I Think I Want To Be a Prophet

I think I want to be a prophet. I have been an attorney for over thirty years. I am pretty good at it and enjoy it, but I think it’s time to expand. Plus my legal experience helps qualify me as a prophet. I want to be useful in the church and all the teaching and pastoring positions seem to be taken. They don’t pay that well anyway. So prophet it is.

Here is my prophet resume’:

White Beard: It seems all prophets are men with white beards. Check.

Old men: It seems all prophets are old men with white beards. Check.

Disliked: It seems all prophets are old men with white beards who often have to run for their lives from angry mobs. I have been a lawyer for thirty plus years. Check.

Legal. It seems all prophets are old men with white beards who often have to run for their lives from angry mobs because they go on and on about the law and law breaking making folks uncomfortable. I have been a lawyer for thirty plus years. Check.

I think there is a real need for prophets in the church. Name all the prophets who are alive and active today. See what I mean. There aren’t many and the ones who think they are prophets probably should be in mental institutions.

“A prophet is one who keeps God free for people and who keeps people free for God, so the covenant of love can happen with no hindrance from either side.” Richard Rohr.  Following Jesus is about liberation from the slavery of sin, most church leaders seem to want to bind folks up again. Must be about job security. Prophets are more free-spirited. They seem to focus on keeping God and His people on the same page which often puts them at odds with the establishment church. Sounds right up my alley.

I think I’ll give this prophet thing a spin. If you are in need of a prophet, let me know. Prophets work real cheap.  Just don’t break out the tar and feathers or the pitchforks and torches. Prophets tend to be a bit nervous around such things.

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

Brute Force Attack

Recently a link for Viagra appeared on my website. I didn’t too much mind the link being there, but I wasn’t set up to get any income from those who clicked on it. It wasn’t very well done. Clicking on the link did not take you to a drug store. My apologies to those who were scandalized by the thought I had gone into the drug business. I really don’t want to hear from those of you who weren’t surprised. I am still working to rid the site of the link. It may be a long fight. It keeps coming back.

Some research indicated that I have been under a “brute force attack.” I learned that means that hackers set up automated attempts to log onto my website. Someone apparently succeeded and thus the Viagra link.  Under my new security system, I am advised every time someone attempts to log onto my site. It happens multiple times each day.

I am somewhat honored that a hacker, probably in some third-world country, finds my site worthy of attack. I hope he reads some of my posts and has a life change as a result thereof. I realize that is probably wishful thinking.

It made me think about how we are probably under spiritual brute force attacks that we never notice. Spirits from the dark side are likely constantly trying to break into our lives, often without our notice. The first notice we probably have is when something changes, something apparently small, but signaling an attack has been effective.

Maybe we start using language we never had before. Perhaps we watch programs that we would never have turned on just a few months ago. Maybe popular movies come out that would have shocked us last year, but we just kind of shrug off now.

Perhaps we need to adopt security measures, similar to those I put in place on my web site. We need some things in place that will alert us when we are under attack. Perhaps a little more prayer, a little more time in the scripture, a little more time with like-minded Christians will increase our sensitivity.  It certainly seems worth the effort.

 

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

Logan James

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Dear Logan James:

Hi. I have a few words for you. I know you won’t be born until July, but I have seen your picture and know you are a person. I mainly wanted to tell you how lucky you are.

Your parents are two of my favorite people. They love to have fun, but they are responsible and hard-working. They already love you and, most importantly, they love and are committed to each other. You don’t know yet how rare and important that is these days, but you will come to appreciate it.

You have a great big sister. She’s a very special person, although it may take you years to appreciate that. That’s how sisters and brothers go. The most important thing she did for you was act as a lab rat for your parents. They have already made most of their parenting mistakes on her, and, because they are pretty smart I figure they have learned from those goofs.

Your parents have great support from their families and friends. Good people seem to come from good families and usually attract good friends. There will be lots of good people around to make your life interesting, nurturing and safe.

You are being born in the greatest country on earth. We are fighting to keep it that way and we look forward to getting lots of help from you. Today we are free to say what we want, gather with whom we wish and worship our God as we choose. If we keep alert and strong, things will stay that way.

