Archives For prayer

smith and cottrell

I know that this is no way to begin a review, but I can’t hold it back: these are two beautiful little books!

In The Power of an Ordinary Prayer, Grammy and Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith invites readers to “enter into the heart of prayer and discover how the joy of God’s transformation can truly change your world.” He begins by introducing readers to the value of praying blessings over those we love and then spends the rest of the book dissecting a specific prayer that he prays into six distinct blessings. Each chapter begins with a snippet from the prayer followed by scripture, quotes, and stories that delve further into the blessing. Throughout each chapter readers are encouraged to stop and reflect as well.

In He Knows Your Name: Surprised by God When You Least Expect It, Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter Travis Cottrell reminds readers that God is the hope, strength, and deliverance that each of us needs so desperately every day. He encourages us to surrender ourselves fully to God and in so doing experience His presence like never before. He does this through quotations and stories from scripture, from his own life, and from others. Each chapter begins with a scripture and ends with quotes, a prayer, and questions for reflection and application.

Each of these beautiful books would make a wonderful gift for any Christian or, for that matter, anyone else. Each would also be an excellent choice as a personal devotional. Buy them today – you won’t regret it and the truth found within them just might change your life.

I find it interesting to see which of my blog posts are the most popular during any given period of time and decided to share the information for July with you, my readers. A few of my more recent posts have been quite popular, but there’s one older post that has remained on the list month after month. Here it is, in declining order of popularity:

  1. Psalm 16:7-11
  2. Texas Bar Sues Church
  3. Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola
  4. Sabbatical
  5. MuseScore and ScoreRender
  6. Stop Dating the Church! by Joshua Harris

Please read and comment!

Sabbatical

By Nate LaClaire —  May 15, 2010 — 5 Comments

I haven’t made a big deal about this, but I’m taking a seven-week sabbatical from playing the piano for worship services at PBC. The second week of my sabbatical begins tomorrow. Last weekend I took my annual trip to Belfast, Maine, and for the next six weeks I will be visiting other local churches. My sabbatical is for rest, renewal, refreshment, and restoration, as well as to experience other church services, worship formats, and teaching formats, and to, as one of PBC’s elders so aptly put it, spend time with other believers of like precious faith.

I grew up in PBC, yet while I have served in some capacity at PBC for many years, I have, at some level, been dating the church. I am not a church member and do not feel prepared to become one. I have not had the opportunity to visit many other churches because of my church responsibilities, but I have never fully committed to PBC. Therefore, I’m using this sabbatical to try out some other churches, see how other church families (co)operate, and experience other service styles. I expect that at the end of the seven weeks I will have a fresh perspective and new insight into why PBC is my church family and why I want to marry it. I also expect to return to PBC with new ideas. However, my prayer is nothing more than that God will guide me through this experience and use it to show me where I belong and why I belong there, as well as to refresh me. I would appreciate it if you would pray for me as well.

Tomorrow I visit a church in Lewiston. I am sure that my experience will in some positive way impact a future blog post. Until then, good night.

A nice week

By Nate LaClaire —  May 14, 2010 — 2 Comments

It’s been almost three weeks since the end of Digital Detox Week and I’ve yet to write about my experiences during my break from social media and TV. The week was incredibly refreshing and it gave me a glimpse of a life free from the distractions of my consumer habits. On the first day, I sat down and began a list of “best practices” that I would like to put into action in order to bring my life in line with what I believe God wants my life to look like. As the week proceeded, I revisited the list, making changes based on God’s leading. After a couple more weeks of changes, I’m ready to begin implementing the list this week. I’m really not sure if I will be able to implement everything, but I am determined to try (with Yoda’s voice in my head: “do or do not, there is no try”). Part of me is looking forward to the challenge, while part of me recognizes the foolishness of it. With much prayer, I venture forward.

Texas Bar Sues Church

By Nate LaClaire —  July 25, 2008 — Leave a comment

In a small Texas town, (Mt. Vernon) Drummond’s bar began construction on a new building to increase their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in its reply to the court.

As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.’

As far as I know, that’s just a great illustration, with no truth behind it. Thanks, Alex, for brightening my day!

The Serenity Prayer

By Nate LaClaire —  June 15, 2007

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. –Reinhold Niebuhr

What an awesome prayer… I saw this on a “thinking of you” card several months ago and it has stuck with me. I finally looked it up and discovered that it can most likely be attributed to the theologian above, although it was popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m not one for memorizing prayers, but this is one that I have and God has brought it back to me time and time again.

links for 2006-06-06

By Nate LaClaire —  June 6, 2006 — Leave a comment

Purpose

By Nate LaClaire —  December 6, 2005 — Leave a comment

The whole idea of a blog is kind of odd… I mean, who really cares what is going on with me, or what I think about the latest legislation? Does anyone care? Should anyone care? Probably not.

I first started my blog back when I left my old job and related lifestyle (more on that some other time) and wanted to provide a method for people to keep up on what is happening in my life. Unfortunately, it’s hard to take time to write blog posts when I can’t find time to do stuff that earns me money or stuff that is required for college. However, I want to do better. If I find something interesting on the web I want to tell the world about it. If I read an interesting verse in the Bible I want to blog it. If something exciting, or neat, or frustrating happens in my life I want to share it with others. As I get more photos of Riley (my cat) or my family I will post those, too.

I have been reprimanded for dropping off the face of the earth… The fact is, I miss my old life. The fact is, if I could undo what I did I just might do it. The fact is, my decision was not a mistake, as God has proven to me time and time again (I’ll share more about that later as well). The fact is, making any decision other than the one that I made would have been a mistake. So, where does that leave me? Still right here trying to piece together a life after the library; trying to retain friendships that were formed while I was at the library; trying to move ahead without leaving that all behind.

Have you ever felt too comfortable with your life? I knew that if I didn’t exit soon I could be stuck forever. Sometimes it seemed like I had grown up at the library. Like it was my second home. Now when I go back it feels odd… Like walking into a place that used to be familiar but is familiar no longer. The same friendly people are there, but it’s not the same. It never will be.

I know that most people won’t care about most of what I post on my blog, but perhaps each thing that I write will be meaningful to some person in some way. That is my prayer. Thanks for reading.