Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

This morning as I wake and wait for six of my eight children and eight of my twelve grandchildren to arrive for Thanksgiving, I am full of thanks. I thought of many things in this time and season of my life.
  1. My Father in heaven who made me and loves me.
  2. My Savior, Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for me and my sin.
  3. My Helper and Comforter, the Holy Spirit who empowers me each day.
  4. The Bible, the Word of God which feeds me daily bread and lights my path.
  5. Creation and all the magnificent things God has made for His glory and our enjoyment.
  6. My story, with all the good, hard and ugly of it...the redemptive beauty that is coming from birth order, time in history, gender, gifts, talents, parents, sisters, and all my experiences.
  7. Debbie and our relationship for over 40 amazing and remarkable woman, wife, mother, grand mother, artist and servant. A true "Lady of Wisdom."
  8. Four married children and awesome spouses
  9. Twelve grand children...10 boys...2 girls, though Olivia is in heaven waiting for us.
  10. My Mom and her beautiful marriage to and ministry with, Wayne May.
  11. Very dear friends and a counselor who help me be a better man, husband, father, grandfather, son brother and servant leader. 
  12. A good work to do with men and (7), with a crystal clear mission to, "Restore man to his original design."
  13. A great church...leading people into growing relationships with Jesus Christ.
  14. A small group of couples we love and love doing life together.
  15. Health, even though at 60 I am beginning to feel the "4th Quarter" changes. :-)
  16. Our home...a place of refuge and hospitality and ministry and so much more.
  17. Anticipation and hope for 2015 and the years to come, Lord willing.
So many more blessings in Christ, in this life and the life to come.

You? For what are you thankful this season?

Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing love and grace and kindness in my life. I am humbled by all that You are and all You have given to me in Jesus and your Spirit. I give thanks this day, for the good, hard and ugly things that have happened in my life and thank you that you are healing, redeeming, restoring and so much more. Thank Jesus Name.

In Everything Give Thanks

Giving thanks is such a big idea in the Bible. Giving thanks is an act of the will and obedience more than an act from our emotions. Some times we "feel" thankful and give thanks and other times we don't. Either way, when we give thanks, it is saying, "God, you are good and I trust you in this circumstance, even though it does not "feel" good.

This Thanksgiving, practice giving thanks in every circumstance...good, hard or ugly. God is working it all His way...and will make all things His time.

1 Chr. 16:34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

Psa. 7:17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. 

Psa. 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 

Psa. 75:1   We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds. 

Psa. 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 

Psa. 105:1   Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 

Psa. 106:1   Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

Psa. 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 

Psa. 107:1   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

Psa. 118:19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 

Psa. 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.      His love endures forever. 

Is. 12:4   In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. 

Jer. 33:11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.” For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the LORD. 

1Th. 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

Rev. 11:17 saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I Don't Know How To Pray

There are many times that people ask me to pray for this thing or that thing or this person or that person. And many times I have no idea how to pray. There are things I want to say and ask but I really don't know if they are the will of God. Isaiah says that God's ways are not my ways and God's thoughts are not my sometimes this leaves me very uncertain.

However, there are two verses that have brought me much comfort and direction in my prayers over the years...

Rom. 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. 

I like these two verses because they describe how I think and feel a lot:

1. I do not know what I "ought to pray for." I know what I would like, but I don't know if it is God's will and plan for that person or situation. You have felt that, haven't you?

2. The Spirit helps me in my weakness. I do not like feeling weak, but this is often the case...especially when it comes to prayer. I love how the Spirit wants to help us.

3. The Spirit intercedes for me. I love this idea. He knows what to pray for in accordance with God's will...and this is really what we want, isn't it?

On the practical side of this or how this works for me: Whenever someone asks me to pray for them or another, I simply pray, "God, you know this person and circumstance. I want your will for them. Holy Spirit, will you please intercede for me and them according to the Father's will? Thank you, in Jesus Name."

So, the next time someone asks you to pray and you do not know what you ought to pray for, ask the Spirit for His help to pray according to God's will in every situation and circumstance.