We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
You are a remarkable creator, and every part of your creation is magnificent. The world around me, the life you have given me, the gifts and graces which you breathed into me, the people I have the privilege of loving, the city and country I live in… all of these are so amazing. I confess that too often I focus on the faults in myself, my neighbor, and my world, and fail to celebrate and magnify the marvelous things you do in the world. Forgive me. I pray that you would open my eyes and my heart to the sea of goodness in which I swim every day. Let me enjoy each moment, and not wish away today for a tomorrow that is yet to be, or a yesterday that is already past. Let me enjoy the people whose path I will cross today, and all the ways we can be a blessing to one another. Let me enjoy the fact that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Show me all the things that are “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (Phil 4:8 MSG).” What a wonderful God you are, to share with me the world in which we all live together.
I pray gratefully, in the name of my brother Jesus,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.-Philippians 4:8 NRSV Read the whole text for the week here: Philippians 4:8-9. Lots of us are reading all of Philippians 4 every morning during this season. It will only take 3 minutes. Give it a try.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What is one gift or grace you have that you will magnify and fertilize? Imagine a difficult relationship you have; what are the best experiences or moments you have shared with that person?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
If you have a student grades 6-12, make sure and come to Vision Night this Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. in our new Student Ministries Building. This event is for students and parents alike. Check out the information at here.
On September 11, Dr. Chap Clark will be preaching at our traditional and Encounter services on the Westheimer campus, delivering our Shamblin lectures. He will also lead an event on Sunday evening, entitled Sticky Faith: Raising Young People for Lifelong Faith. I hope every parent of a student in grades 4 through 9 will attend. However, we are also encouraging other adults who support and encourage teenagers as they grow in faith to attend as well. You can sign up here. Dr. Clark is on the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary, and will speak to us about how we might develop “sticky faith” in our youth and children. Here is what is most surprising: it is not through a great youth program. Instead, it is through a great church, where people of all ages shape one another in faith. Dr. Clark will kick off a four-week sermon series entitled Yours Mine and Ours. There is a curriculum written that will go with it as well. If you know a family who might be looking for ways to facilitate development of faith in children and youth, I encourage you to invite them, and to join a small group that will be studying these materials.
Sunday, August 28
Dear God, when you created us, you gave us free will. Help me to know that I always have a choice, and let my choice be what you would have for my life. Let me be a victor and not a victim of my circumstances and past history. I choose you God. Amen.
Monday, August 29
God of all things, you created me to be dependent on you—not other people. Help me to do all that I can to the best of my abilities before I rely on others. Let the achievements in my life be a testimony to you. Amen.
Tuesday, August 30
Lord, you created the whole world in six days, and you rested on the seventh day. Help me to learn the importance of rest, and help me cultivate habits that include proper rest. Bless me with proper rest so that I may recharge and fully serve you with passion. Amen.
Wednesday, August 31
Loving God, you know me inside out from head to toe. There are so many things in my life that I could do better. Help me to strive to always do my best and to always choose good over evil. Then, O Lord, help me to remember that your strength is in my weakness. Amen.
Thursday, September 1
Heavenly Father, thank you for a new month full of new opportunities. I pray that you would open my eyes to see the opportunities that you give to me, and I pray that you would equip me to make the most of each of these opportunities. Amen.
Friday, September 2
Our Father, Jesus told us “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” I ask you to renew and strengthen my light so it glorifies both you and your son in whose name I pray. Amen. -Prayer by Neil Stovall
Saturday, September 3
Faithful God, you give me faith friends and faith leaders to teach me, to speak to me, and to show me your ways. Give me the self-discipline to practice faithful habits so that your peace may be with me. Amen.