Running for Sami

Prayers for the Week- Running for Sami

Running for Sami

Yesterday we were running for Sami!

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)

Yesterday Sophie, Cindy and I participated in an event at school to raise funds for Sami, a classmate of Sophie’s that is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma.  For Sophie and I, it was a chance to see how far along we were on our training for our 5K, while at the same time, supporting a friend who is in a life and death struggle.  The verse we are sharing today, Joshua 1:9, is Sami’s favorite Bible Verse, and is prominently featured on our runner t-shirts.

Simply put, today was an incredible day, a day for hope, a day for love, a day for all of us to celebrate a friend, for us to rejoice.  Perhaps no one put it better than the Psalmist, who wrote:

24This is the day that the Lord has made;let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24 (ESV)

Today, we were glad in our day.  Sophie finished the 5K just before I did, but my time wasn’t too bad for this guy: 44:32.  We weren’t able to run the whole time, but we ran quite a bit.  It was a great challenge for us, and I think we did great with it — but today wasn’t about running or walking, not about the t-shirts, not about the water.  It was about Carroll Magnet Middle School, it’s administrators, teachers, and students bonding together in a time of need and giving their all for their friend and classmate.

The Renaissance writer Thomas à Kempis wrote this with regards to the blessings of God:

Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest and simple graces as especial favors. If you remember the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is given by the most high God.

Today, my friends, we valued the smallest blessings, and saw them multiply into far greater.  Praise be to God.  Now, please pray for our prayer requests and praises, and thank you!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for Sami — she is up against the fight of her life.  In addition to Ewing’s Sarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer, she lost her father over the summer to a different form of cancer.  She got sick not soon after he passed away, so Sami and her Mom have hardly been able to grieve for the loss of their Dad/Husband.  Please pray for God’s Grace and Glory to lift them up, and for Sami to have a great appointment to find the results of her scan later this month.
  • Please pray for my friend Chris — he is home now, but earlier this week had to have a quadruple bypass heart surgery!  Everything seems to be going well, but please keep praying healing thoughts for him and prayers for peace for his wife and family.
  • Please pray for Mfundokazi Temela’s business to grow.
  • Please pray for Will and Amanda Hasley, who have travelled to South Africa to adopt a girl.  Please pray for safe travels and for God to bring their girl into their lives safely.
  • Continue to pray for my friend Sheila’s friend Kitty.  She is walking more, still in a nursing home, but walking more, so that is improvement.  Thanks everyone for your prayers.
  • Please continue to pray for Lori as she recovers from her stroke.

Thank you everyone for your prayers.  Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us 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.

Old Salem

Prayers for the Week – God’s Acre at Old Salem

Old Salem

One of the entrances to God’s Acre in Old Salem.

Yesterday my wife, daughter and I took one of our trips to Old Salem, located in Winston-Salem.  One of my favorite parts about Old Salem is the incredible beauty that exists at God’s Acre, which is the Moravian Cemetery that is used to this day for burying those that have been called home.  The Bible verse at the entrance to the cemetery says it all, in my opinion.

For I know that my redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. ~ Job 19:25 (ESV)

If those words don’t speak hope, especially when you, as a family, are grieving the loss of a loved one, then I don’t know what words will.  In case you didn’t know it, God’s Acre is divided out by choir.  Men are buried in one area, women in another, and children in another.  There is more of a breakdown than that, but I don’t remember them all exactly.  All of the tombstones are the same design.  The tombstone of a wealthy member is the same as the one of a poor member — there is nothing distinguishing them in any way to be different in their stature — they are equal in the eyes of the church.

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous fall day.  A light breeze was blowing, the sky was a brilliant blue, and the sun was shining.  It also happened to be the day that George Hamilton IV was laid to rest at the cemetery.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Old Salem

A view of God’s Acre.

One last thought about God’s Acre before we move on to our prayer requests and praises.  In my mind, the beauty of God’s Acre at Old Salem is in the solitude.  The rustling of the wind through the trees, the silence, the stillness.  Deep down inside, I know that God is here, that He is everywhere, and God’s Acre reminds me that if I am still, I will hear Him in my heart. Remember what Psalm 46 tells us:

10“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” ~ Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Nancy has an update on her Mom — give Praise to God!Thank you for prayers my friends ! Mommy is home resting comfortably. Scar tissue from surgeries are causing the pain. Blood work and ct scan showed she’s healthy as a momma bear. Thank you Lord !!!
  • Prayers for my friend Joyce and her husband Milton. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:prayer warriors needed. my husband Milton is fighting high blood pressure and can not get it down. he is currently on 2 meds and it is not working. he can not sleep, little appetite and he feels so bad. also my cousin Jennifer
    Hodges Blythe needs prayer for her husband Dale who is suffering from heart problems. touch our men Lord and heal them. if it will be your will Lord let us spend many more years together with our husbands.thanksLord, please be with Milton and Joyce — comfort them, heal them, take away their stress, their fear, their worry. Please grant them many more days together. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
  • A reminder from my sister-in-law Sandy. Thanks Sandy for sharing via Facebook:God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God’s yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance.
  • My friend Chris shares urgent prayer requests for a young man named Hudson. Here is what he wrote on Facebook today, 9/21:HUDSON FOUND A HEART!! Surgery is tonight. Please pray throughout the night for the Drs, nurses, Hudson, his family and the family who lost their baby.Please pray for all involved. God’s Will will see this through, but our prayers will help also! Thanks everyone!
    • Then, a followup post: Hudson is off bypass, heart is beating on its own. God is Good!
  • Please pray for the family of David Swisher, a former co-worker of my wife Cindy. David passed away very recently unexpectedly. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon David’s family, and please pray for his salvation, as we don’t know if he knew Jesus. His family has a tough road ahead, so please keep them in your prayers for a while.Thanks, everyone.
  • My friend Rebecca has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:I talked with my parents last night & was told that my father has a brain tumor. He seemed in good spirits & assured me it’s nothing to worry about. Dad is seeing the surgeons on Tuesday to find out what exactly the procedure entails & to schedule it. Please keep my dad in your prayers for an easy procedure, a quick recovery, & good health. Thank you.Please pray healing prayers for her dad, and prayers for Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love for all of the family. Thanks everyone!

Thank you for praying for all of these requests and lifting up all of these praises!  Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us 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.

Amen.

Facing Your Fears

Prayers for the Week – Facing Your Fears

Facing Your Fears

Hello my friends, thank you for stopping by today for our weekly Prayers for the Week post.  Last month I wrote about Isaiah 41:10.  So why am I focusing on this Bible verse again in just a month?  Sometimes I don’t know why I pick a particular verse, but I am led to talk about it more.  In this case, I think one of the reasons is because there is so much fear and uncertainty in the world, so much doubt, so much evil, that people are walking around scared and afraid, even if you don’t think so by looking at them from the outside.  In case you don’t remember, here is the text from Isaiah 41:10:

10fear not, for I am with you;be not dismayed, for I am your God;I will strengthen you, I will help you,I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

What ways do you incorporate to help you with facing your fears?  Do you tackle it on your own, do you call on your family for help, do you turn to God, or do you just ignore the fear and keep moving?  I would guess that for most of us, it is all of those answers and then some that we use to try and deal with the fears that we face in our lives.  I would love to hear how you deal with your fears.  Please let us know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!  Now, please pray for all of these requests, and add your prayer requests as well to our comments so we can pray for you!  God Bless You all, and thanks for stopping by today!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for my friend Linda. Her Granddaughter Tina is only 3 years old and recently had to have an appendectomy. She is still in the hospital. Please pray for her fast healing and safe journey home from Florida.Thank you!
  • My friend Sherry asked for prayers for her friend and mine Angie. Here is what she wrote:At Duke Ambulatory with Angie. Her surgery is scheduled at 7:15. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Love you kiddo. You will soon be free of pain and feeling great again.The great update is that she came through the surgery with flying colors, so please continue to pray healing prayers for her and peaceful prayers for Sherry. Thanks!
  • My friend Nancy needs some prayers for her Mom.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:
    Need prayers right now,mommy is in the hospital and not sure whats going on
    Please pray for Nancy’s mom, prayers for peace, for healing, for comfort, and for strength, for her and her family as well. Thank you.
  • Please also pray for my friend Sheila, for all of the concerns she has on her heart — prayers for Peace, for Healing, for Comfort, for Strength, and for Hope.  Thank you.
  • Lastly, please pray for all of the families out there that are struggling for whatever reason.  Pray for their Peace, pray for their Love, pray for their Understanding, pray for the parents, pray for the children, pray for them all.  There are so many families that are split up, so many families that have problems, pray for God to descend upon them all so that they can be the families that God calls us to be.

Thank you for praying with us, now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us 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. Amen.

Colossians 3

Prayers for the Week – Colossians 3!

Colossians 3

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today we are delving into the third chapter of the book of Colossians.  There is so much incredible Scripture for us to explore in this one chapter, that I have chosen three verses to share with you.  Starting off is Colossians 3:2-3 (ESV):

2Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. ~ Colossians 3:2-3 (ESV)

I’ll admit, my friends, this week has been kind of hard, particularly from a work perspective.  On Monday I learned that one of my friends, one of my good co-workers, is leaving to take a new job.  Our organization is in a bit of turmoil right now because of many different factors, and my friends leaving hit a little hard after I had time to settle down and absorb all it meant.  That thought, of our work lives, leads me to my next verse from Colossians 3:

Colossians 3

15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful ~ Colossians 3:15 (ESV)

My friends, I’ll readily admit that this week, I didn’t have nearly enough peace in my heart — or perhaps more importantly, I didn’t have nearly enough Peace in my Heart.  That has changed, though.  Lastly, here is the final selection of Scripture I would like to share with you:

Colossians 3

23Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. ~ Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

My friends, it dawned on me this week that while I work at my job, and I serve my supervisors, and they instruct me on the path they want me to take for this task or that task, in the end, it is my Lord Jesus Christ — my ultimate Supervisor, my Savior — that is who I really report to, and that is the standard that I must hold myself to as much as it humanly possible.  My friends, when I remembered that, the Peace of God, that singular feeling that is unlike anything else I have ever experienced nor ever will in this life — the Peace of God came streaming into me, and I found my cares, my anxiety, my doubts, my fears — they all disappeared.  I hope that you are experiencing the same feeling that I am.  Now, please take time and read and pray and give praise for our prayer requests and praises.  Thank you everyone!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Chelsea has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote:I’ve been running a 101-102 fever for two days now and believe I have an ear infection. If you could pray that the antibiotics work and that it’s an ear infection and not something I can pass to the rest of my family.Please pray for healing for her and that she she doesn’t pass it along to her family. Thanks everyone!
  • Please pray for my friend Tim. Here is what he wrote:My stepfather was taken back to the hospital yesterday, he had a stroke. Just got home from seeing him and I’m not sure what to think. I’m very worried for Charlie and very much so for my Mother, who has been my rock over the last few years. Their 20th anniversary is next week, I pray they get to share it together. It’s my turn to be my Mom’s rock. Please keep my family in your thoughts.Please pray healing prayers for Tim’s stepfather, and prayers for him Mom and the rest of his family as well. Pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon all of them as they strive for his health to improve. Thanks everyone!
  • Please continue your prayers for my friend Sheila’s friend Kitty.  Keep her close and pray for God’s Healing touch on her.  Also please pray for Peace, Comfort, and Strength for all of her family and friends.
  • Please pray for my cousin Brenda on the passing of her father.  Here is what she wrote:
    Heaven gained another angel this morning. my dad has passed away. I love and miss you so much. Give KJ lots of love for me. R.I.P. Dad
  • Please pray for my friend Sylvia on the passing of her dad too.  Prayer helps, so please keep praying for her and Brenda in their time of need.
  • Please pray for the brother of my friend Debra, who broke his hip after a fall.  He also battles an addiction to alcohol, so please pray for him on that regard also.
  • Please pray for my Dad as he travels to Massachusetts later this week.  It’s been over a year since my Uncle (his oldest brother) passed away.  Please pray for Dad’s Peace on this journey.
  • Please give praise to my Mom as she celebrated her birthday a couple of days ago.  She is doing well, so give praise to God for that as well.  Thanks everyone.
  • Please pray for the family of Tricia Roos, who is pregnant, but whose baby has trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder so bad that doctors recommended terminating the pregnancy. Roos chose to keep her baby. She’s only at the beginning of her journey, and they will need much, much prayer to face the days ahead.
  • Please pray for Sami Caulberg and her Mom.  Sami is fighting Ewing’s Sarcoma, and she recently lost her father to cancer.  Please pray for Sami and her Mom Lynn, and if you live in the Raleigh area, consider signing up for a 5K run or walk to benefit her and her mom.  For more information, please check out the Facebook Page for the race.
  • Lastly, congratulations and praise to my friend Doug for his new job.  We’re going to miss him, but he is well deserving of it.

Before I close, I want to take a moment and share with you a video that always touches my heart and soul.  Being a PBS person, I’ve seen this at work many times, and I have it on my playlist in the car, but the video is even better.  Enjoy:

Now, my friends, I hope you enjoyed that. Please pray with me the prayer that Jesus taught us 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. Amen.

False Prophets

Prayers for the Week – Beware False Prophets!

False Prophets

Image courtesy and ©Darrell Creswell

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week Post. All week I’ve been hearing and seeing things from professed Christians and preachers of Christ that are just leaving me shaking my head and wondering to myself whether or not their priorities are in order. So this week I’m sharing with you my thoughts about False Prophets, with Scripture pointing the way.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. ~ Jesus (Matthew 7:15 ESV)

And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, andythe deceit of their own minds. ~ Jeremiah 14:14 (ESV)

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. ~ Jesus (Matthew 24:24 ESV)

My friends, I have struggled with the words to write this week.  On the one hand, I feel like there is a lot of information that Christians need to be careful of, but on the other hand, some of what I’m about to write about may not be received well by some of you, so I’m nervous.  However, as Jesus told us, the Truth shall set you free (So Jesus said to those who had believed him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:31-32), and so, I am going to plough ahead, despite my misgivings.

The number one thing that we as Christians need to do, in my opinion, is to make sure that everything that we do is done for the Glory of God.  Many of us have good intentions when it comes to how we should fulfill this commandment, if you will, but we all need to make sure we remember to put everything to God before implementing our plan of action.

My friends, I am by no means an expert in theology — far from it, in fact!  From my own experience, though, what I know is how easy it is for Satan to whisper in our ears, whispers of how great we are, and how great our ministry is, and that it will be okay to get that fancy house, or that fancy car, oh, and yes, you don’t really think that God created the world, do you?  Well, when Satan focuses his attention on you, it’s extremely important that we have the full armor of God on so that we can combat the evil one.  My worry is that so many follow False Preachers that they may not realize when something is wrong with those that lead them.  That’s a prayer right there, and I’ll include it below too.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Yesterday was the anniversary of my Uncle Bob’s passing.  My dad looked up to his older brother a lot, and wrote this poem in honor of him.
    Bob remembered
    Though you’ve been gone for just over a year,
    I think of you often, perhaps shedding a tear;
    Your memory haunts me still,
    I suppose it always will,
    Wait! Is that your voice I hear? What did you say my Brother?
    Take this path? Maybe another?
    Can you still show me the way,
    Direct my efforts even today?
    Am I still too much of a bother?
     Ah, relax my mentor, my friend!

    I know you reached your journey’s end;
    You were indeed extraordinary,
    Your resolve never varied,
    We’ll paddle the Connecticut once again!
    His little brother, Joe
    September 6, 2014

    Please give praise to God for my Uncle Bob — he is, even in passing, a great man, and give praise also for my Dad.  Also, please pray that my Dad and all of Uncle Bob’s friends and family have Peace in their hearts, and that the anniversary of Uncle Bob’s passing isn’t too difficult for them.
  • Please pray for my cousin Brenda — her dad has had a massive stroke, and they have made the decision to take him off of life support. Things are really tough for their whole family. Please pray for their Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Faith that God has things in control and that He will take care of them. Thank you everyone.
  • Please pray for Peace, Comfort, and Strength for my friend Kelly, as she and her family say goodbye to their Grandpa. Please pray for all of them in their sorrow this day, and celebrate his ascension to Heaven. Thank you everyone.
  • We’ve been praying for my friend Sheila’s friend Kitty.  Please continue to pray.  Earlier in the week we learned that she had a stroke, and had blood clots in her lungs.  With our prayers, though, she has gotten better, but has not been able to walk for several weeks.  It is believed that this has contributed to the blood clots.  Please pray for her to keep getting better to the point that she can get up and start walking again.
  • Please pray for the Joel and Victoria Olsteen — some days ago Victoria was recorded during a sermon talking about how we really are going to church not to please God, but rather, to please ourselves.  The video is all over the Internet, so I won’t link to it here, but please pray for the Olsteens.  Pray that they are the Christian family we all want them to be, pray that they pray to God daily, that they call on Jesus, and that they realize that their words were totally contradictory to what God calls on us to do.  Pray that they would realize that the responsibility that they have towards those that follow them and their message is incredibly important, and that the words they speak should not be their words, but God’s.
  • Please also pray for the Christian Musician Gungor.  In 2012, he stated on his blog that he didn’t find that God created the world in 6 days.  Also, he went further to say that Jesus could have been wrong about Adam and Noah.
    “I have no more ability to believe, for example, that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago,” he wrote. “I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an ark and then somehow walked or flew all around the world from a mountain in the middle east after the water dried up.”
    Please pray that his words wouldn’t lead any of our young Christians — who are being assaulted daily by lies and deceit just from the world — into further being pulled away from studying God’s Word and accepting it as the literal Truth.

My friends, please pray these prayers with me, as well as praying the prayer that Jesus taught us 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 trespassers,
As we forgive those that 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.