Tag Archives: hope

Life Lesson: August 8

7 Aug

Meditate
Read 2 Kings 2:1-14 & Luke 9:51-62

Sing
Higher Ground
vs1
I’m pressing on the upward way. New heights I’m gaining everyday.
Still praying as I onward bound, “Lord plant my feet on higher ground.”

vs2
My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay.
Tho’ some may dwell where these abound, my prayer, my aim is higher ground.

vs3
I want to live above the world tho Satan’s darts at me are hurled.
For faith has caught the joyful sound: The song of saints on higher ground.

vs4
I want to scale the utmost heights and catch a gleam of glory bright,
but still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found, “Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”

Chorus
Lord, lift me up and let me stand by faith on heaven’s table land.
A higher plane than I have found. Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

Message 
Elisha was a young farmer living with his parents when he was called to be Elijah’s successor and he gave up everything (Father, Mother, business and oxen) to follow. Much time passes as Elisha is mentored and trained by Elijah and in the end, Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. The Message translates this request as, “Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you.” Elisha had walked with Elijah for a long time and wanted to be everything he had seen in Elijah.

The two Scriptures we read for meditation have some interesting similarities. Both have similar beginnings: “When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven” and “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven” Both record similar responses from the disciples to their teacher: “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you” and “I will follow you wherever you go” Lastly, both teachers explain the difficulties of what has been asked: “You have asked a difficult thing” and “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

God responded to Elisha’s request as he saw Elijah being taken up and by the symbol of his cloak being left behind. God had already responded to the disciple of Jesus in the prophet Joel when it was recorded, “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on your sons and daughters.”

Elisha could have left the cloak on the ground and walked away. Jesus’ disciple also could have walked away. Both Elijah and Jesus said it would be a hard thing. Neither disciple walked away and the impact on the world is astounding. We need to ask ourselves today:

  • Am I asking for God’s Spirit to be working in my life?
  • Am I taking what God gives me and using it well?”

In Glenn Clark’s book, “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes”, he suggests these prayers:

“I pray for…

“…your spirit to enter me and fill me completely.”
“…your kingdom to come, in earth as it is in heaven.”
“…my will to become completely and utterly your will.”
“…the right persons to come into my life at the right time and in the right way.”
“…the right ideas to come to me in perfect sequence and in perfect order, in the right time and in the right way.”
“…my deepest soul’s sincere desire to be fulfilled in the right time and in the right way.”

Blessing
Ask God who you should bless today. Write the prayer pointers from “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes” and give them to this person. Let them know that this is what you will be praying for them. Do not forget to pray!

Move
Find a staircase in a building or in your home. Walk up and down the stairs several times while considering the chorus of “Higher Ground”

Create
Draw a line on a paper that represents the mountain that you are climbing to reach the heights that God has for you. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to help you see what helps you move up the mountain, what pushes you back and what keeps you from moving at all. Draw some symbols along the mountain that represent these helps or hindrances.

Nourish
As you eat today, be aware of your calorie intake. Are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? Find out how many calories are good for you.

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 someone on an outing that cannot generally get out. This may be a child with busy parents or an older person without ability or freedom to get out. Take them to see or do something simple and then take them for an ice cream cone.

Pray
Using the prayers in the message today, spend time praying for God to pour out his Spirit into your life.

Snacks
Forget it! You had ice cream during recreation today!

World Prayer
Turn on the TV or from your newspaper, get the “headline” of the day. Pray for those involved in this situation.

Sleep
Try to get some extra sleep tonight so that you can be the best you can be for 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: 
“Higher Ground” pg 63 CFO Sings

Life Lesson: July 3

3 Jul

Meditate
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (Romans 12:1–2)

Sing
 Beautiful Things

Verse 1
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

Verse 2
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

Chorus
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Verse 3
All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in you

BRIDGE
You make me new
You are making me new
You make me new
You are making me new (REPEAT)

Message
We live in a culture that says, “I can’t help it”, “This is just who I am”, “If you do not like me, get over it”, “I may be irritating and bother people, but I like who I am”, “This is the way that God made me.” Maybe we have said these things too. Maybe we have just thought them. Maybe we have even taken comfort in them. I have taken this attitude in regard to some bad habits in the past because it was easier. I did not have to quit smoking, exercise, eat better, or treat others better, because this is who I am! The reality is that this was not who God made me to be, He made me to live according to His good, pleasing and perfect will.

