Reality Check for the Most Important Relationship of Your Life!

New Year Prayer Guide

1. Adoration: Praising God for who He is

Read & Reflect:
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:1, 2, 4, 5, 8 NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalms 46:1 NLT)

Pray that God would give you a greater understanding of His Word.
Pray for God to place a desire in your heart to know Him and be known by Him
Pray that you may better realize how much God loves you and what He has done for you.

2. Confession: Releasing to God your sins
Read & Reflect:

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:8-10 NLT)

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

Talk to God about the sins you have knowingly committed this weekend.
Talk to God about any sins you find yourself repeating.
Talk to God about any relationships that have been broken because of sin… (Gossip, lies, unforgiveness)

3. Thanksgiving: Thank God for all He has done.
Reflect on these verses:

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. (Hebrews 12:28 NLT)

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

List 10 blessings in your life, pray and thank God for them.
Pray that Jesus would help you to have a more thankful heart in 2014 than 2013.
Pray and Thank God for His Son and life we have because of His Life, Death & Resurrection.

4. Supplication: Asking, making requests to God

Read & Reflect:
Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalms 37:4 NLT)

Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (Psalms 55:22 NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

Pray for boldness to have great conversations with God this year, talking to Him like a best friend.
Pray for any requests you may have.
Pray for Jesus give you hope for the new year and a glimpse of how He wants to grow in you and move through you!

Write a Letter To God:
Hide the Letter and find it in July. (We gather the letters and mail them out in July)

Step #1: Write about your current relationship with God. Think about God as a friend, Would you say you are close friends or distant? Write about why you think that.

Step #2: Write about the relationship with God you want to have. Are there areas you need to grow in? Are there areas of your life you have not fully surrendered to Him? Write about how you want the relationship to be at the end of 2014.

Step #3: Write out a few easy action steps that will help you move in the direction of where you want your relationship with God to be. Write out an action plan.

*If you are brave, write out on a separate sheet of paper & share your action plan with a trusted friend and pray for them throughout this year!

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Pastor Appreciation Month Request:

October is pastor appreciation month…

Normally I would just pretend like it’s another month and not bring any attention to the whole pastor appreciation thing…

To be honest… This is kinda awkward…
It’s easier and requires more pride not to make the request…
My Pride says: Ignore this opportunity and just play it cool…

The Bible says pride is terrible… So here goes…

I only have one request… It’s really easy…

All I ask is this….

Please pray for me…

I can do nothing effective if God is not doing it…

But on behalf of pastors everywhere…

Pray for us:-) We are human too…
We are Husbands, Dads, Friends…
Unless your a female pastor then your a Wife & Mom 🙂
We hurt and some even cry…
We walk with people through the highest joys and some of the lowest lows…
We need prayer support…

If your not sure what to pray I was reading this passage today, it seems like a pretty good guide…

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NLT)

Thank you for your partnership in His ministry as you pray for me and the pastors who are preaching Jesus!!!

ACTS Prayer Guide to a New Year!

A-C-T-S Prayers: This weekend we prayed through the ACTS Prayer guide, this is what we used… I Hope you are able to use it also!

 

1. Adoration: Praising God for who He is

Read & Reflect:

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:1, 2, 4, 5, 8 NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalms 46:1 NLT)

  • Pray that God would give you a greater understanding of His Word.
  • Pray for God to place a desire in your heart to know Him and be known by Him
  • Pray that you may better realize how much God loves you and what He has done for you.

 

2. Confession: Releasing to God your sins

Read & Reflect:

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:8-10 NLT)

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

  • Talk to God about the sins you have knowingly committed this weekend.
  • Talk to God about any sins you find yourself repeating.
  • Talk to God about any relationships that have been broken because of sin… (Gossip, lies, unforgiveness)

 

3. Thanksgiving: Thank God for all He has done.

Reflect on these verses:

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. (Hebrews 12:28 NLT)

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

  • List 10 blessings in your life you are thankful for, pray and thank God for them.
  • Pray that Jesus would help you to have a more thankful 2013 than 2012.
  • Pray and Thank God for His Son and life we have because of His Life, Death & Resurrection.

 

4. Supplication: Asking, making requests to God

Read & Reflect:

Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalms 37:4 NLT)

Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (Psalms 55:22 NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

  • Pray for boldness to have great conversations with God this year, talking to Him like a best friend.
  • Pray for any requests you may have.
  • Pray for Jesus give you hope for the new year and a glimpse of how He wants to grow in you and move through you!

 

Finding Light In This Dark World

This was our discussion questions/passages from last weeks D-Group Guilde… Very applicable to everything that has taken place this week at NewTown, CT. I hope you take the time to look up these passages and see light in the darkness.

 

Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 What does this passage teach us about God? Make a list.

Read 2 Timothy 3:1-9 Do you see similarities to our world today? Discuss the current reality of our world.

Read Hebrews 4:14-16 What does this passage teach us about the relationship between God and man?

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-17 What does this passage teach us about God and our current situation on earth?

 

 

DO ME! To GROW! The lies of to do lists…

Aside

Merge Now...

 

Being in the ministry and working in Church, I have often struggled giving people TO DO’s.

You know what I mean:
“You want to grow in your relationship with Christ?” DO THIS….
“You want to be a better Follower of Jesus?” DO THIS….
“You want to know how to Love more?” DO THIS…..
“You want serve better?” DO THIS….

I believe I struggle with that approach because its not really that easy… If it were then everyone would have a TO DO: List and our lives would radiate God’s Love and we wouldn’t see a lot of the brokeness and heart ache we see in the world, because we would have figured out the code. If we really want to have a growing relationship with Christ that will be lasting, what needs to happen?

I remember awhile back a pastor friend of mine told me that “We are most like Christ when we serve”… That is something I think about a lot… I believe the statement to be true…

I remember when I was in High School, I would get out of class and head strait to the church (actually there were times when a friend and I would literally race there, but dont tell my parents about that), I wanted to be PRESENT I wanted to be near the action of God because I knew my faith would grow there!
What did I do you might ask… Well, I talked and listened to the pastors, I would do some paperwork for them and just try to be present and wait for an opportunity to serve to arrive…

To some, that time of my life might be confusing, You might ask yourself. Didn’t Tom have any friends, wouldn’t he have wanted to go do something else?

Yes I had friends, but, I was doing something that gave me purpose… I wanted to do something that mattered, something eternal, even if it was as small as counting up receipts for the children’s pastor.

I didn’t have a to do list. I had a desire, a desire to do something for God and I was willing to be present and wait for opportunities to move… and because of that my faith did grow, I learned how to follow Jesus and I was taught how to love others… Because I made myself present and available for God.

So… If you want to grow in your relationship with God, Get around His people, Im not saying you just have to run to the church and hang out with pastors… But you need to be around people who are serving Jesus!

*Note: I do believe in TO DO Lists for productivity, but do not believe there is a to do list for growing closer to God. I don’t have a TO DO List for my relationships… I also acknowledge that I am still a work in progress and have not arrived but rather am Growing every day closer to Jesus Through His AMAZING GRACE (Not just my wife).