God listens….and is working.

From my YouVersion reading verse of the day:

“I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: “Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. god takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.” Psalm 116:1-6

Some weeks you need to beg for mercy and remember that God has extended the “life preserver” and saved us.  This week has been one of those weeks when my heart has been a little squeezed and I have cried with those suffering and rejoiced with those celebrating.  I have “virtually” held the hand of a friend who texted me updates from the ER where her mom was having series issues and rejoiced with her at good results after tests had been run. SORROW THEN JOY. I have held a loved one tight and felt my heart break. SORROW  I have held a loved one tight and been grateful for a celebration!  JOY  I have seen relationships been restored that were broken and I have been profoundly grateful. JOY I have suffered with a friend who lost a 21 daughter to drugs and aids. SORROW.   I have celebrated a milestone and birthday with a loved one and recognized my deep blessing through her life. JOY.  I saw new people connect with God this weekend and experience Him in a new way. JOY.

Through it all I am mindfully recognizing that God is working…..that He hears my cries for MERCY and in fact He acts and saves and NEVER lets go.  We can’t help ourselves. Thankfully, the power of His love is complete in the person of Jesus. It’s a good thing to remember this today……today and every day.

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Concordia Volunteer – HIGHLIGHT

What a privilege it is to work with Concordia people who give of their gifts to serve the Lord here at Concordia.  There are SO many people whose “behind the scenes” work make Concordia better.  One of those gifts is the gift of talent (and time!)  from Kurt Zaiser (and little Soren too!) in the technology area. You’re not supposed to notice them but Kurt runs the camera that helps us during worship (and Soren often the power point along with other members of that team).  Kurt also records and puts up the podcast.  Have you listened to that thing? (check it out here)   I am amazed at the quality.

Our computers and network and internet have been kind of wonky for a bit and Kurt and Soren spent 8 hours on Saturday to figure out the issues (there were many) and reconfigure, replace some hardware, etc. to make it run again.  This not only helps us do our work but this was also making the check in system in the lobby glitch (not a good thing for the traffic we have during the week with the preschool).

I am totally going to get in trouble for mentioning them but ….. if I asked you to thank Kurt I would be going over the top in getting myself in trouble, but please take a moment to thank God for Kurt and the Zaiser family and pray for extravagant blessing on their lives!  We have been praying for the Zaiser family as Kurt has just buried his father.

ANOTHER unsung hero is our friend John Livsey who oversees our landscaper and was out this weekend sprucing up the property …. and also worked on a toilet in the women’s restroom.  Thanks John for making the property look good for our neighbors and … well, you know the rest. Pray for John and his new bride “Sam” and especially Jim Kelly (Sam’s brother) who is struggling with his health after his double lung transplant.  Also pray for John’s mother who has had health challenges too.

When I think of the joyful service people like this two Concordia volunteers give, in the midst of life’s challenges, I just feel …. incredibly grateful and honored to know them and work with them.  Thanks Kurt and John!

Prayer

We are in a new series on PRAYER.  Last week we talked about Praise.  What a great thing to talk and think about.  Loved it.

Wasn’t looking so forward to yesterday’s message on REPENTANCE.  Repentance can be a little bit of a downer, I was thinking.  Yes, we have to face those things that separate us from GOD….sin.  Loved the object lesson when the children ran around hiding the rock “sin”…..  So like us.

Wow….how important it is for us to remember (yes, even those….or maybe especially those…who have been walking with the Lord for a time) that the drive to repentance should be this image….we are so excited to be with the Master. Repentance is opening the gate to freedom because, as Pastor explained:

1. It repairs the damage sin causes in our relationship with God.

2. It lifts the burden we carry.

3. This restored relationship puts us in a position to be in line with God’s will….and that makes our prayer powerful and effective!

That makes for powerful and effective living.

Yep…God is ready to open the gate….and I’m ready to run.

 

 

TRUST HIM

Trust Him

You keep him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:3-4

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. Matt. 6:27

Commit your way to the Lord; 
trust in him, and he will act. 
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, 
and your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:3-6

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
 which cannot be moved, but abides forever. 
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, 
so the Lord surrounds his people, 
from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 125:1-2

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 
My times are in Your hand. Psalm 31:14-15

It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8

But my eyes are toward You, O God the Lord; in You do I trust and take refuge; pour not out my life nor leave it destitute and bare. Psalm 141:8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

Seek Truth

Look to the Lord and his strength; 
seek his face always. Psalm 105:4

We do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6

I cast all my cares on You O Lord for You care for me. 1 Peter 5:7

You O Lord shall supply all my need according to Your riches in glory through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

Now to You, O Lord, who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ask or think according to the power that works in us. Eph.3:20

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1 Tim. 6:17

You Triumph

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. Psalm 3:3

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid. Psalm 27:1

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? Jeremiah 32:27

Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. Psalm 22:4

Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord God Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The Lord your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you. Deut. 31:6

Youversion

Youversion

So how is your jumping into the Word going? Have you tried the youversion Bible on your smart phone? I love the new feature on youversion where they just slap up a verse of the day. It has been such an encouraging word. AND….there was no thinking on my part. I open it up and boom…..it’s there.

What has been happening to me recently as I am digging in to ask what God wants of me? I have been thinking about people that I haven’t connected with for a while. That has made me begin my day sending a few texts or emails to friends …. just to say hello. I believe that God brought them to my mind for a reason…..I may not know what that reason is or yet….but its there. Maybe it is just to continue building that relationships for something He wants to do in the future. I am not sure. But I have become aware of living more “expectedly” and that is good thing!

Have you tried it?
What has worked for you?