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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: August 22

22 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

Life Lesson: August 15

15 Aug

Meditate
Read Luke 10:1-20. Consider especially vs 1-4.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. (Luke 10:1-4)

Sing
Give the World Light
vs 1
Lord, give the world Light; let Light shine through me.
Lord, give the world Truth; let Truth speak through me.
Lord, give the world Love; let Love flow through me.
Lord, give the world Life; let Life sing through me.

vs 2
Lord, thank you for Light; let Light shine through me.
Lord, thank you for Truth; let Truth speak through me.
Lord, thank you for Love; let Love flow through me.
Lord, thank you for Life; let Life sing through me.

Message
Growing up as the daughter of a United Methodist Pastor, the word “appointment” had special meaning. It meant that wherever the Bishop sent my Father, we were to go. The Bishop appointed my Father to a specific church and there my family would move so that my Dad could take care of the needs of the church. Later in life, I found that the word “appointment” carried an even stronger meaning in my life. As the wife of a United Methodist Pastor, I knew that a new appointment meant packing all of our belongings, quitting my job, traveling to an unknown place and moving away from my friends and family. Today, the word “appointment” means that as a Certified Lay Minister, the District Superintendent can send me to a church that needs help. It is now my call to action in service to Christ’s church.

The appointment process (being sent to do ministry) is not a new concept. Luke records that, “the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” These people were sent into the surrounding towns to minister to the people and let them know that Jesus is on his way. They were to tell them that, “The Kingdom of God has come near to you.”

Is it any different today? No. We are each appointed by Jesus to let those around us know that the Kingdom of God is near. We do not have to be Pastors or Lay Ministers. We do not have to be in the United Methodist Church. We do not have to have an official title or office in our own church. If we call ourselves Christian, then we are appointed by Christ to “Go and Preach the Gospel.”

Blessing
Contact your Pastor (or several) and thank them for their work in the church. Pray a blessing over them.

Move
Walk around your church seven times and ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.

Create
Make something special and send it with a note to a person doing ministry in your area.

Nourish
As you eat today, pray for those who do not have enough to eat.

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
Do something relaxing. Read a book, do a puzzle, watch the kids in a park or find something else that you can do to rest your body today.

Pray
Ask God where he is appointing you. Spend 15 minutes in silence and then write what you hear.

Snacks
Eat something that grows on a tree.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are sensing God’s appointment to ministry in either an official capacity or volunteer.

Sleep
Rest in the knowledge that even if God’s appointment on your life is difficult, he will take care of you and all of your needs. Fall asleep in peace and thankfulness.

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:
Give the World Light, CFO Sings, page 32

Life Lesson: August 8

8 Aug

Meditate
Read 2 Kings 2:1-14 & Luke 9:51-62

Sing
Higher Ground
vs1
I’m pressing on the upward way. New heights I’m gaining everyday.
Still praying as I onward bound, “Lord plant my feet on higher ground.”

vs2
My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay.
Tho’ some may dwell where these abound, my prayer, my aim is higher ground.

vs3
I want to live above the world tho Satan’s darts at me are hurled.
For faith has caught the joyful sound: The song of saints on higher ground.

vs4
I want to scale the utmost heights and catch a gleam of glory bright,
but still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found, “Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”

Chorus
Lord, lift me up and let me stand by faith on heaven’s table land.
A higher plane than I have found. Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

Message 
Elisha was a young farmer living with his parents when he was called to be Elijah’s successor and he gave up everything (Father, Mother, business and oxen) to follow. Much time passes as Elisha is mentored and trained by Elijah and in the end, Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. The Message translates this request as, “Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you.” Elisha had walked with Elijah for a long time and wanted to be everything he had seen in Elijah.

The two Scriptures we read for meditation have some interesting similarities. Both have similar beginnings: “When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven” and “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven” Both record similar responses from the disciples to their teacher: “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you” and “I will follow you wherever you go” Lastly, both teachers explain the difficulties of what has been asked: “You have asked a difficult thing” and “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

God responded to Elisha’s request as he saw Elijah being taken up and by the symbol of his cloak being left behind. God had already responded to the disciple of Jesus in the prophet Joel when it was recorded, “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on your sons and daughters.”

