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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.

2394

May 28, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

John 3.16, 17 (paraphrased)

“For God so loved this world that He gave and sent His only Son to it with the promise that those who would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. This Son, Jesus, came into the world not to condemn it but to bring salvation to it according to God’s purpose and desire!'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Today, I am wrestling with an image inspired by a conversation I read between a father and his son who have a separation between them that seems impossible to resolve this side of heaven. I share my thoughts with you because someone who will read this may be going through a similar situation in his (or her) life.

Imagine telling God that you are just fine and attempts to stay in touch with you is “just silly stuff.” Do we dare believe that God really responds to our contention that there is no need to stay in touch with us? Can we afford to allow this contention become contentious? The problem, you see, is not with God. It is a human problem and a spiritual concern. The manifestation of such a problem and concern does indeed have mortal contemporary affect as well, I think, as it does a spiritual eternal effect. Do we dare believe that we can go to a different Heaven than the one God inhabits? Do we think that we are granted a place of separation in Heaven from those against whom we contend? Or from whom we hold contentious feelings and thoughts?

I am glad to worship a God, our Heavenly Father, who does not lose sight of us. I am glad to be in relationship with a God, my Heavenly Father, who continues to make His presence known to me for my sake even if I dared to entertain the thought that I don’t need Him as a constant in my life. Now, I know that Satan, the ultimate fallen angel, does entertain this thought and practices this reality. He has determined for himself that he neither needs God nor any reminders of God’s presence. Fortunately, for us, God does remind him of His presence. Even His Son, Jesus, went into the Devil’s lair and preached the opportunity of freedom from the spiritual bondage which Satan entangled them- or believed he had. And Satan needs God or else there would be no tension to use in influencing humanity to believe in him. Satan’s greatest weapon is to play off the reality that there is a God and that God doesn’t have power nor concern. If there was no God there would be no Satan. Oh, indeed, Satan needs the reality of God and God’s persistence of grace and the hope of both redemption and salvation. Oh, how we need that as well. If there was no God then we would not exist. And if we did exist, and there was no God, there would be little hope for a life of true meaning and purpose. We would have to settle for less.

Thank you, o Theophilus, for allowing me to weave through these thoughts. Why would I settle for less than redemption, reconciliation, salvation and grace? Why would I find it beneficial to keep my father, earthly and heavenly, at a distance and go so far as to push him or Him further away? Perhaps it would be, as it may for this son and father I am praying for, that to keep a distance allows one and the other from dealing with the real issues that separate them from each other. We all will have to deal with these issues at one time or another. How much better to do it now with the Spirit of grace and truth which leads to physical and spiritual healing than to stand before the Throne of God and the Judgment Seat of the Lamb and bear the consequences of defying the Spirit which has been at work all along to effect and affect our lives for peace, love and joy!

“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
* 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 Myanmar
* 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, into Your hands we give ourselves in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven so that we may be more like Heaven on earth. AMEN.

2268

August 5, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 10.10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The enemy is a consumer of time, talent and life. He wants nothing more than to take away the grandeur of what God has made. He discolors life with the shades of darkness, doubt and despair. He does not leave a glass half-full or half-empty. He leaves it tipped over and broken. The carnage of his own brokenness litters the world. We trip over it often.

But, the friend of God who is our friend is a giver of life, hope, peace and abundance. He wants nothing less than to give us His best. He has done this with His very own life. He leads us through the shadows into the places of pure light where every color is brilliant. He helps us through the detours of sin on straight paths of righteousness where life flourishes and there is rest. He fills our cups to overflowing with the Word of encouragement called love. He is the epitome of God’s love and it is shared with us in mercy and grace. As we walk with Him our steps become more stable and true and our journey takes on its true meaning and purpose.

