Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Gifts of a Good Father

A month ago we celebrated mothers. Last week we celebrated fathers. Today and everyday let's celebrate our Heavenly Father. Not only does He offer eternal life through His name Jesus, He extends blessed gifts to us for our daily journey. Will you receive them? All you need to do is ask.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NASB)

If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? If he asks for fish, will he be
given a poisonous snake? Of course not! And if you hard-hearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them? Matthew 7:9-11 (TLB)

“Look, there, see it. It’s what I’ve been wanting for so long. Can I have it, please, please, pleeeease? 

Children aren’t shy about asking. Their approach is simple, honest, and heart-felt. And parents truly desire to fulfill these wishes for their children (but good parents use wisdom when answering their pleas). Love is the reason. A parent’s love for her child pours out in many ways. Good parents train children properly, blessing them with good gifts. 

True love causes one person to want to give another person the shirt off his back (this American phrase means to give anything that is asked for, no matter the sacrifice required). Most parents give generously to their children, even being willing to die for them. Loving parent-child relationships beautifully illustrate the attainable bond between us and our Heavenly Father. 

Whether you’ve experienced a devoted earthly parent-child relationship or not, God offers you the opportunity to experience the heavenly one. Your Heavenly Father, who created you, yearns for a loving relationship with you. He desires to bless you with good gifts, and yet He’s already given you everything because He laid down His life for you (John 3:16-17). With His sacrifice comes gifts of gracious forgiveness, peace on earth, life eternal, and more. Now if He is willing to die for you, which He did, won't He give you these good gifts, if you ask Him?

Go ahead. Ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7-8). Expect Him to answer (Psalm 5:3, Galatians 5:5). In faith, believe (2 Corinthians 4:13) you have received.

What good gifts does your Heavenly Father offer?

He gives forgiveness…..Matthew 26:28
He gives mercy…..Psalm 6:9
He gives grace…..Ephesians 2:8-9 
He gives peace…..Numbers 6:26
He gives strength…..Isaiah 40:29 
He gives comfort…..2 Corinthians 1:3-4
He gives joy….. Psalm 16:11
He gives assurance of His presence.....Hebrews 13:5


As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.
Psalm 103:13 (NET)

See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children—and indeed we are! 1 John 3:1a (NET)

Enjoy Chris Tomlin's "Good Good Father"......

Sunday, June 18, 2017

We Need You, Lord

Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee. Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers. Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you, don’t go along with them. If they say—“Let’s go out and raise some hell. Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman. Let’s pick them clean and get them ready for their funerals. We’ll load up on top-quality loot. We’ll haul it home by the truckload. Join us for the time of your life! With us, it’s share and share alike!”— Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look; don’t listen to them for a minute. They’re racing to a very bad end, hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on. Nobody robs a bank with everyone watching, Yet that’s what these people are doing— they’re doing themselves in. When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens: the more you get, the less you are. Proverbs 1:8-9 (MSG)

God, do you weep
As you look around your world?
People everywhere, seeking anything,
Attempting to fill the barren hole 
Created by Your absence.

Drugs, disaster, death, devastation,
Stolen souls and wounded hearts.
Pride, lust, glory, money,
Hurting people hiding behind society’s trappings.
It’s fleeting, Lord, the worldly goods,
Perishable stuff.
Selfishness in overload,
Poor choices significantly vast.

Sometimes I can’t bear it, Lord,
Bad news voiced.
Heroin overdose, a captive life dead,
Teen suicide, why Lord?
A mother with empty arms wails for a child,
While a father silently sobs.

I meditated on the love of my Heavenly Father
And I knew He wept.
Death brought tears to Him
When He stood at a friend’s gravesite.

But He overcame death!
Through a miracle and resurrection,
Life returned.

And I ask—
Father God, what can I do?
Jesus, how can I help?

Be a light, He said to me, show the best way.
Proclaim My love and grace to all people.
Shout out good news of forgiveness and restoration,
Tell My truth, speak of My peace.

I bring freedom and favor,
I supply strength and beauty,
I bestow blessings of gracious mercy.

I desire to fill deadpan souls, 
Chosen hollow holes.
Lost mortals drifting through life,
Searching, striving.....

Come to Me, just as you are!
Come to Me, all you weary ones!
Come to Me, if you desire rest!

Give them assurance of My love,
Its lavish scope,
My life given for everyone.
The stripes inflicted upon My back,
Bled forgiveness for the sins of all people.

Blame and burdens,
Offer up to Me.
Trade them in for My righteousness,
For deliverance and freedom.

I yearn for relationships with My creation,
Repent and turn to Me.
I desire to be known in your hearts,
Repent and turn to Me.

I’ll wait as you labor 
For My kingdom here on earth.
Heaven finds Me interceding, daily on My knees.
Will you bow before Me and intercede with Me?

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (MSG)

People Need the Lord.....

Casting Crowns - Until The Whole World Hears.....

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pictures and Praise

Sometimes life speeds by us like a fast moving train. It may seem as though no one cares whether we move forward or fall apart. Someone cares and His name is Jesus. Lean on Him. I sure am. 

Life’s struggles are surrounding me and threatening to take me down. You may be wrestling with a similar fight. Don’t give up. 

Trust Jesus. Be still and rest in Him. The God who suffered and died for you won’t let you down now. If you can do nothing else, worship Him with songs of praise. 

Gaze at His beauty. He created the earth and everything in it. Even if the world has damaged His creation, look through the destruction and find His grace.

I’m a visual learner. Possibly you are too. I remember words when connected with images. God’s Word speaks to me through His creation. Seeing His beauty raises up praises in my soul. And then I sing. 

Pictures and praise—some of my favorite things. Use your senses of sight and hearing to find the peace that passes all understanding. Rest in the presence of the God who loves you dearly. And sing. 

Here I am to Worship.....

How Great Is Our God.....

                Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty .. [Agnus Dei].....

How Great Thou Art from Vocal Majority.....

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cling to Hope

I glanced heavenward early one morning as I drove to work. The unusually dark sky appeared ominous. Black clouds held more than just the possibility of rain. Stopping at a red light and glancing left, I noticed a small opening in the gloomy sky. Light broke though the area, revealing blue-gray yonder. Gazing around the heavens, I saw more bright spots throughout space. And God said to me, “Hope!”

Driving on, I considered the God-given notion of hope. When I stand in a turbulent existence, where is my focus? Do I stare at the ominous threat or gaze at the ray of hope? At times life situations certainly threatened to unravel me. The hopeless darkness overshadows the will to move forward. Disheartening circumstances put at risk my ability to focus on the God of promise who says, “Hope!” 

What can we do when facing unfavorable situations? How can we seize the day that signals negative news? Is it possible to remain secure when life’s difficult conditions toss us about like a storm?

God provides answers in His holy Word. Like an anchor in the storm, He stands ready to steady us, if only we’ll grab hold and focus our thoughts on His promises. 

God says through Paul in Romans 5:2-5:

……rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God? Okay, God, I can do that. But rejoice in my sufferings? Really, God? That’s the path to hope? Yes, His words reveal the path may begin in suffering, but by holding onto hope, we can persevere. Walking in perseverance brings forth character and integrity. From such moral strength we decide to hang onto hope. We hope in God who has poured His love into our hearts. 

One of the many stories of hope in the Bible lies in the book of Job. It’s about a godly man named Job who suffered tremendous pain, losing everything but his life and wife. He did not sin in his sorrow but worshiped God instead. 

He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Job 1:21

Even though Job persevered, his wife did not support his strength. She said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”  Job 2:9

But Job said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” And the Word goes on to tell us in all this Job did not sin with his lips.  Job 2:10

Later three of Job’s friends showed up to help him flesh out his pain. And he said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”  Job 13:15 

At some point as he determined to persevere, Job experienced a weak moment. All humans do. He said, “Where now is my hope? And who regards my hope.”  Job 17:15 

Was he losing hope? Maybe for a moment. Yet throughout his own doubt and despair, he continued to place his hope in God. He declared, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  Job 42:2 

After years of clinging to hope, God blessed him with twice the blessings he had lost. Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.  Job 42:16-17 

Did Job grapple with his hope in God? Of course he did. Everyone contends with weakness. But as he traveled the path of suffering, God poured out His love into Job’s receptive heart. His pathway led to perseverance, growing his character, and out of that character came hope. And God did not disappoint him, but graced him with His presence and many blessings.

Have you lost hope in the middle of your situation? Let the word of God through King David and the apostles Paul and Peter infuse strength within your heart. Then resolve to hope in God.

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.  Psalm 39:7 (NASB)

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.  Psalm 71:5 (NASB)

...rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer...  Romans 12:12 (NASB)

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.  Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3 (NASB)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 (NASB)

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less Worship Video....