The real difference in the changes we make has to do with the depth of the change. If it is just a surface change it does not transform me and is only a temporary adjustment. If the change gets into my head and my heart it can be a complete life change. When the changes we make start with laying ourselves out as a living sacrifice and include our entire body, mind and soul, then we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

Change is not easy. I have made some changes in my life and many others I am still working on. Anything that has significantly changed has to be kept in line with God’s plan or it will easily slip back to the old ways. The key is to stop telling ourselves that change is impossible. It may be hard work, but it is not impossible. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Blessing
Do you know someone who has tried to make a change in life? Let them know you are praying for them. If not, contact a friend and confess a change you are trying to make and ask them to pray for you. Ask if there is something you can keep in prayer for them.

Move
Sing and do the motions for “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. With each pass over your body, ask God to transform your life.

Create
With crayon and paper, draw a picture of yourself. Take a few minutes to pray and ask God to show you what changes he wants you to make in your mind or body. After prayer, take another crayon and see what God has you add to your self-portrait.

Nourish
Take an everyday ingredient and transform it into something you have never eaten before.

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
Think of an activity that you have enjoyed in the past and have not done for a long time. Go do it. If you can share it with a friend that you have not spent time with in awhile, call them.

Pray
Spend some time in prayer concerning the things that God showed you in your creative time. Ask God to show you specific ways to make the necessary changes.

Snacks
Take your snack outside and see what God shows you.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are stuck in an unhealthy pattern and feel there is no way out.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, be thankful for the healing that God does in your mind and body as you sleep.

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:
Beautiful Things, CCLI Song # 5665521, Lisa Gungor | Michael Gungor, © 2009 worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), CCLI License # 283314

 

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: 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.

———————————-

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: 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: January 9

9 Jan

Meditate: Read Exodus 14:1-3.

‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are our ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

Sing
My life is in you Lord.
My strength is in you Lord.
My hope is in you Lord.
In you, it’s in you!
I will praise you with all of my life.
I will praise you with all of my strength.
With all of my life, with all of my strength, all of my hope is in you.

Message
God, what are you doing? Turn back? Camp here? Did the Israelites question God’s directions? Did they understand what he was doing?   We needed to leave for my daughter’s ball game and that’s when I cut my hand. It was clear that I would need stitches. We went to the hospital and minutes turned into hours. What was taking so long? We needed to get to Erin’s game. Finally we were done, but it was too late for the game and we just headed home. I was disappointed and did not understand why God did not answer my prayers to get us to the game. When we arrived home the reasons were clear. The game had been canceled due to rain. Rain we were not getting at the hospital or at home. God was actually watching out for us and save us a 90 mile round trip to a canceled game.

When will I learn that God knows best?

Blessing
Randomly give away the 3×5 cards you will write today (see Pray section). Leave them for a waitress or give them to the cab driver. Leave one for your mailman.

Move 

My Lord know the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. Strength for today is mine always. My Lord know the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow.

Create
Plant a flower, bush or tree.

Nourish
Eat something with whole grains 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
Sit on your porch with a song book. See how far you can get, singing through it. Start at the back of the book this time.

Pray
Write out prayers of blessing on 3×5 cards. Write what God lays on your heart. You do not know who these are for.

Snack
Each a fresh vegetable you have never eaten before.

World Prayer
Pray for the Jewish people of the world who do not yet know Jesus as the Messiah.

Sleep
Go to bed an extra 15 minutes early, if you have been feeling tired.

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:
From “My Life is in You Lord” © 1986 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Daniel Gardner. 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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