VIDEO Two Kinds of Prayer – All Things Possible

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Christians who attend liturgical church services—services where prayers and creeds are written out and repeated each Sunday—find security in the repetition of time-honored words. Christians who attend non-liturgical services find comfort in the opposite—praying and professing in a different, spontaneous way each week. Not only is there room for both in Christendom, there is room for both in each Christian’s life.

Jesus taught His disciples a prayer to pray—word for word—that has been repeated in church services for nearly two thousand years (Matthew 6:9-13). But the Bible is also filled with instances of spontaneous prayers—prayers that only make sense in the moment. Like the father who sought relief for his demonized son: “Lord . . . help my unbelief!” Prayers prayed by memory allow us time to pray meditatively, thinking about God rather than searching for words. Spontaneous prayers call up passion and devotion and shameless dependence on the only One who can help.

As you pray, include both practiced prayers and pressured prayers. And enjoy the blessings that come from each.

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.  Soren Kierkegaard

All Things Possible (Mark 9:14-29)

Navigating Life’s Rapids

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

“Everybody on the left, give me three strong forward strokes!” our whitewater raft guide shouted. Those on the left dug in, pulling our raft away from a churning vortex. For several hours, we’d learned the importance of listening to our guide’s instructions. His steady voice enabled six people with little rafting experience to work together to plot the safest course down a raging river.

Life has its share of whitewater rapids, doesn’t it? One moment, it’s smooth sailing. Then, in a flash, we’re paddling like mad to avoid suddenly swirling whirlpools. Those tense moments make us keenly aware of our need for a skilled guide, a trusted voice to help us navigate turbulent times.

In Psalm 32, God promises to be that voice: “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go” (v. 8). Backing up, we see that confessing our sins (v. 5) and prayerfully seeking Him (v. 6) play a role in hearing Him too. Still, I take comfort in the fact that God promises, “I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (v. 8), a reminder that His guidance flows from His love. Near the end of the chapter, the psalmist concludes, “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts him” (v. 10). And as we trust Him, we can rest in His promise to guide us through life’s rockiest passages.

By:  Adam R. Holz

Reflect & Pray

What circumstances in your life right now feel like whitewater rapids? How might you seek God’s guiding voice about how to respond?

Father, thank You for Your promise to be my Guide. Help me to seek You and listen to You as You direct the course of my life.

For help in navigating the storms of life, read

The New Testament Church

Today the word church is often used differently than the way Scripture defines it. We tend to think of a building with a steeple, a morning or evening service, or even a potluck get-together. In the Bible, however, “church” means a body of believers under the authority of their leader, Jesus Christ (Col. 1:18). And according to God’s Word, the church has three purposes: worship of the Lord, ministry to believers, and outreach to an unbelieving world.

When we exalt the living God and glorify His name, we show our Father that we love Him. Psalm 100:2-4 encourages us to “come before Him with joyful singing” and to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and … praise.” Christians should be both personally and corporately devoted to God. Teaching and encouraging brothers and sisters produces spiritual fruit in them (Heb. 10:24-25; Col. 3:16). Then they can spread the good news in their own sphere of influence—that through God’s Son, there is not only forgiveness of sin but also life eternal.

Christians meet together regularly to worship, encourage, instruct, and reach those who don’t know Him. In your local fellowship, are you working toward these goals?

Your Profit and Loss

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

In these materialistic days, many people have become abnormally occupied with investments and returns, capital gains and losses, balance sheets and cash flows. This is nothing new, of course. The prevalence of covetousness is so universal, in one form or another, that God had to place a prohibition on it in the Ten Commandments.

The Lord Jesus made a heart-searching comparison one day when He posed a surprising question relative to divine bookkeeping. Not even the riches of all the world could purchase one human soul, yet people often seem willing to sacrifice their souls in pursuit of riches. Is such an exchange really a sound investment? Merely to ask the question is to answer it.

Earning wealth is good if it is acquired honorably and by the will of God, but coveting wealth and hoarding wealth are foolish sins. Here is another of many divine profit-and-loss statements: “There is [he] that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is [he] that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches” (Proverbs 13:7). The true measure of profit and loss is the balance sheet kept in heaven. One must first glean an account there, however, and this means coming to God empty-handed, on the basis of Christ’s free gift of His own riches. “Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). He died for us, that we might live through Him.

Then, once our heavenly account is established, here is real investment counseling: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.…For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). HMM

What is Missing

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

—Exodus 3:5


Christian churches have come to the dangerous time predicted long ago. It is a time when we can pat one another on the back, congratulate ourselves and join in the glad refrain, “We are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing!”

It certainly is true that hardly anything is missing from our churches these days—except the most important thing. We are missing the genuine and sacred offering of ourselves and our worship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ….

We have been surging forward. We are building great churches and large congregations. We are boasting about high standards and we are talking a lot about revival.

But I have a question and it is not just rhetoric: What has happened to our worship?…

I wish that we might get back to worship again. Then when people come into the church they will instantly sense that they have come among holy people, God’s people. They can testify, “Of a truth God is in this place.”   WHT009-010, 020

Lord, “I want to be among those who worship.” I’ve been guilty at times of going through the motions, and I pray that today You might fill me with a brand new sense of genuine worship. Amen.


“Do as I Do”—Jesus

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

—Philippians 4:13


There is a tendency for people to relegate everything in the realm of righteousness or iniquity to deity, whatever their concept of deity may be. For the true Christian, however, our risen Lord made a promise to us before His death and resurrection. That promise effectively removes our excuses and makes us responsible:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:13-15)

I will readily admit that we are not God. We cannot do in ourselves what God can do. But God created us as human beings, and if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit and His presence in our lives, we should be able to do what Jesus, the Son of Man, was able to do in His earthly ministry. JMI059-060

Anyone can do the possible; add a bit of courage and zeal and some may do the phenomenal; only Christians are obliged to do the impossible. WOS012


Love Conquers All

1 Corinthians 13:13

Love—the excellency of heaven! Was it not out of this very germ came the creation? Love was the beginning of all things, and love will rush in and throb out the final climax of all.

It seems, in order to show us how mistaken we can be in our judgment of our spiritual standing, that God reveals in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians a case of gems of highest worth—all that the heart could desire for this world—and shows that, while possessing so much, we can miss all.

In this case we find, first, the gem of oratory. Who could look upon it and not be impressed with its mighty value? “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels” (1 Corinthians 13:1 KJV). What an overwhelming attraction there is in this supposition! Could a heart carry a burning theme and not covet that gift most fitted to voice its claims? Where God has thrown in a gifted tongue—skilled in swaying the mind as sky winds the foliage of the forest—convincing, convicting, converting the people by power of speech?

“Tongues of angels”—the tenderness of persuasion, fervency of entreaty, force of eloquence, depth of compassion of an angel’s tongue. But while even so much possessing, if the one crown jewel of love be missing, then in the ears of God all the outward sounding has but the echoing emptiness, coldness and hardness of beaten brass, the irritation of battering cymbals. You can talk love without having it; you can expound its priceless beauties, with its rightful place in your heart filled with self.

We draw from our case our next treasure—the gift of knowledge. None but fools would think lightly of a gift so priceless. How much more to be treasured than wealth or sought for than fame. Its pursuit has made thousands oblivious to poverty or pain. But the Bible tells us that knowledge, grand and mighty as it is, without love, is nothing. To compare knowledge with love you may as well expect the raindrops to rival the ocean. One “vanishes away,” the other is immortal.

We thrust our hands deeper into the case and draw from its clustering gems the pearl of sacrifice. “And though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 KJV). I could never say it, my pen dare not write it, were these not the words of Bible record. Only those offerings springing from the burning promptings of that love which to live must give, that in giving reckons not on gain, can bring eternal profit to the giver.

“God so loved the world” (John 3:16). This victorious power, this golden coronet for which there is no tarnish, this invincible force—Love—conquers all.

Evangeline Booth, Love Is All


VIDEO Performance Under Pressure – the Glorious Gospel

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Pro football fans talk about DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) for teams and individual players. The team with the best DVOA ranking for the 2019 NFL season was the Baltimore Ravens. That means that out of all 32 teams in the NFL, the Ravens had the best team performance throughout the entire regular season (based on the DVOA formula).

Pressure in sports is temporary; pressure in life is continual. The apostle Paul talked about the pressure he faced—hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down—and how he continued to bear fruit. Jesus described the pruning process in the spiritual life that results in more fruit (John 15:1-8). And we have the promises of God that assure us no pressure will ever be more than we can endure (1 Corinthians 10:13). Indeed, like silver in the refiner’s fire, heat burns away the dross and reveals the true value of Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).

How would you rate your performance under pressure in the spiritual life? The purpose is “that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in [your] mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11).

While the fire is hot, keep conversing with the Refiner.   F. B. Meyer

The Glorious Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:1-18)

Fathers today with the strength of Christ

We honor fathers today and by faith trust that we will be all that we can be with the strength of Christ. We not only look at the Prodigal sons return but also the faith of the waiting father

A Father’s Day

Luke 15:11-15:31


Have you ever had broken or shattered dreams?

Have you ever wanted the best for someone and they seem to be on a destructive path and not even desire your help?

Have you ever been so entangled in a situation that you see no way out of that situation?

That is how this father from our text must of felt, and I believe that our Heavenly Father must feel as He looks at us at times.

This mourning we want to honor our Fathers. Men that want to be men.

I know that there is not one Father here that would not lie down his life for his children. That is the way that it is suppose to be.

I also know that there is not one Father here that has not blown it, especially if your children are older. (realize you have been far from perfect)

Those times that we wish we could change how we handled a situation.

Most of the time for Father’s day we look at leadership qualities, look at being a role model, but I want to look at the Father of this Prodigal son and how he handled himself when things did not go according to his plan and his faith that he had for his son to return.

Luke 15:11-31 read from Bible

Red letter edition- words from Jesus Himself.

Parable is a simple story told by Jesus in the gospels to illustrate a spiritual truth.

A Prodigal is someone that is wasteful, extravagant.

This is an example of a person that was wasteful, made bad life choices, and had to come to his /her senses. Anyone relate to that so far?

Our culture in an attempt at finding themselves has slipped off a slippery slope.

We have gone farther away from God, and most do not care.

We have alienated ourselves from others by not letting anyone get too close.

We have made ourselves so busy that we have no time to just breathe and refresh.

Don’t believe we have gotten away from caring of others? We use to take pictures of others, now everyone takes selfies!

It is all about us! (show yourself taking your own picture)

This young boy thinking that his life at home was so bad that he must leave all is not anything new under the sun, it is still happening today.

This Father had two sons, One was older and one younger.

The younger son decided that he had had enough and wanted to go find himself. (rebellion)

He wanted what he felt his father owed him and he was going to take it and do what he wanted.

His older son by choice had stayed and was working the family farm and only became enraged after his father had given such a warm reception of his brothers return.

One stayed and one strayed.

Today’s society looks at nothing as sin. It is a right for you to do as you please, wither it goes against God or family values, or moral values.

The church universal has to be careful that we don’t fall into the same trap. We grade sin.

We look at certain sins as acceptable, tolerable, and then some that we just cannot get past.

I want you to know with the shooting that happened in Orlando this week that this was not the wrath of God coming down on sinners.

God did not cause that shooter to go into a place and gun down innocent lives. It was an evil demented act of hatred.

The church universal has to embrace the fact that lives were lost and that God grieves at the loss of life. Those people’s lives mattered to God.

You cannot evangelize and antagonize at the same time.

We better sit ourselves down and realize that our sin is no better or worse than someone else’s. WE ALL NEED JESUS!

As much as most see this parable about the change in the boy’s life and his return to his father, There is a another side of this story of a father that never gave up hope that his son would return and had already decided what and how he would act when that day came.

Let’s go back to this parable.

The boy decides that he will leave and demands his portion of the family estate. (Younger son gets 1/3, older son 2/3) what is bad is by asking for it, he is saying that he wishes his father dead.

He waste his money on a wild lifestyle to the point there is nothing left and there is famine in the land and this man has gone from plenty to need.

He has gone from many friends because of having money to no friends because he is broke to the broke broke.

It is at his point of need that he remembers that what he had at home was not so bad and that even the servants of his father lived better than what he was at that time.

It is at our lowest point that God does his best work. Wither we are the son or daughter that needs to return or we are the parents of children that have gone astray. God does his best when we are at the lowest.

He does more at those times because we open ourselves up to believing that God can do the impossible and that while we see nothing we know God can and will be working.

This boy was a Jew feeding pigs! You cannot get much lower than that! And to desire to eat what the pigs were eating was another slap in the face.

Couple things happen at that point in our lives.

We come to our senses! (Verse 17) in the midst of our rebellion, we lose track of the truth. He came to his senses.

This unnamed son had to come to the point of his life that he was not satisfied where he was at.

Acts chapter 2:12 “Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another what does this mean?” The believers were amazed at what God was doing but also not sure how or what he was going to do but knew that he would do something.

This kid was broken!

He had lost everything. Home, relationship, his money all gone.

His family and his father were now looking better than they ever did.

Lack of resources and the need for food, he first tries to fix this himself.

He gets a job that is subpar of what he had at home and the distant owner could not have cared less for his immediate needs only that he feed his pigs.

He had this ah ha moment that brought him back to his senses and he reacted, he change his course and returned home.

I don’t know where you are at this morning, but I know that at some point you need to have a Aha moment, that moment that you know what needs to be done and you are willing to do it.

This son/daughter knew that it would be better to go back to the father and take second best because the chart he had coursed was not working.

To this boy surprise the return and embrace from the Father was a welcomed surprise. He did not even have time to recite his speech about just letting him live like the servants live.

What an example of God’s love! Arms open and embracing us to be a part of the family again.

That is why we cannot grade sin. Sin is sin. God wishes for all his children to come home. He desires to restore what rebellion has stolen. What happened this week was not God’ wrath, it grieved his heart for the loss of lives and family members grieving over loved ones.

Be careful what you say in God’s name! Be careful when you speak for God because He is a loving God and desires to see us return to Him. He doesn’t condone sin, and we have to stand on God’s word but He opens doors and He keeps the porch light on so we have an opportunity to come back home and be embraced by a loving God.

Think about this-

Our Heavenly Father is not on the throne with a hammer ready to beat His children over the head. He is drawing us to Himself and we need to be willing to respond.

That wayward child has to have an open door to be able to be welcomed back into the family, the same way that our heavenly Father is waiting his children to come back to Him.

There is a consequence for disobedience, but that is not God’s desire, He will give every opportunity for us to “come to our senses.”


I do not know where you are at this morning, but I know that our heavenly Father who has not made the mistakes we have is wanting us to come to Him this morning, wither we have made mistakes as a parent, or as a wayward child that just needs to come back to Him, He is waiting with open arms for you.

Would you come this morning?

This parable celebrates a father hopefully and patiently watching for his child’s return, and embraced him when he returned.

It reflects the boundless mercy and love of God and His refusal to limit His love on time or circumstance.

As long as we have breathe, He offers life! He is waiting for you to come back! This society, what would it look like if all the wayward children would return. What celebrations would happen this weekend? This world needs Jesus! This world needs to turn around and return back to the Father that desires His best for their lives. It begins with you- He already has made his desire known, what are you going to do with it?


Knowing the Father Through the Son

John 1:9-18

How do you know who God is? Many people today have arrived at their own perception of Him, based on their personal ideas, reasoning, and desires. And some don’t want anyone interfering with their preconceived notions of God. This is nothing new—it was true in the first century, just as it is today.

Jesus came to His own people, the Jews. But despite the testimony of John the Baptist—that Christ was someone who surpassed him in rank and existed long before arriving on earth—they didn’t want Him. Our Savior came to die in order to save those who would believe in Him, but He also came to explain the Father. Jesus has both the knowledge and the authority to do this, because He is God the Son and the only one who has seen and fully knows God the Father.

Therefore, if you want to know and understand who God is, look at Jesus—not just in the Gospel accounts of His earthly life but in the entire New Testament. This is the best way to make sure that you are not deceived in your understanding of Him. Being confronted with the truth now is much better than discovering too late that you are following the wrong god