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2400

August 6, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

Matthew 20.18-19

“Jesus said, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law.  They will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified.  On the third day He will be raised to life.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What is it that you believe about Jesus as the Christ?  Do you believe that He was born of a virgin conceived by God through the Holy Spirit?  Do you believe that performed many signs and wonders following His rebuke of Satan’s temptation in the wilderness as He transitioned from baptism into ministry?  Do you believe He healed the sick, reconciled the forsaken and cast out demons as well as bestowing the Holy Spirit upon His disciples to do the same?  Do you believe that He raised the dead and comforted those who mourned the dead with a life-giving faith in His Heavenly Father?  Do you believe He was condemned, crucified and on the third day was raised from death and the grave by the same life-giving faith in His Heavenly Father?  Do you believe that all those who declare their allegiance and affinity for Jesus as the Christ are saved from sin’s penalty of eternal death and granted the blessing of eternal life revealed in part in this world and in full in the Kingdom yet to come?  In the days of Jesus’ life on earth a little over two thousand years ago there were many who did not believe?  Some were doubters.  Some were “I can’t believe it’s truers.” Some were influential religious and political leaders.  Some just didn’t know what to believe.  Have we found ourselves in any of those shoes?  And what strikes me, mighty men, is that God did not need our belief in the Truth to perform the miracle of salvation.  He needed Jesus to believe it and He did and God responded accordingly.

Striking, isn’t it, that the life and death and resurrection of Jesus was prophetically uttered hundreds of years before His birth in Bethlehem.  Yet, those who should have known, understood and believed in these prophecies didn’t.  When Jesus took the disciples to the mountains above Caesarea Philippi and asked them there “Who do people and who do you say that I am?” some doubted, some didn’t know what to say, some were afraid and one was willing to declare the Truth.  Upon that confession and profession of faith Jesus declared “Upon that I can build My Church.”  Imagine a similar scene that could have happened in that Upper Room in Jerusalem in the house of a friend where the disciples gathered with Jesus for the Passover meal.  Jesus had already declared several times the truth of this time in history in which they were involved pointing to His death and resurrection.  Their observations hadn’t changed much in those intervening years between that mountaintop discussion in Caesarea Philippi and the rooftop celebration on the night Jesus was betrayed leading to His conviction, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.  Imagine Jesus uttering words similar to this as He felt the thoughts of doubt and wonder from the disciples in His own mind, heart and spirit “They may not believe these things will happen to the Savior of Israel or that the Messiah of God will do all these things; you may not believe them as well in spite of all you have seen and heard.”  Then He pauses quietly before continuing “But God does!”

Does that truth not strike you in the heart, mind and spirit with powerful conviction and inviting confession?  It does me!  It doesn’t matter what I may believe if God didn’t believe it first.  The God who loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to us so that when we do believe the truth and receive it for ourselves we will, not can but will, be saved.  God believed in Jesus as the Christ.  God believes in us, too.  He has known us before we were conceived.  He prepared us for life in this world before we received it.  He has blessed us with the opportunity to glorify His Name and presence before we perceived it.  If God can and does, then what are we waiting for?  He has already shown Himself and proved Himself to us and the entire world.  It would seem that if we are living in the glory years of the light of that revelation we should truly be alive in faith, hope and love.  What do you believe, mighty men?  Do you believe in God?  in Jesus Christ? in Yourself?  Trust in the Lord your God and lean not upon your own understanding.

“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 in worship, praise and service today
* 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 their service to the education community of 31 campuses)  and the people of New Caledonia
* 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

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

* My dad was approved for the refinancing of his house so that it can continue to be his home
* 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 the light of Your love burn earnestly in us as we serve Your people in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2283

August 28, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Luke 18.31-34

“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him, insult Him and spit on Him; they will flog Him and kill Him. [And then] on the third day He will rise again.’ The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what He was talking about.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What is it we, as mighty men of God and disciples of Jesus Christ, do not understand about the words of the prophets and the recollections of the disciples concerning the ministry of Jesus including His tribulation of trial, death by crucifixion and the resurrection from the empty tomb? The disciples did not have the knowledge of those last events to support them as we do. They only had the words of the prophets from hundreds of years prior to inform them of what was yet to come. Could they have been in so much disbelief that their ears wouldn’t hear what the Spirit of God was saying? We know they lived in denial of Jesus’ teaching concerning Himself. This was the third time in Luke’s gospel where Jesus shares this hard message. It is a bitter pill to swallow for anyone. Jesus wasn’t looking forward to it Himself. Even today we have the tendency to live in denial of death and hardship. We know that God doesn’t will the death of anyone and that would include His own Son’s life! And it wasn’t God’s will that Jesus would die. He did not set out in the beginning saying “Oh, let me create my Son to die for people I will create who will be suffering because of the faithlessness of people.” But, it was inevitable as soon as Adam rejected his place in Eve’s life as protector and helpmate.

As surely as Adam broke covenant with God and Eve, Jesus sealed His covenant with God and His Bride, the Church. The Church wasn’t even formed yet. It’s reality was in the embryonic stage of those early disciples. The DNA of the Bride was implanted in the womb of the earth- those hearts and mind and soul of people who were daring to believe that Jesus was the Christ. But, it wasn’t fully born yet. It would not be until Pentecost that the Church would begin to take its first real breaths of Kingdom of God on earth air. Jesus knew it was going to happen. The will of God for life is inevitable, too. And Jesus was, is and will always be that life which is the life of all men (women and children, too) who choose to hear the truth, listen to its call and walk by faith not by sight. But, it wasn’t in those first disciples yet. They were thinking more with their passion of connection with Jesus who was their Master and Friend. They could not see His death because they weren’t finished seeing His life. It was more than they could imagine and more than they dared to let in. If they did at that moment, it would have broken their hearts. In fact, it did break their hearts as it was happening in the Garden of prayer, the Court of the Sanhedrin and on the cross of Calvary.

But, what excuse do we have? Yes, we did not see His arrest, His trial, His torment at the hands of Roman soldiers, His crucifixion nor His resurrection. What we have is the testimony of His followers just as His followers had the testimony of the prophets. And now they both point beyond Jesus’ resurrection which can give us hope. They point to His return in the days to come when the Groom will take His Bride and move into the house He has prepared for Her eternal in the heavens. But, are we living like we know this truth? Are we living by faith or are we still depending on our hindsight- looking back and not understanding that what is to come is coming. It is coming as surely as the fulfillment of prophecy concerning the life, death and resurrection of Jesus came into the disciples immediate presence. And if it is coming, then what should we be doing about it? Is the Bride beckoning for Her groom? Is She preparing for His return? Is She declaring the truth of His coming? Is She dwelling in the place of righteousness where the life she is called to live is being lived in the fullness of grace with the commitment of conviction? Is the wedding party being planned and invitations sent out into all the world to come and see and be a part of the greatest thing that will ever happen on earth? Or do we, like the disciples of old, just not know what Jesus is talking about!

“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 who will be leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For those in Aleppo who were attacked during a funeral for children whose lives were lost in an earlier bombing
* For healing, recovery and comfort for those who have lost lives, family, homes, businesses and a positive sense of the future due to the devastating earthquakes in Myanmar and in Italy; and to those who will be rendering aide
* For those whose burden in life creates such desperation that taking the life of another as a means of escape and problem-solving seems reasonable and for their victims that they may have peace; as seen in the sex-trafficking slavery business of young girls
* 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 Bulgaria
* 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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

* Got to spend a lovely evening with family celebrating the birthdays of my step-daughter and mother-in-law
* 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
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, may the fire of Your Holy Spirit purge of lethargy and apathy and fuel us into the fullness of the discipleship we seek through Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

2282

August 26, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Luke 18.28-30

“Peter said to Jesus, ‘We have left all we had to follow you!’
‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

For a brief moment, in their grief at Jesus’ death, some of the disciples including Peter, tried to return to what they had left. It was a natural default behavior to revisit what had been the normal in the absence of the new normal. They could not return to Jesus because He was gone. They went back to fishing. But, it wasn’t satisfying. Their nets were empty; as empty as their lives seemed without Jesus. Even the company of one another was of little encouragement. Nothing seemed right. Even the trials and tribulations of learning to be disciples was more engaging and invigorating than their old way of life. Their hearts just weren’t in it. Then Jesus appeared. Their nets filled at His command. The breakfast He prepared satisfied the hunger of hope. His words of reconciliation fanned the flame of ministry into a holy fire of conviction and commitment. What they had left behind paled in comparison to what Jesus was offering to them. They could not go back to what they had given up to be His followers. They had to follow Him all the days of their lives. His life was their life. His Spirit was their Spirit. His future was their future. And it is ours as well. What He gives us now overshadows what we have had in our past- the bad especially but the good as well. If we follow Him, the day will come when the goodness we enjoy now because of our faith in Him will be overshadowed by the eternal life we will receive at His return. This life of possibility which God has made must move forward. Follow Him and surrender all you have into His hands and He will bless you in ways you cannot possibly imagine.

