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April 30, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                                                          Isaiah 58. 6-10                                                                         

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.  “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

What is the best diet I can recommend to God’s mighty men?  Avoid complacency and get to action!  Yes, that is correct.  I should take my own advice on this point.  Too often we get caught up in what we should and should not eat and forget the most oft given advice:  exercise!  Here is one of those places where Christians need to “talk the talk and walk the walk.”  Yes, that is correct.  As Christ followers we are called to a wonderful regimen for our spiritual fitness which can and will bear fruit in our physical fitness.

 

In no particular order consider these activities:

 

1.       Carry your own cross.  While Jesus is our fitness coach and partner who helps to make our burden lighter, we must still carry our own cross recognizing our duties and responsibilities as well as the consequences for our actions.  Jesus will not fail us nor let us fail as long as we are willing to lift ourselves up daily to meet Him.

2.      Share one another’s burdens.  Taking the time to bear one another up in their times of need shows true love.  If our load is already lightened by Jesus, then we have the strength to do for others as it has been done for us. 
Remember the useful quote, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”  As we are busy with the work of the Lord we are diverting our attention off of our earthly burdens and needs and putting that wasted “worry” energy on being productive.  It is the “bread” that Jesus spoke of when He said “I live by every word of the Lord.”  That word is meeting the needs of others.

3.      Sharing your meal with others who are hungry and thirsty not only helps them in their time of need but it does take food off your plate.  Jesus taught us to not be anxious about our needs- food, clothing, shelter.  He alerts us to the full provision for these things as we trust Him daily.

4.      Pray.  Being fully engaged in this discipline for one’s self and for others can become physically straining as well as spiritually exhilarating.  Consider falling to your knees in prayer each time, as often as possible.  Kneeling down, rising up, kneeling down, rising up, over and over again will keep the blood flowing, heart pumping and joints well liberated.  Pray intensely.  Remember Jesus prayed so fervently about His course for His life and His concern for others that He sweat blood.  That’s a real work out!

5.      Finally, drink plenty of fluids.  As we drink from the well of living water (drawing it out of study and reading His Word, pouring over it until it is overflowing in our heart, mind and soul, and carrying it to others who are thirsting for a new taste of the righteousness of God in their lives), we are burning away the world’s “call-lestrol” which is harmful and sinful and replacing it with spiritual “call-ories” that build strong bodies many ways.

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For all the TAKS takers today and the rest of this week

*  For the continuing threat of a new Swine Flu outbreak and for the doctors and scientists working to resolve it quickly and for those families, including one, so far, in Texas, who have had loved ones perish from the disease

*  For Joe Sanders and the group of men God is already calling to gather around him to support and encourage him and his family

*  For the final “Lead Like Jesus” study session (Yea! Thursday group) that God’s leading will inspire more of those who desire to follow


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  Continued rain, sorely needed

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

Lord, bless these mighty men as they explore the greater meaning of becoming spiritually fit.  You have fitted them for Your Service and offered these training opportunities so they will be prepared to meet the needs of the world in ways that will lead to a stronger body of Christ.  May Your Spirit remind each of them that true faithfulness is not merely what we give up to be followers of Christ but what we take on because we are followers of Christ.  Discipline us in Your Way, Your Truth and Your life so we not wander far from it.  AMEN.

April 29, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                         John 6. 29                                                                         

 

Jesus answered them, The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

What is it we have faith in as Christ followers?  We each have a formulaic phrase we use to encapsulate where we have placed our faith from doctrinal statements many grew up with in church to the biblical affirmation found in John 3.16.  But, faith in something isn’t enough of a statement if we are to be power-filled witnesses sent into all the world.  At this moment, the world believes in actions which match the words portraying what we believe in.  The world wants to see the work of God.  In times such as these where now we can certainly add pestilence to the list of biblical events being experienced, people are calling out for the work of God and not just the Word of God.  It would seem to me that believing is faith in action.  We have faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  Faith allows us to stand alongside the One who proclaims “I have overcome the world.”  But, Jesus was never the Christ because He had faith.  He put His faith into action.  Jesus walked the walk, talked the talk, and worked the works of faith which showed what He believed in.  He believes in the One who sent Him.  He believes in you and me.

 

I am reminded of the a story about a tight wire artist who pushed a wheelbarrow back and forth along a wire strung over a mighty falls.  He would disappear into the rising mist only to reappear heading in the other direction.  The people applauded his skill as he added heavy blocks to the wheelbarrow equivalent to the weight of a man.  Once again he disappeared into the mist and reappeared to their amazement.  He asked them if they believed he could do it again.  They all said “yes.” But, when he asked one of them to volunteer to go with him, they grew silent.  They had faith in his ability and believed he could do what he said he could do.  But, where was their faith in themselves.  Because they had no faith, they could not act out their beliefs except the belief of fear which held them bound to earth.  It was the same for Jesus who was limited not by his faith and beliefs when He visited in certain cities but could do not good work there.  Instead, the limit comes from those He came to save.  They had faith in Him but until they made their faith active by stepping into the world known only by faith and believe, then nothing happens.

 

We are living in a world that needs to experience true believers who are doing the work of God because of their faith.  The world needs to see people, mighty men, who put their faith not in words but in the Word.  It is our sinful nature, even in its last vestiges in each believer, that keeps us bound to earth instead of ready to walk the line of Christ.  If we do not know what it is we are supposed to be doing as our God-called work, it is at the very least, “believing in the One God has sent to us.”  If our lives are bound to that good work which bears much fruit, then we shall pass through the mist of doubt and the unknown into the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For all the TAKS takers today and the rest of this week

*  For the continuing threat of a new Swine Flu outbreak and for the doctors and scientists working to resolve it quickly and for those families, including one, so far, in Texas, who have had loved ones perish from the disease

*  For Joe Sanders and the group of men God is already calling to gather around him to support and encourage him and his family

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  Met one of two testing goals at work; the second will not be known for three weeks

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

Lord, we peer into the mist of this day and wonder what shall it bring.  We say we have faith in You but there is still some doubt and fear of that unknown.  By Your Faith in us, we will believe more in the One whom You have sent.  We will show our faith by believing more fully and completely through the works we do and the declarations of our intent through those works to glorify You and honor Your Will in our lives.  Bless each of these mighty men who share in this Word today.  May their joy be complete in the sharing of this believers’ ministry.

Watch over those who are sick and bring life to those who are weak.  Let us be the instruments of Your healing and peace.  AMEN.

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April 28, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                         Luke 24. 25,26                                                                         

 

He said to them, How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

We are men, after all.  So it goes without speaking to some people in the world that because we are men we do not understand things as quickly as others.  I will not say that we are slow on the uptake, however.  Perhaps, we are deliberate in our process of knowledge in order that it can become wisdom.  So what, if along the way, we begin to deliberate other things that in the moment become more important?  We will get back to the original line of thinking eventually!   And we usually do.  Prayerfully and hopefully, when we do, the original issue will still be germane.  But, heaven help us when our slow deliberations become signs of hard-headedness moving to the stifling stage of hard-heartedness.  When confusion and contrariness become ignorance and obstinance there is a definite problem laying in wait to devour us.

 

We are all too often like the two people on the road to Emmaus.  Captured in the midst of grief and confusion at the death of Jesus of Nazareth in whom they had placed their hopes as the Christ, they could not see the truth right before their very eyes.  Jesus so much as said so when He commented on their lack of attention to the very Word of God which had been proclaimed in the Law and the Prophets.  I can only assume they were people who had given themselves to the study of the Word.  It is hard to be comforted by something they did not believe in enough to put it into practice.  How much dust had gathered on their Torah?  How crisp were the edges of it and how linen white was it when it was unveiled?  All that had happened in those few days had been revealed already in God’s Word.  But…..

 

We cannot afford to be so caught up in the grief and challenges of today’s world events that we are hardened against hearing and remembering the promises and comfort of God’s Word.  More so, to not know the truth of God’s Word which is Jesus Christ who continues to walk the roads of life with us.  Eventually the Emmaus couple recognized the Master as He broke bread with them.  In His absence they had felt their consciousness burning with the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Convicted of the truth they quickly put the fears of the night away and hurried back to Jerusalem to share the Good News for God’s Men.  Is there a truth burning in You today as God’s truth is revealed through Jesus, His Holy Word?  Is there something you need to do about it?  Or can it wait?

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For all the TAKS takers today and the rest of this week

*  For the continuing threat of a new Swine Flu outbreak and for the doctors and scientists working to resolve it quickly

*  For Joe Sanders and the coming prosperity and resource which God is preparing for him and the doors of opportunity to bless his family which are being opened to him

*  For the protection of the Pakistani people with the spread of AlQaeda and Taliban regimes in their country

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  An opportunity to teach leadership

*  Continued and much needed rain

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

All things in Your time, O Lord, and we remain patient for it.  But, do not let this desire to be deliberate in waiting for Your Word translate into slowness of action once we hear it.  Bless these mighty men with more than the courage to respond.  Put the wings of angels on their feet so that Your Word may soar as if on eagle’s wings for all the world to see.  May our reaction be swift and beautiful in Your Son’s Name.  AMEN.

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April 27, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                         Genesis 26. 19-20                                                                            

 

“Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.  But, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with him….So they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one as well….He went on from there and dug another well and no one quarreled over it.  He named it Rehoboth, saying, ‘Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.’

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

I get asked from time to time “How do you know if what you are doing is what God is calling you to do?”  The first reply is the easiest because its basis is “if what you do brings glory to God then whatever you are doing is blessed and is what God calls you to do as a Christ-follower.”  The second reply is like it, “If you are showing God’s love to others as you have learned how God loves you then whatever you are doing is blessed and is what God calls you to do as a God-follower.”  But, I recognize those are too easy an answer to a more difficult question of “what is God appointing me to do with my life as a service of God for God’s people.”  That calling many Christ-followers struggle with lies at the heart of “what is the meaning and purpose of my life and my desire to ‘work’ for the Lord.  How do we know we are in the vocation that best matches the gifts, talents and abilities God has provided us to use for the betterment of His Kingdom on earth?

 

Of course there is that yearning for fulfillment that helps to identify what we are supposed to be doing for God beyond the expressions of gratitude.  We may be gifted for any number of jobs and professions but something beckons us further.  We are like Isaac who needed to have water for his flocks and dug wells beyond those his family before him had found.  What he wanted was a well that was free and clear without dispute.  We, too, want God’s answer in the same way.  But, it doesn’t always happen that way; especially on the first attempt.  We listen to God and hear Him through others.  We may have an idea of what He is saying but other things in our lives create interference and we do not know if we got the message right.  Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t.  But, the lesson from Isaac is “if at first you don’t succeed, dig, dig again!”  We must dig into God’s Word and find ourselves in it.  We must meditate on God’s Word and allow it to find its place in us.  We must pray on God’s Word and create a living link and dynamic connection between us and God.  We must live in the midst of what we find, sharing it with others and believe on it with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.  Each time we dig deeper into God’s Word, we will find more of the answer we seek.  One day, we will dig into a place that is free and clear.  On that day we will know what God has called us to do and we will flourish in that place.

