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.

Bible Emergency Numbers

Prayers for the Week – Bible Emergency Numbers

Bible Emergency Numbers

The Bible Emergency Numbers has some great Bible verses to check out!

Hello everyone, and welcome to our weekly Prayers for the Week post!  Today I re-found this great resource — the Bible Emergency Numbers that you can feel free to call on when you see something going on in your life or the life of those around you.

God calls us to love Him, and to serve Him, and the sad reality is that far too often, we do not do either in a great enough measure.  I think that this list, the Bible Emergency Numbers, is a great way for us to refocus ourselves when we fit one of the criteria.  For example, take a look at the last line:

If you find the world growing small, and you great, call Psalm 19.

Psalm 19 is just one of the Psalms of King David.  In it, he tells us of how Heaven is proclaiming all of God’s Glory, and then he goes on to talk about all of God’s laws are great — His instruction revives our being, His commands are pure, giving light to our eyes.

King David then goes on to ask the question, what happens if we sin accidentally?  He then goes on to ask for forgiveness, and for God to keep him from any willful sins, and to keep sin from ruling his life.

Finally, he gives us one of the most important benedictions we can receive:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Another update for my friend Amanda and her husband Daniel:Just a really quick update! Daniel has been completely cleared for surgery. The surgeon is going to try to leave him with 25-30% of his liver to lower the risk of liver failure but no promises. Surgery is this Thursday. We have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am and they will take him back around 7:30. Suregery will last 5-6 hours. He’ll spend the first few days in ICU and have a total stay between 10-12 days if there are no complications. The risk of liver failure is a concern through the first week postop.
    Please pray for a successful surgery and complication free surgery and post op. Please ask God to guide the clinicians treating Daniel and to give Daniel the strength needed to fight this battle. Thanks for your prayers and support! We truly can feel you praying for us!!Please pray for them and their kids, for all of the reasons Amanda listed. Thanks everyone!

    • Then, today, we had this update from Amanda:Sorry I haven’t gotten an update out since the surgery but it’s been a whirlwind! This will be short because we are in watch mode right now. As of now Daniel’s progress has been good. He’s in ICU recovering as planned. He’s doing everything he can to move to the standard floor. Please keep the prayers coming! They are definitely working! I will send another update when I have more to report. Thanks again for all of the love and support!
  • Here is the latest on Katy throughout the week:Today’s update on Katy:
    Another stable night for Katy. The LVAD is still running well and they continue to try to take fluid off of her. All tests are in normal ranges. She is a Rockstar as always.Continue the prayers, please — they are working!From Amiee this morning: Ugh…Miss Kate needs to turn the corner. Her kidneys aren’t working as well as we need them to…her right heart pressures are too high. She has a culture growing something. She is not in a good place please step up the prayers.From Katy’s Mom:
    Feeling blessed… Although Katy is very sick I find comfort that she is getting the best care. Her bed is surrounded by 6 of the best cardiologists, her nurses, her surgeon while they are performing an echo and making the best decisions for our girl. No one is giving up.

    Great update about Katy:
    We have an increase in PEE! I never thought pee would bring me to tears! The rockstar is rocking on!

    Katy update:
    Seriously Katy is so amazing… I get all my strength and courage from her. They lifted her paralytic and she is fighting through the ridiculous hug morphine dose to open her eyes and nod. I told her she was doing a great job and she was going to get better and she nodded her head. Another great day of peeing and the talk is they hope to close her chest tomorrow.

    As you can see, the world is definitely a roller coaster of emotion for them.  Please keep up your prayers, so that we can see her overcome all of these obstacles!  Thanks everyone!

  • Lastly, I have a big praise to share courtesy of my friend Rusty:One year ago today, my wife found out she had breast cancer. The following day, she told me she was pregnant with our second child!
    It has been an absolutely insane, crazy, hectic year. While it is not the journey that either one of us wanted to take, I am so proud of my wife for taking each hurdle in stride.
    I look forward to putting cancer behind us and having fun with our kids!
    We could not have done it without the love and support of family and friends. You know who you are. THANK YOU!

Thank you all for reading and praying all week.  If you have any prayer requests, please feel free to add them in the comments, and we’ll pray for you too!  Thanks!  Now, let’s close by asking that God’s Will be done 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 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.

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.

Prayers for the Week – Grief

psalm88,1-2

 

Hello everyone, welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  In what seems to be the norm these days, there is a lot of grief and sorrow in the world today.  So many things that need to be lifted up to God, but before we do that, I want to direct your attention to the scripture found in this week’s image from Psalms 88: 1-2 (NIV):

“Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.  May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.”

If you take the time to read the entire Psalm 88, you will see that it that God has totally forsaken the writer.  This whole Psalm is one of sorrow; so why am I focusing on it?  Because, despite the trials and tribulations that seem to be happening, we know that if we put our Faith and Trust in God, He will deliver us.  There are so many places that He promises us that He will be there for us, but to me, one of my favorite verses of the Bible is to be found in John’s Gospel, chapter 16, verse 33:

“I have told you these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!” ~ Jesus, as He said to the Disciples prior to his betrayal.

My friends, there is so much grief and anguish in the world, in many ways, the only thing that I know of to do is turn to God; give Him your all; ask Him what His Will is for you, and follow it.  If you don’t know God, please let me know.  There are people that can help you know Him so that He can know you!

Prayer Requests

  •  Russell left a prayer request for us last Sunday; here is what he wrote:  “Please say a prayer for me. I have Parkinsonism now I was told I have a deep Brain tumor. Tomorrow I will be seeing my Neurogist and a Brain Surgeon.”This was my reply to Russell, please pray along with me:Lord, your servant Russell has health problems, that you know all about. Please Lord, if it is in your Will, please heal Russell of all of his afflictions; also, please guide the hands of his medical team as he deals with all of these conditions. Lord, we also pray for Russell’s family — please help them in their sorrow and worry, keep them close, allow them to help Russell, and grant the whole family Peace, Comfort, and the Strength to deal with this and to help Russell through these ordeals. Lord, while his body may be suffering, please keep his Faith strong, and his Mind sharp, so that the can give as much time as possible to You and Your Word, and use him as a shining example of the Glory of God. It is in the name of your Son Jesus that we pray with Thanksgiving! Amen.”
  • Please pray for the family of my friend Mary; her son was lost last night to Pancreatic Cancer after a 2 year battle. Pray for their family, for his wife, for all of them to have God’s Peace in their time of grief, and pray for their comfort and strength as the pick up the pieces that we call life. Thanks everyone!
  • Please pray for my friend Dave and his family; their dog Annie passed away after 13 years.  Here is what Dave wrote: “Our sweet Annie dog after 13 years with the family went gently to doggy heaven in my lap tonight. She was the best dog ever, brave, loyal, true, sweet, friendly, loving and calm.”
  • Also, my cousin Beth went with one of her friends as she had to lay her dog down; please be with her also.  I don’t know Beth’s friends name, but God does, and He will be with her.
  • Please also pray with me regarding all of the killings that we have been reading about that involve teenagers doing the killing.  In my opinion, this is further evidence that our world is fallen, and even more of a reason to make sure you know Jesus and that He knows you!
  • Lastly, please pray for all of our unknown prayer requests; those requests that we haven’t been told about.  There are millions of them out there, so please pray for them as well!

Praises!

  • We have now had Regan for one week, and he has really done well in his fur-ever home!  Praises to God for him in our lives, he truly is a Gentle Giant!
  • This prayers for the week post is a small ministry of mine, and I don’t do it for any accolades at all.  However, I would like to give praise to Stephanie, who wrote last week:“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your prayers every week. While I read your prayers, I say my own prayers for family, friends, and people in my community. God Bless!!
  • Lastly, a special thanks and praise to all of my family and friends, wherever they are!  I have so many, in that regard I am such a blessed man!

As always, this prayer post is for you — if you have any prayer requests, please share them with us so we can pray over you!  Thank you for reading and praying for these prayer requests!

“May God Bless You and keep you.

May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up His Countenance upon you, and give you Peace.”