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A New Challenge to #ReimagineSCRIPTURE...

 

A New Challenge to #ReimagineSCRIPTURE...

 

A Prophetic Imagination

 

The Bible Is Not Enough: Imagination and Making Peace in the Modern World

 

From my new book, The Bible Is Not Enough: Imagination and Making Peace in the Modern World (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2023).

What is so clear to me today is that the world leaders and anti-leaders have lost their imagination. War takes no imagination. Peace does.

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Excerpt:

The prophets of the Bible cast powerful images of the future. Their eschatology is an imagination, and their images require an imagination to understand. The literalist interpreters burble on and on about international events and moments, fashioning each image of the prophets into a timeline of real events, in real history, in a real future. Literalism has no imagination. Not only do literalists fail to catch the vision the prophetic imagination offers, their fixation to fit the prophetic word to some modern event or person or nation has proven wrong every time. One could hope one of their own would stand up and announce they’ve been wrong all along and it’s time to abandon the literalistic reading of the Bible’s prophets. Such interpretations lack the imagination of the prophet, and so they blunt the power of a Spirit-prompted improvisation.

Prophets of the biblical tradition (Isaiah, Daniel, Jesus, John the seer) operate with a theopoetic and theopolitical scenario of what is about to happen, graphic in description, and then cast a foreground with images evoking an imagined future. And they do so as if the next event would be immediately followed by the end of history. The critics’ obsession with proving that the prophets got it wrong, because the end of history didn’t arrive, is hung up on the same literalism as the fundamentalists. Prophetic language is dramatic, fictive, rhetorically shaped imagination meant to provoke a response of repentance, justice, and peace. Imagination stimulating improvisation. Not predictions demanding closer readings of newspapers or websites.

Prophets stimulate a peaceful imagination. To enter their imaginations requires an aesthetic, if not an ecstatic, sensibility as their images turn words into vision as music turns words into sound. The prophet’s peaceful imagination is not a flight of fancy, it is not fantasy or marvel or even fiction as we might know it. The prophet is inspired by the prophetic Spirit to speak a word from God to the people, and so cast a vision for the transformation of society. Yet, a prophetic imagination expresses and appeals to the hope of the oppressed, the exiled, the marginalized. A peaceful imagination is a counterfactual of the present world. Imagination is required for what transcends the mundane, and few can doubt the need for transcendence when it comes to peace. Imagination is faith and, when a person steps in the direction of peace out of the mundane, faith becomes action. As such, the peaceful imagination is an act of resistance and becomes the natural language of dissidents. The words of the prophets are not so much prediction as imagination, but it is the kind of faith-inspired imagination that stimulates humans to live into that imagined, alternative world—or at least enter it. The prophet’s language is like the wardrobe into Narnia.

Among the Bible’s prophets peace is so broad one must contend that peace involves salvation and liberation, justice and material blessing, interpersonal harmony and health and economic justice . . . one could go on. Peace is an imagined reality that inspires a person to improvise, in her specific situation and location, a way of life that counters the way of violence and death. The reason we are stuck in the “humane” war and white Christian nationalism is in part because those who claim most to follow Jesus lack a peaceful imagination that can shake systemic structures of violence and war to the ground.

But for a Christian to form such an imagination, a renewed commitment must be made to Jesus’s kingdom, which in turn gives rise to an improvisation of peace.

   

 

 

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Anticipating Eternity

 

 

 

 

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You should look forward to that day and hurry it along—

     the day when God will set the heavens on fire

     and the elements will melt away in the flames.

We are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth

     he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God.

     So, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen,

          make every effort to live a pure and blameless life.  And be at peace with God.

                                             2 Peter 3:12-14 NLT

  

Scoffing skeptics are destined for an awful hell.

     Captivated by sinful desires, they conveniently deny ultimate reality.

     Assuming everything will stay the same, they ignore inevitable change.

     Living only for the moment, they forget death and judgment.

All the cynics have to anticipate is hell.

     Joking at My Word, they will not have the last laugh.

Believers in My Son can look forward to heaven on earth.

     Finally they will inhabit a tearless, painless, sinless, deathless place.

     Forever they will celebrate My Presence.

In light of the apocalypse of burning fire, pray in humility.

 

 

The saved are destined for an awesome home.

     Responding to My window of opportunity, they receive My grace.

     Realizing the urgency of repentance, they turn from sin to Me. 

