Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Admiral Establishing New Central Command Location

I'm not abandoning ship, but I've been wanting to streamline &/or consolidate all of my fleet of blogs for a while now, so I've started something new: http://tedmallory.wordpress.com

Please follow the link and take a look. I'm hoping to revitalize my blogging by making doing it more consistently and having each post be more brief and focused. I hope you'll like it and follow me at the new single blog site. Thanks. See you there.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Reflections and Thoughts: Worshipping a Differently-Abled Christ

Reflections and Thoughts: Worshipping a Differently-Abled Christ: Each Masters Senior at Princeton Theological Seminary is eligible to give the message during the weekday service. I gave my message on April...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What do you have to do to please God?

Believe (see John 6:29)

God is so demanding! (Note sarcasm).

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Faith of a Criminal

I was reading the story of the crucifixion and noticed something I never have before. The thief on the cross beside Jesus in Luke 23:42 had more faith than Jesus own disciples.

Think about it. Peter, John, & Mary who came to the empty tomb all thought His body had been stolen until angels or Christ Himself tell them otherwise. 

But the thief expects Jesus victory over death. While they're both hanging there dying, he asks Jesus to "remember me when You enter into Your kingdom." That request presupposes that there's a kingdom, that Jesus is the king, and that in spite of the fact that He's in the process of being executed, He will STILL triumphantly enter said kingdom.

That, my friends is faith.

I for one am far more likely to deny Him three times like Peter. How about you?

Lord, grant us faith like a thief- that even as we suffer, we still trust that Yours is the victory. That even though we know we deserve death, we can be bold enough to ask You to remember us. Amen.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Your Checkered Past

If you're trying to find things to be thankful for during Lent, here's an idea: your personal history.

What you've gone through has made you who you are and brought you to where you are.

Even if it was painful, even if it included some ugly choices or mistakes that you wish you could change & need forgiveness for, you can still thank God for it because He's used it all to shape who He needs you to be.

Above all, thank Him for being with you through it all and for bringing you through it all.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Give Thanks for People

So for Lent, you're trying to develop your attitude of gratitude? Great. Giving thanks not only gives God His due credit, it helps give us perspective. Make it a point to give thanks daily and experts say you will become more positive. 

May I suggest keeping a gratitude diary? Force yourself to write down things you're grateful for. One benefit of a keeping a journal will be when you're down, reviewing it may help lift you back up by reminding you how much God's blest you.

But don't just thank God for things. Thank him for people. Thank God for people He's put in your life; who have been a blessing to you somehow, have taught you things or have meant something to you.

Mentors, examples, inspirations, helpers, just good company. Friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, whomever.

Oh, and here's an idea- if you're grateful for them, why not take a minute to pray for them? At least ask God to bless the and their families, even if you have no idea what any of their specific needs are for intercession. Just blessings.

Those blessings will multiply and you'll have even more to be thankful for!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Lord, You went to the cross so that we could be in relationship with You. These next 40 days, draw us closer to You in prayer, repentance, reading Your Word, and in loving, accepting, forgiving and serving others.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

"Liberal" Values are Biblical

Isaiah 58:6-7 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,to set the oppressed freeand break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungryand to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them,and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 

Compassion, helping the poor, evening the playing field- these are things God calls us to do, especially in the Old Testament prophets.

So why do the same "conservatives" who talk about "Christian heritage" & "family values" so opposed to helping the oppressed, so xenophobic, & seemingly so protective of a system that redistributes so much wealth to the most wealthy 2%?

Perhaps one of the fundamental differences between the right & the left is that progressives recognize that in a participatory representative democracy "We the people" ultimately ARE the government and therefore why not use government as a tool to live out our Biblical values? 

While the right wing is afraid of the government allowing gay marriage, abortion, teaching evolution or reversing global climate change- liberals want to use the collective resources of government to break the yokes of oppression, share bread with the hungry, provide housing to the homeless, clothing to the poor, & take care of orphans, widows, & aliens.

Seems to me that one view is negative, reactive, fearful and protective of self interest. Whereas the other view is positive, proactive, motivated by love and  altruism.

Food for thought for moderates & conservatives and preemptive justification for my fellow liberals for the next time someone claims that you can't really be Christians if you're not a Tea Party conservative.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rough Waters? Pray this.

How many times a day must You keep saying to me "oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?"(Matt 8:26a) even though You're right here with me all along? Please still my storms, even the ones that are just in my head.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Global Warning

Okay, I admire your faith - you believe that God is in control, 

but to think that therefore our pollution isn't causing global warming?

That's like me thinking that I won't get cancer, emphysema, or heart disease even though I smoke because God is in control.

Please Christians, this is why secularists agnostics and atheists ridicule us and are so cynical and skeptical about religion in general. 

Sure God is sovereign, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be responsible stewards. Nor does it give up permission to not use our brains! 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Praying ROM 15:13- ACTS- Adoration

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13
For the longest time, I had the hardest time figuring out how to adore God (adoration is the A in ACTS). Basically its just to praise God. As a matter of fact, singing is a great way to do this. If you desperately need God, try praising Him. It reminds you of who and what He is. When you tell Him what's great about Him, you build your faith in Him because you remind yourself why He's worthy to be praised- this brings comfort and confidence. Wow- THE God of the universe loves me.

Christian author Rick Warren wrote that worship is one of the five purposes God created and designed us for. Genesis says we're "created in God's image," I've always figured that part of what that means is that we reflect His character. He IS hope. He IS joy. He IS peace, and 1 John 4:16 even says God IS love.

So let's take a minute to tell Him how great that is!


You are the God of all hope-
You give us Hope- those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31)

To be with You brings us joy-
You give us Joy- the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

You're the Prince of peace-
You give us Peace- Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. ( Isaiah 26:12)

You are love-
You love us, show us how to love others, and give us others to love- Your love endures forever (Psalm 136)

In Jesus' name we pray,

Yearbook Prayers

Here's an idea that occurred to me just the other day.

People use school yearbooks for lots of reasons. My father-in-law frequently refers to an alumni reunion book he has to remember people's names and to figure out who's related to whom in our small town. I've gone to my old high school and college yearbooks to remember how I knew someone who sent me a friend request on facebook. Many teachers ask for yearbooks from past years in order to connect names to faces of the students in their new classes. You may need to grab one just to keep track of who the friends are that your kids keep talking about.

Why not use them for prayer? Simply pick a page and run down the row of names and say a quick, "Lord bless them and their family," kind of prayer. If you know them, maybe you can pause a while and make some more specific requests on their behalf- but it doesn't have to be any more than a "I plead the blood of Jesus over," or "Dear God, please guard, bless or protect (name goes here)" kind of a a prayer.

Too general for ya? Too easy? Need something more complicated? Okay, break down the word "bless" into more focused prayers; B.L.E.S.S. can stand for Body, Labor, Emotions, Social, and Spiritual blessings. (See also 'How to BLESS your neighbors through prayer').

Public School Teachers and Coaches- maybe you can't violate the separation of church and state in your classroom, but you can sure as hell pray for your students and athletes outside of class!

Private School Teachers and Coaches- what an awesome way to minister to your students by interceding for them! What a way to make your job more of a VOCATION and not merely an occupation.

Students- What an amazingly positive thing to do for your classmates and friends?

Parents- What an amazing way to get to know your kid's peers and classmates?

Curmudgeons- Hey, why waste time complaining about how they took prayer out of schools and pray FOR and pray OVER your local schools!? Why try in vain to use arguments to affect things, when you could ask God to send His Spirit into hearts and minds and lives to have real impact.

Prayer-Warriors- What a way to find people who need praying for? You may also think about using a phone book!

MAJOR Residual benefit; One of my professors once read us John 14:2-3 where Jesus promises, "In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." Then the professor told us that as teachers, our rooms in Heaven will be decorated with pictures. Pictures of our students.

If you want to have something to be thankful for, start praying over old yearbooks. If you're not a teacher, God will be showing you all the friends and classmates (and teachers and coaches) whom you were fortunate to have in your life. He will remind you of ways that he blessed you through them and ways that He used you to touch their lives too. Thank Him for them.

If you ARE or have ever been a teacher- holy COW! Will God show you a million reasons why you should shut up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. He will remind you of the many lessons which students have taught YOU over the years and the many ways that He has shaped you through your interactions with both students and colleagues. And yes, God may well prick your conscience some and put on your heart to pray for some of your former students and/or their families.

Oh, and if you don't have any yearbooks or just can't find any- no big. Just go back as far as you can in your head and try picturing or remembering as many names of as many classmates (or students, or former students) as you can and say a brief arrow-prayer for each one as you remember them. Great way to spend long periods waiting INSTEAD of worrying.

Me Ka Pule,
Pirate Ted