kindness

Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness

kindness

Image ©Life-Giving Water

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us today as we continue our exploration of the Fruits of the Spirit.  This is week five in our series, and for this week, we are focusing on kindness.  But first, let’s look at our Bible verses and remind us of the complete list of the fruits:

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

The concept of kindness is one that we all should strive to attain for, not simply because God expects it of us, but rather, because being kind to someone will often lead to situations where they are kind back to you, or others, and by spreading the kindness around, it helps to combat some of the hate that exists in the world.

In many ways, being kind to someone is more helpful to you than it is to them.  Let’s look at an example.  If you are kind to someone, but they don’t show the same kindness back to you, many times it could lead you to not be kind to the next person you meet.  But if you look at those that are always kind to others, then despite someone not being kind to them, it doesn’t affect them.  That is what I am trying to illustrate when I say that it is sometimes more helpful to you than them.

The sad reality from my eyes is that attitudes are infectious, and far too often the wrong attitude is what is on display, which then leads to more people having that wrong attitude.  Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was more positive, simply put, more kind, and that kindness spread just like the wrong attitudes do?  It all starts with you.  It all starts with me.  If we each go out of our way to foster that incredible sense of kindness towards others — even if it is just in small ways — then maybe the infection of kindness will spread, and this world will be better off.

Now, please join me in praying with us our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Sheila starts us off with a health worry: Went for a checkup on my eye today, because it was bothering me. As it turns out I have a small tear in my retina. So I will be having laser surgery a week from today. Please pray for me.
    • Her surgery is on Friday, July 28, please keep her in prayer that day especially, but also pray for God’s Peace to comfort her.
  • Early has a prayer request for a friend’s baby: Calling all prayer warriors!! Please stop what you are doing and pray for a few seconds for complete healing of a friends baby. Please pray for a miraculous healing that only our Lord & Savior can provide. Amen
  • Stephanie shares with us a reminder that God is in control: I’m not the kind to be public about my prayers and the like but felt led to share this experience. Last week I had the opportunity to interview for my dream job. I called today to get a status and lo and behold, the position had been filled…. wow. Hit me like a sack of bricks because I felt confident. Felt like it was where I was suppose to be. But, I didn’t get the job. The plus side is I get to be with my daughter. But that’s not the point to this. I began to question God… he gave me this opportunity why let me down? Why didn’t I get the job…?? Well, I’ve been doing a thing called scripture writing. I’ve been way behind this month so am playing catch up. Tuesday I got to July 4 and had every intent of finishing a few more but never got around to it. Tonight, at 11:30pm I made myself do a few. I did tonight’s writing and July 5… the one I was going to get to on Tuesday and never did. The one I should have done on July 5 but never did. The passage was John 13:1-7. It goes on to say how Jesus washed people’s feet and got to Simeon Peter… Simeon Peter asked Jesus if he would wash his feet in which Jesus replied… “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Stephanie, you don’t realize now why someone else got that job, but later you will understand. If this wasn’t a God moment I don’t know what is. Granted the two situations are different I feel like the message is the same. We don’t always know Gods plan. We don’t. But. We serve a mighty God who is in control, who does know the plan… I may not have gotten the piece of mind with a job offer but I did get a reminder that God has this situation in his hands.
  • Julia has a prayer request: Next week, my son, my sister, and I are going to New Orleans for our first vacation in three years. We made the plans back in April. I was afraid we would have to reschedule, because I have a foot wound that is healing very slowly. I prayed about it and tried to decide what would be the best decision. Just yesterday, I was browsing on Amazon for something else, and this page appeared — a marvelous device that will allow us to go with no mobility issues (see the link below). Here’s praying that we’ll have safe travels and a wonderful time.
  • Jodi has a Praise to celebrate: Praise! Thanks for the prayers! I passed the whole application process for VIPKID! I now need to do the administrative stuff (turn in tax form, send copy of diploma/transcript, get profile set up, etc.). I’m excited to start this new adventure!
  • Hiro has a praise to report on a prayer request for her daughter from last week: The doctor said everything is okay. Her eye colour is the same size (it didn’t grow and has been stable for many years) and her eye pressure is normal. I’m very thankful she is okay.Thanks to everyone for your prayers
  • Shannan has a praise report on her friend Darleen and her surgery: We have a praise report on Darleen! Though she did have to have a pacemaker placed today, she has been seen laughing a bit today and moved out of the ICU to a cardiac unit! She isn’t out of the woods so keep the prayers coming.
    • Keep the prayers coming please!
  • On August 8th, at Edenton Street UMC, the Men’s Study Bible Study has it’s annual invitation dinner and sign up for the next study.  Please be in prayer for the study, for it’s leader Russ Andrews, for all of the men local to Raleigh and Durham, NC, that they would be led to come to the dinner, and most importantly, that they would be led to dig into God’s Word.  If you are reading this from the Raleigh, NC area and want more information, reach out to me and I’ll be in touch.
  • Lastly, we lift up all the anonymous prayer requests for all of those that are afraid to ask, for those that don’t know the words to say, and for those that just don’t have faith.