     Rejoicing in My reign in their heart, they confidently anticipate glory.

All the arrogant can look forward to is punishment.

     Strutting in pride, they will suffer in perdition.

The meek can look forward to paradise. 

     Reverent before Me, they find the holy land beneath their knees. 

     Honoring Me, in My good time I will honor them.

In view of the advent of a bright future, purify your heart.

 

 

The sanctified are destined for absolute holiness.

     Believing My vow of a new earth landscaped in holiness, they shape up.

     Conscientiously obeying My orders, they are sculpted into My image.

     Yielding to My Holy Spirit’s work, they reflect My glory more and more.

All the complacent can count on is embarrassing regret.

     Napping in apathy, they will blush when My appearing wakes them up.

The devoted can look forward to reigning with Me and sharing My glory.

     Making a conscious effort, they will receive My eternal reward.

     Giving Me their best, they will bask in the favor of My smile.

In response to the atonement of blessed forgiveness, prepare for heaven.

 

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© By Pastor Johnny R. Almond                             

Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

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#Rethink How You Think About Voting

#Rethink How You Think About Voting
 
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How Would Jesus Approach the 2024 Presidential Election?

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For Christians, the upcoming Presidential election should not be about Trump 2024 or Biden 2024, but Acts 20:24 – “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”  You only get one vote for President, but you can cast countless eternal votes by praying, caring, and sharing the Gospel with neighbors, coworkers, or complete strangers.  Your vote for President only lasts four years, but eternal votes have no expiration date.

Christians shouldn’t abstain from voting in the next election, but our charge is to imitate Jesus, who refused to engage in partisan politics but never missed an opportunity to perform acts of kindness.  Vote for Biden or Vote for Trump will not be your only options in 2024 – you can follow Jesus’ lead and Vote for Eternity.

The Greatest Risk of the 2024 Election…

Yet Christians today too often get embroiled in heated political exchanges, even with other believers, particularly on social media.  Rather than fostering unity, we contribute to America’s divisiveness.  Focusing more on earthly power than spiritual power (through the Holy Spirit) makes little sense when politicians can’t alter God’s plan or bend His will.   However, He’s granted us the privilege of leading people toward Jesus.  Each Christian has greater ability to impact who’s in God’s House than who’s in the White House.  Yet we forfeit that right and lose our voice when we’re seen as guilty by association with a particular politician or party.

We’re still feeling the effects of presumed alignment with a church-friendly former President who alienated large swaths of our population.  Christians already face stiff headwinds.  Our ability to influence culture will diminish further if the tone of our responses to anti-Christian rhetoric continues to reflect anger and not the love of Jesus.  Losing additional ground may mean any expressions of biblical perspectives on morality will soon be deemed “hate-speak” and companies will refuse to hire those not disavowing those views.

Christians must remember we’re dual citizens of a democracy and a Kingdom.  Politicians battle for supremacy in this nation, but Jesus remains Lord of all.  Our foremost allegiance should be to the King.  Jesus doesn’t do battle like us.  He fought the culture war with a “ground attack” of love and compassion, not an “air assault” of dropping verbal bombs. Once His ground campaign sufficiently weakened resistance, He launched His air campaign – the Gospel message.  Following Jesus’ example would counter the prevailing culture of division and discord with powerful displays of God’s love.  Christianity has suffered tremendous collateral damage and some churches never recovered from self-inflicted wounds caused by missiles they fired at the “opposition”.

Yet many prominent Christian leaders still believe the path to cultural redemption lies in recapturing control of the 7 Mountains (government, media, religion, education, entertainment, family, and business).  They feel a larger megaphone (by occupying a position at the peak of the mountain tops) is the only way to reinstitute the Christian values our nation once held dear.  Uncertain God is sovereign, they seek to assert control, giving rise to accusations of theocratic ambitions and Christian Nationalism.

It seems the louder Christians yell, the less we’re heard.  To be heard we must be seen.  Espousing beliefs and opinions like everyone else, not loving and serving our political “enemies”, will drive the prevailing view of Christians and churches deeper into the ditch.  Christians have bemoaned, campaigned, and lobbied vigorously over recent decades.  The higher the decibel level, the greater the resistance to biblical positions on social issues.

Enter #CastAnEternalVote…

During divisive elections in 2016 and 2020, #CastAnEternalVote encouraged churches and Christians to think and act like Jesus.  The campaigns provided an alternative to engaging in political vitriol on social media.  We urged Christians to pray, care, and share about Jesus, casting votes that will have implications far longer than just the next Presidential term.  We substituted the “2016” in the typical Presidential campaign slogans with “20:16” (from Matthew – “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”)

Next year, #CastAnEternalVote will encourage Christians to put aside partisan politics and vote for (Acts) 20:24 in the months leading up to the 2024 election.  This Christ-centered “Ice Bucket Challenge” will replace combative social media posts with stories, photos, and videos of acts of kindness.  Many participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge because they knew someone with ALS.  Every one of us has a neighbor, coworker, friend, or family member who doesn’t know Jesus.  Not to diminish the severity of ALS, but isn’t the plight of those lost without Christ far worse?

Yes, Christians are called to engage in the culture war, but the most powerful weapon at our disposal is the Father’s love.  Each #CastAnEternalVote participant will use that hashtag in social media postings and challenge friends on Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms to “pay their kindness forward”.  Countercultural demonstrations of God’s love are the best response to an upcoming election that threatens to tear our nation apart and further vilify Christians.

But #CastAnEternal Won’t Help Unless…

Acts of kindness without heart transformation won’t make a difference.  Anything “nice” we do absent love is meaningless.  #CastAnEternal is not about the good deeds themselves but providing impetus for repentance and transformation.  Addressing bad behaviors (e.g. Christians lashing out at those on the other side of the aisle and lobbying harder for a candidate than for Jesus) goes only skin deep, putting band-aids on gaping wounds.

#CastAnEternalVote seeks to reverse the trajectory of our culture, something no President is able or expected to do.  Watching the national or local news, we’re frequently reminded how urgently America needs:

  • More love, less division
  • More faith, less self-centeredness
  • More mercy, less suffering
  • More grace, less hostility
  • More hope, less poverty

As the impact and influence of churches and Christians diminishes, the essential elements of Christianity – Love, Faith, Mercy, Grace, and Hope – leak from our nation.  Biblical principles like the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage, the importance of family, and the freedom to worship will continue to be undermined in proportion to the distance Christians put between themselves and those who don’t subscribe to our values.  Unless #CastAnEternalVote effects the following changes in Christians, we’ll return to business as usual when the 2024 election cycle ends and efforts to eradicate Christianity will resume, regardless of which President is in office…

  1. Heart Before Rules – The more we dig our heels in, the less we can connect with non-believers – and the less they can identify with us.  We must imitate Jesus who generously served and cared for those in need of help and hope.  Yes, Jesus holds His followers to a standard of behavior but those rules are entirely contained within His command to love (God and our neighbors).  Yet churches have surrendered their historical role on the front lines of compassion and Christians are better known now for what they’re against than who they’re for.
  2. Draw Circles, Not Lines – Jesus did not conform to social norms, crossing lines, including political ones.  Party and religious leaders took offense when He welcomed their sworn enemies into the fold.  Jesus reserved His harshest words for those who drew lines, demeaning women and children, the sick and the “sinful”.  We must draw circles as large as Jesus’, never compromising His Word but seeing past people’s exterior (appearance, words, and actions) to the eternal souls made in the image of the Father needing desperately to know Him.
  3. Love our “Enemies” – Unthinkable, scandalous acts of generosity would go “viral” and awaken slumbering souls to the love of Jesus.  It’s difficult to imagine a Christian conservative washing the proverbial feet of a liberal Democrat (or vice versa), coming to their defense when members of one’s party unjustly malign the other’s character.  Envision acts so radically counterintuitive that Jesus would say, “that’s what I’m talking about!”  #CastAnEternalVote is designed to activate that dormant part of our brains, voting for Jesus because no other candidate can save America.
  4. Die to Self – Few Christians grasp one of the most life-changing concepts in all of Scripture.  Dying to self means laying down our lives, our desire for power or prominence, and our need to be “right”.  Only by reckoning ourselves dead, like the soldier in the foxhole, can Christians maximize Kingdom impact and churches achieve biblical unity.  Jesus was first and foremost a servant.  True servanthood requires a humility not possible when any vestige of self remains – because humility may involve humiliation, but not if there’s no self left to humiliate.
  5. Demonstrate Agape at Scale – Love is also a misunderstood and misapplied term, not only within secular society but among Christians.  Brotherly, romantic, and familial love are typically not unconditional.  Our Father is the only source of Agape and it’s best exemplified by our righteous Savior dying for the unrighteous.  The more we’re forgiven (and we’ve all been forgiven much) the more we should love – and forgive.  #CastAnEternalVote is actionable, yet also educational – we’ll stress that Agape should be the “why” behind all prayer, care, and share actions.
  6. Knowledge to Transformation – When intellectual understanding (about God) meets with personal experiences (with God), transformation should be the result.  Transformation empowers us by the Holy Spirit to be more faithful in prayer, passionate in worship, loving in relationships, studious in Scripture, vocal in evangelism, and generous in giving.  Few churches push members to take mind-blowing steps of faith (which open doors to revelations of God’s love, leading to transformation).  #CastAnEternalVote will provide inspirational examples of faith.
  7. Talk Less, Do More – Jesus doesn’t intend for His followers to be complacent, comfortable, and content.  He doesn’t call us just to worship and fellowship safely on Sundays.  We are to be “church” all week, acting and speaking openly in the light of day.  Most of all, Jesus demands we avoid pride and anger in response to a world increasingly hostile to our faith.  But it’s far easier to talk than to act.  #CastAnEternalVote will encourage passive, pensive, private, and proud Christians to follow Jesus’ model of demonstrating His love and then sharing who He is.

The 2024 Presidential election may be the best (or last) opportunity for Christians to spark revival in America.  When will there be a better chance to shock the world by doing exactly the opposite of what’s expected.  Isn’t that what Jesus did?  Yes, and it altered the course of history.

It’s Your Turn…

Are you frustrated with the state of America and concerned about our children’s future?  Do you feel powerless to do much about it, knowing you only get one vote, for candidates that may not instill a great deal of confidence?  #CastAnEternalVote hasn’t started yet, but that shouldn’t stop you from being the hands and feet of Christ, making an eternal difference in someone’s life today!

The post How Would Jesus Approach the 2024 Presidential Election? appeared first on Meet the Need Blog.


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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Job 9:32-33

32 For he isnot a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.

33  Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.

  • Mediator between man and God (1 Timothy 2:5)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: 1 Chr. 17:12-13

12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne forever.

13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

  • To reign on David's throne forever (Luke 1:32, 33)
  • "I will be His Father, He...my Son." (Hebrews 1:5)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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GUEST POST: "Christianity is no longer the norm"

By Curtis W. Freeman

...research professor of theology and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School. His book Pilgrim Journey: Instruction in the Mystery of the Gospel

was published in September by Fortress Press as a sequel to Pilgrim Letters: Instruction in the Basic Teaching of Christ.

 

This proposal for reordering in discipleship isn’t an attempt to be “seeker-sensitive,” in the worst sense of the phrase, giving nonbelievers less to disbelieve. It’s a realistic response to our society’s profound cultural and political shifts. It’s a recognition that Christianity is no longer the norm and, therefore, does not feel normal to many of our neighbors.

We can no longer assume a basic familiarity with our faith that makes a sense of belonging, at least superficially, relatively easy to achieve. We must start with belonging in the sense of “faith as trust” in God and membership in God’s family, not belief in the sense of “faith as understanding,” because getting to the doctrinal affirmations is a much longer journey than it used to be. In post-Christendom, occasional church attendance is not a sufficient basis for making Christians—if that attendance happens at all.

Moreover, the disciple-making process is not about enculturating people into an affinity group of support and togetherness. It’s about cultivating a community committed to following Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). In a secular society, to believe and behave, we must be able to grasp that we belong not only to that community but to God who created us and demonstrated a profound love for us in Jesus Christ.

Belonging, then, is not simply a matter of church attendance or even membership. It’s a covenant relationship based on trust and commitment. It’s deeper than cultural similarities or consumer attraction to a congregation’s programming. It’s belonging to God and one another in the ties that bind our hearts in Christian love. It’s the fellowship of kindred minds. It’s bearing one another’s burdens and sharing the joy of blessings. It’s a common journey and a common hope.

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The Servant's Return

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After those horrible days end, the sun will be darkened,

     the moon will not give light, stars will fall from the sky,

     and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 

Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds,   

     with great power and glory.  So keep a sharp lookout! 

For you do not know when the homeowner will return—

     at evening, midnight, early dawn, or late daybreak.

                                                                                                                                     Mark 13:24-26, 36-37 NLT

 

     Contrary to popular opinion, the Creator will return as Judge. 

     The Lamb will become a Lion—the world will go up in smoke.

     Jesus’ shout will wake the dead—his trumpet call will be reveille.

     Heads will roll, tears will fall, and knees will bend.

 

     Keep doing right, no matter how intensely Satan tempts you—

          then you can look Me straight in the eye without embarrassment.

     Stay on the same wavelength with the Light of the world—

          keep away from dark, dingy places demons haunt.

     Stay on the same sheet of music with the Source of music—

          enjoy eternal pleasure of My company, not sin’s temporary thrills.

 

     The sun will be eclipsed by the dawn of the Sun of Righteousness.

     After constellations die, the Bright Morning Star will shine on.

     When human authority is history, the King of Kings will reign forever.

     My promised future perfect tense will materialize at the right time.

     Citizens from every nation will be privileged to be heavenly residents.  

     Believers will learn to speak My universal language of love. 

     Rest assured these good things will happen—you have My Word.

     In view of My return . . .

          Stay awake!  You do not know the day or hour, so watch your step.

               Live prayerfully—worship Me constantly with all your heart. 

          Stay alert!  Only the Father knows the time, so do not let it surprise you.

               Live wisely—think My thoughts and conquer the evil one.

          Stay active!  Lackadaisicalness and mediocrity betray your profession.   

               Live faithfully—work for Me with passion and energy. 

          Stay watchful!  The King will return on God’s timetable, not yours.

               Live conscientiously—make a conscious effort to be ready. 

 

     I may interrupt the evening of your leisure, bringing you eternal peace.

     My wakeup call may happen during the midnight of your deepest rest.

     Sunrise of an ordinary day may bring the dawn of heaven’s new day.

     Your morning preoccupation may be replaced with unending worship.

     Do not try to calculate the day of My return—prepare for it!

 

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© By Pastor Johnny R. Almond   

Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: 1 Chr. 17:11

11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

  • David's Seed (Matthew 1:1; 9:27 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: 2 Ki. 2:11

11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

  • The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated (Luke 24:51)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
There are two ways to donate:

 https://www.clsoionline.com/donation/

 https://www.givesendgo.com/yourgenerositychangeslives

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: 2 Sam. 7:12-14,16

12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

  • David's Seed (Matthew 1:1)
  • His Kingdom is everlasting (2Peter 1:11)
  • The Son of God (Luke 1:32, Romans 1:3-4 )
  • David's house established forever (Luke 3:31; Rev. 22:16)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
There are two ways to donate:

 https://www.clsoionline.com/donation/

 https://www.givesendgo.com/yourgenerositychangeslives

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March For Jesus

 

1 – Our 2024 “Share the Vision” video, Spanish Version, is now on our website.

            Marcha por Jesús 2024 - ¡Gracias Jesús!

 

2 – The  March for Jesus 2024 Informational Zoom Conference is on our website.

 March for Jesus 2024 Informational Meeting

 

3 – Reminder, our monthly prayer zoom the first Wednesday of every month at 1:00 pm EST.

 

 

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#ReimagineCITIES...Together Chicago

 

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Thank you for continuing your prayers for us and for our beautiful city! We are tremendously thankful for you. We pray that the Lord would bless you and your family this week for Thanksgiving. 
Please join us on the Prayer Partners Zoom Tuesdays 9:30-10:00 a.m. to pray for Together Chicago if you can. We would love to have our Prayer Partners on this weekly prayer zoom. 

Prayer Partners Zoom Link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/88659293151?pwd=56TU70RD1vNdMaWJ425t93B7wVP7sH.1 Meeting ID: 886 5929 3151 Passcode: gKsZ54

 
 
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  • Pray for our Economic Development Department as we collaborate with two separate individuals who desire to purchase businesses to provide jobs in our city and partner with Together Chicago. Pray that they would be led strongly by the Holy Spirit. Pray especially for divine favor.
  • Pray for Together Chicago staff to have a blessed Thanksgiving with their families and safe travel. 
  • Pray for our ongoing and growing relationships with both the Lily Foundation and Stand Together Foundation. Pray that the Lord would give us wisdom moving forward with the use of grants and developing measurable outcomes of our work in violence reduction. Pray especially for Jacinta as she joins our staff to assist in this goal. 
  • Pray for our growing relationship with Billy Evans and the Public Safety Department. Pray also for a divine between TC and Mayor Johnson. 
 

