An open prayer anticipating Hurricane Gustav

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Dear Lord,

We know that you are truly an awesome God.  You are the architect of Heaven and Earth, the creator of mankind, the giver and sustainer of all types of life forms that inhabit this world.  Lord, through your Word, you give us examples of natural disasters.  You speak of floods, storms, earthquakes and perilous times that are sure to come.  Because you say it in Your Word Lord, we know that these occurrences are part of Your Will and divine plan for the World you created.  Even with that knowledge Father, it is still hard for us, as mortal human beings, to understand and deal with the storms of our lives, both literally and figuratively.  Help us Lord to better withstand life situations that are difficult.  Help us to trust you in the midst of the storm, knowing that you love us and have our best interest at heart.  Father, right now we make an appeal for you to have mercy on the Gulf Coast.  We know that certain things must happen, but we know we serve a God who is in total control of everything that happens under the sun.  Lord, we trust Your Will.  If it is Your Will that the storm makes landfall, we pray that you will have mercy and that the storm won’t be as bad as the meterologists are predicting.  We pray that the damage won’t be as bad as it could be.  We pray for the lives of the people the storm will affect.  We ask that you will assist them in evacuating, getting to safety and rebuilding their lives following the hurricane.  God, we know you are in control, we know you are a good God, and we know we can count on You.  We trust that your Will is perfect and we ask that whatever your Will may be, that you will give us the mindset to accept and appreciate it…for we know, that ultimately, all things in your will work together for the good of us.  Lord we love you and we thank you.  In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Throw Off All That Hinders You

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Hebrews 12: 1-3 tells us that we should throw off all that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us.  This scripture is key for those of us who are truly seeking to make Heaven our home.  Imagine yourself in a race for God.  You are running but you have a heavy load on your back, you have obstacles that keep jumping in front of you that you are allowing to hinder your forward progress.  You can’t win a race that way.  You must throw off and get rid of that which hinders you from winning the race!  What is it that is hindering you right now?  Is it a person?  Is it a particular sin?  Is it your attitude?  Whatever it is, throw it off such that it doesn’t stand in your way anymore.  One of the toughest things for us to do is to let go of relationships with people we care about, but who are hindering us.    You really might have to let that person go.  Seek God’s Word and His Will.  Pray and ask God if it is His Will that the person be removed from your life or at least put aside as you strive to run for the Lord.  Doing this will not be easy, but sometimes you have to do something hard for the sake of your relationship with God.  Evaluate your life and what is hindering you from being all you can be for God and then as the scripture says…Throw It Off!!!

Presidential Candidates Talk About Their Faith

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Last night, I watched Barack Obama and John McCain discuss their faith and its impact on their lives and how they see the world.  Actually, I was quite impressed as I watched.  It was the most interesting interview that I have seen either candidate do because it did provide some insight as to who they really are in their hearts.  I was happy to hear the interviewer, Rick Warren (author of the Purpose-Driven Life) ask a question related to the candidates’ biggest moral failure.  John McCain said it was his first marriage.  Barack Obama talked about his time as a teenager and experimenting with drugs and alcohol.  Obama included his wife and grandmother as people he felt were wise and that he would listen to as he embarked upon leading the country.  John McCain spoke of his time as a prisoner of war and how he had an encounter with a Christian prison guard who gave him some relief from physical pain one day during his time there in prison.  Seeing a glimpse of each man and his thoughts about Christianity and Christian principles like giving and being good to others really gave me a different perspective of them.  So often, I’m just used to hearing about the important, but secular campaign issues and I had grown tired of hearing them repeat themselves on the same 5 things (Iraq, national security, the economy, health care and gas prices).  While those are critical election issues, it was refreshing to see them discuss their own personal beliefs regarding God and principles that they attempt to live their life by.

Adultery Continues to Destroy…

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The events of the last few days regarding the announcement of John Edwards’ extramarital affair have inspired me to write about the effects that adultery have on people and on families.  In our last bible lesson on Potiphar’s Wife we began the lesson by quoting scripture that says …Can a man scoop hot coals into his lap without being burned? …and scripture that warns us that the end of adultery is bitter…  In the case of John Edwards and the former Governor of New York, Spitzer…we have had a recent chance to see the Word of God proven true on the subject of adultery.  Adultery is a destroyer…it significantly hurts families.  Edwards and Spitzer will survive, but their political careers are in jeopardy, maybe even destroyed at this point.  In His Word, the Lord warns us of the danger, but the human side of many people takes over and causes them to fall into this particular sin.  We must guard ourselves continuously and realize that there is very little that we can get away with in life.  Even if our spouses, friends and family never find out about our transgressions, God knows and God punishes us.  Edwards and Spitzer have been maligned in the media and by bloggers.  I, honestly, wish them the best.  I know that they must be in much pain now.  Hopefully, their personal tragedies will not be in vain and will serve as a reminder to all of us that when we step outside of our marriages or step into the marriage of another couple that we are operating outside of God’s will and that consequences await us…