Lastly, please pray with us 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.

 

Peace

Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Peace

Peace

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week Post.  This week we continue our look at the Fruits of the Spirit.  Today we have landed on the third listed in the book of Galatians — Peace!

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

What is Peace?

So much has been written across the ages about the concept of peace.  There is peace between nations, peace that is broken when one is an aggressor against another.  There is lack of peace the likes of which we have seldom seen in this world as what we see today.  But what is peace?

For each of us, the concept of what peace is can be entirely different for each of us.  For my daughter Sophie, she described peace as the end result when things are taken care of.  She told us that she finds the summer vacation time to be a time of great peace for her because she doesn’t have school things to hassle over.  For my wife Cindy, to her, the concept of having peace is knowing that things are taken care of, that they are resolved, and you don’t need to worry about them anymore.

To me, the concept of peace isn’t so much about what I achieve within the world system.  To me, Peace is a capitalized word because it truly represents the Peace that only my God, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can provide to me.

27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ~ John 14:27 (ESV)

The day that Sophie was born was among the most stressful of my life.  Cindy was sick, life-threatening sick; Sophie had to be born 7 weeks early, and the doctors were preparing us for the realization that her lungs may not be developed enough, that she might be really tiny, and really really sick herself.  As for me, I was a 32 year old never before been a dad before, know idea of what was going to happen, or anything.  Yet despite my lack of knowledge, despite the uncertainty, despite the simple fact that I didn’t know what was going to end up happening, despite all of that, I felt an inner Peace inside of me that would not be vanquished, and I knew that Sophie and Cindy were going to be okay.  Better than okay, they were going to be great!

My brothers and sisters, while the world was preparing us for the worst, God was lifting us up, and preparing us for the best!  He had my back then, and He’s had my back every day ever since.  That, my friends, is what Peace really is.  Peace is knowing that despite all that the world throws at you, loss of job, loss of home, loss of family, loss of everything — despite all that, God’s Peace, the peace that passes all understanding by our finite brains — Peace will prevail if we let it in to our hearts.

