Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Friday!

I have been asked to read the scripture passages at the Brite Divinity School Hooding Exercises Saturday morning.  I am humbly honored to be a part of this wonderful event.  So like any girl, I got my hair cut, nails done, laid out my clothes and practiced reading the passages because I really do not want to flub during the service tomorrow.  Someday, it will be me being hooded so I am excited to be able to participate in such a special way by reading God’s Word. Please offer up a prayer that I may bring honor to God.  Thank you, friends.

Prayer:  “Father, You show me Your love abundantly.  One of the greatest ways is allowing me to come into Your presence unendingly.  What a joy!  I do not take that for granted.  Thank You for letting me be a part of Your family.  Thank You for so loving me that You would give Your only Son to die for me.  Thank You for placing Your Holy Spirit within my heart.  Because I love You today there will be some who oppose me.  Give me the wisdom to watch and pray all day long.  Amen.”

“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
Luke 6: 12

Jesus was a praying man.  He prayed in large groups, with the Disciples and sometimes He prayed alone.  Jesus was praying at this time because of the rampant opposition He was facing by those who hated Him.  The need for prayer was so great within the life of Jesus that he had to retreat to the solitude of the mountain for His own safely and so He could focus totally on the communion He was having with His Father. 

If Jesus felt the extraordinary need to pray, how much more do we need to pray and take the gift of prayer seriously?  We can meet God anywhere and at anytime.  The passage says, Jesus prayed all night.”  Jesus needed instruction and communication with His heavenly Father to face the days ahead in obedience to His calling from God.  Again, I ask you…if Jesus felt the need to pray through the hours of the night then how much more do we need to pray for what and who we face each day.  There is no reason to face our tough situations and feed to idolatry of self-reliance.  Let us not forfeit our peace and bear needless pain.  Let us do what the old hymn of the church says, “Take it to the Lord in prayer.”

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  God doesn’t sleep so both of you need not stay awake.  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, May 10, 2012

Happy Thursday! 

Prayer:  “Father, thank for giving me a sound mind and for opportunities in which to serve You.  You know all things. Therefore, I trust You to see me through this day.  For every situation that arises,  I ask You to control my thoughts and restrain my flesh.  This is a day You have given me, and I desire to be a good representative of Yours.  Give me Your grace as I live this day for Your glory. Amen.”

“And he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12: 9

In our continuing thoughts about prayer I think we all need to be reminded that God answers prayer.  Our problem is that God sometimes answers our prayers in unexpected ways. We also need the reminder that God is God and can answer prayers at His pleasure and in His time. When we face difficult times we can pray for God to remove the difficulty.  When we pray that prayer sometimes God does not remove the problem, but gives us a way to work through the problem and remains with us until it is overcome.  That is what the phrase “His grace is enough” is all about.  If we trust God enough to pray to Him then we must trust that the answer we receive is the one God sees fit for us. 

Here are two things I believe to be true about prayer. First, God answers our prayers to bring glory to Himself. Second, God answers our prayers to bring the best possible benefit to us, His children.  The apostle Paul knew that God’s grace was more sufficient than his problem.  The same is true for us.  God’s grace is more than enough to cover whatever tough time we are walking through and will care for us until the problem is resolved by God’s divine plan for us and out of His bountiful love.  May we never forget the supplier of that grace so amazing. And to think - it is ours just for the asking.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  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 Wednesday! 

The dining room actually looks like a dining room and there was a desk under all of that paper, books, notebooks etc…And yet the best news of today is that Geni signed her contract for another year of teaching!    We were so excited.  She sent a picture of the contract with a smile via her phone.  We are so proud of her.  She is becoming a fine teacher who is counting the days until summer.  She learns fast!!!

Prayer:  “Father, thank You for another day in which I can serve You.  Today I will be faced with many opportunities and will have to make decisions that affect me and those around me.  Give me the wisdom to seek Your will in evaluating those opportunities.  I ask that You order my steps so that my walk will have a positive influence for Christ on those I meet. I ask that You guard my lips so that my words may minister grace to others.  Show me Your will and enable me to live in it today. Amen.”

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will. He hears us.”
I John 5: 14

God hears and answers prayers according to His will.  God can do that because He is God.  Whims and selfish wishes have no foundation for real prayer.  Real prayer is praying according to the will of God.  So here is the question…How can we, as believers, know the will of God?  Now there is the question for each of our lives.  Let’s think of a few things.

First, God loves and desires a relationship with us and His greatest desire is to reveal His will to us.  Second, God usually reveals Himself to each of us through the study of His Word.  Third, the Holy Spirit, given to each of us when we choose to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, will be our guide to discerning the will of God for our lives.  If we remember these things then we can approach the throne of grace with confidence.  Confidence means that we know God well enough that we can walk into His presence unafraid and freely into God’s presence assured that He will hear us and answer.

We do not have to walk in the shadows during the day or night.  We have this amazing God who shines His light on us 24/7,  leading us to make good choices, giving us direction as long as we have breath. 

So my friends, let us talk to God, read his Word and listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit within and we will live a life of prayer in confident assurance that we are living and praying God’s will for our lives.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Get some rest, because God never sleeps and there is no reason for both of you (or me) to be awake.  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.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Tuesday!! 

The spring semester for 2012 is officially over.  All finals have been turned in and sermons have been delivered.  My next class will begin on May 21.  It is through the Jewish Studies program.  It is on Biblical Storytellers, Sages and Musicians.  I am very excited about this class.  It is a five day intensive study. 

Tomorrow I will begin cleaning the dining room so it will look less like a grad student’s office and more like a dining room.  Thank you for all of your prayers during this semester.  It had a bit of a tough start with Mom passing at the end of the first week and me missing an entire week of classes.  But so far, I have earned an A in Preaching, and a B in the Short Term Pastoral counseling class I took in early January. 

Travis travelled to Austin with his new manager today for training to be an assistant manager.  I am not sure when he will begin at his new store, but I will keep you posted.  Please offer a prayer for him to continue to be the best manager he can be.

Prayer:  “Father, today I will be confronted by the Enemy of my soul. He will attempt to make me afraid, rendering me ineffective in Your service.  Help me to remember You are watching over me, keeping me by Your grace.  Remind me that Your eyes are upon me.  Cause me to reflect on the truth that You are enough for every situation and that You are bigger than any opposition I can encounter.  Thank You for being my heavenly Father.  Amen.”

“For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3: 12

Fear is the greatest weapon Satan can use against us as believers.  Today we had a WiFi problem at home.  My papers for school are to be emailed to the professor.  I emailed a paper due on Monday by 12:00 (noon).  It was emailed at 12: 25 AM in plenty of time for the professor to receive it.  I discovered none of my forwards were reaching their destination.  A colleague of mine who lives in San Antonio emailed a paper for me to print as our professor wanted both paper and email copies.  After receiving the paper I emailed it to Bruce from the dining room into the office only to discover it took 17 minutes for it to arrive in his email. 

Now I am beginning to panic.  Our papers were due at 3:00 PM and the rule is late papers are not accepted and I still had to travel to Fort Worth to deliver the paper. So we put the paper on a flashdrive only to discover that the printer went offline and did not work for a little while.  Now I am really beginning to panic and time is passing really quickly.  I am walking around the house saying, “Satan, get out of my house. You will not win the battle.”  Paper printed and I am off.  Once I no longer gave Satan authority over the situation I calmed down.  I was so afraid of being late with the papers that I could no longer think clearly.  Satan is the author of confusion, doubt and fear.  None of these words are in God’s vocabulary. 

So I took a breath and remembered some things. 

First, in this verse, Peter tells us the LORD is always watching over the righteous.  We have received God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. As our loving Father, God is always watching us and knows our situation.  When we feel alone we can be sure God is there and sees us in love. 

Second, the LORD is always ready to hear our prayers.  I asked God to remove Satan from my house and the situation. God’s ears are always open to us inviting us to pray, delighting in hearing and answering our prayers.

Third, the LORD is against those who do evil, especially Satan.  The enemies that attack us are God’s enemies.  These enemies can do no more than God will allow and are tools in His hands to mold us into the image of Jesus. 

So my friends, remember to pray and…Fear not!

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Sleep well, get some rest and let God stay awake and watch over you tonight.  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.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Blessed Sunday to you all! 

Okay!  I am reading an article on AOL today and it said that wearing uncomfortable shoes could cause cancer due to inflammation.  So when I sign off tonight I am serious about wearing comfortable shoes!! 

Prayer:  “O Lord, thank You for equipping me with the whole armor of God.  I put on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness—the belt of truth, the gospel shoes of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit—and now I am dressed and ready for battle.  It is in Your victorious name I pray, Amen.”

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18

Prayer is our communication with God.  Prayer is the greatest tool for doing battle with Satan daily and moment by moment.  In the verse for today the Apostle Paul uses the word all four times.  Paul described our battles with Satan as supernatural battles which must be fought with supernatural weapons, specifically, prayer.   Praying to God in the power of the Holy Spirit is our first, best strategy for doing battle with the enemy and gaining victory. When we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit no matter where we are we are standing on holy ground and completely bathed and saturated in the light of God’s love.  Satan cannot enter where God’s love is present.

We must be in prayer at all times.  We must pray about all things. We must always pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. Always is used as a plural when we always remember that Jesus taught us to pray, Not “My Father”, but “Our Father.”

Just some thoughts for the journey…Are we on someone’s prayer list?  I hope I am on someone’s.  Who is on your prayer list? 

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes!!!  Get some sleep.  The God who loves us so much never sleeps so there is no reason for both of us to stay awake.  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.

Special Prayer request:  Bruce is working diligently on my Grief and Loss paper.  He is the best. I turn in that paper tonight via email and send him the next one tomorrow.  Please ask God for a special blessing for this wonderful man I married.  Peace, gc

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy Saturday! 

We attended the memorial service of Ralph “Slats” McCord in Sherman today.  He was the grandfather of our oldest niece, Stephanie.  Then we, Ken, Sheena, Bruce, Daddy and I had a wonderful lunch together at Dad’s favorite restaurant, Cheddars. 

I took my mini-laptop to Fry’s Electronics after a mishap with the dog (you wouldn’t believe it).  It is still under warranty and I was happy to sign a paper that said I agree to pay $0.00.  I buy computers at Fry’s because if something goes wrong they give you a comparable computer on the spot.  Very cool!!

Prayer:  “Father, I greet You this morning with praise in my heart for the privilege of prayer. As we walk together today, may I be mindful that at any time, anywhere, and for anyone I can come to You in prayer.  Please don’t let me miss the opportunity and the obedience of this blessing. Amen.”

1 Timothy 2: 1 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.”

Paul was giving instructions to Timothy about who could pray. The Apostle wants us to know that prayer is our first choice, not our last choice.  Prayer needs to be our “first habit.” When we depend on programs, we get what programs can do.  When we depend on people, we get what people can do.  But when we pray, we get what God Almighty can do. WOW!!!

The verse for today tells us to remember that “All men, women and children are not outside the influence and realm of prayer.  My family, my friends, and those with whom I do not get along all are on my prayer list.  When I pray for those who have hurt me or with whom I do not get along I do pray for them to change.  I pray for me to change my attitude about them and then I give thanks.  When I give thanks and pray for my attitude to change the barriers are removed and God can work through me. When God is blocked by my own anger, resentments and pride then the work stops and I am out of fellowship.  I love it when someone tells me I am on their prayer list.  I am always in need of prayer and the one who is praying needs the practice.’’

Take joy in the journey remembering that the God we love neither slumbers or sleeps so get some sleep because you both do not need to be awake.  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.