O Father, Jesus is so much more than well-pleasing to us! He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. And this step of baptism is just another way in which He associated Himself with us sinful creatures. Thank You for loving us so much so as to make a way for us to be reconciled to Yourself.Father we do not want to be caught in self-righteousness, but desire a spirit of repentance. We know we have needs. We change our minds and agree with John the Baptist that You are right and we are wrong. Help our hearts and minds to line up with Your way of thinking and doing!John's ministry must have looked mighty weird during his day, and I can only imagine how that would translate to today! But You blessed him with success. I pray that You will bless St. Philip's ministry to the Bright Zone with success as well. Not for their namesake, but for the hearts of the people who live, work and worship in the Bright Zone. But even more importantly, that more people will fall in love with Jesus and give Him the worship due His name.I pray especially for the Birds, Babbili's (be with auntie Barbara, Willie, Helen, Manas and Shreeker), Brinkmans, Goforths (may they serve the same God with the same zeal as the Goforths of China), Harrisons, Harringtons, Lundes, Mirzaie-Golkahageh, and the Wintons (that Steven, Deven, Wren and Asa would find complete and total satisfaction in You). May they all draw closer to You especially during this time when the world seems to be crumbling! In Jesus' name, Amen!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Yay!! We are in the New Testament in the 3-Year Bible Reading Plan at St. Philip's! Aside from the Psalms and Proverbs, the Old Testament books are behind us for a while!
- First from the penalty of sin,
- then from the power of sin, and
- finally from the presence of sin.
Lord Jesus, Promised One, Who delivers from sin and its power, I pray that You will be with us in a special way as St. Philip's undertakes this outreach campaign in the Bright Zone. I pray especially for the Babbilis, Birds, Brinkmans, Goforths, Harrisons, Harringtons, Lundes, MG, and the Wintons.Lord, let them experience the same creatorial work by the Holy Spirit in their lives as was demonstrated in creation and in Mary. May they bear forth good fruit that has its roots in heaven. Fruit not of this world. Fruit that will make a difference in their lives, that will sustain them through even economic recessions and spiritual confusion.Thank You Lord, that You did, and can, use people with checkered pasts and reputations. That somehow You brought forth clean (Jesus) from the unclean (prostitute, deceiver, foreigner, adulteress, etc). I pray that You will use St. Philip's to bring forth spiritual holiness in our neighborhood! In Your name, Jesus, Immanuel, I pray, Amen!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
- Paul was concerned about their enthusiasm, because he longs that their hearts may be encouraged. Paul knew that discouraged, downcast Christians are easy prey for the world, the flesh, and the devil.
- Paul was concerned about their unity, because he wanted to see them being knit together in love. The unity wouldn’t come from coercion, but love.
- Paul was concerned about their understanding, because he wanted them to gain all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God.
Real riches are found in the believer’s full assurance.
Lord Jesus, thank You that when we suffer, You feel it, You are intimately acquainted with it. There is just something comforting about knowing we are that closely connected.Also, Father, as St. Philip's attempts to go Beyond Ourselves and into the Bright Zone, I pray we would be faithful to Jesus and to them. That it would be more than just a social outreach, but like Paul, we would counsel, teach and proclaim the glorious riches of Christ! Equip us O Lord, and use us.I pray especially for the Birds, Brinkmans, Babbilis, Goforths, Harringtons, Harrisons, Lundes, Mazrie-Goltehebrath and Wintons. That You would be their Wonderful Counselor, their Prince of Peace, and Mighty God. We all need power during this time of our nation. We desire Your energy to be working in us! Give us a glimpse of what it is to be in conflict for someone else, rather than ourselves, by Your power. In Jesus' name, Amen!
Posted by Deborah at 3:07 AM
Monday, March 30, 2009
“According to the verse before us this provision is inexhaustible. There is a fountain opened; not a cistern nor a reservoir, but a fountain. A fountain continues still to bubble up, and is as full after fifty years as at the first; and even so the provision and the mercy of God for the forgiveness and the justification of our souls continually flows and overflows.” (Spurgeon--of course!)
God promises ultimately to take away even the memory of our sin.
O Pierced Shepherd, we thank You for being willing to take the punishment that was our due. O bless the heart that planned it! We pray Lord that You would guide the Bright Zone outreach. We take confidence that it is from Your hand, that we should live Beyond Ourselves and minister to those in our neighborhoods during these hard times.I pray especially for these families: Birds, Babbilis, Brinkmans, Lundes, Harrisons, Harringtons, Mazrie-Goltehebrah, Goforths and the Wintons. That any stress or pressure they may be experiencing would drive them to You. And that any joy or thanksgiving they may be experiencing would draw their hearts to You! Give guidance to the committee as to how we all can be a part of this outreach, and that we will all be willing to live Beyond Ourselves. In Jesus' name, amen!
Posted by Deborah at 2:56 AM
Sunday, March 29, 2009
- His head was pierced with thorns,
- His hands and feet were pierced with nails,
- and a spear pierced His side.
“A great mistake is very common among all classes of men - it is currently believed that we are first of all to mourn for our sins, and then to look by faith to our Lord Jesus Christ. Most persons who have any concern about their souls, but are not as yet enlightened by the Spirit of God, think that there is a degree of tenderness of conscience, and of hatred of sin, which they are to obtain somehow or other, and then they will be permitted and authorized to look to Jesus Christ. Now you will perceive that this is not according to the Scripture, for, according to the text before us. Men first look upon Him whom they have pierced, and then, but not till then, they mourn for their sin.”“It is a beautiful remark of an old divine, that eyes are made for two things at least; first, to look with, and next, to weep with. The eye which looks to the pierced One is the eye which weeps for Him.”
O Pierced One, thank You for taking the penalty my sin deserved and bearing them in Your body on the tree. That is the greatest act of love. It isn't so much the cross or the crucifixion or even what Mel Gibson portrayed in The Passion, but it is the pain of taking on the sins of the whole world into that sinless, pure, and perfect bosom and doing it all for me. My life cannot be radical enough for You, it can never compare to the radical extent You went to for me. Thank You so much.I pray that the families in the Bright Zone will get to discover Your outrageous love, and if it be Your good will, that St. Philip's will get to be a part of that discovery! We pray that You will own this initiative of living Beyond Ourselves and bless all the families that live within the Ida Bright Elementary attendance zone. Especially the Babbilis, Birds, Brinkmans, Lundes, Harrisons, Harringtons, Mazrie-Goltehebrah, Goforths and Wintons. Thank You for Your sacred love, Amen!
- He came, announcing Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18).
- But the flock He came to pasture detested Him.
- The priests weighed out the price of a dead slave to Jesus' betrayer (Matthew 26:14-16).
- And later, after Jesus' death, the coins were brought back by a remorseful Judas and thrown into the temple.
- The chief priests picked up the coins and "decided to use the money to buy a potter's field as a burial place for foreigners" (Matthew 27:1-10).
- Thus the words of Zechariah found fulfillment in Jesus, as did the similar prophecy of Jeremiah (32:6-9).
Whew Lord Jesus! We do not want to treat Your provisions with such disdain. We rejoice with what You are doing, and what You are yet to do. Help us to join You and be a part of it, rather than criticize and crucify the vision before we even see what it is all about. We do not want to be guilty of doing the very thing the Jews were guilty of when they nailed You to the cross 2,000 years ago...rejecting the provision of Jehovah!Father, bless the Beyond Ourselves effort as it seems to throb of the very heartbeat of Jesus, just by the mere fact that we are other-focused rather than self-focused. Guide St. Philip's exactly how they are to reach out to everyone in the Bright Zone, and raise up at least 300 people to be a part of this outreach!I especially pray for the Harringtons, Harrisons, Goforths, Babbilis, Wintons, Lundes, Brinkmans and Mazrie-Goltehebrah. Lord, may these families be directly contacted and impacted by the Beyond Ourselves campaign and brought into a closer relationship with You! Amen!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
- Jesus is the cornerstone: the foundation, measure, and standard
(Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22-23, Matthew 21:42, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:4-5).
- Jesus is the tent peg: holding all things securely
- Jesus is the battle bow: a strong fighter for good
(Isaiah 63:1-4, Revelation 19:11-16).
- Jesus is the leader over every ruler of His people
Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen St. Philip's as the partner with Frisco ISD to reach out to the Bright Zone, everyone who lives, works and worships in the Ida Bright Elementary School attendance area. I pray our focus in this area of Frisco will have a ripple effect for all Frisco, Collin County, Metroplex, Texas, USA, World. We want to dare to dream big, for without vision the people perish!I especially for the Goforths, Harringtons, Harrisons, Lunde, Babbili, Wintons, Brinkman and Mazrie-Goltehebrah. May these difficult economic times drive them not to a bigger government (be that as it may) but rather to You Lord Jesus. May they know You as Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord Provider!Thank You for family, friends, and all the people you have put in my life. You sure so spoil me. Amen!
Posted by Deborah at 3:17 PM
Zechariah 9 is loaded!
- The Great Greek's conquering path &
- the nations and cities mentioned in Zechariah 9:1-8
- Jesus alone carries out the Biblical holy war - never His people.
- In Islam, the Jihad is the responsibility of every good Muslim.
Lord Jesus, thank You for conquering our hearts by Your love and beauty! Thank You for protecting Your house (for it is all of us). Father we ask that You would be just as zealous to protect Your name and reputation in our own lives.Thank You especially for verse 12!Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope;even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.To be Your captive is to be a "prisoner of hope!" And You do more than just doubly restore, You go so much beyond that in our lives.So I ask Lord, that we would live Beyond Ourselves, especially towards those who live in the Bright Zone. Help St. Philip's be a world-changing factor for the Bright Zone. Be with the leaders tonight as they unveil our intention in this outreach. I pray that the Harrington family will be one of many who are impacted by this ministry.And help me to successfully and purposefully get into prison, as You deem best. We love You Lord. Amen.
Posted by Deborah at 2:01 PM
Friday, March 27, 2009
Zechariah 8 continues to answer the inquiry made at the beginning of chapter 7 of whether or not we should continue to remember the sins of our past that took us into a 70-year captivity! You just gotta love this chapter!
“We are all clinging to the seamless robe of that one Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, who because of His work on the cross is the only basis on which anyone may approach God and entreat Him for spiritual blessings.”
Lord, we are so thankful that you can even redeem our poor choices and use them for good. It takes no great God to use good people who always makes the right choices. But what a marvellously gracious and powerful God You are, that can take rebels, self-willed, constantly-finding-trouble, children and use them to minister to others.I pray for all those who trapped by addictions and are working the 12 step program. Let them discover how You can turn their powerlessness into a care and compassion and ministry to others.We pray for those who meet at St. Philip's for AA, and that anyone in the Bright Zone who struggles with powerlessness, that they would come and see Your transforming power in their lives. I pray that if the Harrington's are experiencing any captivity or bondage, that You will be their Savior and Deliverer! Amen
- 1) First enclosure of Jerusalem by the enemies' lines
- 4) the capture of the city
- 5) destruction by fire of the Temple
- 7) murder of Gedaliah.
“There is no need to observe the sad anniversaries of our sins and their accompanying punishment, if once we are assured of God’s free forgiveness. When He forgives and restores, the need for dwelling on the bitter past is over . . . Too many of us are always dwelling beside the graves of the dead past.” (Meyer))
The issue is not fasts, but the willingness of this people to commit to a life that pleases God.
Refused to heed . . . shrugged their shoulders . . . stopped their ears . . . made their hearts like flint:
Lord Jesus, we hunger for a real relationship. Deliver us, or prevent us, from being ensnared by activities, rituals and past sins. We want to focus on You and Your word for us.You say You have a plan and a future for us, one of hope and brightness. Because You have cleansed us and forgiven us, help us to focus on You and strive towards the goal of this bright vision. I pray this for us as individuals, and also for us as a church. May we walk in obedience by showing mercy and compassion especially to the people in the Bright Zone.May the Harringtons be recipients of Your mercy and grace through us. And if they be anywhere in this progression of rejection, that You would intervene and soften their hearts to You. Thank You for Your guidance, love and deliverance. Amen.