Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hope for the Holidays

Micah 5:2
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,
one whose origins are from the distant past. NLT

Luke 2:11
The Savior-yes, the Messiah,
the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! NLT

God,Thank You for publishing and preserving Your ancient Words. They give me hope and joy in these troubling times. During Israel's darkest days, You announced something major through a minor prophet. Hidden within this tiny little book in the Bible, written by the humble hand of a holy man is a great BIG treasure. The long awaited King would be born in the tiny little town of Bethlehem. The "house of bread" would cradle the "Bread of Life." How amazing is that!? And, after 700 long years of waiting this prophesy was finally fulfilled.

Because of that experience please give me greater confidence in the divinely inspired messages penned by Your spirit-filled scribes. In this age of uncertainty and lawlessness, help me to pay close attention to what they've written. Similarly, more than 2000 years ago, these influential saints clearly expressed the reality of Your imminent return to rule and reign over the entire earth. Under Your godly guidance, they unmistakably proclaimed that one day death would lose its sting and darkness would lose its power.

Admittedly, I am worn out waiting! Through tear-stained eyes, I strain to see Your promises. Yet, Your Word is the only flickering light I have in this place. Help me to hold it up and put my hope in it until it diffuses itself in my mind like the dawning of a new day and shines like a bright morning star in the hollow of my heart. Then, I will carry it like a prophet into my own small town to give others the hope of heaven this holiday season for the glory of Your faithful name. Hallelujah. Amen.

God has given us a great book full of fulfilled prophecy, the Holy Bible, proving that He is faithful. We would be wise to pay attention to it. It may be the only light we have in the coming days, and a candle we can carry into our own crazy communities while we wait for the Lord's impending return.

2 Peter 1:19-21
We have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

John 8:12

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Jesus, You are the Light of the World,

Your radiance fills the whole earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. Before You created life, You spoke and created light to separate the world from impenetrable darkness. Great are You Lord and mighty in power!

Thank You for leaving the hallowed halls of heaven and stepping out into the wreckage of this cold, dark, and wicked world so that I could see the light of Your love and live. In the light, You exposed the mess I made of my life. Lovingly picking me up, You cleaned me out, filled me with the oil of Your Spirit, and made me into a dazzling luminary to brighten the world. Following You, I can carry the light of life into the dense darkness of death, disease and despair; sickness, suffering and sorrow.

Lord, You know how dark these days are. With the Light of the World eclipsed by heathenism in the hearts of the benighted millions, guide me by the lamp of Your Word. Following You, I won't fumble and stumble through frightening darkness, but will purely, patiently and peacefully illuminate Your love by helping and encouraging those who are lost and alone. Blazing with Your glory this holiday season, use me to lead hopeless, helpless, and hurting people into the light where they will find goodness, grace and an abundant new life. To God be the glory for the radiant gift of Light! Amen.

I don't have to tell you that we're living in dark days of uncertainty. Hordes of people are hopeless, helpless and hurting this holiday season, horrified by the unknown. They're stumbling through the darkness because they can't see the Light. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, don't hide your light. Follow Him. Open your Bible and do the things you see Him doing. His Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. Let the light of life shine brightly through you by helping or encouraging someone for Jesus today.

The Light of the World is Jesus
Philip P. Bliss, 1875
Listen on-line

The whole world was lost
In the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Like sunshine at noonday,
His glory shone in.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Come to the light, 'tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned upon me.
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus!

No darkness have we
Who in Jesus abide;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
We walk in the light
When we follow our Guide!
The Light of the world is Jesus!


Ye dwellers in darkness
With sin blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Go, wash, at His bidding,
And light will arise.
The Light of the world is Jesus!


No need of the sunlight
In Heaven we're told;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
The Lamb is the Light
In the city of gold,
The Light of the world is Jesus!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

