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Hmmm…

May 31, 2016

May 31, 2016

Receive the strength of God by sharing in His joy which comes by sharing in His Word, His blessing and His promise through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Post tags:

2212

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Nehemiah 8.10

“Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We often hear “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” It is an encouragement to us when we are weak, tired, stressed and greatly challenged. When Nehemiah uttered these words it was a part of the celebration of completing the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. It had been destroyed decades previous as a part of God’s judgment on a faithless people. But, His favor was not removed from them. When they returned to their senses and confessed the folly of not trusting in God, His promise was revisited. Ezra read the entire recorded Word of God for the people so they would remember and see the journey that had brought them to this moment. God knew it and was prepared for it. Nothing surprises God. It certainly can and does surprise us.

And it is in those moments of surprise that we find it easy to allow the worldly and fleshly situation to overwhelm us. It steals our joy or seeks to transform it into something we think we can manufacture on our own. But, human-determined joy doesn’t linger. It is easily consumed, withers and dies just like grass under a hot Texas sun. What we need is our joy to be God’s joy. His joy is our strength. It is our courage, our purpose and our sustenance. And for a moment, I had to consider what is the joy of the Lord that is our strength.

I believe we see just in this verse two clear definitions of “the joy of the Lord.”

1) The psalmist David had proclaimed “He sets me before a banquet table even in the presence of my enemies.” The people were told to go and eat the choicest food and sweet drinks. This was a celebration and party. Some were responding to their accountability in the Word of God as a time of grief and sorrow. Hey, we even eat well at a funeral dinner. Only the best foods show up there! But, I am led to consider another option as well. When the priests offer sacrifices to God it was only the choicest pieces that were surrendered. Was this the beginning of the theme of a priesthood of all believers? The choicest reserved for honored guests, priests and Almighty God was permitted to be consumed. Nothing was held back. It had to be a moment of joy to see the people sustained with the finest when they had for so long just gotten by on whatever they could find. They were a people restored.

2) The people were also instructed to share of the finest with those who had not prepared for the moment. We know that the greatest commandment to love God is followed by the reminder to love one another. The journey to restoration can be a long one. Some had traveled great distances to arrive at Jerusalem for this sacred event. They would not have had time to prepare for the festival at hand. But, God’s joy is that no one is left out. Our strengthening comes when we share what we have, and not just the scraps, with others. It does our heart good to see the joy of blessing rise up in others. It must certainly do something akin to that for God. His mercy and grace is available to everyone who will humble themselves to receive and share it.

3) Then there is the call to awareness that “this day is holy.” It didn’t have to be a Sabbath to be holy. The people of God were gathered together. They were presented with the Word of God that spoke of their past, present and future. They were living out His promise to provide and prosper His faithful people. Knowing where they had fallen short certainly caused grief. But, knowing God’s mercy was sufficient and at work should cause joy and hope. A day that is holy is one that is set aside for the purpose of God. God was making every day where His word, His food and His love a holy day. It was a day of joy. Knowing this day will never be taken away should give us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those impacted by record-breaking rains and now the resulting devastating floods in Texas and Kansas
* For safe journeys and celebrations over the Memorial weekend to honor those who have served and are serving our country through military service
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of South Sudan
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, pour out Your joy today and strengthen us in the midst of challenges great and small so that Your Will not only be done but be known in and through us in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

2211

May 30, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Joshua 24.15

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Sitting in worship on Saturday evening we were called to a remembrance, and rightfully so, of those whose lives were lost in military service for this country. Today is Memorial Day and it calls us as a nation to honor those who have served and are serving this nation. I pray we do so in prayer and with thanksgiving.

The Spirit nudged me with this thought:

1) On Sunday, we remember the One who chose to serve the Lord as our Savior and Messiah. He gave His life for our freedom to be God’s children and to live forever in His Spirit and in His presence. His battle was against the enemy of God’s people- Satan. Satan uses death to separate God’s people from God. But, Jesus used death to reconcile His Heavenly Father with His children. It is, in a manner of speaking, a “Son” day remembering both Son of God and all those who are His sons, and daughters with the privileges of being “sons of God.”

2) On Monday, we remember those men and women who have accepted the call to serve in the military to protect the freedoms and liberties of this nation and its population. Further, they promote those same freedoms and liberties in other nations of the world. Sadly, many have lost their lives in so doing. It is, in a manner of speaking, “Man” day reminding us that our efforts to secure these liberties for ourselves and others is limited to our own abilities. But, those who have served and are serving are not forgotten. We are men, too, who face similar limitations but the hope and desire that all men can be free to be God’s people- saved and reconciled.

So, whether it is “Son-day” or “Man-day” let it be God’s day. This is not only the day which the Lord has made and we should rejoice in it. This is also the day when we should say “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord our God.”

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those impacted by record-breaking rains and now the resulting devastating floods in Texas and Kansas
* For safe journeys and celebrations over the Memorial weekend to honor those who have served and are serving our country through military service
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of South Africa
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately
PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we take this time to remember all those who have given of themselves in service to this nation and to Your Kingdom. May their survivors be blessed and inspired to continue the battle for truth and freedom in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

Memorial Day

May 30, 2016

We take the time to give thanks for those who have served this country via military service to protect our freedoms and liberties as citizens of the United States of America. We pray protection and provision over all those who are currently serving in both foreign and domestic venues.

