Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Thursday!

What a busy day. Thursday is a day that begins with class at 8:15 am and ends with a class that finishes at 5:45 pm. A long day, but today’s classes were really great and I am learning so much. Thanks for all of your continued prayers. They help so very much!

Prayer: “Sovereign God, I have no idea what this day may bring so, I cling to Your ever-sure hand. I am grateful You have promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I know You will see me through any storm that may rage against me. May I look unto You, the author and finisher of my faith. Amen.”

Matthew 14: 33 “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

I love this story. The disciples are on the boat during a storm. Jesus is asleep below. The storm becomes really fierce and the disciples wake Jesus up. He calms wind and the waves and the disciples ask “What manner of man is this?” Later, as Jesus is walking across the lake, he calls Peter to himself and Peter, in his excitement, strikes out across the water on foot. Peter then remembers what he is doing and takes his eyes off Jesus and sinks into the water. Peter cries out, “Lord save me!” After Peter returns to the boat he claims Jesus’ identity, “You are truly the Son of God.”

Does it ever seem like you are going into a storm, are in the midst of a storm or are just coming out of a storm? Today a friend of mine told me she was so busy and had a limited time to complete a number of projects before she could begin another. Her saying was, “I am running around like my hair is on fire. My halo is still on, but my hair is on fire.” I have laughed all day over this statement. Wherever we are in the storms of life we need to remember that the One who used the sea as a sidewalk for Peter is the same One who will guide us through any storm in which we find ourselves.

Sometimes, the storms of life make you feel like your hair is on fire. When I find myself at some place in the process of a storm I try to remember to give the storm over to God and claim victory in Jesus’ name and ride it out. I find difficulty giving thanks for the storm, but I do believe that Jesus is there in the midst.

Satan really hates it when we give our storms over to God because then he loses power over us. But what really hacks Satan off is when we bow down and worship God during the storms of our lives. If the Word claims that Jesus was able to calm the wind and the waves then He surely calms the storms in our lives. Even if our hair is on fire, we can keep our halos on and worship Jesus in obedience claiming, “Truly, You are the Son of God.”

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Keep you halo close. 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.

Please keep praying for our friends. Peace, gc

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Wednesday, (more specifically, Ash Wednesday)!

We attended a very meaningful Ash Wednesday service tonight. I look forward to Ash Wednesday and the imposition of ashes. It is a visible reminder of God’s creative work in our lives as well as the reminder of the last 40 days of the life of Christ before the triumphal entry into Jerusalem during Holy Week. The call is for each of us to sacrifice something during these 40 days. Sacrifice can mean a denial of something or an adding of something to our lives. Usually when we add something to our lives what we sacrifice is time. I think adding a spiritual discipline is a great sacrifice. Maybe we could deny ourselves something and in its place like some extra prayer time or study in the Word. Just a thought…

Prayer: Lord, speak, for Your servant is listening. I will drown out all imposters and will hear only You, for You alone are God. Therefore, as Your sheep, I will only heed the voice of my Great Shepherd. Amen.”

Mark 9:7 “And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is my beloved son, Hear Him!”

Teachers say “listen to me!” about nine million times during their careers. We spend time creating signals for quiet in the classroom. The one I used throughout much of my career was: 1. Get Ready, 2. Listening Position, 3. My Turn. Get ready meant the students needed to find me in the room no matter where they were and look at me.

Listening position meant feet on the floor, hands in their lap and mouth closed. My turn meant that I was the only voice in the room to speak. Consequences were levied if these instructions were not followed. As the voice of authority I believed at that moment what I needed to tell the students was the most important message the children needed to hear at that moment. I needed the undivided attention of those children.

Jesus called Peter, James and John up to the mountain and was transfigured before their eyes. But God’s voice came from the cloud and identified Jesus to these three disciples and then told them “Listen to Him!” God prepared them with a commandment to listen to Jesus. God needed the undivided attention of these disciples.

Today there are so many voices that we hear throughout each day, but the voice that stands above all of these voices that we as believers should hear is the voice of God. The voice of God is the voice that will never lie. God’s voice speaks with compassion and truth. God’s voice is the voice that penetrates our heart and is the voice that can speak like no other. It is the voice of trust that calms our fears and is the voice of guidance leading us in the path of righteousness.

So instead of listening to all of the other voices when we are troubled, call on the One Voice that speaks above all others, God’s voice spoken through Jesus.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your payers. 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.

Prayers please: Without naming names we have a number of friends who are going through some rally difficult times. God knows who these friends are and what their needs are. Please pray for these friends and add to the circle of prayer support our friends need. Thank you. Peace, gc

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

I want to thank each of you who have been praying for TCU. I was back on campus today proudly wearing purple. The mood on campus seemed better today and I think the university is beginning to heal. The mayor of Fort Worth declared the city as “Purple Out Day” in support of the university and in support of going forward and healing. Today Purple Reign was the response for the day. Continue to pray. Thank you friends!


Prayer: “Good morning, Lord, I lift up my voice to You, for You have made me glad. You have placed a song in my heart and a spring in my step. Passion for You and life flows in my veins because of abundant life You have wrought in me. Be glorified today, Lord, in my life, and may others see Jesus in me. Amen.”

Luke 2: 10 “The the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”

When you receive a phone call late at night what do you think? As for me, a late night phone call usually can only mean one thing: bad news. If the phone rings at night I am fearful that something has happened to someone I love. Sometimes tragic things happen. But tonight my meditation states that the worst news we could ever receive is that we have been separated from the love of God because we are sinners. If we were to ever receive terrible news like that, we would need to hear some really great news to counter it.

