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Life Lessons from CFO

1 Jul

Society is so far out of balance. We have too much food, not enough food, too much exercise, not enough exercise, too much TV, not enough study, too much sports, not enough downtime, too much purchasing, not enough producing,  too much worry, not enough meditation. So how can we use the CFO program to help us get our lives into balance?

It sounds a little like a cliché, but it makes sense, Inspiration + Expiration = Respiration. We need some of everything to have balanced lives. We can have a diet of only green leafy vegetables, but that does not mean we will be healthy. The CFO program replenishes and depletes (this is not a negative) each part of us, body, mind and soul. Meals, rest and sleep replenish the body. Singing, exercise and recreation deplete the body. The mind is replenished by the talk and also by sleep, while Creatives and fellowship deplete the mind. The Spirit is replenished by Meditation, prayer, sleep and the blessing service and is depleted by Creatives, singing, prayer and the world prayer broadcast.

In the next pages, you will find a basic daily guide for using the CFO program each day. There is a suggested meditation, song, scripture and so on. I encourage you to work through each day and all the parts of the program, do not be concerned about doing them in order or making sure you do it perfectly. If you do not know the song, let God help you make up a tune or choose a different one. If there is a suggested activity, that you feel you can not do, pray and let God give you an idea. He is always creative and will give you suggestions if you ask. Use the suggested activities to help you generate your own ideas. This should not be difficult. It it becomes too hard, then it has failed. The elements of the CFO day should just be part of who you are. Scripture, Song, prayer, giving and receiving blessing from God should be just as natural as breathing and eating.

Make notes as you complete each part and what God says to you through each section. Use the lists as a check point and journal at the end of each day. Try to look at the song and meditation early in the day, so you can carry God’s song and word through your whole day. If you are unable to do an activity on the day it is listed, do not skip it. Swap it for another day’s activity. Keep it flexible and balanced.

Once you have completed the days that are laid out, you should have some good habits developed and ideas about how to take this further. I have added a template in appendix B, that you can copy and record your daily activities and scripture choices.  You can also use these daily guides to help plan personal or group retreats. The CFO program, is a tool that God gave to an obedient man, many years ago. This book is just another tool to use the program. Let God be your guide.

My prayer is that this will help you develop positive habits and balance your lives. As John Wesley said, we need to “Do no harm, do good and stay in love with God”. This sounds balanced to me.

Remember that if or when you fail and you entertain your inner desires and they become sin, all hope is not lost. Do not despair, do not be discouraged. Confess your sin and repent (start over). Ask God to forgive you and receive his forgiveness. Forgive others that may have been involved (intentionally or unintentionally) and forgive yourself. Take control again and let Satan know that he has no place in your life. Then put on your armor, pick yourself up and continue the race.

Life Lesson: Sept 1

1 Sep

Meditate
Read Luke 11:1-13.  Also read the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13

Sing
Seek Ye First

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
And all these things shall be added unto you.
Allelu, Alleluia!

Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.
Allelu, Alleluia!

Message
I often find myself praying without much thought. At times, this is good, as it means that I am praying throughout the day. Sometimes, though, it means that I am praying without considering who I am speaking to or what he may want to say to me. It also means that I am tossing out my list of needs and wants without considering what God wants for me.
In the passage today, Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray. Of course they had prayed in the past, but today they want their prayer life refreshed and renewed. They wanted to know what was important for Jesus to pray for. If it was important for Jesus and if it was important for the disciples, it should certainly be important for us.
Jesus provided the disciples and us a wonderful pattern for our prayers. He teaches us to begin with REVERENCE for the one to whom we pray. We then acknowledge to AUTHORITY of God, by saying “God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done” instead of mine. We then pray for PROVISION of our physical, relational, and spiritual needs. We ask for our daily bread to be provided, we seek forgiveness and reconciliation, and we ask that God would help us in our spiritual journey by leading us away from temptation d evil. Lastly, we RELINQUISH all to his power and glory forever.
When considering Jesus’ teaching on prayer, we often times stop after the pattern that he provides in what we call The Lord’s Prayer. It is also good to note that Jesus emphasizes persistence in prayer, the promise of God (ask and you WILL find) in prayer, and the provider (our Father) in prayer.
Today is always a good day to seek God’s will in our lives and a good way to do this is to refresh and renew our prayer life. This can be done only by the help of the Holy Spirit and at the end of Jesus’ teaching on prayer, he concludes with this thought, ”If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask him.” A good way to begin renewing our prayer life is to ask for the Holy Spirit first.

Blessing
Ask God who you should bless today and how he wants you to bless them. Do it!

Move
Walk around your block, praying for the people in the homes around you. Pray first for the presence of the Holy Spirit and then pray using the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer.

Create
Make a list of the four prayer focus from pattern of the Lord’s Prayer. Take each one and develop it into a poem, prayer, or list of prayers that fit into that category.

Nourish
Before devouring your meals today, take some time to pray. Make your prayer time as important as your meal time. Pray before putting the food on the table. Think of the food as the “Amen!” or “dessert” of your prayer, instead of the Prayer as the “appetizer” to your meal.

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Spend some time doing a puzzle. Exercise your mind today. Make it even better by doing it with someone else.

Pray
Using the prayer you developed in your creative time, take as much time as you need to pray through the ideas you developed. Take some time with each one and commit to whatever time it takes. Spend time with God today.

Snacks
Do you pray before meals? Do you pray before you have a snack? Remember to be as thankful for your snack as you are your dinner.

World Prayer
Again, using the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer, pray for various areas of the world.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, recite the Lord’s Prayer.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

SONG CREDITS
_______
Seek Ye First, Karen Lafferty, CFO Sings, pg 107.

Pray With Me: August 31

31 Aug

Pray With Me  For the homeless.  What can each of us do personally for the homeless beyond prayer?

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: August 30

30 Aug

Pray With Me  For the humble of heart–give them honor and grace.  And increase this fruit of the Spirit within us.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: August 29

29 Aug

Pray With Me  For those who suffer from the ill effects of nature:  hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires and more.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: August 28

28 Aug

Pray With Me  For a deeper yearning in each of us to more completely dwell in  God’s love and presence.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: August 27

27 Aug

Pray With Me  For those suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol, and for their families and loved ones who suffer because of these addictions. 

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: August 26

26 Aug

Pray With Me  For schools–administrators, teachers, staff and students.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Life Lesson: August 25

25 Aug

Meditate
Read Matthew 6:5-15. Read over verses 9-13: “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’ (Matthew 6:9–13).”

Sing
In the Secret

Chorus
I want to know You
I want to hear Your voice
I want to know You more
I want to touch You
I want to see Your face
I want to know You more

Verse 1
In the secret in the quiet place
In the stillness You are there
In the secret in the quiet hour
I wait only for You
‘Cause I want to know You more

Verse 2
I am reaching for the highest goal
That I might receive the prize
Pressing onward
Pushing every hindrance aside
Out of my way
‘Cause I want to know You more

Message
Two Christians were trying to outdo each other and the conversation came around to prayer. One said, “I’ll bet $20 you can’t even say the Lord’s Prayer.” The other replied, “It’s a bet.” He began, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” The first man interrupted, “OK, here’s your money. I didn’t think you could do it.”
Some things become so familiar to us that we do not really know what we are saying. There are other things that we think we know, but have not spent enough time with that we are not even aware we are wrong. The Disciples had certainly prayed before, but they wanted a fresh new way. They wanted to do it the way Jesus would do it. We should want nothing less. There are so many times that I think I know what is right and I need to be reminded the truths that Jesus taught.
Luke also records Jesus’ teaching on prayer and it is good to review what he taught. In Luke 11:1-13 Jesus gives us a pattern of prayer (vs 1-4), he tells us to be persistent in prayer (vs 5-8), he reminds us of God’s promise to us when we pray (vs 9-10) and he reminds us that God is the Father who answers our prayers (vs 11-13).
If we believe that Jesus was the best teacher on prayer, then we should be reviewing this teaching on a regular basis and our prayer life should reflect his teaching.

Blessing
Ask God who He wants you to bless and how. Take 5 minutes and be quiet. Let God show you who to bless today.

Move
Stretch out. Start by reaching high over your head while taking a deep breath. Bend over as far as comfortable and then come up slowly. Carefully stretch each leg and rotate your ankles. Continue to stretch until all of your muscles have been worked. Remember to breath and do not forget your face muscles.

Create
The pattern of the Lord’s prayer includes praise, focus on the Kingdom, prayer for provision, prayers of repentance and forgiveness, and prayers for protection and guidance. Write out your prayer, developing each section of the Lord’s Prayer.

Nourish
If you are able, skip a meal today to fast and pray. If you are not able to completely fast, go light on one meal and spend extra time in prayer.

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Play a game that you have not played in a long time. Find someone to play with and if you do not remember all the rules, make them up as you go along.

Pray
Make a list of people to pray for. Your list may include many or just a few. Pray for each person on your list using the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer. Let God direct your prayer.

Snacks
Eat a fruit or vegetable that you have not had before.

World Prayer
Find a world map and ask the Lord to show you what area of the world to pray for today. Use the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer.

Sleep
Repeat the Lord’s prayer until you fall asleep. Say it very slowly and rest on each line. If you only get through a line or two, that is okay. You can finish it tomorrow.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

_______
LYRICS CREDIT
In the Secret, CCLI Song # 1810119, Andy Park, © 1995 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.), CCLI License # 283314

Pray With Me: August 24

24 Aug

Pray With Me  For the homebound.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: August 23

23 Aug

Pray With Me  That God break the power of the wicked, and thwart the plans of those seeking to harm others.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.  Find a quiet place. Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

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