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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog

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#PRAYER for our Youth: #LightItUp [A Recording]

Posted on October 30, 2015 at 9:12 PM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam - 
This is a slight departure from our current series but one that I believe you will appreciate...  

I was invited to PRAY on the last night of the LIGHT IT UP Prayer Call series.  This was a week of prayer for children and youth in light of recent events and all that our children and youth have to face and deal with everyday, everywhere.  I pray that this prayer blesses you and I ask that you PLEASE share it with EVERY young person you know that needs to be challenged and encouraged to carry the LIGHT of Christ everywhere they go!

LISTEN and BE BLESSED!
LIGHT IT UP PRAYER CALL
Delesslyn Kennebrew Praying 10-30-15
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THE PRAYER...
God of Fire and Light, First we say THANK YOU for being so good and so kind and for just being the same, yesterday, today, and forevermore.

THANK YOU for calling us together for such a time as this, to pray and intercede on behalf of children and youth everywhere.

I ask you to please forgive us for the many ways that we have dismissed, disregarded, or diminished the light of Christ that is available to shine brightly in and through and on all of us.  Forgive us Lord and ignite our fire again.

God of Fire and Light – I pray that on this night, we would open our hearts and minds, our ears and our eyes to the many ways that the darkness of injustice, abuse, violence, hypocrisy and silence pervades and invades the world…. Our city… our streets… our schools…and even our homes.

God of Fire and Light – I pray that on this night we would avail ourselves to be vessels of your light.  You are the light of the world and when we say YES, we invite you to light a fire in our souls that calls us to be light bearers everywhere we go. 

God of Fire and Light – I pray that on tonight we would recommit ourselves to walk in the light, beautiful light.  We recommit ourselves to come where the dew drops of mercy shine bright.  Lord, please shine all around us by day and by night.  YOU are the light of the world.

And on tonight we acknowledge you as the light of the world.
On tonight we choose to walk OUT of the darkness.
And from this point on WE will light up your world!!!
IN JESUS' NAME...

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

Follow Me on Twitter @AudraSunshine or IG @AudraSunshine1

SPECIAL THANK YOU to Rev. Dominique Robinson, M.Div. for the opportunity to pray for our youth during this series hosted by the New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park, GA.  She has a big heart for the youth across this nation and I was honored to be apart of her vision! [Twitter @DominiqueAyesha]


PRAY...for Others and not just for Yourself! PART 2

Posted on September 6, 2014 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam - 
I am so very grateful for the prayers of the righteous for they really do avail much!  How much?  Well, I cannot answer that question because I know that just speaking of the men and women in my own family, going back for generations, prayer has been a common spiritual discipline.  With that being said, I know that the great cloud of witnesses connected to my own ancestry were praying before my mom and dad came together and the legacy of prayer has been, and I do not doubt that it will continue to be passed on for generations after me.  This is a good thing.  And the "how much" is therefore immeasurable. 

Over the last few weeks, we have been talking about prayer and particularly about praying for others.  I have not at all said that prayer for yourself is not important, but I have intentionally emphasized that prayer for other people is a way that we LOVE our neighbors as we love ourselves.  So, we must PRAY one for another.  Paul models this in the opening verses of Colossians 1 as we have previously discussed and today, I want to conclude this series in prayer with you, for others.  I invite YOU to pray the same kind of prayer that Paul prayed for the Colossians, for someone else on today.

So, BlogFam, why don't we just pray together?
I want you to think of someone in your network or neighborhood or family or friends or office or school that you know needs prayer on today. 

Do you have a name in mind?

OK.  Great... If not, we will wait until you do and when you get that name in mind...Then KEEP READING...

Let us PRAY...
God of Grace and Love, On today, I pray for _________[NAME of PERSON You are Praying for]__________.  On today, I continually ask God to fill ______________ with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that _______________may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that _______________ may have great endurance and patience,  and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified _______________ to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.  For YOU have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  This is my prayer and it is so IN JESUS NAME, AMEN!  [Colossians 1:9-14]

THANK YOU for praying with me and for praying this prayer for someone else on today!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

PRAY... for Others and not just for Yourself!

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
PRAY.
Do YOU Pray?

Friends, I was taught at a very young age to PRAY and as an adult, at this stage in my life, I can say that I pray about everything and everybody.  Nothing and no one is off limits in my prayer life.  I do not know another, more intimate way to stay connected to my Creator.  Through prayer, we have access to the Almighty in heaven and through Jesus, as our advocate and the Holy Spirit as our intercessor [interceding when we do not have the words to say] and interpreter [teaching us to obey exactly what God says], we can seek and stay in the center of the divine will for our lives.  In prayer, I am able to worship and fellowship with God.  I am able to receive direction and correction, comfort and peace of mind.  Honestly, I can feel when I have not laid my all on the altar through prayer.  There is a certain heaviness that I have in my spirit that is only lightened when I lay it at His feet through prayer.  

I have cried and laughed during my prayer time.  I have been angry and felt relieved through prayer.  I have even taken on different postures during prayer.  I am not one of those who believes there is only one way to bow your head and close your eyes for prayer.  I also believe that prayer can happen at any time and in any place.  Prayer is always appropriate with others or all alone.  Prayer is such a wonderful gift.  

Paul was a major proponent for the discipline of PRAYER.  We have already mentioned how he opens his letters with prayer and Colossians is not any different.  But today I want to highlight one particular line in his prayer for the church at Colossae...

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  [Colossians 1:9a]

I have a question.
Is there any-thing or any-one in your life that you have heard about AND that you have NEVER stopped praying for?
The answer is YES or NO.

I know that there are probably situations in your own life that you are personally praying for without ceasing but Paul's prayer is distinctive in that his continual prayer is for this church, this group of men and women, families and probably some friends.  His prayer, his continual prayer is for others.  And as we will see in the days to come, Paul's prayer is very specific concerning that community.  He is not praying some generic "God Bless the whole world" kind of prayer..... although that has its place.  Instead, Paul is focused on the particular needs and the godly desires he has for this group of believers.  

Now I admit that there have probably been way more opportunities that I have missed to pray for others continually than the few that I keep on my heart or that the Lord brings to my remembrance.  I have prayed consistently for others but the continual petition to the throne on their behalf may come in spurts.  I get distracted.  I forget.  I believe God for whatever it may be and let it go.  I turn my prayer attention elsewhere.  I slack up on the continual intercession on behalf of others, whomever they might be.  Maybe I could keep a prayer list to help me or share the concerns with others who will pray with me to help me to stay on track.  Either way, I admit that there are others situations that I have stopped praying for for any number of reasons.  But today I am reminded that I must keep some people and their needs, concerns, and desires in my prayers.  There are certain people - family and friends - that I must not stop praying for.  

So, LET US PRAY...
Lord, We thank you for this time of PRAYER.  We are grateful to be able to talk with you on behalf of ourselves and others.  Forgive us for only focusing on our personal concerns.  Jesus prayed for us and so we must pray for other people.  Teach us and help us to know how to pray for others.  May we not get weary in our prayer life.  May we not stop praying for others.  May we not forget to pray for others, sometimes even before we pray for ourselves.  May we intentionally and sincerely bridge the gaps in our lives through prayer and may our prayers connect others to you.  Lord, this is our prayer.  IN JESUS NAME...

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

PRAY for a Movement!!!

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is still relevant. [Deep Sigh]  I think that that statement needs to be said over and over and over again as a way to remind and inspire believers and perhaps, even non-believers, of the HOPE that lives beyond ourselves.  We really are living in the last days and to be honest with you, it has been the last days for a very long time.  We are living in the last days that are ultimately leading up to the triumphant return of our Lord Jesus Christ but the images I see in the media of violence and rebellion, hatred and discord do not put me in the mind of celebration and do not give me any sense of relief.  Our world seems to be climbing up the rough side of the mountain of life and justice and the death and even near death experiences are many.  But at the end and the beginning of everyday, and at many points throughout, I must pause to be reminded and inspired by the HOPE that lives beyond me.

JESUS CHRIST is the hope of the world and therefore the Gospel of Jesus Christ is still relevant.  

Now, I am fully aware that we do not always witness the most enlightening examples of this truth in the responses or lack of responses to the injustices that take place in our world but that does not make the Gospel any less powerful.  "...The gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace."   And in spite of all of the mess, there is HOPE that by the grace of God, the Gospel will continue to bear fruit and grow.  Do you believe this?  

Now, PAUSE and answer this question for yourself.  This is a critical question for those of us who proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For us, JESUS is the answer and we are called and commanded to LET OUR LIGHT SO SHINE!  It does not serve the world well when we are ashamed or when we just outright ignore the most relevant answer that can transform any life or situation and circumstance.  Just as we have learned of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must also share it and live it and act on behalf of it.  Paul reminds the church at Colossae about what they know to be true and how they first learned it. "...The gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.  You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit." [Colossians 1:6b-8]

Friends, let us all PRAY for a movement of believers who will share HOPE with the world.  A movement of men and women who are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  A movement that joyfully anticipates the return of our Lord but righteously responds to the brokenness that seems to prevail in this present age.  A movement that bears the fruit of the Gospel and propels its growth throughout the world.  A movement of faithful people who love in word and deed.  A movement of HOPE that heals and comforts.  A movement that raises questions and answers JESUS every time.  A movement  that is prayerful and faithful, listening and encouraging, thoughtful and engaged, creative and courageous.  Let us PRAY for the Church universal... IN JESUS NAME...

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW Me on Twitter: @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

I Heard what "THEY" Said

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
Do you know who "THEY" is?  I know that was a totally grammatically incorrectly formatted question but it is so appropriate given the conversations I have had and overheard throughout my life.  THEY are those unidentifiable sources of information that everyone seems to trust.  THEY are those people we get to point the finger at when we want to share gossip or some contrary idea and we do not want anyone to think it really is how we feel.  THEY talk so much that none of us can really keep up nor do we have a record of the actual flow of the conversation that THEY are having.  THEY can be imaginary.  THEY can be real.  THEY can be long distance.  THEY can be around the corner.  THEY whisper.  THEY shout.  THEY keep up mess. THEY can shut things down.  THEY can speak positive and negative words in the same conversation and no one seems to question what THEY have to say.  THEY can keep up some foolishness and we will listen and laugh and cry and complain about what THEY said.  Nobody ever really wants to acknowledge who THEY is because THEY could possibly get them in trouble or hold them back in some way.  THEY could also be a scapegoat for what we all really want and need to say.  THEY is a trip.  THEY could be your best advocate or your worst enemy.  THEY could be YOU.

As we continue our series on THE PRAYER BRIDGE, I had to acknowledge THEY.  THEY had to come forth to at least lay on the table what THEY is capable of doing.  And in the verses we will focus on today, Paul relies on THEY to lead into his prayer for the church at Colossae.  Surprisingly, THEY have said some nice things about the folks in the church and Paul lets them know that he has heard what THEY said... 

  We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—  the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. [Colossians 1:3-6a]

WOW!
THEY actually had some very nice things to say about the FAITH and LOVE of the people at Colossae and Paul is obviously happy to hear what THEY said so he prays for them.  He is probably very encouraged that the Gospel of Jesus Christ that had come to them has transformed their lives in such a way that THEY cannot help but to talk about it.  I do not know exactly how THEY received the faith and love of the men and women at Colossae but they obviously had something to say about it.  And in light of what THEY had to say and Paul's prayer, TWO things come to mind that I want to raise for you on today.

What are THEY saying about your FAITH in Christ Jesus and the LOVE you have for all God's people?  
AND
Are YOU praying for others whom THEY have said are faithful and loving in your own life and church and community?

Now, in order for THEY to talk about your FAITH and LOVE, you actually need to be faithful and loving.  THEY usually will not make up a whole lot about the FAITH and LOVE of random people.  THEY usually need to be a witness of your lifestyle to see the kind of faithful and loving person that you are. And you have got to be consistent because THEY will be looking for you to mess up and as soon as you do, THEY will forget the FAITH and LOVE and THEY will talk about the ONE mistake, hiccup, setback, trip up that you had.  And be forewarned that THEY have a very long memory so you may not be able to overcome what THEY have to say until you get back on track and are faithful and loving for a long time after that wandering witness moment.

Furthermore, I strongly encourage you to PRAY for the people in your own life and church and community whom THEY said and you have actually witnessed with your own eyes as being faithful  and loving.  YOU need to be faithful and loving and YOU need to pray for others who are as well.  We all need divine protection from THEY.  THEY can be discouraging and filled with temptation but God is able to make all grace abound toward us.  God is able to keep us on the straight and narrow path so that we can be a witness to THEY.  It is not easy to avoid THEY because THEY is always around but when you are seeking to please the Lord and you are praying for other men and women who are striving to please the Lord, it really does make a difference in what THEY have to say.

BlogFam, Paul heard what THEY said about the faith and love of the people and I pray that THEY are saying the same about YOU.  I also hope that you are are praying for the faithful and loving people in your own life and that THEY will shut up and have a seat about anything that is a distraction from the Gospel of Jesus Christ! :)

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

The PRAYER Bridge: An Introduction

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 9:17 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
I LOVE TO PRAY!
I pray about anybody and everything.  At this point on my journey, I choose to pray at any time and in every situation.  There is not an opportunity or challenge or blessing or victory that I have not committed to God in prayer.  Prayer is one of those disciplines of my walk with God in which I must actively engage.  I take seriously the verse that says to "Pray without ceasing."  I do believe that "men and women ought to always pray."  Now, I will admit that I  do pray a lot about myself but I also pray a lot for other people.  I am grateful for this way to communicate with God, to share and to listen.  I gain so much clarity through prayer and even when I have said "Amen" but I am still not sure of what to do next, I tend to feel a sense of peace because I know that God knows all about it and God is on top of it!

I recently read the opening of Colossians 1 and as is customary of Paul, he opens with a special greeting and a prayer.  He tells the community exactly what he has been and continues to pray for them.  He is interceding to God on their behalf.  He reminds us that prayer is NOT reserved for personal situations but our prayers must be open enough to include others. Paul exemplifies for us that PRAYER IS A BRIDGE.  And I know that YOU may be wondering what I mean by that so let me explain.  PRAYER is communication with God.  A bridge is a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the like.  A bridge is a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like.  PRAYER IS A BRIDGE that helps us to cross over, make connections, get through transitions, and experience transformation.  PRAYER IS A BRIDGE that allows us to stand in the gap for others needs, dreams, desires, pain, and hope.  PRAYER IS A BRIDGE.    

I appreciate Paul's example of praying for others in his letters but he was not the first person to do so.  Intercessory prayers are also recorded in the History, Wisdom, and Prophetic books of the Old Testament as well as in the Gospels and Letters of the New Testament.  People like Moses and Jesus prayed for others and so should we.  One of my favorite prayers to read is recorded in John 17 where Jesus prays for the disciples in the generations to come.  It is a beautiful prayer that encourages me every time I read it.  And maybe we will walk through that one at some point, but I want to begin this series with the prayer in Colossians 1.

Paul's Opening Prayer:
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. 

In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant,[c] who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[d] behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

PRAYER IS A BRIDGE.
When is the last time YOU prayed for someone else?

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept