God of Hope

Prayers for the Week: All about Hope


13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post, written on remote location from Stephens City, VA.  Yesterday my wife and I, our daughter, my niece and her husband (and our grand-niece), his Mom, and my sister and my Mom participated in the 10th Annual Step Sisters 5K.  The Step Sisters is an organization that helps out breast cancer survivors by helping them around their home when they get home from the hospital, cleaning, cooking, that sort of thing.  The Step Sisters helped out my mom when she had breast cancer, and yesterday, we were helping them out by participating in the annual 5K.

I asked Cindy for a verse that was speaking to her, and she came up with Romans 15:13.  The reason, she said, was simple — today was all about hope.  As soon as she said that, I knew exactly that Romans 15:13 was the verse to use.

I don’t have a long commentary today, so let’s go right into the real meat of the post, our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Shannon starts us off this week, with a prayer request for healing.  Here is what she wrote: I had been having some bad headaches and nothing was working. Monday I had some trigger point injections in my lower head, neck and shoulders. The past 2 days I’ve been in more pain that I was with the actual headache. Please pray that the pain and soreness goes away soon and the injections work for the headaches. Thanks
  • The other day I left this word of encouragement on the impact and power of prayer: So part of my morning routine as I’m walking our Golden Retriever River is to pray while we walk. It’s a great start to the day for me, and I lift up the group and all of the prayer requests we see while we’re walking. For me personally, I pray for Cindy, and I pray for our daughter Sophie — for the stresses that they see in their work/school life, and for Sophie to have the focus she needs to handle the tasks of the day. Additionally, I always pray for God to provide me with the wisdom needed to take care of my clients. For a while I wondered if remaining in the IT Industry was meant to be after my layoff, but through Bible study, I came to the realization that one of my gifts from God is the way I can tackle the challenges of IT work.Last week I spent the week wiring a new office space for one of my clients, and today I was there all day until about 4PM resolving the issues that came up from their move yesterday. While it was challenging, demanding work tackling the myriad of issues that they had (most self induced, I might add), we made it through, and I know it is in part because of the wisdom that God gave me that day.In the end, the thing I think I’m trying to say here is that prayer works, we have been witness to that in our lives, and even if the answered prayer isn’t forthcoming just yet, Believe and Expect God to handle it for you — because He will. I leave you with this verse as a reminder:

    For 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. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

  • We’ve got a big praise for Hayden’s Mom: Answered prayers for Hayden — his mom has been fighting cancer for a year now and is now in remission! Praise to God, the Great Physician!
  • Prayers for my friend Rebekah who is fighting cancer and has a treatment today. Rebekah, this is a prayer group we have, so anytime you need any prayers, please feel free to list them here and the prayer warriors will pray with you and for you!
  • Praise for my Dad’s cataract surgery, he had a great procedure and is doing great!  Thank you all for the prayers you lifted up for him!

Now, please join us in praying the prayer that Jesus taught 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.

Good Dinosaur

Disney Pixar Movie: The Good Dinosaur

Good Dinosaur

Image ©Disney/Pixar

The Good Dinosaur

By Mike Ellis.

Last night my family went out to see the Disney/Pixar movie The Good Dinosaur.  Coming into the movie, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too sure how I would like the movie; all the previews made it seem like it would be a good family movie, but I just wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it.  Well, twenty minutes or less into the movie, and I was hooked.  This film has it all — a heart-warming story of the love a family has, brotherly and sisterly rivalry, tragedy, sorrow, and grief, friendship, and courage.

The story centers around the Dinosaur family, Henry (Poppa), Ida (Momma), Libby, Buck, and Arlo.  Libby and Buck easily adjust to life on the family farm, but Arlo, the runt, has a hard time adjusting, and is frightened of almost anything that moves.

As the story progresses, we find that Henry is doing all he can to get Arlo to overcome his fear, and in the course of yet another attempt, Henry is washed downriver and dies.  Arlo is devastated, rightfully so, as he is also lost, and who knows what might have happened to him if not for Spot, a young human boy.  After some trials, the two become best friends.

It turns out that Spot and Arlo have both seen sorrows in their lives — Spot has lost his parents, and believes them dead, just like Arlo has lost his dad.  Having to rely on one another, they run into their share of mean characters as well as friendly characters — I never would have thought that a T-Rex family could be considered “friendly characters” — and throughout it all, they slowly make their way towards Arlo’s home.

The climax of the story comes as Spot is taken by some scavengers because he’s a “critter”, and it is up to Arlo to save his friend.  Only by overcoming his fear of the storm, the rushing water that reminds him of losing his father, and the fear of waterfall, can Arlo come to his friends rescue.

As I said, I wasn’t sure what I would think of this movie, but I really enjoyed it.  It had incredible animation, truly photo-realistic in fact, it had a great, heartwarming story, and a good flow.  I know that many reviewers did not like it, but I did, although I will agree that it is definitely a kids movie at heart.

If you have a young one, go ahead and see it, I think they will like it, and you will too!

Have you seen The Good Dinosaur?  If so, what did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

Prayers for the Week – The Cross


The Cross is perhaps the most important symbol of Christianity.  The Cross, such a simple structure, is the point of our salvation.  Our lives, as sinful, as hurtful as they are, take on a new meaning when we believe in our hearts these wonderful facts:

  1. God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to save us.
  2. Jesus taught all of us how to live, and what is truly important.
  3. Jesus died for us so that we might be saved from our sin.
  4. Lastly, Jesus was resurrected, and, in being resurrected, conquered death.

It is a simple thing to believe, but it is also something that we have convinced is not as simple as that.  We have taught ourselves, or allowed ourselves to be taught, that it isn’t that simple.  We have allowed ourselves to believe that it isn’t God’s Gift to us, that we must earn our salvation.  That is not true or possible.  Salvation comes in believing that God sent His Son to die for our sins, and that Jesus died, and was resurrected from that death.  When we believe that and put our trust and faith in Jesus, we are saved.  After we are saved, if we have truly been saved, then our actions, our words, our deeds, will evolve over time, and we will act more like Jesus would have us act.  This is because when we are saved, God sends the Holy Spirit to us, and we are indwelt with the Spirit of God.

My friends, my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, when you read these prayer requests, you are praying to God on behalf of these requests.  When you give God Praise for the good things that happen in our lives, you are thanking God for giving us those good things.  Thank you for choosing each day to read these and pray and praise with us.  If we can pray for you, please leave us a comment, and we will add it to our prayer post and pray for you.  Now, please pray with us this week.  Thank you!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Prayers please for Decatur, Alabama police officer Josh Driggers and his family. Here is the press release:Press ReleaseOn February 4, 2015, Decatur Police Officer Josh Driggers went to his
    doctor after experiencing persistent headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Medical
    tests were conducted and it was revealed that Josh had a tumor on his brain.
    After initially scheduling Josh for immediate surgery in Huntsville, his
    physicians reconsidered and referred him to Duke University Medical Center.
    Josh and his family will leave for Durham, North Carolina on Wednesday.
    His surgery has been scheduled for Friday.Josh has been with the Decatur Police Department for almost five years
    and is married with two young children. In addition to his work as a patrol
    officer, Josh serves on the department’s Honor Guard. His condition came on
    suddenly, with very little warning. In addition to his concern about his
    condition, Josh is dealing with the financial impact it will have on his family.
    An account has been set up at Redstone Federal Credit Union under Joshua
    Driggers Love Offering.

    We ask that everyone remember Josh and his family and keep them in
    your prayers as they go through this difficult time. We will provide updates
    on Josh’s condition as we receive them.

  • Earlier this month, we had this prayer request on behalf of my friend Jodi:My friend Jodi has a prayer request for us. Here is what she wrote:Can you please add my friend Laura to your prayer list this week? Her brother Todd, to whom she’s always been extremely close, has been fighting cancer. They learned yesterday it has spread to his brain. He has been sent home with hospice care. Todd is Laura’s son’s favorite uncle, and this is very hard on him too (Sam, age 9). Thank you!Please pray with me:

    Heavenly Father, we hear daily of struggles that people are going through with that horrific disease — cancer. We really are at a loss to understand how these things invade the lives of Your people, but we also know that You have a plan for all of us. We take heart in Your Words from the book of Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So we know that, despite the disease that Todd is fighting, we know that his life has a purpose, and it is a purpose that You have written for him. Please be with Todd, with his sister Laura, with her son Sam, and with all of their family. Please give Todd the Peace, the Strength, the Comfort, the Love that he needs. Please be with all of them and enfold them in Your Loving embrace so that they would know You are with them. Also, Lord, if it is Your Will, Lord, we pray for healing for Todd. Show us Your Power, Your Glory, and show us that all the medicine in the world means nothing when compared to what You can do. We ask all of these things in the wonderful name of Your Son Jesus with Thanksgiving. Amen

    Unfortunately, I learned from Jodi that Todd passed away. Please continue to pray for his family, for his sister Laura, and especially for her son Sam, who is missing his Uncle right now. Please pray that God will be with them all in the days, weeks, and months to come. Thank you.

  • Please pray for my Mom — her breast cancer surgery is on Wednesday the 25th.  Please pray for her, for her medical team, and for God’s Healing Touch on her.
  • My wife Cindy and I would like to give Praise to God for the news that our daughter Sophie received!  We learned that she was accepted for her school of choice for the fall!  She will be going to Vernon Malone College and Career Academy, and will be studying Simulation & Game Development!  Cindy and I are very excited for Sophie, and we give God Praise for this great news for Sophie.
  • Please pray for all of those that are participating in the season of Lent.  I have made a commitment to track all of my food on Weight Watchers — this is disciplining me.  Cindy has given up all soda during Lent, and others are doing their own Lenten sacrifices.  Please pray for all of us to be closer to God and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us during this season.
  • Date: February 20: Prayers urgently needed

    Here is an urgent prayer request for all of us!!
    She asked that it be forwarded ASAP to as many people possible:

    Dear Friend: Just a few minutes ago, I received the following text message on my phone, from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI), We spoke briefly on the phone, and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all our contacts.
    We lost the city of Queragosh. It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food to. ISIS has pushed back Kurdish Forces, and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated its staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!!!.

    Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of people of northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians in this area.

    May I plead with you not to ignore this email? Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible.
    Send it to friends and Christians you know. Send it to your prayer group. Send it to your pastors. Any one you can think of. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.

    In His Service,

    Beverly Bassett
    beverly@fbcmilton.org or prayerwarriorfbc@aol.com

    First Baptist Church
    6797 Caroline Street
    Milton, FL 32570

  • My friend Shannan has a prayer request.  We have no details, but we know that God knows all, so please pray for Shannan and for God’s Will in her life.

Now, please pray with me the words that Jesus taught His Disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by 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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.