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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: March 26

26 Mar

Pray With MeFor those without adequate health care or insurance.

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: March 25

25 Mar

Pray With MeFor the poor, the imprisoned, the vulnerable, the least– those who have no voice.

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: March 24

24 Mar

To be chosen and to be obedient. We desire one and we find it easy to shrink from the other. Yet, God’s best for us is when we say ‘yes’ to both.

Meditate: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Sing Rise Up O Men of God
Verse 1
Rise up O men of God
Have done with lesser things
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of kings

Verse 2
Rise up O men of God
His kingdom tarries long
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong

Verse 3

Rise up O men of God
The church for you doth wait
Her strength unequal to her task
Rise up and make her great

Verse 4
Lift high the cross of Christ
Tread where His feet have trod
As brothers of the Son of Man
Rise up O men of God

Message
Have you ever received a call from a person who asked you to do something and you had a “perfectly good” excuse why you could not do it? Maybe you had several good excuses. Maybe it would have saved a great deal of time to just say, “No, I do not want to do that.” I have to admit that I have made excuses rather than just admitting that I did not want to do something.

I have also made excuses to God: “It is too cold”, “I am too tired”, “I am afraid of being laughed at or thought a fool”, “I do not have enough money”, “I do not have enough time”, “I cannot talk in front of people”, or “I do not have those abilities”. Maybe I forget that God created me and he knows exactly who I am. There is never a need to remind him or fill him in on the details that he may have forgotten.

Jeremiah let God know that he was simply too young to do what God was asking him to do. The ironic thing is that God had just got done saying, “I formed you in your Mother’s womb.” God knew exactly how old Jeremiah was. There was no need to remind him.

Moses also made excuses. He made so many excuses that God got angry.

It seems to me that Jesus had the most valid excuses, since he (unlike the rest of us) knew exactly what was going to happen. For Jesus, the purposes of God and his love for us trumped any excuse that could possibly have been made.

What is God asking of you today? Are you to speak to someone, call or visit someone, serve in some way, take a class, forgive someone, start a new ministry, give something away or something is it else? You know! Now what is your excuse?

Blessing
Send a note to someone thanking them for being obedient to God’s call. Let them know how their obedience touched your life.

Move
Get out and walk. If you see someone during your walk, ask God if you are supposed to bless them in some way.

Create
Write down what you feel God is telling you to do. Write down your excuses. Think of the attributes of God that negate your excuses.

Nourish
Make sure that you eat breakfast! This is the most important meal of the day!

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 to a nursing home and take some (you only need a few) carnations. Without saying anything, pass them out to the staff and clients. Offer the people you meet a flower and a smile.

Pray
Pray for those who feel hopeless because they have told God, “No!” for too long. Pray that God will give them a fresh mission. Pray that you will not find yourself there someday.

Snacks
Treat yourself to a small ice cream cone and buy one for a friend.

World Prayer
Go on-line and search for a site that offers mission trips for youth. Look at the pictures and pray for the young people who are answering God’s call. Pray that the hearts of the people they serve will be changed. Pray also that the hearts of each young person would be changed.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, thank God for all of the obedient people who have led you to Christ.

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:
“Rise Up O Men of God”, William H Walter, 1894. Used by permission, CFO Sings, Page 220

Pray With Me: March 23

23 Mar

Pray With MeFor those hungering to return to God and church.

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: March 22

22 Mar

Pray With MeFor those caught in the snare of human trafficking.  For those fighting to stop human trafficking.

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: March 21

21 Mar

Pray With MeGod of love, You will not spurn the broken and humbled heart. Transform our hearts.  Help us to reach out in love to the broken hearted.

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: March 20

20 Mar

Pray With MeGod of Life, with the coming of spring renew our hearts in love, and grant favorable weather for the planting of crops.

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: March 19

19 Mar

Pray With MeFor parents dealing with difficult children–grant them compassion and gentleness even in the midst of trial.

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: March 18

18 Mar

Pray With MeGod of justice, You execute justice for widows and orphans: come to the aid of those who have no family to help them. And show us how we can help.

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: March 17

17 Mar

Pray With MeFor families–strengthen the bonds of love.

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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