Archive | February, 2017

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

%d bloggers like this: