“Unanswered Prayers!”

“Unanswered Prayers!”

Psalm 10:1 (NIV)
“Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”

We need to be truthful about this. There are times when prayer goes unanswered. Reasonable and good and sweet and honest and hopeful prayers that God seems to be ignoring. He seems very far away. Perhaps the problem is with our perceptions about where God is. He is always near and there is nothing that He does not hear! We may feel that He is distant and that He has tuned us out…but that is not possible.

What to do? Pray more! Prayer harder! Pray joyfully! Praise Him in prayer and thank Him for developing perseverance in your spirit!
I met a man who cheerfully asked me to rejoice with him. His brother was saved recently. “How long did you pray for him I asked?” He replied “Forty years.” Forty years?! But …his “unanswered prayer” was finally answered! God be Praised!

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“You Can Tell Alot About a Person…From Their Prayers!”

“You Can Tell Alot About a Person…From Their Prayers!”

The Lord Jesus Christ told a stunning parable about a vain man and his prayer:

Luke 18:9-12 (NIV) 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

What can we tell about this man’s understanding of salvation? How might God react to such incredible hubris (if that’s a weird word to you, it is from the Greek meaning “foolish arrogance”)? Have you considered listening to your own prayers more carefully to see what’s going on in your heart? What was it in this prayer that showed a very false humility?

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“A Rational Perspective on Prayer!”

What a great insight the Psalmist had when he said:

“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty, yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away…so teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom!” Psalm 90:10 & 11 (ESV)

His point seems to be that even thought we are such ephemeral creatures on this earth…that we are here less than a blink… we should keep the right perspective when we pray.  That is, even  though we are temporary in the flesh we may approach  the eternal God of all creation…the timeless ” IAM” knowing that  He is  passionately interested in us and what we have to say!  We must never pray with an attitude that says “Well, I’ll pray now but I doubt if God is interested in what I have to say! It’s only me!”  God would respond with  “Not so!  I listen to you because  you are my eternal child and it is my joy to hear your prayers.  By all means…PRAY!”

Blessings!  Pastor Alberta

 

 

 

 

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“Always Pray and Don’t Give Up!”

The Lord Jesus told the story of a persistent widow. She kept bothering an unjust judge asking him to give her justice. Finally, the judge yielded. We read:

Luke 18:4-5 (NIV) 4  “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'”

And how was this parable introduced? By Luke saying it was meant to teach that we “should always pray and not give up!”

Blessings! Pastor Alberta

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Pray in May! April 25, 2016

Pray in May!

I hope that you will sign up and sign on to our “Pray in May” initiative this year. Now, perhaps more than ever, God’s people need to spend time in His presence for our nation and His Church in this troubling age. These blog posts will offer a daily prayer reminder for those who are interested. And by all means…send me ideas and interactive suggestions that I might include on this topic. (No hurt feelings please if your idea does not make it to print :))

In short: EXTRA prayer time in May. If you are a Cornerstone-ite, or even if you are not, please consider going to our website www.cornerstoneforlife.com and sign up for a time slot(s) during May. The Sanctuary on Hilton Road in Brighton will be open at seven AM for those who would like to join in corporate prayer.

Today’s “profound thought” might come from an old Ray Charles song from the fifties in which he sang:

“My mother told me, before she passed away…she said son when I’m gone don’t forget to pray ‘Cause there’ll be hard times, hard times…’”

Blessings! Pastor Alberta

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Locker Rooms, Restrooms and Common Sense

April 19, 2016

A troubling wave of policy proposals and legislation is sweeping across America regarding access to rest rooms and locker rooms, especially in publicly funded schools.  At the far edge of the argument, more militant supporters of LGBTQ “rights” are insisting on the provision of unfettered use of bathrooms, locker rooms etc. The access in question would not be based upon any actual biologically identifiable factors but upon the student’s inner identity as to gender.  Hence, a physically mature boy of fifteen who feels as if he is really a girl must be allowed to use the same facilities as the girls in his school.  The same would be true of a young woman whose outward biological identity is incongruent with their inner view of their gender.

This entire preposition goes way beyond bizarre.  While concern for the well-being of trans-gender students is to be commended, the suggested remedies would be amusing if they were not clearly foolish. Instead of simply providing alternative facilities for the student with gender identity issues, thereby securing the dignity and privacy of all students, these proposals actually invite more not less tension between the groups.  Beyond that, allow me to suggest that most of the male legislators across the nation, now in their forties, fifties and sixties, might have been very pleased to visit the girl’s locker rooms when they were in high school.  Somehow I think most of them would have failed a lie detector test if they had to swear they actually identified as girls!  Anyway …once again we sense that God is allowing a measure of moral blindness to set in among those who do not respect His basic laws of propriety and decency. 

Below is a letter that I wrote to Ms. Kim Kovalchick at the Michigan Department of Education.  I hope that others will write to their local and state officials in the same manner.  Do be careful to be respectful and appreciative of the challenges inherent in the management of such an issue.  But it is certainly true that very often these kinds of proposals rise or fall based on public response!  

Blessings!  Pastor Alberta

April 14, 2016

Ms. Kim Kovalchick, Supervisor Michigan Department of Education Coordinated School Health and Safety Programs unit P.O. Box 30008 Lansing, MI 48909

Cc: The Honorable Richard Snyder, Governor, State of Michigan

Cc: The Honorable Lana Theis, District 42 State Representative, State of Michigan

Re:  State Board of Education Statement and Guidance on

Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,

and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students

Dear Ms. Kovalchick,

Allow me to respectfully address my comments to those officials who have drafted and/or currently support the proposal referenced above. In my view, your contemplated policy reflects a thoughtful zeal for the feelings and experiences of students in the LGBTQ community. My sense is that your goal is to minimize any discomfort for a young person who identifies himself/herself in a manner contradictory to their biological make up. Such discomfort might arise if that young person is required to use facilities (rest rooms, locker rooms) with other students of the same outward biological identification but who do not share their contrary orientation. Hence, it is of the greatest importance, in your view, that the trans-gendered student never be made to feel conspicuous, uncomfortable, or compromised in any manner.

I am eager to ascribe the highest motives to your proposal. However, it is remarkable to me that you manifest a troubling indifference to the student, male or female, whose gender identification is consistent with their biological traits. That student, according to your policy proposal, has no right to redress for their own discomfort or loss of privacy. Your proposal simply marginalizes the rights of the non-LGBTQ student.  

As a father, a grandfather and a Presbyterian minister who has worked with thousands of people and families, I am stunned. Allow me to suggest that your proposal might be compelling if you were seeking a totally separated third option both in regard to restrooms and locker rooms. But the student not struggling with gender identity issues and who is comfortable with their biological identity should not be required to accept such an imbalanced and inconsiderate policy manifesting total indifference to their preferences.

I believe that your policy, if enacted,  may result in some cases of  increased harassment of LGBTQ students. My suggestion is simply this: if the goal is to protect the rights and dignity of LGBTQ students then enable them to use a designated facility consistent with their preferences. That would seem the simplest and most easily managed solution.

In short, I would ask the drafters of this proposal to explain why they do not demonstrate the same zeal, concern, compassion and respect for all students? If my seventeen year old granddaughter is embarrassed and deprived of her privacy in the cheerleader’s locker-room, why is that not a concern to you? What if she is uncomfortable being looked at or looking herself at fellow students of the opposite biological gender?

Incidentally, but not without importance, allow me to point out that as a professionally trained counsellor I have already encountered more than one student who changed their identity from one gender to another and then back again. This entire issue begs for much greater reflection and analysis.

Your attempts to preclude the abuse of students whose identifications fall outside of the norm are good and decent. But your solution strikes me as brutally condescending to those who have every right to expect protection for their own privacy and personal dignity. If enacted, this approach may cause more problems than it solves especially among students who will resent it and further lose respect for those who are paid to educate them in a sensible environment.

I appreciate the complexities of your task and commend your initiatives. However, I respectfully ask that my concerns be addressed. I am available for interaction at your convenience. Thank you for considering my views.

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Richard J. Alberta

Senior Pastor

Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Brighton, Michigan 48114

 

 

 

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Test

Is anyone receiving is memo?  Thanks…please advise?  Pastor Alberta

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