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2401

August 18, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.'”  (Philippians 1. 21)

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I remember a camp experience where we created a story, every camp should have one, that you could tell around a campfire that we give everyone the willies.  It worked, too.  But the circumstances used to create the story were so real that we had to untell it.  The story spread like wildfire across the camp from Friday night to Saturday morning.  Even the parents and sponsors coming to pick up their kids were drawn into it.  Some were not amused.  But in our closing circle I used the whole event as a teaching tool.  I posed a question to everyone- “What if the gospel could spread as quickly as the spooky store created on the night before?”

Let’s be honest with ourselves.  How many times have we told a family story or a scary story or just made up a story at the spur of the moment?  Now how many times have we told the gospel story?  Do the numbers compare?  What about the impact?  Which was greater?  As Paul wrote to the mighty men of Philippi he declared to live is Christ and to die is gain.  What do we gain from the stories we told?  Paul said to die was to gain- gain eternal life and the privilege of hearing God declare “Well done my faithful son and devoted servant.”  In truth that is what Paul meant by living is Christ.  Living is being the faithful son and devoted servant because that is who Jesus was on earth and the call He issues to all of us who are walking with Him by faith.

Is our life “story” convincing and convicting to eternal life?  Or is it just a scary story meant to only bring chills up and down the spine?  Our lives and our life story are meant to mean something that inspires others to change the way they live and for whom they live.  And the foundation of that story is the gospel shared with us by someone else who truly believed it.  They believed it so much that it became their story, too.

* Let’s review the story of our lives and strengthen it with the witness of our faith in Christ and God’s love for us through Christ.

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 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 New Zealand
* 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, may Your love be visible through us as we share our story of faith and salvation given to us in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2361

December 23, 2016

Celebrating an Advent of LOVE on earth and goodwill to all people!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 3.1-2

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Let us consider this Christmas season as a teaching moment. In fact, every day of our lives is a teaching moment. It is an opportunity to bear witness to the loving grace of God come down to earth in Jesus Christ. It is also an opportunity to bear witness to the power of that grace working in our lives. For as the Apostle Paul declared “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” What does this mean as James might respond to that teaching? And how does it impact our serving at this time of year?

James says “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect and able to keep their whole life on the straight and narrow.” Hmmm. Who might that be? We know, of course, it can only be the Trinity- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christmas is the revelation of this truth in a fleshly venue- Jesus Christ. He is the man of perfection who alone was able to keep His whole body on the straight and narrow. It certainly is not a quality any man has possessed since though many have certainly come near and are a true blessing to God and man. We must strive toward that perfection by remembering it is the “Word” of life- God’s life and our own, that makes the difference. And only when the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts and the works of our lives are in agreement can we truly make that difference. In some way, this may be the trinity of human life upon which we must focus on. Do our words to the world match the thoughts in our hearts as expressed in the works we do daily?

What if we actually did everything that we thought about in our heart? Whoa. I fear there would be trouble along the way. Could we even do everything or should we?

What if we did everything that our mouths declare? How would it be in our own world if there were actions associated with every word that proceeds from our mouths? On the one hand the words of our mouths may bear witness to the meditations of our hearts. For good or for evil there is either harmony or discord. If we say what we thought and it was evil then evil is the work. If we lie to others and cover up what is in our heart and the spoken word was good and we acted good- what is the intention of doing that good? And vice-versa.

Yes, mighty men, whether in the words of our mouths or the meditations of our hearts, it is our actions that bear the greatest witness. And that is why our actions ought to reflect the “Word” spoken by God into the world. And that “Word” is Jesus Christ. The disciple John said it this way “In the beginning was the Word- the Word was with God and the Word was God and it came into the world in a fleshly being so that the Word of God could dwell among us.” Not exist, mind you. The Word came to live among us. It is an active Word reflecting both the mind, heart and spirit of God. What God says was demonstrated in the work of Christ. What God thought was demonstrated in the life of Christ. What God’s Word promised was revealed in Jesus. He alone can be called perfect and the judgment came upon Him for all of us so that mercy, grace and salvation could be the gifts given to us.

And this is what Christmas is truly all about. It is about giving thanks to God with all our heart, mind, body, soul and spirit because Jesus was born for this- to bring God’s gift to us and to make each of us a gift given to God by Jesus the Christ.

How shall we reveal gratitude for this gift and being made worthy to be presented to God? With a spoken word that may or may not be sincere? With a good thought? Or with a work that is in harmony with the greatest Word ever spoken by God or man- Jesus Christ? I pray we all learn from Christmas not as the world would teach but as God has taught us in Jesus Christ.

“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 all those who are travelling over this holiday season and for those who are leading God’s people to embrace this weekend as a celebration of the life which is born in us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior
* For peace to be known in all of our relationships as God’s people to those who are in the world- “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”
* 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 Japan
* 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God

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!
* 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 the works of our hands and the meditations of our hearts and the words of our mouths bring glory and honor to You in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, by whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2360

December 21, 2016

Celebrating an Advent of LOVE on earth and goodwill to all people!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 2.26

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What are we saying? Are we praising God and cursing those who are created in His image? Or as we praising men and cursing God who made it possible for us to be righteous men? Our duality of thinking and acting is our undoing. In fact, just as a picture is worth a thousand words so are our actions! Do we dare let our actions and our words speak for us if they are not subdued and reined in by the true love of God? We must press onward to let the Holy Spirit of God convict us and show us the way of authentic living. We must stay in the Word of God, both scripture and Christ who perfectly fulfilled it, and so maintain our awareness of what righteous living looks like. We cannot survive heaven, earth or hell if we live two lives. We must choose one life, righteousness, or another, unrighteousness. Remember how John heard in his time of revelation that Christ will spew out warm water? We must choose to be hot or cold. And in this train of thought I am not speaking of “hot as hell” or “cold as ice.” We must be on fire with the Spirit of God as were the disciples in the Upper Room on Pentecost. To be cold to God’s love or even ambivalent is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit which Christ had given to all believers.

Christmas is a time of giving the true Word of life- Jesus Christ. We must either be a reminder of what has been given so that no one fails to hear and choose life. Or we must be an accountability partner to those who have chosen and are not progressing further and deeper into the spiritual life that is our blessing. Guard your words and refine your actions- that is what I hear God declare over us. Let us be givers and speakers of authentic living by living authentically ourselves.

“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 protection and provision for those impacted by winter’s stormy blast and frigid temperatures
* For peace to be known in all of our relationships as God’s people to those who are in the world- “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”
* 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 Jamaica
* 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God

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

* Lisa’s condition continues to improve; well enough to go to work at least for a while – good news!
* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and more tests are prescribed and a referral to a different team- 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, shape our words and actions into purposeful testimonies of Your great love for all the world in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, by whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2329

October 25, 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:

Last words? Was John, the beloved disciple and apostle and Elder of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, peering into what he believed was the end of the age? Are we? Are we seeing such darkness in the world that we take our eyes off the light of the world which is Jesus Christ? We are, as mighty men of God, members of the body of Christ and heirs to the Kingdom of God which is the Kingdom of Light. We are members of the Church whose head is Jesus Christ and thus the continuation of the ministry of the gospel as the royal priesthood of all believers. There has to come a time of transition from one generation to another. The generation of the disciples was coming to an end. John would have been the last surviving disciple and first eye witness to the ministry of Jesus Christ from the calling of the twelve to the commissioning of the eleven before His ascension. Into whose hands was the responsibility of ministry given?

This is who, I believe, John was now truly speaking to- the next generation. Yes, there were generations of followers already at hand. As the Great Commission reached out through the apostles, especially through Paul and Peter, into the expanding world of Jew and Gentile, many were coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Many would be leaders of home groups, small churches and powerful movements. Nations would be challenged and ideologies would be confronted. But, in the end there was still “one,” John, who remained. His day of departure was coming. His revelation of the last days was at hand. Was it a signature of the final end time or was it “graduation” day when the next gathering of leaders would be leaned upon instead of being those who leaned on?

And that day continues today, mighty men of God. We continue to lean on Jesus Christ and seek the presence of His Holy Spirit to lead and guide, strengthen and support, encourage and embolden. But, generations now are asking for leadership to lean on as well. And in these darkened day where sin abounds and our awareness of it swells because of our ability to communicate so quickly so, too, must the light of life and truth. It is up to us. We do not have time to delay. We must not hesitate. The power of God is not stoic nor passive. The love of God is passionate and active. It beckons to be released as greatly as its need for release is called for. What are we waiting for. The fullness of God’s mercy and grace is at our command. Regardless of our physical, mental, social, material, financial and even spiritual conditions we must act in faith, with hope and by love to confront the darkness and beat back its horizon until it fades in the growing light of God’s mercy and grace. If we wait for God to do it then it may be too late for us because then we will be seen as those who laid both plowshare and sword to the ground in surrender and thus defeat. We are more than conquerors through Christ. We are witnesses and declarers of the truth of Jesus Christ. We are to be in the world and not of it. We are to go into the world and not wait for it to come to us.

Rise up, mighty men, it is our time!

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For God’s 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 French Polynesia
* 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):

* I will receive a call to meet with a neurologist today in Jesus’ name!
* 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 the opportunity today bear witness to those who see more darkness than light so they can see more light than darkness through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2323

October 17, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Jeremiah 29.12-14a

“‘Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Read it again, “I will be found by you.” The life of faith requires effort on part. We cannot simply say “I have faith” and then sit down and wait for positive things to happen to us, for us and through us. We must be an active people if we are God’s people. When Jesus began to build His ministry team He challenged twelve men to “follow me.” He didn’t say “Wait here and I will be back to empower your sitting down for the kingdom of God.” It took effort. There was a time when those who called themselves followers of Jesus heard some of His hard teachings and they turned away. The call to true discipleship was based on “taking up your cross.” It wasn’t about laying it down. Our burden and our frailty is as powerful as our salvation when it comes to being witnesses to the world. In the Great Commission Jesus told His disciples to “Go, make and baptize.” Yes, He told them to wait for a short period of time until they were filled up with the Holy Spirit before going out. But, in that waiting period it was not apathy that filled their time. No, it was remembering, rehearsing, praying, studying and sharing with one another. And they had a time frame in which to do it. Even the exiles in Babylon had a time frame, seventy years, in which to wait and prepare for their return home.

The challenge for us as followers of Christ, mighty men of God, is that we do not have that time frame as clearly defined. We do not know when Jesus will come to claim the faithful as His own and deliver them into the New Heaven and New Earth. Even Jesus did not know that time during His earthly ministry. But, we know that each day is filled with the opportunity to serve God by loving others. Each day is a blessing of bearing witness in word and deed to the mercy of God through Jesus Christ toward all people. We have this day which the Lord has made. We are to rejoice and be glad in it. The gladness comes from doing good for others as laying claim to the kingdom of God in our midst. But, it isn’t passive. We must seek God. We will find Him. He wants to be found. He isn’t really hidden but it takes effort on our part to receive the revelation. We must do our part, mighty men. God has done His and He is going to keep doing it on earth as it is in Heaven!

“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 a mighty Monday of God’s blessing to be realized across the world with lives changed, peace abound and communities be changed from fearful to faithful
* 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 the Falkland Islands
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me 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 commit ourselves to being the Word of mercy and doing the Word of grace through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2300

September 19, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.3,4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We have all probably heard “Keeping first things first” as taught and proposed by Stephen Covey in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In order to manage our time and energies we need to prioritize them as to what is most important and what will have the greatest effect. Paul and Stephen Covey would have been good friends, I think. But, as we consider this challenge to us by both men we must ask ourselves what is the interest of others, what is the chief priority. As we create our plan of action, or more correctly as we seek God’s plan of action, the first thing first is loving one another. What does love mean here? How will it manifest itself through our lives?

Do we meet the needs of the body?
Do we meet the needs of the mind?
Do we meet the needs of the heart?
Do we meet the needs of the soul?
Do we meet the needs of the Spirit?

Regardless, I think, of where we start, we must keep in mind the finish. Our hope and desire should be that all will see God and seek His forgiveness in their lives leading to eternal life. Whether it is a friend or foe, known or stranger, are we not supposed to be the witness of God’s love and bear witness to God’s love? It doesn’t really matter, most times, where we start as long as we start with the end in mind. We should want others to witness the moving, transforming and saving grace of God in their lives. It isn’t a bait and switch, finding the hook mentality that should lead us in our work and life. Instead, it should be that we do all things to honor and glorify God. Living our lives with the hope of leading others to the cross, beyond the empty grave and gates of Heaven should be our “first thing first.”

“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 protection from the terror cells at work around the world and those wounded and killed in recent days in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota
* 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 Colombia
* 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):

* 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, help me to see with the eyes of the opportunity to maintain the witness of seeking You at all times with Jesus our Savior, in whose name I pray, live and serve. AMEN.

2222

June 12, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.4-6

“‘You know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Where are we going? To the Father. We all may take different paths because we were created for unique purposes, situations and have made our own choices and decisions (hopefully with the guidance of the Holy Spirit). In the end, we are going to the Father. Some, like Jesus and hopefully every mighty man of God, are making it an intentional journey. We are headed to the Father. He is our salvation and our blessing for eternal life. He is the One we live for. We are going to the Father so that we can stay with Him forever in His House; just as David proclaimed and Jesus promised. We may think we will never get there. We do not know when Jesus will come and take us to be with Him where He is now- at the Father’s House. But, we are going to the Father because it is now our Home, too. It is our Father’s House but Jesus is making it our home.

In reality, every one is going to the Father. We will all stand before the Throne of God and the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will separate the sheep from the goats. Those who have denied the Father’s call in their lives and sought to live in an opposite direction will end up in the same place- before the Father. Those who said there is no God will stand in denial before the Father and still say there is no God. It will be a strange scene for all the people of the world to be there- some knowing and caring, some not knowing and not caring. But, God cares. If He didn’t care, He wouldn’t have sent His Son into the world to set the course straight. His Word is the road map that will lead us before the Father and into our new home. But, for those who refuse the Word? They will go before the Father and into a dwelling place they longed to avoid as well but remained committed to it.

There still is a chance for them. We can help show the way by living our the truth and the life which is given to us. We can bear witness to the reality of hope and the escape from the sinful world and the fires of hell. We can do this the same way Jesus did- take up our cross and follow Him. Are we being intentional about our journey? Are we inviting others to join with us in the faith parade to the throne of God? We know where we all are going. Shouldn’t we do it for the right reason and for the truest blessing of all? To dwell in the House of the Lord forever!

“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 definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of Tanzania
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, guard and direct our steps today as we journey through it bearing our cross which has changed from the destiny of death to the eternity of life in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

2195

May 9, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 16.6-8

“‘Don’t be alarmed,’ the angel said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ”He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Who said what? To whom? Or who didn’t say what to anyone? As I said yesterday ‘someone had to say something.’ I believe any of us would have responded in a similar fashion finding what we did not expect or not finding what we expected. The women were surprised by grace! God’s grace. They were captured in grief and liberated by the gospel. They were met by the messenger of God to remind them of the words Jesus had given them. This is the still the truth even today. The Holy Spirit, in whatever manifestation, is still reminding us of the words, instruction and truth that He has given us through the disciples and those who experienced Him in His time on earth. But, it can be overwhelming. It was for the women and many times it is for us.

But, the truth does come out. The Word of the Lord has its final say. The angel of the Lord filled with the Holy Spirit declares that death was defeated in Jesus. We have to embrace the logic that if it was true for Jesus, just as He said it would be, then it is true for us as He said it will be. There is no sense in laboring over the textual issues at the end of the gospel of Mark. Where did his testimony end and were there later additions or editing provided to make the ending tight and neat are not seen as strikes against his work. The truth is that Jesus is not dead and He has moved forward through time to fully complete and reveal the truth of God’s love for us all. The challenge for God’s mighty men is how will we respond to the truth of Jesus Christ. Will we cower in the shadows and corners of life fearing what we struggle to understand because it doesn’t meet our human knowledge and wisdom? Will we step out into the world and go to meet Jesus and introduce Him to all in our sphere of influence? What did we expect when we chose to believe in Jesus as our Christ? Wasn’t it the expectation of peace, hope, love, joy, mercy, grace, faith and life? Jesus is life, our life. He is hope, our hope. Jesus is truth, our truth. Hard to imagine more than that- Jesus is our everything. And once we get passed the shock of God’s miraculous act of love on our behalf then we will get the word out as well. He is risen- just as He said; now go!

“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 impacted greatly and fearfully by the Canadian wildfire displacing nearly 100,000 people and a massive landslide in China killing at least 35 people; for alert as swarms of earthquakes are felt beneath Mt. Saint Helen’s and storms move across the country
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, Man Challenge and the people of Saint Martin
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement; 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; the needs of my coalition including MF

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; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, infuse us with the strength of Your Holy Spirit again today so that this glorious truth that Jesus lives shall be known in our words and our deeds in the name of Jesus our Christ from this day forward. AMEN.

2188

May 1, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 15.2

“‘Are You the king of the Jews?’ asked Pilate. ‘You have said so,’ Jesus replied.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

How powerful it must have been for Mark to share this remembrance of Jesus. It was not his own remembrance. It was the remembrance of Peter who shared his personal gospel story with Mark and in the presence of Mark more times than we know. But, for Mark, as he shares it the experience has become his own. The gospel of truth is like this. It is a living opportunity to experience the living Christ, resurrected from the dead and seated now at the right hand of God, speaking into our own situation. For Mark and the Christians in Rome and throughout the empire, the shared experience of persecution had to be life-giving. They were not alone. What was happening in their lives was because of what others were saying about their lives. They were being accused of being Christian- one with Christ, one of Christ and one in Christ. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews the answer was simple, “You have said so.” Nothing more needed to be said by Jesus. Jesus had said it all and His presence before Pilate was a testament to what others said, believed or feared He was.

