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Archive for September, 2006

THE LORD’S PRAYER

“Our Father which are in Heaven…”

Yes?

Don’t interrupt me—I’m praying.

But you called me.

Called you? I didn’t call you!  I’m praying, “Our Father which art in Heaven…”

There, you did it again.

Did What?

Called me.  You said, “Our Father which art in Heaven.” Here I am. What’s on your mind?

But I didn’t mean it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord’s Prayer, It makes me feel good. Like getting a duty done.

All right. Go on.

“Hallowed be Thy Name…”

Hold it. What do you mean by that?

By what?

By, “Hallowed be Thy Name.”

It means…it means…I don’t know what it means! How should I know? It’s just part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?

It means honored, holy, wonderful…

Hey, that makes sense. I never thought what “hallowed” meant before. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”

Do you really mean that?

Sure, why not?

What are you doing about it?

Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.

Have I got control of YOU?

Well, I go to church.

That isn’t what I asked you. What about the habit of lust you have?  And your bad temper? You really have a problem there, you know. And then there’s the way you spend your money…all on yourself.  And what about the kind of books you read?

Stop picking on me! I’m just as good as some of the rest of those phonies at church!

Excuse me. I thought you were praying for My will to be done. If that is so, to happen it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.

Oh, all right. I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.

So could I.

I haven’t thought about it much until now, but I really would like to cut some of those things. I would like to, you know, really be free.

Good, now we’re getting somewhere. We’ll work together, you and I. Some victories can be won. I’m proud of you.

Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. “Give us this day our daily bread…”

You need to cut the bread. You’re overweight as it is.

Hey, wait a minute! What is this? “Criticize Me Day”? Here I was, doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups!

Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know. That’s what I’m trying to get across to you. You called me and here I am. It’s too late to stop now. Keep on praying. I’m interested in the next part of your prayer…………..Well, go on.

I’m scared to.

Scared? Of what?

I know what you’ll say.

Try me and see.

“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…”

What about Bill?

See? I knew it! I knew you would bring it up! Why, Lord, he’s told lies about me. Cheated me out of some money. He never paid back that debt he owed me. I’ve sworn to get even with him!

But your prayer? What about your prayer?

I didn’t mean it.

Well, at least you’re honest. But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

No, but I’ll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for Bill! He’ll wish he never did me any harm.

You won’t feel better. You’ll feel worse. Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you are now. But I can change all that.

You can? How?

Forgive Bill. Then I’ll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Bill’s problem, not yours. You may lose the money, but you will have settled your heart.

But Lord, I can’t forgive Bill.

Then I can’t forgive you

Oh, you’re right. You always are. And more than I want revenge on Bill, I want to be right with you………Alright, alright. I forgive him. Help him find the right road in life, Lord.  He’s bound to be miserable, now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things he does to others has to be out of it. Somehow, some way, show him the right way.

There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?

Hmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don’t think I’ll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won’t be so tired from now on because I’m not getting enough rest.

You’re not through with your prayer. Go on.

Oh, all right. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just please don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.

What do you mean by that?

Quit hanging around the magazine stand, video and music stores where unwholesome material is sold. Change some of your friendships. Some of your so-called friends are beginning to get to you. They’ll have you completely involved in wrong things before long. Don’t be fooled. They advertise they’re having fun, but for you it would be ruin. Don’t use ME for an escape hatch.

I don’t understand.

Sure you do. You’ve done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get in trouble and then you come running to me. “Lord, help me out of this mess, and I’ll never do it again.” You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?

Yes. And I’m ashamed, Lord, I really am.

Which bargain are you remembering?

Well, when the woman next door saw me coming out of the “adult” bookstore. I’d told my mother I was going to a store. I remember telling you, “Oh, God, Don’t let her tell Mom where I’ve been. I promise I’ll be in church every Sunday.”

She didn’t tell your mother, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?

I’m sorry, Lord, I really am. Up until now, I thought that if I prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I like. I didn’t expect anything to happen like it did.

Okay. Go ahead and finish your prayer.

“For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?

No. But I’d like to know. I want now to please you. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life. And I can see how neat it would be to really be one of your followers.

You just answered the question.

I did?

Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of those sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there’s no telling what we can do together.

Lord, let’s see what we can make of  me, okay?

Yes, let’s see!

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I thought some of this was good advice. Enjoy!

An Angel says, “Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn’t happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.”
 

1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say No to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.

19. Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

 22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends with Godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good “Thank you Jesus.”
 

27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.

33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36 . Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

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I Met a Friend Today

Today while at Vivian Reyes memorial service a beautiful lady walked up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Carol”.  It took me a couple of seconds to put it all together,but when she said, “one of your blogging buddies”, I knew exactly who she was.  We all know her as “writeathome”. I have enjoyed reading the different things on her blog; her stories, her poetry, her songs, etc. However, now I think I will enjoy them more because now I have met her in person. I also was able to meet Jen, Carol’s daughter. What a sweet young lady.

Carol, if you read this please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know you lost a good friend in Vivian. I feel like I knew her because her sister-in-law, Christina attends our church. I thought the service was very special and comforting. The presence of the Lord was so sweet. I am so thankful for the hope we have in seeing our loved ones again. As was put on her program, she will meet everyone in front of the throne, I too will be right there. That is where I promised to meet my mother and dad was in front of the throne. Wow! What a gathering that will be! No more pain, no more suffering, no more tears. What a blessed place Heaven will be. Won’t It be wonderful there, having no burdens to bear. Joyfully singing with heart bells all ringing. Oh, won’t it be wonderful there?

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This morning as I was watching and listening on-line to our President speak to the General Assembly of the United Nations, my heart once again swelled with patriotic pride. President Bush did an incredible job! No wonder his ratings have gone up to 44% today. I am proud he is my president and continue to pray that he receives strength, guidance and wisdom from God above. Thank you Mr. President for being the strong leader you are!

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Success or Failure

As I was studying a little bit this morning I came across a lesson I have taught in the past. The first words on the page caught my attention yet again. ” Life is a blend of failures and successes. NO ONE—especially not a child of God—is a total failure. And NO ONE—except the Lord Jesus—is an absolute success.”  How true this statement. Everyone fails at something at some point in his life. Failure is a fact of life. Charles Swindoll, in his book Starting Over, observed, “The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails…but rather the one who moves on in spite of failure.” I think my favorite Bible character when it comes to things like this is Simon Peter. It seems that Peter was always getting himself into “a mess.” However, he was always quick to recognize his plight and made things right. That is what I think is so great about this Apostle.

“You’re finished! It’s all over! You may as well give up!” Satan hisses to the soul who has failed. TAKE HEART! Satan is a liar. God specializes in making something beautiful out of shattered lives.

Don’t allow yourself to live in the prison of unforgiveness over your failure. Except God’s forgiveness! Forgive yourself! It’s an affront to God who has forgiven us when we withhold forgiveness from ourselves. Forgive anyone who might have contributed to your failure! And then get up, brush yourself off and get on with it. I love this from the afore mentioned book by Charles Swindoll, “Sitting there licking your wounds will only result in a bitter aftertaste. Sighs and tears and thoughts of quitting are understandable for the moment but inexcusable for the future. Get up and get on with it! Nothing damages our dignity like stumbling. Nothing destroys our life like lying there in the mud–refusing to stand up and shake it off. Failures who give up are useless, but failures who get up are priceless.” 

DON’T give up! There really is life after failure—abundant life! Failure does not need to be the incapacitating experience it all to often is.  It can be the launching pad into a glorious tomorrow. It is up to us!

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A Little R & R

This is where we are this week. We are taking a few days for some rest and relaxation. Our great church was kind enough to honor us for 2 years of pastoring in Hollister. Wow, time does fly when you are having fun. We are really enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Sierra Nevada’s and we are truly Resting and Relaxing.

our-september-vacation-2006-003.jpg 

our-september-vacation-2006-002.jpg            our-september-vacation-2006-007.jpg        

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Ladies Retreat

As I drove up the mountain with my sister-in-law and saw the beautiful handiwork of God I began to get more and more excited. When we arrived at Koininia Conference Grounds some of the ladies had already arrived and you could really feel the excitement from them. I looked at my watch, 4:45 p.m. Thursday. Second Annual Ladies Retreat had already begun for me. We unloaded our car that was so full it may have rivaled the Beverly Hillbilly’s old jalopy. However, we did get it all into the dorm and got our beds made and clothes in closets and the keyboard down to the chapel. We went back to town for a bite to eat with several of the ladies who wanted to go. Then back to the camp for a night of fellowship and relaxation. As the ladies arrived we all gathered in the dorm and talked way into the night. You could already feel the presence of God as we talked of our different spiritual experiences. WOW, I thought to myself, I can hardly imagine what the next two days will be like. Well, we were not disappointed!

Up early Friday Morning for a breakfast of french toast and sausage, orange juice and very strong coffee. Then we had a day of recreation, fun and relaxation. I played badminton, threw a few horseshoes and rode the craziest little bikes/trikes you have ever seen. It was a rather crazy day of fun.

Friday Night when we got to the chapel for service and began to sing His praises the Spirit was so sweet. Then as Gayla began to sing the Spirit of God just came down and saturated us. That is the only way I can explain it. Saturated! We were so blessed.

Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. was a session that I like to call, Life Lessons. Gayla spoke on choosing to be happy. It was a great lesson. And then the Lord just moved in again. The gift of the word of knowledge ministered to several ladies. It was a great time.

Saturday afternoon was another day of fun and relaxation. Hiking, ping pong, THE SLIDE, etc. I missed this day. My body decided it had had enough and said to me, “Stop! I can’t take anymore. I need rest.” So, I took it to the dorm and crashed in bed for a few hours. My mind kept saying, “Can you just wait until Monday to crash?” But it didn’t work. I felt better though after some rest. And Saturday Evening in the service God met us again in such a special way. We could not get past the singing without the Holy Ghost saturating us again. Both Friday Night and Saturday Night we had prayer service before the speaker. It was really awesome and I can’t put into words how great this retreat was.

Gayla Baughman was super. Like I said before, her charm and wit was great. We were not only blessed with a message of consecration but we laughed and laughed until we cried. She could be a comedian. It was just exactly what we all needed at this time.

Then, Sunday Morning after a pancakes and sausage breakfast we headed back down the beautiful mountain for home. We are renewed, refreshed and already looking forward to next year.

lad.jpgMe, arriving at the dorm Thursday afternoon  dinner-friday-night-2.jpg Enjoying Dinner

ladies-retreat-hiking-2.jpg Rene and Bridget enjoying a nice hike.

 100_1149.JPG Tena your’re great at Badmintion. lol

teresa-leonardo-on-swing.jpg Teresa “just a swingin”.

the-slide.jpg The SLIDE!

To see more Ladies Retreat Pics visit, http://thepentecostalchurchonline.org.

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