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Life Lesson: October 2

2 Oct

Meditate: 
Read Psalm 136

Sing: Revelation Song

Verse 1
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, Holy holy is He.
Sing a new song To Him Who sits on Heaven’s mercy seat.

Chorus
Holy holy holy Is the Lord God Almighty.
Who was and is, And is to come.
With all creation I sing Praise to the King of kings.
You are my ev’rything, And I will adore You!

Verse 2
Clothed in rainbows of living color, Flashes of lightning.
Rolls of thunder, Blessing and honor, Strength and glory,
And power be to You, The only wise King!

Verse 3
Filled with wonder, Awestruck wonder, At the mention of Your name
Jesus Your name is power, Breath and living water.
Such a marv’lous mystery! yeah

Message
            Do you ever forget who God is? I do not mean that we forget that he is the Creator, but do you ever just take that for granted and treat him like a Magic Wand waiting to do your bidding? I know we all want to answer an emphatic, “No! Of course not!” Well, I know I do sometimes. I go to him (after I wake up) and after giving a cursory, “Thank you for this new day,” I then move into the needs and wants of my day. My prayers often sound like this, “Lord, Thank you for this day. I pray that Sally gets the help she needs and Joey does well on his test today. Lord, I am really busy today, so please help me with that.” I then get distracted by something and after checking the text that just came in on my phone, I continue. “Oh Lord, I still need help with that bill that I really can not afford and please help that lady (whose name I can’t remember) who said she has cancer.” Another text comes in and then the reminder on my calendar pops up to say my first appointment is at 9:00, so I finish up. “Lord, I have such a busy day. Please help me. I wish that I had more time to spend with you. Amen.”

I am certainly not suggesting that our prayers should be long and drawn out and praying for others is very important. Praying for ourselves is okay too, but it is important to consider our attitudes and focus when we are praying. In Matthew 6:5-8, Jesus tells us to go into our room and pray in secret. This means that all attention is given to God and that it is our intention to spend time in prayer, instead of fitting it in where we can. What if we spent time in a secret and quiet place, giving our total attention to God every day? What if we spent more time focusing on him that on ourselves, our problems, and our worries?

Today is a good day to turn my eyes upon Jesus and off of the world, my problems, my responsibilities, and me.

Blessing
Praying with someone can be a real blessing. Find someone who has nobody else to pray with and offer to spend 15-30 minutes with them in prayer. Take as long as you (or they) need.

Move
Sing and do the motions for “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Repeat this several times until you are no longer distracted by anything but Him. Spend a few moments in quiet listening prayer.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus        (Begin with head down and begin to look up)

Look full in His wonderful face   (Continue raising your eyes and head and raise your hands)

And the things of earth              (Spread your arms out in front of you, moving them side to side)

Will grow strangely dim              (Sweep the things of the earth away)

In the light of His glory and grace (Bow in reverence and prayer)

Create
Take Psalm 136 and rewrite the first part of each verse using your own life experiences.

Nourish
If you are able, fast one meal and spend that time in prayer. If you are not able to give up food, eat lightly and use the rest of the time to pray.

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
Just praise God! Read through the Psalm you wrote and read through the song for today. Read the words out loud!

Snacks
If you did not fast for a meal today, try fasting your snack time. Spend the time in prayer.

World Prayer.
Pray for the leaders of the world.

Sleep
Go to bed a few minute early and give God those minutes in prayer.

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.

_______

1. “Revelation Song” – CCLI Song # 4447960, Jennie Lee Riddle, © 2004 Gateway Create Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing (IMI)), CCLI License # 283314.  CCLI Song # 15960

2. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” – Helen H. Lemmel, © Words: 1922 New Spring Music: 1922 New Spring, CCLI License # 283314

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Life Lesson: Sept 11

11 Sep

Life Lesson 45

Meditate

Hebrews 12:18-29. Consider verses 28-29 in light of your own worship.