Elisha could have left the cloak on the ground and walked away. Jesus’ disciple also could have walked away. Both Elijah and Jesus said it would be a hard thing. Neither disciple walked away and the impact on the world is astounding. We need to ask ourselves today:

  • Am I asking for God’s Spirit to be working in my life?
  • Am I taking what God gives me and using it well?”

In Glenn Clark’s book, “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes”, he suggests these prayers:

“I pray for…

“…your spirit to enter me and fill me completely.”
“…your kingdom to come, in earth as it is in heaven.”
“…my will to become completely and utterly your will.”
“…the right persons to come into my life at the right time and in the right way.”
“…the right ideas to come to me in perfect sequence and in perfect order, in the right time and in the right way.”
“…my deepest soul’s sincere desire to be fulfilled in the right time and in the right way.”

Blessing
Ask God who you should bless today. Write the prayer pointers from “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes” and give them to this person. Let them know that this is what you will be praying for them. Do not forget to pray!

Move
Find a staircase in a building or in your home. Walk up and down the stairs several times while considering the chorus of “Higher Ground”

Create
Draw a line on a paper that represents the mountain that you are climbing to reach the heights that God has for you. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to help you see what helps you move up the mountain, what pushes you back and what keeps you from moving at all. Draw some symbols along the mountain that represent these helps or hindrances.

Nourish
As you eat today, be aware of your calorie intake. Are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? Find out how many calories are good for you.

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
Take someone on an outing that cannot generally get out. This may be a child with busy parents or an older person without ability or freedom to get out. Take them to see or do something simple and then take them for an ice cream cone.

Pray
Using the prayers in the message today, spend time praying for God to pour out his Spirit into your life.

Snacks
Forget it! You had ice cream during recreation today!

World Prayer
Turn on the TV or from your newspaper, get the “headline” of the day. Pray for those involved in this situation.

Sleep
Try to get some extra sleep tonight so that you can be the best you can be for God.

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: 
“Higher Ground” pg 63 CFO Sings

Life Lesson: August 1

1 Aug

Meditate
Read Mark 1:9-13.
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Meditate on the words of God to Jesus, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Sing
Chorus 1
Step into the water
Wade out a little bit deeper
Wet your feet in the water of His love
Step into the water
Wade out a little bit deeper
Come join angels singing praises
To the Lamb of God

Verse 1
It is time we the people
Stand up for what is right
It is time we squared our shoulders back
Raised our swords to fight
For the Bible is our weapon
And the Spirit is our shield
The church needs more of its members
To be workers in the field

Verse 2
There is vict’ry for the Christian
Who walks the narrow way
There has been a prize appointed
For the soul who does not stray
Oh I want to live for Jesus
Be all that I should be
So that I can rest with Him
Forever live eternally

Message
My parents often tell me how proud they are of me and it makes me feel good. One day in particular, my Mother told me that she would be at an upcoming worship service because she “loves it when I lead worship”. Following that service, she introduced me to a couple of her friends and with a smile on her face and an arm around my waist said, “This is my daughter!” My Mother’s comments that day made me feel special. They also gave me a new sense of purpose. I wanted to continue to make my Mother proud. Oh, I have failed and I will fail again, but I know my Mother is still proud and I desire to keep on trying and working to improve.

God, by way of the dove, put his hand around Jesus’ waist and said, “This is my son!” and “I love who you are and what you do.” What strength that must have given Jesus as he entered the wilderness.

Have you been baptized? Have you experienced God’s hand around your waist and his smile as he says, “You are my child and I love you. With you I am well pleased.” Hold on to this as you press through life and strive to do what you are called to do. Take God’s love as your strength.

