Tag Archives: forgiveness

Life Lesson: June 26

26 Jun

Meditate
Hebrews 12:14-15: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Sing
Something Beautiful

Something beautiful something good.
All of my confusions, he understood.
All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife.
And he made something beautiful out of my life.

Message
In the book of Ruth 1:20-21, Naomi is in a strange land and has lost her husband and her sons. She is afraid and has no way to provide for herself, much less her two daughters-in-law. In verses 20-21, she says, “Don’t call me Naomi, but call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” Naomi means pleasant and Mara means bitter. Naomi has allowed her circumstances to change and define who she is.

There have been times when I have felt hopeless, afraid, lonely, unloved, or scared. In these times, it is natural to begin to live in these feelings and allow them to become reality in our lives, instead of trusting God to make us something new. We forget that God has bigger and better plans for us and that he will make something beautiful out of our lives if we trust and allow him to do it.

Do we spend our time proclaiming the hurt, anxiety and despair of life or do we proclaim the great power of God? As Paul put it, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20–21.

Life happens, but we do not have to accept the circumstances we see today as the final outcome. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but he is in the business of changing us from Glory to Glory!

Blessing
Our Hebrews passage warned us not to let any bitter root grow up and cause trouble. Contact someone with whom you have a bitter root beginning to grow or someone who has a bitter root growing between themselves and someone else. Pray with them, asking God to heal the relationships.

Move
Sing I will Change Your Name

I will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast lonely or afraid
I will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks My face

As you sing, stretch your muscles. Start at your head and face by tightening your muscles and then releasing. Gently roll your neck and shoulders. Work your arms and fingers. Bend at the waist. Work your hips, legs and feet. Do not forget your toes.
While you do this, let God tell you who he knows you to be. Counter the negative ideas that may come and tell you otherwise.

Create
Write a list of things that cause you to become bitter. After some prayer, write names of God next to each item on the list. Choose names that counter or cover the issue that you are dealing with.

Nourish
If you have a juicer, get it out of the cupboard and try some new juice ideas. If not, get some fresh fruit and yogurt to enjoy a healthy smoothie.

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

Recreation
Go for a hike in the woods. Notice the beauty of God’s creation. Realize that you are part of the beautiful creation that God called, “Good!”

Pray
Pray that God will show you how much he loves you. Share this with someone who does not really understand that God loves them.

Snacks
Try a beautiful fruit: Pomegranate, Kiwi or something else that intrigues you.

World Prayer
Watch the news or read the paper. Be aware of people who have bitter roots growing in them. Pray for them and ask God to touch their hearts.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, thank God that he created you and that he loves you. Rest in the fact that you are loved and cared for by 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.
_______
Something Beautiful”, CCLI Song # 18060, Gloria Gaither | William J. Gaither, © 1971 William J. Gaither, Inc. ARR UBP of Gaither Copyright Management, CCLI License # 283314

I Will Change Your Name”, CCLI Song # 145139, D. J. Butler, © 1987 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.), CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: May 8

8 May

Let’s be honest – how well do we love others?

Meditate

Read 1 John 5:1-6

Sing
Beloved, Let Us Love One Another

Beloved, let us love one another.
For love is from God
And everyone who loves is born of God
and he knows God.
The one who does not love
does not know God for God is love.
Beloved, let us love one another
for love is from God

Message
During a recent Bible study, we were working our way through First John when I made a startling connection. These were not new Scriptures, but two old familiar Scriptures were suddenly connected in a new way. The first passage came from 1 John 3:16 where we decided, as a group, that love was defined as: “laying down one’s life for another.” The second passage came from 1 John 4:7 where we read that God commands us to love each other. We all agreed and were quite happy with ourselves when we decided that we love everyone.

Then… There was a pause… Do we, according to our previous definition, love (lay down our lives for) everyone? Now three are people who I love and I would lay down my life for. Then there are people who I love and hurt when they hurt. Then there are those who I tolerate. Lastly, there are those who I would rather not be around. Do I love everyone? Would I lay down my life for everyone? John then takes this to the next logical conclusion: If I say I love God and hate my brothers and sisters, then I am a liar (1 John 4:20). John previously told us that if we hate our brothers and sisters, we are murderers and cannot live with God (1 John 3:15). As a Bible study group, we came to this final conclusion: If I say I love God, then I must be willing to lay down myself for others. If I am unwilling to set myself aside and raise others up, then I am simply a liar and a murderer. Because of God’s love for me, I must make amends with others and treat everyone as better and more important than me. For more of this, read James!

Blessing
Contact someone who you tend to just “tolerate” and pray a blessing for them.

Move
Get comfortable in a chair or on the floor or bed. Be aware of each body part from your toes to your head. Do not miss any part, moving from the bottom to the top. As you consider each part, tense, hold and release each part. When you are finished, pray that God will release your love for others, just as you have released each body part from tension.

Create
Using a 3×5 card or other small piece of paper, write a blessing to an unknown person. Ask God how many of these you should do and do as many as he tells you.

Nourish
Pick one meal today and whatever you eat, donate the food stuffs for that meal to a local food pantry or soup kitchen.

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 natural place of beauty, museum or exhibit in your area that you have never been to and go enjoy it. Go even if you think it might not be something you are interested in.

Pray
In prayer; make a list of people who you need to love better. Take a few minutes to pray for each of these people. Give these people the blessing cards you created today.

Snacks
Treat yourself to something you find really yummy. Do not over-do it, but enjoy it. We cannot do this every day, but a treat is something special.

World Prayer
Pray for those areas of the world that are in war.

Sleep
Pray one last blessing on the person you find most difficult before you fall asleep.

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:
Beloved, Let Us Love One Another, Dale Garratt, CFO Sings, pg 304

Life Lesson: May 1

1 May

Yielding to God and His ways is so rewarding. It is our choice, yet His response to us is so much more.

Meditate
Read Jeremiah 31:31-34.
Pay special attention to the end of verse 34: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Sing
Verse 1:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, after Thy will.
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Verse 2:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Search me and try me, Master today.
Whiter than snow Lord, wash me just now.
As in Thy presence, humbly I bow.

Verse 3:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Wounded and weary, help me I pray.
Power all power, surely is Thine.
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Verse 4:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Hold o’er my being, absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit, till all shall see.
Christ only always, living in me.

Message
Jesus Christ is the New Covenant, the spotless Yeshua, My salvation! Jesus tells us, Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. You and I were not created to carry the burden of the world, but to rest in Jesus. The battle is his and not ours to fight. Jesus has already won! Alleluia!

Blessing
Find a partner and take turns speaking affirmations to one another: “You are a child of God”, “Jesus has paid the price for your sins”, “God does not remember your sin anymore”, and “You are precious in His sight”

Move
Sit in a chair and move each body part, from your toes to your neck and head. Do not strain, but feel each body part work. Remember your fingers, tongue, eyes, and nose. Use quiet music to relax by.

Create
Take some quiet time to listen to God. Write a note of thanksgiving to Jesus. Date it and place it in a drawer or book where you may find it at some other time.

Nourish
Prepare a meal with the decision to drop one unhealthy habit. For example: Use a smaller plate, do not have seconds, cut out desserts, cut serving size in half.

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
Do something physical that you have wanted to try, but have never done.

Pray
Be still and ask God to show you how he has changed your heart. Ask Him who to pray for and commit to pray for them over the next several days.

Snacks
Have some apple slices with cheese.

World Prayer
Pray for each of the nations of South America, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Sleep
Commit to getting 7-8 hours of sleep tonight. Go to bed at a time that you will have that many hours available.

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:
“Have Thine Own Way Lord”, used with permission, CFO Sings, page 296

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

Blessing Service, World Prayer Broadcast, and Letters to God

14 Aug

Blessing Service
At CFO, time is set aside for a blessing service. Although done differently at each camp, the result is the same. This is an opportunity to pray a blessing over each other, as it is God’s desire to speak to and bless his people.

Webster says that “To bless is the act or words of one that blesses with approval or encouragement.” To bless someone leads to happiness and a sense of wellbeing, to be used by God in the blessing does the same for the giver. It is possible that God will give a word of encouragement or possibly direction at this time. Matt. 18:18 says, I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven, and Luke 6:28 exhorts us to Bless those who persecute you. We are called to bless one another and to speak blessings, not curses. We should take every opportunity to receive God’s blessing and to impart God’s blessing to everyone.

World Prayer Broadcast
The World Prayer Broadcast gives us opportunity “To cast or scatter in all directions”, “To scatter or sow over a broad area” and “To make public”, the prayers of God for His people and His world.

In Acts 1:8, it says, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Philippians 4:6-7 states, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  We must be concerned (not worry) about, pray for and seek God’s will for the world. We can not keep this to ourselves. It is our duty, our calling and our command.

Our baptism demands “going into all the world”. We are baptized into a life and ministry of servant-hood to the world. Christ defined “going into all the world”, when he showed us how to love the unlovely and touch the untouchable and care for the undeserving. Our spirit demands “going into all the world”. In view of what Christ did for us, what other response can there be? The World Prayer Broadcast is our opportunity to call on God to impart His blessing to the world and deal with world issues.

Letters to God
A letter to God should be encouraged at every camp. This is a special tool that God has given us and has blessed those who have used it over the years. Take a piece of paper and actually 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, seal it and address it to yourself.   These letters, written at camp, are never read by anyone else but are placed in the mail at some point in the future. You will be amazed at the timing of the letter’s arrival and the words that God has for you at that time.

Debt Free Lives, Part 2

19 Apr

(continued from Debt Free Lives, Part 1)
Having identified sin for what it is and the virtual impossibility of change, what is the point of change and how dare we imply that change is possible? The fact is that living a sin free life is not a concept that is new with this book. God clearly stated, way back in Leviticus 11:44 and many other places, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”  It says in Hebrews 12:14, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” If God said it, there must be a way. Right?

Romans 6:1-18 addresses the idea of fighting the desire and temptation to sin, “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

“Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

“Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.”  (New Living Translation)

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