Another creative homemade Advent calendar

November 20, 2008

This one is made of toilet paper tubes and finger paints.

I’ll keep adding to the list of Creative Advent Calendars whenever I come across something that looks fun and unique… feel free to give us links or ideas in the comments!

If you browse around the “Bringing Good Home” blog I’ve linked in this post, you’ll find lots more Advent ideas.

I liked this paper plate Angel craft idea


A call to prayer for the Democratic Republic of Congo

November 20, 2008

Thanks to Kendall Harmon for posting an article from the ACNS and reminding us of the call to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo this coming Sunday, Nov. 23rd.

Dear colleagues,

As you know, the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo continues to fester. Much is still underreported. In addition to the crisis in the Goma region, there are two areas of rebel activity in Congo which have not hit the news: the Dungu area, in the north, where the Lord’s Resistance Army has attacked villages and abducted adults and children in recent weeks, and also the Gety/Aveba/Nyankunde region, close to Bunia, where a new militia group emerged in late September and displaced many people from their homes.

Our Anglican sisters and brothers in those areas have been deeply affected, and are in the forefront of relief efforts and peacemaking.

I am echoing Archbishop Fidèle Dirokpa’s call for a day of prayer for peace in the Congo on Sunday 23 November.

You can use the following prayer, if you like, or do your own.
O God of peace and abundant life,
You call peacemakers your children.
Let your Holy Spirit guide and govern all those who are making peace in Congo,
and give them success,
So that all your people may have that abundant life promised through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the same Spirit, one God in Holy Trinity. Amen.

The full ACNS article is here.


Psalm 105:42-45

November 20, 2008

For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant. (Psalm 105:42)
      Father, help us enter into the promises made to Abraham so that we may be a blessing to the nations.

He brought out his people with joy, his chosen ones with gladness. (Psalm 105:43)
      Lord Jesus, so many of your people are in bondage — bring them forth with joy.

He gave them the lands of the Gentiles, and they inherited the labor of the nations, (Psalm 105:44)
      Holy Spirit, guide your faithful people in the Episcopal Church into your provision for us. Prepare our hearts for our Diocesan Convention and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church this summer.

That they might observe his statutes and keep his laws. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 105:45)
      Father, help us walk in the way of your commandments. Thank you.

A word received: Pray for my people to offer themselves to me. Pray that my purposes will be accomplished.

Thursday: 105:23-45; Malachi 2:1-16; James 4:13-5:6; Luke 17:20-37
Friday: 107:1-32; Malachi 3:1-12; James 5:7-12; Luke 18:1-8

      Notes from the Front Line

Dear Torre –
I eagerly await these reports [Prayer Table] and have been fascinated by their contents. You have managed to keep your focus on prayer instead of on trying to deal with the physical issues raised by visitors to the table. Somehow, you gently make it clear (though you don’t state it here) that you are there to pray for them, encourage them, show them how to turn their lives over to Jesus but not to hand out money, bags of groceries or bus tokens. They seem to understand that and continue to come back. You are providing a ministry like none other I have seen or know of. It might be helpful to readers of these reports if you were to periodically address what the ground rules are and how you are able to convey that to folks who are used to seeking a handout instead of a handup.
Blessings, Forest

Prayer Table Ground Rules (such as they are)
*      We have learned over time to have nothing on the table that suggested an offering bowl — we keep the surface of the card table as clean as we can — only crosses and a pad of paper to write down prayer requests, and an 8.5×11 piece of paper that says, “+ Prayer Table +”.
*      We never hand out money or anything else except a cross or an occasional Bible or cards telling the times of our services (if the person seems interested).
*      The prayer table ministry is now in its 9th or 10th year and we are a known commodity. We know that it has been talked about in the bars on the Hill.
*      When the prayer table started nine or ten years ago, it had about a ten percent response rate from the people passing by, now it often has a fifty percent response rate or higher. I think that is because people know about it and trust what we are doing.
*      Our expectation is that God will bring the people forth and that no two times will be exactly the same. Sometimes it is all men who come, sometimes women, sometimes a mixture. The numbers who come are completely independent of the weather.
*      We refuse all donations for prayers.
*      We try to listen both to the people and to the Holy Spirit. This means that we don’t “jump” people with the Four Spiritual Laws or any other formula. We try to listen to see if the Holy Spirit wants us to just pray or lead the person to Jesus through confession of sin to repentance or offer prayers for healing, provision, and protection. We try to treat each person as a unique visitor to the table.

Albany Intercessor


PRAYER TABLE REPORT

November 20, 2008

(Weds., Nov. 19, 2008; 12:45-1:30 p.m., in front of Christ Church, Schenectady; Deacon Alan Hart, Scott Underhill and his friend — David Bayer of St. Michael’s in Colonie.)

a–indicates anointed with Holy Oil.
t–indicates received one of Torre’s wooden crosses.
c–indicates took one of our yellow/green cards.

Note: Cut the Table time period a little bit short today; it was very cold and windy. The weather did not stop people from coming, however. Wide spectrum of folks who did and did NOT want prayer.

a,t — SHERRY — Asked for prayers for her back problems and for complete healing from recent incident when medication for her back reacted badly with other medicines she was taking; it caused her to be short of breath and scared her! We prayed also provision and protection for Sherry, as well as for her family. (She has seven children.)

STEVE — Prayed for him and his son, Steve Jr., to be provided for and protected in these hard times and in this often dangerous locale.

t,a,c — DAYA — This has only happened a few times in the last 11 months — a person driving by saw the Prayer Table and pulled over and stopped for prayer! Praise God!!! She said, “I have seen you guys out here before and today I was HOPING you would be here. I really need prayers! Thank you, God!!” DAYA said she is facing serious court problems and is scared that she may be sent to prison for something she says she didn’t do. She is afraid not only for herself but for what could happen to her children if she is away in prison. We prayed for her to be at peace, that God knows all the details and is making sure that justice is done and that, whatever happens, her family will be protected. (Scott believes that this was NO coincidence– that we were there not only for Daya when she needed God but also that his visiting friend, David, could witness this incident and see how valuable and powerful a force the Prayer Table is!)

t,t — JOEY — This man was looking for his friend, JACKIE. He said she is a friend and not a girlfriend. She was supposed to be there to meet him but she has not shown up and he is worried about what might have happened to her. Pray for Jackie to be found — not only by Joey but by God.

t,c — BOB — Here is a man who stopped rather reluctantly and said, “Sure, why not?” when we asked if he wanted prayer. But as we talked, Bob confessed he has a serious problem witrh alcohol and he wants to be freed from it. We urged him to go home and pour whatever alcohol he has around his home down the drain and to ask God to help him refrain from buying and drinking any more alcoholic beverages. He said he has been trying to stop and has gone to NA meetings in our church but he can’t kick his addiction. Pray for this man. He seems very sincere. He was in tears by the time we were done.

ED — This man bluntly and completely refused prayer, but we ask you to pray for him anyway! He rides a mechanical chair and he was on his way down State Street toward Swan. He rebuffed our invitation with, “I don’t believe in God!” Scott countered by telling Ed that God still believes in him. We got up from the Table and approached him again but Ed got quite upset and angry. He snarled, “Like your God, I REFUSE to bow down to a lesser being!” (Alan later spoke with one of the earlier visitors to the Table who knows Ed personally. This person said Ed was recently bitten by a spider and it has made him quite sick and disagreeable, and Ed is apparently taking all this out on God. Pray for Ed to be touched by God’s mercy and intervention, despite his alleged unbelief. Pray for healing for Ed.)

Albany Intercessor


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