Sunday, December 25, 2016

Advent Christmas Eve or Day - A Prayer of Praise and Rejoicing in Christ (His Arrival!)


Read: Luke 2:1-35

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we enter Christmas day we rejoice in the arrival and indescribable gift of Jesus! We celebrate the most important birthday of all time and the most amazing gift to mankind!

We praise You for His arrival!

We celebrate, Emmanuel...You with us! What and awesome reality!

We praise You and thank You that Jesus humbled Himself to come here so we might have life through Your love and forgiveness.

I ask for Your help through Your Holy Spirit to help us point people to Your son and that we'll proclaim Who You are, Who Jesus is, Why He came and the true meaning of Christmas!

We praise You and thank You as we have much to be thankful for and celebrate.

I pray that we keep Jesus in the center of our Christmas celebration and the center and forefront of our lives day-to-day!

I pray that You're Joy and peace would be at work in and through us!

I pray for comfort for those where Christmas is really hard for them. 

I remember and pray for those who are mourning this Christmas for a lost loved one or who are battling disease, depression, anxiet or other things. Please help them to know Your love and may Your love overshadow their grief. I pray that You would heal them in Jesus Name!

I pray that relationships, especially family relationships, would be mended and differences would be put aside for this Christmas and beyond. 

May Your peace reign in each household and each heart in Jesus name!

May we remember anew the gift of Jesus Who was wrapped in cloths as we unwrap our gifts and as we enjoy a wonderful meal and celebration.

As we open presents, may we remember His presence today and each day. 

Thank You for all that Christmas represents and I pray that we never become cynical about the Christmas celebration and each year may our awe, wonder and childlike faith be renewed!

I thank You and praise You again for the indescribable gift of Jesus!

In Jesus name I praise You and Thank You, Amen.

Because He is THE Reason for the season,
Your Brother and Servant,

rlk

P.S. : As a little Christmas gift from me to you... Here's a link to a recording of the Luke 2 account of the birth of Jesus: https://soundcloud.com/user-335546274/the-birth-of-jesus-luke-21-35 Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Week 4 - A Prayer of Peace


Read: Isaiah 9:6-7, Philippians 4:7, Romans 6:23

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we enter this fourth week of advent we consider peace, especially the true peace that come from You!



I thank You and praise You that Youre Word reminds us and we celebrate this time of year, that Jesus is the Prince of Peace!


I praise You that we can experience true and lasting peace through knowing Him!

Even amongts the chaos that we experience in life HIs peace is beyond our understanding. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent Week 3 - A Prayer of Love


Read:  Micah 5:2, John 3:16, 1 John 4:9-17

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we enter this third week of advent we consider love...most importantly Your great love.


I thank You and praise You that we can celebrate and rejoice during this season and beyond that You sent Your love down to earth through Your Son Jesus. 

Thursday, December 08, 2016

6 Practical Ways You Can Help People In Need


Read: Matthew 25:31-40

Not too long ago I went on an outing to a local wildlife refuge wetlands area to enjoy some bird watching and hiking.


It was a cold late fall day and I was outside for hours. About an hour into my time I realized I was getting cold and even though I'd worn a warm sweatshirt and warm outdoor vest, I'd forgotten a hat and gloves. Needless to say I was feeling it. I pressed on for a couple more hours but then my hands and ears started to feel numb and my hands started to turn reddish. So, I decided that I better get out of the elements and warm up a bit.


On the way back to the car I saw a path I hadn't taken...then after I started down it I stopped myself and turned back to my car because I was starting a shiver because of my poor planning. Yes...I needed to get out of the cold.


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Advent Week 2 - A Prayer of Joy


Read:  Isaiah 35:10, Luke 2:7-15, Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Peter 1:7-9

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we enter this second week of advent we consider joy in You. 


I thank You and praise you for the great and true joy that comes from knowing You!


As we sing songs of this wonderful season just as "Joy to The World", we remember that Jesus is our true source of joy. 



Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Prayer of Jabez: Praying In Faith and Cutting Out Superstition


Read: 1 Chronicles 4:10, 1 John 5:14-15, Mark 11:24, Matthew 21:22, Hebrews 4:16 

The prayer of Jabez is a simple but very poignant prayer full of faith, however, to be very honest, it's not one that we should be superstition about thinking that just by speaking this amazing prayer or any prayer that God will do exactly what we ask. 

It should however expand our prayer life and faith in God's provision and goodness!

What I find is that we can often over-spiritualize or become superstitious about things like prayer thinking if we say or do certain things that that's the ticket to blessing or to release God's "bank account" upon us. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent Week 1 - A Prayer of Hope


Read: Luke 1:26-38, Romans 15:12-13, Romans 5:1-5     

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we enter into this Christmas season, I praise you and thank you for sending Your one and  Only Son Jesus as He's our only hope. 

I praise You that Jesus is the hope of all mankind! 

I pray that we hold onto and never lose the true hope we have in You! May we carry it all year through and proclaim your goodness all year through. 

May You help us proclaim the truth that Christmas represents as captured in Your Word.

Help us not to put hope in anything or anyone that is temporal, rather, completely place our hope in You the never changing one! 

Help us to remember that You will never let us down!

Friday, November 25, 2016

You need to check out this Guide to Celebrating Advent!

Hello!

Advent begins this Sunday! 

Advent can be a fantastic way for us to: 
#1 Remember the significance of Christmas and 
#2 Help focus our hearts, worship, celebration on the birth of Christ - the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas in the first place!

I created a Celebrating Advent guide that is written from a non-denominational Christian perspective and is meant to be a simple tool/guide - a starting point - to guide you in your observance. 

This resource is perfect to use as an individual, with family and friends or for your local church body as well to celebrate together!

As you'll see, there is practical information about Advent, instructions to guide you each week of Advent including suggested Scriptures and Prayers you can use or you can obviously do your own prayers. This resource was created with a lot of love!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thinking about Thanksgiving...in the day-to-day


Read: Colossians 3:15-17, Colossians 4:2, Psalm 7:17, Psalm 28:7, Psalm 57:9, Psalm 69:30, Psalm 118:29, Romans 14:6, 1 Corinthians 15:57

Everyday, we have so much to be thankful for and we need to pause and reflect more on this fact.


First and foremost as believers we are thankful to God our Father in Heaven. We should be thankful for His great love in which He sent His Son to die on our behalf providing the way of salvation! 

With this, we are thankful for Jesus Christ and for His Spirit - the Holy Spirit actively working in our lives. We can be thankful for even the gift of life itself. 

Every breath that you and I take is truly a gift from God. There are so many seemingly mundane things we could thank Him for. So many things that we could make an infinite list in thanksgiving to God about, if we put ourselves to the task of making such a list. 

It really comes down to the attitude of our hearts and whether or not we choose to thank God and see His hand in every "little" and "big" aspect of our lives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Peace


Read: Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 14:33a, Matthew 5:9, John 14:27, John 16:33, Isaiah 26:3, Romans 5:1, 1 Peter 3:10-11, 1 Peter 3:10-11, Romans 12:18, Colossians 3:15, Isaiah 48:18, 1 Peter 5:7  

Peace. It's something everyone deep down wants. Why wouldn't we?! Who really likes conflict, turmoil or anything else that is the opposite of peace?! 

We want peace in our home lives and work lives. 

We want peace during war time and peace in the world overall. 

We want peace within ourselves as we face much turmoil in this life. 

We want peace in every circumstance, however, the peace society has bought into isn't true peace because it's based on shifting standards.

So, what is peace and what is the Spiritual fruit of peace? How can we experience it? Do we have a responsibility to pursue it or can we go on "auto pilot" and let the Holy Spirit do it all?

Friday, November 04, 2016

Are You Listening to What God Says About You?


Read: Matthew 6:25-29, Psalm 139, Ephesians 2:8-10, Ephesians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Romans 5:8-10

Have you found yourself struggling to forge a path or find yourself struggling with self worth issues? 

Let me ask you - when was the last time you cracked open or dusted off your Bible, God's Word and read all He has to say about you and your relationship with Him? To read about His everlasting and unconditional love for you? 

In the pages of scripture you will see more about who you are as well as see that God loves you, He sent His son to prove it and in turn Jesus sent His helper, The Holy Spirit to help you navigate life! You need to know who you are and be confident in you're worth. There's no need to continue to follow the crowd wandering through life trying to find out who you are. 

For instance...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Joy


Read: Galatians 5:22-24, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Romans 12:12, Romans 16:25, Nehemiah 8:10, Acts 2:46, 13:52, 1 Peter 1:8, Luke 2:10, Luke 1:47, Luke 1:44, John 15:11

When it comes to joy, there will be times when you are filled with joy and hope and then there will be times when you’re not. It's pretty much a guarantee in life that we'll experience both ends of the "joy spectrum". 


