<![CDATA[POP: The Power Of Prayer - POP! Updates]]>Thu, 28 Jan 2016 17:27:44 -0800EditMySite<![CDATA[A New Look at the Lord's Prayer]]>Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:36:03 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/a-new-look-at-the-lords-prayerPicture
It amazes me the disciples were present for some of Jesus' prayers. That He would invite them into His inmost thoughts, His most intimate expressions with the Father, is truly revealing of His character.

And His prayers were special and unique, because the discples developed a longing to pray as their Master did.

They also note something of importance: John the Baptist also taught his own disciples the principles of true and earnest prayer. How many teachers today -- church schools, Sabbath / Sunday schools, pastors, elders, mothers -- take the time to teach their little flock how to pray to their Heavenly Father? Jesus has left for us an example: teach others how to communicate with heaven.

The model prayer He shares both in Matthew 6 and in Luke 11 is wonderfully interesting. It is often repeated for repeating's sake. But then there are those who refuse to use it because of that very fact.

But if the Master gave it, it is good. So, in evaluating this prayer, I have found that every single genuine prayer humanity will ever pray will follow the model prayer.

We will be looking at the Luke 11 version over the next couple of weeks, so keep coming back each week!

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<![CDATA[Answered Prayers]]>Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:30:27 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/answered-prayersYesterday, I asked for something, and got something different. But I was content. Why? Because I know in Whom I have believed (1 Timothy 1:12).

A situation was brewing -- for a second time, actually -- and I quickly prayed both for strength and for God's prevention. I got a "yes". Now, the first time this situation occurred, I was literally in tears. I felt like a piece of my heart was torn away. It was a material thing; but I was very much attached to it. This is why I prayed for strength: I did not want to be attached so dramatically. At the same time, I was not interested in a recurrence. So when I got a "yes", I asked God, "Positive or negative?" I was afraid that I had been faithless, but my dad inadvertently reminded me of David's prayer:

"And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?" And the LORD said unto him, "Go up." And David said, "Whither shall I go up?" And He said, 'Unto Hebron.' "
(2 Samuel 2:1 KJV)

God said, "Positively." Two questions is alright. =) But be sure that it is done in the right spirit - one of a true desire for truth and a knowledge of God's will rather than doubt and skepticism. 

After I prayed, the situation began to unfold and I hastily but politely asked for something not to be done. My mother says that there was a misunderstanding of my words. But in any case, I was so shocked that I could not speak or feel pain that my request was trampled on. It was amazing! I actually was alright, Even after I overcame my shock, there was no heaviness of heart or sadness of soul. I was free. =) God had freed me from the strong cords that were connecting me to material things and had connected me to my everlasting kingdom. And He answered my prayer - positively!
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<![CDATA[It Takes Faith]]>Tue, 27 Dec 2011 02:34:33 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/it-takes-faithThroughout the course of this year, we have talked about a lot of different topics. But intellect is not everything; simply knowing stuff does not count. When it comes down to it, it all takes faith. 

You know what that is, right?

Faith is believing something that is not there -- like the wind. In John 3, Jesus gave this very same metaphor to Nicodemus. "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8, ESV).

Faith requires commitment without giving hard evidence (or, in some cases, it gives hard evidence for the very opposite of what is promised). Faith requires submission, humility, and love. It requires us to give ourselves up to the mercy of hope, and believe someone else's word -- with nothing to back it. Faith and ego really go well together, eh?
Anyway, now that we hace definitions cleared up, let's go over this year's focuses and see why they all require faith...

IT TAKES FAITH:
  • to give full fledged loyalty to someone you have never met, to someone who does not always appear to be on your side.
  • to promise your love to someone when you do not know if you will get love in return, when are not sure how long the love will last, or when you have been hurt many times before.
  • to know that you truly can be obedient and perfect in God's sight, and to know that His law is both perfect and right for you.
  • to believe in a story that you never saw, and to know that God does not ever change His law.
  • to believe that God would like to dwell in you and through you -- and to let Him!
  • to remember that God still loves you regardless of what you have done; to forgive someone who may never like you anyway; and to believe that God has given you true peace.
  • to believe that Jesus stands between you and the great Judge (you can't see them, can you?)
  • to know that your prayers mean something, and that God hears you all of the time.
  • to share a God you have never seen, and
  • to risk everything to do it.
  • to move to a place where your dependence is fully on God, like Abraham did.

Faith is a risk -- one that may leave us hurt. That's why we need the faith of a child: in other words, naivety, fully trusting all of the time. And if we put our faith in the right Person, we can be assured of fulfillment in the future.

"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:1-3, KJ
V). 


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<![CDATA[My Witnessing Pursuit]]>Wed, 07 Sep 2011 20:52:42 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/my-witnessing-pursuitWhen I first began panning out the plans for PlugIn2God, I ended up with this month's topic --witnessing-- as scheduled for September. It is absolutely amazing to me how God always works things out. Back then, I was not at all thinking about my sixteenth birthday: but God was. And so, a few weeks before my birthday, He gave me a plan. 

I was struggling with what to do for my sixteenth birthday. While I had initially resolved to be content with a Sabbath birthday (yes, the 17th is a Sabbath), I was beginning to doubt that that was enough. I kind of wanted to do something for my birthday; but my current social situation does not really lend itself to a party of any sort. So God inspired me to work on my Literature Evangelism honor for Pathfinders. You will see God's Providence here again. Earlier this summer, God assigned me four Pathfinder honors to work on this summer. This honor was one of them. 

One of the requirements for this honor is to choose one of the seven literature evangelism projects listed. I, not being a people-person, chose the seven option which read as follows: "Make a project of sending literature and / or Bibles, determining where to send the material and packaging and sending the material." After a brief thought, I decided to make this my birthday project! 

Yes, for my sixteenth birthday, I plan to collect Bibles and Steps to Christ booklets to send to the mission field.

This month we are focusing on witnessing: will you please have a heart?  ]]>
<![CDATA[PlugIn2God Focus of the Month: September]]>Wed, 07 Sep 2011 19:59:13 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/plugin2god-focus-of-the-month-septemberThis month, we are talking about witnessing. 1 Corinthians 3:3 tells us that we are letters for Christ -- we help to spread His word and message of the gospel. 

This is a new school year, and I think it is fit to make the following resolution: that we strive to be more like Christ, and in so doing, be His witnesses. Last month, we talked about prayer and having a working relationship with God. Others will see a change in us as we continue to improve in our relationship with God. This is being a witness.

You see, witnessing is not always about being in a foreign country or speaking out in your community. The best witness is the silent, but fruitful, life of a Christian. Why is that considered best? It is because anyone can do it. We all have the ability to be like Christ as long as we so will and move in His strength. If we can do simply that, taking up our cross daily, we can be a witness. 

The "Give A Helping Hand" (GAHH) page tells you some more about being a witness. The subpages also feature links to different ministries that you can support. This month, we also return to the regular 1-month Bible Reading Plans. I am also requesting that a passage of Scripture be memorized by each (these passages are listed in the "Walk With God" section). I am memorizing Revelation 14:6-12 along with the rest of my family. This month, I will also be posting material / links that connect the previous months' studies with this month in order to aid you in your sharing project. I pray that this spirit of giving and sharing will pervade until the coming of Christ. ]]>
<![CDATA[My Faith Has Found a Resting Place]]>Sun, 28 Aug 2011 14:23:33 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/my-faith-has-found-a-resting-placeMy Faith Has Found a Resting Place: My faith has found a resting place, Not in a manmade creed; I trust the ever living One, That He for me shall plead.

This experience with hurricane Irene was amazing on so many levels. The only other hurricane that I have ever gone through in Charley, but I was not even in my home state -- I was in Georgia on my way home. As much as I dislike change, I think that it is fun and faith-building to go through new things like this. Getting prepared, hearing the reports, tracking a storm that is actually coming my way: while nerve-raising, it was very exciting. 

However, the most exciting part of the entire experience was a prayer that I sent up to God. You see, my family had prior commitments, and Irene was attempting to drop in unannounced. Or at least without any concern for our bookings. I asked God to keep that storm away from us on Sunday -- we were planning on an outing with friends and such. I had all of these ideas about how it would work, but I really did not care. I totally trusted that God would do what was necessary. I had this complete faith that could hardly be shifted. I really did not care at that point what the reports said. I was trusting God. Sure, I had doubts: I am human, and while I would rather avoid all doubt, it happens. God strengthened me each time my faith faltered.

So I wake up at five to ten this morning, and I find that the rain has largely diminished, despite being so powerful less than an hour earlier. The weather report is saying that Irene has passed the area where my family and I live, and has passed into the upstate New York area. At this point, the rain has entirely stopped here. I am constantly praying for those in the storm zone, both past and present. I empathize with all of the people who have suffered much damage due to this storm, and I pray that God is with them. Even people who have been "lightly" hit are dealing with flooding and fallen trees. 

I am so thankful to God that He has answered my prayer, considering that we expected to have rain all Sunday morning and night. The only portion of my prayer yet to be answered is the outing -- let me attempt to convince my parents! ]]>
<![CDATA[PlugIn2God Focus of the Month: August]]>Sun, 28 Aug 2011 01:42:30 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/plugin2god-focus-of-the-month-augustThis month, PlugIn2God is focusing on prayer: its relevancy, its power, and its importance. These aspects and more will be covered in an effort to revitalize God's people by prompting them to connect with Him -- not just when we want to, not just when we need Him, but every step of the way.
As we look at prayer with the mindset that God wants to be our Friend, our Mentor, our Guide, we will feel more and more that prayer is not just a thing of the past, that it is not simply an emergency call system. It is conversing with God -- talking and listening -- as a friend.



PS: This month provided you and others with a four-part series on prayer (enough to last one month). While at the current moment of writing the series is not yet complete, it will be definitely by the end of September. I hope that you utilize and enjoy and share this resource! ]]>
<![CDATA[PlugIn2God Focus of the Month: June]]>Thu, 02 Jun 2011 18:38:08 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/plugin2god-focus-of-the-month-juneThis month, PlugIn2God is focusing on grace, peace, and forgiveness. We all need grace: for by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). 

Throughout the course of this month, we will be reading and studying about the significance of grace and its meaning in our lives. We will look at God's forgiveness and mercy and will recognize that we need to forgive others also. We will read and see the unsurmountable peace that one obtains from grace and forgiveness  whether he is the giver or the receiver. After this month is over, I pray that we all will make a conscious effort in the strength of Christ to be seek God for grace, mercy, forgiveness, and peace; and to then go and do likewise for our fellow men.  Get the Bible reading bookmark here. ]]>
<![CDATA[Praying for the Well-Fare of Others]]>Wed, 04 May 2011 20:35:24 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/praying-for-the-well-fare-of-othersAbout a month ago, a friend of mine became sick, and had to stay at home for a good amount of time. I knew for a bit of time that he was sick; but despite my resolutions, I did not text him or otherwise contact him to find out how he was. 


So, when Sabbath came, I was again reminded that he was sick, and me and my guilty self decided to text him Happy Sabbath. Of course, there was no conversation really -- he was sick after all -- but I did feel better about talking to him.

I decided that since he was at home with no one really to hang out with, I would text every other day (every day would be stalker-ish) just to check on him and wish him better health, etc. I also decided to pray for him (duh, he's sick; he needs prayer). But not just pray for him though. 

You see, the weather that week had been awfully dull and ugly. Now, my friend and I live in different towns; but I took a guess and decided that if it was murky over here, it mostly likely was over there also. So I prayed a faith-laden prayer: 

"Lord, You know how it's really dark and dreary-looking outside? And You know how [friend's name] has to stay inside the whole time? Well Lord, may you please let the sun come out and let it be bright and pretty outside so that he does not feel so bad and that he has pretty stuff to look at?" 

(Yes, sometimes when I talk to God, I sound like a little kid). 

But guess what? God answered by prayer! And not just on that day: for the rest of the week! I was extremely elated and very grateful that God had seen fit to answer my prayer, that my request was in His will. Now granted, I only know that it was sunny over where I live; but I had faith so I believe it was sunny over by him too.

My friend did get better that week. I'm not entirely sure how long he was sick, but I do not think that it was for very long. And as it turned out, he was very grateful for my texts and he told me that it made his day. I of course was not expecting that; he's my friend, I just want to make sure he's okay. But God allowed my kindness to be a blessing for my friend. I guess that even if it was not sunny over by friend's place, I was the sunshine for him. :) ]]>
<![CDATA[PlugIn2God Focus of the Month: May]]>Sun, 24 Apr 2011 18:16:53 GMThttp://plug-in.weebly.com/pop-updates/plugin2god-focus-of-the-month-mayThis month, we are focusing on the sanctuary. Throughout the Bible, there have been many sanctuaries: 
The Wilderness Tabernacle (Exodus 25-30) 
Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 5-9; 2 Chronicles 2-7)
After the Babylonian Captivity (The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah)
During Oppression by Rome (Luke 7:2-5; 19:41-44)

But one question that I think is often debated or at least pondered on by many Christians is whether or not the laws and statues of Leviticus still apply to us today. Do we still need to study them? The first letter to the Corinthians tells us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Are there not principles from the Levitical law which we can apply to our lives so that we may be pure and holy, tried and true?

The sanctuary serves not only as a dwelling place for God, but also as a model, an illustration, of the heavenly sanctuary, the plan of salvation. Should we not study the sanctuary in order that we might be better acquainted with God story for our lives?

I believe so; and I do hope and pray that by the end of this month, you too will believe the same. While we cannot cover everything about the sanctuary in one 30-day period, God has given us a guide -- that is, the Bible -- to be utilized for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction that we may be furnished unto perfection and righteousness. ]]>