2012 Prayer

"My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make ever effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus." Philippians 3: 10-12

Monday, May 28, 2012

Part 6-What are your feet saying?

Resurrection--Now What?
Memorial Day.   A day set aside by our country to remember all the brave men and women who freely gave of their lives in order that we as a nation might be free.  Yesterday, the church had a significant event to remember—The Day of Pentecost.  In the past, I have not given it much thought.  However, this year I did not just want to stay at Jesus’ death and resurrection only to wait until Christmas to celebrate and remember His birth again. My question and reading has been focused on What happened after the Resurrection?  As we have explored together the past three weeks the period of 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, we have seen Him appear to many people and share with them His parting words.  Last week we looked at His last words before His ascension which spoke to the work we are to carry on as believers and followers of Christ.  After He ascended He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Remember He did not even tell them how long, what time, or how it would be received.  It is now ten days later and the time we now label the Day of Pentecost.  As we remember today the lives sacrificed for our freedoms here in this nation, may we not forget the sacrifice we as believers must be willing to make in order to save souls from eternity spent absent of the presence of God.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Part 5--Waiting...

Resurrection—Now What?
It’s Friday and Memorial weekend has arrived.  The kids are ready for school to be out, teachers are REALLY ready for school to get out, and parents are beginning to fret as to what they are going to be doing with their kids all summer!!  I love summertime because it gives me the opportunity to catch up on things that don’t get done during the school year.  It allows me a time to relax and not have everything on a schedule.  It allows me time to spend with my family experiencing new things together. 

The time for Jesus’ earthly ministry had ended with His death and resurrection.  He had spent 40 days appearing to His disciples and followers and was now ready to ascend to take His place at His Father’s right hand.  Jesus left them with the words that He would never leave them as well as some final instructions.  Today we visit this period as we are preparing our hearts for the day of Pentecost on Sunday. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Part 4—Plunging in Feet First

Resurrection—Now What?
Just one week left before Pentecost.  It is important to note that while we are studying this week a few more events which happened after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples, women, and some followers of Jesus spent the last ten days leading up to Pentecost gathered together in a room in Jerusalem (Acts 1:3, 12-14).  There they were continually united in prayer (Acts 1:14).  Let us keep this in mind as we study this week.  Let us meet each other at the throne of God through prayer as we read and examine the scriptures. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Part 3--Coming off a Spiritual High

Resurrection—Now What?

Growing up I was blessed to have the opportunity to participate in many youth camps, Disciple Now weekends (sort of like youth camp, but held one weekend during the school year on Friday-Sunday), and various other events that helped to focus my attention on God and the work He was doing at the time.  Even as an adult I continue to seek times of spiritual renewal through various conferences; to take time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and rest in His presence and power in a different setting.  One thing that was and is always profound about these times is that I always come away with new understanding about God and feel refreshed and renewed.  Inevitably, though, I walk through the door and reality hits.  I am immediately hit with a choice.  Do I believe what God has shown me over the course of the weekend or week I was away and do I act upon that faith?  Or do I doubt what I heard and saw during my time spent with Him and shy away from carrying out the plans God laid before me?  As a youth, we were always warned that Satan would be ready and waiting for us on Monday mornings.  While we may be on the mountain top there at camp or at the conference, sooner or later we would have to go down into the valley (our schools, neighborhoods, etc.) and put our faith into practice.  The disciples had to make the same decision.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Part 2—Footprints in the Sand

Resurrection—Now What?

I’m no theologian so my futile attempt to categorize the events leading up to the Pentecost will probably not be as accurate as some might desire.  However, my journey is not to put together exact times, but to experience the flow of events found within the four gospels surrounding the time from Christ’s resurrection to His ascent into Heaven and the deliverance of the Holy Spirit.   While they may not be in exact order, the journey today takes us to Mark and Luke where the famous Road to Emmaus scene occurs.  Join me today with open eyes as we ask ourselves, Who are we walking with down this road of life?    

Friday, May 11, 2012

Part 1—Open Our Eyes

Resurrection—Now What? 

Easter.  It seems so long ago that we celebrated one of the most recognized events in Christianity.  However, what happened next?  The story of Christ’s deliverance for us did not just stop with His resurrection.  He promised to send a Helper.  He promised we would not be left alone.  Over the next two weeks I would like to take some time to reflect on the same question the disciples must have been asking after they saw the empty tomb—Now What?  Have we celebrated the risen Savior back in April only to forget that He is still alive and is still revealing His presence to us?  Have we seen the risen Lord over the last 40 days?  Join me as we experience the sightings of Jesus after His resurrection.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Earthly or Heavenly Eyes?

“You have a wonderful child.” 
“Your child is so well-behaved.”  
“Your children get along so well.”   
“Your child did great on the field today.”   
And the list goes on as to what we desire to hear from other parents and adults regarding our children.  But is this what we as parents should be seeking after—the praise of man?  What is important when it comes to teaching our children—good grades, behavior, athletic achievement?  Psalm 78:1-8 is a great reminder in bringing our focus back to the importance of teaching our children what God desires for us to teach them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Where’s the Beef?

Thinking I pack his lunch in the mornings, Scott came home yesterday from work and asked me, “What happened this morning?” 
“What do you mean?” was my honest reply. 

“I mean, I went to open my lunch and all that was in it was an orange, chips, and some cookies.