Blessing
There is someone whom you have influence over. It may be a child, parent, sibling, fellow-worker, or someone else. Contact them and let them know what you like about them. E-mail or letter is OK, but verbally would be best. If you can do it face to face, even better!

Move
Step into the water (take a shy and tentative step forward)
Wade out a little bit deeper (take another step with a little more confidence)
Wet your feet in the water of His love (wiggle your toes in the water)
Step into the water (take a step with full confidence)
Wade out a little bit deeper (take a giant step forward)
Come join angels singing praises (bathe in the water)
To the Lamb of God (raise hands and stretch in the air)

Create
Take five 3×5 cards. Ask God what encouraging message to write on each one. Put them upside down on the table. Ask God to bring a person to mind and then pick a card. Send that card to the person.

Nourish
Drink extra water today. As you drink the water, remember your baptism and be thankful.

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 and enjoy some water. Find a body of water, fountain, aquarium or small fish pond. Enjoy the water by boating, swimming, just watching it. Other options might be to look at pictures of water or soak in the tub. Enjoy the experience of God’s creation of water.

Pray
If there are areas of your life that you know are not pleasing to God, write them down on a piece of paper. Confess each area as sin and repent. Claim God’s forgiveness and his strength to stand against the enemy in these areas. Burn the paper in a safe place.

Snacks
Make jello (sugar free). It’s fun!

World Prayer
Pray for all of the coastal regions of the world.

Sleep
As you go to sleep tonight, pray that your rest will be totally refreshing.

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:
CCLI # 283314, CCLI Song # 44429, Kirk L. Talley, © 1981 Homeward Bound Music. 1984 Assigned To Kirk Talley Music (Admin. by Integrated Copyright Group, Inc.)

Life Lesson: July 25

25 Jul

Meditate
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  “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.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:5-15). Spend time in quiet prayer. Pray for specific needs. Insert yourself in the Lord’s Prayer. As people come into your mind, insert their name into the prayer.
Sing
Father, I Adore You

Father, I adore you, Lay my life before you. How I love you!

Jesus, I adore you, Lay my life before you. How I love you!

Spirit, I adore you, Lay my life before you. How I love you!

Message
Take time to pray. Your quiet time is your own between you and God. Keep a journal; write your prayer requests. Write down any other thoughts, activities, or actions you should take during this day. Note the difference when you say the Lord’s Prayer with yourself inserted.

“My Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, for me….etc.” How does this make you feel? Does this change your view of your relationship with God? Does this change your view of God’s love for YOU?

Blessing
Write the person that you thought of during meditation. Just write out the Lord’s Prayer and insert their name. Mail or hand deliver your note.

Move
Reach as high as you can. Reach as wide as you can. Reach as far forward as you can. Reach as far down as you can. Thank God when you stand up straight and tall.

Create
Draw a flower in your journal. Leave enough space and draw 10 more. You’ll see many flowers while walking in God’s kingdom. Some will be the flowers of heavenly personalities maybe even some of your friends. Name these flowers as people to pray for.

Nourish
Eat something healthy. Don’t skip a meal, but don’t over-do.

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
Go for a walk and practice staying on the correct side of the road. Keep singing the song of the day.

Pray
Ask God to walk with you through the day, and to keep your thoughts centered on Him. Imagine yourself hand in hand with Jesus, Keep reminding yourself of this image.

Snacks
Don’t “graze”. Have something healthy. Fruit or nuts – but not both. Do everything in moderation.

World Prayer
Pick a place or area in the world from the last news broadcast you saw. Pray for the people. Pray that each person in that place or area will hear of Jesus, think about what they’ve heard and accept Jesus in their hearts. Pray for committed Christians there, that they will have the courage to reach out to their neighbors.

Sleep
Be sure to get enough sleep. You should sleep one hour for every two hours you are awake. With less and less sleep any witness you may have will be less and less effective.

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 Father, I Adore You, Terrye Coelho, CFO Sings, pg 341

Pray With Me: July 4

4 Jul

Pray With Me  For the gift of freedom–for those who are not free–physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or socially.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.

Life Lesson: June 27

27 Jun

Meditate
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (Romans 12:1–2)

Sing
 Beautiful Things

Verse 1
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

Verse 2
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

Chorus
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Verse 3
All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in you

BRIDGE
You make me new
You are making me new
You make me new
You are making me new (REPEAT)

Message
We live in a culture that says, “I can’t help it”, “This is just who I am”, “If you do not like me, get over it”, “I may be irritating and bother people, but I like who I am”, “This is the way that God made me.” Maybe we have said these things too. Maybe we have just thought them. Maybe we have even taken comfort in them. I have taken this attitude in regard to some bad habits in the past because it was easier. I did not have to quit smoking, exercise, eat better, or treat others better, because this is who I am! The reality is that this was not who God made me to be, He made me to live according to His good, pleasing and perfect will.

The real difference in the changes we make has to do with the depth of the change. If it is just a surface change it does not transform me and is only a temporary adjustment. If the change gets into my head and my heart it can be a complete life change. When the changes we make start with laying ourselves out as a living sacrifice and include our entire body, mind and soul, then we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

Change is not easy. I have made some changes in my life and many others I am still working on. Anything that has significantly changed has to be kept in line with God’s plan or it will easily slip back to the old ways. The key is to stop telling ourselves that change is impossible. It may be hard work, but it is not impossible. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Blessing
Do you know someone who has tried to make a change in life? Let them know you are praying for them. If not, contact a friend and confess a change you are trying to make and ask them to pray for you. Ask if there is something you can keep in prayer for them.

Move
Sing and do the motions for “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. With each pass over your body, ask God to transform your life.

Create
With crayon and paper, draw a picture of yourself. Take a few minutes to pray and ask God to show you what changes he wants you to make in your mind or body. After prayer, take another crayon and see what God has you add to your self-portrait.

Nourish
Take an everyday ingredient and transform it into something you have never eaten before.

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
Think of an activity that you have enjoyed in the past and have not done for a long time. Go do it. If you can share it with a friend that you have not spent time with in awhile, call them.

Pray
Spend some time in prayer concerning the things that God showed you in your creative time. Ask God to show you specific ways to make the necessary changes.

Snacks
Take your snack outside and see what God shows you.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are stuck in an unhealthy pattern and feel there is no way out.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, be thankful for the healing that God does in your mind and body as you sleep.

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:
Beautiful Things, CCLI Song # 5665521, Lisa Gungor | Michael Gungor, © 2009 worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), CCLI License # 283314

 

Life Lesson: June 20

20 Jun

Meditate
Hebrews 12:14-15: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Sing
Something Beautiful

Something beautiful something good.
All of my confusions, he understood.
All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife.
And he made something beautiful out of my life.

Message
In the book of Ruth 1:20-21, Naomi is in a strange land and has lost her husband and her sons. She is afraid and has no way to provide for herself, much less her two daughters-in-law. In verses 20-21, she says, “Don’t call me Naomi, but call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” Naomi means pleasant and Mara means bitter. Naomi has allowed her circumstances to change and define who she is.

There have been times when I have felt hopeless, afraid, lonely, unloved, or scared. In these times, it is natural to begin to live in these feelings and allow them to become reality in our lives, instead of trusting God to make us something new. We forget that God has bigger and better plans for us and that he will make something beautiful out of our lives if we trust and allow him to do it.

Do we spend our time proclaiming the hurt, anxiety and despair of life or do we proclaim the great power of God? As Paul put it, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20–21.

Life happens, but we do not have to accept the circumstances we see today as the final outcome. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but he is in the business of changing us from Glory to Glory!

Blessing
Our Hebrews passage warned us not to let any bitter root grow up and cause trouble. Contact someone with whom you have a bitter root beginning to grow or someone who has a bitter root growing between themselves and someone else. Pray with them, asking God to heal the relationships.

Move
Sing I will Change Your Name

I will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast lonely or afraid
I will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks My face

As you sing, stretch your muscles. Start at your head and face by tightening your muscles and then releasing. Gently roll your neck and shoulders. Work your arms and fingers. Bend at the waist. Work your hips, legs and feet. Do not forget your toes.
While you do this, let God tell you who he knows you to be. Counter the negative ideas that may come and tell you otherwise.

Create
Write a list of things that cause you to become bitter. After some prayer, write names of God next to each item on the list. Choose names that counter or cover the issue that you are dealing with.

Nourish
If you have a juicer, get it out of the cupboard and try some new juice ideas. If not, get some fresh fruit and yogurt to enjoy a healthy smoothie.

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

Recreation
Go for a hike in the woods. Notice the beauty of God’s creation. Realize that you are part of the beautiful creation that God called, “Good!”

Pray
Pray that God will show you how much he loves you. Share this with someone who does not really understand that God loves them.

Snacks
Try a beautiful fruit: Pomegranate, Kiwi or something else that intrigues you.

World Prayer
Watch the news or read the paper. Be aware of people who have bitter roots growing in them. Pray for them and ask God to touch their hearts.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, thank God that he created you and that he loves you. Rest in the fact that you are loved and cared for by God.

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.
_______
Something Beautiful”, CCLI Song # 18060, Gloria Gaither | William J. Gaither, © 1971 William J. Gaither, Inc. ARR UBP of Gaither Copyright Management, CCLI License # 283314

I Will Change Your Name”, CCLI Song # 145139, D. J. Butler, © 1987 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.), CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: June 17

17 Jun

Meditate
Revelation 19:6 – Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Isaiah 40:28 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom.
Job 42:2 – I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Mark 10:27 – Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’
Genesis 18:14a – Is anything too hard for the LORD?

Sing
How Great Thou Art

Chorus
Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art. How great Thou art
Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, How great Thou art

Verse 1
O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy pow’r thru’out the universe displayed

Verse 2
When thru the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze

Verse 3
And when I think that God His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin

Verse 4
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, My God how great Thou art!

Message
When troubles come, I often forget that God is Almighty, All-Powerful, Omnipotent, Invisible, Unmovable, Supreme, Unstoppable and more! When one of my children calls with troubles, when someone at work seems unreasonable, when the world seems unfair or when my list of things to do seems bigger than there are hours in the day, I forget that my God can do all things. Why is it that we do not turn to God FIRST? Turning to God seems to be a last ditch effort when all else fails.

The Bible teaches us: God can do all things!, Nothing is too hard for God!, God never gets tired and he is never too busy! We can trust God because he cannot violate his character. He cannot lie. He cannot be contrary to his own goodness and perfection and faithfulness. He cannot be tempted or tempt anyone. We should run to him immediately, just like a toddler instinctively runs to Mommy or Daddy when afraid or troubled.

We know that God is powerful because he created the world and keeps it running. We can also be certain of God’s power because he raised Jesus from the dead. God never shook his head in worry over how to keep the mountains up or the sun suspended in the sky. He never wondered about how to make the colors of the flowers. God was never troubled over how to sustain microorganisms or hippos. Most importantly, God never felt defeat or fear over Jesus’ death. God raised Jesus from the dead and this took no more effort than growing grass.

As I think about the great power of God it excites and energizes my worship of him. As I think about his power, it encourages me in my walk with him. As I think about the great power of God it causes me to realize I have no need to worry or fear as I live through difficult times.

Blessing
Ask God what you have that someone else needs. Do not be afraid. Give what you have to the person who needs it. God will take care of you.

Move
Sing and do the motions for: My God is So Great

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty.
There is nothing my God cannot do. (repeat)
The mountains are his. The rivers are his.
The stars are his handiwork too.
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty.
There is nothing my God cannot do.

Create
Take paper and crayon. Get quiet before God and ask him what things you are trying to take care of on your own. Draw pictures representing each of these things. Take a bright-colored crayon and color over the things that God has shown you. The bright color depicts God’s power over these things that trouble you.