As you crack open God’s Word we see that He says a lot about Joy! 


In fact, depending on the specific translation, it refers to the words Joy or Rejoice (where we get our word for Joy) over 300 different times!


God’s Word teaches us a lot about joy in part because He created us to live in a joyful relationship with Him and He wants us to experience the true joy that is found in Him!


You may be asking, What's the difference between Joy and Happiness? 

Let's take a brief look at the difference as well as some of the things that can increase or decrease joy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Relationship Fuel

For study and encouragement Read: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, Proverbs 18:24, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 12:26, Job 29:4-6, Job 16:20-21, John 14:15-17, John 14:26, John 15:12-15, Galatians 6:2


God didn't create us to go through life alone. He created us to be relational. He created us to do life together. 


We can all recognize that depending on how we're wired, we may need varying levels and quantities of relationship interaction. 


For instance, if you're an introverted person then you'll typically need less than an extroverted person but the same truth remains that we were create for relationship beginning with a growing relationship with God as well as with others. 


We're meant to pour into one another. Build one another up and in a sense - be fuel for one another. 



Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Love


Read: Galatians 5:22-23, John 3:16, Mark 12:30–31, John 15:13, 1 John 3:11, Romans 5:8, Luke 6:35, 1 John 5:3, John 13:35.

For the believer, when it comes to The Fruit of The Spirit, Love is one of the hardest fruits to bear as it doesn’t come naturally to us.

In the landscape of culture, background, upbringing and more, it can mean many things to each person.

To add to the confusion, it also doesn't help that what is called "love" is also skewed by what we often see represented in multiple venues such as movies, TV, books and even people around you that you may know. 

It may also be personally hard for you accept, receive and give to others because of how you were raised, the horrible ways you've been treated as well as the false examples of love you've experienced. 

If your/our idea of love falls into any of the before mentioned examples that we see in the culture, or the negative ones you've experienced first hand, we need to work hard to reject these ideas in order to see true love, the perfect love that God replaces the worlds love with. 

Because of how prevalent the culture and our sinful nature is, we need to rethink and re-calibrate what love really is. 

God's Love including the Love that comes through the Fruit of The Spirit, are completely different than the love we can experience and that we see exhibited in the world.  

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Rest


Rest. 

Rest is healthy and it's Biblical. 

There are many examples of instructions in God's Word where He wants us to enter into rest. He makes special emphasis about the importance of rest.

Whether it's through a specific day such as sabbath (Exodus 20:8-10) that we set aside for Him, ultimate rest found in Him (Matthew 11:28-30) or practical and regular times to rest - we need time to rest! 

This includes times of vacation!

Take time to actively rest in Him as it will help rejuvenate your morale, your heart, mind and soul! 

Even Jesus took time to rest! You aren't designed to keep going 110 miles an hour as you need to unplug and rest regularly! 

Blessings in Christ, 

rlk 

#rest #peace #hope #ashepherdsheart #faith #joy #truth #wisdom #life #encourage #encouragement #inspire #inspiration #inspirational #inspirationalquotes #quote #quotes #christian #Christianity #christfollower #bible #scripture #Godsword #heart #mind #soul #ashepherdsheart



Need your prayers!

Appreciate your prayers for my audio/video venture! Find more information about it here and please pray for me! Only asking for prayers here but this link has information about the projects I'm trying to do. Thanks! http://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/online-store.html#!/Audio-Video-Venture/p/53206936/category=0

Saturday, October 08, 2016

You're Not A Waste Of Time!

You may feel like God is too busy for you or that you've lived so a horrible life that He thinks you're a waste of time. 

With The Lord, there's Never a lost cause or a waste of time. 

He's not like the imperfect human beings you experience in your life who are conditional in their love and care for you! 

He's full of grace, love and truth for you. He's, there for you and loves you unconditionally so why not abide in Him and seek Him with all that is within you (heart, mind, soul and strength) each day!? 

What are you waiting for? He's constantly trying to draw you to Himself so why not listen to Him?

Blessings in Christ, 

rlk 

#saturday #foodforthought #ashepherdsheart #grace #truth #love #faith #hope #trust #wisdom #truth #life #Godisgood #GodLovesYou #Christianity #ChristFollower #Christian #encourage #encouragement #inspire #inspiration #inspirational #inspirationalquotes #quote #quotes 



Need your prayers!

Appreciate your prayers for my audio/video venture! Find more information about it here and please pray for me! Only asking for prayers here but this link has information about the projects I'm trying to do. Thanks! http://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/online-store.html#!/Audio-Video-Venture/p/53206936/category=0

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Prayer...It's not just a lifeline!


Can you imagine if you never spoke to people, especially important people in your life? Or, if you never shared your joys, struggles, trials and pains? It would be a lonely and depressing existence!

It's the same with prayer except you're communicating with your Creator who is your Father in heaven!

Prayer isn't just a lifeline, rather, it's a daily moment-by-moment communication with Him.

Prayer is a privilege as you talk to Him about what's going on in your life, seek wisdom and intercede for others and more!

Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to:

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." -
Hebrews 4:16

Simply put, approach Him with confidence and never ever think that He's too busy for you! He always is there so...pray!
"God does things in and through our lives by prayer that He does in no other way."  -Henry Blackaby
God is at work in you when you pray my friend!

We're also told in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Prayer is a constant activity as you abide in Christ and through every and any circumstance you pray through it.

Don't wait for a struggle or trouble to come to start communication / prayer with the Lord! If you aren't already... Start praying each day or moment as He created you for relationship with Him and He wants to hear from you!

In Christ Alone,

rlk

Friday, September 30, 2016

Relationships: Learning What You're 100% Responsible For!

Relationships can be tough. This is especially true when conflict exists. 

On the other hand, it can also be fantastic when thing are working the way they should be! 

This is true in any relationship in general whether a personal relationship with family or friends, in a business setting or in a mentoring, discipleship or counseling relationship. 

Speaking from experience in all of these before mentioned relationships, it can be great or it can be very very draining if you are the only one doing all of the work.

We invest in people and people are worth pouring into as long as they actually do their part too! 

Sometimes it does take more time but there's always a need to keep a healthy balance.

It can also be confusing sometimes because on one hand we shouldn't easily give up on people but in wisdom, we cannot have a "Jesus Complex" thinking we can "save" everyone because that's His job not ours. 

Our job is to be willing vessels and He'll give you the means and wisdom to do your part as long as it makes sense and to the point where it's not detrimental to you.

So, you may be asking, what is my part then? 

I'm so glad you asked! Please allow me to help briefly answer this and fill in the gaps for us as follows! :-) 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Get Ready To Grow!


Read: Galatians 5:22-23

If you follow God and take Him at His Word, You will see that He always provides a better way. 

He always has something better in store. This doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy but it does mean it will be better for you. 

In the case of the Fruit of the Spirit these are examples of the good fruits He wants us to bear and He equips us to bear in place of the bad fruit He speaks about Galatians. 

Let me ask you, have you smelled bad fruit? It’s not a pleasant smell is it? Well, much like bearing bad fruit I want you to remember the stench of the bad or rotten fruit you’ve smelled before? 

Depending on type of fruit, it may smell sickly sweet when it starts to go bad but if you ate it…it wouldn’t be pleasant. Or, worse yet, have you taken a bite of an apple or other fruit that looks good but when you take that bite…you find it’s not so good? 

Again, not so pleasant. 

Conversely, think of your favorite type of fruit (like a peach or maybe a mango, etc.,) for a moment that you enjoy and you take a bite and it tastes amazing! 

Now consider the contrast between the good and bad fruit we bear.  One is pleasing to God and can be pleasing to others and ourselves because we’re operating God’s way while the other isn't pleasant to anyone as we're not operating God's way. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

You Are Worthy! Part 2

Dear Friend,

I decide to post a second version with links to alternative placed to listen to the 1 minute audio. 

Also, for the hearing impaired, I'm posting the words below that are basically a transcript of the audio message with hopes you are encouraged by what is communicated! 

Know your worth! You are worthy and worth it! 

Please listen to this brief audio message. (1 minute in length)


or


You Are Worthy!...

Let me tell you something that I suspect you haven't been told lately or maybe not at all. 
 
So, maybe you don't know it or believe it right now but you're highly valuable, very capable, of great worth and an awesome person! 

No matter who tries to hold you back from what you're supposed to be doing, no matter who tries to put you down, no matter your current circumstances, no matter the lies you start to believe about yourself, or others tell you about yourself (co-workers, friends, family, kids, neighbors, etc) or you tell yourself...you have to know your worth! 

Don't believe the lies or settle for other people's limited opinion of you! 

Know your worth for who you are and for all you are and all you are growing to become! This life is a journey and we're all a work in progress so remember these things in the good and bad times because you are worth it friend! 

You are worth it and worthy!

If you are encouraged by this message, Please share this with others! Encourage and help build them up! 

In Christ Alone,

rlk

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

You Are Worthy!
























Know your worth! 



You are worthy and worth it! 

Please listen to this brief audio message (1 minute long) as follows:



You are worthy my friend!

In Christ Alone,

rlk

P.S. If you're viewing this post via e-Mail, you'll have to visit the post via ashepherdsheart.org in order to hear the message inserted in the post. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This Is Not The End!


To say that life is hard sometimes is truly an understatement and I think you'd agree!?

We go through so many things and we feel broken sometimes because of a multitude of things such as: 

Relationship issues including break ups with friendship or someone you're dating. Or, if you're married or been married, somehting worse...divorce. 

-Financial issues. Slander. 

-Misunderstandings and miscommunications

-Emotional and mental issues. 

-Issues of self-doubt, self-worth and self-esteem.

-Health issues. Job losses and much more!

Life is hard and honestly...we forget that we were never promised that life will be easy or trouble free. (See John 16:33) If you've bought into the idea of a trouble free life then you're obviously in for a rude awakening anytime something goes wrong. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

A Prayer for A New School Season


Heavenly Father,

Whether it's the first day of a new school year, coming back to school after a holiday break or starting school again after many years, there always seems to be mixed emotions that we process.  

Whether public school, online school, home education or private school, life is busy when school is in! 

There's a flurry of activity leading up to starting again including planning, supply purchasing, clothes shopping and more. 

There's anticipation of the new season and sometimes anxiety of the unknown or the "what ifs" 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It's Time for a U-Turn


You may have been heading the wrong direction for a while and you know you have. 
Maybe you're feeling a bit paralyzed or trapped where you are? 

Maybe the you've been focusing on or been a part of the...

Wrong major in college...

Wrong career...

Wrong relationships...

Wrong financial decisions...

Or, Wrong direction in other areas...

Let me tell you something you need to hear: It's not too late this side of heaven to make the changes you know you need to make!

God is a God of second chances and each day He gives you a chance to begin again! 

Change the direction of your life now...with God's help and the help of other people He places in your life.

It's time for a U-Turn, a Do-over, whatever you want to to call it...it is in order...the time is now! Don't spend another second heading the wrong direction! 

Get back on the road...the path you know you need to be on...You can do it! 

Especially with the wisdom and help from the Lord...You've got this! 

Start heading the right direction right now because you are worth it!!

It's time for a U-Turn my friend...what are you waiting for?

In Christ Alone,
Your brother and servant,

rlk

Share this encouragement with someone today: No matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction, you can always turn around. #ashepherdsheart

Monday, August 22, 2016

Finding Your True Source of Joy


As people, we often search for joy in the wrong places. 

We fill our lives with activities and people that we think will be our source of joy but...then they fail us and we are left where we were before hand - with an empty joy that's dependent on shifting things and people instead. 

We also allow our circumstances as well as people try to steal our joy. 

Also, let's be real, our adversary the devil loves to try to steal our joy buy we need to Armor Up daily - in other words allow God's full armor to deflect the arrow the evil one slings at us. (see Ephesians 6:10-18)

It's been well said, like in the brief video above, that... one of the secrets to experiencing joy it to keep seeking God where we doubt He is. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Parable of The Fishing Net - Matthew 13:47-50 (Audio Message)


Hello!

This past Sunday I had the great opportunity to communicate God's Word. I filled in for a friend at his church campus while he was out of town and I wanted to share the message with you. 

The message was from Matthew 13:47-50 about The Parable of The Fishing Net.

Sonrise Cornelius is a bilingual campus located in Cornelius, Oregon and the message was translated / interpreted live in EspaƱol as I communicated in English. 

It was an honor to be there with them!

Here's the link to the message via Soundcloud.com: The Parable of The Fishing Net

If you listen to the message, I pray you’ll come away with a sense of urgency and sense of hope too! 

God loves you and is the standard setter! I encourage you to take time to study the passage for yourself sometime as well. May you be encouraged, challenged and motivated to serve God all the more through what He teaches us in His Word!

Many Blessings,

rlk

PS. Once you listen to the message, I would enjoy hearing from you here via the comments section or via soundcloud.com regarding your response to God's Word.