Lord is Close

Prayers for the Week: Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is Close

The Lord is Near

The Lord is Close

‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

bible.com

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post. Today I’m writing from the Gatlinburg, TN area, where I’m enjoying the sites and sounds of the area for my travel agent business. Yesterday we took in Dollywood, and one of the highlights of that day for me was a show called Summer Feels. During that show, there was a song that one of the singers performed, but God spoke to me through her when she quoted Psalm 34:18, and I knew that this is what God wanted me to share with you.

Life takes us in many directions all the time, and far too often we find ourselves in times of tribulation. God reminded me in Psalm 34:18 that He is with us, He is close to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crused in spirit. That is something that all have needed to hear a lot this year as I look back on the first six months of 2019, and I am certain that He is reminding us of that each and every day for the rest of the year, and in fact, for the rest of our lives.

Take comfort, my brothers and sisters-in-Christ, and remember the words of the Psalmist — the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Now, my friends, please join me in praying for our prayer requests and lifting up our praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Hey everyone, we’ve been praying for Richard friend Chris, who is battling cancer. Please keep praying for him, his cancer is spreading and it doesn’t look good, so pray for miraculous healing if it’s God’s Will, as well as pray for Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love for Chris, his family, and all of their friends. Thanks everyone!
    • Update: Hospice has been called in for Chris, so keep praying but also make sure you are praying for his family and friends.
  • Hey everyone, Brenda had an outpatient procedure done tomorrow and is in need of prayers. Please pray for the skill of the medical team, for God to guide their hands, and for Peace, Comfort, Strength, a complete recovery, and Love to surround Brenda and all of her family. Thanks!
    • Update: the procedure went very well, now please keep praying for good results from the testing.
  • A few months back we were praying for my brother in Christ, John, as he led his family to New Orleans on a new job opportunity. One of the things we were praying for was that the job would be what he hoped and prayed it would be, and that prayer has been answered. However, please keep praying that John would be able to find the church that God is leading him to for John, his wife Prudence, and their two girls. This prayer request is very important, so please pray for John and his family.
  • Hiro has a prayer request: “Could you pray for my 4 year old son. He was in emergency last week and again today. We might have to bring him again soon.
  • Bridget has a prayer request: “Please pray for my children and their Dad. He is having lots of medical issues right now and is in the hospital.
  • Scarlett has a prayer request: “I am asking for prayers for my brother-in-law as he is in the final stages of Parkinson’s and in the hospital with pneumonia! Keep his sweet and faithful family in prayer. Also, my blind cousin is in the hospital with pneumonia! Keep he and his family in your prayers, please! May God’s blessings continue to shower upon all!
    • Update from Scarlett: “Bob’s brother died this am (Thursday, June 27th)! He was a great man who was faithful to God and family! Thank you for your prayers!
  • Bridget has another prayer request: “Asking for prayers for my friend Lisa and her husband. His cancer has returned and needs lots of prayers.
  • My sister Robin has an update from Larry Kincannon. We were praying for his wife Sandra this week: “From Larry KinCannon: With the heaviest of heart I regret to inform you that today my wife Sandra has left us to be with the Lord. Despite the best of medical care available, Sandra was not able recover from a severe brain aneurysm that burst on Wednesday after noon. Please keep our family in your prayers during this difficult time. We will provide memorial service detail when they become available. We are grateful to have such great friends who have provided so much support already. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Now, please join us in 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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

My friends, thank you for praying with us today. Now, have a listen to a song that speaks to my heart, and perhaps yours as well. May you have a wonderful day and week ahead.

Prayers for the Week: A Reminder from God

God

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  We have concluded our series on the Fruits of the Spirit, I hope you enjoyed digging into them a little more closely, and today, I felt led to talk with you about a reminder that God has put on me this week. The image is, of course, of the eclipse we experienced last week.  I’m sharing this image because of the reminder that God is in charge of all of this, and that He made the sun, the moon, and all the stars, and that He caused it to line up like it did for His Glory.