Sing
10,000 Reasons

Chorus
Bless the Lord O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Verse 1
The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Verse 2
You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Verse 3
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Message
            I found my mind wandering in worship on Sunday. I was thinking about my “ToDo” list, lunch, my kids, and my work. I was thinking about people in attendance that Sunday and wondering where some of the others were. I was thinking about how I was feeling and that my head was not really in the game. I wondered why I could not seem to focus on worship and then wondered what the next song was. I suddenly realized that if I am not staying focused when I am standing behind the pulpit, then how were the people in the pews managing.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that our worship needs to be acceptable; with reverence and awe. I would love to be able to say that my worship of the All-Mighty, Most Holy, Exceedingly Awesome, Only God is acceptable, reverent and awestruck. I am sad to say that I can not say that, with all honesty. I think maybe I fall more into the category of the synagogue leaders who told the people to go be healed on a day other than the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17). These leaders were more concerned about everyone doing church the right way (their way), rather than the things of God.

I have realized that my worship needs to be a constant state of being, rather than a momentary event and it needs to be done with my whole body, mind, soul, and strength. I need to make sure that I am preparing for Sunday worship all week long, so that Sunday becomes a celebration and culmination of my weekly worship. In the hour that I spend in church I want my entire being to be connected to God, through Jesus, for His honor and glory. I am sure that I will have successful times and unsuccessful time, but I know that if I continue to press on, God will honor my attempt to worship him acceptably in reverence and awe.

Blessing
Read Matthew 25:34-45. Ask God who he wants you to bless today and how. Know that by meeting the needs of the “least of these”, you are in a true act of worship.

Move
Using the Doxology, make up motions and get your entire body involved in worship.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost
Amen

Create
Ask God to help you identify things that distract you from worship. Make a list of these things. When you have finished that list, make a list of reasons to worship God. The reasons to worship should outnumber the list of distractions. Keep the second list handy so that you can bring yourself back to worship as needed.

Nourish
Before eating, spend time in thankful worship.

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
Instead of intercessory prayer or praying for needs and concerns, spend your prayer time in worship. Sing songs of praise.

Snacks
Give up your snack time and replace it with worship.

World Prayer
Pray for those who can not worship openly for fear of persecution.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, whisper praises to 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.

______
“10,000 Reasons”, CCLI Song # 6016351, Jonas Myrin | Matt Redman, © 2011 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), Said And Done Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), Six Steps Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), SHOUT! Music Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), CCLI License # 283314

 “Doxology”, CCLI Song # 56204, Louis Bourgeois | Thomas Ken, Public Domain, CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: June 19

19 Jun

Meditate
Revelation 19:6 – Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Isaiah 40:28 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom.
Job 42:2 – I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Mark 10:27 – Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’
Genesis 18:14a – Is anything too hard for the LORD?

Sing
How Great Thou Art

Chorus
Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art. How great Thou art
Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, How great Thou art

Verse 1
O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy pow’r thru’out the universe displayed

Verse 2
When thru the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze

Verse 3
And when I think that God His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin

Verse 4
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, My God how great Thou art!

Message
When troubles come, I often forget that God is Almighty, All-Powerful, Omnipotent, Invisible, Unmovable, Supreme, Unstoppable and more! When one of my children calls with troubles, when someone at work seems unreasonable, when the world seems unfair or when my list of things to do seems bigger than there are hours in the day, I forget that my God can do all things. Why is it that we do not turn to God FIRST? Turning to God seems to be a last ditch effort when all else fails.

The Bible teaches us: God can do all things!, Nothing is too hard for God!, God never gets tired and he is never too busy! We can trust God because he cannot violate his character. He cannot lie. He cannot be contrary to his own goodness and perfection and faithfulness. He cannot be tempted or tempt anyone. We should run to him immediately, just like a toddler instinctively runs to Mommy or Daddy when afraid or troubled.

We know that God is powerful because he created the world and keeps it running. We can also be certain of God’s power because he raised Jesus from the dead. God never shook his head in worry over how to keep the mountains up or the sun suspended in the sky. He never wondered about how to make the colors of the flowers. God was never troubled over how to sustain microorganisms or hippos. Most importantly, God never felt defeat or fear over Jesus’ death. God raised Jesus from the dead and this took no more effort than growing grass.

As I think about the great power of God it excites and energizes my worship of him. As I think about his power, it encourages me in my walk with him. As I think about the great power of God it causes me to realize I have no need to worry or fear as I live through difficult times.

Blessing
Ask God what you have that someone else needs. Do not be afraid. Give what you have to the person who needs it. God will take care of you.

Move
Sing and do the motions for: My God is So Great

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty.
There is nothing my God cannot do. (repeat)
The mountains are his. The rivers are his.
The stars are his handiwork too.
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty.
There is nothing my God cannot do.

Create
Take paper and crayon. Get quiet before God and ask him what things you are trying to take care of on your own. Draw pictures representing each of these things. Take a bright-colored crayon and color over the things that God has shown you. The bright color depicts God’s power over these things that trouble you.

Nourish
Notice what you are eating today. Consider where it comes from and how it was made. Thank God for his power to create and sustain the world.

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 in something of nature. Go for a walk and see the power of God in the flowers and trees or the ocean. If it is rainy, praise God for his power that waters the earth.

Pray
Be thankful. Praise God for his power. Claim his power over difficult areas of life.

Snacks
Share your snack with someone who needs to understand God’s power. Share God’s power with this person.

World Prayer
Pray for areas of the world that have been affected by powerful acts of nature.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, repeat the words of today’s song, How Great Thou Art

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

_______

LYRICS CREDIT: 
How Great Thou Art, CCLI Song # 14181, Stuart Wesley Keene Hine, © 1949. 1953 Stuart Hine Trust. CFO Sings, pg. 350

My God is So Great, CFO Sings, pg. 178

Life Lesson: April 24

24 Apr

Be amazed by God. Remember His graciousness toward you.

Meditate
Read Revelation 1:4-8. Read verse 7 over several times.

Sing
Thou Art Worthy¹

Thou art worthy. Thou art worthy.
Thou art worthy, oh Lord.
To receive glory, glory and honor,
glory and honor and power.
For Thou hast created,
hast all things created.
Thou hast created all things.
And for Thy pleasure they are created,
for Thou art worthy, oh Lord.

Message
As much as we hate to admit it, we often tend to become self-centered in our relationship with Jesus. We pray for things we need or we pray intercessory prayers for the needs of others. We thank God for the things He does for us and we get excited about the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives. All of this is good and it has its place, but how often do we just spend time considering the greatness of God? Spend today being amazed by the wonderful God we serve. Instead of expecting God to fill us and speak to us today, give Him your full attention and your praise.

Blessing
Bless the Lord today by serving someone in need.

Move
Sing the song, Alleluia², and move around in worship to God.

Create
Make a list of the attributes of God from A-Z

Nourish
Share your meal with someone and see if you can spend the time talking about how good God is rather than talking with about your troubles or your neighbor.

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

Recreation
Go out and take pictures of God’s great creation. If it is a dark, gloomy or rainy day, go anyway and find God in nature. He is there in the great and the small.

Pray
Pray prayers of praise today. These are prayers that only reflect on God and His greatness.

Snacks
Fast from your snack today and spend time praising the name of Jesus. Feed your soul by looking at song, hymns, or Scriptures that speak of praising Jesus.

World Prayer
Using a map or globe, look at each area of the Earth. Place your hand on each part and pray for God’s rule and reign over that area.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, repeat the words of today’s song, Thou Art Worthy

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: 
1) Thou Art Worthy, Pauline Michael Mills, CFO Sings, pg 232; 2) Alleluia, CFO Sings pg 10

Life Lesson: January 16

16 Jan

Meditate
Read Psalm 20:1-9. Think about the fact that when you call out to God, He answers you.

Sing: Blessed Be Your Name
Blessed be your name
in the land that is plentiful,
where your streams of abundance flow.
Blessed Be your name.
And blessed be your name
when I’m found in the desert place
though I walk through the wilderness.
Blessed be your name.
Chorus:
Every blessing you pour out I’ll turn back to praise
and when the darkness closes in Lord still I will say,
blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be Your Glorious name.”

Message
It was 3:30 am and I had not slept. The previous day was like no other that I ever experienced prior or wanted to experience again. About 20 hours ago, my best friend and the grandmother of my children died. She had struggled with cancer for quite some time and I knew she was tired. It was a blessing and I knew that she was with God, but that did not take away the ache in my heart. I felt a weight in my soul that I could not explain, and a cry in my heart that could not make it out.

As I sat in the dim light of the kitchen, the rest of the house asleep, I opened her Bible to the Psalms (she loved the Psalms). The first thing that I read was, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress”. Distress. I was in distress.

I continued to read and although my pain did not cease, I found hope for tomorrow in these words: “The name of the God of Jacob will protect me”, “He will send me help from the sanctuary”, “He will give me the desires of my heart”, “I will be victorious”, “The Lord saves his anointed”, “I will rise up and stand firm”, “God will answer me when I call.”

