Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Okay. So today I did a first. But first, the back story. Yesterday while walking at the mall with Bruce I walked into Christopher and Banks (a ladies clothing store at the mall). They were having a great sale. The clerk who frequently helps me when I shop there asked me if I could wait until tomorrow (meaning today) to make any purchases because if I helped them out I would get a 40% discount on my purchases instead of the advertised 30%. To earn this nice discount I had to model a couple of their outfits. My 10 minute modeling career consisted of wearing a pre selected outfit and standing in the window and talking with another model and waving at the passersby. It was fun and I ended up being paired with two teachers. It was really fun.

Prayer: “Father, I ask You to bring young believers into my path and make me an encourager in their lives. May I be both an example to them in their walk and a student to learn from them as they follow You. Amen.”

1 Timothy 4: 12, 14, 16 “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity…Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership, meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”

I am not a youth, but I am young in the path of schooling and I am learning to be a pastoral care giver. But youth, mature, on the path of ordination or active in laity, the Word still applies. This passage tells each of us to conduct ourselves in love, in spirit, in faith and in purity. Even though I am learning and being trained for ordination that will set me apart for God’s service this passage is meant for all of us. As believers we are each being charged with the ministry of Christ in the Kingdom here on earth.

I sit in class with students 30 years younger than me. I can see extraordinary fire and vision in them. I know they will dedicate their lives to bring revival to their generations in the congregations they serve. As for me I will deal with congregations of 1 family or person at a time. The ministries are different and yet each ministry to which we have been called has equal importance because we are all part of the Kingdom. Each of us, by our relationship with Christ, has a ministry of service in his name. We all need encouragement because God uses each of us to share the gospel of His love, grace and forgiveness with those we meet.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your 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 only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Tomorrow Bruce and I will travel to Palmer, Texas to worship with Rev. C.D. Haun, his family and the congregation as they celebrate the life of Grammy Faye, Sherry’s mother. Grammy Faye passed away last Friday after a brief illness. Please pray for their family and the congregation in Palmer as they deal with the loss of this dear lady.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Friday!

What a day!! Geni ended up with two interviews today and has two more scheduled for Monday afternoon. She has 4 days of substituting scheduled for next week and is still working at Starbucks. She is one busy lady!! Please continue to pray for her as she goes through this series of interviews. She messaged me throughout the day beginning as I sat in class. I did take notes during my history class, but I do not remember what I wrote. This has been an emotionally draining day for all of us. She should hear from someone very soon as these principals are anxious to get these teachers in place. One very poignant moment in her first interview this morning happened when the vice principal asked why she left Stephen F. Austin University. Geni flashed the vice principal the “ax ‘em jacks” sign, then she told them about Casey. Around here we don’t go but a few sentences when talking about Casey before we are in a heap, but Geni said it was okay. We are so proud of her and are very anxious about getting her employed. Keep on praying! And thank you all for all of your prayers. God is so good!

Fun occurrence today. After I finished classes today Bruce met me in Fort Worth and we went to see Geni at her Starbucks in Sundance Square in Fort Worth. While walking down the sidewalk, who do we meet but “SuperFrog”, the mascot from TCU. He was very kind and very tall!!! He was also really great and allowed us to have our picture made with him. That was really fun!

And lastly at this writing…it is raining. WOW!

Bruce also did some work for one of his clients today. It was very light work and well within his restrictive allowances. He said it really felt good to work again. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Prayer: “Father, help me not to be deceived by my spiritual Enemy today. Encourage me to live in Your truth and to be thankful for Your perfect gift of eternal life. Amen.”

James 1: 16-18 “Do not be deceived my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”

This has been an exciting few days around our house with Geni’s interviews for teaching. Since there did not appear to be any outside hiring of teachers going on, we encouraged Geni to get on the substitute list and make herself available for long term positions. This would serve two purposes. First, it would get her valuable experience and second, this experience would allow a principal to see her in action with children in a classroom so when a position came available she would be first available to be hired. Imagine our surprise when FWISD contacted her with available teaching positions and an invitation to interview. We believe God has given her these opportunities.

God gives His children right things (including opportunities). We are claiming this opportunity as right for Geni and a gracious gift from God. We are surrendering her to His care and keeping. We are praying for her placement in the school that is best for her. The phrase “every good and perfect gift” tells us that anything God provides is everything it is intended to be—complete and lacking nothing. We have been given the gift of being created in the “likeness” of God and in that likeness we are to reflect our Creator. I think this means that we are set apart and belonging to God as well as the gifts are a continual reminder that there is more to come.

