Monday, April 30, 2012

And You Thought It Was All Over

For everyone who watched the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma, it was probably the most memorable game you've ever watched. What made it so memorable? Two things. Firstly, Oklahoma was a college football powerhouse who was supposed to crush the small-time Broncos. Secondly, the way in which the game was won. Boise State used three miracle plays that all worked to perfection. The first of these was on 4th and 18 with only a few seconds on the clock, with the Broncos down a touchdown. It was a dire situation for the Broncos who needed something huge to happen, and it did. This situation is often like life. Things can look bleak, bad and hopeless, yet you can never give up. We have a God who has miracle plays in His playbook for our lives. He calls them at just the right time, which can often be last second. What's important for us is to never lose hope or give up. It's too easy for Christians to walk by sight or by their feelings, yet God says we're to walk by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us, "For we walk by faith, not by sight". Never feel like God has abandoned you or doesn't have any options in His playbook. He's faithful and has the most incredible playbook you've ever seen. All we need to do is put our faith in Him and do what He tells us. Just like football, it not only takes faith to call the play, but faith to execute it too. Enjoy the highlights Bronco nation :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Am Second

Some of you may have heard about a movement called "I Am Second". Their goal is to inspire people from all walks of life to live for God and to help those around them. They use the life stories of everyday people as well as some who are very well known, to give hope to others through their relationship with Jesus Christ. It's pretty amazing at how big this movement has grown. Yesterday I was skimming the pages of the book titled "I Am Second" and came across a name that was familiar. Where had I heard Tamara Jolee's name before? Then I remembered she's the sports anchor at one of our local stations here in the valley. I'd seen her on TV before and became curious. I then found her story and it blew me away. She talks of someone who's living their dream and all of a sudden horrible news of stage four cancer brings everything crashing down. But then she tells about how her relationship with Jesus Christ has been the rock in her life. I know all of us from time to time go through something that challenges us, stretches us and pushes us to the brink. However, the million dollar question is whether or not Jesus will be your rock and strength. At times He's the only one who can help us in our time of need. Please take a moment to watch Tamara Jolee's story here at It such a blessing to have incredible people like Tamara here in our valley who are bright lights that shine for Jesus. Thank you Tamara :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't Wake Me, I'm Dreaming...

Many of us live in time crunched days and dream about how wonderful it might be to get away somewhere. Every now and then we all come across a photo that shows some exotic location. Perhaps it's a city, a place, a tourist attraction or a beach. Immediately we seemed to be whisked away to the place our eyes have seen. Yesterday I saw a picture similar to the one shown above. For a brief moment, on a very busy day, I was there. I was sitting in one of those chairs glancing ahead at the beautiful ocean. I had an ice cold Coca Cola in my hand. My Blackberry was nowhere to be found. It was beautiful :) I'm curious at some of the places you can imagine yourself? If you could go anywhere in the world, where time and money were not an issue, where would you go? I can't wait to hear about your dream locations. I can definitely see myself on this beautiful beach...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Would You Do?

Imagine it's a sunny day at the ocean and you need to cool off. So you brush the sand off you, take off your sunglasses and head for the water. The water's refreshing and its coolness hits you immediately. You wade out a little farther in the water, continuing to allow the water to cool you off. Suddenly, you hear what sound like distant shouts and as you look towards the beach you see people waving and yelling at you. You wonder what's going on. At that moment your eyes catch hold of something you'd only ever seen in the movies or on TV. That one thing that puts chills down even the bravest spine. It's a large shark's dorsal fin that's moving through the water. The million dollar question is what will you do next? This story may may be far fetched in some regards, but in others I think it hits pretty close to home. From time to time we all go through events that try to engulf us with fear, panic, worry and anxiety. Perhaps it's the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a prolonged sickness or some other event that breaths these things in you. I wish I could give you a simple solution to some of the difficult and challenging things that we face, but I don't think there's one. However, there is one thing I can be confident in and be assured of. What is it you may ask? It's the fact that God is ever present. Deuteronomy 31:8 tells us, "And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed." All of us will have to go through some difficult times in our life, but the promise of God is that we won't be going through it alone.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Cost of Baggage

In preparing our HITC students for their upcoming missions trip, we've been going over all of the airline rules when it comes to carry-on and checked baggage. Their are limits on the size of bags, weight of bags, and the associated penalties for too large, heavy or extra bags. It's amazing to think that a traveller must now pay for their bag to go on the plane. It's interesting seeing all the statements people make when it comes to baggage fees. One airline runs commercials about it When talking about the cost of baggage when it comes to flying is one thing, but what about the cost of all the baggage we carry through life? It's tragic how many people there are carrying baggage on a daily basis. This baggage takes the shape of many things including disappointment, offenses, hurts, wounds, abuse, and many other things. You don't have to look far to see the effects of carrying all of this in a person's life. The good news is that Jesus wants to take that heavy load from you so you don't have to carry it around anymore. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30,"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." What a beautiful promise to us. Are you willing to give Jesus all of your baggage today and live in freedom?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Need Your Help to Reach 25000 Hits

When I started my blog last September I really wasn't sure how it would go. But after writing nearly 200 posts I've been amazed at how God has used it to speak to people all over the world. So many of you have communicated with me about how much you've liked my blog and how some of my posts have been so timely for you. I've had hits from 50 countries now, including many muslim nations, but have many more nations I'd like to have hits from. I'm closing in on 10000 hits and should reach that mark shortly. So here's what I'd love to see and I need your help in achieving. I'd love to go past the 25000 hit mark by September. That means I need lots of people to view it. I'd encourage you to share my posts any way possible and let your friends know about it. Writing my blog has been so much fun and being goal oriented at times, I'd love to see if I can hit the 25000 mark. Help me reach this goal and be blessed :) Thank you for taking time to read my posts and at times commenting on them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ashes, Mourning and Heaviness

Jesus truly is amazing! The fact that He came to do some exchanging with us is sometimes hard to wrap our minds around. For so many people ashes, mourning and heaviness are part of their life and identity. Yet these three things are so far from who Jesus sees us as and desires us to be. So He came to do some divine exchanging with us and still does this exchanging today. God sent Jesus according to Isaiah 61, "...To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." I want you to think for a moment about your life being filled with beauty, joy and praise. Jesus' desire is to exchange your ashes, mourning and heaviness for His beauty, joy and praise. It's an amazing opportunity for us if we'll make the exchange with Him. You don't have to carry those things around any more that have burdened and weighed you down. Simply give them to Jesus and receive what He has for you. It's an exchange you can't afford to miss out on. I encourage you to read the entire passage of Isaiah 61 as it has a lot more of what Jesus desires to do in your life :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

You're Going to Use that as an Excuse?

As you know, I love to blog about people who succeed, and usually their success comes in the face of insurmountable odds. Deep down inside all of us there's a desire to root for the underdog and person who shouldn't be able to do something, and yet does. First grader Annie Clark is one of these such people. Being born without hands would cause many of us to see the limits in a person instead of the possibilities. To see what they couldn't do instead of what they could. Annie Clark recently won something that no one expected her to win--a major penmanship contest. She won a contest for excellence in her penmanship. You may ask yourself how someone without hands could win a penmanship contest? A person like Annie doesn't look at her limitations or disability. Instead she finds a way to accomplish her desires, regardless of what may lay on the path before her. Can you imagine if this is the attitude everyone had? To have can-do attitude that isn't going to let limitations stop you from doing anything. Even Jesus said in Mark 9:23, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Today, don't let things, others or even yourself, prevent you doing what God has put in your heart. Just like Annie Clark, who by the way is a Christian, reach for your dreams :) Check out her story

Friday, April 20, 2012

Three of My Favorite Friends

Today I'm going to brag a little about someone who has been a great friend in my life and in the lives of many other people. It's Dave Benenate, otherwise known as Dave, Ben and Eddy :) He's one of those guys who's always watching out for the needs of others around him and is a great example of what a servant should look like. Dave has been such a faithful man who does everything to bring glory and honor to God and pleasing the Lord is his goal in life. It's been so incredible to watch God's hand on Dave, and at the same time watch Dave grow in his walk with the Lord. I first got to know Dave about 8 years ago and it was the start of a relationship I now cherish. Even back then I knew that God had a great plan for Dave, as I saw a very pastoral side to him. His hunger and desire for God was strong and has only grown stronger today. There are so many great things I could say about Dave, but instead I'd like to touch on one. It's something that stands out in his life and my desire is for others, including men, to grow in this same quality. This quality is kindness. Dave is a Godly man in all areas and kindness overflows in his life. Whether it's a newborn, a teenager, a single mom or a biker, Dave's kindness to them is amazing. Kindness is one of those character qualities that should be evident in every Christian's life. I'm thrilled about the season of life that Dave, Ben and Eddy are in and know God has wonderful plans for him. Thanks for being a great friend and for your example of kindness :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crossing Your Finish Line

For our HITC students the finish line is in sight. They're on the last 100m of a marathon they've been running this past year. I'm extremely proud of this year's amazing students and all they've accomplished. They've grown and been stretched in ways they'd never imagined they could be and have done things they thought they'd never do. Nevertheless the race isn't quite over as there's still 100m to run. Just because the finish line is in sight certainly doesn't mean that they can ease up, slow down or coast. These last 100m are probably the most important. Their race must be finished strong and well. It's the same way with so many other areas in our lives. Just because something is almost over or completed, it's easy for us to feel the need to slow down. But think for a moment about how you want to cross the finish line. Do you want to be advancing and break the finish tape? Or do you want to simply walk across the finish line? When I think about the apostle Paul, he finished his race, but not at a decreasing pace. He continued to run his race with boldness, confidence and endurance. I think everyone at times has thoughts about slowing down or even giving up, but it's in those times that we find our second wind in Christ. He's the one we must turn to for our strength, endurance and encouragement. With whatever you're involved with, finish your race well, regardless of those things around you that are trying to stop you from finishing. Be the finisher that God's called you to be and be encouraged by Hebrews 12:1. "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." If you listen carefully you can hear the huge crowd in heaven that's cheering you on right now!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Healthy Fear of the Lord

As Christians our desire should be to please the Lord. And I think if you talked with other believers they'd probably say something along the same lines. With our entire lives, which includes our actions, thoughts, words and attitudes, we should want to please Him. My question is why do so many Christians seem to live without any fear of the Lord? Especially when there's verses like Hebrews 4:13 which says, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable." They say and do things that are quite contrary to the Bible and seem to have no regard for how the Bible says we're to live as Christians. God does see everything we do and hears everything we say and yes, one day we will stand before Him. Having a fear of the Lord is definitely a key ingredient to a victorious Christian walk. Having a healthy fear of the Lord gives me a love for those things He loves and a hatred for sin. Having a fear of the Lord in your life isn't a bad or scary thing, but is actually brings freedom and a release to live how as Christians we should. Having a healthy fear of the Lord has caused me to rethink what I do, what I say and what I think. I makes me ask the question is this pleasing to the Lord? Does it line up with the Bible? Having the fear of the Lord in your life is such an amazing thing in the life of a believer :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Got Faith?

The typical answer from most Christians when asked if they have faith is, "Sure, I have faith!" Faith is the backbone of Christianity as it's required in every aspect of your walk as a believer. But when it comes to faith, what really is it? Some would say it's trusting God, or knowing He's in control. But is there something that better describes it? Last night as I was reading Hebrews 4 in the Amplified version. Verse two gives an awesome description of faith saying, "...but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it..." So how does your faith line up with this description? Do you completely lean on God in absolute trust (100% with no room for doubt)? Is your complete (100% with no room for doubt) confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness? To say yes to these questions means you can't rely on your own strength, abilities, wisdom or anything else of yourself. But as we know sometimes it's so easy to rely on yourself, thinking we have a better answer or solution to what's going on. But faith is not a reliance on self, but on the Lord. It's an unwavering trust in Him and His Word. If we can learn to trust Him and put our faith in Him, who knows the incredible things that can happen.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How Would You Describe Your Prayer Life?

