Christian

Prayers for the Week – Why I’m a Christian

Christian

11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-14 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  Today I’m taking a moment to talk to you about why I’m a Christian.  It’s something that I feel strongly about, and pray that it may lead you to examine your own reasons for why you are a Christian — or if you aren’t one, to reach out to us and ask any questions you have about how you become one.

When I was a child, my family really didn’t go to church very often.  Most of the times we did go to church were for weddings or funerals, so not very often at all.  I don’t write that as a way of judging why my parents didn’t take us to church.  I write it because to me it shows all the more the plans God has for me, and how He is going to see them through to fulfillment regardless of me.

One of the reasons I’m a Christian is because God’s Word speaks to us today just as it did to others thousands of years ago. Jeremiah recorded the words of God to His people, the Israelites, when they were exiled to Babylon. Although those words were spoken thousands of years ago to a people that was disobedient and ended up in exile, still God tells His people that He hasn’t given up on them, that He will restore them, and it will be because they turned back to Him.

In the same vein, those words are written for us in today’s day. We are often just as disobedient as the Israelites were, and with the state of the world today, you can certainly make an argument that God has turned His back on us. But despite that, God’s promise from yesteryear is very much in evidence today.

When I lost my job at UNC-TV because management decided to outsource to an out of state company two years ago, I really had a sense of fear. How was I going to support my family? How were we going to be able to keep our home? What was going to happen with Sophie’s plans for school? Well, what I know is that the plans I had to accomplish those things really weren’t my plans at all, they were God’s plans. God knew and God knows what we need in our lives.

The short answer to this long-winded discussion is that the reason I’m a Christian is that God provides me and my family with the hope we need each and every day. God knows — and we have learned — that our time on this fallen world is short, and that our real home is Heaven. The hope we have in Jesus is a hope like none other, and it is in that hope that I am a Christian.

Now, please put your hope in Jesus as well, and please pray with me these prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises

  • Mikel starts us off with a prayer request: I would ask for your prayers for my husband Bruce. He has some difficult decisions to make at work that not only affect him, but the people that he manages.
  • Dennis needs immediate prayers for a family member. Please lift up Dennis and his family today. Thanks!
  • Amanda has a prayer request for her husband’s aunt, Diane is her name: My husband’s aunt needs prayers. They have found a mass on her liver and are concerned it is advanced pancreatic cancer. They are currently awaiting a biopsy and further scans.
  • Hiro has a prayer request for her father-in-law: Please pray for my Father-in-Law. He is getting surgery on his eyes tomorrow morning. He is worried about losing his sight.
  • Lastly, Jo has a prayer request for financial blessings for her family.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Saved by Grace

Prayers for the Week – Saved by Grace

Saved by Grace

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)

My friends, today we come to you with a heavy heart full of grief for our family and friends.  Yet, even with that heavy heart, we still are able to look beyond our grief and see what our future looks like.  Back in the day, God looked down at His people, and saw that they struggled.  He saw that they failed to put Him first, He saw that they were fallen into sin that they commit, and He knew that His people would need someone to help them out.  That man was Jesus.

My friends, today, those of us that have chosen to follow Jesus are saved from our sin.  We have been given an incredible gift, one that we only vaguely can appreciate, the power over sin and death.  The power over dying and waking up in hell, or dying and waking up in Jesus arms.  My friends, simply put, we are sinners saved by the Grace of God Himself.  Saved by Grace for several reasons — not the least of which is that there is no way that we could save ourselves.

This morning, we have several hard prayer requests, prayers for loved one’s lost, prayers for those ailing, for those that don’t know the way, but despite those hard life events, we know that we are saved by Grace — not by our own doing, not by any number of works we might perform, but rather, because God loves us, and He has chosen to give us this path to Him.

