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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.

2388

March 10, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 4.4

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome those whose spirit is of the world, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

This is our rock solid claim to the future- that the One who is in us, Jesus Christ, is far greater than the one who is in the world, Satan. But we have invited Jesus into our heart, mind and soul and He has not turned down the invitation. He has made us to be as one with Him because His spirit is in us. That means our faith future started the day we asked Him to be Lord of our Lives. We do not need to wait until tomorrow because it became a part of our today. And for all those who are still looking for tomorrow when all things will be made right and can be made new their tomorrow can start today as well. Instead of pursuing the future, we need only to live it today.

How do we do that?

1. Walk by faith and not by sight. There is no falsehood in the Word and presence of God. We may not see what is coming next but we know the One who holds our future in His Hand. He has already provided for our needs and welfare beginning with our salvation and then our ministry.

2. Stay focused on God’s Word. His Word is the truth and that truth continues to set us free. In His Word we will find the instructions for a successful life, the means of living it out day by day and the promise of fulfillment which comes be walking in His Word as well as walking it out in the world.

3) We never believe we are alone. Jesus promised His disciples that as He was going to be with the Father the Holy Spirit would come to dwell among them. The Holy Spirit would work in them to help perfect and protect them. The Holy Spirit would work through them to accomplish the “greater things will you do than I have done.” Satan, on the other hand, wants to convince us that we are alienated and isolated beyond the reach of God. There is no place where God cannot reach us in this world. His Holy Spirit is our comforter, our guide and our promise.

Keep this truth alive in your heart, soul and mind, mighty men. Proclaim the day of the Lord today and always. As you do that then you will experience the abundance of life as God has purposed and promised.

“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 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, our new small group and the people of Martinique
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 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, thank You for not only sharing the promise of new life but making good on it in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2386

February 13, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Isaiah 49.7

“This is what the Lord says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to Him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: ‘Kings will see You and stand up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen You.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Isaiah had gone into the temple to pray and seek the comfort of God’s presence in a time of grief for himself and a nation upon the death of King Uzziah. It was a difficult time for everyone in the transition of leadership. The history of Israel’s kings had more low points in it than high. I can only imagine a “what’s next” mentality was on the heart, mind and spirit of all those in Israel. Little did Isaiah know when he entered the temple to offer sacrifices and petitions that what he was seeking was about to happen. He wanted the presence of God to be real and transforming. What he received was the real presence of God. That vision was transforming changing “a man with unclean lips among a people of unclean lips” into a prophet of God for Israel and all the world.

Powerfully, the transformation included the prophetic description of the Messiah who was yet to come. The prophets of God were purposeful in their work because they laid the foundation of faith upon which the Messiah would build His community of faith- the Church. In each of the prophets we can see an inkling of what was yet to come. Each one had received from God their share of the truth. They called the people into accountability and then gave them the opportunity to choose wisely to follow God. They gave them the consequences of deciding for or against following God. The depictions of those consequences left little to the imagination- it was black and white. In God there is no gray.

And for us, mighty men, there is the same truth and reality when we go into our place of prayer. We must be like Isaiah and seek the presence and the comfort of God. We must be ready to experience it and have no doubts. Jesus has shown us that we can access the Father in Heaven and He will be revealed to us. He will be revealed by the Holy Spirit of God. We will be given the truth that is needed for our lives so that we can continue to be transformed into the fullness of being the mighty men of God. We may feel unworthy but God has chosen us just as He chose the prophets and just as He chose His own Son to come into the world that we might know this truth about God and ourselves.

Isaiah gave us the truth of the coming Messiah at whose name every knee will bow and every tongue confess saying “He is Lord.” His name is Jesus and there is no other. There is no use in seeking any truth apart from God. We must be honest in our petition before God and wait upon His word for all of our situations. We must cover them with the prayer of faith and faithfulness. He will answer. He has already answered us and that answer waits for us to hear it and listen to it.

“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 a spirit of cooperation and collaboration between all people and those who lead them
* 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 Mali
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 (as I wait for the next series of tests and work through another bout of rough days) 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 before You in this time of prayer and reflection to receive the truth we each need. We commit ourselves to not lead You by our desires but to be led by You in Your desire for our lives. We will walk by faith and faithfulness in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2381

January 25, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 5.19-20

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I heard a story about how a shepherd keeps a lamb prone to straying from doing so. The answer was to break their leg. It sounded extreme to me. But, it was said the intention was to keep the lamb close to the shepherd. There may be some truth to this line of thinking as mighty men of God. It is in our brokenness that we seem to draw nearer to God. We do so through Jesus Christ who is the good shepherd of God’s flock- the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. And it strikes me as interesting that it is because of our sense that something or someone is broken that we wander from the truth. Perhaps we have been led to believe that the truth is broken.

The reality is that God’s truth is never broken; neither are His promises. And we see the truth of that in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He came to seek the lost and to bring them home again. He mended their broken hopes, dreams and lives. He bore the brunt of crucifixion to become the perfect sacrifice atoning for all our sins. He could not do this if He Himself was broken. He was not broken in life nor in death. It is by His stripes that we are healed not by His broken body. When the Roman soldier was commanded to break the legs of the three crossbearers that day in order to speed up their dying it was not necessary to do so to Jesus. He was already dead. Scripture was fulfilled and the penalty for sin was satisfied.

Those who are wandering from the truth and are lost in the world have a Savior who still seeks them out in life after death. Those mended by grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are reunited with the body of Christ, the Church. It is His testimony through the voice and actions of the Church that breaks the chains of bondage and sets God’s people free. Sin breaks our lives and binds us to death. Grace breaks the bondage of death and binds us to eternal life. We must, mighty men, break free of the fear of serving God in whatever arena we may find ourselves in and be the unbroken body of Christ. We are His messengers of freedom, truth, peace, justice, mercy and grace. We are His voice breaking down the walls of doubt and shame holding people back from being all God intended for them to be. He has healed our brokenness and calls us to live with Him forever in this world as we will in the next.

And that is the truth that all men should seek and accept.

“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 seeking the lost from the rash of tornadoes and storms across the southeastern part of the United States
* 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 Macedonia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; 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 (as I wait for the neurologist’s decision) 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
* The Lord sustains me as I have been referred to a different team of neurologists- this is all in God’s Hands and we finally see them today!
* 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 the freedom we have been given through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray, live and worship. We pray that we shall be bondage breakers, risk takers and world shakers in Jesus’ name so that all can know the joy of their salvation. AMEN.

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2347

November 22, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.2-6a

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We all have heard good words, wise words, excellent counsel, thoughts to live by. Our hearts are thrilled when we hear them. The truth in them resonates. However, if we leave those words at a knowledge level they may not be anything more than a sounding gong or a clashing cymbal or the ringing of a bell. We hear the sound. We marvel at it and remain fascinated as long as the sound is heard reverberating in our ears. But, what happens when the ringing, clashing and sounding ends? We wait for it to happen again? We know that beating on the gong, or pounding cymbals together or pulling on the rope of a bell will make it audible again. But, something must happen or else the sound is just a memory that draws up feelings and reactions but perhaps nothing more.

James offers those Christ followers outside of Jerusalem wise counsel which he undoubtedly had shared with those in his local gatherings. But, without that poignant challenge found in verse 6 then they would only be left with good words. There has to be more. We can ask God for wisdom to understand why we are going through difficult times and are challenged on all sides- physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We can ask God for the fortitude to endure those times and strength to bear up until those times are completed. But, asking for all of this isn’t enough. Even asking isn’t the “doing” necessary for true fulfillment and overcoming.

We must ask with the caveat of believing what we are asking for (which is not telling God what our situation is- He knows that already and has known about it for a very long time.) We must ask God for the solution and the eyes and ears to receive it according to God’s will. Not only must we believe it but we cannot doubt that God will answer and deliver. God does not give us what we do not need. He gives what is best to fulfill the purpose and meaning of our lives. We have to believe that. Great or small answers from God is the sufficiency we need in order to live each day to give God the glory. Seizing the moment of praising God, helping others and leading them to a fuller relationship with Jesus Christ is what we should be looking for. We can hear the bell ringing the truth but until we are ringing with the truth of God’s faithfulness to us then we are missing all that God desires to share with us.

And He has shared with us all that is needed. He has provided. It started when we confessed Jesus as Lord and committed ourselves to be His followers and His family. Tough times come. Challenges arise. Tests are on all sides. But, God is here. God is faithful. God is always with us. So, when we ask God for help in our minds, hearts, bodies, soul and spirit believe that He not only will provide but has already. Pray that you are able to see it, hear it and receive it.

“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 families who children died or were injured in the school bus accident in Chattanoogo, Tennessee
* For protection of our law enforcement officials as worldly permission has empowered others to attempt to take their lives with violence; God put His protecting angels around them all
* For those impacted by the powerful earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunami in New Zealand; and the severe fire outbreaks in the southeast US
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will as we transition presidential leadership and to demonstrate respect and restraint; for wisdom for our president-elect as he begins to put his leadership team together to help him lead this nation- may God be included
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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 Haiti
* 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 (as I wait for the neurologist’s decision) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and that a lumbar puncture and headache specialist is needed- this is all in God’s Hands!
* 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, thank You for what You have provided for us in our times of need yet to come. We go into the world today with the surety of Your provision so that we can accomplish Your good in what we say and do in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2333

October 31, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 Peter 1.24,25

“For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Yes, we are like grass and flowers as illustrations- we will with and die and our color will pale and petals will fall. But, we are more than illustrations. We are the people and the righteousness of God. The Word of the Lord, the seed of truth and life, is placed within our DNA. The Spirit of the Lord can quicken the seed to reach out and become firmly rooted in the soil of faith in Jesus Christ. We will have life eternal and abundant. Though we may die, yet shall we live in glorious resurrection. We see it in part each day when we rise. We are given the opportunity for “new” life. We are enriched and blessed by the favor of God to continue to serve Him for another day. We gain trust in that blessing and in His riches of daily bread and reach out toward the Son of God and Man. We do so because God’s Word will never fail, fade or pass away. His Word is constant, sure and powerful. So, are we as we allow His Word to live in us and through us. Yes, even when we feel weak and incapable the strength of the Lord is capable and powerful. We may feel like a tiny mustard seed but our Lord has taught us that with even a mustard seed sized faith we can move the mountains of doubt, fear and hopelessness and if needed we could move mountains themselves because God is with us.

This is the truth that has been preached and taught to us from His Word. This is to be the same truth we are to preach and teach in our words and actions into all the world!

“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 safeguarding of those who will be engaging in All Hallow’s Eve festivities; may faith in God be more visible
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election and to let peace and decorum guide in all the November elections
* 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 Georgia
* 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 three days to go before seeing the neurologist) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me to get through a day of work so that my current physical situation is overruled by my hope in 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, speak to the seed of truth in us today and by Your Holy Spirit quicken it to new life so that through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship we may sow seeds of goodness, kindness, compassion and mercy. AMEN.

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2327

October 23, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 1. 1-5

“‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Imagine the best hamburger that would suit your taste. Mull it over in your mind. You can begin to smell it. Your mouth begins to water as you taste it. It is almost as if your hands reach out to take it and bring it to your mouth and before you can take a bite you have already swallowed it. You are filled with delight.

Did it work? Is your imagination that good? Are you still lingering with a hunger for that burger and know exactly where to go and get it? Heck, watching “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” I have seen plenty of burgers that I would love to go and taste. I am not there but my mind has certainly created a pathway for me to almost be there.