100 Things I'm Thankful For

1. Out of all the people on the face of the earth, I have been chosen by the Most High King.
2. I am loved by the King with an everlasting love that cannot be broken.
3. I’ve been adopted into the King’s family and I belong to Him.
4. I’m accepted by the King with all my faults and failures.
5. I’ve been redeemed. My tattered and torn rags have been traded for a pure robe of righteousness; my tarnished chains for opulent pearls.
6. I am forgiven!! All my mistakes – past, present, and future – BIG, medium, and small have been forever erased by the blood of Christ.
7. My chains are gone I’ve been set free! My God, my Savior has ransomed me!
8. I am free from the dark dungeon of despair, disappointment, and disgrace.
9. I am free to live in the Light of the World, and to be a torch bearer for the King.
10. My Father, the King, delights in me. I am the apple of His eye.
11. I have hope.
12. I have a bright future.
13. I have incredible power – all of the Almighty God is mine in Christ Jesus.
14. I have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead because I am seated next to Him in heaven, and He is seated next to the King of the Universe.
15. My heart is happy because of who I am in Christ.
16. I can give thanks in all things, at all times because of who I am in Christ.
17. I have peace that surpasses all understanding. No peace. No Jesus. Know peace. Know Jesus.
18. I do not have to be afraid of anything.
19. I am victorious!
20. I can walk on the heights!
21. I am immeasurably blessed!
22. I have an imperishable inheritance awaiting me.
23. I’m guaranteed a room in the King’s castle.
24. I am full of vibrant, abundant life. Man may kill my body; but he cannot kill my Spirit.
25. I can stand tall and confident in a corrupt culture when I adhere to God’s good standards for living.
26. I have the whole Bible and am free to read it openly.
27. I know how The Story ends.
28. Wisdom and discernment.
29. I’ve been blessed with incredible talents: the ability to relate to people, the ability to influence others; the ability to communicate both orally and in writing.
30. I grew up in a solid home with one mom and one dad who modeled love and commitment.
31. My Dad is canoeing down the River of Life. Blessed assurance!
32. My Mom is strong and healthy – against all odds.
33. I married a man who loves and adores me even though I can be a wicked witch.
34. The man I married supports me in all my adventures in life and faith.
35. The man I married is my pillar.
36. The man I married is compassionate.
37. The man I married keeps me balanced and removes activities from my overflowing plate in order to keep me healthy.
38. The man I married worries; so I don’t have to.
39. My husband has a good work ethic.
40. My husband has a job.
41. I have a job and have been blessed with an incredible income.
42. We have two healthy sons.
43. Our sons have made wise choices, thus far.
44. Our sons are chosen too and have accepted the call.
45. We have a comfortable home that’s almost paid for.
46. We have an abundance of food as evidenced in our physiques.
47. We have heat in the winter.
48. We have air conditioning in the summer.
49. We have pure water.
50. We have running water.
51. We have hot water.
52. We have 3 bedrooms and no one has to share a bed – except Craig and me, by choice; we don’t have to sleep on straw, we have pillow top mattresses and warm, clean blankets.
53. A good night’s sleep
54. We have 4 reliable cars – one for each driver.
55. We are all healthy.
56. Our kids have access to free and good education.
57. We have access to the best medical care in the world.
58. Our kids have been protected from evil.
59. I have two sisters and one brother and we all get along.
60. Childhood memories.
61. My nieces and nephews.
62. My siblings and their children have all been chosen and set apart; and have accepted the higher call.
63. My friends – old and new.
64. God’s leading us to Faith Bible Fellowship Church.
65. Pastor Thomann and his sound Bible teaching.
66. Pastor Claire and Carlene and the exceptional and extravagant care they’ve shown to Craig and me.
67. Pastor Keith Long and other godly men involved with the youth and the impact they’ve had on Nic.
68. Joel Hess and the impact he had on Jon.
69. Nancy Meyer my writing and speaking coach.
70. Brian Funk, Dick Boyer, and Nancy Meyer who saw my potential and encouraged me to pursue it.
71. Pastor Thomann and Pastor Claire who have affirmed my call to write and speak, and have picked up where others have left off.
72. My prayer partners.
73. My boss who is fun, full of energy, and a great coach.
74. Great co-workers.
75. The freedom and flexibility to work from home.
76. Jane and the precious gift of her friendship that God gave me on the Christmas of 2005. The honor of carrying her cross.
77. David and the privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus to him.
78. The friends who have come into my life through tragedy: Peggy and Sherrie.
79. Rosemarie and the precious gift of her friendship God gave me on the Christmas of 2006.
80. The business relationship that resulted in divine connections: Michelle, Donna, Missy and Aunt Crystal – in 2006.
81. The opportunity to personally meet Henry Blackaby in 2006 and thank him for the influence he had on my life through Experiencing God.
82. Henry Blackaby, Ann Graham Lotz, Kay Arthur, and Beth Moore who taught me how to study God’s Word for myself.
83. Claudia and the way God connected our lives in 2007.
84. My small group: The Shorters, The Kreiders, The Pongonis’, The Santos’, The Spanglers
85. My two adorable dogs
86. Amazing vacations and all the spectacular places on earth I have seen.
87. The mighty majestic mountains
88. Quiet moments alone with God
89. The roaring oceans teeming with life
90. Fresh air to breath
91. Changing seasons
92. The sun on my face
93. Green grass and blue skies
94. Fantastic neighbors who are also best friends: The Martins and Lapps!
95. I live in a free nation; the most prosperous nation in the world.
96. The men and women who have fought for my freedom
97. Toastmasters and how it has helped me grow personally and professionally
98. The story God’s given me and the influence it has on others
99. Each of the 15 girls I met and ministered to at the fall youth retreat in 2010
100. Massages and facials

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1 Chronicles 29:35

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.