Saved by Grace — three simple words that pack a punch that shows just how much we are loved.  Are you saved by Grace? Do you not know if you are or not?  If you have any doubts, at the end of our prayers will be a special prayer that I pray you will recite with your heart, soul, and mind.  That prayer could be the start of a brand new you, the beginning of a new creation, one that is no longer a slave to sin, but rather, a new creation that can be counted on as one of those saved by Grace.  Now, please continue reading and pray with us over our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Please remember the Beylors, Silers and rest of the family of Tim Beylor in prayer. He lost is battle with cancer this morning. He is finally out of pain and no doubt in a more peaceful place. I pray for healing of the physical and emotional drain these past few years have taken on his family and friends. Please give the family privacy at least tonight so they can rest.
  • Vonni has an update on prayers for Brandon: GOOD NEWS!! I saw Brandon just a little while ago. He is in a “Step Down Unit” at the Hospital. B is no longer on a Ventilator, and his Trach will probably be capped off tomorrow afternoon thus allowing him to be able to talk. His Medical Team has been working with him so he can start eating soft foods and drinking thin liquids such as water, tea and Sprite which he loves.So far so good! Yesterday and Today he has been able to see his children, Maggie and Payton. They were there nestled in the bed with their daddy with his arms around them when I arrived. Best Medicine Ever!! His Spirit is VERY GOOD! The nursing staff said he is so positive and motivated and of course they just love him, because to know Brandon is to Love Brandon. He is undergoing a great deal of therapy, both Physical and Respratory. The staff says he is really improving rapidly. He is very busy and occupied and gets tired out and still continues to need his rest. I asked B if he wanted me to post a picture of him and the kids because everyone wants to see him, but he said not at this time. He still has a Trach and he doesn’t look up to it, but I think it’s more of the reason his hair isn’t quite how he likes it..Lol! I asked him when they were gonna change the oil in his hair…he desperately wants a bath other than the one they give in his bed but that’s a while off they say. Brandon wants EVERYONE to know how appreciative he is for all The PRAYERS, LOVE & WELL WISHES! that he has and continues to receive these past four weeks via the Facebook responses to my updates. He has seen them. It has truly touched his Heart!
  • Mrs. Lucas has big praise on her prayer request for Madge: Mike, I have a praise today! Madge, my friend at Duke was removed from the breathing tube on Sunday night and last night she was moved out of Cardiac ICU! I am so very thankful for the prayers of so many here. I praise God for His goodness! Thank you!
  • Jodi has a prayer and a praise for her son, who was married last Sunday: Celebrating today! My son gets married this afternoon. Please pray over their marriage and lift prayers of praise for them today. Thank you!
  • As I mentioned above, if you are not sure if you are saved by Grace, then please read and pray this prayer with me.  If you pray this prayer and believe it with all of your heart, mind, and soul, you will be saved. Please pray with me:Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

    You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

    Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

    Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

    Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
    Amen.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

 

Judgment

Prayers for the Week: Judgment

Judgment

1but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.8And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” ~ John 8:1-11 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  Today I’m feeling led to talk about something that affects us all, and something that it seems is more prevalent today more than ever.  That subject is judgment.

My friends, the world is out of control, and it seems like in one way, the way that everyone is judging each other is a big part of the reason why.  Democrats judge Republicans. Republicans judge Democrats. Someone does something, and everyone seems to judge them.  It seems like no one is exempt from this.  The other day, I noticed a person driving a car cut me off when there was no one behind me.  Then, that same car cut off someone else when turning left.  After that, the first thing that crept into my thoughts was how that person felt they were entitled to do those things, like they were better than I was or this other car was.  Right then, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, He said to me that I didn’t know all the details, that maybe there was some other reason that person did the things they did.  I immediately found myself stepping back on my judgment a bit.

Casting judgment is something that it seems like we all do.  The ultimate question, though, is whether or not we will work to cut down on the judgements that the world so expects of us.  Will we make the decision to move beyond the way the world sees things and instead put our focus on the things that really matter?

My friends, the subject of this post makes me nervous.  I truly hope that I’m not coming off as passing judgment by talking about judgment.  If I have done that, I am truly sorry for that, for it isn’t my intention to be doing that, and I hope you can forgive me.  My prayer is that all of us would take a moment before we speak — shoot, before we even think about speaking — and try to avoid those judgment calls that seem so prevalent in today’s age.  Now, please continue reading and praying with us for our prayer requests and praises.  We have some very hard prayer requests, so please give them every consideration and prayer that you can.

