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Hmmm…

November 30, 2016

November 30, 2016

Trust, be honest with and believe in the Lord God whose joy is your strength and whose joy can be completed in and through you.

Post tags:

2348

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.2-6a

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

How do others know you have considered it “pure joy” to endure all the trials, tests and challenges placed before you in the world? Isn’t it by your demeanor and attitude? These are apparent to others. What does a person who is filled with pure joy look like? Glad? Happy? Smiling? Encouraging? Positive? If you are not demonstrating these in your life how could anyone know there is joy? Trust me, I know. I have missed my joy for many months now. I have allowed my physical challenges and mental struggles rule my attitude. It is easy for it to happen. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or bound for hell. It does mean that you have surrendered control in whole or in part to a rule that may not have what is best in mind for you. When we surrender control it must be to God alone. It doesn’t mean we take our hand completely off the wheel to let God drive for us. God wants us to do the driving and let Him give the directions. He will take us only where we need to go. We have to trust Him. Trusting God is the key to living a joyful life. It can mean knowing when to ask God to take the wheel or make sure we get to a rest stop. We need to be honest with ourselves and God. Honesty is a key to living a joyful life. It can mean that we have decided to let God be the priority in our lives. It comes with keeping our eyes on the road and be less and less distracted from the course set before us. It is believing that God is best for our lives. Believing is a key to living a joyful life.

Regardless of the situation or circumstance, we cannot surrender our joy: trust, be honest and believe in God and with God. He trust, believes and is honest with us and He is always rejoicing over us when we do the same.

“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 the leadership of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and all the employees as we seek to improve ourselves to better serve the needs of others
* For protection of our law enforcement officials as worldly permission has empowered others to attempt to take their lives with violence; God put His protecting angels around them all
* For those impacted by the powerful earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunami in New Zealand; and the severe fire outbreaks in the southeast US
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will as we transition presidential leadership and to demonstrate respect and restraint; for wisdom for our president-elect as he begins to put his leadership team together to help him lead this nation- may God be included
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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 the Holy See (Vatican City)
* 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 not to be in struggle; 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (as I wait for the neurologist’s decision) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and undergone all prescribed tests- this is all in God’s Hands!
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we count it all joy to come to You today trusting You with our lives as we go through the day believing Your will is going to be done regardless of the circumstance. We share honestly our fears, failures, doubts and trust so that we may remain in Your joy in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

Post tags: , , , ,

Hmmm…

November 22, 2016

November 22, 2016

God is not only willing to give us what we need for a life of fulfillment but He has given it already when we confessed Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and committed our lives to fulfilling His purpose for them.

Post tags:

2347

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.2-6a

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We all have heard good words, wise words, excellent counsel, thoughts to live by. Our hearts are thrilled when we hear them. The truth in them resonates. However, if we leave those words at a knowledge level they may not be anything more than a sounding gong or a clashing cymbal or the ringing of a bell. We hear the sound. We marvel at it and remain fascinated as long as the sound is heard reverberating in our ears. But, what happens when the ringing, clashing and sounding ends? We wait for it to happen again? We know that beating on the gong, or pounding cymbals together or pulling on the rope of a bell will make it audible again. But, something must happen or else the sound is just a memory that draws up feelings and reactions but perhaps nothing more.

James offers those Christ followers outside of Jerusalem wise counsel which he undoubtedly had shared with those in his local gatherings. But, without that poignant challenge found in verse 6 then they would only be left with good words. There has to be more. We can ask God for wisdom to understand why we are going through difficult times and are challenged on all sides- physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We can ask God for the fortitude to endure those times and strength to bear up until those times are completed. But, asking for all of this isn’t enough. Even asking isn’t the “doing” necessary for true fulfillment and overcoming.

We must ask with the caveat of believing what we are asking for (which is not telling God what our situation is- He knows that already and has known about it for a very long time.) We must ask God for the solution and the eyes and ears to receive it according to God’s will. Not only must we believe it but we cannot doubt that God will answer and deliver. God does not give us what we do not need. He gives what is best to fulfill the purpose and meaning of our lives. We have to believe that. Great or small answers from God is the sufficiency we need in order to live each day to give God the glory. Seizing the moment of praising God, helping others and leading them to a fuller relationship with Jesus Christ is what we should be looking for. We can hear the bell ringing the truth but until we are ringing with the truth of God’s faithfulness to us then we are missing all that God desires to share with us.

