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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

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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.

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

Life Lesson: November 21

21 Nov

Meditate
Read Exodus 13:17-22. In Exodus 13:17b, God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

Sing
“When we walk with the Lord, in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will, he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.”

Message
Why couldn’t we make this work? The banks, the lawyers, the seller…  All we wanted was to own our own home. The house would be perfect, or so we thought. We had rented it for a time and thought that it would be good.  It had enough bedrooms and a big yard. Yes, it needed some work, but we could do that over time.

Less than a year after we had to give up the dream of owning this house, my husband was gone. I was left, in this big house with three young children. We were going to have to move.

After doing some looking, I found a nice little home, in good condition, in a wonderful neighborhood. It was within walking distance of the school, store, post office and even the ice cream place. It took only a few months and I was able to buy this home.

God did not take the Israelites through the Philistine country, though that route was shorter. He knew what was better for them and they needed to trust him. I needed to trust him when my path did not go the way I thought was best.

Blessing
Take a walk down your street and pray for your neighbors. If you do not have close neighbors, take the phone book at pray for the people whose names begin with A, B, C, etc. See how far you can get and what God has you pray differently for each letter group.

Move
Stand in a familiar room of your home. Close your eyes and turn around twice. Being very careful, but with your eyes still closed, take a couple of steps. Touch what is around you and identify it. Were you where you thought you were or were you disoriented? Allow God to remind you that even when we are uncertain of our surroundings, he is there to guide us.

Create
Begin writing a story about wandering down an unfamiliar road. Describe what the road is like and what you see. Just keep writing and see where God takes you.

Nourish
Make a casserole or pot of spaghetti. It does not have to be complicated, but make some extra. Keep out enough for yourself and ask God who you should take the rest to.

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 local park. Sit on the bench and watch the people. Who do you see? Pray for them.

Pray
Call someone who is related to you and pray for them over the phone.

Snack
Eat something that grows and is yellow.

World Prayer Broadcast
Pray for the CFO camps around the world, that they might walk in God’s plan and not their own, so that people will come to know God.

Rest
Before going to sleep, go outside and look up at the sky. Reach your hands up as high as you can, standing on your toes, like you are trying to reach God. Say (out loud), “Oh God, I love you. Thank you for all you are.”

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Lyrics Credit: From “Trust and Obey” © 2007 Hear the Music Productions Jon Buller | Kevin Aichele | Nolan Balzer | Olaf Pyttlik. CCLI#283314

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

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