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November 30, 2009

First Week of Advent: Hope

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Isaiah 40.31

“ …but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like
eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

As the line in a popular Christmas tune shares “O the weather outside is frightful,” I look outside into the darkness, hear the rain and feel the cold north wind blowing against the window. Outside of the fact it is a Monday and another long drive to work in inclement weather, I know there are many of God’s people who are struggling to get up to face this day. The weather is bleak and so is their outlook on life. That is, it would be their outlook if they didn’t have a good working relationship with God. Even with one, it isn’t always easy to get up and going when there is so much to do. Lesser people would throw their hands up in the air and shout “What hope is there?”

But, there is hope. The hope of God’s mighty men is in the Lord. He will renew their strength of heart, mind and spirit. He will replenish their resources as they learn to use them to His benefit before their own. His benefit may well be our own but God’s mighty men must always allow God to make that choice. Freeing one’s self from the burdens which life would like to heap upon hearts and minds and shoulders releases the spirit within to rise up as with mighty eagle wings and soar. They will soar through the storms of doubt and darkness and hopelessness. They will rise above the adversity Satan intends to use to dethrone God to feel the warm of the Son of Righteousness whose fire of faith, hope and love burns brightly. They will feel the energy of champions who will never allow defeat to be final nor the journey impossible.

So it is that we have come to celebrate the birth of the Christ during the darkness time of the year according to the calendar. The light of hope burns on trees, housetops and in our hearts. We must keep the fire burning by always turning to God who has not given up hope for us. We must fan the flames of this hope so that it will burn brightly as a beacon in the night of the lives of others. It will be an invitation to step closer and receive the greatest gift and resource God has to give- Jesus the Christ. Without Him there would be no hope. With Him all things are possible. That isn’t just a hope; for God’s mighty men it is a truth.

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)

* If someone has a job for an out of work pastor and educator who has a sincere desire to
provide opportunities for growth and learning for God’s people, please contact me as a brother
in Christ is seeking God’s direction for himself and his family
* For families, family unions, family reunions and the invitation to expand our earthly view of
family to God’s view of family (those who do the will of our Heavenly Father)
* For those who will discover a renewed meaning of Christmas as celebrating the fullness of
new life through the gift of a child
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we receive as we trust in God to provide for our family while waiting
to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make a home
* For the fulfillment of hope

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Thank you, Father, for not only giving us hope but fulfilling our hopes in Christ Jesus. AMEN.

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November 29, 2009

First Week of Advent: Hope

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 93. 1,2

[The Cantor declares:] “The Lord reigns. He is robed in majesty. The Lord is robed in majesty
and armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be
moved.”

[The People reply:] “Your throne was established long ago. You are from all eternity.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

It’s okay that all the Christmas decorations are not up yet. It’s okay that all the gifts are not bought yet, wrapped and placed under the tree. It’s okay that you consumed more this week than you produced. But, are you ready for celebration of the birth of our King in your heart, mind and spirit?

We tend to think that things put us in the Christmas spirit. More lights, more decorations, more stockings, more presents, more cookies, more parties will never be enough to truly put God’s mighty people into the Christmas mood. All of these “things” amount to a form of works righteousness. There is a prevailing thought that righteousness and salvation are something we can create. If that was true then Christmas would fall silently into idolatry. Idols are things we make with human hands to capture a part of God placing Him under our control. We sometimes think we must move heaven and earth in order to accomplish all that we need to make Christmas Christmas. But, in all reality, these things which we gather about us for the celebration of the King of Kings have only as much meaning as we place in them. These must become expressions of who we already are and not reminders of who we were. We do not work to become righteous. We work because we are righteous.

So what do all “these things” mean? Today is the first day of Advent (the preparing to receive the King). If we are now preparing for the day of remembrance when Christ came in the form of Jesus, a baby, then we must consider all these things as invitations to others who do not know what they mean to come and learn. When the world of God’s people seems to be on an unsafe foundation, crumbling apart with every wind of despair and gust of failure, God’s people must hold up hope. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. The lights, trees, presents and parties are opportunities to bring the world’s attention back to the truth of truths: God’s world is firmly established; it cannot be moved; it will not be changed; it is the same yesterday, today and forever. Just when it seems all is lost, all is found.

It is found in the lights of Christmas which symbolize the light of lights which shone in the heavens and drew attention of peasant and king to Bethlehem to the humble throne of the King of Kings.

It is found in the decorations of Christmas which symbolize the humble basics of God’s purpose and intent to appeal to our basic life needs of shelter, food and water, community and God for which He has made the greatest provision in spirit and in flesh.

It is found in the celebrations of Christmas which symbolize the true place of thanksgiving and salvation that is directed toward God to whom we bring our gifts to honor the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

There is hope for God’s people. They will know of this great hope as God’s mighty people take this time to prepare themselves to be God’s invitation to live and love as He planned from the very beginning when He laid the foundations of His world so that it would not be moved. Those foundational truths are still there. They are built on the cornerstone of our hope which is in none other than Christ the Lord.

Extend the invitation of God to come, see, believe and live!

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, praise and service this weekend
* For peace and comfort in the Long family upon the death of an aunt, Betty, whom God has
called home to the place He has prepared for her
* For families, family unions, family reunions and the invitation to expand our earthly view of
family to God’s view of family (those who do the will of our Heavenly Father)
* For those who will discover a renewed meaning of Christmas as celebrating the fullness of
new life through the gift of a child
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we receive as we trust in God to provide for our family while waiting
to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make a home
* For peace, praise, love and God’s joy

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Thank you, Father, for not only giving us hope but fulfilling our hopes in Christ Jesus. AMEN.

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November 28, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Job 22. 7,8

“You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, though you were a
powerful man, owning land- an honored man, living on it.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I have often considered the dialogue between Jesus and the rich young ruler as they discussed what was good, what was perfect and what must be done to gain eternal life. Jesus brought to the fore the commandments which related to human relationships. The rich young ruler had been able to “keep” those commandments by never having the chance to break them. He was, after all, a “young” rich ruler. His righteousness was by omission; he had not been put to the test. But, when Jesus did put him to the test of divesting himself of all his material interest to put on the mantle of discipleship, the young man walked away because his wealth was great.

A similar dialogue had occurred centuries before concerning the life of Job. Job was a wealthy, prosperous and influential man. He would have felt right at home in Texas, I think, because everything he had was defined by big numbers. He didn’t have a little. He had a lot. In fact, he had lots of lots. Conventional “spiritual” wisdom defined Job as a man of great righteousness and blessing because of his vast material possessions. Remember, the disciples associated righteousness with wealth as well when they asked Jesus “If this man can’t make it into heaven who then has a chance?” God asked Satan to consider Job as a righteous man. Satan scoffed.
What made him respond in that way? Could it be that Job hadn’t been truly tested? Would he have been accused of being born with a silver spoon in his mouth?

So, the test came in the form of divestiture: storms, fires, plagues, disasters, sickness and even doubting friends. Satan threw at Job his very best but Job never wavered. His righteousness was not about his wealth or his prosperity. His righteousness was strong because of a right relationship with God. It remained strong even when everything didn’t make sense at all. He never blamed God. To Job, life happened tragically but God remains good, above all things of this world. Interestingly, I find a connection with the rich young ruler in the final speech of Eliphaz, Job’s “friend.” He calls Job into accountability for what he had not done with all of his wealth, power and position. Had all his dealings been above board? Had he taken care of the hungry and thirsty in the land? Did he minister to the widows and orphans? He even went so far as to say that it was Job’s piety (never sinning by not having the reason to because he was rich) was the cause of the tribulation. An interesting accusation about the purpose of one’s life being best revealed in how one’s resources are used to better the lives of others and not merely to protect one’s self from the stain of the world.

As God’s mighty men pass out of the season of Thanksgiving and into the season of Advent (preparing for the birth of Christ celebration) thought should be given to what is right, good and purposeful as it pertains to the resources each has been given. The message seems more clear that Christmas is a time to remember that God provided for deliverance from our poverty (spiritual poverty first) with the fulfillment of the promise to be truly forgiven of sins and inherit eternal life. Will God’s mighty men walk away sad because when put to the test of truly fulfilling the call of righteousness in their lives they cannot afford to be assessed? Will the tradition of providing for the well-provisioned continue or will the message of the gospel overcome the test of the accuser who says there is no God, or at least a God that is watching us lovingly and carefully?

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, praise and service this weekend
* For peace and comfort in the Long family upon the death of an aunt, Betty
* For families, family unions, family reunions and the invitation to expand our earthly view of
family to God’s view of family (those who do the will of our Heavenly Father)
* For safe journeys and activities this weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving holiday
* For those who will discover a renewed meaning of Christmas as celebrating the fullness of
new life through the gift of a child
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home
* For peace, praise, love and God’s joy

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, continue to teach us by Your Word the truth of our prosperity which comes from being delivered out of the bondage of spiritual poverty. May Your love be abundant in and through these mighty men of Yours. AMEN.

November 26, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 1. 3
“He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature upholding the universe by His word of power.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:
HE is, of course, Jesus the Messiah. Jesus as the Christ is the final word on life. There are many people who believe they have the final word or are always vying for the last word as if it were final. But, in all reality, a day will come when all other words will cease and only One Word will remain. At that time all arguments will cease (won’t every parent of teenagers rejoice!). At that moment, silence will truly be golden because it will frame the Way, the Truth and the Life. Those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah will receive and be a part of a picture perfect conclusion to the world and the beginning of a chapter for the new, abundant and eternal life.

As we gather about tables with family and friends, perhaps even strangers who will become friends, Norman Rockwell pictures may come to mind as the ideal holiday celebration. But, they all pale in comparison when it comes the grand artwork of God’s perfect love. This is what every mighty man is hopeful of and thankful for. God’s perfect love made known to the world through Jesus the Messiah who reflects the glory of God is pleasingly visible to our eyes as we share thanksgiving and not merely be thankful. More than that every mighty man of God bears the stamp of God’s Nature which holds the universe in its perfect place when they give of themselves in thankfulness to the God who has given them the final word, Jesus as Lord.

Rejoice and be glad in this day which the Lord has made. May its purpose be fulfilled as you help to paint the picture of the reason for this season in the heart, mind and spirit of those who are gathered near you today and all days ahead.
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 families, family unions, family reunions and the invitation to expand our earthly view of
family to God’s view of family (those who do the will of our Heavenly Father)
* For safe journeys and activities this weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving holiday
* For those who will discover a renewed meaning of Christmas as celebrating the fullness of
new life through the gift of a child
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there
PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):
* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home
* For family, home, job, friends and most of all- God who loves us as much as He loves His
only begotten Son
* For safe journey to my father’s house and the service of thanksgiving we will share with family

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:
With thankful hearts, Father, we look upon You to bless the feast of life which Your Son has set on the table of the world before us. How happy we are to share in the dessert of spiritual blessing and know we have not be deserted in our sin but saved to give thanks to You for all to see and believe in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

November 25, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Isaiah 26. 16

“Lord, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely
whisper a prayer.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Do you remember that day when you knew you had done something so wrong that not telling on yourself was as devastating as telling on yourself? A crisis of conscience and a victory of faith.
As adults have we gone back to our parents and admitted to something we did but were afraid to tell them back in the day for fear that it would destroy a relationship with disappointment? When we confessed, our parents looked at us with compassionate eyes admitting they had known it all along. I wonder if they really did or if saying they did was an act of mercy relieving as much burden in that profession of faith as was released with the confession of guilt. Did we struggle to get the words out? Did we cower in fear of what might still be said years later even though we were not children any longer?

In this season of Thanksgiving, God’s mighty men take the lead of bringing their families before God to celebrate the prosperity of a year gone past. For many it will be a prayer that can be barely whispered because times have been difficult, sin abounds and the struggle remains. Some look upon the hardships in their lives as God’s discipline for our wrongdoing instead of consequences of living in an imperfect world fueled by imperfect decisions. Many will face hardships this holiday season as never before. Some will be tasting situational poverty for the first time in their lives. The burden of heart, mind, body and soul is mounting and cresting like a tidal wave rushing toward the beach ready to crush whatever is in its path.

Yet, God hears even a whispered prayer, a silent cry and whimpering praise. God who speaks in a still small voice has the ears of a shepherd listening for the fleeting bleating of a lost lamb caught in a crag or bush. That faint small voice some interpret as the call of one dying is to God a declaration of one who is yet alive. He heard His Son’s voice on the cross as He breathed His last. Suffering with lungs filling with fluid, bleeding to death from head to toe wounds and a heart that was being crushed under the weight of a sin-stained world, our Lord and Savior called out in thanksgiving with a whispered prayer. He came to the Father in His time of greatest distress, receiving the discipline upon Himself that had been reserved for the world and spoke of life with a still small voice “Father, forgive them.”

While some may not want to hear it there is truth “It could be worse.” These days are difficult for many but not impossible for those who seek out and call upon the God of possibility. He already knows our failings confessed and unconfessed. But, He also knows our salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. Take this Thanksgiving and let it be a call to life. When all else is gone from us in the world this one thing shall remain: God so loved the world that He gave us His Only begotten Son that whomsoever would believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting, eternal and abundant life!

