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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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 25

25 Dec

Pray With MeFor those who resist embracing Jesus as Emmanuel, God with us–particularly those unbelievers in our own families.

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

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

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: 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

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

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.”

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

Life Lesson: November 14

14 Nov

Meditate
Read Exodus 15:22-27. “I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

Sing
“I am the God that healeth thee. I am the Lord, your healer. I sent my word and healed your disease. I am the Lord your healer.”

Message
Several years ago, when my daughter was about 5 years old, she was playing on the play ground with her friends. One moment she was happy and the next, she had fallen from the monkey bars, right on her nose. In fear and pain, she came running to me for help. I was certain there was nothing I could do for her little nose and so I sat on the floor, held her in my arms and rocked her gently, as she held a cold compress to her face.

As I rocked and quietly prayed, a song came to mind. The song is based on Exodus 15:26 and says, “I am the God that healeth thee. I am the Lord your healer.”  Over and over I sang these words until she felt better. When I looked at her, the swelling and bruising went down and she ran off to play.

It was 2 years or so later that I took her to an ears, nose, and throat doctor because she was having difficulty with her adenoids and tonsils. The first thing the doctor asked when she looked at her nose was, “When did she break her nose?” Since that day my daughter would tell people, “God heals me, even when I do not know I am broken”.

Blessing
Send a card a shut in. Write out a prayer and include it in the card.

Move
Stand up and relax your body. Start with your head and let your chin drop to your chest. Carefully lift it back up. Tense your arms and then relax. Tense your stomach muscles and then relax. Do the same with your thighs, legs and toes. Notice each part of your body tensing and the relaxing. As your muscles relax, allow God to minister healing and health to your body.

Create
Take a small piece of paper and begin to doodle. You remember, when you were younger and bored, you would make lines, boxes and interconnecting circles. When you feel finished, take a look at it. Look closely. Do not concern yourself with what you see, notice what does God wants you to see.

Nourish
Eat some fresh fruit today and be thankful for the great variety that God has provided.

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

Recreation
Get out and ride a bike today. If you do not have one and can not borrow one, at least take a walk.

Pray
Contact your Pastor and spouse and see what you can pray about for them. Do it with them if possible.

Snack
Make a smoothie tonight, using fresh or frozen strawberries. God’s food it so good.

World Prayer Broadcast
Pray for the people of Africa and the spread of HIV/Aids.

Rest
As you go to sleep tonight, ask God to be with you in your dreams. Ask him to speak to you in your dreams.

———————
Lyrics Credit: From “I Am the Lord That Healeth Thee” © 1986 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Don Moen. CCLI#283314

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