As a Christian we live by faith. Faith is being fully trusting and confident and having full assurance in God's word and what He says. Everything about our walk should involve faith. Faith is simply like a muscle that grows stronger and stronger through exercise. The stress and pressure of facing daily challenges and circumstances with confidence in God is an exercise that builds vibrant faith. So how's your faith? Is it huge or wimpy? We know we're to walk by faith, yet we can so easily begin walking by sight. What's amazing about faith according to Hebrews 11:6 is this, "...it is impossible to please God without faith." We won't please God by what we know, who we know, or even what we've done. The only way to please Him is through faith. Every single day gives us opportunities to put our faith in Him and trust Him in whatever we go through and experience. The flip side of faith is to doubt and allow unbelief to enter. I just can't imagine living life like this anymore, seeing it's how I lived for about 20 years. Earlier, in Hebrews 3:12, we see an ominous warning, "Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God." I must always be on watch to guard my heart from doubt and unbelief. It's at every turn, every decision, and every thought, and I can't let it worm its way into my life. I am a man of God who's called to live by faith having, "confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."(Hebrews 11:1). Today let your faith muscle grow! Let it get big! And allow it to become huge! God wants us to have Huge faith!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed." There's really no way around this. I have the choice to either be wise or destroyed? And if you're curious about what a fool is, all you have to do is go through Proverbs and see how the Bible describes one. But as obvious as this is, many people don't heed this warning and reap the consequences. One of the best choices a person could ever make is to surround themselves with people who are growing in the Lord, and seeing the kind of fruit in their lives that you want in yours. I'm so thankful for those amazing people in my life today who constantly challenge me to live for the Lord, and those in my past who helped me become the man I am today. Thank you for being a Godly example that others could follow :)
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." I want to live my life in such a way that I can say to others, follow me as I follow Christ.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Talk about some serious injustice taking place, and yet Jesus chose to forgive and not let what these men did become a vivid point of anger, bitterness or offense in His life. If we look back in our lives, all of us will find examples of injustice. The important decision is whether or not we'll allow them to be distant memories or the fuel for today's bitterness. Just like Jesus, the choice I've made is to forgive :)
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." When people become born again, they're fooled if they think their life is now going to be easy and without opposition. All we have to do is look at what happened to the disciples and Jesus Himself. He told us in John 15:18, "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first." If people persecute or attack you, don't be discouraged by it. Don't allow their hatred and opposition hinder you from being who God's called you to be and doing what He's called you to do. Find comfort and strength in verses like 2 Corinthians 12:10 which encourages us, "That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." If you take a stand for something Godly today, expect persecution and opposition, but don't let it hinder or stop you :)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." For many people, a hug can signify so much. It can represent a love that never chose to give up. A love that not only made it through the good, but also endured the challenging. Here's a simple tip, especially for you guys. Your loved one needs your affection and one of the best ways to show your affection is by wrapping your arms around her, holding her tight, and whispering in her ear how much she means to you. And for you women, let me tell you that from a guy's perspective, having the love of your life wrap her arms around you, is simply amazing! Hug the one you love today. It's totally fine to show your affection towards the one you love.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble." The tone of this verse comes across strong, but obviously there's a reason for this. If you're like me, at times we say things that we wished we hadn't. Things seem to come out of our mouths which at times, shocks and surprises us. It's one of the things which gets us into trouble more than just about anything else. It's amazing at how many verses there are in the Bible, which deal with those things which come out of our mouths, especially those things which are not good. What if we chose to do what this verse says to? What if we watched our tongue and chose to keep our mouths shut (when we need to)? The fruit of heeding this verse is something everyone wants more of, and that's staying out of trouble. So much of the trouble we encounter is self-inflicted, due to what we choose to say. Many times we want to say something, knowing it will probably produce trouble, yet we go ahead anyway and reap the consequences. Today I encourage you to choose your words wisely. Take heed to the wisdom of Proverbs 21:23 and enjoy staying out of trouble. Remember that your words are like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. Once you've squeezed the toothpaste out, you can't put it back into its tube. It's out forever.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?"In other words, many men claim to be loyal and loving, but where do you actually find one of these guys? Faithfulness, loyalty and loving should be the hallmark of who a man is at his very core. Whether everyone is watching him or whether he's alone, he should be faithful. Ask any wife about what she desires in a husband and I'm sure faithfulness will be at the top of her list, or at least I'd hope it would be. As a man I'm called to be faithful in everything, not just the big things, but also in all the little things. Just to clarify what being faithful is, it's being, "true to one's word, promise or vows; steadfast in allegiance, affection or loyalty; reliable and trusted." There's no way around who and what we've been called to be. You may ask yourself, "how do I become more faithful?" It starts now with every choice and decision you make. These choices and decisions are not to impress or please a person, but the Lord Himself. He chose to be faithful to us, and our lives should reciprocate our faithfulness to Him. As we choose to be be faithful to Him, it will affect every area in our lives. So when the question is asked, "who can find a faithful man?" People should be able to point to you :)