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For the continuing threat of a new Swine Flu outbreak and for the doctors and scientists working to resolve it quickly

*  For Joe Sanders and the coming prosperity and resource which God is preparing for him and the doors of opportunity to bless his family which are being opened to him

*  For the protection of the Pakistani people with the spread of AlQaeda and Taliban regimes in their country

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength

*  For the “Lead Like Jesus” (week 6) studies that the prosperity of God’s wisdom empower those whom He is calling into leadership to restore the vision of faith, hope and love in a mighty way

*  For strengthening of those who have been weakened in their healing process

*  For this blogsite that God will use it in a mighty way to His glory and to the edification of men who desire a spiritual dialogue of faith and application of God’s truth in their daily lives

 


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  Great weather for finishing the planned yardwork and the supply of a neighbor and friend to cut it down to size

*   Healing in God’s Word

*   Mistakes to foster greater learning

*   A new online skill

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

We come to You today with our spiritual shovels in hand.  We have come to dig more deeply into Your Word so that we can draw from that living water which knows no end.  It is in Christ that You have refashioned us and called us into newness of life. Open the well of Your Word so that we might drink deeply from it and know our place to flourish for Your Glory and Honor.  Bless each of these mighty men today.  Let them find the peace which comes from being in the center of Your Call in his life.  AMEN.

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Mother’s Day

April 26, 2009

May 10, 2009
12:00 amto11:59 pm

We take time to show honor to God by sharing our love with those who have brought the nurture of motherhood into our lives.

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HIS WORD FOR TODAY:            

                                                                                        Luke 7. 44-47    

                                                                                             

 

Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, Do you see this woman?  I came into your house.  You did not give Me any water for My feet, but she wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give Me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not put oil on My head, but she has poured perfume on My feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven- for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

How great is our love?  It would seem like an easy question to answer after reading HIS WORD for today!  The measure of our love, true love, is equated with the measure of our forgiveness.  This sin-filled woman recognized Jesus as someone truly deserving of such an outpouring of her love.  The scriptures do not tell us how she has come to know this and how this motivated her to such grand action.  But, we do know that because she chose to love Jesus, to honor him with a great gift without seeking anything for herself, she received the forgiveness of her many sins.  Perhaps she was grateful for the healing of a family member or friend and merely wanted to take the opportunity to give thanks to God for allowing her to see Jesus when the world told her she was not worthy.  No matter what the motivation her action was that of honoring God by serving Christ regardless of the consequences.

 

How great is our love?  Is it only an expression of gratitude for the forgiveness of our sins?  Would it be true that those who have the greatest amount of sin because they have sinned the most or have committed the largest number of sins then are the greatest lovers of God when they are forgiven?  But, this woman was not acting out of forgiveness!  She had not yet received forgiveness, yet she loved Jesus in a great way.  Could it be that our love is great when it is truly selfless?  Where do we love others without any thought of including our own motives and worth in it?  Where is it we do “loving” acts but have no love of others in it?  Perhaps it isn’t about what we say or do but the heart of the one that is revealed in it that makes love great and rewards beyond expectation.

 

Whether we as God’s mighty men are guilty of one or many sins, we each still have fallen short of the glory of God and cannot enter into Heaven.  But, then, of course, if we were aware of the consequences of our sin we would know that there is no hope of Heaven without the forgiveness of God.  Why would Jesus have been in the world if God did not have hope for us.  Perhaps the woman was glad to see Jesus because He was, is and will always be the hope of the world.  If not for herself then for others who may not have been as bad a sinner as she was.  Of course, Jesus declared already, I have come to minister to the sick, the well have no need of a doctor.  So, if we ask for just a little forgiveness then we will only know a little love.  If we only show a little love, the world will never know of a great forgiveness.  Thanks be to God who while we were yet sinners, loved us.  Let us so love the world!

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For those who will lead God’s people in worship this weekend

*  For Joe Sanders and the coming prosperity and resource which God is preparing for him and the doors of opportunity to bless his family which are being opened to him

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength

*  For the “Lead Like Jesus” (week 6) studies that the prosperity of God’s wisdom empower those whom He is calling into leadership to restore the vision of faith, hope and love in a mighty way

*  For medications to not take the difficult course of dangerous and lingering side-effects

*  For the ongoing celebration rising out of the ACF Women’s Retreat this weekend and for their husbands as their wives come home renewed

*  For four words beginning with “S,” “O,” “F,” and “T” that would be keys to effective step-parenting (If God has put those words on your heart, in your mind by His spirit, please forward them on to me at chuck1teacher@att.net)

 


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  Joy of a neighbor with the fellowship of church for his family

*  Yard work!

