O that this army of God called the Church would engage in the commision He has endowed to us to undertake on His behalf. That every city would know the light of God and that we might display His light and goodness as Chris sings. God of the city http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d61La...B2BAAB&index=2
Sunday, September 27th, Anno Domini 2009
A Devotion out of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 5 verses 1 through 20
The Gerasene demoniac
They reached the territory of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake, and when He disembarked, a man with an unclean spirit at once came out from the tombs towards Him. The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him any more, even with a chain, because he had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broken the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him. All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and fell at his feet and shouted at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? In God's name do not torture me!' For Jesus had been saying to him, 'Come out of the man, unclean spirit.' Then he asked, 'What is your name?' He answered, 'My name is Legion, for there are many of us.' And he begged Him earnestly not to send them out of the district. Now on the mountainside there was a great herd of pigs feeding, and the unclean spirits begged him, 'Send us to the pigs, let us go into them.' So he gave them leave. With that, the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand pigs charged down the cliff into the lake, and there they were drowned. The men looking after them ran off and told their story in the city and in the country round about; and the people came to see what had really happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there-the man who had had the legion in him-properly dressed and in his full senses, and they were afraid. And those who had witnessed it reported what had happened to the demoniac and what had become of the pigs. Then they began to implore Jesus to leave their neighbourhood. As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to be allowed to stay with Him. Jesus would not let him but said to him, 'Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you.' So the man went off and proceeded to proclaim in the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.
Nothing evil or sinister could stand to be in the presence of the Lord and likewise Jesus is never recorded to have allowed an oppressive spirit in a man or a woman to be ignored but always engaged, broke every single chain, every single time. Of what mind then should I be? For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. 1Cr 2:16 and "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" - Phl 2:5; where he speaks of the sacrifice of the Lord and His humble obedience, though Lord of all He served all. If then I am called to Christ, my own mind renewed in Him, am I not also called to stand against the oppression of the enemy and give him no quarter but at the least should I not pray that the oppressed go free and act on their behalf if He empowers me and calls me to engage? I have learned that we should never turn a blind eye to oppression and also that we never really war with the flesh but with spiritual wickedness. The battle is always a spiritual one no matter appearences that it is person to person and without Christ we wrestle with the enemy in vain. Thoughts/Prayers:
Another thing I notice here is the account of the Lord's commisioning of the 1rst missionary to the Gentiles. After freeing this demon possessed man from the chains of his bondage He sent him to the decapolis to tell of the mercies of the Lord and they were amazed. If he were unknown they probably would not have believed him but the fact that they were "amazed" tells me that he had a reputation, all be it a scary one, and was quite infamous. Now, desiring to follow and be on mission with the Lord, Jesus co-missions him to his own people. Obedient and greatful here he stands before them of sound mind telling everyone what the Lord had done for him without reservation. A wonderful story of a changed life. What is the story of my changed life? What has the Lord done for me? Am I ready to give a word of the hope that dwells within me as the good apostle of the Lord exhorted the Church; "1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:15-17 I notive Peter say "when" they defame you not "if" they defame you. We are to expect attack and should never be surprised when we are truly following the Lord that false things are said about us but I will remember that it is not a war with flesh but with a wicked spiritual influence that hates Christ and is against Him. Father I thank You for Your Word. I see once again Your mercy and Your compassion through my Savior who is One with You. Father I see we live in a world that is being overrun by oppression and at time Father it seems so endless but I know the victory has already been won from the eternal perspective and even in our own time through the cross of Your Beloved Son. Father help me I pray to be a better witness of what You have done for me that I may be true and honest about Your saving grace and Your benevolence towards me and my family. At times Lord I confess I have been unprepared and beaten up in my walk because I have not listened to Your Word. A soldier does not go into battle unprepared and should I be surprised that I fail when I just wing it. Lord we pray for eyes to see and ears to hear but without You directing our mouth and our hands and feet the battle is useless. I pray for Your help in action Lord and my family and I would not just try to correct a wrong but do so entirely in Your guidence as we are called to do so. This I pray in Jesus Name. Amen. Father I lift up the intentions of my family, my church and those here on CAF. Help me to pray for each of them as You direct me to and thank You for Your many mercies towards them Lord. May we all joy in You this Lord's Day in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saturday, September 26th, Anno Domini 2009
A Devotion out of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 4 verses 35 through 40 The calming of the storm
With the coming of evening that same day, He said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side.' And leaving the crowd behind they took Him, just as He was, in the boat; and there were other boats with Him. Then it began to blow a great gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But He was in the stern, His head on the cushion, asleep. They woke Him and said to Him, 'Master, do you not care? We are lost!' And He woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Quiet now! Be calm!' And the wind dropped, and there followed a great calm. Then He said to them, 'Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?' They were overcome with awe and said to one another, 'Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey Him.'
