The goal of our Celebration services beginning this weekend will be to “unpack” the book of Daniel. As this series opens – chapter 1 will reveal many insights into God’s mind – as well as Daniel’s life. We will answer such questions as
· Who are the 3 main players who take the stage in the opening verses? · Why was Daniel deported from Jerusalem to Babylon? · Babylon is synonymous with what? · What country TODAY was biblical Babylon? · How old was Daniel when he entered Babylon – how old is he as the book concludes? · Who were Daniel’s friends – and what was their Hebrew names and why did the King give them Babylonian names · Why did the King try to desensitize the 4 boys regarding their Jewish way of life? How important it for parents to build God’s character and principles into the life of pre-teen youth? · What was on Daniel’s mind when he asked the palace master to eat vegetables for 10 days? · How many times and what were the situations in chapter 1 that the author makes this statement “and God gave”? · What occurred throughout the chapter that convinces us of the Sovereignty of God? · Daniel in the Old Testament prefigures Jesus Christ in the New. What are the analogies? If you were raised in the church – the story of Daniel had to be one of the most familiar and enjoyed stories of your youth. This book has it all: history….prophecy….politics….prayer….Lions….statues….wild animals….a fiery furnace….dreams and visions…a king who thought he was a cow……incredible adventure…amazing escapes…angels…demons…detailed informant about ancient history….and amazing prophecies about the end times. It is always a great time for the church to begin a New Sermon Series — we shift spiritual gears – moving from the New Testament to the Old Testament —– it is a wonderful time to invite new friends to attend. You have solid biblical information to share with your friend – other than – I’d like to invite you to our church….you can say “we are going to study the life of DANIEL, and find ways will be with us when we enjoy victory as well as sorrow and uncertainty.

What others have said regarding PRAYER…. · Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God — Andrew Murray · There is a mighty difference between saying prayers and praying – John G Lake · I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it — John Wesley · Wishing will never be a substitute for prayer – Ed Cole · Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire? Corrie Ten Boom · Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God and a scourge for Satan – John Bunyan Tomorrow night (Sept 5) from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM each of us are invited to Discovery Center for a prayer gathering. Come as you are!!! Come and unite your heart and spirit with other hearts and spirits as we seek the face of God — as we confess sin — as we desire God’s will for our lives and the life of Discovery. You are not expected to stay the 2 hours unless the Holy Spirit so indicates – it will be come and go as you like.
You say, I’m not able, I’m too young, or I’m too old, I can’t sing or teach and no title do I hold, O Lord what can I do, for I want to do my part? And I want to help the hurting with all my heart, I can pray until the walls fall down, Until there’s healing all around, That’s something I can do, I can pray in my secret place, Calling on Your Name that’s something I can do – I CAN PRAY

· Courtney Baker is in Boone Hospital. At her weekly obgyn visit yesterday, the Dr. determined one of the twins is not growing, as she should. Pray that wisdom will prevail as to the steps taken in the next 24 hours.

· Jeffery Baker broke his arm in a football game this week. Let’s pray for a quick healing and that his arm will be 100% useful once healing occurs.

· Darlene Kilburn – Bluff’s nursing home

· Clayton Henry – is in Columbia Health Care Center (he was visited today by David Vaughn)

· School age children – safety – academic excellence – and a positive witness for Christ

· America – our Republic is in such need of every Christian praying 2 Chron 7:14 on a daily basis. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

· There are a few who have lost their 1st love – (Rev 2:4) – pray they will return to the sheep-fold.

· All 7 D-Groups as they begin meeting again next week….

· Our 1st Friday night Prayer gathering tomorrow evening will open Heaven’s door – and blessings from heaven will be poured down upon us – even as it says in Mal 3:10 see if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

· Do you realize next Thursday will be 9/11? We remember the 2 devastating events – one in N.Y. – one in Benghazi — did you know the militants have stolen several Libyan Jets – and some fear they will be used against the West on that faithful day…..Join me in this prayer.

Father Your word reminds us that you hold all the Kings of the world in your hand. As we come to the anniversary of a day we all remember, please in the Name and by the Blood of Jesus we pray a hedge of protection around our country. As you confounded minds and languages in days gone by – it would be our prayer that that same confusion would continue regarding those who would want to do harm to those who have been created in Your image. In Jesus Name I pray – AMEN!!!

After a summer of R/R – it is time to “strike up the band”. Our 7 D-Groups will begin meeting next week. It is not too LATE to sign up for a group. You can find the list of all 7 groups on the Credenza located at the south side of the foyer. The 1st study for the groups will be Daniel 2. What spiritual benefits could a member of Discovery derive from being in a D-Group?
· People talk more in D-Groups · Group members realize that others are facing similar problems · People use their gifts and talents to minister to one another · Small group members encourage each other in their faith · Small group members encourage each other to grow · Group members hold each other accountable · Members pray for one another · People are more likely to practice what they learn · Group members can help each other in hard times Side-bar….as I typed these 9 bullets I misspelled the word GROUP 5 x’s. This is how I spelled it grop. As I corrected my spelling it HIT ME – the letter I missed was “U”…Discovery, are “U” the one missing in our groups? A group is awaiting “U” now. Please read the above 9 bullets and see how “U” can grow in Christ by sharing in one of the D-Gro”U”ps.

Daniel 2:31-45 31 “In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. 32 The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, 33 its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay. 34 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain,[a] but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. 35 The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth. 36 “That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. 37 Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 38 He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold. 39 “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world. 40 Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes. 41 The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron. 42 But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay. 43 This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix. 44 “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. 45 That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”