Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy Saturday!!

All I can say is GO FROGS!!  What a decisive win over Grambling! 

I finished my Theology of Ministry paper today and it is ready for my editor.  It is due on Wednesday to the Supervised Ministry office at Brite. 

Prayer:  “Lord, I love You.  Thank you for giving me the strength this day to live for You. I give myself to You and depend on the strength of Your might for each moment.  Be glorified in me today.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”

“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power.”
2 Thessalonians 1: 11

Travis currently holds the American record for the deadlift in his age group (21-23).  He works really hard and trains each day. He lifts these huge amounts of weight by himself, but he does not do this alone.  He works with a trainer who stands nearby teaching, encouraging and correcting so that he will lift these huge weights correctly while increasing the amount of the weights as his strength increases.  Travis has enough discipline that from time to time he could train on his own, but over a longer period of time he might lose his edge because he did not have the daily encouragement of his trainer.

Travis faces physical weights each day.  But I think there are harder battles out there that are more difficult to fight or lift than the weights that competitors lift.  Ephesians 6: 12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  None of us are strong enough to stand up to that kind of battle, however, we should never fear the battle.  God never meant for us to be strong on our own.  We are strongest when we rely on God and work to battle problems, brokenness and weakness in our faith.  Ephesians 6: 10 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”  Claim this verse when you pray and the brokenness and problems can be turned into victory. 

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 Friday! 

The majority of my day was spent in putting together a paper for Supervised Ministry which addresses the different doctrines of the church and ministry as well as diversity.  I hope to have this completed by the end of this weekend.  I am one of two interns who will be commissioned this Sunday at both services at Rush Creek Christian.

Prayer:  Lord, I love you.   Thank You for loving me. I pray that today my faith would be evident. Help me to be Your hands and feet.   I pray I would be the light of the world, visible for all to see. And I pray that my obedience and loyalty to You would cause others to glorify Your name.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?”
James 2: 14

Has this verse ever bothered you?  I must admit it has always bothered me. Having a strong Lutheran heritage of “we are saved by grace and not our works” usually makes for a great theological discussion.  I am not much into wordy theological discussions. I think that is why I like the book of James.  James is kind of a “where the rubber meets the road” kind of guy and speaks pretty plain - tough sometimes, but plain.  I have come to discover that I am a more practical theologian who greatly desires to take God’s Word and apply it to my everyday life and, if called upon, to help others do the same.

Faith is an invisible part of our lives. It is really hard to describe and sometimes equally hard to defend.  James, the writer of this text, is not making the argument for salvation by works, but makes a case of faith that is visible.  People may not be able to see the essence of our faith, but they can assuredly see the presence of our faith when our faith is real and placed in Jesus.  The invisible faith we carry with us should be visible in our daily life. 

The powerful transformation of new life through the gift of the saving grace of Jesus in each of us is so powerful that new ways of acting, thinking and living should be visible to all we encounter.  We were rescued from the depths of sin, brought to life by the grace of God through Jesus, given salvation and were thereby given a changed life.  The change in each one of us is personal, but not invisible.  So my friends, honor God this day by making your gift of faith visible to those around you in the way you live so that Jesus is glorified and knows how much we love Him.

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.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Thursday! 

Dinner with the family tonight!  My favorite way to spend an evening!

I have a Covenant for Learning due next Wednesday.  It is my contract with the church I will serve (Rush Creek) and a Theology of Ministry Paper.  Parts of my own belief system must be included in this paper.  I went back through my Systematic Theology Notebooks and found all of my notes and handouts from the class, but no papers.  I wrote to the professor to see if he just might have any of my writing archived.  He did!! He is sending me all of the papers I wrote for him four years ago.  They will be so helpful in the writing of this paper.  Giving thanks tonight for Dr. Peter Jones of Brite Divinity School.

Prayer: “Lord, I love You.  It is my desire to walk through this day completely trusting in You.  As challenges come, help me to trust the sufficiency of Your grace and Your strength to carry me through each struggle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.”

Matthew 14: 31, 32

I love this story.  Peter gets so excited when he sees Jesus that he strikes out across the water.  Here is the amazing fact…Jesus was walking on the water.  

Here is the un-amazing fact…Peter sank. 

 I think the focus of this story is not that Jesus walked on water, but that Peter, just like the rest of us, sinks.  Our not being able to walk on water has little to do with any supernatural ability.  But it has everything to do with our belief that we can do things on our abilities and doubting Jesus to keep us afloat.  When we doubt the result is failure.  Peter did not sink because he stopped believing in Jesus to keep him afloat, but because he began to trust in his own abilities. 

In our continued exploration of faith…faith is not about our ability, it is about completely trusting in Jesus.  If we divide our faith then we are doomed to failure, so let us instead trust Jesus alone.

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.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Wednesday! 

Our day began in Tom Bean, Texas with the memorial service for my uncle Johnny Roe.  The church was full with lots of family, friends and people Uncle Johnny had built houses for over the years. 

Also in attendance was his beloved group of coffee buddies. This is the group with whom he had coffee each morning at the local Grandy’s.  I found out that during the last month of his life the staff at Grandy’s did not charge him for his breakfast.  The cooks in the kitchen knew he needed to gain weight so he could have another chemotherapy treatment.  So when the last week came and he could no longer go to the “coffee shop” as he called it, the cooks sent a box of food to Linda and Johnny’s home and written on the top of the box was, “To Mr. Johnny, get well soon.”  I thought it was one of the sweetest gestures I have ever heard. Please continue to pray for my Aunt Linda as she begins a life without her husband of 49 years. 

This marks the third close death our family has experienced in 11 months.  Uncle Gene, Mom and Uncle Johnny have all passed.  Having an aging family is a wonderful gift in that they have all been such a part of my life for all of my life, but the reality is also that in having an aging family means that the passings of these treasured family members will most likely continue to happen in the not too distant future.  Please keep all of us in your prayers as we work through this latest loss and support each other as families should.

Prayer: “Lord, I love You.  Thank You for sharing Your love with us through sending Jesus. He is our life and our hope.  Help me to live today with eyes for eternity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

“We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4: 18

My Aunt Linda and I are Elvis fans.  Many years ago Linda and Johnny would scrimp on the grocery money to get all three of us tickets to see Elvis and then I would send her $5 every so often until my ticket was paid for.  We saw Elvis twice.  I remember with excitement when we would sit in the Dallas or Fort Worth Convention Centers and wait for the concert to begin.  Elvis would enter the stage to the theme from the 2001 Space Odyssey and then the stage and audience would explode into sound when he came on stage and he would begin with “C.C. Ryder.”  We all three shared one pair of binoculars (although I don’t think my Uncle Johnny go to use them much).  After two hours of Elvis singing hit song after hit song he would put on his bedazzled cape and sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” It was his signature piece and then the audience would hear these words, “Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night.” They say he was faster than any magician in his exit from any one of his concert venues.  And he was gone.

For two hours during those concerts I was completely carried away by this larger than life singer/celebrity who had captured my heart as a very young girl.  But I know that it is easy to get caught up in the things of this world and lose sight of what is really important.  Our scripture tonight calls us to not look at the temporal, but look at the eternal.  As much as I would have preferred Elvis to have lived far longer than he did, he was a temporal person just the same as all of us. The difference in temporal and heavenly is that the earthly things are the things we can see while the eternal things are invisible. We, as believers, began our eternal life when we began our relationship with God through the crucified Christ.  Elvis left the building never to return, but Jesus came back as He promised and left His unseen Holy Spirit with us so we could continue to know and love the One with Whom we will spend eternity both on the earth and in heaven.

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.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy Tuesday! 

It was an amazing worship at Brite Chapel today.  The theme for the day was A Celebration of Sacred Music.  Included in the worship were organ, piano, strings, choir and a vocal solo (Me!).  The preacher was from a church in Weatherford.  He preached on the passage from Acts on the Day of Pentecost.  He had all of us to think about our favorite hymn.  Then he asked us as a congregation to sing that favorite hymn all together.  That may have been what the sound was like on the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago.  Very cool!!

Also, my Uncle Johnny passed away on Monday morning after battling cancer.  He is survived by my Aunt Linda, Mom’s youngest sister, a son, Danny and daughter, Dani.  They also have three grandchildren.  We will be traveling to Tom Bean, Texas tomorrow for the memorial service.  Johnny is the third member of our family to pass in the last 11months.  I ask your prayers for our family as we mourn this loss.  Thank you.

Prayer: “Father, I love You.  Thank You for being faithful and true. Help me to live this day in faith, not fear. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1: 9

As believers in Jesus one of the great things about our relationship with God is that our future is in God’s hands.  We do not fear what we do not know because we know the One who has ownership and authority over the past, present and our future. We may have uncertainties, but there is nothing uncertain to God. The life we live with Jesus models the compassion God has for us through His life, death and resurrection.  The sacrifice of Jesus secured a future in heaven for all who trust in him for forgiveness and salvation. 

In one of my classes today we were discussing the parts of a book we found particularly informative or which struck a chord within us.  In one of the books, one of the quotes by a pastor was, “Salvation happens everytime someone with a key uses it to open a door he could lock.”  This sort of illumined itself on the page for me.  We hold the key for salvation because we know and have a relationship with Jesus.  There are those who do not have that relationship and we can offer them the key to salvation.  We can offer to someone who does not have a relationship with Jesus our own story of how Jesus is a part of our lives.  We don’t have to be great scholars, or evangelists or even prophets. We just need to offer the key.

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.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Monday and happy Labor Day! 

My Uncle Johnny passed away this morning after a relatively brief battle with lung cancer.  I ask your prayers for his wife, my Aunt Linda, their children, Danny and Dani and their grandchildren. Danny lives here in the metroplex and Dani and her children live in Atlanta. We will be attending the memorial service on Wednesday in Tom Bean, Texas. All of our family will miss him and will be in support of Aunt Linda and the kids. 

Prayer:  Lord, I am grateful that despite the pull of this world, I can walk in the faith given by you as a gift from the cross of Calvary.  Teach me how to live in this victory and share it with my world. Amen.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
1 John 5: 4

Life is too short to live as a victim.  Because of the crucified Christ, Christians live in victory. We need not ever fear death or the difficult circumstances of life.  Yes, we live in the world, but we do not have to be of this world in the way we think and act.  Believers don’t overcome the world through fighting, we overcome the world by faith.  This faith accepts all of the promises and claims of Christ causing us to commit our whole lives and serve Jesus as Lord. 

Because we are victors we no longer take the victim stance.  On the cross, Christ took away our condemnation and created us to be overcomers. We can resist the worldly mentality of negative talk and live in daily victory by keeping our minds on Christ, staying full of God’s Word and being led by the Holy Spirit.  We can stay in the battle with the absolute assurance and complete certainty that the ultimate victory is eternal life in Jesus Christ!

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.

PS  Tomorrow I will be singing special music during Brite Chapel service.  This is my first time to sing for this group.  The congregation is made up of students, professors, TCU folks, alumni and other worshipers.  I am really excited.  Please pray for this wonderful worship tomorrow.  Peace, gc

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy Saturday! 

What an amazing night we had in Allen.  We were blessed to attend the first game in the new Allen Eagle Stadium when the Allen Eagles played the defending 5-A State Champions, the Southlake-Carroll Dragons.  It was awesome.  We sat on the 50 yard line Row B Seats 1-5.  Daddy got to sit in the suite with Sheena’s Dad and his wife along with Sheena and a cousin of mine and his wife from Okema, Oklahoma.  The remainder of the family was sitting in other places, but we were all there.

The Stadium is the most amazing place and it is absolutely “fit for the pros”.  At half-time both the Allen Band and the Southlake-Carroll band combined forces and played “76 Trombones” from the Music Man.  I think the combined bands actually had over 100 trombones.  It was a special performance just for the opening of the new stadium.

Of course, the best part was that Allen shut out the Dragons.  Final score Allen 24, Southlake-Carroll 0.  The Dragons haven’t lost a game in a long time, so it was a great way to baptize the new stadium.  Ken was so proud and we were so proud for him and of him.  You can look on Facebook and see the pictures.  It was such a great evening.

Prayer alert:  Please keep my aunt, uncle and family in your prayers as they continue to surround my uncle with all of their love and support each other in this very difficult time.  Thank you.

Prayer:   “Lord, I rejoice that You are sovereign and sufficient to handle all our needs. Enable us to see beyond the present and focus on the invisible, trusting and resting in Your promises. Amen.”

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5: 7

“When there’s nothing left to do, but just depend on You and the power of Your Name.”  Our faith needs to be powerful enough to get us through our daily lives and receive God’s blessings.  This kind of faith is not something we can see with our eyes or touch with our hands.  True faith, the faith that makes God so happy with us, is the faith that completely relies on Him and Him alone - not in anything we can see, touch, taste or feel.  True, authentic faith is when we have nothing to rely upon but God.

According to my meditation tonight there are two kinds of people who live in the realm of faith. There are those who walk in faith and have surrendered their lives into the lordship of Jesus, trusting in His sovereign providence within their circumstances. The second kind of person is one who wanders from faith as they choose to take matters into their own hands.  I must admit that I have floated in and out of these two different ways.  I hope to have more of a faith like the first person who surrenders…

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Have a wonderful extra day this weekend.  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.