Tag Archives: prayer

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

“Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things hath done, in whom his world rejoices; who from our mothers’ arms, hath blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”

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Now thank we all our God:

 

~For our beautiful new home in an established neighborhood in New Port Richey, FL. (Please make a note of our new address above.) This lovely provision is clearly from His hand.

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~For an amazing church family in Palm Harbor, FL. The body of Crystal Cove Community Church has blessed us greatly with love, prayers, and financial support as Alan has taken on an interim position. ~For Alan’s job teaching middle and high school at Grace Christian School. He takes joy in teaching Literature, English, and Spanish. ~For his establishment of El-Elyon Seminary in Bohoc, Haiti.

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~ For Cheryl’s myasthenia gravis flare-up which resulted in her having to resign from her teaching job. (She plans to continue subbing.) Yes, we praise him for all things. The Lord has used the time for her to set-up our home. We are seeking the Lord to see if it is His timing for her to launch her Securely Held ministry. We appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s healing graces.

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~For Joseph’s making good friends and adjusting well to Florida, he is having an excellent senior year and enjoys his job at Chick-fil-A.

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For Hannah and Daniel prospering in their careers in Atlanta, GA. For the Lord preserving Hannah’s life after she developed an internal bleed following what was supposed to be outpatient surgery.

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~For Abigail and Kenneth enjoying married life in Chattanooga, TN.

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~For the home-going of both of Alan’s precious parents and our dear spiritual mother, Pat Vitkus.

“The separation is temporary, the reunion eternal.”

 

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“He has done wondrous things and blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love!”

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Securely held in Christ,

Cheryl for the Lutzes

 

 

 

Mouth Wide Open! {A Prayer For God’s Filling}

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“Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10)

“Oh Lord enable me to open my mouth fully and receive what you have for me.”

“May I drink deeply of your ‘living water.'”
“You said, ‘Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.”’ ~Jesus (John 4:14)

“May I devour your manna from heaven.” {Food that You gave miraculously to the Israelites in the Exodus, after the food they had brought with them out of Egypt had run out.}

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
(Psalm 19:14)

“Lord, may I be so filled with your ‘manna’ and the ‘living water’ that is Jesus, that the words which flow from my mouth would be life-giving. May my strength be my Lord and Savior, Your precious Son.”

Seeking God

I felt the refreshment of the Holy Spirit splash across my face like the salty air of the ocean as I entered the main conference room. The wafting smells of an exquisitely prepared dinner delighted my senses. The energy among the women was palpable. I was experiencing my fourth She Speaks Conference sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries.

At each place setting was a Bible verse typed out on parchment paper and rolled up like a scroll. I couldn’t wait to uncurl mine and read the Scripture, which God in His providence had chosen for me, and the ministry He has called me to. I confess I was taken aback as I opened and read:

“…know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

Had I sat down in the wrong seat? I suddenly had an urge to trade mine for the unopened one beside me. 🙂
I thought to myself, “Lord, you know I have been a Christian in leadership for over 25 years, do I need a warning that if I ‘forsake’ you I will be ‘cast off forever’?” Then I remembered the words of the apostle Peter: “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” (Matthew 26:33) Peter denied the Lord three times shortly after that. The Holy Spirit gently reminded me of the struggles I had recently had, temptations on every side to return to the sins of my youth. As one who is born again by the Spirit of the Living God can I possibly sin so badly that I will be “cast off forever”? (Nope!) When Christ died on the cross for the sins of His people He did not merely make my salvation possible, he secured it. Not by works of righteousness which I have done, rather because of His amazing grace. However, am I above slipping in my faith and causing others to stumble? (Nope!) I knew it was time to humble my heart and heed the exhortations written before me.

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We “know” God by studying what His Word says about Him and by communing with Him in prayer. We are to serve Him with a “loyal” heart, not a heart that is lusting after the idols of this world. A “willing mind” means we engage with His Spirit, and do not serve for selfish gain. He knows our motives, as all is laid bare before His sight.

What about you? Are you surrendering your life and ministry to Him? Are you serving Him will a loyal heart and a willing mind?

Give your dreams to Him with a heart that is truly seeking His glory above all. In doing this your plans will not be cast off or forsaken, rather He will establish them. In the above verse, David was speaking to his son Solomon, who indeed stumbled later in his life. We must fix our focus on David’s “greater son” (Jesus) who came in the fullness of time, one greater than Solomon, who was faithful to the end. He graciously gives us the will and ability to serve Him as He desires, because He obeyed the Father perfectly and saved us to the uttermost. After all, it’s all about Him!

The Mercy Seat

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“And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat…” Exodus 25:22

I was gasping for breath as I felt the current pulling me under. I struggled hard against the waves, which only made matters worse. I frantically pushed forward, only to be sucked further out. I was fighting a force stronger than myself. Undertow. Scenes of my life truly played out in my mind. Finally, I began to cry out to the one who has the power over the wind and the waves. He heard my cries and the next thing I remember was moving in closer and closer to shore. I was in middle school swimming in the surf in Corpus Christi, Texas, when this terrifying event occurred.

If you are a Christian, prayer is one of your greatest privileges. So why don’t we spend more time at the mercy seat? Prayer is one of our greatest weapons against the attacks of the evil one, so why do we spend so little time on our knees? I say, because prayer is WORK! I love this quote by E.M. Bounds, regarding this essential discipline.

“To say prayers in a decent, delicate way is not heavy work. But to pray till the iron gates of difficulty are opened, till the mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens—this is hard work, but it is God’s work and man’s best labor.”

Friends, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords invites us into His presence through the precious blood of Jesus. Will we come?

We must first find out what the mystery hidden in the mercy seat is:

“Once a year, the High Priest took the blood of a sacrificial offering and entered into the Most Holy. He then sprinkled this blood of the sacrificial offering on the mercy seat for exactly seven times. God said that He would meet the Israelites on this mercy seat then. God meets whoever has the same faith as that of the High Priest, that is, the faith in His remission of sin revealed in the sacrificial system.” Rev. Paul C. Jong

Do you have “iron gates of difficulty” in your life? How about “mountains of obstacles?”

Do you believe that the One who parted the Red Sea can do the same in your circumstances?

I close with a stanza of another of my favorite hymns:

 “Ah! whither could we flee for aid, When tempted, desolate, dismayed;

Or how the hosts of hell defeat, Had suffering saints no mercy seat?”

Through Every Stormy Wind that Blows, William Cooper

So what are you waiting for? You don’t have to wait until you are drowning in your circumstances! Enter now into the throne room of heaven. Access is ours through the blood of Jesus.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Feeling “ALL SHOOK UP!”? Part 3

IMG_1690“Yet I will exalt in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”  Habakkuk 3:18 (NASB)

My nostrils delighted in the smell of coffee and Chick-fil-A minis.  The day had finally arrived. AWAKEN 1 Day was upon us! The theme of the conference: “ALL SHOOK UP!”

As I stepped inside the building, I paused as I sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit. He heard our united cries. Today (Saturday, November 8th) was going to be a good day.

Friends, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday…my health had been ALL SHOOK UP!  I struggle with an autoimmune disease.  My Myasthenia Gravis punched me hard the week of November 3rd. God answered the prayers of my warriors, and I was able to serve the entire day of the AWAKEN 1 Day Conference, sponsored by Church 4 Chicks. I had the privilege of serving at the book table of author and speaker, Valorie Burton. She and her assistant Wade, (who happens to be her younger brother) were a delight to work alongside.
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As one of the key-note speakers, Valorie’s message was on gratitude.  With Veterans Day and Thanksgiving being in November, what a timely reminder it was!

Friends, did you know that in the midst of the trauma of divorce, rebellious children, extreme health issues, death, drama, etc. we still have reason to rejoice?!

Valorie beautifully reminded us that though we grieve the devastation we sometimes face in this life; we ALWAYS have a reason to give thanks. We must acknowledge and grieve our hurt, but don’t wallow in it. Look up!

I contemplate the second stanza of the hymn, Sometimes a Light Surprises, by William Cooper. (Cooper struggled with dark melancholy.)

“In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue

the theme of God’s salvation and find it ever new;

set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,

Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.”

Dear one, are you saved from your sin by the grace of God?  If not, write to us to learn more about becoming a Christian.

Are you already a Christian but life is feeling “ALL SHOOK UP?!”

Open your Bible.  Meditate.  Pray.

“In holy contemplation sweetly pursue the theme of God’s salvation; find it ever new.”

Say with me, “Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may!”

On Thanksgiving Day enjoy your time to feast with friends and family, but don’t stop there! Go around the table and share your burdens and pray for one another. And please make sure everyone shares a way God has blessed him/her over the last year!