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Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day



Father, we thank You for Jesus - the One who willingly laid His life down for our eternal freedom.


 We also thank You for the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country. Like Jesus, they have committed themselves and their time for the sake of freedom. They have unselfishly laid down their lives for us and even a future generation yet unborn.


We thank You for the Holy Spirit who is our Comforter. Comfort the families who have lost their loved ones while battling for our country's freedom. We are so thankful for the price they've paid. Comfort the families whose loved ones are away. Give them strength and courage to face each day.


We lift up those who are on the battle lines now and those who could be called at any time. We pray for their protection and safe return. We pray that their purpose in fighting for our peace not be in vain.


 We pray for the servicemen and women who do not know You. Send laborers into their path. May the blinders be removed and their eyes be opened to the Gospel message. We pray Jesus would become their hope and comfort, and that they would then unashamedly share their experience with Him to others. We pray for a domino effect to happen - that the saving message of Jesus would spread like wild fire!
 
We pray that the United States would come back to You. We pray that revival would be sparked in the hearts of all - that a great awakening would strike the land and Jesus would be glorified in America. Bless our country, Father. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
 


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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Easter Story

Image result for jesus on the cross passion of the christ
 
Twelve men left all and followed Him
Miracles they had seen
They watched Him heal all who were sick
Those with unclean spirits were made clean

But one follower named Judas Iscariot
Betrayed Him with a kiss
Handed Him over to the chief priests
To be scourged and put to death

He was mocked by those that held Him
“So tell us, are You the Christ?”
“You wouldn’t believe Me if I told you,” He said
For they accused Him of speaking lies

“Are you the Son of God?” they stammered
He responded, “Yes, I am He”
Accusations of blasphemy filled the land
An act deserving the death penalty

They all condemned Him to be put to death
As they struck Him and spit in His face
Even one of His disciples whom He loved very much
Denied ever seeing His face

Carrying Him away; they delivered Him to Pilate
“Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate sneered
“You say rightly that I am a King,” Jesus said
“But My kingdom is not from here.”

Jesus, the Christ, and Barabbas, a murderer
Stood before the multitude
By custom one prisoner could be released
The one whom the people choose

“Away with this Man; release to us Barabbas,”
Insistently the people cried
“Then what shall I do with Jesus, the Christ?”
They shouted, “Let Him be crucified.”

A purple robe they placed on His body
A crown of thorns twisted on His head
“Hail, King of the Jews,” they mocked
As blood streamed from His head

His back took brutal beatings
His head they struck with a rod
Spitting into His face they scorned
“Save Yourself if You’re the Son of God!”

He didn’t fight back to prove who He was
For He knew His hour had arrived
To fulfill the very purpose for why He had come
For a lost people He would have to die

As they drove the cold nails in His hands and feet
His body exposed for all to view
Jesus cried, “Father, forgive them”
“For they know not what they do.”

Blasphemous words echoed throughout
Gross darkness encamped the land
And with His last breath He shouted aloud
“Father, I commit My spirit into Your hands.”

On the third day since His burial
An angel descended from Heaven
The earth quaked; the stone rolled away
The tomb was empty, for Jesus had risen

Two women mourned nearby the tomb
For they thought His body had been stole
The angel approached them and declared
“Rejoice, for He has arose!”

Quickly they fled to tell the disciples
Their hearts filled with great joy and fear
Some of them rejoiced while others doubted
And then in their midst Jesus appeared

They fell at His feet and worshipped
As He blessed them with His hands
“Go into all the world and tell them of Me,
I won’t be back ‘til it’s reached every land.”

“Remember you're not of this world
If you've received Me as your Lord
Be not like the world; keep from all evil
So that you may receive the final reward.”

“It’s time for Me to leave now,
You must carry out My ministry
I give you the authority to be My hands and feet
With My name you’ll set many free.”

“For it won’t be long before I return
For those who live for Me
They are who I will take as My bride
To Heaven for eternity.”

“Keep watch for the hour is so near
Be prepared to meet Me again
For in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye
As I am now, I will appear again.”

 
Image result for love defined quotes christ died

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stones


Image result for stones 
 
Mistake is made
Which way to turn
Judged and battered
Bruised and torn
 
 What got her here?
Can anybody tell?
Or will you just join
And throw stones as well?
 
Does anyone here
Know her heart?
Why she was weak?
Why she fell apart?
 
You’d rather assume
Make a judgment call
Any of you standing
Beware lest you fall
 
You expose others
Yet hidden you remain
How quick you forget
I see all sin the same…
 

The teachers of the law throw a woman caught in the act of adultery at Jesus’ feet saying, “The Law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” Jesus stoops to the ground, writes in the sand, and tells them, “He without sin, go ahead and throw the first stone at her.” The men walk away one by one.  Jesus says to the woman, “Where are your accusers?  Didn’t even one condemn you?  Neither do I.  Go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-12)
 
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We may read this passage and marvel at God’s mercy.   We picture ourselves in this broken woman’s shoes and the relief she must have felt having her life miraculously spared.   We look at the “accusers” and are disgusted at how heartless they were, how devastating a public display of sin must have felt like, and feel a sense of thankfulness that “nowadays” is not like that anymore.
 
As I read these passages again, I find myself zooming in on the “accusers” once again, but in a much different light.  Could it be that we are falling into the same religious trap as these men as we share on social media, text gossip, or for us extra spiritual  people, send out “prayer requests” for someone's disgraceful sin?  Merciless, like the Pharisees; we parade around in our adornment of juicy details with a sole desire to make a public display of others’ wrongs.
 
Is it really that different than it was that day in the temple yard? With technology today, within a day’s time a global gossip network has been formed; fully armed with stones in hand. Overnight – you become a leader of “sowing discord among the brethren” – leading others, many in whom you do not even know, into abomination.
 
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Jesus is saying the same to us.  Are any of you without sin?  If not, then drop the stones. Stop behaving like Satan, the accuser of the brethren.  If you love Me, walk as I walked.  Walk in love.  Stop causing strife and divisions.(Rev. 12:10, 1 John 2:6)

We are called to a higher level; to be like Him.  The Christian life is about being transformed daily into His image, His likeness, His way of doing things.  With that said, let’s look again at the opening passage of Scripture.  He without sin, cast the first stone.”  Notice – Jesus, 100% sin free, yet you never see Him pick up a stone!  He didn’t come to crush what was already broken.  He came to restore it. (John 3:17) 
 
“If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” (Galatians 6:1)
 
Prayer:
 
Lord, may our hearts break for the hurting, for their reconciliation to You.  May we never use another’s brokenness as a sick form of entertainment or to give us a false sense of righteousness.  It is not Your desire that any would perish, but that all would come to repentance. We want that heart.  We want a heart that is broken for the lost and for our fellow brethren who have entangled themselves in the affairs of another path.
 
We know that bad company corrupts good habits, so Lord, help us remove ourselves from those who choose to gossip and slander, from those who pull us away from doing Your will, from those who keep us flesh conscious rather than spirit conscious. We want to be promoters of unity, not sowers of discord. 
 
Forgive us for the damage we have caused others when we have not used our tongue to bring life.
 
(Rom. 1:29, 2 Peter 3:9, 2 Cor. 5:20, Prov. 20:19, 2 Thess. 3:11, 1 Cor. 15:33, Psalm 133:1, Prov. 6:14, Psalm 34:13, Prov. 18:21)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spills

Image result for cleaning coffee spill on carpet
 
"I need ALL of you," the Lord spoke. 
 
The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  The pain.  The struggles.  The frustrations.  The questions.
 
 ALL. 
 
Notice He didn't say He "wants."  Though He does, in order to work in us, He NEEDS us.  He needs our cooperation.
 
Image result for stop sweeping things under the rugSweeping things under the rug has to stop.  It's impossible to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, body, and strength, if we don't give Him all of it.   Secrets in any relationship destroy intimacy.  Even with God.  We need to expose to Him the things He already sees.  This will open our ears to hear Him more clearly to what He is saying to us.   This grants Him permission to begin to heal and adjust our mindsets that don’t align with His.  He won't pull His love from us.  He won’t ignore us.  He won’t mistreat us when we become vulnerable to Him.  We can trust Him.
 
What remains hidden can’t be fixed.  When a spill is not dealt with or is carelessly spot cleaned, damage is done.  In order to fix the "spills" in our lives, we have to confront them head on by allowing God to shine His healing presence on our condition.  When our "free will" chooses to let God in, He then has something to work with.  
 
Image result for god will use pain to get us in our purposeWe need to trust that whatever He tells us is for our benefit and the benefit of others.  Trust Him that even if what He tells us is painful at the moment, it is always for our greater good.  He may require you to rip out the flooring to get to the damage.  You will be working alongside the Carpenter of your soul to tear out and restore a messy foundation.  Not an easy task.  It will be uncomfortable.  It will be ugly.   It will hurt.   It may cause every fiber of your being to want to give up and start sweeping again.   BUT NO MORE SWEEPING! 
 
I challenge myself - I challenge you - to surrender your ALL.  Work with God as He works in you.  Expect Him to do some rearranging because He will.   He won't always do what we are comfortable with because His ways are different than our ways, but they are the right way.   His purpose is always to get you to the side of His will for you.  The process isn't always a quick work, but anything rushed is rarely done well.
 
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Quiet yourself.  Wait on Him.  His voice is calling out, "I need ALL of you."
 
 
 
(Matthew 22:37, Isaiah 55:9, Psalm 16:11, Psalm 139:23, Psalm 51:10-12, Isaiah 53:4-5, Psalm 30:11, Jeremiah 29:11, Jeremiah 18:4)