"Brighter and Brighter Path"

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"Brighter and Brighter Path"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Good Shepherd, help me hear Your voice here in my heart to begin my day centered in You.  

"But the path of the righteous is like a light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.... Keep straight the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil" (Proverbs 4:18-27).

If I'm walking in Your ways, my path should be getting "brighter and brighter." My spirit and my steps should be straight and steady. And if my path is not getting brighter and my steps have swerved and are no longer steady, I should be quick to humble my heart to cry out to You and ask for Your help and correction and guidance. And You'll be quick to lead me back to the place where I got off Your path so I can continue on with my journey in Your will. You're the God who makes my path straight and my steps secure (Psalm 40:2).

Come guide my steps today. Give me the discernment and wisdom to recognize if my path is growing "brighter and brighter." I don't want to take any detours on the way to my destiny. I need you to be my inner “GPS” that keeps my feet from turning towards evil.  "Keep my steps steady according to Your promise" (Psalm 119:133). And I thank You for Your promise that "our steps are made firm by the Lord, when He delights in our way; (even) though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand" (Psalm 23:23). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,I pray this morning you will look at you path and cry out to God for any corrections needed to where you are swerving.   Then your path will grow brighter and brighter before you each day, as the Lord orders your steps and guides you into the fullness of His will and your destiny in Him, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.

 Thank You!

 

 

 

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"Your Steadfast Love in the Morning"

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"Your Steadfast Love in the Morning"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. You're one with the Father and one with the Holy Spirit; be one within me, as I abide in You and You abide in me.  

"Let me hear of Your steadfast love in the morning, for in You I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.... Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. Let Your good Spirit lead me on a level path" (Psalm 143:8-10). 

I settle in to my place of prayer and center in with my focus on You. I lift up my heart and open up my spirit, as I greet You and welcome You into the moments of my day. "Good morning, Lord Jesus."

I could say, "Good morning, heavenly Father" or "Come, Holy Spirit" or "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come!"  But for going on three years now (time flies), from when I first began to journal my morning prayer, this has been my simple way to focus my heart and begin my day centered in You--embraced by my Father, centered in Christ, and filled with Your Holy Spirit.

And every morning is a good morning because Your good Spirit is with me--to love me and lead me on the level path of life in You, to teach me and tell me the ways of Your will--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. You put Your thoughts in my mind and Your desires in my heart. You take me by hand and lead me by the heart on my journey of faith that begins each day in worship and prayer, in trusting surrender and faithful obedience.

In these morning moments of deep communion in prayer, You begin my daily journey of making me more like You, as I intentionally, deliberately entrust my soul again completely to You. "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--make us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image" (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NLT).

If you are reading this reflection this morning I want to let you know I never intended my morning reflections to be a substitute or replacement for you personally spending time in the morning searching the Scriptures, reflecting on God’s Word, and in prayer. I put them out to remind you of the necessity of daily time in the Bible and prayer, and encourage you to begin or continue your own personal devotional time with God.  To go back and re-read the Scripture passages in the reflections God gives me and allow Him to create reflections in you.  And truthfully, if time is an issue and you have to choose between time to read my reflections and prayers, or your personal time reading the Word and in prayer, I’d rather you spent personal time in the Word and prayer, and so would God. 

My family, I pray you experience the peace, joy and transformation of the Presence of God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--as YOU intentionally, deliberately entrust your soul to Him every morning in God’s Word and prayer, to ground you in His truth and love throughout the moments of your day, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

 

If these morning reflections have encouraged you to begin or continue in daily time in the word, please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

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"Following Jesus in Fear"

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"Following Jesus in Fear"

Good morning Father, Son, and Spirit, I claim your presence in my life as I begin my week so I can impact those I meet this with your love and grace.

“They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was going ahead of them, and they were amazed, but those who followed were afraid…” (Mark 10:32)

“But those who followed were afraid…” When was the last time you were afraid to follow Jesus?  When was the last time you made a decision to follow Jesus knowing it would cost you something?  When was the last time you obeyed His call to follow knowing it would be hard, difficult, uncomfortable and you would not get anything out of it but the satisfaction of being obedient?

We in America live and worship in a form of “ comfortable church” and easy discipleship that is absence of fear. We follow Jesus to comfortable worship buildings and Sunday school classrooms with comfortable chairs and AC.  We follow Jesus to Wednesday night suppers.  And we follow Jesus not with the His understanding that "church" is walking in public confronting and encountering others with the Gospel, but by isolating ourselves from our community and driving in comfortable cars, listening to Casting Crowns, drinking Starbucks and insulating ourselves from those who are around  us in the cars and homes we are passing, to go to a safe and comfortable "church."  

Fear does not enter into our decision not to follow Jesus, comfort does.  Asking the question, "When was the last time you did not follow Jesus out of fear?" may not be applicable to us.  However the question, "When was that last time you did not follow Jesus for lack of comfort?, does apply to most of us.   If it is raining outside, we stay home.  If we had a hard day at work, we stay home.  If we just don’t feel like it today, we stay home.

We don’t talk to people we encounter in our work day about Jesus because it makes us “uncomfortable.” We don’t know our neighbors and invite them into our relationship with Jesus because it make us uncomfortable. Yet those people actually attend your "church", those you meet along along the way as you follow Jesus.  Read Mark 10:32 again.  "Church" was those those they met along the way as they followed Jesus.

My family, I pray as you follow Jesus on your way today,  you follow Him in a way that makes you afraid, or at least makes you uncomfortable.  In Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

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"Breath on me!"

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"Breath on me!"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Arise in Your resurrection power in my life today. 

"Then He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:22 NLT).

Breathe on me, O Breath of God. Let Your Spirit fill my lungs with praise. Let your Breath fill my mouth with Your words. Let Your Presence abide in my soul.

Breathe on me, Lord. Breathe new life, fresh passion, renewed determination to seek Your face, to follow Your ways, to be the child of God and disciple of Christ You created me and called me to be--not in my strength but in Your power, not in my goodness but in Your righteousness. 

I desperately need You. I breathlessly await You. Prayer is the life breath for Christians.  We breathe through prayer or we die.  So increase my capacity to breathe You in as You breathe on me. Reveal and help me remove any restrictions in my heart and mind to the inflow of your breath.  Fill me afresh that You can overflow anew through me this day and this next season of my life in You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,  I pray you take time this morning to simply breath.  Breath in the breath of God and be filled afresh and overflow anew with His life and love flowing out of you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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"Centered in You"

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"Centered in You"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be at the center of my life and every moment of my day. 

"Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God" (Romans 8:12-14 NLT).

Jesus, today, like everyday, I will have encounters and decisions I'll need to face. Some I know of already and have a deadline to make a decision, others I do not know yet and I will face when the situation arises.  In all of these encounters and decisions, I will have the opportunity to choose to be led by the sinful nature of my flesh or the righteous nature of Your Spirit. My flesh--grounded in my own selfishness and self-centeredness-- will urge me to make one choice, while Your Spirit--grounded in Your Word and Your will--will urge me to make different choice. As a child of God, I want to make right choices led by the right Spirit. As a child God, I want to be "led by the Spirit of God" (Romans 8:14). 

So here at the beginning of my day, I want to be centered in You--grounded in Your Word, filled with Your Spirit, embraced in the communion of Your Presence. I'm asking You to put Your thoughts in my mind and Your desires in my heart, so when the opportunities to make my choices come, I'm already connected with You, abiding in You as You abide in me (John 15:4). 

Then listening for Your leading and seeking to discern Your direction, I'll be able to more clearly sense Your will and Your ways in every decision I'll make. Then "when (I) turn to the right or when (I) turn to the left, (my) ears shall hear a voice behind (me), saying, 'This is the way; walk in it'" (Isaiah 30:21). This is one of the greatest gifts and most precious, powerful blessings of God; to be led by the Spirit of God as a child of God. So Holy Spirit of God, come lead me today throughout  every choice and decision I will make. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you begin this day and every day centered in Christ--grounded in the Word of God, filled with the Spirit of God, and embraced in the communion of God--so you can clearly discern His will and His ways in every decision you will face today, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.

 Thank You!

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"Greatest Weakness Turned to greatest Strength"

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"Greatest Weakness Turned to greatest Strength"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. As deep calls to calls, my spirit calls to Your Spirit in the deep communion of prayer. Help me begin my day embraced by my Father, centered in Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit. 

"But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in His side, I will not believe.' A week later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it in My side. Do not doubt but believe.' Thomas answered Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those have not seen and yet have come to believe'" (John 20:24-28).

I like Thomas, I see a lot of me in him. What some would call doubt, I would call determined discernment, insistence upon truth, a high value for un-flaky faith, keeping it real. Before I was a minister, I was a General Contractor.  Things had to be true to the blue prints, architecturally sound, and built right. And as I began to grow in my faith, it was important to me to believe what was true before I could preach it or teach it as true. And I suppose after these many years of my personal journey of faith, I'm still that way.

