I’m setting out to have the most productive 3 day week this coming week, and an even more productive Thanksgiving weekend. Ready to get on it, get to it, take care of business, and have something to show for it. But first, the 4th chapter of Church Boy.

Today’s scripture (Philippians 4:6-7) encourages us to put aside our worries and let our faith and prayer do the walking and talking. Additional reading in other books of the bible teach us what are the right things to pray for, and how we’re rewarded for praying for non-selfish things. Today’s journal assignment wasn’t so much an assignment as it is an ongoing project of learning what to pray for, and making a list of what you’re praying for as well as the answers to those prayers that you receive. I could fill up pages of what I need to pray for, but for journal purposes, I’m simply including 3. That entry follows:

“Self control, discipline, and fewer distractions.

“Sunday mornings are always awesome for me. With it being Sunday, that means at 8:00 am, my cell phone will start playing “We Started This Opera Shit” from Repo! The Genetic Opera, instantly causing me to spring from my bed and start feeling good about the upcoming church service. Today, however, was different. I woke up just before the alarm, and though I tried to put on a happy face and feel good about the morning, I simply couldn’t make myself do it. I drove my poor wife crazy on the way to church, and during praise and worship I simply wasn’t feeling moved about anything. The sermon was good, but I didn’t take anything away from it. Is it because it’s irrelevant?

“One thing I’ve learned as a new Christian is that the devil is ALWAYS there. He wants to be my best friend and is always encouraging me to stray from all I’ve accomplished and set out to do. The bad part is he’s very attractive, skillful and successful at what he does, and I let him win nearly every time. I work very hard to make real changes in my life, and weeks and months of hard work are gone in a single click as I give in and let the devil guide me. He doesn’t want me to enjoy praising on Sunday and he doesn’t want me to take anything away from service. He certainly doesn’t want me to learn anything from my bible studies during the week and I, being the idiot, simple minded human that I am, let him take control of me and my thoughts.

“I am praying for self control, over my impure actions, intentions and thoughts. I pray for discipline while studying God’s word and while focusing on praise and worship time during the day. Finally, I pray for the strength to defeat the distractions that are ever present, preventing me from focusing on the things in life I need to stay focused on.

“I am replacing God with food, sleep, music and money. I lost interest and excitement for church today. I pray for the strength to defeat the evil that has a grip on me, for it’s all worldly things that have possession of me, and I am not of this world and want nothing to do with it.”

A few lines from Showbread’s song “Nothing Matters Anymore” drives home the importance of separating ourselves from this world. We are all a slave to this world, and the world belongs to the devil. But once we hear the Good News, we can safely put it behind us:

“No fear, no doubt, I’ve bottomed out – I’ve lost myself I’m letting go – No pride, no me, I’ve set them free – I’ve lost my mind and now I know – No pain, no death, they’re put to rest – We leave them here, we close the door – No earth, no man, now take my hand – ‘Cause nothing matters anymore”

“The world is a husk to be peeled back and torn, my body a shell that now breaks – how I long to escape from the chains that I’ve worn and hasten my greatest escape – And when I breathe my very last, don’t shed a tear for me – discard of the body that once was my prison, for I’ll have been set free – And when the trumpets call us home and I am no longer bedded by pain – Our tears will be forever dried for the author of life knows my name.”

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done.”
-Philippians 4:6

Enjoy today’s haiku:

Trusting of all the wrong things
Forgiven always

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