Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Friday!

First day of Spring Break and all is well. I spent the majority of the morning copying, collating and prepared my CPE documents for the mail. I sent applications to 4 hospitals - all four hospitals are in Dallas. I have applied to Children’s Medical, Parkland, Methodist Health and the VA Hospital. It is late in the semester to make applications to these settings and many of them will have no more space available, so I will pray God’s supreme guidance in this next stage of my education. I ask you to keep me in prayer as well. Thank you.

Tomorrow is the third team meeting for the Allred #22 Kairos Prison Ministry Weekend which will be held in April. Bruce is doing such an amazing job as leader of this team and the weekend. I will be serving as chaplain for the support team and will meet with servants who will assist in chapel planning tomorrow. Prayer from everyone is vital to the Kairos Ministry. So I ask you again to keep Bruce, the inside team, the support staff and the 42 residents who will receive God’s Holy Word and His love throughout the weekend in prayer.

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, the longer I live the more I see just how precious this thing called life really is. The passing years remind me of its brevity; good health reminds me of its quality; children remind me of its sanctity; youth reminds me of its vitality. This prized and precious possession causes me to praise You all over again that Your Son gave his life for mine. It truly is a debt of love and one I could never repay—even if I had an eternity to do so. Lord, thank You for giving Your perfect life for imperfect souls, and thank You for giving Your love to we who do not deserve it. The love You have shown me, show through me to others today. Amen.”

1 John 3:16 ”By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

When Jesus laid down His life for each of us He stretched out His arms to encompass each of us to say, “This is how much I love you; more than My own life.” God did not say “I love you, just read My Word.” God showed us He loved us. God did not send an angel or an ambassador, and He didn’t staff this one out. God did not send a substitute. God became our substitute and settled His love for us forever.

So here is the question for the day…” If God loves us like this, how much more should we love the family of God, our brothers and sisters in Christ? And when the world sees the extravagant love of God, will they see that love exemplified in us and believe we are his disciples?

Take joy in this amazing 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.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Thursday!

SPRING BREAK!! The rest of the world was on spring break last week, but TCU is on break this week. Many things to do over spring break.

Prayer: My Sovereign Lord in heaven, I come to You saddened at the thought of the times in my life when I rejected You, Your Word, Your will and Your witness. My heart breaks when I remember the times that I hid my face from you and the times I did not esteem You or show by word and deed that You are my first love. Lord, today as I go out into a world that still despises You and rejects You, give me the power and strength to stand for You and speak for You at every opportunity. Thank You for giving me another day to show my allegiance to You. Amen.”

Isaiah 53: 3 “His is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

Were you the last one picked for the kickball team when you were a kid? (I was.) Were you the last one chosen to pick a song for music class to sing, knowing by then only the crummy songs were left? (I was) As a child I was rejected by many of my peers and it wasn’t until it became known that I could sing that I found a place to fit in.

In the realm of the Kingdom of God’s love there is no rejection. We do not have to possess any great individual skill to be noticed by Jesus. Jesus understands rejection. Jesus came to be the model of God’s redeeming and gracious love and in return he was rejected and despised despite all He did to teach, heal, love and forgive by the whole human race and yet when the rejection became too intense, Jesus offered His live so that we might have life never ending and never failing. The best news of all is that Jesus will never reject us! Thank You, Lord, that you do not hold grudges from we who have rejected you and hidden our face at times when we need You most. Precious Jesus, thank You for not rejecting each of us and please completely forgive all who have rejected You. We love you so much, Lord.

Take joy in this journey of prayer. 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.

Thank you for your prayers concerning Geni and her trip to Galveston. She arrived home safely with no further incidents.
Happy Wednesday!

I have spent the day collecting information, then creating a resume and filling out the application for the Clinical Pastoral Education program or CPE. This is a program that is sort of like student teaching for pastors in a hospital or other clinical setting. Pastor Joel did his CPE in a prison and I am sure there are other clinical settings for CPE. Brite offers only hospital settings. I hope to finish all of the application in the morning and send out the finished documents tomorrow. I promise to let you know if I am accepted for the program this summer. During the summer it is 10 week long course of study and gives me 3 hours credit and another completed piece for my pastoral care concentration. Tomorrow I am planning to attend the meeting for Supervised Ministry. If all works out okay, I will begin the year-long supervised ministry training in the fall.

