The Power of Prayer

My mom lives in Lamesa, TX, and drives back and forth each day to teach at Midland Christian School, which is about a 120 mile daily round trip.  She has been doing this for nine years.  Over the years, the traffic on that little two lane road has become increasingly worse.  I worry about her daily and pray for her safety.  On Wednesday, after she had already gotten onto the Midland loop (which means she was already past the most dangerous part of the commute), she was involved in a wreck in which the car was towed and probably totaled but the airbags didn’t deploy and she walked away.

The most amazing part of this experience was the daily prayer email that had been sent out to teachers and parents that morning:

Prayer for our Staff
Pray this prayer over our MCS Fourth Grade Teachers today:

Christ Jesus, thank You for using ___________ (teacher’s name) at MCS each day to equip Your ‘little’ people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up.

Laura Curry
Judi Fisher
Rhonda Hackett (especially as she travels back and forth to school each day from Lamesa)
Cathie Lanham
Mendy Michel
Ruth Sheppard

The story became even more spectacular when my mom told me that that email had actually been written last Saturday but was not sent until the day of the accident.

James tells us that, “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV)  I have always known that God answers prayers and I have seen it evidenced time and time again.  But this week, it was driven home one more time.  Our direct line to the Father is firm and established.  When we seek God with honesty and purity, He provides for us in ways that are beyond measure.  I am so very thankful that my mom was uninjured in her accident this week and our whole family is entirely blessed that there are so many people who love her enough to pray daily for her safety.

May you seek God’s guidance in all you do and may your life be blessed through the riches that He gives to you because of your faithfulness to Him.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8 NIV)

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Look Out Amarillo…Here Come the Hacketts!

It’s been just over three years (July 2008) since Susan and I moved our family from Amarillo to Fort Worth.  In two months (January 2012), we are moving home!  I have accepted a position as Young Families Minister at The Church of Christ at The Colonies.  Susan will continue to stay home with Colton & Lynzie and will probably have the opportunity to teach music at The Colonies Tuesday-Thursday preschool.  In August of 2012, Colton will start Kindergarten…that’s hard to believe.

God has blessed me with the opportunity to work as Worship/Associate Minister for West Freeway Church of Christ for 3 1/2 years.  We have grown to love the family of Christians that meet there and we will miss them greatly when we make our transition to Amarillo.

 Our life has been incredibly blessed!  Susan and I covet your prayers as we prepare for our move and work to build a new ministry. 

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us!–1 John 3:1

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This Is the Day the Lord Has Made

I love this time of year.  The mornings are cool and crisp.  The afternoons are sunny and just the perfect temperature.  These are the days when it is easy to remember the beauty of God’s creation.  I love to look at the trees and see the changing of the leaves.  It is a beautiful time of the year.

This summer was another story.  Texas has endured record heat and drought.  The Dallas Metroplex saw a record 70 days that were above 100 degrees making it the hottest summer on record. We have seen some of the worst wildfires in the history of this area.  The fires that consumed west and central Texas caused massive destruction and devastation.  Yet, even with all of the miserable weather and treacherous fires, it is the Lord God who has given us this wonderful earth on which we live.

It can be so easy to get wrapped up in our lives that we forget to “stop and smell the roses.”  We forget to look at all the beauty around us.  There is nothing more beautiful to me than a blue sky with bright white cirrus clouds (you know, the light wispy ones).  And, have you ever looked at the growth that occurs after a wildfire?  While the fire is devastating, the new growth that takes place after the fire is so very beautiful.  There is no question that our Divine Creator set that in motion.

We have so many other blessings in our lives…things that we often take for granted.  We have homes that are both heated and cooled, vehicles that take us wherever we want to go, clothing for almost any occasion, and food in the pantry, fridge, or restaurant anytime we want it.  Sure, things can always be better but aren’t they wonderful and great right now?  How can any of us beg for more when we are so incredibly blessed each and every day?

God has provided for our every need and He has given us a beautiful world to enjoy our bounty.  Take many moments to notice the changing of the season and when it begins to get a little bit cold, remember the miserable summer and then be thankful because God always provides.

This is the day the Lord has made,
I will rejoice and be glad in it.

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Authentic Christianity

Authentic is a big word.  Webster’s Dictionary defines authentic as conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features; made or done the same way as an original; not false or imitation.  When a person is looking for an authentic stamp, that stamp has to meet certain criteria.  A replica won’t suffice; neither will a copy because the value would not be the same.  It would not possess the true qualities of the authentic stamp.

When it comes to Christianity, authenticity is essential.  There are far too many people in our society who claim to be Christians but they are anything but Christians in their behavior and interactions with others.  Too many times, I have observed people who walk out of a church building on Sunday morning and go to a restaurant only to make a public scene about the poor quality of service.  I have also witnessed cars on the freeway with a “Jesus Fish” on the back while their drivers cut in and out of traffic and display obscene gestures to the surrounding vehicles.

While fake Christianity causes a multitude of problems, perhaps the biggest concern is that these people give true Christianity a bad name.  After all, the word Christian means one who follows Christ.  When people of the world watch those who follow Christ acting in a manner that is inconsistent with what they believe should be the core value system of Christianity, they are completely turned off by the thought of becoming a Christian.  Time after time, Christians have defamed the message of Christ by conducting themselves in ways that are not modeled by the Holy One.

Peter writes, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV)  As Christians, we are called to a higher standard.  We are called to live as ones chosen by God and as made holy by the blood of the Son.  Although it is a higher standard, it is a standard of humility, self-sacrifice and putting others before yourself.  It is a standard of contentment, encouragement and joy.

While we live in a world where everything is synthetic and processed, people still want real relationships.  Non-Christians expect to see those who proclaim to be Christians to live in a manner consistent with their belief system.  People who are seeking a relationship with Christ can see right through the façade and they want no part of it.  If we are to impact our world for Christ, it is imperative that we remove anything that is unreal in our lives.  In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  I believe that people who are seeking a relationship with Christ are going to find that relationship through Christians who are actively living out their lives in Christ all the time.  Every time you step outside of that authentic relationship with Christ, you are not bearing fruit for the Kingdom.

Does your life model a genuine relationship with Christ or have you become a cheap knock-off?

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