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Hmmm…

January 29, 2017

January 29, 2017

Know that before you were born into a world of sin you were called to live in a world of God’s salvation and reconciliation through the Way, the Truth and the Life given by Jesus Christ. Heed the Call and receive the Life.

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2383

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Isaiah 49.1

“Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The Messianic promise was akin to a “One for all and all for One” revelation. Israel was looking for a Messiah who would lead them out of the bondage of the world and into the fullness of God’s kingdom on Earth. They were not looking for a heavenly realm but a godly realm where God would dwell on earth forever and they in the House of the Lord forever. God challenged Israel with a Messianic revelation that included reconciliation with the peoples of the world and not just Israel. And when I read Isaiah 49.6 “God says:
‘It is too small a thing for you to be My servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.'”, I could not ignore the Messianic call for Israel to be as one people reconciling the world to God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is that Messianic call to the Church. It is the fulfillment of the Word of God spoken to Isaiah. And in the midst of that dialogue between God and Isaiah, I heard the whisper of God speaking to our Messiah, Jesus- God’s Son, with Isaiah as the privileged listener.

Mighty men of God, we are to be the listeners as well of God’s Word spoken between God’s Son, Jesus- our Savior, and the prophetic presence of God, the Holy Spirit- our comfort and guide. We are not standing on the side and eavesdropping to hear plans of what God will do for us. No, we are standing in the midst of the conversation with the Words of God penetrating our heart, mind, body and soul. Israel, led by God’s chosen Messiah, was to become the fulfillment of God’s Word- His chosen people. Their hope was not bound in simply being led by One Messiah who would do all things for them. That was a concept that confused their relationship with God. Instead, their hope would be realized when they become one people, a Messianic community, reflecting Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They were put in the world with the created purpose of reconciling all people to God. Their conflict was not with people, though they certainly battled with many, but rather it was with the enemy of the people of God (reconciled and unreconciled) which was Satan. They could not defeat Satan but they would stand for God’s Word and against Satan’s word. We see this in the temptations of Jesus by Satan following His baptism in the Jordan River. Armed with God’s Word Jesus defeated Satan’s word. And it is for this we each are born. God had ordained it to be so even before we were born. He called us into being and gave us His Name so that we could bear the truth and withstand the lie.

And what is this lie? I believe the lie is that “only we matter.” Satan used it on Adam and Eve to separate them from obedience to God. He said “Surely you will not die.” In other words, God’s Word was the lie. And Satan wanted them to see only the literal and not the figurative expression of God’s Word. They missed the point of God. They made the point for themselves. In the midst of that dialogue, Adam and Eve died to God and lived for the world. And God put them out of the Garden and into the world. We, mighty men of God, are meant for the Garden but because of sin’s death and dying power are sent into the world. This is why we need a Messiah to show us the truth of our place in the world. It is far less a punishment but rather an opportunity of grace. We cannot earn our salvation nor our reconciliation. Instead, we must live a life worthy of that to which we have been called- to be God’s people in the world. And who will show us the way, the truth and the life? It is none other than our Messiah- Jesus Christ who was called into service before He was born of Mary. And the Church is to be the Messianic community reaching out to share the word of God’s salvation for all those who chose to be chosen and to follow Him through the world into eternal life.

Thanks be to God!

And that is the truth that all men should seek and accept.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For those leading God’s people this weekend in worship, praise and service
* For sense and sensibility as America enters into a new season of leadership and the issue of immigration is rising to the top as the cream of controversy, security and justice
* 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 Malawi
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* The Lord sustains me as I have been referred to a different team of neurologists- this is all in God’s Hands and we finally see them today!
* 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, let us hear the call of purpose You have for our lives. We long to be a part of the community of faith through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

Hmmm…

January 27, 2017

January 27, 2017

No man is only an island as no man stands alone. Whether saint or sinner, Jesus is standing with you praying He will never have to stand against you. Know that He who desires to be in your heart, mind and soul is greater than he who is in the world.

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2382

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Isaiah 49.1

“Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As a mighty man of God we must prepare ourselves for the challenge set before us because we have accepted the call to be one of God’s mighty men. As it is my birthday, I thought I would go back and reread this particular passage of God’s Word and let it speak to me as His Word for my today. We are familiar with it and embrace to support and encourage ourselves in the midst of a challenging world- especially for those who are Christ followers. But too often, as is the case with many scripture quoters who quote and speak before listening and understanding, we do not include the context a a familiar Word of God. We love to wave the banner of a verse because it fits our understanding and, in essence, proof texts our Sitz im Leben or point in time.

It is without question a comfort to know that God had already conceived of our life before we were conceived in the womb. His knowledge of us is filled with the wisdom of His will for the world. We are a vital piece of an intricate puzzle that when completed results in the New Heaven and New Earth. Only God can put this puzzle together. We may fit a few of the pieces around us and believe we have a network of support. But, those pieces can become a buffer around us which prevents us from seeing the larger picture. Yes, it can also keep us from a modicum of harm as is the nature and purpose of buffers. But, even this buffer can be quite temporary as pieces may be removed and fitted more suitably elsewhere. To quote a thought from St. Paul to the mighty men of Corinth with just a bit of change “We fit to His image nearly but not quite and know still that one day we will fit perfectly.”

So, we must reach out beyond the little we know and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us a more challenging “Go deeper.” And my go deeper today in this passage is quite startling. This is not a singular verse to say “I have a predetermined place in the history of the world according to God.” The predetermined part of where I, and each of us, fits in exists most prominently in the Christ of and for the world, Jesus of Nazareth. I will certainly be doing more study on this chapter as the Holy Spirit challenged me with “consider this.” And what am I to consider? That chapter 49 is prophetically speaking to Jesus Christ. Put Jesus into the context of this prophetic dialogue and there is powerful meaning and calling to it for each mighty man. We are no longer standing alone in the light of the proclamation of “I have a place.” Instead, we are lead to consider “I have a place” because Jesus stood for us in the light of this proclamation. Without Him first in the world then we have little hope of being more than conquerors. But, as Paul declared to the mighty men of Rome, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us standing convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is most clearly revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8. 37-39)

As I consider my sixty years and nine months on this earth, I am glad that I have not had to stand on my own and all alone. God has made it possible for me to discover my place in the venue of a journey of faithfulness, faithlessness and reconciliation through Jesus Christ our Savior. I am not just another one who turned 60 but one of the ONE who is eternal joined together by so great a cloud of witnesses into the body of Christ, the Church becoming the True Bride of Him who is our Lord- Jesus. Just when some people think their world is shrinking down as they grow older, God opens the vast expanse of possibility and truth as we embrace our newness of life. Yes, we are renewed daily in the Holy Spirit the best gift shared on our our daily birthday. I look forward to sharing what I will discover in the days to come seeking truth in prophetic revelation that is meant to speak to me, and perhaps others, in our current situation.

Thanks be to God!

And that is the truth that all men should seek and accept.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For those leading God’s people this weekend in worship, praise and service
* 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 Madagascar
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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

* On this day, my birthday, I am blessed with reminders of the great family, relatives and friends, I am a part of
* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* The Lord sustains me as I have been referred to a different team of neurologists- this is all in God’s Hands and we finally see them today!
* 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 considering us when You considered Your Son worthy of such praise that brings life out of darkness. We walk today in the light of Your Word through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2381

January 25, 2017

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 5.19-20

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I heard a story about how a shepherd keeps a lamb prone to straying from doing so. The answer was to break their leg. It sounded extreme to me. But, it was said the intention was to keep the lamb close to the shepherd. There may be some truth to this line of thinking as mighty men of God. It is in our brokenness that we seem to draw nearer to God. We do so through Jesus Christ who is the good shepherd of God’s flock- the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. And it strikes me as interesting that it is because of our sense that something or someone is broken that we wander from the truth. Perhaps we have been led to believe that the truth is broken.

The reality is that God’s truth is never broken; neither are His promises. And we see the truth of that in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He came to seek the lost and to bring them home again. He mended their broken hopes, dreams and lives. He bore the brunt of crucifixion to become the perfect sacrifice atoning for all our sins. He could not do this if He Himself was broken. He was not broken in life nor in death. It is by His stripes that we are healed not by His broken body. When the Roman soldier was commanded to break the legs of the three crossbearers that day in order to speed up their dying it was not necessary to do so to Jesus. He was already dead. Scripture was fulfilled and the penalty for sin was satisfied.

Those who are wandering from the truth and are lost in the world have a Savior who still seeks them out in life after death. Those mended by grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are reunited with the body of Christ, the Church. It is His testimony through the voice and actions of the Church that breaks the chains of bondage and sets God’s people free. Sin breaks our lives and binds us to death. Grace breaks the bondage of death and binds us to eternal life. We must, mighty men, break free of the fear of serving God in whatever arena we may find ourselves in and be the unbroken body of Christ. We are His messengers of freedom, truth, peace, justice, mercy and grace. We are His voice breaking down the walls of doubt and shame holding people back from being all God intended for them to be. He has healed our brokenness and calls us to live with Him forever in this world as we will in the next.

