Prayers for the Week, March 17, 2013

mdod-prayers of the week

This week has been a trying one for those of us in the faith, my friends.  We have been blessed beyond compare, but in addition to all of those blessings, some of God’s people are truly hurting.  When I am in a situation where someone or something hurts me, my first instinct now is to turn to my favorite passages in the Bible.  The first one is John 16:33, where Jesus tells us:

“I have told you these things, so that in me, you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.

Another Bible verse that I truly love to read is from the book of Jeremiah, chapter 29, verse 11:

“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.”

It astonishes me, the older I get, how right the Bible is.  When I was younger, I never thought that the Bible had all that much to offer to me.  But now, when I am troubled, I do turn to the Bible, and it literally falls right to where I need to be reading, and there is always something to help me.

My friends, as I said, there are a lot of prayer requests for this week.  As a result, this post will be quite lengthy.  Please make sure you read all of the requests, and pray for all of the ones you see here.  Also, please add your prayer requests in the comments below throughout the week, and we’ll add them onto next week’s post.  As always, here is last week’s list of prayer requests that you can click over and read.

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for Rosemary, who is going through some medical issues right now.  Pray that she will have healing, peace from the worries that perhaps are affecting her, and strength in the event that her healing takes time and isn’t accomplished immediately.
  • My wife’s cousin is battling some serious health issues.  Please pray boldly for a miracle, that he may show Glory to God with a miraculous recovery, but in addition, please pray for his comfort, God’s Peace to descend upon him and his family, and God’s Strength to help them all out in the days and weeks to come.  He is being re-baptized soon, but I believe he is already a Christian, so his place with Jesus is assured! Of course, what will happen is all according to God’s Will, and we know that His Will will be done.
  • I have a good friend that is battling fibromalygia.  This unseen disease affects many things within her body, and the pain and debilitation can be quite severe.  She asks that we pray for relief and joy, that she would be able to maintain joy in her life despite her malady.
  • Another friend we have is suffering with a condition that causes her to have severe pain, and forces her to walk with a walker, despite the fact that she is a young person.  Please pray for comfort and healing for her, and strength to continue to battle this degenerative condition.
  • Rebecca asks for our prayers as her Uncle passed away from intestinal cancer on March 12th.  Please lift up his soul to the Lord, but also pray for God’s Peace and Strength to settle upon Rebecca and her family, that they might be able to express their grief together, while knowing that their loved one is with Jesus at this time.  God, please give them the strength to endure the weeks to come as the reality of their loss is felt even more.
  • Becky asked for prayers related to a shooting in central New York state.  The man, at the time, had not been caught, and he had shot 6 people, killing 4 of them, with the other two in critical condition.  After a standoff of several hours, police went in, and with a K9 officer shot in the altercation, the shooter was shot and killed.  It was a sad ending to a tragic mystery — why a person would succumb so much to darkness that they would take innocent people’s lives.  In cases like this, the only happy thing is Satan, who was doing a victory dance.  So now, friends, I ask that you pray for the families that are grieving, as well as for the towns affected, that they would have God’s Peace upon them, and the fear that they were facing would fade away to the distant past.
  • My friend Rebecca asks for prayers for her Poppa, who suffered a heart attack last week.  She has reported that the prayers are working, and he is getting the treatment and help that he needs, but please keep them up for her so that he can fully recover!
  • Carrie asks for prayers for her husband, who is suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and is undergoing treatment.  Please pray for him for healing, but also pray for their 7 year old son, that he can adapt to his Daddy being sick, and give his dad what he needs to get over this illness.  Also please pray for Carrie, that she can be strong and help her husband in the ways he needs help, and that she can be strong for the whole family.
  • My good friend has asked me to pray for our country and for those that defend our Constitution and our freedoms. This includes not just our military, of course, but any official of the United States that is in a position to have to defend our rights. My biggest prayer on this matter is that anyone in that position would put politics to the side and step outside of themselves and think about what is best for the country, not for their party or constituants.
  • I would like to lift up my friends in prayer.  I have so many close friends, and the unfortunate circumstance in their lives is that they have not asked Jesus into their life.  They know who they are, and my prayers — for many months now — would be that Jesus would speak to my heart the words that I should say to them that would open up their hearts just a little so that Jesus could work his Will on them.  Please give them the courage to let down those defenses just a little bit, that they would be able to rely on Him instead of trying to rely on just themselves.
  • Lastly, Michelle asks for prayers for her family.  She and her husband are having marital difficulties, and he has filed for divorce.  At stake beyond their marriage is the fact that they have children, and they are all trying to come to terms what it might mean not having their husband/father at home with them.  Michelle does not want a divorce, and has been praying for reconciliation so that their marriage can be saved, but things are very serious right now.  Their divorce hearing is in April.  Please pray for this family, that they can be brought back together, that the divorce does not go through, and that the husband can see what his leaving the family would mean to all of them.

