Gallery

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: March 20

20 Mar

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

Life Lesson: March 13

13 Mar

Meditate
Exodus 14:8. The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.

Sing
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He is trampling our the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He hath loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword.
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.”

Message
When given the choice between fight or flight, the latter usual goes first. I do not intend to start out that way, as a matter of fact, I do not even think about it. The reality is that the moment I am asked to do something hard, I cower. I can make up excuses so fast you would never believe I even had time to process the request.   Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can approach the throne of grace with boldness. If we can be bold before God…. You know, the God who wiped out the entire Egyptian army in one wave of His hand? If we can boldly approach Him, what makes us cower in the face of difficulties? Do we really think that money problems, difficult people, loss of work or pain can do more than the Great King of Kings whom we will spend eternity with?

Perspective. It is all about perspective. Once we realize that God is for us, we can begin to grasp that no one can be against us. The Israelites marched out boldly, we can do the same.

Blessing
Text or e-mail today’s song lyrics and scripture to someone whom God lays on your heart.

Move
Make up movements as you sing this song or repeat the words:
“We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching, marching, we are marching,

Oh, we are marching in the light of God.
We are marching, marching, we are marching,
Oh, we are marching in the light of God.”

Create
Look at the words, Marching Out Boldly, and do an acrostic of the names or characters of God, which are greater than our troubles.

Nourish
Check the calories and portion sizes of your meals today. Are you eating a healthy and reasonable amount? Are you drinking enough water?

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
March around your home and claim that space for God and His work.

Pray
Pray for the leaders of your church; anyone in authority or leadership. Do not forget the maintenance and cleaning personnel.

Snacks
Have some green tea tonight. Hot or cold. Add some fresh lemon.

World Prayer
Pray for the president and those in our Federal Government.

Sleep
Once you are in bed, tighten and relax each part of your body, from your scalp to your toes. Remember your fingers, abdomen and your face.

————————-
LYRIC CREDITS:

Life Lesson: March 6

6 Mar

Are you living with fear? Has your situation become bigger than you can handle?

Meditate

Read Jonah 2

Sing
Not a Spirit of Fear

The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear
but of love and of power and a sound mind.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
Which was also in Christ Jesus.
Which was also in Christ Jesus.

The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear
but of love and of power and a sound mind.
There is no fear in love.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Perfect love casts out fear.

The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear
but of love and of power and a sound mind.

Message
Jonah had reason to fear. He had run away from God. He willfully disobeyed God. Now he finds himself in a dark, damp and cold place. He was alone and had no idea what would come next. Instead of giving over to fear, he called out to the one who knows him best and loved him anyway. There was a time in my life when I found myself alone and afraid. I remember sitting in the corner crying in hopelessness. My husband was gone and my kids needed me. I was facing an unknown future and I could not imagine how I would survive. It was like a light-bulb coming on when I remembered that God was bigger than this and that he was not surprised by my situation. He was not only ready for it, he had prepared me for this very moment. I began singing an old CFO song called “I Will Not Be Afraid” and God turned my fear turned into strength by His love. Sometimes, we try to get through difficult situations on our own and sometimes we find it easier to remain in difficulty rather than doing a hard thing and making life better. We do this because we hang on to pride, fear, stubbornness, control, comfort of the familiar, and many other “reasons”. These reasons for not crying out to God become idols and we hang on as if they can give us life. Jonah recognized the result of hanging on to these idols: “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them (Jonah 2:8).” Let go and let God have his way in your life. Let go of fear, pride, control, and any other seaweed that is holding us in the belly of the fish.

Blessing
Is there someone you know who is afraid? Send them this message as an encouragement. Offer to pray for them in their situation.

Move
March around while proclaiming: “I will not be afraid! I will not be afraid! I will look upward and travel onward, and I’m not afraid!” Get your heart rate up because of conviction instead of fear. (Use the other verses on pg 101 of CFO Sings if you have it available.)

Create
Get a piece of paper and a writing utensil. Ask God to help you make a list of what makes you afraid. Pray for God’s love to be a greater force in your life than those fears and then destroy the list.

Nourish
Make sure you are praying before each 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
Go to the store and buy a flower. Just a simple carnation would do. Take the flower to someone who might be feeling alone and afraid. Spend a few minutes visiting with them.

Pray
Pray Jonah’s prayer a couple of times and then quietly listen to God. Journal what you hear.

Snacks
Skip your snack tonight and remember those who do not have enough to eat.

World Prayer
Pray for those who live in fear and do not know the love of God.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, be thankful that God has you in the palm of his hand.