Mighty men of God, remember who is your best friend. He has already defeated the enemy’s hold on your life. You are free to be in the Kingdom of God. The enemy will continue to attack and try to dissuade you from this truth. The challenges will seem overwhelming at times. Little things pile up until they seem like mountains. But, by faith in Christ we can say to the mountain “come down.” It has already been conquered. We must live in the reality of our relationship with the true friend of God and man. He is for us and never against 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 leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* 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 Barbados
* 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 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, hear us as we call out our faith in You. We reach for the fullness of life that You have to offer. Give us the portion we need today as we go into the world by, with and for Your Son and our Savior Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

2230

June 21, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.30-31

“I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over Me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what My Father has commanded Me. Come now; let us leave.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The truth is that we cannot stay in the comfort of the upper room. We all have our own upper room. Mine is actually a lower room but it serves as the upper room. The upper room for Jesus and the disciples served as the place where fellowship, communion, prayer, instruction, direction, struggle, celebration and all in the presence of God happens in a focused place. Some may call it their prayer closet as in “War Room.” For others, the upper room may be a bedroom, a den, a study, a park bench, church or any other place where we go to spend time with God and away from the world. We need our upper room. We need our time with God to gain strength of heart, mind, body and spirit. We need that separate and defined place to deal with the blending of our will and God’s will until our will becomes one in God’s. And many times we simply want to be in that place and never leave it. That upper room is coming when Jesus returns to take the faithful to be with Him where He is now. Until then, we abide in that place where we are mostly away from the call of the world and more into the call of the Kingdom.

But, as we see in His Word for Today, we cannot stay in the upper room of this world. It is a preparation room to go back into the world and accomplish what God has intended for our lives. In our study, reflection, reading, praying, journaling and solitude we can get that clearly picture and energizing to return to the world outside and be God’s agents of mercy, grace and powerful words and works. While God is working on the inside of us we must be working on the outside. We cannot stay in our upper rooms and complete the will of God. Jesus’ purpose was not merely to call disciples together, teach them important lessons, bless them with the Holy Spirit and then leave them there. Jesus’ purpose was to complete the work given to Him by His Father. It was at the cross we hear His declaration “It is finished. It is done.” In the upper room, He said “Time to leave and go back into the world.” Jesus didn’t just die for the disciples. He died for the world. He died in the public arena so that the world would know. He lived in the public arena so that the world would know. He visited His upper room, wherever it could be found, to spend time with God but in the end of each visit He went back out into the world to do all He was purposed to do. So, too, must we.

“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)

* 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 Turkey
* 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
* 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, in our coming in and our going out may Your Will be done and may it be abundantly clear to us and to the world as we do so in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

2229

June 20, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.30-31

“I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over Me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what My Father has commanded Me. Come now; let us leave.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Oh, that we all could be as confident and assured in the face of certain death as Jesus was. Until all believers in Jesus Christ are translated into the presence of God in the new Heaven and New Earth, death will remain as part of our lives. Even for Jesus, death was inescapable. He had lived in the midst of the threat of death throughout His ministry. But, the time had come to confront the actuality of death so that its threat of eternal separation from God could be silenced. Yet, though we embrace the truth that our eternal lives are secured by the love and grace of God through Jesus Christ, we still can tremble in this world knowing the many faces of death which still gaze upon our lives.

Death is all around us. So, too, is life! As I am often reminded “We should not lament what we do not have but rejoice in what we do have.” Sometimes it is easier said than done but count our blessings we must. These blessings are the anchors of our lives set to keep us from going adrift in doubt and fear. And Jesus had given these anchors to His disciples throughout His ministry. He reminded them of those blessings on that final night. He was giving them the truth of Passover fulfilled and transformed. He was still teaching them how to confront life in the face of death- all types of death. And then the moment came- it was time to go.

Mighty men, we must learn this lesson as well. We must count our blessings and recite with confidence the promises made to us by God and sealed by the life of Jesus, His Son and our Savior. We will face the certainty of death daily because we live in a world that is attacked by sin. We ourselves are all sinners and still not perfect and given to the opportunity to fall again. And in the midst of these death experiences there is life. The Kingdom of God is in the midst of us. With our blessings and confidence stored in our heart, mind, soul and spirit we must go out. Go out into the world to live the faith, hope and love given to us. Go out into the world to make disciples of all nations. Go out into the world to declare Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and by no other means can we enter into our eternal rest and peace far removed from the presence of death.

“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 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 Tunisia
* 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; 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, we hold this truth to be without question- life is ours in the name of Jesus our Christ. May the presence of this truth be evident in our words and works today as we go out into the world with the blessings of faith, hope and love. AMEN.

