Saturday, May 26, 2012

Come to Me

This has become one of my favourite songs lately. I cannot get enough of it. Can't you just picture Father singing this to you? Oh, it blesses and strengthens my body, soul and spirit so much.

I have been thinking a good deal about the invitation "Come to Me". Jesus has been speaking it to our family over and over in the past few months.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28 MSG

God also says: "When the time's ripe, I answer you. When victory's due, I help you. I form you and use you to reconnect the people with me, To put the land in order, to resettle families on the ruined properties. I tell prisoners, 'Come on out. You're free!' and those huddled in fear, 'It's all right. It's safe now.' There'll be foodstands along all the roads, picnics on all the hills— Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, For the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs. I'll make all my mountains into roads, turn them into a superhighway. Look: These coming from far countries, and those, out of the north, These streaming in from the west, and those from all the way down the Nile!" Isaiah 49:8-12

"Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything's free! Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words. I'm making a lasting covenant commitment with you, the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love. I set him up as a witness to the nations, made him a prince and leader of the nations, And now I'm doing it to you: You'll summon nations you've never heard of, and nations who've never heard of you will come running to you Because of me, your God, because The Holy of Israel has honored you." Isaiah 55:1-5

Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass." They didn't ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed. Matthew 4:18-20

Then Jesus went again to walk alongside the lake. Again a crowd came to him, and he taught them. Strolling along, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, at his work collecting taxes. Jesus said, "Come along with me." He came. Mark 2:13-14

One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, "Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one's own self!—can't be my disciple. Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can't be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27

On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.) John 7:37-39

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Mark 10:14

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. John 6:37

There is so much in me that wants to figure things out for myself. I am naturally a planner, although, thankfully, much of that has been stripped away in the past few years as He has been teaching me to rest and trust. The last year, in particular, wiped clean much of my so called "need" to plan. Moving and not knowing where we would sleep that first night (or any of the nights thereafter) put a real stranglehold on my natural bent to have everything spelled out in advance.

"Rest" is not a welcomed word in our society. Everyone is busy, busy, busy, striving, striving, striving and has a plan and a schedule and wants me to, as well. Plans and schedules are not wrong, but I am learning more and more to forgo the plans for the rest. Rest does not neglect. It aligns me with Him. I have to be in His Presence in order to carry on. I have to rest in His arms and soak Him in in order to know Him and to know what comes next.

I look at circumstances and surroundings and He whispers, "Come to ME."

I wonder how I will do all He has given me to do and He beckons, "Come to ME."

I read a text from a friend or family member asking for help or prayer and He reminds, "Come to ME."

I am full of emotions, raw and unfiltered, and He smiles warmly and says, "Come to ME."

I am tired and weary and He waves me over, "Come to ME."

I just desire to be with Him and with open arms, He welcomes, "Come to ME."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Strawberries

We are enjoying springtime in Virginia! I have quite a few photographs to share from all the different blooms and flowers that we have taken pleasure in in the last few months, especially some that Benjamin has taken.

Yesterday the children and I carried on one of our favourite family traditions, which we started in Canada...strawberry picking! We were so happy to be able to find a place to pick berries here, too. 









We made freezer jam and several batches of strawberry bread and muffins. I also froze quite a few berries for smoothies. 

Plus, we ate a few along the way. :)

Here is my recipe for strawberry bread...

Strawberry Bread Recipe

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Beat the butter until softened. Add both sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, in small portions. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the diced strawberries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 loaf.

I double this and freeze.


Blessings!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NDOP Update



 Ambassador Oren

IFA Team

Hi Friends,

Just sending a brief update since the National Day of Prayer [NDOP] about 10 days ago.

Thursday, May 3, NDOP
It was a privilege being with our IFA leadership in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill for the 9 till noon observance…going through security and visiting with the Lithuanian Ambassador, ┼Żygimantas Pavilionis, and passing the offices of Representatives like Michelle Bachmann and others.  We enjoyed the first hour of the NDOP meeting and then joined others in smaller rooms to pray for the nation in 2 one hour shifts.  One lady even received healing in her arm without even asking for it.  Powerful time.

Friday, May 4  - Solidarity with Israel Event at Israeli Embassy
It was an honor to join Christian leaders from across the country and Israeli Embassy leadership for about 3 hours to show support of our Jewish friends and Israel.  It was a sobering, yet joyfully holy time as we listened to Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren share some of the threats Israel is facing these days, whether it is continued random violence from Israel’s neighbors bent on their annihilation or the Anti-Israel media spreading it’s message [See Bob Simon’s recent report on 60 Minutes].

IFA also hosted our First Friday monthly prayer conference call that Friday with over 300 friends from around the country joining in.

Sunday evening I will be speaking at a local church for their Awakening Meetings this week.  I met with their pastor yesterday and another area pastor to pray for the community and to prepare for next week.  Some good things are happening.

If we at IFA can help mobilize your family, church or community to prayer or our country during these days, please let me know.

