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June 30, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Numbers 20. 1

“In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at
Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Do you know the rest of this story? It is interesting how a single sentence can provide enough information to explain the why something happens. Of course, we are faced with death and dying on a daily basis whether it is a physical death, emotional death, financial death or a spiritual death. Life is the purpose of who we are as God’s people. So many struggle to keep their heads above water in the sea of life. It would seem that more water is gulped in trying to stay afloat and gives the appearance that death is closer than life. Even Peter experienced this feeling when he asked Jesus to let him step out of the boat and onto the waters. We know the rest of that story as Peter lost focus to see more of the stormy sea and less of the Master of the Sea. But, what about today’s introduction to a very challenging moment in the life of Moses?

Of course, it is easy to say there is no excuse for making a bad decision and that may be true. There are reasons why we make bad decisions and we must grapple with those reasons so they no longer exert control in our lives which enable bad decisions. Grief can be one of those reasons. Grief, mourning the loss of someone dear to us, is a very big strain on our lives. It changes the way we see things in our lives, even ourselves, and opens a door to opportunities that may not serve us or God very well at all. I believe that for Moses, grief was a very real part of the background which influenced his next steps in leading the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. It was a day that would change the course of his earthly life and draw a boundary between him and the fulfillment of his earthly ministry.

What was the rest of the story? It was the striking of the rock at Meribah to produce water for the thirsty Israelites in the Wilderness of Zin. There was nothing wrong with providing water for his people but the means by which he delivered it showed the effects of frustration and loss. For his lack of trust to honor God’s request more than the Israelites, Moses was not allowed to lead God’s people into the Promised Land. He in essence would lead them to the door and then stand there holding it open as each one would pass by. He would get to see their eyes of expectation and of sorrow. It would be a day of revisiting accountabilities for the lack of trust in God’s word and provision. There is no excuse for disobeying God but we do it anyway. There are reasons for losing strength of heart, mind, soul and spirit but there is no excuse- we, as God’s mighty men, know better.

I believe that if Miriam hadn’t died that day in Moses’ life may not have happened. Of course, it may have happened just on another day because his resolve was tested often by the Israelites he led. They, too, had no excuse but claimed lots of reasons. Fortunately, for Moses and for us there is mercy and grace. The biblical witness does not say Moses did not enter the promised land of the Kingdom of God just as it is for those who are Christ followers. We have sinned as well and end up sometimes just short of where we were intended to be. We have our reasons. We make our excuses. But, the reality is that we have spent more time dwelling on things which are fruitful only in death and less on things that make for life. God is not a God of the dead but of the living. His way is perfect and just. In Him alone we must trust. We must keep our excuses in silence, seek healing to overcome our reasons for disobedience and seek the mercy and grace of God at all times to keep us safeguarded and strong. God’s desire is that we enter into the fullness of His promise. What is ours?

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 safety and preservation of those confronting Hurricane Alex as it bears down on the
Mexican coast but whose storm force is impacting the entire Gulf coast
* For peace to come to those who are fearing the first storm to appear in the troubled gulf waters
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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; and to join with the call from
Louisiana lawmakers to bring prayer forward as THE solution to the Gulf oil crisis
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* 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 voice of meaning and purpose to speak into the lives of those who hear none and
struggle mightily with their lack

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

* Successfully filling another’s shoes
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, forgive us again for our failure to trust You in all things. Bring comfort and rest to our heart, mind and soul so that we can be strong for You and those You have given us to lead. Let the pain of grief subside and be overwhelmed by Your rising tide of faith, hope and love through Jesus Christ our Lord. May the leadership of these, Your mighty men, be strong and true. AMEN.

June 29, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Matthew 4. 17

“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Our lives are a product of time and place. Where and when we “are” determine a great deal about what happens to us. We have often thought about missed opportunities because we were in the right place at the wrong time or in the wrong place at the right time. But, the truth may be more likely that many times it doesn’t matter where or when we are but how aware we are of our nearness to the kingdom of heaven.

There are those who interpret the “kingdom of heaven is near” as an apocalyptic declaration about the end of time. Those who believed that Jesus was the messiah hoped for by the Jews of His day were excited because they looked for the restoration of Israel as the great nation it once had been. In some ways they believed it would be the end of the rule of man (false rulers such as the Romans) and the beginning of the rule of God. Of course, God never abdicated the throne and was always in control. The perception was a frailty of man and continues to be so today.

There are those who interpret the “kingdom of heaven is near” as a sign of a place or dimension of being. They embraced the teaching of Jesus who declared “the kingdom of God dwells in the midst of you.” What a comfort it must have been for those who were homeless physically and spiritually to know that the kingdom of God was with them. How tragic it must have been for many of those same people who watched as Jesus was crucified on the cross and buried in the tomb. Two such individuals were identified in Luke’s telling of the Emmaus Road experience. But, the world itself did not change in its appearance if the kingdom was indeed in their very present-day experience.

So, the awareness of the kingdom of heaven must be more than just a time and place which it certainly is. The nearness of the kingdom of heaven is a drawing to our attention that it is a way of living, believing, thinking and serving. Without repentance our eyes are blinded to the blessings which God is putting before us to use in fulfilling His plan for our lives. Living by grace and acknowledging the presence of the kingdom in our lives allows for others to be able to see the kingdom in their own. For those who do not or dare not, the kingdom is just as close as it every was but to their eyes, their heart, their mind and their soul it might as well be a million trillion miles away.

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 peace and health to Ella Shalom born Saturday
* For protection and success to Joe and Lindsay as they travel to Haiti
* For peace to come to those who are fearing the first storm to appear in the troubled gulf waters
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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; and to join with the call from
Louisiana lawmakers to bring prayer forward as THE solution to the Gulf oil crisis
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* 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

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

* Rest and renewal
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, stay close to us as we find our way into the fullness of Your Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Remove the sin blinders from our eyes as we confess our sins and profess Christ as our Savior so that we can see the nearness of the Kingdom is actually where we are in the moment we put into action faith, hope and love. Bless Your mighty men as they profess and proclaim the truth of Your Kingdom and share the blessings and benefits of living in it in a mighty way. AMEN.

June 28, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

1 Corinthians 14. 33a

“For God is not a God of disorder but peace.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Not to take an expression of truth out of its context for which it was first directed, we must remember that Paul’s teaching at this point concerned the regulation of a worship and praise service at which Christ-followers and potential Christ-followers were in attendance. The purpose of such gatherings was to build up the body of Christ and to edify Christ alone. The use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy or even a hymn to do anything more or less was seen as a sin. The Holy Spirit awakens the spiritual inclination which God created in every human being so that its expression served His purpose to bring His people back to Him in fullness and in grace. Yes, you heard me right. These spiritual gifts are not merely bestowed upon persons who bear witness to their firm belief that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God and as such is accepted by their personal Lord and Savior. Spiritual gifts are not rewards for making a good decision to be a Christ-follower. Spiritual gifts are the charge and duty of every person to exhibit and put into use for the building up and maintaining of the kingdom of God. Just as all God’s people are blessed with talents and abilitities, so are they blessed with at least one gift of the spirit. It waits until the depth of God speaks into the depth of man and awakens it for the glory of God. Just as God called light out of the darkness so does He still call this spiritual opportunity out of the darkness of the sinner to enlighten the world. That spiritual gift is a testimony of God from God to be spoken into the world in its time and place.

The Apostle Paul was aware of that giftedness. He himself possessed such gifts or, dare I say, was possessed by such gifts. These gifts do take a certain amount of control over us. They become as a rudder to a ship that gives direction to its course. The believer may in fact see the goal but put their hand to the rudder to steer his or her life alone. Doing so can create chaos for the assumption of such power directs attention to the one who is steering. God’s mighty men are not “captains of their own fate” but become as first mates to Jesus Christ who is the true captain of our ship. As mates of Christ, we each have a duty and responsibility to perform in order to make sure the ship stays ship-shape and fully functional in its purpose. Allowing Christ to take His rightful place at the rudder of our lives, individually and corporately, is a guarantee that we will arrive at our destination. The course may lead us through peril as storms will arise upon the sea as is the course of nature. Sometimes the sea will be more embroiled in chaos because the nature of sin which was unleashed by man’s disobedience to God stirs the waters against progress. Yet, the will of God shall not be thwarted and those who allow the gift of the Spirit to rise up will be used by God not only to overcome the storm but defeat its chaos and restore it to peace as did Christ for His disciples that night on the Sea of Galilee.

It was on that night when the normal course of nature which created a storm upon the sea was awash with the fears of human frailty in sin. The storm not only appeared to control the waters but the disciples themselves. They were surrendering themselves to the fate of the storm which they believed was to end their lives. Yet, what seemed out of control to men was under the control of God through Jesus Christ. His presence invoked the gift of risk-management in Peter who believed that to die in Christ would be better than to die in the world. As long as he focused on Christ Jesus and allowed Him to be in control the storm had no power over him. But, when he looked away to the storm and its ferocity, fear found its way back into his heart, mind, spirit and body. Weakness overtook him and he began to be swallowed up. It was the hand of Christ reaching to His down and out brother that saved Peter. It was the same hand that then calmed the sea and gave witness to the others that Jesus was not only their Lord but was the Lord of heaven and earth. Jesus first took control of those caught in the situation because their salvation was His true purpose. He then took control of the situation in which they were caught and gave them peace. Were they at peace because the wind subsided and the sea calmed? Or were they at peace because Christ was in their midst? He was the gift of life which would rise up among them and bring them peace! Let that gift of God be alive in you, mighty men of God. Do not let it remain dormant because you have put your hand to the rudder of Christ and seek to direct His actions toward you. Instead, invite the hand of Christ take hold. Let His breath fill the sails. Let His eyes see the prize. Let His will set the course. He has much for you and your mates to do for the glory of God and the welfare of His kingdom. Who will sign up to join Him on that voyage of victory?

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 peace to come to those who are fearing the first storm to appear in the troubled gulf waters
* Compassion for all people by our governmental leadership and humility before God’s Word
for the same; for the family of Senator Robert Byrd who has received his reward upon his
death bringing the end to a long tenure of service to this country and to those of former Texas
Governor Dolph Briscoe
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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; and to join with the call from
Louisiana lawmakers to bring prayer forward as THE solution to the Gulf oil crisis
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* 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

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

* A day of victory and peace for those returning to work
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, it is by Your Will and Your Spirit that we have life and have it abundantly. A part of that abundance comes in the expression of our purpose through the gifts of Your Spirit which is a promised blessing. May these gifts come alive in Your mighty men today and may their service bring glory and honor to Your Name as it was, is and will forever be in Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

June 26, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 34. 1

“I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Remember when we were told “If you cannot say anything nice say nothing at all”? I heard a story the other day of a little boy who was found sitting in the corner of his room muttering to himself. His father had just come home from work and saw him there. He asked him what was the matter. The little boy looked into his father’s face and said “Nothing.” He turned to face the corner muttering again. The father listened closely and finally made out what his son was saying. He was repeating “nothing” over and over again. He asked him, “Why are you saying ‘nothing’?” “Because I am mad at mom and ‘nothing’ is all I have to say at the moment.” “Don’t you have anything nice to say about your mother?” asked the dad. “No sir, not at the moment. So since I cannot say anything nice I am saying ‘nothing.’”

I suppose it would be a dead giveaway to people listening if they heard us saying ‘nothing’ over and over again. They might not know who or what we are talking about but they would eventually figure out we had nothing good to say about whoever or whatever it was. Perhaps, in the place of negative thoughts, feelings and words about people and situations that are not pleasant to God’s mighty men there should be inputted the practice of the psalmist found in the text for today. If we spent more time extolling the virtue, mercy and grace of our Lord whose spirit of life exists in all people there might be less destructive talk in the world. If His praise is always on our lips then those affirmations might build up healing and overcome the hurt we and all of God’s people are experiencing. Perhaps the advice could say, “If you cannot say anything nice pray to God without ceasing!”

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 those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* Compassion for all people by our governmental leadership and humility before God’s Word
for the same; especially recognize the state of the State of Massachusetts in your prayers as
they enter a new era of defending life debate
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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; and to join with the call from
Louisiana lawmakers to bring prayer forward as THE solution to the Gulf oil crisis
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* 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 healthy and happy pets especially as the heat of summer bears down

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

* A happy birthday visit to see one of my daughters
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

(with palms lifted up)

Lord, You have been good to us; better than we deserve. We thank You for saying the nicest thing that could be said to us through Your Son Jesus Christ. Without Him in our lives there might be nothing left to say at all. AMEN.

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June 25, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Romans 15. 1

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Do we expect a reward for helping others in need? Do we seek an extra star in our crown for having patience? Is the practice of forgiveness a competition to see who appears to be more righteous? If it was then we would all lose and fall short because Jesus would win every time. However, if Jesus thought that being a God-fearer was just a game, He wouldn’t play. Helping others, bearing patiently with those who are struggling in their lives seeking to better themselves and having a desire to be forgiving at all times are vital expressions of God’s love- His love for us and our love for Him. When God’s mighty men are commanded to love one another and to love God as they themselves desire to be loved it is a challenge to “embrace respect for one’s self.” Respect is the true measure of self-love. The Apostle Paul urges Christ-followers to “not think more highly of one’s self than you ought.” Our head is Jesus Christ as members of one body of faith, hope and love. We cannot be above our head. We may get in over our heads at times when we forget the simple principles of faith, hope and love. The call to mighty living is one of respect.

How do we live that life of respect? The answer is simple enough for God’s mighty men. “Follow Christ.” Christ placed the needs of others above His own. He laid down His life in order to pick up our cross to follow God wherever He commanded. He was led to Calvary’s hill and there at Golgotha was sacrificed for the sins of God’s people. Legally, we saw He was crucified. But, the reality is that Jesus did not live according to the laws of man. He respected the laws of man and honored the laws of God. God’s law was best expressed in His mercy and grace bearing with the failings of the weak. He did not offer forgiveness, second chances or even the life of His Son so that the angels in Heaven would pat Him on the back and say “Good job, God. What a good God you are for doing that for all those people.” He certainly deserves our praise and that of the angels but not because He is pleased with Himself. Instead He deserves to receive it because we respect and honor the God who loves us so much He made it His ultimate desire to save our lives at the risk of His own. It is the model of respect for every mighty man of God, every Christ-follower.

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 those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* Compassion for all people by our governmental leadership and humility before God’s Word
for the same; especially recognize the state of the State of Massachusetts
* For wisdom to be sought as the guiding principle for all our leaders in this time of crisis
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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; and to join with the call from
Louisiana lawmakers to bring prayer forward as THE solution to the Gulf oil crisis
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror; for the family of the Guadalajara mayor who was
shot and killed
* 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
* Another year of healing and prosperity for James
* For healthy and happy pets especially as the heat of summer bears down

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

* A shoulder to lean on and a lap to lay in
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

(with palms lifted up)

Lord, thank You for setting before us the live of faith, hope and love. These are certainly high expectations but You have shown us how possible it is to attain them and use them not as stepping stones to rise above others but handrails to reach out to those who are in need. AMEN.

June 24, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Ecclesiastes 2. 17

“So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is
meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Even on the streets of San Antonio, I was amazed by a whirlwind. It moved between the buildings along my downtown walk picking up pieces of paper and letting them fall like summer snowflakes back to the ground. You wouldn’t think that it was a possibility because it was in the midst of a busy city full of visitors, tourists and citizens alike. It wasn’t in the open fields where we normally see them and expect to see them. I watched for a moment as it made its way down the street. I wondered if anyone else saw it with me. But, as I watched I was reminded of autumn leaves that are swept by the wind across the ground. Were those leaves actually being pushed by the wind? Were they caught up as in a whirlwind and deposited randomly as the wind desired? Were they running with the wind to stay on the cutting edge finding one last opportunity to be alive? What I knew was that leaves do not chase after the wind. They have no power on their own to do so any more than the paper had the choice to lift itself up to become a part of the whirlwind.

The same might be said of our lives as it applies to the mighty wind of God. When we are caught up in the wind we might be urged in a direction not of our choosing, or caught up in an opportunity to do good wherever we find ourselves or running the good race to stay ahead of the world on the cutting edge of the kingdom. Regardless, we cannot accomplish the good we were designed to do without the mighty wind of God. That wind is the Spirit of God, the ruach or “breath of God.” On our own we do not even have the energy to chase after the wind because we do not know where it will go or where it has come from. It is under the command of God and as such is not random. It may even look random to us but it is not in the eyes of God. So there are times in our lives when we feel as if there is no breath, no purpose, no energy to do the work we are doing. It is in those times we must not chase after the wind of God which is His inspiration in the world. Instead, we must make ourselves available to be used by the Holy Spirit to become high and lifted up. Our elevation may move us to a different place, a new opportunity or just a new vantage point from which to see that where we are at the moment and what we are doing is of importance enough to God to put us there so that He might breathe through us into the life and works of others so they, too, can be caught up in the mighty wind of God to further serve His purpose and good will.

