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.

Prayers for the Week – Psalm 139:14

Psalm 139-14

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  For this week, we are focusing on the book of Psalms, specifically Psalm 139, and verse 14.  In this Psalm, which is attributed to King David, he is saying to God “Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart.”

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” ~ King David, Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

This past week, two distinct things happened that I want to talk with you about, and in both of them, I think that Psalm 139:14 is the perfect accompanying verse for them.  In the first event, my work saw our HR person retire after over 30 years of service with the State of North Carolina.  She is a wonderful person, full of honesty, but also full of a wonderful sense of what really matters.  My work is going through a huge change this year, and there is certainly a lot of uncertainty over the future of the organization.  Here are some of the words from my friend in her farewell email:

Please: take care of each other. Please: be kind to each other. Please: get each others’ backs. The mission that you share is uniquely special and many times, a difficult one. But, you do it so well. Well done. Well done. There is so much of which to be proud.

Those, my friends, are the words of someone that knows what is really important in this world.

This past Wednesday, I received an email from the Vietri Outlet Store (I’m on their mailing list).  Normally I just glance at those things, and then move on, but the subject of this email stopped me from doing so:

“Celebrate the life of Ray Daye”

In both a stunning loss, and a celebration of who they are as a company and what their employees mean to them, I learned that Mr. Daye was the Outlet Store Manager, and he had suddenly passed away in his sleep at the young age of just 43 years old.  The tragedy of that loss is sufficient enough that you don’t just archive the email, you give it some reflection because someone took the time to send it to all of us.  However, as I kept reading, I learned that the Hillsborough Outlet Store would be closed on Saturday, August 30th, all day, so that they can honor Mr. Daye at his funeral.

My friends, this is not flowers and a card sent on behalf of the company; this is the entire store — and the parent organization, also — acknowledging that there are times when the business just doesn’t matter at that moment, that there is something more worthwhile than dollars and cents.

In both cases, whether it be the retirement of a longtime employee or the decision made by a company, the focus remains the same and should serve to remind us that there are times when the same-old, same-old will not due.  Please remember that, and please pray with us for our prayer requests and praises.  Thanks!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Sylvia needs to prayers, please. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:My daddy was brought home yesterday from the rest home. Hospice and Ruth will be helping us with daddy. Today has been hard.
    So much of what’s going on reminds me of Joe. I just have to shut my eyes and breath to keep from crying. I really miss Joe so much!Please pray for Sylvia and her family, for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon them. Thank you everyone!

    • Sylvia, her father, and her family are doing well.  He suffers from demensia, but he is home and with those he loves.
  • Big praise for my friend Margaret, who celebrated her retirement this past week!  Here’s a picture of Margaret and myself:

IMG_5443

  • Praise for the life and salvation of Mr. Ray Daye.  In addition, please pray for his wife Michelle, and all of his family and friends that love him and miss him.
  • Please pray for my friend Sheila and her friend Kitty.  Here is what Sheila wrote:
    Went to go see Miss J’s Grandma Kitty at the rehab center and something was not right with her. She was speaking gibirish and just not herself. Thank goodness the doctor agreed & she has been readmitted to hospital. Please pray for her.
  • Lastly, please pray for those requests that we don’t know about; pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon all of them, and pray that they would lift up their requests to God so that He may help them.

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.

Prayers for the Week – God Provides

Matthew 633

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s prayers for the week post. This is a very important post for me – I write these posts to give you all hope. There are times when it just feels like nothing we do is good enough, right? Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that God Provides for our needs if we just ask Him.

I have been having a hard time getting this post written, not because I don’t know what I have to say, but because my technology has been letting me down some.  So for this post I’ve been working partly on my iPhone and partly on the MacBook Air that Sophie has, and together, we’ll get this written.

Today I want to focus on Matthew 6:33.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. ~ Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

When I came across this verse, it hit me.  So often we humans — whether we are Christian or not — try to do everything on our own.  Far too often we do not ask God to help us.  Well, when I read this verse, I realized that God will provide all that I need — as long as I put God first, and not myself.  I know that this is easier said than done, but once we get in the good habit of putting God first, we’ll see a change in how our lives are lived out.

Please read these prayers requests, and pray for them with all your heart.  Also, add your prayer requests so that we can pray for you.  That’s why this post exists — to get us all praying for one another, and to make sure that we lift each other up when we need it.  Thank you for praying.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My wife Cindy’s cousin Lori had a stroke recently, and is in need of prayers for healing. Please lift her up in your prayers and pray also for all of the family and their strength to do what is needed to help her. Thank you everyone!
  • My leader in Bible Study, Russ, has requested prayers for his childhood friend Maggie. Maggie had 10 hours of surgery for tongue cancer, and is in the hospital recovering from that. Please pray healing prayers for Maggie. She has lived a long life, but wants to be around for a few years longer. She is a strong Christian, so thank you for praying for her and all of her family during this time.
  • My friend Beth has this prayer request.  Here is what she wrote: “So much going on!  My prayer list continues to grow and even though I don’t always comment I appreciate this series.  I do have a prayer request.  My uncle has been diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.  Please pray for healing for him and for peace with my aunt during the months ahead.  Thanks Mike! :)”
    • After this request, we had an update from Beth.  Here is what she wrote: “Today my uncles doctors told us it is NOT pancreatic cancer like they originally thought.  It is cancer still, but it’s non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Still cancer, still needs treatments, but not Pancreatic.  The doctors feel so much better with this diagnosis.  He starts his first treatment on Friday.  Continue to pray- we’re not out of this yet! :)”
  • Please continue to pray for Peter and Naomi. They are facing marital issues, so please pray that they would work it out. Thanks!

Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be do e,
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.

Main Street Electrical Parade

5 Days: Main Street Electrical Parade

Main Street Electrical Parade

The Main Street Electrical Parade is my favorite parade at any Disney park!

Hello everyone, and welcome to #Day5 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  Today we are taking a look at the Main Street Electrical Parade, without a doubt the best parade I’ve seen so far at any Disney park.  I haven’t experienced the Festival of Fantasy Parade yet, and that may very well become my new favorite, but when it comes to this parade, it has it all!  It brings me back in time to when I was a kid and saw this parade; the music is great in my opinion, and the new lighting is so much brighter than the old floats, it is just a really great parade for me.

Main Street Electrical Parade

To Honor America is a patriotic float in the Main Street Electrical Parade.

The “To Honor America” float at the Main Street Electrical Parade is the last float of the parade, and it truly brings a patriotic flair to the closing of the parade.  It is such a great look, but the bald eagle at the end is phenomenal!  Here’s a close up shot of it for you to enjoy!

Main Street Electrical Parade

The majestic bald eagle is the final float in the Main Street Electrical Parade!

What is your impression of the Main Street Electrical Parade?  Do you like it or skip it, or do you see it every night you are at the Magic Kingdom?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

Bible

Prayers for the Week – The Bible

Bible

The Bible is the Word of God!

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today we are going to talk about the Bible, what it is, what it means for us, and why we sometimes can understand it and why we sometimes can’t.

The Bible is…

  1. First and foremost, the Bible is the Word of God.  In it, He tells us how we were made, how the heavens and the earth were made, and what we are to do.
  2. It is our strength when we need it.  Just read some of your verses on strength and you will instantly be renewed.
  3. It is our hope.
  4. The Bible is the ultimate love story, the story of God’s love for us, so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins.
  5. Lastly, the Bible tells us our path to salvation, how we can live forever with God in Heaven.

I could go on and on what the Bible is, but in reality, the simple answer is this: The Bible is the Truth.  When you are down and out on life, when you feel like it is never going to get better, or when you feel like life is the best it has ever been, open the book, read the Bible, and find out that the fallen world we live in is not the end, but just a path on our journey.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Lisa left this update and prayer request on our Facebook page. Here is what she wrote:Wonderful verse! My husband Matt is still undergoing chemotherapy for his second brain tumor. He takes it for 5 days, then off for 23 and that cycle continues through most of 2014. He has a great attitude through it all! Our oldest son, Lake, who will be 16 next week, made two trips to the ER suffering two migraines last week – new for him. His cat scan blood work were normal so we’re helping him with this by making sure he eats properly, stays hydrated and sleeps enough. You can imagine the scare that was with his dad’s illness! Thank you & God bless.

    Please pray for Matt and Lake as they battle their conditions, and for Lisa for her strength, peace, and comfort as she helps out her family. Thanks!
  • My friend Joyce needs prayers. Here is what she wrote:PRAYERS NEED!!!!My husband needs prayers right now. he shows signs of a stroke. he refused to go on rescue squad or let us carry him to hospital. I know it is Gods will not mind but I do want to spends lots more years with him. he is sleeping right now. I prayed over him and I need your help with prayers.

    Please pray with me: Heavenly Father, we know that you know what is going on with Your Servant Joyce. Please be with her and her husband, and heal what ails him. She is scared, Lord, so please let Your Peace descend upon her and her husband, and guide them in their journey forward. Please also grand her and her husband the Strength, Comfort, and Love to get through this, and if it is Your Will, allow him to get the medical treatment that he needs. It is in the name of Your Son Jesus that we pray. Amen!
  • Please continue to pray for my friend Dee and her medical conditions, and please continue to pray for her Father-in-Law Jim.  The mass is cancer, and the medical team is working on treatment options now, so please continue to lift them all up on your prayers for healing, Peace, Comfort, and Strength in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  Thank you all for your prayers!

And now my friends, we close out our prayers for the week by praying the prayer that Jesus taught us all to pray. Please pray with me:

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.