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August 1, 2020

“Play Ball” Team FBCS!

“Play Ball” Team FBCS! Evening Prayers for the Month of August While We Miss the American Legion World Series in 2020

Shelby, NC is Home to the American Legion World Series Annual Tournament

It’s August and it has become the joy of our community to host the American Legion World Series at Keeter Stadium in Shelby. So many of our FBC members provide the leadership and the vision for this community emphasis that builds on our sports heritage in Cleveland County.  Sadly, this year, we will miss gathering together to watch this national tournament in our hometown.  Even so, we are thankful for all the hard work that goes into the tournament.  Maybe we will not hear “play ball” from the press box announcer at Veterans Field but we will hear God’s voice calling us to come out of the dugouts of our homes to play our part in the sharing of the Gospel in Shelby. 

Here’s a devotional guide to encourage your “evening prayers” during August: 

Sunday– Here’s the PITCH”

“David said it all: I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side. I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.”Acts 2:22-28, The Message (from Peter’s sermon on Pentecost) 

Father, because the struggles I experienced today continue to weigh on my heart and mind as night approaches, please help me to “pitch” my tent in the land of hope where the assurance of your presence leads me on. Amen.  

Monday– “It’s a HIT”

“I took another walk around the neighborhood and realized that on this earth as it is— The race is not always to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor satisfaction to the wise, Nor riches to the smart, Nor grace to the learned. Sooner or later bad luck hits us all”. Eccl. 9:11, The Message 

Father, it did seem like the “bad luck” showed up this week and I have felt its “hit” on my life.  That’s the nature of human life, I know. Jesus said it: “In this world you will know trouble….”  Help me tonight to find rest in you by hitting back with faith that the rest of Jesus’ words are true, “…but take heart for I have overcome the world.” Amen.  

Tuesday– “What a CATCH!”

“God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” Psalm 23:1-3, The Message

Father, this week has seen a rush of activity on the calendar, but more, a rush of ideas and concerns running through my brain. Thank you for helping me to “catch”my breath in this moment and realize that you understand the thoughts and decisions I am dealing with and that your Spirit will send me in the right direction. Amen.  

Wednesday – That one is gone…a home RUN”

“God’s name is a place of protection— ‘faithful’ people can run there and be safe.”Prov. 18:10, The Message

Father, this week I had to face uncertainties that continue to trouble me. Hear me describe them to you now. Help me to know your direction through them. I am “running”into your presence now, and always, so that I can know the “safety” of your loving care for me and for my loved ones. Amen. 

Thursday – “No runs, no hits, but Oh the ERRORS!”

“When the ‘Spirit’ comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin…” Jn. 16:8-9, The Message

Father, I thank you for the Spirit’s conviction upon my heart this week.  It has not felt good to be reminded of the “errors” I have made – errors in judgement, in behavior, in actions, in the use of my words. Even so, in response to your conviction in my heart, I come now to confess my sin knowing that you are faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness as I do.  Amen. 

Friday – “That gets them into SCORING position.”

“Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, The Message

Father, there have been some folks to hurt me this week and it would be easy to keep “score”of their wrongs.  But, please make your love real in and through me so that forgiveness leads the way in my relationships.

Saturday – “He leads the league in WALKS!”

“Those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.” Isaiah 40:31, The Message

Father, sometimes my heart is anxious because I want things resolved with the timing I desire. I’m sorry for thinking I could get back around to home plate without touching first, second and third bases around the diamond. Please still my soul so that I can patiently wait on your power to work in my life as I “walk”to first base – help me to be faithful with the last thing you told me to be and do.

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