From: Rich Carlson
Date: September 15, 2020
Subject: It's September 15; Good Morning Union

“Teach me Your ways O Lord so I can walk in YOUR truth.”  Psalm 86:11

Ok, here’s an interesting discussion I had with God this morning on my back porch swing. It illustrated three things to me:

  1. God is faithful if I’m willing to take the time to listen
  2. Filling my mind with God’s Word is the best resource if I want to understand His will
  3. It will seldom be what I expect or want but will always be what He desires.

This is as close as I can recall the experience because there was a lot of quiet reflecting time imbedded but here it is as I recall hearing it:

I always start my quiet time with God with my four prayers from the Psalms:

  1. “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”          Psalm 51:10
  2. “Teach me Your ways, O Lord and I will walk in your truth. Give me an undivided heart that I might honor Your name.”     Psalm 86:11
  3. Search me O God and know my heart, test me and know my inner thoughts, and see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23,24
  4. “May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable to you O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”   Psalm 19:14

ME:      I really need a steadfast spirit and an undivided heart today Lord. I’m saddened with all the pain, suffering, hurt, injustice and sin in this world.

GOD:   Me too

ME:      I wish it could just come to an end

GOD:   It will

ME:      What do I do in the meantime?

GOD:   “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge me and I will direct your path.”            Proverbs 3:5,6

ME:      That’s easy to say but hard to do. You’ve tested me and you know my heart. It’s so easy to get distracted by cultural solutions to problems that cannot be solved apart from you, but I still try too often.

GOD:   “My grace is sufficient for you; ” 2 Corinthians 12: 9,10.

ME:      So how do I respond? I need YOU to lead me and not the world.

GOD:   “Don’t resist and evil person…Turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, forgive”    Matthew 5:39

ME:      Seems like that’s what I’ve been doing and it doesn’t seem to work

GOD:   That’s what I’ve thought many times as I keep forgiving. Remember when My Son was treated cruelly. He turned His other cheek and forgave. If you’re following Jesus you will respond like He did.

ME:      How many times do I have to go through this?

GOD:   Oh, how about “70 x7 for starters.”   Matthew 18: 21,22. And maybe in this pandemic why not try 80 x 8. And I hate to break it to you but things in the world are not going to get better before I come so you may have to move to 90x9 or a 100x10. You all would do well to give each other more grace and more forgiveness.

ME:      That’s hard to do when my heart has been broken and crushed so many times. Last week was not easy Lord. I had to deal with three deaths and two funerals; everything I planned for Campus Ministries was cancelled, changed, or disrupted in some way! I’m tired.

GOD:   “My strength is sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9,10. And don’t forget, “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a right spirit within you. I will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 11: 19

ME:      Lord, please, “Create in me that new heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

GOD: “I am with you always even unto the end of the world.”         Matthew 28:20. Stay focused on Me and my solutions.

Lord, please take the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart and make them acceptable to you so I can demonstrate Your steadfastness and Your faithfulness to the next generation. (Psalm 19:14; 71:18)

And so ended my quiet time with God, with a new commitment of steadfastness to Him and a clear reminder that He DOES still speak through His word if I am willing to listen.

Have a great day training yourself to listen,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”


PS        Christ on Demand tonight at 7:30 in the Atrium. Bring your Bible and be blessed with 30 minutes of fellowship with your peers and God.

PPS      Pastor Gua will not be in Campus Ministries today as scheduled. She’ll be here on Thursday this week from 12-2pm. Call or text her for an appointment, or just stop by.