Now, I want you to think about God. Imagine all the goodness you can muster that is beneficial, no entitlement or spoiled-minded, for you and others. God is the creator and sustainer of that goodness and is so willing to provide it to you as a blessing to enrich your lives so you can serve others. We are called to use those blessings to help the body of Christ (those who are already a part of the body by the profession of faith that Jesus is the Christ and entered into newness of life through baptism by water and Spirit as well as those who will come to make that same profession) grow into full maturity. We love to consider all those good things about God because we, for the most part, know that God is good and would have no ill-will in Him against us. We learned to pray at dinner “God is good. God is great.” Yes, that is the God we all want to be next to and have on our side.

But, wait. In this world, and we can and should blame it on the sinfestation caused by selfish ambition and blind foolishness, not everything is good. Yet, it happens. God is aware of it. God is aware of all things. God knows it before it happens. God knows the series of events and infinite possibilities of choices we each can make. He knows the consequences of those choices. We barely do. So, if God is good then why are bad things happening to good people. We can excuse, and should we, bad things happening to bad people. But, we struggle when good things happen to bad people. What is up with this?

John provides an insight. In God there is no darkness- no evil intent, no guile, no malice, no sin. God uses each event presented to Him by each one of us as that opportunity to strengthen us, call us back to spiritual and righteous accountability. Most of all He is calling us back to authentic living. He does not want us to pretend like we know what we are doing. We are guessing most of the time anyway. And these “dark and bad things” which are happening in the world can actually be seen as instruments and instructions for learning about what is right and good. How much have we learned by what it is not. Light is the absence of dark. Dark is the absence of light. Good is what makes others better. Bad is what brings harm. Satan cannot tell the whole truth. God can never tell a lie.

Perhaps we need to realign our perspective on the bad things of life as working against us and see them as working for us. They do if we trust God and are willing to learn from them. But, if we are not then we are doomed to repeat them and add to the maddening validation of the lie that God does not care, is not concerned and no longer loves us. And that, mighty men is dark thinking so far from the light of truth…except for the light of truth in Jesus Christ which continues to glimmer hope in the world to call all men unto Himself so that they may receive the joy of their salvation.

“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 God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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 France
* 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 (entering hospice) and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (and I am awaiting the doctor’s final report 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, may Your light so shine among us that the darkness runs and hides as we enter into joyful service through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2319

October 12, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Psalm 63.9-10

“Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The Word of God is like a double-edged sword. This is how Paul describes the power of God’s Word. Indeed it is powerful. To the one who believes and has faith it has the ability to create, restore, heal, revive, save, comfort and much more. Jesus said, “If you have faith you can say to this mountain be moved to the sea.” There is no limit but how much faith in God one has when it comes to being effective practitioners of the Word of God. The Word of God is the truth of God. It reveals to those who are seeking the truth the purpose and intention of God. And for David in this psalm it was the promise of what would happen to those who were his enemies. They would be given over to the Word of God. God had already spoken the truth about their demise. It could have been the literal sword that meted out a death penalty David was speaking about. And God can choose whatever means to bring about the fulfillment of His Word. Regardless of the means, the truth is that God had spoken and it would be done. It was His Word that declared the difference. David was trusting in that word and declaring his faith in it. It wasn’t a threat to his enemies. It was a declaration of God’s promise.

And as I consider his faith and trust in God’s Word, a mighty double-edged sword, I have to ask myself “how much faith do I have in His Word?” How much time do I spend in reading and considering what His Word is promising to me? How much time do I dwell in the Land of His Word? How much time am I spending in learning to wield this Sword of His Word to be an effective implement of God’s Will as He purposes for me? God has made a promise to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God’s Word and so He, too, is like a double-edged sword. We see in His commitment to the cross how His life both saved the lost and challenged those who opposed Him. Those who believe in Him shall be saved. Those who do not believe in Him will be lost to eternal life and bear the burden of eternal death. But, it is not enough just to know we have eternal life, is it? We must live life and live it to the fullest. This comes by becoming one in the Word and allowing the Word to become one in 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 in Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas and the Eastern US Seaboard (especially Florida, Georgia as well as North and South Carolina) as they deal with the impact and remnants of Hurricane Matthew
* 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 Eritrea
* 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 (entering hospice) and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (and I am awaiting the doctor’s final report 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 thank You for Your Word and commit ourselves to living more in it today as we meditate upon it and as we live it out in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2307

September 27, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.14-16a

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I needed this passage of scripture yesterday. God moved my eye from the line of scriptures preceding it to the “do everything without grumbling” because He knows I am struggling to keep the faith, hope and joy in my current work situation. It helped. I have to practice it more. What helps is to go back to the scriptures missed between where I was studying and where I was led yesterday to see an incentive reminder of why I should not grumble. Grumbling can be a sign of a lack of faith, or maybe just a lack of trust. It is easy for the weight of the world to be so great that our frustration bubbles up in grumbling. But, if we are drawing from the well of the Spirit which is eternal life then there is a spring of joy that should be bubbling up instead.

We can hear from of that dynamic in the story of the woman at the well. We do not hear her grumbling as she approaches the well. She has done it countless times in order to provide for herself and others. She could get there blindfolded because of the frequency of her journey. Familiarity doesn’t mean freedom or relief. It can lead to a state of dullness and regret. But, there is some of that grumbling mentality when Jesus engages her in conversation. She had gone to the well to draw water. Jesus went to draw life. He was hot, tired, thirsty and hungry. But, it didn’t deter Him from seeking one more person for the Kingdom of God. But, the experience He shared was not an external one dealing with the needs of the flesh. Instead, He drew upon the well of life in the woman which was based on her knowledge of the truth of God. Tapping into the spring with the truth of who He was connecting with who she was lead to an overflowing well of joy and healing. It is a good reminder to me that there is a wellspring of faith, hope, love, joy, peace and wisdom inside of me because I know Jesus. Life in this world may have caused it to be plugged or covered over. But, life in Jesus can cause it to spring to life again. It is that way for you, too, mighty men. Let the Word of the Lord connect, convict and convince you of the truth of who you are before Christ so that the Christ who is before You can free the truth leading to eternal life and the fulfillment of your earthly purpose.

“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 living in the flooded regions of Iowa and Wisconsin facing evacuation and in Tokyo following a 6.5 earthquake
* For comfort and wisdom to rise up and overwhelm the pattern of reporting so much bad news and those who follow the leads of law breakers to validate their own feelings of frustration; peace in Tulsa, North Carolina, Washington DC and Minnesota
* 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 Croatia
* 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 her healing

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

* Happy Birthday, Mack!
* 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, let peace flow like a river from the wellspring of Your Spirit which is in us as we connect with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2295

September 12, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Psalm 121.1,2

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

When Jesus took His disciples to the mountains above Cesearea Phillipi they found themselves among shrines made to other gods and religions. It was there Jesus asked them “Who do people say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Among all the options of history and practice, Jesus is the singular truth for eternal life and salvation. Peter understood it. The disciples would follow in their understanding. The gospel would spread and Christianity would take its place as THE mountain top stance. Here is David’s words we can see a connection between the two stories. Among all the options of faith played out in the world and identified as mountains, faith in Jesus Christ alone becomes the Mount Everest. It is from God alone in Jesus Christ that our true help comes for life in this world and in the next.

Connected is the truth that we cannot live at the top of Mount Everest. A number of people have climbed to its peak, many more have lost their lives trying to do so. But, its rarefied air is not meant for man. Instead, Jesus Christ came down to bring us hope and help. He came to dwell in our midst so that we could see that God was with us. He was not afar off on this mountain or that mountain, as the woman at the well confessed. Jesus declared to her and us “The day is coming when there will be no mountain worship only worship in spirit and in truth. Mighty men, our truest help comes from the mountain of God which is Jesus Christ. We need to lift up our eyes to Him and open our hearts and minds to Him. He dwells not apart from us but with us in Spirit and in truth.

“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 heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election
* 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 Chile
* 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; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* A good beginning for our small group.

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, our eyes are lifted up to adore You and declare that You alone are the source of our existence. We come to You to say thank You for allowing Jesus and Your Holy Spirit to dwell with us today and all days to come so we might worship and serve in spirit and in truth. Hear our profession, Father, in Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

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