Saturday, February 18, 2012
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/morninglory/lingo.html. Guys, regardless of how your girl looks, feels or thinks today, let her know how much you love, value and cherish her. It's what she truly desires.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long." Is this ever meaningful when it comes to marriage. A wife sees everything with her husband, both the good and the bad, and yet nothing should separate them. Trust is essential to the success of any marriage. A wife who enjoys her friend's "gossip groups" will diminish his trust and could lead him to regret it. She covers him, loves him and builds him up. She's ever mindful of the vows she made on her wedding day, where she said publicly that her love for him would prevail, regardless. She never allows spite's poison (grudges, pettyness, malicious, desire to harm, frustration, humiliation, bitterness or ill-will) to have its course in their marriage, knowing it's destructive fruit. I'm so thankful for my wife and blessed because of her. Verse 10 is my reminder for what the Lord blessed me with, "A good woman is hard to find and worth far more than diamonds." Thank you Katherine :) I miss you.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
So we're right in the middle of our HITC winter retreat. We get to have a couple of fun days together and then head up to an awesome young adult retreat in the mountains for 3 days. One of my favorite things to do with our extremely hard working and stretched to the limit HITC students is provide opportunities for them to unwind and have fun. Well yesterday we did just that. We invaded JumpTime Idaho, and being the only people there, we had a blast and took over the place! We bounced and played, and I even had an opportunity to do some Tebowing. So many people have this wrong picture that being a Christian limits you from having fun. Well are they ever wrong. Anyone who truly serves God will tell you that being a Christian brings freedom and joy. That was so obvious to me yesterdat with our students. After being on a pretty challenging schedule, a little bit of unwind and play is just what the doctor ordered. I love watching 18-30 year olds have so much on trampolines and other things. Seeing their smiles, hearing their laughs and just watching them is so rewarding. If life was only all about hard work without any times of fun, it would be pretty mundane. I'm so thankful that in Christ we have life, joy and freedom. We can never forget Jesus' promise to us from John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." I'm so looking forward to some great activities today and then a powerful young adult retreat to round out the week. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming, because of how I love life and everything that's going on in it :)
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first," doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end." Most people who read this verse would probably think it's crazy! But crazy it is, because it describes love through the eyes of a God who's crazy about us. As Christians it's so easy to say we love others, but how does your love hold up through the love filter of 1 Corinthians 13? Love is the most powerful and amazing thing the world has ever known and it's author is God. Enjoy your Valentines Day today, and never forget what true love looks like :)
Monday, February 13, 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=9xwCG0Ey2Mg. As you go through your day, don't focus on your limitations, but on your possibilities. Don't let problems hold you down or define who you are or what you can do. Don't look at problems, but at your blessings. And in everything, never forget God's promise to you found in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you."
Saturday, February 11, 2012
for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have." For fun check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq6xk9ahMnI
Friday, February 10, 2012
Have you ever noticed how much people whine, not referring to babies, but adults? At times I'm amazed at how many adults whine, moan, complain or grumble. I've been there just like everyone else. In the past I've whined and complained, but I recognize it was wrong. Nowadays, those who know me best would agree that they seldom hear me whine or complain. I thought babies whined and yet people who whine often want to be treated as adults. Go figure? Whining is defined as, "to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way." So what makes us whine? Perhaps we didn't get what we wanted? Or we didn't like what someone said or did? Maybe we feel it's our right? Or perhaps we really have no reason and it's just who we are? Whatever the reason, it's not a very good one. I love today's picture of a grown man with a pacifier in his mouth. As ridiculous as it looks, this is exactly how we look when we whine. A great picture of how God views whining is found in Numbers 11. In verse 11 we read, "Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the LORD became extremely angry." Whining didn't sit so well with Him. If whining isn't what should come out of our mouths what should? I love what the Message says should come from our mouths in Ephesians 4:29, "Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift." Can you imagine if the only things that came out of our mouths were helpful and that we viewed our every word as a gift? Today I challenge you to let your words help and view them as gifts. If you don't, you risk looking like the guy above :)
Thursday, February 9, 2012
