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Life Lesson: August 21

21 Aug

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

Sing
In the Secret

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

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

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

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

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

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

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

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

Life Lesson: 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.

Pray With Me: May 18 Ascension Thursday

18 May

Pray With Me  For Christians-that we may go out and spread the Good News to all the world, as we celebrate this day of remembering of the Ascension of the Lord.

 

Life Lesson: April 17

17 Apr

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…” The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that everything in our lives is an appointment in time. How then should we live?

Meditate 
Using Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, read each verse and then sit quiet. Let God bring thoughts to your mind about the relevance of each verse.

Sing
Let go, let the Spirit flow (3x) Let Go and let God!
Praise God (3x) Let Go and let God!
Clap your hands  (3x) Let Go and let God!
Praise the Lord  (3x) Let Go and let God!

Message
It was time. We knew it was close. My Father had stopped eating and drinking. He was refusing his medication. It was a matter of time. There was frustration over his discomfort and there was some fear of the unknown. We did not know what that last moment would look like, but we certainly knew what his next step would be. We knew he would walk into the arms of Jesus.

During these days, Dad would take people by the hand and pray a blessing on them. He would look in their eyes to say,”I love you.” He would sing praise to God and hold hands with his family. Every grandchild received a word of blessing from Grandpa.

This was his time to receive comfort, love and care, but it was also his time to use his last breath to bless others. We also used this time to weep and to laugh, to embrace and to love, to hold on and to let go. All of us had time to speak and to listen. The blessing of this time our family shared was a gift from God. We honor each moment we had before Dad went home.

Blessing
Choose someone you know who has a physical condition that prevents them from moving easily. Pray for them and picture them dancing with the Lord.

Move
Create motions and really stretch your body, as you sing the song:
Let go and let God have His wonderful way,
Let go and let God have His way.
Your burden will vanish,
Your night turn to day;
Let go and let God have His way.

Create
Write a letter to God. On the back of the paper, write his response to you. Address it to yourself and give it to a friend. Ask the friend to mail it at some point in the next year, without telling you when.

Nourish
Be mindful as you eat lunch today. Feel the shape and texture of the food. Notice the flavor of each bite.

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 in your room, shut the door, set the timer for five minutes and put on your favorite song. Dance until the timer goes off.

Pray
Write your prayer concerns on a piece of paper. Tear the paper up into little pieces. If you can safely burn them, do so. If you can not burn them safely, just take them and throw them in any trash can (not in your home). Know that God removes our cares and replaces them with His peace.

Snacks
Have a snack that consists of three different colors. (M&M’s do not count!)

World Prayer
If you can, go to a local nursing home. Walk the halls and pray for the names on the doors. If you can not go in, just picture the halls, the beds and the staff.

Sleep
As you go to bed tonight, let God bring people to mind and just thank Him for their place in your life.

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 Credits:
Let Go, Let the Spirit Flow, Copyright Association of Camps Farthest Out, Inc.
Let Go and Let God Have His Way,  Copyright Association of Camps Farthest Out, Inc.

Life Lesson: March 20

20 Mar

Meditate

Read John 6. Meditate on the word “Bread” and how Jesus is the Bread of Life.

Sing
Chorus
Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord.
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul,
Bread of heaven feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

Vrs 1 – Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy,
And then I heard my Savior speaking
Draw from My well that never shall run dry.

Vrs 2 –There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasures earthly things afford,
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

Vrs 3 –So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray.

Message
Bread is a staple. It is the foundation of our food pyramid and every person around the world understands bread. The Scriptures are full of references to bread: 1) The feat of unleavened bread, manna in the wilderness, 2) The bread of the Presence, 3) Temptation to turn stones into bread, 4) Feeding of the thousands with only a little bread, Give us this day our daily bread.

In John 6, Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. The people search until they find him and he lets them know that they did not come after him because of the miracles, but because they wanted more food. Jesus told them that he is the Bread of Life and the Living Bread. Once you eat of the living bread, you will never go hungry again.

