Month: March 2022

March 24th – Proverbs 15:8-9

Proverbs 15:8-9

In reading reading these verse in Proverbs, we find that the prayer of a child of God is a pleasing offering. Our Father delights and loves those who fear Him and want to live in His ways. That’s why we are so privileged to not only have God’s word, but be able to pray His word back to Him! Just like David did. Throughout the Psalms we see David’s passion for God. And although he wasn’t a perfect man, He continually prayed to the Lord, and offered his heart with praise and worship. Let us do the same! Let us rejoice in God! For He listens, cares, and delights in us seeking Him. So the next time you approach the Lord in prayer, pray from your heart. A heart that is humble and repentant. And release the beautiful fragrance of a child praying to His heavenly Father!

Blessings, Mari

March 23rd – Matthew 7:7-11

Matthew 7:7-11

Do you ever doubt that your prayer makes a difference. Based on God’s Word prayer is vital in our relationship with God. Jesus encouraged us to pray and when we put forth the effort to pray, God responds. 

ASK: We need to make our requests known. Going to God is a recognition that you have needs and you need His help. God doesn’t want us to think that we are self sufficient and do not need Him. Contrary to what some may teach, however, this is not a promise that God will give us our every whim and desire. He is not a genie in a bottle. But, He will give us what we He determines we need and what is best for us according to His will. 

SEEK: God wants us engaged with Him and His Word. He wants us to have an inquiring mind and a teachable heart. Seeking God grows our faith and prayer is an act of faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭

KNOCK: We knock on a door when we seek admittance. That means we believe that someone will respond and give us access. Prayer becomes that knock on heaven’s door and through the blood of Jesus, we have access to the very throne of God. We have access no matter our race, sex, age, position, etc. We can enter even though we are not worthy. Christ makes us worthy. He is that door of access to our Heavenly Father. 

We aren’t promised every thing we desire,  but we are promised that God will give us good things. Just think. If selfish, human parents can provide what they know is good for their children,  how much more can we trust in the goodwill of our Heavenly Father to provide what He knows will be for our ultimate good.

May I encourage you to embrace prayer as vital to your Christian growth and wellbeing. It’s very simple. Your Heavenly Father is waiting for you, His beloved child ,to meet with Him. Ask, seek, knock. He will provide, be available and bless You with what is meant for your ultimate good.

Blessings, Becky

News Of The Day – March 22nd

Disney Restores Same Sex Kiss In Movie “Lightyear”

Disney’s Pixar has restored a same-sex kiss to its Buzz Lightyear origin story after employees protested the removal of gay storylines from Pixar films, a report Friday said. The kiss will appear in Lightyear when it hits screens June 17. Characters in the Toy Story spinoff, include two women who are in a relationship. The kiss was subsequently reinstated after employee protest amid the backlash against Disney leadership not immediately condemning Florida’s parental rights education bill. The legislation bans sexual orientation or gender identity being discussed in classrooms. Read more about their decision here.

 

NH Pastor Charged For Possessing Child Sex Abuse Images

The pastor at a New Hampshire church is charged with possession of child sex abuse images and could face additional charges as part of an ongoing, years-long investigation, police say. Stephen Bates, 46, was arrested Tuesday morning at the Bible Baptist Church on a felony charge of possession of child sexual abuse images. Nashua police said the investigation leading to Bates’ arrest began over five years ago, in August of 2016, when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent Nashua police a tip indicating that child sexual abuse images had been accessed by an electronic device utilizing an IP address associated with the Bible Baptist Church. Read more about the charges here.

 

Franklin Graham Calling For Prayers For Justice Clarence Thomas 

Evangelist Franklin Graham is requesting prayer for Clarence Thomas after the 73-year-old Supreme Court justice was admitted into the hospital Friday with flu-like symptoms. Thomas, the second-oldest member of the court, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and is a stalwart member of the six-member conservative bloc. In a press release, the Supreme Court said Thomas is expected to be released soon. “Join me in praying for a quick recovery for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was hospitalized on Friday with an infection,” Graham tweeted. “He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection, and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics,” the press release said. “His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two. Read more about his illness here.

 

New Head-Tounge Controller Allows Paralyzed Patients to Operate Wheelchairs And Smartphones

Brooks Rehabilitation recently announced that the MagTrack study, a collaborative research endeavor with the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been successfully completed. the two have come up with a new controller that works using head and tongue movements is one of the only options for patients with paralysis to not only control their own power wheelchairs but to use smartphones and computers. In addition, the assistive device is designed to be wearable, wireless, and adaptable to the user’s specific condition. The team at Georgia Tech is already working on a new version of MagTrack that is not only more inconspicuous, but also includes detection of facial gestures that significantly augments its control capabilities. Read more about the controller here.

 

March 22nd – John 14:13-14

John 14:13-14

What did Jesus mean when He made the promise that “whatever you ask in My name, that will I do”? Does it simply mean we should end each prayer with, “in Jesus name we pray“? Or is there more to it than that?

Jesus makes this promise while speaking to His disciples the evening before his arrest and crucifixion. Christ, knowing all that was about to transpire, was imparting full authority to them. How? By giving them the power to ask in His name. For at that time, to speak in the name of a person meant to fully represent them in all ways.

Therefore, Jesus was promising His disciples that while they were fulfilling their mission; He would do anything they asked Him to do while asking with the authority of His name. In short, He was handing His disciples a great privilege as well as a tremendous responsibility, but what does this promise mean to us?

First and foremost asking in His name is acknowledging His authority. In other words, our standing before the Father is based solely on the finished work of Jesus alone. We come to Him in prayer, not through our own  merit, but in the name of Jesus.

Secondly, we must pray wholly surrendered to His will not ours. How often have we prayed believing we know what the answer should be and were disappointed when the outcome did not turn out as we planed?

Finally, we should pray seeking His glorynot our own,. because glorying the Lord is our sole purpose for being here on this earth.

Keeping these three objectives in mind makes it easier to pray for each of His children. For prayer is a beautiful and precious privilege. It is an honor to be given the right to come before God at any time and in any place, bringing all our petitions before Him. But we must pray in a way that acknowledges Christ and seeks to glorify Him always.

Blessings,

Sue

March 21st – Philippians 4:6-7

Philippians 4:6-7

The faith and love of the Lord exhibited by Paul never ceases to amaze me. No matter if he endured beatings, persecution, imprisonment, or a shipwreck, he never gave up. Nor did he give in to anxiety or despair. Does it mean he didn’t have those feelings, even for a brief minute? Of course not. For Paul, like us, always battled his human nature. But because of his close, personal, relationship with God, Paul experienced a peace beyond human understanding. And we can too.

Anxiety and worry go hand in hand with life. Especially as the days grow darker. But that doesn’t mean we have to stay trapped in the swirling cyclone of turmoil. We have a choice. But unfortunately some people get so used to being surrounded by anxiety and drama, without it they feel incomplete. And sadder still, some even thrive on it. But that’s no way for Christians to live. Because God wants to fill every area of our hearts, minds, and lives, with His perfect peace.

First we need to believe in our minds that God is the Author of peace. Next we need to believe in our hearts that He will overflow us with that peace. And we do that by following Paul’s example of prayers and thanksgivings. How do we learn to pray and give thanks? By spending time in God’s Word, and applying His promises to our lives. For as we grow in our understanding of the overwhelming love our Heavenly Father has for His children, our minds can find the peace they so desperately crave. And our hearts can’t help but burst with thankfulness for all God is and does.

As long we the earth is our home, we will encounter situations that will test our faith, and attempt to rattle our peace. But remembering that nothing happens without God’s say so, and He uses all things for our good, gives us a peace that transcends human understanding. I love the analogy of living in peace being like the petals of a flower unfolding in the morning sunlight. Our petals of peace open as we learn more about God. And as we soak in the sunshine of His perfect love, our petals blossom in His warmth and goodness.

March 20th – Luke 11:1-4

Luke 11:1-4

During His ministry, Jesus would often slip away to spend time alone with God. From afar, His disciples would watch the Lord pray; witnessing firsthand the strength, comfort, and joy He received from those prayers. Wanting the same for themselves, they approached Jesus asking, “Lord, teach us to pray”. And so Jesus began by first instructing them what to say, giving what is known as the “Lord’s Prayer”. The perfect prayer model for Christians to follow.

Jesus begins with, “When you pray, say:”

Our Father in Heaven”-In reverence, we are to acknowledge God for who He is and our relationship to Him.

Hallowed Be Thy Name”-Hallowed means sacred. We are to give the holy name of the Father the esteem and respect it alone deserves.

Thy Kingdom Come. Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven”-We are to earnestly pray not only for the return of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom on earth, but also for the will of God to be done everywhere.

Give Us Each Day Our Daily Bread”-God cares about every aspect of our lives, both big and small. We are to pray that He will provide for our physical needs.

And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us”-Daily we need forgiveness. We are to pray that God will both pardon the sins we commit against Him, and give us the strength to extend that same pardon to those who sin against us.

And Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From The Evil One”-Each day Satan plots ways in which to get us sinning against God. We are to pray for both protection from the Enemy and the strength to stand against his attacks.

Prayer is a fundamental part of the Christian Faith. It helps us to grow in our personal relationship with God and enables us to receive that same strength, comfort, and joy as Jesus received. Have you come before God in prayer and are waiting for His answer? Don’t give up. Keep asking, seeking, and knocking. Because although God may not answer our prayers right away, and He may not give us the answer we want, God will indeed answer.

March 19th – Psalm 141:1-2

Psalm 141:1-2

The alter of incense inside God’s holy temple was where Aaron was commanded to offer sweet fragrances to the Lord. Every morning and evening, he burned the sacrifice according to God’s specific instructions. And the pleasing aromas were a powerful reminder to the people; a reminder to pray. For the sweet smoke that rose to the heavens was seen as carrying the prayers of God’s people to His ever listening ears. To our loving Father all prayers of His children are precious, and He always responds to their cries. David knew this well. And so continuously he lifted up his arms and offered God prayers for deliverance and of praise. And we should do the same. Each day we need to be offering the sweet smell of our prayers to God. Laying our petitions on His alter, and letting them be carried to the One who longs to hear them.

March 18th – Matthew 5:44

Matthew 5:44

One of the most amazing and radical teachings of Jesus was His command to love our enemies. I think about that now with the war waging in Ukraine. Praying for those who hurt or disappoint us is one thing. But what about those who are actively trying to take our homes, land, families, and even our lives? Jesus tells us that no matter how or who persecuted us, we are to pray. And not just say the right words, but to actively and purposely pray for our enemies with love. This goes against everything we feel and believe in our own human frailty. But if we truly want to be the salt and light of the earth, we need to rise above and walk as Jesus. Impossible in our own strength, but through the work of the Holy Spirit, instead of fleshly hearts of stone, we can have hearts of Christ. Hearts not bent on seeking revenge, but bent on sharing the love of Jesus!

News Of The Day – March 17th

Christianity Today Former Editor Accused Of Sexual Harassment

For more than a dozen years, Christianity Today failed to hold two ministry leaders accountable for sexual harassment at its Carol Stream, Illinois, office. A number of women reported demeaning, inappropriate, and offensive behavior by former editor in chief Mark Galli and former advertising director Olatokunbo Olawoye. But the men were not disciplined, according to an external assessment of the ministry’s culture released Tuesday. Olawoye was arrested in 2017 after a sting operation by federal agents. He had been trying to pay for sex with a teenager and was later sentenced to three years in prison.  Read more about the harassment here.

 

California Town May Declare Chick-fil-A Public Nuisance

Chick-fil-A restaurants are known for their heavy foot traffic and busy drive-thrus, but a Chick-fil-A in Santa Barbara, California, is getting so much business that the city council is considering forcing the restaurant to move by declaring it a “public nuisance.” Residents have complained about backups that spill from the drive-thru and onto the road. Mayor Randy Rowse, “It is important to understand we’re trying to cure, not trying to punish.” Chick-fil-A representatives said they will fix the issue by adding another thru-lane, rearranging parking spaces and adding “a forced right turn exit out of the restaurant,” the News-Press reported. Read more the restaurant here. 

 

Minnesota Church Packs Thousands Of Meals For Ukrainians 

More than 200 people gathered at Bethel Lutheran Church to pack thousands of meals for Food for Kidz, a nonprofit organization based in Stewart, Minnesota. The volunteers are members of churches around Rochester including Bethel, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Holy Spirit Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bruce Gudlin, a member of the four-person team at Bethel that organized the event, expects the volunteers today to pack between 100,000 and 120,000 meals. Half of the meals will be distributed locally, while the other half will be sent to Poland. From there, they will be distributed to those impacted by the war in Ukraine. Read more about the effort here.

 

North Carolina Gas Station Owners Lower Price Of Gas To Help Struggling Customers

Imagine buying gas for about $2 a gallon. That’s hard to come by these days, but lucky drivers in North Carolina were able to get it for $2.25 a gallon. Gas station owners in Burnsville said they wanted to help people during this time, so they took a loss and dropped their prices. “I think that’s really great and kind of them to do that for people around here like us,” customer Caylie Vess said. “I think it’s really good of them.” The cheap gas was available from just before noon to about 5 p.m., when it ran out. The station is expecting another delivery Thursday night or Friday morning. The owners plan to drop the price again soon. Read more about these generous owners here.

 

 

 

march 17th – James 1:5-6

James 1:5-6

There are many who have knowledge but do they have wisdom? And what’s the difference? Knowledge is information gained through experience, reasoning, or acquaintance. Wisdom is the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting. Knowledge can exist without wisdom, but not the other way around. One can be knowledgeable without being wise. Christians are called to be wise. And wisdom comes from spending time in God’s Word. James 3:13-18- talks about two kinds of wisdom, godly and earthly. So how can we tell between the two?

Godly wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, and reasonable. It is full of mercy and good fruits. And is unwavering, without hypocrisy. Earthly wisdom is rooted in jealousy and selfish ambition. It is double minded, lead by evil spirits, and loves lies above the truth. And as 1 Corinthians 3:19 tells us, foolishness before God.

So if it’s wisdom you seek, pray and ask God. For He is generous. And to all who ask, He will give abundant wisdom we need to navigate life!

Blessings, Lyn