God gave us His greatest gift in the life of Jesus. The gift of Jesus in our lives is so large that it must be shared with others. When you get the opportunity, share this gift of Jesus with someone. Tell someone about the gifts and blessings you have received from a loving and compassionate Lord and how Jesus has changed your life.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Please continue to lift Geni and those with whom she interviews in prayer and remember little Tatum when you pray. She had a spinal tap today and seems to have done really well. She is on day 16 out of 28 days on steroid and chemotherapy. Love you all and thanks again for being amazing 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 only moved by what I believe and I believe God.
Happy Thursday!

Thank you all for your prayers for Geni. Her interview went really well today. As soon as she finished, the interviewer sent her resume out to the schools in need of teachers like her. Geni received two calls tonight for interviews. One school needs a first grade ESL teacher. She is not certified ESL, but will register to take the test and get it on the calendar this evening. The next call was for a 3rd grade position general education classroom. She has an interview at 8:00 am in the morning. Please pray that all goes well and she is a good fit for the 3rd grade team and school. We are so excited and pray that all will be perfect in her interview in the morning.

Prayer: “Lord, allow me to season the world in which I live by demonstrating Your power, love, and truth to all who cross my path today. Amen.”

Matthew 5: 13, 14 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. “

If you have known us for any length of time you are aware that we are TCU fans. Bruce and I often are a bit rabid about wearing the purple and white with the university logo somewhere on our clothes. When people ask how to get to our house I will give them directions and then tell them to look for the yellow house with the large TCU flag in the front of the house. When you walk in you will see a purple painted tin pumpkin imprinted with large letters saying, “Horned Frog Country.” (I even have purple dinner plates!) And when we see others wearing TCU shirts we walk by and give the sign of the “short horn” and say, “Go Frogs!”

As believers in Jesus we are called to reflect the radiance of Christ to the world. I have often said that Bruce signs off on his emails with “Preach Christ every day… if necessary, use words.” As wonderful as I think that saying is I am not sure that is enough. If all others see is what we do and the attitude we exemplify and do not know where it comes from then all they are really seeing is our good works and not the glory and story of Jesus. The world needs to see and hear of the glorious God who has changed our lives through Jesus. We need to give God the credit for making us holy people created in His likeness. It is part of our task here on earth to point others to God and share the gospel in every way we can. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” My friends, it is time to shine!

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Please offer a prayer for Geni, the principal and the committee she meets with in the morning. Love you all and thank you for your continued prayers. Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

I am beginning tonight with two urgent prayer requests.

1. Geni received an email last night from FWISD telling her that there were a few select elementary positions available in the district and asked it she wanted to be interviewed. Geni responded with a yes. She is beginning the screening process tomorrow. Please pray for her to receive a job offer.

2. I have shared with you about my little cousin Tatum who has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). God finally brought us together today face to face. Her grandmother (my cousin Debbie—also a retired first grade school teacher), her Dad, Mike and little Tatum met me at Central Market for a brief moment. Tatum is a beautiful little girl and I hope to get to know her better. Tatum’s treatment plan is scheduled to last for two and a half years. Her family is making plans and preparations to move to Fort Worth. I told her Dad today that if they were going to live in Fort Worth they needed to be horned frogs so now they have t-shirts and coffee mugs to begin their new life here in Fort Worth. They are currently living at the Ronald McDonald House next to Cooks’ children’s hospital. Please write little Tatum’s name somewhere that you see often and send a prayer for her healing each time you see it.

Prayer: “Lord, the longer I live, the more I realize I don’t have all the answers. The closer I walk with You, the better I see how far I am from Your perfect will for my life. Search me and try me and lead me today. May I bring glory to your name in all I do, say and think. Amen.”

Psalm 23: 24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Things have changed. Before we go to work for anyone we must complete a background check. When we go to the airport, we must go through a metal detector and we must be willing submit to a search procedure. None of us welcome these procedures and feel we are being scrutinized and inspected because we feel we our privacy is being invaded.

In this verse of scripture the writer so wants to be pleasing to God that he asks God to search him for any unrighteousness and to make the necessary action to correct the sin. Now that is a gutsy request. This request is made by someone who is really secure in their relationship with God and only wants a deeper and closer walk with the Master. In order to gain that closer, deeper relationship we need to go to God daily with our hearts laid open, ready for examination. We may not like what God reveals to us about ourselves, but it is the way we grow. God promises to help us make the corrections in our lives. If we think we can make these corrections without God’s help then we need to examine ourselves and rid ourselves of the pride we are carrying around. The only way we can grow spiritually is by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Inviting God to examine us isn’t about allowing Him to see something He does not already know. As our creator, God knows us intimately. This practice of asking God to examine our hearts is telling God that we are willing to submit to Him so we can have a deeper relationship that is pleasing to Him and to receive His loving correction.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and in the morning carry a sweater! YEA!! Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all and remember to pray for Geni and Tatum. Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Tuesday!

