Category Archives: Steve Brown

A Simple Prayer


God, please teach, lead, inspire and help me…

To listen intently, before I speak.

To think things through, before I write.

To earn, give, share, invest and save, before I spend.

To throughly investigate before I invest.

To forgive – always and forever.

To never gossip.

To try again before I quit.

To diligently plan before I retire.

To increase my giving as the year’s roll by and the graces accumulate.

To proofread one more time before I hit send or submit.

To pray for others, continually.

And to be always thankful for all that you have done for me, continue to do for me and will always do for me – blessings, grace, family, friends, wisdom, love, a house, a loving wife, a church, a faithful Pastor and a good life.

Amen.

What We, the Church, Can Learn from the Airlines


The Gospel Message of the Airlines
The airlines have a critically important message to share with each and every traveler and they don’t want anyone to miss it.  For this reason, the flight attendants act out their message, this same message is spoken over the PA system, the message can be read on a card with pictures located in everyone’s seat pocket and it can also be viewed on a video screen on longer flights.  Their message can save lives and they know how to deliver it well and how to appeal to all of our senses.  Of course I am referring to the safety instructions.
 
Our Pastors also have a critically important message to share, we do as well.  In fact, it is infinitely more important than the airlines message. We need to deliver this message so everyone hears it, sees it, feels it, smells it, sings it, prays it, meditates on it, breathes it, loves it, lives it, abides by it and tastes it.  
 
  • It’s already in our pew bibles and our bulletins so we can read it.  
  • It’s in our songs so we can sing it, ponder it, tap our feet to it and feel it.  
  • It’s in our prayers so the Holy Spirit can massage it and God can answer it.  
  • It’s in our statues, art and stained glass windows so we can adore it.   
  • It’s in our creeds so we collectively can voice it. 
  • It’s in our scripture readings for our contemplation, consideration, cogitation, meditation, pondering, rumination, deep thought, musing, deliberation, study and further reflection.
 
So what is the “it”, what is the critically important message the church needs to share?  It is the Gospel of course.
 
But getting back to those airline safety demonstrations, here’s the thing, I know how to buckle a seat belt.  I’ve done it 84,680 times.  So I tune this part out.   You do as well.   Unless I am flying Southwest because some their flight attendants are creative and they make even the mundane seat belt demonstration interesting, insightful and colorful.  And so it is with the gospel, I have heard this message enough times to save all the people in China, about 3,016 to be close to exact.  So if we follow Southwest Airlines technique, our Pastors and Worship leaders need to inject the creativity that our great God has instilled in them into their preaching and in their worship planning and preparations.  In fact, I pray that the Holy Spirit sparks a flame 🔥 in you and your whole ministry team, revitalizing and rejuvenating your thoughts, ways and means.  May he fill your mind with exuberance for the word and bless your tongue to preach the word purely and with passion.  May he use your gifts to excite your people for their savior and may his kingdom grow prolifically as a result of his gifting, his blessings and his grace, need I say not yours.  I know this is possible because even after hearing the Gospel 3,016 times, my current Pastor brings it to life for me week after week.  But sorry, he’s not amazing, God is. 
 
Isn’t it interesting that our final reward isn’t money, power, fame, success or admiration.  It’s praise, worship and rest.

Open My Heart


Open My Heart Lord

 

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.  – Acts 16:14

 

There you have it.  The Lord opens hearts.  In this case he opened Lydia’s heart to respond to a certain message.

 

God, won’t you open our hearts?
Open my heart to respond.
To respond to your peace.
To respond to your teaching.
To respond to your grace.

 

How about opening our hearts to be more generous?
To give to the church.
To give to the needy.
To give of my time and talents.

 

How about opening our hearts to love on a deeper level?
To love you more.
To love my family more.
To love money less.

 

How about opening our hearts to me more patient?
More patient at work.
More patient while waiting in line.
More patient while on the phone, on hold.

 

How about opening our hearts to worship?
To worship God in truth.
To worship God in Spirit.
To worship God as a lifestyle.
To worship God like Lydia did.
To use the gifts God has given to me to praise Him.

 

God can open your heart.  It doesn’t matter if your heart aches or if it’s as frozen as a tombstone, in a field, in Fargo, in February.  The Lord can crack it open and fill it with His warmth, His presence and His love.

 

God
Opens
Hearts!
❤️
Amazing! 
❤️
It
Says
So
In
His
Infallible
Word!
❤️

Fill Me Up


Fill
Me
Up.

