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Sunday, December 31, 2006

 

12/29-31/2006, #106, 4th Quarter 2006

Jean and I were in Massachusetts visiting our son Tamba and his family.

Thank you, LORD, for bringing us safely home.

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (John 7:37)

Jesus, I want more of you, please help me receive what you are offering me.

"He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38)

Father, I believe in Jesus, please let the river of your Spirit flow through me more and more.

O LORD, you are my God. I will exalt you, I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things; your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. (Isaiah 25:1)

Father, thank you for bringing us to a saving knowledge of you; help us truly praise you and exalt you.

Jesus, you are our savior; help us praise your name -- to bring honor to your name by our words and deeds and trust in you.

Holy Spirit, you are so faithful and kind; thank you for your counsels in Scripture and your words to us today.

For you have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. (Isaiah 25:4)

Lord, there is a storm breaking on your church; be the strength of the poor in spirit and the poor in purse, be our shelter and shade.

You will reduce the noise of aliens, as heat in a dry place; as heat in the shadow of a cloud, the song of the terrible ones will be diminished. (Isaiah 25:5)

Lord Jesus, false brethren have crept into your church by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in you, that they might bring us again into bondage (from Galatians 2:4); please reduce the noise and confusion they are bringing to your church. Restore your church and make it a shelter from these terrible ones.

And in this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. (Isaiah 25:6)

LORD, your ways are awesome: bring us soon to your banqueting table.

And he will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. (Isaiah 25:7)

Lord, even now that veil covers much of the Episcopal Church: please restore sight and hearing to your people and your church.

He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 25:8)

Jesus, we long for your victory over sin and death to be made manifest in your church. Please wipe away the tears from our faces as we look at your church and its apostasy.

Lord, let it be said of us in this day: "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." (From Isaiah 25:9)

And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." (Isaiah 25:9)

LORD, we wait on you and we find our joy in you and your salvation. Thank you.

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: "We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks." (Isaiah 26:1)

Holy Spirit, please help the Episcopal Church enter into that strong city once again, that city whose walls are salvation.

"Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in." (Isaiah 26:2)

Jesus, please bring us as a nation to righteousness so that we may enter in.

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." (Isaiah 26:3)

Father, as the church goes through all that lies ahead, please help us keep our minds steady in you; help us more and more to trust you so that we may abide in your perfect peace.

"Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength." (Isaiah 26:4)

LORD, you are our Rock of Ages and we take our stand on you.

"For he brings down those who dwell on high, the lofty city; he lays it low, he lays it low to the ground, he brings it down to the dust." (Isaiah 26:5)

LORD, we trust that you will deal with the proud and arrogant who would lead your little ones astray.

"The foot shall tread it down -- the feet of the poor and the steps of the needy." (Isaiah 26:6)

Jesus, we trust in you and live in the hope that the poor will see your righteousness. We cry out to you for those who have no medical coverage, that you will provide for them.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

 

12/28/2006, #105, 4th Quarter 2006

Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted his people, and will have mercy on his afflicted. (Isaiah 49:13)

Thank you, LORD, for comforting us and having mercy on the afflicted!

"unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

Father, help us come to you as little children, trusting in your provision for us. Thank you that you hear us when we cry out to you.

***** Two emails last night:

First email: Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 22:46:47 -0500
From: Torre and Jean Bissell
Subject: Alex is in the hospital with pneumonia.

(Torre and Jean) Our Sarah, Jim, Alex (age 4 yrs) and Emma (age 14 months) are in VietNam for a Christmas vacation. Alex is in the hospital with pneumonia. It is 12 hours later there. If he is not better within 4 hours, they will fly him to Bangkok or Singapore. Please pray for healing and protection and wisdom for all concerned.

Second email: Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 04:49:29 -0500
From: Torre and Jean Bissell
Subject: Prayer Line 2005 12 28 Thurs. Alex MUCH better PTL, 4:25 AM

(Torre & Jean) Our daughter Sarah, just called again at 4:25 AM sounding VERY happy! Clinic will release Alex at 6:30 PM her time (6:30 AM our time). Alex is "getting better and better" and on antibiotics. His bad symptoms "drastically went down from the time she called till they did the blood count".

Emma has a little bronchitis,(which she's had before) so they gave her an inhaler.
They will stay there till Fri. (all flights out booked) then fly to Ho Chi Min, then Manila, getting home Sat.

In the Derek Prince video some of us watched, he called prayer an "intercontinental ballistic missile" He said we often forget that prayer is the seventh weapon of the Spirit and that we are told to be "praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit".(Ephesians 6:18)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

 
Our Brazilian grandchildren enjoying the weather. 
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12/27/2006, #104, 4th Quarter 2006

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34)

Jesus, please help us love one another.

By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)

Jesus, please help us enter into your life of love. Help us respond to your love by loving one another. Thank you.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves him who begot also loves him who is begotten of him. (1 John 5:1)

Lord, the very fabric of your church is being torn asunder: help us in the midst of this to love one another so that the world may know we are your disciples.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments. (1 John 5:2)

Father, please let our love for you grow to the point where we actually keep your commandments.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)

Father, help us love you and love our neighbors.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. (1 John 5:4)

Holy Spirit, please help us see the victory of our faith by overcoming the world throughout this diocese.

Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:5)

Jesus, son of David, you are the son of the living God. Thank you for coming into our lives and helping us overcome the world by your Holy Spirit.

***** Keep praying for our Bishops. Pray especially for Bishop Bill Love for the Lord's presence and peace in the midst of all circumstances. Pray that he will so wait on the Lord that he will "renew his strength" and "run and not be weary" (Isaiah 40:31). Pray for endurance, protection, provision, peace, strength and clear guidance for him and Bp. Dan and Bp. Dave. Pray for the Lord to guide Bp. Dan and Bp. Dave continually as they enter soon into a different phase of their walk with the Lord.

Pray for the Diocese, the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, the Healing Center, Youth ministry and the Sisters. Pray for the Diocesan and Spiritual Life Center staff, especially Terri Lee Kennedy, Kristine Kessler, The Rev'd Barbara Letteney, George Marshall, Josephine Meeker, Lynn Mumford, The Rev'd Nigel Mumford.

***** Three new Sunday School lessons have been posted at:
http://albanyintercessor.blogspot.com/2006/12/study-guide-sunday-school-lesson-13_26.html

http://albanyintercessor.blogspot.com/2006/12/study-guide-sunday-school-lesson-14.html

http://albanyintercessor.blogspot.com/2006/12/study-guide-sunday-school-lesson-15.html

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

 

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men (Luke 2:13-14) [Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh]!”
 
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STUDY GUIDE: SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON 15 January 7, 2007

Wise Men Seeing and Spreading the Good News
Theme: Good News to Share
Theme Verse: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b NIV
Readings: Matthew 2: 1-23, Micah 5:2, 4, Jeremiah 23:5-6
Memory Verse: Matthew 2:2

Background: Once again the birth of Jesus is placed clearly in a historical context and at a certain time and place. This is historical fact not a pretty legend. King Herod was an incredibly cruel and wicked tyrant who had gotten his power from the hated Romans and was made king by them. It is no wonder that when King Herod heard about another "king of the Jews", he was upset -- and all of Jerusalem with him! You bet they were! At one point he had killed his wife and a son because he felt threatened by them. He was building a magnificent temple for the Jews but that didn't make him loved! (He died about 4 BC by the present calendar.) The "wise men" or "Magi" were a class of learned men from ancient Persia, one of the places where the Jews had lived in Exile and their scriptures were known to some there.

The Magi asked around Jerusalem, "Where is he who has been "born king" of the Jews? What are the implications of being "born king"? Certainly it is a lot stronger than someone who was made a king in adulthood! This is foreign territory to Americans used to choosing, electing their rulers and leaders for a limited period of time. This "born king" reflects a choice made by God, long before this king was born. His power and authority are from God. BUT we have to choose to recognize and honor who he is and give him our obedience and love -- or reject him. He is still king whether we live in obedience to him or in rebellion. He is a king who gives us the choice of accepting his lordship for our lives.

It is interesting that three wise men would come all that way to worship a Jewish King -- not their own. Somehow they knew by the Star that this was a very special king. Did God use the combination of old Jewish prophesies and the star to awaken spiritual longings in them? They were motivated enough to travel almost 2 years to get there! They were the first Gentiles to worship Jesus.

"Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2) A word received: Seek me with the same persistence the wise men had. Word received: I want to lead you too when you come to worship and follow Me.


"When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." (Matthew 2:3) A word received: There will always be trouble when I am proclaimed as king and lord. Saying "Jesus is Lord" instead of "Caesar is Lord" caused many early Christians to be martyred.

"And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born." (Matthew 2:4) A word received: It is not enough to inquire as Herod did, you must have a heart that seeks after me and my ways. The chief priests and the scribes knew where the promised Messiah King was to be born, that is, in Bethlehem, but there is no indication that they went to check it out. Maybe they were afraid of Herod or maybe they didn't believe it. So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet." (Matthew 2:5) A word received: It is not enough to know the scriptures as the chief priests and scribes did, I want you to take them into your heart. "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'" (Matthew 2:6) A word received: I want you to respond to this good news now, in your own lives. Don't be just a passive onlooker.

"Secretly" -- King Herod was obviously trying to trick the Magi into giving important information -- without the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem knowing about it. He pretended he wanted to worship the baby king.

Look at the contrast between the two kings: Herod and Jesus! There was a choice of which king to give allegiance to. The Magi chose Jesus. Look at the world's rulers and look at Jesus. Which do you want to rule over you? Which do you want to obey? Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters…" We have to choose our king. Make a choice about who will rule you. God gives us a choice about who will be our Master. We can't have it both ways! As Elijah told the Israelites, "How long will you hobble between two opinions? Joshua also told them centuries earlier, "Choose you this day whom you will serve….As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Now the star they had followed before let them to the very house where Jesus and Mary and Joseph were. They were filled with joy to see the star again. ( There have been many explanations of what the star was, but the point here is that they were miraculously led to the very house where little Jesus was -- and they were filled with joy. (Clearly Joseph and family has stayed on in Bethlehem a while.)

This lesson has many examples of God leading his people and their obedience in following. This was the way God protected both the wise men and the holy family. They were led by prophecy, the star and God speaking through dreams to the wise men and Joseph. Word received: Learn to listen, pray and follow My Holy Spirit and you will be following Me.

When they saw the child with Mary his mother, "they fell down and worshipped him." Word received: Take the time you should and need to worship Me. I AM. I AM your Lord and God. Then they offered gifts to the little child Jesus. What are the gifts we bring when we worship? What does the first commandment tell us about what to bring to our King Jesus? ("You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all you mind and with all your soul and with all your strength.") The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were gifts fit for a king. They were also God's provision for the holy family on their flight to Egypt. Word received: I will always provide for My own.

Look at the examples of obedience in this lesson. Joseph not only obeyed, he obeyed immediately. He didn't have much time to get out of town. The angel said, "FLEE." It was no more than 5 miles from Jerusalem. The wise men too were protected and their going off a different ways gave Joseph a little longer before Herod realized he'd been tricked, outwitted by the wise men -- and God. King Herod reacted in his usual way, "furious rage" and killed all the little boys 2 years old and under. Many innocent people suffered because of his evil ways.

NOTE: What were some of the prophecies fulfilled? (1) The Messiah King would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5: 2&4). (2) The women around Bethlehem would weep for their slain children. (Jeremiah 31:15). (3) Joseph, Mary and Jesus lived in Egypt for a while. (Hosea 11:1). (4) Jeremiah 23:5-6 is a prophesy referring to the future Messiah and King as coming from the family of David. "Righteous Branch" is a messianic term.

Teaching Ideas for Lesson 15
Please read the Study Guide first. Go over Memory Verse to make sure the children understand it and then if they have memorized it.

Remind them their parents need to sign a report slip monthly if they have read the lessons, so they will get credit at the end of the year.

Make sure they know what happened in the story. Get them to tell you.

Basic points of the lesson for little ones:
1.The Wise Men came to find the new King of the Jews. This is a true story. Jesus wants us to seek him like the Wise Men did.

2. When the Wise Men worshiped Jesus they brought gifts to him. God wants us to take the time to worship him. The gift he wants most is to give him your heart.

3. God used the Wise Men to spread the Good News. God wants us to spread the Good News of Jesus too. If we pray and listen, he will show us how.

4. The Wise Men and Joseph obeyed God and he protected them.

 

STUDY GUIDE: SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON 14 December 17, 2006

The Shepherds Celebrate and Share the Good News
Theme: Good News to Share
Theme Verse: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b NIV
Readings: Luke 2:1-20
Memory Verse: "When they had seen him, they spread the word, concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Luke 2:17-18

Background: vs.1-5. Luke places Jesus' birth in its historical and political context. (Luke is always concerned with accuracy, see Luke 1:1-4.) "World" refers to the Roman Empire (what they ruled!) The Emperor Augustus reigned from 27 BC to 14 AD (present calendar). Bethlehem was King David's ancestral home. The name means "House of Bread". (Remember what Jesus said about himself in John 6:35, "I AM the Bread of Life".) Betrothed (literally reads betrothed to him as wife). Betrothal was legally binding. Then the groom would go to prepare a place in his father's house for his bride and bring her home when he was ready and have the marriage feast and start to live together. Remember that Joseph had thought about divorcing Mary when he first heard she was pregnant. (NOT like engagement.) There are 2 sets of vows in our marriage ceremony. The church put them together. See BCP p.424 & 427.

Once again we see God's timing, so that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, which included a walk of about 70 miles ("as the crow flies") but by road would have been much farther. God's plan also included a time when there would be "no room in the inn". Caesar could not have known that his desire for a census and more taxes would cause prophecy to be fulfilled.

God turned worldly expectations on their heads. Jesus wants us to reflect on his humble birth. Compare this with Isaiah 53:2-3, "For he grew up before him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." Jesus knows what it is to be rejected and humiliated. Jesus can sympathize with us because he's been there too. Jesus was rejected by many even at his birth. (But it was also a time when God's glory was revealed.) God does not despise or look down on our condition of need or poverty. He can use all things to bring glory to himself. God sometimes uses inconvenient or distressing events to accomplish his purposes. Do we "fall apart" when things do not go as we wanted or expected or do we give it to God for him to use as he will? Remember Psalm 31:15, "My times are in your hand."

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7) Word received: Is there room in your (underline your) heart for my son? Make room in your heart for my son. Make room in your heart for him. Cast out the affections that get in the way of having him in your heart.

Mary has the baby clothes ready but for the birth she had to improvise. Normally societies will care for women in childbirth but this young couple had no one because they were far from home. They just had each other -- and the presence of God!

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night." (Luke 2:8) Word received: Pray that I will raise up shepherds to watch over my flock by day and by night.

Notice that Jesus' birth was both humble and full of glory, but not worldly glory. "And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid." (Luke 2:9) Word received: I want you to seek and see my glory. I want my glory to shine about you as you come to know me and receive me into your life and your heart. It had been several hundred years since God's shekinah glory had been seen in Israel because of their sins.

"Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." (Luke 2:10) Word received: I want my joy to be in you so that you can share it as you share the good news of my birth. "For there is born to you (underline you) this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11) Word received: I came for you (underline you). The Savior came for you and me. (Turn and say that to your neighbor.) The Savior came for ALL even though not all will receive him. The angel then tells the shepherds how to recognize the special baby.

Notice that the angel gives 3 titles for Jesus. He is Savior, Messiah and Lord. (Lord was a word that meant ruler, master. The Roman emperors soon claimed to be a god and Lord. The Jews used the word Lord to substitute for God's Name, I AM, which they considered too holy to speak. Early Christians claimed that "Jesus is Lord" which brought them into direct conflict with the Roman emperors' desire to be THE Lord and to be worshipped. Note the contrast between a Savior to ALL people and vs.14 where "peace on earth" is to those "among men with whom he is well pleased". (One Greek letter is missing in later manuscripts which changes the phrase to "peace, good will among men.".)

The Shepherd's reactions were first fear, then surprise, wonder, adoration and belief. What a wonder to be able to see the host of angels praising God and proclaiming the Good News. Heaven could not hold the joy of Jesus' birth! PRAYER: Lord, may the joy of our Christmas celebration reflect the joy that heaven could not contain when you were born!

When the angels went away the shepherds said, lets go see this thing the Lord has told us about and they went "with haste" . They saw, heard from God and took action;. They responded "immediately" like the first disciples. Word received: Believe like the shepherds believed.

"And when they had seen him" Word received: What have you seen that I have done? Have you shared it with others as the shepherds did? Word received: Share like the shepherds shared. They just did it -- with excitement and joy. People probably didn't understand all that had happened, but they willingly praised God. The shepherds praised God and remembered what they had seen and heard. Do we? "What they had seen and heard as it had been told them" Word received: My word is always true and reliable.

Mary treasured and pondered these things in her heart. How do we treasure and ponder the Lord's revelations? We don't have to understand to begin with, we just have to know something is from the Lord. St. Augustine said, "I believe in order to understand."

Word for teachers: Come, come to Me, all you who are burdened and heavily laden. (It is time again to invite the children to invite Jesus into their hearts and lives again.)

Teaching Ideas for Lesson 14
Please read the Study Guide first. Go over Memory Verse to make sure the children understand it and then if they have memorized it.

Remind them their parents need to sign a report slip monthly if they have read the lessons, so they will get credit at the end of the year.

Make sure they know what happened in the story. Get them to tell you.

Basic points of the lesson for little ones:
1.Jesus was born at just the right time according to God's plan.

2.Even though Jesus is the Son of God, He was born into a poor family. Jesus knows what it is like to be poor.

3. Is there room in your heart for Jesus? Have you invited him into your heart?

4. God shared the most important news of all time with humble shepherds.

5. The shepherds believed and shared the Good News with others. God wants us to believe and share the Good News with others.

 

STUDY GUIDE: SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON 13 December 10, 2006

Simeon and Anna: The Fruit of Waiting Close to the Lord
Theme: Good News to Share
Theme Verse: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b NIV
Readings: Luke 2:21-40
Memory Verse: Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all the people, a light for revelation to the gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." Luke 2:29-32

Simeon and Anna were ready to receive what God had for them to see and do. What do we need to do to be "ready"? Are we ready daily?? Word received: Be ready. Watch for what God is doing.

Background: See Leviticus 12:2-8. Joseph and Mary are obediently following the law and customs about the birth of a child, especially first-born male child. Look how their obedience brings opportunities for God to pour out blessings on them and on others. (There was obedience in naming the baby, circumcision, purification, consecration of 1st born child, sacrifice. Luke emphasizes their obedience.) Word received: I want you to be obedient to Me as Joseph and Mary were.

Here we see not only faithfulness and obedience of Mary and Joseph but also the role of a healthy religious culture and law/word of God play in bringing us before God at important times in our lives. It is an opportunity for God to work further in our lives and call us back to himself. Remember what we learned about the role of annual fests and fasts for God's people. Word received: My word will NEVER return to Me void. I will use it for My glory.

Both Simeon and Anna were waiting for God's promise to be fulfilled. (Isaiah 40:31) Word received: There are times when you will need to wait for Me to reveal Myself. Be faithful to Me as I am always faithful to you. Then you will reap the rewards I have for you.

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. (Luke 2:25) Prayer: Holy Spirit, come upon us -- help us to be just and devout, waiting for your consolation.
[NOTE on "consolation of Israel": Compare this with the end of verse 26,"see the Christ of the Lord". See what it says about Anna in Vs.38 that she spoke "to all who were looking for "redemption IN Jerusalem" ( This is the literal Greek.). See also Luke 23:51 about Joseph of Arimathea who asked for Jesus body and put it in his own tomb. "He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their purpose and deeds and he was looking for the Kingdom of God." "Consolation" in Greek means, comfort, consolation, exhortation, entreaty. " In the Old Testament the language of "consolation" comes up in the message of the prophets when the Jews are in exile in Babylon. "Consolation" refers to God's gracious deliverance of his people from exile and the ultimate fulfillment of his promise. By the time of Jesus the language has clearly been adapted to refer to the fulfillment of God's Messianic promise -- basically "consolation of Israel"= "The Kingdom of God." (quote from Fr. Christopher Brown).]
"And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ." (Luke 2:26) Word received: Simeon lived in the hope of what I would reveal. I want you to live in that same hope.

"So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,"(Luke 2:27) Word received: Think of Philip who also was at the right place at the right time. If you let me guide you by my Holy Spirit, that will happen to you as well.

"he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said:" (Luke 2:28) Word received: He saw with eyes of faith and responded to what he saw: pray for such eyesight for yourself and those around you. Word received: Now is the time to take Jesus into your arms, your heart.

"Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation" (Luke 2:29-30) Word received: He had eyes to see my salvation: pray for such sight; pray that blind eyes will see my salvation.

"Which you have prepared before the face of all peoples," (Luke 2:31) Word received: My salvation has been prepared for everyone; pray they will receive what I have prepared.

"A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." (Luke 2:32) Word received: I want my light to shine forth to all people; I want my word, my revelation to bring light to the nations.

"And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him." (Luke 2:33) Word received: I want your heart to be touched as well.

Simeon also warned Mary of pain that would come to her in Jesus' death. God sometimes prepares us for hard times by giving us a hint ahead of time so we won't be surprised and to help us prepare.

Most of Anna's adult life was lived as a widow, living in the temple, worshipping God with fasting and prayer day and night. She was also a prophetess ( one who spoke God's present message). She too was led by the Holy Spirit to arrive at just the right time to see the infant Messiah and immediately she recognized him and praise God and shared the good news with all that group of people waiting for God's promises to be fulfilled. (See Note on page 1 about the various ways this hope was expressed.)

Notice to whom God revealed the gift of his son, the fulfilling of his promise: to two elderly, faithful and ordinary servants of his, who had a lifetime of walking close to God, some lowly shepherds and some wise foreigners--not the political and religious leaders of Israel.

Verse 39 again emphasized Mary and Joseph's faithfulness in obeying the law of God, and God's word to them, which led to the blessing of so many people as well as themselves. Verse 40 speaks quite simply of God's blessing on Jesus' childhood. God incarnate had to experience growing up to make him like us. "Therefore in all things he had to be made like his brethren that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest" (Hebrews 2:17) "for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) Notice also that the gospels do not indulge our curiosity about Jesus' boyhood. However popular imagination created many stories to fill the gap. One or two appear in the Quran.

Teaching Ideas for Lesson 13.
Please read the Study Guide first. Go over Memory Verse to make sure the children understand it and then if they have memorized it.

Remind them their parents need to sign a report slip monthly if they have read the lessons, so they will get credit at the end of the year.

Make sure they know what happened in the story. Get them to tell you.

Basic points of the lesson for little ones:
1.God wants us to live close to Him. He wants to be close to us too. He wants us to live in hope of what He will do.

2. When we live close to God, He can prepare us for special times in our lives. Obedience and readiness go hand in hand.

3. When we listen to Him and do what He says, then He can work in our lives.

4. God wants to prepare us for the birth of His Son, Jesus, which we celebrate at this season. God wants to touch our hearts. ("What can I give him, poor as I am? ...give him my heart.".

 

12/26/2006, #103, 4th Quarter 2006

This morning Jean and I thought to read further in Acts through the whole story of Stephen. I was struck by a phrase in Acts 7:54, "they were cut to the heart" and was reminded of Acts 2:37 where we are told, "they were cut to the heart." I looked up the word for "cut" for the two passages in the concordance. There are two different words in Greek that are used, but both mean that their hearts were touched deeply. In Acts 2 they repented and were baptized; in Acts 7 they "stopped their ears" and killed Stephen.

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart [To saw asunder, that is, (figuratively) to exasperate:--cut (to the heart).], and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" 7Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 8and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. (Acts 7:54-58)

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart [To pierce thoroughly, that is, (figuratively) to agitate violently ("sting to the quick"):--prick.], and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37)

We pray that your church will unstop its ears and listen to you, LORD, and repent of its sins.

 

12/26/2006, #102, 4th Quarter 2006

Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. (Acts 6:1)

LORD, we pray that there would be no cause for widows, orphans, or the aliens among us to cry out to heaven against us. Help us reach out and care for the lost and the least day by day.

Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables."(Acts 6:2)

Holy Spirit, please guide Bp. Dan, Bp. Dave and Bp. Bill day by day into your word. Prepare their hearts daily in the Scriptures for the work you have for them. Restore to all the bishops of the Episcopal Church a renewed vocation to be servants of your word.

"Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;"(Acts 6:3)

Thank you for all of the men and women who are full of the the Holy Spirit and wisdom that you have raised up as deacons, Jesus. Please restore to every parish in this diocese the ministry of deacons.

"but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."(Acts 6:4)

Jesus, please move the hearts of all the bishops in the Episcopal Church to give themselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.

And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,(Acts 6:5)

Jesus, thank you for the many deacons, full of faith and the Holy Spirit, that have heard your call and answered it. Please help all those whom you are calling to answer. Give the whole church clear discernment about those you are calling into this service and ministry. Guide the vestries, the Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, and the bishops as they test their vocations.

whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.(Acts 6:6)

Holy Spirit, let prayer always precede the laying on of hands.

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.(Acts 6:7)

Father, let your word spread among us so that the number of disciples is multiplied greatly, and let all of the priests in the diocese be obedient to the faith.

***** Keep praying for our Bishops, the Diocese, the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, the Sisters of St. Mary for the Lord's protection, provision, peace, strength and clear guidance.
Cry out to the Lord for His church. Pray for a mighty move of God.
The word we and others keep getting is, "LISTEN." The Lord is trying to get the attention of His church!

Cry out to the Lord for our country. Pray for godly wisdom for our leaders and that God will raise up leaders of both parties at all levels who are godly and wise. Pray for an end to the fighting in the Middle East. That needs a God sized miracle!

***** Words received about listening and seeing this quarter:
(10/4/06) I want you to ask me for eyes to see the poor all around you, those poor in purse and those poor in spirit.
(10/8/06) Keep asking for eyes to see.
(10/9/06) I Am calling my church back to me. I Am calling my bride to me. Pray for listening ears. Pray for this day by day.
(10/12/06) Keep crying out to me for my people. I Am grieving over their sin and blindness and hardness of heart.
(10/14/06) I Am. I Am in your hearing and seeing. Ask me for my blessing on your hearing and seeing. I want to be Lord of your eyes and ears.
(10/28/06) I Am speaking to my people; pray that they will have ears to hear.
(11/9/06) Listen, listen my people for my word to you. Listen as you read scripture. Listen, listen to what I Am saying to you.
(11/18/06) Pray for the day of my threshing. Pray that none of the wheat will be lost with the chaff. Pray for my little ones who are being led astray by lies. Pray for my will to be done.
(11/20/06) I Am calling my church. Pray it will listen.
(11/22/06) Pray for listening ears.
(12/9/06) You are my people. Listen, listen to me. I Am speaking to my church, pray for my church to listen to me. I Am coming, who is listening? Pray for listening ears. Wake up and pay attention to me and my word.
(12/22/06) Listen, listen, I Am coming. Listen to my word.
(12/25/06) I Am coming. Be ready. Listen, listen to me. [How to be ready?] Ask for my Holy Spirit to work in your heart. You do not know how to be ready, but my Spirit can prepare your heart.

Monday, December 25, 2006

 

12/25/2006, #101, 4th Quarter 2006

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

Holy Spirit, please help us so that we, like John, may decrease so that Jesus can increase in us.

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. (John 3:31)

Jesus, you came down from heaven. This Christmas we ask you to be above all that we can desire from earthly things.

And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies; and no one receives his testimony. (John 3:32)

Father, please help us throughout the Episcopal Church to receive the testimony of Jesus.

He who has received his testimony has certified that God is true. (John 3:33)

Father, you are true and faithful, please help us receive Jesus' testimony.

For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. (John 3:34)

Holy Father, help us to receive the fullness of Jesus' testimony and please flood us with your Holy Spirit this Christmas season.

The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. (John 3:35)

Holy Spirit, please help us place all of our lives in Jesus' hand.

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)

Father, thank you for your kindness and mercy on us: you sent Jesus to us to save us from your just wrath, help us believe all that he has said. Thank you.

"'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us'." (Matthew 1:23)

Jesus, thank you for being with us in all our struggles and doubts.

A word received: I Am coming. Be ready. Listen, listen to me.

[How to be ready?] A word received: Ask for my Holy Spirit to work in your heart. You do not know how to be ready, but my Spirit can prepare your heart.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

 

12/24/2006, #100, 4th Quarter 2006

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:12)

Jesus, please help us by your Holy Spirit to do those works which are the fruit of repentance.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22:13)

Jesus, from the beginning to the end of each day, help us make you first in our lives.

"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

Father, wash us and cleanse us through and through by your Holy Spirit so that we at last may enter the new Jerusalem.

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:15)

Holy Spirit, we cry out to you for the lost, help us speak your word to them, empower our witness so that the lost may be found.

