Posted in Christianity

Saint Patrick or Syncretism?

Since ’tis the Day… here’s the prayer. See bold print below.

It is puzzling why the images of impish trickster demons (Leprechauns) are used for celebrating an amazing saint of the ancient past, when this prayer would be a far nobler tribute, and it is all but unknown in its full version. “… Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul; Christ to shield me today…”

Can’t have it both ways. Or maybe that shows the syncretism and superstition people allow themselves in “being spiritual.” Or is this something once more hijacked by the world?

It all begs the question, What fellowship has light with darkness???

St Patrick’s Breastplate:

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism, Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension, Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today Through the strength of the love of cherubim, In the obedience of angels, In the service of archangels, In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, In the prayers of patriarchs, In the predictions of prophets, In the preaching of apostles, In the faith of confessors, In the innocence of holy virgins, In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through The strength of heaven, The light of the sun, The radiance of the moon, The splendor of fire, The speed of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of the sea, The stability of the earth, The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me From snares of devils, From temptation of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.

I summon today All these powers between me and those evils, Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and soul, Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul; Christ to shield me today Against poison, against burning, Against drowning, against wounding, So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness. Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Amen.

Posted in Christianity

Be Encouraged

So much darkness being passed around! Guilty as charged am I at times. An easy thing to get trapped into when you care.

Yet – Trying to deflect the view in another direction without being a Pollyanna. Sure, it’s pretty dark. There are other “levels” of reality besides what’s in front of your physical eyes.

What do we see? How should we see the times? This was on my heart this morning. Reading this against its historical backdrop helps. You can check that out in some good commentaries. It was bleak, and complex but …

2 Kings 6:15-17. ‘When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.’

Lord, give us eyes of faith to see as Elisha saw, and as by prayer his fearful servant’s eyes were opened, so let it be for Your servants. … “Oh for a faith that will not shrink, though pressed by many a foe; that will not tremble on the brink of poverty or woe.” Ah, those good old hymns I learned growing up. God’s Word set to music. They never fail to show up on the Winds of the Spirit!

We HAVE TO see beyond what our mind, senses, and all this information tell us.

“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11

Ponder that.

And pray for one another!

Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.

Posted in Christianity

The Asbury Event

What’s really disturbing is the outcry of CRITICISM of this event at Asbury U… “They didn’t say this; they didn’t do that… it’s not going where we think it should… it’s not ‘changing our country’… bla, bla, bla…”

For crying out loud!!! Are you God? It’s up to Him what He’s doing and where He’s taking it and how long HIS PLAN – not your ideas – will take.

Reminds me of some events from the Bible. “He cannot possibly be the Messiah. He comes from Nazareth. Can any good thing come from there?” (Get the whole story, eh?)

“Even though we prayed for Peter all night, that couldn’t be him at the door. They had him locked up! Must be his ghost. Nothing to see here.”

Why pray if you don’t really believe prayer will be answered??? You pray for a move of God, and when something starts with signs following of repentance and contrition and rebirth, well, that just cannot possibly be a move of God. Because it’s not happening the way you think it should.

We ought to be thankful and on our knees rejoicing and repenting that God would even come to do ANYTHING in a country this full of depravity and hypocrisy. It’s a blessing and a show of His willingness to show up where He is still welcome. These young people know that the mess this world is will unfold under their watch. And what better thing to do than to prepare themselves with prayer and inviting Him to be present in events to which there are going to be no human answers!

Have a care, you nay sayers. You’re about a nano millimeter from the potential of blaspheming the Holy Spirit!

Soli Deo Gloria! Amen!

Posted in Christianity

Prayer as a Way of Life

See Col 4:2 NASB. “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”

During the wee hours (one of my friends calls this the “4th Watch”) I was strongly stirred to write out prayers for every person on the evening prayer list. My time for insomnia to hit. Roughly 3-6 a.m. Redeeming the time. Not that I have completed that task yet, but I’m coming to realize that it’s not just about responding with a praying hands emoji to the needs of loved ones or the world. Actually praying is more than an intention in your head.

It is helpful to be orderly when it comes to prayer and to keep it centered in Scripture as the focus of meditation. Lack of “structure” may be what puts off a great many people from ever developing a solid prayer practice. There may also be a critical attitude toward any sort of written prayers as well. Personally I find written prayers and prayer books very useful as a springboard into more personalized or spontaneous praying. They help to get things on track as well as keeping it there, and aid with being mindful of one’s connection to God throughout the day.

God knows our tendencies toward a wandering mind and distraction, especially in a time when so many claim ADHD and the like, so He would probably rather that we draw near and begin with form prayers than not at all. The more one turns toward God in prayer, the better. Besides, it is good discipline to learn to be still, and it may be that some of our “pathology” is due to never having had that encouraged as a child. Nor might there have been any example of it. Just saying…

Written prayers (you can make up your own too) make good launch pads into more spontaneous talks with Jesus. Over time I have found it useful to develop 2 sets of prayers – a personal one to begin the day, then one for evening where the family can pray together. Prayer features to begin and end the day. It takes a little getting used to, but it becomes a very good habit, as it greatly improves the spiritual atmosphere of the home. God is given the lead, and no one can go wrong with that! 

To share prayer at least once a day is, in my opinion, as vital – if not more so – as sharing a meal together as a family. These are times where there’s a rather patent agenda to isolate and separate people, and this is a good way to combat that direction in our own homes, if we do not allow the sinister powers that be to fragment our families by not praying together and sharing a meal at the same time at the same table together. We should always desire to see things for what they are, and then call our Lord Jesus Christ into it to be our guide and protector.

Ephesians 6:18 NASB. “With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints.”  

1 Corinthians 14:14,15 NASB. “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing with the mind also.” 

1 Samuel 12:23 NASB. “Furthermore, as for me, far be it from me that I would sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.”

These passages all point to the fact that the work of God’s people is prayer more than anything. We are the body temples of the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls His Father’s house a house of prayer.

Christ our Head intercedes for us, makes His plea before the Mercy Seat on behalf of His shed blood for our sins and having paid the death penalty for us. He is the Head and we are His body. So is not the body where the head is, engaged in what the Head does?

Samuel calls it sin to fail to pray for God’s people, even when they strayed! We are to pray at all times. We are to pray with both the spirit and the understanding. Paul exemplified and taught this to a very high degree.

The beauty of prayer as our service to others is that, even as one becomes older or may be disabled, it is a good way to stay spiritually fruitful. Jesus directs us to go into our inner room, shut the door, and pray in secret, per Matthew 6:5,6. That is encouraging for anyone with decreasing mobility or ability for going out to an activity, and who might feel that he or she has nothing to offer anymore amidst the people of Christ.

The Royal Priesthood is not only about worship and praise and “activity” but also prayer. Older Christians or disabled who still desire to serve the Lord and His people do well to consider devoting themselves to prayer as a new way of life! Consider how, in exile, the Lord mightily used an elderly John!

We do well also to pray for those who are shut in, or for anyone who seems to be left out of the church shuffle, so to speak, that the Holy Spirit would stir their hearts to kindle in them the will and the wherewithal to be about the Heavenly Father’s business of prayer, as their opportunity to still offer and contribute this gift of prayer.

Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.

Over, ’n’ out, Blaiseintotheblue

Posted in Christianity

In Christ Above the Circumstances

Psalm 31:19. NASB “How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have performed for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of mankind!”

When reading through this psalm, it becomes evident that King David is experiencing a great amount of adversity. The accounts of his life reveal unimaginable strife, turmoil, conflict, war, affliction, sin, and rebellion. All of these conspired against the reign over God’s people tasked to him by the Lord.

Yet in reading this Psalm, what becomes clear is that his attention is set above these problems. The progression of his prayer shows first how he brings his lament over circumstances to the Lord, and he moves into confession of faith :14 and following – “But as for me, I trust in You. You are my God. My times are in Your hands.”

He then asks for deliverance from his enemies and persecutors, and to be saved out of the circumstances. It was also time for the wicked to have their day of shame, even to be silenced in the grave! He boldly calls on the power of God to put down the bullies (my word) who lie and speak insolent things with pride and contempt against the righteous. This seems to be the pivotal point for turning things around – where the prayer itself changes direction.

What follows is essentially a chorus of praise of God, Who in spite of circumstances works miraculous things, bringing the light of awareness of it into very dark times. Right in front of a world in conflict and opposition with the Lord and His people.

Verses 23 and 24 are strong encouragement to love the Lord and hope in Him. This is for all us saints – those set apart for His plans and purposes. Be of good courage! (A good time to check out Romans 8:18-30) The promise follows, based upon his experiences and knowledge , “He shall strengthen your heart!”

There’s a little meme out there which keeps popping up: “Stay calm and pray a psalm.” You can also sing, chant, read reflectively, or meditate on one as well. Keep God’s truth central!

This one covers the bases of how prayer can flow, going from a lament over how things are perceived circumstantially, through laying down that view and burden at the Lord’s feet, and then accelerating up into a place of transcending our view of circumstances, by way of declaring and praising God’s goodness and blessing, which is for those who put their trust in Him. This is in the presence of the sons of men, who will either be full of hatred and envy, or there may be some who will see it who will come to Him in surrender.

This is why the Psalms are often called the prayer book or the hymn book of the Church. Over and over the pattern is made clear, by David and the other very artful inspired sacred song writers who contributed to the Psalms, that our Lord is very interactive in the affairs of those whom He has claimed in Christ Jesus. The Psalms make prayer practical and applicable.

If our “religion” is not that, making us aware of what a relationship with God looks like, then of what use is it?

Thoughts in Christ winging toward you, dear reader.

Celestial Nomad out.

Posted in Christianity, Holidays

Just A Short One

From an undisclosed location somewhere along the eastern shores of a very icy and uninviting Lake Michigan…

Here’s a perspective, for everyone muttering about how the weather has interrupted your plans. Let’s imagine for a moment – since “the season” celebrates the day that the Creator of the Universe entered into HIS world to redeem it – a different perspective. Everybody is making a fuss, all bustling around, stressed out over “their” own parties, and gifting one another.

Maybe this storm, with a major highway shut down, and forbidding conditions, is His way of saying that He’s giving you an opportunity to talk to Him, slow down, to spend some time in His word, and getting to know Him…

But no one is talking to the Guest of Honor? A most peculiar thing.

Hmmm. Maybe we need to think about that for a moment.

If you can possibly spare the time.

Sailing back Into and Out of the Blue,

Your Celestial Nomad,


Posted in Christianity

Shut The Door

Thoughts for heading into the night, into the quiet, on a number of levels… Worth pondering. Each in its context… And praying.

“Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed.” Isaiah 26:20

“But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy, for in You my soul takes refuge. In the shadow of Your wings I will take shelter until the danger has passed.” Psalm 57:1

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

“He will cover you with His feathers; under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4

“The prudent see danger and take cover, but the simple keep going and suffer the consequences.” Proverbs 22:3

(Passages taken from Berean Study Bible)

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality, Uncategorized

On Psalm 91:1

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].” (Psalm 91:1 AMPC)

Dwelling Place.png

What might it mean to dwell in this “place”, the Presence of the One Who is the Person of God Himself? We can only come into this through our Lord Jesus Christ, as we continually trust in Him. We’re shown here that we remain “stable and fixed,” as we “dwell in” – abide, remain, stay put – through abiding faith / trust / confidence in our Lord!

This entire Psalm is chock full of many promises to those who love God and have been brought to faith in Christ. We should take this to heart, “For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20.) Therefore, this is a good Psalm to keep before us in these days of great instability and disinformation and obfuscation, to meditate on it, and to personalize it as a prayer – even commit it to heart.

Remember – We can take the cue from the very beginning – Psalm1:1,2 about where to fix our prayerful thoughts and attention:  “Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.”

The promise here in Psalm 91:1 is that no foe can withstand the power of Christ (to Whom is given all authority in heaven and on earth, per Matthew 28:18). Often the biggest foe is where we fix our attention. Will it be on this life’s concerns, or riches and wealth, the news, worries, or some other thing? Or instead might we “look up”?! “If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3) Realize that if your new life is hidden with Christ in God, then you can see that you dwell in that “secret place” spiritually, and these promises are yours!

Isn’t it worth knowing what they are? A daily verse by verse prayerful contemplation of Psalm 91 might be a very fruitful place to start, to make His promises your own, if you can see that you are God’s own in Christ Jesus!

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality

Christ Our Exemplar

We can see Jesus’ example when the heat was on, in ways you and I cannot imagine.

Jesus’ Arrest:   ‘Then said Jesus unto Peter, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”‘ John 18:36.

Jesus On Trial:    ‘Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world; if it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now, My kingdom is not of this realm.”‘ John 18:11.

Jesus’ Execution / Crucifixion:    ‘And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they cast lots, dividing His garments.’ Luke 23:34.

There’s something deeper here than meets the natural eye. How did Christ walk? How was He led? How did He know His Father’s will for Him, which was the way of the Cross? He was led of the HOLY Spirit. (See Matthew 4) He spent many hours in prayer (communion with the Father).

Although the Son of God, 2nd person of the Holy Trinity, ‘Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.’ Philippians 2:6-8.

‘During the days of Jesus’ earthly life, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.’ Hebrews 5:7-9

‘Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.’ 1 John 2:6.

‘Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.’ Romans 13:14.

‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit.’ Galatians 5:24, 25.

‘The greatest among you shall be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.’ Matthew 23:11-13.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2,3.

This is all a reminder of some lyrics from an old song: “Dance in the darkness, slow be the pace; surrender to the rhythm of redeeming grace…” by Carey Landry