Blessing
Others Ask God to tell you who you are to bless today. What does he want to say to this person through you? Make sure you go and tell them. Do not keep this to yourself.

Move
Stand up, stretch as high as you can and say (out loud), “Praise you, Father God.” Reach down and touch the floor (carefully go as low as you can) and say, “Praise you, Jesus the Christ.” Reach your arms out to the side, stretching your hands out as far as possible and say, “Praise you, Holy Spirit.” Do this three times, each time emphasizing a different person of God.

Create
Take five minutes and think again about God hearing you when in distress. Write a note to yourself from God in response to your concern about a distressful situation.

Nourish
Think about what you have eaten in the past 24 hours. Have you had something fresh and green from God’s garden?

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

Recreation
Take a walk, even if it is five minutes, around your home or office.

Pray
Ask God who he wants you to pray for. Make a phone call and let that person know that God wants you to pray for them and do it. Do it on the phone right then. If you get voice mail, leave the prayer.

Snack
Have a snack, but keep it healthy and remember that a snack is a small amount of food. Also remember that a snack is best shared in fellowship. If you can combine your snack with your prayer group time, that would be great.

World Prayer
Let God tell you what people group to pray for. Take some time to pray for those who have lost loved ones.

Sleep
Be honest. Did you get enough sleep last night? If not, go to bed a little earlier tonight. Even if it is 10 minutes. If you watch TV before bed, turn it off and try praying instead. If you have had enough sleep, take time to thank God for good sleep.

From morning until night, we are to worship and commune with God. Start your day in His Word and throughout the day weave in these elements of time with him.

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

Life Lesson: December 26

26 Dec

Meditate
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:8. Consider that God knows your past, present and future, and that he loves you.

Sing: I Could Sing of Your Love Forever
Over the mountains and the sea,
your river runs with love for me and
I will open up my heart and let the healer set me free.
I’m happy to be in the truth and I will daily lift my hands.
For I will always sing of when your love came down.
Chorus:
I could sing of your love forever,
I could sing of your love forever,
I could sing of your love forever,
I could of your love forever.

Message
After reading through the Upper Room devotional this morning, I bowed my head to pray. The devotional spoke about life’s mountains that we need to climb, with God’s help.  I have had those mountains in my life. Mountains of debt, divorce, hurting children, pain, loss and the list goes on. At this moment, though, I found that I was not staring at a large, dark mountain in the distance. I could see the plains, stretching out before me, with the sun rising in the distance and I smiled.

I spent some time in prayer and praise to my Wonderful, Merciful God who brought me over the mountains of my past. I know that there will be mountains in my future and I will look to God for help over them, but for now He has given me a time of rest. I thanked God for reminding me to be thankful in the plateaus of life.  I also found that I could pray for others in crisis, based on the knowledge that God brought me through and will deliver them also.

Blessing
Write out a prayer for someone today. Mail it to them.

Move

Create motions as you sing this song.
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty,
there’s nothing my God can not do.
The Mountains are His, the rivers are His,
the stars are His handy work too.
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty,
there’s nothing my God can not do.

Create
Write a letter to God. Spend some time in prayer, asking God to respond to your letter. Turn your paper over and write God’s response. Put the letter in an envelope, address it to yourself and put a stamp on it. Put the letter in a convenient place, so that the next time you are in a city away from where you live, drop it in the mail box. You can also ask a loved one to mail it for you, some time in the future.

Nourish
Did you eat three regular meals today? Be aware of the portion sizes 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
Take a walk outside. Look at nature. Really look at three different plants, animals or insects. Notice the intricacies of God’s design.

Pray
Call or write to someone and ask them to pray for you. If they are willing to do it right then, allow them the privilege.

Snack
Have a light snack of seeds and nuts.

World Prayer Broadcast
Let God tell you what people group to pray for. Pray for those who are facing mountains that seem too big.

Rest
As you fall asleep tonight picture the beauty of God’s creation. Remember Psalm 121:8.

From morning until night, we are to worship and commune with God. Start your day in His Word and throughout the day weave in these elements of time with him.

———————
Lyrics Credit: From “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” © 1994 Curious? Music UK (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) Martin Smith. CCLI#283314. & From “My God Is So Great” © 1959, 2002 Nuggets of Truth CCLI#283314

Pray With Me: December 24

24 Dec

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

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

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