Saturday, December 31, 2011
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." This is the kind of love I'm to have personally, as are all believers. It's challenging to the core as it goes completely counter-culture. It's a love God desires to be lived out in our daily walk. I'm excited about 2012 because people aren't just going to hear about love, but they're going to see it lived out in the lives of believers. It's going to be a year of miracles, salvations and breakthrough! Go God :)
Friday, December 30, 2011
A cheerful heart is good medicine..." And you have to appreciate being with people who are cheerful and full of joy. When they begin to laugh it brings about such joy. I'm sure Jesus laughed lots with His disciples. I believe it was one of the many reasons people enjoyed being around Him. Unfortunately there are some people who seldom laugh. Maybe they have their reasons for this, but laughter definitely has its health benefits, which I encourage you to research a little. Laughter is so contagious. Have you ever been with someone who begins to laugh and then before you know it, everyone is laughing. I understand we live in a culture that creates stress, a culture where people can become frustrated, intense or critical, but everyone needs to laugh. A cheerful heart is good for you and one of its byproducts is laughter. Here's another interesting statistic I found, "T
Thursday, December 29, 2011
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." It emphasizes John the Baptist's ministry decreasing while Christ's increasing. John was fully aware about what needed to happen. He was aware of the time and season that he was in, and states exactly what his responsibility was. For John to say what he said and do what he did, he needed to be a man clothed in humility. What's often heard in our culture is "It's all about you and getting what you can!" This is a far cry from what John the Baptist knew needed to happen. Again, the reason John could say this was because of humility. Yet humility in our culture has given way to the giant of pride. Wherever you look it often seems that humility has been swept under the rug as a thing of the past, giving way to a culture full of pride and arrogance. What if John the Baptist's words were echoed again in our day and age, and people responded? What if people chose to put Christ first and embraced humility?
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
"Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. What an incredible promise to all those who believe in Jesus. Just as the ground was covered this morning with pure white powder, so also does the Lord cover our sins and making them white as snow. What an amazing picture this gives us of Him and His forgiveness. What great love He has for us to do this. As we go out in the snow today, or as we hit the slopes (when we get more snow), never lose sight of this picture. His blood washing over our sins and making them as white as snow, all because of His love for us.
Monday, December 26, 2011
As many of you know, trials and tests are often part of our daily walk in life. Sometimes theses can come in the shape of small things, and at times, much larger things. Usually we have two options when we encounter these trials and tests. We can stop and give up, or choose to continue moving forward, relying on God to help us be victorious. The Bible is very clear that tests and trials will come, and even says in Romans 5:3 that, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance." In times of testing and trials, God desires us to keep going and to have endurance (as well as joy). In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, were told, "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." You may feel pressed, perplexed, hunted down and even get knocked down, yet we must find our strength in the Lord and continue moving ahead. As we trust in God and keep our eyes on Him through our difficult times, He won't allow us to be crushed, driven to despair, be abandoned by Him or be destroyed. Just like a good running back in football who feels someone trying to tackle him, you must keep your legs moving and keep going. I know lots of people who in a time of trial or testing, choose to breakthrough into a season of victory and conquest. Maybe that's what God has in store for you today, if you'll choose to keep going and have endurance?
