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Give us life

I saw this picture at an office complex. You can see my reflection behind Jesus.  I kinda like that.

I saw this picture at an office complex. You can see my reflection behind Jesus. I like that statement!

Lord God, we are grateful that You hear us…that You listen to each and every prayer that we lift up to You in this place and in our hearts.   Speak life into the darkness of death and prepare us now to receive Your forgiveness, grace and the new life that is given to us because of the sacrifice of Your only son, Jesus Christ.   Show us how this life works and let our hearts beat with the same pulse of Almighty God.  For it is You, Lord, who gives us worth because You value us.  You took on everything that is ugly about us and You put on all of our burdens on that cross.  You give us redemption.   You give us escape from the limitations of this world.  You give us life. And even though we don’t have it all together, and probably never will, You still look on us with love and remind us “that no matter how much time we’ve wasted in the past we still have infinite tomorrows with Jesus Christ.” (Billy Graham).   So as we confront the reality of the cross, let us remember, “it is not how many days we have left in our lives but it is how much life we have in our days that count.” (Ed Ly Stevenson).   Help us to live as You live in eternal grace.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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Turn Our Eyes Upon You

View from Downtown Las Vegas Container Park

View from Downtown Las Vegas Container Park

Lord God, we come here today and pray that You will remove the blinders from our eyes and ears so that Your truth can be revealed to us.   Thank You for “the miracle that something so small and seemingly worthless as printed words, written 2000 years ago, would utterly and completely change our lives. “ (Emily Timbol)  Let Your word reverberate in this room and in our hearts so that the truth of the Gospel would resonate in our lives beyond these walls.   Tune our hearts to be in line with You because Your love inspires us.  Don’t let us be numb to this life or to each other.  Open our eyes to see that there is a child of God deep inside all of us and that child will be the one who will see You face to face.  In a world that gets it wrong so many times, we have You, Lord, and You get us. You understand us because You created us.   You heal our wounds and You take our place at the cross so that we can be free to share our lives and our stories to all for the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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The same love

Chalk Art on New Song Church's Parking Lot

Chalk Art on New Song Church’s Parking Lot

We are here and we are smiling because there is nothing that can compare to the time spent in the presence of the One true God.   So open the doors of this place and our hearts by revealing Your truth for our lives because we are ready for You but You have always been ready for us.  We can’t ignore what makes us human with all that we had to go through and will have to go through.   Just remind us today that You do not sleep, You do not grow weary and Your light of hope never fades.  Everything else goes away but we are never alone because Your love remains.  Teach us to have that same love for one another by choosing to accept each other rather than just tolerating each other. Help us to go beyond the polite conversations so that we can see the details that the Creator has set in each and every one of us.  Please be patient with us because we are still learning that we are all children of God and that our differences pale in comparison to the gospel truth that we are all sinners and saints who are redeemed by the Son of God who lives and reigns in our hearts now and forever.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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Print Your Word on our hearts

from New Song Church's parking lot street art

from New Song Church’s parking lot street art

Lord God, breathe into us new life today and lift our eyes off of the daily rubble so that we can magnify You in this place.   Whatever circumstances we are in (financial, emotional, spiritual, or personal), take us to the place that is the presence of Jesus Christ.  Don’t let shame or guilt stop us from experiencing Your grace and salvation. Just make Your presence known and print Your word on our hearts.   Take away any doubt of our worth because the cross at Calvary shows the cost of Your love for all of us, and by taking Your first steps on this earth You changed our history forever.    Help us to see Your greatness.  Help us to hear Your word.  And help us to live Your love.  For “no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.  For (we) have every confidence that nothing – not death, life…the present, the future…nor any created thing – can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39).

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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If not now, then when?

From Northwest Community Church UCC in Las Vegas, NV

From Northwest Community Church UCC in Las Vegas, NV

Holy One, Emmanuel, God with Us…We come into Your presence today with prayers for those who matter most to us.  We seek guidance, comfort and hope in an upside down world that needs You to turn it right side up.   Today millions of voices and thoughts race past us but we need to hear only one.  We need to hear the Word of God speak truth into our lives.  The truth that is the sacrifice of the cross and the joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ separated us from our transgressions.  And as we confront the reality of Jesus, in our lives today, we need to understand that we are not defined by our sins or mistakes.  We are defined in Christ as children of the most-high God.   Let’s give thanks to Him because we don’t know how many more tomorrows we have, but we do know that we are citizens of heaven and not products of this world.   So let’s do something special…let’s do something great, right now, for God and His Kingdom here on earth because if we don’t plant the seeds of faith in Christ, so that others will know of the good news, then who will?  If not now, then when will we start to just give what we have been given?  We have been grace-sufficient for every obstacle in this life.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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On our way rejoicing

On Our Way Rejoicing

Lord God,  Open the window that reveals Your truth so that we can breathe in Your grace, mercy and forgiveness.  Bring joy back into our lives, into our jobs, and into our relationships so that we will be so overwhelmed by the awareness of Your presence, that we can’t help but experience the joy that only comes from knowing Jesus.  Just simplify the complexity of the world into Your truth: That the battle has already been won and that God lives in this moment and so should we. So as we receive Christ today, at this altar, let us all remember that He also goes with us into the world that He so loves and that we can only share what we have an abundance of.  So let us be full and overflowing with the joy, love and compassion that has already been given to us by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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Champions in Christ

SIlver Cross

From everlasting to everlasting, You are all that You say You are.   Jehovah Nissi, You Lord are the banner that we carry on the broken roads of this life.   From every victory and loss, You are the source of strength and hope that allows us to run to the only goal that really counts: the arms of our Creator.  We run this race forgetting that You have always been running after us.  Holding on to us and never letting go.   So pull us into Your story and let the Word of God cut straight through to our hearts.  Give us wisdom and comfort to leave our old life behind so that we are transformed by grace to think without limitations and to share the gospel without any hesitation.  Yes, there will always be war: war of the mind, war of the heart and war of the soul.  But because of the intercession of God’s only Son on that cross in Calvary,  it is the Love of God that has won the battle and we are all champions in Christ.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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Free to worship

Chinese New Year Bellagio 2014

Chinese New Year Bellagio 2014

So last week many people around the world celebrated Chinese New Year.  I love this time of year.  Living in Las Vegas, one might get desensitized to the array of extravagance on the famous “Strip” and it’s numerous casinos and attractions.  This is also the main time of year where all casinos pull out the stops and unleash their Asian marketing strategies with lavish Chinese decorations, events and concerts specifically for Chinese people. And with all of this opulence, it is so easy to forget how fortunate we are if we live in a country that doesn’t persecute us based on our religious beliefs. Now, I am not Chinese, although my great grandparents on both sides are of Chinese origin, but I am a Christ follower and believe that my purpose on earth is to minister the grace, love and forgiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I find it hard to stomach that there are some parts of the world where the Bible is illegal.  I find it very painful to accept that, even in the present day, people are being persecuted or killed because they believe in Jesus Christ.  Why one human being would harm another is beyond me, and I pray for those being persecuted and I especially pray for those who are doing the persecuting.  It is with this that I reflect on the following scripture passages from the Gospel of Mathew and John.

John 15:19-21 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent Me.”

Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11″Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12″Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”

Letting all people know that they are loved, cherished and forgiven is the most precious gift that I can share with this world.  I could not imagine being forced to remain silent about the salvation that we all receive through the intercession of Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection.

The video above is my favorite Chinese song known as “Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo Di Xin” made famous by Teresa Teng who was also banned from performing in her native China.  The title is loosely translated into “The Moon Represents My Heart” and the translation is:

You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you…
My affection is real.
My love is real.
The moon represents my heart.

Even though it is a secular love song, I see these particular lyrics, of this section of the song, as the words of Christ and how He loves all of us more than we could ever imagine.  His love was and is real and surpasses anything that we might experience on earth.  His love says that we have value to God.  His love says that the battle has already been won and that we can live freely, knowing that our salvation through Christ and the glory of Almighty God is ultimately victorious over sin and death.

His love is the foundation of my faith and the example that I strive to live by everyday.  That being said I pray…Lord God, Abba Father, we pray for those in this world who are persecuted because they accept You, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior.  Give them strength in the knowledge that they are not alone and never have been.  Comfort them as they grow in relationship with You and with each other.  Let the power of the Gospel and the truth that is Jesus Christ shine through every dark valley of this world and life.  We also pray for those who are persecuting our Christian brothers and sisters.  Let Your compassion melt away the coldness of an unfeeling heart and open the windows of their lives to reveal all that You are.  We pray that it will be on earth as it is in heaven, and that the true and authentic love of our Creator will be what binds this human family together.  In the name of Christ we pray all of these things.  Amen.

Gung Hay Phat Choy

Gung Hay Phat Choy

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Conversations with God, Worship Leader

 

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We have never been alone

New Song Kids Tile

Lord God, beckon us back to You and to the holiness of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.   Let Your love be the driving force that allows us to fully live this life by letting go of whatever happened in the past, so that we can set our gaze on the future that You have planned for us.   The truth of the gospel is the doorway that we enter into Your presence, so clear our minds and hearts of any baggage that would distract us from experiencing You, and let us be sanctified and sustained by Your Holy Word.  Take away any notion or idea that there is anything that we can do to win a battle that has already been won for us by Christ Jesus.   Let our lives simply be a living offering to the God who has set us free.  We are not alone.  We never have been.  The love of God alone covers us and seals us in His grace, mercy and never-ending love.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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Love our neighbor as ourselves

Love

Lord God, there are numerous ways to reach You but right now we ask that You bring us into Your presence in this Holy place.   We all have our reasons for being here.   We seek comfort, solace, refuge, encouragement, healing and most of all friendship.  Let us know that we are not alone and bring us back to You and back to the passionate heart of when we first believed in the truth of our salvation through Christ Jesus.  Unleash the truth of Your holy word and leap out of the pages and into our lives so that we can all experience Your amazing Grace.   We live in a world that says that there is no room but You say different and encourage us to dream with our eyes wide open to God’s possibilities. The Word of God is expressed in what we do with our lives and not just the words that we speak.  We are all shoulder-to-shoulder in the kingdom of God and when the world knocks us down, then we can all help each other to get right back up again and join the body of Christ here on earth.   Lord, help us to care about our neighbor…whoever and wherever they may be.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Conversations with God

 

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