Lord, fill me up with confidence.
Fill me with love.
Fill me to the brim with wisdom.
Fill me with understanding.
Fill me with courage.
Fill me to overflowing with hope.
Fill me with your Spirit.
Fill me with truth.
Fill me with kindness.
Fill me with patience.
Fill me with peace.
Fill me with perseverance.
Fill me with You.

Fill
Me
Up.

The Garden Prayer


God, please bless my soil and plants; that my soil will yield her strength.  I thank the Lord for the privilege of being a sower, the honor of being a tender, and the blessing of being a harvester.  Amen.

The Gardener 
by Bobby Brown, excerpted from “Seated Above, the Journey Continues”

There within the silent acres,
Between the burrowed rows
He’s scratching and he rakes,
He’s digging and he hoes

Early each summer’s morning
The sweat slides down his face
As he goes about his business
In this most sacred place

And the gardener has a quiet faith,
An enthusiasm and a mirth
For he loves to till the soil,
He loves the good green earth

And one day in the early autumn,
He’ll lay down that rake and hoe
For the harvest will be ready,
As the crops continue to grow…

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that just crushed it.” – Mark Twain

In Remembrance of Him


In Remembrance of Him…

I pray (and you can too):

Father, I need help to devote my life, in remembrance of Him who gave His life for mine.

I need help to forgive others, in remembrance of Him who forgave me over 77 times/day.

I need help to give to the poor, in remembrance of Him who gave everything.

I need help to be kind, in remembrance of Him who healed the broken-hearted.

I need help to be patient, in remembrance of Him who always gave me a second chance.

I need to love, in remembrance of Him who first loved me.

I need help to be generous, in remembrance of Him who is continuously gracious to me.

I need help to pray more, in remembrance of Him who even prayed for those who were murdering Him.

I need help to be more humble, in remembrance of Him who washed others feet.

I need help to control my mouth, especially gossiping, in remembrance of Him who paid a price for my sins.

I need help in being merciful, in remembrance of Him who offers mercy when I do not deserve such grace.

I need help to be more sympathetic, in remembrance of Him who cares.

I need help to be compassionate, in remembrance of Him who shows compassion towards me.

I even need help to control my thoughts, in remembrance of Him who taught me where my sins originate.

 

These are what I need to think of as I partake of the Lord’s Supper, in remembrance of Him.

 

We can and should strive to do all these things in remembrance of Him whose name is Jesus.  He is our motivation, our example, our mentor, our guide, our friend, our confidante, our healer, our teacher, our comforter, as well as our King, Savior, Redeemer, Lord and Messiah.

 

And lest I forget, I also need help to remember Him as my role model for life.

 

Father, I pray all these things, in remembrance of Him, your Son, the one who saves, Jesus.

 

May the Holy Spirit use these words to change my life, in remembrance of Him.

 

Amen.

 

“Christ is God, crying I am here!” – Philip Yancy

The Antonym Prayer


Father,

Help me to be constant in an ever changing world
deep in a shallow world
respectful in a flippant world
confident in a fearful world
vigilant in a careless world
loyal in an untrustworthy world
spiritual in a material world
considerate in a thoughtless world
patient in an gigabyte world
loving in a cruel world
kind in an inconsiderate world
humble in a showy world
sympathetic in a cold world
compassionate in a harsh world
repentant in an impenitent world
light in a dark world
salt in caustic world
meek in a troubled world

Because this is the person that I want to be.

Amen.

I Invite You to Pray Over these Scriptures


I Invite You to Pray Over these Scriptures!

When life is tumultuous and your emotions are swirling round and round,
There’s really only one anchor, a solid rock that we can grab…

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:2

When the future looks bleak and the present is filled with your tears…

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. – Psalm 116:8-9

When you are suffering and in pain for most of your waking hours…

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 1:5

When worries fill your head and anxiety fills your heart…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

When sorrow is weighing you down and anguish rips at your core…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
– Joseph M. Scriven

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
– Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash and Scott Cash

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear.
There is only one foundation
We believe.
In this broken generation
When all is dark
You help me see.
There is only one salvation.
We believe.
We believe in God the Father.
We believe in Jesus Christ.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, and He’s giving us new life.
We believe in the crucifixion,
We believe that He conquered death.
We believe in the resurrection, and He’s coming back again.
– Matthew Hooper, Richie Fike and Travis Ryan