For many of us, often it feels like nothing can go right; either the business is to slow, or perhaps someone is sick and has been, or maybe it isn’t anything specific at all, just a feeling like you are never going to get ahead of this game we call life. Whatever your situation is, I want to share with you some words of comfort directly from God Himself:

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. ~ Psalm 139:14-16 (ESV)

For Cindy and I, the first verse has so much meaning.  Our daughter, Sophie, is on the Autism Spectrum, although if you were to talk with her I suggest you may not have ever known it.  She has Aspergers Syndrome, and has learned over the years how to overcome that social awkwardness to the point that she is an incredible young woman. When Cindy and I first learned of her Aspergers, I’ve got to tell you, it felt like a punch in the gut.  But as we learned more, and as we cried a bit, and came to grips with it, God reminded us of these verses, especially verse 14, and over time, we saw the positives of what that means.  The world often looks down on kids like Sophie, thinking that they are to be exploited, taken advantage of, or something along those lines.  Heck, in Iceland they see abortion as a means to end Downs Syndrome in their children, rather than seeing the pure joy and unconditional love a child with Downs Syndrome has for everyone they encounter. So, as parents, at first we saw Sophie’s diagnosis as a negative because that is what the world expected us to see. Over time, though, we have realized just how wrong we were. Cindy and I believe that one of Sophie’s best, most enduring qualities is her empathy towards other people.  Sophie is in tune with how others are feeling, often far more quickly than anyone around her, and has a knack for knowing exactly what to say to make that person feel immediately better. Both Cindy and I believe that her empathy is a direct result of her Aspergers.

That is just one example how fearfully and wonderfully made Sophie is.  My prayer for all of you is that regardless of what you are going through, regardless of how small you feel yourself to be, that you would read those verses and remember that God made you exactly the way you were meant to be made: fearfully and wonderfully made. Now, please continue reading and join in our prayer requests and praises.  We have some very heavy prayer requests, my friends, and they need all the prayers they can receive.  Thank you for praying for them.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Please pray for two close friends of mine who are facing medical issues. God knows all the details, thanks everyone!
  • Please continue praying for Shannan’s friend Darleen: Darleen had to go back to the ER this week. She’s now on antibiotics for a wound infection. She just can’t seem to get a leg up on healing. Please continue your prayers for her. I also found out she’s had no insurance through this entire ordeal. That’s one reason she was unable to go to a rehab facility following the the surgeries.
  • Jodi reminds us to keep praying for those in the path of Hurricane Harvey: Also, keep everyone in the path of Hurricane Harvey in prayer!
  • Please pray for the families of those affected by the hurricane, and for the family of the ones that have lost their lives because of the storm.
  • We continue our prayers for Daniel.  Here’s the latest update from his wife Amanda: UPDATED: We went to the oncologist today. Daniel’s bilirubin went from 24 to 26 which is basically no change. His other labs are good or slightly high but nothing to be alarmed about. He gained 10 pounds – probably from the hydration – and his potassium is out of the critical range. We didn’t move forward but we didn’t move back and we cleared the potassium hurdle for now. So we succeeded in keeping his liver functioning to give the Herceptin another week to work. We go for a second dose on 9/8 and will hopefully start to see some slight improvement.
    Thank you for your prayers and please keep them coming! They are working – I know they are!
  • Please pray for my Aunt Rita. This is from my dad: Talked to my kid sister Rita today. Her spirit is good, she has a fractured lumbar vertebra and kidney stones to deal with. “I won’t give up!” she assured me. She’s with loving daughter and other family members.
  • My friend Kerry has a prayer request for her dog: I usually don’t post or ask for prayers on FB but at this time we need all of the prayers possible. Yesterday my beloved Buddy was diagnosed with a “mass cell” which the vet upon initial biopsy feels is a cancer. It does not look promising. He is scheduled for surgery next week to remove the mass and to further biopsy the mass. Hopefully things will go well and he will be back to making us laugh and snuggling with us. Buddy has been part of our family for over ten years and the joy and happiness he has given us is beyond what can be put into words. I am sure all of you who know me understand how heartbreaking this news was to receive. We are very optimistic and are hoping and praying for the best possible outcome. For those of you who know our little guy personally… Say a little prayer for him. I can’t imagine life without him.
  • Please pray for Sarah F. No details, God knows all we need to know. Thanks everyone!
  • Please pray for my cousin Barb’s husband Tim: Tomorrow I take Tim for screening tests to see if he is eligible for a clinical trial (ABBV-085). He’ll have a CT, an EKG, a physical and blood work. Please pray that every thing comes back good, and that he can start treatment ASAP! If he’s cleared for the trial, I’ll be back for prayers that it works to hold his cancer at bay. #CancerSucks
  • Jodi has a prayer request for her husband Richard: Please pray for my husband, Richard, this morning. One of his crowns fell out the other day, and it looks like the peg it attaches to broke. Has 9:00 dentist appt. Please pray it’s an inexpensive and easy fix (or is totally covered by insurance), as our finances are very limited right now. He also has severe anxiety disorder, and this has jacked up his anxiety level as well, because he’s worried it’s going to be a major procedure like it was when he first got it. Thanks!
    UPDATE: It is going to require a whole procedure to remove & replace post & put in new crown. He is very disheartened about it, and even though insurance helps, it’s still a big hit to the wallet.
    Triple to quadruple cost estimate we were given yesterday, and that’s what Richard’s dental procedure is going to cost (after insurance). OUCH. Have to remove existing post and reinforce bone it’s attached to.
    Getting him started right now & will take 2-3 hours. Will have temp crown for about 3 months. Please continue prayers! Thank you!
  • Please pray for my friend Amy, who is about to undertake a move soon.  Please pray that everything goes perfectly for her and her family!
  • Lastly, we remember to pray for those that are lost, those that don’t know what to pray, those that don’t know how to pray, and those that in authority.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Trust in the Lord

Prayers for the Week – Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

Trust.  That can be one of the hardest things to do.  How do you trust someone that turns against you?  How do you put your trust in a process, if you feel that the process is corrupted?  How do you trust a God that you often feel isn’t there for you?  These are incredibly hard questions to answer, and perhaps my answer isn’t the one you want to hear.  We’re going to explore this in more depth over at our Prayers for the Week site, I hope you take the time to click over and read the rest of this post.  Trust does exist in this world.  Trust can be found.  Not everyone will turn against you.  Find out where you can put your trust — and where you can not — over at our sister site.  It may be the most important thing you ever do.  If you do not click over, at the very least, pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray with us:

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 – Rejoice

Psalm 118:24

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

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  There’s a lot to rejoice today.  Today is April 19th and not only is it my Grandmother and Grandfather’s wedding anniversary but it’s also the day that our daughter Sophie and all of her classmates profess their faith at Church as they are confirmed. If you’re not sure what it means to be confirmed in the church it’s to step forward and say that you are standing with Jesus. It’s something that they’ve been studying for ten weeks now and what they’re studying is to get the tools they need to be able to withstand the valley’s on their Christian walk. As a parent, Cindy and I are very proud of the steps that Sophie is taking in her life.  She is doing something that neither Cindy nor I ever did, and in many ways, she is showing her Christian Spirit better than I ever did at her age.

As I said, it is also my Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding anniversary.  While they are both gone, I still remember the date — today is their 76th wedding anniversary.  Here are two pictures of them that I think you will enjoy.

Grandma and Sophie Grandpa

Of course, there are things that we are concerned about.  Cindy’s Uncle Ted is getting slowly worse; Cindy’s cousin needs a total knee replacement; my brother-in-law Jerry had to have his knee operated on; and our friend Elisha is facing back surgery.  But, despite all of these things, we still rejoice, because we understand that we know who we can count on to help us through these hard times — Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

My friends, this world is not an easy place to live in.  So many temptations, so much anger and hatred and violence and evil.  If there is ever a time to turn to God, it is in this day and age.  That is why I am so excited and happy for Sophie and her classmates — they are making a life decision that will help them for the rest of their lives!  And for that, my friends, I give thanks and rejoice to the Lord.

What do you have going on in your life that you are rejoicing over?  Let us know, and thanks for stopping by!  Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.

Thanksgiving

Prayers for the Week – Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name! ~ Psalm 100:4

What better way to cap off Thanksgiving weekend in the US than by giving thanks to God!  While many of us had just Thanksgiving day to enjoy being with their family — and some not even that — we still have a lot to be thankful for!  As for me, I’m thankful for the following things:

  • I’m thankful that God put Cindy in my life, and that He gave Sophie to us to raise into a loving young woman.
  • I’m thankful for being able to enjoy time with my family, for being able to create a meal with them, and to give thanks to God for our many blessings.
  • I’m thankful for my family, both near and far, and for all of the memories that I’ve had in the past, and all of the future memories we will have later on.
  • I’m thankful for my Mom and Dad, and for their love that shines forth these past 50 years.
  • I’m thankful for my sister Robin and her family, for Jim her husband, for Brett, Leslie, and Stephanie, and for Tara, Matt, and Shane.
  • I’m thankful for baby Kennedy, and for the opportunity to meet her in the near future.
  • I’m thankful for Regan, our wonderful Old Soul, who is a little slow at times, but who then takes off in a sprint of youth in the blink of an eye!
  • I’m thankful for Bettie, Mike, and Hannah, who loved Regan before we had him, and who are now our friends because of him.
  • I’m thankful for all of my friends, those that I’ve had for decades, and those I haven’t even met yet.
  • I’m thankful for my Brothers at the Men’s Study Bible Study, for all of the support and love and fellowship they give me.
  • I’m thankful for my Sister Monica, her husband Doug, and their child Maddie, and for all of the love they have shown Cindy, Sophie and me over the years.
  • Lastly, I’m thankful for God, for loving me as only He can, for sending His Son Jesus to this earth, to die for me, as payment for my sins.  It is the ultimate gift that Jesus gave me, and you, and everyone, and there is no way I could ever repay it except by living as Jesus did.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • This week we are praying for my friend Doug and his family. Here is what he wrote on Facebook:This past Wednesday, November 26th, Millie Carman lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. While we always wish we had more time with those we love, I’m grateful for the time we had, especially over the past year.
  • Please also keep my friend Dee’s father-in-law Jim in your prayers.  He is reaching the point of no return, and the fear is that he is going to be transferred to Hospice.  Please pray for healing, for peace, for strength, but also for comfort in their time of need.
  • We have a new update from my friend Amanda about her husband Daniel and his treatments. Here is what she wrote:Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We hope everyone will be able to take time to relax and enjoy family and friends this week!We haven’t sent out an update because there hasn’t been much to update, fortunately! Daniel has been through 5 rounds of 8 rounds of chemo. We have been having trouble with his platelets being too low and have been delayed several times. To try to keep the platelets up, they reduced his dose to 80% of what we were getting. Round 5 started last Monday. His liver enzymes (ALT, AST and Alkaline Phosphatase for those that want the technical details) were on the rise which caused them to remove the CPT-11 (irinotecan) from his regimen. We don’t know if this is just for 1-2 cycles or if it will be for the rest of the cycles. CPT-11 is very hard on the body and they removed it hoping to bring his enzymes back in line. We had labs today and his AST was coming down but his ALT and Alk. Phos. were slightly higher and this time his platelets had dropped lower and his neutrophils were low too. There isn’t much we can do to bring these back in line except time and prayer.We are supposed to start round 6 on Monday. We’ll see the oncologist before and discuss our options. They could lower the dose again, remove another drug, tell us to take more time off or decide his body has taken all it can take and cancel the remaining rounds. Obviously, it’s bittersweet – the thought of being done with chemo is tempting but we also want him to get every ounce of prevention he can get. But we know God is in charge and will guide the clinicians where we need to be. So if you can please pray for wisdom for those treating Daniel, healing for his liver and body in general and that his labs come back to where they should be, we would be very appreciative!Praise to God that we have made it this far, are in the preventative mode and have Daniel with us to celebrate the season! We have heard and seen of several cancer patients that have not had the same journey in the past few weeks and know we are blessed. Thank you all for your prayers, positive thoughts and support! Please have a happy and safe week!Please keep praying for them through the season, for Daniel’s medical team and all that they do for him. For the family, pray for Peace and Strength, and for Daniel, pray for healing, Peace, Strength, and Comfort. Thanks everyone!

Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.