Now, please continue reading and pray with us our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Jodi starts us off with a prayer request: I have another prayer request, please. I’ve applied to teach ESL online. My interview/demo teaching lesson is this Thursday at 9:00AM (Eastern US time). If I pass that, I’ll have to do 1 or possibly 2 mock teaching sessions before being offered a contract. Please pray all goes smoothly! Thanks!
    • UPDATE: OMGosh, that was soooo stressful I cried! LOL! I felt it went horribly, as the interviewer kept stopping me to advise me how to do it better (how to do it right), but in the end, she offered me a very good pay rate and passed me on to the Mock 1 phase. I have a ton of practicing and improving to do before that, which will probably be in a couple days, so please keep praying! Thank you so much!!!
  • Lori has a prayer request: Please keep Congressman Steve Scalise and his family & friends in your prayers. He is back in ICU after more surgery.
  • Jodi has a prayer request regarding her sister-in-law Sue: My sister-in-law, Sue, passed away last fall. Today (July 3rd) would have been her birthday. Please keep her daughter Cami, son Cody, and my brother Ken (and their families) in prayer today, as this is a hard day on all of them. Thank you!
  • Continued prayers for the following:
    • Genny and her family — her brother Mark’s service was this past Wednesday.
    • My cousins Janet and Susan and all of their family as they see how life is different without my Great Aunt Genette.
    • Continued prayers for Alan’s mom Phyllis and her treatment from Crohn’s Disease.
    • Continued prayers for my cousin Barb and her husband Tim in their cancer battle – specifically for the genetic testing for a clinical trial.
    • Continued prayers for my friend Amanda and her husband Daniel and daughter Cate as they fight the battle for Daniel against his own cancer.
    • Continued prayers for Clint, Christine, and all of their family.
    • Continued prayers for Karen’s brother Ben.
    • Continued prayers for Candice — she lost her Mom last week.

As always, if you have any prayer requests, please share them with us in the comment below!  We’ll add them to our list and pray with you and for you.

Now, please pray with us 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.

Love

Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Love

Love

Image ©SincerelySaraD.com

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today I’m starting a small series on the fruits of the Spirit that we find in Galatians 5.  Over the next nine weeks starting today I will be focusing on one of those fruits.  Today we focus on love.

Love

The concept of love is discussed throughout the Bible, and there are many examples of love that we can draw on in our quest to understand what it means.  There is the concept of being “in love” with someone, such as how a husband loves his wife and vice versa. We find a very powerful set of verses pertaining to love of a couple found in 1 Corinthians 13:

4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (ESV)

Those verses are often quoted in wedding ceremonies.

Other ways love can be found in the Bible exist throughout — even in situations where God disciplined His children because they didn’t listen to Him and commit to Him.  Just look at all of the times that the Israelites were exiled because they turned away from God.  But then, of course, God sent us Jesus — the greatest act of love that has ever been known in this world.  God sent His Son to us so that we might believe in Him, and in doing so, gain eternal life and forgiveness for all of the unpardonable sins that we have committed.  God sent Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sin — and Jesus loves us so much that He died on that cross for me.  And for you.  And for all of us.  All He asks of us is that we would turn to Him, that we would believe in Him and His sacrifice, that we would pray to Him, telling Him that we have realized that we are sinners, and ask Him for forgiveness and to create in us a new spirit, a new life.  That salvation that we speak of is open to each and every one of us, from the meekest, most gentle person to the killer on death row that has shown no remorse for their actions.  That, my friends, is what Love is.  Love is dying on the Cross for each and every one of us when you didn’t deserve that fate.  If you don’t have John 3:16 memorized, go look it up, and memorize it, and do me a favor and leave it in the Facebook comments below.

Love — it is the first of the fruits of the Spirit, and it is an outward sign that you are one with Christ.  Do you show love?  Do people know it? That is the question.

Now, please continue reading with our Prayer Requests and Praises below.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Please pray for all of those that are having struggles with anxiety and panic.  Please pray for all of those, that God would send his Peaceful, Calming, Comforting touch to them, that they would know true Peace, and that their anxiety and panic would drift away.
  • Amanda has a prayer request: I need more prayers! My husband’s oncologist is requesting a test on his already removed tumor tissue to see if he might be a candidate for immunotherapy. This is huge because that’s where all of the research is. If it comes back as no, we only have one more drug after the one we are on to use. Not many clinical trials exist that don’t involve immunotherapy. Please pray it comes back that he is a candidate. We will be scheduling another scan in the next week or so. I’ll be requesting more prayers for that – better than last time with no new cancer, none of the resolved tumors active again and the active tumors less active, resolved or gone. But I’ll bother you with those later!
    Also, our friend Jaime has been put on hospice care. She has a husband and 2 small children. Please pray for them as well. Thanks, guys!
  • Please keep praying for my cousin Barb and her husband Tim. The results were not what we had hoped. The chemo is not working anymore, and the doctor is looking for clinical trials for him. Need prayers now, more than ever.
  • Carol has a prayer request: Pray for my son Jeff. He is having Very difficult time.
  • Please pray for my friend Clint and his family.
  • Please pray for Paul and his broken toe.

