Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Prayer: “Lord, I praise You for Your great and awesome power. There is nothing too difficult for You. I lay all of my burdens at Your feet, knowing that You are able to masterfully handle the worst of my problems. You are able to work miracles and create beauty from ashes. I look with expectation toward the awesome things You will do today as I fix my eyes on You, Lord Jesus. Amen.”

Ephesians 3: 20, 21 “To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ to all generations, forever and ever.”

My meditation tonight calls these the “WOW!” verses.

First, God is able. Whatever difficulty we are facing it is not impossible with God.

Second, God is more than able. He can do over and above what is needed. Just think about the feeding of the 5,000. God, working through Jesus, took five loaves and three fishes. He blessed them and shared them enough to satisfy 5,000 folks who came to hear Him preach. Then, just to drive home the point, there were 12 baskets of leftovers. That is “exceedingly and abundantly!”

Third, God is able to do beyond all we can ask or think. So when we pray, let’s pray big! Our God is not a God of “barely.” The Word tells us He is a God of abundance! Remember we are coming to a King. His grace and power are such that we can never ask too much.

God’s power and might are available to work mighty acts in each of us today. God wants to shine through us so that all of the glory will go to His Son, Jesus. Let us open ourselves to His workings in our lives and hearts, being bold when we pray.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Pray big my friends. God is bigger than all of our needs and wants to meet those needs with His abundant and amazing grace. Take care my friends and see you in worship. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Happy Friday!

Okay…Captain Jack Sparrow is the best pirate ever. We treated ourselves to an evening out at the movies. “Pirates” is great fun!

Prayer: “Father, help me to be mindful of Your presence today. Speak to my heart with wisdom and understanding. You are my strength, and I will lift You up so that others might come to know the saving grace that only You can give. May Your name be praised forever. Amen”

Romans 14: 7, 8 and 13 “None of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s…Let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”

Have you ever been around someone who always either had to have the last word or contradicted something you said no matter how small? Or are we ever the one who does these things? Perhaps each of us has done these things. Disagreements happen between even the most faithful believers. Disagreements have been around since Old Testament times even up through the development of the church. So here is the thing - are we disagreeing because we really have an issue with the statement by the other party or are we just looking to criticize when we should be looking for ways to bless others? This passage of scripture says, “let us not judge one on other.” When we judge someone we are saying, “You are wrong and I am right.” When in truth what really matters is not whether we are right or wrong, but whether we are right with God or not. So instead of finding reasons to disagree with someone perhaps we should try harder to be in obedience to the Scripture so that we are not a stumbling block to anyone.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When we pray tonight, let us ask the Father to make us better listeners. Also, let us to consider whether being right about an issue or being right with God is more important. Pray for one another remembering that God is with us in the tough times and in the times of gladness. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Thursday!

The retirement party was wonderful. Each of us(the retirees) had our own cake and each was presented with a bag of edible goodies and a beautiful Waterford crystal bowl. It is so beautiful. When I use it on very special occasions I will remember my dear friends at Burton Hill and the many blessings I have received being in the fellowship of these fine people with such loving and caring hearts. Being their friend and colleague for the last 10 years has been a privilege and extraordinary joy. These precious souls I am blessed to call my friends acted in the highest of unselfish ways during the most difficult times of our lives and have celebrated at each joy since Casey’s death. So my friends, I will miss each of you and pray God’s richest blessings on you and your families. I love you all. Gaylene

Prayer: “Father God, I worship You this day and give You praise because true peace comes from You. Help me to live in peace with You and with others. If I have any form of rebellion, guide in my heart, reveal it to me. Show me how I can submit to You more. Guide me today. May my life reflect the power of Your glory. You are my eternal peace. Amen.”

Romans 12: 1, 2 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”

You know, no matter what, we are all accountable to someone else. It does not matter if the relationship is employee to boss, student to teacher, children to parent or believer to Christ. The apostle Paul encouraged believers to submit to Rome’s authority as much as possible because submission leads to peace. When we submit ourselves to God through Jesus we can lead a peaceful life. That does not mean a life free from tough decisions, difficulties, hurts or illness. What it does mean is that as we turn more and more of our lives over to God then He stays with us through the roads and paths of His choosing no matter what difficulties we encounter. God does not just stay with us, He works with us through His Word, prayer and the fellowship of His children.

God established the home to be peaceful as we are to submit to one another in love and we care for and raise our families. And He gave us Jesus to model total submission to Himself and demonstrate that even through the most difficult times and even unto death, Jesus was still at peace because of His unfailing obedience and submission to His heavenly Father.

So here is tonight’s question…To whom do we need to submit to have peace?

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray, please include a prayer of healing for Bruce. We are in a journey of a thousand steps and are on step four. Your prayers will help us to stay focused on one task and one decision at a time being ever mindful that we are on God’s time and not our own. We are praying for you too. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

So here is what we know so far…Bruce will see the surgeon June 7. The surgery is normally scheduled within the following two weeks. After a 4—7 day hospital stay, Bruce will go home where he will have to take it easy for a while. We have not heard anything about a rehab program, but we feel sure that rehab will be involved.

During this time in our lives, we will be in need of prayer on so many levels it is difficult to know where to begin. So I will begin with giving God glory and praise for His every perfect blessing and His faithfulness. Remembering that God is the Master Healer and will guide each step Bruce takes toward full recovery. And with God’s grace we will figure out the rest as we go.

Prayer: “Father in heaven, I praise Your name. Today, help me to have the mind of Christ and remember His example of a godly life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I may respond to criticism in a way that pleases You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Romans 12: 16-18 “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. It is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

Each Wednesday morning there is a small group of women who gather in my classroom for a time of prayer, share and devotion before we begin the school day. We have grown to treasure each other and our friendship and sisterhood in Christ. The interesting thing is that everyone in the building knows about this group. We do not meet in secret; any and all are welcome, but not all feel comfortable. When some of those who do not attend are in need they will slip into my classroom and ask for prayer. It is such a joy to have someone come in and ask for me and the group to lift them in prayer. There are those who come in on Wednesday to announce they are not going to stay, but still ask for prayer.

The Apostle Paul teaches that we are to be of a “like mind toward one another.” We are to live our lives together. That life means sharing the burdens and blessings of everyday with all who ask and not just those in “our group.”

Believers are called to a higher standard and to not return evil for evil. Even if someone has wronged us and a broken relationship results we still need to pray for them and for ourselves asking God to restore what has been broken. This life of peace requires us to live in love and faith believing that God can right every wrong. Lastly this life of living peaceably calls us to live in hope knowing that God works all things together for good. Ask God to help make our hearts like Christ’s living in humility, humbleness, in love and peace.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Remember that God is with us in every room of our lives and there is quite enough for each of us. We love you all and are counting on you, mighty and faithful prayer warriors, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

PS Tomorrow the school is hosting a retirement party for two other staff members and me. Where did the last 30 years go? I never thought I would retire before my Dad!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Greetings from a soggy Austin St.

Happy Tuesday!

WOW!!! God really puts on a show! We seemed to have faired the storm pretty well. We had some strong winds, rain and a brief bout with hail. We are not sure of any damage as of yet. We managed to make it through NCIS, but not Glee. We were outside much of the time observing God’s handiwork. The clouds were pretty amazing. And I just heard that they are going to try to resume the Ranger game in about 30 minutes. Really!? I think they sent the fans home. It is raining again so maybe good sense will kick in they will send the players home too!

Prayer: Father, although I am one of billions of people in the world, You know me intimately and are always willing to listen to me. The fact that I am special and precious to You is mind-boggling to me. I want to put You first today and let You shine like the sun through me. You, Lord, are worthy. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.”

Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, not stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he does shall prosper.”

This passage reminds us to stay in the Word. The key to getting to know God is to learn His promises and rely on HIS FAITHFULNESS. God does His work in each one of us. He fills our hearts with hope no matter what the circumstances. God gives us direction in His Word and the power to walk in His ways.

Let’s review that last statement, THE POWER TO WALK IN HIS WAYS. The power does not come by our will, but by His will to perfect Himself in us. God is faithful to meet us each time we open His Word and call His name. So in the midst of the storms of life when the lights have gone off, don’t wait for the power company to reconnect your power to bring you out of darkness and into light. Find a candle, open God’s holy Word and call His name. And the darkness will give way to light.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes or rainboots if necessary. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Tonight as the storm raged all around I sat on the porch in a rocker and prayed giving thanks for the majesty of His creation and for our protection and safety. We were sort of in the eye of the storm. God will remain with us in the most violent of storms and long after the storm has past. Rely on His faithfulness. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Monday!

Prayer: “Lord, thank You for this new day. I praise You because Your mercies are new every morning and Your faithfulness is great. Thank You that You have a wonderful plan for me. I choose to walk by faith and not by sight today. Guide me, Jesus, as I seek You above all else. In Your name I pray. Amen.”

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly.”

If there are those of you who have e been reading this nightly writing since the CaringBridge Days you may remember this story. I was at MD Anderson with Casey while he was receiving treatment. It must have been a really bad day because I was really down in the dumps. I found myself walking in the nurse’s pod (the area just outside the patient rooms) and becoming sadder by the moment and feeling completely without hope. It was one of those rare moments when there was no one else outside of their rooms and all of the nurses were with patients and I was alone in the pod. Casey was in a coma brought on by the massive amount of chemotherapy drugs being given to him. I finally stopped walking and said out loud, “Satan, you have no power here. You will not steal my joy or my hope.”

An abundant life in the eyes of God does not mean that we will have earthly, temporal riches. The abundant life God speaks of is a life spent in faithfulness to God and trusting in His mercies and new start each day. The abundant life is a life believing in the hope and joy that only a relationship with Jesus can provide. Satan knows that we can recoup the earthly, temporal losses so that is why he goes after those things so close in our relationship to God. Satan tries to steal our joy, our peace and our faith and replace them with doubt, bitterness and despair. We must stand up to Satan and say, “NO!!”

Jesus offers each of us abundant life in joy and peace and bids us to simply come and claim that life because it is ours for the taking. Abundant life is not some mythical dream but is a gift from a loving God and is ours to enjoy. Claim that life today. By the way, after I stood toe to toe with Satan that day, I went into Casey’s room, found paper and a marker and wrote on it “Satan you have no power here!” And then I taped it outside our door just in case Satan decided to try to break in and steal once again. From that moment on I have ended each correspondence with “Take joy in the journey.” Let no one steal your joy!

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray remember to praise God and glorify His name with honor and respect remembering that He is the author and giver of each moment of joy, peace and tender mercy. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Please offer prayers for God’s peace and comfort to those who lost family or homes or both in the tornados in Missouri and Minnesota yesterday.
Blessed Sunday!

With the full support of my family and extraordinary scripture assurance and affirmation from my best friend Carme, I placed dual membership in the Palmer Christian church this morning. The congregation was warm and welcoming and understood my reasons for joining. It is my hope to serve this small congregation when the need arises.

Prayer: Father, as I enter this new phase of service to You I pray that I would always think of You first and myself second. You taught us to pray “Our Father…” You proclaimed us as Your children and demanded obedience. I pray I am walking in obedience to Your Word and to Your calling as Your daughter and Your servant. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This morning Rev. C.D. Haun taught the second in a three part lesson on prayer. Today’s lesson was based on the scripture from Matthew 6 as God instructs the disciples on how to pray. Jesus speaks these words, “When you pray, pray in this way…” The beginning of The Lord’s Prayer is written as an address to the God of heaven and earth. Following that beginning comes the phrase: “hallowed” be Thy name.

For us to say that God is Hallowed, or Holy, is the highest term of respect we can use for the Father. We then pray for His will to be done and His kingdom to come into our own lives just as it is in heaven. In heaven there is nothing but total obedience to God and His will is met without question or debate.

When we pray, the words are not really necessary, for God knows the intentions of our hearts, even when we are so used up and empty from the dealings of life. God understands and knows the very inner most thoughts of our souls and can bring about healing from brokenness without flowery language and fancy talk, but by the simple calling of His name “Jesus.”

I know that listening is going to be a large part of the ministry of chaplaincy, but equal will be the ministry of prayer. I know I will be asked to pray for healing, perfection in surgeries, God’s tender mercies, pain to be alleviated and all manner of needs. I pray that, when the time comes for me to pray for those in need, God will give me the ears to hear His Word, and the voice to glorify God first and foremost and to ask for the needs of those for whom I am praying be met according to His will.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray remember to glorify God in your prayers and be assured that He hears and knows your deepest needs. Jesus will show His love for each of us as He hears and answers our prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Prayer alert: Rev. C.D. Haun of Palmer Christian Church will be leaving for the Mayo Clinic after services on next Sunday. He has suffered for years from migraine headaches and is seeking relief from them. I ask your prayers not only for a safe journey as he and his wife Sherry travel to Minnesota next week, but also prayers for a workable treatment plan for the headaches. Thank you. Peace, gc