What was Jesus' take on prayer? Was it something to do casually or was it something vital in His life? There's no way to get around it because there are so many examples of Jesus praying in the Bible and it's obvious to see the importance He placed on it. How is your prayer life? Is it a vital part of your life or has it been relegated to something that's done only when something is needed? I was driving to church yesterday and passed a great sign at one of our local churches. It said, "Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" If we look at Jesus' life it was clearly His steering wheel. So why has it been relegated to the place of a spare tire in so many people's lives. Something that's only used for emergencies? To live as the Christians we've been called to, we can't afford to be always driving around on our "donut" tire. Samuel Chadwick said, "The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray." Can you imagine what would happen if every Christian had a vibrant prayer life? Don't go about your day without any time with the Lord. His desire is to spend time with us. If He truly is your best friend, it will be shown by the time you spend with Him.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Broken Racket Strings and Life

Over my career in tennis I have broken thousands of strings in my rackets. I have also strung thousands of strings in not only my rackets, but others too. Even now I string the occasional tennis racket to make a little extra money One thing I've noticed over the years is the number of people who break a string in their racket and then get rid of the racket. Just because the strings are broken it doesn't mean the entire racket is bad. What do you do when you break a string? You simply pay $20 at a store (or $10 with me) to have it restrung :) Racket strings remind me a lot about life. When things are going well, everything's great, but when you stumble with something, a lot of people feel like it's all over and give up. Proverbs 24:16 tells us that, "The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again." Unfortunately there are way too many people who give up when they stumble. There are times in life when we do stumble, fall and fail, yet the Bible also gives us an amazing promise, if only we'll do it. We simply need to confess our sins and ask the Lord to forgive us. The incredible promise to us found in 1 John 1:9 from God is, "...if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." So if you break a racket string don't throw the racket away, get it restrung. If you stumble or fail in your Christian walk, confess your sins, receive His forgiveness and love, get up and get going again :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Did I Really Just Say That?

It's hard to miss how many verses there are in the Bible when it comes to what comes out of your mouth. I've compared our words in a previous post to toothpaste that's squeezed out of its tube. Once squeezed out there's no way to put it back in. People are constantly saying things in our culture that they probably should. We've all said things that we immediately think, "Did I really just say that?" The main story in the national news yesterday was about a high ranking Democratic party person who made a comment about a mother of 5 not having worked a day in her life. My post today isn't about that, but really, come on! Let's not be overly stupid! And today this lady is today eating the fruit of her ridiculous statement. Here's a link Now Proverbs 13:3 plainly tells us, "Those who control their tongue will have a long life;  opening your mouth can ruin everything." There couldn't be anything more true. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer long life over my words ruining a bunch of stuff. One thing that would help most of us is to think about what we say, and also the consequences that follow what we've said. Thinking before we speak would spare us from so much pain, embarrassment, eating humble pie and other consequences. Can you imagine the difference that we'd see if everyone thought before speaking? Our world would be a very different place.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crazy Planes

People either love it or hate it when planes land or take off. Personally I love both of them. There's nothing quite like a plane accelerating to take off or descending to land. Recently I've seen some of the most amazing footage of planes taking off and landing. It all takes place at the Prince Juliana International Airport in the Netherlands Antilles. Planes take off and land so close to a beach it's almost unbelievable. Here's one of those links When you watch these planes it makes you realize the tremendous power of planes. However, when you think about the incredible power of God, there's really no comparison. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Psalm 29:3-4 which tells us, "The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty." There may be times where you need something incredible or miraculous to happen. Well the good news is that there is someone who can do things that no man can do. The Lord is ready and able, if you'll simply go to Him and trust Him. I realize that these huge jets are amazing, yet compared to the Lord they're really nothing :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How He Really Feels About You

Last night, as I was reading a little from the Bible, my eyes came across something so amazing. I'm sure this wasn't the first time I'd read it, but for some reason, this time was more significant. Perhaps it was because Easter was a few days ago. It was Titus 3:3-6, and in the Amplified says, "For we also were once thoughtless and senseless, obstinate and disobedient, deluded and misled; [we too were once] slaves to all sorts of cravings and pleasures, wasting our days in malice and jealousy and envy, hateful (hated, detestable) and hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared, 5He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior." This is beautiful! It's incredible! And sometimes it's way too easy to forget in our busy days or with our selfish attitudes and desires. Today I want these amazing verses to penetrate deep within you to your very core. God's love, kindness and mercy towards us in indescribable, incomprehensible and everlasting. Thank you Lord :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Do You Do When You're Weary?

