he put it this way, “If my misery could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales, they would outweigh all the sands of the sea.” (Job 6:2–3a, NLT) Is that you? Do your griefs, your sorrows, your misery, and your troubles also outweigh the sands of the sea? I’m not going to lie to you and say that I understand. Because, well, I don’t understand. I’m not living in your shoes, and you’re not living in mine. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t care. And I’m not alone. I know a whole bunch of oth
Guest Post by Kerry: Praying With Expectation

Guest Post by Kerry: Praying With Expectation

Encouragment, Guest Blog
Dale invited me to contribute to Lambchow awhile ago, and honestly, I didn't have the boldness to do so. I was not even sure what I should write about. He had recently given a ministry update, which included how readers could pray for Lambchow. Amongst other prayers, he requested, "pray for folks to take the bold step of letting their voices be heard through writing." Thanks for the prayers, because I felt an increase in courage and boldness this past week. I started sensing the Lord wanting me to share this story about Ava, my 3-year-old daughter,  praying with expectation. A few days later I attended church, in which we are in a series called Following Jesus in Prayer. The sermon that day was titled "What Can We Expect When We Pray"? Well, that was confirmation to me that the Lord was nu