Easter Message

Prayers for the Week: The Easter Message

Easter Message

34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:34-35 (ESV)

My friends, Happy Easter to each and every one of you!  Today is the day when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was resurrected from the death after being arrested, tortured, and crucified on the cruel cross.  But while today is the day when we realize that He is Risen, and that Jesus has conquered death for Himself and for us that believe in Him, today I want to remember one of the greatest truths Jesus delivered to us.  This is what I believe the Easter Message is this year: Love one another, just as Jesus has loved us.

Love can be a hard thing for some of us.  Oh sure, it’s easy to love those that are close to you; your parents, your spouse, your children, and so forth.  But love can be a very hard thing when the focus of that love is someone that has done something to harm you.

Love like that can be very hard.  How do you love someone that was directly responsible for you losing your job?  How do you love someone that caused grave harm to your child?  How do you love someone that claims to be a Christian, but all they do is cause grief and heartache for your wife?  Those are just three examples.  How do you love someone that wrote a threatening letter describing all of the things that they would do to your family?  And how do you love someone that hurts you so deeply that all you want to do is withdraw from society and not have anything to do with anyone?

Quite simply, my friends, it is impossible to love — if left to our own will to do so.  What makes it possible to love when faced with those circumstances is to turn to Jesus, turn to God, and ask Him to help you love those that have caused you harm.  Look at Holy Week, the week where our Easter Message was composed from.  Look at all that happened to Jesus during this week:

  • He was betrayed by Judas.
  • He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • He was beaten.
  • He was tortured.
  • He was accused of things He didn’t do.
  • He was found innocent, yet He was sentenced to crucifixion anyway.
  • He was crucified.
  • He was given sour wine.
  • He was spit on.
  • He was stabbed.
  • He had a crown of thorns put on his head.
  • He had nails hammered in his hands and feet.
  • He died despite being innocent.

Despite all of that, and even more that I haven’t listed, despite all of that, what was it that Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Jesus would have us show that kind of love, but I think He knows that it is only possible to do when we have the Holy Spirit within us.  Then, and only then, can we love those that harm us.  That, my brothers and sisters, is what the Easter Message this year is for me.  Now, please pray with me our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Lori has a prayer request: I’d selfishly like to ask a prayer for myself tonight and over the weekend. I need to find job that can support me and fulfill me. I have an application in at a company that is about 10 minutes from my house. My girls, Thelma Louise, are about my whole life right now; this job would allow me time to come home to them during the day and at least let me let them out for a bit.I completed an application on-line and got a very positive response from their home office in NJ within 30 minutes & did an over the phone interview. God willing the local HR Manager will see me as good of a fit and call me in for a personal interview.Thank you in advance for your prayers.
  • Jodi has an update on her brother Ken: My brother Ken is moving to a rehab facility this afternoon! Hooray! Probably will be there about 3 weeks. Please continue prayers. Thank you!
  • Jodi also has another prayer request: My friend Amanda was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Please keep her & her family in prayer. Thank you!
  • Please continue praying for Kelly’s Godfather.  Here’s her original prayer request, I’ll post an update when we learn more: Please pray for my GodFather – Uncle Alan. Went to the doctor about a week ago and he will be having a quadruple bypass next Wednesday. Thank you.
  • Please pray for my Dad, Joe, he has cataract surgery on Tuesday the 18th. Thanks!
  • Please pray for those that are afraid to ask for prayers, pray that God would hear the prayers from their hearts.
  • Please also pray for those that don’t know God, please pray that they would find out what life with Jesus in their lives really is all about.

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.

Prayers for the Week – 2 Years of Praying

prayer_warrior

34“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” ~ Jesus Christ, Luke 21:34-36 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the start of this weekly prayer post.  Two years of praying for you, of listening, of having your Brothers and Sisters in Christ pray for you.  Two years of crying, of laughing, of giving Praise to God for the Blessings that He has given to us.  We have seen answered prayers, we have seen prayers answered in ways other than we wanted, and we have hopefully been a beacon to you across the evil that is the Internet.

