Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prayer

I was asked to have a short lesson ready for the youth in case Ethan was still ill this evening. He was Ethan and his family are thankfully on the mend and he was there tonight. No reason to waste what The Lord put on my heart so here you go. 

Well I haven’t really ever done a study on prayer. Honestly I haven’t done a whole lot of studies period. Back when I preached God just gave me the message.

This week though I began to look at and think about prayer.

I figured I’d start at the Bible 
In the King James version, prayer is mentioned 109 times. The word pray is mentioned 313 times.

Seems pretty important.

Then there is the fact that Jesus actually teaches us how to pray 

Matthew 6:9-13 New King James Version (NKJV) 
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Since Jesus took the time to teach people how to pray and the fact that it made it into the Bible twice is probably a good indication that it’s something we should do and Jesus has never ever told us something to do that he has lost interest in or not been faithful to.

Today I want to talk mainly about one of the many reasons we pray.

We pray to build a relationship with God. Your best friends are those you talk to the most.  
How can Jesus be our best friend if we only talk to him once a week?
how many of us have friends that only talk to us when they want something? We don’t consider them very good friends either do we?
Jesus wants that close relationship with us. He knows whats going on in your life but it means more if we want to tell him. He wants us to grow in him like a tree taking root that will not be swayed

Eph 3:14-19 (NLT)
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
The more you spend time getting to know Christ like a good friend by talking to him and reading the book that He gave us the more soundly rooted you will be when the trials of this life shake us.
The apostles were often persecuted and imprisoned but what is to me one of the most amazing things about them is that they still prayed. They prayed in prison and it wasn't a prayer of release.  They knew God had this handled whether they went free or not.  So they prayed for strength, & for comfort. They praised God thru the storm rather than ask for the storm to end.
So as you pray tonight think about their example. Ask him for things that will help you grow or further the kingdom. Pray for the lost, those that aren’t hearing his word from a pulpit or a youth pastor. Pray that he may use you to help them find Him. Pray for direction in your life that He will guide your steps and give you the ears to listen.
Pray for each other and for the sick.
Most importantly Praise God for who he is and thank him for what he’s done.

At your service
Alan

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Thirty Day Challenge Day Two

So today wasn't any easier.  Woke up excited to get to church as always. Then it hit me that I have the challenge to do.  Got really nervous and my mind raced with ways to get around it.

After work i came home and worked on the sketch cards. I was planning on emailing someone today rather than face to face.  However it was raining at my daughters soccer game so I took the 2 little ones home. On our way home we stopped for a happy meal.  The line was long and at the first window where you pay I was stuck sitting for a while.  The lady took my money and I said "Since I'm going to be here a while I might as well ask where you go to church"  She seemed stunned and asked me "what?"
I asked again and she told me where she goes. I told her I was going to invite her to mine. "Well, as long as you know Jesus loves you" to which my youngest repeated Jesus loves you.

So there you have it day two. Wasn't easy and still not as smooth as I want it to be. I'm praying God shows me the opportunities and gives me ears to listen so its not 30 days of me shoe horning it in during random meetings.

Hope  you all did well today.  If not there is always the next 28 days.

at your service
Alan

Monday, April 7, 2014

Thirty Day Challenge Day One

Last month I got to meet a fella by the name of Luke Roussin.  He has a calling and that calling is this. God wants him to tell 1 person about God every day for 1 year. Hence the name of his ministry the Three Six Five Project. The website for which you can find here.  Also please follow him on Facebook by liking his page here.
Last night Luke came and spoke at Lifepoint about his project and again it was an amazing thing to listen to.
At the end of the service we were challenged to try it for 30 days. I personally decided I would do it and I challenged our youth to do it as well.
We each got a tiny journal to write about the challenge daily.

So for the next 30 days I will make a short post here in hopes to encourage you to try this as well.  I will try to keep these short after this one. Too long for Facebook though so I will just send a link out after i have written.

My hope is specifically that the Youth that were there last night will see that its not easy even for an adult but I'm still going to do it. God willing that will help you see you are not alone.

 So Dalena, Ely, Emily, Mady, Tharron, Miki, Becca, Ryleigh and Isabella, lets get this done.

Don't let missing a day discourage you either. There is always Tomorrow.

as for me.......

Day One:

I went to bed last night stoked to begin this challenge and woke this morning feeling completely opposite.
I did not want to do it. I did not know how I was going to do it. I didn't want to look like an idiot or a "Bible thump"
Still I knew I had to do it because I don't want to chicken out.
I tried at first to figure a way out. Perhaps if I told someone I already know loves Jesus about Jesus maybe that would do it. Not sure how Luke would feel about that but I was thinking that was maybe the way to go.  Felt terrible about that and knew one of you may call me on it so I decided against it.

I got around and was super nervous as I went to the gas station like I do every morning before work. I felt a little nudge to talk to the cashier about Christ. The plan was to say "hey Donna, you know Jesus loves you?, hes done a ton for for me and I know he would do the same for you".

What I got out was "Donna, where do you go to church?"  "Oh, well I Love my church and I wanted you to visit, I didn't know you had a home church"  Then I bailed. I talked about the delicious treat I was picking up and left.
Then I sat in my truck and tried to figure out if that counts. I eventually decided to my chagrin that it didn't.
So after work I went to Arby's and told the lady at the drive thru Jesus loves her and then basically peeled out.
I don't know if she understood me, if I talked too fast or if she was distracted by the sharp bark of my tires that came a fraction of a second after the word "You".

I think she did but still I'm counting that one. Praying I'll get better at this as the challenge wears on.