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.

Prayers for the Week: Beware the Roaring Lion

8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-11 (ESV)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  This week has seen a lot of the roaring lion better known as Satan.  It is imperative to us all that we resist that roaring lion, that we resist Satan, and that we remember that with God by our side, no one can defeat us! Just remember, when you find yourself beset by tribulation on all sides, just pray to God and tell the roaring lion of Satan to get behind you in the name of Jesus! That will do the trick every time! Now, please continue reading and praying for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Rebecca and Sheila have a prayer request: I just got this message from Rebecca: Hey my prayer warriors! Please keep praying for Cordy’s Godfather Scott!! It has been a tumultuous week of highs and lows. Steps forward and backwards. He is not out of trouble yet. And I apologize if you haven’t heard much from us, we’ve been trying to balance everything else in our usually busy barely managed chaos of a life, and 2 trips a day to the hospital. And figure out a path forward. So please keep us all in your prayers!
    • This was the original prayer request for Scott from Sheila: I just added my friend Rebecca she needs our help ! Her husbands best friend & Godfather to her daughter, Scott, is in very critical condition. Scott is one of their families oldest and dearest friends. We would appreciate any and all love and prayers and positive thoughts sent his way. From what I understand he had a aortic dissection, which most people do not survive. After 9 hours of surgery. He now needs our help and prayers to recover.
  • Pam has a continued prayer request for her husband Ronnie: My husband Ronnie is in the hospital for the second time this week with his fourth anaphylactic reaction. Praying we get home today and have no more problems.
  • Jodi has a prayer request also: My friend Kimberly has had a mild stroke. Please keep her and her family in prayer! Thank you!
  • We met someone at dinner tonight, Deron, who has had a hard life.  Please pray for him, for God to watch over him.  Thank you!
  • A co-worker of Cindy lost a friend recently. His name is George. Please pray for them and for George’s family in their time of grief. Thanks!
  • Vonni has a prayer request for her friend Randy and more importantly for Randy’s son Brandon: PLEASE PRAY FOR MY SON BRANDON! He was involved in a near fatal car accident this morning on his way to work at Costco. He was run off the road on a blind curve. He lost control of his car and hit a tree. He is currently in Neuro ICU at Spartanburg Regional Hospital. He has extensive damage to his spinal cord. He is paralyzed from his chest down. He needs a miracle right now. Please help him receive one by keeping him in your Prayers and good thoughts. Bless you. A heartbroken Dad, –Randy
  • Lastly, please pray for the lost, for those that don’t know Jesus, for those that don’t know what to pray, and for those that are afraid to ask for prayers.

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.

Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post. Last week we looked at faithfulness, the seventh word that was mentioned as a fruit of the Spirit by the Apostle Paul.  Today, we look at gentleness.  But first, let’s look at our Bible verses again to refresh them in our minds:

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)

 

People, the concept of gentleness is a foreign one for this world.  There is so much non-gentle behavior, I could go on for days just listing the examples.  Examples that include violence towards others, verbal attacks on all sides, verbal abuse towards children and adults alike, and on and on.

However, if you are to look really carefully, and see what goes on beyond the news headlines, I can show you countless acts of gentleness that may just give you hope.  Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit as Paul tells us in the Galatians passage, and it is when you see true gentleness on display that you see a person that has their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Look for those acts of gentleness, and emulate them as best you can.  Keep your eyes open for the true acts that represent the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, and perhaps if enough of us do so, the violence and anger that currently invades this world will be withdrawn some, and we can see true Peace come to this world.  As the saying goes, “Let there be Peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”

Now, please pray with me and give praise for this week’s prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Our prayers start off with prayers for all of the people affected in the violence in Charlottesville yesterday.  Such hatred, such terror, such violence.  Words escape me on what to write.
  • We also lift up prayers for the family of Bryan Murray, former coach for the Washington Capitals, who passed away yesterday from colon cancer at the age of 74. Please lift up all of his family in their grief.
  • Barb has a prayer request: Please pray for our 6 month old puppy. She is currently undergoing surgery for Intussusception, which is an intestinal thing. Pray for a quick recovery and no lasting side effects!
    • The good news is that the procedure was a success.  Here’s what the problem was: Renny’s surgery is done! She did great! It was a piece of string wrapped around the base of her tongue, down to her intestines! They’ve never seen that in a dog, only cats! Her tongue will likely be sore, so we need to feed her canned food for a week or so, but she’ll be fine!
  • Last week we were praying for Ilene’s dog Cooper.  We have a praise report! Cooper is home with his mom tonight! Thank you, Lord! He means the world to his Mom. He still is limping but hopefully that will heel when the strain/swelling on his spinal cord comes down – he is one very lucky dog in so many ways! I am thankful that he will be sleeping in his Mom’s arms tonight. Thank you again for all your prayers!
  • Leslie has a prayer request: A good friend of mine is going through some major losses. One traumatic death in her family/close circle of friends a week, for the past 5 weeks. She asks that we especially lift up her husband, Chris, Diane, Todd and Austin, Tammy and Sissy, Casey and Meghan.
  • We have an update on Shannah, it’s not good news so far: Update: Shannah (liver/kidney failure) is now critical, and they’ve told her husband to notify family. Please keep her and her family, esp. 3YO son, in prayer!
    • Please pray with me for Shannah: Lord, we confess that we are unable to comprehend why you call some of us sooner than others. Please be with Shannah and her family, Lord, give them Your Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love. Lord, if Shannah hasn’t chosen You, we pray that she would choose the path to Eternal Life, and that her life, as short or as long as it is, would be a testimony to You. Lord, please be with them, especially her young son, that he would know You in time, Lord, and that he would be reunited with his mom one day in Heaven with all of you. Lord, we pray for one last miracle, that You would grant Shannah and her family the miraculous healing that only You can provide, Lord, and we pray for all of these things in the wonderful name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
    • And then, another update on Shannah.  Please keep praying for her and her family: Update on Shannah: Another complication. Her body is spilling sugar into her bloodstream causing very high blood sugar readings. They are giving her insulin but they don’t know where it’s coming from.
  • Stephanie has a prayer request for her Daddy: Please be in prayer for my daddy! He apparently had a heart attack sometime yesterday, but was too stubborn to go to the hospital. He’s feeling better now, but they’re doing tests to see what, or if any, damage was done.
    • Stephanie’s Daddy needed some stents inserted, and then we have this praise report: I just wanted to thank everyone for the prayers for my daddy. He was released from the hospital today. God is good!!!
  • Pray for Pam’s husband Ronnie. Today he receives a PICC line as part of his treatment. Pray for a successful procedure!
  • Pray for Amanda’s husband Daniel.  He had a procedure done that will hopefully help.
  • Mrs. Lucas has a prayer request: Please pray for my friend, Madge. She has a leaky aortic valve. She is going to Duke on the 24th to see if the Dr. can do a non invasive fix. Her cardiologist in her home town said she would not make it with the open chest version! Thank you for your prayers! ( Mike, her family lived at the end of East Maple in the the 70-80’s)
  • Lastly, I’ve got a big praise report — praises for my Wife of 17 years, Cindy, on our anniversary this past Friday. I love you honey!

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.

 

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.