Monthly Archives: November 2013

S&S Call Encounter Notes: FRIENDS

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Who are your friends?  Do you actually like them?  Do you even love them sometimes?   The Bible says we should love them at all times.  [Proverbs 17:17]  You and I are friends;  we are a special kind of friends.  We are the kind of friends that Jesus talks about, those who keep his commandments.  [John15:14]  What is his basic commandment in this context:  that we love one another as he has loved us.  [John15:12]  Remember, he gave his life for us- -the ultimate sacrifice!  In fact, in Jesus says there is no greater love than this:  that a person would give up her life for her friend.  [John 15:13]   Loving as Jesus loved- -putting your life on the line for your friends – – is the best way to love.  Although this kind of love probably will  not demand your physical life, it may demand, at various inopportune times, your talent, your time , and your treasure.  Nevertheless,  friends are unselfish; they help each other.

A friend who is strong in a certain area helps her friend who is weak — in that same area– to bear her infirmities, her burdens.  [Romans 15:1]  More poignantly, a “strong” friend discerns when a “weak” friend needs some “coming alongside” strength.  There is nothing wrong with being especially discerning about the welfare of a friend.  Apostle Paul encourages friends, as we have opportunity, to do good to all persons, especially those who are of the household of faith.  [Galatians 6:10]  According to another version of the same scripture:  Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people who are closest to us in the community of faith.  [Message]  In my own words,  As we have opportunity, as it comes to our attention, let us care for/do good unto those who are our acquaintances, especially those who travel with us on this journey, those who are believers.  The Amplified   version says it best: 

So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do

good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable

to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and

advantage].  Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of

the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with

you, the believers].

As, friends, we are sometimes strong and sometimes weak, but we are not all strong or all weak at the same time.

From this background, may I solicit your personal intercession for some friends who are weak right now?  They are “going through some thing” and they need some “come alongside” strength.  I present to you these groups of our friends:

Group #1   –  A mother and father whose exhilarated happiness upon the

birth of their first child has been tempered by learning that

their infant son faces severe developmental issues

Group #2    –  A family concerned for a seasoned educator and local doyen

who lost her house and all of its contents because of a

kitchen fire.  She was unharmed, physically.

Group #3   –   Two young entrepreneurs, each of whom has stepped out on

her faith and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to start

her own business

Group #4    –   Two friends, each working while waiting for God to move

definitively as they consider/make their career/life choices

Group #5    –   Three friends who are dealing with family issues regarding

the health and the death of treasured loved ones

Group #6    =   Friends who are dealing with addictions

[Addiction  –  any thing/ person/ activity that takes our

time,  attention, and talent away from the things of God]

Praise God for your intercession and his faithfulness!

As you walk with the Lord today,  be  a  friend !

S&S Call Encounter Notes: PRAYER

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Are you a pray-er?
Wonder Woman had her power stance.
Are you in a continuous posture of prayer? Try it! It’ll energize your life.

Prayer   is talking with  God;  it is not talking  to God.

Talking with God is a conversation that involves  two persons.

Talking with God involves two-way communication.

Talking with God involves speaking and hearing.

Talking with God involves saying what you have to say as well as

          hearing/listening to/responding to what God has to say.

Sample responses  –  listening, emotion [weeping, smiling], awe/sanctified silence, praise

                                       action [forgiving someone, feeding/responding to the needy,

                                       starting a movement]

Consider these excerpts from Unger’s Bible Dictionary:  Prayer is

  • “the heart’s converse with God”

  • “close communion with God”

  • “submission to the will of God”

Remember Luke 18:1    –     Wo/man ought to always pray, and not faint.  Then consider, further, these excerpts from  the definition in the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.  Prayer is

  • “dialogue between God and his people, especially his covenant people”

  • “dialogue is essential to prayer”

Prayer is often talking to God for/about yourself , your condition.  Whether you are burdened, carrying baggage or just weary,  God invites you to allow him to relieve you.    Listen to the Word:

             Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you.      1 Peter 5:7  Message

Prayer is often talking to God for/about others, their condition. Scripture admonishes us that we, then [having gotten rid of our own impediments], that are strong, ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.   [Romans 15:1]  Now from your position of strength, advocate for your weaker sister or brother.   In this regard, two of our Encounter Call friends need your intercession.  Woman #1 is undergoing the health challenges surrounding major surgery.  Intercede / pray for her in the spirit of Isaiah 53:5  [ . . .  by his stripes we are healed].   Woman #2  is dealing with the death and funeral of the dearly precious matriarch of her family.  In the spirit of  2 Corinthians 1:3,  pray for her  and her family.

***Poem in Honor of A Sainted Believer Who Died in the Lord***

THE WORD OF MY HEART

Margy Rauls

When my  situation is so

That the words of my mouth can no longer flow,

When my life is ebbing away,

My heart—alone—will have something to say.

My heart—alone—will be able to articulate,

Express my desires, and communicate.

My heart will always say, “Jesus”—

And Jehovah Jireh will intercede,

Taking care of me and my every need.

My heart will always say, “Jesus”—

And Jehovah Shalom will bring peace to me,

Allaying my fears and setting me free.

My heart will always say “Jesus”—and

El Roi’s arms will hold me tight.

El Shaddai will nourish me throughout my night.

Jehovah Rophe will bring his healing power

And Jehovah Makeddesh will wash me in his sanctified shower.

My lips need not form a word,

As long as the Word of my heart is heard.  My Deliverer will set my affairs straight,

And my Shepherd—Jehovah Rohi—will guide me through the heavenly gate.

May God  lead you to someone  you can pray for as you journey!

S&S Call Encounter Notes: On HEARING

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WHAT’S  IN YOUR EAR?

Some people make things happen.  They deliberately arrange situations, persons and things to achieve  a desirable result.  Are you hearing what you have deliberately chosen to hear?

Other people let things happen.   They are either critically inattentive to  what they are hearing or they decide to receive/allow it unchallenged into their consciousness.  Are you merely  hearing  “white noise”?

The last group of people “don’t even know” what is happening!  They are consciously as well as subconsciously oblivious to any noise at all.   Are you unaware of subliminal messages and their effect upon your consciousness?

WHAT’S IN YOUR SPIRITUAL EAR?

Four times in Revelation, Jesus Christ issues the imperative:  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  Is he talking to you?  Yes, he is!  Scripture refers, metaphorically, to each believer as a temple/ a church.  Consider

I Corinthians 3:16:  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,  and that the Spirit dwelleth in you?  Also 1 Corinthians 6:19:  Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? [Message]  Even more convincingly,  Jesus, himself, tells us in John 6:63 that:  The words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  He even politely asks to converse with you, for in Revelation3: 20,  he says:  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man [a] hear my voice and [b] open the door,  I [c] will come in, and [d] will sup with him, and he with me.

Can you arrange your schedule so that you will be available and attentive to hear the  words of Jesus as you sup/dine with him?  He states in John 6:34;  I am the bread of life.  Both Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:11 imply  that the bread is available daily.  You can be assured that you will receive the amount and kind of bread each day to carry you through the circumstances/situation of that day.  For example, if you need to feel loved, hear the words of John 3:16:  For God so loved [put your name here] that he gave his only begotten son.  Or if you are feeling discouraged, encourage yourself as did David at Ziklag. [1 Samuel 30:6]   Or if you are facing dire adversity, walk around in the book of Psalms substituting your particular issue for the word  trouble [sample footings are  Psalms 9:9,   25:17,   27:5,  46:1,  119: 143-4]   Or if you need healing  [Isaiah 55:3,  Exodus 15:26,  1 Peter  2:24]  Or if you want to share your rejoicing  [Philippians 4:4,  Luke 15:6,9]

YOUR RESPONSE TO SPIRITUAL HEARING

I’ll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth;

I delight far more in what you tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches.   I ponder every morsel of wisdom form you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it.

I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.

                                        —Psalms 119:13-16, Message

May you daily and deliberately put God’s word in your ear so that you can hear it and use it as needed to the glory of God.

S&S Call Encounter Notes: Choices Should Christians Observe/Celebrate/Participate in Halloween

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CHOICES

SHOULD CHRISTIANS

OBSERVE / CELEBRATE / PARTICIPATE IN

H  A  L  L  O  W  E  E  N ? 

O P T I O N S 

  1. A.            CHOOSE TO BE OBLIVIOUS

Go along with the flow of whatever is “happening”

Participate in the revelry                           

B.             CHOOSE NOT  TO OBSERVE

                      John 17:14, 16 –  They are not of this world, as I am not    

                         of this world

                Romans 12:2   –  Be not conformed to this world, but be ye

                         transformed by the renewing of your mind.

C. CHOOSE TO  PARTICIPATE IN A “CHRISTIAN” WAY 

HALLOWEEN  –  Hallows [saints ] + E’en [evening ]

                                                 Choose to observe the evening before All Saints Day

                  A prelude [eve ] to All Saints Day [November 1]

                  and All Souls Day [November 2} as a holy day

How should Christians choose? Yes?  No?  There are good reasons and traditions on each side.  Actually, the Bible makes no mention of the term, “Halloween”.  That leaves some believers in a fourth category: Classification D  [Undecided],  Romans 14 applies here:  it deals with situations where the Christian must deal with debatable subjects.   Here, verse five says, Let every man be persuaded in his own mind. Follow as the Holy Spirit leads you, for your salvation is not in jeopardy, no matter your choice.  Here is the place to pray. Consult the Holy Spirit. Then act on the revelation he gives to you.  His revelation to me:  Take up your cross [your public affiliation with Christ] DAILY [Luke 9:23].  I am honoring the Lord this day as I speak to you, exhorting you let the choice you make today, especially, honor Jesus Christ as you walk with him.

H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N