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Craig Ruhl

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About Craig Ruhl

  • Birthday February 4

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  1. Thank you for sharing, Jennifer. I struggle with this myself and have to keep bringing myself back in line to be committed, focused, and intentional in praying for others.
  2. In My Prayers By Craig Ruhl You are in my prayers. I just posted that response to a social media post from a family friend who asked for prayers for her and her family. The poster didn’t mention what or who to pray for specifically. That is okay because God knows who is in need and exactly what they need at the time. Most of us who use social media receive these requests many times a day. How do we respond? What can we do to lift another person in prayer? We tell each other, “I’ll keep you in my prayers,” or “I’ll pray for you.” But let me ask you a question before I continue; how often do you follow through on your promise? Do you write that prayer request down so you will remember to include it during your scheduled prayer time? Or do you stop what you are doing and immediately say a brief prayer? It is easy to make a promise or commitment to pray for another person and then not follow through with prayer. The number of prayers needed among family, friends, church family, work associates, and neighbors can overwhelm us. How are we to manage this part of our prayer life? The Bible is the best source for learning how to pray, and the place to start is with how Jesus taught us to pray. Many of us learned The Lord’s Prayer as children. The following Bible verse is the basis of that prayer. Depending on the version of the Bible used, the wording will vary. “He said to them, When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’” Luke 11:2-4 (NIV) The next step is to determine how the Lord would have us pray for each other. Here are several Bible verses which give us further instruction: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV) “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26 (NIV) When someone asks us to pray and we agree to pray, we are called to follow through and intercede on their behalf. To say we will pray while not intending to do so is being untruthful. Prayer is a serious matter, having a profound effect both on the one praying and the one being prayed for. Taking it lightly is a grave mistake and can have a devastating effect. There are groups or circles of people who specifically join to pray. I like to call them Prayer Warriors. We can find them in churches, small groups, ministries, neighborhoods, and social media. Often, a need will arise, and they will put a call out for intentional prayer. The request quickly spreads, and faithful prayers are offered. We have the biblical assurance that when we pray in agreement with others, God in heaven will hear our prayers. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:19 (NIV) Over the years, I have been prayed for by people I didn’t even know. They lifted me up in prayer because of having received a request from their prayer partners on my behalf and then honoring that request. God heard those prayers and has performed many miracles in my life. There is no way for me to know how many times these prayer warriors have prayed for me during my lifetime, but God does! How do we respond to prayer requests? It is easy to key “I’ll pray for you!” into a social media post, but unless we follow through with prayer, it is an empty promise. If we don’t immediately take the request to the Lord in prayer, we may lose the opportunity. Since we can’t always stop what we are doing and enter into prayer, each of us must develop a method and habit for dealing with prayer requests. Throughout the Bible, we are taught that our prayer life is central to Christian living. Praying for others is not just a requirement, it is a blessing for the one praying and the recipient. One way to organize specific requests that you can’t immediately pray about is to keep a prayer journal. Add each prayer request as you receive it. Schedule a set time to go back and intentionally pray over each entry. You need not write out your prayer, although I know some people who like to do that. Leave a space where you can return later to record answered prayers. I like to use a paper journal and pen to track prayer requests. Many people find a digital prayer record works best for them. The method doesn’t matter as much as our faithfully honoring our promises to pray for each other. Full disclosure—I need to be much better at this! One of the greatest prayer warriors I have ever met was a man from our church in California. Bruce would come next to you, ask you what was going on in your life, and if there was anything he could pray for. Based on your reply, he would then put his hand on your shoulder and say, “Let’s take that to prayer right now.” He would pray right there, on the spot. His prayers were sincere and powerful. He kept a small notebook in his pocket where he recorded prayer requests throughout the day. He said that he would go back over the day’s requests before he went to bed, lifting each request in prayer. The Lord called Bruce home several years ago, but I know he is in heaven advocating for all the prayer warriors still on earth. Please remember that we will not always know when or how prayer has been answered. Trust that God hears your prayers and will grant them in accordance with His will. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) How can I pray for you today?
  3. Glad you are here GP.
  4. Chris, I am glad that you enjoyed the story. I am blessed to have grown up when I did. You have some great memories as well!
  5. Hi Vance, welcome to the group. I am new here too, still settling in, and loving it so far.
  6. Thank you, Connie. The 4th of July is still my favorite national holiday, in part because of the awesome celebrations, but it is the meaning of the day that fills my heart. When the world has settled down, I hope that you can experience it for yourself. By the way, Canada is gorgeous and a great country. An item on my bucket list is to take a SLOW train ride across Canada.
  7. Chris, thanks for the great devotional today. The passages you quoted reminded me of the basis for my own faith and the cornerstone of my wife's and my ministry - Faith On Every Corner. Our company motto is "We live by faith." Craig
  8. Ooh, Aah… Repeat By Craig Ruhl As we walk over to the high school across the street from the community I live in, daylight quickly fades over the horizon and darkness fills the void. Spreading out our blankets on the hill next to the football field, we eagerly await the show to begin. Suddenly, from the playing field in front of us, a rush of light and sound rises into the sky. A second or two later, there is a brilliant flash and an echoing boom followed by a cascade of red, white, and blue secondary explosions. We hear the first oohs and aahs amongst the throng of onlookers filling the high school stadium bleachers. In quick succession, a series of rockets shoot into the night in an array that will light up the sky with waterfalls of exploding stars that slowly drift back downward. A thick cloud of smoke wafts across the field obscuring the brave men who scurry about tending the incendiary devices and watchfully ensuring the safety of the workers and the observers. It is the start of another annual celebration of America’s freedom. The above is one of my memories of growing up in the 1950s and early 1960s. The Fourth of July fireworks followed a day full of picnics, parades, and a lot of flags being waved. Families and friends gathered on lawns and driveways, often spilling out into the street. The neighborhoods were noisy, filled with the sound of laughing, and sometimes crying, children. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob sizzled on the charcoal grills. Bottles of soft drinks and beer for some adults sat chilling in galvanized steel tubs filled with ice. Card tables were filled with condiments, chips, pickles, cakes, and pies. The delicious smell of food cooking combined with the sweet scent of suntan lotion and would soon include the acrid bite of gunpowder from the fireworks. Back to those fireworks. There are quite a few things that capture the attention and imagination of a young boy, but I would have to put anything that flashes and goes bang at the top of my list. My parents were conservative in what they allowed us kids to get involved with. Although my mom was always home, she couldn’t keep her eyes on my every move. She tried, but I sought neighborhood friends whose parents were less stringent in their parenting. This gave me access to the fabulous and fascinating world of fireworks. It is cool to take a plastic model of a boat, tape a couple of small firecrackers to the deck with a long fuse, light the fuse and shove the boat out onto the pond or lake. The resulting explosion, flinging parts of the boat into the air, and a cloud of smoke and water mist is very satisfying to a kid. Not safe, but fun. We considered it a rite of passage to advance from ladyfingers, black snakes, and sparklers to bigger and louder incendiaries. A boy achieved maturity and stature when he mastered roman candles, cherry bombs, and the ultimate - the M-80. When I was still in grade school, we lived in Prairie Village, Kansas. Our home was on 75th Street, forming a border between Kansas and Missouri. If my memory is still correct, it was illegal to have fireworks in our part of Kansas but legal just across the street in Missouri. Well, I had friends on both sides of the street, and I knew how to use them to my best advantage. As soon as fireworks went on sale in Missouri, I gave my allowance money to my buddy on that side of the street, whose parents allowed him to have small firecrackers. I hid the coveted brown paper bag filled with explosive delights away from the prying eyes of my parents until the guys and I could meet up and light them off. Mom was a super sleuth, and she soon discovered the cache. When he came home from work that day, Dad was tasked with disciplining me for the infraction. He gave me a stern talking to that night. Two days later, on a Saturday morning, he loaded me, a shovel, and the offending bag of evidence into the car. He drove us across the street, down a side street and into an empty dirt lot a good distance away with no one nearby. We got out of the car and he handed me the shovel, telling me to dig a hole and then empty the contents of the bag into the hole. My hopes and dreams of setting off firecrackers were about to be buried. As soon as the bag was empty, dad had me stand back a few yards, and he struck a match, lighting the empty bag. Checking to see that I was safely behind him, he tossed the burning bag onto the strings of firecrackers in the hole and ran back to where I was standing. Within seconds fuses caught fire, and the explosions started, sounding like a machine gun was firing on full auto. Loud, I remember it being very loud, and smokey too. I looked at my dad in amazement at what had just happened. A little while after the conflagration had stopped, he gave me the shovel again and told me to toss the dirt back into the hole I had dug. When I finished and had tamped the dirt down tightly, he bent down to look me in the face and said with a smile, “Your Mom and I decided your punishment was to be for you to safely bury the firecrackers. You have now done that. Nobody needs to know what happened between the digging and burying, do they?” I still remember the enormous grin on my dad’s face when those firecrackers started going off. You just can’t take the boy out of the man. My youth was during the first and second decades following World War II. Patriotism was strong and family traditions included celebrating the birth of the United States of America. Our parents taught us about patriotism, being of service to our country, and passing those traditions down to our children and grandchildren. We Americans wore our national pride on our sleeves, and we weren’t shy in living it out or showing it to the world. Fireworks have been a part of those celebrations for as long as America has existed. In many parts of the country, laws, regulations, and civil codes have changed the way we enjoy our patriotic displays, but the memories of my youth are filled with the flashes, bangs, oohs, and aah's of Fourth of July celebrations. (This article first appeared in the July 2020 issue of Faith On Every Corner magazine)
  9. Other than a dedicated hour each morning for journalling, I could never establish set creative writing schedules. It is not unusual for me to have several documents open at a time so I can return to them whenever I have an inspiration or the time.
  10. Hi Regina. I browsed through some past topics and conversations and came across your post. My wife, Karen, and I publish a free digital faith centered magazine. Would an interview with us on your blog be of interest? Thanks, Craig
  11. Thank you, Spec. I thought I thanked you yesterday, but it looks like I missed doing that.
  12. Welcome, Annee! I am also a newcomer just getting settled into the group.
  13. Welcome, Sharon. I have only just joined today myself.
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