Tag Archives: Christian living

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.

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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: 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.

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

Gallery

Life Lessons from CFO

1 Jul

Society is so far out of balance. We have too much food, not enough food, too much exercise, not enough exercise, too much TV, not enough study, too much sports, not enough downtime, too much purchasing, not enough producing,  too much worry, not enough meditation. So how can we use the CFO program to help us get our lives into balance?

It sounds a little like a cliché, but it makes sense, Inspiration + Expiration = Respiration. We need some of everything to have balanced lives. We can have a diet of only green leafy vegetables, but that does not mean we will be healthy. The CFO program replenishes and depletes (this is not a negative) each part of us, body, mind and soul. Meals, rest and sleep replenish the body. Singing, exercise and recreation deplete the body. The mind is replenished by the talk and also by sleep, while Creatives and fellowship deplete the mind. The Spirit is replenished by Meditation, prayer, sleep and the blessing service and is depleted by Creatives, singing, prayer and the world prayer broadcast.

In the next pages, you will find a basic daily guide for using the CFO program each day. There is a suggested meditation, song, scripture and so on. I encourage you to work through each day and all the parts of the program, do not be concerned about doing them in order or making sure you do it perfectly. If you do not know the song, let God help you make up a tune or choose a different one. If there is a suggested activity, that you feel you can not do, pray and let God give you an idea. He is always creative and will give you suggestions if you ask. Use the suggested activities to help you generate your own ideas. This should not be difficult. It it becomes too hard, then it has failed. The elements of the CFO day should just be part of who you are. Scripture, Song, prayer, giving and receiving blessing from God should be just as natural as breathing and eating.

Make notes as you complete each part and what God says to you through each section. Use the lists as a check point and journal at the end of each day. Try to look at the song and meditation early in the day, so you can carry God’s song and word through your whole day. You can also use these guides to help plan personal or group retreats. The CFO program, is a tool that God gave to an obedient man, many years ago. Let God be your guide.

My prayer is that this will help you develop positive habits and balance your lives. As John Wesley said, we need to “Do no harm, do good and stay in love with God”. This sounds balanced to me.

Remember that if or when you fail and you entertain your inner desires and they become sin, all hope is not lost. Do not despair, do not be discouraged. Confess your sin and repent (start over). Ask God to forgive you and receive his forgiveness. Forgive others that may have been involved (intentionally or unintentionally) and forgive yourself. Take control again and let Satan know that he has no place in your life. Then put on your armor, pick yourself up and continue the race.

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