You’ve Never Failed Me Yet (?)

Nice words to a beautiful worship song, but what about when it does not feel true?  When you pray and seek the face of Father and the heavens seem bronze.  Worship ceases to be celebration of love and care because no one really seems to care, not deeply.  Worse yet, leaders do not seem to care about the people for whom they are performing with volumes too loud for comfort and enough to injure ears.  (Psalm 55:12-14)

Like the story in Reader’s Digest, a wife complained to her husband about the car beside them with the booming stereo that was rocking their car, “Well, that driver will soon enough be almost deaf.”  To which he replied, “Yes, Hon, but it won’t do us any good, He’ll just crank it LOUDER.”

Maybe denominational leaders should require hearing tests for pastors and worship leaders to see if they are operating with damaged ears.  They might realize then what they are doing to the rest of us, especially children with not fully developed hearing apparatuses.  Maybe the rocker, Ted Nugent, was right, “If it’s too loud, [I’m] too old.”  Maybe too old to attend “worship” performances that will damage my hearing as much as circular saws and hammer drills which operate at ~90-100dB.  (See

Just feeling very discouraged these days and wondering if anyone really cares.

2018-12-10 Someone Watching Over Me

“Someone Watching Over Me” ©, 1985

  1. So many times I’ve been so lonely,
    no one seemed to really understand.
    The pain I felt inside was more than only
    an ache that could be soothed by a gentle hand.
    Longer than I even can remember,
    the bleeding heart-wound never seemed to end.
    Looking for relief I just would wander,
    blinded by the razor hurt within.Yet, time again I’d catch a glimpse behind me and I’d see
    the flash of death’s cold glinting sword that brushed so close to me,
    and wondered how it failed to end the task it had begun,
    my soul so tired, I couldn’t, if I’d known which way to run.Chorus
    There must be Someone watching over me.
    I surely couldn’t make it on my own.
    I feel the pull of His unseen hand.
    I hear His silent whisper in my soul.
  1. I never found a crowd that I could fit in;
    could never find a home where I belong.
    Running from the weakness that I knew, I’d just pretend
    the loneliness would leave if I was strong.
    Looking for a circle that would close me in its arc,
    I’d cover all the fears I had to hide.
    But as the line drew closer to what’s really in my heart
    I’d step back and watch it close with me outside.So darkness followed sunset just as dawn came after night,
    and days turned into weeks and months without a hope in sight.
    Year by year I wondered how this life could still go on,
    waiting for each day to pass and glad when it was gone.
  1. Sometimes my days just turn like empty pages.
    Sometimes they feel so full they ought to burst.
    I know too well how far I missed the best that life can give;
    I also sigh relief; I missed the worst.
    But now I know that Someone special’s standing by;
    knowing, yet it does not stop His care.
    Laughing with my laughter, feeling every tear I cry;
    there’s nothing in my heart that we can’t share.Now all those empty memories of tears I cried alone
    are just shadows of a nightmare passed before Your love-light shone.
    And all these times and questions that I still don’t understand
    don’t really matter anymore since You now hold my hand.Alternate chorus
    Then You reached out and took me by the hand
    even though You’d seen the dark inside.
    You loved me back to life and made me understand
    there’s nothing from Your love I have to hide.Chorus
    There must be Someone watching over me.
    I surely couldn’t make it (couldn’t take it) on my own,
    I feel the pull of Your unseen hand.
    I hear Your silent whisper in my soul.

Psalm 130:1-6
Out of the depths I cry to you, Yahweh; Yahweh, hear my voice.
Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If You, Yahweh, kept a record of sins, Yahweh, who could stand?

But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve You.
I wait for Yahweh, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.
I wait for Yahweh, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Please, don’t ask me to pray . . . at least not for a while.