O Lord, It is a joy to give thanks and bless Your glorious name!

Truthful Teacher, I'm overwhelmed by the truths You teach with me when I open my Bible and my heart. Thank You for correcting my wayward thinking.

Healer of Hearts, there is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! Thank You for transplanting Your heart into mine, healing me and giving me a vivacious new life full of love and strength.

Almighty Attorney, You defend me from the allegations brought against me by proud people with personal agendas. Thank You for standing up for me.

Narrator of Life Changing Love Stories, You have written the brilliant biography of my life - a fantastic novel of drama, power, romance, and intrigue. Thank You for my life story.

King of Compassion, approaching Your divine throne, I'm overwhelmed by Your kindness. Your mercy and justice take my breath away. Thank You for your compassion.

Sufficient Supplier, You show me the secret to a satisfying life: Relying on your promises, looking for Your provision, and depending on Your power. Thank You for satisfying the desires of my heart.

Great God who governs from beyond the galaxies, You are the Mighty Magistrate righteously ruling and reigning over all the earth. Patiently, You pardon people who plea with You. Thank You for Your righteousness.

Irresistible Lover of My Soul, You light up my life, making my heart happy. You are absolutely precious to me! Thank You for loving me intimately.

Victorious Lord, You're the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Blessed Angels. I celebrate the sweet victory You've given me through Jesus Christ. Thank you for the glorious conquest!

Indescribable Light, because You made Your home in my heart the Light is always on. Darkness has disappeared and I never have to stumble again. Thank You for releasing me from darkness.

Negotiator of Great Deals, the bargain You made for me is unbelievable! You'd serve my death sentence so that I could be free. Thank You for defending, saving, and freeing me.

Good and Gentle Shepherd, You are my powerful Protector and one and only Owner. O how Your sweet voice resonates deep within the inner ear of my soul. Thank You for taking care of me.

Prepare your heart for worship this Thanksgiving, by perusing your Bible and thinking about Who God is to you. Thank Him for Who He is.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Psalm 107:22

Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

Father in Heaven,
As a gesture of appreciation for Your matchless mercy toward me, I'll joyfully show the world the wonder of Your amazing love by:

Self-expenditure - I'll gladly abandon my own dreams for absolute loyalty to You, determinedly following You wherever You lead.

Attitude of gratitude - I'll quickly and gratefully stamp out my personal agenda in order to enliven a broken heart.

Crucifixion of self - Deliberately, I'll kill my spirit of intolerance and indifference in order to allow You to freely work through me to do anything You choose.

Radical love - Because of the extravagant love You've shown me, I'll readily demonstrate extreme compassion to those outcast by society.

Immediate obedience - Out of fear and respect of Your almighty authority, I'll willingly do any assignment You give me without hesitating or complaining.

Full devotion - Attached to no one but You, I'll notice the people and situations that burden You.

Individuality broken - In order to effectively aid and assist You, I'll allow You to crush me and shape me into Your perfect image.

Challenge - I'll intentionally accept assignments that may be beyond my mental and physical abilities, fully trusting You to energize and equip me.

Endurance - The power of Your Word, coupled with praise and prayer will strengthen me.

Thank You, Lord for filling me with the sweet aroma of Your love. Let my life pleasantly emulate Your essence this holiday season, attracting others to Your fine fragrance because of Jesus. Amen.

God gave up His Son for Your benefit, ask Him what He wants You to give up for His benefit this holiday season. Then, obey immediately, without hesitating or complaining, cheerfully offering Him your sacrifice with a thankful heart.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost For His Highest: We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later - it must be done now ... Always guard against self-chosen service for God ... God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.Worship the LORD with gladness;come before him with joyful songs.Know that the LORD is God.It is he who made us, and we are his;we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.Enter his gates with thanksgivingand his courts with praise;give thanks to him and praise his name.For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Almighty, All-bountiful, All-gracious God,It's sheer pleasure to worship You with heartfelt adoration and undivided attention. Your unfailing love has put a song in my heart, a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I believe that You are Lord, my God, Creator of everything. Thank You for making me intricately and uniquely with Your strong hands. I'm Your most valuable possession. O, how I praise You!

My Good and Gentle Shepherd, knowing You intimately is the greatest joy and blessing. Your voice is music to my ears. Willingly, I follow You. With steadfast devotion, You lead me to the lush, rolling meadows in my Bible where I can devour the rich delicacy of Your Word. Faithfully, You guide me through barren deserts to refreshing streams of Living Water that quench my thirsty soul. Along the way, You staunchly defend me from the wolves of sin and temptation that hound me. Thank You for protecting and providing for me.

