Archive for the ‘Desperation’ Category

October 22nd, 2013

Praying through Seaweed

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.” Jonah 2:1 (NIV)

If you spent three days and three nights inside a great fish that God provided, you would probably place that in the category of a life changing experience. Your entire life would be marked by that one experience with God. You would never be the same. Your view of God and your reverence for God would be catapulted to a new level.

  • “The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.” Jon. 2:5 (NIV)
  • “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.” Jon. 2:6 (NIV)

Can you imagine Jonah, with seaweed wrapped around his head, praying to God from inside this large fish that God provided? I wonder if Jonah was kneeling, standing, floating, or treading water while he was praying. It clearly illustrates that God is willing to go to extreme measures to rescue us from ourselves and from our sin.

You don’t have to wait for God to bring you to a place of desperation to call out to Him in prayer. You have the perpetual invitation to nurture your love relationship with God in moment-by-moment prayer and surrender. Remove the seaweed that tends to cling to your mind and embrace the opportunity to commune with the Creator of the universe.

Whether you are in the tumultuous waters within the large fish called life or on the tranquil dry ground of daily life, pray to our Living God. God loves you and His heart beats for you. You are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Desperation, Jonah, Praying.
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October 22nd, 2011

Praying through Seaweed

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.” Jonah 2:1 (NIV)

If you spent three days and three nights inside a great fish that God provided, you would probably place that in the category of a life changing experience. Your entire life would be marked by that one experience with God. You would never be the same. Your view of God and your reverence for God would be catapulted to a new level.

  • “The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.” Jonah 2:5 (NIV)
  • “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.” Jonah 2:6 (NIV)

Can you imagine Jonah, with seaweed wrapped around his head, praying to God from inside this large fish that God provided? I wonder if Jonah was kneeling, standing, floating, or treading water while he was praying. It clearly illustrates that God is willing to go to extreme measures to rescue us from ourselves and from our sin.

You don’t have to wait for God to bring you to a place of desperation to call out to Him in prayer. You have the perpetual invitation to nurture your love relationship with God in moment-by-moment prayer and surrender. Remove the seaweed that tends to cling to your mind and embrace the opportunity to commune with the Creator of the universe.

Whether you are in the tumultuous waters within the large fish called life or on the tranquil dry ground of daily life, pray to our Living God. God loves you and His heart beats for you. You are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Desperation, Jonah, Praying.
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March 26th, 2009

Focused Determination

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.” Luke 19:1-4 (NIV)

On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Jericho. This city was one of the greatest taxation centers in Palestine and featured world-famous balsam groves, which perfumed the air for miles. On this particular day, something else was in the air. We meet a chief tax collector named, Zacchaeus. He was at the top of the financial pyramid and had many tax collectors under him. Though Zacchaeus was big in wealth, he was little in stature.

Jesus was coming through town and Zacchaeus wanted to see Him. Unable to see over the crowd, Zacchaeus decided to climb a “seek-Him-more” tree, that is, a sycamore tree. Now he was up in the air at a level where he could see Jesus clearly. Zacchaeus was determined to see Jesus, even if it meant climbing a tree.

What motivated Zacchaeus to go to such an extreme to see Jesus? Had he already heard about Jesus healing the blind beggar on the edge of town (Luke 18:35-43)? Maybe Zacchaeus was searching for the true meaning of life and had not found it. Perhaps his income was not sufficient to meet the deepest need of his heart.

It is possible to lose your focus in this world filled with so many voices and allurements. There are countless distractions that dilute our devotion to the One who has given us life. Would you be willing to climb a tree if that is what it took to encounter the Lord? Are you making room for a daily, unhurried connect time with Jesus? Do you truly seek Him daily?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Desperation, Jesus, Outsiders, Seeking God.
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May 1st, 2008

Growing Through Depression (1)

“At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’” 1 Kings 18:36-37 (NIV)

When you hear the name Elijah, your first inclination is to think of the major victory he experienced on Mt. Carmel. Elijah took on the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who ate at Jezebel’s table. Elijah is kind of like the “Rocky Balboa” of the Old Testament. He was not about to back down from the featured match between good and evil.

  • “Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” 1 Kings 18:38 (NIV)
  • “When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD–he is God! The LORD–he is God!’” 1 Kings 18:39 (NIV)

What a major demonstration of God’s power! What a miraculous response to Elijah’s prayer! God allowed Elijah to see and experience God’s favor. Elijah truly had a mountain top experience on Mt. Carmel. How could Elijah ever doubt God or deny God’s power after such a magnificent encounter?

You are most susceptible to sin after a major victory. More to come…

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 1st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Depression, Desperation, Sin, Susceptible, Victory.
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May 1st, 2007

Desperation

“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” Luke 15:16 (NIV)

Desperate situations demand desperate measures. For a human being to get low enough to crave the slop that pigs eat defies logic. However, as Steve Farrar says in his book, Finishing Strong:

  • Sin will take you farther than you want to go.
  • Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay.
  • Sin will cost you more than you want to pay.

Our appetite for sin will eventually take us down a road that leads to living below our new identity in Christ. The prodigal son reached the low point of sin’s dreaded sway. He encountered the backside of the glitz and glamour of sin.

What would happen if you inverted your desperation? What if you decided to live in desperation for God? What if your appetite was refashioned from craving of sin to craving of righteousness?

Have you been to the desperate place? Have you ever reached the bottom? Now look within! Recognize your current condition. You are not made for the pigpen. Now look up! Resolve to live in light of your new identity in Christ.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 at 4:00 am
Category Desperation.
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