Anyone who is having troubles should pray. ... When a believing person prays, great things happen. -James 5:13,16 NCV

HOPE!!


Thank you, LORD, for being our HOPE in all circumstances. We give You glory and praise and honor for who You are!


Amen

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A Time for Change

The new year is a time for resolutions. The standard joke is that we make them in January, and we break them before February. The truth is, it is hard to change without the power of God.


Father,

Give us the ability to know the things in our lives that need to be changed. Help us to discern the things that are better left alone. And help us to trust in you and not in ourselves for the ability to make those changes. Help us to focus on You and Your power and not our limited abilities. Help us to realize how limited we really are and how much we need you, even for dealing with the things we think we have control over.

In Jesus' name,
Amen

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Prayer For a New Year

Father, we thank you for the blessings you have given us in this past year, the trials you have brought us through, and the things yuou have taught us. We pray that in the year ahead you would give us grace, wisdom, and strength. May your name be hallowed in us and through us. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

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My Heart for 2015



Dear Lord ~ I don't want to wrap and pack neatly in a box the Nativity Scene on my coffee table.  Packed away for another year, I choose this year to leave them out, to reflect on the meaning of John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God."   And verse 14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." 

Lord in this New Year, I long to have even a greater awareness of what that verse really means.  Who you are, and what it meant to leave the glory of heaven to become flesh, dwell on this earth and show us how to live, and then die on that cross to redeem us.  I want to know you better in 2015 than I did last year.  Lord teach me.  I love you.  Amen.

Amen

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2015 Hopeful New Year!!!

Hebrews 13:5-6 (NLT)
   5 ….. God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 6 So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear….”


Father sometimes people look at a new year as standing on a precipice facing a future that is unknown, uncertain and unpredictable. We live in a world of stress and distress as a common experience and wonder if the New Year will just be filled with more of the same.   

Father, we cannot allow ourselves to be pessimists. Nor do you want us to be people with such a low view of life.  Father you have given a promise, provided a plan and established a purpose for our lives and you always keep your word and accomplish your will. So we can face the New Year as people with confidence knowing that: “….God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)

And remembering Father what you said in Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” So then Father it is not only Happy New Year but much more a Hopeful New Year because you are the God of all hope enabling us to be people of hope who have a promise and a future.

Amen

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That we may share in the song of the angels ...

Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

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A WALK ONE WINTER NIGHT




This week we watched a Youtube of Al Andrews reading his book "A Walk One Winter Night".

Since that I've been reflecting in a very different way about the typical Nativity Scenes.

You will be blessed if you watch this Youtube.

Dear Lord, you used the reading of this simple but profound book to stir my heart anew this Christmas.  Lord Your birth was not pristine clean as the perfect figures are placed on our coffee tables, or in front of our Churches.  There was nothing perfect about that night except YOUR BIRTH.  The stable was dirty, Mary young and scared, having her son in a stall, laying him on scratchy hay.  Joseph, wishing he had clean blankets, a basin of clean water.  You came in humility, but all of us that come like a child and put out faith in Your work of salvation on the cross, will reign with and behold the majesty of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  How we love and an adore you.  Amen.




Amen

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What’s So MERRY About Christmas?

Father, because I live in such a dysfunctional, disillusioned, and depressing world it sometimes gives me pause to wonder and ask “What’s so merry about Christmas”’? Then I recall how Jesus in his first sermon in Nazareth quoted the prophet Isaiah and said: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19 (NLT)

 Yes Father this is the time of your favor, a time to tell the good news which gives power and passion to the word MERRY, and why this word should be used to describe the effects of Christmas

Mercy because that is given unmerited to undeserving sinners.

Encouragement because that instills hope in a life surrounded by despair.

Redemption because that restores relationship with a holy God.

Renewal because that brings meaning and vitality to life.

Yearning because that motivates the heart to share the “…..good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Luke 2:10 (NLT)

Yes Father it is and always will be MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NLT)



Amen

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To the Bearer of Men's Burdens

Lord Jesus, Bearer of men's burdens, Comforter of the sorrowful, we would bring to thee all whose hearts are sad.

Help us mediate thy strengthening sympathy to others, but grant we may be so continually refreshed by our companionship with thee that we may not be crushed by the world's burdens.

Thou art the burden bearer - not we. Thou alone, O Christ, canst in thy strong heart carry the woes of the world.

In this faith, teach us to do our duty day by day as we see it to be thy will, and save us from the depression of those who try to carry more than man was made to bear, and ever to look to thee, O Lamb of God who bearest the sins of the world.

Amen
... from "The Will of God" by Leslie D Weatherhead

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Third Week of Advent

Jesus, we rejoice when we look back on your coming to save us from our sins. We rejoice as well when we look forward to your coming again to set all things right. Amen

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IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US





Matthew 1:23  "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel~~which means, "God with us."

Dear Jesus, You amaze us ~~You were present when the earth was spun into orbit and the stars were ordered in the night sky,  You designed the awesome working of our planet and all that live here on it    You shared with Your Father in the joy and wonder of creating everything that now exists.  And yet when we were lost and fallen, You were willing to take on the frailty of our human nature and become one of us so that we might be saved.  We praise and worship You, Immanuel.  You, Immanuel, are indeed "God with us". We love You.  Amen.

Amen

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Suddenly

Luke 2:8-11 (NLT)
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.

9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!

Father how stunning must have been the experience of the shepherds on that silent night in the hills of Bethlehem when suddenly the glory of the Lord engulfed them in majestic splendor. We can imagine the fear that gripped them, uncertain of what such an unearthly presence might mean. Yet it was not an announcement of judgment the angel brought but of salvation: “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem

Father, there has never been such a proclamation that has brought greater hope than what those shepherds heard.  And in our dark world today I pray that the light from that glorious news will shine brighter than ever. Such news for us may not be sudden but it will be life changing for all who believe even as it was for the shepherds.

Amen

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Our help

"Our help is in the name of the Lord, 
who made heaven and earth." 
(Psalm 124:8)
~~~~~~~

Over and over, in the Word of God, we see the vast importance of prayer in the lives of Chrisitians. His Word tells us to look up! It tells us to cry out! It tells us that He and He alone is our help! So, why do we neglect this powerful gift that comes from Him? 

We need to understand that prayer is the greater work of the church and the people. We also need to understand that a working knowledge of the bible is extremely valuable and utterly important to our prayer life.

 How necessary is prayer in our lives? We will accomplish little of eternal significance apart from prayer. It is indeed an awesome responsibility in our lives, but it is an even more exquisite honor. An honor that we need to treasure and cultivate and use to bring glory and honor and praise to our God and King. 

May the Lord show us the power of prayer in our lives in a new and enlightening way this week!

Lord, we lift up humble hearts to You today and ask that You impart upon our spirits the importance of communing with You continually! May our hearts be drawn to Your side and may we truly recognize You for who You are. Our God and our King, Our very present help. Our Creator and our Lord. Empower us today, Oh God, to be prayers warriors who seek You in all that we do and say.


Amen

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Second Week of Advent

Jesus, as your people hoped for the coming of their King, so we live in expectant hope for your coming again to make all things right. Keep us watchful and ready. Amen

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The Miracle of Mercy

John 1:1& 14 (ESV)
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

……….14 And the Word became flesh……

Father this is a miracle that has infinite dimensions and finite implications.  It is that which is eternal coming into that which is temporal. It doesn’t even seem possible. How could such an event even take place?  Even Mary the mother of Jesus was concerned and confused about this. Thankfully Father you sent the angel Gabriel to explain this Mary and to us.

Luke 1:34-35 (ESV)
    And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

John 1:14 (ESV)
   And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Thus Father the glorious prophecies of Isaiah were fulfilled.

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)
   Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
   For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Thank you Father for the wonder of Christmas, the gift of your Son, the miracle of mercy for all who believe.


Amen

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For the Sick and Hurting

Dear Lord Jesus,
You have seen in Your great wisdom and mercy to put into our lives those who are great prayer warriors and encouragers, people who always take the time to stop, look us in the eye, and take genuine care for our bodies and souls. This day, Lord, I thank you for Doug and all he has meant to the many who know and love him. He has been a source of strength and encouragement to so many and we bring him before your throne today asking for mercy. We beg healing for his body, but especially healing in his relationship with his daughters and mercy on their souls. Thank you, Jesus, for Doug.
 Amen

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First Week of Advent

Jesus, we live in a world of uncertainty, with pain and suffering all around us. We long for you to come and bring peace and wholeness to your creation. Thank you for the hope you give us that you are making all things right, and will finally bring your kingdom to its fullness. Amen

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