The Bread of Life Sermon Audio

John 6:25-59 (NIV)

Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[a]

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me,but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[b] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

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Dear Salvation Army Officers: 4 Reasons Not To Leave Officership

**This blog entry is Officer specific, but this can be applied to soldiers as well! **

Dear Salvation Army Officer who is on the verge of resigning…this is for you.
Stop and consider these words before you make that phone call or write that email or letter.  I know that officership is hard.  Ministry in general is hard.  We sometimes face pressures from many different places – the corps, headquarters, a disgruntled employee or volunteer, a public figure who you don’t see eye to eye with.  It seems as if almost every area of ministry we find opposition.  There are certainly joys in ministry as well, but for a few minutes let me highlight 4 reason NOT to leave officership!  First of all, if you were called into this ministry by God these next four reasons I list below should be reasons that you stay and fight for not only This army, but for your purpose as an officer!

  1. boss Bullies
    Bullies come in all shapes and sizes.  Bullies in the community that push around people who come to your corps.  There might be bullies IN your corps.  You might encounter bullies at your headquarters by way of department heads or even the occasional leader.  Unfortunately, bullies do not discriminate, and if you are making waves for Christ in what you do, then you will most likely encounter these bullies.  Never leave the Army because you encountered a bully.  The Army isn’t just compromised of people – we don’t stay because we necessarily always like each other either, and we might not always agree with each other.   No, instead we stay because we believe in this movement as an Army despite people sometimes….even other officers or leaders who have hurt you or done things that were ungodly to you.  Do not leave these ranks because of bullies within them or in your appointment.  Stand up, unite with other like minded officers and soldiers and find your strength to fight on.I cannot stand a bully, especially a bully with any ounce of power.  Most bullies are weak minded, power hungry, insecure individuals.  I feel, even in this army we tolerate this kind of person more than we should instead of dealing with them directly.  Many an officer has either considered leaving or has left because of how a bully has treated them.  I also say this to any officer who would take up a mantel of leadership:  fight for the little guy, remember what corps were like, understand how each soldier feels when they come to you for help…don’t lose sight of the army’s mission as a mighty movement known as The Salvation Army!
  2. Politics:
    Do not leave these ranks because of church politics.  politicsEvery church has these political decisions that we may not always agree with.  At the end of the day our Army is still run by people who are imperfect.  I would say that most are here for the right reasons and that decisions made from the corps level on up to IHQ have been made with much prayer and careful thought.  Have there been instances of personal kingdom making in the army through politicing?  YES of course, but do not allow these small instances to disillusion you and make you resign your commission as an officer!  Also keep in mind that what we might perceive as bad politics, might be something that is aimed at a long range vision for our mission.  Pray for your corps.  Pray for your leaders.  Pray for those instances when church politics does not have your best interest in mind.  Ask God to help you to not only be a holy force for change in the Army, but that you might show mercy and grace in the process.  You can be a change agent in the Army if you remain and fight…so fight on!
  3. Favoritism: favoritism
    Just as politics happens in all organizations and churches, so does favoritism.  It is sometimes ugly, painful, and wrong…but it can happen.  I’m not saying that it always does happen, but when it does don’t allow this to be the deciding factor in your exit strategy as an officer!  It happened in the early church and it still happens in all levels of the Army.  There are many godly men and women who fight against this and are principled in stopping these kinds of things, but know that it may still occur from time to time.  Be aware of favoritism when it happens, but don’t be bothered by it.  Move on, remember your calling isn’t first to leadership or even the Army, it is to God…so be faithful to that, be consistent to that and do your very best for the Lord.  His favor will always shine on the faithful!  Keep on keeping on!
  4. Perceptions:
    perceptionDespite how others might “perceive” you or use the term “perception”, do not allow it to discourage you or cause you to quit.  If you are a kingdom builder, then you will face the occasional criticism or erroneous perception of you.  Use a discernment filter in your mind to filter out what is truth and what is perceived truth – these words are not mutually exclusive or even the same.   If a perception is true then perhaps the Holy Spirit is working on you through others, if the perception is not true, then do not allow it to consume you with discouragement which could lead to your early exit via a letter of resignation.
    perceptUse two measures of truth:

    Titus 1:7 – “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,”

    Micah 6:8 – “He has told you, O man, what is good;
        and what does the Lord require of you
    but to do justice, and to love kindness,
        and to walk humbly with your God?”

    If we apply these two passages of truth in our lives then other people’s opinions and perceptions of us (even those within the leadership spectrum) will either be true or untrue.  If we are above reproach, if we are humble and a lover of mercy, then we will take perceptions of us with a grain of salt, and allow the untruths to roll off of our backs like water on a duck.

    Stand firm, dear Officer.  
    You are vitally important to this movement!  You have not signed your allegiance to any one person in the army, nor will you be moved by any one poor example listed above!  Know that we as an army will sometimes become more concerned with our inner struggles that we will lose sight of our mission and vision for the World.  So look up, keep your focus on the outcomes of the good that you are doing.  Work hard.  Take your days of respite and self-care.  Pray for your appointments, the people in them, those you encounter in our community, pray also for your leaders and the leadership of this global army.  We do not need more officers walking out frustrated, worn out and feeling crushed…no, we need more weathered officers who will stand firm, fight hard and not giving up or caving to the trappings of an ever growing and progressing army!

    Something more for our Army to ponder today.
    May God continue to bless you, dear Officer!

    *Disclaimer:  The opinions and thoughts expressed here are not necessarily the opinions and thoughts of The Salvation Army, but rather the opinions and thoughts of this writer.  Reader discretion is advised.*

Devotions: Feeling Oppressed?

It feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest…
I cannot sleep because of all of the problems racing through my head…
I just don’t want to get out of bed today…
My heart feels heavy…
All my emotions are drained and I feel alone…
I can’t even laugh anymore…

Do any of these emotions or expressions ring true for you today?
Most of us have been through these seasons of life…sometimes more than once.
We feel defeated, deflated, unimportant and alone.
I have been in this place and I have allowed these lies to emotionally wreck me.
Thank goodness I don’t live there anymore.  I know it was a lie, and that I needed to realize the truth – that I was loved and that I was never alone.  I was/am a child of the Most High!

Far too often Christians will start to believe these untruths, and I believe that spiritual oppression is very real and very alive in the Church today.  We hear things inferred or even said that cloud our judgement and make us forget how God truly sees us.  This is a great tactic of Satan…and it works almost every time!

2 Corinthians 6:18 says, “And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”  Did you catch that?  God says to you and to me you will be MY sons and daughters…forget what others might say about you; forget what you might think about your gifts and abilities; forget how the world sees you – the only thing that truly matters is how God sees you…and if He can call you son or daughter, then guess what?  All of the other titles in this world, both good or bad are so less important than this one amazing truth!!  You are His!!

Henri Nouwen once said, I truly believe he struggled with oppression and depression in his life too (so we are in great company) …”Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.

Prayer: Lord, please dispel the oppression of the father of lies in my life right now.  Help me to know and see the truth about who I am to you.  Strengthen me for this day, and fill me with your hope even when (or especially when) I feel defeated and alone.  Shine your light on me and reveal the truth to my heart today.  In your name I pray all of these things.  -Amen.

Devotional Pondering: The Lifter of your head.

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3

Have you been to the place of darkness?
The moment when you have felt hopeless, alone and perhaps afraid?
It is a lonely place…sometimes even when you are surrounded by people.
There are seasons of restlessness, unhappiness and perhaps hopelessness too.
But allow me to reassure you today with a word of encouragement – No matter the difficulty you might be facing, or the circumstances that seem to loom in on you, you are not alone.  You are being strengthened by the Most High even if you do not immediately feel this way.  He is the lifter of our heads when we are downcast.  He provides shelter to us when we are standing in the heart of the storm.

I have felt the winds of these storms recently.
I too have encountered the weight of a heavy heart.
Sometimes seasons come and the darkness threatens us…but the sliver of light that does remain gives me hope.  I know that He is with me even in the heart of the storm.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for lifting my head when all I want to do is hang it in discouragement.  Be with me today, thank you for your joy which shines even when the storms of life swirl around me.  Help me to be content in you, no matter the circumstances of life around me.  “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge”   (Psalm 31:1) Thank you for being there for me and lifting my head when I was downtrodden.  Shine in me today so others might see your glory.  -Amen.

It Was A Great Birthday!…

Well, I turned another year older today.
I have survived another revolution around the Sun.
I don’t feel much older than I did…twenty three years ago when I was just 18 years old.(yikes!).

Today I received wonderful birthday blessings from so many people from around the world.  It was incredibly humbling and joyful to have so many friends both near and far away!  Thank you all so very much!

Tonight, my beautiful wife is preparing my favorite kind of ethnic food – Indian curry (of course)…what a great way to cap what has been an amazing birthday!

One of my favorite living poets Ted Kooser once wrote this poem that pretty much sums up my amazing day –

‘A Birthday Poem’
Just past dawn, the sun stands ted
with its heavy red head
in a black stanchion of trees,
waiting for someone to come
with his bucket
for the foamy white light,
and then a long day in the pasture.
I too spend my days grazing,
feasting on every green moment
till darkness calls,
and with the others
I walk away into the night,
swinging the little tin bell
of my name.

Thank you friends!

Devotional: A Love That Never Fails

Have you ever heard the old phrase: ‘Nothing lasts forever‘.
It’s usually said to bring comfort to those who have lost a loved ones, a relationship, a treasured item like a cell phone or car…but I know at least one instance in which this phrase is flat out wrong.

God’s love is not temporal and does not have an expiration date on it.
He wants to lavish us with His provisions and love and the only thing that stands in the way of that at times is…us, and our old sinful nature.  Sin has a way of convincing us that the temporal, fleeting things are most important, and yet they pass away, they expire and are no more.  Yet, there God stands from everlasting to everlasting with something far beyond sometime finite – because He is infinite as is His love for you and for me.

Psalm 136:1,2 says:  “Praise the Lord! He is good.  God’s love never fails…”
So why do we put our trust in the things that are fading and passing away instead in putting them in the Eternal, Infinite love of God?  It seems like such a wasted investment, doesn’t it?  I don’t know about you, but I do not want to come to the end of my life and realize that I have squandered by time, talent and treasures on things that didn’t last.  Instead, I want to deeply invest in the Eternal and never ending love of God.  How about you?

Prayer:  Dear Lord, help me to know you more fully.  Help me to see your beauty in the world around me and to know that you love and desire my love in return.  Thank you for the many blessings that you have given to me today.  Help me to not take these blessings for granted.  Help me to love others as you have loved me.  Be with me today.  In your name I pray all of these things.  -Amen.

 

Dear Salvation Army, 5 Practical Ways To Engage The UnChurched?

Dear Salvation Army,
are we playing church when we should be engaging our community?  Is there a difference?  We understand that our ministry and movement is not strictly “Church”, it is really Gap ministry and the front lines of reaching the unchurched.  There are plenty of churches that minister to Christians, but how many movements are there that do 90% outreach to a majority of the unchurched in our culture today?

There is the temptation to want to peer over the fence at growing churches and mega churches that boast hundreds or thousands of members and wish we could become them…but is that really what we as The Salvation Army was created to be?  Is it all about numbers and/or attendance?  Why do we continue to buy into the erroneous notion that we have to look and appear like other churches from other denominations?

The truth of the matter is if we are striving to look like other Churches who predominantly minister to middle to upper class Christian people, we will surely fail – because that was never our vision or mission as an Army.

Questions:  
So WHO are we?
How do we maintain this Movement?
Are there times where we must realign our mission?
5 Practical Ways to Engage The Unchurched: 

1) It’s about Relationship and Trust! 
You cannot actively engage the unchurched if you only see them as statistics on your attendance sheet.  Would be new comers can sense a scheme or disingenuous’friendliness’ a mile away.    If you as an Army are to reach unchurched people, you have to be sincere, honest, genuine and make a concerted effort to meet people at where they are at.  You cannot expect people to change overnight if they have never been in a church ever in their lives!  Love them.  Display Christ to them in your actions…but true engagement comes when you first go to them and build a relationship and level of trust.

2) Study your community and fill a need! 
Are there a lot of single mothers in your neighborhood?  Perhaps build on that need and fill it in some way – offer support and helps!  Is there an influx of teenagers in your neighborhood?  Cater your ministry to meet these unchurched youth.  Become a student of your neighborhood.  Learn what that neighborhood or community truly needs.  Pray about it.  Ask God to show you, and then stay in tune so that when He does show you – you will be prepared to act.  Without learning about your community, you will not be able to actively engage it or truly reach the unchurched.  This can be dirty work – by that I don’t mean to insinuate that unchurched people are dirty, not at all, what I mean is you have to meet individuals – talk to them, and yes, you will meet a lot of people who come from hard-living lifestyles.  So roll up your sleeves and get to work!

3) Break the mold of what Sunday “church” looks like!
We as an Army have even developed what Sunday “Church” should look like.
We have a set format for it.
We have developed habits and sometimes ruts in our services.
It becomes the HOW of our identity… but is this the most effective way of reaching the unchurched?  I would dare you as Soldiers and Officers to move beyond what we think “Church” should feel and look like.  Get beyond the chapel from time to time.  Stop printing a bulletin one Sunday and see who gets bent out of shape by it = this is further evidence that we are stuck in the “church” rut of looking like other churches when we are not them.

Consider doing Messy Church one Sunday a month.
Maybe meet in a different place in your corps (if it’s big enough), or meet at the quarters on Sunday evenings for a fellowship.  Reshape how you do “Church”, because if we truly believe that we are NOT a Church, then why are we continually attempting to look like a church?  What matters more: we do all the right elements of church or we engage with real-life issues in intensive spiritually focused fellowship, discussion and discovery?

4) Create a buy-in and celebrate the small steps!


When we engage the non-Christian or unchurched – there has to be a buy-in.
Why do you want them to become a part of your Corps?  It sounds selfish, but what’s in it for them?  Why would you want to go to your corps?  What holds it all together?  When you can answer those questions you will begin to grasp the true buy-in for a new comer to become actively engaged.  Also know that there is no full-proof method and success rate.  We will fail at times in engaging people for Christ.  This will happen because of free will and choice.  You can’t force someone to attend your corps, but you can make attending your corps inviting, friendly and accepting if you create an intentional environment of welcome for all who come to your doors!

The second component to this is setting goals and celebrating successes.
Set goals and steps for your corps to meet.
Challenge each member to make connections.
Be realistic and authentic…and don’t emphasize the Forrest for the trees.
Set smaller steps so that every member can become engaged and celebrate when those steps are accomplished!

5) Talk About Real Issues And Be Honest!
Don’t hide from controversial topics or taboo topics in your corps.
The real issues facing people outside your walls need to be discussed and talked about inside your corps.  Don’t create a bubble that pretends everything is peachy-keen when outside people are dying from drug abuse and alcoholism.  Speak about these issues.  Hold a neighborhood meeting.  Be a mover and changer in your community!  Don’t shy away from the tough topics, but be available to provide a safe harbor to those who are caught up in lifestyles that troubling and hurting others.  When we talk about the problems and issues…when we engage in them- people in your community who are unchurched will see a buy-in and will want to help.  When you add them to your forces you are creating a space in which you can actively engage Christ to them through relationship and common purpose.

These are just practical ways to engage in the unchurched.
I would like to note that I do not use the term “unchurched” in any derogatory way.  I know it can create a label, and I would caution us not to call anyone “unchurched” but rather identify them as would-be disciples of Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Dear Salvation Army – Letters From Prison

Life in The Salvation Army is always unique and eventful.  There is something new each day, and these “somethings” can be good, and they can also be not so good.  This ministry and mission that we engage in here in our Army is truly frontlines and gap ministries.  It is with this “gap” ministry in mind that I tell you this story:

I had been feeling very discouraged in serving in The Salvation Army recently.
The busyness of this appointment had begun to frustrate me – far too many reports to complete, too much desk work and not enough human contact in mission.  I had been fighting with policy, rules, regulations…all of the tedious hoops we all have to jump through as Officers in a very far-reaching Army.  Have you ever been there?  Feeling bogged down by stuff and instead of pursuing mission you find yourself pushing paperwork?  That’s where I was when something connected and resonated in me through our soup kitchen and social services…

Our soup kitchen is a thoroughfare to many who are in need, some by choice, others by crisis – all are looking to fill their bellies while sipping on cups of hot coffee and sharing in conversation.  This is a safe haven to a large number who are either living on the street, crisis poverty or habitual poverty.  All are welcomed here, and in a very practical sense, the gap is tended by stalwart soldiers and friends of this army.

I recently received a letter in the mail that was not an ordinary letter.  On the front of the envelop, in bright crimson stamped lettering it read: “Inmate Mail”.  I was intrigued, what could it be about?  So I carefully tore the envelop open and inside I found a hand-written note on a blue lined page.  This individual, now inmate, wrote her letter addressed to: prisonDear Salvation Army” (How fitting I thought).   First she expressed deep gratitude for us being there for her even when she was hurting herself with the abuse of alcohol and drugs.  She was a meth addict and because of her addiction she committed some crimes and ended up being incarcerated.  She continued to describe her dire situation of homelessness and utter hopelessness.  She was more imprisoned outside on her own then she is now.  Her letter ended with these words:  “Because of your soup kitchen, food pantry and your clothing donations, I was able to survive.  Your church gave me life everyday – Thank you for showing me, loving me, and sharing with me the love of Jesus Christ.
hope2
My Dear Salvation Army, this is what our existence is about!  This is who we are!  We must mind the gap!  We must tend the very gates of Hell in order to pull hopeless people like this one from total self-destruction.  We cannot sit by and watch when no one else will help.  Action must be taken daily!  Sometimes we might even feel as if what we do has no effect in our community, and then letters like this appear at our doorsteps.  If I can be honest with you, I have felt defeated many times in my attempts to reach people for Christ.  I have felt the sting of rejection as the gospel has been presented.  I have heard the laughs and the words of mockery.  Perhaps, like me, you needed some reassurances that what we do still matters…IT DOES!
flag
ONWARD:
Let me, for what it’s worth, offer these words of encouragement and direction:
-Keep Fighting the good fight!
-Do not give up on doing these good works for those you serve!
-This movement and mission IS making a difference!
-Even though you may not always see it, God sees your faithfulness and you must find your reward first in HIM.
-Do everything without grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:14a) – (I am preaching to myself first and foremost)
-Every effort for service should be done with love, kindness and grace – you never know whose life you will reach, so be consistent and faithful to God in your service!
hope3
The Salvation Army doesn’t exist for the purpose of maintain status quo and pushing paperwork – it exists so that people like this inmate who wrote this letter might find Christ.  This Salvation Army exists to be a lighthouse to a turbulent sea full of lost people struggling to get to shore.  This Army exists so that homeless people and pariahs in society might also have a chance to meet their Savior.  The words of General John Gowens still ring in my head when he said,  “Mind the Gap!”   We must still call others to mind this gap…and we must be vigilant in our mission as the Lighthouse shining out into the waters of desperation, depression, addictions, abject poverty and all the other ‘gaps’ that exist that would claim all who fall into them.

Something more for our Army to Ponder today!
To God be the glory!

*Disclaimer: The opinions and thoughts expressed here are the opinions of the writer of pastorsponderings and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and thoughts of the Salvation Army, reader discretion is advised.*

Day 60 – Be Done With Sin!

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, army yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin…”  1 Peter 4:1

The joys of life can often be overshadowed by the hidden sins we think we are hiding from God.  We think that if we act a certain way, or talk with just the right words, that we will fool everybody.  That may be true of people, but it isn’t true of God.  He sees it all, the good and the bad.  He knows us, and in that knowing He sees.  I used to be afraid of that “seeing”.  I used to think that this meant God was always spying on me and being intrusive…but that’s not how God works at all.  sin

Like a loving parent, His desire is for us to be rid of all kinds of sickness, and sickness of sin is the worst of it.  He despises sin to the point that nothing with sin can ever stand in His presence.  This Fatherly love, that is perfect and completely devoid of malice, desires the best for us.  He sees the potential in us even when we do not see that potential ourselves.  We might consider ourselves worthless or lacking gifts or talents, where God sees us in a whole different light – His perfect light which is true, pure and full of love for us.  He sent His one and only Son into this world so that sin and death would finally be vanquished forever – so that through Christ, we might experience true life!

redeemWhatever temptations you are facing today – God’s providence can sustain you!
Whatever sins you have been wallowing in for far too long, Christ can forgive and redeem you.
Whatever struggle you might see as impossible to overcome – The Holy Spirit will empower you and strengthen you to overcome and see victory!

Allow this to take place in your life.
Say yes to true living and turn from the trap of sin that leads to loneliness, sorrow and pain.  Hope awaits us all – let’s embrace God’s Light in our lives today more fully than we ever thought possible, with the power of the Holy Spirit within us!

Prayer:  Lord deliver me from ____________________(name it) today.
You know these struggles and these temptations.  Help me to fully embrace your will for my life.  Lead me in this day, deliver me from the snares of the evil one.  Thank you for seeing the potential in me and for guiding me on this path of holiness.  -Amen.

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