Praises:

  • Noreen had a prayer request that turned into a praise!  She was worried about sounding petty, but she had lost her great-grandmother’s ring.  While she explained that it wasn’t very valuable, it had extreme sentimental value for her, and she was sick over losing it because she wishes to pass it down to her daughter.  She posted on our blog, though, and within 10 minutes she found the ring!  I explained to her that her request was not petty, that it is the memories of our loved ones, which sometimes translate into objects that they used to have, lead us to remember our loved ones all the more.  So, what started as a prayer request turned into a huge praise!
  • I also have a huge praise for Dustin!  His illness was a rare form of cancer, one that chemotherapy normally does not treat very well.  However, in his case, chemo did a great job, and he is in remission from his cancer!  The prayers should continue, though, to make sure he doesn’t have a relapse that would lead to further illness!
  • My final praise is for the Jubilate Worship Dance Conference, which was held March 15th and 16th in Apex, North Carolina.  My daughter was a participant, and they brought glory to Jesus and tears to us with their beautiful, Spirit-filled dancing.  We celebrated Holy Communion as well, and as I told Sophie before she went to bed, Jesus is very proud that she stood up for Him this weekend.  Special praises go out to Miss Jackie and Miss Brook, two Angelic Saints at Edenton Street UMC, who lead the dance teams and show them daily what it is like walking with the Lord.

My friends, while I know that the troubles in our lives are many, I hope you are all able to focus on at least one thing in your life that is a blessing to you, whether it be your children, or your health, or the fact you have a job and a roof over your head, or whatever you come upon.  It is very easy to be caught up in what is wrong with our lives — believe me, I know this, because I have been there — but I firmly believe that if I give my concerns to the Lord, He will take care of them, and allow me to focus on all the beauty that exists in my life.

As always, please add your prayer requests to our comments so that we might pray over them in the coming week!  God Bless You all!

Prayers for the Week, March 10, 2013

mdod-prayers of the week

Welcome back everyone!  This is the second week of our new series, Prayers of the Week, if you missed last week’s edition, I’ve included a link so you can read it and pray about those requests and praises.  Each week I will link back to last week’s post, and as I know more information, I’ll do my best to let you know how your prayers worked out.  We come into this knowing that all of our prayers are very important, but despite all of our prayers, we also know that our Lord’s Will will be done.  So now, let’s move on to this week’s prayer requests and praises!

Prayer Requests

  • Continue your prayers from last week, but please also add Casey to the list — she left a comment that she is receiving a port during the week, so please pray that the procedure was a success and that she will be doing better soon!
  • Please add to your prayers my friends who are traveling to Poland for their adoption of a little girl.  Please pray that the Lord keep them safe  and that their little girl is brought home safely.  Please also pray for their boys, who were not able to travel with their parents.
  • Please pray for the family of Stan, who passed away after a long illness.  They need God’s Peace upon them in their time of grief, as well as His Strength to see them through this.
  • The cousin of one of my Brother’s was recently diagnosed with breast cancer — please pray for her speedy recovery.
  • Please pray for our friend as she battles stage 2 breast cancer.
  • Pray for my friend’s Uncle John, who has a terminal stage of cancer and has been given just a few months to live.  At this stage in his life, pray that he knows Jesus, and that Jesus knows him as well, but don’t forsake the body — boldly pray for a miracle cure so he can recover as well!
  • Please pray for Sue, who is battling a form of cancer that keeps coming back.
  • Please pray for Dustin, that his health continues to improve and that this amazing little boy can put his health problems out of his mind for good!
  • Please pray for my friend’s Mother-in-Law, who is fighting breast cancer.  Please pray that she is healed of the disease, and that it doesn’t spread.
  • Please pray for my friend’s Papaw, who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment.  I know what it is like to have a grandpa fighting cancer, so please pray for a successful treatment and many more years for him!
  • Cindy’s cousin Tommy is fighting stage 4 liver and pancreatic cancer.  He has started treatment, but even with that, they figure he has about a year to live.  Please pray that he has all his affairs in order for his family, that he knows Jesus, is saved, and that the family will have God’s Peace and Strength upon them as they all battle this difficult time in their lives.
  • For all of you that may be reading this that are in poor health, or unemployed (or underemployed, for that matter) — this prayer is for you!  May your health improve, your job status improve, and may our country return to what made it great!

Praise the Lord!

Of course, there are always things to lift up to the Lord in praise as well!  It’s important to give our worries to God, but it’s just as important to thank Him for the things He provides for us!  Here are our praises this week:

  • Like I mentioned, thanks be to God for my friends that are adopting a little girl from Poland.  The road to get there is a long, arduous path, but the rewards for this family are immeasurable!
  • Today is my niece Leslie’s birthday!  She, and all the rest of my family are a huge praise for me!  Not a day goes by where I am not blessed by my family, especially Cindy and Sophie!
  • Huge praises go out to Sophie’s teachers at school!  They, along with Mrs. Keech, the principal, and all the other staff do a great job at taking care of our kids and keeping them safe!
  • Praises for our jobs and health, of course!

Thank you to all of you for praying for these things and the things from last week!  Please comment and add your prayer requests below, and I’ll have them up on the list for next week!  If any of you have any update to your prayer requests, please let us know if you are comfortable doing so how things are progressing!  May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may He shine his countenance upon you, both now, and forevermore.  Amen.

 

Prayers of the Week

My Dreams of Disney, Disney Fan Blog, WordPress

 

Over the past 2+ years of writing on this blog, the posts have all generally been about Disney.  Of late, though, it has occurred to me that the reach of this little blog has spread greatly, to the point that it isn’t unusual for me to see traffic from such “remote” locations as Russia, India, and Bangladesh!  In fact, My Dreams of Disney has been accessed from 135 different countries/territories across the globe.

The point of all of this isn’t to bring praise to me, but to share with you a realization that I have had along my faith journey — witnessing for the Lord doesn’t just come in the form of face to face conversations — your witness can be as simple as writing a blog post.

To that end, every Sunday I am going to write a post called Prayers of the Week.  This special post will share with you some prayers requests that I, my family, or friends have, and if you are of a mind, please lift up these requests in your daily prayers.  However, this isn’t a one way street by any stretch!  The world that we live in today has many, many problems, and we all have concerns that we need addressed.  So, if you have any prayer requests of your own, please share them in the comments, and know that I will note them down and include your prayer requests in when I pray as well.

For privacy’s sake, I won’t always share all of the details for a prayer request, but I should share enough information that you’ll know what to pray for.

Thank you in advance for your prayers, and don’t be shy — share your prayer requests here!  By doing so, we will show the world how powerful prayer can be!

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for Kenny and his family.  Kenny’s wife Sherry recently passed away, leaving Kenny and his two young children without their mother.  She was a Believer, so we all know she is in Jesus’ loving embrace, but please pray for God’s Peace to descend upon the family, as well as for His Strength to see them through these trying days.
  • Please pray for my friend’s mother, who is having a difficult time with Chemo and Radiation treatments for breast cancer.  Her daughter travels back home soon, and it is a big worry how she will get on — or whether or not she will have to move up here with her.
  • Please pray for my cousin, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, as well as for my aunt, who is also undergoing treatment.  Please pray for a healthy result to their treatments.
  • Please pray for my other aunt, who has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer for a long time now.
  • Please pray for my wife’s cousin, who had a stroke recently, and for her parents, who are having to look after her in their later years.
  • Please pray for my family, that we see the stresses of work and school even out some so that we can remember each day the love that we have for each other.
  • Please pray for my friends, for jobs applied for and health looked after.
  • Please pray for my friend’s brother-in-law, who has fought cancer for years, and now has it in his lymph nodes.  He is undergoing some bone scans, and hopes to be eligible for a special clinical trial — if he gets in he has his medicine provided, but if he doesn’t the medicine runs $7-9,000 per month!
  • I have also learned of a specific prayer request for some dear friends; this request is private, but please pray that the parties in this ordeal would receive God’s Wisdom on them, and realize that the course of action they are about to undertake isn’t the best for them and their families.  Also, for everyone that is close to them and is struggling because of the decision this couple is making, please pray for God’s Peace to descend upon them, so that their worries may be lifted away, and they can get back to being the witnesses to the Lord that He needs them to be.

Praises:

God wants to hear our sorrows, our tribulations, the things that are keeping us up at night.  As the 1 Peter 5:7 says:

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

However, it is also great and wonderful to give Thanks to God for those things that we have received!  In that thought, here are some praises we can give to God in Thanks!

  • I, and hundreds of other people, were blessed tonight to be part of the Red Rose Banquet at Edenton Street United Methodist Church.  We were lifted up in song by the children’s choirs, and we had both a silent and live auction to raise funds to help the Ruth Sheets Adult Day Care Center.  It was a wonderful night, and I for one was blessed this night.
  • Wonderful praise is to be lifted up each and every night for the leadership and organization that has led to a wonderful Bible Study called The Men’s Study.  This is my third year studying His Word in this group, and I am closer to God now then at any time in my life — and each day I draw even closer.
  • I am deeply blessed by all of my family and friends.  Each one of them is a blessing, and for each of them I give thanks to God that I have been able to have them in my life — or, in some cases, I thank God that He allowed me to be in their lives!
  • I would like to give thanks to God for my wonderful friends Ervin and Lois.  They are the wonderful parents of my dear friend Monica, and God has blessed me to be able to help them out with a computer problem here and there.  The beauty of it, though, is that, while I’m able to help them, and I gladly do so, I’m not really doing anything that couldn’t be done by someone else.  What I love is, when I leave their house, I have been blessed, and I have learned some new nugget of wisdom that will help me, both in my faith journey, and in my worldly travels as Cindy and I work together to raise our daughter into the daughter that God would have her be.

Now, please feel free to add your prayer concerns in the comments below, and don’t forget, praises are a big thing too, so share those also!  Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

Friendship Friday — Mrs. Keech, Principal

Mrs. Keech Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Friendship Friday post!  Today, we are talking about Sophie’s BFF at school — the person we all know and love as Mrs. Keech!

Take a moment and picture this in your mind’s eye:

It is August, 2006, and the day has arrived for two wide eyed — and slightly nervous — parents to take their daughter to Kindergarten Orientation.  This orientation, truth be told, is for the parents, not the children, but while we are being taught the ins and outs of kindergarten, our children — or in our case, Sophie — would leave the multi-purpose center and go to one of the kindergarten classrooms to see what life in the classroom was like.

We knew that Sophie would be going to this classroom, but we also knew that she was nervous — and she did NOT want to go.  However, we explained that it would be okay, that she would have fun, and she grudgingly was the last one down the aisle to head to the front to head out to the classroom.  I could tell that she was stressed — her shoulders were scrunched up, the tension was just radiating off of her, and I didn’t think it was going to be a good time for her.

But then, as she approached Mrs. Keech, who was waiting for her to leave so she could continue, she saw her — and you could SEE the tension just slip away.  I literally saw her take a deep breath, her shoulders relaxed, and she walked right up to Mrs. Keech and said “Hi, my name is Sophie.”  Mrs. Keech, being the saint that she is, proceeded to say “Hi, Sophie, my name is Mrs. Keech.  Can I take you over here so you can go play in the classroom?”  From that moment on, Sophie and Mrs. Keech were best buds.

Halfway through Kindergarten, Sophie — who carpools to school — got out of the car, gave Mrs. Keech the big hug she always gets, and told Cindy “Mrs. Keech is my BFF!”  Of course, Cindy wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing — was Mrs. Keech the BFF because Sophie was in trouble a lot and always in the office?  Or was the fact that Mrs. Keech was Sophie’s BFF a good thing because she would keep an eye out for her?  Turns out the latter was the case here.

Mrs. Keech was Sophie’s Principal from K-4th grade (well about halfway through 4th grade) — but then the unthinkable happened — Mrs. Keech got a promotion to be the principal of a middle school, and Sophie would have a new principal for the first time in her school career.

5th Grade was a challenge a little bit, because things were done to prep the kids for 6th grade and middle school, but overall, it was a good year, and Sophie passed her end of grade tests with flying colors.  The school that we were looking at going to was an all-girls leadership academy, and while we did get on the waitlist for the school, it wasn’t meant to be, so we picked a different school.  This particular school has a STEM focus, which means that it focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which is four areas that Sophie excels at, so we applied for that school, and got accepted.  Perhaps the best news of all about that school — the principal was Mrs. Keech!

We went to 6th grade orientation in August of this past year, and Sophie was so excited!  We would get to see her new school, get her schedule, meet her teachers, see her classrooms, and so forth.  But the best thing of all — Sophie would get to see Mrs. Keech again!  When they saw one another, it was like nothing had ever changed — Sophie ran over to Mrs. Keech and gave her a huge hug, and I could see that Mrs. Keech — well, she had a tear in her eye at seeing her Sophie (Mrs. Keech only has boys at home, so there’s a bond between her and Sophie!)

The BFFs were reunited once again!

You know, we tried really hard to get Sophie into the girls leadership academy, but it wasn’t in God’s plan for Sophie.  God knows all, of course, and He KNEW that Sophie was meant to have Mrs. Keech there for her to lean on as needed.  Certainly, at a middle school, the principal has a different set of duties, and Sophie doesn’t interact with her as much — but as a parent, it is very reassuring to know that there is someone at school that has the best interests of your child at heart, and while we know that Mrs. Keech does that for all of her kids, as she calls them, we also know that the number of people that knew her when she was the principal of Sophie’s elementary school is a very short list — and Sophie is at the top of that list.

6th Grade hasn’t been as smooth a transition as we would have liked, but I can guarantee if we didn’t have Mrs. Keech there, it would have been a lot harder for us — and especially for Sophie.

So today, I give thanks to God for Mrs. Keech, who has to have the tough demeanor of a middle school principle, but inside, has the heart and soul of an angel.

As you all know, Friendship Friday is the brainchild of my dear friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  To see who she is highlighting today, go ahead and click on the image below, and thanks for stopping by!

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Friendship Friday – My buddy Elisha!

Elisha Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of Friendship Friday!  This special series is the brainchild of my good friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head, and it has become one of my favorite series because it allows me to take a few minutes out of the week and truly write from the heart.

Today it’s time to embarrass my really good friend and co-worker Elisha.  Elisha and I have known each other for over 15 years, as hard as that is to believe, and I can probably count on one hand the number of days where that smile of his wasn’t evident on his face.

Elisha is one of three brothers that his Mamma had, God Bless Her, and Elisha and his brother Elijah are twins on top of that!  Both of them have served in our military, and the irony, at least in my mind, of it all is that Elisha ended up being a Drill Sergeant!  When you talk to Elisha now, that humor is so evident that you wouldn’t know his Drill Sergeant past if you didn’t already know that!

Elisha and I both work in the Information Technology department.  I’m in charge of the network security aspects of our network, and Elisha is in charge of the systems administrators that take care of the user computers.  What really makes our department special is that we are all ready to help out each other whenever needed, and that keeps the tension low — at least, most of the time!

Elisha is married to Cynthia, they have been married for 32 years, and together they have raised two fine sons, and also have 2 grandbabies also!

You know, I am a firm believer that God puts people in our paths to help us when we need it, and having worked at my job for as long as I have, there have certainly been times when things weren’t as rosy as they could be.  It is during those times that Elisha’s true worth shines through, whether it be in being able to sound out something with him, asking him to listen so you can vent, or any other reason.  Elisha is a man of quiet confidence, of faith, and he lives life like it is meant to be lived — by sharing the joy that God has given to each and every one of us, if we are just able to recognize it.  I am a better man for having known Elisha.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog today for Friendship Friday!  I hope you enjoy these posts, if you like mine, you’ll love the ones that Heidi posts!  Just click on her button below to head over to her site and see who she is focusing on today!