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2404

August 27, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

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

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Mighty men, why should we be surprised what God can do?  Whether we are apprehensive, anxious, fearful or at peace it seems our minds have the most difficult time fathoming the measure of God’s power, mercy and grace.  As often as we may repeat the promise of John 3.16 “For God so loved the world that He gave to us His only begotten Son in order that eternal life might be realized by all those who would believe in Him.”  God “so” loved the world.  You know what “so” means in this context.  As children, we often responded to such questions as “how much do you love me” with stretched out arms and a strenuous “sooooooo much.”  Jesus loved us “so” much, even though we were not yet born, that He stretched out His arms on the cross and declared with His willing sacrifice “so much.”  What power of will and strength of faith it must have taken for God and Jesus to demonstrate such desire as to save each one of us from the legacy and finality of death without mercy and grace!  If God in Christ and through Christ can do such a thing then why do we wonder and marvel at what else they can do because of their faith, hope and love for us and in us and through us and our faith in them.  Remember, mighty men, it takes only the faith as small as a mustard seed on our part to affect the blessing of such mercy and grace into our lives.

Equally so, it only takes that same kind and level of faith to impact the world in which we live.  It should be no more surprising to us, mighty men, that this is the truth than for us to believe in the God who has saved us.  This is the God who created the universe, the world and the life upon this earth out of chaos and nothingness.  If He can order the chaos into the awesomeness we experience today then He can certainly continue to act for His glory and on our behalf for the sake of our life on earth and for eternal peace in Heaven yet to come.  

And what of response to the movement and work of God toward us.  If we believe that Jesus was indeed the Christ and is Christ for us today then why do we marvel or question what else can be done?  It is not enough, mighty men, to be satisfied with our salvation.  Our salvation means nothing if we are not putting such faith as it takes to believe in Jesus the Christ into action!  Yes, as the Apostle Paul declared, “faith without works is dead.”  He did not teach that we needed works to be saved.  Rather, that because we are made new and actually improved then we, being akin to Christ who is the head of the Body- the Church and each of us members of that same body can do great things.  Jesus promised this to His disciples as He bestowed the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon them.  As they went out to preach the gospel and performed miracles bearing the Spirit as a cloak it should be no less moving when that same Spirit then became a part of the fabric of their lives at Pentecost.  It was no longer upon them.  It dwelt in them and they became as one just as Jesus was one with the Spirit as the Christ.

What does this say?  I believe it behooves us to center our attention upon whom we have become- ones in Christ.  We ought not center our attention upon ourselves in isolation in the world.  We are not alone.  Christ has made it possible for us to dwell as Immanuel- God with us.  With the power of God in us, around us and working through us we, too, can do great things.  It should not cause us to wonder or dwell forever in marvel.  It is meant to become our default reality as mighty men of God.  Practice the peace.  Practice the power.  Put into action the faith that has been given us so that God can be known personally to all those who are in our spheres of influence.

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend                                                                            * For those who have been, are and will be impacted by Tropical Storm Harvey as rain and flooding persist for days to come
* For the victims and the families of the victims of this latest rash of killings across the world that they may have peace and comfort in their time of grief
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC (and their service to the education community of 31 campuses)  and the people of Norway
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for needs of my family mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation and wise counsel in seeking the proper doctor to diagnose my condition

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER:  Father, You have already poured out Your Spirit upon and into our lives.  We pause now in reflection to allow that Spirit to become as active in us  in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven as it was in Jesus who is our Christ. AMEN.

2403

August 26, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

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

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

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

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

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

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

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend                                                                            * For those who have been, are and will be impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the storm it will continue to be in the days ahead
* For the victims and the families of the victims of this latest rash of killings across the world that they may have peace and comfort in their time of grief
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC (and their service to the education community of 31 campuses)  and the people of Niger
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for needs of my family mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation and wise counsel in seeking the proper doctor to diagnose my condition

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace; has given us relief in my health
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, Your love is so amazing.  By Your love we are changed from a loss to a gain, from a defeat to a glory.   With Your love we go now into the world to share the truth that can set all men free.  Let this witness be powerful and transforming, affirming and empowering in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

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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.

2391

April 10, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY as we begin Holy Week

Matthew 20.20-23

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him. ‘What is it you want?’ He asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus replied and turned to the brothers and asked them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from My cup, but to sit at My right or left in Heaven is not for Me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by My Father.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Are we accepting the preparation by God for our future on earth as it will be in Heaven? Jesus had been preparing the disciples for their moment in His final Passover celebration until He would return to them in the fullness of God’s time. We know, as we read through the scriptures of all the events preceding and during and following His crucifixion, that it would seem they were not prepared; such as-

1. Judas betrayed Jesus to the Temple leadership. But, if Judas had not been exposed to the power of the Messiah then He would not have had the confidence to do what Jesus said he must do and to do it quickly. Yes, he took his own life as he realized that Jesus was truly not going to overtake the religious-political power and was going to lay down His own life for the salvation of others. Overthrowing cannot have its ultimate power to change if the change does not happen first in spirit and in truth.

2. Peter denied Jesus three times during those early morning hours in which Jesus was tried by both Jewish and Roman leadership leading to His being brutalized and ultimately crucified. But, if Peter had not been prepared to continue to seek God’s forgiveness and hold fast to his deep relationship with Jesus then Jesus’ appearance to Him and the others after the crucifixion would not have its fullest impact. Yes, he fell back to his default behavior of finding his peace while fishing. But, that was only the physical expression of dealing with grief. His mind, undoubtedly, did not wander far from deep thoughts of Jesus who called him out of the fishing for fish mentality to the fishing for men reality. If Peter had not felt the emptiness of his past life he would not be able to truly embrace the fullness of his future life.

3. The disciples hid in fear of being put to death as well. But, if they had not hid then who knows what would have happened as the sheep without a shepherd would be scattered. Only Thomas wandered from their hiding place as he dealt with grief in his own way. But, he knew where they were and when word came to him that Jesus had appeared to those who hid together he came too. If the disciples had not been molded into a team then the establishment of the church in its missionary function would have been more difficult. They were men whose only team identity was Jesus. Jesus prepared them to be together so that when they would be scattered in the Great Commission it would be with a living Christ and resurrected Shepherd.

Mighty men, troubled times may be impacting your life. In fact, because the world is tainted by sin perpetrated by Satan’s desire to defeat God’s people, troubled times will continue to be a part of our living experience. But, we have been prepared to deal with these times by a Savior who calls us to a greater purpose, by a Savior who is our faithful and unending friend and by a Savior who gives reality to the Body of Christ- the Church where all believers can gather in the presence of the risen Lord. Keep focused on these truths and when He appears to you in His resurrection life will be more easily lived in the midst of chaos with the peace that endures forever in spirit and in truth.

“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 the peace that is in this Holy Week to reign supreme in the midst of the challenges presented by those who wish to speak through violence such as the ISIS attacks on the Church in Egypt
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as tensions in Syria have escalated and is demanding a global response; 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, our new small group and the people of Mayotte
* 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 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 the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; relief from pain for my wife and myself and for the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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 come to You seeking meaning, purpose, truth and life. You have answered us in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2390

April 9, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY as we begin Holy Week

Matthew 20.20-23

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him. ‘What is it you want?’ He asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus replied and turned to the brothers and asked them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from My cup, but to sit at My right or left in Heaven is not for Me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by My Father.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

On the road to Jerusalem, perhaps with the temple gleaming in the distance visible for all to see, we hear the Passion prediction from Jesus a third time. What an interesting lesson is taught to the disciples inspired by the mother of the Sons of Thunder- James and John. We, too, might miss the fullest meaning of Jesus’ response if we were standing on their side of the cross of Calvary. There is no Golgotha visible to the disciples from that vantage point. There is, however, the hope of the Passover which said “Next year in Jerusalem.” Many followers of Jesus, including the disciples, and well as His naysayers, saw the opportunity for an overthrow of the Old Covenant way of living. It wasn’t just any Jerusalem they saw gladly or feared. It was the Messianic Jerusalem where Israel would be justified, the Messiah glorified and the Kingdom of God on earth amplified before all the world. Under the leadership of the Messianic King, Prophet and Priest, Israel would be truly invincible and all nations would bow down in fealty and fear. Jesus was going to make their history forgotten and their future a reality. And it would be so, just not the way they imagined.

But, standing on this side of the Cross with the Resurrection truth a reality, we can better see what Jesus was trying to teach His disciples and the generations of believers to follow. It is significant for me that Jesus speaks of “the cup” as His cup. The cup would be visible in the Last Supper as they would celebrate the Passover meal. The cup was undeniable as Jesus points out Judas as the betrayer because they would share the dipping of the bread into the cup at the same time. The cup was spilled as the Roman soldier lifted a sponge dipped in wine vinegar to Jesus’ lips to slake His thirst. Yes, the disciples and His followers would indeed drink the cup of Christ symbolizing the Advent of Passover as well as its Epiphany yet to come. For Jesus says “I will not drink from this cup again until I drink it new with you in the Kingdom to come.” How wonderful would it be if two thousand years ago the Kingdom of Christ climaxed with a claim to earthly power and the institution of the Church overtook the Temple? The disciples would rule in power, dominion and authority much like the knights of the Arthur and the round table. But, while the cup of sacrifice and death could be shared by the disciples (and many would know exactly that) the Kingdom of God positions belonged to God’s choice alone. Only Christ would die for the forgiveness of all men’s sins. He, in essence, took our cup and drank it all Himself just as our Heavenly Father had determined for our salvation.

