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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (136)

A Displeasing Voice

When God impresses upon our minds some pleasing thought, everyone is happy.  What about when God sends a displeasing word?  What about when we pray for health and illness lingers? What about when we ask God to send us to a particular place and God sends us elsewhere? What about when we intercede for God to perform some specific act and God does just the opposite? What about when we petition God for rain and no rain falls?  Can we follow God when the response we get from our prayers is a…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 10, 2012 at 7:18am — No Comments

Post-Thanksgiving Praying

Back to complaining.  We’ve now entered the post-Thanksgiving days.  For 364 days each year many people complain to God that roses have thorns. On Thanksgiving Day, they thank God that thorns have roses.   Why do we do that? Why do we not thank God all year around for everything? I read the other day about a man who complained to God because his car was slow starting one morning, making him late for an appointment.  The reply was that the car starting slow was delayed because God was…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 26, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments

Ordinary and Encouraged

It was an interesting title for a conference, especially when most of the conferences these days are related to mega-churches.  This one was named the “Ordinary Pastor’s Conference” and sponsored by my home church, Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX.  The stated purpose was, “to encourage, instruct and bless the ordinary, average, vanilla flavored, mega-nuthin pastor and his wife.” The instruction was given early in the day that the one thing that was illegal was to ask another…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 31, 2012 at 7:36am — No Comments

Canadian Thanksgiving Prayer

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving Day giving thanks at the close of the harvest season. I invite you to join me today in giving thanks and praying to “the Lord of the harvest” (Luke 10:2) for the men and women who serve God in the spiritual harvest fields of Canada and especially for those with whom I serve and for whom I advocate in the metropolitan area of Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. Here are some Vancouver facts to prompt your Canadian praying:

  • Metro Vancouver is the…

Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 8, 2012 at 8:41am — No Comments

When God Whispers

I’m always challenged (if not always happy) when someone invites me to speak, then, after I’ve accepted, gives me the subject of my presentation.  A friend recently invited me to preach in his absence at the church where he is Pastor and assigned me a theme, for which I was both happily challenged and appreciative. The theme for the month was, “Power of a Whisper.”  We decided I would preach on the subject, “When God Whispers.”  Robert Browning raised the fact of God whispering when he…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 3, 2012 at 6:47am — No Comments

Aging: Praying or Pouting?

Aging is both a blessing and a barrier.  (I confess to a different “b” word when I first had this thought, but for this means of communication, I’ll go with “barrier.”)  Having reached the biblical standard of “three score and ten” (Psalm 90:10, KJV) I feel qualified to comment on this subject. One blessing of aging is the obvious additional years that God has purposely given.  Obviously, God is not finished if we are still here.  Additional years allow for ministries that, for whatever…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 27, 2012 at 8:23am — No Comments

Here We Go Again

Emotions felt in certain traumatic events never go away completely. Similarity brings back a flood of feelings.  Such was the case this past week.  It will soon be thirteen years since the September 15, 1999 shooting at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.  Many of the emotions of that night returned last week with the shooting in an Aurora, Colorado theater.  There are major differences in the scenarios but the commonalities are striking: darkened auditorium full of mostly…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 23, 2012 at 7:25am — No Comments

Praying Outside of God's Will

What happens when your prayer is not in sync with God’s will?  It matters little whether you are praying for recovery of relationship, removal of pain, or revival of spirit, if the prayer is outside of God’s will, the answer is different from the request. James wrote, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss” (James 4:3).  Did that ever happen in Scripture?  Sure it did.  A prime example would be Paul asking God to remove his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).  The response…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 16, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments

Celebrating a Specific Freedom

More than physically tiring, the prayer journey around the world, was emotionally draining and spiritually challenging.  Having worshipped with underground believers in China, met down a dirt road and sat around a campfire in India, posted a guard nearby so we could have a prayer meeting in Yemen, it was good to be back home. I reflect on that three-week trip during special occasions.  One of those occasions is July 4, Independence Day for Americans.  Among other things, we celebrate the…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 2, 2012 at 8:09am — No Comments

Tireless Praying

Have you ever wondered how you can “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5.17)? Those of us who grew up in a church learned this verse early.  But how do we follow it?  We can’t walk around with our heads bowed and our eyes closed.  Other responsibilities call for our attention.  You can’t pray all the time. Or can you?  A look at the original Greek translation offers little help when it instructs us to “pray continuously, without interruption.” This week, a missionary friend wrote of his…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 25, 2012 at 7:48am — No Comments

