Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Prayer Request Because One Day a Sower was Observed To Be Sowing His Fields...

A World Wide Prayer Request: One Day A Sower Was Observed As He Sowed His Seed.

Devotional Reading: Matthew 13:1 - 9

Well, it has been five months since I have last posted to my Blog. It has been a long time since I have found the time to be able to sit down at my computer to jot down some thoughts in the name of God. The long and the short of it is that over the course of the past year, I become more and more heavily engaged in actively participating in the Kairos Prison Ministry (http://kpmifoundation.org/index.php) here in the state of Maryland where I reside (http://www.marylandkairos.org/). From March 27 - 30, 2014, I will be going 'inside' Maryland Correctional Institute (men) Jessup for the third time in the past year with a group of 38 Christian men from across the denominational spectrum to share with the 42 in house resident participants, the awesome grace and agape love of God over a 72 hour period.

Three years ago a seed was sowed in me by a very good friend of mine who is now leading the team in. He told me "It would be wonderful if I would go to prison with him one day." We spent the next three days together and all he could talk about is how wonderful it would be to join him in prison!" I can guess what you might be smiling about right now because it was the same thing I was smiling about ...he wanted me to become his cohort, his confidant in planning in and carrying out some crime spree, throw our 10 commandments tablets down like Moses did at Mount Sinai, and engage in some wild (and illegal) revelry! I could tell he was being quite serious about his intentions for my ruining my life. I tried to laugh it off politely, ignoring him and his scheming. However, it was just too late.

I finally took him serious enough to ask him what he truly meant about joining him in prison. This is when he introduced to me the Kairos Prison Ministry program. He explained it to me in some detail. How a group of men enter into a Correctional Institution to minister to the residents there. What they did was spend 72 hours testifying to them of the love of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit they experienced in their own lives. At the end of the weekend, the resident participants had accepted the love of God into their hearts. To a man, they each professed Jesus Christ as their personal Savior! I was visibly stunned by this revelation. God goes into prisons? God's grace behind the razor wire? It was the last place I ever thought I would deliberately and/or intentionally find myself entering into.

I took two classes in prison ministry, and found that God was repeatedly calling out to me, talking to me like He did Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1 - 10) though revelations and His holy Scriptures. Then I heard someone testifying to their own 'seeding' experience and I realized, that like Samuel, my heart was captured by God's voice calling out to me: "Here I am, Lord! Speak, for your servant is listening." One year ago, I participated in my first Kairos Inside Teaming experience at Jessup (MCI J #1). It was the most eye opening experience in my Christian journey. My previous expectations and those preconceived notions about the residents were transformed. I witnessed the agape love of Jesus Christ wholly transform the hardened life of a gang banger, someone struggling mightily with their belief.

I went back a second time this past December (MCI J #2) and witnessed a 28 year old gang banger hardened by life on the streets of Baltimore, testify to just receiving a 50 year sentence, then instead of joining his 'gang in the yard' to continue his life of hardness, join us and then profess Jesus Christ as his personal Savior by the end of the weekend AT THE VERY REAL RISK OF HIS VERY LIFE!
This was God at work in the life of these men incarcerated behind miles of razor wire and high walls. I had never seen the like of it before and I realized that if I had not been obedient to the call of God on my life I would have never seen it at all and inspired to change my heart about the current state of  humanity, inspired to let God have more spirited access to my mind that it might be transformed too.

But now the big question I feel I must answer. Why use the Parable of the Sower instead of the more familiar and traditional passage from Matthew 25:34 - 40?  First: Prison Ministry is Ministry people might associate with anyone of the first three types of ground mentioned in the Parable associated with ground that is best left avoided. It is a difficult and highly challenging field to try and sow in. Most people would go straight to the types of soil that will yield 30, 60, 100 fold of God's blessings, will yield all kinds of very obvious and acceptable fruit for the onlookers to marvel and wonder at. But then I would have to call your attention to the third verse "Behold the sower went out to sow;" It is rather obvious by reading this passage that the Sower - God sowed His seed on ALL three grounds!

Why would the three other soil types even be mentioned by God? Would it not simply be that much simpler on the hearts and hands and back of the readers of the future to go straight to the easy soil to immediately get their manifold blessings? I mean who of us or the ancient Israelite would start their fields deliberately in grounds that are manifestly unworkable or more difficult to work at all? Mission
and ministry fields are no different than the types of soils mentioned. Some like Prison Ministry are genuinely overlooked because their soil is all rocky (high walls), or filled with 'birds' hovering around the prison yard stealing the hope of a life transformed by the Living Word and Agape' love of God. It is NOT mentioned nor implied by Jesus that these 'unworkable', 'undesirable' grounds not be worked.

This is what we are doing at Jessup. Working those most difficult of soils to bear a harvest of souls for the Lord who is Salvation for all who come to know Him and confess Him as their own Savior! With God's grace and by His infinite mercy we starting the seeding process of a brand new garden in the Maryland Correctional Institute at Jessup. We plant the seed with the Living Word of God. We water the ground with the Living Water of Abundant life found only in and through Jesus Christ. It is here where I am asking the Body of Christ for support of our prayer vigil which is posted below. I am asking that  members of the Body come together in 1/2 hour sacrifices of their time. One half hour in which they too may become participants in the preparation of the hardened soils (participants hearts).

Thank you all for your prayerful attention and consideration.

Tom Meyer



Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Every Man Shall Take For Himself A Lamb..."

Day 343: "Every Man Shall Take For Himself A Lamb..."

Read: Exodus 12, John 1:29 - 34

Breakthrough to blessing! Household Salvation! God has a plan for your family and neighbors. Your salvation is just the beginning of a great flood of grace that will sweep them into the kingdom. Are you getting excited yet? Why not? The good news of your salvation, your families, your neighbors is one of those occasions that absolutely must be celebrated with the utmost energy. God has given your pharaoh the beat down of his royal life. God has set into motion the time when your redemption, your salvation draweth nigh. Your breakthrough is now but a short time away. It is Gospel news that is simply too big to contain!

The gospel is of salvation is simply too big for you alone. You have a calling to bring the message of salvation to those who need help. You are called to bring the message of salvation through the blood of the Lamb. The blood of Jesus Christ slain for the sins of the world. The Lamb of God. Today, I am excited to be focused on Jesus as the Lamb. Jesus is the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Even before God began to construct creation, he made provision for the sins of a fallen race. He made provision for a Lamb for you, me, all of our families, and our neighbors. Come one! Come all! There is a Lamb for everyone!

Fasten your seat belts everybody. This is about to get even more exciting (if that were possible). God "himself" provided the lamb. The word "himself" is so significant. God "himself" sent his own lamb to die for the sins of this world. This sacrifice came from Him. It was no accident that God distracted Abraham to see the ram was in the thicket. God provided the sacrifice. Just as Abraham offered his only son, so too, God himself provided the sacrifice of His one and only son on our behalf. It was no accident that God wanted us to see the ram too. A free offer of salvation is no accident. God is inviting each of us to make a choice!

Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation. He is God’s Lamb offered for the sins of the world. However, Jesus’ blood saves only when it is applied to our lives. For those who reject the blood, even the Lamb of God cannot save them. If you want to experience freedom from bondage and avoid the sure judgment of God, the Lamb’s blood must be applied over the door of your heart. When God looks down from heaven, the only thing that matters is that he sees the blood of the Lamb applied to the doorposts of your heart. When you know the Lamb, you will follow Him! You will boldly declare; "behold the Lamb of God...."

Let Us Pray: Lord God, Open mine eyes that I may see the Lamb of God who came for me. Open mine heart that I may finally receive the truest depths of His message of salvation through the sight of His blood which was shed for me. Open mine mouth that I may declare before mankind that there is for them an avenue for breakthrough to Your divine blessings, a true path to salvation for all. Every man must make a choice. "Every man shall take for himself a Lamb..." "As Every man must pour out upon his heart the life blood of the Lamb." Every man must also paint the doorways of his heart with the life blood of the Lamb.

The Stand - Hillsong
The Stand - Hillsong The full lyrics are in the video. ---------------------------------------- I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned In
The Stand - Hillsong
The Stand - Hillsong The full lyrics are in the video. ---------------------------------------- I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned In

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 342: “I Have Been A Sojourner In A Foreign Land.”

Day 342: “I Have Been A Sojourner In A Foreign Land.”

Read: Exodus 2:11 - 23

In difficult times difficult people tend to think with great difficulty. When times get genuinely tough some pretty wild and strange things can happen to the gifted quick witted quicker thinking quickest acting mind. Something happens and there just never seems to be any real answer for why this takes place. The usual daily walk of "me, myself and I" suddenly becomes face to face with the reality of the brick wall you never paid any attention to before. Smack! All of a sudden your life is flat on its backside. You look up with that "deer in the head light look" A Revelation has struck! "I have been a sojourner in a foreign land!"

"You are no longer in Kansas!" "This is no longer your parents home!" "The time has come to sow your own wild oats!" "Go West young man!" However it is for you, however you cliche' it, all of a sudden you wake up and discover that it is now time to establish yourself in the world and too in God's kingdom. What an adjustment! What a transition! What a transformation! Off to College. Off to a new job in a new market. Off to Military Basic Training. Relationships are falling apart, marriages are in the painful throws of separation and divorce. Loved ones
are at great risk of dying in wars on foreign soil. Workers are being furloughed.

God never promised us a life of ease. We had trouble even before we believed, and it is entirely possible that the sum total of our trouble may exponentially increase by many orders of magnitude. You have probably noticed that. It is not an obscure fact about this world. The sudden or subtle arrival of trials will absolutely complicate our lives and this pain, not being prejudice, touches each of us. Sometimes that gets discouraging. I will sometimes get locked into the notion that God is not "in Kansas anymore!" When we are muddling and sojourning through the foreign lands of hardships, and more hardships strikes, we often lose heart, losing our sight of God's heart.

It can feel incredibly overwhelming. But please do not lose heart. We were not redeemed by God from our sojourn in Egypt for a life of comfort. At least not yet. The world and its troubles cannot crush the Holy Spirit within you. It tries, but it can never be successful. It is simply impossible for the temporary things of this life to overcome the eternal things of God. For the finite to overcome the infinite, the eternal or for the darkness to overcome, shroud the glory of God. When trials suddenly or subtly strikes us at our weakest points, God does not leave us stranded to sojourn in foreign lands. God's might shall lead us through!

Let Us Pray: Psalm 121


Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 341: "So That Your Ox And Your Donkey May Rest,"

Day 341: "So That Your Ox And Your Donkey May Rest,"

Read: Exodus 23:10 - 12

Well, it has been a couple of weeks since I have written anything. It has been a tough couple of weeks to say the least. I have had to fight a hard bronchitis that kept me doing more coughing than sleeping. Sleep was coming at quite a premium so I just chose to take care of myself which was something quite the challenge to do. I enjoy immensely this opportunity to bring these insights to you from God's Hebrew Scriptures. Under the previous conditions which I had compelled myself to write, I had pushed myself hard each day to get up every morning to study and write. Well, sometimes the ox and the donkey need rest.

I think I have something, but I will be painting in broad strokes so if it does not apply to you then you can simply just pray for the rest of us because I believe it will eventually apply to many who will come to read here today. Not just for today, I would like to remind you of the importance of SABBATH REST, specifically it is the importance of taking one Sabbath day rest in seven as our Scripture text is recommending. I want to encourage you to give it a rest. I want to encourage you very strongly to give yourself permission to give yourself a much needed rest from the circumstances in your life you are trying so desperately hard to stay on top of.

I want you to prayerfully consider Exodus chapter 23 because it reveals to us the divinely practical wisdom of SABBATH rest as part of specific Old Testament covenant responsibilities. Since God rested after his work, he desires people to rest after their work. The biblical view of the Sabbath rest therefore strongly emphasizes God’s love and care for human beings. This recalls Jesus’ teaching that "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). Can you see the limitless depths of the love of God for us as expressed in the creation rhythm of work six days and rest the seventh? Now, to what limitless depths do you love you?

Our Lord is concerned about our physical and emotional well-being just as he is deeply concerned for our spiritual well-being. The land and the oxen and the donkey and the slave and indeed we ourselves are created in such a way that we need to rest one day in seven that we MAY BE REFRESHED. This is not advice that any one of us will be quick to listen to, probably even slower to actually take it to heart and just do it. So, to all those engaging readers out there who have ears to hear, choosing to go beyond just listening to God's, Word, my friendly, my non-binding, my non-legalistic, regular guy advice; Give an Ox (you) a REST!

Let Us Pray: I awaken this day in the Light of God’s sacred love. God, this day I renew my dedication to serve You by holding up this love as my highest value. Only God’s love is holy. Only God’s love is sacred. Let me renew my devotion to the sacred every day. Let me remember the sacredness of this moment and to treasure every moment as an open invitation to experience God’s unfailing love. Lord God, call out for me when I am tired. Lord God, shout out for me above the deafening din of my circumstances let me take my Sabbath's rest with You.

Resting Place - Brian Doerksen (Lyrics)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 340: "...That He May Minister As Priest To Me."

Day 340: "...That He May Minister As Priest To Me."

Read: Exodus 28, John 15:12 - 17

Straight is the gate and narrow is the way and few there be that find it. Ponder that statement for a moment. Just sit still for a time to consider the depth of what that is saying to you as you walk your walk and talk your talk. This devotion, based on the entrance of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies explores the question, What are the requirements for entering the presence of God? What are the requirements for going where few have ever gone before? God had established a “Tent of Meeting” where he would come down, dwell in the midst of his chosen people. Every part of that building is designed by God. So, who then may enter that he may minister as Priest to me?

Consider the breadth of what is being described throughout Exodus 28. Moses wrote down in breathtaking detail every single part of that building which was designed by God, who, inspired Moses to write down even the minutest detail of how it was to be built, of the materials that were to be used, the manner in which the all of work was to be completed. Our God is a God of order and everything he does is meticulously planned and executed. He leaves nothing left to chance, nothing to be questioned, nothing is left unfinished. God is in all the details of our life. Repeat that phrase over and over. Let it sink in deeper than ever before. Why? God has chosen us to minister as His Priests!

God is the one who chose to come to sinful man, not the other way around. Man had no thought of God and, even if the Children of Israel had desired to approach God’s presence, there was simply no way to enter into his spiritual realm, meet his highest demands for holiness and righteousness. Man had zero chance to get close to God. I am personally "put through the floor" with disappointment when I read all of the "fine print" of this chapter. With such exacting detail, such an impossibly high standard of appearance, such a rich array of clothes that I could never hope to afford in several lifetimes. How may the ordinary everyday person ever hope to enter into God's presence?

The Good News! God came to us. God continues to come to us. It was God’s mercy, God's grace and God's love that brought about the establishment of a “Tent of Meeting” where he could come to dwell and commune with man whom God had created to worship, love and serve God. God chose the Israelites just as God is still choosing people to serve him today. God is still “Looking for a Few Good Men”; not good in the sense of holy or righteous, or deserving of his grace, for not one of us will ever be worthy. God is looking for a “good man” in the sense that He's looking for a man who'll allow God to dwell within, desiring us to become as much like God as a human being can become.

Let Us Pray: Psalm 8 ... "When I consider Your heavens, the works of Your fingers,... What is man that You take though of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!... O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth! Amen

A Few Good Men live w/ Lyrics - Various Artists
Various Christian Artists singing on a Grand Reunion with Gaither, Steve Green, etc.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 339: "Thus His Hands Were Steady Until The Sun Set."

Day 339: "Thus His Hands Were Steady Until The Sun Set."

Read: Exodus 17:8 - 20

Well, it is sorta good to be back. I have spent the last four days on vacation with my wife. I took no computer with me and neither did she. What a truly glorious and blessed time it was. Her and her intense devotion to her school work and my own intense devotion to bringing the Word of God to the breadth of the world community who are drawn by God to read and give consideration to it. It was quite the adjustment to be without our technology, our link to the rest of the world and we did miss it to some degree. What we both really needed was a time of intense devotion to ourselves and utmost to our God. What we really needed was a break from life, we needed husband and wife time. We needed husband, wife and God time. We needed to re-experience, re-share with each other God's love for us!

Our lives are so busy that often times we will feel like we are neglecting what is most important like our times of communication with God. Our husband and wife time, our prayer time with each other, our devotion to our prayer and share relationship with God are matters of the highest priority to us. However, life and school and a host of
other things, other distractions kept becoming inserted into the middle of it. We could feel it. We could could share it. We could pray about it. However, the opportunity to do anything about was remarkably fleeting. Times never quite meshed. Truth be told today, four days ago, I was not as devoted to prayer as I would like to or should be.

Perhaps this devotion has more application to me than it does to anyone, because many times I am speaking to myself. I do not dare to pretend to share what I share and claim to have it all figured out or mastered. I do believe that God answers prayer still today. I truly believe that people’s lives and hearts can be transformed through prayer. I do believe that our world can be turned right side up through prayer, but why is that we don’t always pray like we should. Perhaps why prayer is so much a difficult thing; because it is a very unnatural thing. Like in the Scripture passage today, Moses could not keep his hands steady until the sun set. Like Moses, our arms get too tired.

In much the same way that Aaron and Hur chose to devote themselves to holding up Moses’ arms resulting in victory, when the people of God choose to devote to lifting up theirs and each others arms and voices in prayer, when the people of God choose to take the time away from the battle raging front of them to supporting each others arms, helping them keep their arms and hands steady until the sun set and beyond, their enemies have no chance to win. The Bible never gives us a specific command for how much time we should spend in prayer. The closest we come is when it says, “pray without ceasing”. It's time well spent as God steady's our arms through prayer.

Let Us Pray: Psalm 66


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 338: “Fear Not, Stand Firm, And See The Salvation Of The Lord,..."

Day 338: “Fear Not, Stand Firm, And See The Salvation Of The Lord,..."

Read: Exodus 14:10 - 15

The children of Israel have just been delivered from the strong, oppressive hand of Pharaoh. God with a mighty deliverance has brought them out of Egypt the land of slavery and oppression. They had started their journey energized with high hopes and higher yet perhaps more somber expectations toward the land that God had promised. They have marched only a few days and suddenly they seem to be stopped in their journey. They have encamped by the sea. Before them is the great Red Sea, on one side of them is a mountain, behind them are Pharaoh and his army closing in fast. On the surface it seems they're hopelessly trapped, apparently there was no way out.

But in the midst of chaos and confusion (isn't there always a lot of this going around?) the people come to Moses and begin to cry out to him, and as they cry to him Moses goes to God and he says God, what do you want me to do? They are getting ready to stone me, what in the world do you want me to do? Nowhere to go! The only answer
in front of you is drowning in the sea of chaos and confusion and we know that is not an option for obvious reasons. What do we do? Turn around, go back to where we came from saying "Well, at least I had something to look forward to, however bad it was for me?" "Fear not, Stand firm, Look forward, and See the Salvation of the Lord!"

Israel had trusted God for their deliverance but not for their circumstances. But this is not new. David despaired and said, “I will perish one day at the hands of Saul.” Elijah hid in a cave and asked to die (1 Kings 19:4). If we are Christians, we have trusted him to save us from sin but all too often we wont trust him with our circumstances.
There are lots of things that cause us not to trust. We are diagnosed with a disease for which treatment requires making major life altering decisions or there is no cure. We have more month that we do money, we get behind on paying the bills. We have a child who is more about rebellion. We loose our job. So, just where is our trust in God placed?

God tells Moses, there's not but one thing to do, get up and GO FORWARD! I did not bring you out to take you back; I didn’t bring you out to leave you now. I didn’t bring you out to camp here, this is not the land I promised you. There is so much more!! There is nothing to go back to. All that is left is to GO FORWARD! The Lord would tell us today, there is nothing to go back to. If you go back you will be destroyed or have to return to slavery. If you do not pull up stakes now you will probably be destroyed. The best thing for you to do is GO FORWARD! Set your eyes upon the impassable sea and GO FORWARD! “Fear Not, Stand Firm, And Witness The Salvation Of The Lord..."

Let Us Pray: (Psalm 27:3 - 6) "Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident. One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord." In Jesus' name, Amen!

Where I belong- Building 429 lyrics
No copyright infringement intended. Just a fan-made video. Love this song and the band. One of my new favorite songs! For this world is not our