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16)

Jesus, please help the Episcopal Church and the other churches to receive your testimony.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)

Lord, I come to you; please help me receive all of the free gift you offer me.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. (Revelation 22:18)

Father, please help us strip away all the false teaching the cumbers your church and people.

And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:19)

Holy Spirit, we live in an era when people add and subtract from your witness with abandon, please help us keep steady in your word.

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

Amen. Come soon, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen. (Revelation 22:21)

Amen, Lord Jesus, amen, let your grace be with us. Thank you.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

 

12/23/2006, #99, 4th Quarter 2006

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. (Luke 3:1-2)

Father, please let your word come to us; let your Holy Spirit speak to us.

And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, (Luke 3:3)

Jesus, send forth witnesses throughout this diocese preaching repentance for the remission of sins.

as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'" (Luke 3:4-6)

LORD, we long to see your saving work among us; speak your word with the power of your Holy Spirit to us. Prepare your way among us and give us eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to respond to you. Thank you.

***** From Bp. Dan:
* I ask your prayers also for Mother Geri Bissell-Thompson who is undergoing chemo therapy; and for Laura Miller, in the ordination process for deacon, from Walton who is being seen for a pituitary growth.
* May each of you be blessed in this holy season. The simple truth that God became a Man is worthy of a lifetime of attention and assimilation.
* While Santa’s gonna’ find out who’s naughty and nice, the great reality is that Jesus came because we are all in that first category. He came, St Paul reminds us, while we were yet in sin.
* So this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we can turn to the crib and see the Saviour who loved us enough to become one of us, and to become the perfect offering for our sins.
* O Come! Let us adore Him, Christ the Lord

Friday, December 22, 2006

 

12/21-22/2006, #98, 4th Quarter 2006

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (Matthew 31:)

Holy Spirit, please send your faithful witnesses into the wilderness places of the church.

and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 3:2)

Jesus, John was speaking to God's people, help your people today to hear the call to repent!

"For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; make his paths straight.'" (Matthew 3:3)

Father, please help and guide us by your Holy Spirit so that we prepare Jesus' way into people's hearts.

Now John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4)

LORD, thank you for John's faithful service and witness to you; please help us to be faithful witnesses in our generation.

Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him (Matthew 3:5)

Holy Spirit, please help all parts of the Episcopal Church to come out to hear your witnesses. Thank you.

and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matthew 3:6)

Jesus, please bring the Episcopal Church to a fresh baptism of repentance and a confession of our sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Matthew 3:7)

Jesus, please help the leaders of the Episcopal Church to hear and heed the warning of the wrath to come.

"Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance," (Matthew 3:8)

Father, please help all of us bear such fruit. Bring us all to a new place of repentance.

"and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones." (Matthew 39:)

Holy Spirit, please help us to lay aside all claims to salvation by descent or church membership and claim only what Jesus has done for us by his cross and resurrection. Thank you.

"And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." (Matthew 3:10)

LORD, have mercy on us and make us fruitful in faith, in works of mercy and in your Holy Spirit.

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matthew 3:11)

Jesus, please come soon and baptize us all afresh with your Holy Spirit and with fire. Burn away the chaff in our lives and in your church.

"His winnowing fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:12)

Lord Jesus, we pray for the day of your threshing, that none of the wheat will be lost with the chaff. We cry out to you for your little ones who are being led astray by lies. We pray for your will and your father's will to be done.

"Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High." (Psalm 50:14)

Thank you, LORD, for all that you are doing; please help us give you all that we have promised.

"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." (Psalm 50:15)

LORD, we call upon you, these are days of trouble; deliver us and help us bring you glory.

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to him, "Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?" (Matthew 11:2-3)

Jesus, in whatever "prisons" we find ourselves, please help us hear of your works among us. Please give those who are in actual prisons ears to hear of your works.

Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: (Matthew 11:4)

Jesus, please give us ears to hear what you are saying and eyes to see what you are doing.

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Matthew 11:5)

Father, please bless and multiply the healing ministry throughout the Diocese of Albany. Bless the prayer teams in the parishes and at the Healing Center. Help us by your Holy Spirit to hear and see what you are saying and doing through this ministry.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 11:15)

Holy Spirit, please give us ears and hearts that hear and respond to what Jesus is doing.

Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Psalm 40:4)

LORD, we pray for your little ones who are being led astray by lies: help them make you their trust and not be deceived by the proud.

A word received: Listen, listen, I Am coming. Listen to my word.

***** Pray for healing: Faye Van Dermark, Jean Mumford, Father Kenyon and Mtr. Geri Bissell-Thompson,( undergoing chemo; pray does what it is supposed to without side effects), Fr. Fred Leach at Samaritan Hospital, Troy recovering from a major fall last Friday during a funeral. Also, pray for Fr. Haven, 81, gravely ill, deteriorating lungs-Pray for healing and breath of life, and wisdom for doctorss.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

 

12/20/2006, #97, 4th Quarter 2006

And he preached, saying, "There comes one after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. (Mark 1:7)

Holy Spirit, please bring us to the humility of John the Baptist and hearts that are prepared for Jesus coming again.

I indeed baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." (Mark 1:8)

Jesus, please immerse us in the life of your Spirit. Please come with that same power on your church that you came with upon Saul on the Damascus Road.

"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; (Isaiah 55:1a)

Father, please give us such a thirst for the waters of your Spirit that we will not be satisfied with anything less.

And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1b)

Jesus, help us receive freely what you paid the full price for on the cross.

Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? (Isaiah 55:2a)

Holy Spirit, give us hearts that seek after Jesus instead of the trinkets and power of the world.

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. (Isaiah 55:2b)

Jesus, please help us listen carefully to what your Spirit is saying to the church.

Incline your ear, and come to me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you -- the sure mercies of David. (Isaiah 55:3)

Father, much of your church has walked out of the covenant relationship with you: have mercy on us and help us listen and return to you. Thank you.

***** Many thanks to Patti Gibbons who helped me with technical details yesterday!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

 

Malawi Sisters Bid Goodbye


This video is a ministry of Albany Intercessor.

 

12/19/2006, #96, 4th Quarter 2006

The Sisters from Malawi at the Convent of St. Mary at the Spiritual Life Center of the Diocese of Albany are returning home. This tea was given to honor them and to let them bid goodbye which they did in song. Mother Miriam welcomed us and Bishop Bill Love gave the invocation. A four and a half minute video of this and the Sisters singing can now be viewed above and at:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=236644726319825241

Song: Tikupita (We are going)
Dziko lino lapansi sikwathu-----------This world is not our home,
Kwathu ife zowona ndi kumwamba --Our home is in heaven,
aitana mbuye Yesu tikupita, ---------Lord Jesus has called us,
ife tikupita --------------------------indeed we are going.

Chorus
Bayi, Bayi, ife tapita -----------------Bye, bye, we are going,
Tikupita, ife tikupita, ----------------We are going, we are going,
zoona tikupita, ife tikupita -----------Indeed, we are going
Uko! --------------------------------There
Komwe kuli Ambuye tikupita -------Where Jesus is. We are going,
zoona tikupita ife tikupita. -----------indeed, we are going.

Ulendowa ngofunika kupilira --------This journey needs perseverance
Satanayo safuna tikafike ------------Satan doesn't want us to reach home
Aitana mbuye Yesu tikupita, --------Lord Jesus has called us,
ife tikupita. -------------------------we are going.

 

12/19/2006, #94, 4th Quarter 2006

For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. (2 Peter 1:12)

Holy Spirit, we really do need reminding day by day of the truth of the gospel. We are surrounded by lies and we need your help. We pray that you will raise up witnesses to keep pointing us to Jesus.

Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, (2 Peter 1:13)

Jesus, we do need stirring up and reminding: we are surrounded by a society which has lost its moorings in you. Please help us, like the Wise Men, to follow the leading you give us to come to you this Advent and Christmas.

knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. (2 Peter 1:14)

When the day come for us to lay down our lives, please help us to do so in the hope of coming into your presence with joy, Father.

Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease [exodus]. (2 Peter 1:15)

Father, thank you for the reminder of Scripture; please help your church heed your word. Help the church make an exodus out of its present bondage.

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)

Jesus, please help us see for what they are the cunningly devised fables that are rampant in your church and turn to you and embrace the truth of the gospel.

For he received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to him from the Excellent Glory: "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." (2 Peter 1:17)

Father, please help us by the voice of your Holy Spirit to recognize Jesus for who he is.

And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1:18)

LORD, thank you for those "mountain top" experiences you give us. Please help us remember them and you when we are in the valleys. Help us to seek you from whom the experience comes.

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; (2 Peter 1:19)

Jesus, your light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot understand it or overcome it. Thank you for your light. Please help us all this Advent to cry out to you for the light of to shine freely throughout your church.

knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Jesus, please restore to your church the knowledge that we are not free to do our own interpretations of Scripture, but must be true to the "faith once delivered to the saints."

***** Continue prayers for our Bishops, clergy, diocese, the Spiritual Life Center, and the Sisters of St. Mary.

Cry out to the Lord for His Church.

Pray for Bp. Herzog, Bp. Bena, and Bp. Love in this period of transition and uncertainty in the national church. Pray for protection, provision, strength, peace and clear guidance from the Lord. Pray for their families.

Pray for a mighty revival and renewal in the church (ours and others) and in this nation and Canada.

Keep praying for Christ's Church for the Lord's whole will and purposes to be accomplished in us and through us.

Monday, December 18, 2006

 

12/18/2006, #93, 4th Quarter 2006

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, (2 Peter 1:5a)

Jesus, please help us be diligent in following you.

add to your faith virtue, (2 Peter 1:5b)

Holy Spirit, guide us into those works of virtue that will manifest our faith in Jesus. Help us think on those things that are true and noble, just and pure, lovely and of good report. Please help us think on those things which are of virtue and are praiseworthy. (From Philippians 4:8)

to virtue knowledge, (2 Peter 1:5c)

Father, please help us seek after knowledge which will build us up in you. Reach out and touch Nashota House and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and fill the faculty, administration and students with that knowledge. Come and visit our diocesan priest and deacon formation programs with that knowledge which will root our clergy in Jesus and enable them to grow in him.

to knowledge self-control, (2 Peter 1:6a)

Holy Spirit, we cannot control ourselves unless you help us. Please enable us to receive your help and enter more fully into the discipline Jesus has for us.

to self-control perseverance, (2 Peter 1:6b)

Father, please guide us in encouraging one another in steadfast faith and works of righteousness.

to perseverance godliness, (2 Peter 1:6c)

Jesus, please help us take on the character befitting the children of God.

to godliness brotherly kindness, (2 Peter 1:7a)

Jesus, you are the friend who sticks closer than a brother; please help us show forth brotherly kindness to one another. (From Proverbs 18:24)

and to brotherly kindness love. (2 Peter 1:7b)

Father, faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest of these is love. Help us mature into the love Jesus had for you and for us in going to the cross. Please help us crucify every sinful affection this Advent.

For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:8)

Father, we want to enter into more fruitful knowledge of Jesus; please help us by your Holy Spirit to do that. Thank you.

***** Continue prayers for our Bishops, clergy, diocese, the Spiritual Life Center, and the Sisters of St. Mary. Cry out to the Lord for His Church.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

 

12/17/2006, #92, 4th Quarter 2006

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, (Hebrews 12:22)

LORD, thank you for bringing us to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem. Thank you for surrounding us with your angels.

to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23)

Father, thank you for inviting us into that great assembly of your saints.

to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:24)

Jesus, thank you for being that offering that takes away the sins of the world. Thank you for pouring out your life-blood so that we can be washed clean. Thank you for giving us of yourself in the Eucharist.

See that you do not refuse him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven, (Hebrews 12:25)

LORD, we pray that you will restore to your church listening ears. Help us to be people who hearken to your word.

whose voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." (Hebrews 12:26)

Holy Spirit, there is a shaking and a sifting coming to the church; we pray that none of the wheat will be lost with the chaff, and we pray for your little ones who are being led astray by lies.

Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:27)

Jesus, you are our rock and our sure foundation; help us day by day to keep standing on you so that we are not shaken by what is coming.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. (Hebrews 12:28)

Father, please help us by your Holy Spirit to be children of your kingdom; help us receive your kingdom as little children, trusting in your love.

For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)

Father, please burn away all the chaff and irrelevancies in our lives and in your church. Thank you.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

 

12/16/2006, #91, 4th Quarter 2006

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

Holy Spirit, please guide us so that our faith yields good works.

And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. (2 Thessalonians 3:14)

Jesus, please help us keep to a standard of behavior defined by your word in Scripture.

Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:15)

Holy Spirit, please help us build each other up by your guidance.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Jesus, please help us this Advent to receive and enter into your peace in all parts of our lives.

The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write. (2 Thessalonians 3:17)

Father, thank you for Paul’s witness to us.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (2 Thessalonians 3:18)

Amen.

Friday, December 15, 2006

 

12/15/2006, #90, 4th Quarter 2006

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)

Father, thank you for your people.

Jesus, thank you for loving us.

Holy Spirit, thank you for choosing us and bringing us to sanctification.

Jesus, thank you for the truth of the gospel and for giving us faith to believe.

Father, thank you for the glory you have revealed in your son, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Father, thank you for those traditions which nourish and sustain us. Please help us stand fast in the apostolic teaching and the teaching of Scripture.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort our hearts and establish us in every good word and work. (From 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

 

12/14/2006, #89, 4th Quarter 2006

Evangelism is not a Four-Letter Word
by Bob Shovah, St. Paul's Troy

* "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)
* There is a lot of theology and a lot of philosophy, as well as a lot of direction in this very familiar excerpt from the Gospel of Matthew.
First of all, we get a statement of the Trinitarian concept of God- The "Name" of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; notthe "names." Three Persons in one God. Not just three functions.
* Secondly, Jesus, the Son of God, commands us to use the example He has given us ... the perfect life He lived in His human nature, to teach all the world of what it means to be human to our full potential. To be examples by living lives of holiness, and compassion, and reconciliation ... as He showed possible. But His life among us had more meaning than just being a "nice guy." By His death and resurrection. He gave us salvation, enabling us to make a right relationship with God.
* Often overlooked at the end of the passage is an assurance by Christ that we will not be alone in doing His work. That we will be given strength enough to accomplish the work of bringing the Gospel to the world.
* Part of the strength we are given lies in being members of the Church, the Body of Christ. Here at St. Paul's, God has gathered a group of people together that can teach one another, bring His healing to one another, to love one another. When one of us is hungry, we feed her. When one of us cries, we comfort him. When one of us celebrates, the others share that, too. And we hold a wonderful gift ... the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has enabled us to come to Him for His Love. We have been redeemed. Without being slaves to our sin, we are free to be all that He has meant for us to be ... happy in His Kingdom. And we must share this gift, not hoard it. For all that you love about being part of St. Paul's, and of God's Church throughout this world, bring it out to others who await the knowledge and love of Him, Evangelism is simply sharing. Sharing His Good News.... and His Love. AMEN.