“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 who will be leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For the families of the two Mississippi nuns killed in their home in Mississippi and their families, the colleagues and those whom they served with faith, hope and love
* For healing, recovery and comfort for those who have lost lives, family, homes, businesses and a positive sense of the future due to the devastating earthquakes in Myanmar and in Italy; and to those who will be rendering aide
* For those whose burden in life creates such desperation that taking the life of another as a means of escape and problem-solving seems reasonable and for their victims that they may have peace; as seen in the sex-trafficking slavery business of young girls
* 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 Brunei
* 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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 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
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, into Your hands we commit our lives and surrender them gladly into Your service through Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

2266

August 3, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 Samuel 16.7

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As mighty men of God, do we dare to wear our “heart” on our sleeve. Are we confident enough in God to expose our feelings, emotions, purposes, intentions and convictions out in the open? Why should our heart be kept a secret? Yes, there are people in the world who would not understand this type of freedom. It rises up out of our spirit and our spirit is in communion with God’s Spirit. At least, that is the way God created us and intended for us to dwell on the earth. This is the model Jesus not only proposed but projected with His own life. He did not hide Himself from others. His Spirit was in communion with the Spirit of God. He was readable to the world. They had little doubt as to who He was and what He intended. They often acted in denial as if they did not know but within their heart, mind and spirit they knew. Even the demons were aware of who Jesus was and what His purpose was on earth. Our level of trust in God should exude the confidence of our heart bent on serving and honoring God.

The passage revealed above is part of the story of how David became anointed to be the future king of Israel. In many ways, David was the opposite of Saul who was the first king of Israel. Saul was more the image of what the people wanted as king. David was the image of what God desired as king over His people. So, too, was Jesus. Jesus, in whose image the people of God were created, took on that very same image to commune with us so that we might know God. It was so far less about His outward appearance. Even scripture would acknowledge there was little to make Him stand out from any other man. That was God’s purpose. He wasn’t supposed to be unlike any other man of God except that He did not sin. But, then, we are not supposed to be unlike Jesus the Christ with a heart set on serving and glorifying God with our words and actions. Jesus was made man. In essence, He became a new creation. In that similar fashion, we are made into sons of God, a new creation. It takes effort, will, desire and love.

This is why God measures a man not by his wealth, power, stature or prowess but by his heart. God sees us as His children, people of His heart. His love is the measure of who we are. His love measures us by the love Jesus has for us. Yes, we should return that love in gratitude by loving one another. Gratitude is the attitude of every man of God; or it should be. So, as we go through this day we must let our heart be known because this is how God sees us and this is how we would want others to remember us.

“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 wisdom and God’s guidance in these changing political times
* For the safety of those involved in the Rio Olympics- physically, mentally, morally and spiritually
* For the rise of the body of Christ in the world through prayer to be the voice that is heard sounding out against terrorism with faith, hope and love
* For those whose burden in life creates such desperation that taking the life of another as a means of escape and problem-solving seems reasonable and for their victims that they may have peace; as seen in the sex-trafficking slavery business of young girls
* For the end of the ISIS regime and replacing it with the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, especially now as summer heat and drought bring searing temperatures
* 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 Bahrain
* 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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

* God is blessing me with the opportunity to restore dignity to the past and care from the future
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own being humbled in what I still need to learn as I wait for His unveiling
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, empower our attitude of gratitude with Your Holy Spirit so that our words and actions be aligned with Yours and so that others may know we are one with Your Son and our Savior Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

2240

July 3, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Colossians 1.9b-10

“We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We have long bantered about “walking the walk and talking the talk” being Christ followers and mighty men of God. We are urged to be consistent in our profession of faith and in our confessions of truth concerning Jesus as the Christ, our Lord and Savior. Even in the Great Commission we are given our marching orders to “go into all the world and make disciples in and of all nations.” The commissioning was begun on the mountain of ascension where Jesus was raised up into Heaven to prepare a place for all believers who walk the walk of faith and talk the talk of the gospel. The commissioning did not end there in the ears of those who gathered as disciples. Its beginning was there in Galilee where the ministry of Jesus started but it continues today fulfilling the commission to go into all the world and all nations. We are a part of the walk and talk of the Great Commission.

