Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

God works ALL things for His good.

I haven’t watched an Oprah show in years. Not because I have some opinion about her, because I really don’t. The truth is, I don’t think much about her one way or another.

So yesterday was strange. First of all, I turned on the TV in the middle of the afternoon. Ask my kids, I never watch TV during the day. I rarely watch it at night. They would tell you I always want the TV off and that I frequently say, “I hate TV.”

Secondly, when I turned on the TV, it had been left on the OWN network and there was no show on. Just a static slide on the screen encouraging viewers to watch Oprah’s farewell show.

So I flipped over to ABC.

It was about 4:15pm and as I listened, I found myself thinking: “I wonder how many people are watching this right now? What a tremendous opportunity she has to witness for Christ.”

Then I found myself praying, “Lord, if she knows you, please don’t allow her to let this opportunity pass without acknowledging you and thanking you for her success. Please give her the courage to thank you so everyone KNOWS she’s really talking about YOU and not this “energy” she keeps referring to.”

Knowing I was watching live TV, I continue to pray. And then, just when my attention started to wander, I heard her say “JESUS.”

What?

I missed it! What did she say about Jesus? All I heard after that was (I’m going for a transcript excerpt here):

“I have felt the presence of God my whole life. Even when I didn’t have a name for it, I could feel the voice bigger than myself speaking to me, and all of us have that same voice. Be still and know it. You can acknowledge it or not. You can worship it or not. You can praise it, you can ignore it or you can know it. Know it. It’s always there speaking to you and waiting for you to hear it in every move, in every decision. I wait and I listen. I’m still—I wait and listen for the guidance that’s greater than my meager mind…”

It didn’t take long for someone to post the excerpt and I got to read what she said about JESUS:

“What is the secret of success of the show? How have we lasted 25 years? I nonjokingly say, ‘My team and Jesus.’ Because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me.”

and then her last words – after TWENTY FIVE years of talking – were:

“to God be the Glory.”

And holy facebook explosion, Batman, the speculation began. Did she mean it? Was she just trying to “win” the Christians “back over?” Anita Renfroe posted an update about feeling like she was watching Oprah give her own eulogy and had so much cattiness in the comments she actually removed the update – and all the comments that went along with it. (hey, it’s HER facebook page, she can delete ANYthing she wants as far as I’m concerned.)

But before she deleted it, I commented. And for some reason, I copied my comment and pasted it in Notepad for reference or use later. And now it’s later. I posted the last two transcript excerpts above and then wrote:

“It doesn’t matter whether I believe her or not, if her witness drew someone closer to a saving faith in Jesus. If that happened, it WAS for His glory.”

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

word-filled Wednesday: Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

(CLICK HERE to read a short devotion/prayer
that goes with this verse and photo)

(Christian brain image from wallpaper4god.com)


Join in Word-Filled Wednesdays hosted by Internet Cafe Devotions!

May 25, 2011 Posted by | christian living, Word-Filled Wednesday | | 2 Comments

four minutes with God: Philippians 4:8

a Quote:
“An intellectual is one who loves ideas, is dedicated to clarifying them, developing them, criticizing them, turning them over and over, seeing their implications, stacking them atop one another, arranging them, sitting silent while new ideas pop up and old ones seem to rearrange themselves, playing with them, punning with their terminology, laughing at them, watching them clash, picking up the pieces starting over, judging them, withholding judgment about them, changing them, bringing them into contact with their counterparts in other systems of thought . . . suiting them for service in workaday life. A Christian intellectual is all of the above to the glory of God.”

and

“…the true intellectual occasionally sees some things, makes true observations and has insights that few, if any before him have seen or had. If there is any danger in this, it is not in having a one-track mind, but in having a mind with so many tracks that it either arrives at many places at the same time or it never gets out of the station.(emphasis added)

(from Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by James W. Sire)

my Prayer:
Intellectual? That sounds so much better than “I just over think everything,” which we both know I have a tendency to do, Lord. Sometimes my head is filled with so many thoughts and ideas, I can’t focus. Sometimes I weigh alternatives to the point of inaction. So frustrating.

Even so, thank you for my love of reading and learning and thinking. And thank you for my limitations, both real and self-perceived. They keep me grounded and authentic. It’s so easy for education and knowledge to displace my trust in – and dependence on – YOU, especially in times of confusion or when circumstances seem . . . irrational.

Thank you for every day that I wake up with more knowledge and understanding than I had the day before. At the same time, thank you for making it crystal clear to me that – compared to all that is possible to know and understand in this world – I know and understand about as much as can be contained within grain of sand.

Thank you for the intricate details in this world, from the greatest wonders to the tiniest. That you are evident in the awesome beauty of the Grand Canyon as well as in the first breath of a newborn infant is just a peek at your perfect plan and limitless power. Every creation is filled with opportunities for discovery, every problem is an opportunity for ingenuity,

Through your power and grace and mercy, please help me to learn from my mistakes. Please help me to make different and better decisions based on what I’ve learned. Please bless me with insights and ideas and imagination, even if they sometimes overwhelm me. I want all that I am and think and feel to lead me to choices that place me in the center of your will. For your glory.

the Word:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8

the lyric:
“With all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, with all the strength that I can find. Take my time here on this earth and let it glorify all that You are worth. For I am nothing, I am nothing without You “
from Nothing Without You (youtube link) by Bebo Norman (amazon link)

and if you have an extra 3:33 minutes…


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

(Christian brain image from wallpaper4god.com)

May 25, 2011 Posted by | books, christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, music, pragmatic communion, praise team music, prayer, thankfulness, youtube | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

there’s no coming back from this.

NOOOOO! FirstHusband taught FavoriteSon how to make Ramen Noodles!!!

800mg of sodium a serving! It’s WRONG. wrong, I tell you!

It’s like a drug dealer – giving an unsuspecting innocent child a “free sample.”

It’s like Microsoft in the 80s – giving schools free copies of MS Office.

It’s like giving someone a single Lays potato chip.

I was coerced into trying them – about three noodles. That should do me. For life.

(I’ve been told they make a low sodium version, it’s my only hope.)

May 24, 2011 Posted by | debt free living, food, health, laugh!, poor me some whine | , , , | 2 Comments

fine dining.

Made Cheater’s Chicken Parmesan tonight. Calls for chicken nuggets.

We used DINOSAUR shaped nuggets. Because we’re classy like that. (and because they were BOGO)

I may have thrown a little too much at our debt this pay period. We’ll be eating VERY frugally for the next week and a half. SUPER cheap recipes are hereby desperately solicited!!

Me to FirstHusband: “WHY did you buy Ramen noodles?”

FirstHusband: “It’s for me and the kids.”

Me: “You could have just gone to the Tack Shack and gotten a salt lick.”

FirstHusband: “It was only 17 cents!”

Me: “and worth every penny.”

I just can’t do it, even if they are only 17 cents a package. 800mg of sodium. PER SERVING. (2 servings per package.)

May 21, 2011 Posted by | debt free living, food, health, laugh!, poor me some whine, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

word-filled Wednesday: 1st Thessalonians 5:17

“pray continually”
1st Thessalonians 5:17 (NAS)

(CLICK HERE to read a short devotion/prayer
that goes with this verse and photo)


Join in Word-Filled Wednesdays hosted by Internet Cafe Devotions!

May 11, 2011 Posted by | christian living, Word-Filled Wednesday | | 3 Comments

four minutes with God: 1st Thessalonians 5:17

a Quote:
“O my God, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with thy assistance, receive all my works and possess all my affections.”
(from The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence)
(CLICK HERE to read the free online version)

my Prayer:
Lord, after being so distant from you during my “drift,” I’m desperate for a constant awareness of your presence in my life. I want to spend every waking moment with you, but I have to do stuff. Like chauffeur kids, load the dishwasher, work on my web page, train clients, write emails, talk on the phone….

I know I can’t attend to all these regular, everyday tasks while I pray in the way my small mind thinks prayer “should” be. I can’t load the dishwasher and write in my prayer journal at the same time. I don’t know how to “abide” and write HTML code at the same time. I can’t seem to consistently involve You in my conversations when I talk to someone else at the same time.

PLEASE teach me how to do all the things I have to do with You at the center of my consciousness. I want to come to the end of the day and know, without doubt or regret, that I spent it with You.

the Word:
“pray continually”
1st Thessalonians 5:17 (NAS)

the lyric:
“Is Your voice upon the wind? Is everything I’ve known marked with my maker’s fingerprints? Breathe on me. Let me see Your face. Ever I will seek You. ‘Cause all You are, is all I want, always. Draw me close in Your arms, oh God, I wanna be with You.”
from Always (youtube link) by Hillsong (Live) (amazon link)

and if you have an extra 4:02 minutes…


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

May 10, 2011 Posted by | books, christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, music, pragmatic communion, praise team music, prayer, youtube | 1 Comment

   

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