Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pray for Your Leaders

I had the opportunity to serve as Chaplain to the Maine Senate on Thursday, May 21. They bring in different pastors and otrher "religious leaders" to open their legislative sessions each day. I though that I would share with you what I presented to the Senators and how I prayed for them.

Maine State Senate May 21, 2009

Those of you who read the Bible may be familiar with the text found in the Epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verse 1. It reads as follows:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

What this says to me is that you legislators have been ordained by God to your task. You are here doing God’s work, by His authority. I know you already take your duties seriously, but this adds yet another dimension to both your authority and your responsibility.

On the other side of the coin is the statement of the Apostles Peter and John when told by the authorities of their day that they should not preach or teach in the name of Jesus. They replied (as recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 4, verse 19) "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.

When Christian citizens are confronted with laws which are contrary to God’s Word, they can be expected to respond as did Peter and John.

So, we pray for you. My congregation and many other congregations across Maine pray for you regularly. We recognize that your responsibilities are great and that this is a very trying time for you as well as for the rest of our nation – and the world.

It is with these things in mind that I say to you this morning: Let us pray.

Almighty God, we give thanks for your great Providence in the establishing of this nation in which we still enjoy freedom of assembly and freedom of worship. We pray that we may continue in these great blessings.

We pray for this august body assembled here to do the business of the State of Maine. If there be those in our midst who are in ill health, we pray for their healing.

If there be some who are sick of heart or spirit, we pray that you grant them peace.

We ask that you grant forgiveness for our sins; for any lack of compassion for the sick and defenseless, for complacency in the face of need, for the waste of resources which you have bestowed upon us.

We ask that these legislators be of clear and open minds; that they act fairly; that they protect those who need protection; and that they use wisely the wealth of the citizens of this state.

God, we thank you for the opportunity that each of us has to serve, each in his or her own way, and we ask your blessing upon this legislature this day.

I pray in the Name of my Lord and Savior,


I expected some flak for my use of the Name Jesus, for my reference to my Lord and Savior, and for my stating that we (Christians) may not always be obedient if legislation differs from God's Word. I saw no glares from the gallery, however. In fact, two senators made it a point to thank me for my words and my prayer.

Continue to pray for your leaders, local, state and federal. May God bless them with wisdom (real Wisdom).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Going Dutch

Sandra and I are in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands this week. It is a small community just outside Amsterdam. We've been leading a few seminars on Christian family life and home education. The groups have been larger than we expected and the people have been responsive and interactive.

Our hosts have been marvelous and taken great care of us. All of our sessions have been in English and no interpretation has been necessary.

It has been a stretching time for us. We both like to have things well and truly organized. Here we have had a very fluid schedule and the talks we prepared have been cast aside as we find out more about the needs and desires of the folks here. It has been good for us. Yesterday we arrived at a book fair and found out that we were scheduled to speak for two hours! 

Serious discussion with the Christians here has been ongoing. Of particular interest to some of the men (we had a Men's Night Friday that lasted past midnight) was the discussion on a man's role in the family. One man was nearly astonished when I stated that a Biblical Christian man must be anti-feminist. It was  not that he disagreed, it was, as he said that, "nobody dares to say such things in the Netherlands." Long and fruitful discussion followed!

Today, however, we had some time off and went to the Keukenhof, a two-month long festival of my favorite flower - the TULIP. Now, I'm sitting in the garden, blogging, enjoying God's creation - and playing with the children. They accept me on their level and have been very patient with me as they try to teach me Dutch.

Good times.