The Mystery of the Gospel from two Perspectives

"What can we do for you?”  That was the question asked of ten church planters in an area where less than 2% of the population claim to be a part of evangelical Christian churches. All but one responded with the same first answer – “pray for us.”  There were other answers with other expressed needs, but prayer was always first on the need list. The truth is - prayer is much more of a felt-need on the front lines of ministry being carried out on Satan’s turf, than in areas where Christian…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 23, 2012 at 9:20am — No Comments

God’s Slow Response to our Prayer for Revival

A child desperately wanted a new high-tech gadget.  He had heard about it from older friends. He begged and pleaded his parents for the gadget to no avail.  He cried for it, promised he be good forever if he got it, and offered to give up other possessions if necessary.  Still the parents did not yield.  Why?  Were they mean? Unloving? Hateful? Unresponsive?  Insensitive to his requests?  No.  The truth was that the child was not yet mature enough to properly benefit from the gadget.  Sound…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 19, 2012 at 7:19am — 7 Comments

Honk or Pray?

The vehicle in front of me had a bumper sticker that read, “If you love God, pray. Anyone can honk.” The humor of it was lost on me since I was having one of those dreaded days when I not only felt bad physically, but everything was going wrong. I actually felt more like honking than talking to God. Maybe you’ve never had one of those days. Maybe I’m the only one who ever has a day like that. Nevertheless, I resisted the urge to honk, mostly fearing that the driver might be someone who knew…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 20, 2012 at 8:39am — No Comments

A Symphony of Prayer

A recent study of eleven major symphony orchestras revealed how orchestra members perceived each other. Percussionists were seen as insensitive, yet fun-loving. String players were perceived as arrogant and stuffy. Brass players were judged as loud.  Woodwind players were described as quiet, though a bit egotistical. With this diversity of feeling for each other, members of the orchestra arrive for the concert. Each tunes his or her own instrument, often oblivious to those around them. The…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 11, 2012 at 5:13am — No Comments

Caught on Christmas

I got caught by the police! Red handed! On Christmas Day! Every year I purchase Starbucks’s Gift Cards, drive around on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day giving them to Police Officers with a quick, “Thanks for working on Christmas.” This is done anonymously in the tradition of one of the early versions of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, a saint who was known for giving anonymous gifts, especially to children during the night as they slept. This idea, of course, was popularized by Clement Moore,…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 2, 2012 at 2:57pm — 1 Comment

A Christmas Prayer

One of my prayers this Christmas revolves around a word, actually two words. These two words make all the difference in how Christmas is observed.  For many people, Christmas is an event – by definition, an observable occurrence, a gathering.  It is an event marked by parties, gifts, parades, decorations, family gatherings, etc.  While these event-related activities are often involved, Christmas for others is an advent. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 18, 2011 at 10:07pm — 2 Comments

Praying for Pastors and Football Coaches

I am not interested in being Interim Football Coach at Penn. St. University. Having been Interim Pastor for churches with similar circumstances is enough. Fortunately, most of my 22 Interims have been for good churches with good circumstances, but not all. Whether a Pastor is guilty of sexual contact with children, extra-marital sexual relations, sexual harassment, mishandling of church funds for personal gain, or abuse of the position of Pastor, sin is not limited to the secular. Nor is…


Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 14, 2011 at 7:41am — No Comments

Pastor Appreciation

This is Pastor Appreciation Month. In the past twenty-six years, while serving as a Seminary professor, I have also served eighteen churches (two of them twice) as Interim Pastor; some for a few months, others for a few years. Interim Pastors are sometimes appreciated, sometimes not so much. While they fill a crucial role in the life of a church, allowing for transition, sometimes for periods of healing, giving the church time to find the right Pastor, they are occasionally seen as merely… Continue

Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 17, 2011 at 7:53am — 1 Comment

Praying for the Pastor

The highly successful London Pastor, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was once asked, “What is the secret of your great influence?” Spurgeon replied, “My congregation prays for me.” How often do you pray for your Pastor? How specifically do you pray for your Pastor? Do you pray for his spiritual growth? Do you pray for his time management? Do you pray for his sermon preparation and delivery? Do you pray for his counseling sessions? Do you pray for his hospital visits? Do you pray for his community… Continue

Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 26, 2011 at 8:03am — 7 Comments

The Wind beneath my Wings

I said it again last week that the heart and soul of my ministry abides in my prayer partners. To use a line from a not-so-recent, popular song, they are the “wind beneath my wings.” It has been estimated that approximately 85% of the prayers in the Bible, where we know what God’s answer was, were intercessory prayers – prayers for others. Praying for self is not un-biblical. Jesus prayed for Himself. Paul did likewise for himself. But praying for others is clearly a major teaching of the… Continue

Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 22, 2011 at 8:29am — 2 Comments

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