Message: In the Hard Times

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Have hope

Be you hopeful

Have peace

Be you peaceful

(But what if

There is no hope?

What if

There is no peace?)


14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

Have grace

Be you graceful

Have life

Be you living to the full

(But what if

There is only anger?

What if

There is so much death?)


17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Have truth

Be you truthful

Have spirit

Be you full of Him

(Even when

There are lies?

Even when

Christ is despised?)

20 On the contrary:  “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21


Where is the LORD?

Where is the LORD?


When no one is there

To help me through

When all are silent

And liars too

When there is anger

Deep in my heart—

Where are You?

Where have You gone?


When there is deep anguish

Inside of me

And I despise the task

In front of me

But my love for these people

Makes me feel guilty inside—

What should I do?

What shall I decide?—

When all is clouded

And I just want to hide—

Where are You, LORD?

What is good in Your sight?


Awake, my soul,

Stop your distress

The LORD is working here

Here, in the midst of this mess

Do not hate those who have lied to you

It is not against flesh and blood you war against

Do not let the darkness consume you

And make you blind to His way

He is the LORD and He still reigns

Talk to your brothers

And pray

Look in the Scriptures

And pray

Observe all the paths before you

And pray

The last days are coming



Here is the LORD.


“8By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.  9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?  Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”  10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  11Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” ~Psalm 42

“10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” ~Ephesians 6

‘1I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.”  2So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good.  But my anguish increased; 3my heart grew hot within me.  While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 4“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.  5You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.  Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.  6“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.  7“But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you.  8Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools.”’ ~Psalm 39

My Meditation: Why I don’t want to pray

Prayer is beautiful. When I am lonely or sad, I know I can turn to the LORD in prayer, and when I focus on Him and all He is for me I am full joy, peace that transcends my current feelings. And when I am angry, I can confess all my burning emotions, and when I get to the end of it I find I can forgive the one who has made me feel that way. Prayer is indeed beautiful and wonderful, humbling and worshipful.

But although I know all that, there are many times when I would rather just avoid it. Usually its during the times when nothing is heavy on my heart. It’s when I know I ought to be in my daily devotional even though I’d rather just get started on my day. So I think, ‘Alright, I’ll read my bible. That doesn’t take up too much time. But praying really isn’t that necessary right now.’ Of course, I don’t actually believe this. I know prayer is talking to God, the Living God, whom I am to want to have a relationship with. I mean, we don’t talk to our family just when we feel like it and the rest of the time ignore them. But too often it is just too easy to brush off God.

I’ve been in a bible study the last few weeks on the subject of prayer, and through it I’ve realized just how much I take prayer for granted and the petitions I put into it. I really am not deep into my prayers and I really don’t focus too much on the relationship bit. And while I was in the bible study, the subject came up with how sometimes we feel too busy to pray, although we actually know prayer helps busy days. And I began to think: what if every time I didn’t feel like praying I wrote down why. For example, if I really wanted to get to a computer game as soon as possible, I would write down, “Today I don’t want to pray because I’d rather play a computer game about sharks eating people.” Or, “Today I don’t want to pray because I need to put out the garbage.” How stupid do those sound? Pretty ridiculous. And as I thought about that I wondered if writing it down would reveal to me my selfishness in a situation and lead me to prayer.

So what about you? Do you know the sweetness of prayer? Do find sometimes that you don’t want to pray? What are your reasons for not wanting to pray? I challenge you to look at those reasons and truly realize if they are legitimate reasons. Most of the time they won’t be. Even if the thing you want to do is a good thing, wouldn’t you want to pray about it so that God is with you, helping you, and blessing you as you do it? You should still make time to talk to God who longs to have a relationship with you. He loves you so much He wants to hear you talk and to talk to you.

Jesus example
“35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” ~Mark 1

“15Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” ~Luke 5

Jesus Words

‘5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9“This, then, is how you should pray:

“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

14For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ ~Matthew 6

God’s Will

“16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5

My Dragon

The dragon’s eye
Looked deep into mine
A heart of gold
I saw there
Mountains of riches
And spirit of fire
A creature of glory
Warrior of valor

I stared deep
Into his eyes
I saw a land
Worth dying for
I long to be there
To dance in the beauty
But I know
I am so unworthy
So unholy

The dragon’s eye
Stared deep into mine
I fear to think
What he saw there
Darkness within
And a barren wasteland
Filled with the cravings
Of a fool
Filled with the excuses of a coward
So unworthy
So unholy
Not worth dying for

His mouth opened wide
He breathed in deep
I knew my just judgment
Was upon me
Somehow to die
By such a being
Was an honor in and of itself
Though I was going to die
For all the wickedness I’d committed
I knew I deserved
The fire

He blew out a breath
Of hot steam
That fell on me
In rainbows
And my eyes were opened
And I saw again
In his glorious eyes
The land of glory
But this time
I saw the true treasure
I saw the King
My eyes have seen
The King
Clothed in rainbows
A living fire within
His pierced hands
Of mercy
His lips of truth
His eyes of forgiveness
And His mighty strength
His goodness
His justice
And unfailing love

He beckoned with a
Royal hand
“Come,” He said
“To the Promised Land
I have given you My Spirit
A Spirit of fire
And valor
With these pierced hands
Of mercy
I’ve pierced your sins
With these lips of truth
I have made it known
With My eyes of forgiveness
I’ve looked on you
My child
My worthy child
My holy child
I’ve given you Me
I’ve given you peace.”

And so
With a bow of my head,
I turn from myself
And enter the world again
Always to worship in the
Cave of the Blessed One
I go to the world
Proclaim the Good News
With the strength He’s given
Strength of a thousand dragons
With this vision always before me:
A land of beauty
Of peace
Of glory
And thanksgiving
And the daily bending of the knee
And casting down our golden crowns
And filling our holy mouths
With praises
To our King
Whom we approach with confidence
And with boldness
And truth
To see Him fully and completely
For all eternity

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I lam making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and she will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” ~Revelation 21

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” ~2 Timothy 1

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” ~Matthew 28

“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.” ~Revelation 4