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August 18, 2017

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


“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.'”  (Philippians 1. 21)


I remember a camp experience where we created a story, every camp should have one, that you could tell around a campfire that we give everyone the willies.  It worked, too.  But the circumstances used to create the story were so real that we had to untell it.  The story spread like wildfire across the camp from Friday night to Saturday morning.  Even the parents and sponsors coming to pick up their kids were drawn into it.  Some were not amused.  But in our closing circle I used the whole event as a teaching tool.  I posed a question to everyone- “What if the gospel could spread as quickly as the spooky store created on the night before?”

Let’s be honest with ourselves.  How many times have we told a family story or a scary story or just made up a story at the spur of the moment?  Now how many times have we told the gospel story?  Do the numbers compare?  What about the impact?  Which was greater?  As Paul wrote to the mighty men of Philippi he declared to live is Christ and to die is gain.  What do we gain from the stories we told?  Paul said to die was to gain- gain eternal life and the privilege of hearing God declare “Well done my faithful son and devoted servant.”  In truth that is what Paul meant by living is Christ.  Living is being the faithful son and devoted servant because that is who Jesus was on earth and the call He issues to all of us who are walking with Him by faith.

Is our life “story” convincing and convicting to eternal life?  Or is it just a scary story meant to only bring chills up and down the spine?  Our lives and our life story are meant to mean something that inspires others to change the way they live and for whom they live.  And the foundation of that story is the gospel shared with us by someone else who truly believed it.  They believed it so much that it became their story, too.

* Let’s review the story of our lives and strengthen it with the witness of our faith in Christ and God’s love for us through Christ.

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 today
* For the victims and the families of the victims of this latest rash of killings across the world that they may have peace and comfort in their time of grief
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC (and their service to the education community of 31 campuses)  and the people of New Zealand
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for needs of my family mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation and wise counsel in seeking the proper doctor to diagnose my condition

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
* 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 us for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace; has given us relief in my health
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, may Your love be visible through us as we share our story of faith and salvation given to us in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

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