*  747

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

Lord of Love and Life and Mercy and Hope and Faith, hear the prayer of these mighty men.  You have given each of them the greatest gift of all, forgiveness of sin and thus freedom from eternal death.  May they in gratitude show an abounding love to others as they would have done to You if they were there in that room with Jesus.  May the effort and peace and willingness of that loving woman humble us in our desire to be the best mighty man of God we can be.  AMEN.

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April 25, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                       

  Rev. 7. 15-16,17b

 

“…they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tent over them.  Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.  The sun will not beat upon them nor any scorching heat…And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

Okay, that is what I call “job security.”  Do you realize that those who give themselves fully to the will of God and seek to follow His commands daily are never forsaken?  Of course, you do.  You are mighty men of God.  You have faced the days of trials and tribulations already in part as we all shall one day in full.  You have been blessed by the fellowship of believers who bind themselves to one another not in fear but in exaltation of gratitude.  No one person can truly survive in this world on their own.  Even Jesus knew that His relationships with God the Father was critical to being all He was called to be.  He called his disciples to be joined together and then go into all the world to knit the fine woven fabric of community.  It was to be a community of faith, hope and love.

 

But, Jesus also experienced the devastation many men face, even mighty ones, when the world becomes dark and seemingly beyond their control.  It was not Jesus who pulled away, however, but those who had not yet learned the fullness of mercy and grace.  In the garden, at the cross, in the upper room they secluded themselves in isolation because they did not see their job security.  Their job security was not in the man of God but the God of God.  Their hope was not yet truly built on nothing less than Jesus’ righteousness.  Their journey into ministry and learning to be leaders was not complete because the full course of Jesus’ ministry was not complete.  Jesus had to die, it was foretold.  He had to submit to God to be raised in glory.  He had to experience that dark night of the soul all men must face in their jobs as husbands, fathers, colleagues and friends.  But, the security to do so is not from this world.  It comes from Heaven alone, from God almighty.

 

Would it have changed anything if Peter had been a prophecy buster?  Of course, Jesus would have known it already but think of it for a minute.  What if Peter suddenly realized the fullness of what Jesus was saying and doing and did not deny his Master three times or two times or even once?  Perhaps, he would have suffered a similar fate.  Perhaps not.  What if Judas had decided to stay the Jesus course of leadership and preached the gospel of peace and love to the Sanhedrin instead of blindly believing he was fulfilling his own purpose and actually accomplishing in part their agenda.  In the end, God’s agenda wins.  But, if there is security in numbers why are there so many lonely people suffering on their own in isolation.  Their struggle may continue its course until it is run completely but do they have to run it alone?  For those who run the good race in all its courses and do the will of God without concern for life and limb, God provides!  He provides daily and eternally until the promise of HIS Word for Today is realized!

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For those who will lead God’s people in worship this weekend

*  For Joe Sanders and the coming prosperity and resource which God is preparing for him and the doors of opportunity to bless his family which are being opened to him

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength

*  For the “Lead Like Jesus” (week 6) studies that the prosperity of God’s wisdom empower those whom He is calling into leadership to restore the vision of faith, hope and love in a mighty way

*  For four words beginning with “S,” “O,” “F,” and “T” that would be keys to effective step-parenting (If God has put those words on your heart, in your mind by His spirit, please forward them on to me at chuck1teacher@att.net)

 


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  Healing is on its way

*  Clarity of thought

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

Lord, You have not forsaken us.  Your presence is with us always.  We thank you.  Let our thanksgiving be complete when we do not stand alone but in the company of others and bring the security of Your Word into their lives.  You have called these mighty men to build strong and secure communities of faith, hope and love.  Bless the work they will do today for Your Kingdom and for Your people through Jesus Christ our Lord who has secured our work and our future.  AMEN.

