Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." Their is so much wisdom found in these verses if only we'd do what they say. Today, recognize your great need of the Lord. Don't try to make it through on your own strength or without Him. Live in His strength, receive His grace and follow His leading. It's as simple as surrendering your day to Him :)
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I realize there's a huge debate going on right now in the Idaho Statehouse about whether or not a mother should need to have an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. In fact it's a very heated debate and at times downright nasty (well nasty from the side that's anti-life). I believe that a every child has the right to live life, which includes those in the womb. The Bible clearly states in Psalm 127:3, "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." Recently I've had a first hand opportunity to watch a young mother do what God has called her to do and that's to love her baby. I've seen her cherish, nurture and watch over her little gift from God. This is something that all parents are called to do. Every baby desperately needs love. Unfortunately in our culture, babies can often be seen as inconvenient, a burden and even a mistake. How could anyone even think that? When you look at the intricate handiwork of God that's seen in a baby's face, hands, feet and the rest of their body, how could you not cherish these little bundles of life and energy. There really is something amazing about life. Having the opportunity to hold life in your hands and see it grow and blossom. I take my hat off to every parent who values a child's life and sees a children as gift from God. Being a parent is one of the most incredible responsibilities someone could ever have, and at the same time it's one of the most rewarding. Today I challenge every parent to see their child as a gift from God, and to love their precious little ones just as the Lord does :)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
"As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness." I know this is pretty gross but I want you to get a picture of how gross this really is. For many of you who own dogs, you're well aware that when a dog vomits, often it will eat its own vomit, and sometimes even the vomit of another dog. This clear picture is how a fool is described as they repeat their folly. They're foolish and the result is foolishness, but it doesn't stop there. Once they've been foolish, they return to it and play in it some more. It's like they can't stop their foolishness. It's as if they take pleasure in being a fool. Yet this isn't God's desire for us. His desire is for his people is for them to be wise. If there's no reference to foolishness when it comes to God, His character or His nature, why would anyone desire to be foolish? All of us have opportunities to choose wisdom or foolishness throughout our day. Your choices will indicate whether you're choosing wisdom or eating vomit :)
Monday, March 26, 2012
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." This is also my desire. That we'd be filled completely with joy and peace as we trust God and overflowing with hope. When things don't go just how you expected or in the timing you wanted, think about the peace and joy that fills you because of Christ. Don't allow irritation, frustration, agitation, anger or rage gain a foothold in your day. It's really not worth it because of everything Christ did for you.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." I remember watching a TV story about two individuals, who at different times entered "Britain's Got Talent", the show "America's Got Talent" was modeled after. Both of these eventual winners shocked the judges the first time they sang. Just looking on the outside, both were laughed at and not much was expected from them. But as soon as they began singing something powerful happened. It's like what was on the inside was released. As you go about your day, don't just pass by people because of what they look like. Why you may ask? Because you might be completely missing the gold right before your eyes. Check out their clips at the following links and enjoy :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9whxWNI7bE and also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA&feature=related These links have over 6 million and 90 million hits respectively. Why? Because they were truly gold that was found. Enjoy!
Friday, March 23, 2012
"The godly are showered with blessings..." Take a moment to thank the Lord today for all He's blessed you with :)
Thursday, March 22, 2012
What's interesting about trust is how long it takes to build and yet how quickly it can be destroyed. In fact, some relationships never recover because mistrust can't be erased, and trust can't be re-established. So how do you build trust? As my pastor says, "By making daily deposits into the bank of trust, and by not making erratic withdrawals from it." To trust anyone, you must make yourself somewhat vulnerable, and vulnerability is not something everyone does with ease. Being vulnerable means that sometimes you have to be honest, open, admit your wrongs and even ask for help. If you have a desire to strengthen your relationships, allow trust to become a pillar in them. You may have no control over what another person does, but you do have that control in what you do. Be a person who infuses trust into your relationships.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Have you ever thought about how life can be like the weather? Unpredictable, with the ability to go from one extreme to the other. One day you can be on top of the world and the next day your world comes crashing down. Or it can go from being at an all time low, to all of sudden being on a mountain top. Yesterday in our valley we had some snow, wind and cold temperatures. While today the weather forecast is for mild and 65 degrees. In a matter of hours things can be completely opposite. Life can sometimes be the same way. In all of the ups and downs of life there is one constant, God. I read a church sign recently which said, "Sometimes God calms the storm and other times He calms His child." Isn't that the truth! Sometimes we want God to calm the storm and get us out of it, when His plan is to calm us as we go through the storm. God never said He'd change the circumstances or storms in our lives (that doesn't mean He doesn't or can't), but what He did say is that He wouldn't leave us. In Psalm 57:1 the psalmist says, "...I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by." Sometimes all we can do is hide under His protection. Truly God is faithful in every way. You may presently be going through a difficult time, season or situation. Never forget that God is with you through every moment and that just like the weather, things can turn around dramatically when you walk with Him. And if you're praying for God to take the storm away, don't forget that sometimes the storm is His doing, to see if you'll trust and obey Him.