We've all seen it before. Totally unexpected and out of nowhere comes one of the most telltale non-verbal statements. It's the classic yawn that's often an indicator of weariness and tiredness. What we see in culture is a great disparity when it comes to work. We have two very different extremes. Either people are lazy, having little to no work ethic, or they work too much and could easily be labeled a workaholic. So what's the solution? Obviously balance is essential. The Bible is clear that we should work. And not just work, but work hard and be excellent. And it's also vital for us to take care of ourselves physically. It's important for us to eat well, sleep right and rest. But one of the most vital things that we can do when it comes to this area is to have a vibrant relationship with the Lord. This is something that cannot be skipped or neglected. Jesus Himself says in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." What an invitation for us. A promise of rest if we'll come to Him with our weariness and heavy burdens. Unfortunately, Jesus can be the last person we go to when we're weary, instead of being the first.  Take this opportunity today if you need. Weariness, tiredness and carrying heavy burdens will happen to us. The question is whether or not we'll go the Jesus for the rest only He can give.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Wish I Could Go To HITC...

It's hard to believe that there's only 3 more weeks of classes, two days of finals, a two and a half week missions trip to Mexico, a Graduation Banquet and then a Graduation Service, left for this year's HITC students. It seems like just yesterday that the class of 2011-12 was at Orientation. It's amazing seeing the transformation in this year's students. There are simply too many things to list when it comes to their growth in the Lord, their skill development and Christ-like character. I'm so proud of them. This Friday we're holding our Sneak Peek, where prospective 2012-13 students can come and be a student for a day. They'll get to live the dream of being an HITC student, well at least for one day. They'll get a taste of what's involved and what being a student looks like. I know there are people wishing they could be an HITC student, but everything they're seeing and feeling opposes this desire. Let me tell you that most of this year's students had a dream to attend, and didn't let any obstacles that got in their way stop them from attending. What are you doing to prepare yourself? HITC could be the place the Lord wants you attend next fall and so you need to do everything you can to prepare yourself. If there are arguments, breakthrough! If there are obstacles, overcome! If there are needs, go to God! HITC could be the most impacting year or two of your life, as most of our graduates would agree. If you'd like to be part of Sneak Peek or simply have questions about HITC, contact me. You can also find more information at

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Empty Tomb and Us

Tomorrow is one of the biggest, if not the biggest and most significant days for Christians, as we celebrate Easter. A lot of people talk about the fact that Christ died for our sins. Yet that's only half of it. The other half is that Christ rose. Jesus rose from the dead! These two events are like the two sides of a coin. They go together and cannot be separated. Every other religion's main person (the one they worship) died, but wan't resurrected. In Matthew 28:6 the two women who were standing at the empty tomb said, "He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying." The stone wasn't rolled away so Jesus could escape. It was rolled away so that those there would see that the tomb was empty. They saw that He was gone. That tomb simply couldn't hold Him. Jesus' desire is for us as believers to live in His resurrection power. He overcame death and the grave for us, so that we could live in His power. Tomorrow, as many of us attend Easter services, rejoice in what Christ did for us and the walk your Christian walk living in His power :) Happy Easter.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why Are You So Surprised About What's Going On?

No matter where you live you can't escape the negative things that are going on in culture. What's interesting to me is why some people seem surprised at what they see around them. I don't know when the Lord is going to return, however, most Christians believe that we are in the last days, to some extent. The Bible is very clear about some of the tragic things that will be obvious to us in the last days. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the Message clearly warns us, "Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people." These things are unfortunately inevitable, however, our safeguard is to live out Luke 10:27 which says, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And, Love your neighbor as yourself." Don't be surprised about everything going on around you, but make sure you keep your focus on the Lord and do His will :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Teaching Daughters...