Today, I feel that my mission is the same now that it was two years ago.  I feel led to pray for you, to reach out to you, to offer up my prayers for those things that are troubling you, and to ask my brothers and sisters, those faithful prayer warriors, to pray for you as well.  Doing so has not always been easy — I have had people write me to tell me that I should not be doing this, that this is a Disney site, not a religious site, all of those things.  I have lost followers to the blog and to the Facebook page.  In the end, though, none of that really matters.  What matters is serving my Lord, and this is one way that I am able to do so.

So, today is much like every Sunday for the past two years — it is my day to reach out to you, to remind you that God loves you, that He gave His Son Jesus to us, to die for us, to pay the ultimate penalty for our sins.  If you are troubled, I urge you, don’t be afraid, don’t worry that you will be ridiculed, if you have a concern, share it with us, and we will pray for you.  Now, please read along with our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • First off, I want to thank all of you for praying for my Mom.  She had a very successful surgery, she is back home, recuperating, the breast cancer did not get to her lymph nodes, and the doctors are very confident for her prognosis.  Thank you for praying with us!
  • Update on my friend Shannan’s prayer request. Here is what she wrote:Thanks to all of you that sent messages, texts and prayers over the last couple of hours. My dad was experiencing some tingling and numbness in his face, arm and hand this evening. We went straight to Skyline and he was in CT before we could even sit down. They believe he’s had another possible TIA. They are going to keep him overnight and do an MRI and full stroke work up. Keep the prayers coming and I’ll update when I know more.

    Please keep praying! Thanks.

  • Please pray for Cindy’s cousin Lori.  Lori’s husband passed away unexpectedly.  Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon Lori and all of the family in their time of sorrow.
  • Please pray for my friend Kerry.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Heaven got a beautiful angel yesterday. I love you Grammy. Xoxo – your granddaughter

    Please pray for her Peace, Comfort, and Strength, and that of her family, during their time of sorrow.

  • Please pray for my friend Melissa and her husband Andy.  They are having a baby!  This is wonderful news, they are such great people, I know they will be great parents!  Please pray for Melissa’s health, comfort, Peace, and Strength during her pregnancy, and also pray for the baby’s health as well!  This is a praise and a prayer!

Thank you for praying with us!  Remember, if you have a prayer request you want to share with us, please leave us a comment, or send us an email to prayer@mydreamsofdisney.com, or leave it on our Facebook page, something, just leave it so we can pray for you.  Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught his Disciples 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 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.

Prayers for the Week – A New Year

 

2-Corinthians-5_17

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week! Happy New Year, everyone! 2014 is now gone, and 2015 has come on strong. I hope that you have a wonderful year, full of Peace, Love, Happiness, Joy, Success, but most of all, full of the Love that God has for us.

With the turning of the calendar, it is only right, at least in my mind, that we take stock of where we are in our lives.  For me, 2014 was a fairly good year, but there are many things I didn’t finish that I hope to accomplish in 2015.  More importantly, though, the turning of the year gives us a chance to take stock at where we are Spiritually in our walk with God.  Are we on the narrow road or the wide road, are with walking with God, or is God wondering where we are?  All of these questions are ones that we should look at now, and if we are traveling the wrong path, now is a great time to make a change so that we can enjoy a more meaningful, close relationship with our Lord and Savior.  The Bible verse I’ve selected today seems very appropriate for today:

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Are you in Christ, as Paul writes?  If you are in Christ, you are a new creation.  If you are in Christ, then your life has changed, your old self is gone, and the new you is totally different from the old you.  This does  not mean that you are now perfect, that you never make mistakes, that you never stray from the path that Jesus walks.  However, what it does mean is that you recognize when you stray, you recognize that you have sinned, and you ask God to forgive you when you do sin.  The longer you have been in Christ, the worse it feels when you do sin, at least for me.  When I sin, immediately I feel an overpowering emotion — guilt.  When I sin, I realize that I have just turned my back on God, that I have decided to walk my own path, that I have made a decision that God’s Sacrifice — His ultimate Sacrifice — just didn’t matter at this time.  When that happens, the guilt of my sin hits me, and I immediately ask God to forgive me.

