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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

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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 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

Pray With Me: December 24

24 Dec

Pray With MeFor blessing upon all people.  May God bless us by the light of Christ’s coming and enrich our lives with every grace.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families. Begin your journey with an open heart. Unpack the heavenly box of prayer  for others and discover the priceless

Life Lesson: November 14

14 Nov

Meditate
Read Exodus 15:22-27. “I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

Sing
“I am the God that healeth thee. I am the Lord, your healer. I sent my word and healed your disease. I am the Lord your healer.”

Message
Several years ago, when my daughter was about 5 years old, she was playing on the play ground with her friends. One moment she was happy and the next, she had fallen from the monkey bars, right on her nose. In fear and pain, she came running to me for help. I was certain there was nothing I could do for her little nose and so I sat on the floor, held her in my arms and rocked her gently, as she held a cold compress to her face.

As I rocked and quietly prayed, a song came to mind. The song is based on Exodus 15:26 and says, “I am the God that healeth thee. I am the Lord your healer.”  Over and over I sang these words until she felt better. When I looked at her, the swelling and bruising went down and she ran off to play.

It was 2 years or so later that I took her to an ears, nose, and throat doctor because she was having difficulty with her adenoids and tonsils. The first thing the doctor asked when she looked at her nose was, “When did she break her nose?” Since that day my daughter would tell people, “God heals me, even when I do not know I am broken”.

Blessing
Send a card a shut in. Write out a prayer and include it in the card.

Move
Stand up and relax your body. Start with your head and let your chin drop to your chest. Carefully lift it back up. Tense your arms and then relax. Tense your stomach muscles and then relax. Do the same with your thighs, legs and toes. Notice each part of your body tensing and the relaxing. As your muscles relax, allow God to minister healing and health to your body.

Create
Take a small piece of paper and begin to doodle. You remember, when you were younger and bored, you would make lines, boxes and interconnecting circles. When you feel finished, take a look at it. Look closely. Do not concern yourself with what you see, notice what does God wants you to see.

Nourish
Eat some fresh fruit today and be thankful for the great variety that God has provided.

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
Get out and ride a bike today. If you do not have one and can not borrow one, at least take a walk.

Pray
Contact your Pastor and spouse and see what you can pray about for them. Do it with them if possible.

Snack
Make a smoothie tonight, using fresh or frozen strawberries. God’s food it so good.

World Prayer Broadcast
Pray for the people of Africa and the spread of HIV/Aids.

Rest
As you go to sleep tonight, ask God to be with you in your dreams. Ask him to speak to you in your dreams.

———————
Lyrics Credit: From “I Am the Lord That Healeth Thee” © 1986 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Don Moen. CCLI#283314

Life Lesson: August 1

31 Jul

Meditate
Read Mark 1:9-13.
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Meditate on the words of God to Jesus, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Sing
Chorus 1
Step into the water
Wade out a little bit deeper
Wet your feet in the water of His love
Step into the water
Wade out a little bit deeper
Come join angels singing praises
To the Lamb of God

Verse 1
It is time we the people
Stand up for what is right
It is time we squared our shoulders back
Raised our swords to fight
For the Bible is our weapon
And the Spirit is our shield
The church needs more of its members
To be workers in the field

Verse 2
There is vict’ry for the Christian
Who walks the narrow way
There has been a prize appointed
For the soul who does not stray
Oh I want to live for Jesus
Be all that I should be
So that I can rest with Him
Forever live eternally

Message
My parents often tell me how proud they are of me and it makes me feel good. One day in particular, my Mother told me that she would be at an upcoming worship service because she “loves it when I lead worship”. Following that service, she introduced me to a couple of her friends and with a smile on her face and an arm around my waist said, “This is my daughter!” My Mother’s comments that day made me feel special. They also gave me a new sense of purpose. I wanted to continue to make my Mother proud. Oh, I have failed and I will fail again, but I know my Mother is still proud and I desire to keep on trying and working to improve.

God, by way of the dove, put his hand around Jesus’ waist and said, “This is my son!” and “I love who you are and what you do.” What strength that must have given Jesus as he entered the wilderness.

Have you been baptized? Have you experienced God’s hand around your waist and his smile as he says, “You are my child and I love you. With you I am well pleased.” Hold on to this as you press through life and strive to do what you are called to do. Take God’s love as your strength.

Blessing
There is someone whom you have influence over. It may be a child, parent, sibling, fellow-worker, or someone else. Contact them and let them know what you like about them. E-mail or letter is OK, but verbally would be best. If you can do it face to face, even better!

Move
Step into the water (take a shy and tentative step forward)
Wade out a little bit deeper (take another step with a little more confidence)
Wet your feet in the water of His love (wiggle your toes in the water)
Step into the water (take a step with full confidence)
Wade out a little bit deeper (take a giant step forward)
Come join angels singing praises (bathe in the water)
To the Lamb of God (raise hands and stretch in the air)

Create
Take five 3×5 cards. Ask God what encouraging message to write on each one. Put them upside down on the table. Ask God to bring a person to mind and then pick a card. Send that card to the person.

Nourish
Drink extra water today. As you drink the water, remember your baptism and be thankful.

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 and enjoy some water. Find a body of water, fountain, aquarium or small fish pond. Enjoy the water by boating, swimming, just watching it. Other options might be to look at pictures of water or soak in the tub. Enjoy the experience of God’s creation of water.

Pray
If there are areas of your life that you know are not pleasing to God, write them down on a piece of paper. Confess each area as sin and repent. Claim God’s forgiveness and his strength to stand against the enemy in these areas. Burn the paper in a safe place.

Snacks
Make jello (sugar free). It’s fun!

World Prayer
Pray for all of the coastal regions of the world.

Sleep
As you go to sleep tonight, pray that your rest will be totally refreshing.

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:
CCLI # 283314, CCLI Song # 44429, Kirk L. Talley, © 1981 Homeward Bound Music. 1984 Assigned To Kirk Talley Music (Admin. by Integrated Copyright Group, Inc.)

Life Lesson: July 24

24 Jul

Meditate
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  “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.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:5-15). Spend time in quiet prayer. Pray for specific needs. Insert yourself in the Lord’s Prayer. As people come into your mind, insert their name into the prayer.
Sing
Father, I Adore You

Father, I adore you, Lay my life before you. How I love you!

Jesus, I adore you, Lay my life before you. How I love you!

Spirit, I adore you, Lay my life before you. How I love you!

Message
Take time to pray. Your quiet time is your own between you and God. Keep a journal; write your prayer requests. Write down any other thoughts, activities, or actions you should take during this day. Note the difference when you say the Lord’s Prayer with yourself inserted.

“My Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, for me….etc.” How does this make you feel? Does this change your view of your relationship with God? Does this change your view of God’s love for YOU?

Blessing
Write the person that you thought of during meditation. Just write out the Lord’s Prayer and insert their name. Mail or hand deliver your note.

Move
Reach as high as you can. Reach as wide as you can. Reach as far forward as you can. Reach as far down as you can. Thank God when you stand up straight and tall.

Create
Draw a flower in your journal. Leave enough space and draw 10 more. You’ll see many flowers while walking in God’s kingdom. Some will be the flowers of heavenly personalities maybe even some of your friends. Name these flowers as people to pray for.

Nourish
Eat something healthy. Don’t skip a meal, but don’t over-do.

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 for a walk and practice staying on the correct side of the road. Keep singing the song of the day.

Pray
Ask God to walk with you through the day, and to keep your thoughts centered on Him. Imagine yourself hand in hand with Jesus, Keep reminding yourself of this image.

Snacks
Don’t “graze”. Have something healthy. Fruit or nuts – but not both. Do everything in moderation.

World Prayer
Pick a place or area in the world from the last news broadcast you saw. Pray for the people. Pray that each person in that place or area will hear of Jesus, think about what they’ve heard and accept Jesus in their hearts. Pray for committed Christians there, that they will have the courage to reach out to their neighbors.

Sleep
Be sure to get enough sleep. You should sleep one hour for every two hours you are awake. With less and less sleep any witness you may have will be less and less effective.

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:
Used with permission Father, I Adore You, Terrye Coelho, CFO Sings, pg 341

Fellowship & Snacks

19 Sep

This may be the most widely attended part of camp. I have to admit that it is one of my favorite times, but this is not just a time to eat. This is a time of fellowship. We can get to know people, share our joys and laughter, but be careful not to stay up to late or eat too much.

I was quite convicted when I saw that Webster said snacks were “a small amount of food”. I decided that a snack is not the fourth meal of the day and I need to make some changes. Webster also said that Fellowship is the quality or state of being brothers, association in alliance or partnership. I think this fits Kingdom living quite well.

Scripture tells us in Acts 2:42, that “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship.”, Psalm 133:1, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.”, Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”, 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

We must spend time with each other in fun and fellowship to encourage one another and to keep us accountable. To live our lives in secret and privacy, can lead to temptation and depression. Kingdom living requires the kingdom subjects to work as a team.

Blessing Service, World Prayer Broadcast, and Letters to God

14 Aug

Blessing Service
At CFO, time is set aside for a blessing service. Although done differently at each camp, the result is the same. This is an opportunity to pray a blessing over each other, as it is God’s desire to speak to and bless his people.

Webster says that “To bless is the act or words of one that blesses with approval or encouragement.” To bless someone leads to happiness and a sense of wellbeing, to be used by God in the blessing does the same for the giver. It is possible that God will give a word of encouragement or possibly direction at this time. Matt. 18:18 says, I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven, and Luke 6:28 exhorts us to Bless those who persecute you. We are called to bless one another and to speak blessings, not curses. We should take every opportunity to receive God’s blessing and to impart God’s blessing to everyone.

World Prayer Broadcast
The World Prayer Broadcast gives us opportunity “To cast or scatter in all directions”, “To scatter or sow over a broad area” and “To make public”, the prayers of God for His people and His world.

In Acts 1:8, it says, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Philippians 4:6-7 states, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  We must be concerned (not worry) about, pray for and seek God’s will for the world. We can not keep this to ourselves. It is our duty, our calling and our command.

Our baptism demands “going into all the world”. We are baptized into a life and ministry of servant-hood to the world. Christ defined “going into all the world”, when he showed us how to love the unlovely and touch the untouchable and care for the undeserving. Our spirit demands “going into all the world”. In view of what Christ did for us, what other response can there be? The World Prayer Broadcast is our opportunity to call on God to impart His blessing to the world and deal with world issues.

Letters to God
A letter to God should be encouraged at every camp. This is a special tool that God has given us and has blessed those who have used it over the years. Take a piece of paper and actually write a letter to God. Spend some time in prayer, asking God to respond to your letter. Turn your paper over and write God’s response. Put the letter in an envelope, seal it and address it to yourself.   These letters, written at camp, are never read by anyone else but are placed in the mail at some point in the future. You will be amazed at the timing of the letter’s arrival and the words that God has for you at that time.

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