April 23, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                          Exodus 36.1                                                                            

 

So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the LORD has commanded.

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

Whenever the Olympics, Summer or Winter, are happening, I am constantly amazed at the skill set and skill level that is shown.  Most of those who are armchair Olympic athletes allow themselves to consider how well they might do if they were given the opportunity to compete.  Of course, they are champions in their own mind.  While some of the skills might have some commonality, it is the level of expertise which fixes a great chasm between the two “competitors.”  Even among those practiced athletes a difference can be seen; oft times there is no comparison at all.  Not everyone is an Olympic athlete competing on a global stage.  Neither is everyone in the same skill set nor at the same skill level in the other areas of life.  If we lacked this celebrated individuality and were all “the same” then what would be the purpose of our existence.  God created us different from one another as human beings and as Christ followers so that every part of creation might be served.

 

As we look across the broad landscape of life, we can see that in all reality there are two kinds of people in the world.  One group produces from their particular gift, talent and ability for the glory of God.  The other group which may share similar gifts, talents and abilities in appearance and activity as the first produce, however, for their own benefit and purpose. They may enjoy temporary fame, even fortune, but it will be short-lived.  It is like the seed cast by the sower which fell on the rocky soil.  It had no depth of root and while it did sprout up and sink roots, perhaps even bore some semblance of fruit, when the trials of the world bore down on it like a fierce Texas sun; it wilted and died.  The rocky soil is symbolic of one’s personal life.  A life that is bound to earthliness will face the drought and despair of the world.  That life will grow hard to others and eventually hard on itself until there is no room for growth.  The only thing left is death.  Its soil is so hard that there is no possibility of a next generation because the seed that might be produced will just lie on the hard rock and be baked by the same misfortune as its predecessor.

 

However, those who remain constantly renewed in the freshness of God’s spirit will find the seed of life (faith, hope and love) to have deep and strong roots and a life that truly rises above the earth.  It fulfills its purpose by doing what it is supposed to do and can do because God is the gardener of prosperity, peace and fruitfulness.  The diversity of the seed brings glory and awe to the world just as the Texas roadsides are splashed in the vivid colors of God’s creativity.  The flower does not consider its own future nor does it have the ability to take stock of its presence in the world.  The flower turns its face toward the sun, its beauty radiating the glory of its Creator.  It remains obedient to its nature and is fruitful in its season.  It will eventually give up its own life without question and become the opportunity of nurture for the generation to follow.  Those who use their gifts to glorify the Father who blessed them will find an abundance that never ceases.  They remain open to the infinite possibility of God’s purpose as He gave it to them. 

 

Each mighty man of God is fitted with gifts, talents and abilities totaling one or many that may look similar to those who are mighty men of the world.  Yet, it is in their pursuit to be obedient to the spirit of the being that even the world will see the difference.  God has a purpose for each of them which can only be fully known as they complete that purpose more fully day after day.  The purpose is as God commands- “to build up the Holy Place of God, the Church, the Body of Christ, of which all His people who are called by His Name and are obedient to His Will are a part.”  Serve God where you are with the gifts He has given you and you will find the fullness of your life.  Be in submission to His commission!

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For those who will lead God’s people in worship this weekend

*  For Joe Sanders and the coming prosperity and resource which God is preparing for him and the doors of opportunity to bless his family which are being opened to him

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength

*  For the healing of an infection that comes from a dental problem and is settling into the bone and sinuses and those technicians assigned to help diagnose that their technology and time are not compromised, and the doctor is able to diagnose quickly

*  For J Bahney and family that they be fully prepared for the trial that is ahead

*  For the “Lead Like Jesus” (week 6) studies that the prosperity of God’s wisdom empower those whom He is calling into leadership to restore the vision of faith, hope and love in a mighty way

*  For four words beginning with “S,” “O,” “F,” and “T” that would be keys to effective step-parenting (If God has put those words on your heart, in your mind by His spirit, please forward them on to me at chuck1teacher@att.net)

 


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  God’s move to put His people where and when He needs them to be and the faith to trust that our time and place is His when we are seeking to be obediently submissive without any condition save to “be like Christ”

*  Celebration of “trust the process”

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

You have trusted these mighty men, O God, with a mighty purpose.  You have entrusted them with a mighty gift.  Yet, beyond the purpose and the gift exists the best truth of all.  You have given them eternal life through Your Son, The Holy Seed planted in the fertile soil of their hearts, mind and souls.  Nurture them with loving encouragement.  Prune them and bring them to greater fruitfulness so that the generations which will follow them shall dwell with You all the days of their lives. AMEN.

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                         John 2. 4,5                                                                   

 

Dear woman, why do you involve me?  My time has not yet come.  Mary, his mother, spoke to the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you.’

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

How many times have we stood in the mirror at the start of the day and wondered ‘what in the world are we going to do with this day’? We are having a difficult time facing the music that in our minds is already rising to a crescendo with the tapping of our toothbrush as if it were a conductor’s baton.  Suddenly every section of the orchestra of our lives begins to chime in with the ringing of the alarms, the announcement from the microwave, the scratching on the door of pets, the reluctance of children to get out of beds, the text messages already sounding from cell phones, and the flood of thoughts spurred by the already unspoken but all too real agenda.  If there is just one more thing…we would just explode!  And then it happens…and we respond with something as simple as “Why do you involve me, I don’t have time for that.”

 

Of course, I am not saying that is what Jesus actually said.  Nor am I intimating what He was experiencing when His mother hinted to her Son that He should add one more thing to His list of “to dos” for the day.  Yet, while this passage of His Word has always intrigued me, I do not want to delve into its theology.  Instead, I would invite every mighty man of God to embrace His obedience as he is invited to defer to a request from one he loves when it just doesn’t seem like the time to do it.  Jesus, to be sure, never had more on His plate than He could handle because He remained perfectly balance.  Oh, if we could be like Him.  But, there was so much more in the world for Him to do which I believe He would have loved to do if it weren’t for His true mission and purpose.  He deferred to the course of love and faithfulness each time there was an “additional” request.  It was not the time, according to the Master’s Plan, for Jesus to enter into a ministry of miracles at Cana.  I believe there was (and that is a discussion for another day if someone were to ask) a eucharistic reference for John’s readers in this remembrance of that particular wedding celebration.  But, Jesus was motivated by a sincere word and thus revealed Himself to His disciples (I suppose everyone else was too drunk to really notice!?)

 

How do we respond to that “time infringing, agenda-busting” request?  Our response in times like those reveal the very nature of who we are as mighty men of God.

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For those who continue to press our “green” consciousness as a matter of principle and not of money

*  For Joe Sanders and the coming prosperity and resource which God is preparing for him and the doors of opportunity to bless his family which are being opened to him

*  For those in our government of the people who make decisions based on personal bias and agendas

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength

*  For the healing of an infection that comes from a dental problem and is settling into the bone and sinuses and those technicians assigned to help diagnose that their technology and time are not compromised

*  For the “Lead Like Jesus” (week 6) studies that the prosperity of God’s wisdom empower those whom He is calling into leadership to restore the vision of faith, hope and love in a mighty way

*  For the spirit of humor to be an anointing so we can laugh with, and not at, others


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  Plain-speaking to benefit our student-learners and those who lead them in the classroom

*  Quiet times for reflection on God’s Word

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

In Your perfect timing and for Your glory, O Lord, these mighty men commit themselves to you.  Bless all their time and efforts with goodness and mercy.  May Your Holy Spirit by their conscience and their guide as many will ask of them for time and effort.  Let peace be the witness and true leadership their aim in Jesus’ name.  AMEN.

April 22, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                           Haggai 1. 3-6                                                                

 

“Then the Word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?  Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but harvested little.  You eat, but never have enough.  You drink, but never have your fill.  You put on clothes, but are not warm.  You earn wages, only to put them in purses with holes in them.