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This past weekend I had the privilege of being part of our church's Encounter ministry team. This was our 50th (give or take a few) Encounter, and as usual, God showed up POWERFULLY! I'm always amazed at how a person can begin an Encounter so bound and chained up with the sins of life, and yet by the end of it, they're a completely different person. So many of these people are experiencing freedom for the first time in years. They stand on John 8:36 which declares to us, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." And that's exactly what happened with this group of eighty or so attendees. They became free! Not because of what any person did at the Encounter, but solely because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. They experienced Colossians 2:13-15, "Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross." As with any person, if you're hungry and desperate for God, He will meet you. He will be found. Why? Because He's a loving Father who created you for relationship with Him. God's faithfulness and love towards those He died for is so obvious. Thank you Jesus for the freedom you gave us, not because of anything we can do (except believe), and for your amazing love :)
Monday, March 19, 2012
As a pastor I'm frequently helping couples strengthen their relationship with one another. One of the most common destructive habit patterns I see in couples is an unwillingness to drop an argument. Unfortunately both people want their point of view to win the argument, and unfortunately this comes at a costly price. Is making your point more important to you than the relationship? Is your stance more important than the other person? The sad reality of these questions is that a person is often more willing to be right about something, even at the costly expense to their relationship. Sometimes it can be the husband and other times it can be the wife. So what's the key here when it comes to relationships? Is it stomping all over your spouse and doing a victory dance? Absolutely not! The key to healthy and successful relationships is humility. It's being willing to say, "the outcome isn't as important to me as our relationship." It takes a person of courage and loyalty to be able to say this. Romans 12:10 tells us to, "Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." Many divorces and separations are the result of pride and an unwillingness to honor the other person. If a person loves with genuine affection in a relationship you'll see them truly honor the person. To them it's not about winning, it's about loving. So if you drop something does that mean that you were wrong and the other person was right? Nope! It just means that you value the relationship more than winning or proving your point :) What do you value more?
Saturday, March 17, 2012
But You, O LORD, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One who holds my head high." Now that's some serious protection! The Lord is a shield around us. Now this doesn't mean we don't ever do anything to protect us, as that goes against wisdom. But we should know the Lord surrounds us. And not only is He a shield around us, but He He's our glory and the One who sustains us, holding our head high. Every day I ask for the Lord to surround my day, my family, my friends, our church, and many other things. He is our ultimate protector. He protects us like no-one can or nothing else can. And why does He choose to do this? Simply because He loves us so much. Thank you Lord for being my protector :)
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." The Bible is amazing! And I'm so excited to keep digging into my new one and allowing it to speak to me, strengthen me, instruct me and help me grow in my faith. Have you dug into your Bible today?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God." How true this is! I was once headed for destruction and mocked at the message of the cross, but in a moment everything changed. I saw the great love God had for me. I recognized my sin separated me from Him. I recognized the only way this problem could be rectified was by confessing and repenting for my sins and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. The message of the cross was no longer some "out there" philosophy. It had become a reality in my life. I know there are those who have mocked the transformation in my life over the past twenty or so years, or who have tried to discredit what Christ has done. However this old saying can't ring any truer, "A man with an experience will always win over a man with an argument." What I've personally experienced cannot be taken away because I've lived it first hand. My life was broken and Jesus met me in that brokenness, and together we've never looked back. My testimony is simply, "My broken life + Jesus = New Life in Him." One of the most incredible things about being a pastor is seeing others with broken lives come to meet Jesus as Lord and Savior, and seeing their journey into new life begin. Seeing them experience the power of God personally is one of the most amazing things. Thank you Jesus for Your love, Your forgiveness, Your healing, Your plan for my life, Your provision, Your protection, Your body (the church), and Your cross.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Even when it hurts, even when it's hard, even when it all just falls apart. I will run to You, cause I know that You are lover of my soul, healer of my scars. You steady my heart." I think this is something every person can easily relate to. Life can be hard, can hurt and at times can even fall apart. It's not a matter of if these things will happen, but when? And when they do happen, the most important question is what will you run to? Often people run to those things which won't comfort, satisfy or help. They run to the things that bring temporary satisfaction (perhaps), but really all these things end up being are band aids. When your life seems to be hard, when you have hurts or when everything seems to be falling apart, the only real option we have is to run to the One who can help. The lover of your soul and healer of your scars. The One who can truly settle you, Jesus Christ. Why is it easy for us to run to everything else first, and Him last? Yet He's the only one we need. Never forget what Isaiah 61:1-3 says referring to Jesus, "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Allow Him to settle you today :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJi_7f1cpbk
