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Life Lesson: Dec 5

5 Dec

Meditate
Mathew 19:13-15. “Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray.” vs 13a (NRSV)

Sing
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

Message
As a single Mother I often found myself having to do things around the house that I wasn’t real sure how to do. This particular time, the rear tail light was out on my car and I figured that I ought to be able to handle this. After going to the store and picking what I thought was the correct bulb (of course, how would one know, picking one tiny little light out of 5,863 different bulbs), I went home to fix my car.   Danny was five years old and was playing beside where I was working, occasionally coming over to supervise. I took the cover off the light, that was easy. I located the blown bulb, that was easy. I reached in to pull out the old bulb and this began the trouble. The bulb would not come out. I looked it over to see if I was to twist or turn it and decided it should just pull out. I pulled and pulled and with every pull, I became more frustrated. This should not be a difficult thing to do. As I became more upset, Danny came and asked me what the matter was.   I told him simply that I could not get the light bulb out of the car, to which he responded by taking a step back and folding his hands. He looked up into the sky and said, “God, help Mommy get the light bulb out of the car”. After saying his prayer, he stepped up and asked me if the light bulb came out. I said no.

Looking rather disturbed, Danny once again stepped back, folded his hands rather deliberately, looked up and said, “God, please help Mommy get the light bulb out of the car.” Coming back up to me, he asked with expectancy, “Did you get the light bulb out of the car?”   With my own frustration I said, “No!”   Surprised, Danny marched back a couple of steps, tightened his fists to his sides, looked up in the sky and said in his little voice, “God, I tell you help Mommy get the light bulb and you no help Mommy get the light bulb out of the car why you no help Mommy get the light bulb out of the car…”   At that moment, the light bulb popped out into my hand and Danny nodded approvingly and went back to playing.

Blessing
Choose a family in your neighborhood that has children. Take a card to the Mother and Father, with your prayer written inside. Include an inexpensive bag of balloons for the children.

Move
Sing and do the motions to “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.”

Create
Look at your hands. Consider the children that these hands have touched in love and blessing. Pray for each of these children. If you are able to send them a note, take the time to do this.

Nourish
Consider fasting today and use that time to pray. If you can not fast an entire day, at least fast for one 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
Plan a trip to the zoo or aquarium. If you can not afford this, go to your local library and rent a video about animals. If you can, share this with a child.

Pray
If you have children, lay your hands on them and pray for them. If you do not have children of your own, pray for your neighbor’s children.

Snack
Make brownies. Do not eat them all. Share them with a neighbor.

World Prayer Broadcast
If you do not already sponsor a child in a third world or developing country, consider Compassion® International . If you definitely can not afford to do this, consider a one time gift. If this is not possible, at least get on-line and review the pictures. Take time to pray for these children and this program.

Rest
Before going to sleep tonight, turn the TV off and remember your favorite story from childhood. If you can not think of one, read a Doctor Seuss story.

—————————–
Lyrics Credit: From “Jesus Loves Little Children” © 1999 Pilot Point Music (Lillenas [Admin. by The Copyright Company]) David S. Winkler | George Frederick Root. CCLI#283314 & Compassion® International can be found at http://www.compassion.com

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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: Nov 7

7 Nov

How do you live? What are your goals? The promise of life-change hinges on loving others not ourselves.

Meditate
Read Mark 8:31-38. Meditate on verse 33.

Sing
Chorus 
I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all

Verse 1
All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.

Verse 2
All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow.
Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me Jesus take me now.

Verse 3
All to Jesus I surrender, Make me Savior wholly Thine.
Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine.

Verse 4
All to Jesus I surrender, Lord I give myself to Thee.
Fill me with Thy love and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Verse 5
All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation, Glory glory to His name.

Message
Be in silence to hear from God.

Blessing
When you are out today, speak a blessing to the first person you see.

Move
Convert your exercise program into a spiritual time. Every movement of your body has a cadence that can be set to prayer, such as the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary or the Doxology.

Create
Draw a picture, using the hand you don’t write with. Ask God what is the point of your drawing.

Nourish
Consider eating half portions or fasting 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
Have you been wanting to play? Let yourself be a child. Visit a playground in a park. Watch the children at play. Buy a coloring book and crayons. Laugh out loud.

Pray
Picture Jesus sitting surrounded by a large assortment of wrapped boxes. He invites you to unwrap each one, because they are gifts for you! Unwrap the gifts of love, joy, peace, forgiveness, good health, strength, endurance, provision of all kinds, hugs, kisses, and good will toward you from others. Lastly, Jesus wraps himself up and presents himself to you. He beckons you to come and accept this gift. As you do, realize that all the other gifts are straw and dust without the gift of Jesus. Realize also that when you accept the gift of Jesus, you must give up yourself in return. Through this exchange, the concerns of God become your concerns and  your concerns begin to fade.

Snacks
Skip your snack today and pray for those who do not have anything to eat.

World Prayer
You have built yourself up in this day with God. Use this energy to pray for things outside yourself.

Sleep
Ask the Lord to help you empty your mind of all the day’s woes and problems and fill it with his peace. Be silent and drift off to 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:
“I Surrender All” CCLI Song # 23189, Judson Wheeler Van De Venter | Winfield Scott Weeden, Public Domain, For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use. All rights reserved. www.ccli.com,CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: October 23

23 Oct

Meditate
Read: John 3:16-21

Sing:  And Can It Be

Verse 1
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood
Died He for me who caused His pain
For me who Him to death pursued
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me.

Verse 2
He left His Father’s throne above
So free so infinite His grace
Emptied Himself of all but love
And bled for Adam’s helpless race
‘Tis mercy all immense and free
For O my God it found out me
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Verse 3
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off my heart was free
I rose went forth and followed Thee
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Verse 4
No condemnation now I dread
Jesus and all in Him is mine
Alive in Him my living head
And clothed in righteousness divine
Bold I approach th’eternal throne
And claim the crown through Christ my own
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Message
            Are you certain you are going to be with Jesus for eternity? If you were to die tonight, would you see Jesus? These are important questions and unless you can answer a resounding. “YES!”, you need to get this worked out today. I asked this question of a woman one day and she answered, “Well, I hope so.” This is not a good answer. Yes, we have hope of eternity, but it should not be a wishful thinking kind of hope. It should not be like, “Well I hope the seatbelt holds if I have an accident.” Or “Well I hope I get the Christmas present I want this year.” When asked if we are going to spend eternity in heaven, our answer should sound more like, “Absolutely!”, “No doubt!”, or “Yes, and I am so thankful.”

If you are not able to answer this question without doubt, today is the day. You do not have to have all the answers, you do not need to be perfect, you do not need to have all your sin issues worked out and you do not need to change everything about yourself. Jesus does not list any of these things as requirements for salvation. He simply says that those who believe in him will have eternal life. Some of these other things will fall into place as you get to know God and his Word. Other stuff in life takes longer and may be a life long struggle, but Jesus does not give up on us.

If you have no doubt that you believe in Jesus and have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, Praise God! Do not take this for granted.

Blessing
To celebrate your “born again birthday”. make or buy 6 cupcakes. Take 5 of them to the people that God brings to mind. Let them know what these are celebrating.

Move
Stretch today. Begin with your toes and work up to your head. Pay attention to every body part. Do not forget your knee caps, tummy muscles, and your ears.

Create
Get out your crayons and paper. Draw a depiction of your life before Christ. Turn your paper over and draw a depiction of your life after Salvation.

Nourish
Find someone to share a meal with and include communion.

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 that represents new life. Plant a flower, a tree, or something else that will live and grow.

Pray
Pray for those who do not know Jesus.

Snacks
Have the last cupcake for a snack. Put a candle in it and remember the day you were born again in Jesus.

World Prayer
Pray for those around the world that are being led astray by false religions.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, pray this prayer with a confident peace, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.”

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.
_______
“And Can It Be”, CCLI Song # 5252295, Charles Wesley | Don Chapman | Thomas Campbell, © 2002 Hearts to God Music, Inc., CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: Sept 4

4 Sep

Meditate:  Read Hebrews 11:29–12:2.

Sing:  Faith of Our Fathers

Verse 1
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

Chorus
Faith of our father’s holy faith
We will be true to thee till death

Verse 2
Our fathers chained in prisons dark
Were still in heart and conscience free
How sweet would be their children’s fate
If they like them could die for Thee

 Verse 3
Faith of our fathers we will strive
To win all nations unto Thee
And through the truth that comes from God
Mankind shall then be truly free

Verse 4
Faith of our fathers we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife
And preach Thee too as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life

Message
               We all have someone who we think is the highest example of faith and Christian living. Most of us can think of someone that we look up to and want to emulate. The reality is that these are just people who trust God, by faith, to walk them through the journey that He has planned for them.
I had always looked up to my father as a “real man of God.” I wanted to be like him and I wanted to have a relationship with God just like he did. It was hard when I grew up and began to see his faults. He was still a good man, but I suddenly began to realize that he was not perfect and that was alright. He was on a journey. There were others that I met in CFO. There were speakers and song leaders that I believed could probably walk on water. As I got older, I began to hear things and see things that shed light on the truth that these were just sinful human beings. Like me! These people were sinful, they were mortal, they were fallible, and their only hope was to walk by faith. The good news is that I could look at their lives and learn from them. They are part of the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds me and by their examples (good and bad), I can learn to walk the journey that God has laid out for me.
God has a plan for each one of us. If you doubt that, consider Paul’s word to the Ephesians, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (2:10).” Sometimes we see a glimmer of what that is and other times we feel that we are in the dark. The good news is that we can trust him to guide and direct our path to get us to the good that he has planned for us. It is also good news to know that we are not alone. God gives us people to walk with us on this journey.
We have two roles in our walk with God: 1) Walk by faith. Keep our eyes on the prize and use those who have gone on before us as examples. 2) Be an example. Remember, there are people coming up behind us that need someone to guide. Is your life a good example for those who need it?

Blessing
Consider one or two people who have helped strengthen you in your journey with Jesus. Write them a note and tell them how they have helped and pray a blessing for them. If they are no longer living, see if you can track down a family member and send the note and blessing to them.

Move
Walk through every room in your home. Picture each room as a stop on your journey through life and ask God to reveal a message about that stop. Seek God’s leading concerning your walk in the future, by lessons learned in the past.

Create
Rewrite today’s song in your own words. This does not have to rhyme and it does not have to fit the music. Allow yourself creative license.

Nourish
Do not get so busy with the journey today that you forget to eat. Eat slow and healthy today. Do not rush the journey.

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
Whatever you do today, take a minute and be intentionally present in the moment. See what there is to see. Close your eyes and smell. Take time to taste and to touch something along the way. Remind yourself to hear what is happening.

Pray
Spend some quiet time asking God who he wants you to help or mentor as they walk through life. Begin by praying for this person and then ask God how you should take the next step.

Snacks
Eat something with a great smell, interesting looks, unusual texture, and maybe even a curious sound. Let taste be the last thing you discover about your snack.

World Prayer
Pray for those who do not walk with God and feel alone today.

Sleep
Thank God that he is always present in your journey.

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.

______
Faith of Our FathersCFO Sings, pg 309.

Life Lessons: July 17

17 Jul

Meditate
Read Exodus 14:23-25.
The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt, Exodus 14:25b

Sing
O, victory in Jesus, my Savior,  forever!
He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood.
He loved me ere I knew him
and all my love is due him.
He plunged me to victory,
beneath the cleansing flood.

Message
During a particular difficult time in my life, I found myself “confiding in” a friend at the office. Now this would be OK, but the person I was talking to was not a Christian. As I spoke, I realized that I knew when this was all done, I would see God in my trial and I would see how he took care of me and walked me through. But, what would my friend be left with? Would she see God and know his love and care or would she just remember my pain, anger, anxiety and worry?

Pharaoh and his army knew who they were up against and they saw the power of God at work in the lives of the Israelites. The army obviously knew the situation the Israelites were in, since they were the cause of the problems, but they were able to see God at work.   When people see our trials, do they see God’s victory or Satan’s defeat? We do not need to hide our trials from the world. In fact people need to know that Christians do not have perfect lives, but our situation may be just what they need to see God at work. This may be the perfect opportunity to introduce them to Christ, so that next time they may go to him in their time of need.

Blessing
Send a card or e-mail to a person in the military.

Move
March in place and with conviction, sing:
I will not be afraid.
I will not be afraid.
The Lord is with me and he will guide me
and I’m not afraid.

Create
Write a rhyming poem about something you are afraid of and God’s victory over this issue.

Nourish
Eat outside tonight and enjoy the outdoors.

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 online and look up a historical battle and identify what good came out of the struggle. If you are not able to do this, look up a battle in the Old Testament and determine what good came out of that.

Pray
Find someone you can pray with today. Spend a few minute praying face to face for a something or someone who is close to both of you.

Snacks
Pop some popcorn. Enjoy it without butter and salt.

World Prayer
Pray for our service men and women.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, thank God for his provision of a bed and no gunfire overhead.

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 “Victory In Jesus” © 1939 Mrs. E.M. Bartlett. Renewed 1967 Albert E. Brumley And Sons (Admin. by Integrated Copyright Group, Inc.) Eugene M. Bartlett. CCLI#283314 &  From “I Will Not Be Afraid” G.E.M. Govan. CFO Sings

Prayer and Prayer Groups

1 Aug

Prayer is the center of CFO. Everything we do should be done in prayer. Every part of our day should be spent in prayer. Prayer groups in CFO are the times we gather with a few others in silence, in praise and in prayer for the needs of each person. This is not a time to fix a person’s problems or give advice. It is a time to pray.

Do not be afraid of silence. It is not necessary for someone to be speaking at all times. Do not hesitate to share your needs but keep your story short and current. Since there is a limited time, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to share and we have adequate time to pray. A good rule of thumb is to spend more time praying than talking. A prayer group is a safe place. This is a place where we should be able to speak freely and openly about whatever is on our heart. What people share in a prayer group should be kept in complete confidence and never mentioned outside the group.

Webster calls prayer an address to God in word or thought. “An address” sounds a bit impersonal. I like to think of it in a variety of ways. Sometimes, we talk to God with the realization that he is the Creator of the Universe and we are greatly humbled. Sometimes we approach God as our only source of provision and as our only hope. It is as if we are on our face as a poor man looking for a meal. Then there are those days when we curl up in Abba’s lap and pour out our heart to him as our Daddy, our Father.

1 Peter 4:7-8 says, The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to, Pray continually.  Jesus told the disciples to Watch and pray so you do not fall into temptation. and Ephesians 6:18 says, Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

The application here is pretty clear. We are called to pray in all ways at all times, as if our lives depend on it.
Our lives should be a constant prayer.

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