And that is the truth that all men should seek and accept.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For those seeking the lost from the rash of tornadoes and storms across the southeastern part of the United States
* 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 Macedonia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* The Lord sustains me as I have been referred to a different team of neurologists- this is all in God’s Hands and we finally see them today!
* 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 thank You for the freedom we have been given through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray, live and worship. We pray that we shall be bondage breakers, risk takers and world shakers in Jesus’ name so that all can know the joy of their salvation. AMEN.

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Hmmm…

January 24, 2017

January 24, 2017

We are called to lift one another up in faith, hope and love. Cover over each one given to you with prayer and your thoughts and actions of peace on earth and goodwill towards all people.

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2380

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 5.19-20

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As I continue to reread these verses, the image of the Good Shepherd is spoken to me. Jesus taught about the shepherd who had lost one sheep out of his flock of one hundred. He didn’t write off the one as an acceptable loss and rejoice that he still had ninety-nine. The one was as important to him as were the rest. Jesus talked about the shepherd and sheep relationship. They knew his voice and he knew them as if they were by name. How in the world do you tell one sheep from another? I would imagine they all look the same. But, being in relationship with them, caring for them day after day and tending to each one and not just a blanket covering would give him the opportunity to know them one by one.

Jesus went on to say that the shepherd went out to find the one. Perhaps he was compelled by his duty to the sheep owner. He was accountable for the whole flock. He had to provide evidence of one hundred sheep. While the owner would love to have all one hundred alive and well he knew that shepherding in the wilderness of the world involved predators and pitfalls along the way. But, showing evidence of one hundred was the expectation. All the better to find the lost one alive. But, it was enough to show that the shepherd knew the fate of all one hundred. Perhaps he was compelled by the connection he felt for each of the sheep. To lose even one was not acceptable to him. The flock was not whole and neither was the good shepherd. He had to know and he went to find out. Regardless of the compelling factor the result was the same- the good shepherd went out to seek the lost. He sought the lost one until it, or some evidence of it, was found. Upon his return all shepherds in that region would rejoice.

Do you hear the compelling force behind the image that James projected to the church to seek out and turn the lost member back to the fellowship? All the images spoken about the parable of the lost sheep can easily be transposed to the lost member of the congregation. Are we accountable for those given to us. Have we leaned on acceptable losses and just thrown our hands up and say “God will have to take care of this one, I have other things to do!” It causes me to pause and reflect upon my circle of family and friends, colleagues and co-workers, members of the small groups I engage. The question is “Where am I in this story?” What is the answer to this same question for yourselves?

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For a nation to transfer the power of protest to the opportunity to serve one another in love- only by God’s grace can this be done
* 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 Luxembourg
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* The Lord sustains me as I have been referred to a different team of neurologists- 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, for all those you have given me I lift up in prayer. Not one of them will be forgotten today as I seek them out in my thoughts and actions through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

Hmmm…

January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Love sacrificially. Live prophetically. Walk purposefully. In this you can bring about repentance to someone in need- including yourself.

Post tags:

2379

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 5.19-20

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Repent means “to change direction.” The question we each must ask is “what direction are we going in.” Parents alert their children based on their own experience of actions and consequences. Their vision seems to be looking forward but in reality it is looking backward? Why is this so? Yes, the past behavior is a future predictor. Yet, as mighty parents did we raise our children with the same values and discipline as we were raised with? Has there been any change? Have our fathers eaten sour grapes and now the children’s teeth are set on edge? If our children are falling short are we willing to take on the burden of responsibility?

True enough, God sent judges, prophets, mighty men with a Word from God all in the hope of turning a people to Him because He loved them. Yet, the peoples’ heart was still hardened because of sin. It seems nothing would work. So, God related directly to humanity by sending His own Son to come and show them the truth of God’s loving intention. He not only showed them the truth but lived it out. God took on the responsibility for our salvation by making it personal. Jesus did not need to repent for He never sinned. Yet, in love He assumed the penalty of death for our sins. Salvation became personal and His death covered a multitude of sins- our sins. Jesus did this for us. He has set the example for all mighty men to do the same- love sacrificially, live prophetically and walk purposefully. Our charge is to find the lost and assist in turning them back to God through Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Savior.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For a nation to transfer the power of protest to the opportunity to serve one another in love- only by God’s grace can this be done
* 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 Lithuania
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* The Lord sustains me as I have been referred to a different team of neurologists- 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, guard our minds and thoughts, our mouths and words as well as our journey and purpose so that we may help another today to find his way back to You through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

Hmmm…

January 22, 2017

January 22, 2017

The absolute best way to be the best we have ever been is to never stop loving ourselves and others as God has loved us. And we can see how God loves us because Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior whose love never ends regardless of the circumstance in which we find ourselves.

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