Monday, March 12, 2012
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. "Regardless of how my day is going, or what's going on around me, He doesn't change. His nature, His attributes, His love or anything else about Him don't change, regardless of what anyone does. Unlike cell phones, whose technology is constantly changing, improving, or being outdated. Jesus Christ doesn't change, and there are no improvements that can be made to Him because He's perfect. So today, whether things go well for you, don't forget Jesus Christ is your unchanging Lord and Savior. Whether your day is bumpy, don't forget Jesus Christ is still your unchanging Lord and Savior. His faithfulness, goodness and His love toward you are consistent. Regardless of everything else that changes or becomes outdated, He doesn't :)
Saturday, March 10, 2012
"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Friday, March 9, 2012
Who told you that you were naked?" the LORD God asked. "Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?" The man replied, "It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it." Then the LORD God asked the woman, "What have you done?" "The serpent deceived me," she replied. "That’s why I ate it." As we read on, we see that God was not at all impressed by their blame shifting. When we choose to blame others for things, as we read in Genesis 3 we see it's none other than a product of sin. I'm shocked to hear some of the things people try to blame others for without taking any responsibility themselves. Yes it is easier to blame others and harder to take responsibility yourself, but isn't life about doing the right thing and not the easiest? As parents we're always encouraging our children not blame others, but to take responsibility. But why do we not seem to do this very thing as adults? Today you will will probably have some opportunities to point the finger at others and blame them for things. But don't fall into the trap like Adam and Eve did. Can you imagine how different our great nation would be if people stopped pointing fingers and blaming others?
Thursday, March 8, 2012
For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." God will do incredible things on your team if you're not worried about who get the credit.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God..." If we lived this way we'd make a huge impact. When others do the minimum, we should go above and beyond. When the goal of others is to simply get by, ours should be to thrive. When others settle for mediocrity, we should aim for excellence. When others work to please man, our focus should be to please the Lord. The goal of everything in our lives should be to bring honor and praise to the Lord, and not ourselves. Today, you will have many opportunities to make a huge impact in this world. What will you do? Who will it affect? How will it touch others? Will it point to Jesus? Take the plunge and never underestimate the impact that God has called you to make in this world today.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."A lot is being said in these two simple verses, and yet the fruit of doing what they say can be priceless. The command for us is to "trust" in the Lord, which implies a waiting upon Him, full of faith and hope with joy, without complaining or doubting. Not only are we to do this, but we're also not to lean on our own understanding. How many examples are there in the Bible who did this, and suffered the consequences? Why is it so easy for us to assume we're always right or think we know what's best? Not leaning on our own understanding can often mean walking by faith and not sight, which opposes the very thing we think is right. If we choose to acknowledge God in every area of our lives, the reward is huge. The promise to us is that He shall direct, or make smooth or straight, our paths. Often we want the path before us to be obvious, clear and straight, yet what we do can hinder this from happening. How you might ask? By not trusting God with everything, by leaning on our own understanding, and by not acknowledging Him in everything. Think about it and choose to live the golden nuggets of wisdom found in this verse :)
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom." Wisdom can be such a priceless thing to a person. Wisdom can be the difference maker in decisions, and which in direction to go. It can be also be the great equalizer in battle. Wisdom is something everyone should desire. In fact it really is available to us as James 1:5 says, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."Need wisdom? It's available, just ask God. But always be on your guard not to become wise in your own eyes, as the Bible warns. Wisdom is such an amazing thing and if you'll allow it, it will only grow as you get older.
Friday, March 2, 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." As I admire little Jackson, I see a young life that's been knit together by God. A life that has so much purpose and destiny. A life that's been made by God to do His bidding. Life is indescribable. It's sometimes too deep to even try to wrap your arms around it. As I held this little miracle, I couldn't help but think about all the great plans God has in store for him. I look forward to seeing God use him mightily.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that." Think about this for a minute, but what's your motive for saying what you say and doing what you do? Is it to please man? Or is it to obey the Bible? In our culture we can get so tangled up in human opinion and what we see, read or hear, that it becomes our priority, rather than living the Bible and desiring to please its author. So how do you get breakthrough in this area? Live to please the one who died on the cross for you, loving what He loves and hating what He hates. This means focusing more on what the Bible says rather than what man, TV or the internet says. If you believe everything you see, hear or read, you're airing on the side of foolishness and not wisdom. Choose to please the Lord today, and you won't be disappointed. If you do fail in something, make things right, and get back up on your feet, trusting the Lord completely :) Proverbs 24:16 brings such encouragement to us with this, "The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again..."