Nourish
Notice what you are eating today. Consider where it comes from and how it was made. Thank God for his power to create and sustain the world.

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
Take in something of nature. Go for a walk and see the power of God in the flowers and trees or the ocean. If it is rainy, praise God for his power that waters the earth.

Pray
Be thankful. Praise God for his power. Claim his power over difficult areas of life.

Snacks
Share your snack with someone who needs to understand God’s power. Share God’s power with this person.

World Prayer
Pray for areas of the world that have been affected by powerful acts of nature.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, repeat the words of today’s song, How Great Thou Art

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: 
How Great Thou Art, CCLI Song # 14181, Stuart Wesley Keene Hine, © 1949. 1953 Stuart Hine Trust. CFO Sings, pg. 350

My God is So Great, CFO Sings, pg. 178

Life Lesson: June 13

13 Jun

 

Meditate
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Sing
Go Tell It on the Mountain

Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
Jesus Christ WILL SAVE!

Vs 1
When I was but a sinner,
I prayed both night and day,
I asked the Lord to help me
and He showed me the way.

Vs 2
When I became a seeker,
I sought both night and day,
I asked the Lord to help me
and He taught me to pray.

Vs 3
The Lord made me a watchman,
upon a city wall,
And if I am a Christian,
I am the least of all.

Message  
It is hard to think about it, but there are people who die without having a relationship with Jesus. This is hard, because Jesus said that only those who know him have eternal life. We hate to think that there are people who are lost for eternity, but it is not because God let them fall by the wayside. It is not because God did not care enough for them or did not want them. It is certainly not because Jesus did not die for them. So why are there people spending eternity in hell, apart from God? It is because we did not tell them. The Bible asks “How can they know if we do not tell them?”

Another sad thought is that there are people who have accepted Jesus, but are living in Spiritual poverty. Again, it is not because God does not care or has ignored them. It is also not simply the person’s fault for not doing what they should do. It is because we are not making disciples and teaching others to obey and live as Christ taught. We are not teaching and helping people to study the Scriptures and pray. We are not coming together to encourage and support each other.

It is the responsibility of all Christians to pray, learn and develop our relationship with God, but it is also our responsibility to help others do the same. We are the body of Christ. We are the family of God. We cannot work and live independently of others. Are we our brother’s keeper? The answer is yes.

CFO is a vital tool to help us learn how to develop our own relationship with Christ, bring others to Jesus, and disciple believers in the faith. We learn, at CFO, that we are not too young or too old, too rich or too poor, or too new in the faith or mature in Christ to be an important part of the body.

Blessing
Contact someone who was instrumental in bringing you to Jesus or mentoring your Christian walk and thank them. If this person is no longer alive, contact their family and let them know what this person did and what a blessing they were to you.

Move
Do you have an old piece of exercise equipment? Put on some worship music and USE the equipment.

Create
On a large piece of paper, make several stick figures. Draw each “person” missing one body part. Underneath, the people write one task that would be difficult or impossible for them to do. Ask God if there is anything that you are not doing that is hampering His work in the body.

Nourish
Invite someone over for dinner that either does not know Jesus or who is having a Spiritual struggle. Over dinner, share the Gospel or find out how you can mentor them in the faith.

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

Recreation
Do something adventurous today. For some it may be a walk around the block and for others it may be climbing a mountain. If you need help, take someone with you. Remember, this is the family of God, we are not meant to go it alone.

Pray
Spend some time in quiet prayer and ask God to help you write a list of things that you are doing for Him. Read over the list and ask Him to show you which of these things He wants you to keep doing and which He would like you to stop. Ask Him if there are any new things He wants you to add to your list.

Snacks
Did you have enough fruits and vegetables today? If not, have one for a snack.

World Prayer
Pray for churches that do not have enough workers.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, rest in God’s grace for another day. Thank Him for sleep and be excited about the plan He has for you tomorrow.

Life Lessons: 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: “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, CFO Sings, song 148

 

 

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