Prayer: “Father, there is nothing more wonderful than You and Your glorious gift of eternal life. Help me live in the reality of eternal life today, remembering it is not just a life I look forward to experiencing in heaven—it is an abundant life for today. Amen.”

1 John 2:23—25 “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either, he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised—eternal life.”

What does it mean to abide in the Father and the Son? For me, to abide with the Father and the son means that I walk each day in the light and love of God the Father and God the Son in full assurance that the Triune God is there forever. I know that I do not have to wait until I pass from this earth to experience the glory of eternal life. I have the honor to be living in the daily presence of the living God as experienced in the Father and the Son. All believers can live in the reality of God’s presence each day.

Even though we live in God’s presence each day it does not mean that difficult times will not come. The decision we must make is do we solve the problem and respond to the situation by our own strength or do we call on the strength of God living (abiding) in us to turn the problem around and resolve the situation. Do we allow God to stand between us and the situation or problem and help us to work through whatever it is? God lives within each of us and we are given all of His gifts and blessings at our disposal. God is as present and near as our next breath. Let us breathe in the love and power of the Holy Spirit allowing it to flow through us so we can experience the glory of eternal life.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your 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 only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Monday!

Brite does not hold classes on Mondays due to many of the students holding student pastorates literally all over the state of Texas. Monday gives them a chance to get back to Fort Worth safely. Each week I have an Old Testament writing assignment and a test that must be completed and turned in on Tuesday. I spent part of today working on a Christian Ed. paper which is due on the 28th . The other part I spent completing the three questions on my Old Testament writing assignment. After I finished that writing assignment, a problem was discovered by Bruce who is my editor. I had neglected to answer both parts of a question on Chapter 15 of Exodus. He is the best and I am so very grateful.

Prayer: “Father, as I begin this day, I praise You for the evidence of Your presence in my life. I have heard You by the power of Your Word, experienced You by the power of Your Spirit, and been led by You in my daily life. You are as real to me as my closest friend, and I thank You for the fellowship we share together. I pray that You will allow me to be a powerful witness of Your life through my daily walk. Amen,”

1 John 11: 2 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.”

The revelation of God was made manifest in Jesus Christ. Our faith in God through Jesus is an experiential faith. We learn about faith from listening to those who live godly lives. We live out our faith when we help someone who is in need. We may not be able to solve a problem for someone, but we can certainly listen, love them and pray for them so that others may see Jesus in our lives. Believing in Jesus means that Jesus lives within us and is made manifest in our lives. Wouldn’t it be great if others said of us that they see and have experienced Jesus just by talking with us? How cool would that be!?

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let others experience Jesus made manifest in our lives. 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 only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blessed Sunday!

It is my hope that you were able to attend a worship service today and be a part of the memorial services held to honor the 9/11 fallen and to pray for their families as they live on without their loved ones. I watched a bit of the memorial on television this morning. I was very moved by the reading of the psalm by our president “God is our refuge and our strength; our very present help in times of trouble. “ My heart was touched as the readers named those of the fallen. As they ended their recitations they each spoke the name of their family member who lost their life whether they were killed in the destruction or was one was lost as a public servant there to save lives.

I am learning in my Old Testament class that even when things do not go according to the plan God has set forth, He takes the circumstances and still works them to His divine purpose. Evil may go down hard and with a strong fight, but it does go down and when the dust settles and all is cleared away God’s divine purpose is ready to form in His people.

John 10:10 “I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.”

God is our Master and the giver of abundant life. We do not earn abundant life we are given abundant life. Abundant life means that we are given the attributes of God that include forgiveness, love , joy, peace, strength, power, healing, humility and patience. Everything we see in God as Lord of our lives He has given to us through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. We have all these qualities flowing through us because God’s life flows through us. We do not make ourselves loving, strong, patient and humble because His Life accomplishes all of these things in us.

We can have courage in the darkest of times and the most difficult of situations because God works all things according to His divine purpose. God never promised us a perfect life free from hard times and tough roads or the pain and grief of loss. What he did promise is that He would remain with us in abundant living out of His love for us and His life force placed in each of us according to His will.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all and hug your babies! Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

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

I ask special prayers for the family of Grammy Faye, the elderly mother of Sherry Haun and mother-in-law to Rev. CD Haun of the Palmer Christian Church, where I preach sometimes. Grammy Faye passed away on Friday.

I also ask for very special prayers for little Tatum Kate Flaming, 5 year old daughter of Mike and Mandy Flaming (cousins of mine). She has a very aggressive form of leukemia and is receiving treatment at Cooks Children’s Hospital. The treatment plan is 2.5 years. They are currently living at the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Worth and are considering relocating to Fort Worth due to the length of her treatment program. The disease was first diagnosed when Tatum was 3. She received treatment and went into remission. When the disease returned within the last month it came back very aggressively.