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. The shepherds went everywhere telling people what they'd been told and what happened next. Even today, people need to hear the great news of Jesus' birth. We live in a culture that has sucked hope, life and vision out of people, and they need to hear about Immanuel, God with us. He is the one who brings us hope, life and vision and we must be like the shepherds, and tell everyone around us about Jesus. Christmas is all about Jesus and people are usually more open to hear about Him during this season. Wherever you go during the next few days, don't forget to tell people about Immanuel. Merry Christmas everyone :) Also enjoy the cute Christmas story as told by some children from Auckland, New Zealand http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kWq60oyrHVQ
Friday, December 23, 2011
I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me." This is so true! I have so many songs to sing because of His goodness towards me :) If I made a list of how He has blessed me this year, it would be huge. But as I think a little deeper about the Lord's goodness, there's something that stands out to me, that I'm more thankful for and blessed by than anything else. And that is the people that the Lord has put in my life. If I were to put a value on the quality of people in my life, I'd be a billionaire! I am a very blessed man, not just because of what I have, but because of who I have in my life. I have so many incredible men, women and kids in my life that sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. People who are faithful, loyal, truthful, generous, honest, fun, who sharpen me and most of all, who love the Lord with all their heart. If there wasn't one gift with my name on it this Christmas, it wouldn't matter, because I have hundreds of gifts in the form of amazing friends. Each one of you is so special to me and I cherish you all. Thank you so much for your friendship and love. May you cherish those around you this Christmas as much as I do :)
Thursday, December 22, 2011
If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out." Unfortunately too many people get a kick out of using harsh, condescending and destructive words and have allowed it to become their norm for communication. Whatever happened to treating others the way we want them to treat us? Whether someone is a spouse, a parent, sibling, employer, employee, etc, don't communicate in such a way that shuts others down or belittles them, but in a way that promotes them to want to be open :) Allow your words today to bring out the best in others.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
“...This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” As a dad I've seen how my son lights up when I encourage and affirm him. Something happens to a son when powerful life giving words from their dad or a father figure are spoken to them. I know that as a dad you can have a lot on your plate, but we can't ignore or overlook the necessity and power that God has given us in our words. I see my son as being a world changer and influencer for the Kingdom of God and I have a great responsibility to prepare him for all God has for him. That starts right now with all I do and say as his dad. My words can bring courage, hope, strength and vision to him, all of which he needs. I cannot be passive, ignorant or timid when it comes to fulfilling my role. Now is the time for dads to take responsibility and be who God's called us to be. Today dads will have many opportunities to talk with sons. Choose to help form and mold them into men of God :) Dads love challenges and we have a great one before us. Take courage and fulfill your call to be a dad.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Have you ever felt your courage drop and discouragement knock on your door? When we lose our courage, we allow timidity, fear, indecision, discouragement and ineffectiveness to take over. Have you ever thought that there might be something trying to steal your courage? If your courage can be stolen, think about the tragic consequences that could take place because of it. As I read the Bible, I notice how often people are told to be strong and take courage. This includes mighty men such as Joshua, Caleb and Gideon. For them to do all that God called them to do, one of their keys was to be courageous. Without courage, they couldn't and wouldn't have done all they did. The same goes for us and those things God has called us to do. As Christians, we're going to encounter situations and things that are challenging, difficult and intimidating. It's in the midst of these these that we must allow courage to rise within us. So where do we get this courage? It's from the Lord. We see men and women in the Bible go to the Lord in their times of need and it's there that the Lord imparts courage to them. And once He gives it, it then becomes the responsibility of the person to walk it out. We live in a culture where discouragement has a deep hold on people. The courage thief has plundered and left people helpless. We must rise up and heed the impacting words of the Lord found in Joshua 1:9, "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Take a hold of these powerful words and don't the courage thief to plunder you today.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.251469471583273.65508.138874852842736&type=3 This story is well worth it. Many of us can at times feel like no-one is even aware of our existence. Loneliness and being overlooked can be one of the main weapons in the devil's arsenal. I don't remember who said it, but one of my favorite quotes referring to David the shepherd, says, "David lived in a season of being unseen, while looking after lambs. David was seemingly isolated on the hills with the sheep, yet God was there with him, promoting him day by day. David chose to find contentment in his solitary circumstances with his sheep. David found joy in the sacrifice of serving and kept a song in his heart. We must learn to mine the gold in our current circumstances and discover contentment in any place we find ourselves." We cannot forget this. The one thing we must cling to is that God sees you, knows you, is with you and has a great plan for you. Take the time to read Psalm 139 and see how precious and intentional you are to Him. Today you may feel overlooked and alone, but