You will land in a pretty terrific place. In Acadiana, we play hard and work hard. We love our families, our heritage, and our Lord. I think you will fit right in.

Most importantly, the God who made you already knows you. You are not an accident. You have already be set apart for a very special purpose. We all wait to see that come about.

For now enjoy the warm safe place you are. See you in July.

Love you already,

Paw Paw

 

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

Mardi Gras Valentine

Yesterday on my way to Albertsons for my annual Valentine Day flower arrangement purchase I was slowed down by traffic for the Youngsville Mardi Gras Parade. I’m sure these two events have collided in the past. I just hadn’t noticed it. I began to try to tie the two events together.

The Albertsons looked like a floral arrangement first aid station. It seemed every employee was drafted as amateur florists. Men with confused looks tried to make reasonable purchases from the vast array of choices. I couldn’t help but think that those spending the most money had the most to seek forgiveness for, but that’s probably just me. I spent more than the average. Just so you know.

Valentines Day seems less about love and more about obligation. How thrilled can a loved one be to receive a gift that was mass produced on the same day that nearly everyone in town is receiving something similar.  Don’t get me wrong. I participate. I have been in love with the same woman for 45 years and I try not to miss an opportunity to show her how I feel. Valentine’s Day just doesn’t seem to be my best chance.  There is a certain lack of authenticity to the gesture which brings me to Mardi Gras.

I really don’t get this one. Folks pay thousands for the privilege of being called a King or Queen for a day. They get to hurl worthless trinkets to throngs of eager often intoxicated subjects. They get to dress up in uncomfortable clothes and attempt to recreate the “balls” of our childhood fairy tales. I guess there isn’t a lot of harm in it. I just don’t see the point. Like Valentines Day it lacks authenticity.

There are real poor out there, financially, socially and spiritually, who have needs. There are real opportunities to shower blessings that would make a real difference. Why not do that? I wonder what good could the money spent on these celebrations bring if more authentically directed?

There are many who need some assurance they are loved and appreciated. Some of them live with us. They need more than an annual nationally scheduled reminder. What are you going to do to let someone know you love them say . . . a month or 78 days from now?

It seems these two coinciding celebrations point to real needs. The need to be assured of love and the need to be blessed. More importantly, the desire God places in each of us to love and bless like He does. These needs don’t arise just once a year, nor can they be met with annual salves.  Let’s commit to doing both more often and more authentically.

Hope you had a nice Valentines Day and a safe Mardi Gras.

 

 

Obit Lessons

As I have grown older,  have developed the habit of checking the obituaries. This practice has provided me with significant life lessons.

I’m still alive.  The first thing I do when checking obits is to look for my name. So far I have been pleased with what I have found. It would be terrible to die and not know it.

I have lived longer than many. Lately there are lots of people younger than me listed in the obits. Many  never lived to get married or have children, I have. I even have grands and great grands. I have had a great family and a life filled with great experiences. If I died today, it would have been enough.

Lives are very different.  Although there is a certain commonality to obits, there is enough difference to show the great variety of life. Many obits are long and full of “achievements.” Others seem to struggle to come up with something, “He was an avid television watcher.” “He loved a good joke or a great meal.” “He was  liked by some.” I think I will start drafting my obit today.

Don’t tell the whole story.  Obits are not really very helpful unless you knew the deceased. They certainly don’t tell the whole story. They always list the “survived by” and the “preceded in death by.” Perhaps they should give a balance sheet. How much did he make? Did he leave anything? Perhaps there should be an actual count of those who will miss him and those who are relieved by the departure. A resume’ might be helpful. What jobs did he hold? Which did he quit and how many times was he fired? More detailed resumes would greatly increase interest in the obituaries and might even motivate some to be a bit more result oriented.

Don’t tell where he is.  Most frustrating of all, we don’t know where the deceased is today. I mean, isn’t that the whole purpose of this life? Aren’t we suppose to be qualifying for the next? On this crucial point we don’t get a hint.

So these are the lessons: The more time we have been given; the more is expected. If we are still here, there is a reason. There is still work to be done. We don’t know the most important thing about everyone in our lives, their eventual destination.

Back to that first lesson; I’m still alive. It would be terrible to die and not be missed. To be gone and to not have made a difference. Since only one thing really matters, we should be making sure, that we are headed in the right direction and to the best of our ability, that everyone we know is coming along.  I have found that lecturing, preaching, judging and condemning isn’t very helpful. Loving like Jesus seems to be the only thing that works and thus is the only thing that matters.

I think I have that obit of mine written. “As best he could, he loved like Jesus loved.” Now I just have to make it so.

 

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

It would be terrible to die and not know it.

Zone Out

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

And Abram said, “I’m really pretty much in the zone here. I’m really comfortable. What new land are you referring to? What am I going to be doing there? Do they speak my language there? Do you have a map? Do they have the kind of foods I am used to? The wife isn’t going to be happy about this. I’m a bit old to be resettling. How long will it take to get there? Are there giants in the land? Is this really the Lord? You sound a lot like the devil?”

When a player is doing great, all his shots are going in and he can’t seem to do anything wrong, we say he is “in the zone.” When we kind of lose control and contact with reality we say we are “zoned out.”

Did you ever stop to think that the Lord is trying to get you out of your zone, your comfort zone? When we are “in the zone” we are satisfied and pretty pleased with ourselves. We are in no place to be used by God or to see Him work in our lives. We have the illusion of control.

When we know where our next paycheck is coming from, when we know what is going to happen today, tomorrow and next week, when our world is oh so familiar, we are “in the zone” but not in a good God place.

When we are not sure about tomorrow, when we are living in today and not tomorrow, when we don’t know where we are going, when life is as exciting as it was meant to be, we are in the God zone. That’s a wonderfully scary place to be.

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

Grace – Still Amazing

We tend to think of grace in the past tense. We were blind, now we see. We were lost, now we’re found. Grace is the basis of our wonderful entrance into the Christian walk, but it’s much more. It’s the fuel for that walk.

As we struggle to follow Christ, grace remains crucial. It’s by grace, that we are able to focus on our Lord as we seek to follow Him. It’s by grace, that we confess and return when we wander off the path. It’s by grace, that we are able to forgive when others harm us or those we love. It’s by grace, that the written word becomes alive in our hearts. It’s by grace, that the Spirit comes to us to comfort and lead us.

It’s only by grace, we are able to love unconditionally, in the way that Christ said would identify us as His. That kind of love is beyond natural. It gives without quid pro quo.

It’s by grace that sin in our lives is revealed, layer-by-layer and it’s by grace that we are freed from its chains.

It’s by the continuing infusion of grace in our lives that we will walk confidently with our God until that grace leads us home.

Grace has been and continues until the end to be amazing.

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

Worship and Listen

I have been critical of the modern church. It doesn’t resemble the church that Jesus called us to. It has divides that he did not create or envision, like the separation between paid and unpaid. It’s way too spectator oriented and designed to create individual kingdoms. It does, however, provide on a weekly basis opportunities which we should take complete advantage of.

Worship. There is something very special about group worship. It lifts the soul, encourages and comforts. It forces us to consider the two most important truths of our spiritual lives. Who God is and who we are. A little truth provided to both issues goes a long way in moving us forward. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all just, yet all loving. Glorious inconsistencies to our human minds. We are weak, self-centered, in need of help and a savior. Only God can provide all we need. We need at least a weekly, though preferably daily reminder of these truths.

An Opportunity to Hear.  Here I’m not speaking only or even principally of the sermon. I am speaking of the spiritual silence that allows an opportunity to hear from God. When I go to bed at night I turn on Christian radio. It seems to feed my soul while I sleep. It occasionally goes off during the night and I turn it back on when I wake up. Which I do often at night. Last night as I turned over awake, I started to turn the music back on and it’s as if God said, leave it off for a while. I have something to say. He did.

We have far too few opportunities to hear from God. We need to take advantage of each one. Sunday morning should be one such time. So get ready for church. Go with an attitude of readiness to worship and to listen. You need it. I know I do. God doesn’t tell me to leave the radio off every night.