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:
Not a Spirit of Fear, Ordelphia Nelson, CFO Sings, pg 308

Life Lesson: February 27

27 Feb

Meditate: John 15:1-17

Sing: What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Verse 1
What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry, Ev’rything to God in prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear!
All because we do not carry, Ev’rything to God in prayer.

Verse 2
Have we trials and temptations, Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrow share?
Jesus knows our ev’ry weakness. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Verse 3
Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior still our refuge! Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise forsake you

Take it to the Lord in prayer

In His arms He’ll take and shield you

You will find a solace there

Message
            I have had many friends in life. Some friends stick together through life, but many float in and out as life changes. One of my most beloved friends has passed away and after several years, she is still missed. Sadly, I have hurt some of my friends and some of my friends have hurt me. It seems that no matter how much you love your friends it is never a perfect relationship. Friends disagree, they drift away, and they die.

In John, Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” The good news of this passage is that if Jesus is our friend, he will never drift away or leave us. An important word in this passage is the little word “If.” This is not a one sided relationship. We need to do our part. Our part of this relationship is obedience. Although this sounds hard, Jesus lets us know that to be obedient means that we love one another. That should be easy. All we have to do is love. Just as Jesus laid down his life for us, we are to lay down our lives for others.

Jesus calls us to abide in him so that we will produce fruit. To abide means that we obey. To obey means that we are called friends! What would life look like if we were obedient and fully lived in Jesus? What would life look like if we put every other person first? Think of the fruit that we would produce!

Blessing

Ask God who needs a friend today and write them a note from Jesus. Let them know that Jesus calls them friend, but only sign Jesus’ name.

Move

Nobody is looking.  Sing “I am a friend of God” and dance!

Verse

Who am I that You are mindful of me
That You hear me when I call
Is it true that You are thinking of me
How You love me, It’s amazing.

Chorus

I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me friend

Bridge

God Almighty, Lord of glory, You have called me friend

Create
Write a list of attributes of a friend. Consider how God has shown you that he is your friend. Consider also how you have (or have not) shown that you are God’s friend.

Nourish
Be a friend and share your meal with someone who may otherwise eat alone today.

 

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 or remember a joke that makes you laugh. Go for a walk or ride with someone and share the joke. Laugh together.

Pray
That you would be a friend to those around you. Ask God to constantly show you who needs a friend.

Snacks
Have a special treat today and share one with someone else.


World Prayer
.
Pray for the many who are feeling alone today.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, be thankful that even if you have no one else in your home, you are not alone. Feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

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.

 

_______

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, Charles Converse, CFO Sings p 169.

“I am a friend of God”, CCLI Song # 3991651, Israel Houghton | Michael Gungor, © 2003 Integrity’s Praise! Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing (IMI)), Sound Of The New Breed (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing (IMI)), Vertical Worship Songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing (IMI)), CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: February 20

20 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

Life Lesson: Feb 13

13 Feb

Meditate

Read Exodus 14:10-12. Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’

Sing
Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Though the storm, through the night,
lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

Message
If you are reading this, I think you are most likely a human being. With that in mind, I think it is fair to say that at one time or another you have said or done something that did not seem very intelligent. These Israelites spent years crying out to God for salvation. Now they are crying to be put back in Egypt. We are not much different. When things get hard, we want to give up. If you have felt this way, you are neither unusual or bad. The key is to move beyond that place.

There are days when it seems too difficult to fight temptation. There are days when it is scary to do what God wants me to do. There are days when I just want to give up and go back to my old life. It is then that I need to recognize the old life for what it was. It was a life of slavery and  a life of pain. It was a life that led to death and there was no hope.

God has a bigger plan for me, but I must take the long journey, in unknown territory to get there.

Blessing
Buy a plant or flower arrangement for your church’s altar. After the service, give it to someone who lives alone.

Move
Sing and do the motions (or make up motions) for:
“Yes, Lord, Yes!
To your will and to your way,
I say, Yes, Lord, Yes!
I will trust you and obey.
When your Spirit speaks to me,
with my whole heart I’ll agree
and my answer will be, Yes, Lord Yes!”

Create
Work with play dough. Watch as God builds something to speak to you!

Nourish
Eat something that grows and 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
Play a game with someone.

Pray
Write prayer concerns on small pieces of paper. Put them in a fire-safe can or fireplace and burn them. As the smoke rises, let God have your concerns and leave them with him.

Snacks
Make some trail mix and share with a neighbor.

