Dallas Mission Trip Prayer

Please join me in praying for our students and their leaders as they head to Dallas, TX to serve others this week. This prayer is a great way to pray scriptures over them and for them:

Father, I plead that our missions team will be filled with the Holy Spirit and will daily walk in His power (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16).

I pray that our missions team will speak the Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31; Ephesians 6:19).

I ask that our missions team will present the gospel clearly to unbelievers (Colossians 4:4).

Lord, I pray that our missions team would be accepted by the natives, the believers. and the missionaries in the area where they are laboring (Romans 15:30-31).

God, I plead that You will protect our missions team from the attacks of Satan and his demons (Romans 15:30-31; 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3).

Father, I ask that You would open doors and hearts to receive the gospel as our missions team ministers in their place of service (Colossians 4:3).

I pray that You will make our missions team ’s ministry exceedingly fruitful and that You will glorify Yourself through this ministry (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

Father, I plead that You will deliver our missions team from loneliness and frustration (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 18:9-10; Hebrews 13:5).

Lord, I pray that You will create in our missions team a servant’s heart (Philippians 2:5-10).

I ask that our missions team will live and labor each day for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Father, I plead that our missions team will be a vessel through which the love of God can flow to others (Romans 5:5; John 13:34-35).

Please grant our missions team Your specific direction for his/her ministry (Psalm 37:5).

I ask that our missions team will have a growing and intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:4-5).

I pray that our missions team will have a deeper and clearer understanding of the Word of God (John 16:13).

Father, I plead that You will continually protect our missions team from all harm and ask that You would strengthen our missions team physically (Genesis 2:7).

I ask that You would grant our missions team peace and assurance about the care of their family members that are left at home (1 Peter 5:7).

Fill our missions team with Your joy in all situations and let this joy sustain our missions team in all situations (Nehemiah 8:10).

Father, I pray that our missions team would see people and things from Your perspective (Proverbs 3:5).

Lord, I ask that You would bless and strengthen our missions team ’s family (Ephesians 5:22-6:4).

I plead that our missions team will have a renewed and growing zeal to share the gospel with unbelievers (Romans 1:15-16).

I ask that our missions team will be completely yielded to Christ and willing to die to self in all matters (Mark 8:34-35).

I pray that our missions team will be growing in humility (1 Peter 5:5-6).

Father, I plead that our missions team will endure persecution in a Christlike manner. (1 Peter 2:21-23).

I ask You to create a thankful heart in our missions team especially in times of difficulty (Ephesians 5:20).

I pray that You will raise up prayer partners for our missions team (1 Thessalonians 5:24). I plead that all of our missions team ’s needs–physical, spiritual, emotional, and spiritual–will be met by You through Your grace and power (Philippians 4:19).

I ask that our missions team will labor from godly motives and not from a desire to please people (2 Corinthians 4:2).

I plead, O God, that you would raise up strong believers around our missions team who will encourage them in the tasks that God has given to them (Philemon 20).

I pray that our missions team would long to be holy and live a life of obedience to the Word of God (1 Peter 1:15-16).

I plead that our missions team would be salt and light to the people to which they have been sent (Matthew 5:13-14). Father, I pray that You would enable our missions team to pray for those who persecute them and for those who spitefully use them (Matthew 5:44).

I pray that our missions team would not lag in diligence but would be fervent in spirit. I plead that our missions team will rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and continue steadfastly in prayer (Romans 12:11-12).

I ask that our missions team would not lose their focus in ministry but that they would have their priorities ordered by You.

I pray that our missions team will set their mind on things above and not on the things of the earth (Colossians 3:2-3).

I plead that our missions team will be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that their labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

I pray these things in the mighty name of Jesus, AMEN!

DO YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN?

I find it curious that I have not yet learned to tread lightly (excluding the big stick of course) but my usual modus operandi is a “Bull in a China shop.” I speed up faster than others can keep up, pounding the feet ever harder. Occasionally I may even notice the minutes pounding by harder as well but, I don’t believe I pay them any mind. When I look back I think I can say, with confidence that the hurry more, often hurts than helps. It may even have a way of emptying our soul. It’s like running a race against time, but you snag yourself on time and you end up leaking yourself empty. You might even say that hurry and impatience is a sure sign of one who has a lot of maturing to do and I extend this to not only in doing but in Faith, Prayer and in all that we are.

