Giving Hope

Sanity and Summertime Reading

Posted on 07/21/18 by Michael Sprague

You have a few days at the beach … you pick up a good book … let’s say a thriller by John Grisham. By the time you get to page 213 you are on the edge of your seat enthralled with the plot. Of course, these formulaic books play out the same way – the hero is in trouble, the villain is evil personified, the situation is dire, the building is surrounded, the girlfriend is kidnapped, and you wonder if there is any hope in this impossible situation. How do you handle the pressure? You turn from page 213 to page 433 and take a peek at the last page to make sure it all works out well. Hence, you can read pages 213 through 433 with a whole lot less anxiety. Right?

My friends, our lives are lived out on page 213. Times are tough. Storm clouds surround us. A few things look impossible. Right? How are you going to move through the next 220 pages of your life with confidence and hope? Take a peek at page 433! The last page of God’s book reminds us that JESUS WINS. No matter the trial, tribulation, trouble or persecution Jesus is coming back. He will make all things right. Justice one day will roll like a river. One day there will be no more cancer, arthritis, drive-by-shootings, trafficking, betrayal, tears, pain or racism. There are no easy answers to the times we inhabit but if you read the last page you will live with a whole lot more confidence, less worry and more expectation. Let’s occupy well … serving compassionately and courageously until page 433!

Spiritual Aha Moments
I love when leaders have spiritual aha moments like these and the lightbulb is turned on by the Spirit of God.

  1. Life is Short and Eternity is Long
    The brevity of life is motivating when the reality sinks in that we will spend a whole lot more time on the other side than this side.
  2. Dead Men Can’t Throw Life Preservers
    Christianity stands or falls upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The evidence is so overwhelming that many are compelled to follow the one who conquered death and offers life … even eternal life.
  3. God Doesn’t Grade on the Curve
    Word out on the street is that human beings, in full or in part, are responsible to save themselves. People are shocked to discover the Bible doesn’t teach that one gets to heaven by their good works. The Bible teaches the GRACE plan as opposed to the human achievement plan. The JESUS plus nothing plan.
  4. Intellectual Assent in Jesus is Not Enough
    It is not enough to know a few facts about Jesus. One has to make a faith decision to trust Jesus alone for salvation and the gift of life.

Decisions about the soul and death need to be made in life. I want all my friends, family and people of the world to have peace with God and a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. If I can help you or a friend with this or speak to your church or small group … please let me know.

Ministry Updates

  1. The Louisiana Legislative Session is now complete after three Special Sessions and the Regular Session. I spent a good chunk of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday over the past five months with our State Elected Leaders. I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead Bible Studies, Prayer Gatherings and meet one-on-one with leaders. I’ve had good meetings with Louisiana Senators and Representatives, our U.S. Senator, Judges, Mayors, Community leaders and others.
  2. I offer leaders, business people and those in the community Bible Studies every day of the week except for Saturday.
  3. Pray for Upcoming speaking opportunities – Regional Methodist Pastors, Leaders and Men; ALEC Conference, New Orleans; Capitol Commission Banquet, Springfield, Missouri; Preaching Northshore Bible Church, Covington and Be & Be Retreat, Abita Springs.
  4. I will be in the Washington D.C. area tentatively around October 10-14. I’m open to speaking opportunities if you know of any. Let me know if God prompts you to discover an open door.
  5. I have dreamed of a better partnership between Government, Spiritual and Business Leaders. I’m seeing good fruit and am serving as a connector between leaders in those spheres of community. It is incredible what people of faith can accomplish together. Pray for more opportunities.

Helping Louisiana’s Leaders,
Michael

Category: Baton Rouge, Giving Hope, LA Capitol, Prayer, Speaking Events, Uncategorized

Lord, I Need You … Oh, I Need You … Every Hour I Need You

Posted on 04/17/18 by Michael Sprague

Easter is a week removed but RESURRECTION POWER lasts. The resurrection is either the most wicked, heartless hoax ever foisted on the human race or it is the most remarkable fact of history. It is either a myth or hinge point. You can’t have some namby-pamby middle ground. It is either true and mind-blowing or utterly false and shattering. In I Corinthians 15:13-19 Paul says, “if Jesus is still dead, we are still in our sins, faith is silly, preachers are liars, there is no hope for the dead and believers are most to be pitied.” There is no Christianity with a perpetually dead Messiah.

However, the resurrection is a game-changer. Indeed, the women said, “He is not here, he is risen from the dead just as he said he would.” On the third day blood flowed through his veins, his heart was beating, breathing resumed, he stretched his arms and walked out of the tomb for all to see. The rescue mission was completed.  He started a revolution that as Martin Luther King stated, “There is a certain kind of fire that no water hoses can put out.”

I know, that I know, that I know, HE IS RISEN. HOW DO I KNOW THAT? At age 17 I trusted Him for my salvation. He saved me. He said if I meditated on Scripture I’d grow. I have. He said He’d lead me. He has. He said He gave me gifts and He would use me. He has. He said when tempted He’d provide a way of escape. Every time. He said when I sin He’d forgive me. Yes indeed. He said when I am faithless He would be faithful. Yes again. He said He’d supply my every need. He has and more. He said when I shake upon the rock, the Rock wouldn’t shake under me. It’s true. Yes, Yes and Yes. I can say, He is risen!!!

