Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Thursday! 

WOW!  What a day!  A classmate and I presented our research on Grief and Loss as experienced by prison families; families who are supporting a loved one who is incarcerated.  I think our professor was pretty impressed because her comments and grade were in my email by the time I got back from lunch.  My colleague and I got an A on the presentation. 
Two major events in the life of Brite Divinity School today; first the Brite Spring Awards Banquet and worship and later the dedication of the new Brite Divinity School Bldg.  The new building is named the Harrison Building and it is high tech to the max with several classrooms and other conference rooms with a special study room.  The building even has a very cool balcony and a beautiful plaza with a meditation garden.  Really beautiful!

Prayer:  “Dear Lord, on this day, I will practice what God’s Word says to me.  I will follow Your will and Your Word.  Give me the power to do that as I our out my heart to You.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Jeremiah 29: 12 “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”
We have spoken this week about prayer.  Tonight my meditation speaks inspiring words about praying in the book of Jeremiah.  I am going to share the words of the meditation with you concerning prayer.

“Knowing that God will do what is best for you, granting to you His future and hope for you.  He provides for you the privilege to call upon Him.  Yes, prayer becomes the channel and experience where you can cry unto God with your all, entering into His presence in Jesus’ name and talk to Him. (Here is my favorite sentence) Just think, you who are limited enter into the presence of the unlimited and the result is that he provides you an unlimited life!!”

We are granted permission to speak to God and God listening to us.  God listens to our burdens, visions and dreams and even our whining and complaining!  We serve this awesome God who listens to us all of the time.  Even when we cannot get someone such as a friend, a pastor, family member to listen to our cries, God is always there to listen to us.  We can go to God at anytime, lay down our burdens and God will ALWAYS be there to listen.  Praise God!

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 Wednesday! 

Tomorrow is my last class day for this semester.  One of my classmates and I will present our final project to the class in Grief and Loss.  The topic is Grief and Loss as it Effects Prison Families.  Please offer a prayer for us that we present our findings to the class well.  Following this class is the annual Brite Spring Banquet. Then, beginning at 5:00 there will be a special chapel service followed by the dedication and celebration of the new Brite Building.  What an amazing day!!

Prayer:  “Good morning, Lord. Speak to me today.  Your servant is listening.  My heart is open and my ears are ready to hear You today.  Give me the power to not only hear You but also obey You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Mark 11: 24 “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

There are no boundaries in prayer.  God is able to do anything, anywhere and at anytime because He is who He says He is and He can do whatever He says He can do.  There are no bounds on our requests made to God.  There is no one like the living God.  He will answer our prayers by His own will and authority.  Even though He is so pleased that we are becoming dependant on Him in our prayers and calling upon Him, God still goes by His Word and does what is best for us. 

Trust is such an important part of our prayers to God.  When we trust God with our prayers we are surrendering our burdens and concerns to His love and care, trusting that God will do what is best out of His love for us.  Because God already sees us all the way into eternity we must trust Him in all things, believing that we will receive answers with a confident heart!  (read that last sentence out loud  again.)

Sing with me, “There is none like You.  No one else knows my heart like You do.  I could search for all eternity long and there is none like You.”  I give thanks that God did not grant me everything for which I have ever asked.  Those would have been such bad deals.  God loves me enough to give me all that I need and some of what I want by His design and good purpose. 

So my friends…find some time and pray each day giving thanks for every good and perfect gift, surrendering your burdens and worries, trusting that God will do all that is best for we who are the pinnacle of His creation. 

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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Tuesday! 

Today was my final preaching class and my final class in Psalms. The final class in Psalms was entirely focused on prayer.  It was such a wonderful way to close out such a great semester.  I have loved all three classes and learned so very much.  In all three classes I have been able to put new found knowledge to use. 

The next week is going to be busy. I have two papers left to write; one in Psalms and one in Grief and Loss.  I will have seven hours on a train on Friday and a return trip of seven hours on Sunday and will hopefully get some writing done.  I will be riding the train to San Antonio to perform the wedding for our nephew and his fiancĂ©.  The wedding is on Saturday at the Japanese Tea Gardens.  I will get to see Carme and Dave.   

Prayer:  “Dear Lord, I bless You on this morning for being with me all the time.  I thank You that whether I am on the mountaintop or in the valley.  You are there.  I pray this morning that I will live out my faith today.  I pray my life will be known as a living testimony for You.  May I be able to comprehend the privileges afforded to me by You. Amen.”

1 Thessalonians 5: 17, 18  “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

My favorite moment in the Kairos Weekend is when we go into the prison for closing.  The free world folks come into the gym followed by the residents and the inside the team who sit across the gym.  The free world people and the residents are all wearing large cardstock nametags with print large enough to see across the room.  Each of the support staff has been praying for one or two of the residents by name throughout the weekend.  The residents have been praying for each of the support staff during the weekend.  When the residents enter the gym they immediately begin to look for the name of their prayer partner.  Each of the support staff looks for their partner(s) as well.  It is such a touching moment filled with emotion for both groups.

It is such a tender moment when the residents place a name with the face of the one who has been praying for them for several days.  They are amazed that someone would pray for them without knowing who they are or even care what they have done.  The residents are children of God and are in just as much in need of the hope found in prayer as we who live in the free world. 

All who believe can come to God at anytime for anything.  For all of us it is such a joyful privilege of being in communion with God.  We can come to God with a thankful heart. Going to God with a thankful heart helps all of us no matter where we live and whatever our circumstances to live each day in Jesus name. 

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.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Monday! 

I have so missed writing these past few days, but I felt that being awake when I write was a must and so I am awake this evening.  (Ha Ha!)  The weekend spent in the Kairos Prison Ministry was just amazing and exhausting.  I loved being the chaplain and preparing chapel services throughout  each day.  

Being present as God worked through each one as they served the 42 residents was a privilege.  At closing as we (the support staff) heard and witnessed how God  worked in the lives of the residents was so touching.  My favorite part of closing is when we, the freeworld people, walk into that gym wearing our large name tags and the residents search each one of us trying to find which one of us was their prayer partner throughout the weekend.  We do not get to have physical contact with these men, but the recognition in their eyes is enough to melt your heart.

Prayer:  Father, this week is your week.  Speak truth and hope into my life.  Give me ears to hear You speak.  Grand me discipline to open Your Word in order to listen to Your Voice.  Whatever is before me, give me what I need at that moment.  Even now, I listen to You.  May You alone be praised. Amen.

James 5: 13, 14 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.  Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.  Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

The best prayer times occur when we talk to God and listen to what God has to say.  When something comes up, talk to God about it and upon the authority of God’s Word, pray for guidance and God’s will to act on your behalf.  When you are sick call your pastor or a spiritual leader to pray over you .  Prayer should be our first choice and not our last. 

Each of us is going to have needs today and our pride will say “You can work this out without any help from God.” Let us consider God’s way and talk to God about it right now and let God speak promise into your day.  When we come to God first thing in the morning,  the Holy Spirit will do wonderful things in our lives.  God will bring peace and give us confidence that He is with us. 
Take joy in the journey praying as you travel.  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.

Prayer:  Please pray for little Tatum.  She received her chemotherapy treatment and it is such powerful medicine that it has burned through her tender skin leaving her burned and blistered.  She is so very brave saying that it does not hurt.  Thanks and peace, gc