togetherchicago.com/economic-development

 
 
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  • Continue to pray for the Education fundraising campaign to be a success to see more funds raised for the youth, their families and our schools across the city. Pray even now that God would call forth generous donors.
  • Pray for Together Chicago's Education Team and Communities In Schools Chicago as they continue to host conversations surrounding a strategy to support Safe and Sound Schools and address violence in our schools.
  • Pray for our LYS Prayer Champions who are leading Prayer Corners each week outside their school, that they would be anointed as they partner with the Lord in prayer over their adopted schools: Pulaski ES, Clemente, Noble DRW, Julian HS, McKay ES, Jenner, Hanson Park, Ellington ES, Catalyst Circle Rock, Chicago Hope Academy, Brown STEM, Caldwell, Franklin Fine Arts, Peterson ES, Carlson ES and Beidler ES. 
 

togetherchicago.com/education

 
 
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  • Pray for the Chicagoland United in Prayer monthly meetings over the next two months as we meet and develop the agenda and theme for our CUIP Citywide Prayer event in February. Pray especially that many Pastors and Leaders would attend December's meeting as we will be making our promo video.
  • Pray that many would mark their calendars as the invite has gone out for the CUIP Citywide Prayer. Pray also that Pastors would invite their congregations to attend this annual prayer event with them.
  • Pray for the Chicagoland United in Prayer connection with the city's Public Safety Department to be even more solidified this year and that we would collaborate with excellence for no gun violence in our city through Building Blocks of Peace.
 

togetherchicago.com/faith-community-mobilization

 
 
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  • Continue to pray for the Gospel Justice Centers who have been put on pause: Maple Park U.M. Church, Uptown Baptist Church. Pray that the Lord would intervene by His Spirit to equip these churches with an Attorney/Justice Champion. Pray especial for Trinity as they pause for health reasons.  Pray that the Lord would heal Robert and raise up another attorney.
  • Pray that there would be an abundance of attorneys on backlog who are available for our Gospel Justice Centers and that existing attorneys would train someone up to replace them eventually.
  • Pray for our Justice Champions and their teams at each Gospel Justice Center, that they would be strengthened with divine might by the Holy Spirit in their inner man. Pray especially for Shannon and a family emergency. 
 

togetherchicago.com/gospel-justice

 
 
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  • Pray for supernatural peace over Greater Grand Crossing, Westhaven Park, Near West, East Garfield Park and N. Austin. Pray for an open heaven, with angels ascending and descending over this region. Pray especially for Austin this week, that the Lord would intervene between the two tribes that continue to be at war. 
  • Pray for the Lord to raise up a new Street Outreach Professional to fill the vacancy left by the sad loss of our brother, Marlon. Pray for strength for James and LaVonas as they fill in during this time.
  • Pray for Case Managers Tremaine and Shereka in Greater Grand Crossing to have an increase of wisdom, favor and discernment.
  • Pray that the Lord would continue to anoint our growing unity with other laborers in our city who are contending to make peace happen and an end to gun violence. 
 

togetherchicago.com/violence-reduction

 
Thank you for your commitment to pray with and for us!
 
ABOUT US
 

Together Chicago exists to be a catalyst for lasting change by reducing gun violence and increasing thriving communities in our city.

We catalyze faith, business, community, and government leaders to inspire hope and affect peace and justice in the communities we serve.

 

We focus on five areas: economic development, educational achievement, violence reduction, gospel justice, and faith community mobilization.
 
 
CONTACT US
 
Together Chicago
200 W Adams St, Suite 2950
Chicago, IL 60606
US
info@togetherchicago.com
(312) 332-5713
 
 
 
Who We Are   Contact
 
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Authentic Christianity

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Now, dear children, continue to live in fellowship with Christ

     so that when he returns, you will be full of courage

          and not shrink back from him in shame.

                              1 John 2:28 NLT

 

 

 

 

Be Christlike in your actions.

    Back up adjectives with verbs—I do not want applause; I want surrender.

    Christlikeness is a moral imperative, not an ideal—a must, not an ought to. 

    Do more than ask what I would do—do what you know I want you to do.     

    Walk in My steps and I will reward you with My smile.

 

Be compassionate in your relationships.

     I am the God with a heart—be sure you have one too.

     Loving keeps you near the Light—hatefulness keeps you in the dark.

     Christian love is not based on feelings—it begins with a choice of the will.

     Follow My example and I will bless you with My love. 

 

Be celebrative in My Presence.

     In My Presence, there is Light beyond shadows.

     My music teaches you to sing; My promises give you confidence;

          My grace strengthens your soul; My peace calms you in the storm.

     Learn My melody of joy and I will give you a full, rich life.

 

Be consecrated in My will.

     Physical pleasure cannot compare to the sweetness of My will.

     Material things are transitory—invisible realities last forever.

     Use possessions; don’t let them possess you—I alone deserve First Place.

     Treasure My friendship above all and I will give you eternal life. 

 

Be consistent in your devotion.

     Stay in step with the Way, keep faith in the Truth, enjoy liberty of the Life. 

     Trust and obey Me, whatever happens—prove you are a real disciple. 

     Keep traveling My road and I will get you home.

 

Be certain in your heart.

     Obedience is faith’s acid test—believers march in step with their King.         

     When you lovingly obey Me, I get personal with you—

          dear, not distant;  close, not cerebral;  Friend, not cold fact;

          Companion, not merely a creed;  relationship, not just religion;

          heartfelt passion, not head-trip idea;  treasure, not only a thought.

     Stay near My heart, enjoy pleasure of My company, and I will make Myself real to you.   

 

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  © By Pastor Johnny R. Almond 

  Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: 1 Sam. 2:10, 35

10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed forever.

  • Shall be an anointed King to the Lord (Mt. 28:18, John 12:15 )
  • A Faithful Priest (Heb. 2:17; 3:1-3, 6; 7:24-25 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
There are two ways to donate:

 https://www.clsoionline.com/donation/

 https://www.givesendgo.com/yourgenerositychangeslives

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The King's Smile

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The master was full of praise, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.

You have been faithful in handling this small amount,

so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

                                   Matthew 25:21 NLT

 

Good job!   You’ll hear these words if you do My work well. 

     Well thought is good, well said is nice, but well done gets My attention. 

     I expect you to do something for Me—not just study or discuss it.

     Don’t just sit around and do nothing wrong—do something right.

     I am omniscient—I see the quality of service and the purity of motives. 

     Invest time and energy in My work and I will commend you one day.

 

Good heart!   At the cross, I took your sin and gave you perfection.

     I am merciful—I forgive repentant hearts. 

     Trust Me and I will give you My righteousness.

 

Good attitude!   The Faithful One is your example—walk in My steps.

     I am the Servant King—be subject to My will and live like Me.

     Without Me, you can do nothing worthwhile—without faith, you fail.

     For every responsibility I give you, I also grant you response-ability.

     Go out on a limb—don’t play it safe on this faith adventure.

     I inspire and energize you—yield and you can do what I ask of you.

 

Good response!   Trustworthiness and dependability are what I look for.

     I am your Boss—work like it.

     Give Me your best effort—strive to reach the high standards I set.

     Shoddy work and halfhearted efforts are unacceptable.

     I am gracious—I bless you with strength to serve.

     I trust you—now do your very best for Me.

 

Good reward!   You’ll receive something better than a paycheck. 

     Be faithful in small things—invest in My cause and earn big dividends.

     I observe all you do for Me—trust Me and I will make it all worthwhile.

     Nothing you do in My name is a waste of time—eternity will prove it.

     When you stand before your King, all you’ve done, yes everything

          will be worth it . . . rest assured I’ll reward you with My smile.

          With this one thought keep going . . . living, working for My smile.

 

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© By Pastor Johnny R. Almond                        

Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Ruth 4:4-10

4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.

5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.

8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.

10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

  • Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us (Ephesians 1:3-7 )

.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
There are two ways to donate:

 https://www.clsoionline.com/donation/

 https://www.givesendgo.com/yourgenerositychangeslives

Read more…

Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Joshua 5:14-15

14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

  • The Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10 )

.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
There are two ways to donate:

 https://www.clsoionline.com/donation/

 https://www.givesendgo.com/yourgenerositychangeslives

Read more…

Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Deut. 18:19

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

  • Whoever will not hear must bear his sin (Acts 3:22-23)

.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
There are two ways to donate:

 https://www.clsoionline.com/donation/

 https://www.givesendgo.com/yourgenerositychangeslives

Read more…