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2396

June 18, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

John 17. 20-23

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in US so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as WE are one— I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Happy Father’s Day!.

As mighty men of God, mighty people of God to be truthful, our true and most important identity ought to be oneness with God. It is difficult for most people to embrace a oneness with God for a number of reasons such as authority-figure, judge, law giver, etc. However, Jesus brings to our minds and lives the true means of being one with God. He does it by living out the father-son relationship. Many preachers talk about the difference between religion and relation; even I have done so. I do not believe we can have one without the other. But, we must keep in mind the proper priority of the two. In order to embrace a vital oneness with God, to worship Him in truth and in spirit, we must have a authentic relationship with God as our Heavenly Father. This is what Jesus did. It is what He lived for and died for. He was the incarnation of authentic relationship with God. He was the Son of God in Heaven and on earth. He did not dwell on being prince or king though He knew He was the King of Kings. He did not dwell on the Law and being a law-giver except to remind everyone that the greatest commandment was to love God and then to love one another. His obedience was not a demand but a command. It was a command of worth and will. The value of life has a good worth and is led by good will. And in His prayer to God, His Father, for the disciples was laden with the relationship hope that would be one of the foundation stones aligned with the Cornerstone of the Church and the religion is promoted. A religion of good worth, good will and right relationship.

And what can that mean for the mighty men of God? Is it not that as Christ has brought us into right relationship with God through the sacrifice, willing sacrifice, of His own life so that we can be known as sons of God, too, so must we then do the same for our “disciples.” And who are those disciples if not our family and friends? Establishing and building relationships that image the immutable God-Son on earth as it is Heaven is our great commission. Promoting unity of faith, hope and love, most of all love, is the boots on the ground tactic of defeating the enemy and making allies. Being a father to a son of ours, and daughter, is keeping alive the gospel of Jesus Christ who showed us how the love of the Father becomes a love for all those who are willing to become a part of the family of that Father. He is not distant. He is not aloof. He is not absent. He is not haughty. He is not rude. He is not self-serving. He is not impatient. He is not the enemy. Instead, He is with us. He is united with us in Spirit and in truth. He is an ever present help. He is humble. He is courteous and kind. He is all about serving the needs of others. He is our Father, Friend and Ally.

Sounds like some big shoes to fill and big steps to follow. But, in love Jesus will help us grow into them and learn to walk with them in bringing all the world into the right relationship of God and man. I like to think that each Father’s Day is a gift to dads that is a challenge to do better because we are better for God, for ourselves, for our spouses and children and for our friends and those who will become our friends.

“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 this weekend as we celebrate Father’s Day- a special prayer to all fathers that they will make the tough love commitment to love their children better than they ever have
* For the Spirit of rest to swallow up unrest in our heart, mind, soul and spirit and throughout our circle of influence
* 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, our new small group and the people of Nauru
* 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; 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):

* 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 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 being our Father and being in a relationship of love with us in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

1940

June 21, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 6.9-13

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I just saw an article on celebrities who do not believe in God. We know there are people, too many, who do not believe in any god. We know those who declare themselves to be agnostic or atheistic. We know there are many, too many, who believe in false gods or other “divine” beings who are not the One True God- the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus Christ and a whole host of others but that will embrace the Christian and Jewish tradition. I even had a short conversation concerning God as a feminine entity to which I replied, “God has no gender but Jesus called Him Father and identified Himself as the Father’s Son.” I dare say that the beliefs and attitudes toward fathers is rooted in our spiritual understanding of God as our heavenly Father whom we are called to worship (and that means serve as well) in spirit and in truth.

Yes, I will confess to my moments of not being the best father in the world. I will confess that I come from a long line of men who weren’t the best fathers they could have been for better or for worse. I will confess that while we fail because we are sinners and fall miserably short of OUR Father’s intent and expectation, it doesn’t mean that we are condemned by God for being inadequate dads. Scripture is full of examples of deficient dads. But, those same men are also lauded for positive attributes which do align with the will and purpose of God. Being less than perfect doesn’t make us a bad dad and does not determine our children will be bad children. But, I would ask for us to consider that bad dads and bad children may fall in line with a bad understanding of who God truly is and how we are supposed to relate to God and one another. Jesus taught a lesson to the Scribes and Pharisees which lauded good fathers, and that would mean He believed they had the possibility of being good dads, and defined who bad dads were- those who gave their children bad or false gifts.

I have no doubt this falls in line with the lessons I have been experiencing and sharing concerning the “three enemies of God and relationship.” Bad dads are consumed with themselves and their own personal welfare at the expense of others- especially those who they should have positive relationships. I believe that is why we have so many unhappy and troubled children, young and old. The lack of sacrificial dads does do damage to families and communities. We are not perfect but we are not immediately disqualified either. Being a faulty dad is just a sign of being a dad who is a sinner. But, in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven dads. That means we are worthy of love, favor and attention. It also means we are to continue to make efforts of being good dads who give our children good gifts. And by good gifts, I do not mean lavish and earthly gifts because you cannot buy love. I mean that you give value and worth and dignity to your children. You honor them by honoring God. You honor God by honoring your children. Jesus had this relationship with God and God’s people. He loved them as He knew He was loved by His Father. His Father was sacrificial even though it meant Jesus was the sacrifice. He knew God loved Him and us so much that He was willing to give that which had the most value to Him for us.

As Jesus thought about how to teach His disciples the best way to pray, He knew He had to start with loving His Father. Prayer is merely the petition to the loving Father to do the Father-thing. If we, as mighty men, embrace our children’s petitions as prayers instead of demands, we might respond differently to them and image a right relationship with God in the process.

Dads, give your children the best possible gift today you can give. I know it is Father’s Day and gifts come to you and hopefully they come without a desire for reciprocation and conditions. But, honor God by honoring your children- pray with them to God and seek His blessing of goodness on their lives, worship with them and invite them to embrace an act of serving others as the evidence of true love and finally, spend time with them in just being with them for a time of listening and honoring their thoughts and concerns.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

[For the reader, I would invite you to see God’s use of the safe zone in the story of Cain and Abel.]

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

* For fathers, for those who need to step up as fathers and for OUR FATHER who art in Heaven- hallowed be His Name
* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend as we celebrate Father’s Day in honor of those who have provided life-honoring and God-honoring leadership to God’s children
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent
* 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 protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they intercede on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” and the people of Oman
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* For my father and my Father!
* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before; we press into His finished work for our healing- may it be manifested Lord!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for being a good, loving, providing, compassionate, involved, engaged and sacrificial Dad. In the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one, I pray gratefully. AMEN.

1906

May 7, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Galatians 4.4-7

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to be sons of God. Because you are [now] His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As I read this verse today in exploring “God our Father” references and hoping to glean from them ways to be a better father myself, I was struck by the phrase “in the fullness of time.” I remember the phrase from my study on the plans God has for us and how He acts in the fullness of time or when the ‘set time had fully come.’ God acts when the time is best for us to receive and understand the gift of His Spirit. It has come into the world many times; far more than any of us know. We all have a “right” time to encounter God. We could depend on our set times for study, prayer, worship, holy celebrations, etc. to become the calendar reminders of “getting close to God.” As fathers, we may have also depended on set times to relate to our children for wise counsel or human interaction. How many times have we thought to ourselves, or even said it to our children, “I don’t have time right now.” How much time has been lost because we put our human needs before our fathering needs?

Doesn’t the commandment declare “Honor your father and mother so it will be well with you in the days ahead”? In the voice of the Spirit I hear an expansion of that covenant description of righteousness as “honor your fathering and mothering so it will be well with you in the days ahead.” It is in our parenting that we example best the right relationship man ought to have with his Father in Heaven. That relationship defines and refines all other relationships. I know I have missed many of those important times thinking “the time isn’t right.” Maybe the truth was “I am not right.” God acted in the fullness of time to be our Father and draw us back into His familial relationship as sons and daughters. We who are born of humanity have been separated by the blending of sin into our lives. But, God our Father, has acted to redeem us and satisfy the legal proceedings of adoption. What the enemy meant to make us homeless and fatherless children God has acted against and made us His children welcome in His home. It is by the Holy Spirit that we are now connected to Him for eternity. We are bonded to Him with the evidence of the truth of God’s love. So great is that love even the Spirit cries out “Abba, Father.”

Mighty men, I know I am challenged by this communication to use my time for my children better. We need to engaged in being parented by God who loves us without question and to parent without question those God has given us to love as sons and daughters (not necessarily by blood but by faith.)

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For test administrators and test takers this week in Texas with the administration of the STAAR EOC
* For peace in Baltimore; violence only begats violence but we are called to be peacemakers
* For healing for the loved ones whose family and friends died in the massive earthquake and tremors which followed in Nepal; for the restoring of those who are lost and will be found by the grace of God; for the rebuilding of infrastructure and communities and a return to peace
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent; over 400 decomposed bodies in shallow graves found in Nigeria as a result of their terror
* 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 protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they intercede on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Lithuania
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before; we press into His finished work for our healing- may it be manifested Lord!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we are Yours and we are grateful that You call us sons and daughters. Help us to become the spiritual fathers and mothers for Your children so that we can celebrate the life we have been given in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

1905

May 6, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Mark 14.36

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Mighty men, have we lived such lives that our sons would be so trusting as to put their lives in our hands? I know that not all the references to fathers are spiritual accolades accompanied by grand encouragements. Some references are simply to lines of descent and who was the father of whom. But, with over 1100 references in the Bible there is little doubt how important it was for the men of God to understand and embrace their place in the family and in the community as fathers. I heard it said that God was envisioned through the father identity because fathers needed a strong role model. I am not sure that gender identity of God is supposed to be an issue for anyone though many have made it so. I believe the point is that if men get their place before God in the midst of His plan for their lives then everything else can fall into place better. Of course, there is no perfect father but “our Father.”

So, to be the best father we can be there has to be an alignment with God. Through Him alone are all things filled with the possibility of fulfillment and completion. He has shown us what it takes to be a great father. We need the harmony of both the Old Testament teaching and the New to see the full image of the One in whose image we have been created. From creator to judge, from law to grace, from mighty to humble, from sacrificing to sacrificed the image of God is full of the dynamism necessary to be a good father. We may not always reflect God well because we still have brokenness in our lives. We may see our reflection most clearly in our own children and look away. But, the truth is that without God’s mercy and grace, without His good fathering, our hope to be good fathers would be diminished until it fades away completely. As Paul wrote concerning the nature of love to the mighty men of Corinth, “We see Him in a mirror dimly but one day we will clearly. The journey begins when we put our childhood away and become mighty men. We will know fully as we are fully known.” Paul connected, it seems, the vision of fathers with loving Christ who said “To see me is to see the Father.” Trust in God, mighty men, and seek Him first in yourselves. He will be found there as you put your faith in Him through whom it is possible to be a good father.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For test administrators and test takers this week in Texas with the administration of the STAAR EOC
* For peace in Baltimore; violence only begats violence but we are called to be peacemakers
* For healing for the loved ones whose family and friends died in the massive earthquake and tremors which followed in Nepal; for the restoring of those who are lost and will be found by the grace of God; for the rebuilding of infrastructure and communities and a return to peace
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent; over 400 decomposed bodies in shallow graves found in Nigeria as a result of their terror
* 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 protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they intercede on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Liechtenstein
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* Lisa’s CT is normal
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before; we press into His finished work for our healing- may it be manifested Lord!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, You have made us in Your image to be good dads. Open our eyes so that we can see ourselves clearly not in shame but in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.