In need of our prayers:
Those serving in the Military: that God would protect them and strengthen them to serve loyally. For their families, that God would care for their needs.
For those suffering the aftermath of hurricane Sandy:
Rehab Facility: James Standridge, Tom Carder
Those recovering from Surgery: including Joan Schwartz, Jami Hede, Liz Miller, Michael Brown; For Becky Steiner. who had surgery for breast cancer. She has two young children. Please also pray for her husband and kids strength.
Those with Health Concerns: including Jan Canaday, Ron Gray, Bob Rowland;
Those with Cancer:
including Steven Larimore, Janie Taylor, Wayne Fleming, Wes Burns, Susan Freyer, Peggy Clay, Bob Hanson, Kiers Rowley, JoAnne Harder, Kim Purdon, Maurine Sweet, Darlene Fields, Liz Miller, Tonya Hunter, Charles Dittmer, Jan Ferson, Doe Thomas, Gloria Mengel, Charlene Clinton, Barbara Patrick, & Kay Valentik
Those in Hospice care: including Myrtle Teske, Charles Dittmer & Barbara Brown
For Expectant Mothers and their unborn babies: Tiffany Danley, Shelby Osburn, Heather Pijanowski, Stephie Kuhn.
Newborn Babies and Children: For Ashe Wheeler; Great-Granddaughter of Norm and Deb Baldwin; continued growth and recovery and a successful surgery for the hole in her heart.
For midweek and confirmation, for Men's and Women's Bible studies that God would bless all who teach and all who learn, that we may all receive wisdom from God.
For our Abounding Love Preschool and Parents Day Out program, that God would bless this ministry and provide for its needs, that through it we may reach out with God's love to children and their families.
Those seeking Employment: That God would provide jobs for the unemployed and underemployed.
Prayers for all who travel:
Those in Care Centers:
Those Grieving: For Teresa Creamer and Paula Diaz and family at the death of their mother, Allie Korte, for friends and family of Arthea Saller, killed in a car accident.
For marriages and families to grow stronger and for those suffering from divorce or broken relationships.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Praise:
For all the called and support staff of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church: that God would provide all that is needed - the time, talents, and treasures - for BSLC's growing ministry.
For the fund drive for the Facility Improvement Project. For peace in our congregaation as we head into our Annual Voter's meeting at the end of the month. For the English District's Mission Council, as it seeks to manage well and begin new District mission projects.
That God would richly bless missionaries Rev. Bob Malone in Kansas City, Missouri, and Rev. Bob Roegner at Peace Luthran in O'Fallon, and the Ablaze Center in St. Louis.
‘BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC’ FITTING WARNING FOR AMERICA TODAY
Julia Howe coined the words to "Battle Hymn of the Republic" as a warning to the entire nation of God’s Judgment for Slavery. The Lord seemed to be telling me the warnings in this hymn are equally applicable to today.
The New World Order is coming! Are you ready? Once you understand what this New World Order really is, and how it is being gradually implemented, you will be able to see it progressing in your daily news!!
When Julia Ward Howe [1819-1910] penned the words of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", the Civil War had just begun. Most people do not realize that an anti-Slavery movement had arisen in the decades prior to the election of their candidate, Abraham Lincoln, as President. The intensity of this anti-Slavery movement equaled the current fight over Abortion today, and was based upon the same Biblical principles of the inherent, God-given worth of each person.
As the long-awaited conflict between the South and the North began, fervent anti-Slavery advocates, like Julia Ward Howe, felt that God’s Judgment was about to fall. Indeed, President Lincoln shared this sentiment, from the same Biblical sources used by all the Protestant opponents of Slavery. Listen to his immortal words, now partly enshrined on the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln spoke these words during his Second Inaugural Address in 1865, just days before his assassination.
"All knew that this [Slavery] interest was, somehow, the cause of the war ... Yet, if God will that it [Civil War] continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so shall it must be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'." ["A Heart That Yearned For God: Abraham Lincoln, His Life and Faith", by Dr. G. Frederick Owen, Historian, Third Century Publishers, Washington, D.C., 1976, p. 192-193]
As you can see, President Lincoln correctly viewed the Civil War as a war of God's Judgments delivered to a nation who had oppressively enslaved an entire people for almost 300 years!
Lincoln was merely echoing the sentiments of the vast majority of anti-Slavery Christians. Foremost among these Christians opposed to Slavery was Julia Ward Howe. Her story behind her immortal song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic is both profound and precious.
The first part of the Civil War went badly against the Union Forces, and the Southern newspapers were joyfully pronouncing victory. But, God’s people resorted to prayer. "One night, during the darkest days of the war, when for a long time, all news from the front had been most disturbing, the gracious Julia Ward Howe had a dream or vision of victory. Under the inspiration of that dream-vision, she arose and wrote her famous ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic' – which stirred President Lincoln ‘like a trumpet blast’, and became his best loved marching song."
Indeed, this song became the rallying crying and the marching song of the entire Union cause during the course of the Civil War. Let us examine Howe's wonderful hymn so as to see how it captured the entire anti-Slavery cause of the Civil War, and then to see how it applies equally to America today.
BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
- Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; he hath loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword -- His truth is marching on.
- I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps, They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps -- His day is marching on.
- He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat, He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat; O be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet -- Our God is marching on.
- In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me; As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on.
REFRAIN: Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
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by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
In your mind's eye I want you to picture Jesus at the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Hungry multitudes cover the hillside. Jesus takes the little boy's lunch, lifts it up, and says the familiar prayer: "Bless this food to the nourishing and strengthening of our bodies. Amen." I'm here to tell you that it just didn't happen like that. No way!
Since when did we begin to bless our food, anyway? Frankly, our food's been blessed to the point that most of us -- how shall I say this -- are "overnourished."
You find two words in the New Testament used in connection with praying before meals.
Here's what really happened at the Feeding of the Five Thousand. "Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves" (Mark 6:41). The Greek word for "gave thanks" (NIV) or "blessed" (KJV) is "eulogeo," from which we get our English word "eulogy." It means "speak well of, praise, extol." The word commonly translates the Hebrew word, "barak," "to bless." But it wasn't the food Jesus was "speaking well of" or "blessing," it was his Father.
Every faithful Jew would offer this blessing before partaking of bread: "Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the world, who has caused bread to come forth out of the earth." Before partaking of wine, the blessing was said this way: "Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the world, who has created the fruit of the vine." The first word, "eulogeo," reminds us to eulogize or praise God before we eat.
The second praying-before-meals word is the Greek word "eucharisteo," from which we get our English word "Eucharist," often used as the name of Holy Communion. "Eucharisteo" means, "be thankful, offer thanks," and was used at the Last Supper.
"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks (eulogeo) and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took the cup, gave thanks (eucharisteo) and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you' " (Matthew 26:26-27, NIV).
What Jesus was doing at this Passover meal was offering to his Father the traditional blessings when bread and wine were eaten. It was common for Jews to offer a blessing for each food served during a meal.
The Bless Me Club
So how did we Christians end up blessing the food instead of God? Tradition? Habit? Some of the confusion may have come from a mistranslation of the passage I just quoted. In the King James Version, Matthew 26:26 reads: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' " Notice how the tiny word "it" was added after the word "blessed"? The word "it" isn't part of the Greek text -- that's why it's in italics in the King James Version. But "bless it" implies something far different than "bless God." That addition of one little word may have twisted the way we pray before meals into something Jesus didn't intend at all.
Not that there's anything wrong in asking a blessing from God. There's not. Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" -- but only after praise: "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done...." No, asking favors from God isn't wrong, but it shouldn't be the primary part of our prayers, or we become like greedy little children: "Gimme this! Gimme that!". Those prayers are essentially selfish rather than self-giving. They don't fulfill either the First Commandment, to love God with all our heart, or the Second, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
How Should We Pray?
The Apostle Paul put it in this perspective. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6). Notice the phrase "with thanksgiving" tucked in there with "present your requests to God." It's essential to keep prayer God-centered rather than self-centered. It's also the key to praying with real faith.
So when you pray, remember that your food doesn't deserve a blessing nearly so much as God who gave it. You can bless like Jesus did, "Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the world, who has caused bread to come forth out of the earth." Or offer a simple prayer of thanks to God for the food. Next time, don't "ask the blessing," but offer one to your Father.
Thanks for Everything
by Henry Morris, Ph.D. *
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
Thankfulness is one of the evidences that a Christian is indeed “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Paul’s letter to the Ephesians lists the characteristics of being filled with the Spirit, demonstrated when believers are thankful for everything that happens in their lives.
Believers should be thankful. But there’s more—not only for everything, but in everything, we should give thanks to God. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
This command is easy to obey when the living is easy, though we might easily forget to do so. But when the Lord is allowing us to hurt for a while, thanksgiving becomes hard. It is hard while we are experiencing the difficulty with no relief in sight, and it is often just as hard when it has passed. The two small prepositions “in” and “for” are different in New Testament Greek as well as in modern English, and God really wants us to learn how to thank Him both during and after the hard experience.
Why? Because He has allowed the hardship for a good purpose!
The apostle James urges us to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations [various testings]; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4). Paul says that we can even “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Patience and real love will come to characterize a habitually thankful Christian.
Adapted from Dr. Morris’ article “Thanks for Everything” in the Winter 2004 Days of Praise.