FROGS

FROGS

Mark 6:7-13

He called the twelve apostles, sent them out two by two, and gave them authority over evil spirits. He instructed them to take nothing along on the trip except a walking stick. They were not to take any food, a traveling bag, or money in their pockets. They could wear sandals but could not take along a change of clothes. He told them, “Whenever you go into a home, stay there until you’re ready to leave that place. Wherever people don’t welcome you or listen to you, leave and shake the dust from your feet as a warning to them.” So the apostles went and told people that they should turn to God and change the way they think and act. They also forced many demons out of people and poured oil on many who were sick to cure them.

Jesus had been training the twelve to be servants completely relying on the Master. At this time they are to be emissaries for the Master, acting as the Master and with all of the authority of the Master. And, as in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27), they are expected to bring an increase into the kingdom of God.

Now they are commissioned to go into the world and tell everyone the Good News while curing them. It is the same command that he will repeat to them in his last few earthly moments. (Mark 16: 24-18, Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:8)

They are to go with nothing but the clothes in their backs. They are tobe Fully Reliant On. God. It is the same thing Jesus requires of all his followers: be willing to abandon everything and everyone that would keep you from serving God. (Mark 8:34)

Are you ready to be a F.R.O.G.?

Prayer

Jesus, Master, we struggle to empty ourselves of self and to be full of you. We know that when we are weak, you are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10.) Please show us how to trust in your strength so we can allow ourselves to be weak. Amen Also visit my other blogs
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  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    “Forgive Me” Prayer

    Psalms 50:1-19 1. Unto the end. A Psalm of David, 2. when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he went to Bathsheba. 3. Be merciful to me, O God, according to your great mercy. And, according to the plentitude of your compassion, wipe out my iniquity. 4. Wash me once again from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 5. For I know my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. 6. Against you only have I sinned, and I have done evil before your eyes. And so, you are justified in your words, and you will prevail when you give judgment. 7. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sinfulness did my mother conceive me. 8. For behold, you have loved truth. The obscure and hidden things of your wisdom, you have manifested to me. 9. You will sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be cleansed. You will wash me, and I will be made whiter than snow. 10. In my hearing, you will grant gladness and rejoicing. And the bones that have been humbled will exult. 11. Turn your face away from my sins, and erase all my iniquities. 12. Create a clean heart in me, O God. And renew an upright spirit within my inmost being. 13. Do not cast me away from your face; and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. 14. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and confirm me with an unsurpassed spirit. 15. I will teach the unjust your ways, and the impious will be converted to you. 16. Free me from blood, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue will extol your justice. 17. O Lord, you will open my lips, and my mouth will announce your praise. 18. For if you had desired sacrifice, I would certainly have given it, but with holocausts, you will not be delighted. 19. A crushed spirit is a sacrifice to God. A contrite and humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn. As I was meditating on David’s prayer for forgiveness, it occurred to me that the was praying for absolution for sins that he had been caught in, the adultery with Bathsheba and the dearth of her husband. David also ask for forgiveness for iniquities that he alone ores aware. And finally for the obscure and hidden things of which God, in his wisdom, our aware. Prayer Lord, forgive my sins of which others are aware. Lord, forgive my sins of which only you and I are aware. Lord, forgive my sins of which only you are aware. Amen.

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    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Practice Makes Perfect

    Bounce, bounce, bounce. Our young neighbor spends most of his free time shooting hoops. He is only in elementary school now. By the time he reaches middle school and high school, he will amassed thousands, maybe tens of thousands of hours dribbling that ball and aiming for that net. I have to believe that it will make him a force to be reckoned with. Practice makes perfect, they say. Paul encouraged the church at Philippi to practice what is good and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8-9 Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. And do what you learned and received from me—what I told you and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you. His advice to that first century church still hold true today. By continued practice of what its good and worthy, we will be preparing ourselves to stand inn the day of judgement and give a good accounting of our life. Prayer Heavenly Father than you for sending Jesus as our perfect example of the life you expect us to live. Give it’s the courage, strength, and wisdom to follow the prompting of your Holy Spirit. Amen. Also visit my other blogs
  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
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  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Laundry