Please continue to pray for Geni. She had a rather difficult journey to Galveston. She got to Centerville and the starter went out on her car. God blessed her with a Daddy who stayed in contact with her all day and a mechanic who put in the starter right there at the Jack-in-the Box where she stopped for lunch. She did finally make it to Galveston before 8: 00 pm and we hope the trip home is incident free. She learned a bit about life today.

Prayer: “Father, as I think of the ways You have revealed Yourself to me, I am so very thankful, thankful that I can look around to a world that is clearly You handiwork that declares unmistakably Your power, grandeur, and glory. I am grateful that You have spoken so clearly through a Book that bears all the marks of coming from a divine hand; a Book that pulsates with supernatural truth and unmistakably carries the sound of Your voice. I am humbled that You spoke last but not least through Your Son, who is my Lord. In every way You choose today, speak to me and through me. Amen.”

Hebrews 1: 1,2 “God…has in these last days spoken to us by His son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he was made the worlds.”

There is nobody like Jesus. Jesus was not just a prophet, He was God’s own Son. Jesus was God on foot in human flesh. Jesus is the heir to all things and all things are His. This Christ of the New Testament is the same creator of the Old Testament. My meditation tonight contains this great line of wisdom, “He is not just God’s best Word to the human race. Jesus is God’s last Word to the human race.” So to a world that offers other books that contain holy words by holy prophets we need to immerse ourselves in God’s Holy Word and remember that God, the creator of all things, lover of all things and the One who sacrificed His Son so that we might have that same life, be loved completely and have all we need. Lord, You speak so clearly through Jesus and Your Word that we ask for forgiveness when we are tempted by other voices. Help us to be ever mindful that You are the only One worthy of our worship and praise.

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

WOW! Even though Tuesday is a really long day for me, it is becoming one of my favorite days. I go to a great worship service of Word and Table at 11:00 and in the last 4 weeks I have been witness to great preaching in my preaching class with my fellow classmates. Today one of my African American classmates absolutely torched the room with his sermon on the rich young ruler. The focus of his sermon was having a relationship with Jesus. The call and response “Amen’s” began by the second or third sentence. It was amazing. Tonight I did not just bear witness to the Word being preached. I worshiped. Amen!

Prayer: “Good morning to the One who is both crucified and Savior and risen Lord! Today, I begin this day as one who is so very grateful for an old wooden Cross that stood somewhere just outside an ancient Jerusalem gate some two-thousand plus years ago. I thank You, precious risen Lord, that I have responded to the message of that Cross and new life in its shadow daily. Today I pray that You will crucify me with You on that Cross that I may die to all that would keep me from your will. May I live in such a way that I always reflect Your glory. Amen.”

1 Corinthians 1: 18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

In the sermon I heard today in class the preacher began with a story of a group of men who were all very wealthy. Each of them perished in death from tragic diseases and suicides. All of their wealth and power did not do them or anyone else any good because none of these men had a relationship with Jesus. These men believed that their wealth and power would sustain them for the remainder of their lives. The truth is that each of these men died without money, destitute and alone. The symbol for their lives looked like this $.

Those of us who have a relationship with Jesus may not have a lot of money, or maybe some of us do. We may or may not have a fancy house. We may or may not drive an expensive car. But each of us live under the umbrella of God’s love and grace because we have a relationship with Jesus. The message of Jesus on the Cross is a message of comfort and assurance that no matter what life situations we find ourselves in we are never going to perish. We will always have full access to the wealth of love and grace that only a relationship with Jesus can provide. And we will never be alone!

When we hand our sins over to Jesus at the foot of the Cross we can go beyond the Cross and have a relationship with God through the power of Jesus and we will come to know Him. The Cross tells us that there is no Plan B to salvation. The symbol of those who believe in Jesus Christ is a Cross. “Precious Lord, keep us close to the Cross of Christ forever.”

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.