When storms arise I will put my confidence in the Lord who saves, the ruler of earth & sea. I shall not put my confidence in man nor in myself. Thoughts/Prayers:
The apostles feared for their lives. Had they forgotten who was in the boat with them? Still this storm was real! It was real waves washing over the bow. It was real water pouring in and frantic men probably bailing to the point where their arms ached and they could barely catch their breath. The storms in our lives test our faith and I can say there have been enough of them in mine to show how much faith I truly lacked. Just as these men in this Gospel account I reacted to what my temporal senses were telling me and less to what the message of eternal hope the Spirit of God had put in my heart. For the Holy Spirit always tells us to have faith and to put our trust in the Lord. Regardless the Lord in His great kindness and mercy pulled me through every one of my trials, and did so whether I passed the test or not. Truly it was not because I deserved to be rewarded for trusting; in fact quite contrary to that my faith was many times weak and overrun by events. But still the Lord was gracious to save me both then and now. Sometimes He has saved me from myself, or rather the things I thought were part of me, including my doubts (which I mistook for rationalism), my cynisim (which I mistook for wisdom), and just plain bad old inherent selfishness (The chairmen of the board crooning I did it my way & Mickey D's in choral refrain). However the end result of this was always better. I bet the apostles never looked at another storm the same way either. And so I thank God for the storms He has put me through because they always bring me closer and they surgically remove the things in my life that are dross and chaff. There is more than a calm after the storm but a sense of purification and a greater awareness of God's presence in taking us through the storm but most of all God's love and sure promise building up both faith & hope. How much did the apostle's faith increase after they saw our Lord & Savior calm those waters? They marvelled within themselves and among themselves! And what of Jesus' admonishment, 'Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?' This was not a cutting rebuke but a constructive one, meant to remind them that unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain.
Father I thank You for the things You have shown me in my life experiences and from the testimonies of others in which You have done the same. I know You are working among us as You call us. Lord I just want to be sure my heart is not holding anything back. I know when we call You answer but I also want to be sure that when You call I also answer. Father I see the Truth and Love in You, Mercies, Compassion and Justice are all from You. I thank You for Your patient work in me and in my family, ever drawing us and ever showing us You are much greater than we conceive in our smallmindedness. Mold our faith in You Lord Jesus we pray that we would not be like little toddlers on unsteady legs that trip up but that we would learn to stand and walk with You, surefootedely trusting in You and not ourselves. Father I thank You for all the answered prayers. I'm astounded by them but that just shows me that I still have so much to learn and so much to grow in the faith. Father I lift up my family's intentions to You as well as my brothers and sisters here and on CAF. Father bless us and draw us close in Your Truth and Love by Your Holy Spirit in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.
Lord! Lord! You came to my rescue! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAMbE...eature=related
Rescue, by You I am saved http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpcNH...eature=related
My God has rescued me http://www.youtube.com/user/TRMTY2#p...25/j4d5QjPw7pg
Captivate all of me I pray so that I would be completely free in You.
You said strength is found in weakness, peace in incompleteness – starfield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNlCBBYwaj0
Friday, September 25th, Anno Domini 2009
A Devotion out of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 4 verses 30 through 34 He also said, 'What can we say that the kingdom is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.' Using many parables like these, He spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but He explained everything to His disciples when they were by themselves.
The mysteries of God are truly deep but the Holy Spirit affirms the truth of Christ and that we are Christ's. St Paul said to study them to show ourselces as approved workmen of the Lord and everytime I go to them I find more gold, more pearls, more treasure. Dig deep in the Lord's Word that the depth of my understanding increases in the love of Christ Jesus. Thoughts/Prayers:
By His grace we have tasted the Lord and know He is good! And what does the true presence of the Lord do to our hearts but give us the desire to know Him more deeply and to understand His will that each and everyone who is called by His Name may do it.
1 Peter 1:1-5 says: Rid yourselves, then, of all spite, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and carping criticism. Like new-born babies all your longing should be for milk -- the unadulterated spiritual milk -- which will help you to grow up to salvation, at any rate if you have tasted that the Lord is good . He is the living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to Him; set yourselves close to Him so that you, too, may be living stones making a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices made acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
All the saints of the ages desired to be close to Him and they did so by studying Scripture, by prayer, and by submission to His will - in this manner the Holy Spirit was able to use them to do the work of God. God has chosen the foolish things of the earth to confound the wise & the weak of the earth to shame the strong and mighty 1Cor 1:27. True strength therefore is not what we bench press but what God impresses upon our hearts. True wisdom is found in knowing I have none of my own but knowing that all true knowledge and wisdom (that is not chaff for the fire) is found in the person of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. As Peter said we do desire the milk of the Word that we may grow in Christ, He being our foundation by which our house stands and by which we become acceptable to the Father through Him.
Lord Jesus I pray that our hearts would burn for You just as they did in Your disciples as they walked towards Emmaus with you, the eyes of their heart not at first knowing it was You until You broke the bread. Luke 24:32 Father I pray that You would shape my family and I after Your own heart and that we would see the things You desire us to see, hear the things You desire us to hear and do the things that You desire us to do - even when they seem so much bigger than us. Help us Lord to grow and put more faith in You each day as You teach us to be pleasing in You through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Father I lift up to You the elderly lady and her family not because I do not already know that we have placed her health and spiritual welfare into You loving hands but that You desire that she & her family would remain upon our hearts just as my daughter is upon my heart. Father God I thank You that You are our ever present help. I thank You that Tom is doing well with his chemo and for the many prayers You have answered right here on CAF. I praise You Father in Jesus Name. Amen
Open the eyes of my Heart MW Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgQ7G...eature=related
I found a particular New Jerusalem Bible that really appealed to me on amazon.com.
I don't remember the exact price, but it was slightly less than $20 (34% off) and is
hardcover. I will order it after the 1st.
I really, really like Jesus' prayer from John 17. I am making a point to not fail to read
it. What I like about it so much is that it explains so clearly the relationship between
God the Father and Jesus the Son and Jesus' desire for to us share in that relation-
ship in like manner.
I plan to follow your daily devotions, as I don't belong to a bible study group.
What I treasure about St. Stephen First Martyr church, which I attend, is that it
celebrates the liturgy in Latin. I knew you were Greek right away because of
"Kyrie Eleison". We also have group rosary and vespers after the masses for
those interested. I never had experienced vespers before and I was floored by
the beauty of it.
Thanks for all your prayer on my behalf.
Thursday, September 24th, Anno Domini 2009
A Devotion out of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 4 verses 21 through 29
He also said to them,
'Is a lamp brought in to be put under a tub or under the bed? Surely to be put on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden, but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'
He also said to them,
'Take notice of what you are hearing. The standard you use will be used for you -- and you will receive more besides; anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has.'
He also said,
'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, at once he starts to reap because the harvest has come.'
To work the fields, night and day, as a good and faithful servant for the Lord of the harvest and in true obedience to the Lord on High. I shall not to set my expectations by finite sight but by the truest of hopes, and in the knowledge that the Lord shall accomplish all He has set out to do; in me as well as all the others He has raised to do so. And what a mighty army He has and is still raising up. May it never fall back but continually advance in Jesus Name. Thoughts & Prayers:
We are called to worship Him in spirit & truth. The Lord healed many sinners, and with great compassion He became their light, but the hypocrites He excoriated. He still meets us where we are, in truthful repentence, and O what mercies there are in the heart of Jesus - May the mercy He has shown me and given me overflow from me when I am in a position to be merciful to others. If I am to be a child of God, now and for all eternity, then what does it matter if others are unkind to me or if I should suffer wounds on this road the Lord has set us on? Everything will eventually come to light and our true motives and deeds will be revealed. Though the world may dispense unkind cuts to us will a single brother or sister be lost whose great hope is on the Savior? Will anyone be able to pluck us from His strong hands?
Father God may the good examples of such a great cloud of witnesses You have raised up all around us, now and in all the preceeding generations, encourage us when our soul is downcast or weak. May Your Words, that we read above, encourage us to press on to the Day of Your appearance dear Jesus. We may not see, even in our entire lifetime, the fruit of obedience but we know obedience to Your will is obedience to Your Word, which You have said shall not return unto You void. So Lord we know simple obedience will always bear fruit and what is now unseen will one day all be seen. The fruit of Your will in us is there and we thank You for it Lord. You are our hope beyond hopes Lord! You are our life beyond this life and You are our abundant life & love residing in our souls! You Lord are our treasure! Father I lift up Anthony in the mission field Lord and his son John who died in Your service Lord. May Your presence and promise be their sustenance especially for Anthony whose race is not over yet. May the temporal loss of his son & his grief be assuaged even as You assuaged Martha and Mary's grief when You raised Lazarus, and the widow of Nain when You raised her son, and even as Jairus and his wife when You raised their little girl. We know O Father that You shall wipe away every tear of ours when all things are brought to completeness in Your Son, Jesus our very Lord & Savior. Truth and Love and Mercy flourish all around You! Lord help us to be ever faithful to Your cause & mold us in loving obedience to You to the end. Father I ask for Your continued healing of this dear lady that You brought into this world 87 years ago. Lord I ask Your help for her family and for ours as well, especially for daughter Tara Marie. We have peace in You Lord even though we are not aware of her condition. Father I lift up daughter Kerrie Lynn to you as well we ask for strength in raising Kelton Patrick with her back pain. Father I pray for peace of mind over the upcoming surgery and ask that you would provide her surgeon with great wisdom. Lord lastly I also lift up the intentions of my brothers and sisters including those on CAF. May Your good will be accomplished in all I pray in Jesus Name. Thank You Lord for everything and for working in our lives. Amen
For those who have lost loved ones in the Lord http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doaHI...eature=related
Blessed Assurance – Third Day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTQDkK43ohk
He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be put under a tub or under the bed? Surely to be put on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden, but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuunW...eature=related
Though the road may at time try us all yet Your strength sustains us and Your love calls us to go to the ends of the earth. Oceans of love Lord beckon to go to the lost. Make us all ready to do Thy good will and Lord prepare me & send me I pray. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwzqu...eature=related
I got your messages and I will pray the prayer you quoted over and over. I slept all
day. I haven't been so affected by a single med since I first started my bipolar
management 7/8 years ago. I am a huge animal lover, the picture of your grand-
son and the family dog is wonderful.
Thanks again, Erchomai.