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

What sacrifice have we made in building up the house of the Lord?  In these tough economic times it seems that we are stretched to the limits of our ability to provide for our families with the niceties as well as the necessities of life as we seemed to have done in the past.  Have those endeavors ever given you the similar feeling of emptiness as you experience after eating Mexican or Chinese food?  We are full when we are at the table but given a short time we never have forgotten that we ate as we peer into the refrigerator for something to snack on.  We work and work and bring home a paycheck, pay the bills and then wonder where that next Mexican dinner is going to come from.  We work and work all day starting with a long list of “to dos” and by the end we wonder where the time went as the list seemed only to grow through the day and not shrink with accomplishments.  We toil and then we boil.  We begin with a simmer and end with a whimper.  It’s never enough.  It won’t stretch far enough.  It can’t fill the bill.  It’s hopeless.  We’re helpless!  Is it the truth?

 

According to people it would appear to be the gospel.  But not according to God.  These are the times of examination.  We do not need others to assess our success or failure.  We all stand before God as sinners who have fallen short of His Glory.  In the days of the Old Covenant, it was the House of the Lord that shone with glory because God was in the House!  But, when the people began to consider themselves before God (not in position but priority) they opened the door for God to leave.  In Ezekiel, we can see where that actually happened.  The spirit of God left through the east gate, passed through the valley and came to rest on a mount with olives.  Hmmmm.  On the night when Christ was betrayed, He took the eleven disciples and went to the Mount of Olives.  There He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for God’s Will to be done so that His glory might return.  At His death, the veil was torn apart.  That which once was used to protect the people from God’s glorious appearance had become a barrier to God who could not get back in.  Why could He who is all-powerful simply not take the house by storm?  What could would it be if you rule the house but have not the hearts of its residents?  So, He stood at the door and knocked.  Jesus opened the door to let God back into the hearts and minds of the people who would accept the glory of the Lord.  That veil was the cloak of the law which had bound Jesus to us.  It would be the veil that was cast down at the cross as insignificant.  He put God in His place as the number one priority.  He knew that when God was in the house, not of buildings but of lives, the blessing and protection of the house was unlimited.

 

Whose house do God’s mighty men live in?  Do they live in their own or do they live in God’s?  How do they know?  How does the world know?  How does God know?  They will know by the priorities of God’s mighty men who commit themselves daily to House rules.  God first in all things.

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For E. Lee and her sons as they prepare to move from Austin to Dallas and begin the next chapter of their lives and for those who will assist them

*  For Joe Sanders and the coming prosperity and resource which God is preparing for him and the doors of opportunity to bless his family which are being opened to him

*  For those in our government of the people who make decisions based on personal bias and agendas

* For the U.S. journalist under arrest in Iran and family as they struggle for truth

*  For the continuing nuclear threat in Iran and North Korea that it diminish into extinction…nuclear power does not answer the spiritual needs of the world

*  For ears to hear and voices to speak of faith in Christ…that God’s mighty men become proactive listeners

*  For the healing of an infection that comes from a dental problem and is settling into the bone and sinuses and those technicians assigned to help diagnose that their technology and time are not compromised

*  For the “Lead Like Jesus” (week 5) studies that the prosperity of God’s wisdom empower those whom He is calling into leadership to restore the vision of faith, hope and love in a mighty way


PRAYER CELEBRATIONS  (where we are see Him at work in the world):

 

*  Insight and wisdom

*  God’s Word that is planted within and nurtured to abundance with patience and truth

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

We trust in Your Word, O God.  Your mighty men shall stand fast and dwell in the midst of its revelation.  They shall each learn from its history so they shall not be doomed to repeat the falling down of those who have preceded them.  They shall become House-builders of faith, hope and love.  They shall know the fullness of Your glory and grace.  They will live in abundance yearned for by others but not understood until they, too, place You first in the house of their lives and be at home in their heart, mind and soul.  AMEN.

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