But like Thomas, what's helped me so much in my journey of faith are my personal encounters with You Jesus. Thomas' personal encounter with the risen Lord made him a believer. And it's the same with me.

I've encountered You in the midst of my guilt and shame where I've deeply regretted what I've done. In Your resurrection power, You forgave me and empowered me to forgive myself and cleanse me from my shame. I've encountered You in the midst of so many moments of failure and heartache, of feeling rejected and unloved, of being misunderstood and judged, of confusion and frustration, of finding myself weary, discouraged, and worn out, and in so many more of those moments when I wish I could just put my finger in Your hands and my hand in Your side. But every time, You've put Your hands around my heart and breathed Your Spirit into my life to lift me up and dust me off and send me along with even more faith, more trust, and more love for You than ever before. Every one of my personal encounters with You have made me a believer, believing even more strongly in every encounter.

In that powerful moment of Your undeniable Presence, You turned all of Thomas' wavering doubts into a bold declaration of faith--"My Lord and my God!" It's actually the highest and most direct declaration from any person in all the Bible that Jesus is Lord and God. And it's a boldness of faith that never left him after that encounter.  Thomas was martyred in India for his faith with a spear through his heart that never stopped loving You or beating passionately for You to preach Your Word and minister in the power of Your name until the day he died.

I love how You take our greatest weaknesses and turn them into our greatest strengths. In the very places where we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the power of Your grace, You give us authority and passion in Your Spirit to testify to Your love and help others encounter the One who's done so much for us. I love how You turn sinners into saints, brokenness into breakthrough, and even General Contrators into preachers! Thank You for turning my doubts into declarations and my failures into faith. Lord Jesus--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--You are "my Lord and my God!" And I love You with all my heart and offer all my life to You again this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray today you will seek personal encounters with the risen Lord that will turn your doubts into declarations and your failures into faith, with a passion to love and serve your Lord and your God with all your heart, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.communityWebsite: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

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"Dear Christians There is One Thing Worse Than Being An Atheist."

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"Dear Christians There is One Thing Worse Than Being An Atheist."

Good morning Jesus I begin my morning intentionally drawing closer to you, who longs to draw closer to me.

ʻI know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth! Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,” but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked," Revelations 3:15-17.

My morning blog post is different today.  In stead of of blog I have written I am asking you to read a short article entitled, "Dear Christians There is One Thing Worse Than Being An Atheist."  Click the button below now and read it. then return to this page.

As the Lead Follower of One Direction Community trying to get people to embrace becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, of spending time daily reading their Bible, in real time set aside for real prayer, and gathering in a Band for true accountability,  my greatest struggle are Christians that have "found comfort in a label" of calling themselves a "Christian." They have at one point been baptized, got the Tee shirt to prove it to themselves and others, and may even wear it to church now and then. So they are "good" in their faith, and wear the tee shirt to rationalize leading a life that is absent from signs or fruits of their salvation.  Compare your life to Jim and Bob and that of Jesus.  Who are you a disciple of? Jim and Bob do not set aside time daily (1) embracing God in his Word and (2) in prayer.  Bob and Jim are not (3) in a Band, Reunion group, or other from of deep Christian accountability.  Jim and Bob do not (4) serve others on a regular basis. Jesus embraced and encouraged all four of these.  Honestly, how many of these four are a part of your daily life?  Are you committed and honestly prioritizing and embracing these four things as a "Disciple" of Jesus and embracing his cross?  Or are you a simply using the label "Christian" like Jim and wearing the Tee Shirt?

My family, I pray today you will seriously and honestly reflect on not the label of being a "Christian", but your true relationship with Christ.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

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"Our Walk To Emmaus"

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"Our Walk To Emmaus"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Open the eyes of my heart to see You--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God--as I look and listen for Your leading today. 

In the next couple weeks we will have 10 men and women attend a “Walk to Emmaus” weekend.  The weekend is also called Cursillo, Paseo, or Chrysalis depending on church denomination and age.  In praying this morning over the names of those who will be attending their weekends, I went back and read the story of the walk to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-32.

"Now on that day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.... So He went in to stay with them. When He was at the table with them, He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while He was talking to us on the road, while He was opening the Scriptures to us?'" (Luke 24:13-32).

The two disciples were on their walk back to Emmaus after all the events of the cross in Jerusalem.  Jesus, they had known You and loved You, but in their grief and sorrow and disappointment, they couldn't see You. They "had hoped" that You were the Messiah, but now they thought all their hopes and dreams were shattered (v. 21). They had even heard stories of Your resurrection, but they were still "slow of heart to believe" (v. 22-25). Even when You came alongside them, they couldn't sense that it was You, they couldn't recognize Your voice, even though they had had such a personal relationship with You.

That may be a picture of many of us at times along our journey of faith. It has been mine at times in my life.  We know You, we have a real and personal relationship with You, we know the stories of Your resurrection; but at the same time, down deep inside, we still find ourselves "slow of heart to believe." When our dreams and hopes are shattered, when tragedy strikes, when we find ourselves in those times of grief and sorrow and disappointment, we find it hard to see You and hear You. We can't even recognize and remember that You are with us--that You're with us "always," just like You promised (Matthew 28:24), that Your sheep "hear (Your) voice," just like You said (John 10:3).

But even in those times--maybe even especially in those times--You'll come near and go with us (Luke 24:15). You'll come in and dine with us in the communion of our hearts if we'll simply invite You in to come abide with us (v. 29). Just as You did with those two discouraged disciples who desperately needed an encounter with You, You're ready to come and commune with all who would "urge (You) strongly" to come and stay (v. 29). 

In the breaking of the bread with them, "their eyes were opened, and they recognized (You)" (v. 30-31). In the breaking of the Bread of the Word of God with them, "(You) interpreted to them the things about (Yourself) in all the Scriptures" (v. 27). Then their hearts burned within them in fresh fire and faith, in renewed hope and excitement, from their personal encounter in Your Presence with Your Word (v. 32).

Thank You for walking with me on my journey with You, Lord Jesus. Thank You for opening up the Word of God to me, for revealing Yourself in Your Scriptures to me, "beginning with Moses and all the prophets" (v. 27). Thank You for coming to abide within me, for opening the eyes of my heart to see You, for making me more and more sensitive in my spirit to hear You. Thank You for the grace and faith to believe in my heart from my personal encounters in Your Presence with Your Word that "the Lord has risen indeed!" (v. 34) And thank You that every day You want walk with me and to arise in me! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray this morning you strongly urge Jesus to come enter the dwelling of your heart so your heart burns within you with fresh fire and faith, in renewed hope and excitement on your journey with Jesus.  Encounter His Presence by spending time in His Word, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

If you have attended a Three-day weekend such as an Emmaus, Cursillo, or Paseo, please share your experiences and reflections from your weekend in the comment box below.  Have questions about the weekend, contact me and I'd love to talk to you.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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"Fill Me!"

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"Fill Me!"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Arise in Your resurrection power in my life today.

"Then He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:22 NLT).

Breathe on me, O Breath of God. Let Your Spirit fill my lungs with praise. Let your Breath fill my mouth with Your words. Let Your Presence abide in my soul.

Breathe on me, Lord. Breathe new life, fresh passion, renewed vision and determination to seek Your face, to return to my first love, to follow Your ways, to be the child of God and disciple of Christ You created me and called me to be--not in my strength but in Your power, not in my goodness but in Your righteousness. 

I desperately need You. I breathlessly await You. Increase my capacity to breathe You in as You breathe on me. Fill me afresh that You can overflow onto those around me, through me this day and this next season of my life in You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you fall on your knees this morning and desperately desire to be filled afresh with the Breath of God to overflow anew with His life and love flowing out of you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please begin 2018 by a commitment to partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

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"Saved Then Sent"

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"Saved Then Sent"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Put Your thoughts in my mind and Your desires in my heart to lead me in Your ways today--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. 

"When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.' When He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them. 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained'" (John 20:19-23).

Jesus, just as the Father sent You to us, now You send us to those in our communities. Just as the Father sent You to proclaim the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of God, so You send us to declare the same Gospel.  You send us in the same authority and the power of Your Holy Spirit as God sent You.

As You are, so are we to be in this world (1 John 4:17). We are the "body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are filled with the "Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9). And now we continue the "ministry of Christ" through our lives for Your glory in Your name (Romans 16:13;  Matthew 28:18-20).  All who truly believe in You will continue to honor and obey You by doing the works that You do in the same power of the Holy Spirit You had when You walked this earth (John 14:12). "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.... He went about doing good and healing all were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).

Though You were crucified, buried, raised from the death, and ascended into heaven, You are with us always (Matthew 28:20). Your Spirit--"Spirit of Jesus Christ"-- is with us and within us (Philippians 1:19). As the Father sent You, so You continue to send us--in Your Spirit, in Your power, in Your name. In obedience to you call I reply, Here I am, Lord. Send me today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray in obedience of your risen Lord Jesus, you say “Send Me” this morning and go with boldness, faith and joy everywhere the Lord sends you in His Spirit, in His power, and in His name, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please begin 2018 by a commitment to partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.

Thank You!

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"MLK"

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"MLK"

Good morning Father, Son, and Spirit, I begin my week in complete reliance of your love, grace and mercy every day and every moment of all my weeks.

“When they did not find them, they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here also; and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”” (Acts 17:6-7)

Today we remember and celebrate the life of a modern-day prophet, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr (MLK). Rev, King was shot and killed 50 years ago today on April 4, 1968.  It is fitting this year's remembrance of this man comes right after Easter and the remembrance of THE MAN, Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Christ's led a non-violent revolution in which he and his followers were beaten and it cost them their lives.  Easter Sunday is the day the greatest revolution began. Rev. King, as a follower of Jesus and in imitation of him, also led a non-violent revolution for social change and his followers were beaten and it cost him his life.  I believe Dr. King was a modern day prophet.  I read his 'Letter From A Birmingham Jail" this morning.  For my reflection blog post today, I am using excerpts of MLK's refections in his letter and a previous post. Read his words as they speak truth into our individual lives today and the life of the church.

“Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire.“

“I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town…”

“But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth…We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed…We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal"…it was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers…”

“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

“…Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation…”

“Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." …So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment….

“There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are”….

“But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.”

These words MLK penned 55 years ago to the church are as, or even more so relevant today.

My family, I pray today after reading this that if you will use this day, not for honoring yourself by seeking and serving to your needs and desires, but seeking to serve the needs and desires of others.  Prayer walk your neighborhood, volunteer and serve in a community outreach ministry, and spend time in prayer of areas of injustice, poverty, and hate you are aware of in your community and the world.  Do one simple obvious thing to to help or serve a coworker, classmate, or neighbor.  In Jesus’ name!  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!!! 

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community., myself and my family, as we try to bring justice and grace to those on the margins God has placed in our path and I refuse to walk around.  Please begin 2018 by a commitment to partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

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"Resurrection Power"

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"Resurrection Power"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Arise in my heart and shine through my life today. 

"The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you" (Romans 8:11).

Resurrection Sunday was the first day of your resurrection life. You were raised from the dead and in you, so am I. On the day I welcomed You into my heart, Your Spirit came rushing in like a mighty wind to save me and raise me up into newness of life and my resurrection life began. "For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives" (Romans 8:4).

Father God, fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Come, Holy Spirit, move in resurrection power in my spirit and through my life. Lord Jesus, make me more like You each day. As You are, so am I to be in my world (1 John 4:17).  So raise me up full of Your Holy Spirit and send me out in the fullness of the resurrection life You died for me to live. "Therefore it says, 'Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!'" (Ephesians 5:14) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you awaken and arise to shine with the light of the glory of God in the resurrection power of the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please begin 2018 by a commitment to partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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"He Is Risen!"

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"He Is Risen!"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are the resurrection and the life. Come alive and arise in me today and every day.

"Jesus said to her, "I AM the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?' She said to Him, 'Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the One coming into the world'" (John 11:25-27).

Yesterday we celebrated Resurrection Sunday.  As I begin my work week I say to You, like Mary and the followers of Jesus throughout the ages, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the One coming into the world." You're the One who's come into my world and into my heart to change my life and my world around me in the glory of Your name and the power of Your love. 

My heavenly Father, fill me afresh with the Spirit of Christ, with resurrection power. "If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in (me), He who raised Christ from the dead will give life to (my) mortal body also through His Spirit that dwells in (me)!" (Romans 8:11)  So I welcome Your Word and Your Spirit to come alive and arise in me today and every day.  Let it be my joy to share with others the good news and grace of my resurrected Lord that can change their life as well. 

For forty days we journeyed through Lent in solemn reflection and preparation for the celebration of your resurrection.  Let all this time of preparation not end after only one day of celebration!  May we continue all this week inviting people over for dinners, feasting, and toasting to Jesus and the hope and Joy He has ushered into our lives. In Jesus' name pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you are filled afresh with the Spirit of Christ, coming alive and arising in you this day and every day.  I pray you continue to share and celebrate our cry, “The Lord has risen indeed, Alleluia!” throughout in conversations and gatherings throughout this week, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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Good Friday

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Good Friday


Today is Good Friday, the day we remember the Passion (suffering) of Christ: His betrayal, trial, scourging, crucifixion, and burial. Today is the day more Christians fast in prayer than any other and I ask you to join in with them.  Scripture tells us Jesus hung on the cross from the sixth thru the ninth hour, and on the ninth hour he died. That converts to 12:00pm-3:00pm for us today. Be in prayer today. 

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy..

Good morning, Lord Jesus. On this Good Friday, we remember our Good Shepherd, when You laid down Your life for Your sheep. 

"Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).... And they crucified him.... When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'... Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed His last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing Him, saw that in this way He breathed His last, he said, 'Truly this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:22-39)

We truly have no idea of the suffering You endured for each one of us. For as much as we can take at a time, we begin to imagine the physical suffering and the emotional suffering, as You hung naked and rejected by the nails driven into Your hands and feet, gasping for breath and dripping with blood from Your shredded skin and nerves. But we can't even begin to comprehend the spiritual suffering You endured as the One who knew no sin became sin on our behalf, when You willingly took upon Yourself all the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In that moment, bearing the full weight of our sins, the full weight of my sins, You were forsaken by the Father and separated from the holiness of God, so that we would never have to be forsaken. In unimaginable anguish of spirit, You cried out to the Father in the most heart-wrenching cry of all eternity, as the Lamb of God took away the sins of the world by taking them on to Yourself in the passion of the cross, determined before the foundation of the world and prophesied long before the coming of that day (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53). 

Carrying our sins, You descended into hell on our behalf to break the power of hell over our lives (Acts 2:31; 1 Peter 3:18-22 and 4:6). But hell couldn't hold You because Satan had nothing in You and no power over You (John 14:30). "Through death, (You defeated) the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and freed those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death" (Hebrews 2:14).

What an incomprehensible price You paid for each one of us. We may never fully comprehend for all eternity the depth of Your suffering for our sins so that we could dwell forever in the depths of Your love in the intimate presence of our holy God. But on this holy day, we stand amazed at the foot of the cross and in the Presence of God. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


My family, a family born out of the blood of the cross, I pray you take time on our Holy Week journey to the joy of celebrating the resurrection of Christ, pause today to think on the suffering of Jesus and be filled with knowledge of the truth of how much God loves you and suffered for you to always be with you. In Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. 

Please share you reflections on Good Friday throughout your day in the comment box below.

All are welcomed to attend our Good Friday gathering this evening where we will walk the station of the cross meditation together.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please  partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.

 Thank You!

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"Tear Our Hearts"

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"Tear Our Hearts"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be high and lifted up, here in my heart and every moment of my day. 

"Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, 'Have You no answer? What is it that they testify against You?' But He was silent and did not answer. Again the  high priest asked Him, 'Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?' Jesus said, 'I AM; and 'you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,' and 'coming with the clouds of heaven'" (Mark 14:60-62)

You are the Messiah, the Christ, the One who is both Son of Man and Son of God, the Word of God made human flesh like us, to walk among us and willingly lay down Your perfect and sinless life for us as the atoning sacrifice for all our sins that we might know You and live with You forever in the very presence of God. You are I AM (John 8:58; Exodus 3:14).

At that divine declaration, the high priest tore his garments in fleshly anger because he didn't believe. But Your Holy Spirit compels all who would hear and believe to tear our hearts in holy desperation to welcome You into them as Lord and Savior. "Yet even now, says the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing" (Joel 2:12-13).

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I tear it open to You today. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit. Remind me of Your sacrifice that draws me into Your love. "For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross.... As a result, He has brought (us) into His own presence, and (we) are holy and blameless as (we) stand before Him without a single fault. But (we) must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it" (Colossians 1:19-23).

By the grace of God, I'm a child of God, forgiven and free, through all You've done for me! "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT). Thank You, thank You, thank You Jesus. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you are moved by the Holy Spirit to continue in the faith, compelled by love and in holy desperation.  I pray you tear open your heart in ever-deeper surrender to the One who loves you and laid down His life for you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one–time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

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 "Christ Our Passover Lamb"

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"Christ Our Passover Lamb"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit and make me more like You today. 

"While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it He broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks He gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out fro many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom' " (Matthew 26:26-29).

As we prepare to celebrate the Hebrew feast of Passover, You are our Passover Lamb. You are "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" by the pouring out of Your precious blood upon the cross (John 1:29). You are the fulfillment of the prophetic act of the first Passover, when death passed over the Hebrew people who took the blood of the unblemished lamb and anointed the doorways of their home, just as You call us to anoint the doorways of our hearts with Your blood (Exodus 12:1-28). 

The first Passover and every Festival of Passover, celebrated in remembrance of the provision of God, is a foreshadow of things to come, ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:16). So as I remember the Passover, I'm remembering the last Passover, the Last Supper, You celebrated with Your disciples during that Holy Week on the night You were betrayed and gave up Yourself for us.

Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your gift of Your Body and Your Blood, given and poured out for me. In You, death passes over me and the fullness of life forevermore floods my soul. "Those who believe in Me, even though they die, yet will they live" (John 11:25). Thank You for Your sacrifice of love that takes away the sins of the world, and even more personally, Your sacrifice of love that takes away my sins. Today I remember You and behold the Passover Lamb of God. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you may behold the Passover Lamb of God and all the fullness of life God the Father has provided for you through God the Son. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.communityFacebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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"Make Today Different"

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"Make Today Different"

Last night I took some food to a family (granny, mom, and three children) who live in a HUD housing project.  Their fridge went in their apartment and they called the manager.  It took him three days to fix their fridge and so they lost all their food.   The granny does not get money until the first of the month so they needed basic food items: eggs, milk, butter..ect to get them through this week until the grandmother get's her check next week. 

I went to Walmart and eggs are 27 cents a dozen. Milk is 98 cents a gallon. I spent a $1.25 and brought it to them. When Carrie, the mom opened the fridge to put them in it, besides an almost empty quart of milk and a pitcher of water, they were the only things in the fridge. I only spent $1.25 and it took me less than an hour, however they were blessed and so was I.

I have encouraged you all to make this week, Holy Week, "different." Slow down, change your schedule to allow you to spend more time in prayer, in the Bible, and serving others. The above is a simple example. Did I really want to drive to bring them food, probably not. I could have sat and watched a hour show on TV. However, in less time than that show lasted, and only spending $1.25 I made this week "different," a family's life different, and my life different. 

The dollar amount the food represented did not matter to the family, the amount of love it represented did. Just like those that deliver Meals on Wheels to the elderly, its not the $2.00 lunch the elderly crave, its the care and companionship. 

When I got to the house, Jaylee, the 12 year old daughter, and her grandmother Christine were not there. They had walked to the store. It is spring break for Jaylee, and her Carrie, her mom, said Jaylee and two friends wanted to have a picnic but they did not have any money or food. Neither of their families had money of food.  So they each went to their apartments and into their rooms and got personal items of theirs they could sell. Carrie said they say outside today by the street from 10:00am-6:00pm for 8 hours and had a "yard sale" and sold their items. Carrie said they made $8.00. Just then Jaylee and her granny walked in from the store. Jaylee excitedly told me all about her yard sale. Then she showed me what she brought from the corner store: a store brand bag of Sour Cream and Onion Chips, a 2 liter bottle of generic Dr. Pepper, a small bag of gummy candy, and a 4 pack of generic chocolate pudding cups. She was so excited about the picnic she and her friends were now going to have tomorrow, and that she had $2 and change left over which she showed me.  As I was smiling and saying, "That's great Jaylee!" I was thinking inside, "She sold her personal things to buy food."

My family, It does not take allot of time or money to make a day "different," it just takes being intentional. It is a few small people, doing a few small things, in a few small places that usher in a movement of God. I pray you will begin your day in prayer over, "So how are you going to make today different?   Please pray the same for me.   God bless you my friends!

Much love,
Gary

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

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"So I Have Sent Them"

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"So I Have Sent Them"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit and set my heart ablaze with Your Fire. Let me be a torchbearer and Fire-carrier everywhere You send me today. 

"I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but I ask You to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You have sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world" (John 17:15-18).

You never called us to huddle up and hide out. You never intended to tuck us away in some tower of tranquility.  Your picture of  “church” was never a “sanctuary” hidden inside a stationary building with a cross on top.  Your image of church was never a location but a movement.  You sent us, sent your church into the world.  You sent us even knowing the challenges we'd face, the temptations we'd encounter and the persecutions we'd endure (v. 14). You sent us like You sent your Son, the One we are supposed to imitate.

You send us into the world because You love the world (v. 3:16). You're not willing that any should perish, but that all would have life in You. So You send us to be Your expression of Your love for them. Just as the Father sent the Son, so the Son sends us in the power and love of the Spirit of God living in us (v. 20:21-23).

"Here I am, Lord. Send me" (Isaiah 6:8). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you may be filled with the Spirit of God today, as Jesus sends you into the world to express the Father's heart of love for everyone you encounter.   I pray during Holy Week, today, in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening instead of sitting, you will step out into the world and do a simple act of service or sharing of Jesus’ love.  Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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"The Crowds Cry Out"

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"The Crowds Cry Out"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. As I journey with You this Holy Week when we remember Your journey to the cross, help me listen and see all You're showing me, as I take up my cross and follow You. 

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, 'Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord'" (Matthew 23:37-39).

Jesus, when You came into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey in deep humility, the crowds waived their palm branches and declared You were the Messiah, the Son of David, coming as King, declaring "Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!" (v. 21:6-10). But You already knew in your heart that in a short week's time, those same crowds would be crying out for Your crucifixion on a cross, rejecting Your words and rejecting You as their Messiah (v. 27:20-23). And You knew in Your heart Jerusalem would be destroyed, as a city divided in her heart and denying her Savior (v. 24:1-2).

Yet, even so, You would continue to love her and seek to gather her together again in hope, fulfilling the ancient prophecies of the restoration of Israel and the salvation of Jerusalem at the end of the age (Zechariah 12:1-11). And on that day that will seem like all the nations of the earth are about to finally destroy Jerusalem and all she represents, the crowds of Jerusalem will look up to heaven, to the return of her Messiah, "the One whom they have pierced," in mourning and repentance to declare, "Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord" (Zechariah 12:10). 

We are no better than the crowds who cried out for Your crucifixion because it was our sins as well as theirs that nailed You to the cross, You continue to cry out for us. And because of Your sacrifice of love, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13). 

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for never giving up on us, for never giving up on me. You are the blessed One who comes in the name of the Lord (Psalm 118:26). You are the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. Despite the sins of our souls and the unfaithfulness of our hearts, You never give up on us. Your steadfast love never comes to an end (Lamentations 3:22). 

So let me be part of that crowd, from every generation, saved by Your grace, from the cross to the second coming of Christ, who cries out to You, "Blessed in the One who comes in the name of the Lord." In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you begin this Monday of Holy Week by crying out in your heart to Jesus, "Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord." May you hear and see all the Lord desires to show you on this Holy Week journey to the cross. In Jesus’s name!  Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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"Holy Realignment"

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"Holy Realignment"

Good morning my family,

I post a weekday reflection blog and I normally do not post a blog on Saturday or Sunday, but with Holy Week beginning tomorrow my thoughts and prays this morning were on preparing our hearts for this time. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday andwill began the time called Holy Week in the church.  It is my favorite week in the year. We remember the last week of Christ’s life before his resurrection.  It contains so many powerful events, examples, and expressions of God’s love for us as demonstrated in the life of Christ.  It starts tomorrow with Palm Sunday and Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.  Jesus’s cleansing of the temple.  The institution of the first Lord’s Supper.  Jesus washing the disciples feet.  Jesus’s final teaching to his disciples in the upper room.  The betrayal by Judas.  Jesus prayer and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.  His trials before the Sanhedrin, Pilot and Herod.  Jesus’ scourging, and crucifixion, and finally, resurrection.  

I know I am preaching to myself with all I have to do with getting ready for all the upcoming events this week, but I want to encourage you to try to make this next week different. Try to slow down.  Read through a passion narrative in one of the four Gospels each day.  Commit yourself to Fast and pray as often as you can this week. Try to “Fast” as much as you can from social media, TV, video games and other Apps and spend that time in prayer. Serve and do acts of mercy at the Manna house, Downtown Rescue Mission, or other outreaches into your community.  This is a reason why ODC holds and I invite you to participate in our Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services before Easter Sunday to help reinforce this week is different and set aside extra time for something we need to do more of, time in collective prayer together.  I know many of you do not attend ODC, so please attend your churches or another in your communities Holy Week observation gatherings. 

Pray over One Direction Community, (and your church and their vision) that we can press forward with our vision of Loving God, Loving Neighbors, and Making disciples through our House Churches.   Share your testimony and the Gospel at least once a day with others.  Prayer walk more this week seeking new people of peace to invite into existing, and start up new house churches.  Invite people to our (your) Holy Week gatherings.  If for some reason you are still not in a Band Group, (an accountability group) make it a priority to start one this week.  Pray we can more deeply develop a heartbeat for those who are not yet here, rather than those who are here.  That is why God sent His Son, that all may be saved by his suffering and resurrection of grace.

My family, I pray today you will intentionally commit to refocusing your heart, your free time, and dates on your calendar for next week and remove distractions and include Holy Week gatherings, times of service and sharing the Gospel, and time in Word and prayer. In Jesus’ name.  PLEASE pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

I love you all,

Gary Liederbach

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please begin 2018 by a commitment to partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

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