But, the enemy of God still sows seeds of doubt just as were apparent in that moment when Jesus gave His commissioning to the Church at its beginning. So what is new? Satan was sowing seeds of doubt in the Garden and found willing parties who gave an ear to hear what was said and entertained the word as truth. Satan sowed seeds of doubt outside of the Garden in the children of Adam and Eve and found a willing party to give ear to the word and entertained it as truth. In the party of Jesus Satan sowed a word of doubt into the ear of a willing listener at the Last Supper, in the Garden, in the Upper Room after His resurrection and then on the Ascension launching pad. Satan will always try to sow the seed of doubt, deceit and discontent because that is all he has allowed himself to do. And there are willing parties in the world today who are afraid to walk the talk of Jesus for fear of stumbling over the Word. Jesus does not ask for perfection but pursuit.

As mighty men of God we are to pursue the Word of God and the fulfillment of the calling to which we have been called. To what have we been called?

1) To be worthy of God. None of us are worthy of God because we all have sinned and fallen short of the His glory and the glory He intends for us from before our birth. That is, none of us are worthy unless we confess our sin and profess Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, as our Lord and Savior. In Jesus we are made worthy because the love of God is given to us as an outpouring of mercy and grace. This means we will stumble and occasionally may even cause others to stumble. Yet, leaning on that stumbling block to pray for forgiveness acknowledging its presence and our continued need for Jesus will let us stand up and continue our pursuit of living as one made worthy of God.

2) To please Him in every way. We are familiar with the verse “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” His joy is infectious and fills the believer of the Word with strength when they seek to pursue and perform the works of the Word. We do not please Him all the time. We are redeemed sinners still given to the wont of our physical and psycho-social being. We sometimes walk in the midst of the conflict between the flesh and the spirit. But, what is our intent? Is it to serve the Lord our God will all we have or to ask that all things including God serve us? If it is to pursue and serve God then that pleases Him.

3) To bear fruit of the Spirit. When we are the sowers of truth and goodness into the lives of others and we bear the fruit of the spirit in faith, hope and love then that pleases Him. This requires sincere discipline of humility to the calling of God in our hearts through Jesus Christ. He has won the battle for us. He desires that we live as those made victors given spoils of the battle- dominion and authority in this world to do what God has purposed for each of us to day. It is to walk humbly, love kindness and do justice. This is our purpose. But, it isn’t to do so for our glory or edification. It is to do so to and for the glory of God. Whoever desires to bring others out of the darkness of doubt, deceit and despair into the light of truth, triumph and trinity does so by bearing the fruit of the spirit and sowing them as seeds of the new life promised by God in Christ.

4) To grow in the knowledge of God. If we are committed to walk better and talk more intentionally the truth of God’s love for the world in Jesus Christ then that pleases Him. The ultimate truth is “Jesus is Lord.” But, the understanding of the truth is far deeper than the Marianas Trench, far higher than the reaches of an expanding universe, far wider than the east is from the west and more intense than any passion experienced by man save Jesus Christ Himself. A little truth may go a long way. But, the world is more troubled than a little truth. By that I mean “word dropping.” Even Satan and his demons can quote scripture. Atheists and agnostics can quote scripture. But, if they pursued the reaches and depth of scripture revealed in Jesus, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit, God’s eternal Instructor, then they would do more than speak words they would do the works of the Word themselves. We are to grow in the knowledge of God and become fruit-bearers so that the truth may be borne in us and born out of us into all the world.

