Show Me Your Ways

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Show Me Your Ways

Good morning, Lord Jesus. My Lord and Savior, my God and King, come have Your way in my heart and life today.  

"Moses said to the Lord, 'See, You have said to me, 'Bring up this people'; but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.' Now if I have found favor in Your sight, show me Your ways, so that I may know You and find favor in Your sight....' He (the Lord) said, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.' And he (Moses) said to Him (The lord), 'If Your Presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people, unless You go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and Your people, from every people on the face of the earth.' The Lord said to Moses, 'I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name'" (Exodus 33:12-17).

 As I sit here in the quiet of my morning, I thank You Lord that You know me by name, that Your Presence is always with me wherever I go, that I have found favor in Your sight, that I am one among Your people who are distinct from all other people on the face of the earth--not because of anything I've done, but all because of what You've done for me, not because of who I am apart from You, but because of who You are within me.

Those who know me, know I usually begin my prayers with. “I thank you Lord for Your love, grace, and mercy that constantly surrounds us.”  So show me Your ways and empower me to walk in them. Show me Your Presence and remind me I'm never apart from You. You've blessed me and favored me, You know me by name and go with me to live out my destiny in the security of my identity as a child of God. I've found favor with You because You found me, because You've lavished Your love, mercy and grace upon me, and because You've called me Your own. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray that like Moses, you will earnestly ask of God, “show me Your ways, so that I may know You and find favor in Your sight.”  Then you walk in the ways of the Lord, embraced by His Presence every day, surrounded by his love, grace and mercy everyday, having found favor in Him as the child of God you are, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend! 

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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Anointed and Empowered

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Anointed and Empowered

Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are worthy of it all--all my heart and mind and soul and strength, O Lord, my God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  

"Then Peter began to speak to them:  'I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him. You know the message He sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--He is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced:  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses to all that He did both in Judea and in Jerusalem" (Acts 10:34-39).

Anointed "with the Holy Spirit and with power," You "went about doing good" everywhere the Father sent You, as You walked this earth as Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man living in compete communion with the living God. "Being born in human likeness" and "being found in human form," You are our Model and Mentor, for the Spirit-filled life lived out by a child of God (Philippians 2:7). You were fully yielded to the will and ways of God, doing what You saw the Father doing, speaking what You heard the Father speaking, always available and completely empowered to go about doing good with the heart of God.

Anoint me today with Your Holy Spirit and with power! Empower me and send me to go about doing good, with the authority of Your name and nature of Your heart. As You said to Your first disciples, You continue to speak to me and every one of Your disciples in every generation:  "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses (wherever I send you)" (Acts 1:8). Lord, let it be so in me today and every day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you begin your day spending time one-on-one with Jesus and receive his anointing and empowering by the Holy Spirit of the Living God, to go about doing good as a witness and disciple of Jesus Christ in the authority of His name and nature of His 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.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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Ashes and Oil

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Ashes and Oil

Jesus, I begin my day in you, walking in the light of the one who lights the darkness

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Because Valentines Day fell on Wednesday, last night we held our Ash Wednesday service.  I did apply ashes to the heads of those that attended our small gathering, but before I applied the ashes to their foreheads, I first anointed them with oil.  Individuals took turns sitting on a chair and members surrounded them and laid hand on them.  And I took oil and anointed their foreheads speaking the words of Isaiah above over them.  Because that anointing is on all who have been baptized in Christ and received the Holy Spirit.  In Christ, your identity, who you are is a source of good news to the poor, love to those depressed and heartbroken, freedom to the addicted, and the voice of the Gospel of grace and hope in your community.

Then I applied ashes to their head and said, “In Christ you are all these things, however you in yourself are dust, and to dust you shall return.” In ourselves we are but dust that dies, in Christ filled with the breath of the Holy Spirit we are beings of life.  “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”  (Genesis 2:7)

Do we need to embrace the reality that each of us in our flesh will die, yes.  However, Jesus never spoke of his crucifixion and death without also including his resurrection.  Jesus told us, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt 16:25)  The focus is not on the ashes of loss but the anointing of life!  “to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,” (Isaiah 61:3).

Ash Wednesday and Lent is a season of repentance and dying to things, good things, that we have made idols of in our lives so that out of their ashes we may have life and life abundantly.  Jesus tells us “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Yes, we were physically born into a body that will perish, but that is not our focus or who we are.  Who we are and our identity is in Christ and our spiritual birth, our being born again in the Spirit. “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.  (Psalm 103: 23)

My family, I pray today you will remember the ashes, but embrace your anointing. That beginning today and the next 38 days of Lent you will repent and die to idols that perish, so your identity will be one of life and love.   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 Going To Die"

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"Your Going To Die"

“The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1 Cor. 15:47-49)

A voice says, "Call out." Then he answered, "What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.  8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. (Isa 40:6-8)

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.  On this day we receive a gift, a reminder, one that we only hear in the church.  That we are all going to die.  In a world that continually advertise living longer, products that take “years off your life”, and contain the “secret of the fountain of youth” and immortality, the church is the only place left that reminds us we are going to die.  We are  not immortal, we do not control our own destiny.  Has death been defeated by the Jesus’s works on the cross? Absolutely.  Will death be completely destroyed and trampled away in the new age to come? Absolutely.  Has death been de-clawed, put on a leash and domesticated in the world today? Absolutely not, as the horrible school shooting in Florida yesterday confirms.

Ash Wednesday reminds us of this.  It reminds us we are going to die to remind us how truly priceless is the gift of life.  It reminds us we are going to die, so today at this very moment, we can truly live.

“God hath given to man a short time here upon Earth, and yet upon this short time Eternity depends…”  Jeremy Taylor

Ash Wednesday reminds us we are going to die so we can prepare and order our life for our time of death.

“Have we not had all our life-time to prepare to die; so many years to make ready for one hour; and are we so unready and unwilling yet?  What have we done?  Why have we lived?”  Richard Baxter

Right now do an exercise that may seem strange.  Close your eyes right now and create a picture in your mind of your physical death or being physically dead.  Take a few minutes to do it.  What did you see?  How did it make you feel?

Today death and dying are isolated and removed from society, homes, families, and unfortunately the church.  The dying are isolated in hospital rooms, and nursing homes.  They are cared for by dying “professionals” and Hospice workers.   And in doing so the amazing gifts, wisdom, mentoring, and teaching from one who has walked a life alongside Christ  and are about to encounter him soon are lost and never heard.   The holy experience of death is removed from family homes, and churches to funeral homes.  The name “funeral home” itself is our way of rationalizing that people are still dying in a “home.”  It is not a home, it is a place of business.  If we called it a “funeral store” that sounds to cold.  If we call it a “funeral church” then theologically we are creating two churches that separate the living from the dead.  So we call it what by rationalization makes us feel good, a home.

The dying are not social outliers but are an integral part of the community of faith. Why should not a living Christian be exactly of the same spirit with a dying Christian?  The dying have something valuable to teach the community of faith, they serve as resources for the entire faith community. Death highlights the significance of every person’s life.  The dying remind us of the value of life.  Death does not need to be frightening experience but can be a time of gratitude and joy for believer. Freedom from fear of condemnation.   Spending time with the dying helps to prepare us for our own death, A pattern to follow.

Take some time now and throughout your day and reflect on these passages of Scripture that look at death.   John 11:23-26; All the resurrection narratives; Romans 8:38-39; Romans 14:8-9; 2Corinthians 5:6-8; 1Corinthians 15 (esp. 15:19); Philippians 1:20-24; Philippians 3:20-21; 1Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1Thessalonians 5:9-11; 1Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 3:1-3; Revelation 21:3-5

My family, I pray today you will spend time today reflecting on something you rarely do, "you are going to die."  How does that make you feel?  How does that influence your priorities?  How does that influence your stewardship of your finances and resources?  How does that effect the way you allocate your time, live your life, express your love? 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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"Heart Issues"

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"Heart Issues"

Good morning Jesus, fill me with your Spirit and l renew your presence in me.

“We have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:9-10).

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the 40 day season of Lent.   As I have been explaining in previous posts, in the Lent season, people give up physical pleasures like chocolate,  sweets, dining out. …ect.  Since it falls on Valentines Day, at ODC we are holding our “Ash Wednesday” gathering tomorrow.  We are not that legalistic in religion practices and at the heart of God is love, therefore we hope you will spend a special time with the one you love today, and tomorrow we will  hold our solemn gathering. 

 As I have reflected on this week, Lent is a time of reflection and preparation of our hearts to one that earnestly desires God

In previous posts I have examined how we become disciple of Jesus worth multiplying.  The answer was simple; Spend more time in prayer than ever before, spend more time in the word than ever before, spend more time in Christian accountability than ever before. Spend more time in service than ever before.  Simple, but not easy.  The season of Lent basically is a 40 day period that we re-focus and re-center our lives around being a disciple worth multiplying.

Spending time in the Word and prayer is how we allow the Holy Spirit to “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)  Use these 40 days to re-commit and re-form your will to daily time in prayer and the Word.

One of the reasons people say as to why they do not spend time daily in prayer and reading the Bible is they forget.  We seem to dismiss things that we forget as not being a sin, as how can we be held accountable for something we forget to do?  Say you pull into your company’s parking lot and park in the presidents parking space.   You receive a memo saying please do not park in that space to which you reply, “Sorry, I forgot.”  The next day you park in the presidents spot again and you get the same memo not to park there to which you reply, “Sorry, I forgot again.”  If you continued to park in the presidents spot all week claiming to forget, the president of the company is going to call you in, as there comes a point that it is not a matter of forgetting, but a matter of your will.  If you are not spending time daily reading the Bible and in prayer, you may one day forget, or because of some crisis not have time to do it, however, if you neglect to do it consistently, it is no longer a matter of you forgetting or not having time, it is a matter of your will that is set against it.  And then you find yourself in a place that your will is set against God’s.  For who’s will is it that does not want you to pray or read God’s word, God’s or Satan’s?  The word Satan means “apposer.” It is a “heart issue.”

Lent is a season we address “heart issues.”  Lent's emphasis on conforming your heart’s will to desire to spend time in the Word and prayer is not as some legalistic task or something you are to do, however it is something you are to become, because abiding in Christ is a life giving source from which you receive. Jesus tells you, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)  Jesus tells you, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10).

My family, I pray today as we begin this 40 day season of Lent, you will through the searching of the Holy Spirit, examine the will of your heart.  Where it aligns with God, where it opposes God, and repent and re-shape your heart to one that’s will is to earnestly desire God.  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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"Fast God Chooses"

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"Fast God Chooses"

I begin my day entering into your presence Jesus my Lord.

I will continue my reflection from yesterday on the season of Lent and Ash Wednesday.  In yesterday’s blog I explained what is the season of Lent in the church. It is a 40 day period of self reflection and, repentance and preparation while looking ahead to Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and conquering of deqth. During Lent, most Christians use three things as aides to help them focus, listen and pray to God: Fasting from things, Service/taking on things, and Prayer

FASTING: Some people have been known to go without food for days. But that's not the only way to fast. You can fast by cutting out some of the things in your life that distract you from God. Some Christians use the whole 40 days to fast from candy, tv, soft drinks, cigarettes or meat as a way to purify their bodies and lives. You might skip one meal a day and use that time to pray instead. Or you can give up some activity like worry or reality tv to spend time outside enjoying God’s creation.  What do you need to let go of or “fast” from in order to focus on God?  What clutters your calendar and life? How can you simplify your life in terms of what you eat, wear or do? Read Isaiah chapter 58

SERVICE: Some Christians take something on for Christ.  You can take on more times set aside to read your Bible.  You can collect food for the needy, volunteer once a week to tutor children, or work for reform and justice in your community. You can commit to help a different stranger, co-worker or friend every day of Lent. Serving others is one way we serve God.  Read Isaiah chapter 58.

PRAYER: Christians also use Lent as a time of intentional prayer. You can set aside times to pray daily, prayer walk, use the Prayer Wheel daily, create music or art as a prayer to God, or savor a time of quiet listening. All can be ways of becoming more in tune with God.

I am going to reflect deeper on the means of grace of fasting. I believe it is the one thing of the three above most people have the most difficulty understanding.  Isaiah chapter 58 is my go to chapter when trying to explain fasting.

"Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.
3 'Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
(Isa 58:1-11)

God, when I read your inspired words through Isaiah, I understand the fast that You choose for me is a fast from my flesh, a fast from selfishness and self-centeredness. It's a fast that frees me from the tyranny of my self and turns my heart to the things on Your heart.

Give me Your heart, Lord. Open my eyes to see the needs of those around me and fill my spirit with the power to do something about it. Give me time and passion for people like you have, in the ways that I can make a difference. Let me be part of the move of Your Spirit in my city and spheres of influence to rebuild the "ancient ruins," to "raise up the foundations of many generations" and "be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets" (v. 58:12).  Let me first seek these things in me.

Fasting is not about ancient rituals or even faithfully executing spiritual disciplines. Fasting is about putting You first, as Your Spirit overcomes my flesh so You can change the world around me through my life. This is the fast You choose. (v. 5) So by the power of the grace of God at work within me, let this be the fast I choose. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray today you will reflect on the question, “What is the fast you choose for me God?” I pray you will reflect on what forms of fasting, service and prayer God wants to use in these upcoming 40 days to draw you back into deep discipleship with him. in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

 

Please share your thoughts and experiences on fasting 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

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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"Earnestly Desire"

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"Earnestly Desire"

Father, Son and Spirit, as I begin to move and breath at the start of a new week, create in me a clean heart…

“And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:14-15)

Jesus, at the beginning of the Lord's Supper says to those around him, "And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." v.15.  Jesus in complete love earnestly desired to be with and pour into the lives of those around him. And he earnestly desires to be with you.  In two day we will enter into the season of Lent in the church. A good question for each of us to honestly discern this Lent is, "What do I earnestly desire?"  “What is it that you earnestly desire in life?”  The answer to that question is incredibly important because what you desire will control the one thing that controls everything else in your life; your heart.

What is Lent? At Jesus' baptism the sky was violently torn open, the Spirit of God descended like a dove and landed on Jesus, and a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, My Beloved, with whom I am pleased." Afterward, as told in Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was sent, literally driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. There he fasted and prayed for 40 days. During his time there he pressed deep into the Holy Spirit so when he was tempted by Satan, he had the power, found clarity and strength to resist temptation. After his 40 days of prayer, he was ready to begin his ministry and announce for people to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Lent is a 40 day period before we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus when we set aside 40 days to more intentionally focus on prayer, repentance, pressing into the Holy Spirit, and discerning clarity of our lives and ministries. Maybe you needed some time with God to sort through the major changes happening in your life. Maybe you needed to set time away from family, friends and your familiar routine in order to see God more clearly. Perhaps you want some intentional time with God to search for direction and answers of your calling. Like Jesus, we need to take some serious time to pray and listen for God.