As I came across this last night and really began thinking about it, I couldn't agree more with what was being said. As a parent I have been a huge responsibility to train up my children. Proverbs 22:6 promises us, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." I realize that my children will one day make the transition from being single to being a spouse. However, when it comes to daughters, I think there's an extra tug in every father's heart. For him to picture his daughter growing up and getting married is both exciting and yet difficult. When it comes time for my daughters to marry the man they'll spend the rest of their life with, I know they'll use all the wisdom and discernment that my wife and I have imparted into them. I want them to know when a young man is being honest and open, compared to the man who's being deceptive and has wrong motives. A young man who's going to cherish her as a beautiful flower, do everything possible to provide for her, or love her with every ounce of who he is, will hopefully stand out. Parents, I urge you to read these precious words when it comes to teaching our daughters what to distinguish between, because they are important. And parents, never forget that all of your hard work when it comes to parenting, will pay off, and they will stay on the right path :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough

Is sometimes your best just not good enough? Have you ever done something, where regardless of what you do, it falls short of expectation? Maybe it's in school, at work, at home, or somewhere else, but regardless of what you do, it seems to fall short. I remember a few times during my tennis career, where I played a match against a great opponent. What was different about these matches is that I was on top of my game and playing very well, and yet I still couldn't win. I'd come off the court having lost, but couldn't criticize or be disappointed in how I'd played because I had performed at an extremely high level. The fact of the matter was that my very best still wasn't enough to do what was required. The same is true when it comes to our efforts to be right with God. Even our very best isn't good enough. Isaiah 64:6 tells us, "We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind." When it comes to being right with God, even our best efforts are compared to filthy rags! But the greatest news is that God's best was exactly that, His best, and that it was totally good enough and sufficient. His best was His Son Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 is great news to as it says, "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." Whether or not your best is good enough today in whatever you do, never forget that God's best, Jesus Christ, was :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why Rejoice?

There are many things which can brings us joy, or which cause us to rejoice. Perhaps it's a raise at work or an unexpected bonus. It could also be scoring a great grade on a test, or maybe an extra hour of sleep. Yes it's true that these things can cause us to rejoice, but I'm talking about something that we can really rejoice about. In Luke 10:20 we read, "But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven." What a thought! That the names of those who serve the Lord are written in the Book of Life. As I've said, there are things that rejoice about, yet is there anything greater to rejoice in than this? Sometimes it's easy for our focus to go from eternal things to temporal things. From things which are vital to those things that are satisfactory. What will you choose to rejoice in today? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Is It Obvious Who You've Been With?

As a parent it's usually pretty easy to tell who your kids have been around, just by the what they say and how they act. Whether someone's been a good influence of not will quickly show up in your child. Does the same thing carry over to adults? Absolutely! If you're not careful you can slip right into what others are doing around you, without even realizing. Have you ever noticed that being around people who have bad attitudes can quickly cause you to have one? Or around someone who's gossiping or complaining? Before long you've jumped on their bandwagon and are gossiping and complaining. I really don't think this is pleasing to the Lord, when He's called us to be lights than shine in a dark world. In Acts 4 we see God moving powerfully in the early church. Because of what's going on Peter and John are arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin where Peter speaks. After he's done, those there make this amazing statement in Acts 4:13 (AMP). "Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and untrained in the schools [common men with no educational advantages], they marveled; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus." It was obvious to them that these men had been with Jesus. Why? Because of what they said, how they carried themselves and what they did. Shouldn't it be obvious to those around us that we too have been with Jesus? Shouldn't everything we say and do indicate clearly who we serve and live for? Unfortunately all too often this doesn't happen. Christians are full of hypocrisy, speaking and acting no different from the world they live in. Many Christians will be inviting people to Easter services this weekend, but why would people want to go if they see no difference in the way we live from how they live? Live in such a way that it's unmistakeable who you've been with today :)