World Prayer
Pray for the people in China and persons who suffer under unfair and unsafe labor practices.

Sleep
Before going to bed tonight, give someone a hug. If appropriate, make sure your hug lasts at least 10 seconds.

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.
——————————

From “Lead Me On” © 1999 Word Music, LLC | Kathie Hill Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.) | (Admin. by Word Music Group, Inc.) Kathie Hill. CCLI#283314 &  From “Trading My Sorrows” © 1998 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Darrell Evans. CCLI#283314

 

Life Lesson: Feb 6

6 Feb

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

Life Lesson: January 30

30 Jan

Meditate

Read Matthew 5 : 1-12. Think about what it means to bless and be blessed.

Sing
Vs 1 Blest be the tie that binds /  Our hearts in Christian love / The fellowship of kindred minds / Is like to that above
Vs 2 Before our Father’s throne /  We pour our ardent prayers /  Our fears our hopes /  Our aims are one / Our comforts and our cares
Vs 3 We share our mutual woes /  Our mutual burdens bear /  And often for each other flows / The sympathizing tear
Vs 4 When we asunder part /  It gives us inward pain /  But we shall still / Be joined in heart / And hope to meet again

Message
Recently, after reading the Beatitudes, I saw what Jesus meant about what blessing is and who is blessed.  Those who are poor in spirit are blessed because they will inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven is the blessing. God blesses those who mourn, because He comforts them. Comfort is the blessing. The blessing of the meek is that they will inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are blessed, because God fills them with righteousness. He blesses the merciful by being merciful to them. The pure in heart are blessed in that they will see God. God blesses peacemakers because they are called His sons. And finally, those who are persecuted because they are righteous or because they belong to Jesus are blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. These are the blessings.

I realize that when I ask God to bless someone, I am not asking for that person’s healing or prosperity. I am asking for that person to be transformed into the kind of person God blesses.  Then, the blessing is automatic.

Blessing
Adapt this prayer for someone in your family, for one of your friends or for one of your acquaintances:
“ Heavenly Father, may (my daughter, my friend) be merciful because You are showing them mercy. May (my friend) have a pure heart so they can see You in their life today.”

Move
Take a walk around your block and pray God’s blessings on each house.

Create
Think about a time when you felt lonely. Can you recognize others who are lonely? Have you had a time to be a friend to someone else who was lonely? How might you pray for them? Write your prayer/blessing.

Nourish
Eat a raw fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before. Buy an extra and share it with a neighbor.

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
Visit a museum.

Pray
Find the clergy listing in the phone book. Pray for all clergy in your phone book, asking God to bless them (transform them). Concentrate on the person you are praying for, not the theological differences you may have.

Snacks
Have a healthy alternative to ice cream sandwiches. Use low-fat whipped cream between two chocolate graham crackers. Freeze until cream is set.

World Prayer
Before you go to sleep, pray for those who are being persecuted for being Christians. Thank God, that He has given them the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sleep
Before falling asleep, jot down as many blessings as you can think of. Count your blessings.

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.  

_______

CREDITS:
Message: M. Dobra, excerpts from FM Fall 2010, pg. 18
Lyrics: John Fawcett, 1782, Public Domain

Life Lesson: January 23

23 Jan

Meditate

Read Matthew 6: 5-15 and Luke 11:2-4 Let God speak to your heart about His Will being done on earth.

Sing
Vs 1 Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth. The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony

Vs 2 Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev’ry step I take, let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Message
We so often speed through the Lord’s prayer without much consideration of the words. I am not sure how fast Jesus said these words, but I am certain he meant every word.

Notice that before anything else, Jesus praises the Father. This is not a matter of flattery, but a matter of fact. God is Father and God is Holy. Praising God first, puts us in the right frame of mind to seek God and His will in our life and in asking for our needs to be met.

Secondly, Jesus lifts his requests. He asks for substance, forgiveness, and righteousness. He is not looking ahead, but just considering today’s needs. He is not just concerned about just the physical needs, but takes into account, body, mind and soul.  God’s goodness does not have to be gathered in great amount, but He will provide for us each day. We can depend on him one day at a time. Jesus gave us this prayer as a model. It would do us well to use it each day and consider what we are asking for.

Blessing
Pray and ask God to place someone on your mind. Send them the card you will make in creatives.

Move
Pray the Lord’s Prayer with actions:
Our Father in heaven, (look up, and begin to reach up with both arms)
May Your name be honored.  (bow your head)
May Your Kingdom come soon. (bring one hand down, close to your body)
May your will be done here on earth (bring the other hand down and swing low, brushing hand over the ground)
Just as it is in Heaven. (swing arms back toward the sky & wave hands back and forth like tree branches)
Give us our food for today, (bring your arms down, with palms up)
And forgive us our sins (cross arms across your chest)
Just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. (put palms together)
And don’t let us yield to temptation, (push hands down and across body, left to right)
But deliver us from the evil one. (cross wrists, then break away, as if chains have been broken)
(make up your own movements for the last three lines)
For Yours is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.

Create
Open your Bible to the Psalms and read the first one you find. Read it two or three times. Pick the verse or verses that strike you and write them on a card. Make two copies. One to memorize this week and one to send to a person that God will show you.

Nourish
Stick with fruits and vegetables today. Drink an extra three glasses of water.

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
Visit the local animal shelter today.

Pray
Make a list of your local, state and federal leaders. Pray for them. Send them a note of encouragement.

Snacks
Find a style of cheese you have never eaten and try it. Share it with a friend.

World Prayer
Pray for those who do not know Jesus. Ask God if there is anyone He wants you to pray specifically for and if there is anyone you should speak to and share the Good News.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, say The Lord’s Prayer. Say it over and over until you drift off.

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.

_______
LYRIC CREDIT:

CCLI Song # 93690. Jill Jackson | Sy Miller. © 1955. Renewed 1983 Jan – Lee Music, CCLI License # 283314T

Life Lesson: January 16

16 Jan

Meditate
Read Psalm 20:1-9. Think about the fact that when you call out to God, He answers you.

Sing: Blessed Be Your Name
Blessed be your name
in the land that is plentiful,
where your streams of abundance flow.
Blessed Be your name.
And blessed be your name
when I’m found in the desert place
though I walk through the wilderness.
Blessed be your name.
Chorus:
Every blessing you pour out I’ll turn back to praise
and when the darkness closes in Lord still I will say,
blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be Your Glorious name.”

Message
It was 3:30 am and I had not slept. The previous day was like no other that I ever experienced prior or wanted to experience again. About 20 hours ago, my best friend and the grandmother of my children died. She had struggled with cancer for quite some time and I knew she was tired. It was a blessing and I knew that she was with God, but that did not take away the ache in my heart. I felt a weight in my soul that I could not explain, and a cry in my heart that could not make it out.

As I sat in the dim light of the kitchen, the rest of the house asleep, I opened her Bible to the Psalms (she loved the Psalms). The first thing that I read was, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress”. Distress. I was in distress.

I continued to read and although my pain did not cease, I found hope for tomorrow in these words: “The name of the God of Jacob will protect me”, “He will send me help from the sanctuary”, “He will give me the desires of my heart”, “I will be victorious”, “The Lord saves his anointed”, “I will rise up and stand firm”, “God will answer me when I call.”

Blessing
Others Ask God to tell you who you are to bless today. What does he want to say to this person through you? Make sure you go and tell them. Do not keep this to yourself.

Move
Stand up, stretch as high as you can and say (out loud), “Praise you, Father God.” Reach down and touch the floor (carefully go as low as you can) and say, “Praise you, Jesus the Christ.” Reach your arms out to the side, stretching your hands out as far as possible and say, “Praise you, Holy Spirit.” Do this three times, each time emphasizing a different person of God.

Create
Take five minutes and think again about God hearing you when in distress. Write a note to yourself from God in response to your concern about a distressful situation.

Nourish
Think about what you have eaten in the past 24 hours. Have you had something fresh and green from God’s garden?

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, even if it is five minutes, around your home or office.

Pray
Ask God who he wants you to pray for. Make a phone call and let that person know that God wants you to pray for them and do it. Do it on the phone right then. If you get voice mail, leave the prayer.

Snack
Have a snack, but keep it healthy and remember that a snack is a small amount of food. Also remember that a snack is best shared in fellowship. If you can combine your snack with your prayer group time, that would be great.

World Prayer
Let God tell you what people group to pray for. Take some time to pray for those who have lost loved ones.

Sleep
Be honest. Did you get enough sleep last night? If not, go to bed a little earlier tonight. Even if it is 10 minutes. If you watch TV before bed, turn it off and try praying instead. If you have had enough sleep, take time to thank God for good sleep.

From morning until night, we are to worship and commune with God. Start your day in His Word and throughout the day weave in these elements of time with him.

—————————
Lyrics Credit: From “Blessed Be Your Name” © 2002 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) Beth Redman | Matt Redman. CCLI#283314

%d bloggers like this: