Tag Archives: God

Life Lesson: April 10

10 Apr

In times of trouble, may the Lord respond to your cry. Psalms 20 starts with hope in the midst of trouble…

Meditate

Read Psalm 20:1-9. Read it two or three times, very slowly.

Sing
I’ve got the joy joy joy joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I’ve got the joy joy joy joy
Down in the heart
Down in my heart to stay

I’ve got the peace
That passes understanding
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I’ve got the peace
That passes understanding
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay

Message
I have problems to solve every day. My car may run poorly yet I need it for errands and appointments. I overlooked my cousin’s birthday two weeks ago. A co-worker keeps annoying me. Psalm 20 tells me that God wants to help me with any difficulty, but I must ask Him with faith in His loving care.

Blessing
Pray for your neighbors on both sides. Leave them a note letting them know.

Move
Deep belly laughs. Really laugh. Let it go and laugh some more. Laugh until you cry.

Create
On a wall in your home, post one goal for today.

Nourish
Make sure you drink 64 ounces of water today. Omit any beverages that contain sodium.

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 catch with the neighborhood children for 30-45 minutes. Treat everyone to a soda.

Pray
Watch the news for 15 minutes and pray quickly for every person or situation as you watch and listen.

Snacks
Prepare a snack to go. Take it to a homebound person and share it.

World Prayer
Prayer for the elected officials of our country. Also pray for those who have run for office and not been elected.

Sleep
Retire 15 minutes earlier than usual.

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:
I’ve Got The Joy: CCLI Song # 4023119, Clint Brown, © 1995 Dayspring Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.), CCLI License # 283314

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: January 30

30 Jan

Meditate

Read Matthew 5 : 1-12. Think about what it means to bless and be blessed.

Sing
Vs 1 Blest be the tie that binds /  Our hearts in Christian love / The fellowship of kindred minds / Is like to that above
Vs 2 Before our Father’s throne /  We pour our ardent prayers /  Our fears our hopes /  Our aims are one / Our comforts and our cares
Vs 3 We share our mutual woes /  Our mutual burdens bear /  And often for each other flows / The sympathizing tear
Vs 4 When we asunder part /  It gives us inward pain /  But we shall still / Be joined in heart / And hope to meet again

Message
Recently, after reading the Beatitudes, I saw what Jesus meant about what blessing is and who is blessed.  Those who are poor in spirit are blessed because they will inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven is the blessing. God blesses those who mourn, because He comforts them. Comfort is the blessing. The blessing of the meek is that they will inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are blessed, because God fills them with righteousness. He blesses the merciful by being merciful to them. The pure in heart are blessed in that they will see God. God blesses peacemakers because they are called His sons. And finally, those who are persecuted because they are righteous or because they belong to Jesus are blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. These are the blessings.

I realize that when I ask God to bless someone, I am not asking for that person’s healing or prosperity. I am asking for that person to be transformed into the kind of person God blesses.  Then, the blessing is automatic.

Blessing
Adapt this prayer for someone in your family, for one of your friends or for one of your acquaintances:
“ Heavenly Father, may (my daughter, my friend) be merciful because You are showing them mercy. May (my friend) have a pure heart so they can see You in their life today.”

Move
Take a walk around your block and pray God’s blessings on each house.

Create
Think about a time when you felt lonely. Can you recognize others who are lonely? Have you had a time to be a friend to someone else who was lonely? How might you pray for them? Write your prayer/blessing.

Nourish
Eat a raw fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before. Buy an extra and share it with a 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
Visit a museum.

Pray
Find the clergy listing in the phone book. Pray for all clergy in your phone book, asking God to bless them (transform them). Concentrate on the person you are praying for, not the theological differences you may have.

Snacks
Have a healthy alternative to ice cream sandwiches. Use low-fat whipped cream between two chocolate graham crackers. Freeze until cream is set.

World Prayer
Before you go to sleep, pray for those who are being persecuted for being Christians. Thank God, that He has given them the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sleep
Before falling asleep, jot down as many blessings as you can think of. Count your blessings.

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.  

_______

CREDITS:
Message: M. Dobra, excerpts from FM Fall 2010, pg. 18
Lyrics: John Fawcett, 1782, Public Domain

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

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: October 23

23 Oct

Meditate
Read: John 3:16-21

Sing:  And Can It Be

Verse 1
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood
Died He for me who caused His pain
For me who Him to death pursued
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me.

Verse 2
He left His Father’s throne above
So free so infinite His grace
Emptied Himself of all but love
And bled for Adam’s helpless race
‘Tis mercy all immense and free
For O my God it found out me
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Verse 3
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off my heart was free
I rose went forth and followed Thee
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Verse 4
No condemnation now I dread
Jesus and all in Him is mine
Alive in Him my living head
And clothed in righteousness divine
Bold I approach th’eternal throne
And claim the crown through Christ my own
Amazing love How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Message
            Are you certain you are going to be with Jesus for eternity? If you were to die tonight, would you see Jesus? These are important questions and unless you can answer a resounding. “YES!”, you need to get this worked out today. I asked this question of a woman one day and she answered, “Well, I hope so.” This is not a good answer. Yes, we have hope of eternity, but it should not be a wishful thinking kind of hope. It should not be like, “Well I hope the seatbelt holds if I have an accident.” Or “Well I hope I get the Christmas present I want this year.” When asked if we are going to spend eternity in heaven, our answer should sound more like, “Absolutely!”, “No doubt!”, or “Yes, and I am so thankful.”

If you are not able to answer this question without doubt, today is the day. You do not have to have all the answers, you do not need to be perfect, you do not need to have all your sin issues worked out and you do not need to change everything about yourself. Jesus does not list any of these things as requirements for salvation. He simply says that those who believe in him will have eternal life. Some of these other things will fall into place as you get to know God and his Word. Other stuff in life takes longer and may be a life long struggle, but Jesus does not give up on us.

If you have no doubt that you believe in Jesus and have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, Praise God! Do not take this for granted.

Blessing
To celebrate your “born again birthday”. make or buy 6 cupcakes. Take 5 of them to the people that God brings to mind. Let them know what these are celebrating.

Move
Stretch today. Begin with your toes and work up to your head. Pay attention to every body part. Do not forget your knee caps, tummy muscles, and your ears.

Create
Get out your crayons and paper. Draw a depiction of your life before Christ. Turn your paper over and draw a depiction of your life after Salvation.

Nourish
Find someone to share a meal with and include communion.

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 that represents new life. Plant a flower, a tree, or something else that will live and grow.

Pray
Pray for those who do not know Jesus.

Snacks
Have the last cupcake for a snack. Put a candle in it and remember the day you were born again in Jesus.

World Prayer
Pray for those around the world that are being led astray by false religions.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, pray this prayer with a confident peace, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.”

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.
_______
“And Can It Be”, CCLI Song # 5252295, Charles Wesley | Don Chapman | Thomas Campbell, © 2002 Hearts to God Music, Inc., CCLI License # 283314

Resting

19 Jul

Rest time in CFO, also called horizontal hour, has often been treated as nap time or skipped altogether to run an errand or have a meeting. Rest time is intended as a time to get quiet and alone with God. This is a time to just listen and let God minister to you all alone. If you take this time to get alone and quiet and you find that you have fallen asleep, let it happen. God can minister to you as you sleep. Remember, God gives rest to the weary.

Rest is defined as “freedom from activity or labor and peace of mind or spirit, free of anxieties”. This sounds heavenly.

Genesis 2:2-3 tells us by the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Psalm 37:7 says, Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;” and Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

Sometimes we need to stop. We need to rest. We need to take time to hear God and sense His presence and His leading. Having a rest time does not mean a time of sleep each day, it means a time of freedom from activity or labor.

Creatives

9 Jul

God has done some wonderful and amazing things in people, through the Creatives session in CFO. It is done in a variety of ways, but the most common are Creative Writing and Creative Art. Generally a scripture or theme is presented to the group and materials, such as paper, pens, chalk, paints, clay or other media are distributed. Each person gets quiet before God and allows Him to begin to work in their heart. As the person begins to draw or write, God will reveal a word or truth that is needed for this person or maybe someone else in the group. At the end of the session, people are encouraged to share what they did and what God revealed to them. Some CFO events have used Creative Drama, Nature, Conversation, Music and others.

Webster says that creativity is to bring into existence, to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior and to produce through imaginative skill.

First this: God created the Heavens and Earth-all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.  Gen 1:1-2. Genesis 1:27 says that God made man in his image and later we are told that God looked at everything he made and said it was good.

God liked creating and enjoyed his creation and we should too. Do we use our imaginations or do we let the TV, videos, movies, video games do it for us? Reading uses our imagination, but even that is a form of creativity that is already done for us. Spend time writing in a journal, making up a song, drawing or painting. Many of us probably do not even know what our potential is. We need to take time to use the talents God has given us and create something. We are a society of consumers, which is what got us into financial trouble. Stop just consuming and create something.

Debt Free Lives, Part 3

20 Apr

(continued from Debt Free Lives, Part 2)
God was serious about payment of sin debt and we seem to know this. We sing about  it with all the gusto and conviction we can muster:

– “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound… I once was lost, but now am found… Was blind, but now I see…”  Then WHY do we stay lost and blind?
– In Christ Alone – vs 3 “Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me for I am his and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ!”  Sin has lost it’s grip, but we do not always want to let go.
– “Give us Clean Hands, give us pure hearts…..” , with the option to dirty them later?
– “The Power of Your Love… Let my heart be changed renewed. Living everyday by the power of your love.” . But only when it is comfortable and certainly not on the weekends?
– “Made To Worship… We are forgiven and free. When we embrace surrender and choose to believe then we will see who we were meant to be.”

We know the truth. We speak the truth. We just do not always live it.

We know that God has made provision for us when we sin. John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  What we need to grasp is that God has also made provision for us to live holy lives. Ephesians 6:10-18 gives us the battle plan, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

We must never get the idea that we can somehow work for our salvation or earn our own freedom, but we must take an active role in the grace plan that God has given us. If we decide that we are just going to live like the world and then cash in our “Get our of Jail Free” card at the end of the game, we are missing out on the abundant life that God has for us and we have not taken seriously the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for our salvation. The true revelation of what Jesus did for us should drive us to our knees in humble worship and should drive us to a life of obedience. As James 1:22 explains, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

We want to have a life of faith. We want the abundant life and a life that is free and full of joyful obedience.  We can all say, “Yes! This is what we want”, but we find it so hard to live it everyday. As CFOers, I think we can agree that are able to do pretty good at CFO and maybe a few days following, but then we slip back into the normal routine and trappings of life. We forget what we have learned or we have not learned it well. CFOers have a unique tool to help in the journey to live the life that God calls us to live. This does not mean that CFOers are perfect or that the program is a magical formula to make our lives perfect. It simply means that this is a good tool or road map to help us run the race set before us, as Paul describes it. It makes me think of a Swiss Army knife. It can do many jobs, but alone, it will not fix the car. CFO is a tool that will help us do many jobs, but it won’t give us salvation. Only God can to that.

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