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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (136)

Serenity or Courage?

The quote hung on my wall as a teen-ager. I would not know much about the author until Seminary days when his name was prominent on reading lists. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference,” so wrote Reinhold Niebuhr in his Serenity Prayer. American theologian, and professor at Union Theological Seminary for more than 30 years, Niebuhr offered me my first motto. Over the years I would learn…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 29, 2014 at 7:33am — No Comments

Praying for Bright, Shiny Faces

Bright, Shiny Faces Surely some of you remember the children’s song we used to sing first thing in the mornings: “Good morning to you, Good morning to you, We’re all in our places With bright, shiny faces, Good morning to you.” I had no strong feelings either way about the song, but I remember wondering if my face was really shining? Then I began to hear phrases like, “Her face was radiant (radiant: sending out light; shining or glowing brightly) and, “He was beaming (beaming: shining…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 14, 2014 at 8:04pm — No Comments

Sleepless, but not Prayerless

Often, when I am preaching on Sunday morning, I have a sleepless Saturday night, or at least partly so. But this was Thursday night and there appeared to be nothing of great significance on my Friday agenda. With her recent death, poet Maya Angelou has been widely quoted. Once she wrote of sleepless nights, “There are some nights when sleep plays coy, aloof and disdainful. And all the wiles that I employ to win its service to my side are useless as wounded pride, and much more painful.” So…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 4, 2014 at 12:53pm — No Comments

National Pride and Intercessory Prayer

Last Friday, as a Citizen of Patrol (COPS), I drove through my neighborhood, and noticed a small American flag on the curb of every home. It was, after all, the 4th of July. So, you ask, “Do you live in a neighborhood of all red-blooded Americans?” No, actually we have neighbors who were born in other lands, and in fact, may not even have U.S. citizenship yet. In fact, like me, they may even be upset with this country occasionally. But on this day, this day of our independence, they allowed…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 27, 2014 at 8:01pm — No Comments

ACTS or MIGHTY ACTS?

There is a popular acronym that some use to assist them in the content of their prayers. The origin of ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) as a prayer outline is unknown, although some believe it is displayed in and derived from The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Spiritual leaders, from Christians to Catholics, including such well-known personalities as Billy Graham, have promoted its use. While this is a good, helpful prayer-starter, there is much more to prayer than…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 23, 2014 at 9:16am — No Comments

Making Satan Mad

I never understood spiritual warfare until I got heavily involved in global evangelism and intercessory prayer. Two things that greatly irritate Satan and cause him to attack are the sharing of the Christian faith with intent to convert, and intercessory prayer for the non-believer and the backsliding believer. When Christians do things that lead non-Christians to change their affiliation from Satan’s Kingdom to God’s Kingdom, Satan gets upset and goes on the attack. When Christians do…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 14, 2014 at 7:45am — No Comments

Lo and Behold!

I’ve heard it all my life, but when I heard the expression again the other day, I paused to reflect on the exact meaning of, “Lo and behold”! It’s actually an exclamation meant to draw attention to something. It is used especially to announce things that are considered important, thus it is often written with an exclamation mark. The word “lo” is a shortening of “look”. So, “lo and behold” has the meaning of “look! – behold”!. “Lo” is also akin to “O”, and has been in use since the first…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 31, 2014 at 10:14am — No Comments

Decision Making: Faith or Sight?

Two specialist surgeons in my county accept my type of medical insurance. I used Dr. X on my first surgery and despite the fact that he was very highly rated and recommended by my physician assistant, I was not pleased. It was not just him, but his entire staff that made me uneasy with their attitude and comments. So, on surgery #2, I went with a prayed-up, faith-based decision rather than the prevailing logic, and chose the lesser rated, and not-recommended-by-my-physician-assistant, Dr.…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 26, 2014 at 8:54am — No Comments

God on Speed Dial

One of my new, favorite compliments came this week. I had communicated with a former student and good friend during a difficult time in his life and assured him of my prayer support. He replied with thanks for the prayer and concluded with, “I’ve always thought you and God had each other on speed dial.” For you non-techies, Wikipedia defines speed dial as, “a function available on many telephone systems allowing the user to place a call by pressing a reduced number of keys. This function is…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 27, 2014 at 8:27am — No Comments

Last Year . . . Next Year

The last hours of a year are always a mixture of looking back and looking forward. What Ralph Waldo Emerson said about a past and future day, could well be applied to a completed and coming year: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” The Apostle Paul said it this way:…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 31, 2013 at 10:46am — No Comments

Praying Through

As word spread of my radiation treatments, the responses began to flood in – via E-mails, Facebook entries, Twitter posts, Cards, Telephone calls, Personal visits – everything from a simple, “Praying for you” to much more creative, imaginative expressions of support.  One particular response caught my attention. “We’re praying you through,” a friend wrote. It caused me to remember what God said to His promised people, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 18, 2013 at 7:12am — No Comments

Pastor Appreciation Night

A sleepless Saturday night was complicated by what one minister-friend calls, “Intestinal uncertainty.”  For me at least, it is a rather frequent Saturday night experience when I am preaching on Sunday morning. Even though I’ve spent Sunday mornings doing just that for more than fifty years, the butterflies keep coming and some nights they turn into buzzards. One can either resent this scenario or accept it as a way to keep from becoming self-sufficient on Sunday morning.  This kind of…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 14, 2013 at 7:27am — 1 Comment

A Wedding Prayer, Many Years Later

We had a rather unusual prayer sung at our wedding.  We selected it because we believed that God had called us to ministry and knew there was biblical proof that when God calls, God also accompanies.  Moses was dead.  Joshua was the new anointed leader.  Three times in Chapter 1, God said to Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage” (Jos. 1:6, 7, 9). Why? Because Joshua had been called to lead the people to the promise land, and he had heard God’s promise to, “be with you wherever you go”…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 26, 2013 at 8:02am — No Comments

Praying for Those for Whom We’d Rather Not Pray

Every day, during my prayer time, I pray for my family, my colleagues, a few friends, folks on my prayer list for that day, those who have requested special prayer, but there is one group that is often missing from my prayer list – my enemies. Frankly, I’d rather not pray for them. It would be far more comfortable to ignore them, maybe even despise them. Apparently, the disciples had a similar problem.  In His Sermon of the Mount, considered by many as the most important sermon Jesus ever…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 15, 2013 at 8:39am — No Comments

Harvest-Field Praying

I’ve often wondered what prompted the disciples of Jesus to ask Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). Many things happened between their call to follow Him and their request to be taught prayer. According to Luke, just one chapter prior to their request, Jesus described the harvest as “great” and the laborers as “few” and then told them to pray (Luke 10:2). Since He was sending seventy of them into the harvest, two-by-two, they might have been surprised that prayer was included in His…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 24, 2013 at 7:28am — 1 Comment

Reading about Prayer or Praying?

I read recently an estimate of how many people are reading books on prayer these days and I wondered how many of these readers were actually praying.  With amazon.com listing 48,000 books on Christian prayer for sale, there is no shortage of reading material, and new books are being published daily. Certainly writing and reading on the subject is needed and valuable, but praying is crucial. There are a few folks who would read a book just out of curiosity, or strictly for information…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 27, 2013 at 7:32am — No Comments

Sending Prayers Where?

“Sending prayers your way.”  I’m noticing this comment more and more, especially on Facebook and other social media. I know what the sender intends to say.  At least, I sincerely hope they are not actually sending the prayers toward the person in need. If so, they should not expect an answer to their prayer.  Only God answers prayer and then likely only prayer offered directly to Him.  The direction of our prayer must always be God-ward, not man-ward.  The Bible instructs us to “pray for…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 8, 2013 at 7:23am — No Comments

Giving Our Best

Beginning in pre-school (Kindergarten), and for many years following, my mother said the same thing to me very morning as I left the house.  “Do the best you can, with what you have, where you are, for Jesus sake today.” Only recently, did I discover that she was paraphrasing a quote from Theodore Roosevelt.  I’m not even sure she knew that’s what she was doing, but it worked.  I’ve lived with that daily motto for many years. In my teen-age years, I added the words of a then popular song,…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 28, 2013 at 9:17am — No Comments

Morning Prayer or Night Prayer?

How many times have we heard that Jesus prayed early in the morning and thus we ought to do the same? Granted, early morning prayer is both needed and valuable. But what if I am not a morning person? What if I wake up slow and don’t think very well until a few cups of caffeine? What if I am a night person? Good news. God hears and responds to prayer in the evening as well as in the morning. The Psalmist said, “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 25, 2013 at 7:22am — No Comments

Weeping for the New Normal

The last three days have definitely been, “a time to weep . . . a time to mourn” (Eccl. 3:4). Another mass shooting, this time in the Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, CT.  Like many who have been involved in one of these mass shootings and its aftermath (and many others who have not), I sat glued to the TV, listening to reports that were correct, incorrect and partly correct.  Emotions that lay buried, rushed back with images of crying children, frantic parents, worried…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 17, 2012 at 7:19am — No Comments

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