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 families, family unions, family reunions and the invitation to expand our earthly view of
family to God’s view of family (those who do the will of our Heavenly Father)
* For safe journeys and activities this weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving holiday
* For those who will discover a renewed meaning of Christmas as celebrating the fullness of
new life through the gift of a child
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home
* For family, home, job, friends and most of all- God who loves us as much as He loves His
only begotten Son

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

For the life we have made and for the life we have been given, we are truly thankful. Speak to us Your Word that we might life more fully, more completely and more abundantly in sharing this good news with a world that is hungering and thirsting for thanksgiving. AMEN.

November 23, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Jeremiah 44. 25b-26a

“Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows! [said Jeremiah] But hear the word of the Lord, all Jews living in Egypt: ‘I swear by my great name….”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

If nothing else can be said it is this “God is a God of His Word.” God will do what He says He will do. If He changes His mind on something it is because the people with whom He has a relationship and desires to have a relationship have changed their minds to do what is right and good in His sight. God has promised to bless those who bless Him and to provide a covenant of spiritual protection over those who confess belief and allegiance to the One True God. But, for those who do not God has promised to be just and fair. He will keep His Word that a judgment will take place. What will God’s people decide? How can those who have wandered far from Him hear of God’s desire to be reconciled unless His mighty men proclaim His Word of Love and Hope in Jesus Christ?

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 safe journeys and activities this weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving holiday
* For those who will discover a renewed meaning of Christmas as celebrating the fullness of
new life through the gift of a child
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

For the faithfulness of Your Word, Father, we give thanks with both humility and with fear and trembling. We are glad that Your desire is for us to have life; to have it abundantly and eternally in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

November 22, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 119. 130

“The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Don’t you just hate it when we sit through those powerpoint presentations in darkened rooms and at the moment the presentation ends the whole room is illuminated and you are blinded by the light? You know it’s coming. You begin to cover your face or squint your eyes to avoid the sudden brightness. You groan in temporary discomfort knowing “this, too, shall pass.”

Or what about when you are sitting in a theater watching one of those movies that, for one reason or another, strikes a sympathetic and emotional chord in your heart, mind and soul which illicit tears and before you can put your sunglasses on to hide red eyes the lights come up. Isn’t it bad enough that everyone thinks you have a cold or at the very least a sinus condition? But, the light reveals in that moment what is in your heart.

I don’t think David had the opportunity to view a powerpoint presentation or a “chick flick” but I do think he may have had an experience or two about hiding in darkness long enough that stepping out into the light brought discomfort to his eyes. Maybe he had fallen asleep while tending sheep only to be awakened quickly by a noise and blinded by the light. He knew the glory of God would be far too brilliant for anyone to take in at one time.

The Word of the Lord is a placeholder for the glory of God. It contains His meaning and purpose and power. But taken all at once is too much for any man to behold, endure or even understand. So, God reveals Himself to us a little at a time and allows us to grow up into the full measure and stature of His Word, Jesus the Christ. Equally, as God has done for us there is a pattern of teaching that is shared with us so that we might do the same for others. Sharing the Word step by step creates understanding for both the wise and the simple. It keeps God’s mighty men on even ground with one another and with God.

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, praise and service this weekend
* For safe journeys and activities this weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving holiday
* For those who will discover a renewed meaning of Christmas as celebrating the fullness of
new life through the gift of a child
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Thank You, Father, for revealing Yourself to us in ways that make sense. You have invited us to partake in Your glory by the light and witness of Your Word, Jesus, in whose name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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November 21, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Acts 3. 19

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may
come from the Lord and that He may send the Christ..”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I heard a man declare that it is the ultimate desire of every man to have a well-paying job, financial security to buy whatever he needs and wants, the ability to take vacations as he chooses and to retire in comfort. The means to accomplish this feat existed in a change of one’s outlook on religion, world order and community (including the family). The change was to be more accepting, accommodating and tolerant of other people so that it would go well for the one who was changing. Now while I believe that the most important and effective change exists internally, I do not believe that the requirement of a Christ-follower is to adapt to the world, adopt a comfort zone of pleasing others instead of pleasing God nor that there should be no expectation and hope that others will change their lives to draw nearer to God and discover the peace of their salvation in Christ Jesus.

I know that I would like to have those things which the man espoused but at what cost? The ultimate desire of every mighty man of God should be to wipe out sin, enjoy the promised peace globally that comes from a sinless world and to live in obedience to the promised Messiah who is coming to establish His reign forever. When Peter addressed the gathered crowd on the temple steps with the good news of God’s plan for their salvation in Christ he alluded to an Old Testament prophecy concerning a national movement toward repentance. That nation was Israel. That hope has still not been realized. For us today, that nation should be whatever country God’s mighty men call home. For most of us reading HIS WORD for Today that nation is the United States.

Join me in prayer and service sharing the Good News of Christ which leads to a willingness to repent, have sins wiped out and their evil effect, bring in an age of refreshing peace and to prepare for the coming of the Messiah who is Christ Jesus our Lord. Perhaps it will begin in this season of Thanksgiving as the voice of God’s mighty men teach the immutable truth to family, friend, neighbor and community.

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, praise and service this weekend
* For safe journeys and activities this weekend and a blessed Thanksgiving holiday
* For those who will find it difficult to believe there is value in their lives that they might learn
of Jesus and be willing to give their all for the One who gave His all for them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* Good news that H1N1 cases are reducing in number (prayerful alert, however, that a mutated
strain has been discovered in Norway claiming two deaths)
* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

As in the day of Pentecost, Father, so may it be in these days that Your Holy Spirit fall down on these men and lift them up in teaching service through the words of their mouths, the meditations of their minds, the peace of their hearts and the works of their hands in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

November 20, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 98. 6

“With trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn- shout for joy before the Lord, the King.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

What are the instruments of God’s mighty men that will be used to praise the Lord?

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the first day of the week signaling His triumphant declaration of salvation for all believers, the leaders of Israel asked Him to silence His disciples and thus the crowd. Jesus replied, “Even if I did that the very stones along the sides of the road would cry out!” Would there be literal voices? It is possible. It is also possible that stones falling down the hillside, hitting against each other would sound like castanets and the banging of drum or the clapping of hands. Rocks striking together to create a spark to create a fire declare a search for life and a hope for warmth. As the camp song spoke, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.”

Even a fire crackles as pockets of oxygen are exposed in the wood or whatever other substance is burned. Its snap, crackle and pop garners our attention and our senses come alive sparking all kinds of emotions. We laugh at the cereal that can “speak” to us and invite us to share in apparent nutritional value that adds to our lives.

Campfires and cereals do not have in mind praising God. But, they are opportunities for believers to return thanks and shout for joy. Just as it is to build a house and listen to the hammer of nails, the sawing of wood, the voices of collaboration and the silence of anticipation. Equally, the other aspects of labor create a song that can be interpreted as praise for the One True God who made the work and the accomplishment possible. These actions speak louder than words and join with them in witness to our decision to follow Jesus and honor Him with the industry of our lives.

What instruments of God’s mighty men will be used today to praise the Lord?.

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, praise and service this weekend
* For safe journeys and activities this weekend
* For those who will find it difficult to believe there is value in their lives that they might learn
of Jesus and be willing to give their all for the One who gave His all for them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, hear the works of our hands as well as the sounds of our voices as we celebrate the Word of Life in our new song of faith, hope and love. Be glorified! AMEN.

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November 19, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Matthew 13. 45-46

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of
great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

While pearls can be manufactured in today’s world, the same could not be said for those found in the days of Jesus. A pearl is formed by the healing balm excreted by the oyster to cover a grain of sand that has worked its way into the muscle creating pain and irritation. What price would we pay for such a healing? The pearl represents that true, ultimate and valuable healing which God offers us. In the grand scheme of things heaven is our true, ultimate and most valuable healing. It should be the object of our search and desire. God’s mighty men are the merchants searching for that awesome prize and when finding it are willing to give everything once finding it to possess it for themselves.

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 find it difficult to believe there is value in their lives that they might learn
of Jesus and be willing to give their all for the One who gave His all for them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who
put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies instead of God-
centered obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the revealing of the job God has for Lisa and the house He desires to become
our home as I am working in Waco ministering to His children there

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

* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God to provide for our family
while waiting to transition to that place of confidence with a job for Lisa and a house to make
a home

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, these men offer themselves to you in thanksgiving for the pearl of great price, eternal and abundant life, and making it possible for them to find. Bless their decision to pursue finding this life and commit their own lives to having it for themselves and for leading others to see its value as well in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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