Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Prayer: “God, as I look forward to Sunday worship I pray that You will be in the midst of our services. I pray that your will begins now to work in the hearts of those who will be there. Help me to remember that we are to be in the business of seeing lives changed. Give our worship leaders the wisdom to stay focused on you as they lead us in the worship of You. Father I know that You will speak to us in the power of the Word, spoken, preached, prayed or sung and even in the silences of our own hearts. When we worship may we clear our minds of everything except the worship of You and Your Son. May we praise your name. Amen.”

Acts 2: 46 “Continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.”

And thus the first of many covered dish dinners! The early believers met in each other’s homes first to worship and then to fellowship. Their lives were in constant commitment to the Lord and in their relationships with each other. I have heard people say that they are believers in Jesus, but they do not attend worship. Scripture tells us that it is difficult to have a walk with Christ if you do not fellowship with His people. How can one serve God and not love the church created by Him?

These early believers, as a result of their consistent worship of Christ and fellowship with others believers, grew the church. There was very little division among these early followers of Christ because of their commitment and focus on the worship and teaching of Jesus. If we remember that Jesus is Lord and keep Him on the throne of our hearts instead of placing ourselves in that seat then we can stay in fellowship with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and the church will continue to grow.

When we worship tomorrow may we let the full capacity of our hearts and minds be in the worship of God, then be prepared to love and serve the body of Christ, not on getting to the restaurant before others get there, the trip to the grocery store or the sporting event on TV. Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and deserves our full attention as we worship with other believers.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. See you in worship. Love you lots, 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.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Friday!

We have a sister-in-law who’s name is Grace. We received an email from her today. She has re-named Bruce. He is now “King Bruce” because of all of those crowns in his mouth. I love it!!

Prayer: “Lord, I pray that You will make me sensitive to the needs of the people I will interact with today. Give me the opportunity to demonstrate the love that You have for them. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You. Help me to have a heart for You, and as a result, to have a heart for those who need to know You. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:9 “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”

A couple of years ago one of Geni’s friends was going to ride the train from Fort Worth to San Antonio then on to California. Her friend missed the train. Geni offered to take her to San Antonio to catch the next leg of her train. So all of this friend’s possessions were loaded into Geni’s then little Malibu and off they went. In the mean time I phoned my best friend Carme and asked if she could house some college co-eds for the night. Now Carme had just had visitors leave that day and she really needed to recuperate from one visit before another set of visitors arrived. But in true Carme fashion she said, “Sure, just let me get the towels washed.” She never grumbled about the short notice, an empty fridge or space. She simply invited the girls into her home offering shelter, food, clean beds and the radical hospitality of a best friend and Christian sister.

In the early New Testament days if people who traveled through your town then you were expected to provide hospitality meaning offering food and shelter. And no payment for this hospitality was expected. In this expectation there were, I am sure, those who grumbled behind the backs of the travelers but Scripture tells us that we are to be hospitable to all. As Christians we need to treat visitors cheerfully showing them the love of God.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let us pray that God will show us ways to meet the needs of those who are in need of the radical hospitality that only the love of God can provide. Ask God to put someone in your path today who needs a blessing. Pay attention and in faith meet the needs of others. 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, July 7, 2011

Happy Thursday!

Bruce went back to work today and painted in a hot garage all day. He is amazing. He goes back to the dentist tomorrow for a check-up. Modern dentistry is totally amazing.

Prayer: “Lord, I come to You today with great confidence, knowing that there is nothing that I will face today that is too large for You to handle or too small for You to notice. You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love. I pray that You will make this a productive day as I seek to serve You effectively. In every situation, give me the wisdom to come to You first rather than trying to figure it out myself first. Your way is always better. Amen.”

1 Peter 1:22 “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.”

The work of attaining a pure heart is a work that God does within us and not anything we do ourselves. We are commanded to love. Some folks are easier to love than others. Having the love of God, God’s pure love, in our hearts makes loving a lot easier. The way we have this kind of love is by learning and bearing God’s truth in our heart, mind and actions. This kind of love is not just a love for show but a kind of love that gives us the ability to love when we don’t feel like it. When we are submitted to God, we are given the ability to see others through the eyes of God, learning to love them despite their weaknesses and our weaknesses. When we can learn to love others and see them through the eyes of God then God can work miracles through each of us.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Ask God to place someone in your path today. Bless and love them as you see them through the eyes of God. 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, July 6, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Bruce is doing well after total reconstructive oral surgery today. He looks so amazing! He has waited all of his life for this. When I picked him up his lip was still kind of numb and droopy. (He did a great Elvis lip!!) But he was able to raise his lip just enough for me to see the most beautiful, perfect teeth ever. I think I cried just a little. When Geni and Travis saw him they clapped and cheered. Right now everything is temporary until after the heart surgery and then the permanent crowns will be done. So far I don’t think he has felt too much discomfort. They gave him continuous nitrous oxide (laughing gas) throughout the 5 hour procedure. He was kind of silly every once in a while with some uncontrollable laughter, but other than that he has rested most of the day and plans to work tomorrow. Thank you for all of your prayers. We so appreciate all of your kind and heartfelt support. Please don’t stop!!!

Prayer: “Father, today I am reminded of Your grace and how You loved me so much that You sent Your Son to die on the Cross for my sin. Your grace is so amazing, and I never cease to be astounded at how You were willing to pay such a price for me. I give this day to You, and I ask that You use it for Your glory alone. When people see my inadequacy, may they be reminded of Your awesome power. Amen.”

Galatians 6: 1,2 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Have you ever come upon a situation or someone and said to yourself, “there by the grace of God go I?” I most certainly have. As I saw street people sleeping in doorways during our stay in San Antonio I had cause to say that. I was not sure how I could help them, so I just said a prayer for them and prayed that somehow today they were able to eat, have shelter, had some relationship with someone and know that someone somewhere loved them.

These two verses were written for those of us who believe in Jesus and realize that it is only by God’s grace that we are not sleeping in a doorway somewhere. And even more so that we are not overtaken by sinfulness that cannot be forgiven by God.

God commands us to love His people with all our hearts, all our minds, all our souls and our neighbors as ourselves. We are not asked to pass judgment on fellow believers for that is not our job. It is our command to help restore those who are in situations that seem so bad that they seem to be unrecoverable. But Corrie Ten Boom once said, “No pit is so deep that His love is not deeper still.” Where God’s love is present, God is there. So when we meet someone who is carrying a burden we need to give them God’s love and encourage them to get their lives back on track and live a life in line with the direction of God.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Ask God to place someone in your path who needs a blessing and listen to how God wants you to bless them. Love you all and thanks again, 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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Tuesday!

We are home! Our two four legged children, Jackson and Lamar, were so excited to see us! And I was really glad to see them. I missed them a lot. I think we are all looking forward to sleeping in our own beds tonight.

Our vacation was so much fun. We did some exploring of the Riverwalk, made stops at The Alamo, took the riverboat tour (way cool!) and ate until we were tired! I never thought I would get tired of chips, salsa and guacamole, but it will be a while before I indulge again! We spent a lot of our time with our best friends Carme and Dave. It was a great time to catch up and enjoy time together. We went to the Hill Country Christian Church (Carme and Dave’s church) on Sunday. It was a wonderful worship service with the warmest and most welcoming congregational family. We had a really great time and we are glad to be home. I have missed all of you too!

Prayer: “Lord, I bless Your name this morning. I praise You for another day that I can use for Your glory. I pray that the time I spend in Your Word will be the foundation for everything that I do. I pray that my words and my actions will bring glory to You and that I will spend my time serving others rather than doing the things that are only pleasing to myself. Make me a servant for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Galatians 5: 13 “You, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

Today as we were about to get off of the plane at DFW the pilot asked all of us to honor those who served in our branches of the military who help provide the liberty and freedom we live under each and every day. The plane full of people applauded those who were in military service who were flying with us. As I read this scripture I thought of those who serve as ones who have been called to liberty in order to live a life of service in order that others might experience a life of liberty themselves.

As believers in Jesus we find liberty in our relationship with Jesus. Jesus came to grant us His grace through forgiveness of our sins. We are liberated from our sins out of His love for us by His crucifixion and resurrection. The amazing love of Jesus is the gift that frees us. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus was the role model for service and expects us to become servants in His name. We are expected to grant grace and forgiveness to others because God’s amazing love and grace was freely, lovingly and completely given to us and continues to be given to us with each breath we take. Jesus served us. Now we are called to serve others.

Since being retired, I have been getting up each day getting some coffee and watching Joyce Meyer at 7:00. This last week she has been speaking on service to others. She says that each morning when she prays she asks for God to send her someone to bless or to place someone in her path who needs a blessing from God in some way. God has called her into His service to be of service to others. I have added this request to my Morning Prayer time. Since then I have been trying very hard to pay attention to those around me and asking God if He can use me to show how to share His love with someone else.

Tonight I ask your prayers for Bruce as he has oral surgery tomorrow. He will spend around five hours in the dental chair making him safer for the heart surgery that is to come in two weeks. Thank you, mighty and faithful prayer warriors.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray ask God to place someone in your path who needs a blessing and then pay attention. You just might get a call! 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.