Archive | January, 2017

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

Life Lesson: January 9

9 Jan

Meditate: Read Exodus 14:1-3.

‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are our ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

Sing
My life is in you Lord.
My strength is in you Lord.
My hope is in you Lord.
In you, it’s in you!
I will praise you with all of my life.
I will praise you with all of my strength.
With all of my life, with all of my strength, all of my hope is in you.

Message
God, what are you doing? Turn back? Camp here? Did the Israelites question God’s directions? Did they understand what he was doing?   We needed to leave for my daughter’s ball game and that’s when I cut my hand. It was clear that I would need stitches. We went to the hospital and minutes turned into hours. What was taking so long? We needed to get to Erin’s game. Finally we were done, but it was too late for the game and we just headed home. I was disappointed and did not understand why God did not answer my prayers to get us to the game. When we arrived home the reasons were clear. The game had been canceled due to rain. Rain we were not getting at the hospital or at home. God was actually watching out for us and save us a 90 mile round trip to a canceled game.

When will I learn that God knows best?

Blessing
Randomly give away the 3×5 cards you will write today (see Pray section). Leave them for a waitress or give them to the cab driver. Leave one for your mailman.

Move 

My Lord know the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. Strength for today is mine always. My Lord know the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow.

Create
Plant a flower, bush or tree.

Nourish
Eat something with whole grains 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
Sit on your porch with a song book. See how far you can get, singing through it. Start at the back of the book this time.

Pray
Write out prayers of blessing on 3×5 cards. Write what God lays on your heart. You do not know who these are for.

Snack
Each a fresh vegetable you have never eaten before.

World Prayer
Pray for the Jewish people of the world who do not yet know Jesus as the Messiah.

Sleep
Go to bed an extra 15 minutes early, if you have been feeling tired.

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:
From “My Life is in You Lord” © 1986 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Daniel Gardner. CCLI#283314

Life Lesson: January 2

2 Jan

Meditate
Read Hebrews 11:1-40.
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… – Hebrews 12:1a

Sing
“Faith of our fathers living still,
in spite of dungeon, fire and sword.
O how our hearts beat high with joy
whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.”

Message
I just turned 40. That is not very old, but I can’t help wonder what will people remember when my time is done here.  Will I be counted in the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” that encourages others not to lose heart? Will people remember me and say, “Look what God did in her life and look what He can do for me”?

If I want to be remembered for what God did in my life, then I must live a life that reflects God. If I am easily angered, unforgiving or impatient, that is what people will remember. If I am a worrier instead of a pray-er, God will not be glorified.

Hebrews 11 gives us a list of people who were not perfect, but devoted themselves to obedience and service to God. As a result, we remember them thousands of years later and know that what God did for them, He can do for us.

If we step out in faith, God will bless us. We can choose to share the story or keep it to ourselves. We can choose to give the glory to God or keep it for ourselves. Hopefully, God is revealed through our lives.

Blessing
Pray for the people of the place you found today during Creatives.

Move
Do the Hokey Pokey, but put your burdens in and take your blessings out. Put your burdens in and give the Lord a shout! Give Your life to Jesus and he’ll turn your life about. That’s what it’s all about. Make up other negatives to “put in” and positives to “take out”.

Create
Take a globe and spin it. Let your finger land on it and see where you are. Look that place up on the Internet and find out more about it. Who are their leaders? What are their needs? Check out Google Earth®  to get a better look at it. See if there are children from this place in Compassion ® International.

Nourish
Include something from another culture.

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.

Prayer
Go to your church and either inside or out, walk around and pray for the people of the church. Remember to be thankful for those who have gone on before and ask God for his will in the future.

Snack
Eat raw vegetables.

World Prayer
Pray for students around the country who are struggling to see God in a world that is so unfriendly to God and Christians.

Sleep
Before falling asleep, thank God for someone in your past who was an inspiration to you and your walk with 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:
From “Faith of our Fathers” © 2004 Hearts to God Music, Inc. Don Chapman | Frederick William Faber | Henry Frederick Hemy. CCLI#283314 &  Google Earth® can be found at www.googleearth.com  &  Compassion® International can be found at http://www.compassion.com

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