Unless the Spirit moves me in another direction, I am going to spend the next couple days meditating and reflection more on Lent and are need to  set aside time to fast, pray, repent, and spend time in the Word.

My family, I pray this morning you will set aside a block of time and be bold enough to ask the Holy Spirit to help you honestly reflect on the question, What are the things I am desiring now that are controlling my heart?  And then, “What do I earnestly desire?”  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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"Re-Joy"

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"Re-Joy"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Guide my heart and guide my steps as I look and listen for Your leading today.  ...

"They brought in the ark of God, and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and they offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being.... He appointed certain of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the Lord, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel.... Then on that day David first appointed the singing of praises to the Lord by Asaph and his kindred:  O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him, tell of His wonderful works. Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His Presence continually!" (1 Chronicles 16:1-11)

The first Psalms sung out from the tabernacle of David were songs of thanksgiving and praise, of Your glory and power, with the promise that all who seek You and Your strength and Your Presence would rejoice forever in their hearts. For 24/7 they lifted up their praises in worship and prayer to You and for 24/7 You poured Your peace and Your joy into their hearts. As they rejoiced, they were continually "re-joyed"--"re-joyed" 24/7.

Re-joy me every day, Lord.  Re-joy me today!!!  Rebuild the tabernacle of David in me each day (Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16). Let my heart be the tabernacle of your joyful presence. Let me begin every day lifting up my praises to You in worship and prayer and then continue 24/7 in deep unto Deep of constant communion with You, as I abide in You and You abide in me (John 15:4).

As I'm "re-joyed," the joy of the Lord will be my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). And as I live out the moments of my day--"re-joyed 24/7," may I be a source of “Re-joy” to those around me who are in desperate need for joy .  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray today you are "re-joyed" 24/7, by beginning your day abiding in the Lord as He abides you. Praise him from the tabernacle of your heart in worship and prayer throughout the moments of your day, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same of 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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Weapons of Our Warfare

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Weapons of Our Warfare

Good morning, Lord Jesus. King of kings and Lord of lords, be King of my heart and Lord of my life this day and every day.  ...

"But Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.' Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Whey do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the seas on the dry ground.... Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and chariot drivers.... Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.' So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. AS the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained" (Exodus 14:13-28).

The physical warfare the children of Israel faced under the Old Covenant speaks to us of the spiritual warfare we face under the New Covenant. All that they endured and learned in the physical realm of their day "serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us" for all we endure and learn in the spiritual realm today (1 Corinthians 10:11). Pharaoh and his armies speak of our spiritual enemy and his armies who pursue us to destroy us--"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. (You) came that (we) may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). "For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12).

In the example and lesson of Moses, You told the Israelites to stand firm, to stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord. And at the same time You told them to go forward through the sea when You rolled back the waters. In standing firm and standing still, they were not to be merely passive in Your deliverance. They were to be actively obedient to take their steps of faith through the waters to the other side. Likewise, You were the One who parted the waters for Israel to pass and then closed the waters to destroy her enemies. But at the same time, Moses was not to be merely passive in his faith, but actively stretching his rod over the waters to open then and then to close them. You were their Deliverer, the battle belonged to the Lord; and at the same time, they were called to be actively engaged in their deliverance through the warfare they faced. And so it is with us.

Moses stretched out his rod over the waters. What is our rod of authority? The Israelites walked in obedient faith through the waters. What are our steps of faith? They walked across on safe and dry ground that had been at the bottom of the sea. Where is our place of our safe and holy ground?

 Lord, you have armed us with the "weapons of our warfare" (2 Corinthians 10:4). Thank You for "humility," that we can humble ourselves in Your sight to willingly choose to be desperately dependent upon You alone to be our Salvation, our Healer, and our Deliverer. Thank You for "intimacy," that we can draw near to You, forgiven from sin and secure in our identity as children of God, favored by our Father and resting in Your Presence. Thank You for "authority," that we can pray and speak in the power of the name and the blood of Jesus, grounded in the Word of God, confident in the certainty of Your promises and provision and protection. Thank You for "praise," that we can worship You in spirit and truth, looking up to You to behold Your glory as You change us into Your image from glory to glory, setting our minds and hearts on the things that are above, on the things that are eternal, seated with Christ in the heavenly places, and forever abiding and embraced in the unfailing love of Your Presence.

Help me keep learning and living into all You've provided for my deliverance from my spiritual enemies in every spiritual battle I'll ever face. Thank You for Your unbreakable promise in Your unfailing love that "in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). "Thanks be to God, who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 Corinthians 15:57). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you continue to grow and lead in the mighty weapons and means of grace the Lord has given you in humility, intimacy, authority, and praise that you may know His victory and deliverance in every spiritual battle, 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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In Due Season

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In Due Season

Good morning, Lord Jesus. O Lord, my God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--take hold of me and every dimension of my life--spirit, soul, and body. 

"They said to him, 'Where is your wife Sarah?' And he said, 'There, in the tent.' Then one said, 'I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.' And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, 'After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?' The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son'" (Genesis 18:9-14).

Last night God’s grace came to me in an unexpected phone call from a friend of mine who is an amazing an prayer warrior and prophet named Ken.  He called to say he was in town and headed to my neighbor Wayne’s house, who is also lover of Jesus. I walked two houses down to Wayne’s house at 9:00pm and walked back to my house at 12:30am after spending over 3 hours in deep prayer together over seasonal issues in our lives.  This time we spent together was set by God.  The passage above from Genesis came up in our prayers so this morning I turned to it and read it again. 

Reading the passage, I was reminded that there is a "set time ... in due season." And God You're the One who sets the time and the season, not me.  Sometimes Your promises seem "too wonderful" and even impossible. Sometimes when I look at my life through my eyes it seems my chance has passed, I missed the moment, my ship has sailed, my window of opportunity has closed. Sometimes it even seems likes the door of destiny has been slammed in my face. "But God..." (Genesis 8:1; 20:3; 21:12; 31:7; 45:8; 48:21; 50:24; ect., ect., ect. throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelations; over and over and over again; more than I could ever ask or imagine...). 

"But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love which He loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7). To which I say praise God!!!

Give me grace to firmly believe and patiently wait for the "set time ... in due season" for every promise You've spoken to my heart by Your Spirit and through Your Word.  Whenever I'm tempted to be the setter of my times and seasons; whenever I am tempted to question or laugh, to scoff or doubt, remind me of every time it looked so impossible and unbelievable "but God...." For this saying is sure and this Word is true, "For God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27). "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him" (Lamentations 3:25). 

There is a time and a season for all things, according to Your will and Your ways for every one of us (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). You make all things beautiful in Your time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). And You have shown Yourself so worthy so many times of my patience and my trust. So as for me, I will put my trust in You--in the God whose promises are always Yes and Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray today you begin your day by looking back in your past and remember every time something seemed impossible, “But God…”  I pray you see every promise of the Lord to you by His Spirit and through His Word come to pass and make all things beautiful for you in His time and in His way, 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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Growing in Grace

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Growing in Grace

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me hear Your heart and let my heart be one with Yours--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God.  ...

"In accordance with His promise, we wait for a new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by Him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.... Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen" (2 Peter 3:13-18).

This morning I will walk out my door surrounded by your grace.  Help me keep growing in grace your today. Show me where I'm not a peace within my soul, where I'm not yet without spot or blemish, where righteousness is not yet fully at home here in my heart.

As I sit here and close my eyes, I don't have to wait very long for the answer or look very deep for some hidden secret sin. I'm aware of my struggles and so are You. And at the same time, You help me to be just as aware of Your grace and the power of Your love that never leaves me as I am but always empowers me to keep growing in grace, growing in my sanctification everyday of my spiritual journey with You, as I "pursue righteousness and a godly life" (1 Timothy 6:11).

I hear you speak Paul’s words over me, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has set (me) free from the law of sin and death." So in Christ I can go out my door and "walk not according to (my) flesh but according to the Spirit.... (I am) not in the flesh; (I am) in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in (me).... for if (I) live according to the flesh, (I) will die; but if by the Spirit (I) put to death the deeds of the body, (I) will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God" (Romans 8:1-14).

Your will for me and for all who are called by Your name is that we would come "to maturity, the measure of the full stature of Christ"--to Christ-like-ness (Ephesians 4:13). "For this is the will of God, (our) sanctification" (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

My family, I pray you keep growing in grace every day, growing up in spiritual maturity into Him who is our head, into he full measure of the stature of Christ, as best as you can and all by His grace at work within 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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"Sound of Many Waters"

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"Sound of Many Waters"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Let my day begin here in the communion of prayer, immersed in Your Presence, seeking You and Your leading--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. 

"Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across His chest. He head and His hair were white as wool, white as snow; His eyes were like a flame of fire, His feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining with full force" (Revelation 1:12-16).

We had around 20 people last night at our house church gathering in my family room.  We began with a time of worship with guitar and djembe and it flowed into a time of prayer and sharing in the Lord’s supper.  The prayer time continued in a powerful way and people confessed and shared pain in their life so we anointed with oil and laid hands and prayed. People confessed and shared fears, struggles with their children, struggles with their marriage, addictions they were hiding, and we anointed with oil, laid hands and prayed.  We never got to our time in the Word as 2 hours later we were still in deep prayer.  At times in my prayer I heard the sound of washing waters,  “ the sound of many waters” so when everyone left I sat down in my family room, which still felt of the prayers that occurred there, picked up my Bible, and turned to the passage above in Revelation.

 I read it again this morning and I pray now as I begin my day that like the many waters of a mountain stream, let the Word of God wash over me and pour through me, cleansing me and refreshing me. Let the words of Jesus’ voice purify me and sanctify me "with the washing of water by the word" (Ephesians 5:26). "As the deer longs for flowing stream, so my soul longs for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?" (Psalm 42:1-2)

When John heard Your voice like the sound of many waters, he fell down at Your feet, in deep humility in honor of Your holy presence of Your glory (Revelation 1:17). But then You lifted him up and told him not to be afraid, but to be about the work of the Kingdom You set before him (Revelation 1:17-19). I now humble myself and fall at your feet in Your sight as well.  Lift me up! Set me about the work of your Kingdom!  When we draw near to You, You draw near to us (James 4:8). When we listen for Your voice to be led by Your Spirit as the children of God, You speak to your children and You lead your children. (John 10:3; Romans 8:17; Isaiah 30:21).

Thank You for the sound of many waters rushing through my spirit like a mountain stream this morning. Thank You for reminding me to forever be seeking Your Presence and listening for Your leading throughout the moments of my day. "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High" (Psalm 46:4). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray the Holy Spirit, right at this very moment as you read this cleanses you and refreshes you with the washing of the water by His word flowing through you.  Rest for a moment and listen for the voice of the One who speaks like the sound of many waters over you and in you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same of 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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 "Clouds of Witnesses"

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"Clouds of Witnesses"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. I welcome You here in my heart and every moment of my day. 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1-2).

As I reflect back on my day yesterday it included starting at 7:00am at the Waffle House to enter the lives and stories of my “Church” there. I had a wonderful time sharing about Jesus through Scripture to a person seeking to know Jesus.  Lunch with a couple men and a woman who are prophets of the faith. I spent time in the hospital  with friends going through a crisis, and came home at 7:30pm in the evening to my wonderful family.  Throughout my day God has placed in my path people, “clouds of witnesses” to the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.  You as well are surrounded by them everyday.  This morning,  these witnesses you will encounter, that I will encounter, I give them permission through the Holy Spirit to hold me accountable and remind me to spend my day, to spend my life, "looking to Jesus." When I'm tempted to look to the left or the right, to this distraction or that one in my life, remind me to look to Jesus.  When I'm tempted to look back at what "should have been" or look forward with the tainted vision of regret to imagine how it would be "if only I had done this or done that," remind me to look to Jesus. 

Jesus, You're the Pioneer and the Pefecter, the Author and the Finisher of my faith. You're the Apha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One who is and who was and who is to come, my All in All. So I look to You and welcome Your Spirit within me so I can run this race You've set before me--today and every day, full of life, full of joy, full of hope, with my eyes looking ahead to you.

By the power of Your grace, help me lay aside and let go of every weight that would slow me down and be set free and forgiven of every sin that would trip me up. For the sake of the joy You've set before me, I choose to live this day for the sake of the joy of the One who endured so much for me just so that I can. Thank You, Jesus! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My Family, I pray today you ask the Holy Spirit to put in you path, then seek out and allow those around you to remind you to “look at Jesus.”  I pray you run the race set before you with perseverance and grace, looking to Jesus who's always encouraging you and empowering by His Spirit within you to live for the sake of His joy through your life, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same of 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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"Scraps for Dogs"

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"Scraps for Dogs"

“I begin God today in gratitude for all the ways you have shown love to me.

“But after hearing of Him (Jesus), a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered and *said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” And He said to her, “Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.” (Mark 7:25-28)

To the Jews living in Israel of Jesus’s time, dogs were an “unclean” animal and viewed similar to a pig.  Dogs were viewed as scavengers that ate things Jews believed defiled them, dead things and garbage and were not looked at as pets to keep in your home as a companion.  Gentiles were viewed by the Jews as “unclean”  as well.  Jews commonly referred to themselves as the “children” of God and Gentiles as “dogs.” 

God plan of salvation is for all the world to be saved and blessed.  His saving grace was for all people.  Israel does have a special place in His plan, as it is through Israel that his salvation was to flow through  and to the rest of the world.  As Paul states “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (the whole world through faith), to the Jew first (Israel) and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “ But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17).  And the woman in the story agrees with this plan as she said  the dogs get the scraps from the table.”  Meaning Israel received first and through them all the world will receive blessing, “Scraps”  But what we must remember is that  what is called “scraps” is in reality abundance and more.   In the feeding of the 5,000 Jews all were satisfied, all were filled and not scraps, but 12 baskets, a bounty was left over,  In the feeding of the 4,000 gentiles, all were filled, all were satisfied, and there were “Scraps”, a bounty of 7 baskets left over.  The “Scraps” of Jesus, which in reality is a bounty, cast out a demon from the woman’s daughter from a distance and brought healing and satisfaction to her household.  And in Jesus all of us whether Jew of gentile can receive a bounty of his love, grace, and mercy and be satisfied.

You in the church have “tasted and seen that the Lord is Good” (Psalm 34:8).  You have experienced  the love, mercy and grace of God in Jesus Christ.  You are part of and have experienced the acceptance, fellowship and bounty of the body of Christ.  Now who are the “dogs” you need to share the “scraps” of the bounty you have received.  You in the church who hang out with other “Clean” people in the churches hospitality center and other gatherings who look like you, dink specialty coffees, listen to Casting Crowns, use words like “Fellowship” and “discerning,” and get the first fruits of your friendships.  Who are the “dogs” to you, that you personally avoid as “unclean” because of their lifestyle, the way they look, where they live, how they are viewed in your circle of friends as someone, “not good to throw the bread of life” to them.  In the passage above Jesus left Israel and went to the land occupied by the gentiles, by the “dogs” and cast out demons, heeled the deaf and dumb, fed them and loved them.  Who is God calling you to leave your “Clean” little circle and enter into what you perceive as the “unclean”?  They could be across the world, across the city, across the street, across the classroom in sitting in a desk,  or in the office cubicle next to you. 

My family, I pray today that you will reflect on the bounty God in Jesus Christ has supplied and has for you and he desires to “satisfy” you with his love, grace and mercy.  I pray you will also open your eyes to see beyond your circle of “Cleaness” to those you may see as unclean, and open your heart to share the “scraps” of the Gospel of the bounty of grace with them.  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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"Companions of Jesus"

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"Companions of Jesus"

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

"When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, 'By what power or by what name did you do this?' Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, 'Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is 'the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.' Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition" (Acts 4:7-14).

Lord, as I begin my day and a new week I know I will put on various "hats" throughout my day and week by which I will be recognized.  The "hat" of "father" when counseling my daughters and "husband" when with my wife. Throughout the week I will have on my "pastor" hat, "coach" hat, and "son" hat when I visit my parents.  However, no matter what hat I am wearing or role people see me in, Lord, let me always be recognized as a "companion of Jesus." Let me be known as one who has "been with Jesus" (v. 13). Let me be so "filled with the Holy Spirit" (v. 8) that I speak with "boldness" (v. 13) and minister Your healing love and Your message of eternal salvation in the power and authority of Your name (v. 10-12) to whoever I am with no matter what hat and role I am in.

I thank You for the gift of Your Word and Your Truth. But at the same time, I want more. I want more of the gift of Your Spirit, the encounters of Your Presence, the intimacy of Your companionship. I want to "abide" in You, as You "abide" in me (John 15:4). So this week Lord, give me a hunger to spend more time in your Word.  Give me a heart that longs for time with you in prayer.  I want to be "mature in the faith because I know Christ"--because I know You, not just know about You (1 John 2:13).

My family,  I pray you will be recognized every day as a companion of Jesus, because you've taken time to be with Him and know Him in his Word and in prayer.  May you get so close to Him the fragrance of Christ will surround you everywhere He sends you in the power and presence of His abiding Holy Spirit, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same of 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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"Holy Invitation"

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"Holy Invitation"

“And He (Jesus) said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 27:37-40)

Yesterday was a day of the Holy invites into people's lives that comes when you enter into loving God and loving your neighbor.  I started it out with my morning hour and a half in prayer and Scriptures meditating and writing my morning reflection blog.  I also spent time in prayer over a good friend who was having a medical procedure.  Loving God and accepting His invitation into my life.  

Afterwards, I then went to “my office”, the Waffle House.  There I spent time talking to a person who shared with me they just found out their spouse has been having a long affair with another person and they were heartbroken.  I also talked to a person who had cancer their PET scan in their words, “lit up light a Christmas tree” yesterday when they went for a follow up treatment the day before and was dealing with all the realities, emotions, and thoughts of the treatments choices he now is forced to make.

A little after that I received a phone call from a person I recently met who wanted to have lunch with me.  I went not knowing what to expect and I was blindsided by a gift of grace.  This person wanted to share with me insights he has come across from years in the Word and I spent two hours being blessed listening to the Scriptures coming alive in the life and enthusiasm of this person.

I left there and joined met with a person who is dealing with Alcoholism and its effect on them and their family.  We went to am alcohol and drug treatment center I suggested they go into and sat in with them as they went through the intake interview.  While there I saw a person who was a heroin addict that I helped and encouraged to go to the treatment facility 4 years ago.  He went through a 12 month residence program.  Yesterday when I saw him he told me this was his second time back to the facility since he graduated the 12 months program and his struggles and  breaking the grip this addiction had on their life.

While with the person at the drug rehab I can texts and calls from a family who’s grandmother was in the hospital and was dying.  I left the rehab and drove to the hospital.  The grandmother passed, she was a woman I knew who always had a beautiful smile and was full of grace.  I spent time sitting with and being present with the family.

I left there and went straight to a birthday party for a friend I was invited to attend.  I got their almost two hours late, and transitioned from being present with a family mourning the death of a loved one, to a family celebrating the life of a loved one. I left the party and went home and caught up with the day of my family and shared mine.

My family, I do not know what your day will bring, however I pray you will be attuned to and ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of the Holy invites into the lives of those you will encounter today.  You as well are called today to love God and love your 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, 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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"Message of the Cross"

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"Message of the Cross"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. You're my Lord and Savior, and yet You're also my Constant Companion and my Best Friend, with me always to the end of the age.

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.... We proclaim Christ crucified ... Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18-24).

Lord, what is the heart of the message of the cross? 

As I wait and listen, it seems I hear You saying, "My son, the heart of the message of the cross is the message of my heart of love for you and for all the children of My creation. Through the power of the cross, I forgive your sins; I restore you to the intimacy of a deeply personal relationship with Me; I heal your wounds; I break your bonds; I renew your sense of identity as My child; I release you into your destiny as My disciple; I empower you to become more like Me every day; and I invite you to live with Me throughout all eternity in the security and abundance of My unfailing, holy love for you." 

Yes, Lord. Let every word of spirit and life that's truly from You penetrate my heart and shape my understanding. The message of the cross reveals the power and wisdom of God. Help me grow in my understanding of this message and let this message keep changing me. "May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:11). 

Help me grow in my spirit until I can truly say that through the power of the cross at work within me, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:19-20). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray the heart of the message of the cross you wear around your neck or hang on your walls penetrates your heart and changes your life.  May you grow in Christ-likeness today--crucified with Christ so that it is no longer you who live, but it is Christ who lives in you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same of me. God bless you, my friends! 

 

Please share your reflections and prayers 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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"Wings Like Eagles"

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"Wings Like Eagles"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me hear what You're speaking into my spirit to begin my day centered and grounded in You and Your Word--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. 

 

" Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures… in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:17-21).

 

Every good and perfect gift comes from You God.  And two of Your greatest gifts are Your Word and Your Spirit.  As I read Your Word this morning I am grounded in truth.  As I pray into Your Spirit, I'm empowered to live out that truth in my life.

 

Thank You for the gifts of Your “implanted Word” and Your empowering Spirit.  Let the Word of God be implanted deep within me as I read and meditate upon Your Scripture as the very Word of God and the standard of truth for my life. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).  Let the Spirit of God fill my heart! Let it form all my thoughts and shape all my desires to live out Your Word through the words and actions of my life today and every day.  "For God is working in (me), giving (me) the desire and the power to do what pleases Him" (Philippians 2:13 NLT).

 

."The Lord is an everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.... He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:28-31). Like the two wings of an eagle, let Your Word and Your Spirit lift me and move me, empower me and guide me, in a life that freely and fully soars in Your will. As I embrace the good gifts of Your Word and Your Spirit, You move mightily within me and move mightily for me to align my life with Your good will. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

 

My Family, I pray you will hunger and spend time the Bible, the implanted Word of God and in prayer for the empowering Spirit of God so they both would lift you up today and every day and cause you to soar into the fullness of the good life the Lord has for you in the center of His good will for you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same of 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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"A Colony of Heaven"

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"A Colony of Heaven"

Yesterday, I read the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From A Birmingham Jail” and used excerpts from it as my blog post.  My blog post this morning flows from my further reflection on his letter.

Good morning Jesus, I claim you as my way, truth, and light through the darkness today.

“Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” (Acts 2:43)

 “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”…. (MLK)

This paragraph by MLK cause is a source of reflection for me at many different levels.  “There was a time when the church was very powerful.” Say someone new moved in next door to you and you met for the first time in your front yards.  In your introductions with each other they said they would be looking for a new church to attend.  If they asked what church you attend and what is what like, how would you describe it?  You may say it is friendly and welcoming.  It has a great worship band, a good children’s ministry and a wonderful pastor.  But would you think to use the adjective “Powerful” to describe your church? And if you did use the word powerful and asked to describe why, how would you answer?  When was the last time you witnessed something powerful take place in your church?  How often? Do you walk into your church service expecting to see God through the Holy Spirit move in a powerful way and miracles to take place and lives deeply changed, including your own?

John Wesley stated, “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.” 

“In the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed.”  What is your church collectively suffering for now because of some injustice, abuse, or wrong doing it believes so strongly God has formed it to address?  What injustice, abuse, or tragic situation in your community are you personally suffering and sacrificing for because of a belief and conviction from God?  Have you ever suffered and truly sacrificed greatly as the result of an issue God called you to take on?

“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.”  When was the last time your faith and actions caused a public scene and commotion because of an issue the Holy Spirit moved you to act on and you were “called to obey God rather than man”?  Can you think of a calling by God you carried out and obeyed no matter what people thought or the cost or consequences?  That you were so “God intoxicated” not to be intimidated.

The church described by MLK is one that is: powerful, rejoices at being worthy of suffering, sacrifices for its beliefs, transforms society, disturbs the peace of the status quo, obeys God rather than man, big in commitment, intoxicated with God and feels like a colony of heaven.  It is a church I want to find and be part of!  It is the church of Acts, the church as movement, the church after the Missio Deo (mission of God)!  Is it your church?

Or is your church more like the latter one described by MLK, “Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound.” A church that is “silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are”

My family, I pray today you will seriously pray and reflect on this blog as if your church’s life depends on it, because it does!  I pray the Holy Spirit will convict you, encourage you, fill you with revival fire, and compel you bring forth and be a living church of the Power of God.  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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 "Too God-Intoxicated to be Astronomically Intimidated"

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"Too God-Intoxicated to be Astronomically Intimidated"

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).  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. 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 holiday from work 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.  Even if you are working, 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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