 

12/14/2006, #88, 4th Quarter 2006

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:9b)

Holy Spirit, please help us and all your little ones to stand firm in our faith in Jesus. Thank you.

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. (Psalm 37:1-2)

Jesus, please help us put our trust fully in you and lay aside like a filthy garment all fretting and needless anxiety.

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. (Psalm 37:3)

Father, you have brought us into this good land, please help us place our full confidence in your love and mercy and care for us as your children.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Holy Spirit, please purify the desires of our hearts so that we truly desire our Father's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled " (John 14:27).

Thank you, Jesus!

***** Keep the priests' retreat in prayer.

Pray for our Bishops and clergy and lay leaders during this time of transition.

Pray for a special anointing to come upon Bp. Bill for the days ahead.

Pray for a mighty revival in our churches, our area and our nation.

Pray for the Diocese and the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center and their staffs and ministries. Pray for protection, provision and clear guidance.

PTL for a very powerful Wednesday women's meeting watching part of Derek Prince's video on Spiritual Warfare and intercession. The women felt that God was calling them to a new level of intercession. The scriptures were Daniel 10, Ephesians 6 and Ezra 8:21. They got three words: I want you to take My word seriously. Seek Me for My plan. Call on Me and cry out to Me. Set aside you own thoughts, and seek Me for My way...Fight...You have to be ready...

NOTICE: We are going by train today to NYC to visit Jonathan, Liz and Llewelyn till Saturday evening.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

 

12/13/2006, #87, 4th Quarter 2006

Paul, Silas and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:1-2)

To the church of the Diocese of Albany and all the faithful dioceses and parishes in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. (From 2 Thessalonians 1:3-7)

We wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord our God. For we have said, "Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over us when our foot slips." O LORD, do not forsake us; be not far from us, O our God. Come quickly to help us, O Lord our Savior. (From Psalm 38: 15-16, 21-22)

***** Keep praying for our Bishops and all who counsel them during the Transition. Pray for God's protection, provision, strength and peace and clear guidance from the Holy Spirit. Pray for protection from false choices and that any weapons formed against them will not prosper. Pray for the Diocese and SLC and their staffs and ministries. Pray for revival and for hearts made ready to respond.

Pray for the Lord's anointing and protection on the priests' retreat today. Pray for travel mercies and that nothing will happen to keep people away. Pray for the Lord to pour out his Spirit and his blessings. Pray for Bp. Bena as he delivers the messages God has given him.

***** From: Scott C Evans
Subject: Prayer Requests
Just a reminder about our Advent Prayer and Healing Service Wednesday Evening, December 13th, at 7pm. at Calvary Episcopal Church, Burnt Hills. Please join us! Also, please lift up the following Alpha courses that are being considered for Winter, 2006 that will share our common Holy Spirit Weekend at the SLC in March. Christ Church Coxsackie, Christ Church Schenectady, GE Research - Alpha in the workplace, Hope United Methodist Church - Troy, and Church of the Messiah - Glens Falls Thanks! Scott

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 

12/12/2006, #86, 4th Quarter 2006

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13a)

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the witness of Bp. Dan, Bp. Dave and Bp. Bill and all the faithful clergy and lay leaders of this diocese who minister to us. Help us honor them.

Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:13b)

In all our parishes, Father, please help us strive to be at peace with one another.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Holy Spirit, please help us love one another enough that we will speak words of correction to those who are weak in faith, and please help us be truly patient with all.

See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

Jesus, help us seek the common good for one another, and please help us refrain from hurting one another or seeking revenge.

Rejoice always, (1 Thessalonians 5:16)

Father, please help us make this choice to rejoice in all circumstances.

pray without ceasing, (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Jesus, please give us a spirit of prayer and intercession. Move among us and move us to prayer.

in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Jesus, please help us enter into your will for us without holding back. Thank you.

Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

Holy Spirit, please help us all enter more fully into your life.

Do not despise prophecies. (1 Thessalonians 5:20)

Father, help us heed your present words to us.

Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

Jesus, pour out in your church the gift of discernment so that we may recognize and hold fast to what is good.

Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Father, move among us with a spirit of true and lasting repentance.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Please come among us.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Jesus, thank you for doing what we are not able to do. Thank you for calling us, and thank you for being faithful to us.

Brethren, pray for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:25)

Father, give us all a heart to support the apostolic ministry among us with prayer and supplication. Please sustain Bp. Dan, Bp. Dave and Bp. Bill with your Holy Spirit.

Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. (1 Thessalonians 5:26)

Jesus, help us greet each other with sincere affection.

I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. (1 Thessalonians 5:27)

Holy Spirit, please help us all read, mark, and inwardly digest this epistle and all of Scripture.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (1 Thessalonians 5:28)

Jesus, I receive this apostolic blessing from you. Thank you.

***** Pray for diocesan staff members: Joan Ecker, Matthew Edwards, Caryl Fuda, Matt Fuda, The Rev'd Laurie Garramone-Rohr, Timothy George, Patti Gibbons,, Megan Goldsmith

Pray for Lord's covering and anointing on the Priest's retreat. Pray for Bp. Bena's meditations that the Holy Spirit will give him exactly what to say and for clarity of hearing for all who attend.

Cry out to the Lord for his church and for revival.

My deepest thanks go out to the many people who attended the 24 hr prayer vigil. It was very powerful and sustaining. A report will follow....God bless you for your prayers either at the Oratory of Christ the Healer or your church or at home. Something always happens when we pray...On His Majesties Service Fr. Nigel+

(Dn. Laurie Kellington-Sat.) my sister-in-law, Jeannie, went to be with the Lord this evening. I know in my heart, and have a great deal of peace that she is with the Lord. Thank you for your prayers.

Pray for healing: Faye Van Dermark, (from Fr. Nigel:) Jean Mumford, Isabel & Capt. Wm. Q. who has lung cancer, (from Patti)-St. John's Troy student-Vinnie,( severely injured by car.) Father Kenyon & Mtr. Geri Bissell-Thompson, Jackie Jones (Surgery 12/11), Marianne Gorchov. Margaret Haskell's brother, Terry.

Monday, December 11, 2006

 

12/11/2006, #85, 4th Quarter 2006

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

LORD, we cry out to you for mercy; please help each of us see where our opinions are leading us astray.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21)

Holy Spirit, help us judge rightly by your guidance.

Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, (Isaiah 5:22)

Jesus, please help your people repent of being drunk with wine -- fill us anew with your Holy Spirit.

Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man! (Isaiah 5:23)

Father, please restore your righteousness to the courts of law, legislatures, and leaders of this land. Help us be a people who know your son as both Lord and Savior.

I left up my soul to you, O LORD. O my God, I trust in you; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me, indeed, let no one who waits on you be ashamed. Show me your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; on you I wait all the day long. (From Psalm 25:1-5)

A word received: This is Advent. It is a season for waiting -- waiting on me. I want my people to examine their hearts and lives.

"Great sermons lead the people to praise the preacher. Good preaching leads the people to praise the Savior." Charles G. Finney

Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 13:13:46 -0500
From: Harold Carrier
Subject: John Carrier
Dear Friend's, it has been a difficult week for the Carrier Family, my brother, John was rushed to the hospital at 5 am this morning (12/10) with severe abdominal pain, he suffers from chronic Crones disease, and may have to undergo emergency surgery at North Adams hospital tomorrow. thank you and God bless, hap+
(PS while you are at it you may thrown a quick prayer in for my blood pressure, which is suddenly suddenly up a few ticks)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

 

12/10/2006, #84, 4th Quarter 2006

And when all the people heard him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. (Luke 7:29)

Father, thank you for every sinner who repents.

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (Luke 7:30)

Holy Spirit, even now speak to the leaders of the churches and help them accept your will for them -- a baptism of repentance -- a turning away from sin and a turning to Jesus.

And the Lord said, "To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not weep.'" (Luke 7:31-32)

Jesus, have mercy on us, for the church leaders expect you to dance to their tune.

"For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' 35But wisdom is justified by all her children." (Luke 7:33-34)

Jesus, thank you for bearing the insults of your people to the cross; thank you for coming to us who know we are sinners. Please help us to be children of your wisdom and not the wisdom of this age. Thank you.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

 

12/9/2006, #83, 4th Quarter 2006

A word received: You are my people. Listen, listen to me. I Am speaking to my church, pray for my church to listen to me.

A word received: I Am coming, who is listening? Pray for listening ears.

A word received: Wake up and pay attention to me and my word.

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (1 Thessalonians 5)

[1 Thessalonians 5 prepares us to be faithful, ready, and waiting in the midst of the world. This also refers to others comings besides the second coming of Jesus. The LORD frequently calls on his people to repent. Repentance has two parts: turning away from sin and turning toward the LORD. The Old Testament frequently use the word "return" for repentance so both haves are clearer. The Prodigal Son did both!]

A word received: Worship! Worship!

 

12/9/2006, #82, 4th Quarter 2006

Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, he said, "These things which you see--the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down." (Luke 21:5-6)

Jesus, please give your church eyes and hearts and minds to see that though these present structures in the Episcopal Church may be cast down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (From 2 Corinthians 5:1)

Father, you made the world and everything in it, you are Lord of heaven and earth and you do not dwell in temples made with hands, but you desire to inhabit the temple of our hearts. (From Acts 17:28) Come now and take up residence in our hearts!

Holy Spirit, you do not see as man sees; for we look at the outward appearance, but you look at the heart. (From 1 Samuel 16:7) Please help us look beneath the surface of the Episcopal Church and see those things which are truly built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. You are building a renewed church which is fitted together and is a holy temple in the Lord, a dwelling place for you. Thank you. (From Ephesians 2:20-22)

***** Request from Bp. Dan: The Bishops’ Appeal has been made across the Diocese and I ask your intentional and vigorous support. This will enable Bishop Bill to commence his episcopate on February 1. It provides the bishop with flexibility to initiate and foster ministries, and meet needs across the diocese.

The Priests’ Retreat begins Tuesday, Dec 12, with the Eucharist at 5pm and ends Friday after lunch. The Retreat Director is Bishop David Bena. The theme of this year’s retreat is 2 Corinthians 4 on being vessels of clay. This is the most important of all the meetings of the priests in any year. I ask each person to pray for all your priests on retreat next week. On line registration is at http://www.albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/forms/Priests-061212.html

Friday, December 08, 2006

 

12/8/2006, #81, 4th Quarter 2006

And he looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, (Luke 21:1)

Jesus, you look and see the inner man and are not blinded by the surface appearance. Help us to look below the surface of people and discern the spiritual poverty that is often there. Let your rivers of living water flow through us to those who are spiritually impoverished.

and he saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. (Luke 21:2)

Holy Spirit, help us see the poor among us, help us see and assist those whose only hope is the love of God. Help us receive with true thanksgiving the gifts they bring.

So he said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had." (Luke 21:3-4)

Father, please help us this Advent to come to a new level of giving of ourselves to you. Help us seek first your kingdom and your righteousness. Thank you.

Jesus, as for me, I will see your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness. (From Psalm 17:15)

How easy it is for me to live with you, Lord.
How easy it is to believe in you when my mind reels from not understanding,
or when my mind weakens -- when the most intelligent people cannot think
beyond the evening and do not know what must be done tomorrow.
You convey to me the lucid assurance that you exist,
that you will see to it that not all paths toward good will be closed.
At the peak of earthly renown I look back with amazement at
that road which by no stretch of the imagination I could have devised --
A remarkable road through despair which has led me here
where I too have been able to send mankind reflections of your rays --
As for what I won't have time or ability for --
This means that you have reserved it for others.

Prayer
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

***** Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2006 15:30:36 -0500
From: Evans, Scot
Subject: Prayer Requests
Hi Torre,

I have two prayer requests:

1) We will have a power prayer and healing service at Calvary Church [Burnt Hills] Wednesday, December 13th at 7pm. Please pray that God moves in power and come join us if you can!

2) Rev. Susan [Baker-Borjeson] and I are organizing a common Alpha Holy Spirit Weekend to be held at the SLC March 16-18 for area churches running Alpha and for people running Alpha in the workplace or in homes. Please pray for God to move through Alpha in this region and to guide churches he would choose to run a course this winter/spring. A schedule with late January start will support the Holy Spirit Weekend dates. Churches that would like help in getting Alpha going (again) can feel free to contact me. Thanks,

-Scott

***** From: Jim Tarullo

Need a Christmas Gift??

At the Grace Church [Waterford] Parish Hall, 34 Third Street, Waterford on December 9th, there will be a "Cook Book" sale. Reasonable prices. Also available (for eat in or take out) will be a light fare lunch of soup, sandwich, dessert and beverage. Time is 11 am until 2 pm.

Proceeds from this fund raiser will benefit the church's food pantry. We hope to see you there! We would appreciate it if you could send emails to your family and friends, helping us promote our event.

Thank you. Fay Catallo

Thursday, December 07, 2006

 

12/7/2006, #80, 4th Quarter 2006

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. (1 Thessalonians 3:11)

Father, as you directed Paul and Timothy to the Thessalonians to encourage and instruct them, raise up and send witnesses to encourage and instruct us.

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

Lord Jesus, help us to love one another as you love us. Thank you for the love you have shown us in our bishops, Bp. Dan, Bp. Dave and Bp. Bill.

so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:13)

Jesus, so work in our hearts by your Holy Spirit that we will be established blameless at the day of your come with all your saints.

***** The annual Cathedral Lock-in is happening and scheduled for Friday December 8th. Registration begins at 7pm with fun to begin soon after. Pick up will be promptly at 8m Saturday the 9th of December. Please pray for this event!

You can register by calling Tracy, Megan or Michelle @Christ the King, SLC @ 518-692-9550 or register online at www.ctkcenter.org and click on youth ministry and click on the link that says Cathedral Lock-in. There is a downloadable, printable medical release form that each attendee must have in order to register and participate in the Lock-in.

The fee for the lock-in is $24.00 which you may pay at the door with either cash, check or credit card (Visa, Mastercard Or Discover)

Anyone in grades 6-12 is invited to come and join in on the fun. Also youth leaders, Priests or Chaperones are greatly welcome!

We're planning a fun Christ filled evening for all, so come and enjoy and hang out in our "way too Kool for school Cathedral".

Hope to see you there!

Any questions, please call Tracy @ CtK 518-692-9550

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