And He has shared with us all that is needed. He has provided. It started when we confessed Jesus as Lord and committed ourselves to be His followers and His family. Tough times come. Challenges arise. Tests are on all sides. But, God is here. God is faithful. God is always with us. So, when we ask God for help in our minds, hearts, bodies, soul and spirit believe that He not only will provide but has already. Pray that you are able to see it, hear it and receive it.

“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 families who children died or were injured in the school bus accident in Chattanoogo, Tennessee
* For protection of our law enforcement officials as worldly permission has empowered others to attempt to take their lives with violence; God put His protecting angels around them all
* For those impacted by the powerful earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunami in New Zealand; and the severe fire outbreaks in the southeast US
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will as we transition presidential leadership and to demonstrate respect and restraint; for wisdom for our president-elect as he begins to put his leadership team together to help him lead this nation- may God be included
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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 Haiti
* 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 not to be in struggle; 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (as I wait for the neurologist’s decision) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and that a lumbar puncture and headache specialist is needed- this is all in God’s Hands!
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for what You have provided for us in our times of need yet to come. We go into the world today with the surety of Your provision so that we can accomplish Your good in what we say and do in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

Hmmm…

November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016

It is good to know that we are welcome in the presence of God because Jesus shows us the power of God’s love to forgive and make right what the world has made wrong.

Post tags:

2346

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.1

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: ‘Greetings.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I like the depth of this first declaration of James’ letter to the Christ followers who had a connection to Jerusalem and the rich heritage of Israel. Mighty men, he is speaking to us today. Even though we may have not been to Jerusalem or Israel, James is speaking to us. Even though we may not have a relationship with someone who is Jewish and hear of their faith, James is speaking to us. In truth, by our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we do have that relationship and connection. Jesus came into the world as a member of the Jewish people as much as He was the Son of God. Knowing this- James is speaking to us.

By faith, we are connected to the promises of God for peace, kingdom prosperity, joy, love, mercy and eternal life. Some may say that we are not related by flesh and blood. This is not true! We are connected by the body of Christ who bore the indignity of crucifixion as a violent statement by certain religious and political leaders who used it to say “He is not one of us.” We are a part of that body of Christ resurrected and empowered with the newness of life. We are connected by the blood of the Lamb of God spilled out as an anointing of forgiveness of our sins so that we can stand with confidence with God and not be ashamed nor defeated. Because we believe in Christ, the Word of God speaks to us and calls us into the life of righteousness. It can and does hold us accountable to the call of God to be His people just as He is our God. It is an eternally undeniable truth. As Dr. Charles Stanley wrote, “We may think our denial in this world will hold sway forever. But, one day we all will face Jesus and the judgment of eternity will fall on us.”

So, as James speaks to the Christ followers beyond Jerusalem he is speaking to us. And what does he say? “Greetings!” No word of condemnation or regret. He speaks a “welcome.” He offers a word of peace and inclusion and respect. He speaks of declaration of worth and value. He speaks of an invitation to stay connected to the root and heart of our identity as ones of Christ and of God. I am thinking now “what should be the first word I speak each day” as I declare and celebrate my connection to God, Christ and to the body of Christ in the world in which I live?

“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 protection of our law enforcement officials as worldly permission has empowered others to attempt to take their lives with violence; God put His protecting angels around them all
* For those impacted by the powerful earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunami in New Zealand; and the severe fire outbreaks in the southeast US
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will as we transition presidential leadership and to demonstrate respect and restraint; for wisdom for our president-elect as he begins to put his leadership team together to help him lead this nation- may God be included
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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 Guyana
* 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 not to be in struggle; 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (as I wait for the neurologist’s decision) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and that a lumbar puncture and headache specialist is needed- this is all in God’s Hands!
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for greeting us this morning with the joy of Your Word that says “welcome.” May we offer this glad connection to others in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

Hmmm…

November 20, 2016

November 20, 2016

The realization of our blessings begins with knowing who we truly are. We are first and foremost blessed with an enduring relationship of faith, hope and love with God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord who calls us friend and family.

Post tags:

2345

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.1

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: ‘Greetings.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I am going to use my devotional time studying and learning from the Letter of James, brother of Jesus, and lead pastor of the Church that was in Jerusalem. I am doing this to strengthen my resolve to be always in God’s Word and to prepare myself better to share with our small group. I do not do this because I am the leader of the group. I am doing this because of the greeting which James used in addressing Christ followers so that they might be strengthened in their resolve to be a part of the new creation which Jesus brought into all our lives. If anyone needs renewal it would be me at this time of challenge physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, spiritually and vocationally.