To be separated from God would be to live in darkness without hope. God, through Jesus, gives us news that completely overrides this bad news. This passage tells us that an angel announced to those shepherds the good news of Jesus’ birth. The angel announced this amazing news to those lowly hard working shepherds because they needed to hear the good news of God. God must have thought this news and those shepherds were worthy to receive this message so He sent His messengers to deliver this great news. The news they received was the message of salvation brought through this child. The shepherds were given the honor of receiving this news of good tidings because this message was for “all people.”

And this announcement was not a message of sad or bad news, but a message of great tidings. The heavenly host began this announcement with the words “fear not!” This was not a late night message of tragic news, but a message of great joy and jubilation.

I am doing this writing during the Channel 11 news and there is not a lot of “good news” to hear. But God’s Word is filled with the good news of His love and plan of salvation for each of our lives. We can give thanks for His message of hope, faith and salvation and listen to that message without fear and embrace this message and God with great joy!

Take great joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all so very much and happy Shrove Tuesday! 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, February 20, 2012

Happy Monday!

Today I had to deliver a 5 minute sermon as practice for preaching class. My preaching group was made up of 5 members. We met at Brite for an unmonitored (no professors) preaching session. Each of us brought our own interpretations and styles to the session. It was really a great time spent together. Our instructions were to use “kind words” and to give positive support. It was like meeting new friends and finding out where God was in their lives.

Prayer: “Father, I praise You this morning for the gift of Your Son. I am grateful I have a Savior and I have salvation. I confess with John the Baptist that Jesus is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” including mine. Amen.”

Matthew 1:21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Every baby ever born, with the exception of Jesus, is a human baby achieving existence at the moment of conception. Jesus, while born of a human mother, was given incarnation by God. When our babies are born we do not know what their purpose in life will be. But Jesus had a purpose before His birth. According to scripture Jesus’ purpose was to “save people from their sins.” Since we are all sinners we cannot present ourselves to God as blameless and without sin or take away our own sins. But because we have received our salvation from Jesus, He can present us to God because He forgave our sins when we received our salvation through His grace. Jesus’ name means “Jehovah is salvation.” Jesus is the eternal Son of God born with the purpose of saving us from our sins.

So what is our purpose? Our purpose is to tell others what Jesus has done for us. We need to tell others about our salvation which was given out of the love of Jesus for each of us. Let us remember to give thanks for the saving grace of Jesus, His redeeming love, the forgiveness of our sins and extra thanks for the peace of God that lives in our hearts.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and wear purple tomorrow in support of the healing of TCU. 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.

PS Mom passed away a month ago today. Please offer an extra prayer of comfort for our family, especially Daddy. Peace, gc

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blessed Sunday to you all!

Prayer: “Father, thank You for loving me and waking me this morning. You have given me yet another day to bask in the wonder of Your love. Jesus, please dwell in me today, so that I may accomplish the plans You have prepared for me. Give me faith to trust You no matter what this day brings. Amen.”

Ephesians 3: 17a “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”

Our lives are different because of the love and presence of God who dwells in our hearts. God dwells in our hearts because Jesus died for us and the Holy Spirit returned in His place so that we could live with Him here on earth and prepare to live with Him in heaven someday.

Do you ever wonder what God’s purpose for your life is? God’s purpose for our lives does not have anything to do with our employment. God’s purpose for our lives is to trust in Him so that he dwells in us through faith. Let’s spend some time this week thinking and meditating on the height, depth and breadth of who God is and how much He means to us. Let each of us invite God to be in all we do and say this week. Let nothing separate us from His promises and may we rest in the peace of God’s promise.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all so very much, 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 Saturday!

I am giving notice! It is wet and cold outside!

Geni and I drove in the rain in the MOMCAR to Daddy’s house to clean out Mom’s closet. It rained all day making the trip a bit more stressful, but we arrived safely to be greeted by Daddy, Sheena and Aunt Linda. Ginger the gentle, lovable and excitable husky dog was also there. We had a great time reminiscing as we sorted through clothes, shoes and purses. There was a lot of laughter and thinking that Mom was probably looking down at us and laughing at our silliness. It was a good day.

Prayer: “Jesus, I praise You as the victorious King. Thank You, God, for giving me another day to worship You. Help me this day to demonstrate Your presence and power wherever I go. Amen.”

2 Corinthians 2: 15 “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

A number of years ago by beloved Mamo died. She was my Mother’s Mom and the matriarch of our family. I am the oldest grandchild and was very close to her. I remember going into her closet where she kept clothes and smelling the fragrance of Estee Lauder Youth Dew. I loved that fragrance because it always reminded me of her and how much I loved her and how much a part of my life she always was.

After cleaning out Mom’s closet we progressed to another bedroom where I had filled a bag of perfumes and things that Mom had not opened yet. Those things were to be donated to charity if not selected by one of us. There were three unopened bottles of perfume still in the boxes. My aunt Linda opened one of the bottles and sprayed the perfume. All of a sudden it was as if Mom was present with us. We, who miss her so very much, began to heal just a little bit. Even though her physical presence was not with us, we were embraced by all of our memories of her. We were visited not just with recent memories of her death, but the joyous memories of her life, the love, the smiles, the fun and laughter were showered on each of us.

God’s Word teaches us in this verse that those who have had an encounter with Jesus give off a sweet fragrance of victory because of knowing Him. Our lives should be a pleasing fragrance of the reminder to all who know Jesus. This is the sweet fragrance of the love and grace poured out upon us and recognized by those who remember the God Who loves them so much that He chooses to remain with us forever.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and let the sweet fragrance of the love of Christ exude through you today and every day. 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.

Prayer alert: Please continue to pray for TCU. Peace, gc