Mighty men, do not be afraid of stumbling when seeking to walk the walk, talk the talk, talk the walk and walk the talk of being a follower of Christ. Stumbling happens but so does the lifting up of believers with the power of faith and resurrection which comes by the truth of God’s love revealed in 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 this Independence holiday weekend
* For Turkey, Baghdad and Bangladesh following terrorists attacks with the loss of life, peace and security for victims, families, community and visitors
* For those whose burden in life creates such desperation that taking the life of another as a means of escape and problem-solving seems reasonable and for their victims that they may have peace; as seen in the sex-trafficking slavery business of young girls
* Spiritual-based and not political-based decisions on the world’s economy coming into question and the UK vote to secede from the European Union
* Blessings of peace, joy and reconciliation as God purposes for all our families
* 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 replacing it with the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, especially now as summer heat and drought bring searing temperatures
* 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 Uruguay
* 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; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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 and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own being humbled in what I still need to learn as I wait for His unveiling
* 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, You are worthy of praise and honor and we seek to give it to You today in our walk and our talk in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

2196

May 10, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 16.14, 19-20

“Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating. He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

No matter how we look at the stories of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances there is a final word. We must “believe.” And believing isn’t just having conversations with ourselves on what we know and hope to be true about Jesus. Jesus is alive not just because He is in our hearts and in our minds. He is not alive because His Spirit is given to us to enliven and enrich our faith. He is alive because we put our faith into actions and accept the cost. If we think there is a risk for being a follower of Christ it pales in comparison to the risk of not being a follower of Christ.

The women were afraid. Well, so would I have been. How many times have we been afraid of the truth confronting us as we walk with the Lord. We know our frailties and failures. The Devil loves reminding us of them. But, without God’s saving grace, mercy and love then we are a failure. Jesus helps us to confront our fears by living out and in His Word. His Word never fails. The women spoke up. They couldn’t contain themselves. Even if they doubted the truth leaked out that it might be possible- Jesus is alive. Just the thought of it would be a spark of remembrance and trust and believing. Their fear turned to opportunity to testimony. Could it be?

The two on the road to Emmaus. The same was true for them. They, too, couldn’t contain themselves and had to go back to Jerusalem and tell the others what they had seen and experienced. They weren’t believed but it didn’t matter. They believed and they had to share the good news for them. They did what they were supposed to do. Share what God had done for them in Jesus Christ. They were alive again with the possibility of Heaven made real.

Eventually, it would be the disciples. They couldn’t believe others because they wanted and needed the Jesus-experience, too. Yes, they probably should have been able to believe it on their own. They were the closest to Jesus apart from God. But, sometimes that just isn’t enough. Having a good thought really isn’t a substitute for a good reality. We all want to see Jesus, be touched by Him, talked to by Him and walked with by Him. We want that real relationship. And what Jesus gave to them all was each other and their shared belief. He gives it to us as well. We are mighty men- not a mighty man. We are only the mighty man when we are one in Christ. His life, death and resurrection makes it possible for us to be all, at least more, than we have been. Believe!

“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 greatly and fearfully by the Canadian wildfire displacing nearly 100,000 people and a massive landslide in China killing at least 35 people; for alert as swarms of earthquakes are felt beneath Mt. Saint Helen’s and storms move across the country
* 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 Saint Pierre and Michelon
* 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, draw us closer to one another so that the body of Christ be knitted together in faith, hope and love. Let the Word of Jesus come alive in us so that others can see, experience and believe in Him as well with us. We ask this in the name of Jesus our Christ from this day forward. AMEN.

2165

April 3, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 11.12-14, 20-21

“The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to find out if it had any fruit. When He reached it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then He said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” His disciples heard Him say it. In the morning of the following day, as they were going back to Jerusalem, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I love to look for the story that is happening but is not being fully told. The gospels provide a spiritual travel journal but not a fleshed out diary. Wonder if the withered fig tree had been cut down and used as a cross. It would have been transformed from a life-sharing opportunity to a life-bearing witness. It doesn’t even have to be the cross of Jesus to carry the weight of this testimony. Let our eyes turn to the left as we look at the cross of Christ and gaze upon the one who was being crucified. He was a convicted criminal and further had to be some threat to Roman authority. He was bitter and angry and tormented. The fruit of his life had soured. But, he was probably not always this way. As with most criminals desperate and tragic life events transformed lives filled with promised to shadows of death and dying. Crime may pay for a moment but it cannot purchase the real life they believed had been stolen from them. For a time his life may have presented itself to others as one of success and fortune. He would have had the appearance of fruit-bearing as did the fig tree. But, upon closer inspection what seemed to be possibilities were actually knots of burdens, hardships, hatreds, bitterness and sickness. Even in the presence of the Master of Life’s Opportunities he refused and rebuked the truth. That truth was espoused by his partner in crime who was being crucified at the same time. Jesus had come between them and they were as far apart in a moment as the east is from the west. The arms stretched out for crucifixion to assist in the dying process of inflicting horrible suffering were still in position to bless and to curse. To the one blessing of Paradise was his for the taking because he asked. To the other the blessing was despised and refused because the sickness of hopelessness had blinded him to his own self. He was not penitent. He would be cut down, legs broken and cast into the fire to be consumed in the lake of fire. But, the other looked to Jesus and saw the fruitfulness of life even when it seemed barren to others. His confession of his sin and his profession of faith that Jesus was the Christ gave him peace and in the end eternal life with Christ.