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." Then verses 17 and 18 say, "How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!" Do you begin to see how God feels about you? You're no loser! Through Him you're a winner! Don't label or view yourself as someone you're not. God cannot and does not lie, and so what He says about you is the truth. You belong to Him and are His masterpiece. Today, remove the L sign you're making from your forehead. Let your actions, attitudes, words and thoughts reflect who you really are. In Jesus you are a champion! You are valuable, precious and the apple of His eye. Yes your life is meaningful and He has called you to great things :)
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
"Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." How easy it is to base everything on how someone looks, rather than what's on the inside and their fruit. I think our culture is far too outward appearance focussed. And just like with these balls, if you didn't take a moment to squeeze and bounce them, you'd be completely fooled. Some of the most amazing people I know are those who are often overlooked by others because of their outward appearance. Yet as you get to know them you begin to see that they're truly gems on the inside, also having great fruit in their life. I'm so thankful that we can learn from Samuel experience. If he would have chosen who he thought should be king, based on outward appearance, he would have blown it. Instead he chose to listen to the Lord and chose based on something more far more important. And just in case you're wondering, the ball second from the left (Wilson US Open) is the one that actually bounces :)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
the powerful Sword of the Spirit. Whatever the devil throws at us, the Bible has what we need. It holds the keys and strategies needed to fight off and defeat every attack that comes at us. One of the best verses in dealing with the enemy's attacks and the outcome the Lord pronounces is found in Isaiah 54:17. It declares to us, "But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken!" What an amazing verse for us! What a promise from the Lord! His Word is where we must go when our enemy tries to strike. No weapon, person or plan will succeed against those who trust in the Lord. Take some time to get into your weapon today, the Word of God, because in it you'll find everything you'll need for victory today.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
As most of you probably heard, yesterday the world lost a great leader in Steve Appleton, CEO of Micron. Steve was one of those people who always seemed to bring out the best in you. Steve was also on tennis scholarship at Boise State and graduated a couple of years before I arrived there. He was a competitor to say the least! He was always encouraging the "little guy" to break through and win. I last saw Steve at a BSU women's match last year. He came up to me and asked how I was doing. As always, he was keenly interested in how you and your family were doing. My son even got to meet him on this occasion. It's funny how when you see an old friend that you never imagine it will be the last time you'll see them. One of the things I admire about Steve Appleton was his generosity and desire to help others. He definitely never allowed his corporate success to go to his head. His roots and loyalty were always Blue and Orange all the way. On a plaque at the Appleton BSU Tennis facility there's a quote from Steve which says, "Tennis taught me more in one season than a lifetime of other experiences." I couldn't agree more with him. Looking back, Steve at heart was simply another Bronco tennis player, with lots of dreams and determination. But he didn't just twiddle his thumbs and do nothing. He chose to put feet to his dreams and see how far they would take him. My heart goes out to his wife Dalynn and children in this difficult season. Steve, thanks for caring for all the "little guys" and helping their dreams soar too. Here's a great clip about Steve and tennis http://www.ktvb.com/news/BSU--tennis-coach-Appleton-was-just-like-you-138688339.html
Friday, February 3, 2012
Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here." From God's perspective our lives are like a fast blur, here one day and gone the next. When you're young, you have this idea that you have so long to live. That you have many, many years till you get old, but don't fall into that trap. Our lives pass by so fast. It's like driving through a small town at 65mph. I guess that's what's impacting me so much as I look at this photo. It was almost 30 years ago and yet it seems like just yesterday. Don't be fooled into thinking that you have an endless supply of years ahead, because you don't! Live today having no regrets. Live it with passion and excitement. Live it full of thanksgiving and appreciation. Live it without bitterness towards or envious of others. Live it with joy, enthusiasm and peace. Won't you live life to the fullest today? Your years are going to go by so much quicker than you realize and you have no control over life's speed dial. Live life today!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so." If someone deserves some credit, why is it hard to give it to them? If someone has done something well, let them know. If someone has done a great job, let them know they did a great job. Sometimes I think jealousy and envy can creep in and lock the door when it comes to us complimenting others. We wish it was us doing the good job and getting the credit, but because it's someone else, we're irritated. I'm a big proponent of treating others how you yourself want to be treated (Luke 6:31). Many people want others to tell them they're doing a great job, yet those very people refuse to tell those around them about the great job they're doing. Look around today and if you see someone doing something special or doing a great job, and let them know. Speak up and encourage, allowing your words to lift others up and soar! There are many people around you who are doing a great job. All you have to do is say these two simple words, "great job." :) If you want to watch one of my favorite clips on this, check out this link. It's long but is well worth it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Don't let things hold you down or back today. Be who God's called you to be. Today, be a champion, an overcomer, and a person of victory, through Christ.