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Life Lesson: January 9

9 Jan

Meditate: Read Exodus 14:1-3.

‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are our ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

Sing
My life is in you Lord.
My strength is in you Lord.
My hope is in you Lord.
In you, it’s in you!
I will praise you with all of my life.
I will praise you with all of my strength.
With all of my life, with all of my strength, all of my hope is in you.

Message
God, what are you doing? Turn back? Camp here? Did the Israelites question God’s directions? Did they understand what he was doing?   We needed to leave for my daughter’s ball game and that’s when I cut my hand. It was clear that I would need stitches. We went to the hospital and minutes turned into hours. What was taking so long? We needed to get to Erin’s game. Finally we were done, but it was too late for the game and we just headed home. I was disappointed and did not understand why God did not answer my prayers to get us to the game. When we arrived home the reasons were clear. The game had been canceled due to rain. Rain we were not getting at the hospital or at home. God was actually watching out for us and save us a 90 mile round trip to a canceled game.

When will I learn that God knows best?

Blessing
Randomly give away the 3×5 cards you will write today (see Pray section). Leave them for a waitress or give them to the cab driver. Leave one for your mailman.

Move 

My Lord know the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. Strength for today is mine always. My Lord know the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow.

Create
Plant a flower, bush or tree.

Nourish
Eat something with whole grains 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
Sit on your porch with a song book. See how far you can get, singing through it. Start at the back of the book this time.

Pray
Write out prayers of blessing on 3×5 cards. Write what God lays on your heart. You do not know who these are for.

Snack
Each a fresh vegetable you have never eaten before.

World Prayer
Pray for the Jewish people of the world who do not yet know Jesus as the Messiah.

Sleep
Go to bed an extra 15 minutes early, if you have been feeling tired.

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.

——————————

LYRIC CREDIT:
From “My Life is in You Lord” © 1986 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Daniel Gardner. CCLI#283314

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Life Lesson: January 2

2 Jan

Meditate
Read Hebrews 11:1-40.
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… – Hebrews 12:1a

Sing
“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!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.”

Message
I just turned 40. That is not very old, but I can’t help wonder what will people remember when my time is done here.  Will I be counted in the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” that encourages others not to lose heart? Will people remember me and say, “Look what God did in her life and look what He can do for me”?

If I want to be remembered for what God did in my life, then I must live a life that reflects God. If I am easily angered, unforgiving or impatient, that is what people will remember. If I am a worrier instead of a pray-er, God will not be glorified.

Hebrews 11 gives us a list of people who were not perfect, but devoted themselves to obedience and service to God. As a result, we remember them thousands of years later and know that what God did for them, He can do for us.

If we step out in faith, God will bless us. We can choose to share the story or keep it to ourselves. We can choose to give the glory to God or keep it for ourselves. Hopefully, God is revealed through our lives.

Blessing
Pray for the people of the place you found today during Creatives.

Move
Do the Hokey Pokey, but put your burdens in and take your blessings out. Put your burdens in and give the Lord a shout! Give Your life to Jesus and he’ll turn your life about. That’s what it’s all about. Make up other negatives to “put in” and positives to “take out”.

Create
Take a globe and spin it. Let your finger land on it and see where you are. Look that place up on the Internet and find out more about it. Who are their leaders? What are their needs? Check out Google Earth®  to get a better look at it. See if there are children from this place in Compassion ® International.

Nourish
Include something from another culture.

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.

Prayer
Go to your church and either inside or out, walk around and pray for the people of the church. Remember to be thankful for those who have gone on before and ask God for his will in the future.

Snack
Eat raw vegetables.

World Prayer
Pray for students around the country who are struggling to see God in a world that is so unfriendly to God and Christians.

