A Prayer for The Philippines

Posted by on Nov 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Father God, Creator of all things,

Of moon and sun, of stars and planets, of wind and waves and mankind and creatures.

Your hand brings beauty yet evil warps it.  Your breathe provides breezes that calm the face and refresh the spirit.  Yet the brokenness of this world turns them into typhoons that wreak destruction and destroy your people. 

We pray for the people of the Philippines.  They are your people and thus our hearts join with yours and beg your mercy for them.  We mourn with those who mourn the loss of family and friends.  We mourn with those who mourn the loss of home and well-being.  We mourn with those who mourn the loss of security and prosperity.  We mourn.

We pray protection in the aftermath of the storm.  We pray you keep disease away so that more harm does not befall them.  We pray the weather become clear so that no additional hardship be upon them.  We pray that as they walk through the debris, their spirits not be broken.

We pray your Spirit to move amongst the Church in the Philippines.  We pray you provide the words your Church needs to minister, the hands your Church needs to care, and the monies your Church needs to repair.

We pray your blessing upon these, your people.

In the name of Jesus.

Amen.

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Living Mercy

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

When it comes to living mercy, there are 3 P’s of Mercy that you should put into practice:

Prayer (What should I pray?)
Provision (What can I provide?)
Presence (How can I be present?)

Everyone can pray something. Driving by the homeless man at the green light, driving by the accident on the freeway, driving by your neighbors who have a really great life (so they think). Prayer is a given when it comes to mercy.

Provision is a tad more involved but the flavors number at least 26. Try M’s: Meals from the neighbors, mouthful of compliments, memory book of photos. Or B’s: Babysitting so the folks get a break, bailing water after the busted pipe, broken-window repair (even if it wasn’t your son’s fault). This is not MIT level thinking. More like “see a need, fill a need.”

Presence, though, now there’s when mercy goes all-in. Presence means you’re present. You show up. You sit and wait and worry with the worriers. Or encourage with the courage-less. Presence doesn’t just send money or food or restaurant coupon. Presence provides a person. Presence provides you.

If you can do all 3, score. Fantastic. But you should strive for 2 out of 3 as your 2013 standard.  You and I were not originally designed to live for ourselves. Sin tricks us into thinking that’s where fulfillment is hidden. In reality, living for ourselves only leads to emptiness. Living for others, serving others, doing right by others, is fulfilling and invigorating. It rejuvenates and releases. It’s what we were made for.

When Jesus asks “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” He’s teaching us there is no neutrality when it comes to living mercy. No gray area. Failing to do good is evil. Seeing a need and doing nothing about it—no prayer, no provision, no presence—is not of Jesus.  No living mercy there.

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A Prayer of Consecration For Mission Teams

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Our Father in heaven, who art the creator of all we see, of every creature who has lived or will live, we ask Your blessing on these our friends.

They are Your servants, Father, so bless them with results.

May the work of their hands be Your work. 

May You the Great Physician who grants authority over Satan and healing over the diseases he commands, may You grant them authority on this trip. 

May the gates of Hell not withstand their efforts. 

May the diseases of Satan not withstand their efforts.

May the people they touch receive relief from their pain.  May they receive restoration not only in their physical bodies but also in their souls.

May those who know You not, come to know You through their work and words so that Your kingdom would increase and Satan’s kingdom decrease.

May they find men and women of peace in whom Your Gospel work would be multiplied and Your Church established. 

May they start a new Church where previously there was none.

Bless them with results, Father in heaven.

And protect them.

May the vehicles they travel in not break down.

May the houses they stay in be places of refuge.

May their bodies withstand the diseases they cast out. 

May they not get sick or weak.

May their souls remain strong and trust in You for patience and perseverance. 

May their words not be confused but rather infused with clarity so that the hope of Your Son clearly be shared with those they meet. 

May the promises of their baptisms grow stronger throughout the days, giving them a great sense of your presence and prower.

And may their unity and love shine like the sun of the morning so that all who meet them immediately grasp their great love for one another and Your great love for all.

 Bless them with protection, Father in Heaven.

Give them grace be Your servants and their work to be Your work.

This we ask in the name of your Son, Your Word of Power, our Savior from Sin, Jesus.  Amen.

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Bill’s View…A Hope Full Lent

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

What are you hoping for this Lent?

Perhaps that’s not the ashes question you’d normally consider. We typically associate this 40 day season with repentance and reflection, remembering our dusty humanity.  

Yet it is the certainty of the cross suffered for us and Jesus’ resurrection as God’s gift to us that lead us truly to repentance.  Lent is best experienced peering behind the rolled away stone, squinting into the darkness wondering if the cloth really came from His body and embracing He is not there.  He has turned away death.  We now can turn away (repent) from our self-centered lives.  Thus my opening question.

As you begin the 40 day trek to the vacant cave, what are you hoping for?  What does your heart desire for you, for your family, and for your Church?  Spend the next 40 days bringing these items to God.  Not in an arrogant spirit of entitlement but in a humble spirit of hopeful dust that will ultimately be restored.

Make the list.  Put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.  And pray.  Pray full of hope, full of confidence in the God whose Son is dusty like us.

Here’s my list:

  • That my daughter Abigail return safely from Egypt after spending two months with friends, serving at FOUND (a school for refugee children), and experiencing life at the crossroads of Christianity and Islam.
  • That the 12+ leaders CrossPoint is sending to the Verge conference the week of February 27 would create a deeper understanding of how mission is the best way to grow a disciple, and community is the best environment to do mission.
  • That God would lead us to a campus pastor and a youth director for our SevenLakes campus. 
  • That our EightTen’s campus plan for First Friday Music Venue would be solidified, ready to start.
  • That God would connect us with the right Spring Branch people to move the community park to the next phase.
  • That the Spring Break trip would be great experience for our CrossPoint youth and their friends.
  • That CrossPoint’s Board of Directors and our campus Leadership Teams possess great wisdom from God as they lead through this season.
  • That CrossPoint’s staff be replenished as we meditate on Jesus this Lent.
  • That my brother’s (Mickey) health would improve.
  • That the Brazil Mission Society board I serve on would have a clear vision of our next steps to impact that country for Christ.
  • That the local groups of FiveTwo, our church replicating network, would continue to replicate—10 thus far around the country (Boston, Florida, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and California), with another six in the works.

That’s my list.  Now, go make yours.  And pray.

P.S. I’ll be serving SevenLakes during the pastoral vacancy, which means I won’t be present at the other campuses for a while.  Feel free to bring your family and join us any Sunday at SevenLakes High School 10:30 am.  It’s the same CrossPoint.  Just a different location!

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