Forum Posts

Richard Harris
Apr 19, 2022
In Christianity Forum
It has been a blessed 47 days reading through "To Follow in His Footsteps." Dr. Denison did a wonderful job of creating in me a feeling of walking through the Holy Land. But I am also blessed because he challenged me to take a look at my faith in a fresh way. Often a pastor needs a pastor and doesn't find one. Dr. Denison was just that for me. Simple last note is that I pray God will use me while I attempt to follow in His footsteps. I stumble so often; I am thankful He is there to pick me up and allow me to keep following me. What is satisfying is that when I challenge myself to read more or study a different book, the blessings last much longer than 47 days!
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Richard Harris
Apr 17, 2022
In Christianity Forum
I first learned about Gordon's Calvery at Dallas Baptist University. Though the history is interesting to me and as inspiring the statement of faith was at the end of the day's lessons was, I only have a simple thought. As I approach Easter, I am thankful there was a Calvery, that Jesus died there for me and that there was a tomb and best of all it is empty!!
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Richard Harris
Apr 15, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Here on Good Friday, Dr. Denison unloaded a great deal of facts on me concerning where Jesus really died and where he was buried for those short three days. As someone who likes history, I found the facts interesting. By this afternoon some 2000 years ago Jesus was dead and in a grave. No matter where it happened and where he was buried the most relevant fact in my life now and in my eternal life to come is that He did die and he did so for my sins. I am grateful there is no tomb to visit with remains in it and that He lives and He lives in me!
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Richard Harris
Apr 14, 2022
In Christianity Forum
I noticed the verse referenced to in my daily reading this week. For some reason it jumped out to me. John 17:20-21, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." Unity is extremely elusive in the world today at any level and the church is no different. Let's face it how can I get along with other denominations when I struggle in my own church. They will know us by our love or by our lack of love. Praying I am part of the answer of Jesus prayer, not part of the problem.
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Richard Harris
Apr 14, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Often, I push past the 'way of suffering' and the 'cross' and look at Christ my Savior from more of a post cross point of view. In other words, I recognize what he did (died on the cross) but not how He did it. I strive, especially the next couple of days to remember how much my salvation cost. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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Richard Harris
Apr 14, 2022
In Christianity Forum
First of all, I cannot imagine what it would be like to watch a trail of torches coming toward me with one intent: take my life and to do so in the cruelest of ways. Another reminder of the intentional love of Christ for a sinner like me. This quote speaks to me in a big way, "The basic truth of these verses is that the disciples failed their Lord when it came time to act because they first failed him when it came time to prepare and pray. If we’re not careful, it can be easy to make the same mistake today." If I am honest with myself, I am not always careful to prepare with the prayer needed for the situation. When I do, of course I fail my Lord. It seems like such an easy step in the process but somehow the reality for me it is the most difficult. I think of prayer like stretching before I run. I hate to stretch so I do not. So, my muscles are tight, and I do not get the most out of exercise. Same with my prayer, when I do not do the prayer preparation, I do not get the most out of activity. (spiritual) "....Often, however, the purpose of prayer is to prepare us for the trials that only God knows are coming." This statement is another friendly reminder that I do not know what the future holds, so I need to take the steps necessary to be ready when life unfolds.
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Richard Harris
Apr 12, 2022
In Christianity Forum
I am always so disappointed that another religion that does not believe in Jesus as Lord has a place of worship on a site important to Christians. I often wonder what God thinks and what he will do with that?? It is very easy to make the Lords Supper just another religious activity. So, as I read Luke having taken the Lords Supper yesterday, and read these very scriptures at worship; I tried to think of all the emotions he must have had. I know my mind has trouble concentrating when there is something difficult in front of me. Yet he had to take advantage of each moment to prepare his disciples. Somehow his earthly mind was surely distracted yet His divine mind was on point. I often forget that the Upper Room was used for Pentecost. This reminds me of the devotional last week where we talked about important places we worship. Two highly critical moments in the Christ movement took place here. Surely the disciples and first Christians held the Upper Room in high regard, pointing to it as a place where God started a wonderful work in many of their lives and in the lives of those who brought them to Christ. Looking at it from my personal point of view, the Upper Room was their Mimosa Lane. (see day 35 of my post) The Upper Room, maybe it needs a little more attention than we give it, or I give it.
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Richard Harris
Apr 12, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Sunday was a wonderful day of worship followed by a hectic day of heading out of town. Reflection came when I was finally able to rest. I always am amazed at Palm Sunday that he was so welcomed on Sunday and so betrayed on Friday. Yet I have no idea why that surprises me; daily I praise him, think of him...but sooner or later find ways to betray Him. I pray and know that this journey has reminded me of how far I have to go in my relationship with Christ. Praying for an eye-opening final week.
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Richard Harris
Apr 09, 2022
In Christianity Forum
I find it interesting in how close the Muslims are and yet how far away they are from truth. They have a shrine that sits on the very site where God once dwelled and yet their lack of acceptance of Jesus means they are as far away from the Lord as you can currently get. Forgetting about the Muslims and concentrating on myself, I find it humbling that God dwells within me. (Holy Spirit) As I think about my thoughts and life, I wonder how excited God is about His dwelling place within me. Not very sometimes I am afraid. Even though I know where God lives today, I often conveniently forget it or just ignore the thought because it makes me uncomfortable. If the temple existed today people would clearly be able to see where God lives. I feel like it should be the same in my life. If God dwells in me, it should be easily recognizable to others where God currently lives. , I am grateful that God sent his Hight Priest Jesus to die for my sins and rent the veil from top to bottom, providing for me salvation and a personal relationship with Him. Because of our high priest Jesus, there is no need for an earthly one.
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Richard Harris
Apr 08, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Perhaps, the problem with my prayer life is that it is robotic. It is a job to be done instead of a conversation to have. I personally have no issue with acknowledging that God is all powerful and scripture is clear about the need for a constant prayer life. When prayer is a task to be done the desire to do it waines at times. So as I look at me I know battles are won on my knees, I just need to get there!
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Richard Harris
Apr 07, 2022
In Christianity Forum
There is so much Dr. Denison shares with us that I read often but never attempt to think about where it actually took place. The tour of Israel has been very enlightening for me. Much of life, at least mine, comes down to trusting that God is going to take care of me, my family, or the church I serve. Often some of the most difficult times have come when I have basically given up or gotten really close to giving up on a 'God like solution". At these moments I am tempted to do things in my own power. I have learned that way of thinking is not trust in God but trust in me. Knowing me as well as I do, I have no idea why I would trust myself over God!! I think of trust as a muscle, the trust muscle gets stronger the more I use it. It gets flabby the more I don't. Praying as I close in on the final section of life that I have built up a good trust muscle and that it will get stronger for my children/grandchildren to learn from.
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Richard Harris
Apr 06, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Again, by using the actual history of the Temple I was reminded of a truth of God. He is the God of all people. My mind drifted to the last Sunday in our church and as I looked out I saw all people. Young, old, black, white, and brown. I saw those who have a little money and those who do not. I saw those who have suffered greatly and those who have lived a good life with few problems. It makes me happy to worship in a place like that. Often it is not easy to work through the culture differences of a diverse church but it is worth the trouble. I only wish we were more diverse, ever Sunday. This brings me to a favorite verse in Revelation 7:9, "After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands." Someday we will all worship before the Lamp, this is a good time to practice.
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Richard Harris
Apr 05, 2022
In Christianity Forum
I have found over 40 years of worship that people often hold onto the places where they first met the Lord as sacred. They often hold onto the past in a way that is detrimental to the work of the Lord. Yet I certainly understand where they are coming from. Mimosa Lane Baptist Church holds a special place in my heart. I often drive by it and look to it, praying it is going well and remembering all the life changing events that happened there. I love to talk to people who used to be there and ask how it is going. Forever it will hold a special place in my spiritual life. Then there is Liberty Baptist Church where Kim grew up. Even though I never attended one service there I think too of it often. How it shaped Kim and now our children and grandchildren. Even though it is gone now when I get near it or drive by it, it certainly crosses my mind in a special way. There is Glorietta New Mexico where I confirmed my call unto the Lord. I remember the preacher, Paul Powel from Tyler, I remember the alter and I remember the tears shed there. Though it has been over 34 years now I will never forget it. God gives us special places for special events. There is nothing wrong with holding them in our hearts. Yet I see where Dr. Denison is going hhere. Where I am at now, in my home and where I worship now, Lawson Road Baptist Church are special and the fact that I can worship there now, makes it special. I am grateful God allows me to worship him not in one place but in many. Praise be to the Lord who is worthy of Praise!
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Richard Harris
Apr 05, 2022
In Christianity Forum
I had read these psalms many times and had never put together how the people used them. It did me well to read these 14 Psalms, especially as I thought of the people walking up the steps to worship. It changed my attitude. Psalm 121 is a favorite of mine: I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
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Richard Harris
Apr 05, 2022
In Christianity Forum
The weekend was filled from sunup to sundown. It was a very good weekend with lots of good things family wise and church wise. By the end of it all I was so tired I just went to bed without really pondering on the previous week's writings. On one side I did find some time before my day started to ponder what God had in store for me. Yet too I know not to be too hard on myself, I needed rest and God knew it. God gives rest and those moments are valuable to me doing God's will in my life. Rest and reflection give peace and energy for me...all good things. I want to carry those things on well after this book is finished.
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Richard Harris
Apr 05, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Love this story in the bible, it is rich in meaning to me. The statement by Dr. Denison makes in To Follow His Footsteps in the last paragraph is telling, "Comparing the miracles Jesus performed at Bethesda and Siloam reminds us that true discipleship means committing to follow Christ as our highest priority." I am reminded by this statement that indeed following Chirst has to be my highest priority. It is easy for me to put a number of other things first. Many of which people would think are good things. But if that interfere with my relationship with the Lord, then they are not all that good. I am reminded of scripture Matthew 22:37...loving God with all my heart, soul and mind should always be number one.
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Richard Harris
Apr 01, 2022
In Christianity Forum
So much on page 174 that it would take several pages of sharing. I will shorten it up. How often I am grateful for the good things and how often do I compromise the really good things of knowing and following Christ 100 percent. Love this story and not really put two and two together concerning the man's sin and turning Jesus into the Jewish authorities. It all came together for me after I read the whole chapter again. It is a good lesson that you can read the bible over and over again and still miss some things or the Spirit will teach you something different often. That is another reminder for me to keep in the Word. John 5:23 says, "that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." We honor the son when we concern with honoring and obeying the Lord instead of concerning ourselves with the world. It is is for me to get caught up in the world because it is here and now and at times God and his judgment seem distant. I have to remind myself to live life in the present with eternity in mind.
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Richard Harris
Apr 01, 2022
In Christianity Forum
The history of this book is a blessing and I have learned so much. Thinking on who will see the New Jerusalem because of me is a difficult question. Though I believe I know some will see it because of me, what most gets my attention is the thought someone might not see it because of me. (I understand everyone is responsible for themselves) Another thought is who did I miss? Did I let someone slip by? Did I not say something when I should have? I can't do anything about the past, so I have to look forward and do my best to live a life that helps lead people to God.
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Richard Harris
Mar 30, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Love the facts concerning the dead sea and how Dr. Denison used it as an illustration. He talked about the sea's issues and then turned it to speak about how it could be used for good. This hits home on several different levels for me. One is that I think of myself and how many parts of my life are dead and have no value. Yet God uses my good qualities, the alive part of my life, for ministry and to do His good. I know of no Christian whose life is without fault and or does not have any dead sea type qualities. Yet God uses us all for His glory and good when we allow it. Actually we, I, have a habit of focusing on the negative qualities of life and at times using it to disqualify us from doing the work of the Lord. I need to allow God to help me rid myself of the dead part of my life (sin) while he builds up the Godly side. God has much work to do, but I am grateful He never stops working in my life. He also spoke to the people in our life that are difficult or troublesome. I have my share, I guess like everyone. It helps me when I step back and think of where they are coming from. I just have to ask for extra grace and Kim is a great help as we talk through difficult situations with people who we see as difficult. It also does me good to remember that probably in someone's life I am that difficult person!
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Richard Harris
Mar 30, 2022
In Christianity Forum
Nothing is more impactful than daily bible reading, and I am in agreement with Dr. Denison that it has never been easier.
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