I ask for your continuing prayers for Geni and her friends on their Spring Break adventures, for the Kairos Prison Ministry team at the Allred Unit in Iowa Park, Tx., for the Via De Cristo weekend beginning on Thursday (3/15) in Denton and for Travis on his upcoming first professional competition on March 31. Peace, gc

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Monday!

What a beautiful day! I had a really fun assignment for my Psalms class. The assignment was to create a psalm using lines from other psalms. I chose a theme of “Sing Praises to Your Name.” (No great surprise huh!) Each of the psalm lines I chose had as its final phrase sing praise to Your name. It was a really interesting assignment and looking through the psalms to locate praise phrases was great. Try it sometime and create your own psalm. The possibilities are limitless.

Prayer: “Father, I am so grateful this morning that as I face another day that is filled with uncertainty, a world that is filled with upheaval, and a culture that is filled with ungodliness, Your Word still stands. You have spoken through the written Word, so that uncertainty is met with biblical assurance, upheaval is met with personal confidence, and ungodliness is met with divine providence. I pray today that Your Word would be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path to know and to do the right before You and all that I come in contact with in a world that needs to hear Your voice both through my lips and my life. Amen.

John 20: 31 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life and His name.”

I have studied just enough in seminary to probably get myself into trouble. I have studied just a bit about faiths other than Christianity. One of the other faith’s practices shows to lead a good life, treat others as you would like to be treated and to love your neighbors, etc,…but there are two points that set this faith apart from Christianity. As Christians are called to love our neighbors and our enemies and when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior believing on His name, we are assured that we will possess eternal life. The other faiths teach that no one is assured of eternal life.

As Christians it does not matter whether we think we have received eternal life. What does matter is that God says we are assured of eternal life. We are assured of this future for ourselves in the John passage we are looking at today and we can also look at 1 John 5:13 “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” These verses do not say you might have eternal life if you lead a good life and only love your neighbors. These verses tell us that we will enter into eternal life. Eternal life begins when we proclaim our belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Praise God and bless His holy name!

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. (Tomorrow sandals, maybe?) 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 Requests: please pray for the upcoming Kairos Prison Ministry weekend later in April after Easter, Please pray for Bruce as its leader to continue to be led by the Holy Spirit, the leadership, the teams both inside and outside and most important…the 42 residence who will receive God’s Word.

And second…Geni is traveling to Galveston for a few days with a bunch of girlfriends for spring break. Please pray travel mercy and safety for all of the girls. Thanks and peace, gc

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blessed Sunday!

Are you a bit sleepy? Isn’t it strange how losing one hour of sleep just sort of makes everything seem a bit weird for a day or two? I don’t know about you, but I have caught myself yawning throughout the day. We had such a lovely day especially celebrating our precious goddaughter’s first birthday today. She was just beautiful even with both hands in her cake and cake in her hair. It was really wonderful!

Prayer: “You are Lord over life and death because You experienced death and then rose again. I can now experience a life that death cannot conquer in any way. When I think about how wonderful this promise of eternal life for me really is, I am overwhelmed. Thank You for the wonderful assurance that comes from serving a risen Savior! Because You live, I can also live! Amen.”

John 11: 25—27 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, thought he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the son of God, who has come into this world.”

Did you ever tease your kids by saying, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out!” Jesus was not teasing when he told Martha that He was the resurrection and the life. Jesus is the creator of life and has the power over life and death. Jesus told Martha, who knew how much faith in Jesus her brother Lazarus had, that even though Lazarus died he would live again. Now Martha knew that Lazarus would be resurrected in the last days, but she did not realize that Jesus would resurrect Lazarus before her very eyes. Jesus was trying to tell her that even though her body would die that she would live again but the power of the Holy Spirit through the crucified and risen Christ.

Let’s think about something, Jesus conquered death. Because Jesus conquered death there is nothing in our lives that He cannot handle! When Jesus asked Martha if she believed what he told her about eternal life her response was an impassioned, “Yes, Lord I believe!” Jesus wants the same from us. He needs us to say, “Yes, I believe!” This should affirm to each of us that whatever we face today or in the days to come that the power of the living God is more than capable of taking care of whatever we bring before Him.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all and if you are on a spring break, be safe and have a blessed week. 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.