Please, don’t ask me to pray, at least not for a while.prayer3

After several blogs on prayer and knowing God (January 18, 2015, October 9, 2016, January 16, 2017), I am back at square one.  I have prayed for church leadership in America, and specifically for my fellowship, that they would show some concern for the well-being of their attendees, but churches continue to damage the hearing of people as though thumping base and pounding volumes will make people think the Holy Spirit is touching them.  Even non-believers are concerned about the volume of noise in our society, an ungodly culture which evangelicals are imitating.  (See How Sound Affects Our Health and Hear, Hear: The WHO Gives Lower Volumes a Ringing Endorsement.)

I have prayed for God to reveal Himself to family members who behave in ways that embarrass our Lord, but they seem oblivious to the commands and examples of the Bible.  I pray for my neighbor’s MS; I love him like a brother and cannot understand why God has not healed him.  I keep waiting to hear how he got up one morning and walked to the bathroom to shave before realizing that he should have needed his scooter to get there!  Imagine the amazement and celebration as he called to his wife and together they wondered at the fact that he was standing on his own.

I pray for others, family and friends, who do not even believe that Jesus arose from the dead.  I pray for relationships that seem already dead ended, stuck in place until we die.  I pray for those for whom no one else that I know of is praying and see no evidence that The God Who Is There cares about their plight.  I pray according to Scripture for our country that continues its slide into divisiveness, a trend more the result of social media than political parties; if we disagree, we just “defriend” and never hear other intelligent views different from our own.

So please, don’t ask me to pray, at least not for a while.

Do not misconstrue my consternation.  I know that God is there/here.  The historical evidence for the accuracy of the Biblical record is unchallengeable by any reasonable mind (May 17, 2015).  The truth of the resurrection is as certain as George Washington being our first president (August 16, 2015).

This confusion of mine over prayer is against a history of answered prayers.  I remember standing by a hospital bed in which Yolanda’s baby with meningitis lay wracked with fever; a group of us prayed and the next day one of the doctors was angry because he was convinced the labs and staff had messed up the tests; this perfectly healthy baby could not be the one he had examined the day before!  My own stroke recoveries are nothing short of miraculous; how many people do you know with six strokes who still appear to function normally every day?  Several times God seemed to speak to me or to people or situations around me, thoughts that seemed to come out of thin air, including “remembering” a verse of the Bible at a critical juncture in my life; one that I had never memorized.  And testimonies of hundreds of others recount supernatural interventions for which there are no other explanations.

Still, depressing discouragement sets in when the answers do not come.  Maybe He is simply saying, “No,” by not speaking.  Maybe my motives are mixed so that I can brag about my prayers getting answered (James 4:3).  Maybe there is unaccounted sin that makes the heavens like bronze (Psalm 89:30-32; Psalm 81:11-14).  Maybe He is just waiting for His time to be right (John 9:2-3).  Maybe there are simply things I do not understand.  Now there’s an original thought!  Imagine, I don’t understand!?

A couple weeks ago, speaking with a highly intelligent and expertly qualified therapist, we began discussing “blind spots.”  There was something in his description of deductive logic with which I disagreed, and I mused maybe it was simply a blind spot in my mind.  Trying as hard as I could, I could not see his reasoning.  A minor side point of our discussion, but a major point of understanding “blind spots.”

Blind Spots.jpgA blind spot is just that: you cannot see what is there!  I still cannot see his point, and he thinks he sees mine.  We simply disagree.  Maybe it is my blind spot, or maybe it is his, but one of us does not see something.  Imagine, maybe I don’t understand something about prayer.  Imagine, maybe I don’t understand much about The God Who Is There.  Imagine, I don’t even know how to pray. ☹

So please, don’t ask me to pray, at least not for a while.

But my heart aches for the relationships for which I pray, for my neighbors difficulties, for the family and friends who are missing God’s best for them, for the servants of our God who I present to Him, for church leaders’ deaf ears, for the attendees who are being damaged and misled about worship, for so many needs I cannot mention them all here.  And where else can I go but to The God Who Is There? (John 6:65-69)

So go ahead and ask me to pray, but don’t expect any miracle.  That’s for next Sunday’s blog.