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September 30, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 13.15-17

“I have set before you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is great than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

We see good things being done all the time. Acts of charity, compassion and courtesy are the right things we should do. However, just doing them because they are the right things to do does not unlock their full benefit and effect. Even people who are not “good” and those who are not “saved” can do the very same thing. So what unlocks the secret of their true power? It is the declaration of their purpose as tools in the hands of God’s mighty men. When they become the means by which the spiritual needs of others can be reached in the name of Jesus Christ, the power and authority locked inside them is released. It is never enough, it is good, to do good works. But, to do them for the glory of God and to demonstrate our understanding of being the servant of Christ as Christ was the servant of God is outstanding.

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 leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For the cessation of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of France
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG

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

* For a day of gentle rain, getting the car repaired (Lord reveal the provision for this expense) and completing 76 gallon apheresis donation (equals to providing blood products to 1830 people)
* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we want to tell you that we do not do good things for others in order to receive the blessing but that we might be a blessing to those whose needs are greater than our own. For the blessings we do receive we are thankful as they allow us always to contine to serve in faith with hope through love. AMEN.

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September 28, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

James 4.7-8a

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devel, and he will flee from you Come near to God and God will come near to you.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

We ought to remember the properties of magnets. Like poles repel each other. Opposite poles attract. Are you wondering where I am going with this given HIS WORD for today? I had to stop and pray for wisdom on this as well. What is it that God wants me to see between His Word and this illustration He called to my mind. It would seem at first glance to be contradictory. If opposites attract then why wouldn’t the devil be drawn near to God? Wouldn’t life be so much better if Satan would just relent and repent, humble himself before God and be saved? I believe that God would love nothing more than for this lost son of heaven, this blind guide blinding others so they will follow him for eternity, to recognize the error of his ways and come back to God. God does not will the death nor the immutable sentence of eternal dying upon anyone. Just because the option exists does not mean that God desires in His heart of hearts to enact it. The same is true for God’s mighty men. Just because there are options to satisfy one’s needs and fall into sin doesn’t mean they have to choose them. Jesus did not sin because He chose not to sin not because He never had the opportunity to sin. Sin was all around Jesus. Demons and devils and temptations were in abundance in His day as they are in our day. Satan himself gave Jesus three opportunities to deny God and follow Him. Jesus refused the offer and rebuked the peddler of perdition.

But, how does this still make sense of “resist the devil and he will flee; come near to God and He will come near to you”? Would it stand to reason that coming near to God would cause Satan to flee? Satan and God are opposites on everything. They should be attracted to one another. In fact, Satan fights this battle of attraction daily. He hates the fact that there is a difference between himself and God. It is this difference that led him to rebel against the love of God and be cast out of the dominion of Heaven. But, even Satan knows the value of the light. His problem is that he wants to be the source of the light so that all eyes and lives would be focused on him instead of God. Because he desires the light but does not have the light he is attracted to God. But, by the very nature of this mutual attraction he flees from God. He cannot submit to God. He cannot admit his difference nor its benefit. Because he cannot live in submission to God he is repeled. It is the same for God as God cannot submit to Satan. Since He cannot submit to Satan and thus not be God, sin has no place in His heart, mind and spirit. Equally, since sin cannot truly submit to God lest it become “un-sin” and therefore have no place in the realm of God, it is repeled from God. Why? If it is opposite from God it should be attracted. Yes, but because its desire is to be opposed to God instead of submissive to God it is attracted more to those who are like them- opposites attract. So, all those who are opposite God are attracted to each other just as all those who are opposite Satan are attracted to each other. So, opposers are attracted to each other and the difference between them is evident.

Mighty men of God maintain the difference. Do not be attracted to those things which oppose God and deny His authority on earth as it is in Heaven. Instead, be drawn to God because you recognize your difference from Him as He is God and you are not. Be drawn into the light of life because He is and you are not. If you desire light and life and eternal peace, submit yourselves to God and be saved.

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 leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For the cessation of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Finland
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we draw near to You in Spirit and in Truth because we want to be loved into life. You alone are true life and living. Draw near to us and cause evil to flee in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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September 27, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

Matthew 28.16-17

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him there, they worshiped Him but some doubted.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Thank you, Lord, for doubting disciples. Even amid all the revelations of the resurrected Christ and the testimony of those who had seen Him following His crucifixion and burial to be alive and well, some of the disciples still doubted. Did that disqualify them from God’s mercy and grace? Did that disqualify them from future service in the Lord? Did that exclude them from the covenant of righteousness? By no means! It just proved they were human and the moment of reality which confronted the presence of grief still weighed heavily on their hearts and minds. They were still trying to make sense of the truth that Jesus who was their friend, Lord and Master had been cruelly killed by the sentence of crucifixion. He was humiliated before the world being stripped down, whipped and His body mortally wounded. In their own fear of penalty by association they became more like frightened children than bold men. Tough talk was easy when they were alone with Jesus. Now they were alone without Jesus and life was the tough talker. They felt the burden and the pain of separation. The one whom they loved was beyond their grasp. They had experienced the highs of the triumphal entry, the intimacy of the Last Supper and the lows of His death. It was more than most of them thought they could handle. Yet, here they were on the mountain in Galilee. All except one had the courage to obey even when it seemed impossible and improbably that the cause could go on.

And what did they find? They found Jesus waiting for them. They worshiped Him. They sang praises to God and rejoiced at this glad reunion. They hugged and laughed and cried. They marvelled and wondered. Some doubted. It was only natural. Jesus knew this and He respected it in them. Being a Christ follower did not make them supernatural. They were not God nor were they gods. They were mighty men blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit already at work in them. Jesus stood there with them. He still trusted in them. He still believed. He still loved. He still forgave. He still was teaching. He still was because He was, is and will always be I AM. And this is good to know for us today because it means that even while we believe, we still have doubts and moments of mental, physical, social and spiritual weakness. We are not perfect in ourselves but being made perfect in Christ Jesus. His death did not forsake us but made sure the promise of a bright and glorious future for each of us. The promise is given not based on our doubts but on our desire to see Jesus. He was glad to see them that evening on the mountain in Galilee. He knew they would be there but it gladdened His heart nonetheless. Their presence meant everything to Him. Our presence means everything to Jesus whenever we accept His call to go and meet Him. It may be on a mountain or a valley or the next street. It may be at work or a ballgame or in the grocery store. It may be in Church or in a hospital. It may be in our heart and mind and spirit still struggling to make sense of our lives even though we know we have been made righteous and the promise of life is ours forever. The great thing to Jesus is that no matter what life did not stop us from living. Be alive, mighty men of God. Even in the midst of your doubts and fears, be alive. Meet Jesus. Go and meet Jesus then go and introduce others to the Lord of their lives so they can live, too.

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 of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Fiji
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG

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

* For the vision of the angel of the Lord giving Lisa a new heart; for Mack finding God’s healing on his 18th birthday; for the love of a mother in heaven to sons who miss her
* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, even while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. Now, while we are yet disciples, Jesus lives for us by living in us and through us to all the world. We give thanks that Your mercy knows no bounds. Thank you for meeting us where we were so that we can meet You where You are. AMEN.

September 26, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 8.58,59

“‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, YHWH.’ At this, they picked up stones to stone Him. But, Jesus hid Himself slipping away from the temple grounds.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I guess we could say “Jesus really knew how to bring down a house.” As God’s mighty men read through the gospel story they can find the many faces of Jesus. No, I am not saying that Jesus was “two-faced.” Jesus was boldly singular in His life- He was what He was. His purpose was to shake the foundations of conventional wisdom so that the truth of God could settle back into place. How often do we see Jesus as the peacemaker and healer instead of a “mover and shaker”? To say Jesus was not confrontational would be a lie in and of itself. The Word of God should not only confront us but convict us with spirit and truth. Jesus was, is and will always be the embodiment of truth. He is the incarnation of God’s Holy Spirit and essential being. In fact, as Jesus was so we are called to be. Imagine how the Word became flesh at God’s command. At first it was in the Garden of Eden when the Trinity made humanity in their image. Then it was in the immaculate birth of Jesus. Then it was in the rebirth of each mighty man of God who submits himself to the authority, dominion and power of God. The Word becomes flesh when God’s mighty men act as Jesus acted, speak as Jesus spoke and live as Jesus lived. This is the way of God!

But, are God’s mighty men ready to be like Jesus? Are they ready for those moments of confrontation where the truth has to be told especially when it contradicts popular opinion and indicts the false religions of the world? Iron certainly sharpens iron. Jesus was resolved to honor God and proclaim Him always. His will was God’s will. But, being God’s “man” on earth also steeled the resolve of those who would oppose Him. In the morning, the teachers of the Law brought stones with them to execute their definition of justice on a woman they caught in adultery in order to trap Jesus. Did they truly intend to stone the woman or were they entertaining the thought of a mob stoning of Jesus? Jesus knew their hearts and their purpose. He would allow no one to die for Him. He came to die so that all men who would believe in Him would be mighty in spirit and in truth. But, by the end of the day, the very stones which the builders rejected were picked up once again. This time they focused their attention solely on Jesus with a the purpose of killing Him. And why? Because He drew the line in the dust and dared them to cross over from unbelief into belief- from God pretenders to God’s mighty men.

Who will you be today? God pretenders believe God is on their side to validate their way of thinking. God’s mighty men know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the I AM- YHWH and are unafraid to declare that they, too, are now sons of the Most High God maker of Heaven and Earth who stands opposed to the “Father of Lies” who skulks around in deceit and bitterness under the cover of self-righteousness.

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 of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of the Federated States of Micronesia
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we are confronted by Your Word as to all who Jesus was and is. We are asking ourselves today- are we ready to be all that You intend for us to be in this world as we say we are in the next. Grant us courage and character that not only reflects the truth but is the truth in love. AMEN.

September 25, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 8.31,34

“To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, ‘If you embrace My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. For everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Are you there yet? Have you been transformed in your heart and mind to the temple steps eager to hear the words of Jesus? Are you on watch to see what mighty works He will do in your sight? Have you observed those who are standing there with you? Are you surprised who is there? Is the world that was so different from you before Jesus so much like you with Jesus. Does His Word for today resonant with truth in your hearing: All have sinned and fallen short of the intended glory of God. All who sin are thus slaves to sin. Know my truth so that you can taste the sweet taste of freedom!

You may still be reeling from the events which just transpired in a moment of peace and casual hearing to a moment of chaos and intentional listening. You dare not miss a word of what was happening. Your head bobbed up and down, side to side, in the attempt to see and hear and know what was going on. You became an active listener and in the moment of decision you were made a witness of the truth. You cannot deny it. You may not accept it into your heart, mind and spirit yet but you cannot deny the event, the moment and the consequences. Now others will be turning to you saying “Did you see that? Did you hear that? What did He say? What did He write? Where did they go? What just happened?” But, you, like some of the Jews who were casual or intentional listeners, too, allowed the moment in His Word revealed in spirit and truth to soak in. The simple seed of coincidence has taken root and become a plant of Christ-incidence which will grow into a tree of life. You will bear fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You will bear it freely. It will sprout from your outstretched arms of faith without command. It will happen and happen freely. Many will come and partake of the fruit of freedom filled with the nectar of truth and be satisfied. You have been transformed from a dying branch from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to a living tree of life lifted up from the very ground out of which the descendants of Abraham were drawn. In Christ we are no longer strangers nor slaves but free men, mighty men, committed to serve Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are not forced into service but accept the call in our lives to do His Will, His Father’s Will, because it is good to do and we would not want it otherwise ever again.

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 of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of the Falkland Islands
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, You have made us new, renewed as with the wings of eagles who soar in the heavens to proclaim Your most excellent mercy in Jesus’ name! AMEN.

September 24, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 8.28-30

“Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM the one I claim to be, and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent Me is with Me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.’ Even as He spoke, many put their faith in Him.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

When Jesus commissioned His disciples to become the apostles of faith, hope and love who would extend the ministry of the gospel into all the world to make disciples in all nations and of all nations, He actually made it possible for generations of God’s mighty men to follow to do the same. God’s mighty men are the ambassadors of the authority of God to cast out demons, heal the sick, bring peace, preach the gospel and to build up the body of Christ by declaring the acceptable Day of the Lord. The authority comes from the Word of God which is Jesus Christ. The gospel is the reflection of Jesus Christ as it is shared by the written, spoken and enacted words and works of those who believe in Him. They do not act nor speak on their own but follow the command and teachings of Jesus through the medium of the Holy Spirit. When God’s mighty men lift Jesus up (not on the cross as did the Pharisees) but as the resurrected Lord of Life who triumphed on our behalf over the grave of eternity, we are declaring who Jesus really is. Jesus is God’s Son and God is Jesus’ Father. Where you find One you will find the Other. The power of God’s mighty men comes from the Word of God living in them. When it is shared in passionate words and works demonstrating the faith, hope and love of God it is impossible for others to ignore the truth. Demons will tremble and the saints will rejoice. Those who are in the middle will know that something different has taken place. They may not understand it but they will recognize the event as unique. To some it will have an appeal of interest and inquiry while to others it will create a vacuum of opportunity which must be filled quickly with the testimony of Christ lest the lies of Satan possess the moment. Take heed, mighty men of God, and do not ignore the power of the Word in you. It is in you and always at work in you and through you whether you consciously or subconsciously know it. You cannot help but do God’s work when you have asked the Word to come into your heart, mind and soul. As His disciples you must practice His presence and be aware of your impact in the world which is His impact through you. For even as you speak, many will desire to put their faith in Him.

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 of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of the Faeroe Islands
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we are alive because You live in us. May the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts and the works of our hands be more than acceptable in Your sight; may they be the moment of transforming hope, faith and love in the lives of those around us in Jesus’ name! AMEN.

September 23, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 8.12

“When Jesus next spoke to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never sojourn in darkness, but will have the light of life forever.'”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

So, let’s imagine you were among those gathered around Jesus as He was teaching on the Temple steps when the Scribes and Pharisees showed up with a half-naked woman. The peace of the moment in the midst of the Master’s teaching was disrupted by the chaos of man’s will pitted against God’s will. You watched as Jesus put His placemarker on the lesson by writing in the dust at His feet. I imagine in this moment it was a word of comfort, hope and remembrance called “shalom.” You certainly were taken aback by the intrusion. It was early in the morning just shortly after dawn. Unless this was a time of Passover or one of the sacred feasts, there would not be a lot of people in the temple courts. Some of the money-changers were already setting up their mini-banks casting a wary eye at “the clearer of the temple” wondering if He would erupt again. There the sellers of sparrows, doves and lambs were setting up their pens and cages ready for anyone who came to make a sacrifice to consecrate their first born or seek the blessing of God’s forgiveness. They, too, were watching Jesus lest He scatter their property and disperse their prosperity. Sleepy-eyed guards were now exchanging their stations with guards who were still wondering why they had to be at work so early in the morning. They had been counting sheep for a different reason. The temple attendants were sweeping the steps and entrance to the temple of the dust of the previous day’s visitors only to find Jesus was there. The space would be left unswept near His feet because they would never think of intruding presuming a position of authority. There were the lame, blind, deaf, dumb and wounded who were dropped off by caretakers hoping that charity would be more abundant than grace. A few knew of the miracles of this Jesus of Nazareth and they struggled to get proximity for a possible extension of mercy. Then there is you, and me, disciples of the Master. We are not a part of the twelve, but we have decided to take up position near enough to Jesus to hear His words about the Kingdom of God but far enough away to not be called into any immediate accountability. Of course, He did not speak in whispers. His words are filled with passion. He spoke of the Kingdom in such a way that no one could ignore the sound of it as it echoed throughout the courts in those early morning hours competing with the noises of the commercialism that profitted from Israel’s religion. What does it profit a man to gain this world if he must first forfeit his soul?

Their sudden appearance arrived as quickly as the dry wind eddies that often swept through the temple courts. They lift the dust and refuse of the human condition only to scatter it in a different place but never really changing anything. It also left just as quickly just as they did. The only evidence of their passing was the woman who stood in disarray struggling to cover herself and the very stones they dropped to the temple court floor upon their conviction. You strain to see the writing in the dust that stood between Jesus and the woman. You recognize it as the beginning of Psalm 118, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever.” You struggle to remember the rest of the psalm of David which Jesus had begun to write before He ever spoke. Listening to the murmuring of those around you the psalm is slowly and steadily remembered in choral response until they arrived to the now poignant words, “The stone which the builders rejected becomes the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, save us.; O Lord grant us success. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and He has made His light shine upon us.”

It was in that very moment, you are brought back to the reality that stands before you. The woman has gone and now the Jesus you only wanted to see without being seen is looking directly at you. His eyes are filled with such a color and beauty that it has to be the glory of God, the light of the world. You hear His words as you have never heard them before. You are listening with every fiber of your being as deep calls unto deep. You see His lips moving but your ears are not perceiving the words but they are alive in your heart, mind and spirit, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Mighty men of God listen to the end of Psalm 118 and see if God is not speaking to us today, “You are my God, and I will give You thanks. You are my God, and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast loves endures forever.”

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 the cessation of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Ethiopia
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; and for the healing of the Rev. Kevin Hollowell and Darren Woods; for Doug and Gayle Garrett and Jayne in a time of healing, recovery and restoration

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, light our world with spirit and truth so that Your Word, Jesus who is our Christ, may live in us and through us as He has never lived before! AMEN.

September 21, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 8.10-11

“Jesus straightened up and asked the woman, ‘Where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.'”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

As mighty men of God we must remember we are like the woman caught in adultery. Our sin has altered the scope and measure of our relationships in and beyond the body of Christ. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But, it does not mean that we are beyond the scope and measure of God’s mercy and grace. For while we were yet sinners, Christ took on our sin and bore it to the cross so that God’s will be done. What is God’s will? That we would go now and leave our life of sin by practicing the life of righteousness. Did you see how the Master teacher, Jesus, extended the opportunity for the woman caught in adultery? He rose to the occasion to declare the remediation complete. He does not deny that she was a sinner. He never argues the point of her adultery any more than He turned a blind eye to the woman at the well who had numerous husbands and now was just living with a man in the hope of surviving life in this world. Jesus wants us to be able to live life to the fullest by letting us learn from our mistakes. He does not tell us we are stupid, dumb or idiotic. He does not belittle our efforts when they are fraught with errors and mistakes. He leads us to see them for ourselves and loves us to the point of self-revelation. He bends down to remind us that we came from the dust and to dust we shall return. He rises to remind us that our lives are meant for far more than dust. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus when we confess our sins and profess our love for God.

We do not know what kind of student of faith the woman would become. Some storytellers conjecture this might have been Mary Magdalene who became a devout follower of Jesus and a supporter of the Way. Perhaps she was a New Testament Rahab who harbored God’s mighty men in a time of danger from the enemy that they may live another day to serve Him again. But, the opportunity given to her was freedom from her choice to prostitute herself and adulterate her relational life. Every good teacher, which a mighty man of God should be, can do no less. A student’s mistake is not the opportunity to cast them out of school but to remediate the problem and teach them how to solve it for themselves. That is why the Holy Spirit equips us with gifts, talents and abilities. We are to use these spiritual resources to build up the body of Christ until it rises up to the full measure and stature of Christ who is its head. What is that full measure? Is it not the Lord of Lords and King of Kings who is seated at the right hand of God? What are you doing today for the students given to your tutelage? How are you instructing your disciples? What lesson of life are you leaving with them that will not be forgotten nor forsaken? Position yourself as the teacher of faith, hope and love and graduate mighty men 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 those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For the cessation of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Estonia
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; and for the healing of the Rev. Kevin Hollowell and Darren Woods; for Doug and Gayle Garrett and Jayne in a time of healing, recovery and restoration

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, in forgiveness we rise up today and move forward into all our world to make disciples, fellow students and future teachers, of the way, the truth and the life. Consecrate these mighty teachers, Lord, and bless their works and words for the full measure and stature of their hope to honor You in Jesus’ name! AMEN.

September 20, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 8.8-9

“Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard (the woman’s accusers) began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

The affirmation of a good teacher, a mighty teacher, a great teacher, an effective teacher comes when the student is able to stand up on their own. How fortunate the mighty men of God are because they have Thee Teacher who honors them and then stands with them against their accusers. Jesus is able to look the enemy in the eye and never blink. He does not do this with anger but with mercy and with pity. Satan does have a tremendous problem. His problem, however, is not Jesus. His problem is his own arrogance and fear. Yes, Satan is afraid. He knows his defeat is sealed in blood- the blood of the Lamb. His most effective tool, sin, has been rendered useless by grace. When Jesus took His stand in the wilderness against the temptations which Satan created for Him, Satan knew he had truly seen the beginning of his end. No one can stand against Jesus, they might as well turn and walk away or kneel and beg for mercy. But, Jesus promises us that we can take the same stand. His desire is for His bride, the Church, to humble herself before her Lord and stand confidently against her accuser Satan who declares she is “unworthy.”

Isn’t that what happened on that morning in the temple when the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus and His students? Do we think that Jesus was not aware of their purpose? But, we also know they were not aware of His? His purpose is not to condemn but to raise up. His purpose is not to destroy but restore. So, after Jesus took His stand with the woman who was a sinner (and who among us is not) and declared this same truth before all who had ears to hear, He knelt back to the ground and left the woman to stand alone to watch the men walk away with their heads hidden in their robes. Yes, her face was hidden to begin with but at the sound of the rocks falling from accused hands into the dust from which they came it began to shine. She did not glow with vindication nor arrogance but amazement. It wasn’t that her life was spared from a certain stoning but her life was snatched from the captor’s snare and set right before God. This is what grace does. It is what good teachers should do. Jesus returned to His lesson in the dirt and let His new student do the talking. She did not need to utter a word. She now stood in salvation and not in sin. She stood in redemption now in rebuke. She stood in blessing and not in belittlement. We would do well to remember this lesson and rejoice when our students are able to stand up for themselves.

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

* For the cessation of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Eritrea
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; and for the healing of the Rev. Kevin Hollowell and Darren Woods; for Doug and Gayle Garrett and Jayne in a time of healing, recovery and restoration

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, as You lifted up Your Son from the grave and set Him at Your right hand so we know we are lifted up from our own sin graves and restored to righteousness so that we may bear witness of Your faith, hope and love in Jesus’ name! AMEN.

September 19, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

John 8.7

“When the kept on questioning Him, He straightened Himself up to the full measure of His stature and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Were you ever intimidated by a teacher? How did they make themselves larger than life in yours eyes? Did they raise their voice? Was their a dramatic creation of sound or perhaps hystrionics that suddenly brought to a standstill what was happening to interfere with instruction? I remember one teacher I had who practiced the presence of de-personalizing space to gain our attention. He was a man of short stature who wasted no steps in getting right up on a seated student and would lurk over them. Never knowing what would come next, you had the desire to stop whatever you were doing and follow his instruction.

Jesus stood.

Jesus, the exemplary teacher, stood when the situation required. Like a rabbi He sat when he instructed His students. In compassion and mercy, He stooped to demonstrate servant leadership (such as the time of footwashing in the Upper Room) and to invite all eyes to be on the subject of learning at a personalized level. But, there were times when even Jesus stood to teach with an authority of righteousness and power. The image of “transformers” comes to mind. When in non-threatening times, the “transformers” take on the appear of modes of transportation in order to be among the people. But, when the enemy makes its appearance they transform into powerful robots who are larger than life. None is larger than Optimus Prime. As he transforms, his stature rises head and shoulders above the rest. Jesus transformed as well. Jesus stood.

Jesus not only stood but scripture says, by certain translations, that He “lifted Himself up.” You can see it. Even now as you meditate on it you can see Him rising up from a stooped and crouching position. Slowly His head rises with transfixed eyes on the challengers. He places Himself between the accuser and the accused until she is dwarfed and ultimately eclipsed. Their argument is not with the woman whom they intimately know but with the Son of God whom they fear because of a lack of intimate knowledge in spirit and in truth. As a teacher, Jesus calls the new students into accountability. Whether He was head and shoulders above them as King Saul was described or of similar height made no difference. His presence became larger than life itself. His whole being was brought up from a place of peace into a moment of decision. From this position Jesus spoke. It was the position of dominion, power and authority (or as He prayed “kingdom, power and glory”) that He assumed. He was the letter of the Law. He was the jot and tittle. He was the spirit of the Law. He was the incarnation of truth. In that moment, He glorified the will of His Heavenly Father and made His presence known with a lesson of accountability. Straight and to the point. End of discussion. Truth said. No argument. No debate. No discussion. Subject closed. Questions forgotten. Purpose forsaken. Vision cleared. They were no longer menacing bullies seeking to disrupt the classroom. They were no revealed as the childish and lost children that they were. Jesus did not demean them. He did not scold them. He did not send them from the room so that He wouldn’t have to deal with them. He just spoke the truth in love and then returned to the lesson fully in control.

As mighty men of God there are times when we must stand for something. I pray we are standing for faith, hope and love. I pray we are standing for truth and wisdom. I pray we are standing in the fullness of the presence of Christ after first kneeling in humbled prayer which declared “Not my will but Yours, O Christ, be done.” And when we stand, Christ will stand with us against whom no one can stand against. For if we cannot stand for Christ, then we will stand for nothing.

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 of violence in Syria, Libya, Egypt and the harmony of true peace resound
* For the revealing of all terrorists cells around the world so they may be eliminated by focused prayer and intercession
* For those our presidential candidates who will demonstrate the strength of their character,
strong moral fiber and spiritual decency needed to guide this nation successfully
* For protection from the suffering heat in the hottest year recorded thus far and the end of this
drought now covering 60% of this country (and the more throughout the world)
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be
overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Equitorial Guinea
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing
for Lisa and heart of Jesus in her; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; and for the healing of the Rev. Kevin Hollowell and Darren Woods; for Doug and Gayle Garrett and Jayne in a time of healing, recovery and restoration

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

* For a good report on Cherie James and her progress with breast cancer; Wade’s neck moving to 100% restoration; Phyllis’s clean bill of health
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, thank You for taking a stand for our future. Without Your love and mercy tomorrow means nothing more than another day of frustration. But, Your truth has set us free to have a life that stands for excellence in Jesus Christ our Lord! AMEN.

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