For the early Christians and for us as mighty men of God, the living out of our faith essentially puts us on trial. We must respond with faith, hope and love in each situation. We cannot respond out of fear. We have made a commitment. We have chosen to take up our cross and follow Him. We have decided to let our lives for Christ, with Christ and in Christ speak for themselves. Are we ready to accept the cross in our lives not as a punishment, for our sins are forgiven, but as a testimony of love because our sins are forgiven. Jesus didn’t die on the cross because He had sinned. He wasn’t guilty of blasphemy as the Temple leaders wanted to say. He wasn’t guilty of political insurrection as they wanted Rome to say. He was guilty only of being Jesus, the Son of God, who had come into the world that we might be reconciled back to God in order to embrace fully our place as sons of God, too.

Are we accused of being a Christian? If so, then why do we need to fear what man can do to us? If not, then what are we still afraid of that keeps us from letting our faith show before the world about who we are in Christ, for Christ and with Christ?

“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 a spiritual awakening to happen in North Korea that will impact for good the decisions of leadership there and around the world
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, the JSMC coalition and the people of Romania
* 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; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition including MF

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

* A work expectation is being met and only by the power of God is it being achieved and is a testimony to others to trust in Him
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, help us with Your strength to boldly stand and go where we have not gone before. May we not react out of fear in times of question but with faith so that there is no question we act in the name of Jesus by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

2185

April 26, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 14.17-20

“When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, He said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray Me — one who is eating with Me.’ They were saddened, and one by one they said to Him, ‘Surely You don’t mean me?’ ‘It is one of the Twelve,” He replied, ‘one who dips bread into the bowl with Me.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

It is a more dramatic portrayal if we had a picture of Judas dipping his bread into a cup of wine at the same time with Jesus as these words were spoken. All eyes would have been focused on Jesus and put two and two together. We would assume that to be true. The truth is that Judas had already conspired to make Jesus’ arrest and trial happen. We know that from his response to Jesus’ teaching concerning the woman who anointed Him with expensive perfume. Judas had taken ownership of his course of action. We do not know his intent or purpose- disappointment in Jesus or the hope of forcing Jesus’ hand to assume the role Judas and others wanted from their Messiah. Regardless of Judas’ purpose, his actions put in motion the fulfillment of prophecy. The snowball was rolling downhill and it would end up in an avalanche of grace. What others may have intended for harm became God’s opportunity to offer salvation to the history of the world once and for all. All the pieces were coming together like pavers in a sidewalk. The road to destiny was paved with good intentions and a singularity only God could see. The gate of opportunity was small and the road still had some twists and turns yet to experience. But, there was no turning back. Prophecy would be fulfilled and God’s Word would have its final say.

So what will we hear in this gospel story of the Last Supper? Will we embrace the call of urgency “to do what we are called to do?” Will we still find it easier to not search out God’s purpose for our lives so that we do not have to answer to that call in our heart, mind and spirit to “go and do quickly”? I am not talking about betraying Jesus as Judas did. I am talking about missing out on the opportunity to proclaim the truth of God’s love. If we do not share the gospel and live it out in our lives then who may, or will, miss out on meeting Jesus and calling Him “Lord and Savior”? In a way that is betraying Jesus. Jesus would not allow Judas to do anything else but own his course of action. Jesus knew the measure of his heart, mind and spirit. Jesus also knew the course that had been set for Him. These things had to happen. But, there was a choice still. Was there a moment of hesitation in Judas’ mind? He had the thirty pieces of silver in his pocket. The weight of it was a reminder. He could have already given it to the poor and made good on his call of accountability to others such as the woman in Bethany. Maybe it was to be an opportunity to confront Jesus with “see this?” But, Jesus would not give him that opportunity. Jesus knew Judas. He knew him from the first. Now it was time for Judas to truly own his course of discipleship and “put his money where his heart was.”

Our question has to be “What will we do with this Jesus?” Will we put it all on the line for what we believe? Right or wrong, we will have to make a decision about our relationship with Jesus. The moment will come in our lives when our true intention will be revealed undeniably. Each of us will be given the opportunity to betray or portray Christ. It happens daily. And because Jesus has already given His life for us then we do not have to worry about getting Him to prove who He is as I believe Judas intended. All we have to do is to bear witness to who we are in Christ. Let His light shine in and through you into all the world! Do not hid it under a bushel or a table. Be a city set on a hill gleaming with the glory of God. Own who you are in Christ and be the man of God you are meant to be.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For a spiritual awakening to happen in North Korea that will impact for good the decisions of leadership there and around the world
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, the JSMC coalition and the people of Puerto Rico
* 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; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition including MF

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

* A work expectation is being met and only by the power of God is it being achieved and is a testimony to others to trust in Him
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we know the truth because You have shown it to us time and again. Help us to be Your witnesses in all the world sharing the joy and the authority of the gospel in the name of Jesus by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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