>Puritans Knew How to Pray…do I?

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Ah, those crazy Puritans…or were they? Here is a time-of-year-appropriate prayer to work through and think through from “The Valley of Vision,” a collection of prayers penned by Puritans:

O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service, to Thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise;
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me They grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.
May Thy fear by my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.

>Treasure from Tozer

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If you’ve not read Tozer, you’ve ripped yourself off. Now that I think of it, reading Tozer may rip at your heart…but it is surgery for His glory…consider this:

“Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its
toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try
to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do
come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished
so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that
Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make
the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the
sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall
be no night there. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

A. W. Tozer

>THINKABOUTIT – Who is the Worst Sinner You Know?

>Don’t play this if you are not willing to pay attention and think. This is between James McDonald and C. J. Mahanney, two of my favorite pastors. James is confused a bit by C. J.’s statements, and that’s okay, because it makes those willing to think, think. And that’s a good thing:

>What If God Was One of Us?

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Depending on your age, you may remember a whacked-out song several years ago titled, “What If God Was One of Us?” It was far from biblical and, as usual, Christians spent most of their time hammering the song (and thus selling more copies) rather than using a song that everyone was listening to already as a springboard into discussing truth.

Anyway, God did become “one of us” (though not like us)on that first CHRISTmas morning…

As Wesley penned,

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel

From the Hagers to you, may the true and valid and timeless message of CHRISTmas resonate in and through you today and everyday…until the whole world knows!

>The Job of a Parent

>This is from Mark Batterson’s blog (author of “Wild Goose Chase” mentioned a few postings ago)…

I feel like my job as a parent is to teach my kid’s three phrases: please, thank you, and I’m sorry. Those three phrases are three keys that will open any door.

Please” symbolizes a humble approach to life without a sense of entitlement. It is the magic word. Or think of it as the master key. A simple “please” will open doors nothing else can.

Thank you” symbolizes a grateful heart. When you stop saying “thank you” it stops the flow of blessing. But if you genuinely thank people when they do something for you, it keeps the door open.

And “I’m sorry” symbolizes courage. Why? Because it takes tremendous courage to admit that you were wrong. But if you learn to say “I’m sorry” when you make a mistake it reopens doors that have been closed.

So to recap…

“Please” opens doors. “Thank You” keeps them open. And “I’m sorry” reopens closed doors.

I know that sounds awfully simplistic. But the happiest and healthiest people are the people who are really good at those three things. They have mastered the three phrases. p

>THINKABOUTIT

>“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”

– Timothy Keller