    This week my wife and I took our dirty clothes to the laundromat. As I was watching the clothes swirl around in the glass door of the front loading machine, the seed of a musing was planted in my brain. I imagined what it would be like to be an article of clothing in that machine. As I thought backwards on the life of one of those shirts sloshing back and forth in the washer. I can see the beginning of its life as the seamstress or tailor cuts the clothe and stitches it into a shape pleasing to them. Next it it’s packaged and purchased. It begins its life. It has a purpose to clothe the naked. However, as time goes on it becomes soiled. So, to the laundromat it goes. It is mixed with other pieces of laundry, some are shirts similar to itself however, some are socks, shorts, slacks, and dresses. At first they lay quietly while comforting warm water bathes them. But soon a motion begins. At first it is a gentle rocking. But then things begin to change. The motion becomes more turbulent and sometimes painful. Then things begin to spin faster and faster. It then slows to a stop. The shirt breathes a sigh of relief. But then the spinning begins again and again. At last the shirt, all tangled in a wad with the rest of clothes is placed in the dryer. Once more it begins to spin, but slower this time. Warm air begins to dry the clothes and they separate from the soggy ball into their individual forms. At last the shirt it’s removed from the dryer and is once more ready to clothes the naked. I see so many parallels between the shirt and our walk with God. He creates us to His design and sets us to work on His plan (psalm 139:24). Along the way, bits and pieces of this broken world begin to cling to us (Romans 3:23). Words, thoughts, and deeds not of God but of the world inhibit us from fulfilling His plan for us. He has created a community of believers each with their own gifts and duties (1 Corinthians chapter 12). Through His baptism he brings us together. It is necessary to occasionally shake things up in our lives to get its back on track, and sometimes the shaking is painful (Hebrews 9:15). Then in the warmth of God’s love we are once more ready to be about our Father’s business. (Psalm 51:12) Prayer Father, your lessons are everywhere if we will but seek them. Give us a seekers heart. Amen. Also visit my other blogs
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.com
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    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Lighting the Darkness

    Mark 4:21-23 Jesus said to them, “Does anyone bring a lamp into a room to put it under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it put on a lamp stand? There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light. Let the person who has ears listen!”

    Matthew 5:14-16 “You are light for the world. A city cannot be hidden when it is located on a hill. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand. Then its light shines on everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.

    Mark and Matthew may be describing the same event or perhaps Jesus used the same illustration at different times to a different crowd. In any case the message is clear, let your light shine.

    Though the analogy seems totally different than Jesus’ story about the farmer scattering seed, in both cases he requires us to share what we have. Seed and light are both symbols of the gospel.

    Are you hiding your light? Have you lifted it high so that it will reach further into the darkness?

    Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!

    Prayer Lord, you have entrusted us with the job of spreading your good news to the people around us. Sometimes we have done as commanded however, sometimes we’ve failed. Forgive us when we’ve failed to share your light. We ask that your light burn so brightly in us that people in darkness are drawn to it. Amen. Also visit my other blogs
  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
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  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Preparing For Battle

    My daily personal Bible studies are like snacks that feed me, however the pastor’s sermon and the hymn singing is a full meal. Sunday school is where we exchange ideas and gain new perspectives and helps to sharpen our swords for the daily battles.

    “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:3-5) Prayer Forgive us, Lord, for allowing the things of this world to distract us from our true duty. Thank you for the sanctuary of your church where. by Your power, our spiritual wounds may be healed, our armor repaired, and or sword sharpened. Amen. Also visit my other blogs
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  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    THINGS NOBODY TOLD ME ABOUT GROWING OLD

    2 Corinthians 4:16-17 “That is why we never give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but these troubles are helping us gain an eternal glory. That eternal glory is much greater than our troubles.” .
    1. Nobody said it would be this difficult and sometimes painful to just to get dressed in the morning.
    Nobody explained that one third of my income would be spent on doctors, medications, and supplements. And that was after the insurance had paid.
    I don’t recall anyone explaining about the mysterious “traveling” pain that would move from body part to body part.
    There are bits and pieces of me missing more everyday, hair, teeth, eyesight, hearing, and memory.
    Speaking of memory, there’s the panic when I forget something … did I just forget or is it dementia?

