First Steps – December 17, 2018

With just a few days before Christmas, I invite you to pray this prayer with me:

“Almighty and Merciful God, you have told me to rejoice always, do good to others, and to be at peace.  Therefore, I need your assistance.  Help me to rely on your strength and to trust your faithfulness.  The same way I breathe in oxygen to live, Lord, I want to breathe in your Spirit.  I want it to calm my anxious heart.   Allow it to give me the right state of mind to praise you throughout this day.  Help me to see the effects of your Son’s work in the world.  Amen.”

Now, look for the traces of God’s work in your life.  Embrace the God-Moments.  Give thanks for His rich blessings in your life.

 

This week’s reading:

  • Monday – John 1
  • Tuesday – John 2
  • Wednesday – John 3
  • Thursday – John 4
    ​Friday – John 5

 

Please Pray for:

Upcoming Ukraine Mission Trip.  You might know I serve at a church that has a long-standing ministry in Ukraine.  I’m delighted my church serves in this capacity.  Some of you constantly ask what one can do to help this ministry.  First, please pray for Ukraine, their citizenry—especially their orphans.  Second, if you would like to financially aid this ministry, below is a link that lists some of the needs for the orphans we support.

2018 – Needs for Ukraine Orphanages

First Steps – December 10, 2018

Linda Douty, the author of Praying in the Messiness of Life, wrote something worth considering:

“The term creatures of habit isn’t just a catchy phrase.  Its truth is gaining credence in the world of science as well as in our everyday world of observation.  As noted, each time we engage a thought, a particular neural pattern deepens.  The more frequently a behavior or feeling is repeated, the more likely it is to be repeated again.  No wonder Christians through the centuries have employed chant, prayer beads, and other forms of repetitive prayer…We are the gatekeepers of our own minds, monitoring what enters and what exits.  Though much enters our minds whether we want it or not, we still have a choice about how to deal with that “content.”  Even in the case of traumatic events, once we give proper attention to feelings and wounds, participating in the healing work of God, we can choose to move on.  To oversimplify, our minds are like blank chalkboards, and we hold both the chalk and the eraser.”

What gathers my interest is what can be created by repetitive patterns.  The question before each of us is what pattern(s) do I want to reinforce?  What pattern(s) do I want to erase?  The ones we want to create, we reinforce.  We feed it—over and over.  Therefore, focus on those patterns that give life, energy, and joy.  Give attention to those and see what God does over time.

 

This week’s reading:

  • Monday – 1 Peter 4
  • Tuesday – 1 Peter 5
  • Wednesday – 2 Peter 1
  • Thursday – 2 Peter 2
  • ​Friday – 2 Peter 3

 

Please Pray for:

Upcoming Ukraine Mission Trip.  You might know I serve at a church that has a long-standing ministry in Ukraine.  I’m delighted my church serves in this capacity.  Some of you constantly ask what one can do to help this ministry.  First, please pray for Ukraine, their citizenry—especially their orphans.  Second, if you would like to financially aid this ministry, CLICK HERE for a link that lists some of the needs for the orphans we support.