Given in 2007
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12). Another translations says, “constant in prayer”. How can we do that?
A few years ago, I heard a teaching about “shooting prayers”; little short prayers directed at a specific issue which could be prayed at any time, any where. At that time, I had been praying for a person at church who had several medical issues and every Sunday, I’d see him and his wife pull into the church parking lot in his yellow car. That color was one of the few that stood out in the parking lot of mostly dark or light-colored vehicles. I thought, I’ve been praying for this friend daily but now I decided that I would “shoot” up a prayer everytime I saw a yellow car. And, it happened a lot! So, I was praying for my friend 10-15 times a day.
As other people came to me that needed “constant” prayer, I added them to the yellow-car prayer shot. Sometimes I would mention each of their names but as the list grew, I just prayed for, “Freddy and the crew”. God knew who they were. Sometimes it was, “Lord, heal the crew.”, other times it was, “Thank you Lord that the crew are healed.” There are a lot of yellow cars on the road.
So, I encourage you to pick something or someone you want to pray for and assign something you see to it as a reminder; a colored car, a bird, a commercial, or an email. Then shoot those prayers skyward, God hears them all.
Given September 2012
Here are some reasons all Christians should vote that I found and thought was worth sharing.
1. Voting publicly recognizes that we submit to the authority of the political system in our nation as established by God. Romans 13:1-7.
2. Voting recognizes the equality of all people and their right to speak and be heard. James 2:1.
3. Voting is one way that we can obey God’s command to seek the good of those around us and our nation as a whole. Philippians 2:3.
4. Voting shows that we care deeply about who our leaders are as we are urged to offer prayer and intercession on their behalf. 1 Timothy 2:1.
5. Voting is a simple yet significant way we can do something about politics in our nation. ‘All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing, Edmund Burke. Psalms 34:14.
6. Voting makes a difference in the same way a grain of salt makes a difference, and that is how we are to influence our society for good. Matthew 5:13.
7. Voting is a privilege not to be taken for granted. Those of us who reap the benefits of living in a democracy should play a part in upholding democracy.
8. Not voting is a form of voting, as it will influence the outcome. We need to take responsibility for our actions, as well as our lack of actions. 1 Peter 1:13.
9. Voting is part of our stewardship to use all the resources we have been given in ways that honor God; to waste a vote is to squander a gift.
10. Voting is Biblical. Jesus commands us to fulfill our responsibility to the civil authority. Matthew 22:21.
Polls say 40% of eligible voters won’t vote. “When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves“. Proverbs 28:12. It is the responsibility of every Christian to vote for leaders who promote Christian principles. Our future is up to us: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. Vote on November 4.
Given September 2013
God gave me the idea and words to this song while I was driving to Charlottesville, Va for a meeting. I used voice-to-text on my phone to record the lyrics.
Before the boy and girl were born
Trinity there, all in one,
Spoke a word, we hear them say,
“This creation will be great…one day.”
The little girl reads in school
About a princess, thinks, “That’s cool”.
Imagination makes her say,
“I’m going to be a princess…one day.”
The young man starting his career,
His future now somewhat unclear.
But plans are laid that make him say,
“I’ll be rich and famous…one day.”
The young woman now being wed
Thinks, “Where in life will I be led?”
“What role am I destined to play?”
“I’ll be a loving Mom…one day.”,
And now nearing the end of life,
Here’s the man and his wife.
Not all success along the way,
The things they thought they’d be…one day.
But one thing they succeeded in,
They love the Lord here at the end.
And now before the pearly gates
God says, “I told you they’d be great…one day.”
Given September 26, 2014
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
My recent visit to Holston Valley Medical Center for same day surgery to remove a melanoma from my upper arm presented me with several Spiritual encouragements that I want to share.
First of all, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayer that came from friends and family. Prayer makes a difference! The first thing I saw as I entered the registration area was a plaque on the wall that said, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8. This is a good way to begin, I thought.
As I was being wheeled down the hall to have radioactive fluid injected to trace possible cancer cells, I thought of that scripture on the wall back at registration and could visualize Jesus himself leading us down the hall. What a comfort! In the nuclear room where I would be for an hour for “pictures” to be made of my torso, I had a good conversation with the doctor. I mentioned the scripture on the wall and he said he was a believer then related a story. He had seen some miracles in his work but saw a bumper sticker on a car coming to work one morning which read, “Expect Miracles”. He realized he didn’t expect them but began that day. Since then, he had seen lung cancer completely disappear from a patient. Very encouraging!
All through the scanning, procedures, and pre-op activities, I prayed a lot and repeated several scriptures and praise songs I had memorized and sung. Other scriptures came to my mind as well that pertained to what was happening with me. I realized all the Bible reading, sermon listening and prayer I had done over the past several years was a part of me internally. I didn’t need the written word there, they were in my heart. It is so important to read God’s word every day so it will be in your heart and mind so you can tell the devil when he comes threatening you, “IT IS WRITTEN!” If you’re not reading your Bible every day, I encourage you to participate in the 345 Bible Reading Plan at https://www.bible.com. You need to start today. Get the app and use your device to read.
Years before, in another surgery after I had been given the shot to relax me, I prayed, “God, I need you to take over now, I’m going to lose control.” Immediately, God said, “Bill, I want to be in control all the time.” He’s right. This time, I had given Him full control long before I went under. That’s a relief.
Leave a comment if this has encouraged you. Be blessed!
Given September 20, 2014
Be a Doer
Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. (James 1:22)
There is a word here for someone today:
You won’t get the job unless you apply.
You won’t find out if you’re any good until you try out for the team.
You won’t know if your idea is worthy until you tell the boss.
You can’t be published unless you submit a manuscript.
You won’t see a harvest unless you plant the seed.
You won’t get where you want to go until you take the first step.
You won’t get to know that person until you introduce yourself.
You won’t get what you need unless you ask for it.
You can’t pass the test unless you study.
You won’t defeat your fear until you face it.
You can’t get past your mistakes until you confess them.
You can’t mend a relationship without forgiveness.
You can’t move forward while you’re looking back.
You can’t find something unless you look for it.
You can’t become a great player without enduring the pain of practice.
You won’t know what’s behind the door until you open it.
You can’t catch the fish until you cast the bait.
You can’t learn to play the instrument until you pick it up.
You can’t get in shape until you get off the couch.
You won’t know what God has in store for you until you volunteer to serve Him.
You can’t praise God while focusing on your problems.
You can’t go to Heaven without saying YES to Jesus.
You can’t really have anything until you FIRST seek God and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)
Please leave a comment if any of these statements encouraged you. Be blessed!
Given July 26, 2014
I was walking through my house one morning a few years ago thinking about how Osama Bin Laden couldn’t be found our military couldn’t do anything with him. I prayed, “God you know exactly where he is, why don’t YOU just take him out?” Immediately, in my spirit, I heard, “I love him and want him to repent and be saved.” This floored me but made me realize how God sees people differently than I do. This started me putting together thoughts about how we see people versus how God sees them. Think about it; how do you see old people, young people, poor/rich people, gay people, handicapped people? How do you see people of another race, city people, country people, people in jail, lost people, church people, politicians, movie stars, athletes? Do you really see these people or are you just looking on the outside? “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7).
In the story of David and Goliath, how did David’s brother see him when he came to bring their lunch on the battlefield? “But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” (1 Samuel 17:28). How did King Saul see him? “You can’t go out against this Philistine and fight him. You’re only a boy.” (v. 33). How did Goliath see him? “he looked down on David with disgust. He said, “Do you think I am a dog that you come at me with a stick?“ (v. 42, 43). How did God see him? “David ran quickly to meet him. He took a stone from his bag, put it into his sling, and slung it. The stone hit the Philistine and went deep into his forehead, and Goliath fell facedown on the ground.” (v. 48-49). God sees people differently than we do.
Think about it…when you see people this week like the ones mentioned in the first paragraph, look a little closer with your Spirit and think how God might see them. And, ask yourself, “How does God see me?”
Given July 19, 2014
Picture this: You have committed a terrible crime, punishable by death, and are in a prison awaiting your certain fate, the electric chair. As you sit on the bed in your bare cell, you think of the crime you committed and how sorry you are for your actions. You wish you could go back and change your life and have a chance to do things over. Certainly you would do things differently and take a different direction in your life. You remember some things you were taught in Sunday school and whisper, “God, I’m sorry”. But now you sit here in this cell realizing you have no other chances, fearing what death will bring.
Suddenly, the single light bulb hanging from the ceiling in your cell and the lights in the hallway go dim for a few seconds. You recognize this event as the result of the switch being thrown on the electric chair. Someone has just been executed! You feel sorry for the person and their family but know that you are next.
You hear footsteps coming down the hall and think, “Here we go, my time is up”. The warden puts his key in your cell lock, opens the door and says, “Come on, let’s go get your things, you’re being released, you’re free to go.” “What?” “Free to go?” “What happened?” The warden says, “Someone took your place, paid for your crime, and we just executed him.” “So now you’re free to go.” In wonderment, you think, “Can this be true?”
In shock, you are led outside the gates of the prison to a waiting limousine. You’re taken to a mansion and told this is where you live now. The driver says, “The owner of this place heard you whisper that you were sorry and sent His son to take your place today; to die for you.” That prayer in my cell! “You now have another chance to make something good of your life.” ” But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
The limo is waiting – don’t choose the chair!
Given June 18, 2014
I had a message from a man recently who talked about his desire to stop believing for things that were too big for his faith. He wanted to concentrate on smaller things that his faith was suited for. I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Jesus said, “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23). So how should we use our faith? How much do we have? How much do we need?
As Christians, we all have a “measure of faith”. (Romans 12:3). When we are born, we also have a set of muscles. Those muscles don’t stay the size and strength they were when we were babies; they grow and increase in strength as we use them. Some people go the extra mile and overwork their muscles to build them up to extraordinary proportions and are able to accomplish great things. So it is with our faith. To build up our faith, we have to use it; exercise it, so it will grow from baby portions to great faith. Jude 1:20 mentions, “building yourselves up in your most holy faith”. So maybe we have to believe for smaller things first to build our faith.
Then we hear Jesus tell his followers, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” (Luke 17:6). That seems like small faith used to do a great thing. Let’s remember, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Believing is the key. And “saying” is very important too. How did God create the earth? “God said…”. Look back at Luke 17:6, “you can say” to the tree. Mark 11:23 says, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” Believing and saying is faith-building exercise. Now, you have to believe and say what God has already said. We can’t use our faith to do something that is against God’s will. And how do you know what God has said? READ YOUR BIBLE AND PRAY! Then believe and speak it and keep on speaking it until it comes to pass. Good workout!
Given June 3, 2014
Here are five tips to help you be the best dad you can.
1. Guide your children toward a relationship with their Heavenly Father. Show them the love of the God you serve by being a godly man yourself. Let them see you praying, reading His Word and living the faith you claim. Walk the talk.
2. Show genuine respect and love for the mother of your children. Nothing will make your kids feel more secure in your love and acceptance than seeing you cherish their mom. Boys, especially, need to see how a godly man loves a woman.
3. Remember that love is the motivation for discipline. Dads discipline because they love. The two are inseparable. Seek to guide, mold and correct – all with a gentle spirit of fairness and acceptance.
4. Spend time with your kids. In your children’s eyes, time spent with them is the measure of your love. Show them they’re high on our list by giving them your time. There’s no substitute.
5. Demonstrate your affection. Hug, kiss and offer a kind word. Every day. Tell your children you love them – and then show you mean it with your actions.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Borrowed from Focus on the Family.