If you are not sure you are in Christ, or if you know you are not in Christ — that is, if Christ doesn’t live on in your heart in the form of the Holy Spirit — there are things that you can do to change that.  First of all, you need to ask yourself, do I want Christ in my life?  Do I believe in God, and more importantly, do I believe that God sent His Son Jesus to earth, and that His Son died for my sins?  Do I even think that I sin, do I recognize it when I do?

Before I turned to God, I would be hard pressed to admit that I recognized when I did sin.  Sure, I knew that it was wrong to curse, wrong to swear, that sort of thing, but did I think of it as sinning when I did it?  I don’t remember, now, to be honest.  I expect that at some level, deep down, I did know that — because how many of us look around the room before we say a curse word to make sure a young child doesn’t hear it.  Our thought is, that child shouldn’t hear those words — well, my friends, I’ve got news for you — none of us should hear those words…

The Sinner’s Prayer

If you want to be saved, if you know that you have never been saved, there is a prayer that you can pray. It is known as the Sinner’s Prayer, or the Prayer of Salvation. This prayer is not the only prayer that you can pray to be saved, but it is a good one. If you want to pray this prayer, follow along with the words below:

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.

That’s all there is to it.  If you prayed that prayer, and you believe it in your heart, and you prayed it with all of you heart and soul, then you are saved.  If you did this today for the very first time, please let us know.  Nothing gives a Christian more joy than knowing that a new Brother and Sister in Christ has joined our ranks, so let us know in the comments if you are.  Now, please read our prayer requests, and pray for those that need our prayers.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Chelsea had a prayer request for her husband’s Grandpa.  Here is what she wrote:Thank you all for your prayers for Wyatt’s Grandpa the surgery went well!
  • My friend Carrie had a prayer request and a praise.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:We made it home! Now pray for Kev as he drives to Plainview for the night shift! It is endless!
    His Dad made a turn-around, he is a living miracle! Thank you so much for the prayers.
  • Lastly, please pray with us as we lift up the families of those that were involved in the wreck of Air Asia.  Please pray for their Peace, their Strength, and their Love as they strive to deal with all of the grief and turmoil in their lives.  Please pray that God would be with them all in their time of need.

Now, please pray one last prayer — the prayer 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.

Healing

Prayers for the Week – Healing

Healing

In times of turmoil, God is with us!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. ~ Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

Hello my friends and fellow prayer warriors, and thank you for joining me today in our weekly prayers for the week post.  Several friends of mine are going through some medical issues both for themselves and for loved ones, so today I thought I would take a look at a Bible verse that speaks to how God is with us when we need Him most.  Like many of the great scriptures, today our verse comes from the book of Isaiah, chapter 43, and verse 2, which you see above.

When trouble and turmoil comes into our lives, it can be really hard not to get down at how life has dealt us a bum hand.  I find it especially true that when something is going wrong, looking up some verses in my Bible really help me to remember that God is with me.  I think Isaiah 43:2 does a wonderful job of reminding us that, no matter what the trial is, God has our back!

I don’t know how many of you are reading this post who aren’t Christians or religious in some fashion.  If you are not a Christian, and you would like to speak with me about why I think Christianity is the only way to achieve eternal life, then please leave me a comment and I will gladly discuss it with you.  In the meantime, please read our prayer requests and praises, and thank you for continuing to pray each and every week!

Healing Prayer Requests and Praises!

  • Last week I learned that my Brother-in-Christ Jeff had lost his brother to cancer.  Here is what I wrote at the time:  Praying today for my friend Jeff, who is mourning the loss of his brother. Please pray for him and his family in their time of grief, and celebrate his brother’s ascension to be with our Lord and Savior! Please continue to pray for them, and celebrate his brother’s life!
  • Please pray for my friend Mike, who is suffering from kidney ailments.  Here is what he wrote:It’s always something… Kidney infection and waiting till Friday for a CT scan to check my stones. Prayers appreciated. Please pray for healing and relief for him.  Thanks everyone!
  • My friend Linda had the first of her eye surgeries, and has some discomfort, but things are improving for her.  Please continue to pray for her as she has her second eye surgery on June 4th!
  • My friend Dee has been suffering with many medical issues for all the time that I’ve known her.  Please pray for her healing from those ailments, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength for her and her family.  Additionally, please pray for her father-in-law.  He has been having double vision, and they found out that he has a mass on his brain.  Please pray for the medical team that is looking after him, for their skill in treating him, and for his healing, Peace, Comfort, and Strength during this time of trial in their lives.
  • Give Praise to God for my wife’s co-worker Glenn and his wife Joyce.  She had a tumor and had surgery on it, and she’s been released from the hospital, is home, walking, and is doing much better.  Please keep them in your prayers because the recovery process is a long one for them!

Do you have any prayer requests that you wish to share with us but are afraid to do so?  Don’t be afraid.  Even if you don’t want to tell us, you can still pray on your own.  God already knows the problem, and He wants to help you, but you have to ask for that help.  Also, if you want to share just a little bit of information and have us pray, that is okay too — God knows all, so we don’t need to know all the details.  The best thing, though, is to pray about it.  The more people that pray over it, the stronger those prayers will be!

Thank you everyone for always being faithful prayer warriors for all of us.  As always, let’s close by 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 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. Amen.

Happy 50th Anniversary

Prayers for the Week — Wedding Vows

Happy 50th Anniversary

Today my parents are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary by having a vow renewal after church.  Their actual anniversary was May 1st, and I was touched when my Dad said that he wanted to say his Wedding Vows again with Mom.  God talks to us about marriage several times throughout the Bible, including Genesis 2:22-24:

22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[a] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

I’ve seen a lot of life in my 46 years, faced my share of both struggles and triumphs, but the one constant in my life has been my parents.  Throughout the years, I’ve been the cause of some grief in their lives — of course, not as much as my sister ;) — but some.  Throughout it all, though, Mom and Dad were always there for us, and for themselves, and Robin and I are better as a result of it.

Prayer Requests and Praises.

  • First up today is a comment from my sister Robin.  Here is what she wrote: Mike, this came from Pastor Travis Moger. He does a blog called Salty Bread on Word Press. It is a great blog and always gives me food for thought. This post seemed appropriate. I am going to try to attach the link but here is the text from Pastor Moger. “The week after Easter I spent three days on retreat at the Holy Cross Abbey near Berryville, Virginia. It was my first retreat in many years, but not my last I hope, and my first time at a monastery apart from visiting as a tourist. My goals were modest: catch up on sleep and spend time praying, reading, and relaxing. I accomplished these goals and learned a few valuable lessons I’d like to share with you.

    One thing I learned is that I eat too fast. At our communal meals, eaten in silence, I was usually the first one done, even though I took bigger portions than most. I need to eat less, chew more. The same goes for prayer. Monks pray slowly and deliberately as if chewing on every syllable. I need to slow down and take time when I pray.

    Not only do I need to pray more slowly, I need to pray more frequently. Monks pray seven times a day, following the example of the Psalmist: “Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments” (Ps. 119:164). These aren’t short God-bless-us-all prayers but prayer services lasting from twenty-five minutes to over an hour. They even rise every night at 3:30 a.m. and shuffle on groggy feet to the chapel where they pray and read Scripture aloud, their voices still raspy with sleep. Some days I am so busy that I only pray three times – breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

    I also learned that monks stay busy too. In addition to their set times of prayer and worship in the chapel throughout the day and night, they are required to perform manual labor. This requirement goes back to the sixth-century Rule of Saint Benedict, which prescribes daily periods of prayer, work, and rest to help maintain a healthy balance. The monks at Holy Cross Abbey run a bakery and sell their products in the monastery gift shop, and they also stay busy maintaining the grounds and running the monastery. It’s a good reminder that I need to balance work, rest, and prayer, allowing sufficient time for a healthy dose of each.

    A final lesson comes in the form of a wonderful mixed metaphor from the previously mentioned Rule of St. Benedict: “Listen with the ear of your heart.” This is a good lesson for all of us. If we listen with the ear of our heart, we may be surprised by what we hear. “
    http://jtmoger.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/lessons-from-a-monastery/
  • My friend Joyce has a prayer request for us. Here is what she wrote:Friends and family we need prayers for 4 year Makayla Lassiter. She needs our prayers as well as her family. Lord I ask you to lay your loving hands upon her and heal her. Lord I believe and will keep on believing that prayer helps. I have been anointed with oil and prayed for Makayla at church. I know it is Gods will not my will. Come on prayer warriors my family needs you right now.Please pray for Makayla’s healing, and for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon her and all of her family. Thank you everyone!
    • Here is an update from my friend Joyce:This is from Makayla’s Mom: Well Makayla update is great prayers do work. Dropping meds and lowering ventilator and basically she had fluid messing with her heart rhythm so she gets fluid out she’s great.This is from me: Thank you all for helping me pray for good news. Family need lots of prayers. Someone broke into their home Saturday night and stole several things. Pray that they get the person or persons that are doing all the break ins in Woodland. Be safe family and friends who live there. I pray that Makayla will continue to improve. We know that none of us can make it without our Lord and Savior. Thank you.
  • Update from my friend Amanda on her husband Daniel’s cancer:It’s been a while but things have been moving fast so we were waiting until we had a bigger picture to send out the update. This is going to be a long, technical one!
    The CT results show the tumor is resectable but they would need to take 80% of his liver if they did the surgery today. That would not leave enough healthy liver behind if they took the margins they want to take. Fun fact – you can survive with 20% of your liver without significantly increased risk of liver failure! So, we started chemotherapy yesterday to shrink the tumor and prevent, hopefully, more from showing up. We will have 4 cycles of chemo with each cycle being 2 weeks long. The tumor was KRAS positive so we had to drop one of the chemo agents from the regimen. As for the regimen, Daniel gets 2 agents in the office and then brings the third home in a portable chemo pump that he wears for 48 hours then we go back to the office to have it removed. That way he is getting the agents continuously for 3 days.
    In addition to the chemo, we will be having a bypass embolization of the portal veins – all 4 branches of the right and at least 1 of the left sometime in the next week or so. I’m oversimplifying this explanation. This will shut off the blood supply to the tumor and hopefully increase blood supply to the healthy liver. The hope is the tumor will stop growing at the very least and shrink as cells are killed off due to no blood at the best. In addition, we hope the increased blood supply to the healthy liver will grow as well. If everything works the way it is supposed to, between the shrinking of the tumor and the growing of the healthy liver, we will have more than enough liver left after they take the tumor plus a good margin.
    We will reimage in 8 weeks to see if everything has worked the way we wanted. If it has, the liver resection will be scheduled. If it hasn’t, then we’ll figure out where to go next. So far, he’s had a little nausea that we are trying to regulate and we will probably end up going into the office for more fluid until we can get that fixed so he can eat and drink appropriately. Other than that, it is going well for now. They said a lot of the side effects kick in at the second cycle so we’ll see.
    So, prayer requests for this round is that the tumor shrinks and healthy liver grow as we need them too, that Daniel do well with the chemotherapy so he can keep his nutrition and hydration up and that Daniel, Cate and I have the stamina, patience and perspective to get through this hard part of the road. Thanks so much for all the prayers, calls, cards, thoughts, emails, PMs, etc! Everyone’s love and support really helps keep us focused on the ultimate goal – to kick this in the butt!! We’ll be praying for each and everyone of you too!
  • Please pray for my wife Cindy’s co-worker Glenn and Joyce.  Joyce has been diagnosed with a tumor, and needs to have surgery next week.  Please pray for healing for Joyce, as well as for God’s Peace, Strength, Comfort, and Love to descend upon them and all of their family.  It is a scary time when you are sick, so please pray also for God to take their fears away, and to remind them of how great God is in case they need the reminder.

Thank you all very much for praying each week for all of our prayer requests and praises.  It means a great deal to me.  Now, let’s close by 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 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. Amen.