And so begins our journey in this Passover 2017. It begins with Jesus taking it all in only to find that God’s promise of salvation and new life would be realized as He gave it all away.

“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 this weekend
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as tensions in Syria have escalated and is demanding a global response; 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, our new small group and the people of Mauritius
* 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 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 the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; relief from pain for my wife and myself and for the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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, as we come into this season of remembrance of how our eternal life came to be let us drink it all in so that we can give it all away so that others will come to know their eternal life as well in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2312

October 4, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Proverbs 27.1

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Jesus taught while speaking to the people in what is known as the Sermon on the Mount “Do not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.” As the Holy Spirit aligns these two passages of scripture I am reminded that we are only granted one day at a time. Yes, I am sure you may hear it as well as Cristy Lane is singing in the background “One day at a time, sweet Jesus.” And the truth is that we can only live in one moment at a time. I know I try to live several moments at one time trying to be in too many places at one time and doing too many things at one time. I may think I am being successful in these attempts but the effort consumes more resources and energy than I have to give. It is not God’s plan for us to live multiple lives. We must remain singularly focused.

1) One day at a time. Jesus taught His disciples a simple guideline for prayer. We call it the Lord’s Prayer. You cannot pray it all at one time. You cannot express all the words and sentiments at one moment. If you could, and you can’t, then the sound would be all garbled. That would reflect the way our lives get. No, you can only say the prayer one phrase at a time. Doing so distinctively allows the power of the word to be captured and released. In it Jesus reminded the disciples to ask only for daily bread. Bread is not limited to a literal food. It means resource and purpose. Give us today all we will need to meet the work of the day. God will never ask more of us than we can be resourced. That doesn’t mean we won’t be stretched and challenged. It does mean we will, or already are, resourced for the service du jour. We may not know what all the blessings are which God has given us for this day. Regardless, He knows and has already prepared the plate of grace for us. Even David understand this as he sang “you prepare before me an overflowing banquet table in the presence of my enemies.” So, we must focus on today. To try and do more is not resourced for us to do and leads us to exhaustion. We either are doing too much with what little we think we have or we are doing too little and think we do not have enough.

2) But, I am reminded we are given another “one day.” It is the eternal day of God’s mercy and grace. We are living in the day of the Lord as members of the body of Christ. There is a tomorrow but it truly does not come until Jesus returns. That will be a glorious day for all believers because it will usher in the endless day of eternal life. It will begin with a bit of trouble and trial for all people; more so for those who are not followers of Christ but for us it will be as a twinkling of an eye. This day is already secured for us. We do not have to worry about that day. We do not know, any more than Jesus knew, when that day will come. We know only that it will. Until that day comes in that God-given tomorrow, we live in this day to and for the glory of God. In this day we seek God out where He is found in love and service providing for others the outpouring of the blessings given to us to share. That sharing today goes a long way in preparing them for that tomorrow we all long to live in.

But, regardless of this day or that day, we can only successfully live in one day at a time. So, I must consider, and invite you to do the same, the following checklist:

1) We do not have to worry about yesterday because we are forgiven as we have confessed. If you have not confessed then you need to do so now and God has already provided for you the forgiveness you need. It also means He has prepared and put into place the healing for the hurt caused by the sin we did. There is nothing we can do to lay hold of such blessing except to trust in Jesus and be honest with ourselves and Him. So, do not live in the day called yesterday.

2) We do not have to worry about tomorrow. The trouble, trial and temptation we will face in that tomorrow has already been confronted by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. He will share with us through the Holy Spirit all that we need when those moments rise up. He has already been preparing us for the service we will be invited to share for friend and foe. Tomorrow is laden with enough in it until it is nearly overflowing. It doesn’t need us to add our concerns for it to the mix. Let God do His thing and we must do ours.

3) And our thing is to live in the today which God has made. We are encouraged to rejoice and be glad in it. There is nothing in it that God has not seen nor anticipated. Nothing escapes the attention and the desire of God to manage (trouble), maintain (righteousness) and overcome (death caused by sin). We are not lost to God so why should we think and live as if God is lost to us? Stay focused on seizing the day of the Lord which is given to us. That means the eternal day. If we are living in God’s eternal day opened to us by faith in Jesus Christ then the day of the world in which we live will be managed, maintained and overcome to His glory!

So, mighty men, I repeat this conclusion which God was able to leave for me as a reminder: as I am challenged and aware we are to press forward through the world and into Christ. We are not stoic and staid. We are passionate and active. We are the purpose of God in Christ. He lives in us as we live in Him. And following Him, seeing where He has gone already, gives us pause to rejoice and the opportunity to put aside our grumbling. Yes, it could be worse and that is not always a consolation. But, it will be better and that is our realized hope.

“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 in Jamaica, Bahamas and the northern Caribbean Sea as they deal with Hurricane Matthew
* For wisdom and provision of those in need as the seasons begin to change and the inclement weather challenges those in need of housing and food
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election and to let peace and decorum guide tonight’s debate
* 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 Djobouti
* 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 not to be in struggle; 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; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (and I am awaiting a necessary test to determine further treatment) and for our healing

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 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 accept this day and pledge to live in it with a commitment to grace, hope, peace, love and mercy for all with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2245

July 8, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Matthew 24.42-44

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We are very aware of the evil around us. The volume of bad news, wrong thinking, destructive actions too easily overwhelms us. In the midst of good things the one bad thing stands out and draws attention to itself. And because we are so aware of the evil, and its possibility to bring harm, we take extra precautions against it with alarm systems, lights, signage and even arming ourselves. We do not know when evil may happen to us or within our sphere of influence but we do know it will happen- mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and even spiritually.

And I bring this to our awareness in light of His Word for today because we should be equally prepared for and aware of the good that is within us, around us and still to come. If we give God the glory for the good then our focus is on the love, mercy and grace that overcomes the evil in our world. As long as we focus on the bad, the wrong and the destructive then we empower it to not only exist but to flourish. Who wants a yard full of weeds, briars and brambles? And this change of focus requires energy on our part, which is believing, and determination, which is humility, in order for it to become the default reality in our lives. We cannot do this on our own. We need the indwelling and the anointing of the Holy Spirit on and over our lives. And with that blessing of the Holy Spirit must come the commitment to stay in the midst of the blessing. Just as evil is in the world and will be until Jesus returns to bring all believers to the point of truly overcoming, we must believe Jesus is in the world helping all believers overcome the world.

As mighty men we must say together “Jesus is here and now by the presence of the Holy Spirit and He is coming again to bring the New Heaven and New Earth.” We are called to live in both truths and both realities regardless of what the sin-fected world says and the Father of all Lies, Satan.

“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 victims and perpetrators, past and future, in the shootings involving police officers in Minnesota, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas
* For those in Taiwan and vicinity in the South China Sea with the impact of the Category 5 Typhoon
* 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 Venezuela
* 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 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, thank You for revealing Yourself to us in as many ways as it takes so that we see Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve and take heart to prepare ourselves for this daily walk of faith to reveal Your glory and love to all the world. AMEN.

2244

July 7, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Matthew 24.42-44

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As mighty men of God we are not called to live casual lives. God created us with a purpose for the earth to bring glory and honor to God in Heaven. In Heaven there is perfect praise and worship of God. One day, we will join and enjoy that perfect praise and worship. Until that day we must join and enjoy the perfected praise and worship here on earth. We must remain engaged in our faith. It is one thing to have faith. When we confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, being baptized into the renewal of our lives through the reconciliation made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we were blessed with the gift of faith. Faith is more than just believing. Faith is putting into action the engaged walk of God on earth as it is already being done in Heaven. And our engaged faith must not be sporatic; it must be ongoing. Every step we make, every breath we take ought to be with faith.

Has God worked in your life? Has He answered a prayer and only in retrospect did you realize it? How many times has God moved heaven and earth to protect you or meet a need and you did not realize it until after the fact? And when you recognized it did you thank God and praise His Name? Did you bear witness to the truth of His faithfulness to engaged His blessing in your life? I taught my students that a baby truly walks not with the first wobbly step, nor the second. A baby truly walks when they intentional take the next step followed by another. It doesn’t matter if they fall down. No, it matters that they intended to walk with purpose not on accident. This is the sign of a mighty man’s true faith. It is not a stumbling into God’s grace and blessing that shows he has faith. No, it is the purposeful and intentional walk, regardless of falling down, we take to serve and honor God in our everyday lives. He is walking with us in each step. Even when we fall down He is there so that we do not fall totally into the pits of hell where there is no escape. He has determined to save those who love Him.

And why is this important to grasp? Today’s Word reminds us that we do not know when Jesus will come to take His Bride, the Church, to be with Him in the New Heaven and New Earth. He is fashioning it now as we live on earth purposefully and intentionally to be His Bride as the Body of Christ. If we are casual and momentary in our walk of faith we may miss our opportunity to see Him coming and run to meet Him. But, when we are intentionally and purposefully engaged we shall see Him even in the twinkling of an eye and join with Him in those Heavenly places set aside just for us. Why has He been delayed in coming? I think it is because God wants you to know you still have the time and opportunity to engage your walk and not accidentally and unintentionally do the right thing. Do the right thing for the right purpose because we are not saved by works but by grace. Walk by faith to see Him and He will be seen in truth in you.

“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 in Taiwan and vicinity in the South China Sea with the approach of a Category 5 Typhoon
* 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 Vanuatu
* 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 (sending a diversion worker as prayed for) 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 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, watch over our walk today. We are pursuing the things that will make Your Kingdom real for someone else so they can know Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

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2243

July 6, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Matthew 24.35

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Even when you think your world is coming to an end because of a loss of a job, the end of a marriage, bankruptcy due to poor stewardship, the silence of family or friends toward you or many other life descriptions illustrating our sinful nature and living in a sinful world God’s word of love, forgiveness, support and provision will never come to an end. We, as mighty and weak men, are besieged on all sides. Yet, God is present. His comforting Spirit and protective angels will not let harm come to us any more than they would have allowed Jesus to be harmed beyond His intention and purpose. Perhaps that is one of the keys to understanding how we are to live in this world. God’s Word leads and guides us if we will allow it. When we choose to follow God’s ways which are higher than our own then the blessing of God will never fade. When we choose to honor God’s Word which is far more perfect than ours then the blessing of God and His glory will prevail. Isaiah declared the Word of the Lord which promised “No weapon formed against you will prevail and you will be able to refute every word raised against you.”

The enemy is at war against the people of God, both weak and strong. His greatest weapon is the lie. We must be careful that we do not participate in it and the greatest tool of accountability is humility. We must walk humbly before the Lord our God. We must trust Him in all things especially His forgiveness when we fall short of walking in His Way and trusting in His Word. It seems I have fallen short often of late in the struggle to do what is right in the midst of distressing situations. Its toll weighs heavily on the body, mind, spirit, heart and soul. Yet, I continue to strive to do what is right and seek Him out in His Word. His blessing remains and the lessons are taught. But, there is something to the truth that when we find ourselves in difficult situations it is not only that we might learn about the goodness of God but we learn of our greater need for Him to live each day in peace.

He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Even when we turn to the right or the left, even when we seem to go in reverse or speed up through certain situations and even when we dig our heels in to a grinding halt, God remains and His Word never passes away. Turn your situation over to God and believe He is at work in you in spite of yourself. He loves you and desires only what is best for you. Your world may change. It may get rocked. It may be partly or mostly your fault. It may be because life in this world is skewed from what God purposed originally and moves in ways that are beyond your control. Regardless, God’s promise and pledge unceasing. He will provide for you. He will lead and guide you. He will sustain you. He will not allow any weapon formed against you to prevail. He will not allow you to die the eternal death when He has given you eternal life. This we can count on. This we must remember at all times. And when we forget, pause and seek God in prayer and His Holy Spirit will remind us of these truths.

“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 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 Uzbeckistan
* 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 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, especially in this day and in this hour we need You. Some of us may need you more now than ever before. Thank You for Your promise to never cease loving us into the fullness of life and sealing that promise with the life of Your Own Son, Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

2120

February 9, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Matthew 5.43-45

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I am struck by the Holy Spirit that inside the wisdom of these verses is the command to not judge others. We do not know the full story of those whose paths we cross. Outwardly we may see the wrong but inside may exist the troubled spirit flooded by the wiles of the enemy who seeks to destroy. By our showing love and mercy to everyone, praying for them and speaking the power of God over them, we may be an instrument of God’s peace in their lives. It could be our witness of hope and love that could open the door to their reconciliation and transformation which comes through the gift of salvation given to us all by God through Jesus Christ! Remember, mighty men of God how your life has been changed by the friendship and outreach of another when you were yet a sinner unsaved. Remember, as well, how when you wander from the truth it is the voice of God spoken to you through the encouragement and accountability of others that leads you back to the path of righteousness. So, give love as you have been given love. Give hope as you have been given hope.

“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 impacted by the latest winter storm; especially the homeless and the elderly
* 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 Italy
* 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, we are humbled by the gift of life and opportunity delivered to us so that Your will for life is known and received through Jesus Christ in whose Name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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