Prayer Requests and Praises

  • Pam starts us off with prayer requests for her family: Please keep my family in your prayers. We lost our dear, sweet 93 year old mama to cancer this morning at 1am. Thank you.
  • Mrs. Lucas asks for prayers for her friend Madge: Please keep my friend Madge in your prayers! She is a friend of almost 50 years! She is in Cardiac ICU at Duke following heart surgery on Monday! She is still on a respirator and she needs healing! Thank you!
  • My cousin Barb is calling for all the prayers she can get for her husband Tim.  It’s not looking good, but God is good nonetheless: Ok prayer warriors, it’s time to circle the wagons. Tim’s clinical trial was unsuccessful, and we are out of options. We started receiving hospice services this week. I don’t know how much time we have left, but I will cherish each minute. #CancerSucks
  • Torri has a prayer request for her friends who are getting married as well as for all those affected by the wildfires in California: My precious besty, Mary Catherine and her sweet fiancé Dylan lost everything they own yesterday in the horrible wildfires in Santa Rosa, CA. Losing everything you have would be hard anytime but especially hard as this is their wedding week. Pray for our dear friends and pray for us as we head out west tomorrow. So very thankful God kept them and our friends that were staying with them safe.
    He really does bring beauty from the ashes.
  • Jodi asks for prayers for California: Please keep our California friends in prayer! Many are being evacuated and possibly losing homes & property due to wild fires.Thanks!
  • Jodi also has a prayer request for her nephew: URGENT PRAYER, PLEASE! My nephew, Clayton, is a freshman at Texas Tech University, where there are currently 2 active shooters 2 dorms down from him. The shooters have killed a police officer. Clayton’s safe for now, on lockdown, but can hear the gunfire.UPDATE: Shooter (was 1, not 2) is in custody!!! Possibly 2nd officer killed, tho.
  • If you would please pray for Cindy’s Uncle Bud and Aunt Carol. Uncle Bud is the last of her Uncle’s on her mom’s side, and lately his health — and in particular his mind — has been deteriorating. We are worried that it is dementia. Please pray that God would heal him of this, that Uncle Bud would be okay visiting doctors if needed, and please pray for Aunt Carol and Uncle Bud both that they would have God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength surround them. Thank you everyone.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Disney Snacks

Magical Blogorail – Top 10 Disney Snacks

Disney Snacks

The pure, unbridled joy of eating your own Jumbo Emu (I mean, Turkey) Leg!

Hello everyone, and welcome!  Today I’m joining the Magical Blogorail as we talk about our top 10 Disney Snacks!  Who’s hungry now, besides me? I’ve got an eclectic list here, I hope there is something for everyone!  Let me know your favorite Disney Snacks in the comments, and thanks!

Top 10 Disney Snacks

#1: Fresh Popped Popcorn

Disney Snacks

To me, there is nothing better than fresh popped popcorn in Town Square! Image ©Disney

A bottle of Diet Coke, a box of freshly popped popcorn, and a Disney parade — three of the best things, joined together, and when combined, create an incredible night of memories for this writer!  It’s a simple choice perhaps, but one I can’t wait to experience again!

#2 Cinnamon Roll from Gaston’s Tavern

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

This beauty used the be the exclusive snack for me of the old Main Street Bakery, but can now be found at Gaston’s Tavern.  Still as good as always, this yummy treat is more than just a Disney Snack — it’s a full-fledged breakfast meal because it’s so big.

#3 Jumbo Turkey Leg

As seen above, my daughter Sophie loves the Jumbo Turkey Leg as much as I do.  It’s a huge snack, so much so that perhaps it doesn’t qualify as one, but it’s definitely something that we will split among the two of us.

#4 Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

I like the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, but to my wife Cindy, it is bar none her favorite Disney snack anywhere!

#5 Churros

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

While I think all of us agree that the churros at Disneyland are better than the ones at Walt Disney World, I would suggest that you go try them out over in Disney Springs.  It’s been a while since I had one there, so hopefully they still have them, but it was a great churro!

#6 Ice Cream Sandwich

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

Oh my, now that’s a tasty treat!  Nothing like an ice cream sandwich made up of two fresh baked cookies!  Yummy and big enough to share at that!

#7 Beignets!

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

These tasty New Orleans treats can be had at Port Orleans French Quarter.  If you have gluten allergies, don’t worry, you can also get these in a gluten free variety like those seen above! You might want to wear white that day though because of the powdered sugar!