With unbridled excitement, I enter the heavenly gate and come into the safety of Your beautiful sanctuary. My thankful heart, tells of Your tender kindness and continuous mercy. I sing of Your infinite goodness and everlasting compassion. Your enduring love has set my feet a dancing. O how I love and worship You for all You've done for me, Jesus, my Wonderful Savior, Redeemer and Friend. Amen

Prepare your heart for Thanksgiving, by pondering God's goodness. Make a list of all the gifts He's given you. Thank Him for each one, offering Him a sacrifice praise!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord of Love,
I come to You seeking mercy and grace. Forgive me for fearing man. Please drive out my fears in the name of Jesus, Your Son. Every day I worry about what others will think of me, say about me, and do to me. I'm concerned that they will kill my ambitions, hopes, and dreams. Frightened of man's condemnation, I live in constant apprehension. Paralyzed by fear, I'm tentative to open my mouth and speak for You. I'm sorry, Jesus.

Today, I'm claiming the truth! Your love drives out fear. You didn't give me a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of love, power and sound mind. With Your Spirit living in me, I have no reason to worry. You and You alone are the Ultimate Judge. In Your Supreme Court, I'm already declared innocent and spared eternal punishment. Thank You, Jesus.

Nothing anyone thinks, says or does can separate me from You. From this day forward, I'm choosing to focus on Your perfect love living in me. Relying on it, I will conquer my fears. Please dear Lord, quiet my heart and give me confidence to trust in Your perfect love for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Do you worry about what others will think of you, say about you, or do to you? We are certainly living in tumultuous times. Fear is everywhere - the global economy, the flu pandemic, and widespread war are a few. Resolve your fears by focusing on God's endless love. Then, allow Him to love others through you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Romans 7:4, 6

So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Jesus, Lover of my soul, it's an honor to be united and living with You, the most powerful King of heaven and earth. Connected to You, I'm filled with love, strength and a clear mind. I'm coupled with the same power source that raised You from the dead. Wow!

Joined with You, I can selflessly serve others sweet fruit ...
I can love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, and approach the unapproachable, only by Your power.

I can smile when I feel like frowning, only by Your power.

I can lay down my words that are harmful weapons and be a peacemaker, only by Your power .

I can endure difficulties without condemnation, only by Your power.

I can show kindness to the least, the lost and the last, only by Your power.

I can do good deeds, only by Your power.

I can trust You, believing You're sufficient to meet all my needs, only by Your power.

I can put on a gentle, quiet, humble heart only by Your power.

I can exercise self-control, self-discipline, and a sound mind, only by Your power.

Please dear Lord, attach me securely to You today so that I can serve You with all my heart at any time, in any place, and any situation in the power of Jesus, my Risen Lord, for Your pleasure and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Are you plugged into the power that will enable you to bear sweet fruit and serve others selflessly? Find someone - the least, the last or the lost - to serve in the power of the Holy Spirit today.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Matthew 6:24

Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

My Dear Master,
Your Word is my startling wake up call. It is loud and clear. Today, You're asking me to make a difficult choice. Will I love You more than the almighty dollar? Living in a materialistic culture, it's a tough decision.

The world is calling me to join in the hot pursuit for power, prestige, and possessions. Everywhere I turn there is another attractive demand for my time and energy. The Prince of Darkness is fully intent on toppling me from my lofty and safe haven with You. People everywhere delight in his lies. Consumed with materialism they're hard-pressed like heartless, mindless, and lifeless plastic toys. Caught up in commercialism, they're greedy, miserable and selfish. I can't possibly listen to them and follow You.

With all my heart, mind and soul, I want to love You more than status and stuff. Rather than being fascinated by wealth, I want to be mesmerized by all the magnificent riches of heaven. Captivate my mind with pure and clean thoughts. Clear thinking is priceless and will help me make right decisions in the dark days ahead. Fill my heart with precious peace and love so that I can calmly pour it out on people who are panicked and perplexed by their spiraling problems.

O Lord, thank You for the gift of glorious everlasting life. No amount of money can buy access to heaven, a peaceful mind or lively heart. Enthralled with You, I'll authentically live a life of love by being generous, kind and altruistic at all times. Instead of chasing the almighty dollar, I choose to passionately pursue You, Jesus, the One and Only source of all blessings and happiness now and forever. Amen.

Can you honestly say you love God more than money? One test is to ask which one occupies more of your thoughts, time and effort these days. Whatever you love, you will spend much time and energy thinking about.

I encourage you, in these dark days of uncertainty, to read your Bible, pray earnestly, and think about what really matters: God.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hebrews 10:35-38

Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him."

King of Eternity,
You are Lord of my heart! I know that soon, and possibly quite soon, You are coming back, and that makes my heart want to sing: "Hosanna! Glory to the King of kings!"

Lord, as the days become increasingly darker and pitch black with terror, prepare me to enter the final round of life's last contest. When I can't see through the gloom and doom please give me courage and confidence to stand my ground! I know my stuff, and I know YOU. Don't let me shrink back in fear or throw away my faith just before Satan is forever vanquished. Help me to:

Draw nearer to You with an honest heart fully trusting that my guilty conscience has been sprinkled with Christ's precious blood, and I've been made right and ready to hail Your glorious entrance. (10:22)

Hold on tightly without wavering to the blessed hope of heaven, expecting You to keep Your promise. (10:23)

Think of creative ways to love others and do good deeds, and motivate others to do the same. (10:24)

Frequently spend time with other believers for encouragement and endurance, especially now that the day of Your return seems so imminent. (10:25)

By doing the right things, I will have nothing to fear or dread because I'll remember that beautiful blessings wait for me. You are absolutely sincere and will richly reward me for waiting through the tribulation. With a wink of the eye, You'll whisk me away in the wind, taking me to the home I've always longed for. Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! Amen.

Are you ready for the final round of life's last contest? Soon, and possibly quite soon Jesus will suddenly show up on the scene. Hebrews 10: 22-38 tells us exactly how to prepare. I encourage you to be ready!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Psalm 2:1-2

Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One.

Sovereign Lord who made the galaxies and grasslands; the ocean and every organism, You spoke through the mouth of David thousands of years ago words that permeate my mind in this present age:

Why do the nations conspire

and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand

and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One.

While Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and the people of Israel plotted against Your Son, the Holy One whom You anointed, and Hitler and his henchmen hatched a horrific plan to annihilate the Jews whom You chose and blessed, they were only carrying out the plans you set in motion beforehand.

And, now the tyrants are at it again. Nations, under the domination of a fanatical group of radical Shiite Muslim clerics, have repeatedly expressed a desire to use nuclear weapons to wipe out the nation of Israel, and are on an accelerated course to build a bomb capable of incomprehensible destruction that will obliterate not only Israel, but also much of Europe.

Consider these threats, O Lord, and give Your faithful followers courageous confidence to compress our fears and do what we know is right during these terrifying times of conflict. Give us a holy boldness to sound the alarm and waken the sleeping Church. Surround our nation with an army of angels, and unite us in fervent prayer. Give our leaders godly wisdom as they face critical events in the weeks and months ahead.

Holy Spirit, swiftly sweep across the globe preparing hearts to accept Your Son and enter Your Kingdom before untold tragic events unfold. Change the hearts of ruthless leaders who wish to do harm to Your beloved people - Jews and Christians alike. O Lord, we urgently plead for the peace of Jerusalem through the name of Jesus, the King of the Jews, who will one day, possibly quite soon, establish his eternal empire on earth forever and ever. Amen.

We are living in frighteningly dangerous times, and sadly most of the Church is complacent and indifferent, just as much of the world was ignorantly unresponsive while Hitler was exterminating millions of God's people during World War II. Devastation is coming and most proclaimed Christians won't know what hit them. Instead of experiencing God's peace, they'll experience sheer panic because they're unprepared!

Prepare by reading the History Book, Your Bible, God's Word. Repent, seek God's face, and be proactive for the sake of righteousness. Above all let's raise our voices together in prayer!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Psalm 8:3-6

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower
than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands.

O Lord my God, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! The poet who wrote these verses years ago was properly dazzled by the night sky; however, if he could have looked through the Hubble Telescope for a scant ten minutes he would have undoubtedly fainted in wonderment. Even with our biggest and best telescopes directed at the stars that are billions upon trillions of miles away, we still can't see the outermost edge of the universe. It's mind-boggling to consider the cosmos as Your handiwork! I stand in reverent awe of Your enormous creativity.

What is man that You care so much for him? Compared to the cosmic galaxies, man is minuscule. Compared to You, we are nothing. If there is anything more stunning than the sheer scale and splendor of the universe, it's the revelation that in all of Your greatness, we really do matter. It's bewildering that You made us in Your image, crowning us with glory and honor. Though we're nothing in contrast to the magnificent magnitude of creation, we're extraordinarily valuable because we carry the signature of our Heavenly Designer. Because of our great worth in Your sight, You've assigned us the awesome responsibility of taking care of Your wonderful works.

Please dear Lord, give me a deeper understanding of who You are as the Divine Artist of the universe. Balance it with a healthy, humble view of myself as Your valued curator. With an accurate perception, I'll worship You rather than the works of Your hands. Appropriate insight, will make me more cognizant and appreciative of Your gloriously brilliant works of art. Mindful of Your priceless creation, I'll protect it, display it, and love it in honor of Your holy and majestic name, O Lord. Amen.

To respect God's majesty we must compare ourselves to His greatness. When we look at creation: the cosmic galaxy, mighty mountains, or titanic ocean we feel small. To feel small is a healthy way to get back to the reality that God is big and people are little. Humility, however, means proper respect for God, not self-worthlessness and self-depreciation.

God considers us highly valuable. He has chosen us to be the crown of His creation. He has entrusted us with His fine art. How do you treat God's creation? Use your resources wisely because He holds you accountable for your stewardship.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Psalm 20:7

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Almighty God-
You are my One and Only true source of escape and protection. Forgive me for relying on chariots and horses: family and friends, money and materialism, desires and dreams for security.

In times of distress, I need to run right into Your all-sufficient strong arms. Rather than collapsing during crisis and conflict I can stand firm with You. When inadequacy and insecurity immobilize me I can aggressively look them in the eye and boast in Your powerful name, declaring:

Jehovah-Jirah The Lord will provide
Jehovah-Nissi The Lord is my banner
Jehovah-Tsidkenu The Lord is my righteousness
Jehovah-Shalom God is peace
Jehovah-Rapha The Lord will heal
El Roi My God sees
El Shaddai My God is Almighty
Adonai Lord, my Master

I may lose my friends and family, money and materialism, desires and dreams but I will never, ever lose my relationship with You. Trusting in Your love, mercy and grace is my only source of hope, joy and peace in this troubling world.

Assured of the saving power of Your strong right hand, I will rejoice in You, celebrating the victory by singing the wonders of Your glorious name forever. Amen.

In these troubling days, who or what are you placing your trust in?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Proverbs 18:10-11

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
The rich man's wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem. NKJV

O God Most High, You are my castle in the sky, my steadfast strength and my eternal security.

The rich rely on their wealth for cheer and comfort. Attacked by the law, they use their wealth to buy a defense. Insulted in the streets, the dignity of a thick wad of bills is their revenge. Should they become sick, they can afford the most prestigious healthcare. Pleasures and help are at their beckon call. Wealth is their shelter, strength and security - a citadel made of clapboard that crumbles when the financial market falters.

Prominent people flaunt their power, possessions, and positions. Condescending, contemptuous, and conceited they're driven by personal gain and recognition. Superiority, success and status rise up like tall walls around them to protect their egos - a refuge made of drywall that disintegrates on their big heads.

But Your name, O Lord, is a strong tower! Wisdom, truth, mercy, justice, power, eternity, and immutability are the granite pillars of grace that sure up our eternal security. When the hideous hounds of trouble and temptation terrorize us, and the wicked wolves of corruption and conflict are hot on our tails, the right thing to do is to drop everything and run for our lives straight through Your castle gate and into You where the brutal beasts cannot besiege us.

Give me courage to run, O God - run to You when things get tough. In the safety of Your presence, teach me about Your impeccable character. By faith, I will believe You. Trusting in Your magnificent name, I will learn to fully rely on You, the One and Only Strong Tower. Blessed be Your mighty name forever and ever. Amen.

In times of trouble do you depend on money or character to save you, or do you run into the Strong Tower of the Almighty? No amount of money on earth can keep you secure. Your name will never save you. Drop everything and run to Jesus - His salvation is sure.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve

My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
everything was meaningless, a chasing
after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

God Most High, You are supreme over all the earth; exalted far above all gods.

Thank You for the lessons we can learn from the wise King Solomon. He had it all - power, authority, prestige, money, success, wisdom, and knowledge - but in the end, it was all proven meaningless.

Lord, we too have passionately pursued pleasures - often denying ourselves nothing our eyes desired. Cheered by the wine of wealth, we've invested in folly by undertaking big projects: building extravagant homes, acquiring expensive treasures, and amassing a mountain of money. We've hired help and gone on exquisite excursions - refusing our hearts few pleasures.

Many of us enjoyed working hard with the wisdom, knowledge, and skill You gave us. We're thankful for the rich rewards we've received for our efforts. However, when tragedy strikes, we quickly realize the futility of our accomplishments. In a heart beat it could all be gone. A hurricane could destroy it. A fire could burn it. An earthquake could shatter it. Sickness could render it useless. An accident could end it all. A lawsuit could consume it. And, the stock market could crash it. In the end our work could be as pointless as chasing the wind or catching a cloud! Nothing would be gained from it.

Help me, O Lord who sees everything from the high and heavenly throne, to live my life on purpose in the present. I don't want to look back some day and realize that I've wasted it on empty activities. Show me what's important to You, and I will invest my time, talent, and treasure in it in order to gain everything under the Son. Amen.

What pleasures and treasures are you pursuing? If disaster were to strike you today, how would you respond to the loss of them?

In light of the incredible loss from the financial crisis in our nation, and the world, I encourage you to seek and understand the true meaning of life. Read, reflect and respond to Ecclesiastes.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foamand
the mountains quake with their surging.

King Over the Flood,
You are robed in majesty, armed in strength, and enthroned forever! High above the tidal waves of worry, You saw the earth quaking as millions of people watched in terror while their stock portfolios plunged in the wake of the nation's most momentous financial crisis since the Great Depression. The whole world was in an uproar as manmade mountains of money melted into the heart of the sea, and congressional leaders frantically battled the bail out bill.

Affecting everyone from Wall Street to Main Street, there was no escaping the horrendous flood that swept over this once lush land and its exaggerated economy. Facing a tempest of fear, we watched our wealth submerge into the foamy sea of uncertainty, and were confused about what to do to survive.

Yet, Your powerful and majestic Voice soars over the waters. Your thunderous promise is to be our refuge, strength and help in times of trouble. We need to open wide our Bibles and run into You! Your throne is firm, immovable and eternal. In You we will be blessed with peace and power when the rest of the world is plagued with panic and pandemonium. Knowing that You are the sovereign King over the Flood, we need to be still and know that You will be exalted among the nations.

Please dear Lord, give me ears to hear and faith to believe that You are who You say You are and You will do what You say You will do through every wild and roaring circumstantial storm to ascribe glory to Your holy name. Amen.

We are living in frightening times of uncertainty, but we're not without hope. We have God's great promises! He promises to be our refuge, our strength, and our help in times of trouble. Open your Bible and run into Him! In Him there's no reason to fear. He is the sovereign King over the Flood. Do you believe Him?

Psalm 29: 10-11
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Psalm 95:1-7

Come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us give a joyous shout to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come before him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing him psalms of praise.
For the LORD is a great God,
the great King above all gods.
He owns the depths of the earth,
and even the mightiest mountains are his.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
for he is our God. NLT

Lord, You are a great and awesome God! You are King of kings! Maker of mighty mountains and surging seas! Owner of the depths of the earth and lofty skies! You rule and reign from heaven on high!

In reverent awe, I come just as I am, humble, meek, and poor, to worship You in the splendor of Your sovereignty. I'm not worthy to climb the mighty majestic mountain into Your presence. I can't stand on this holy ground without purifying my heart. With a clear conscience, I'll enter the beauty of Your holiness to adore You with deep devotion.

Because Your precious Son bought me with His priceless blood, I'll come before You with thanksgiving exalting You above the heavens. Seeing Your radiant face, I'll kneel before Your throne and anoint Your feet with the sweet aroma of joyful praise.

With my hands, I'll extol You. With my lips, I'll lift You up. With my feet, I'll serve You. With my tongue, I'll sing of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Gladly, I'll give my life to You in worship. Please receive my humble sacrifice of praise because I love and adore You above all, my great God and King. Alleluia. Amen.

Prepare your heart for corporate worship by focusing on God's reverence. Then, go in awe of Him and be blessed!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

1Timothy 2:1-2, 8

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

Eternal, Immortal, Invisible King, You are the only God! Blessing and honor and glory are Yours forever and ever! Amen!

Thank You for the life saving grace of Your Son, Jesus Christ. He is my blessed and only hope for the future. Even though I've made a million mistakes and have many faults, You've faithfully poured out Your endless love and mercy on me. If it weren't for Your unlimited patience, I'd be eternally condemned for the countless ways I've offended You. But, because of Your tenderhearted compassion and ceaseless kindness, I'm guaranteed a home in heaven, signed and sealed in Jesus' blood.

Therefore, out of deep heartfelt gratitude, I will obey Your orders for outstanding living in an outrageous society. Not only will I honor the position of our President by accepting his authority, I will also do as You say and raise up holy hands to pray persistently and passionately for him to rule our country with justice and goodness for our good and Your glory. My heart's desire is to live freely, simply, and quietly in this land blessing, honoring and glorI urge you, put aside your anger and put on passionate and persistent PRAYER for President Barack Obama! The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Here are some more reasons to be thankful:
You have a roof over your head, and may even own your home
You have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
You have air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter
You live in a safe neighborhood protected by well-trained and dedicated emergency personnel
You have income, even if it's unemployment income
You have enough clothes in your closet to dress a community in Congo and enough stuff in your garage to furnish an entire village in Mozambique
You have the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in a moment than Darfur has seen in the last year
You have social, religious and political freedoms that are the envy of everyone in the world
You have a cell phone and computerifying Your kingdom forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

1 Peter 2:13-17

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

Great God who governs the globe, You are the highest, most supreme ruler in all the land. All other authority is established by You for our good and Your glory. While there are civil laws in the land, Your Word is our utmost command. No matter who reigns as president, prime minister or prince You expect all Christians to accept his authority and act like citizens of Your kingdom.

By Your power, help me to leave the things of the world and return to You, my first love. For too long, I've pursued personal pleasure and prosperity instead of a personal relationship with You. Walking hand-in-hand with You, I'll see every human as Your valuable creation. While they may be ignoring You, and You may not accept their actions, You never stop yearning for them. Instead of condemning ungodly leaders, I'll freely serve them. My good deeds, done in the light of Your love, might cure their ignorance, draw them to You, and save them from eternal damnation.

By Your mercy, help me to love Your family. For too long, there has been division in the Church, across denominations over doctrine. Because of our bickering and brokenness, we've reflected a poor image of You to the watching world. The bottom line is that You suffered, died, were buried, and rose to glorious new life in order to save EVERYONE who believes. With that in mind, I'll set aside my own preferences in order to be a better Body builder. My good deeds, done in compassion to other Christians, will silence the critical crowds, reflect Your radiant image, and attract people to the beautiful Body of Christ.

With all due respect, I'll love You with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, and obey Your orders for outstanding living in an outrageous society. Without compromising my conscience, I'll honor the position people in powerful positions by accepting their authority and living among the outlaws in such a superior way that even the pagans will praise Your glorious name. Amen

Throughout the ages, Christians have lived under oppressive regimes. When Peter wrote this letter, believers were subject to the totalitarian government of Nero, a notoriously cruel tyrant. During Nero's terrifying reign, Peter penned these words to encourage the persecuted Church, and God preserved them for us today.

Let them be an encouragement to you also. Regardless of who leads the nations, God sets the standard for His family. As believers we are compelled to treat everyone with dignity even those we disagree with; love the family of God despite our denominational and doctrinal differences; fear God; and respect government as God's emissary.

Remember how much Jesus suffered for you. In the light of His love, live for Him, die for Him, and let your light shine for Him in the darkness so that all men will notice Him and praise Him.

Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Romans 13:1b

All authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

Daniel 4:17
The Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses-even to the lowliest of people.

Great King over all the earth!
How awesome are You, Lord Most High!
Your rule and Your reign are everlasting. There is no end to Your magnificent kingdom. The prime ministers, princes and presidents of the earth are powerless paupers compared to You. Sitting enthroned above the earth, You do as You wish among the angels of heaven and the people of earth. No one can stop You or question Your absolute authority. Ruling with a scepter of justice, all of Your acts are fair and true.

From Your holy throne in heaven, You appoint people to positions of power on earth for our good and Your glory. You had a purpose for the oppressor Pharaoh, the conqueror Nebuchadnezzar, the terminator Nero, and the people-pleaser Pilate. Although inherently wicked, their rule was required for Your ultimate work in the world.
Regardless of whom sits enthroned with power on earth, Your kingdom will come and You will be exalted over every nation. Belonging to You, every world leader will bow down and serve You despite their power, position, and pride. To You to be the glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

As believers we must acknowledge that all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by Him for our good and His glory.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Psalm 146:3-5

in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs,
they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.

Governing God of the Universe,
I praise You with the harp of my heart, while my soul sings, "My God how great thou art." You are the Maker of the sky and soil, the ocean and every organism in it. Forever faithful and true, You're absolutely authentic, totally trustworthy, and completely dependable. You will always do what You say You will do.

So, why do we put our trust in activists who know nothing about "real" life to advocate for our quality of life? Why do we trust the government to scoop up billions of dollars in bad mortgages, made by our poor choices, to bail us out from beneath the financial flood? Why do we trust lobbyists and lawyers with liberal agendas to legislate laws that will lighten our load?

While the money we cherish and cling to for dear life is stamped "In God we trust," we've stomped You right out of the picture, choosing instead to trust in the proud princes of Washington and Wall Street who operate self-centered programs based on personal gain and greed and can't guarantee us a dime. When they die their pork-barrel projects and self-motivated plans die with them, leaving us helpless and hopeless. Lord, have mercy on us!

Why do we trust self-serving officials to help us, when we have You, the High King of Heaven who keeps His promises forever and ever? Help me today, to trust more in You than I do in the leaders of this land. You guarantee me a rich inheritance and a home in heaven where I will live in the land of love forever and ever because of Jesus who makes my heart sing. Hallelujah! Amen.

Are you trusting in the government for your future or the God who governs the universe?

God consistently defends those who have been wronged, and always feeds the hungry. Time after time, He releases people imprisoned to their past, gives sight to those who are blinded by deception, and lifts up the fallen. God loves good people, protects strangers, and always sides with orphans and widows. Without fail, He brings to an end the work of the wicked. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and sing His praises.