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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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2127

February 18, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 4.41-42

“He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Jesus is the supreme Lord. His authority is unlimited and His blessing is complete. That will never be the question for us as mighty men. The question remains “What do we believe about Jesus as He relates to our lives and what are we willing to believe about our lives as we relate to HIM!”

Will we trust in Jesus with the storms of our lives? Our hungers? Our lostness? Our weariness? Our disappointments? Our frustrations? Our failures? Our conflicts? Our sins? Our joys? Ours successes? Our peace? Yes, the identifications of the multi-facets of our lives is a list far longer and deeper than those mentioned. Yet, in the midst of it all Jesus remains at the very center of us all. Even if He was tired and asleep in the back of the boat take note of where He was. Isn’t the rudder at the back of the boat? He never takes His hand of the rudder of our lives. We should be mindful enough of Jesus’ presence in our lives to never have to sing “Jesus take the wheel.” But, in truth, we do. As long as there are clear skies and the blessings seem to come without effort we want to take hold of the rudder as if we were the captain of our own craft. But, in truth, we are and we are not if we are mighty men of God. The choices are left to us. Will we measure our decisions by the very Lord and Word of Life? Or will we see Jesus only as a tag team partner to bring in when we are fearing defeat.

Take stock of who else was in the boat. Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat. That means one of the other disciples manned the rudder. He had his destination. He knew the lay of the land and the water. Jesus trusted him to do his job. I would hedge a guess that the man with his hand on the rudder was Peter. It wasn’t Peter who panicked but the other disciples. Probably the non-fishing disciples who did not have experience with the water, especially at night and especially in a fierce storm. But, Jesus trusted Peter and so did those who lived and worked with Peter as fishermen on this very lake. They trusted their skills and knowledge. But, the others were in deep and unknown waters. In those times they leaned on Jesus to take care of them. Awakened He did just that but not just by calming the winds and the waves.

He took care of them by calling them into accountability- where is your faith? They were amazed that He could not only cast out demons and tell good stories but that He was Lord over nature itself. They missed the question of Jesus altogether. We must trust the process and abide in faith at all times. Our faith in Him, others aligned with Him and in the Word of God will help us through. The fishermen on the boat probably were worried as well but they knew that they would make it through the storm; perhaps a little more for wear. They knew storms and rough waters were a part of the journey. Do we? It will not always be smooth sailing in our walk of service. But, have confidence- Jesus is with us. He will not forsake us. He has given us His Spirit to inform and inspire and empower our faith. He has planted the seed of truth in it but we must let it take root and sprout and grow and become that mighty tree who branches are strong enough to handle the wind, give shelter to others and comfort to those in need.

“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 are exercising leadership in difficult situations whether in home, work and public arenas
* 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 the Democratic Republic of Korea
* 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, whether rain or shine or dark of night we will trust in Your plan for our lives and Your promise to remain in our midst through Jesus Christ in whose Name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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December 13, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Second Week of Advent is the Season of Peace!

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

Mark 4.39

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

The beginning of the story of Jesus calming the mighty storm, as Matthew records it, has the disciples putting themselves in the midst of the storm because they chose to follow Jesus. In Mark, the disciples were not the only ones caught in the storm with Jesus, there were other boats filled with people who had chosen to follow Jesus. The result for them was the same- they were caught in a mighty storm from which they could not escape. It was unlike any storm they had ever seen. They were fishermen familiar with the Sea of Galilee and its weather patterns. They did not see this storm coming. There were no signs to forewarn them or the others. How did so many people miss it? I dare say it was because the storm was an unnatural storm raised by a tempest of the enemy who wanted to again create chaos in Jesus’ ministry by eliminating Jesus’ followers and believers. The problem with this scenario is that Jesus was with them, for them and only against their enemy.

Mighty men of God, I ask you if you have faced some storms in life because you have chosen to follow Jesus? He told His disciples there would be troubled times in their lives because they aligned themselves with Him. He also promised precious peace to calm the angry winds and waves that would rise against with the hope of swamping our lives with fear. But, Jesus is the center of the mighty storm. The enemy will continue to rage around Him because the enemy cannot get to the center of who Jesus is and wants to do. The enemy has only hope in the illusion of distraction. But, Jesus will not be distracted by the temptation to fall in fear of dying. Jesus remains centered in His reality of self and God, His mission and purpose. When He rebukes the wind and waves He tells them to “hush.” It is often translated, as I have because they is how many of us learned it, “Peace.” But, it is not the kind of peace that others understood to be “shalom.” It was the peace that has the result of calm. When Jesus met the Gadarene demonic, He brought peace to the man by silencing the demons inside Him. We must remember that when storms of doubt and confusion rise up against us (internally or externally) it is not of God or Jesus. They are the center of the storm where peace, perfect peace, exists. Instead, we have been caught in the storm wall of fury and that is not our place. But, in becoming quiet and calm ourselves, we can allow the peace that surpasses all understanding dominate and center us so that we can be safe in the arms of Jesus. So, when you are not in peace or in a peaceful situation, the best thing to do is to pray quietly, speak boldly for quiet and do not be afraid.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For financial wisdom to overtake our government and the Holy Spirit be invited in to demonstrate all wisdom, power and prosperity needed to guide a people faithfully to declare a Year of Jubilee
* For Israel to have wisdom and deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention into the Gaza Strip with wary eyes still against Iran and Syria; trust in God and do not lean upon the understandings of your own heart!
* 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 the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it will cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Moldova
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing for Lisa from vertigo attacks and eye problems; for Mack to be delivered from anxiety and to receive direction for his life; for all the concerns lifted up in LG

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

* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, still the chaos in us and around us by giving us the spirit of peace and calm. You who speaks in a still, small voice that can only be heard in the moments of silence as when we pray and study over Your Word, speak to us now of calm and wisdom in Jesus’ name. AMEN.