Prayer of Confession, Contrition, Humility, Dependency

Lord Jesus, I sin. Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for You and not for self, to copy Your words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into Your likeness, to be consecrated wholly to You, to live entirely to Your glory.

Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin.

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but You are substance, all things are quicksands, but You are mountain, all things are shifting, but You are anchor, all things are ignorance, but You are wisdom.

Portion of a Prayer from Valley of Vision – Puritan Prayers

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The Power of the Tongue

I’ve been led to do some study on the tongue, and thought I’d share some of the more profound verses with you all… They have been a good reminder to me.

2 Corinthians 12:20 “For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.”

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Exodus 23:1 “Do not spread false reports.”

James 1:26 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

James 4:11 “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.”

Leviticus 19:16 “Do not go about spreading slander among your people.”

Proverbs 10:18 “Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.”

Proverbs 11:13 “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”

Proverbs 16:28 “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”

Proverbs 17:9 “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death…”

Proverbs 20:19 “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.”

Proverbs 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”

Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

1 Timothy 5:13-14 “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.”

Proverbs 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. “

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Responding to God’s Pursuit…

A Message from October 15, 2017 – Message starts at 30:00.


Know Tom Brady? Met Lord vs. Know the Lord… Salvation is a beginning…

Philippians 3:10 (NIV) “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,”

Longings of the Heart – Love / Acceptance.  Image Bearers with Capacity for Relationship

Our Pursuit, which is the Pursuit of God, is the pursuit of a Person [priority, time Q&Q, communication]

Our Pursuit – a Response to His Pursuit – don’t ignore the signs… Man heard a flood was coming, so He prayed… Protect/Preserve me! caught in flood prayed for rescue [boat, helicopter, drown – “Where were you?”  I sent the warning, boat, helicopter]

God is always at work in our lives…

Sometimes it’s behind the scenes…. Esther.

Psalm 139:13–14, 16 (NIV) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well… 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

“Watch to see where God is working and join Him in His work.” – Henry Blackaby“

Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)  “… the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will“

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)  “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust” ― A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Our effort is always dependent on His “working”, therefore pursuing God as in “working out our salvation” is more about staying connected to Him, than Working for Him…

Philippians 2:12–13 (NIV) “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Are we ignoring the obvious movement of God? Like ignoring road signs… God is speaking and working all the time via our circumstances… Look for Him… [Esther] David…

A Story from 2 Samuel 11 – 12 [vs. God conscious Joseph]. See God in the Signs…

Warning Sign #1. Resting on your laurels. Coming off a victory: 2 Samuel 10 “David Defeats the Ammonites”

Warning Sign #2. Stay on Duty: “when Kings go to war”

Warning Sign #3. The Voice of Another: Servant – isn’t this Uriah’s wife…

Warning Sign #4. The Life of Another:  Uriah – better drunk than King sober…

Warning Sign #5. Your Strategy Isn’t Working:

Warning Sign #6. Your Conscience Convicts You: Psalm 32:4 (NIV84) For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

Psalm 32:8–9 (NLT) The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

“For Dummies” Books?  150 million!  With Internet, Windows, PCs topping the all time list…

  1. Ipad For Dummies
  2. French , Spanish, Italian…
  3. Small Business For Dummies
  4. Guitar For Dummies

“Responding to God’s Pursuit for Dummies”… Nathan…   [Confess, Accept via Worship, Fruit of Repentance – Comforted Bathsheba]


Our Pursuit – a Reordering of our Lives – Adjusting our lives so as to create opportunities to discern His voice, His movement, His pursuit…

How do I develop an intimate walk with God? Chuck Swindoll focuses on four practical actions that will draw you closer to God:

Simplicity, Silence, Solitude, and Surrender : Slow Down, Quiet down, Get Alone, Live for God.

Simplicity – Slow Down.  Producing the BEST Fruit is about reduction, streamlining… Eliminate the competition – Fox, Good is enemy of Best.

Simplicity: Reordering Our Lives [make space] for Him – worship, service [Fruit! Abiding, Pruning – fox=busyness of Martha?]. Abide [John 15], fruit inspection – best fruit.  Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance/Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control [over desires/actions].




Silence – Quiet Down, Silence and Solitude: Essentials for Intimacy [Get alone and get quiet] – Scripture meditation, Prayer,


Solitude – Get Alone, wrestle with God. Job/Jacob – “Heard, now I’ve seen”, “Lord is in the place”

Surrender – Live for God. Wave the white flag, say “uncle”. Abraham had everything, but he possessed nothing. Not even his son of promise. If God asks, what would you put on the Altar?

Luke 9:23 (NIV) Then Jesus said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Surrender / Submission and Service: Intimacy Requires Letting Go [Fruit inspection, best fruit, Gal 5]. Manifests itself in Love for others, Every Member a Minister – manifestation, +1,

The persistent Widow – Luke 18. Paul press on. Peter out of boat x 2; woman w/ issue of blood. Jacob/Job and the Persistent Widow.  Means of Grace: Prayer [Widow], Worship [David], Love Others [David, “least of these”], Serve [+1, Duty – David], Seek, knock, ask… Pursuing God. Prodigal Son. Matt 18 child. We knock too (friend midnight). When we love others we love God, what are the ways we pursue God is to pursue others. We are a hospital yes but we also are home in a health Club.

Our Pursuit – a Relationship with the Living God by way of the “Habits of Grace” . Tuning our ear to His voice by way of the 3 of the means by which He speaks to us: His Word, His Spirit, His People…

Habits of Grace – David Mathis

Pursuit of God – AW Tozer

Intimacy with the Almighty – Chuck Swindoll

Habits of Grace – David Mathis [Means of Grace, Spiritual Disciplines]

  • Word & Prayer – Acts 6:4 (ESV) “…we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

HEAR HIS VOICE (WORD) – God speaks, communion requires communication – thus listening. God not only spoke, He speaks.

Reading, Meditation [praying the Word; Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures by Kenneth Boa], Memorization


ACTS – Enhance your Intimacy with Journaling and Fasting –


  • Family Life – living the “One Another” instructions… BCC: Building into OA. Pray for, Love, Serve, Accept, Forgive, Encourage, Confess [+1]


Worship, Teaching, Serving, A test of your love for God is to examine your love for others. -Henry Blackaby

Communion – Meditation, Recalibrating, Remembering…

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God Pursues Lost Things

Message by Gary Coiro on October 8, 2017 at Bridgeway Community Church

Message begins at the 43 minute mark….


God Pursues – We are His pursuit

  1. As Creator, God Pursues

Genesis 1:26a (NIV) Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…

Genesis 2:7 (NIV) Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 3:8–9 (NIV) 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

  1. As Savior, God Pursues

Romans 10:20 [NIV] “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

Romans 3:11–12 (NIV) “…there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away…”

1 John 4:19 (NIV) “We love because he first loved us.”

Colossians 2:13 (NIV) “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins”

  1. As Groom, God Pursues

Song of Solomon 2:14 (NIV) “My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

Song of Solomon 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

  1. As Shepherd, God Pursues

Psalm 23:6a [NLT] “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,”

Luke 15:4 (NLT) “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?”

Psalm 23:3 (LEB) “He restores my life. He leads me in correct paths for the sake of his name.

Luke 15: Lost things.  Lost Lamb, Lost Coin, Lost Child

Hosea 2:14–15 (NIV) “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. 15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond [sing] as in the days of her youth.”

A Story from 1 Samuel 11 – 12

God Awaits Our Response – In the living room, at the door, on the porch

An Appropriate Response –

  1. Awe and Gratitude
  2. Come out of Hiding
  3. Make a Move
  4. Go fox hunting with Him

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Tracey’s Music Project…

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500 years after the Reformation

To express his concerns about practices and beliefs in the church, Martin Luther nailed written works, known as The 95 Theses, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. In doing this, he started the Reformation – some 500 years ago.  His goal was to reform the church, but alas his efforts were not successful; and thus, a new branch of protesters [Protestants] was formed…

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The Strongest Christian is…

The Strongest Christian is…

By Dr. David Anderson [Pastor David is my Senior Pastor at Bridgeway Community Church, Columbia, MD]


The strongest Christian is the one who is mature enough to accept those who are weaker. According to Romans 14 the believers who have a difficult time eating certain foods due to spiritual or ceremonial concerns were seen by the Apostle Paul as “weaker”. Those who were not liberated to worship on particular days or had a problem with special holy days were also seen as “weaker”.

Whatever the case, whether eating, drinking, celebrating special holidays or a myriad of other disputable matters among believers, the call to unity could not be more clear then when Paul said, “Accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment on disputable matters.” (Romans 14:1)

We are commanded to accept others without three prevailing attitudes.

First, accept others without casting judgment. (Romans 14:1) In Romans 14:3 Paul teaches that we must not “look down“ on others. That means, secondly, we are to accept others without criticizing them with contempt. And third, he goes on to say that we must not “condemn” others who have a different perspective on a matter as well. (Romans 14:3b) His reasoning is that “God has accepted him.” (Romans 12:3c)

Therefore, if God accepts someone else who holds a different view than I do on matters of conscience, matters of preference and matters of conviction, then surely I must do same. In fact, accepting others without judging them is a demonstration of spiritual maturity. The burden of unity falls on the one who is more spiritually mature. This means that the one who is less mature may not strive for unity or peace, but will work to divide, not even thinking about how divisive he or she is being.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1)  This is a tall order for the stronger believer! So let me ask you, how strong in the Lord are you?

If you want to test your spiritual maturity, try a different and less traditional test that doesn’t focus on how many hours you have studied the scriptures or prayed to God. Let’s not test your maturity by how much you serve or give. All of these things can be measures of our maturity, but the test below is seldom added into the mix. Let’s measure ourselves by the judgment/acceptance test.


  1. Do I pass judgment on other people because of their theological views by talking behind their backs or speaking about them negatively on social media?


  1. Do I criticize how others do ministry because it doesn’t fit my preference?


  1. If God has accepted a certain group of people, then why am I having such a hard time accepting them as He does?


  1. Is my Christianity about pleasing others to build them up (Romans 15:2) or pleasing myself to build me up? (Romans 15:1)


  1. Am I more concerned about promoting my preference and opinion than seeking peace, mutual edification, endurance, encouragement and hope? (Romans 14:19; 15:4-5, 15:13)

Sometimes it seems like the strongest Christians are the ones who are the loudest, proudest, and most vocal. But from these passages it seems to me that the strongest Christians are the ones who actually seek a spirit of unity, build bridges of peace, and tend to offer words that encourage others for their good. To me I am discovering that the strongest Christians are the ones who judge less, seek peace more, extend hope, and accept others because they themselves have been accepted by God.

At the end of the book of Romans, we are reminded and urged by Paul to “watch out for those who cause divisions” and even to “keep away from them.” (Romans 16:17) Maybe Paul knew that negativity is contagious and we might catch a critical spirit from others who cause divisions. He says that such people are “not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.” (Romans 16:18)

We don’t need to worry about those who cause divisions. We simply need to be aware of them and wise in how we interact with them. The bottom line is that our ultimate unity is found in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. The ultimate divider, Satan, seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. In the end, however, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under his feet.” (Romans 16:20) Notice how Paul describes God? The God of peace.

Where will God crush Satan? Under his feet. When we stand in the armor of God we stand on what? The gospel “shoes of peace” (Ephesians 6:15) In other words, as God’s children we are to walk in peace with the Prince of peace, doing our best to keep the peace (Romans 14:19; Ephesians 4:3) without dividing over disputable matters of conscience.

Therefore, ask God to strengthen you by helping you accept others and leave the judging to Him. (Romans 14:12)

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