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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: February 12

12 Feb

Pray With MeFor those who are seeking direction in their lives–give them Godly discernment.

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: February 11

11 Feb

Pray With MeFor dialogue and understanding among people of different faith traditions.

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Life Lesson: February 10

10 Feb

There is no question about the greatness of God. The question is, “How do you see God?”

Meditate

Read Job 38. Meditate on the greatness of God.

Sing
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
So often we make light of who God is. Have you ever said something like, “The Man Upstairs”, “Oh My God” (as an expletive), “Boy, are we lucky”, or “God forbid”? At times, we treat God like Grandpa or Santa. We do not come to worship prepared and excited to meet our God and Maker. We see these attitudes about God in society and it is sad to think that we treat Him in this way. We hold God responsible for tragedies such as school shootings and terrorist attacks, but will not allow God in our schools or court rooms. We blame him for a child with cancer, yet abortion is legal. We cry out to him over wars and death and we make laws that forbid our military men and women to pray in the name of Jesus.

Job and his friends spent 35 chapters arguing over what they thought they knew about God and finally God set them straight. “Brace yourself like a man”, he told Job. Job’s only response was, “I will put my hand over my mouth.” All through the Old Testament, God refers to himself as, “The Lord Your God.” This is like my Mother saying, “Because I am the Mother, that’s why!” Isaiah declared the end of himself when he saw God and John fell over as dead. We cannot stand against the greatness of God. We should be silenced against God’s beauty and might.

There is no question about the greatness of God. The question is, “How do you see God?” How do you live, speak, and think, knowing that God sees, hears, and knows all? Do we live a life reflecting the question: “Who does God think he is?” or do we live a life that reflects that we really know who God is?

Blessing
Buy a small plant and take it to a young mother.

Move
Make up motions as you sing: This is My Father’s World
Verse 1
This is my Father’s world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and round me rings
The music of the spheres
This is my Father’s world
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought

Verse 2
This is my Father’s world
The birds their carols raise
The morning light the lily white
Declare their Maker’s praise
This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass
He speaks to me everywhere

Verse 3
This is my Father’s world
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the Ruler yet
This is my Father’s world
The battle is not done
Jesus who died shall be satisfied
And earth and heaven be one

Create
Get out your crayons and paper today. Draw a picture and let God speak to you about it.

Nourish
Eat something that God made. Just the way he made it. Do not cook it or change it.

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 some pictures of the world around you. Get some pictures of grand sights and get some of very tiny ones.

Pray
Worship today. If it is hard for you to just worship for a period of time, set the timer for 10, 15 or 30 minutes and just worship. Sing, pray, read a psalm, but do not ask God for anything. Just Praise the Lord!

Snacks
Eat a pomegranate and be amazed at what God created.

World Prayer
Go out and clean up some of God’s creation. Pick up some trash or find another need.

Sleep
As you go to sleep tonight: thank God that in his creation, he included 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
“How Great Thou Art” CCLI # 283314,CCLI Song # 14181, Stuart Wesley Keene Hine, © 1949. 1953 Stuart Hine Trust. Administration: U.S.A. All rights by EMI CMG, except print rights administered by Hope Publishing. North, Central And South America by Manna Music. Rest of world – Kingsway Communications.

“This is My Father’s World” CCLI # 228314, CCLI Song # 84733, Franklin Lawrence Sheppard | Maltbie Davenport Babcock, Public Domain

Pray With Me: February 9

9 Feb

Pray With MeFor immigrants and refugees.

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: February 8

8 Feb

For missing children-reunite them with their parents.

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: February 7

7 Feb

For those who are grief stricken and broken hearted.

Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: February 6

6 Feb

Pray With MeGuide our country to zealously promote respect among men and women of every race, creed and color.

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: February 5

5 Feb

Pray With MeGive hope, healing and a cure to people with breast cancer.

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Pray With Me: February 4

4 Feb

Pray With MeFor freedom and healing of those enslaved by addictions.

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Life Lesson: Feb 3

3 Feb

Meditate

Read John 6. Meditate on the word “Bread” and how Jesus is the Bread of Life.

Sing
Chorus
Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord.
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul,
Bread of heaven feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

Vrs 1 – Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy,
And then I heard my Savior speaking
Draw from My well that never shall run dry.

Vrs 2 –There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasures earthly things afford,
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

Vrs 3 –So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray.

Message
Bread is a staple. It is the foundation of our food pyramid and every person around the world understands bread. The Scriptures are full of references to bread: 1) The feat of unleavened bread, manna in the wilderness, 2) The bread of the Presence, 3) Temptation to turn stones into bread, 4) Feeding of the thousands with only a little bread, Give us this day our daily bread.

In John 6, Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. The people search until they find him and he lets them know that they did not come after him because of the miracles, but because they wanted more food. Jesus told them that he is the Bread of Life and the Living Bread. Once you eat of the living bread, you will never go hungry again.

The people were confused, as they talked about Moses providing manna in the wilderness for their forefathers. 1) Manna was not given by Moses, it was given by God and Jesus did not come from man, he was sent by the Father. 2) Manna was temporary relief, but Jesus’ filling is eternal. 3) Manna was for the body, but Jesus fills the soul. 4) Manna was for Israel, but Jesus is for the world.

The people were worried about their physical needs and yet Jesus was concerned about their spiritual needs. Do we seek after Jesus for our physical needs or do we look to him for eternal substance? Do we understand that our eternal life is more critical than our earthly comforts?

Blessing
Bake a loaf of bread (buy one if you can not bake one) and ask God who you should give it to. Attach a note that says, “The Bread of Life (Jesus) wants to sustain you forever!”

Move
Do this a couple of times, stretching a little more each time. Never go farther than is comfortable.
Praise God (reach high overhead)
From whom all blessings flow  (reach arms out to the sides)
Praise Him all creatures here below (reach to the ground)
Praise Him above ye heavenly host (slowly come up)
Praise Father (reach overhead)
Son (bend to right) and Holy Ghost (bend to left)
Amen (right hand sweep, left hand sweep, bend at waist)

Create
Consider the word bread and ask God for five new words that begins with each of the letters in the word bread. Now create a prayer using these five words.

Nourish
Have some whole grain today and be thankful for God’s goods gifts of bread.

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 a walk with some intensity. This will be different for everyone. Walk around the block as quickly as you can, walk up and down a set of stairs once or twice, walk from the kitchen to the sofa three times. If you can do it again, go for it!

Pray
Call the coordinator of a food pantry or homeless shelter, ask what their needs are. They can be personal or business. Offer to pray while on the phone and let them know you will continue to pray.

Snacks
Go without a snack tonight and send a $2 donation to a food pantry.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are hungry. Those who have no bread to eat. Go online and pray for Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com/) children by name.

Sleep
Before going to sleep, thank God for His provision in your life and thank Him for being your bread of life.

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 CREDITS:
CCLI Song # 15946, Richard Blanchard, © 1959 Richard Blanchard. Assigned 1964 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.), CCLI License # 283314, CCLI Song # 56204, Louis Bourgeois | Thomas Ken, Public Domain

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