Archive | August, 2017

Life Lesson: August 28

28 Aug

Meditate
Read Luke 11:1-13.  Also read the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13

Sing
Seek Ye First

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
And all these things shall be added unto you.
Allelu, Alleluia!

Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.
Allelu, Alleluia!

Message
I often find myself praying without much thought. At times, this is good, as it means that I am praying throughout the day. Sometimes, though, it means that I am praying without considering who I am speaking to or what he may want to say to me. It also means that I am tossing out my list of needs and wants without considering what God wants for me.
In the passage today, Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray. Of course they had prayed in the past, but today they want their prayer life refreshed and renewed. They wanted to know what was important for Jesus to pray for. If it was important for Jesus and if it was important for the disciples, it should certainly be important for us.
Jesus provided the disciples and us a wonderful pattern for our prayers. He teaches us to begin with REVERENCE for the one to whom we pray. We then acknowledge to AUTHORITY of God, by saying “God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done” instead of mine. We then pray for PROVISION of our physical, relational, and spiritual needs. We ask for our daily bread to be provided, we seek forgiveness and reconciliation, and we ask that God would help us in our spiritual journey by leading us away from temptation d evil. Lastly, we RELINQUISH all to his power and glory forever.
When considering Jesus’ teaching on prayer, we often times stop after the pattern that he provides in what we call The Lord’s Prayer. It is also good to note that Jesus emphasizes persistence in prayer, the promise of God (ask and you WILL find) in prayer, and the provider (our Father) in prayer.
Today is always a good day to seek God’s will in our lives and a good way to do this is to refresh and renew our prayer life. This can be done only by the help of the Holy Spirit and at the end of Jesus’ teaching on prayer, he concludes with this thought, ”If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask him.” A good way to begin renewing our prayer life is to ask for the Holy Spirit first.

Blessing
Ask God who you should bless today and how he wants you to bless them. Do it!

Move
Walk around your block, praying for the people in the homes around you. Pray first for the presence of the Holy Spirit and then pray using the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer.

Create
Make a list of the four prayer focus from pattern of the Lord’s Prayer. Take each one and develop it into a poem, prayer, or list of prayers that fit into that category.

Nourish
Before devouring your meals today, take some time to pray. Make your prayer time as important as your meal time. Pray before putting the food on the table. Think of the food as the “Amen!” or “dessert” of your prayer, instead of the Prayer as the “appetizer” to your 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
Spend some time doing a puzzle. Exercise your mind today. Make it even better by doing it with someone else.

Pray
Using the prayer you developed in your creative time, take as much time as you need to pray through the ideas you developed. Take some time with each one and commit to whatever time it takes. Spend time with God today.

Snacks
Do you pray before meals? Do you pray before you have a snack? Remember to be as thankful for your snack as you are your dinner.

World Prayer
Again, using the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer, pray for various areas of the world.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, recite the Lord’s Prayer.

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.

SONG CREDITS
_______
Seek Ye First, Karen Lafferty, CFO Sings, pg 107.

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Life Lesson: August 21

21 Aug

Meditate
Read Matthew 6:5-15. Read over verses 9-13: “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’ (Matthew 6:9–13).”

Sing
In the Secret

Chorus
I want to know You
I want to hear Your voice
I want to know You more
I want to touch You
I want to see Your face
I want to know You more

Verse 1
In the secret in the quiet place
In the stillness You are there
In the secret in the quiet hour
I wait only for You
‘Cause I want to know You more

Verse 2
I am reaching for the highest goal
That I might receive the prize
Pressing onward
Pushing every hindrance aside
Out of my way
‘Cause I want to know You more

Message
Two Christians were trying to outdo each other and the conversation came around to prayer. One said, “I’ll bet $20 you can’t even say the Lord’s Prayer.” The other replied, “It’s a bet.” He began, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” The first man interrupted, “OK, here’s your money. I didn’t think you could do it.”
Some things become so familiar to us that we do not really know what we are saying. There are other things that we think we know, but have not spent enough time with that we are not even aware we are wrong. The Disciples had certainly prayed before, but they wanted a fresh new way. They wanted to do it the way Jesus would do it. We should want nothing less. There are so many times that I think I know what is right and I need to be reminded the truths that Jesus taught.
Luke also records Jesus’ teaching on prayer and it is good to review what he taught. In Luke 11:1-13 Jesus gives us a pattern of prayer (vs 1-4), he tells us to be persistent in prayer (vs 5-8), he reminds us of God’s promise to us when we pray (vs 9-10) and he reminds us that God is the Father who answers our prayers (vs 11-13).
If we believe that Jesus was the best teacher on prayer, then we should be reviewing this teaching on a regular basis and our prayer life should reflect his teaching.

Blessing
Ask God who He wants you to bless and how. Take 5 minutes and be quiet. Let God show you who to bless today.

Move
Stretch out. Start by reaching high over your head while taking a deep breath. Bend over as far as comfortable and then come up slowly. Carefully stretch each leg and rotate your ankles. Continue to stretch until all of your muscles have been worked. Remember to breath and do not forget your face muscles.

Create
The pattern of the Lord’s prayer includes praise, focus on the Kingdom, prayer for provision, prayers of repentance and forgiveness, and prayers for protection and guidance. Write out your prayer, developing each section of the Lord’s Prayer.

Nourish
If you are able, skip a meal today to fast and pray. If you are not able to completely fast, go light on one meal and spend extra time in prayer.

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 that you have not played in a long time. Find someone to play with and if you do not remember all the rules, make them up as you go along.

Pray
Make a list of people to pray for. Your list may include many or just a few. Pray for each person on your list using the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer. Let God direct your prayer.

Snacks
Eat a fruit or vegetable that you have not had before.

World Prayer
Find a world map and ask the Lord to show you what area of the world to pray for today. Use the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer.

Sleep
Repeat the Lord’s prayer until you fall asleep. Say it very slowly and rest on each line. If you only get through a line or two, that is okay. You can finish it tomorrow.

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
In the Secret, CCLI Song # 1810119, Andy Park, © 1995 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.), CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: August 14

14 Aug

Meditate
Read Luke 10:1-20. Consider especially vs 1-4.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. (Luke 10:1-4)

Sing
Give the World Light
vs 1
Lord, give the world Light; let Light shine through me.
Lord, give the world Truth; let Truth speak through me.
Lord, give the world Love; let Love flow through me.
Lord, give the world Life; let Life sing through me.

vs 2
Lord, thank you for Light; let Light shine through me.
Lord, thank you for Truth; let Truth speak through me.
Lord, thank you for Love; let Love flow through me.
Lord, thank you for Life; let Life sing through me.

Message
Growing up as the daughter of a United Methodist Pastor, the word “appointment” had special meaning. It meant that wherever the Bishop sent my Father, we were to go. The Bishop appointed my Father to a specific church and there my family would move so that my Dad could take care of the needs of the church. Later in life, I found that the word “appointment” carried an even stronger meaning in my life. As the wife of a United Methodist Pastor, I knew that a new appointment meant packing all of our belongings, quitting my job, traveling to an unknown place and moving away from my friends and family. Today, the word “appointment” means that as a Certified Lay Minister, the District Superintendent can send me to a church that needs help. It is now my call to action in service to Christ’s church.

The appointment process (being sent to do ministry) is not a new concept. Luke records that, “the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” These people were sent into the surrounding towns to minister to the people and let them know that Jesus is on his way. They were to tell them that, “The Kingdom of God has come near to you.”

Is it any different today? No. We are each appointed by Jesus to let those around us know that the Kingdom of God is near. We do not have to be Pastors or Lay Ministers. We do not have to be in the United Methodist Church. We do not have to have an official title or office in our own church. If we call ourselves Christian, then we are appointed by Christ to “Go and Preach the Gospel.”

Blessing
Contact your Pastor (or several) and thank them for their work in the church. Pray a blessing over them.

Move
Walk around your church seven times and ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.

Create
Make something special and send it with a note to a person doing ministry in your area.

Nourish
As you eat today, pray for those who do not have enough to eat.

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
Do something relaxing. Read a book, do a puzzle, watch the kids in a park or find something else that you can do to rest your body today.

Pray
Ask God where he is appointing you. Spend 15 minutes in silence and then write what you hear.

Snacks
Eat something that grows on a tree.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are sensing God’s appointment to ministry in either an official capacity or volunteer.

Sleep
Rest in the knowledge that even if God’s appointment on your life is difficult, he will take care of you and all of your needs. Fall asleep in peace and thankfulness.

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:
Give the World Light, CFO Sings, page 32

Life Lesson: August 8

7 Aug

Meditate
Read 2 Kings 2:1-14 & Luke 9:51-62

Sing
Higher Ground
vs1
I’m pressing on the upward way. New heights I’m gaining everyday.
Still praying as I onward bound, “Lord plant my feet on higher ground.”

vs2
My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay.
Tho’ some may dwell where these abound, my prayer, my aim is higher ground.

vs3
I want to live above the world tho Satan’s darts at me are hurled.
For faith has caught the joyful sound: The song of saints on higher ground.

vs4
I want to scale the utmost heights and catch a gleam of glory bright,
but still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found, “Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”

Chorus
Lord, lift me up and let me stand by faith on heaven’s table land.
A higher plane than I have found. Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

Message 
Elisha was a young farmer living with his parents when he was called to be Elijah’s successor and he gave up everything (Father, Mother, business and oxen) to follow. Much time passes as Elisha is mentored and trained by Elijah and in the end, Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. The Message translates this request as, “Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you.” Elisha had walked with Elijah for a long time and wanted to be everything he had seen in Elijah.

The two Scriptures we read for meditation have some interesting similarities. Both have similar beginnings: “When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven” and “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven” Both record similar responses from the disciples to their teacher: “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you” and “I will follow you wherever you go” Lastly, both teachers explain the difficulties of what has been asked: “You have asked a difficult thing” and “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

God responded to Elisha’s request as he saw Elijah being taken up and by the symbol of his cloak being left behind. God had already responded to the disciple of Jesus in the prophet Joel when it was recorded, “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on your sons and daughters.”

Elisha could have left the cloak on the ground and walked away. Jesus’ disciple also could have walked away. Both Elijah and Jesus said it would be a hard thing. Neither disciple walked away and the impact on the world is astounding. We need to ask ourselves today:

  • Am I asking for God’s Spirit to be working in my life?
  • Am I taking what God gives me and using it well?”

In Glenn Clark’s book, “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes”, he suggests these prayers:

“I pray for…

“…your spirit to enter me and fill me completely.”
“…your kingdom to come, in earth as it is in heaven.”
“…my will to become completely and utterly your will.”
“…the right persons to come into my life at the right time and in the right way.”
“…the right ideas to come to me in perfect sequence and in perfect order, in the right time and in the right way.”
“…my deepest soul’s sincere desire to be fulfilled in the right time and in the right way.”

Blessing
Ask God who you should bless today. Write the prayer pointers from “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes” and give them to this person. Let them know that this is what you will be praying for them. Do not forget to pray!

Move
Find a staircase in a building or in your home. Walk up and down the stairs several times while considering the chorus of “Higher Ground”

Create
Draw a line on a paper that represents the mountain that you are climbing to reach the heights that God has for you. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to help you see what helps you move up the mountain, what pushes you back and what keeps you from moving at all. Draw some symbols along the mountain that represent these helps or hindrances.

Nourish
As you eat today, be aware of your calorie intake. Are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? Find out how many calories are good for you.

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 someone on an outing that cannot generally get out. This may be a child with busy parents or an older person without ability or freedom to get out. Take them to see or do something simple and then take them for an ice cream cone.

Pray
Using the prayers in the message today, spend time praying for God to pour out his Spirit into your life.

Snacks
Forget it! You had ice cream during recreation today!

World Prayer
Turn on the TV or from your newspaper, get the “headline” of the day. Pray for those involved in this situation.

Sleep
Try to get some extra sleep tonight so that you can be the best you can be for 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: 
“Higher Ground” pg 63 CFO Sings

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