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)

* Wisdom and the means to provide a needed gift to a family member
* Compassion for all people by our governmental leadership and humility before God’s Word
for the same
* For wisdom to be sought as the guiding principle for all our leaders in this time of crisis
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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; and to join with the call from
Louisiana lawmakers to bring prayer forward as THE solution to the Gulf oil crisis
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror; for the family of the Guadalajara mayor who was
shot and killed
* 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

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

* Home, sweet home
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

(with palms lifted up)

Lord, breathe in us and fill us anew with Your Spirit so that all we say and do today shall bring glory and honor to Your name in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. AMEN.

June 20, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Proverbs 4. 10

“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

How many times did we hear from our fathers, “Because I said so.”? As young children we accepted the explanation. As teenagers we debated the meaning behind the words. As fathers we practiced the same discipline. As grandfathers we tell the stories as a bedrock for wisdom.

When we were young we needed to grasp obedience. As teenagers we yearned for inclusion in making decisions. As fathers we wrestled with authority remembering our own youth. As grandfathers we wish we had talked more with our children and repent by sharing with the generations that follow.

As in our earthly lives, so it is with our spiritual lives. God asked for obedience of Adam and Even when human life was young. God instructed inclusion when making decisions about all of life’s needs. God exercised authority over all things that we His enemy and the enemy of His people even when it was themselves. God shared the greatest story ever told through His Son Jesus Christ.

We are not fathers first, we are sons of the Father. God is the first Father and we are His sons. We are invited to learn from Him and with Him how to make of this life glory and honor by embracing His meaning and purpose. We honor the Father by raising up sons of the most High God. What does it take to be a good father? It takes the same as it does to be a good son. We must practice obedience, encourage inclusion, exercise spiritual authority and continue to share the greatest story ever told. If we do this then the days of our lives will be many.

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 celebrating
Father’s Day with “Our Father”
* For wisdom to be sought as the guiding principle for all our leaders in this time of crisis
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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; and to join with the call from
Louisiana lawmakers to bring prayer forward as THE solution to the Gulf oil crisis
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror; for the family of the Guadalajara mayor who was
shot and killed
* 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

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

* Happy Father’s Day
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

(with palms lifted up)

Lord, You have fathered us in the truest sense of the Word. May we continue to heed Your instruction and walk the path of righteousness. Bless each one of these mighty men of Yours that their words and actions meet in faith, hope and love for all of Your children which You have given them. AMEN.

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June 19, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Hebrews 2. 9

“Be we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and
honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for
everyone.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Many times it is easier to define something by what it has in common with things we know. In Hebrews, Jesus is described using the same description David wrote about when he considered the place of man in the realm of God’s plan. In Psalm 8, David proclaims “What is man that though art mindful of him and the son of man that you would care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels.” Jesus came into the world to share it with us. He also came into the world to share heaven with us, too. Since we have this in common with Jesus, for we desire heaven as well, it is good to know that Jesus’ whole purpose was to show us how much God loves us. It wasn’t so much that God wanted to be one of us but that God wanted to make it possible for us to be one with Him as it was in the beginning. As God’s mighty men we are to share that purpose as well. We are just like others around us. We have highs and lows, times of peace and times of chaos, we suffer and lament, we celebrate and give thanks. We seek meaning and purpose in our lives believing we have a higher calling than the one the world desires for us to settle on. With this in common we also have Jesus Christ who died for our sins so that we might live in righteousness with Him on earth as it is in Heaven. When looking for the perfect gift to share with others consider the gift of knowledge and wisdom as it points to Jesus Christ as the Savior of the 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 those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend celebrating
Father’s Day with “Our Father”
* For wisdom to be sought as the guiding principle for all our leaders in this time of crisis
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* 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 the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* 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

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

* For a breakthrough in the Gaza blockade
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

(with palms lifted up)

Lord, we are humbled by Your desire to reconcile us into Your kingdom. Thank you for loving us so much that You have gone to the furthest extreme to convince us that we are one of the family of God. AMEN.

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June 18, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Joshua 22. 34

“And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us that the
Lord is God.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

It was a matter of misunderstanding between two peoples about the purpose and intent of one certain action. Without clarification on this matter many would have died. But because Joshua sought to understand, ready to execute judgment and justice, the two and one-half tribes were able to bear witness to their commitment to be mighty men of God. So often some of the things we do and say have multiple meanings leaving others to decide for themselves what is true and what is false. As mighty men of God, we cannot deliver nor serve mixed messages. Mixed messages are merely a way of covering up the truth by keeping it stirred in the midst of questions and options. The two and one-half tribes of Israel stated clearly what their intention was in building an altar. Their purpose was to create a witness for future generations to know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and Joshua, was indeed their God as well.
In a world of competing messages vying for the attention of others in order to make a profit or gain some advantage over others, Christ-followers must not be ambiguous. It is not enough to live a good life for there are many who can do that. It is making clear that the purpose of living a good life is to serve God in the model of Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Savior. We do not do this to gain an advantage over others so that we might profit from our commitment to know, love and serve Christ. Instead, we live this life for this purpose because we have been given the advantage of spiritual opportunity. Our opportunity is to live life to its fullest. The fullness of our lives is to explore and engage all that God has purposed in us and through us. After doing that if there is anything left then maybe we could turn away from God and be on our own. But, I do not know what that would be because outside of God there is nothing else.

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 celebrating
Father’s Day with “Our Father”
* For wisdom to be sought as the guiding principle for all our leaders in this time of crisis
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan with the possible confrontation between Israeli forces and an Iranian flotilla
headed toward Gaza; for the release of the U.S. hikers captured by Iranians and held in prison
* 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 the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* 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

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

* For healing in all of God’s creatures from the Gulf Coast to the ones we love the most
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

(with palms lifted up)

Lord, let the testimony of these mighty men speak plainly of their desire to know, love and serve You above all else in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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June 17, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Luke 22. 63,64

“The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating Him. They blindfolded Him and
demanded, ‘Prophesy! Who hit you?’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Prophesy? More like “Guess?” The simple misunderstanding of the word “prophesy” only showed the spiritual depravity of Jesus’ captors. He could have easily predicted their future. But they would not have enjoyed hearing, nor probably understood much less accept it. He could have told them the truth about the abuse He was enduring on their behalf. In the midst of those words the beating might have intensified and the verbal abuse escalated. These men were not concerned about their future nor the truth. They had a job to do and performed it to the level of expertise that was expected of them. They treated Jesus as they did any other man who was about to be put to death. Mockery, name-calling, joke-telling, finger-pointing, game-playing were all tools of humiliation meant to break the spirit of a man.

Really? We only need to watch television and see a similar comparison. How many “comedy” routines reflect the same process? What is it called today “humor”? Maybe they should have said, “Come on, Jesus, humor us. Tell us who hit you.” He could have, of course. There was no reason to do so, but He could have. It was in His silence that the future truth was actually spoken. Because He didn’t participate in their games they found the true measure of God’s mighty man. Because He didn’t utter words of any kind until the very end bore witness to the purpose and character of the man. We even hear a centurion proclaim from the foot of the cross, “Surely this man must be the son of God.” Ah, at last the true prophesy was spoken in words not by Jesus but by an eye witness.

So, when people say they have not heard God speak consider this lesson today. There were many who did not hear the Word of God that day when Jesus was crucified. They truly saw the Word of God but without a “play by play” it was difficult for many to understand. So, it was after the crucifixion that the disciples were charged to add the voice to the picture. The gospel is not a silent film with closed-captions. It is an action adventure with words of truth powerful enough to silence enemies and save the lost. It is the voice of God’s mighty men today who speak this truth when others fear to do so. One of my favorite movies “Spies Like Us” contains a quote now repeated often which says “We mock what we don’t understand.” If Jesus’ captors had understood the truth their actions might have remained the same but their words would have changed. Maybe they would have ceased the abuse but someone would have picked up the whip and continued. It had to be. It was the prophetic truth for Jesus so that it doesn’t have to be for anyone else but those who accept to put themselves in the place of others so they do not have to suffer. .

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 wisdom to be sought as the guiding principle for all our leaders in this time of crisis
* For the flurry of earthquakes in Southern California, western China and now Indonesia with
six major earthquakes within hours of each other (four in one hour) and only 90 miles apart
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan with the possible confrontation between Israeli forces and an Iranian flotilla
headed toward Gaza; for the release of the U.S. hikers captured by Iranians and held in prison
* 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 the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* 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

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

* For Mack’s trip with his dad to Tennessee
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

(with palms lifted up)

Lord, let Your Word be alive in us and proceed out of us to bring the truth about our future to light in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

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