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Craig Bode
Works at Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Pierce, FL
Attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida
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Craig Bode

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Always be open to and anticipate God's intervention in your circumstances. You don't have to come up with the final plan. Leave room for God to work. The disciples were confused when confronted with a crucified and buried Master. They faced discouraging prospects over what they should do, now that Jesus was dead. But when they gave God time to work, "after three days," (Mark 8:31) Jesus rose from the dead and opened the rest of life and eternity with limitless possibilities. That one historical fact of God interrupting human events by raising Jesus from the dead changes everything for you. Or at least it can if you will give God time to work and unfold His final plan. Wait and watch for God to work. "Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2 – NIV)
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God remains the Creator. Just as He created the heavens and the earth, He can "create ... a new heart ... filled with clean thoughts and right desires." (Psalm 51:10 – LB) He can do whatever it takes today to bring about needed change or a new beginning. There is no limit to the ways that He can impact this day, your life and the lives around you. Live today in anticipation of God's creative genius!
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Offer a healthier you to the people in your life. Improved relationships begin with the prayer: "Examine me, God, from head to foot, order Your battery of tests. Make sure I'm fit inside and out." (Psalm 26:2 – Msg) You are responsible only for yourself: your choices, your growth, your relationships. You cannot change another person directly, but only indirectly by changing and improving yourself. Your critical spirit or judgmental attitude toward that person doesn't help the relationship. Neither does playing the injured party or any other countless tactics to manipulate, control or change others. This approach is futile and only takes the focus off of what God needs to do in your life. You can never expect others to join you in your life if it is not clean and attractively maintained. The key to my relationships is myself ... offering a healthy, more loving, whole person to another, while setting needed boundaries. Why don't you let Christ help you with that today!
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You can be completely honest with God. When you come to Him, just be yourself! Allow your prayer to be personal. It doesn't need to be perfect. You don't need to pretend with God or protect Him from your emotions or mood. "Hear me, LORD, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips." (Psalm 17:1 – NIV) One of our greatest needs is the need to be heard. A need that can always be met by crying out to our God who is anxiously waiting to hear your plea and our Savior, Jesus, who stands near and ready to accept your prayer. God is never too busy or distracted to hear our pleas and listen to our cries. And best of all ... His answers always amaze!
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How often have you thrown the question at God: "How long will my enemy triumph over me?" (Psalm 13:1) Combat your feelings of failure and defeat and the fear you battle of being labeled a loser with the truth of Christ's victory for you and in you. Say with the apostle Paul: "No, in all these things I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me." (Romans 8:37 – NIV [adapted]) Tell yourself: "I know how this ends: I win! ... because Jesus already won for me!
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Protect your heart because it is the essence of who you are. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23 – NIV) Before opening or giving your heart to anyone else, place it into God's hands for protection and allow Him to safeguard it and be your shield. Only God can defend you from the deepest damage of all; the loss of heart. Allow Him that honor and assure yourself: "My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart." (Psalm 7:10 – NIV)
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God never tires of hearing you tell Him you love Him. He never is burdened when you lean on Him completely. Take the time today to tell God: "I love You, LORD, my strength." (Psalm 18:1 – NIV) God knows your heart but still cherishes your simple expressions of love and adoration ... of trust and completion devotion. God wants nothing more from you today than your love and devotion. That ought to make your day a great one!
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What will people see in you and hear from you today? To count yourself a follower of Jesus requires that you answer a couple of questions: "What does my life stand for? What do people encounter when they meet me?" The apostle John in his "golden years" was imprisoned "on the island of Patmos because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 1:9 – NIV) John and all those around him knew who he was and where he stood. What about you? How well does the "Word of God" define your life? How clearly is the "testimony of Jesus" being heard through you today?
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People are looking to you for leadership today. They need and deserve a clear and consistent model to follow. They need you to trust God fully and follow Him faithfully ... to know where you are going and lead them boldly and decisively. Start your day with this prayer: "Lord, tell me Your ways. Show me how to live. Guide me in Your truth, and teach me, my God, my Savior. I trust You all day long." (Psalm 25:4-5 – NCV)
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Celebrate today! The details of your day don't really matter. Make the choice right now: "With all My heart, I will celebrate, and I can safely rest." (Psalm 16:9 – CEV) The truth of today is that Jesus Christ supplies you with a life worth living and celebrating. If you will live in the joy, the rest, the safety and celebration that God supplies, then those in your company today will experience the same. Won't that make for one delightful and productive day!
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God can always be counted on to help when help is needed most. "The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." (Psalm 9:9 – NIV) Are you "oppressed" today? "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed." Facing "times of trouble?" God is "a stronghold in times of trouble." Others see the "trouble" in your life and flee or simply don't know what to say or do or how to respond. But God knows how to handle you; what you need; what will help. Only God is strong enough, loving enough, persistent enough and good enough for all those "times of trouble."
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Be more ambitious! Have a strong desire for success and achievement. After all, what is the alternative? The book of Proverbs commends such aspirations but also points us in our pursuit down the path of wisdom offering us the inspired guidance of "the proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair." (Proverbs 1:1-3 – NIV) The world needs more men and women of true greatness and distinction with such godly ambitions. Be one!
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Education
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    1972 - 1976
  • Concordia Theological Seminary
    Biblical Studies, 1976 - 1980
  • Cary-Grove High School
    1968 - 1972
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    1972 - 1976
  • Concordia Theological Seminary
    1976 - 1980
  • Fox River Grove Middle School
    1959 - 1968
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Looking for
Networking
Relationship
Married
Work
Occupation
Pastor
Skills
Pastoral Ministry, Counseling, Recovery Ministry, Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages
Employment
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Pierce, FL
    Pastor, 2012 - present
  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Euclid, OH
    Pastor, 1980 - 2011
  • Leave A Lasting Legacy
    2011 - 2012
  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Euclid, OH)
    1980 - 2011
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Port St. Lucie, Florida
Previously
Euclid, Ohio - Fox River Grove, Illinois - Jensen Beach, Florida - Fort Pierce, Florida