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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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Thank God today that you have more than enough! "Why is everyone hungry for more? 'More, more,' they say. 'More, more.' I have God's more-than-enough. More joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees." (Psalm 4:6-7 – Msg) You are not in need! You can act, think and speak today as a wealthy, well-cared for, contented and generous person because "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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How shallow, shortsighted and limited of a life we settle for. God wants you to have hopes and dreams; not of the possible or achievable, but of the impossible and the unachievable. Then you will have to rely upon God's promised support to live out those hopes and dreams. God dares you to depend on Him and is ready and waiting to amaze you with His answers to your dauntless prayers. "Support me as You promised so I can live. Don't let me be embarrassed because of my hopes." (Psalm 119:116 – NCV)
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What will make today a great day? You and I developing a great life! Turn to the Proverbs and one by one you will build true greatness into your life. God has given us this powerfully practical Biblical book "so we'll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it's going." (Proverbs 1:2 – Msg) In the Proverbs you will discover "a manual for living, for learning what's right and just and fair; to teach [us] the ropes and give [us] a grasp on reality." (Proverbs 1:3 – Msg) It also points us to our Lord Jesus Christ "who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." (1 Corinthians 1:30 – NIV)
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Are you willing to be wrong in order to become right? Wisdom comes only to those who are teachable and open to rebuke. In Proverbs 1:23 God is personified as Wisdom and says: "If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you." (Proverbs 1:23 – NIV) God has much wisdom for you, revealed clearly in His Word, the Bible. But first you must be open to and respond to His rebuke, however He may choose to deliver it. Your willingness to be wrong is the key to you becoming wise.
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Christ must be first and central not an add-on or afterthought to an already full and committed life. Jesus will not accept second place. He simply says: "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:37-38 – NIV)
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In our noisy world there is incredible need for and power in silence. God repeatedly calls us to arrange for a period and place of silence in our day where we can hear Him speak and listen carefully as He addresses our concerns and answers our questions. "Pay attention and listen to Me; be silent, and I will speak." (Job 33:31 – NIV) Be silent each day and in the quiet place and time you establish allow the Holy Spirit to get through to you with God's renewing Word and liberating truth.
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There is no use getting depressed; God isn't done with you yet! We have gathered the notion that suffering is to be avoided at any price. But suffering is not the enemy. Suffering and difficulties can easily be converted into a good thing in the powerful hands of your loving and good heavenly Father. When faced with hard times you can pray the prayer of faith found on the lips of God's people over the years: "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees." (Psalm 119:71 – NIV) Adversity is a great teacher and essential to God's program of training to develop you into the man or woman you need to be in order to fill your place and fulfill His purpose for your life. You can welcome and embrace "hard times" and setbacks ... even rejoice in them ... trusting that God is greater than any difficulty and will use them to draw you to Himself so that He can effectively teach and train you.
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To be saved is to find and take your proper place in Christ and find God's promised prosperity. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3 – NIV) God does not simply open our lives and pour in His many blessings. He does something far greater. He takes us and places us "in Christ." Draw a circle with a dot in the middle. That is you "in Christ." You have and are all that He has and is. When you are "in Christ" everything that can be said about Christ can be said about you.
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Let God's Word absorb your focus and dominate your day! "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Colossians 3:16 – NIV) Immerse your thoughts and saturate the words you select to speak today with the riches of the truth of God's Word!
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Bear the name of Jesus Christ today and hold your head up high. "How proud I am to bear Your name, O Lord." (Jeremiah 15:16b – LB) Engage in life and encounter people with a boldness and confidence that can be found no where other than by claiming your identity as one precious to and reclaimed by Jesus Christ. He crossed all barriers that separate earth from heaven to make you His own for time and eternity. Be proud today to carry out your call to be Christ's man or woman!
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God can correct any calamity or catastrophe confronting you. He never tosses you aside on to the junk heap. There is no situation He cannot salvage. There is no mess that you have made that He cannot redeem, reclaim and restore. Your job is not to fix it or even to clean it up but to give God all the broken pieces. Step out of all the dirt of your disaster and simply pray: "Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You." (Psalm 51:10, 12 – LB) Only God could do such things. Your life is not some self-help project but a work of God ... a divine undertaking.
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What is it that that you need today? God knows those needs: "... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23a) Look beyond that that pain or problem that that disguises itself as a need and look to God for His steady supply of your deepest desires. He meets the most desperate demands of life with these delicious and luscious "fruit of the Spirit." Feasting on these you can face your day and say: "Need? What need?"
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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