Thank you all for praying, and please don’t forget to send us your own prayer requests!  Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray together:

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.

 

Prayers for the Week: Prayers of the People

Prayers

19Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” ~ Matthew 18:19-20 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  We have a lot of prayer requests, so we’ll get to them very shortly, but I wanted to remind you of the words of Jesus — where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them…My friends, when you ask us to pray for you, and when you join your prayers with ours, guess what?  Jesus is right there with us.  There is power in that, there is beauty in that, and there is also humbleness in that simple fact, knowing that your Lord loves you so much that He is right there with us to hear our prayers and to be with us.  That is why we have this prayer post, and why we have our Facebook Group (click the link to access it and request to join!) — just knowing that we are all praying for each other, lifting each other up when we are down, that is a wonderful thing to remember.  Do you feel adrift in the world?  Do you feel like no one is here to hear your cries for help?  Well, know this: Jesus is ready to hear you, you just need to ask Him.  And also know that we are here, we have many of the same issues you face — unemployment, anger, loss, hopelessness, homelessness, medical issues, you name it, chances are that someone in our group has had it happen to them.  Take comfort in this one little fact: You Are Not Alone.

Now, please join in and lift up these prayer requests and praises, and leave yours for us to pray for you.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Carol starts us off this week: Please pray for my son Jeff. He called tonight and asked to visit this weekend. As we talked I found out he is at his father’s house, which is good because his father loves him very much. He implied he is not welcome at his home – 2 kids and a wife – and is on sick leave with a extended program at Holly Hill. I am anxious and fear for him. He has a very soft heart and has followed his wife’s request to the point that they never visited me or my husband. I ask for the words to say, the patience to not encourage it to make the situation worse and the way to show him the love he accepted as a small boy when he called on Jesus.
  • Please pray for the family of one of my best friends in the corporate world. Kip Campbell passed away on Saturday after a long bout with cancer. Please pray for his wife Lucy and all of their children and grandchildren. Kip was 73. Thanks everyone!
  • I’ve got a prayer request from Mrs. Lucas: Mike, please add Tom to the prayer list. He is the husband of a friend! He had a colon resection after tests! Surgery went fine, but he has now been diagnosed as failure to improve! His future looks bleak, but the Dr and nurses are doing everything they can! Prayer is what he needs now! They are powerful! Thank you for posting! God bless you!
  • Amanda has some prayer requests and a praise: I have 3 prayer requests – all cancer related (it seems to be everywhere).
    1) We have a friend whose cancer has been stable for 4 years. It has suddenly kicked in again and she now has spots in several locations including her brain. She has a 12 and 8 year old. Please pray that Jaime’s cancer can be stopped again.
    2) Our other friend’s father has tumors in several locations that were just found. They are working to determine the source of the cancer. Please pray that it is the simplest form and there is treatment as well as for his family. His name is Marty Dwyer. Erin Dwyer-Wagoner
    3) My husband got great scan results last time. We are a few weeks away from a scan but his body is having a really hard time with this chemo. He has gone 7 weeks without the drug that we know works and his tumor indicators are going up. Please pray that his body is rid of the cancer and he can stay here on earth healthy and able to the work God has planned for him.
    Also, your prayers for my brother’s K9 have worked overtime! She is doing great and expected to return to work in 3 months. Thanks everyone for every prayer and for allowing me to pray for you! It helps to be able to pray for others.
  • Please pray for my brother in Christ David. David is having heart bypass surgery in the coming days. Please pray for healing for David, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength for him and for his wife Louise and all of their family.
    • Update: Thank you all for praying! David had his surgery on the 8th, and all went well! Louise reported that he’s in ICU today, in a lot of pain of course, but that everything is progressing as it is supposed to. Thank you all for praying, please keep it up!
  • Please pray for Angela’s daughter. Here is her prayer request: Aaliyah just got out of emergency surgery… She did well. Now its time for healing part 100… Prayers prayers prayers and thank you all for continued prayer. I will keep you informed. Time to rest. Love 365
  • Please pray for my brother-in-Christ Charles. He fell and had to have emergency surgery.
  • My Sister-in-Christ Beth has a prayer request: My heart is so heavy as I process the news and read stories, posts, and thoughts about the bus crash involving the youth mission team from Mt. Zion Baptist. My heart is broken and my stomach is in knots as I pray for this family, this church, these youth, and the youth minister. I pray for healing, comfort, and peace for all involved and affected by this tragedy. I pray for other youth teams who are feeling fear and anxiety as they pack and prepare for their own summer mission trips locally and abroad.
    “2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” 1 Peter 5:2-4 from Sarah Harmening’s last journal entry.
  • Lastly, please pray for all of the anonymous prayer requests out there, and also for all of the prayers that go unspoken because those that need them don’t know or don’t want to believe in order to say them.

