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August 31, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 84. 7

“They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

We laugh now when we hear “Are we there yet?” but it wasn’t always funny. As a parent, I remember when I was a child riding in the car asking that question. I had a need to be doing something else and the drive was getting in the way. Bathroom, food or just getting away from my brother were immediate needs that being in the car for a long trip was problematic. So, what did my parents do? They got us all involved in road games. Whether we were looking for hawks, license plates, a variety of animals or alphabet games from billboards, they got us to focus on something else and called upon our strength of observation and competition to divert our attention from personal need to looking outside of ourselves. It also got us to notice landmarks along the way to mark our progress each time we made one of those trips. Our progress was designated by landmarks and not mileage signs. The psalmist highlights a similar thought for those pilgrims seeking out Jerusalem. The journeyed based on their strengths and the landmarks were others who were strong. They sought them out for encouragement and provision. They built upon their strengths and the strengths of others and soon found that the journey was bearable if not downright enjoyable. It seems like a good way to make it through our day. When it gets too long we tend to focus on the negatives and weaknesses and become more self-centered. Instead, we need to focus on strengths and serving the needs of others.

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

* For safe journeys
* For the people of Libya that they may trust the peace that exists and live in peace with one
another
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Mission Waco and the people of San Marino

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

* For the call to serve one another and the spirit of connectedness
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, You are our strength and we seek You each day. But, thank you for giving us strength so that we can help others in their journey through the kingdom of this world in finding the kingdom of Heaven which is ahead. AMEN.

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August 30, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Matthew 3.14

“But John tried to deter Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and do you yet come to me?’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

How often do we try to hinder the work of God planned for us? We hear the challenge when His word is preached or taught. Our conscience is quickened when we seek a needy person on a local street corner and remember “Unto the least of these.” We stop to pray, “Lord, Your will be done” and direct its power and authority toward someone we think needs to hear it. I am reminded of a story of an elder praying over communion on a Sunday morning during worship. He served at the table often and prayed the same prayer, “Lord, let us feel Your nearness; touch our hearts today and we draw You close to us in this bread and cup.” But, on this day, the elder paused unexpectedly during his prayer. Believing that something was wrong, the pastor leaned over and asked quietly, “Is something wrong?” The elder replied, “No, I just heard the voice of God saying “Touch the lives of others as I have touched yours.” Praying the prayer of consistency is powerful in our own lives. But, until we allow that prayer to become our way of life we have missed the permission to go and serve which God gives us on a daily basis. It was important enough to God for John to baptize Jesus that He sent His Son to him. God was validating his ministry so that his testimony about Jesus would be powerful and authoritative. When God speaks, we not only need to listen but obey. We will find the closeness of God, His provision for our obedience and the opportunity to bless others 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 the cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point and
retribution killing increases
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Mission Waco and the people of Samoa

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

* Only 28 people lost their lives due to Hurricane Irene
* For a little bit of rain which fell
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, be glad as these mighty men of Yours not only hear Your Word but allow it to be alive in them and through them for Your glory and for the blessing of Your children. AMEN.

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August 29, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Ezekiel 2.1

“He said to me, ‘ Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

When the angels appeared in the early morning hours to the shepherds of Bethlehem announcing the birth of Jesus with heavenly fanfare, they fell to ground facedown fearing the worst. Not until the angels declared peace did their attention turn from death to life. I would probably do the same in the presence of the Almighty even in miraculous angel form. The same could be said for Ezekiel when God appeared to him in a miraculous spiritual hurricane across the desert of Babylon. He fell down on the ground showing honor and fear. Some might say the fear was not of respect as paid to a king but cowering fear as if before a judge. Regardless of the reason, there is little doubt that the mind of Ezekiel was filled with emotions wrought by this mysterious approach of Almighty God. His heart must have been pounding in his ears raising his anxiety level to near bursting. Who could hear anything God would have to say in that condition. We know that by experience when it happens in our lives as anxiety rises our ability to focus diminishes. God knew it as well and beckoned Ezekiel to rise up on his feet so that God might be able to speak to him clearly and be understood. When Ezekiel could not, or would not rise, God’s spirit lifted him to his feet. Everything shifted from his head to his feet. Now his head cleared, his ears opened up and his spirit calmed. In this condition, he could hear the word of God. I wonder sometimes if we, as God’s mighty men, need to get off our seat (how many pray on their knees in their closets) and get to our feet to hear the word of God? Assuming that prayerful position may be fraught with the trappings of religious practice leading us to say pre-planned words in hopes of a pre-planned answer, we might not hear what God is living to say to us in His time for our lives. It might also be a challenge to us in our busy lives to stop in our hurried walk and listen for God’s direction. Regardless of the position we assume it must always be with the intention of hearing what God has to say in the way He wants to say it, listen to His instruction and obey. Obedience to prayer always leads to action which, I dare say, will usually occur when we take our faithful steps to completing the mission God gives us.

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 impacted by Hurricane Irene from North Carolina to Canada
* For the cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point and
retribution killing increases
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For James and Bruce and Lily (in recovery)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Saint Vincent

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

* That the storm was diminished as it reached the populace of the Northeast and spared them
from greater loss; it was by prayer!
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, on our feet or on our knees with face down in honor or face up in joy, we come to You to hear what You have to say in meeting the needs of our lives. Speak, o God, we are listening and will obey. AMEN.

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August 28, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Philemon .17

“If you consider me a partner, welcome him [Onesimus] as you would welcome me.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

The Apostle Paul addresses Philemon in the spirit and in the world so that he does not misunderstand the purpose of his plea. He calls upon Philemon as a partner in his work. We can obviously relate to the spiritual work they ought to be sharing which is bearing the good news before the community as a faithful witness. But, what good is the appearance of being a Christian if it is not completely practiced. Are there areas in our lives from time to time, and hopefully fewer each day, where our witness is not as obvious? We must guard against being “church-house” Christians; those Sunday only (or Saturday night and perhaps an occasion Bible-study meeting). Our witness of faith, hope and love should be extended 24/7 status. Do we consider God’s mercy and grace only a part-time reality? What if God were only a Sabbath-God and the rest of the week He took a break and left us to our own demise saying, “See you on Sunday! Have a great week.” Satan would not mind all those Sunday-only Christians. But, he fears those whose lives are immersed in faith as the image of God is indisputable. So, how does Paul address the “rest” of Philemon’s witness? Could it be in the word “partner”? Is there a business connection between Philemon and Paul? Is Paul a silent partner in the work of Philemon? Did he aid him at some point when things were not going well? Had Paul sent Philemon some business? So, the charge to accept Onesimus back not as a slave but as one of the team carries an added weight. No longer should Onesimus serve Philemon as a domestic servant but work with him side by side in the business and in the business of Christ. Who is a part of our team? How are we connecting faith and work and making Christ our business wherever we are. Onesimus became an image of Paul to Philemon as we are an image of Christ to the world. What do they see in us 24/7? Do they see a fulltime faith or a part-time religion?

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

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For those impacted Hurricane Irene
* For the cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world; 53 killed in Mexico
and the bombing in Nigeria
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point and
retribution killing increases
* For military engagement in Southern Israel to cease
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Bruce (in recovery)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Saint Pierre and Michelon

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

* A forecast for a break in the heat
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, continue to empower each of the mighty men of Yours to be fulltime partners in the ministry of faith, hope and love. Send them more of Your work to do bringing glory and honor to Your name. AMEN.

August 27, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Acts 16.7

“When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” It isn’t that God would lead His people into temptation that Jesus was addressing. It is an honest confession that no matter how spiritual we are temptations exist that can cause us to divert our attention and energies from one goal to another. Sometimes we are weakest in our areas of greatest strengths. It might not be inconceivable that the desire to prove our commitment to serving in excellence would invite us to tackle a need that does exceed our ability. The intention is good, the desire to serve others, but the timing may not be. Paul experienced this in his own ministry. He was prevented from ministering to the people in Asia and Bithynia. We have no other understanding but that the Spirit had other plans for them. We, too, as God’s mighty men need to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit for our success and our protection. God will not lead us into temptation. We may be asked to take on a ministry or situation where we think we are not able to be successful. We may see disaster or failure but God sees healing and prosperity. He will protect us if we are willing to follow His lead.

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

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For those impacted Hurricane Irene and those awaiting its arrival up the coast from North
Carolina to New England
* For the cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world; 53 killed in Mexico
and the bombing in Nigeria
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point and
retribution killing increases
* For military engagement in Southern Israel to cease
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Bruce (in recovery)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Saint Martin

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

* A successful week of school
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, send Your servants where they can serve You best. Protect all Your children in the times of need as well as times of peace. AMEN.

August 26, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 107.6

“He [God] led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

While there may be other views with which to read and understand this passage of scripture beyond those I have been inspired to put forward, there is one that I want to offer before I ask the Spirit to lead me further. Oh, that would be the point! Who do we, as God’s mighty men, allow to lead us to our own safe haven and ministry region? Who is our guide? David declared, “The Lord is my Shepherd, He leads.” Joshua proclaimed, “As for me and my house, we will follow the Lord.” God commanded, “I am the Lord your God, there is no other.” Jesus taught, “I am the Good Shepherd. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. He who follows me will never die [eternal death] but live [eternal and abundant life.”] Jesus promised, “I will send you another, a comforter and guide, the Holy Spirit, and He will teach you, remind you and empower you in the absence of my physical self.”

As a teacher and administrator, I recognize the chasm created in young peoples’ lives by the lack of appropriate role models. They do not always choose wisely as to who they will follow and model themselves after. They tend to choose those individuals who have experienced what seems like instant success. They want their freedom and deliverance from the world in which they find themselves and believe that instant answers offered are authentic and long-term. Did we, or do we even now as God’s mighty men, fall into that category as well? If we allow God to lead and direct our lives through His Word, His testimony and His Spirit then we shall move forward straight toward the goal in the short-term and in the long-term prospects for our lives. But, if we choose others then we can become as a leaf fallen from the tree of life pushed wherever the winds of this world desire.

Who is our leader? What kind of leader are we for others?

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

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For those impacted Hurricane Irene and those awaiting its arrival from the Carolinas north
* For the cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world; 53 killed in Mexico
and the bombing in Nigeria
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point and
retribution killing increases
* For military engagement in Southern Israel to cease
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For a successful year to all those involved in education
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Bruce (in recovery)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Saint Lucia

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

* Clean report for Carolyn from her cancer surgery
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, lead us into green pastures today by the still waters and restore our souls. AMEN.

August 25, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 107.6

“He [God] led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

We all laugh when we see a dog chase its tail. I had a dog that seemingly never tired of chasing his tail. Sometimes he even caught it and then didn’t know what to do with it once he did. I remember he even bit his own chased tail and then stood there wondering how it happened. As mighty men of God what are we chasing? Are there personal pursuits in our lives that so dominant us that we lose sight of who we are, what we are doing and why? What pursuits have we caught up with only to discover that they were not all we had cracked them up to be. Jesus taught, “Seek first the kingdom of God and He will take care of everything else we need.” I might have to consider that our first priority in life is to seek the Kingdom, its fullness and share the journey with others. The pursuit of possessions, prestige and power can hinder that journey. God has promised to straighten those things out in our lives if we just trust, obey and follow Him. That is the promise Jesus made with His disciples, “Follow me.” After that, everything else fell in place.

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 impacted Hurricane Irene and those awaiting its arrival
* For the cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point
* For military engagement in Southern Israel to cease
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For a successful year to all those involved in education
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Carolyn (awaiting test results following surgery) and Bruce (in recovery)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Saint Kitts and Nevis

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

* Good challenges to build a better network to assist students
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, thank You for your provision today for our daily needs. We will find them along the way of mission and service to others. We look forward to those discoveries and opportunities to help others learn how to “get it straight” with themselves for You. Bless these mighty men in their journey. AMEN.

August 24, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 107.6

“He [God] led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Jesus told His disciples, “Do not fear.” Fear must be one of the strongest emotions we experience and display as God’s children because it is mentioned so often in God’s Word. Love is the strongest emotion and greatest gift (along with the gifts of faith and hope) God has given us. But, fear is one of those double-edged swords which we wield in our hands. It is good to have a healthy fear because it keeps our senses alert to our surroundings and reminds us to exercise our gifts deftly. But, fear without faith, hope and love can be life-defying and life-denying. With fear in control, we spend our time looking around corners, taking sidesteps, creating our own detours and at times not even forge ahead in the direction we are supposed to travel. We eschew risks and stay far away from the frontiers of life God needs us at to minister to the marginalized. We fear failure, defeat and alienation. We fear our own shadows and doubt our own minds on matters that are important, especially those where we had confidence previously. All of these realities clutter our path toward the goal of living in righteousness and in peace. They create bends in the journey so that fear abounds and we are kept from the city where we shall dwell with the Lord forever. As God’s mighty men, we need to take our Savior’s advice and not live in fear. Believe in Him and believe in God. Their intentions are for us to live happily, safely, productively, being well-provisioned for all eternity.

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 impacted by earthquakes (Colorado and Virginia) and Hurricane Irene
* For the cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point
* For military engagement in Southern Israel
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For a successful year to all those involved in education
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Carolyn (awaiting test results following surgery) and Bruce (in recovery)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Saint Helena

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

* Good second day at school
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we are so glad You have promised to be with us always through the end of this age and throughout all eternity. May Your presence be known today in wondrous ways in the lives of Your mighty men so they shall travel straightway in their ministry to others. Lead, guide and empower them today with faith, hope and love. AMEN.

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August 23, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 107.6

“He [God] led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I once watched a man trying to carry a heavy bucket of bait to the river where he would sit down to fish. He hoped to catch enough to feed his family and more to sell to help meet their daily needs. I noticed how a trail had been worn from where his old pickup was parked down to the river. It wasn’t a straight path but moved a bit to the right, yet he always faced straight ahead with his shoulders to the river. It did not take me long to realize that the weight of the bucket pulled him to the right. He only had a handful of rods and reels to counterbalance. When he put the bucket down it became apparent that the weight of his world had caused him to lean in that direction as well. The same is true in the life of God’s mighty men who try to shoulder the weight of their world alone. The earthly burdens will begin to lead you a little off course at first and by the end a miss was as good as a mile. Jesus declared that He promised He would be yoked with us in this world. He would share the burden. In fact, He took the heaviest of burdens upon His own shoulders. What are those heaviest burdens? Sin! Jesus took our sins upon the yoke of the cross. He died that our burdens might be eased so that we could return to the straight path of righteousness. God’s mighty men are called to share the burdens of others. Jesus took their sins which leaves us with what we can do for others to make their burdens light. It may be as simple as a helping hand to a heavy bucket of bait, a bundle of books or an endless list of others means we can put one hand in the hand of the Master and the other to those who are in need.

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 cessation in the rise of mob violence which is gripping the world
* For those engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point
* For military engagement in Southern Israel
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For a successful year to all those involved in education
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Carolyn (awaiting test results following surgery) and Bruce (surgery on Friday)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Saint Barthelemy

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

* Good first day of school
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, thank You for walking with us and sharing not only the gifts of faith, hope and love but Your desire to forgive us of our sins. AMEN.

August 22, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 107.6

“He [God] led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Okay, so what is something that can detour us from our goal. The desert prophet, John, proclaimed the words given to Isaiah “Prepare for the kingdom of God, make straight the way.”
I can easily assume one of those detours is that well of sins from which we still draw in order to meet the perceived needs of our lives. How often does it seem that we default to our sinful nature in order to satisfy the hungers and thirsts of our lives. We may be walking on the straight and narrow path when some adversity or challenge rises up to meet us (and it will.) Like the “primal scream” which we often exclaim in those frustrating times as a first response, we fall back to how we learned to meet the needs of our lives by our own volition. It used to work but only for a short time and only in a limited manner. We did not possess the kind of vision we needed at that time in order to see the bigger picture. Our view was clouded so that the implications of our decision-making was obscured. It happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden so it most certainly can happen to any of us outside of the Garden. Taking life’s success into our own hands is a dangerous business when we have taken it out of God’s hands. Of course, every mighty man of God knows that it is never truly out of God’s hands because we are all in His hands. But, instead of a clasping of hands and sharing the opportunity between us, we clutch it in our own as if it belongs to no one else. It is that “no one else” mentality that leads to sinful thinking and negative consequences. It is that “me alone” perspective that allows us to wander off the course of righteousness and seek oases of comfort for ourselves. Sometimes, we do not even recognize that we are blazing a trail for others to follow behind us like the blind leading the blind. Our journey toward the goal becomes convoluted and disastrous. But, the Good Shepherd is seeking to lead us back on the right path even if we must travel through the valley of shadows where death, sin, waits to devour us. Only in the forgiveness of our sins do we have hope for the future. God alone can truly forgive us and has by the covenant of sacrifice laid down by His Son and our Savior, Jesus the Christ. He blazes a path of glory to Heaven even from the depths of Sheol. It is a shining path that even the demons cannot ignore as they chose to not walk it. God has made a straight path to Heaven for His children to walk. Along its way are the trees of prosperity from which we can pluck the fruit of the Spirit. There are flowing rivers of righteousness whose headwaters are His throne out of which we can draw the nectar of life as bee from a fragrant flower. There is company and companionship and industry to keep us focused and productive. It is a path where sin no longer needs to be an option for survival because we have all we need. Mighty men of God, which path are you on? If you need to change, repent and let God find you. He is ready to make it straight between you and Him for all eternity.

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 engaged in the Libyan conflict as the balance of power nears a tipping point
* For military engagement in Southern Israel
* For wisdom and guidance to all those desiring to lead this country as the next president
* For a successful year to all those involved in education
* For those suffering under the expanding heat zone across the United States
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For wisdom in creating American policy about Israel; may the foundation of wisdom be
biblical “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”
* For Carolyn (awaiting test results following surgery) and Bruce (surgery on Friday)
* For Mission Waco and the people of Rawanda

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

* Happy Birthday, Dad
* For many successes in the first week of school
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, thank You for the forgiveness of our sins and for the blessing of life. May our eyes remain focuses on the true goal of our lives which is to love one another and honor You. AMEN.

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