that's not true. God is with you because you are His masterpiece :)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified." In Judges 6 the Lord calls Gideon, "...a mighty man of valor" and commissions him to go and defeat the Midianites. The first things that flow from Gideon's mouth are excuses, similar to those we use in our lives. The problem is that Gideon was seeing things from his own perspective and not God's. He viewed himself as weak, wimpy and incapable. Not only did he view himself this way, but confessed it openly. Our culture thrives on excuses. Whether it's a world leader, a politician, a child, a spouse, or whoever, excuses are far easier to make than take responsibility for something. Can you imagine how things would be if nobody made excuses? Excuses shouldn't be things we hide behind, trying to cover ourselves. Don't forget, the more of them you make, the greater your fall will be. Today, make the choice to stop making excuses. Be a person of your word, taking responsibility for your words and actions, and ask the Lord to let you see things as the Lord sees them :)
Monday, December 12, 2011
passion. Colossians 3:23 tells us, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men..." This is what Tebow does. He lives life with such passion and zeal that whatever he does, he does it heartily, not for his own glory, but for the Lord. I realize that people either hate him or love him when it comes to football, but when it comes to his passion for life, how can you not like the guy? Thank you Tim Tebow for not allowing culture to dictate who you are and what you do!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety." I've found that if your goal is to please man, you will always fail. However, if your focus is to please the Lord, that will take care of every other relationship. It's tragic for me to see people who live their lives in fear of man, with every ounce of their focus being on what man thinks about them. How can we get off course so easily when it comes to pleasing the Lord? This happens when our relationship with Him is not our first and foremost priority. It's a line that we walk. Once our focus moves off Him, we immediately move into the realm of pleasing and fearing man. Unfortunately today, many people will walk around caught in this trap. Choose not to join their ranks. Don't become someone who walks around on eggshells because their focus is on what others think. Live to day to please the Lord and you won't become ensnared in the trap of fearing man.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." To me this is pretty black and white. We're to desire instruction and correction. Our culture constantly rams down our throats the mindset that nobody has the right to tell you what to do, and let alone correct you. To me this is the "stupid" test. This test tells me whether or not I'm stupid. How do you pass this test? By simply loving instruction and correction. How do you fail the "stupid" test? By doing the opposite and not loving instruction and correction. When you think about it, the main purpose of any instruction and correction is to help you become a mature Christian. There was a time in my life when it was hard for me to receive these, but you quickly learn from the rewards and blessings found when you learn to love them. Don't ever fear instruction or correction as it's a vital aspect of your Christian maturity. But if you do choose to ignore the warning of the Bible, I guess you really are what this verse calls you, stupid.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Stephanie is definitely a conqueror! She has gone through the toughest battle of her life, yet she's shined as a woman who's learned to trust the Lord and find her strength in Him. Even through difficult days, she's chosen joy, encouraged others and never complained. Stephanie, because of her choices, has given so much hope, inspiration and encouragement to so many other people. Throughout her battle with cancer, she has continued to be an incredible wife and mother. One of the most incredible things I've seen in Stephanie is her tenacity and fighting spirit. As part of the Harvest dance team, she chose to dance even when she didn't feel like it. She wasn't going to let the devil keep her down, but instead, chose to jump on his head every time she danced. I'm so thankful for people like Stephanie. They are mighty warriors in God's kingdom. One additional note, she's a wonderful writer and has two great blogs found at www.lasaterland2.blogspot.com and www.lasaterland.blogspot.com. I encourage you to take a peek. Thanks for being one of my heroes Stephanie :)
Monday, December 5, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
We live in a culture that promotes self! Just visit your local bookstore and see how many book are there that emphasize self. The world encourages us to be self-reliant and self-seeking, as well as a long list of other self-focusses. We are constantly told to rely on our own wisdom and our own strength. It's interesting how so many of these things completely opposes what the Bible says. For example, Ephesians 6:10 tells us to, "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." Proverbs 3:5 also tells us to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." We're to be strong in Him and His power, and to trust in Him and not in our own abilities or understanding. These couldn't be any farther from what our culture tells us to do. In my life I've clearly seen the sad fruit of depending of my own strength, wisdom and understanding. Yet I've also seen the blessing and good fruit of trusting in the Lord's strength and wisdom. Sometimes it's easy for us to think we're living in His strength and wisdom, yet if you really think about it, often we're actually not. We've subtly slipped back into self-reliance and self-focus. For me to live today as the Lord desires, I must be empty of self and full of Him. If I don't live in His strength and His wisdom, I will fall short. Today He's offering us all the strength, wisdom, and whatever else we need, to live to please Him. You choose.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." God desires us to be givers! And those of you who are givers would agree, there's nothing quite like blessing others, and seeing the joy it brings :) Look for opportunities to put this principle into practice.
Monday, November 28, 2011
whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." As a Christian, have you ever thought of yourself as representative of the Lord? That means whatever we say and do, whether in public or private, should clearly indicate who represent. There should be no grey here, only black and white. Unfortunately, I hear about things that have been said, or seen things that are done, which would clearly indicate that a person is not a representative of Jesus. Whether it's in your family, in the workplace, in you neighborhood, or wherever you are, let their be no mistaking about who you represent. Too many people in our culture see Christians simply as hypocrites, saying they believe one thing and yet doing another. Our lives should be lived in such a way that there can be no mistaking who you represent. Before you speak, as Jesus' representative, ask yourself whether it will be pleasing to Him? Before you do something, think if it will be pleasing to Him? Just think if Christians began living 100% to please the Lord? I challenge you to read Colossians 3 today and to make what it says become how you live :)
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended." Hard hearts and selfishness will bring destruction to any relationship. We live in a culture that has forgotten all about loyalty and commitment. A culture where wedding vows have become cheap talk. When you talk with people who have been married for 20 or 30 years and even more, you realize that marriage isn't easy and requires a lot of work. Unfortunately, many people find it easier to walk away from a marriage than try and work it out. For a marriage to work, sacrifice and preferring others will be a necessity. Yet people aren't willing to do this and just move on to another relationship until the same divisive things arise again. What kind of example are we setting for younger generations with our marriages? We need to send a different message that says divorce isn't the answer. For the most part, God intended marriages to last a lifetime. Are you going to take the challenge? To show others how amazing a lifetime marriage can be? Go counter-culture and show people that it is possible to have a great marriage that lasts a lifetime :) (The ring in the picture isn't the one I purchased).
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord." I'll be the first to say that I've found a great treasure and favor. If I were to list all of the things she means to me, I'd run out of time. However, there are several things that are very significant to me about her. Firstly, she's a woman who fears the Lord whose passion for Him is seen in her desire to please Him in everything. Secondly, her loyalty and faithfulness is amazing. She's my best friend and always will be. And finally, she's a woman of great faith who can bring such wisdom and peace into any situation. I'm so blessed! We pray, talk, laugh and cry together, and our love for one another continues to grow. I challenge every husband to tell your wife how much you love and appreciate her. Look deep for those special and meaningful things. Buy her a card and write down your thoughts and feelings toward her. Buy her flowers when she doesn't expect it. And always honor her in front of others, whether she's present or not. A wife truly is a treasure from the Lord. I look forward to being that old couple we see, walking down the street, still holding hands, gazing into each other's eyes. I love you Katherine, my treasure :)
Monday, November 21, 2011
Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut" and Proverbs 21:23, "If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble." What rich wisdom for everyone. There are only two ways to learn something. Either by education or experience. Unfortunately, when it comes to this, most of us have had to learn from experience. I understand, because unfortunately I've done it. However, the million dollar question is whether or not we chose to learn from it. We live in a culture that promotes freedom of speech, and being able to say whatever, whenever. It's very clear, that although this is what culture allows us to do, it's not what the Bible instructs us to do. Many people should replace the massive river coming from their mouths with a small stream. If we don't heed the Scriptural warnings, sin and trouble await us! That's good enough warning for me. Know when to speak and when to be quiet, as it may save yourself much grief.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
On Saturday afternoon I listened in disbelief as Dan Goodale's potential game winning Boise State field goal sailed right. History was repeating itself. It was about the same time last year when Kyle Brotzman's potential game winning field goal against Nevada also sailed right. Both kicks costing Boise State a BCS bowl game. For many people, their world came crashing down. Although I'm a huge Boise State fan, it's not like someone missing a kick is the end of the world. Unfortunately, for many people, when things happen in life, it's all too easy to give up. People forget that failure is part of life. Tragically, people's view of failure is wrong and it becomes the fuel that keeps people down, paralyzed and unwilling to get up and try again. Proverbs 24:16 tells us, "The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked." It's not a matter of whether or not someone will trip up, but more about what they choose to do after they trip up. Just because Goodale and Brotzman missed kicks, does that mean they should stop kicking? If you fail at something, does it mean you should stop and give up? No! Life is about growing, learning and getting back up. Don't give up, walk away, or stay down. Ask God for strength and courage so you can get back up. What if I'd stayed down and given up all the times I've tripped up? To me it's not an option. Life isn't about the trips and failures, but it's about getting back up. It's about getting up when you don't think you can or don't want to. Today, don't stay down, but get up!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Next week Harvest hosts the "Power of the Presence" worship conference. It's going to be 3 days in the incredible and powerful presence of the Lord. I've been so excited heading into this conference because people are so hungry for the Lord right now. God has been showing up so mightily in our Sunday services and times of corporate prayer, and I know He's about to show up at the conference as only He can. Psalm 68:3 tell us, "But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy." Next week there's going to be much rejoicing and gladness as we enter His presence. I picture an abundance of joy in the lives of those who are seeking Him. Probably the thing I'm anticipating the most is what God is planning on doing during this conference when it comes to those things He's spoken over Harvest prophetically. I believe there's going to many miracles and salvations. As we enter into His presence, we're going to see His power. He's going to use anointed speakers such as Bob Sorge, Howard Rachinski and Danny Bonilla, as well as us having unforgettable times of worship. For more information about this very affordable conference you can go to the conference website at www.harvestworshipinstitute.com. As with any great event, there's always a group of people who are disappointed. I believe in relation to this conference, the only ones who will be disappointed will be those who didn't attend. Those who heard about what took place and yet weren't there to experience it themselves, looking back on it with regret. Don't be one of these people. It's going to be incredible! See you there :) Click Here for more information on the Power of the Presence Worship Conference.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Hopefully this isn't how we look? As a family we've been looking at the wisdom and instructions found in 1 Peter 3. It's quite an amazing piece of Scripture which challenges us to the core. In verse 9 it says, "Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and He will bless you for it." Our culture tells us to pay someone back what they deserve! Retaliation and anger is justified because what was done to you or said about you. How sad when Christians fall into this trap of wanting to get revenge and retaliation. I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is "am I bent on getting even or defending myself when I'm wronged? Am I willing to be a blessing even to those who've hurt my feelings?" All too often people think that if they can just get someone back for what they did to them, that everything will be just fine. How wrong this thinking is and how tragic is the path it leads. Last time I checked, revenge, anger and retaliation were not fruit of the Spirit but fruit of the carnal man. The choice before you today is critical. I'm so glad that Jesus wasn't focused on revenge or retaliation, and today I want people around me to see Him in me. I challenge you to read 1 Peter 3 several times this week and allow your heart to open for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. It's been so good for me to read :)
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Isn't this how we should view the church? Isn't it time we had a change of heart and attitude about the local church? It's so sad seeing people that do exactly what the title of this book suggests and they only date the church. Being a youth pastor for over 10 I have seen too many painful and hurtful things take place between couples who date. It's not that I'm against relationships, but desire to see things done in a way that pleases the Lord. Unfortunately, usually dating between Christians looks no different dating in the world. Don't be known as someone who only dates the church, but jump in, settle down and become a person who truly invests themselves in the Body of Christ.