We live in a consumer society, so quicker is better, faster is always preferred and more now is what the world tells us we should want. We even view our faith the same way, God I need patience but give it to me now. Think of all the missed moments that lay in our wake because we were too busy hurrying along. We didn’t miss them, we threw them away with our choice to be moving at such high velocities so we could get to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of us.

I recall a conversation I had with my grandmother. She said she isn’t doing too many things these days since she is slow to get around and doesn’t want to be an annoyance. That is a lie the world tells us and we believe it. In this example all we have to do is look to our movies and TV shows, they joke about putting the elderly into homes because that is what is best for them. Is it really or is it better for us? Now I am not talking about putting our parents and grandparents in a home, that’s not the point here. The way the world might have us see it, the elderly have committed two offenses just by existing. One is a lack of velocity, they drive too slowly, they walk too slowly, and they talk too slowly. We can abide so many other maladies and atrocities but being slowed down isn’t one of them. The other is an age old issue, the elderly are our memento mori and we can only be comfortable if they are out of sight which helps our denial.

When middle age has left us, does the accumulation of physical ailments leave us condemned to the ranks of the undead? We treat slowness like a disease of the undead. Anyway isn’t it about belief and attitude and not years, the proffers of salvation know no age. There is many a person that is youthful hurrying about in their lives who can be called undead, their inner putrification hidden for a few decades at least, unless they change their beliefs and attitude.

So the question that I am left with is: how do I change this? Is it possible that living in Christ, the most urgent necessitates a slow and steady reverence? And that living in Christ we are not running out of time but we are standing on the brink of eternity? If the purpose of a Christian is to know God and to praise Him, then wouldn’t it stand to say that relationship is the most important thing (Matthew 7:22-23), of course it is, we know this! Relationship takes time, it is a slow process, a process that is stunted and even stopped when we run about in a hurry from thing to thing and person to person. It’s time to take a deep breath, slow down, give God the glory, sing His praises, live life purposefully, savoring every moment, living fully in what we are doing right now with gratitude and giving thanks for what God has done and continues to do in our lives.

Disappearing Respect

Our guest blogger visited again with a great post about RESPECT. . .

I have been saying “I guess it is because I am getting older…”, but that is not true. Respect is disappearing, it has been for years. Most children do not respect their parents, themselves, teachers, each other, personal property belonging to anyone or anyone else in authority over them. The news is filled with murders, robberies, beatings, bullying and suicides. In every age bracket these crimes and others are being committed. Everyone thinks it is okay to call others names, or slander one another in public and on social medias. With the technologies today there are inappropriate pictures and text messages being sent left and right. Stores and businesses have no customer service anymore, they do not care if you come back to shop with them or not. Stupid, idiot, or worse come out of our mouths so easily we think nothing of it. A sense of entitlement is the rule rather than the exception.

What is going on in this country? Have seen all manner of disrespect from people of all ages against our government, country and leaders. Even leaders in the House and Senate, (and White House), are disrespectful.

God’s word is very clear about how we are to act toward our leaders and government, oh and each other. Look what I found the other day in Matthew while reading The Message translation.

Matthew 5:21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that WORDS kill.

Wow! How many times I have thoughtlessly called out “Stupid’ or “Idiot” in a moment of frustration. We are to be about unconditional love……toward one another…..oh my goodness. Our focus has gotten so far away from caring about the other people we are around, no matter where we may be, that we just open our mouth and spew out things that are hurtful without stopping to think how it will impact anyone, DISRESPECTFUL!

I don’t know about you but I am going to:

1.) Thank the Lord for showing me this scripture.

2.) Ask Him to forgive me.

3.) Write this on a card to keep in front of me where I can see it and try to do better.

If we know better, we can be better (Mya Angeliou)

So let us each try to be better, kinder, gentler toward all!

Priorities

Priorities; what comes first in your life? No, don’t answer just think about how much TV you have watched this week? How much YOU time have you had this week? Did you spend time in the word? Doesn’t that sound passive spending time in the word. Did you at anytime in the past week open a bible and read God’s word? Did you just read it? Did you gloss over it or did you have to fight to stay awake reading it? If so are you counting this as your quality time with the Lord. During the Old Testament only the best livestock was acceptable for sacrifices’. Do we give the best of ourselves to the Lord or just what we have left? When was the last time you hungered for God’s word? When was the last time you looked forward to studying His Word?

​Yeah life isn’t easy, and it is that much harder if we are to be a Christ Follower. And why is that? Well we have to recognize that the world is so very contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ you could say backwards. Christ turned the status quo upside down. Have we let Christ turn us upside down, have we let him hold us there and shake everything that we hold onto right out of us? What sin or secrets are we keeping hidden? Not only does this keep healing from happening it destroys intimacy with Christ as well as with others. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Mathew 7: 21-23 Is it in anyway shape or form possible that God does not know us. He created us so of course he knows us, the very hairs on our head are numbered. What is being said is “You and I have never been intimate.” The word knew in greek is Ginosko which is better translated as intimacy. Are we being intimate with Christ? So are we letting God shake out all that we were, are we letting Him work in us. I say we’re because most of us listen to the world that says our past shapes us, we are a product of our environment. And that is all true without Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, but when Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior we have to look to Him to tell us who we are, we have to let Him shape us. Are you letting Him shape you?

​As Christians we are forgiven, we are saved. How have you responded to your salvation? The only proper response to our salvation is obedience. God so loved the world that he sent His Son to die for us. It’s by God’s Grace alone that we are saved. But why? So we will tell others what Christ has done for us, so we will spread the Gospel and bring Glory to God’s name. Sharing the Gospel and living in obedience is what others who do not know Christ see in us that they wonder about and causes them to seek themselves. When we do not respond in obedience we can do a lot more harm than good. When we do not live in obedience we are not being intimate with Christ. Now obedience does not mean perfect, we are sinners and we will continue to sin, but the Holy Spirit will convict us when we do sin. Our response should be to repent and ask for forgiveness from God and of those we sin against.

I Am Everything God Says I Am

The problem with stuffing your feelings and putting on a mask in front of others is that when you finally come clean about being a stuffer nobody believes you. This could essentially be detrimental to your relationships.

When you stuff your feelings, especially over long periods of time, it can cause you to become a perfectionist at trying to keep everything perfect that way you won’t have to worry about failing or being rejected. It causes you to desire to control every aspect of not only your life but the lives of those around you.

Growing up in an environment where you have not experienced a normal parent-child relationship can also cause people to stuff their emotions because of feeling unloved and rejected. These types of environments can also cause low self esteem, self-doubt, second guessing yourself, it can also cause you to second guess yourself and avoid making decisions or setting goals for yourself.

They believe the lies that the world is telling them. These lies are a stronghold. They are chains that are keeping you locked up in a prison. And to avoid further hurt, rejection
and emotional distress they do whatever is needed to take the attention off of themselves and become masters at making cynical comments or sarcastic criticism at others.

Once you become a child of God you should know that He loves you and wants you to break-free from the chains and lies that have kept you in bondage. In order to be set free you have to replace each lie you have believed with the truth. Below is a list of what God’s Word says is the truth about who we are once we are a child of God. My encouragement to you is that you would read these statements of who you are every single day. Read them out loud to yourself in front of a mirror, several times a day when you first start. Journal your about your feelings when you read these out loud. Ask God to help you believe the truth about who HE says you are.

You are accepted. . .
John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 I am Jesus Christ’s friend.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Cor. 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him.
1 Cor. 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price. I belong to God
1 Cor. 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint.
Ephesians 1:5 I have been adopted as God’s child.
Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:10 I am complete in Christ.

You are secure. . .
Romans 8:1-2 I am free forever from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:31-23 I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Romans 8:35-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Cor. 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me.

You are significant. . .
Matthew 5:13-14 I am the salt and light of the earth.
John 15:1-5 I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ.
1 Cor. 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Cor. 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
2 Cor. 6:1 I am God’s co-worker. (1 Cor. 3:9)
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

I would recommend saying the following quote out loud as well over and over:
“I am nothing my enemy says I am and I am EVERYthing my God says I am”

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Words

This was written by someone very special in our lives and we think it is right on!