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Hmmm…

May 29, 2016

May 29, 2016

If the future depended on us then God help us all. But, thank God our future depends solely on Jesus Christ. He gave His life that we might live with hope and possibility in this world through grace and through love for all eternity. God has helped us all!

Post tags:

2210

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Romans 5.18-19

“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I remember a vision I had in high school concerning the future of my life. It was of a tumultuous day akin to the end of the world. On the outline of the curve of the world were millions of crosses which in a moment became just one. I heard a voice saying “Just as one gave His life for many so will many surrender their lives for one.” In part I took the vision as a challenge to me that as I lived so would the lives of others be impacted. After all these years I am now in a time when the burden of that notion is crushing me. I am not one whose life causes the rise and fall of others. I am one of the millions who surrender their lives to the One who gave His life for us all.”

Our future, one day at a time, is dependent upon our willingness to continue to surrender our lives and each life moment to Jesus Christ. It is not dependent upon our level of success in doing so. If there was a benchmark we had to achieve in order to be known as successful then we all would still fail. Our greatest and only work is to exercise our desire to fulfill the commandment to love God and one another. In truth, that is what the cross represents- the commandment to love God and one another. Yes, I have no doubt that how we live our lives according to this great commandment and great decision impacts the lives of others. But, their future is not dependent on us in the grand scheme of God’s plan and purpose. Their future is bound in surrendering to the One, Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to keep that message alive each day and touch the lives of others with this singular truth and hope. If it was about following me then many might be lost for I am just a sinner, saved by grace, just like the rest. Only One has lived this thing called life perfectly. It is He whom we must follow. It is through Him that we come to life and have it abundantly.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For safe journeys and celebrations over the Memorial weekend to honor those who have served and are serving our country through military service
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of Somalia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition including MF

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, by Your Holy Spirit release the burden we may carry that our performance in faith is the determination of whether others will have faith or not and eternal life. We thank You for choosing us to make Yourself known in this world. May our words and deeds help to communicate the gospel and may our practice of humility in seeking forgiveness when we fall short point to the only life we can have that is eternal in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

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Hmmm…

May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016

God’s desire is that His creation live with Him forever. Only a life that is justified by Christ, not by our words and works, can fulfill God’s desire. Thank God for Jesus Christ who makes it possible for us to be who God intends for us to be.

Post tags:

2209

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Romans 5.18-19

“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As we enter in a season of remembering those who have given their lives in service to this country, let us keep first and foremost in mind the One who gave His life in service to our Heavenly Father. Just as men and women have served and are serving to protect our country and to establish liberty and justice for all we have the One Man, Jesus Christ, who surrendered His life so that we have justification and righteousness restored in our lives. We do not battle merely against flesh and blood. We are engaged in a spiritual battle just as Jesus was. This is why, I believe, that He would not and could not take up arms against worldly enemies of Israel. We can do battle with the flesh but the sin remains a constant enemy. If we do battle against the spirit of sin then the enemy is defeated and the conflict diminished. It will never be totally defeated until the Last Day when our Savior and Messiah returns to bring in the new Heaven and new Earth. Out with the old and in with the new. This is the purpose of Jesus- to put away the old things which lead to death and to put in place the new things which promote eternal life.

It is our purpose, too, mighty men of God. We are to, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, put away the old things which lead to death and to receive and share the new things which promote eternal life. As we seek first the things of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then what is needed in this world will be taken care of so that we can continue to promote the gospel in word and deed

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For safe journeys and celebrations over the Memorial weekend
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, Man Challenge and the people of the Solomon Islands
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition including MF

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we receive the gift of righteousness and as we trust more in You let righteousness abound in and through us in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

Hmmm…

May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016

Believe in what you have received from the One who believes in what He has given and to whom- YOU!

Post tags:

2208

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Romans 5.9-10

“Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Why would Jesus die for us if He did not want us to live for Him? It just doesn’t make sense that Jesus would die to save us from the eternal consequence of our sin only to stand idly by on the Day of Judgment to see us suffer. Jesus is not Adam who stood in the shrubbery watching Eve succumb to the temptation of Satan in the Garden. Jesus was in the Garden when the disciples succumbed to the temptation of a long and emotional day and week and fell asleep. We do not know if Adam or the disciples could have done more with some type of intervention. We do know that Jesus has intervened on our behalf as our advocate before Satan and God. He will continue to do so as we walk out our God-given opportunity to let faith rule. The life of Christ is in the mighty men of God. For some, it is a delicate teetering balance between right and wrong on a daily basis. This is the opportunity to press more into God and give thanks for the opportunity to do so. We do not have to imagine nor wonder if God hears or listens. He does. The evidence and proof is the witness of the cross, the empty tomb and the post-resurrection commissioning of Peter, the disciples, Paul and countless followers of Christ since.

What is our part? It is to believe! Believe that we have received. Receive what He has believed.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, Man Challenge and the people of Slovenia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition including MF

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, how grateful we are to receive life and believe in all You intend for us to mean for the world to Your glory in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

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