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May 31, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Proverbs 24. 17-18

“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice, or the
Lord will see and disapprove and turn His wrath away from him.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

How important is our proper attitude toward the enemy? In the wisdom of Solomon it is very important because God’s work is about us. His covenant is with us. His mercy is for us. His reconciliation and restoration is on us. His Word to the nations is through us. In many regards we might be able to say “it is all about us.” Of course, that would depend on who the us is. If we cry out for vengeance because unrighteousness is closing in on us from all points of the compass believing we have acted faithfully and we are unjustly being attacked, God will act. God hears the cries of His people and is faithful to respond. God loves those who love Him. Isn’t that the key? Our focus as God’s mighty men is about loving God not hating the enemy. Jesus teaches that we are to love our enemies, our neighbors, ourselves and God. Of course, we are not called to love them in that order; God comes first. But, just as God is not the means to an end He is the end of our “mean.” We are to do what is right and good for God. We are supposed to keep our eyes on God. God sent His Son into the world so that as we see Jesus we also see the Father who sent Him. But, when we take our eyes off the prize confusion, doubt and chaos ensue. Our purpose on earth is not to defeat the enemy but to keep the enemy from defeating us. Only Christ can defeat the enemy. The enemy is Satan. His works are powerful and influence many to believe he is the way, the truth and the life. Under the cover of darkness and shadows, Satan weaves his lie of illusions using spiritual mirrors to lead others to take their eyes off God and to reflect upon themselves as vestiges of ultimate truth.

There is but one truth and that truth is revealed in obedience to God. If we forsake the call to love then we forget we are protected by God. If we forsake the call to serve then we forget how we have been saved by God. If we forsake the call to worship then we forget how we have been made new creations. If we forsake the call to be spiritual beings then we forget that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the only unforgivable sin. It sounds like a dangerous path to follow all for the sake of looking out for one’s self instead of looking out for the real #1, God. So our boasting, gloating, bragging, cheering about self is just as negative as it is to do the same over our enemies. The Apostle Paul declares that true love is not about such things which cause division and adversity. Instead, true love works through humility, compassion, peace and service. God punishes the wicked for their redemption while we are yet in this world. Helping them to see the Way, the Truth and the Life is our conviction and our call. If we root for their defeat so they are totally annihilated from our sight then we do not have Christ in us. If we see their defeat as an opportunity to bring spiritual victory into their lives then God is praised, Christ is lifted up and hope is restored. So as we remember those who have given their lives and whose lives are on the line in the service of this country, let us also remember those whom they had to fight against who had no chance to see God save their lives because they had been deceived by their true enemy so they would become our enemy. Let us remember the words of a beloved hymn which taught,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

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 remembrance of those who have given their lives in
the service of their country and for protection for those who are serving their country now that
their lives be kept safe
* For those who will be travelling this long weekend that they may have safe journeys
* For the honor and protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good
for the sake of human dignity and hope
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and as far as the Arctic
Ocean and Europe and those whose livelihood depend on them
* For those in the path of two Latin American volcanic eruptions and those suffering the impact
of an earthquake in the Phillipines
* For a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful

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

* For the family of blue jays in our back yard consisting of three babies learning the ropes
* Another beautiful morning which calls you to praise God

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, forgive our enemies as you have forgiven us who once were your enemies in unrepented sin. May the testimony of our desire for peace and mercy through love, sometimes tough love, be an effective remedy to the darkness in their lives by being the Light of Life for salvation. We shall not decide to forsake love but invite the enemy to know the love of the Father which we can come to know through the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN.

May 29, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Isaiah 27. 12,13b

“In the day the Lord will thresh from the flowing of the great river to the Wadi of Egypt, and
you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one… and will come and worship on the holy
mountain in Jerusalem.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

It isn’t always easy to know when you are to do God’s work and when to let God work on His own. I suppose it is always best to err on the side being active instead of assuming passivity. The rash of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, devastating storms and even the unnatural disaster in the Gulf will cause some to wonder “what in the world is God doing?” Are these signs, wonders and portents of something greater? Of course, for many mighty men of God, these are signs of where we can get to work. I believe the appropriate spiritual attitude is to do God’s work assigned to us and leave God to whatever else is needed. However, some will adopt a wait and see and then wonder why nothing is happening. It is happening. However, it will be happening in the field. You remember that field, don’t you? That field which Jesus our Lord declared is “white with harvest” is the one where the gospel is happening. How else would it be white with harvest? God has been working the field with the implements of His mighty men. He was poured the blessing of the lifeblood of His Son to water the seeds of faith, hope and love. He has warmed and protected it with His mercy and grace. Now, by the power of His Holy Spirit the harvest will be gathered in. We are the ones that must go out so that they might go in.

Do not worry that there will be no room left for us when we return will arms filled to overflowing with the children of God redeemed for His glory. There is room for all. Jesus is building more rooms. He is not replacing eternal tenants. Our room has His name on it for us. We do not need to be reserved in our faith fearing our reservation will not be honored. God honors those who honor Him. This weekend we are honoring those men and women who have accepted the call to go out into the world to defend freedom for all people. In the desire to make it safe throughout the world for people to be safe from tyranny these soldiers are leaving their homes and families behind that others might keep them safe for their return. Some soldiers will not return to those homes but will be gathered in to their eternal home already prepared for them. This is the way it will be until all of God’s people who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior until all are gathered in so they can come and worship God in the New Jerusalem set upon a great hill. Step out this weekend and let your thanksgiving for their sacrifice and your commitment to keep the homeland secure be known. It honors them and it glorifies 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 to worship, praise and service
* For those who will be travelling this long weekend that they may have safe journeys
* For the honor and protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good
for the sake of human dignity and hope
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and as far as the Artic
Ocean and Europe and those whose livelihood depend on them
* For those in the path of two Latin American volcanic eruptions
* For a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful

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

* A weekend with the promise of rest
* A beautiful morning which calls you to praise God

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, watch over all of these we are calling to mind in this season of memorium. For the soldiers and their families of the past, present and future we give thanks. They have accepted the call for which others are prepared to do. May this call be honored and honorable in the defense of freedom and the securing of life in liberty for all Your people. AMEN.

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May 28, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

John 5.31

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor
and I know his testimony about me is valid.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

We are entering a weekend where our country’s warriors (weekend, domestic and foreign) should be first in our heart, mind and prayer. Yes, I spoke of those three things in the singular and not the plural as we should be of one heart, mind and prayer when we lift up those who are a serving in the armed forces protecting our country, its interests and its intent to maintain freedom on every continent. This is a time when we should be honoring these servants for the work they are doing for us. They work for us. They protect us. They are our vanguard. We should be testifying about them. They defend and protect the very freedom that even allows citizens of this country to decry their need and purpose. They honor this country by sharing goodwill in peace and in combat. Theirs is a difficult decision on a moment’s notice and, for some a lifetime which could be ended at a moment’s notice.

Jesus was a spiritual warrior fighting against an enemy that is deeply rooted into the life systems around the world. Throughout terrorists actions and outright combat the enemy lays his attack against God’s people. God’s mighty men are a part of the spiritually armed forces to beat back the attack and prepare a place for faith, hope and love. These soldiers of faith should be on the forefront of lifting up our earthly soldiers and their families to validate their choice, their work and their sacrifice.

Join with me in doing so this weekend.

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 to worship, praise and service
* For those who will be travelling this long weekend that they may have safe journeys
* For the honor and protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good
for the sake of human dignity and hope
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and as far as the Artic
Ocean and Europe and those whose livelihood depend on them
* For a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful

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

* For restoration of the air-conditioning to bring environmental comfort to our house
* A beautiful sunset and sunrise that painted the walls orange

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, bring protection and prosperity to those who serve this country in the armed forces. Bring honor and inspiration to the services offered to remember those of the past who have made our freedom as citizens of this nation possible. Let freedom ring with a spiritual appeal and may its sound never fall on deaf ears. AMEN.

May 27, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Esther 3. 10,11

“So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the
Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. ‘Keep the money,’ the king said to Haman, ‘and do with the
people as you please.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

God promised, “Those who bless you will be blessed and those who curse you will be cursed.” Jesus taught, “Father, for us our debts/sins/trespasses as we forgive our debtors/those who sin or trespass against us.” These statements are not mutually exclusive but complete the picture of faith, hope and love blended together to define what is means to be righteous. Regardless of what people do to us we are to continue to act in forgiveness as God is forgiving. God has blessed His people from the beginning of time. The world is to follow the lead of God’s mission and purpose. His desire is to bless all the world. He manifested that desire by blessing the world with the perfect manifestation of Israel, His chosen people, who was His Only Son, Jesus the Messiah.

I find it interesting that many Christ-followers have a tendency to believe that Jesus was a Christian and His purpose was to create the Christian Church. In all reality, Jesus was a God-follower and His purpose was to lead others in joining together as one people who follow God. He was Jewish by birth. The promise of God for the nation of Israel and for the world was to be fulfilled by those who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God and accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior. This did not mean that people were to turn Jesus into their image as if to validate their place in life. Quite the opposite is true. We are to be turned into the image of Christ, restored to the image in which humanity was created beginning with Adam and Eve.

Of course, God’s direction was first given with Israel in mind. Those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed. Those who curse, or seek bad things to happen, Israel will put themselves in a cursed position where bad things will happen. The story of Esther is an illustration of that promise. I believe it is a truth that we should heed as well. I believe it is a truth that Israel and those whose heritage is a reflection of Israel should heed, too. It is a terrible thing to curse others. It is terrible when one curses him or herself and wishes harm upon their own life. God’s mighty men must embrace the desire of God who blesses them mightily and believe in themselves. They must also seek to bless others whom God has blessed already through the forgiveness of their sins by the effect of Jesus Christ. To not reach out and lovingly serve others as Christ has served us is wrong and defies the call and challenge of 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 a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and as far as the Artic
Ocean and Europe and those whose livelihood depend on them
* For a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* For the protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good for the
sake of human dignity and hope
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful

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

* Those who trust in the Lord

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, may Your blessing today be a mighty witness to others as it is shared in the name of Jesus Christ so that all the world can know of its being blessed already for goodness and righteousness. Let the invitation be extended and may many accept it today and spread the wealth of faith, hope and love. AMEN.

May 26, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

2 Chronicles 32. 7,8

“’Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria
and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is
only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles [with
us.]’ And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Hezekiah did not have a magic wand nor did he believe in luck. Hezekiah had a determination to remain faithful to the commitment of spiritual renewal for himself and his people. He also had God on his side. In spite of incredible odds by human standards, Hezekiah was not rolling the dice hoping that God would respond. Hezekiah knew that God was not a conditional type of God who decided to act on behalf of those sought to please Him. Hezekiah knew that what God had declared was the order of things was good in and of itself. The call to righteousness and faithfulness to His Word made life better just in its activities and intentions to honor others. But, when the call to obedience was proclaimed to be the means of honoring God and not just to do good works, Hezekiah knew that His Word made life best.

Okay, I said made it best.
I did not say it would be without test.
Only on the Sabbath would there be rest.
But a commitment to faithfulness stirs up those who attest there is no God.

Hezekiah and the people of Judah found it to be true. Sennacherib was on the horizon. He defied the presence of God and sought to intimidate God’s people into giving up all they had. But Hezekiah had laid the groundwork of faith. He urged the people to trust and obey. He desired for them to live as godly people in times of peace and renewal as well as in times of trial and testing.

It did not make them tremble less.
It did allow them to confess.
It made it possible for them to attest that in this contest God is always best.

God proved His righteousness to prosper His people who seek to remain faithful to His Word at all times. His Word remains true today. As the world watches BP seek to “kill” the leaking well polluting the waters of God’s gulf, its flora and fauna and bringing His people to their knees wondering when will it end and how will they survive, we must remember that no matter the works of man, we must call on God to assist in completing the plan. True enough for BP. True enough for God’s mighty men who because of poor decisions are bleeding out into the waters of life and creating havoc in the lives of others. We are dependent on the “top kill” too to stop the bleeding and restore life to the land. Our “top kill” was Jesus Christ who cemented God’s promise with His commitment to honor God in all things in spite of what people said was impossible to do. Thanks be to God. God’s will be done today in and through His mighty men.

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 safe return on the final voyage of Shuttle Atlantis and its crew
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and as far as the Artic
Ocean and Europe and those whose livelihood depend on them
* For a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* For the protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good for the
sake of human dignity and hope
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful

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

* For a less stressed day ahead
* For Mack’s recognitions in NJROTC

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, we show our desire to be righteous by trusting all things into Your Hands that Your will be done in and through Your mighty men. Guide the activities today of those who will be a part of restoring life and hope in the midst of tragedy and chaos. AMEN.

May 23, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Matthew 5. 48

“Therefore, be fully developed and mature in all godliness as is your heavenly Father.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Practicing perfection as modeled by the perfect practitioner results in the imperfect becoming more perfect. How many people, including God’s mighty men, cringe when they sit again at the Master’s feet and listen to Him revisit the Sermon on the Mount at this point. There are cheers for the promise of blessing to the outcast, downcast and castaway. There are cheers for the grace that upholds the law and the righteousness that surpasses it. There are nods of agreement in the power of positive thinking for those who are old salts and bright lights. There are uncomfortable moments when lifestyles are challenged to live purposefully and respectfully which differ from the conventional practices of the modern day convenience. There are long pauses to contemplate the depth of truly loving one another, worshipping humbly before man and God, how to refocus one’s prayer life, explore tithing, cast away the burden of fear and caution for one’s personal welfare, treating all people fairly and the call to proclaim the true Messiah.

But, in the midst of all those issues stands this one teaching. It isn’t in bold letters as if to say “Oh, by the way boys and girls!” It isn’t set apart in scripture as if there is even a pause for reflection before or after to give a hint to the listeners there is something here that is most important and shouldn’t be overlooked. But, it would seem, upon reflection that the first “half” of the teaching leads up to this point of reference and the second “half” gives illustration to it.
I know I have done this myself as a teacher and preacher where more time is spent on the explaining of why something is important and less time on what is important. I cringe to hear those three point sermons where the introduction was the first point and the other two points just filled the bill of having three points, a conclusion and see you next Sunday. But, no matter the what, the why, the how, the when, the where or the weight, the call to seek the higher and better is unmistakable and unforgettable. We want to be able to dismiss the challenge as too great. We might have even dared to say the challenge was impossible if not for His teaching that “with God all things are possible.” But, isn’t that the point?

Jesus was raising issue with how the “men” of the world sought to define perfection, produce perfection and maintain their ideal of what was perfect. It was as if men were saying “We are as perfect as man can be.” I suppose they were, and still are, correct giving the limitations they accepted as “normal.” We are have wondered what “normal” was. To many, abnormal seems more normal. Yet, as God’s mighty men, we are not called to live as men of the world seeking perfection (does the Dos Equis commercial apply here as an illustration?). Instead, we are called to be men seeking perfection practicing it in the world. But, who then can be perfect? Jesus rebuked a young man who tried sucking up to Him saying “Good teacher!” It was just another way of saying “Hey Man, you are the most perfect teacher of them all. Teach me perfection.” Jesus replied then as He taught on the Mount “Seek perfection as is practiced by God.” In this case, as practiced by God’s Son who defers to the Father perfectly.

Okay, is that not perfectly clear? Jesus went on to challenge the young man with the ideal of perfection practiced in the world just as God had already done and would completely do in the Son.

Still not perfectly clear? What did He say was “perfect”? Oh yes! “Go, sell all that you have, give it to the poor, then come and follow me.” There it was. There was that word again that is so hard to hear because it is so impossible to listen to. “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” What? Who? Me? Well, I think God sold the farm when He sent His Son into the imperfect world as a perfect babe to grow up to be the perfect son who became the perfect sacrifice and made it perfectly possible for those who were, are and will be imperfect seeking the perfect to be perfectly acceptable before God on the day of judgment. He gave up the “All” He had to follow the Way, the Truth and the Life He so perfected made.

“Impossible” you say? Being one of God’s mighty men isn’t about doing the impossible. It is about practicing as perfectly as we can day by day the perfection expression of perfection- love one another as God loves you! He never said it would be easy. He did say it would not be impossible to do. You gotta believe it!.

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
* For a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and as far as the Artic
Ocean and Europe and those whose livelihood depend on them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* For the protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good for the
sake of human dignity and hope
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful

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

* For a success two weeks of school left for those who qualified
* The fruits of many labors have proven successful for LVHS! To God be the glory!

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, as perfect as we are at this moment, we pause to worship, praise and serve You with gladness and awe. Thank You for modeling perfection through Jesus our Christ so that we may be able to approach Your Throne with the same confidence as we shall bear witness before all the world in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

May 22, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Proverbs 11.30

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Have you ever wondered what righteousness looks like? The knowledge of good and evil looks like a big, juicy apple (I assume a giant, red delicious apple but that is a personal preference.) It was the fruit of the tree of life that Adam and Eve turned their noses up at and their backs on. What was it about the fruit of that tree that made it less desirable? Was it simply that the promise of the knowledge of good and evil was so appealing? Was it because God said “Just say no!” Maybe the apples were not big or juicy or red. I would not disparage any other apples but I have a feeling that Satan certainly had a way of making things look a whole lot more exciting than others. The fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil could have been broccoli or asparagus or cabbage! Okay, they don’t grow on trees, but you get the picture.

But, if the trees were just fruit trees, then I think that the fruit of the tree of life would be a fig tree. Fig trees are awesome with their low and strong branches, broad leaves, protective cover and figs are good for you. Not everyone likes figs but I see Nabisco has continued to expand their Fig Newton cookies to include other fruit flavors so they mix well with others. Not only that but fig trees show up not only in the Bible but throughout the world. Figs have a healthy purpose in our diets. But, not everyone runs out to buys figs as their favorite fruit. It seems we still may not truly pursue the fruit of life to its fullest as we should.

Solomon, in all his wisdom, declared “the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.” Being good, doing good, promoting good through faith, hope and love bears good fruit whose seeds must spring up unto eternal life. Isn’t that the way it should be? Isn’t that what God wanted Adam and Eve and all the rest of His children to be and to do? Add to that the wisdom of sharing the gospel so that more and more people will come to know this truth of righteousness and you will not only have a full life but a full plate! Interesting, isn’t it, that what we may have thought was lost in the Garden has actually been with us all the time. Refuse temptation and celebrate life with your witness of the righteousness of God’s goodness and mercy and grace..

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
* For a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and as far as the Artic
Ocean and Europe and those whose livelihood depend on them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* For the protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good for the
sake of human dignity and hope
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful

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

* For a success two weeks of school left for those who qualified
* The fruits of many labors have proven successful for LVHS!

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, for the blessing of life through the fruit and fruitfulness of Your Son we are thankful. Let our spiritual diet be complete and may the fruitfulness of the lives of these Your mighty men be abundant in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

May 20, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

2 Samuel 21. 1

“During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the
face of the Lord. The Lord said, ‘It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is
because he put the Gibeonites to death.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

There are some parts of the biblical witness I find very difficult to embrace; mostly in the Old Testament. It is no small wonder that people find it hard to reconcile the image of a loving God with One who blames famines and natural disasters on the actions and failures of people. Soren Kierkegaard taught “There is not a flower that is plucked from earth that does not bring down a star in Heaven.” During his imprisonment by the Nazis, and subsequent death there, he must have seen a bare field and a barren sky. We can look around at the horrible situations many of the world’s population live in and put this principal into action discerning how it would be different if God’s people put sin away, put on righteousness and serve one another with unending love. Would it change the course of earthquakes, wind, fire and famine? Would disease pass away instead of lives? Would death evaporate into a vapor never more to rain down on earth? Would criminal actions be replaced by the sowing of humility and trust? I could go on with the possibilities of positive overcoming negative. So, I will say simply this as a challenge to all of God’s mighty men. I do not know if the sin of righteous men brings these disasters or not as a punishment or negative consequence. I do know that the failure to be righteous and do good puts many of God’s people at risk. I also know that when we fail to God’s will and abide in faith, hope and love with God, ourselves and one another there can be no good end for us. It doesn’t matter as much now what causes it but how God’s mighty men will respond in Christ-like manner to witness the presence of God’s mercy and grace moment by moment.

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 a peaceful resolution in the continuing conflict between North and South Korea
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and those whose livelihood
depend on them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* For the protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good for the
sake of human dignity and hope
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful
* A healing of migraines

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

* For the wisdom and leadership God will provide today in planning for the future
* The peace that passes all understanding

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, where knowledge fails let wisdom rise up and call these men forward to bear witness to the truth of God. Ours is not always to understand Your Ways which are higher than ours but to abide in Your presence and worship in spirit and truth. AMEN.