Lastly, thank you to our financial partners.  We need help in expanding our donor base and generating additional support.  Suggestions are welcome!   My anticipated ministry expenses are $8,400 per month, roughly $100,000 this year .   As of yesterday, there is $700 in our ministry account.  

Here is how to invest with us:

Click on Donate on right side
Important: Be sure to enter in the Comments section “Field Staff Bob Royce”

You are also welcome to send checks to IFA: Intercessors for America, P.O. Box 915, Purcellville, VA 20134. Important: Enter in the Memo section “Field Staff Bob Royce” (or write it on a separate note).

Thanks again for your partnership with us.

Bob

Bob Royce
Mobilization Coordinator
Intercessors for America
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
800-USA-PRAY
540-317-2097 Direct
GetAmericaPraying.com

Thursday, May 3, 2012

National Day of Prayer

The National Observance of the 61st annual National Day of Prayer is taking place now!

Watch live here... http://nationaldayofprayer.org/news/national-observance/

Blessings!

May Prayer Update


Friends,

It’s been an active several weeks since our last update at the end of March.  I travelled to Texas for a month spending a week in Houston and three weeks in Dallas/Ft. Worth and east Texas.  It was a privilege to connect with friends already associated with Intercessors for America and also to connect and cast vision with others to mobilize fasting, prayer and repentance during these pivotal days for our country.

Some of our team from IFA will be in DC the next few days for events associated with the National Day of Prayer.  Thursday, we will be at the Cannon House Office Building for the official NDOP prayer event.  Friday, we will be attending an invitation only gathering at the Israeli Embassy, with Ambassador Michael Oren, to show support for and solidarity with Israel.

Also, we at IFA are hosting our First Friday Prayer Conference Call this week[712-432-0075, Access Code 1412452, 12:15-12:45 ET] if you are interested in joining us.  Since 1973 we have been mobilizing Christians to set aside the first Friday of every month to fast and pray for the country.  We will be facilitating these calls every month up to the election and possibly beyond.  In April over 200 friends joined in on the call…it was a powerful, moving experience together in the Lord.

Scarlett and I continue to say what a humbling yet joyful time to be here during these important days.  Thanks for investing with us prayerfully and financially.  Attached is a brief article I wrote about the earthquake that hit DC back on August 23.  It is a timely message for us in the US.

Expectantly,
Bob


Bob Royce
Mobilization Coordinator
Intercessors for America
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
800-USA-PRAY
GetAmericaPraying.com


Moving and Shaking

In January 2011, after enjoying serving as a missionary and pastor outside Toronto, Canada, for 8 years, the Lord started moving in our family of seven to get ready for a new assignment somewhere back in the U.S., in Virginia, near Washington D.C.  With the kindling of spiritual awakening and revival glowing brighter inside of us, we sold it all, started trekking on a journey of faith in June as a family and eventually landed near the headquarters of Intercessors for America [IFA]…having never heard of this vital and strategic ministry.

Many of us remember the earthquake that shook our Nation’s Capital on August 23, 2011.  According to ABC News, “The strongest earthquake to hit the East Coast of the U.S. in seven decades…” [“Earthquake Aftermath: National Landmarks Damaged” by Kevin Dolak and Jessica Hopper, August 24, 2011]. We felt it.  The ripple effects of this shift cracked both the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument.  Once I heard this, I immediately sensed that the Lord is showing us something crucial…Both the church and the nation are damaged and crumbling.  In the words of one of IFA’s founders, Derek Prince, “As goes the church, so goes a nation” [IFA Prayer Letter, Feb 2010, p.3].

The following Sunday we gathered with one other family in their living room, and I shared from Scripture about the need to turn from our personal and national sin, in light of the shaking that occurred just a few days ago. As we were discussing and praying, a bald eagle swooped down and flew right outside their living room window...maybe 10 feet off the ground! One of the teenagers shouted as he saw it, and we all ran outside to their deck, stunned in amazement and awe, as the eagle rose back in the air and circled the area for a bit. Why would this majestic creature, the official bird of the United States since 1789, make a rare and unusual appearance right at that moment? I believe that the Lord was confirming for us the timely message of personal and national repentance. The Lord is inviting our nation to turn back to Him, and if we do so in humility, He is eager to respond in ways we cannot even imagine.

Here is the deal…
  • It is time to move to a place of repentance, not with a stronger sense of human will but surrender.  We, the followers of Jesus, are to lead the way.
  • When we humble ourselves, confess our sins, get together and pray, God eagerly forgives and shows up.  [2 Chronicles 7:14]
  • It is time to gather those around us, whether it’s family, church, city or state.
Thank you for all you do in mobilizing prayer for our country. It is a privilege to be connected with you in the Kingdom, and specifically with IFA.  Go to Getamericapraying.com to setup a prayer website or learn about our Can America Be Saved resources to help you.  Always feel free to contact our office for additional mobilizing support.  Let’s continue to link arms together, not in our own strength but empowered by the Holy Spirit, focused on Jesus and His Kingdom, and watch the Lord raise up a tenacious army of intercessors for our country.