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1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight [I say:]
4 The sorrows of those who run after [who acquire] another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being [my glory] rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption [Or see the pit].
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Praying before the Service)
How many times have you gathered together with the excellent saints of God to worship in standing room only and no one wants to leave? It began at 6 pm, there wasn't an ending time, but the ladies who baked the 660+ cookies guessed at about 8 pm. ~ 8 pm came and went. What... joy. How can just a mere word hold what the evening was. The ministers, the pastors, the priests, all stood to say what had been the Word of the Lord coming to them from the time spent praying, fasting for an awakening of the Holy Spirit.
One of the phrases drawing laughter was the phrase, "All is not right behind the trees." Living in The Woodlands, referred to as 'the bubble', there is a certain pressure to appear to always have our perfection on. To strive, to achieve, to be perfect. Not to be lonely, or worried, or afraid. Church should be the place your real self reaches out to the Living God. Come as you actually are.
We are a new Church with 200+ Church Family. We stood in our beautiful atrium, if we'd been younger, we would have pressed our faces to the glass, the parking lot was full, the Junior High School's parking lot next door was beginning to overflow. In awe, we would hear people say softly, "More people are still coming up the drive."It must have been repeated 20 times. We are thinking it was 700 people from 30 Churches. One of the Pastors said to Clark he'd guessed about 40 people would show up. If only you could have seen the smiling faces arriving at our door.
My friend, Dee, had a young 30-something woman come up to her and ask her if her daughter was Kathy. She used Kathy's maiden name. Dee replied she was. It was the High School friend who had led Kathy to Christ in High School. I turned to Dee, I said this is like being at Heaven's Gate. It created some real thought.
Can you imagine a more beautiful way to begin a new year? There isn't one. Jesus told us:
Matthew 6: 17, 18
But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
If you've begun this year in ways that don't please you or the Lord, you can still be part of this prayer for awakening in our area, we extend the invitation to you! For your area. Begin your own 21 days of giving up something or adding something to strengthen you. Prayer is the power of God; it's your fuel, and ours, and our bond. Our joy can be your joy, in the Spirit of God, time and place are His.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
My PostScript or P.S. is - later this summer we would experience the worst drought in recorded history. Our rainfall levels were lower than the deserts of Texas. Our county experienced a tri-county fire. 3 counties on fire together. We had firefighters come from all over, including Alaska and North Carolina. Many, many thousands of trees that were decades old were lost. And in the middle of all of this scary horror you can see home after home that was saved. The fire marks scorch the house - this is a tribute to the firefighters - but fire has an element of wind that cannot be contained without Help from above. I do not think these prayers for our community did anything but bless all of us during this time. Thank God and then thank God for the Christian leaders who brought us together for community prayer and fasting. It really was a very Holy and Awe-inspiring Evening.