Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Holy Saturday!

It has been a busy day cooking and preparing Easter Baskets for tomorrow. I have written about the man who was my mentor in music and in life when I was younger. He was the one who bought me a homecoming mum knowing I did not have a date and gave me a love and passion for music. He and his dear wife “Bobbie Gohlke” delivered numerous Easter baskets each year and always in secret. Duane and Bobbie would at times drive all night to deliver Easter Baskets to friends and other folks as a gesture of love and care. I, for years, was a recipient of one of those wonderful baskets. Yes, the Easter Bunny still visits our house each year. We have several baskets still to deliver but not so much in secret.

I would invite you, if you do not have a regular house of worship in which to attend, to come to Advent Lutheran tomorrow. There will be a breakfast beginning at 9:30 in Luther Hall and 11:00 worship. The Praise Team will be singing this awesome jazz arrangement of Amazing Grace; very difficult to learn, but well worth the extra practices. The house will rock with the Resurrection tomorrow. Come and join us for worship.

Prayer: Father, Your Word says that nothing good dwells in our flesh, so help me walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Galatians 5: 25 if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

As I am going through seminary I pray each day that I would be given the “ears to hear” and understand what the professors are teaching me. One of my most difficult problems was citing my work and putting together a bibliography. My questions were “where do the commas go? What is underlined? Who is the author and where do I find all of the information for the citing and the bibliography?” So one day I could not find a piece of information for the citing. I looked and looked and could not find it. I went to the young man at the reserve desk at the TCU Library and he could not find it. He sent me to a lovely young lady at the research desk. She looked and could not find it either and then she looked up the book on a library data base. Oh, my! This changed my life. She found the book and then there was this little (time) spot called “cite/export.” Click on “cite/export.” Select the desired format, copy and paste. How cool is that? I was struggling on my own when all I needed was some guidance from someone who knew more than me.

Friends, we cannot live this life on our own. We cannot accomplish what God desires for us or be who God want us to be without the power of the Holy Spirit. How much easier would our lives be if we walked in the Spirit instead of walking in the flesh?

If you are like me sometimes I walk in the Spirit and sometimes I don’t. My meditation tonight says the reason we do this is because we “leak,” But every day we need to live, move, breathe, and act in the Spirit so that we are fresh and new each day.

I wish you all a blessed Easter day. Hey I just heard that chocolate is good for you and helps stave off body fat. I like this writer!

Take joy in the journey! Wear comfortable shoes with your Easter clothes tomorrow. (I know I am.) Count your blessings and say your prayers. Worship in Spirit and truth. 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.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Friday! Remember this is Good Friday!

Prayer: “Father, I praise You that I am under no condemnation since giving You my life. Help me to walk in the Spirit. Spirit of the living God, pray through me according to Your will. Amen.”

Romans 8: 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

Who does not love Romans 8? It is one of those passages that many of us have committed parts of to our memory and refer to it when we pray the scriptures in times of trouble. The passage begins with “no condemnation” and ends with “no separation.” We are saved, sanctified, strengthened, sealed and secured by the Holy Spirit. WOW! That is power!

The only way we enter God’s family is through being born again through the salvation given by the crucified Christ. When someone gets married the question is asked “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” One cannot be a husband without a wife and one cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the living God within each of us who loves us so much that He wants to be a part of every moment of our lives and soaked into every part of our being. So, my friends, let us pray before making decisions and the Holy Spirit will guide us. The answers we receive may not always be the ones we expect but you can take it to the bank that the answers given through the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be according to God’s divine purpose.

Not only does the Holy Spirit witness to us, but witnesses through us. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work and witness through us then we learn about the ways and heart of God and we speak the truth in love, power and obedience. When God died that day on the cross at Calvary nothing was held back. The Spirit of God was completely emptied into the Person of Jesus who in turn emptied Himself upon God’s people. God searches for those people who are willing to receive the riches of grace in full measure. God looks for two qualities in us; those who are receptive and who are attentive. Being receptive is to be completely open to receiving the grace feely given and being attentive is to think about God in all we say and do. Blessed Good Friday to you all.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Please pray for little Tatum as she has successfully completed an aggressive month-long steroid treatment and will begin chemotherapy while spending Easter in the hospital. We, as her family, thank you so much for all of your prayers. Love you 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.

Prayers: I ask for additional prayers for our family as we celebrate our first holiday without Mom. Dad got to choose the plan for our celebration. We will travel to Ken and Sheena’s for a day of family fun, food and maybe even a dip in the pool if the weather is warm enough. We miss Mom every day, but what an amazing Easter she and Casey must be having in heaven. Peace, gc

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Wednesday!

I have spent the day writing an exegesis on a passage of scripture from Genesis. I am not finished, but I am going to the TCU library early tomorrow morning and hopefully will finish. It is crunch time for college students. It seems that there are lots of writings, presentations and projects that are all due in close order.

Prayer: “Father, I recognize my propensity to sin. I sense the constant battle between good and evil that wars within me. So I lean on Your Word and place my life under the lordship of the Son of God. In Jesus’ name I commit this day to You. Protect me today from myself, and place Your hedge of protection around me. Amen”

1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, and He might destroy the works of the devil.

Satan sets traps for each of us, often traps of the eyes, flesh and pride. We sinful souls sometimes walk right into those traps. We seem to be naturally attracted to sinful desires because we are sinners and fall short of the glory of God.

But here’s the good news. The Son of God came to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus destroys the works of Satan. God declared war on Satan and promised to each of us ultimate victory. This promise was fulfilled in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The reason Christ came was to destroy the destroyer. We are no longer powerless in the fight against sin because we have help. We are strengthened by the powers of His might and have His everlasting love to battle for us. Because Jesus fulfilled His purpose, we can now fulfill the purpose God has placed before us. Let us pray for God to keep us from the works of Satan. Lord, keep us in the Word and give the Holy Spirit victory over the powers of Satan.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Let us continue to pray for those who are going home for the first time tonight after the tornadoes. I pray for the restoration of basic utilities and physical and emotional healing. I pray these folks are warm and dry through kind souls and loving friends. 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.
Happy Tuesday!

What a day! It is my prayer for each of you that you are safe and somewhere warm and dry. The tornadoes seemed to go all around us. Please give thanks for your safety and pray for those who have lost their homes, pets and must begin again.

Prayer: “Lord, I put on the whole armor of God. I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I plead the blood, resist the devil, and claim the victory in Jesus’ name. Amen”

1 John 4: 4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater that he who is in the world.”

If we are going to do battle we need to use the strongest and mightiest of spiritual weapons to do battle with the world’s greatest enemy.

Daily, daily we need to cover ourselves with:
the blood of Jesus, the blood of the lamb;
the Cross of Jesus, to die to self each day;
the name of Jesus, no other name claims power like Jesus’ name;
the Word of God, and
praising God in Jesus’ name.

Praising God when we go into battle is what leaves Satan standing in the corner crying. Exalting Jesus’ name will render Satan helpless. He is no match for the One who lives within each us.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Let us pray for our friends and neighbors who are suffering due to tornado damage and devastation. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you, 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, April 2, 2012

Happy Monday!

I love this time of year when it is still just the right temperature outside to grill and eat outside for dinner. I love eating outside on the deck. We usually eat a little slower and talk a little longer. Our table has always been important and tonight it was really great. Just a couple of hints about eating outside... You can place a small bowl of peppermint oil on the table and it repels the flies and other flying insects. You can also empty a beer in a bowl and set it on another table and it will draw the flies. The beer is cheaper, but the smell of the peppermint oil is so much nicer!

Prayer: “Father, give me a clean heart and clean hands to worship You all throughout the day. Amen.”

John 4: 24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Today I have been studying Psalm 15 and Psalm 24. Psalm 24 prays to have a clean heart and clean hands before going in to worship. How timely this prayer came as we continue through this Holy Week of worship. Both psalms begin with the questions of who may enter the temple and worship in the presence of God. The remaining verses of the psalms give the requirements for those who desire to worship in the temple. These psalms remind me of the time of confession and settling things with your neighbor before partaking in Eucharist.

The emphasis in the verse from John is on God’s Spirit. This meditation uses the funny quote from an old deacon who prays, “Lord, please let something happen today that is not printed in the bulletin.” Most of us worship in habits because of our traditions. We sing familiar hymns, the organist play a chord and we all know what to sing, we know when to stand and when to sit etc…but our worship should never become routine. The word spirit in this verse refers to our spirit. We need to worship with our inner most being using our emotions, listening to words we have heard a zillion times, but really listening to their message. When we worship, our hearts must be involved. We have a God who loves us so much and we need to show Him with our hearts how much we can show our love. This type of spirit filled, Spirit led worship has anointed preaching, praying , praise and worship. This is the kind of preaching that changes lives. The presence of the Holy Spirit in worship can enable each of us to be transformed into active worshipers of our Holy God. Let us ask God to help us worship with our whole heart making worship a priority.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and carry an umbrella. 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.

This is a half-day post. The pictures are from Saturday, March 31, 2012 - Travis' first professional lifting event. He won 3rd place in the event, with a deadlift of 745 lbs, and a push press of 405 lbs., no small feat considering he is 21 and no one outside of the local gym had heard of him before. Most of the men he lifted against have been lifting for years and are 10 years older.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blessed Palm Sunday to you all and Hosanna in the Highest!

Such wonderful worship today at both of the churches I attend. Geni became the cross maker during worship today. She knows how to make crosses from the palm branches; she makes me one each year. Today she made a bunch of them as folks asked her. There were some left over and they are drying in the back window of my car.

Prayer: Father, make me strong in the Lord and in the power of Your might. Give me courage to face life’s pressures. When I am tempted to give up and give in, help me to trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Joshua 1: 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

You know Joshua came a long way. Joshua had been a slave, a servant, a warrior, a spy and now he was successor to the only prophet to ever see God face to face and is being asked to lead a nation into the Promised Land. To do all of these things Joshua needed encouragement because when the new nation of Israel landed in Canaan they were fraught with problems. But no matter how many problems arose, God stayed with Joshua and the people of Israel.

When we face difficult issues, God would have us to step forward into His guiding presence and walk in the light of His promises. God commanded the nation of Israel to step over into the Promised Land. Victory over the difficulties that occur in our lives can only happen when we go forward in faith believing that God walks with us.

Out of that nation of Israel that walked into Canaan, God raised up a new nation. All of the attitudes and habits of slavery had died off with the previous generation and this new generation who had never experienced slavery were ready to step into the Promised Land. They did so believing that God would walk with them and victory would belong to them because of God’s leadership through Joshua. When we, like Joshua, have God’s presence and provision for every need, then we have peace. Let us remember that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Presence of God is available to us 24/7. Let us claim God’s Presence and allow Him to guide our steps trusting that even if the steps seem difficult, God’s leading will be there and will never leave us or forsake us.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and carry an umbrella tomorrow. Count your blessings and say your prayers. May each of us stay in the awareness of God’s Presence in this most Holy of weeks. Love you all so very much. Love you, 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.