In the work of Capitol Commission Louisiana/Grace Adventures I rely upon this resurrection power daily to see changed lives and transformed hearts. Only the power of God can disarm strongholds, tear down rivalries, mend brokenness, bring life out of death and cause light to expel the darkness. There are many chilling things going on in politics today. The work is impossible without the power of God. Nevertheless, in light of the resurrection, Paul said, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing your work is not in vain in the Lord.”

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the major outreaches: Representative Steve Scalise will be speaking at an event in Jefferson Parish; Senator Cassidy will be speaking in Covington; the National Prayer Breakfast event in the Senate Chamber which I am coordinating; and the Pearl River Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast where I will be speaking.
  • Pray for the eleven Bible studies I lead, for-one on-one appointments this month and three Leader Faith Forums which I teach.
  • Pray for Legislators amid a rigorous Session that is necessitating the resolution of huge issues.
  • Pray for leaders who are revolutionizing serving in the community in criminal justice, addictions recovery, law enforcement, domestic violence, and work for felons, etc. It is a joy to see leaders become Kingdom leaders in their areas of expertise and calling.
  • Pray for a friend who has finished a year of interior renovation and discipleship and is ready once again for the world of politics.

Helping Louisiana’s Leaders,
Michael

With Speaker of the House, Taylor Barras & Rep. Raymond Crews

Gov. John Bel Edwards at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast

Intro. by Rep. Crews before opening the House of Representatives in Prayer

Spoke at Leadership St. Tammany Breakfast

Opened in Prayer at Senator Cassidy’s Meeting with Leaders of St. Tammany Parish

Category: Baton Rouge, Giving Hope, LA Capitol, Leadership St. Tammany, National Day of Prayer, Prayer, Speaking Events, Uncategorized

Tell Me Your Favorite Axiom and Why

Posted on 03/17/18 by Michael Sprague

Axioms. I’ve been pondering 25 powerful life proverbs that I’ve spoken to myself and others literally thousands of times. Maybe one of these is for you today?

  1. Be careful in fighting the dragon you don’t become the dragon.
  2. Step in the direction of obedience and power will come along the way.
  3. Perhaps, it’s not about you.
  4. Be the bigger person.
  5. Bet the farm on God
  6. We do not go from the land of the living to the land of the dying … we go from the land of the dying to the land of the living.
  7. All people matter to God and they need to matter to me.
  8. You are a most cherished son (daughter) of the Most-High God.
  9. He is no fool to give up that which he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.
  10. The Gospel is not primarily about getting into heaven when you die, it’s about getting into a personal relationship with God through Jesus and you get heaven thrown in as a bonus.
  11. Don’t give the Adversary a seat at your table.
  12. Sometimes when it seems God is killing me, He is actually making me.
  13. Waiting days seem like wasted days but are actually training days.
  14. Just because my will is not done doesn’t mean God’s will is not done.
  15. God paints on a canvas bigger than you can see or imagine.
  16. At any given time we see three things God is doing, but He is actually doing 103 things.
  17. We may shake upon the rock but the Rock doesn’t shake under us.
  18. Outrage is not a strategy.
  19. Jesus either delivers us from the fire or goes through the fire with us.
  20. The Kingdom of God will not arrive on Airforce One.
  21. 90% of the people God used in the Bible were not pastors or priests … they were business people, soldiers, government workers, moms, dads and grandparents. (Just like today.)
  22. If a blind man stepped on your foot would you be mad at him? No … Stretch for people spiritually blind.
  23. It doesn’t take a lot of people to make a big difference.
  24. Where there is Jesus … there is always hope.
  25. God is on the Move.

Join Donna and Me on a
Ten Day Holy Land Trip
March 1-10, 2019 (Mardi Gras Week)

For 20 years, I have said I would put this trip together and many have said, “I’ll Go!” This is a once in a lifetime trip. We will see Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee, Masada, etc. and have dinner in the home of a local family. We already have people who have officially registered from the D.C. area, Gulf South and across the country. Brochures are available. Email me at MDSprague00@bellsouth.net if you would like more information.

Prayer Requests

  • Our short Louisiana Special Session ended last week with frustration, gridlock and mistrust. The three-month Regular Legislative Session launched yesterday with the need for reconciliation, wisdom and courage. Pray for these times when God’s power is so needed.
  • Pray for the Ministry of Reconciliation in dealing with leaders. Over the last few weeks and in the weeks to come I will be repeatedly speaking to groups or individuals where there is division and strong feelings of fracture. Pray for the ministry of Christ that bridges the gaps between God and man and one human being to another.
  • Pray for the many small groups and speaking opportunities I am leading now.
  • Pray for Donna in her work with me as well as leading a small group Bible study and serving as a volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Helping Louisiana’s Leaders,
Michael

 

Category: Baton Rouge, Giving Hope, LA Capitol, National Day of Prayer, Prayer, Uncategorized

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