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Lord of all creation - I come to You now in the name of this Jesus I have heard about.  I was born into a sinful world and have lived in ignorance and rebellion to Your truth.  Jesus, I accept You as God manifested in the flesh, born as an offering for my sins.  Born to pay the price I am unable to pay - the price required for restored fellowship with my Creator.

I am sorry for all my sins and turn away from them. Please forgive me and make me a vessel fit for Your use.  I release any bitterness or unforgiveness in my heart and ask You to deal with those situations.  I believe You were born of a virgin, died on the cross, rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven and are now sitting at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for me.

You are now Lord of my life.

JESUS IS COMING SOON! HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE IF WE NEGLECT SO GREAT A SALVATION?

Confess Jesus before men and He will confess you before the Father.
Take me home now please.

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Jul 11

prayer is touching God


"the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." james 5:16

so many out there do not have the prayer life they really want.  maybe they have good intentions, but just cannot ever feel really connected.  i well remember how i used to get antsy and view the clock often.  our flesh begins to burn the closer we draw to the holy.  the following story might give you an intro into an intimate and cherished connection with our Lord. 

we all take baby steps to where ever we're going.  they may be small, but if we persist, they will get us there.  this is something we all need if we are to "endure" to the end.

and now, the story.
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a man's daughter had asked the local pastor to come and pray with her father.  when the pastor arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows and an empty chair beside his bed.  the priest assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit.

"i guess you were expecting me," he said.

"no, who are you?"

"i'm the new associate at your local church," the pastor replied.

"when i saw the empty chair, i figured you knew i was going to show up."

"oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "would you mind closing the door?"

puzzled, the pastor shut the door.

"i've never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man.

"but all of my life i have never known how to pray.  at church i used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it always went right over my head."

"i abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, 'joe, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus.  here's what i suggest.  sit down on a chair, place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair.  it's not spooky because he promised, 'i'll be with you always.'  then just speak to him and listen in the same way you're doing with me right now."

"so, i tried it and i've liked it so much that i do it a couple of hours every day.  i'm careful, though.  if my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

the pastor was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old guy to continue on the journey.  then he prayed with him, and returned to the church.

two nights later the daughter called to tell the pastor that her daddy had died that afternoon.

"did he seem to die in peace?" he asked.

"yes, when i left the house around two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me one of his corny jokes, and kissed me on the cheek.  when i got back from the store an hour later, i found him dead.  but there was something strange, in fact, beyond strange-kinda weird.

apparently, just before daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on a chair beside the bed."

- author unknown

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you know, i like stories most that were composed by unknown authors.  they seek no glory or praise for themselves.  they want it all to go to God.  it seems to me, that's as it should be.  "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast."  eph 2:7-9

there is no boasting that we have earned our way to heaven.  we are all unworthy of the great gift He has given.  any good works we might have accomplished since we came to Christ was just His working in us and through us.  that is dependent on how much we yield ourselves to Him.  even then, it is His precious love that draws us.

know God, and more importantly, make sure He knows you.  that can only happen through communication.

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unknown

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WE STAND WITH ISRAEL!

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a foot washing


"after that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe
them with the towel with which He was girded." john 13:5

ah, a good old foot washing.  i would suppose a few churches still do them on occasion.  i have never had my feet washed - at least not in the symbolic sense.  there have been caretakers and friends who have washed my feet; out of need though.

there's something humbling about caring for someone else' feet.  i remember a story from many years ago.  it went something like this.  there was a conference or something held by a spiritual leader and many notable religious persons attended.  the leader of the conference happened to be one of the last to go to bed.  as he walked down the hall to his room, he noticed a lot of the attendees had left their shoes outside the door to be tended to before the next day's meeting.  it seems this was the custom in some places for visitor's footwear to be attended overnight.

the leader didn't say a word.  he just gathered up the shoes that were waiting and spent most of the night making them presentable for the next day.  he didn't want anyone to be offended.  he was aware of the custom and knew people's heart did not mean offense.  since there was no one designated here to perform this service, he just quietly assumed it himself.

our Lord and Savior, the creator of the universe taught us a great lesson of humility here.  "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself." john 13:3-4  He then proceeded to wash the disciples' feet.  of course we all know peter's reaction as he asked for a whole bath.

Jesus said: "if I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." john 13:8  Jesus is washing us all everyday.  yes, and many of us go out and get dirty all over again; like the pig returning again to wallow in the mud.  He just keeps washing and we just keep getting muddy.  we play in the mud.  we wallow in the mud.  yes, sin has it's pleasures and temptations.

i had occasion to wash the feet of a saint one time.  my mentor and dear friend came over one evening with her heart agitated and worried about pressing obligations.  we talked for awhile.  we laughed together.  we cried together.  we watched an old bill cosby sitcom which had a good lesson in it.  (neither of us, at the time, had any discernment of things in his heart.)

i knew all along what was in my mind and heart to do. fulfill the scriptures.  "do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so." prov 3:27  then at one point during the evening, moved by the Holy Spirit, i quietly got up, went into the kitchen, and prepared a tub of water and a towel.  when i returned, i got on my knees, began to remove her shoes and wash her feet.

i don't know that a word passed between us; at least not one that i can remember.  we both knew this was not me doing this act - it was our Lord Himself ministering to her spiritual needs.  He's there.  He's always there.  and He's always ready to carry the burden we try incessantly to carry ourselves.

it was a special moment; one i will always remember and treasure.  before she left that night, just as Jesus has tended to her spiritual needs, i was blessed to be able to tend to her physical ones.  we live in a physical world and certain needs must be met.  we operate in a spiritual realm where all things are possible.  the spirit realm is dominate over the physical but that doesn't belittle the physical needs.

"now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  for by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." heb 11:1-3

faith has brought us to this point. faith will get us through all that lays ahead and faith will get us home.  don't ever give up on the power of faith.

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"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:3

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