Quite a few years ago, on my birthday, I woke up late and hit the floor running. Hurriedly showered and dressed and headed off to work. Arrived at work and realized that I had not called the night before to check the recorded jury duty message. So I quickly called and of course my number needed to report by 8:30am, now 8:15am and had to drive in morning season traffic 15 miles. Was gonna be late, so told my boss what was going on and left, with the phone number for the jury selection office ringing on my cell phone! Got there just as they were escorting us jurors to the courtroom for selection process to begin. Once there the judge gave everyone instructions, then announced the numbers of the first sixteen jurors that had been randomly picked for questioning by prosecuting and defense attorneys. Yes, I was the 16th number, we were ushered to a special seating area. The defense attorney asked this question, “Do you believe the nursery rhyme, sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS may never harm me, is true?”. I’ll never forget how that question made me feel, sick to my stomach.

Words…..so many of them filled my mind, and the faces of those that had said them to me. Those words had harmed me all my life, made me feel less than, a failure, ugly and fat, undeserving, unwanted, not worthy, unlovable, fearful, untrusting, a pile of garbage, lower than anyone else, just not enough. Certainly not unharmed!

Words are abuse unseen, they bruise you, cut you & bleed you where others can’t see. In your mind, heart and spirit. So how then can anyone help? Someone can help, not just anyone. Someone that thinks you are truly special and are worth dying for, worth giving perfect love and driving out all fear. This unconditional love requires nothing, no strings attached. It is there for taking, I took it. I got healed, and now when WORDS try to harm, I can give those words to HIM and He restores me with HIS love.

I am a beloved daughter, a princess

I am blessed beyond measure

I am surrounded by mercy and grace

I am given songs in the night

I am called valuable

I am free of from sin, guilt and condemnation

I am accepted and adopted

…….and so much more. Everyday in His WORDS I find more and more that “I am”, you can too!

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Don’t Go Looking For Trouble

How many times have you been accused of doing something or saying something maliciously? I mean really, some people are always on the defensive, looking for something done wrong or said wrong. Do you know anyone like that? I think we all do.

So, how do handle situations that others put us in like that? I know for me, if I let my flesh decide what to do I would cut off all contact with this person and just be done. But guess what? I try really hard not to listen to my flesh and seek out God and what HE would have me do when I find myself in a situation like that. By seeking HIM it gives me a chance to cool off, calm down and react out of love and not anger or bitterness. Scripture commands us to forgive others so we can also be forgiven.

“If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures. Matthew 6:14-15

If this individual continuously causes you strife you may want to think about setting some new boundaries with them. I found a great devotional the other day that dealt with this specific issue, here it is:

If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. Titus 3:10

Paul admonishes believers to be satisfied in whatever circumstances they endure (Phil. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:7-8), but Scripture makes a distinction between godly and ungodly contentment. Because of their own brokenness, some people are not happy until they’ve stirred up strife in the relationships around them. Uncertain about others’ love for them, they attempt to find security in controlling the environment and creating factions.
When we come to Christ, however, He redefines our understanding of normal and healthy. No longer dependent on our selves, we find that he calls us to trust in His protection rather than our own. But we may not recognize how deeply our defense mechanisms rn, and some individuals simply choose not to walk in Jesus’ promise to make all things new (2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 21:5). In Titus 3, Paul shows us how to handle relational strife: First, we respond with grace through a right understanding of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross (vv. 4-7); we teach, model, and warn if necessary (vv. 10-11).
Reflecting Jesus’ love doesn’t mean partnering with other’ dysfunction. Instead, we mush present to others the light of His truth (1 John 1:5)
~ Regina Franklin

Now this isn’t to say that we should appear perfect and holier than thou, we will never be that and never could be. But we should be vulnerable when we make mistakes, we should be quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but we don’t ask for it and we don’t offer it. Why do we choose to darken the light within us? Our God is big enough to change not only you but whoever you are having trouble forgiving. We need to let go of the chains of un-forgiveness, because we are not shackled to them we are holding onto them. God tells us to forgive and then He will forgive us. It’s pretty simple but we make it so complicated, God doesn’t want the perfect person He wants us with all our baggage. And with HIS help we can start to sort through that junk too!

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