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2228

June 19, 2016

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.19-21

“‘Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and You are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Many of us are from a generation that sang “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” In the tenor of that generation there was some question as to which kind of love was being offered. In light of current orientations there might still be some question. It is true that what the world needs is love. I can mull over the various descriptions of love and their multitudinous expressions from sexual erotic to tolerant to nurturing to brotherly to compassionate. But, in the long run what the world needs now, as always, is God’s love- a Father’s love. Sociologist, psychologists and theologians will all agree that the absence of a father’s love in all communities creates a chaos that is impossible to overcome without changing the dynamic of each community. And we have seen the dynamic change and so far not for the better. Those of the evolutionary mindset might offer that these changes are just the natural course of our lives. But, I will beg to differ as we were created supernaturally to follow the course of life set before us by our Heavenly Father. Yes, sin has damaged the DNA of the life in the world- physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. We are in a time and place in history where the abnormal is accepted as normal and supernatural as evil or at least alien.

What the world needs now is a Heavenly Father whose love is unquestionably restorative, reconciling, remembered and reciprocated. And, thank that God our Father we have exactly that in Jesus Christ. I might offer that as Abraham was the father of faith, Moses was father of deliverance, David was father of unity so Jesus is the Father of the righteous community. His birth into the world is the evidence of our Heavenly Father’s love.

1) Because of Jesus hope for the kind of family that God intended is restored as the priority of true relationship is revealed where God is Father and we are all His children. His love for us can make the transformation needed so that we not only can receive true love but we are able to give it to continue the restoration process.

2) Because of Jesus we are all empowered to stand before God as acceptable in His sight. Yes, we can be God’s children (as we always were) but unless we come back to Him in honored allegiance and humble adoration then we are just wondering and lost people. Way too many of those in the world today. But, the balance can be restored because Jesus died for our sins. Sin is what keeps us separated from God. It does not, yet, keep God separated from us. Jesus’ death on the cross, the act of supreme love for the Supreme Father God and His children cancels the debt of separation and opens the gate to joined life in the spirit and the flesh.

3) Because of Jesus we are remembered. “He forgets not His own” is a line from another song many of us grew up with in church “We Gather Together.” Jesus as the Good Shepherd knows each lamb of God, His children, by name. He knows them and loves them whether they are good or bad, naughty or nice. He is accountable and responsible for each one. And when those who call upon His name stand before the Throne, He will remember them as faithfully as He has when they cried out for salvation, healing and deliverance. He will not stutter to remember our name and while He will remember our sin and failure He will remember the cross they bear and call them by the name that means the most- Blessed!

4) Because of Jesus, God’s love is reciprocal. Jesus came to earth from Heaven. He stepped out of the supernatural world of the Kingdom and into the natural world of creation. But, while He put on flesh so that we could see the possibilities of our own lives through God’s eyes He was still Spirit so that we could envision our godly lives through our own lives. And because of God’s love, a Father’s love, the Son of God was able to return. He gave love where He was given love. It is the cycle of true life. And the same is true for each mighty man of God. From dust our bodies came and to dust they will return. But, we are far more than physical bodies. We are Spiritual beings and as we are derived from the Spirit of God so we can return because Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is not bound nor limited to the natural world. We are far more than this because we are new creatures in Christ.

And what does this all mean for the mighty men of God today? The spiritual earthly fathers of faith, hope and love alive in the world today? It means His love is in us and we are to embrace this oneness shared by Christ for and with God for and with us. And from us into all the world.

1) We are to be restoring of relationships through prayer and witness.

2) We are to be reconciling and help to make paths straight with forgiveness, grace and mercy so that all barriers that keep one from another are overcome.

3) We are to be remembering that we are all sinners saved by grace- most undeservedly. Yet saved we are by the mercy of a Father God whose love cannot be outdone nor undone. As it has been done for us so much remember the possibility and opportunity for it to be done for others. His Will, which is for life, be done.

4) We are to be reciprocal. As we have been returned to right relationship so we must be in right relationship with God and one another. We do not love to be loved. We love because we are loved.

Happy Father’s Day! Honor God our Father by being the best father we can to those entrusted into our care with the duty and blessing of loving them into the fullness of life which is our through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“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 weekend as we celebrate the fathers in our lives- spiritual and literal; may they receive the blessings they deserve and some they do not to show the love of God and our gratitude- especially to God our Father
* 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, NECC and the people of Trinidad and Tobago
* 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; 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, we love You for all you have done for us and have made possible for our future. Most of all we love You for You and in the name of Jesus our Christ we will do our best to show that Father’s love to all the world. AMEN.