    Prayer

    In the midst of all that troubles us in this live, we believe as did Paul when he wrote, “That eternal glory is much greater than our troubles. Thank you for your promise of life unending. Amen. Also visit my other blogs
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  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    When Praying

    Matthew 6:7 And when praying, do not choose many words, as the pagans do. For they think that by their excess of words they might be heeded. I have attended meetings where someone is asked to say a blessing over the meal. Too often I have witnessed those table blessings go on and on often filled with many extraneous words, such as repeating “Father” a dozen times in the prayer. As if God needs to be reminded who He is or that you are still speaking to Him. You would not do that if talking to “Bill”. How strange that would sound if you said, “Bill, I thank you, Bill, for coming, Bill, to our gathering that, Bill, you could be present, Bill, when, Bill, we dedicate this building, Bill, in your name, Bill.” The best prayer is a conversation with God. Say what needs to said then stop and listen. Prayer Lord, forgive us for not giving you enough time to answer and for piling up empty words when we pray. Amen. Also visit my other blogs
  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
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  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    NO UNEMPLOYED

    Matthew 11:25-30

    At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from wise and intelligent people and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, this is what pleased you. “My Father has turned everything over to me. Only the Father knows the Son. And no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son is willing to reveal him. “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke over your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    I read this scripture, before I accepted the forgiveness of God’s gift of love and restoration, and it frightened me. I didn’t understand the truth of “Place my yoke over your shoulders.” I imagined a heavy wooden yoke placed upon my shoulders and then being forced to pull a plow or a wagon with a huge load in it. Now, having accepted the gift of salvation, I realize that I previously had my own yoke on my shoulders and was pulling that load alone. With Jesus’ yoke, we are sharing the load and he is doing nearly all of the work.

    Make no mistake, in the kingdom of God there are no unemployed. Every Christian had a duty to perform. However, Christ is with us doing all of the heavy lifting

    Prayer Thank you Lord for lifting that load. I ask now for the strength to lighten the load of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen IF YOU LIKE MY BLOG, PLEASE HIT THE LIKE BUTTON AND MAYBE LEAVE A COMMENT.
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  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    THEY HAD ONE JOB TO DO

    Mark 14:32-42

    Then they came to a place called Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Stay here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to feel distressed and anguished. He said to them, “My anguish is so great that I feel as if I’m dying. Wait here, and stay awake.” After walking a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible he might not have to suffer what was ahead of him. He said, “Abba! Father! You can do anything. Take this cup of suffering away from me. But let your will be done rather than mine.” He went back and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake for one hour? Stay awake, and pray that you won’t be tempted. You want to do what’s right, but you’re weak.” He went away again and prayed the same prayer as before. He found them asleep because they couldn’t keep their eyes open. They didn’t even know what they should say to him. He came back a third time and said to them, “You might as well sleep now. It’s all over. The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. Get up! Let’s go! The one who is betraying me is near.”

    This person had one job to do, paint two parallel yellow lines in the middle of the road. For mile upon mile he had done just that. And then something happened. Maybe he dozed for just a moment or maybe he was distracted momentarily. For whatever reason, he failed to do the one thing he was supposed to do.

    Jesus gave Peter, James, and John one job to do, wait and stay awake. He had told them, “My anguish is so great that I feel as if I’m dying.” Three times he prayed and they slept. One simple job, and they failed … repeatedly!

    Imagine for a moment that your best friend had just told you that they felt like they were dying and they asked you to wait and watch over them while they prayed. What would you do? Now put yourself in the other place. You are the one who feels like your dying. What would you expect of your friends?

    I would expect to pray with my friend and have them pray with me. I certainly wouldn’t expect them to fall asleep when I was at my darkest hour.

    Prayer
    Lord, forgive us for times that we also “fall sleep”. It may no not be actual sleep but times when inattentive to you calling to us. Or those times when our friends have needed us and we’ve not been there for them. Open our ears that we may hear. Open our eyes that we may see. Open our minds that we may know. Open our mouths that we may speak, and open our hearts that we might love. Amen

    IF YOU LIKE MY BLOG, PLEASE HIT THE LIKE BUTTON AND MAYBE LEAVE A COMMENT.
    • Also visit my other blogs
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    • Armchairsermons.com
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams