Pray Like You Mean It!

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Nehemiah 1:4 (NLT)
4  When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

George Muller was born in Prussia on September 27, 1805. His father was a collector of taxes and George seemed to inherit his father’s ability with figures. When Muller was converted to Christ the many recurring statements of Jesus for us “to ask” impressed him. At this point in Muller’s life he and his wife launched into a daring experiment. First, they gave away all of their household goods. The next step was even more daring, he refused all regular salary from the small mission he had been serving. He then set out to establish an orphan home to care for the homeless children of England.

The first home was dedicated in a rented building on April 21, 1836. Within a matter of days, 43 orphans were being cared for. Muller and his co-workers decided their experiment would be set up with the following guidelines:

1- No funds would ever be solicited.

2- No debts were ever to be incurred.

3- No money contributed for a specific purpose would ever be used for any other purpose.

4- All accounts would be audited annually.

5- No ego-pandering by the publication of donor’s names.

6- No “names” of prominent people would be sought for the board or to advertise the institution.

7- The success of the orphanage would be measured not by the numbers served or by the amount of money taken in, but by God’s blessing on the work, which Muller expected to be in direct proportion to the time spent in prayer.

When the first building was constructed, Muller and his friends remained true to their convictions. The public was amazed when a second building was opened six months after the first. They kept concentrating on prayer and eventually there were five new buildings, 110 workers, and 2,050 orphans being cared for. George Muller not only counted on God to provide, but he believed that God would provide abundantly. For over 60 years Muller recorded every specific prayer request and the results. Muller was responsible for the care of 9,500 orphans during his life. These children never went without a meal. Muller never asked for help from anyone but God. $7,500,000 came to him over the course of his life and he vows it was all in answer to believing prayer. Are you willing to pray and trust God like George Muller? If you want he received try doing what he did!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

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Lessons From Angels and Shepherds

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Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Luke 2:8-12 (NLT)
8  That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10  but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
11  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12  And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

 This week I discovered a great Christmas devotional from one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. He said, “The announcement went first to the shepherds. They didn’t ask God if he was sure he knew what he was doing. Had the angel gone to the theologians, they would have first consulted their commentaries. Had he gone to the elite, they would have looked around to see if anyone was watching. Had he gone to the successful, they would have first looked at their calendars. So he went to the shepherds. Men who didn’t have a reputation to protect or an ax to grind or a ladder to climb. Men who didn’t know enough to tell God that angels don’t sing to sheep and that messiahs aren’t found wrapped in rags and sleeping in a feed trough. A small cathedral outside Bethlehem marks the supposed birthplace of Jesus. Behind a high alter in the church is a cave, a little cavern lit by silver lamps. You can enter the main edifice and admire the ancient church. You can also enter the quiet cave where a star embedded in the floor recognizes the birth of the King. There is one stipulation, however. You have to stoop. The door is so low you can’t go in standing up. The same is true of the Christ. You can see the world standing tall, but to witness the Savior, you have to get on your knees. So…. while the theologians were sleeping, and the elite were dreaming, and the successful were snoring, the meek were kneeling. They were kneeling before the One only the meek will see. They were kneeling in front of Jesus.”

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Christmas Decorations For All Year Round

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Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Mark 1:14-15 (NLT)
14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

Not too many years ago newspapers carried the story of Al Johnson, a Kansas man who repented, who came to faith in Jesus Christ. What made his story so remarkable was not his conversion, but the fact that as a result of his newfound faith in Christ, he confessed to a bank robbery he had participated in when he was nineteen years old. Because the statute of limitations on the case had run out, Johnson could not be prosecuted for the offense. But because of his complete and total change of heart, he not only confessed his crime, he voluntarily repaid his share of the stolen money! That’s repentance – radical reconstruction of the heart. Of all the decorations you have, this one is the most important of them all. It’s invisible, because it first takes place in your heart. The Holy Spirit changes you through the Word, and through baptism. It’s visible, because you become empowered to show your repentance in your life – just like that former bank robber. And unlike our other Christmas decorations, repentance is something that you and I will leave up all year round (Today in the Word, April, 1989, 13). During this season of Advent, the time of his coming, let’s remember that Jesus didn’t just come to be born, rather he came to die for us. We need to take some time of reflection and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas in our lives in which we need to repent. Let us not just prepare for Christmas, but rather let us prepare our hearts to meet Jesus!

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

Have We Missed It?

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Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

 Luke 1:46-48 (NLT) 

Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47  How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48  For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an airplane at Kitty Hawk NC. On their 5th attempt, the plane under the control of Orville, embarked on a 12 second flight. Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message – WE HAVE FLOWN FOR 12 SECONDS – WE WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!

Upon receiving the telegram their sister, Katherine went to the newspaper office, told the editor of her brother’s new flying machine, and informed him, they would be home for Christmas, if he would like to set up an interview.

He told her that was nice, and he would be sure to put something in the paper regarding the boys. On December 19th, the local paper placed the following headline on the 6th page of the paper: “WRIGHT BROTHERS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS”

The most important story of the year – man’s first flight – and the editor missed it!

I wonder if the same could be said about us when it comes to Christmas. Look all around us…

  • The trees are decorated
  • The music is festive
  • The Season is Right – It is Christmas, and there are only 21 shopping days left!

In all of our rushing around, in all of our gift buying, in all the things we have to do during this season – HAVE WE MISSED THE IDEA – Jesus has come to earth!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark