Thursday, June 15, 2017

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THE FAITHFUL TRAIL
Copyright 2014

THE FAITHFUL TRAIL
STAY FAITHFUL IN PRAYER.

When it looks like things are falling apart around you, keep walking with integrity.
When you're tired, bewildered and hurt, stick to the trail—the faithful trail.
When it seems hopeless, stay faithful in prayer.

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
 The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds 
in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7

What requests do you have? What upsets you? What's disturbing? Take it to God in prayer.
What do you desire? What do you want to be? Ask God to make it so.
What are you thankful for? What is a thrill? Have you noticed God working? Thank him.

If you believe,
you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Matthew 21:22

If you believe. BELIEVE! NOW!
Abraham did.
Abram believed the LORD,
and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:6

So much happens when we believe. We are clothed in righteousness. We become children of God. We understand scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers are listened to. To believe is to gain. To believe is to live.

Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous man
is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

Prayer is powerful. And effective. It's like our weapon against yuck—against hurt, depression, despair, dark forces, broken hearts, worry, mire, mud, injustice, fill-in-the-blank______. Try it. Now.

Jesus entered the temple area
and drove out all who were buying and selling
there. He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the benches of those selling doves.
"It is written," he said to them,
"'My house will be called a house of prayer,'
but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'"
Matthew 21: 12-13

Church is a house of prayer, not a venue for classical music concerts that do not honor Christ, a stage area for secular music groups to practice their music on, a display hall for quilts, an arena for boy scout meetings, a place for the senior center, a platform for secular speeches, a space to display miniature cars, a fill-in-the-blank________ agenda other than prayer in the precious name of Jesus. And if someone in the church says these things are a community service, they are wrong like those money changers. It is a dis-service to the Christian community. Would you want Jesus to return finding you practicing your dance steps while singing "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" in the sanctuary?

The fear of the LORD
is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:7

Fearing the LORD is giving our Creator respect. It's reverence. The person who takes God's name in vain doesn't fear God. The person that takes the name of Jesus Christ in vain doesn't revere him. The woman who never prays because she doesn't believe doesn't acknowledge Jesus. People who don't fear the Lord lack wisdom. Oh, they might be smart in their own eyes and even in other's eyes. But they don't have wisdom from above.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
 Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust God.
Stick to the faithful trail.
Stay faithful in prayer.
Prayer is hope.         

Thursday, June 1, 2017

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WHERE THE LEAVES DANCE
Copyright 2014


WHERE THE LEAVES DANCE
Where the wind blows. Where the tree yields. Where the Spirit lives.

Pray for peace. Ask God to ease your anxieties and worries. Ask Him to calm your heart. Then, pray for your spouse and children, lifting them up earnestly before the Creator. 

Pray for peace to surround your friends—that their countenance would be brighter and not distraught. Pray for lasting peace in your church and the churches within your county. 

Ask God, fervently, to blanket your town with peace. Make petitions known to our Heavenly Father. Enter into His presence. He's listening. Pour out your heart.

Remember the state you live in. Ask peace to be present in discussions and decisions. Pray for our nation. Plead for peace. We don't want to be one of the nations described in Revelation 19:15 where Christ returns on a white horse and strikes down nations with a sharp sword. We don't want to be the nations described in Psalm 2 who took a stand against God. Those verses tell us God laughed at them.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May those who love you be secure."
Psalm 122:6

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9

Jesus, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) gives peace (John 14:27), the third fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Praying Peacemakers will sit by the river described in Revelation 22. They will sit under the yielding tree of life. The leaves of that tree are for the healing of nations. No longer will there be any curse. Does prayer accomplish much? OH, YES! If you want to be where the leaves dance, pray.

Blessings from my neck of the woods to yours.
Blaze a trail of Hope!

Monday, May 15, 2017

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WOODLAND SONG
Copyright 2014

WOODLAND SONG
The birds are returning to the woods. Their songs lift my spirits like poetry and their calls remind me to call on God through prayer. Isn't it true that what God created praises Him? Animals, to trees, to stones, to humans—the Bible tells us what they do.

Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and maidens,
old men and children.
Psalm 148:7-12

 Psalm 148 details an overview of creation praising God.

Animals: I think of the passage in Revelation of an eagle flying above, crying out "Woe!". It's one of the animals in the Bible that can talk....like Balaam's donkey. They seem to know the majesty of the Lord. And that special donkey and her colt which no one had ever ridden tied at Bethany for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem. They seemed to know they were reserved for a special purpose. The living creatures in Revelation are from the word "zoon", meaning animals. 

Trees: Oh, aren't there many wonderful verses about the trees? Psalm 96:12 and 1 Chronicles 16:33 write about all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. "The trees of the field will clap their hands" is found in Isaiah 55:12. Can you think of others?

Stones: Luke 19:40 tells us they will cry out if the disciples had not. Jesus tells the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 3:9 that God can raise up children for Abraham out of stones. Is that incredible? Of course it is, because our God is incredible! 

Humans: Oh, aren't there verses here of people gone on before us that have given praise to our maker? Where do I start? I think of Abraham, Hannah, Mary, David, Jabez, Elizabeth, Esther, Deborah, John, Paul, Peter, Lydia, the woman at the well. Songs have been recorded. Prayers have been remembered. Lives have portrayed praise. It's all there.

For by him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things were created by him and for him.
Colossians 1:16

What a privilege prayer is. Cast your cares on him who cares for you and happens to be the Creator. 
Sing a song of praise. 
And pray with hope.

Monday, May 1, 2017