As we look at the story of the cursed and withered fig tree, it isn’t about what seems unfair and awkward for a kind and life-giving servant of God to do. The tree was not being punished as much as Jesus was still teaching a lesson. He was still preparing the disciples to not only hear the truth but begin to put the truth into their discipleship perspective. They could not afford to give the appearance of righteousness without actually being righteous. They had plenty of examples of such behavior with the Scribes, Pharisees, Temple leaders and even the elders of their own communities. Even among themselves there would be one who seemed to be for them but would separate himself and betray Jesus into the hands of those who would assist in the fulfillment of scriptural destiny with trial, conviction and execution. He himself would see the truth of his actions and realized a burden of hopelessness. He would not respond with penitence and seek the Master’s forgiveness. His shame and despair led him out of town where he hung himself from a tree; perhaps a withered fig tree once alive but now dead to the world purposeful only as a reminder of the tragedy of a life without hope. And as mighty men of God, we must bear fruit- the fruit of faith, hope, love, peace, goodness, self-control, righteousness, mercy, grace and much more. We are living in the season of fruit-bearing. Our profession of faith says we are to be bearers of this truth. What will those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness and life find when they come to us?

“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 who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this 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 and the people of Nepal
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* A positive opportunity has presented itself to Lisa but as in all things it is by God’s timing to know more
* A work expectation completion nears and only by the power of God can it be achieved- grateful that it has been lifted; I am believing for a new work assignment for my wife and I that will serve God’s people well; what others mean for harm God is turning to good
* 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 us 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, may our lives be covered with the fruit of the Spirit we declare is ours so that others can share in it and dwell with us in the name of Jesus by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

2132

February 24, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 4.39-40

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Working on this one: “Which comes first? Convicted or conviction.” As Christ followers, we do have a certain conviction of doing what is right and good. We are glad to have the scriptures to help outline the path of righteousness for His Name’s Sake. We are also glad for the testimony of scripture to show us the roller coaster ride of those who desired to have faith and be faithful. We are glad for the blessing of the Holy Spirit of God which assists us in seeing more in His Word than meets the eye and deepens our conviction while affirming our faith. Most of all, we are glad to have Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Only Begotten Son from Heaven, to be our Christ- the Savior of the World and our Lord. I pause to ask a question at this point, however. Are we glad to have Jesus along for the ride or are we truly committed to be on the ride of Jesus’ life? I only ask this as my means of reflecting on the call and the acceptance of the call of the disciples to follow Jesus.

In the previous chapter we see Jesus calling twelve men from among many men and women who were following Him in His journey through Galilee from Nazareth to Capernaum. Remember, Jesus has not yet been to Jerusalem in His ministry. He met John in the Jordan to the east of Jerusalem to demonstrate His conviction to be a true follower of His Heavenly Father’s will and was baptized. He went from there into the wilderness to be convicted of His resolve to be a God’s Word follower. Then, with John’s arrest, Jesus goes to Galilee to begin His disciple training school and start the mission of accomplishing God’s perfect will of saving the world. In Galilee, He found many people who had a conviction, a resolve for the truth, who desired peace and freedom and healing in their lives. They wanted lives of purpose and meaning. They wanted to have lives that made a difference. But, in order to make a difference (conviction) they actually had to become different (convicted). It is one thing to face the jail looking from the outside in and quite another to face the jail looking from the inside out. The disciples, and other followers, had conviction- they wanted to follow Jesus because He was making a difference. But, that didn’t necessarily take great faith just some faith. Even leaving jobs and families behind was not a great act of faith because they could be recaptured if all else failed. But, Jesus knew that His own conviction changed to being convicted when He crossed into the Jordan as the son of Mary and Joseph, the begotten of God; stood in the Jordan as the son of God to fulfill all righteousness as God’s Beloved Son with immersion to the cause; and then through the Jordan to the other side to become the Satan and Sin fighter with full faith in God’s Word written on His heart, mind and ultimately His body.

God is showing me this story recorded in the fourth chapter of Mark as that transformation opportunity for the disciples. We have not heard of their baptism to be Christ followers through the confession of their sins and profession of their faith. Is this it? Are they moving from conviction (I will be a follower because His Word agrees with my desire and hope) to being convicted (I am a follower because His Word is my desire and my hope.) See if you don’t see it as well:

1) Verse 35 “Let us go over to the other side.” The disciples have just experienced mighty learning opportunities. Without a doubt there had been miracles performed along with the lessons learned. Matthew reveals the healing of the leper, the centurion’s son and Peter’s mother-in-law as preceding this story in his telling. But, immediately preceding in the gospels is the lesson on discipleship. True to Mark, no sooner is the discipleship question asked than it is tested. The disciples, with conviction to marvel and go with Jesus to marvel some more, go into the water.

2) Verse 38 “[a great squall arose and nearly swamped their boat] The disciples woke the soundly sleeping Jesus and asked with panic and anxiety “Don’t you care if we drown?” Ah, where is their conviction now? They are not followers but fearful seekers. They are not colleagues in determined ministry with Jesus but frightened and seasick, dare I say sin-sick, men. They have surrendered their conviction to do what Jesus said do “Go to the other side,” for survival which says “forget about the future, take care of right now.” Jesus is not their spiritual guide but their life preserver. Conviction says “I will follow in the good times and believe when all things are well that God is good and His Way is perfect.” Survival says “Why do bad things happen to good people and doesn’t God care about me or is it just lip service?” The waters of baptism are troubled waters because sin is taken in with the sinner and faith must scrub the sin away and wrest it from the captor’s snare with truth. Going into the water is one thing. Coming out is something altogether different.

3) Verse 40 “Why are you afraid? Do you still not have faith?” Busted! Convicted! Ouch! And what is interesting here is the simple truth that having a conviction is an indicator of having faith. But, faith as an unused, unopened and untested gift is essential useless, closed and questionable. Jesus went into the waters of the Jordan with the intention of coming out of them on the other side ready for whatever would come. He knew what would come: testing, trial, tribulation, death and resurrection. And He knew it would be the same for those who exercised their conviction to seek and follow Him alone. But, here are the disciples, and how many of us, still fearing the deep water while clutching to their biblical life preserver and looking to the life guard of the world to swim for them. Okay, so they weren’t ready. But, maybe that was Jesus’ point. Until they were truly convicted of the need to exercise the faith Jesus had in them then they were just disciples and not yet apostles. But, the test had to be given. Better tested by Jesus than Satan. But, the day would come when they would be the ones who were looked to as they looked to Jesus in that moment. Would others see the Jesus in them who had seen Jesus in the boat at rest, peace and with conviction? Or would they see men at unrest, without peace and only a calm and clear day conviction?

For those who would desire to go deeper and see what may have been on the other side according to Luke, then read chapter 8 and see how he tells this “baptismal” transformation event. Powerful!

“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
* 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 and the people of Laos
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* I am home from the hospital following tests and observation to determine the cause and treatment of chest and back pains (and seeking God’s wisdom to meet the needs of people and task without bringing harm to any)
* 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 us 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, through Jesus Christ in whose Name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

2121

February 11, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 3.4

“Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

So the Pharisees took “the Fifth.” Of course, they didn’t have the constitution to fall back on as Jesus confronted them with this question. They refused to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate them. It is difficult to speak against someone if you are actually aligned with them. It is in those moments that humans make the decision to focus on little differences between each other that are far less important than to grasp the big picture. What was the big picture here? It was simply “To do good and save a life on the Sabbath” or on any other day for that matter.

