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August 26, 2017

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


” As He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.  And a great storm developed on the sea so that the waves began to swamp the boat. But He was asleep.  So they came and woke Him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die!” But He said to them, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it was dead calm.  And the men were amazed and said, “What sort of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey Him!”  (Matthew 8. 23-27)


We may not be engulfed in the current voracious hurricane spreading carnage along the Texas coastline but we have all faced a storm in our lives that has threatened our existence physically, emotionally or spiritually.  If you are one of the lucky few who have never had such an experience, I pray you never do.  But, for the rest of us there is a story that can speak to a reminder of who we are to be in Christ.  The story of Jesus calming the storm and sea is well-known.  It isn’t the first nor the last storm the disciples will experience as followers of Christ.  On another such occasion we see Peter reaching out to Jesus with an impetuous request.  He asked to walk on water to be at Jesus side.  Things seemed to have gone pretty well until Peter took his eye off Jesus and took in the horrifying scene that surrounded him.  Just as quickly as he stepped from the boat onto the water so he began to disappear under the stormy waves.

What do these stories have in common?  Jesus, of course!  But, what else?  It is the call to have peace in our own lives as it was for the disciples.  When Jesus was awakened by the disciples it was from a peaceful sleep.  His confidence was in God; the same God who created the presence of storms on the face of the earth.  He knew it wasn’t His time to die so there was nothing to fear.  The disciples should have taken a hint from Jesus in His peaceful sleep.  Instead, they cried out in fear “Don’t you care?”  So, Jesus called out to the wind and the water and declared “Peace, be still.”  Without question the disciples were calmed as well.  He not only was Lord of nature but of life as well.

He is the Lord of life still.  He is in the midst of our storms resting peacefully.  He desires for us to be at peace as well.  He doesn’t desire our death.  He died for our lives, too.  He speaks the word of God over our lives so that we can rest peacefully in the midst of the storm and live confidently when all else seems to be falling down around.  If we are at peace ourselves, a peace founded in Christ alone, then we will be peacemakers as well.  Our peace-filled presence when all else seems to be breaking loose in someone’s life can give them the faith and hope grounding that strengthens, encourages and settles their troubled waters.

Mighty men, live a shalom life- one that is peace-filled in our coming and our going and in the times when we need to rest, too.

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 those who have been, are and will be impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the storm it will continue to be in the days ahead
* 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 Niger
* 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, Your love is so amazing.  By Your love we are changed from a loss to a gain, from a defeat to a glory.   With Your love we go now into the world to share the truth that can set all men free.  Let this witness be powerful and transforming, affirming and empowering 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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