How To Win the Race God’s Way (Scripture)


Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:11 – 12 NIV


Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:10-11 NIV


23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. 28 For the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

Psalm 37 NKJV


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Love Letters Sent to God (Juarlyn Gaiter)


 

By Juarlyn Gaiter

When I was growing up, my sisters and I were taught by our parents to pray to God before our meals every day. We also learned and recited a prayer together at bedtime that I still remember:  Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen“.

Do you recall a childhood prayer like that? And at the end of our prayer each of us would mention specific friends, neighbors and family members by name. It would go something like this, “Lord would you please look after my Uncle Norman and bless my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Fair?”. Over the years my prayers changed a great deal, and took on various forms, depending on the particular experiences and challenges that were going on in my life.

Sometimes now my prayers are short and can happen anytime and anywhere. I may say silently a few prayerful words, or make a request of God, when I see someone who looks to be in distress, or while driving I hear a loud siren from a nearby ambulance. And there are other times when I find my way to a favorite place at home, where I sit in silence and pray for at least 20 minutes or occasionally a few hours. A list of specific people to pray for, however, remains a constant in my prayer life that continues today. I suspect that there are many people who have prayer rituals that help keep them connected to, and at peace with, God or a higher power.

It has been said that sincere prayer from the heart is a love letter to God. Most often we think to pray when we are feeling unhappy, stressed or at our wit’s end. At times like this we come to God, not so much on our knees, but with outstretched hands, asking God to please do or give us something. We might ask God for a new job, an exciting, loving partner or perhaps protection for a child who is withdrawn and seems depressed.

If you are like most people, we seldom pray the prayer that lets God know just how much we love God and desire God to be active along with us in our everyday lives. It is easy to pray The Lord’s Prayer when there are no expected, troubling events that threaten to turn our lives upside down.

The prayer that is a love letter, however, is personal, even intimate, because we choose our own words to give it power and meaning. Psalm 39:4 reminds us that “Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord you know it completely.” Although scripture assures us that God knows our very thoughts, it is also true that God cherishes our prayers and longs to hear from us.


  • The following prayer was written by Thomas Merton.  The simple words of the prayer reveal an intimate intensity that shows us how deeply Merton loved to trust and please God.

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road

ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I

really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following Your

will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the

desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope that I have

that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything

apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this You will lead me by

the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, will I

trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of

death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never

leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude



God will never leave us or forsake us, because God’s love is available to us all the time.  All we need to do is pray up a love letter and ask for God’s guidance.

What follows -in the weeks ahead- is a Series of prayers or love letters to God that I have written that correspond to the description of the fruit of the Spirit in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (Galatians 5:22 – 23 ESV).  Here Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit as:

  • Love (My first prayer can be found below)
  • Joy (the next post in this Series)
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Generosity
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self Control

 


Love Letters Sent to God: Love

Dear Lord come and fill my heart with Your life giving gift of love.

Please remind me to find ways to be a loving presence in Your world today.

Let me see how love heals and is not offended by the actions of

others who may or may not be aware that You love them.

Let Your love for my brothers and sisters enter into my thoughts

and be made clear in the words that I speak every day.

Dear Lord please show me how to be an ambassador of love for You wherever I go.  AMEN


Juarlyn L. Gaiter, Ph.D., a life long Presbyterian and the oldest of three daughters, grew up in a strong Christian family.  Her parents were co-founders with others of a small, community church in Florida; she joined the church when she was twelve years old.

Juarlyn graduated from Eckerd College with a degree in Psychology and later earned a Masters and Doctoral degree in Experimental Child Psychology from Brown University. She spent two years in Divinity school, first at the Interdenominational Theological Center and then at Candler School of Theology (Emory University).  She has been a member and leader of prayer groups for over 35 years and is a veteran of silent retreats. This year she will be a student of spiritual direction at The Shalem Institute of Spiritual Guidance in Washington, D.C.


Photo credit: honorbound/flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

He set me free, on Calvary (Jesus)

I’d rather have Jesus

More than anything

“He brought me out, without a doubt

He saved my soul, He made me whole

He set me free, on Calvary

He paid the price, for you and I


For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 
Romans 8:5 – 6 (NRS)

Praise is Your Weapon: You’re Not Walking Alone

Victory isn’t a straight Street. It can be a rough road at times. ONLY in Heaven will you experience the smooth life of straight, no-curve travel that some hope for – during their lives on this planet. 

While the road, and things you encounter while travelling down it, may hinder your reaching your destination (in the way you wish), know one thing:

That you face all detours, ditches, and the like with someone by your side during the ride. His name is Jesus.

  • If you became Saved based on a Heaven-on-Earth promise you were misled.  Heaven only happens in Heaven.  Afflictions and trials will come . . . but they won’t last or deter you from the plan God has for you. Only you.  If you’re stuck in a ditch, or get lost while detouring, how can you ever fulfill that Plan he has for you?
  • You will never walk alone if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  Sorry AMEX, but my ultimate pledge is to not leave home without Christ, not your card.  You have God by your side!  While the President has the Secret Service, Christians have Jesus and the Lord’s angels.  Like the 3 Hebrew boys who were throw into a fiery furnace (Daniel 3), you won’t suffer . . . because God is ‘in the oven’ (verses 24-25) with you.  Often he doesn’t change the situation, He changes YOU in the situation.  Why fear the Nebuchadnezzars in your life when you have the Lord?

No weapon formed against you shall prosper.  You don’t even (in some situations) need ‘a smooth stone’.  Why? Praise is your weapon!

Paul and Silas in that jail (Acts 16) weren’t crying and fretting, they were singing.  We all know how that jail story in Acts ends.

  • Singing, be it in a choir or not, can be a powerful expression of praise.
  • Your church is a common Praise Place.  

So, praise him when blessed and praise him in advance. Along with Faith in God, your Praise -in whatever form- is a critical part of living the life of the godly.  It doesn’t hurt to have your Armor on though.  Where is your armor?  Wear it and you will be prepared for the spiritual warfare you face.

Experience joy the world can’t take away.  Praise Him, be steadfastly faithful, and wear the ‘full armor of God’.  Walking with the Almighty has it’s privileges!    

66 Assurance Way

Jesus: He’ll Do It for You, Suddenly

I want to tell you about a man named Jesus.

I don’t care what you need, he will do it – suddenly

It don’t take all day, all night,

but he will do it suddenly

 

I find the ad libs by Vanessa Bell Armstrong to be quite powerful! Backed by a great choir, this song’s ad libs alone give new meaning to the 3 scriptures cited below. The lyrics, to be featured in Part 2 of this post, are simple but powerful too.

The lead singer adds a vibrant dimension to “Suddenly” by the New Birth Total Praise Choir featuring Vanessa Bell Armstrong (Bishop Eddie L. Long, based in Atlanta GA).



Vanessa Bell Armstrong:

Now let me tell you a story, of somebody who needed a touch

They had issues, they had issues with God and they thrashed their way.  They thrashed their way through the crowd

They had to get through, but they knew, if I can just touch the hem of his garment

If I can just touch . . . I’d be made whole, yeah . . .

What you gotta do if you need a touch from the Lord?

Reach up! Reach up!  Yeah!

Touch Jesus, he’ll make you whole

He’ll change what it means to you. Yeah!

He’ll give you a new high

He’ll give you a new joy

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

He did it, he did it for me

When I looked around it was done

Yeah!

Hallelujah!

Yeah Yeah  Yeah Yeah!  Hey! 

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah! 

Glory! 

Thank you Jesus!



But your many enemies will become like fine dust,
the ruthless hordes like blown chaff.
Suddenly, in an instant, the Lord Almighty will come
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire

Isaiah 29: 5 – 6 NIV


To be continued

 Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

Faithful Christians: Endure, Your Troubles Won’t Last


But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-9 NIV


For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18 NIV


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Spiritual Encouragement & Empowerment