The people were confused, as they talked about Moses providing manna in the wilderness for their forefathers. 1) Manna was not given by Moses, it was given by God and Jesus did not come from man, he was sent by the Father. 2) Manna was temporary relief, but Jesus’ filling is eternal. 3) Manna was for the body, but Jesus fills the soul. 4) Manna was for Israel, but Jesus is for the world.

The people were worried about their physical needs and yet Jesus was concerned about their spiritual needs. Do we seek after Jesus for our physical needs or do we look to him for eternal substance? Do we understand that our eternal life is more critical than our earthly comforts?

Blessing
Bake a loaf of bread (buy one if you can not bake one) and ask God who you should give it to. Attach a note that says, “The Bread of Life (Jesus) wants to sustain you forever!”

Move
Do this a couple of times, stretching a little more each time. Never go farther than is comfortable.
Praise God (reach high overhead)
From whom all blessings flow  (reach arms out to the sides)
Praise Him all creatures here below (reach to the ground)
Praise Him above ye heavenly host (slowly come up)
Praise Father (reach overhead)
Son (bend to right) and Holy Ghost (bend to left)
Amen (right hand sweep, left hand sweep, bend at waist)

Create
Consider the word bread and ask God for five new words that begins with each of the letters in the word bread. Now create a prayer using these five words.

Nourish
Have some whole grain today and be thankful for God’s goods gifts of bread.

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 with some intensity. This will be different for everyone. Walk around the block as quickly as you can, walk up and down a set of stairs once or twice, walk from the kitchen to the sofa three times. If you can do it again, go for it!

Pray
Call the coordinator of a food pantry or homeless shelter, ask what their needs are. They can be personal or business. Offer to pray while on the phone and let them know you will continue to pray.

Snacks
Go without a snack tonight and send a $2 donation to a food pantry.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are hungry. Those who have no bread to eat. Go online and pray for Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com/) children by name.

Sleep
Before going to sleep, thank God for His provision in your life and thank Him for being your bread of life.

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 CREDITS:
CCLI Song # 15946, Richard Blanchard, © 1959 Richard Blanchard. Assigned 1964 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.), CCLI License # 283314, CCLI Song # 56204, Louis Bourgeois | Thomas Ken, Public Domain

Life Lesson: March 13

13 Mar

Meditate
Exodus 14:8. The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.

Sing
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He is trampling our the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He hath loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword.
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.”

Message
When given the choice between fight or flight, the latter usual goes first. I do not intend to start out that way, as a matter of fact, I do not even think about it. The reality is that the moment I am asked to do something hard, I cower. I can make up excuses so fast you would never believe I even had time to process the request.   Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can approach the throne of grace with boldness. If we can be bold before God…. You know, the God who wiped out the entire Egyptian army in one wave of His hand? If we can boldly approach Him, what makes us cower in the face of difficulties? Do we really think that money problems, difficult people, loss of work or pain can do more than the Great King of Kings whom we will spend eternity with?

Perspective. It is all about perspective. Once we realize that God is for us, we can begin to grasp that no one can be against us. The Israelites marched out boldly, we can do the same.

Blessing
Text or e-mail today’s song lyrics and scripture to someone whom God lays on your heart.

Move
Make up movements as you sing this song or repeat the words:
“We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching in the light of God.
We are marching, marching, we are marching,

Oh, we are marching in the light of God.
We are marching, marching, we are marching,
Oh, we are marching in the light of God.”

Create
Look at the words, Marching Out Boldly, and do an acrostic of the names or characters of God, which are greater than our troubles.

Nourish
Check the calories and portion sizes of your meals today. Are you eating a healthy and reasonable amount? Are you drinking enough 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
March around your home and claim that space for God and His work.

Pray
Pray for the leaders of your church; anyone in authority or leadership. Do not forget the maintenance and cleaning personnel.

Snacks
Have some green tea tonight. Hot or cold. Add some fresh lemon.

World Prayer
Pray for the president and those in our Federal Government.

Sleep
Once you are in bed, tighten and relax each part of your body, from your scalp to your toes. Remember your fingers, abdomen and your face.

————————-
LYRIC CREDITS:

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

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

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

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