#8 Mickey Shaped Pretzel

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

These are good, especially if you have them in Germany with a beer — it’s a good combination to me, at least.

#9 Waffle Cone Ice Cream Sundae

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

Sometimes, nothing is better than a great ice cream sundae! Over at the Plaza Ice Cream Shop, they’ve got all sorts of tasty ice cream treats to try out!

#10 A Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

Although the cookie shown is not a chocolate chip cookie, at least not on outward appearances, it reminds me of the time that one of the Cast Members had a special chocolate chip cookie — easily about nine inches in diameter — that was for our daughter Sophie, and sent from Cinderella herself!  It was one of those Disney Magic moments, and was part of the Year of a Million Dreams, but to our six or seven year old, it meant the world to her.

It’s moments like those — and of course, the wonderful treats, and incredible rides, and on and on and on — that make Walt Disney World the best place for us to visit.  What are your favorite Disney snacks? Let me know in the comments below, please, and thanks for stopping by today!

 

 


For more Disney snack ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Boat

Prayers for the Week: Step out of the Boat!

Boat

22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.
28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” ~ Matthew 14:22-33 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  The powerful words above is a story that all of us that have opened a Bible have probably heard or read about, myself included, but there are times when you hear the story preached to you and you immediately see all sorts of things that you had missed before.  That happened to me this past Tuesday night, when the Rev. Neal Jeffrey gave the message at The Men’s Study Bible Study.

Friends, there are just twelve verses of Scripture in the tale of Jesus walking on water, but contained in those twelve verses is enough power to open the eyes of almost anyone.  Have a look with me at some of the important points that I re-learned, thanks to Rev. Jeffrey.

  1. Jesus gave the disciples instruction, and they did so immediately.
  2. After He was alone, Jesus did what comes so naturally to Him; He Prayed. If only we were as faithful in our prayers as Jesus is in His!
  3. The boat was assailed by the storm on the water, and was far away from shore.
  4. Jesus came to them on the water, walking on the surface.  It was a miracle!
  5. The disciples didn’t recognize Him; they thought He was a ghost. Jesus spoke to them, though, telling them that He was there.
  6. Peter then tested Jesus, telling Him to command he come to Him if it was really Jesus out there.
  7. Jesus commanded Peter to come to Him, and Peter did — he walked on water also! Another miracle!
  8. But then, Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and just like all of us when we take our eyes of Jesus — he ran into trouble, just as we do.
  9. But most importantly, though, Peter cried out for Jesus to help him — and Jesus immediately helped him!
  10. Afterwards, the wind died down, and those in the boat worshiped Jesus.

My takeaways from those verses can be summed up in just a couple of more sentences.  When Jesus gives me instruction, I should do so immediately. Don’t put it off until later. I should always make time to pray. I should ask God boldly for things — don’t be afraid to step out of the boat! I should keep my eyes focused on Jesus, but if I falter, I should ask Him for help, because He will help immediately! Lastly, I should always worship God and His Son, Jesus!

Thank you for reading along with me, now, please continue to pray for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Lynn starts us off with a prayer request for her family: If you could, please pray for me and my family. My grandmother passed away Wednesday night and today we would have been celebrating her 94th Birthday. She passed away only 3 hours before her birthday. I know she is having the best birthday celebration ever right now.
    I have always been so very close to her.
  • Lynn also has a prayer request for her friend: Please pray for my friend. We went to high school together. She is 40 years old and recently found out she has breast cancer. She is having surgery this morning. They will be taking her back between 7-8 this morning. And please pray for her family. She has a husband and two kids.
    • The praise is that the surgery went well, so keep praying for Lynn’s friend and her family.  Thank you!
  • Last week we prayed for Lynn’s uncle, who had fallen.  He had some serious complications which included being taken to ICU for a spell, but he is doing much better, so Praise be to God for that!  Please keep praying for Lynn’s uncle and his recovery!
  • Please pray for my friend Lindsey, recently was the one year anniversary of her sister passing away. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to walk forward but remember their loved one.
  • Please continue your prayers for Brandon, who was listed as a prayer request last week.  Also, please keep praying for all of the people that have been listed on here at some point or another, pray for their healing, for their families, pray for those that are lost, and for those that don’t know what to pray or how to pray.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.