Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Friday!

Bruce will be send this writing in the morning. He worked very hard all day and has already gone to sleep.

Prayer alert: Our young cousin Tatum began 28 days of steroid therapy and will receive chemotherapy throughout that time. These therapies are to help her little body fight the cancer. Please offer extra prayers for Tatum and her family.

Prayer: Father as I go about my day today, keep me mindful of the fact that I serve a God who has experienced and who truly understands the temptations I will be facing. And as I face them, may I call upon Your power to resist the urge to give in, no matter how alluring the opportunity or situation might be. You fought temptation on earth, and were victorious in every way. Help me claim that same victory today.”

Hebrews 4: 15 “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus came to earth so we could know Him. He took on flesh and dwelt among us facing the same situations we face every day. He even faced temptations. Jesus, who is our High Priest on our behalf, has been where we have been and tempted in every way just as we are. This is why He understands our situations and is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. God in Jesus fully understands and can know the full force of earthly sin and temptation and he also knows how to cope.

Here is the good news. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 says, “No exception has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted beyond what we are able to withstand and because of His forgiveness and pleading before the Father as a partner in prayer, we have been given an escape so we can bear the temptations and situations.” God has provided us with this power through the dwelling of the Holy Spirit. .

Give thanks to the Lord our God and King, for His love endures forever.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and remember your prayers. Love you all so 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.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Thursday!

I made it!!! One reflection paper in Psalms, one lengthy exegesis for a passage in Mark, one lengthy mid-term paper for Grief and Loss and one near 20 minute sermon for preaching class…I am finished until Tuesday and must write my own prayer psalm and nothing else is due until after Spring Break week after next.

Geni came home this evening with a smile on her face. She is on spring break as of tomorrow afternoon.

Travis has this giant purple spot on his thigh where he dropped the weight bar. He treats the bruise with bags of frozen vegetables!

Prayer: Father, thank You for being willing to come to earth and dwell among us. Thank You for experiencing life in a way that gives me confidence that You can identify with me in every way. May I rejoice in the fact that I serve You who can relate to everything I am going through. You are all I need, Lord. Amen.”

John 1: 14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

God stepped off of the throne and took on human nature to live and dwell with us. He did not set a staffer or an angel or even create some new being. God came to earth and dwelt among us. To me that means God decided to live in the house next door or in the apartment close by or in the neighborhood. God chose to send the very best, the only begotten Son of the Father. Most of the time we find those who try to do the minimum of what needs to be done or paying the lowest price they can because none of us want to pay full price. God did just the opposite. God sent the very best. God sent the One who was full of “grace and truth.” Jesus is the image of how much God loves us and is willing to do whatever is necessary to have a saving relationship with us.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and a warm jacket. Thank you all, prayer warriors. I could not have gotten through this week without your kind and faithful prayers and Bruce’s extraordinary love and support. 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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Wednesday!

I spent today writing my Grief and Loss paper. It is due at 8:15 am, which leaves me practice time to rehearse my sermon that I will preach to my preaching class tomorrow around 4. I could really use your prayers for the delivery of this Word that someone who hears this Word will find meaning in the Word.

Travis dropped a weight bar with 400 pounds on it on his thigh yesterday. Kinda painful, kinda swollen and kinda purple. When we arrived home from choir tonight we found him on the couch with a bag of frozen corn atop the injury. He plans to work out tomorrow. Please offer a prayer for his quick healing.

Prayer: “Father, Your love never waivers. That is hard for me to understand. You are so consistent. You have never loved me more than You do right now, and at the same time, you have never loved me less than You do right now. I know when You love, You go all the way! You have made it clear to me that I can trust You with everything in my life because of Jesus Christ. Amen. “

John 3: 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

You know God is not looking for reasons to condemn us. He is looking for reasons to save us. We tend to think that we have all of the time in the world to choose whether we will serve the Lord. If we do not make a choice then we have made a choice. We have chosen to lead a condemned life. We will stand before God on the Day of Judgment condemned because we did not put our trust in the “only begotten Son of God.”

This verse puts aside the idea that religious practice is all we need. Religion is not the same as a relationship with God through the crucified Christ. It does not matter what we believe, it matters where and in whom we put our trust. If someone we know has not trusted Christ, they have already made the wrong choice. It is our responsibility to share the truth of Jesus to those who stand condemned because they have chosen not to have a relationship with Jesus. Remember the phrase of “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” ‘Go lay your trophies at His feet and crown Him Lord of all.” When we speak the truth about having a relationship with Jesus to someone who does not know Jesus and they choose to believe in God’s only begotten Son, then we can carry that trophy and lay it at the feet of God.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Thank you, mighty and faithful prayer warriors. Love you all, Gaylene, Bruce, 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, March 6, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

Okay, as of today I have completed the reflection paper for Psalms, the Exegesis on Mark 2: 23—3: 1-6 and my sermon, which I have begun to practice. I have a Grief and Loss paper due on Thursday after which I deliver my sermon for my class. After that the whirlwind of everything due at one time will be over for a week or two. Yea!

Prayer: “Father, this is the day that will be filled with opportunity and challenge. Help me to share with someone today my story of how You have forgiven me. Amen!”

Isaiah 53: 12 “Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

God always has a plan. Just as God had a plan for the birth of Jesus, he also had a plan for His death. This scripture passage comes at the end of a servant poem and prophesies the death of Jesus on the Cross. Jesus came to die as the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus was counted with the transgressors even though He was innocent of any and He was charged with all of the sins of mankind. Not only did Jesus suffer and die for sinners, He became the intercessor for those same sinners. Can you imagine praying for those who despise you and are trying to kill you? But Jesus prayed for their forgiveness and for the forgiveness of all others.

How far are we able to forgive? I just know that if I find it hard to forgive someone I ask Jesus to be my intercessor and forgive the person for me and to help me to forgive them, too. No matter what, Jesus gets the victory and we are granted a share in that victory when we put our trust in Him.

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.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blessed Sunday to you all!

I experienced extraordinary worship yesterday during the Kairos training. The Holy Spirit was present and I was raised and lifted up by the powerful preaching about being a child of God covered in the blood of Jesus and never allowing Satan close enough to make me believe I cannot be a servant of Christ.

I have been so overwhelmed by all of the seminary tasks I must complete this week and the extreme amount of work that must be done that I began to forget why I signed up for this journey. If you combine the work and deadlines with the journey of grief the road is not smooth, but very bumpy. God is leading me into His service by calling me to be His servant. God is preparing me to enact the calling of ordained ministry.

I must believe that God will stretch my time, allowing my energy to remain and must grant me greater understanding beyond myself in order to embrace the claim of Christ’s calling. I cannot do this without Christ as my prayer partner. I also am in need of each of you to be prayer partners with me for strength and encouragement during the times I am concerned that I feel uncertain and stressed not only over the amount of work, but the quality of work that must be accomplished. When we cover each other in prayer we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can leave Satan crying in the corner in frustration because we move out of his reach as believers who are covered in the blood of Jesus and blanketed in His grace.

Prayer: “Father, You sent Your only son to earth to take on humanity at its fullest. Even in the very circumstances of His birth, You chose to show the world that He came thinking not about Himself, but His mission. May that be my attitude today. Help me to have that type of humility and reflect the character of the Lord Jesus. Amen.”

Let us never forget in all of the busyness in the activities of our lives to pray for ourselves and each area of our lives and every situation remembering what God would have us do. As we pray for ourselves and each other we honor Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Take joy in this extraordinary 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.