The Finishing Move

finishing-move

Growing up I was a huge fan of professional wrestling. My grandfather got me hooked and to this day I still get entertained by this sport that is always packed with drama to entertain the masses. As a kid I would dial in each week to see what was going to happen between some of my favorites ongoing battles and just as one battle would begin another one would pop up and start again.  But what I like most was the chance to see them use their “finishing” moves. I can still remember watching

Junkyard Dawg do the THUMP. (front facing scoop up power-slam) 

Diamond Dallas Page “DDP” do the DIAMOND CUTTER from the top rope.

The Original Sting do the STINGER SPLASH right into the SCORPION DEATH DROP.

The Sandman (Hardcore Hak) end the match with the kendo stick to the throat known as WHITE RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP

Ultimate Warrior do the  ULTIMATE SPLASH (running and diving onto a facedown opponent)

and Goldberg use the SPEAR and JACKHAMMER (vertical duplex power-slam) on everyone. 

As a kid I would get super excited to see my favorite do what they did best but sometimes even the best would fall short of victory. As a Christian we are God’s favorite in a ongoing battle with evil, sometimes we come out victorious and sometimes we fail and fall short of victory. We all have a finishing move, the move that God waits for us to use. That move is called PRAYER.  God wants us to use this move as much as we can.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says Never stop praying.

1 Chronicles 16:11 says Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

Philippians 4:6 says Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

How often do we go through “battles” or wrestling matches in life where we choose to not use our FINISHING move? We know that we can overcome evil but we try to in our own strength.  We have the power to finish it and give it over to God the One who can finish it off, but we have to believe and have faith in our FINISHING MOVE called PRAYER.

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Shepherd, Sheep and Me: part 3

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The past 3 days I have been blogging about a book that I read called “Praying the 23rd Psalm” by Elmer Towns.  It opens you up to really understanding the role of God and yourself in life.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23 (NIV)

Its about ME:

  • My shepherd honors me, celebrates me and cleans me up once I fail.
  • I have satisfaction, knowing I have Him and that’s all I need.
  • Goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life
  • I won’t be a guest, I will dwell or live with Him forever!

The Shepherd loves us unconditionally and no matter how far I stray from my master I am welcomed back with open arms, I am honored, celebrated and blessed.  We are all sheep that need to be close to the  Shepherd cause without that in our lives we may feel like we are on our own but there is someone named Jesus searching, waiting and continuing to love you.  Join me this weekend really read Psalm 23 and pray that you will grow through the process.  See part 1 and 2.

 

Shepherd, Sheep and Me: part 2

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This weekend I am Praying Psalm 23 based off of the book “Praying the 23rd Psalm” by Elmer Towns.  I am breaking each day down into three perspectives, you can read part one HERE.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23 (NIV)

The Sheep gets:

  • A friend (The Shepherd) who is with you through the good times and the bad.
  • A leader into time of rest and reflection.
  • The Shepherd who protects you from evil and can always be counted on.
  • Someone who waits on you with open arms and will always be ready to demonstrate His love.
  • A master who will always be yours no matter how far you stray.

I think back to stories of the Lost Son  and Peter walking on the water and see two examples of people who lost sight of their shepherd. Fear, pride, selfishness begin to set in and we can lose sight of our leader. Yet just like in those stories, someone is right there with outstretched arm waiting on us to recognize our need for the shepherd.

Part one the Shepherd showed me that I have to make living like Christ part of my nature and part two I have to recognize that I am a sheep and my Shepherd Jesus is right there with me in life. Blessed.

 

 

Shepherd, Sheep and Me: part 1

ssm

I have recently been really trying to understand Psalm 23 and I have been reading a book called “Praying the 23rd Psalm” by Elmer Towns.  The idea of the Shepherd and the Sheep is mentioned throughout the Bible but I never have really prayed this way.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23 (NIV)

The Shepherd does:

  • The Lord is my Shepherd, and my relationship with Him is not a prize to be won but more of a gift that I have received.
  • My Shepherd provides for my needs physically and spiritually.
  • He directs my paths and protects me.
  • Everything the Shepherd does is because it’s part of His nature. That’s who He is and it’s reflected through His actions.

In the 3rd verse it says He does all this “for His name’s sake.” He loves me and protects me and leads me because that’s who He is it part of His nature. He loves, protects and leads and in 1 Corinthians 11:1 it says that we are to “Be imitators of Christ.”  I am a Shepherd that needs to love like Christ, protect and direct those who God puts in my path and It should be natural for me. So as I am praying through Psalm 23 this weekend I am praying for: Living like Christ (loving and leading) to become part of my nature. Are you with me this weekend?

 

 

How do you PRAY for your child?

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How do you pray for your child? Do you ask God for certain details for their lives or is your prayers for your child just that they will grow up and love Jesus. I was stuck in that way to pray for years. The great thing about that is God still answers them.  Then I read a couple of things that really challenged my passion to pray and the way I prayed for my children.

– The first was a FREE E-book called “31 ways to Pray for your children” by Bob Hostetler

Download it:  31waystopray

– The second way a short book by Mark Batterson called “Praying Circles around Your Children” 

   Buy it on Amazon for $2.99: HERE

Then as I did further searching on better ways to pray for my children I came across a couple of things that were also helpful.

– Praying for our Children > Prayer calendar. Pick the date and pray that for your child.

– ParentPrayerTips > 6 Prayer tips for parents.

I share this because I see the importance of specific prayers. God desires for us as parents to lead our children.It says in Proverbs 22:6 “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” As a parent I desire to see my children walking in the Truth.