Sleep
Before falling asleep, thank God for someone in your past who was an inspiration to you and your walk with 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:
From “Faith of our Fathers” © 2004 Hearts to God Music, Inc. Don Chapman | Frederick William Faber | Henry Frederick Hemy. CCLI#283314 &  Google Earth® can be found at www.googleearth.com  &  Compassion® International can be found at http://www.compassion.com

Life Lesson: December 19

19 Dec

Meditate
Read Romans 5:3-5.
God said, “I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army”… – Exodus 14:4

Sing
“To God be the glory, great things he has done.
So loved he the world that he gave us his son.
Who yielded his life, an atonement for sin
and opened the life gates that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice.
Praise the Lord, praise the lord,
let the people rejoice.
O Come to the Father, through Jesus the son
and give him the glory, great things he has done.”

Message
Why do I have to deal with people who want to hurt me? Why do I have to struggle with lack of finances? Why did I have to go through, not one, but two divorces? Why did my children have to feel such pain? Why did my friend have to die? Why have I had to cry all of the tears? Why, Why, Why? Why, in my 39 years, have I had to cope with so much garbage?

3,300 years ago, God took the Israelites through the Red Sea. Why did they have to “run” from Pharaoh and his armies? Why did they have to fear? Because 3,300 years later, we are still praising God and giving him glory for what he did.

Many times I have been able to minister to people, share their pain and help them. How? By giving glory to God and telling the stories about how he brought me through my bad times. Paul says that our struggles produce perseverance than character, and then hope. Sharing that hope with a hurting world makes sense out of my difficulties.

Blessing
Write out a prayer for the teachers and administrator of your school district. Sign it and put it in a thank you card. Mail it.

Move
Make up some motions to today’s song.

Create
Buy some inexpensive paints at your local grocery store and paint a picture, representing the glory of God.

Nourish
If you dine out, make sure you leave a generous tip and a note the tells the staff Jesus loves them. Do not over spend on your meal, so you have extra to leave for the tip.

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 ball with some neighbor kids or watch them play. Go to a local sporting event.

Prayer
Invite two or three friends over to pray. Meet somewhere if it is more convenient. You can spend 10-15 minutes or an hour.

Snack
Take fruit snacks to the sporting event and take enough for the entire team. Take enough for the opposing team too.

World Prayer Broadcast
Pray for the affiliate organizations of ACFO North America. United Prayer Tower (UPT) and CFO International (CFOI)

Rest
Go to sleep tonight, singing today’s song. See if you wake up singing the same song.

——————-
Lyrics Credit:  From “To God Be the Glory” © 2001 Michael Adler Fanny Jane Crosby | Michael Adler | William Howard Doane. CCLI#283314

Life Lesson: December 12

12 Dec

Meditate
Read Exodus 13:17-22
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and not be afraid. – John 14:27

Sing
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in his wonderful face
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of his glory and grace.

Message
“He hurt me!” “He deserves to be punished!” “I can never forgive!” “This is too painful, it’s just killing me!” “I can’t take it anymore!”

We have all spoken words like this at one time or another. The problem is that these are not God’s truth, they are Satan’s lies. We begin to speak these words and begin to believe them when we have taken our eyes off God and look at the situation around us. Just as Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus, we will begin to sink into the lies.

The Israelites did not know where they were going and Satan would have liked them to believe that they were lost and going to die, but the truth was that God was leading them the entire way. All they had to do was look up and keep their eyes fixed on God.

Blessing
Buy a small baby blanket and a little child’s prayer book and send it anonymously to an expectant Father.

Move
Find a picture of Jesus and just look at it. Pray and ask God that although you know this is just an artists representation of Jesus, you want to remember this face and have his eyes before you at all times. Close your eyes and remember the face. If you can not remember the details, look again. Take the time you need, so the picture is in your mind.

Create
Begin to make a list of the attributes of Jesus, using the alphabet. One attribute per letter.

Nourish
Skip the extras today. Skip the extra salt, bread, fat and sugar. For each item you skip, drink some water. Add fresh lemon to your water.

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
Sit on your porch with a song book. See how far you can get, singing through it.

Prayer
Pray Psalm 3. Read one line at a time and apply it to yourself and your life.

Snack
Try a passion fruit or another fruit you have never eaten.

World Prayer Broadcast
Pray for the people of the United States who are struggling over the issue of abortion and the mothers who may have a decision to make between the life or death of their unborn child.

Sleep

Before going to bed, call or text a special friend or family member and say, “Goodnight, I love You”. Do not get caught on the phone in a conversation. Keep it short.

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 “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” © 1998 Pilot Point Music (Lillenas [Admin. by The Copyright Company) Helen Howarth Lemmel | Ken Bible. CCLI#283314

Life Lesson: November 28

28 Nov

Meditate
Read Exodus 13:17-18, 14:5-9. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood… Ephesians 6:12

Sing
“In the heavenly armor we’ll enter the land.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.”

Message
Going through divorce is difficult no matter what the circumstances, and mine was no different. Everyone was hurting and  the anger against my husband was growing. I could feel the anger and resentment consuming me. Even my prayers were angry and vindictive. This was not any way to live and it certainly would not help my children get through this with minimal damage. Who was I fighting? Who was my enemy? How could I fight? It was Satan that wanted to hurt me and my children and it was God who would rescue us.

The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle (13:18). They marched out boldly (14:8). God gave them all they needed to fight impending battles.

God supplies all we need to fight the spiritual battles of this world. We need to put on the armor and learn how to use it. Ephesians 6 gives us our weapons : Salvation, Righteousness, Faith, Truth, Gospel of Peace, Word of God. Do we pick these up every day and practice with them?

Blessing
If you did not use the phone book method yesterday, do that today. If you did, use the same phone book and look at the businesses listed. Pray for God to do a work in the owner’s live and in the economy of the area.

Move
Look at the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. Go through the motions of putting on the armor and think about each piece, as you dress yourself.

Create
Draw  a picture of the armor, that you can hang in an obvious place at your home or office. Use this as a reminder to put on your armor each day.

Nourish
Have some fish tonight. Grill it, do not fry or use breading.

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 a place to watch the sunset tonight.

Prayer
Get on your knees. Ask God to speak to you. Spend time in silence, concentrating on him. If your mind wanders, just let it go. Hear God.

Snack
Take the time to make jello and enjoy it. Share it with someone.

World Prayer Broadcast
Pray for the leadership of CFO. Pray for those at the Association office (ACFO), those on the Advisory Council Ring (ACR) , those of the upcoming Council of Camp Representatives (CCR) and those on the local Council Rings.

Rest
Get enough sleep, but set your alarm five minutes earlier, so you can get up and review tomorrow’s scripture and song.

—————————
Lyrics Credit: From “The Battle Belongs to the Lord” © 1985 Fairhill Music (Admin. by Fairhill Music) Jamie Owens-Collins. CCLI#283314

Pray With Me: November 1 All Saints Day

1 Nov

Pray With MeFor all the saints–in heaven and still living here on earth, on this feast of All Saints. A special saint in your life is _________.  Pray blessings and grace upon this person.

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 treasures of God’s Kingdom that are present in your life!   (Matthew 13:52)

Find a quiet place
Make today’s theme the focus of your prayers today.

Life Lesson: October 9

9 Oct

Meditate: Read Jonah 2

Sing: It Is Well with My Soul

Chorus:   It is well with my soul. It is well, It is well with my soul. 

Verse 1
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well. It is well with my soul

Verse 2
Tho’ Satan should buffet. Tho’ trials should come
Let this blest assurance control.
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

Verse 3
My sin O the bliss of this glorious tho’t
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord O my soul

Verse 4
And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so it is well with my soul

Message
            How can this man, Horatio Spafford, write a song that basically says, “Even though life is hopeless and horrible, I am ok!” There have been times in my life when I was not ok. I was afraid, lost, alone, hurt, or angry. I was NOT ok! But today, I am ok. How can that be? It can be, because God is faithful. God gives grace to the lost and mercy to the suffering. God forgives and God gives hope. Horatio Spafford did not say, “It is well!” because life circumstances changed. He said, “It is well!” because God is good and nothing in this life is worth hanging on to except God. Horatio did not focus his attention on the sea billows, trials, and suffering around him, he turned his eyes to the one who pardoned all of his sin and promised to come again to take him to a better place.

Jonah was in the belly of the big fish when he prayed to God for help and mercy. He proclaimed “when my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord (vs7).” When all seemed lost, Jonah turned from his circumstances and grabbed hold of the only thing that mattered, God! My favorite verse in this chapter is verse 8. Jonah realizes and says, “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah discovered, just as Horatio Spafford discovered, there is nothing in this life that is more important than our relationship with God, through Jesus.

Jesus tells us, in Luke 14:26-27, that we must set everything else aside (even family) to be a disciple. Nothing can stand in the way of our relationship with Jesus. Then, no matter what happens once we pick up our cross and follow, we must keep focused on the most important thing. If we try to hang on to things in this life, we will forfeit the grace that God has for us.

Blessing
Go to the grocery store and pick up a few extra items that you can donate to a food pantry or take to someone in need.

Move
Sing: ‘Let Go, Let the Spirit Flow” and do some motions. Make your motions as big as you are able. Remember that we have some “worthless idols” that we need to let go of.

Let go, let the Spirit flow. (3x) 
Let go, and let God.

Additional verses: Clap you hands, raise your arms, lift your knees, etc.

Create
After some time in prayer, make a list of “worthless idols” to which you hold on. Next to the list, make a new list of where you have seen God’s grace in your life.

Nourish
Keep track of what you eat today. Are you getting a well-balanced diet?

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
Swim today. If you are not able to swim, take a long hot bath. Enjoy the feeling of the water around you.

Pray
Rewrite Jonah’s prayer in your own words and in relation to your own life circumstances.

Snacks
Treat yourself to your favorite cookie.

World Prayer
Read the paper or watch the news. Jot down the first four situations you read or see. Take several minutes to pray for each one.

Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep? What can you do to improve your sleep time?

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.

_______
“It Is Well with My Soul”, pg. 61 CFO Sings, H.G. Spafford & P.P. Bliss

“Let Go, Let the Spirit Flow”, pg. 262 CFO Sings, Frank Wilson & LaVerne Krull Caton

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: July 10

10 Jul

Meditate
Read Exodus 13:20-22.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… God will go with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Sing
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. Most High.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower.
The righteous run into it and they are saved.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower.
The righteous run into it and they are saved.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. Most High.

Message
Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room or with friends and family that love you? There have been times that I just could not turn to anyone. I felt alone and it seemed that nobody could understand what I was going through.

Many times in the Bible we find God’s reassuring words that say, “I’ll be with you always”, “You are not alone”, “I am here.” In those times of loneliness, call on God. He will be faithful to let you know he is there and he understands. Yes, even God understands rejection, disappointment, hurt, prejudice, temptation and abandonment.

Blessing
Give away what you Create today.

Move
Take a walk in or near the water.

Create
Using whatever media you have available, create a symbol (cross, dove or otherwise) that will remind you that God is with you always. Consider something you can carry in your car, purse or wallet. Make several of them to pass out to the young people in your church or community.

Nourish
Look online and see what the Israelites would have eaten at the Passover. Have something from that 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
Visit the local humane society and play with the animals.

Pray
Look up your favorite song. Say it as a prayer. Mediate on the words.

Snacks
Have some frozen yogurt and fresh fruit.

World Prayer
Pray for the people of Mexico, who are caught up in the drug wars. Pray for the freedom of Mexico.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, sense the presence of God. He is with you. Find yourself resting in him.

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 Blessed be the Name of the Lord © 1989 Clifton Utterbach Universal-Polygram. CCLI#283314

Pray With Me: July 4

4 Jul

Pray With Me  For the gift of freedom–for those who are not free–physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or socially.

Pray with me today for our world, our country, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our families.

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