Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report

February 25, 2012

Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:25 – 10:35 a.m. Bob Baker Torre Bissell and Mark Pasko on State St. A bit brisk and very windy (at one point our prayer table sign blew off the table) — not many on the street.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
H–indicates received a hat

M–indicates received mittens
G–indicates received gloves
S–indicates received a scarf
Socks–2 pairs of hand knitted woolen socks from Karen Hetland in Norway

Emmanuel (young man) — He is new in town and came by the prayer table the last two Saturdays. Last Sunday he attended Christ Church. He asked prayer for wisdom and strength. We prayed also that he would make good choices in his friendships.

Jean — We prayed that she keep safe and be restored to health.

G&Socks Kathy (older woman) — She asked prayers that she would be warm and safe. She was thrilled with the idea of getting the hand made socks from Norway.

Kalique and Markly (2 young men going to minister at the Macedonia 7th Day Adventist Church on Swan St.) We prayed for their ministry and that they would hear God and speak his word to the congregation.

G&Socks +Ganise (older man from Guyana) — his hands were very cold and was very happy to get the gloves and the socks. He said his eye-sight is failing and we prayed with him about that.

+Andrew (young man) — He had been at Planned Parenthood in the next block protesting abortions. We prayed for God’s anointing on his witness.

G+Shalah (young boy)

+Paul — He asked prayer for his girlfriend Amy who has a bad back. She will be trying a pain management shot. If that doesn’t work she will have to have surgery.

+Calvin and Joshua — These two men ask prayer for protection and guidance.

William — He lives next door in what he said was no longer a crack house. He said it looked like that because the side entrance was the main entryway to the various apartments. He said there might be some pot but no crack.

Bobby — We prayed for healing from a virus.

John 17:20-26 and Sunday School Lesson

February 25, 2012

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word;” (John 17:20)
      Holy Spirit, help us speak your word so that others will believe.

“that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17: 21)
      Holy Trinity, one God, help us find our unity in you so that the world will believe in you.

“And the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one:” (John 17:22)
      Jesus, please help us know and experience your glory.

“I in them, and you in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)
      Jesus, come and dwell in our hearts so that the world may know that the Father has sent you and loves you and us.

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold my glory which you have given me; for you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
      Father, at various times and seasons you have revealed your glory — let this be such a time and a season for us.

“O righteous Father! The world has not known you, but I have known You; and these have known that you sent me.” (John 17:25)
      Jesus, thank you for making your Father and his love known to us.

“And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it, that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)
      Holy Spirit, fill us with the Father’s love. Thank you.

Theme Verse: Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Readings: Mark 1:9-13; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Haggai 1:1-15; Psalm 25:3-9

A word received: I want to build you into the church I want. I AM the foundation and cornerstone. Look to me — let me build you up by my Holy Spirit and my word.

      Gospel: Mark 1:9-13

A word received: I will minister to you in your wilderness times just as I did with my son Jesus.

      Epistle: 1 Peter 3:18-22

(verse 18 ) A word received: I suffered for you while you were still sinners. You cannot first become righteous and then come to me. You must first come to me so that I can make you righteous.

      Old Testament: Haggai 1:1-15

A word received: Hear my call to rebuild my church — not the buildings of stone (though some are called to that), but the church which is my body.

      Psalm: Psalm 25:3-9

(verse 5) A word received: Wait on me — I AM the God of your salvation.

Saturday: 30, 32 * 42, 43; Ezek. 39:21-29: Phil. 4:10-20: John 17:20-26
Sunday: 63:1-8(9-11), 98 * 103; Dan. 9:3-10: Heb. 2:10-18: John 12:44-50
HC: Mark 1:9-13; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Genesis 9:8-17; 25 or 25:3-9

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (Mark 1:9-13; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Genesis 9:8-17; 25 or 25:3-9).

***** Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012
From: Fr. Nigel Mumford+
Subject: Daily quote…
      I was having breakfast with Tommy Tyson and Francis MacNutt years ago. I was soaking in all I could about the healing ministry as they chatted. Francis was telling me about the time Tommy was supposed to speak at a conference. At the last minute Tommy said, “I am not going to speak, you are Francis!” Francis told me he was so shocked. He then asked Tommy, “What shall I talk about?” “Oh, just tell ’em about Jesus!” Tommy replied with great laughter… A warm moment between friends I shall never forget. I wonder if that is how the disciples spoke to one another? “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Luke 7:22-23

Albany Intercessor

Lent Reflection: Having a hard heart

February 25, 2012

A beautiful & profound reflection from The King’s English blog on what it means to have a hard heart.

Here’s an excerpt discussing the passages in Exodus that talk about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart:

There is an interplay between Pharaoh’s hardening and the LORD’s.  But it is striking that the LORD’s agency is highlighted more than Pharaoh’s.

What’s going on?

Well, just as a resolve can be hardened so can a heart.  Its direction is not changed, only reinforced.  This is the sense of the LORD’s hardening of Pharaoh.  You could even translate it, “The LORD strengthened his heart.”

Pharaoh wanted to reject the LORD and exalt himself.  And in the poetic justice of the LORD, He gives Pharaoh exactly what he wants.  This is the essence of God’s judgement – to “give us over” to our “lusts”, our “affections”, our “minds” (Romans 1:21-28).  It is a mark of our heart-sick condition that “getting what we want” is such a terrible curse.  Yet as Jesus says, all our fallen desires are death-wishes:

“All they that hate me love death.”  (Proverbs 8:36)

We are in a desperate plight when our deepest natural inclinations are hell-bent.

But the LORD Jesus has a solution for us.  It’s not in our hearts, for our hearts are naturally perverse.  It’s not in our minds or our wills, for they are ruled by our fallen hearts.  The solution is outside of ourselves.  A new heart – a soft heart – that is the gift of Jesus by His Spirit:

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 36:26)

Whatever Walt Disney tells you – Don’t trust your heart!  The Hero does not lie within. Cry for help.  Trust Jesus and He will transform you from the inside out.

Go read it all.

Lent Quotes: Pope Benedict XVI on “Dust You Are…”

February 25, 2012

In reading Pope Benedict the XVI’s Ash Wednesday Homily, I was very struck by this section – especially how the Pope focused on the merits of Christ, not any merits of our own spiritual efforts.

Thus, within the punishment and within the curse, there is a good intention that comes from God. When He says, “Dust you are and unto dust you shall return”, He intends inflicting a just punishment, but also announcing the way to salvation. This will pass through the Earth, through that same dust, that same flesh which will be assumed by the Word Incarnate.

This is context in which the words of Genesis are reflected in the Ash Wednesday liturgy: as an invitation to penance, humility, and an awareness of our mortal state. We are not to despair, but to welcome in this mortal state of ours the unthinkable nearness of God who opens the way to Resurrection, to paradise regained, beyond death. There is a text by Origen that says: “That which was flesh, earth, dust, and was destroyed by death and returned to dust and ashes, is made to rise again from the earth. According to the merits of the soul that inhabits the body, the person advances towards the glory of a spiritual body.”
The merits of the soul about which Origen speaks are important, but more important are the merits of Christ, the efficacy of his Pascal Mystery. St. Paul gives us a good summary in the second reading: “For our sake God made the sinless one into sin so that in Him we might become the goodness of God.” For us to enjoy divine forgiveness depends essentially on the fact that God Himself, in the person of His Son, wanted to share in our human condition, but not in the corruption of sin.
The Father resurrected Him through the power of His Holy Spirit and Jesus, the new Adam, became the spirit who gives us life, the first fruits of the new creation.
The same spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead can transform our hearts from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. We said as much in the psalm: “A pure heart create for me O God, put a steadfast spirit within me, do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.” That the same God that exiled our first parents from Eden, sent His own Son to this Earth devastated by sin, without sparing Him, so that we, prodigal children, can return, penitent and redeemed through His mercy, to our true homeland. So it be for all of us, and for all believers, and for all those who humbly recognize their need to be saved. Amen.

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