May 19, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

2 Peter 3.10

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the
elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Okay, you only thought you had a bad day. Can you imagine life without Jesus and knowing the aforementioned day was coming? I wouldn’t even want to imagine it. For those who live as if this world is all they have what hope is there? For those who consider “the day of the Lord” as a Sabbath rest and time of worship this promised day will feel like one “hell” of a day. Life as we all know it in this world will cease. Life as it is in its essential elements of faith, hope and love will continue unabated and unfettered in a kingdom of light and life. Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin there will be weeping, wailing, sorrowing, lamenting, death and dying without comfort or relief. And all of that is counting on that promise to be a literal and not a figurative day. It could as easily be a thousand years or ten thousand years in God’s timing of life and living. The only uncertainty about that day is when it will show up on our calendar because it will come like a thief in the night.

So, we need a better neighborhood watch to promote all those who live with us and around us.
So, we need a great home security system to alert us when a prowler is deciding whose house to infiltrate so they will be left with nothing of value.

But, God’s mighty men are already supposed to “be that, have that.” We are supposed to be in the security business sharing the good news that will bring comfort and peace to those who will face that day regardless of the status in this world. As no man will escape that day, all men need to be prepared for it as if it were today. Our security is in the Lord, maker of Heaven and earth.
Our hope is in God who has not only prepared that day but is preparing all believers for that day so that it will be as a twinkling of an eye- one blink this world and another blink the world yet to come. Be ready. Stay prepared. Share the Word. Live with faith, hope and love..

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 each earthquake that serves reminder of what is yet to come
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and those whose livelihood
depend on them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* For the protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good for the
sake of human dignity and hope
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful
* For the defeat of the spirit of skepticism

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

* The pulling together of a success team ready for the challenges of today to be prepared
for tomorrow
* The Son still shines

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, You are our strength and redeemer. Draw us closer to You each day until we are one with each other and with You. For the blessings we are about to receive we give You thanks. AMEN.

May 18, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Acts 18. 23

“After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place
throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Our purpose as God’s mighty men is to strengthen all the disciples of Christ in Christ. Paul teaches the disciples in Corinth that they are a part of the body of Christ whose purpose is to build one another up until they attain the full stature of Christ who is the head of the body. I enjoy the memories of the original bobble-heads. Mine was a dog who occasionally rode on the shelf behind the backseat of our car as if it were looking out to greet passersby. Its head bobbed up and down attached to a swivel and gave the appearance of being alive. The critical point of the message is that its appearance was that of being alive. It certainly wasn’t alive, far from it, as I learned one day when it was accidentally dropped and the porcelain dog shattered into many pieces. All the kings horses and all the kings men could not put my poor doggie together again.

Do you get the point that I am leading toward? The body of Christ must be real and authentic. Jesus, as the head of this body, is not attached on a swivel bobbing up and down giving the appearance that the body is alive. If we are not real then we are projecting a false image and message about who Jesus the Christ is. We turn Jesus into an idol whose power can have no positive effect for us. We are not to make Jesus into something of our choosing. We must choose for Jesus to make of us what we are supposed to be in the body of Christ so that we can build one another up until the real body of Christ reaches its full measure and stature head and shoulders above all else in this or any other world.

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 resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For a cautious eye observing the current events in Europe and who will rise to lead the people
through this time; watching our own leadership and fate as well
* For a successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and
the protection of wildlife in the water and on the Gulf Coast shores and those whose livelihood
depend on them
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan;
especially now with the announcement of Iran sending uranium to Turkey and a suicide
bombing in Afghanistan- be especially wary of days now without news for worldly peace is
like a crouching lion waiting at the door to devour the innocent
* For the protection of our troops around the world defending what is right and good for the
sake of human dignity and hope
* 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 teachers and students as the school years winds closer to an end that they will remain
productive and respectful
* For the defeat of the spirit of skepticism

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

* Opportunities to bolster the future of students with good news
* The trust of friends and colleagues

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we lift up the body of Your Son and our Savior. We do not offer Him to You as if in a lament for the deceased asking for a life miracle. We serve a risen Savior and we lift Him up on our shoulders in celebration of His greatness which is for us and for Your Kingdom. We hands raised high we praise Him and You for the love we have received. May we spend valuable time today lifting one another up, strengthening them with love and working with them to further Your Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

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