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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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Our God is so creative. God did not just create you. He wants to continue to recreate you and invites you into this ongoing process of personal renewal, which offers you a fresh start each day. Give God His rightful place as Creator in your life today and pray: "Create in me a new, clean heart ..." (Psalm 51:10 – LB) Then expect God to create new things in your life; new thoughts, attitudes, emotions ... new ideas, plans, relationships. You do not have to resign yourself to always being what you have been and doing what you have always done and always getting the same results. Let your life today be refreshed, renewed and recreated by your very creative God. Open the eyes of your heart and soul to see and embrace God's new creation!
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Never connect the character of God with your response. "The LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made." (Psalm 145:9 – NIV) God continues to be "good to all" and have "compassion on all" because that is who He is, regardless of what you do or how you respond. God cannot not be good. He never runs out of compassion for anyone and everyone. God's heart never goes cold. He never becomes indifferent. You are embraced by the same heavenly Father on your bad days as you are on your good days. Talk about security!
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Look beyond the good things in life to God, the Giver of every good gift. "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Fear the Lord, you His holy people, for those who fear Him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." (Psalm 34:8-10—NIV) All the blessings and bounty of life will never be enough until you discover and claim the best in Christ. "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32—NIV)
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Practice praise! We were made to magnify God. Our failure to worship and praise God uncouples us from the rest of God's plan and purpose for life. There is no problem, tragedy, disaster, hurt or loss that cannot be made lighter, better or easier by praising God ... or made worse by failing to praise Him. So make the commitment of the Psalmist: "You are my God, and I will praise You." (Psalm 43:4b – CEV)
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Give up the goal of "getting it all together." It is a mirage that never materializes and it never has been or will be one of God's commands or expectations. God simply wants you to give up care and control of your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him. "The LORD says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.'" (Psalm 32:8-9 – NLT) We humor ourselves when we imagine that we have "it under control." Only Christ is in control; a reality that you can either embrace or fight against, but a fact of life that cannot be changed. The choice is yours; you can be a humble servant to the higher plan and purposes of God or you can be like "a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control." It truly is God's way or the hard way!
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Be overwhelmed with God's goodness today. Say with David: "But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for He has been good to me." (Psalm 13:5-6 – NIV) God has been, is and will continue to be good to you and those you know and love in so many more ways than you could ever now see or realize. Don't frame your view of this day and those to come solely on the basis of what is seen. Raise your eyes and expand your horizons to embrace the reality of God's unfailing love and His unlimited goodness.
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Jesus tells us: "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." (Luke 6:40 – NIV) So we are all students ... good or bad ... learning or loafing. If you are following Jesus you are being trained by the master teacher and the goal of your training is to become like Him. Whether or not that is the outcome depends upon us being good students, not placing ourselves above our teacher, but listening carefully to Him and learning our lessons. Can there be a higher calling than being "fully trained" by Jesus?
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You can't avoid adversity. It comes with the territory of being alive. With trouble and difficulty the question is not IF they will make an appearance in your life, but WHEN. God says: "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me." (Psalm 50:15 – NIV) It is a given that "days of trouble" will come. What will you do when they do? If you call upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who promises to serve you and all as Savior and Deliverer, He will deliver you and you will honor Him, deepening an ever growing relationship with Him. When trouble comes your way, make Your first call to Christ, because when He is your first call, He will be your last call and you will never be without the help that you need. He is just that faithful a Savior and Friend!
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Today you don't need to be anyone's Savior. They already have a far superior Savior in Jesus Christ. "Jesus is the only One who can save people. No one else in the world is able to save us." (Acts 4:12 -- NCV) The best you can expect to accomplish by trying to save or fix someone is to separate them farther from the real source of help and salvation. What you can and should do today is to point others to Jesus! "He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them." (Hebrews 7:25 – NIV)
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Do you really value the people in your life? God does! Relationships with others are at the core of our faith and are the highest reflection of our relationship with God. Jesus instructs us as we prepare for worship to "go and make peace with that person, and then come and offer your gift." (Matthew 5:24—NCV)
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"The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace." (Psalm 29:11 – NCV) Have an wonderful day enjoying all of God's gifts, experiencing His strength for all your weakness, enjoying His provision for all of your needs, accepting His relief for all of your burdens, allowing His peace to calm each of your fears and worries, so that all that is left for you today is the joy of His salvation and a peace that transcends all understanding.
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Jesus speaks to you in the practical Biblical book of Proverbs as the incarnation and personification of wisdom. "Whoever listens to Me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." (Proverbs 1:33 – NIV) Read and meditate on one of the Proverbs each day and absorb "the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Romans 11:33 – NIV) Christ has some things to say to you that will address what concerns and confounds you this day. Listen, learn and commit and do what He tells your, carefully considering each piece of wisdom He gives you and consistently applying it to your life. Then practice! Practice! Practice!
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People
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