Jesus Saves…

 

red maple crabtree 2001

photo: Hammond Coates

(an acrostic prayer)

Jehovah God, merciful Father, ever-present Spirit, we come in praise and joy to worship You; You who saves.

Eternal in the heavens, You are, yet ever-living in us; those that You have saved as Your children, O God. We praise You for saving us!

Show us the path You have for each of us to walk and to whom we should share Your call to salvation, Father.

Use us, Father, to make known Your love in those places that know no love, that don’t know how to seek Your love, and in those places we are today.

Send us from our comfortable to the uncomfortable, from our pride to Your humility, and from our self-sufficiency into Your love, Father

Surely You have borne our grief in Your saving love on the cross of Calvary, dear Jesus. We bow low in repentance and adoration to You.

Accept out thanksgiving and make us worthy to praise You, O God. We seek to be like you, O God.

Victorious is Your grace and mercy, dear Father, Victory over sin and death is Your love legacy to us. To You be the glory.

Enlighten us with the truth of Your word today, Father. May we live in the light of Your Spirit today.

Send us from this place of worship in the power of Your Holy Spirit, into the places that need Your light reflected from us into the darkness, O God.

We pray in the power of the only one who saves, even Jesus Christ. Amen!

The Path Continues…

Retirement…

Toby Mac Turn the Page

 

As Toby Mac Says: The time has come. The page needs to be turned. I announced my retirement from First Baptist Church of Springfield, Virginia on Sunday, August 21, 2016…

As many of you know, I will turn 65 on the 20th of September. I will be officially covered by Medicare and I will soon tell the Social Security Administration where to send my Social Security payments. Yes, I will have also secured a supplemental insurance policy to cover what is not covered. So, you see the time has officially come and the page is turning.

I would like to announce to you that I will be officially retired as of the 31st day of December, 2016. I had indicated to the Personnel Committee chairman some time ago that the date would probably be no later than that date. Church policies indicated that one month’s notice be given before resignation or retirement. This serves to accomplish that requirement.

Since the church has graciously provided for sabbatical time at times in the past for its Ministers, and since I was asked to delay taking the full two months at the last time I was on sabbatical, I have requested that I be allowed to take that one month during the month of December 2016.  With the vacation time that is allowed, I will take the remaining 2 weeks due to me on the last 2 weeks of November.  Therefore, my last Sunday here with you will be November 13, 2016.

It may sound like it is a rather quick announcement, but I assure you that it is not a quick decision on my part.  I have been praying and thinking for several years now, some of you are aware, I know. You’ve asked when I was going to retire. Those question have increased, I know!

I have learned several things over the past several months. I have learned that I am not a particularly good lame-duck. I’ll leave that to your interpretation. I also have learned that many of you are ready for change to occur in the life of this church and the last thing I would like to do is inhibit the Lord’s leadership of His church here in Springfield.  So, let’s clear the old, used, deck chairs and allow God to bring new life to the ship.

God has been very gracious to me and my family as He has allowed us to work among His people here in First Baptist Church of Springfield. We were called by God to be your Minister of Education/Administration in 1982. Somewhere along the way the title was changed to Minister of Discipleship and Congregational Ministries to stay up with the changing terminology of the times. Same job, new title. Somewhere in the last 34 years we were asked to restart the Contemporary Worship experience.  I agreed, it was needed. A few years later we were asked to lay that down and assume the Minister of Music and Worship position, then finally the Interim Pastor position.

I said when I accepted God’s call to come here in 1982 that I would do whatever was needed as long as He wanted me here. I think He took me at my word! God has been very good!

I will not be leaving any recommendations for you to consider. I have seen us spend way too much time in the last 34 past years and even now, thinking about what someone who is no longer among us said or thought we should do. I’ll leave that up to God and His Holy Spirit as He works through You and the leadership He has for you as His Church here.

Thank you, First Baptist Church of Springfield. You have loved us and we have loved you. Let me end with this: “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done!”  Thank You!

The Path Continues…

Spirit Walking…

silence 2011 084

photo: Hammond Coates

(an acrostic prayer)

Sovereign Lord, Eternal God, our Heavenly Father, all glory and praise be to you as we come to worship You today.

Pour out Your mercy, grace, and love anew on Your people who wait here in Your presence, O Lord.

Infill our hearts and refresh our minds with the words of Your scripture interpreted by Your Holy Spirit, Father.

Remake us in the image of Your Son, Jesus, O Father, that we may commune as one people with You, today.

Image us with Your grace, O God, until we are known as Yours in this world.  May the world come to know You as they know us!

Tether us close to You as we worship today, Father.  We need to feel You close and abiding with us, Your children.

Wake us to Your will for us, here in this place, and as we spill out on the path that You have for each of us, O Father.

Accept our pleas for forgiveness, dear Lord, as we confess our sins and lean into Your mercy, just now.

Lead us no into temptation, Father. May our minds be renewed in Your grace and settled by Your Spirit.

Kindle a new spirit within us that overflows with love for one another in Your peace and love.

Instruct us from Your Word today as it is broken for us and feed us on Your truth, O God.

Newness of Life in Your Spirit, dear God, we long to be new and to be more like Your son, Jesus.

Goodness and mercy are available from You, Father. We claim Your promises in Your Word and by Your Spirit living in us.

         We pray in the name of Jesus, Your Son.  Amen!

The Path Continues…

 

When Light Enters In ~

…You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven…Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

When Light Enters In ~ CHRISTian poetry by deborah ann

When you have faith,
Light enters in
when you have Light
you’ll have peace within.

When you have trust,
the Word will guide
when you’re Spirit lead
in God you’ll abide

When you have Truth,
you will find the Way
when the Life you follow
in the Word you’ll stay.

When understanding,
is something you need
the Word will clarify
just how to proceed.

When faith is released,
it ushers in the Light
releasing in you  . . .
God’s power and might!

~~~~~

Psalm 119:130

“The entrance of thy words
giveth light; it giveth
understanding unto the simple.”

King James Version
Public Domain

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Liberty…

Crabtree Trail towards Crabtree Meadow.JPG

Photo: Hammond Coates

(an acrostic prayer)

Lord, God Almighty, Creator of life and Father of us all, we bow down to worship You in Your presence and in the power of Your Spirit.

Instill in us the sense of freedom in Your grace through our faith in Jesus, Your Son and our Savior!

Before faith, we were captives of this world, Father, and we still ache under the strivings in our flesh. We seek your peace and forgiveness.

Engage us with Your word today, O God. May we see You in the words we hear, the thoughts we think and the actions we undertake. Lord, make us the instruments of your peace and love today.

Reveal Yourself to us today in the Spirit of holiness so we may know your freedom from the temptation to sin. Help us to know Your truth by Your Spirit’s presence.

Teach us how to share Your truth in the midst of the world where we live, Father. May others see Jesus in us and come to know Your truth in their lives.

Yours is the kingdom, and the power, today and forevermore.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen and Amen!

The Path Continues…

Oh, The Blood of Jesus…

Gloria Scott  sunset photo Feb 2013

photo: Gloria Scott

(an acrostic prayer)

Overseeing Father, infinite supplier of grace and mercy, we come to Thank You for saving us through the blood of Your Son, Jesus.

Hear our prayer of grateful love and appreciation as we come to worship You today.

Take us from where we are to where You want us to be in Your grace, O Father of us all.

Help us to be so aware of You that we do not accept this world’s presence as our authority, but live to please You!

Erase the stain of our sin as You remake us, in this place, and in the world where You have called us to live.

Blot out the stains of the sins that easily beset us, Lord! Though our sins be scarlet, make us white as snow, Father.

Lead us into repentance of our sins by the hearing of Your word, in the guidance of Your Holy Spirit!

Open us to Your refining process, ever how painful, Father, that we may be useful for Your kingdom’s work.

Overflow us with Your cleansing water of grace and mercy and Your joy and forgiveness.

Deliver us from the evil one today, O God. May we not be lead into temptation, as we live and breathe and have our being, for Your name’s sake.

Overspread the path You have for each of us with the light of Your presence as we stumble along in our light.

For You, our souls long, dear Jesus. We thank You for giving Yourself that we might live.

Justified by You, Father, help us to live as we are Yours. May our pride be overshadowed by Your life shining through us.

Enthuse us with the joy of Your Spirit living in us so that this world may want to know why we are different and we can tell them.

Send us people in our paths who need to know You, Father, and shine Your Spirit on them through us.

Unify us in one accord; to tell the world about Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Savior.

Sing my soul, and tell all He’s done, ‘til the earth and heavens are filled with His glory!”1

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen!

1 “My Souls Longs For Jesus” song lyrics by Ed Cash

The Path Continues…