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Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Pray in the Midst of Crises

by David Sanford

Earlier this week a godly Christian friend of mine remarked, “Is it just me or is the world starting to spin out of control? It seems like all we’re doing is going from one major crisis to the next to the next. How are we supposed to catch our breath anymore?”

How should we respond in the midst of crises? The short answer, no surprise, is: By praying. More than any other writings, the ancient Hebrew and Christian hymn book, the Psalms, show us how.
Beginning with Psalm 3, and over and over again until Psalm 149, we find the psalmist actively and fervently praying to the Lord in various dire circumstances.

            “How many are my foes!”
            “Give me relief from my distress.”
            “Listen to my cry for help.”
            “Away from me, all you who do evil.”
            “Save and deliver me from all who pursue me.”

In seven out of every ten psalms, the writer is either crying out to the Lord for physical salvation, thanking God for sparing his life, reminding himself of the differing fates of the righteous and evildoers, or renewing his allegiance to God and His Word in the face of rampant wickedness.

If the psalms teach us anything, it’s how to turn to God in times of trouble and distress.  Here’s a brief synopsis with specific examples from various psalms.

            1.  Call out to the Lord...
            “Hear my cry, O God;
            listen to my prayer”
            (Psalm 61:1).

            2.  ...and ask for help!
            “Hasten, O God, to save me;
            O Lord, come quickly to help me”
            (Psalm 70:1).

            3.  Tell God about your troubles...
            “We are objects of reproach to our neighbors,
            of scorn and derision to those around us”
            (Psalm 79:4).

            4.  ...and admit if you feel abandoned or forsaken.
            “How long, O Lord?  Will you hide yourself forever?
            How long will your wrath burn like fire?
            Remember how fleeting is my life.
            For what futility you have created all men!”
            (Psalm 89:46-47).

            5.  Describe what you want God to do...
            “Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
            for as many years as we have seen trouble”
            (Psalm 90:15).

            6.  ...and explain why He should act on your behalf.
            “Let this be written for a future generation,
            that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
            `The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high,
            from heaven he viewed the earth,
            to hear the groans of the prisoners
            and release those condemned to death’”
            (Psalm 102:18-20).

            7.  Give a candid appraisal of your enemy...
            “With words of hatred they surround me;
            they attack me without cause”
            (Psalm 109:3).

            8.  ...and ask God to put that foe in his place.
            “Appoint an evil man to oppose him;
            let an accuser stand at his right hand.
            When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
            and may his prayers condemn him”
            (Psalm 109:6-7).

            9.  Honestly evaluate your guilt or innocence...
            “I have chosen the way of truth;
            I have set my heart on your laws.
            I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord;
            do not let me be put to shame”
            (Psalm 119:30-31).

            10.  ...and confess any known sins.
            “I have strayed like a lost sheep.
            Seek your servant,
            for I have not forgotten your commands”
            (Psalm 119:176).

            11.  Affirm your implicit trust in the Lord...
            “I lift up my eyes to the hills—
            where does my help come from?
            My help comes from the Lord,
            the Maker of heaven and earth”
            (Psalm 121:1-2).

            12.  ...and then praise God for His deliverance.
            “Praise be to the Lord,
            who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
            We have escaped like a bird
            out of the fowler’s snare;
            the snare has been broken,
            and we have escaped.
            Our help is in the name of the Lord,
            the Maker of heaven and earth”
            (Psalm 124:6-8).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So proud of my #9, Lauren Knighten.  Senior day at Zion Chapel High School (Jack, AL). ZCHS defeated New Brockton HS 4-3. #GoRebels

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Toomer's Oaks

The Toomer's Oaks
by Mike Knighten

The Toomer's Oaks
How majestic they once stood
At the corner of College and West Mag
We celebrated victories
In a very festive mood.

Until that day in Twenty Eleven
That Harvey brought us down
Jealous of an Auburn victory
And under the dark of night
He turned our green to brown.

But the Auburn spirit will live
In the memories that we all share
Under the branches of those majestic oaks
Where many of us have stood
We will continue the traditions because we care!!


Sunday, April 14, 2013


One of our followers posted this on Facebook. I found it so beautiful, I just had to share it with you all. Thanks Johnathan...

Monday, April 1, 2013


An elderly Carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front door key to the carpenter. "This is your house" he said , "my gift to you".

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house , he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none to well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at a situation we have created and find that now we are living in the house we have built. If we had realized we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter . Think about you house . Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says,"Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.