Prayer is a powerful thing, my friends, and we need to make sure that all of us know that we can pray to God at any time and He will hear our prayers.  Remember that, my friends, and if you need any help in formulating the words, just ask God to hear the words of your heart — He knows what is on it already, and wants you to ask Him to help.

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.

Prayers for the Week – Memorial Day

Memorial Day

A Boy Scout salutes at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in preparation for Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9 (ESV)

My friends, on this Memorial Day weekend, we salute and honor all of those that have paid the ultimate price for the freedom that our country enjoys today.  On this weekend, there will be beach goers, there will be those that have a cookout in their backyard, there will be those that go to a ball game.  And there will be those that go to visit their family member who is one of the fallen that we salute today — them and their families, whose lives were changed forever.

Our Word today comes from the book of Joshua, a verse that I’ve used many times before, but seems really appropriate for today and this weekend.  God commands us to be strong, to be courageous.  God tells us not to be afraid, not to be dismayed, and to remember, He is with us wherever we might be.  Those words of encouragement are for all of us to hear this day.  This is the Word of God for us, the people of God.  Thanks be to God!

If you are the loved one of one of our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day, know that our thoughts and prayers go out to you this weekend and every day.  My family salutes your sacrifice, your courage, and your commitment to serve our country, and we give thanks to God for the ultimate sacrifice that your loved one gave for us.  Jesus said it best when He said:

13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13 (ESV)

Brothers and Sisters, on this Memorial Day weekend, let’s remember those that aren’t able to celebrate with us, and remember them in whatever way is appropriate to you and gives them the honor and glory that they deserve.

Now, please continue reading as we go over our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Jodi starts us off this week: Long story short, my son’s left foot has been swollen for 2-1/2 years following ant bites. Several doctors and tests have been unable to figure it out. Adam has an appointment with a vascular specialist this morning. Please pray if there’s something to be concerned about that it will be revealed, and if nothing, that we would be reassured it’s ok to let this go. Thanks!
    • Update from Jodi: We finally have a diagnosis! It is something that will probably never go away, but it is not life threatening or life altering and will be treated with a simple compression sock. They will do an ultrasound next week to confirm, but this doctor is confident in his assessment. Thanks for the prayers!
  • Please pray for my friend Peter, his mother passed away at the age of 91. Pray for their peace, comfort, and strength moving forward. Thank you!
  • Please pray for my friend Kip and his family.  Kip is very ill.
  • Please pray for all of the anonymous prayer requests — especially for those that need changed hearts like we talked about in last week’s prayer post.
  • Please pray for my businesses, that they both would take off to the point that my wife could stop working at a job where she is not appreciated.
  • Lastly, pray for the families of our servicemen and women, serving now and those that served before, and especially for those that have fallen heroes in their families.

Thank you for all of your prayers, 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.