Who am I? This is a vital question we all need to ask ourselves. I am blessed with a godly wife who holds me accountable for answering this question daily if not more frequently. James begins his letter to those Christ followers who are Jewish Christians living beyond the region of Jerusalem. He would know of them because they continue to hold to the traditions of their Jewish background coming to Jerusalem for worship and celebration of the holidays and seasons that were a part of their Jewish heritage. They had not given up their Jewishness as they had confessed Jesus as the Christ in their own lives. Nor should they have had to. But, out with the old and in with the new was not an easy transition. James’ writing and opening introduction is an humble reminder to us all of “who we are.”

1) We are a servant of God. We were created for a purpose before the beginning of the world. Our purpose matched a need in creation and our faithfulness to that cause helped to promote, maintain and sustain the living connection between heaven and earth. Being a servant of God also declared the supremacy of God over us as well as our determined relationship to Him in worship, praise and service. We are God’s people with a cause for God and that is to subdue the earth, be a steward of the resources and shepherd of its lives.

2) We are a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. Interesting here is the truth that Jesus did not see us as subservient to Him but joint heirs and colleagues in the ministry of God’s word. Our alignment with Christ makes us friends who know the truth and chose to obey it. Servants may not have that choice depending on their master. James, the brother of Jesus, does not use his familial identity in this letter. It creates questions of authorship for later generations but not for those to whom he wrote. He speaks from the heart of accepting Jesus as the Christ as thus being one with Him because Jesus is in Him in spirit and in truth.

3) We are “outsiders” but brought inside. Jesus has saved us from our sins which kept us from knowing the full blessing of God. He redeems us by His sacrifice so that we might enter back into God’s promise of eternal and abundant life. We do not need to be in Jerusalem to be followers of Christ. His Word can reach us wherever we are. The authority of His truth can speak to us wherever we are. The joy of our salvation can be known to us wherever we are.

Is this not you, mighty men of God? It is a good place to start remembering our true identity and the goodness of living into who God has called us to be by His Word and through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

“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 as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday and Advent 2016
* For those impacted by the powerful earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunami in New Zealand; and the severe fire outbreaks in the southeast US
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will as we transition presidential leadership and to demonstrate respect and restraint; for wisdom for our president-elect as he begins to put his leadership team together to help him lead this nation- may God be included
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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 Guinea-Bissau
* 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 not to be in struggle; 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (as I wait for the neurologist’s decision) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and that a lumbar puncture and headache specialist is needed- this is all in God’s Hands!
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, it is good to be reminded of who we truly are in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship and that we are not as the world might have us believe under the influence of the Enemy of Truth. We will live into who we are in Christ today! AMEN.

Hmmm…

November 18, 2016

November 18, 2016

Jesus is the rock of our salvation and the foundation of life which cannot be be destroyed. Cling to the rock and set your feet firmly in faith, hope and love upon the foundation to know the fullness of life as God intends for it to be for you and all His people.

Post tags:

2344

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Daniel 2:45

“This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. ‘The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Jesus is the rock whose being and existence cannot be understood apart from God. His existence in this world is result of God’s love for humanity. Jesus was made Christ for us and we are made for Him. There is no power, no force, no enemy, nor anything that can contend with Him. He is the most powerful force in all the world and throughout all the heavens. He is because He is the epitome of God’s love for all things. And it is love, true love, that declares and ensures the victory of life over death, good over evil and righteousness over ungodliness. While many may try to take their stand against Him and His Church of which He is the Head and they are the body their attempts will be in vain. He alone in all of the glory given to Him by God will remain. And for the mighty men of God- they shall dwell with Him forever in the everlasting House of our God and Father.

Be assured, mighty men, each and every one of us, that there is only one truth and Jesus is that truth. To Him be the glory and honor all the days of our lives. Put your trust in Him and realize He will not fail to deliver us from evil and prosper us into the fullness of life. It is not merely a dream or just a vision; it is a hope-filled reality and faith and love. So in the days which are at hand and yet to come we must trust in the Rock of our Salvation and let Him be the foundation upon which we stand. It is the same foundation upon which He said He would build His Church. But, we must declare our faith in words and with works to see it all come to be in our lives and through us to others.

“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 the powerful earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunami in New Zealand; and the severe fire outbreaks in the southeast US
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will as we transition presidential leadership and to demonstrate respect and restraint; for wisdom for our president-elect as he begins to put his leadership team together to help him lead this nation- may God be included
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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 Guinea Papau
* 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 not to be in struggle; 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (as I wait for the neurologist’s decision) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and that a lumbar puncture and headache specialist is needed- this is all in God’s Hands!
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we claim the truth for our lives, the victory won at the cross over sin and death and at the empty tomb which declares eternity is given to those who believe in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

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