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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.

Pray With Me: May 30

30 May

Pray With Me  For those who are influential on our society and children (athletes, celebrities, etc.)

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: May 29

29 May

Pray With Me  For those unable to care for themselves.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: May 28

28 May

Pray With Me  For Asia.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: May 27

27 May

Pray With Me  For those who are school teachers and administrators.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: May 26

26 May

Pray With Me  For those who are single mothers and fathers.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Life Lesson: May 25

25 May

Meditate 
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:16-26)

Sing
Higher Ground
Chorus 1
Lord lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven’s tableland
A higher plain than I have found
Lord plant my feet on higher ground

Verses
I’m pressing on the upward way
New heights I’m gaining every day
Still praying as I’m onward bound
Lord plant my feet on higher ground

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay
Though some may dwell where these abound
My prayer my aim is higher ground

I want to live above the world
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled
For faith has caught the joyful sound
The song of saints on higher ground

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright
But still I’ll pray ‘til heaven I’ve found
Lord lead me on to higher ground

Message
We laugh about not praying for patience and we joke about not having self-control, but Galatians does not paint a picture that is funny. This passage talks about choosing freedom instead of serving the flesh, biting and devouring one another, gratifying the desires of our flesh, sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry, envy, conceit, strife, etc. We may be able to say that we are not likely to fall into drunkenness or sexual immorality, but what about divisions, anger or rivalries? Read today’s passage again and see some of the things that we are likely to fall into when we are not living by the Spirit.

Life in the Spirit is not about having a list of things to strive for. It is not about a check list to make sure we did not get angry today and we did not envy today, but it is about “loving our neighbor as ourselves” (Gal 5:14). If we strive to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, these negative things will be replaced with the positive things. We do not need to say, “I am going to be more patient today.” We need to say, “I am going to stay close to God today.”

I tend to have a short temper and I recognize that when I spend more time in the Word and prayer, the length of my temper grows. I do not concentrate on my temper, I consecrate on God. When I spend more time with God, it keeps the ground fertile and healthy so that the Holy Spirit can grow His fruit in me. Just like in a garden, this is not a onetime thing. Every day, I need to be pulling weeds with prayer, pruning the plants with Bible study, and tilling the soil with service.

Blessing
Consider someone who has shown some fruit of the Spirit, but does so in a quiet way and is not generally noticed. Call them and tell them what you have noticed. Encourage them on their journey up the mountain.

Move
As you sing the verses to this song, pretend to climb the mountain. Use high steps to get up to higher ground. When you sing the chorus, stand still and lift your hands. Let God plant your feet in the place that he has brought you.

Create
Draw a line from the lower left corner of your paper to the upper right. This is your mountain. Ask God to show you where you are on the mountain now and place a symbol there that indicates You. Remain in prayer and as God reveals, note those things that you have conquered by His grace. Place symbols, below you, on your mountain to signify these things that God shows you. Ask God what you still need to work on and place these things higher up on the mountain.

Nourish
Open a recipe book and find something new to try. Take a chance.

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
Find a mountain or hill to climb.

Pray
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). Spend some quiet time and consider how God has shown you each of these characteristics in himself. Pray that the Holy Spirit will grow these things in you.

Snacks
Eat a piece of fruit for your snack. Try something you have never eaten before.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are stuck on the mountain and cannot move because they do not trust God to supply what they need, because they feel they can live life on their own, because they think they are fine where they are, or because they fear that God is not really on the mountain.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, picture a mountain. Climb that mountain and feel the energy that God provides when we push onward and upward to His goal for our lives.

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:
Used with permission: “Higher Ground”, Johnson Oatman, Jr. & Chas. H. Gabriel, CFO Sings, pg 63

Pray With Me: May 24

24 May

Pray With Me  For CFO gatherings all over the world–for their leadership, their council rings, their participants.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: May 24

24 May

Pray With Me  For Christians everywhere, for a renewal in the life of the Spirit within them, especially as we prepare for and anticipate the celebration of Pentecost this weekend.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: May 23

23 May

Pray With Me  For those in leadership in our country, state and local governments.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: May 22

22 May

Pray With Me  For those battling obesity, addictions, disorders and other self afflicted health issues.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52) Find a quiet place Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

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