2227

June 17, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.19-21

“‘Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and You are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I love twists on words. I think Jesus marveled at how the world twisted God’s word in order to meet its own needs. That is how Satan confused Adam and Eve. He twisted the Word of God “Surely God didn’t mean you would die” to serve his own purpose in the Garden- to break down the creation of God. Obedience to God’s Word does not limit us. It sets in motion the power of spiritual potency which enriches our lives to accomplish what God has in mind for us to be and to do. Satan wanted to inhibit that by getting us to focus on “what do you think God really meant.” God does not couch His words. God speaks plainly to us. Our problem is the desire to make more of His Word than there is. There is plenty in each word that comes from the mouth of God; sufficient to meet our daily needs.

So, as I read His Word for today (which has been the word for several days now) I was struck by the phrase “Love me and you will be loved by My Father.” I have heard people say “love me, love my kids.” I think the intention of that saying is that the adults/parents sense they are loved if their kids are being loved. As a teacher and a pastor, even as a manager of a retail store, I recognize the importance of being kind, fair and loving to kids. The parents who see this, and it isn’t my intention, feel respected and honored. They trust us when they do that. And I believe Jesus was expressing that, too. God knows we love Him by how we treat His Son. How we treat His Son is by loving Him and following His commands. They are no different than what God had given from the beginning but the world’s twist on them creates shades of confusion.

As mighty men of God, we cannot shape the Word of God, even the image of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to fit our needs. We are to ask God for reshape and reform us to meet the need for which we were first created as part of God’s plan of life (from the beginning) and salvation (from the time of the fall.) If we truly love God then we would want to do all we could to please and serve Him. He has shown us that He truly loves us by doing all He could to save us and reconcile us through Jesus our Christ. How do we know what that need may be? Jesus continued to teach- love one another!

“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 weekend as we celebrate the fathers in our lives- spiritual and literal; may they receive the blessings they deserve and some they do not to show the love of God and our gratitude- especially to God our Father
* 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, NECC and the people of Tonga
* 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; 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, may our love be full of hope for one another that we may love You in a great way today by loving those whom we shall meet as we serve in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

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2226

June 16, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.19-21

“‘Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and You are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

“Seeing is believing.” That is what the world says. We have seen that mindset in the lives of the disciples. But, Jesus teaches that greater things will we do, and I believe see, than what the disciples saw. Perhaps the reasoning is in the matter of faith. As human beings we do not use the full capacity of our brain. I am not sure how much of the brain can be consciously accessed by any person. It would stand to reason that the more we are able to do with our minds the more we could accomplish in so many ways. And perhaps the ability to access more is not a human endeavor but a spiritual one. Jesus knew all things because the Father had revealed it to Him as part of the Holy Trinity. All things but one- the time of His return to earth for the Last Day. Jesus lived by faith and look at all He was able to do. It stands to reason, at least for me, that the charge to walk by faith and not by sight is the key to our ability to do greater things. So, “seeing is believing” is overshadowed by “believing is seeing.”

What do we believe?

1) Jesus is the Christ, the only Christ. Many will come proclaiming to be a messiah or that they are acting in the name of Jesus. However, if we believe in the One True Messiah then we will see the truth and bear witness to that discernment by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.

2) We are all sinners and stand in the need for grace in order to dwell in peace in this world and enjoy the blessing of the Kingdom yet to come. Without grace we are finite beings limited by our works for the supply of our needs. We may still think there are possibilities to know and do more on our own volition but there is a limit and we may be fast approaching it. Then what?

3) God loves us. God loves us so much that He wanted to remove the question in too many minds “What does God really know about me?” He did this by sending His Son to live on earth for a time in His image. The same image in which we are all created- human. He walked, talked, ate, experienced and lived life just as one of us. He was giving us the validation that God does indeed know what it means to be a man- for better and for worse. Jesus knew it all. That means God’s love includes us in all His blessings and benefits promised by Jesus His Son and our Savior. Those blessings and benefits include salvation, eternal life and provision for our daily walk according to His Will and not our own.

So, if we believe, what do we see?

1) The empty cross. Eternal death has been removed from the equation of our lives. We are no longer limited by a sin-tainted DNA. We are rewired to be children of God who take up the empty cross and bear it proudly, and humbly, saying “He did it for me. He has done it for you.”

