Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Saturday! 

Easy day.  Low key. Did some test prep.  Put Thanksgiving leftovers in the freezer for future use and made popcorn for movie watching. 

Prayer alert:  Our friend David Russell who spent Thanksgiving in a hospital in Arizona battling an infection is being released today. At around 5:30 they were waiting on a wheelchair and then heading home.  Please pray travel mercy on these treasured friends and continued healing for David. 

Prayer:  Lord You order the steps of a righteous person (Ps. 37: 23) , so may every move I make today be in the direction that Your Holy Spirit would have me walk. As I seek Your guidance, let me do so with the full confidence that You can be trusted to provide a more abundant life today that I could ever muster up in my flesh. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord” (Ps. 19: 14). Amen.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord.”
Jeremiah 29: 13, 14a

A few Sundays ago I preached at Rush Creek.  I placed bowls of scented oil at the end of each aisle for the congregation to anoint themselves with the oil prior to communion as a reminder throughout the day of the sweetness of God’s presence, love and forgiveness.

God has given each of us passions in the furthering of the kingdom here on earth.  Bruce has a passion for prison ministry.  I have a passion for pastoral care.  No matter what the passion God has given you it all comes down to the same message: when we seek the Lord with all of our heart we get to know God better. When we do that, we look for the opportunities to share what God has done for us with those we encounter.  Our task is to carry the same burden God carries…to see lost souls and help them find their way home through experiencing the love of God, His tender mercies, unmerited grace and complete forgiveness. 

When you wake up in the morning, greet God and experience the closeness and sweet fragrance of the presence of the Divine. Treasure the close fellowship being offered and desire to know God more throughout the day. 

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings, say your prayers and tell someone how much God loves them and you.  Love you all 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 Friday! 

The only thing better than spending one day with family is spending two days with family.  Today we spent the day at Allen Eagle Stadium watching my HS Alma Mater, Sherman High School, in the second round of the state football playoffs. The bad news is …they lost.  The good news is we watched the game from the hospitality suite.  Totally cool.  

Prayer request:  Our dear friend David Russell has spent part of his Thanksgiving holiday in a hospital in Arizona.  He is battling an infection.  According to Carme, the doc is releasing him to go home tomorrow.  Please keep him in your prayers for healing and travel mercy on their way back to Texas. Thank you all so very much.

Prayer:  “This morning reminds me, Lord, of Your grace and mercy to allow me to experience a new day filled with incredible opportunities to love You and be loved by You. Thank You for extending to me salvation’s wonderful forgiveness of my sin and the blessings of knowing You.  The knowledge of that is too big for me to keep to myself. Plant someone in my life today who needs You, someone who will listen to the glorious way that You changed my life. Change them with Your power and grace. Amen.”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
Matthew 28: 19, 20a

While I was working at the hospital this summer I was called to a patient’s room.  It was an elderly gentleman who had not been given very long to live.  He felt the need to share his last wishes with some and he chose me.  One of his wishes was, “That my wife will come to know Christ as her personal Savior.”  It was this man’s final desire that his wife become a disciple of Christ. Whether it was before his passing or after did not matter, but her relationship with Christ did. 

These were the last words of Jesus to His disciples before He ascended to heaven.  He did not speak of the end times, rapture of the church or about heaven.  Jesus wanted His disciples to testify to what they has seen and heard about the power of Jesus love, forgiveness and grace.

The authentic witness is one who lives their life looking for openings to proclaim their love for Christ and teach others all that they have learned by the command of Christ.  Are we authentic witnesses or silent witnesses who expect others to learn about Jesus by watching our lives?

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Sleep well my friends and  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, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving !!

I ask for special prayers for our family this Thanksgiving. Even though there were twenty plus for Thanksgiving lunch there were precious family members who did not share our table with us this year for they were at the Great Thanksgiving with Jesus. 

Prayer:  God of the Great Thanksgiving, I begin with praise and adoration to You. Without You life would be hopeless and aimless, but since You came to me when I couldn't get to You, life has been filled with great peace and anticipation and purpose. My voice will forever praise You for loving me enough to provide for my salvation through Your Son. Grant to me this day the vision to see opportunities to share that love with others. Because of Your strength, I will be successful in proclaiming Your love today. Amen.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name but do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
Hebrews 13: 15-16

What an awesome day!  Great family fellowship, fantastic food and the Frogs won!! WOW!! Let the shopping begin.

There is a story about a homeless man who walked into a church and heard the good news of how much God loved him and so he accepted God as his Lord and Savior.  Shortly after that, someone in the church really put this new believer’s faith to the test by asking if God loved him so much why didn't he provide him with new shoes and a better way to take care of himself.  The man replied with, “I guess He did tell someone, but they forgot.”

My meditation tonight calls this type of talk, “Gossiping the gospel.” We cannot just rely on someone observing worship, prayers and study to change their lives.  We must sacrifice our time, our love, and our resources if we are to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Tomorrow is known as Black Friday.  There will be malls and shopping centers choked with shoppers.  Think about opportunities to extend the love of God to others as a demonstration of the difference God has made in your life. Let us seek in this season of the year to be effective witnesses to others by offering glimpses into the kingdom of God through our time, gifts and kindness.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes (especially tomorrow!) 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. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blessed Sunday to you all. 

Prayer:  Loving Spirit, thank You that I have not one sin greater than Your grace. Let grace reign in and through me today. You are my Lord, and sin is not. I desire You to lead me today. Help me to be an agent of Your grace.  Thank You for Your amazing, infinite grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 5: 20, 21

“Sin is as strong as death.” Sin is something at which we need to take a serious look. Sin is all around us.  Look at all of the injustice, suffering, freed, hate and hurt in the world all because of sin.  Sin is strong, but praise God, our faith in Jesus and His grace is stronger.  The passage today says, “but where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” 

Have you ever thought about sin this way?  Remember that sin is what brought us to Christ by grace.  It is the presence of sin in our lives that will continue to lead us back to Christ. 

Everything we have and everything we are is by God’s grace. It is our task because of this precious grace in our lives that we extend that same grace to others.  God’s grace abounds in us and even though we are sinners God still loves us and saves us when we do not deserve the forgiveness and grace given to us.  We must forgive others and give to others even when they do not deserve it. 

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.