Of course, it is difficult to do that or so it seems. It is only because we, too, like the Pharisees of old, are afraid of what it would mean to be truly aligned with the Messiah and have to live in this world. Really? Living in the Kingdom of God is the big picture and living in this world becomes one of those fading into the background type of moments. Yes, we are called to live in this world just as Jesus was. But, in order to live in the kingdom yet to come we have to be more like Jesus and let His truth shine from our words and actions. The Pharisees were convicted by their silence and everyone saw it. Later, they would roar like lions who hoped the sound of their voices and actions would drive others into submission. They didn’t count on the power of resurrection!

“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 citizens of impoverished and regime-torn countries seeking escape into freedom to be safeguarded and easily identified apart from those seeking to destroy freedom
* 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 and the people of Jamaica
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* 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 us 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 help us to find our voice and speak the truth in love with life and soul-saving actions through Jesus Christ in whose Name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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2091

January 3, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY: The Advent of Epiphany

Matthew 2.1-2,12

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the One who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.’ And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Wait for it! Pause. Reflect. Contemplate. Pray. Search. Believe. Pursue.

Before one could really pursue there would have to be a true belief in what one was pursuing and why. It almost sounds like conviction. There would definitely be a need for conviction- the heartfelt, spirit-led determination of a realized truth. There is no halfway in the journey of faith if there is to be actual success. The journey of the mighty man of God must mirror that of the wise men. They were all in. Interestingly enough I see the evidence of their belief most vividly in their departure. Matthew’s story of their visit concludes with the wise men having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod they went to their own country by a different route. It was a contemporary revelation from God. These wise men had given themselves to the pursuit of Jahweh- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David and all the kings and prophets. It is also possible that they were members of the exile five hundred years previous who remained in Babylon by the River Chebar and did not return until this moment. Regardless of who they were their belief was in touch with God, the Father of Jesus the Christ.

Imagine the level of belief the wise men had to have. They would have left their jobs and families behind in order to take up this journey. We do not know when they started their trek. Was it on the day of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, before or after? We know it was led by a Star. Did it appear on the day or at some time following? If it was on the day then their journey took two years. Did that time include preparation for their travels making arrangements for food, lodging, transportation? Did they have to gain permission to take leave? Did they have to make financial transactions to purchase the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? Did they start off together or did they somehow meet along the way? There is much to consider about that which we do not know. But, what we do know is that they believed they would find “One who was born to be the King of the Jews, Messiah.” They came to share gifts, not tokens, and to worship Him as King of Kings. They were visited in their dreams just as had Mary and Joseph by an angel of the Lord. They were obedient to the revelation and the realization. They may have started out as emissaries of foreign kings but left for their homelands as witnesses of the One true King. Their wisdom was increased by their belief in what they desired to see and by what they saw.

What about you, mighty men of God. Jesus spoke to His disciples about believing what they had seen. He also applauded those who believed without seeing. Our witness is a wise counsel to those who have not yet seen. Will they believe because we believed? Certainly this was the purpose of Matthew as he wove the wise men’s story into his own. Perhaps he had heard it from one of them or all three. He wasn’t an eyewitness to the birth of Jesus. At best he was a contemporary of Jesus and born at the same time. So where did this vinette come from if not from a spoken testimony and shared visit. Will you be a true wise man and share the story of the birth of this Savior of the World? Will you believe it so much that you would be faithful to its retelling as if you had been there? Will others see the depth of your belief and conviction to pursue the Christ on your spiritual journey? Will the depth of your belief become evident in what is given more than what was taken back? Will you have your own epiphany now as you rethink this story and see its depth rising out of twelve verses of short story? I pray you will and that you will join with me in the telling of this story over and over again until the next Advent comes- His Final Advent, when He returns to gather His Father’s mighty men who are His brothers in spirit, in truth, in faith, hope and love.

“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 a God-glorifying 2016 and blessing on those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For those impacted by the severe storms of a major system which moved across this country leaving death (man and beast including 1000s of dairy cows in Texas) and destruction in its wake
* For those citizens of impoverished and regime-torn countries seeking escape into freedom to be safeguarded and easily identified apart from those seeking to destroy freedom
* 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 and the people of France
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; and courage to be a mighty man against all odds

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

* We have made it through another year by the grace of God
* We have the story of the magi to teach us to pursue the King of Kings
* God has a plan for our service that will meet and exceed our expectations; He will guide us in the direction we need to go to serve Him and His people best
* 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 revealing Your truth to us and inviting us to be wise witnesses whose belief share never be stopped from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in whose name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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