Church Family Newsletter | August 20, 2021
Keep on keepin' on!
There’s a Scottish verb, which is also a noun, that has become the official name of a bird!
Ornithologists from Albion will immediately know I am talking about the “crake” which is a bird that has a distinctive, raspy call often described as “ceaseless”.
In Scotland it is also applied to those, especially young children, who are ceaselessly demanding attention, and for whom “no” is not a deterrent, just a deferred “perhaps”. [“mommy, mommy, mommy, MOMMY!] You’ve probably been there, done that!
I bring this up because it perfectly describes a teaching of Jesus which is often misunderstood, and just as often misinterpreted, by Bible teachers.
In Greek very often one word, when understood by the grammatical rules surrounding it, can say as much as a paragraph in English. An analogous thought in English is that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. In Greek the tense of a verb can covey a multitude of meanings, and in the imperative mode the Greek tenses are very distinctive.
We find the indicative mode, and imperative mode, present tense in the well known sayings of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8.
The indicative mode always refers to a continuous action which has not yet been completed and the imperative mode implies that the action should be done in the usual way. So Jesus’ exhortations to “knock”, “ask”, and “seek” cannot and must not be viewed as a one-time occurrence — “one and done”.
There are two words for “knock” in Greek. One is like an unceremonious pounding, the sort of knock you might use to get someone out of bed in an emergency; and the other is a polite tap as we might use on a door when inquiring, “Hello, is anyone there?” It is this polite knock that Jesus uses.
Here’s the NIV translation of those verses:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Good stuff, but a little tepid. Now compare that with the Amplified Bible’s fuller translation (and footnote):
“[a] Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” [a] Here the use of Greek present imperatives (asking, seeking, knocking; vv 7, 8) emphasizes persistent, constant prayer.
The Greek is emphasizing a continuous, polite persistence in asking, knocking and seeking in our conversations with God.
So, if we do not immediately get answers to our prayers we should continue to persevere in prayer until we do, or until God shows us that our petition is not according to His will. I have told people in the past that God mostly answers prayer in one of three ways - “yes”, “no”, or “I have a better plan!”.
Secondly, we learn that sometimes God takes time to answer our prayers. Sometimes the three ways are “yes”, “no”, and “not yet”!
A third lesson might be that while we are waiting for answers, God is working on our behalf and for our benefit - “yes”, “no”, and “I have some other pieces of the puzzle to accomplish first, (and you’re gonna love it)”!
Satan would have us believe that God either does not hear, or is not interested in, our prayers and is ignoring us. But I’m sure you can undoubtedly dig up lots of biblical examples of people who thought God was absent, only to subsequently witness some truly dramatic demonstration of His awesome power. So don’t listen to Satan’s lies, but politely and reverentially keep on praying. Jesus says that those who keep on asking, keep on knocking and keep on seeking are assured of answers, opportunities, and discoveries!
It makes no sense to believe God who loves you enough to sacrifice Himself for you is going to be stingy in getting you answers to your prayers.
Just keep on keepin’ on!
Be a crake!
Blessings on you and yours,
WYI - Episode 3 - Follow-Up Questions
The story of Maraea Morris told about how God delivered Maraea from the darkness of vengeance, bitterness and unforgiveness in her own life.
- Think about what darkness there might be in your own life might that seems to be succeeding at holding you back from being a strong light in this dark world?
- Do you have the courage to pray and ask the Lord for deliverance from all that would keep you stuck in the dark, so that you can so you can shine brightly in this world?
(Consider things like unforgiveness, bad habits, attitudes of anger, bitterness, critical spirits, mean words, unkindness towards your family, or others around you, etc.)
The story of Elizabeth Cotterill showed how a Salvation Army soldier took her own personal resources and gifts and helped bring the light of God into the darkness of human trafficking, making a real difference in the lives of many trafficked women in the East end of London.
- How do you think you best shine for Christ in the darkness of this world right now? What is it about you that displays the light of Christ to the world around you?
- What personality traits, passions, skills, or talents do you possess that you think Jesus might be able to use to bless the world around you? How can you plan to start to use them today (or tomorrow) to shine for God in your everyday life?
- When you think about your own world, where do you think God wants to use you to bring light into the dark places that you see around you?
Lt. Colonel Lisa shared the adjusted T.D. Jakes quote: “There’s nothing worse than the regret that comes from getting serious too late.”
- What do you think it looks like when someone gets serious about their relationship with God, when they prioritize their relationship with God? Do you know anyone like that? Describe that person and share what makes you convinced that they take their relationship with God seriously.
- Can you think of ways we sometimes try and have others do the work for us when it comes to our own relationship with God?
- What is one thing you could change in your life that would prove or show that you were taking your relationship with God more seriously?
- What is one thing you would add to your life to show this?
- What is one thing you would subtract from your life to show this?
Darkness is the absence of light. The light enters and dispels, demolishes the darkness. We are like pottery lamps with no light of our own. We must be filled with the fuel of God’s Spirit, and made to shine by the fire of the Holy Spirit burning brightly in us.
For those who want to make a commitment to take their relationship with God more seriously, and “get their own oil!”, there are two options for obtaining a reminder of this personal decision they are making:
- Have them email Lt. Colonel Lisa Smith firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know about the decision they made. Make sure they give her their mailing address and she will send them a reminder of their commitment.
- Make your own bottle of oil using the supplies listed here: You can either purchase the tiny bottles like the one you see in the video from Colavita (about a dollar a bottle) or make your own with some little bottles and olive oil from the grocery store.
Purchase the tiny 25 ml bottles of olive oil with Colavita Label here:
Get tiny cork topped glass bottles to fill yourself here:
No Act of Kindness is Too Small
It’s been another heavy week in our world.
Between the fires, earthquakes, variants, and chaotic scenes, I’m wary to turn on the news and see what’s next. Are you exhausted, too?
What can we do?
Check on one another. From a family member in personal crisis to the drained nurse who lives up the street to the barely-making-it owner of your favorite mom-and-pop to your friend who is nervous about her kids going back to in-person classes. All of those who are weary and burdened.
Pray for those who are hurting. Whether right here or around the world, let’s send up a collective prayer for anyone with a broken heart.
Be gracious. Every person you come across has issues of their own, battles you’ll likely never know anything about. Extend grace whenever you can.
Take a breath. Pause, breathe, remember who and whose you are. Rest. Go outside. Name one thing you’re grateful for. Have family dinner. Love your people.
Do good. We have one Fight for Good rule around here: You can be the reason somebody believes in goodness. No act of kindness is too small.
Caring Magazine Editor, Christin
Grace for Every Trial
Remind us, Lord, you've promised You're always by our side;
If circumstances challenge and life seems hard to cope,
The powerful words of Jesus turn doubting thought to hope.
There's grace for every trial our burdens he will bear,
No problem is beyond him we never need despair;
Our burdens when committed to God's almightiness,
Bring answers which evade us relieving our distress.
No storm ever daunt us or cause us to dismay
For Jesus walk beside us whatever comes our way;
He guides and he protects us with loving arms stretched wide
And when we trust him fully in us he's glorified.
What's Happening this week?
9:30 am - Praise Team Rehearsal
10:00 am - Combined Sunday School
11:00 am - Worship Service - In-Person and Facebook
12:30 pm - Youth Program Meeting (invited persons only)
3:30 pm - Divisional Youth Retreat Praise Team Rehearsal
4:30 pm - Eagle Scout Awards Ceremony
1:00 pm - Christmas Planning Meeting (invited persons only)
6:00 pm - Men's Bible Study - In Fireside Room
10:00 am - CAMEO: Planning Meeting - In-Person & Zoom
6:00 pm - WYI Lite - SAYnetwork Facebook Page
9:30 am - Del Oro Chorus Rehearsal - Suisun Kroc Center
11:00 am - Del Oro Brass Rehearsal - Suisan Kroc Center
PRAISE REPORTS & PRAYER REQUESTS:
Share answered prayers or prayer concerns to mailto:email@example.com so
that she may send it out through our prayer email chain.