2) The empty tomb. Not only has the sting of death at the cross been removed which would have lead to Hell but so has the stone been rolled away liberating us to live in this world and in the next as God’s sons and daughters. In this world our hopes are raised because in the Kingdom which is in our midst and coming to full fruition our spirits have been raised already to be welcomed home in Heaven as we are on earth. The empty cross becomes a key to door of eternal peace, joy, happiness and worship.

3) Jesus! He is manifested in our works to those in needs as we ministry in faith, hope and love to the world just as He told the first disciples. He was not telling the “only” disciples just the first. He told them they were to go into all the world and make more disciples. Disciples see Jesus! They hear His Word. They follow His commands! They share the Good News! They live by faith and expand the vision of Christ for others to begin to believe and see as well.

“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 safety of all vacationers in light of the recent tragedy of an alligator attack reminding us all how fragile our situations are
* 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, NECC and the people of the Tokelau Islands
* 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; 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, may we be a part of Your vision for the future of the world today as we share our faith believing in the truth we now see in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

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2225

June 15, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.19-21

“‘Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and You are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Seeing Jesus is truly living; being alive at the core of who we are. Jesus taught that who we are as mighty men of God is determined by keeping His commands to love God and to love one another. This means that though we may not see Him in the flesh we see Him in His spirit and in His truth. Love is the greatest vision of God. As we truly love one another God becomes visible in our words and our works. Our motives are not self-promoting but God proclaiming. Declaring our love for Jesus by loving others as we have been loved is what makes it possible for us to experience God’s love for us as well. God’s love is inescapable. We do not need to see Him to be loved by Him and if we love Him then His presence is visible all around us. But, for those who do not love God or love themselves far more than they love God see only confusion and chaos. The world, even out of human control, is a place where God’s love is still transforming and changing lives for the better. Love sees and seizes the opportunity to make God’s love known. It could be in a work that is motivated by the truth we have been loved with an unmerited love. It could be in a witness or testimony of comfort to someone in need whose tragedy exceeds their ability to see hope. It could be an invitation to take the walk of faith hand in hand until that day when all things are seen clearly. I believe this is what Paul was describing as he wrote to the mighty men of Corinth “For now we see in a mirror dimly but one day we shall see clearly as if we are face to face.”

God does not desire to be invisible. He does not want to be hidden. He wants to reveal Himself to His people and to be undeniably seen as the loving Father that He is. But, in order to see Him we must believe in Him and love Him. He sees us because He believes in us and loves us with an undying and unwavering love. This is what a good Father is and does. It stands as the testimony of how we each should be to our family and friends, even the stranger and the enemy. That is being alive at the core of who we are in Christ; home and love is where the heart is and desires to be.

“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 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, NECC and the people of Togo
* 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

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; 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, our eyes are wide open so that our heart, mind and soul can see You and reveal You in us to others. Be Thou our vision in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

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2224

June 14, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.12

“‘Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What does resurrection do for us? We know what it did for Jesus.

1) It validated His faith in His Heavenly Father so that we might experience the truth of God’s mercy, grace and love in our own lives.

2) It saved Him from being captured in the pit of Hell. He could walk through it like the valley of the shadow of death David recalled and fear no evil. It made it possible for us to know the same thing is true for us and we will face many valleys in our lifetime before confronting that final one (unless Jesus returns in our lifetime.)

3) It restored His place in the heavenly realm to sit once again at the right hand of His Father. We will have our place, as determined by God, to be seated as well in our Father’s House- one of those many rooms is ours.

4) It inspires us to do greater things than the works which He did in His earthly ministry which would not be possible if it were not for the resurrection return of Jesus to God. It only stands to reason, right? If Jesus was not raised from the dead by His Father, then what was His life on earth all about? His life on earth was about fulfilling the great command- love God and love one another. It is the foundation of the great commission to go into all of the world and make disciples in and of all nations. We may not know what the greater thing is that we will do. We do know that because He has returned to the Father that great thing we are to do can be done.

“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 the victim’s families following the deadly shooting in Orlando and the change of heart for those who will be inspired by it to follow with drastic actions; we ask for peace, wisdom and healing
* 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, NECC and the people of Timor Leste
* 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

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; 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, may the works of our hands, words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

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