Scripture Reading at beginning of meeting: Matthew 5:3-12 - "Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them. Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them. Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised. Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully. Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them. Happy are the pure in heart ; they will see God. Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children. Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires. The Kingdom of heaven belongs to them. Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted."
Prophecy: "My children, I love you. You are mine and I have so much that I want to give you; I want to give each of you." During one song, I saw an image of him holding his hands out to a little girl dressed in pink, very pretty. He wanted to show her his love; wanted to show each of us his love.
Confirmation/prophecy: "My children, I love you. I love you so greatly. I have called you into my kingdom. My kingdom is a kingdom of love. I am your Father and you are my children and tonight, I desire that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt how much I love you and how I treasure you as my children. I rejoice when you praise me. I rejoice when you come to me and I'm rejoicing in you tonight because you are here, because you are worshipping me, because you are acknowledging that I am your God. Yes, my children, I am your God, I am your Lord, but I am your Father more than anything else. I embrace you and I embrace you tonight with my love."
Scripture Reading Psalm 34:17-19 - "When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress, he rescues them. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all, the Lord delivers him."
Confirmation/Scripture Reading Psalm 71:1-3, 5-7 - "In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice, rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength; constant has been my hope in you. A portent am I to many, but you are my strong refuge!
Vision: I keep having the same image over and over again and that's Jesus in the midst of us playing a guitar. We are dancing with our hands up. We are dancing so freely. And the Lord says healing comes in the midst of rejoicing. We need to rejoice in all things. When we rejoice, the Lord is in our midst. And he wants to play with us. It's like there's a party going on and the Lord is inviting us to this party. He wants us to sing and dance and enjoy. I'm hearing the Lord, "My people, my children, my little ones, why are you so sad? Why are you so unhappy? My children, I have come to bring you joy. I've come to bring you happiness. I've come to bring you healing. My children, rejoice! Be glad. Be glad for I am in the midst of you."
Scrfipture Reading Hebrews 4:16 - "Let us have confidence then and approach God's throne where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it."
Scripture Readin: "Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven."
When we were praising and worshipping tonight, I experienced a profound image of God reigning over us and this kingdom that he has called us to be part of. He is the caregiver. He is the protector and he wants us as members of his kingdom to come to him and to trust that he will care for us in ways beyond we can ever imagine here on earth. He's grieving when we put barriers and when we doubt his love for us.
Vision/Scripture Reading - I kept seeing like a broom sweeping and sweeping and sweeping. And so, it's a lot of cleansing, I feel, that the Holy Spirit is doing in the world right now. 1 Cor 11:31 - "If we were to examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. If we are being judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world. So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord's supper, wait for each other. If you are really hungry, eat at home, so you won't bring judgement upon yourselves when you meet together. I'll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive."
I was thinking about God's love that's been mentioned tonight and joy and I thought back to last week's prayer meeting where at the end of the prayer meeting, we were so joyful, I did feel like dancing. After we left all of you, we were talking, isn't it wonderful to have such laughter and joy and I was looking at all the faces on the screen. Everybody had a big smile and they were laughing and that is the joy of the Lord, that's a mark of God's presence among us. And I'm just so grateful for it and so grateful, too, for being able to join all of you on Wednesday evening.
Homily on Matthew 25:1-13, The parable of the ten bridesmaids, by Fr. Ken Lao. It's a lesson of being prepared. Significance of oil is the Holy Spirit, the love of God. As we experience more and more the love of God, we will be able to love others. Rev. 2:4 - "You do not love me now as you did at first." They lost the fervor of their first love. This can happen to us. The Lord is inviting us to return to that first love. What is the significance of the lamp. We know that the oil lights the lamp. The light signifies good works. Matt 5:16 - "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." So, when we experience the love of God in our life, to love God and to love others. That love could be by our service, by our giving, by our forgiving, whatever that shows our love for others. The Lord is the light of the world and we are the reflection of that light. If you have lost your first love, you will be self-centered, instead of God and others centered. That's the significance of the light. The 5 foolish came late. They said, "Master, master, open the door for us." The bridesgroom replied, "Truly, truly, I tell you, I do not know you." That's the greatest tragedy! They could not enter the wedding banquet. The greatest tragedy is when we die or when Jesus comes again, he would tell us, "I do not know you." And because of that we will not be able to enter heaven. That's the greatest tragedy. Phil 3:8 - "Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus." God is giving this time to know him in a very personal way so that we will be able to love him in return. Every day we need to prepare as if we will die or the Lord will come again today. There are only two sets in the parable; one group wise and one group foolish. There is no semi-wise or semi-foolish there. Only the wise and the foolish. The question is are we part of the wise or are we part of the foolish?
Barbara - I had an interesting experience. I had very bad back pain for a week and I had to do a presentation on Friday at church at 5 p.m. I didn't think I could go. About 3 o'clock, the pain subsided enough that I could go. At 9 o'clock it came back. I got back here by 8. It came back but not as bad. I still got it but not at all like I had it. For some reason, the Lord granted me relief for 6 hours so I could go and do the presentation.
When we were praying last week for a lady who had tinitis - I was praying for that particular intention, it didn't come out that I should pray for that, what I should pray for was that she appeared very heavy and disheartened type of thing. And I prayed that she would receive the gift of laughter. At the end of the prayer meeting, I saw this lady laughing her head off. Earlier this evening, it was said that rejoice in the Lord is healing. I pray that through that laughter healing was received, too.
Charleen - As a result of prayer last week, immediate relief of problem in right eye and slight improvement in vision in left eye.
Teri - I really don't know what has happened but I feel so much lighter and so much more at peace and I'm not sleeping 12 hours a day. I'm sleeping 6 to 8. Don't feel as tired as I used to.