Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jABYZCS4WCs. 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
Thursday, April 26, 2012
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
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjsXEBuunzg. 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
Monday, April 23, 2012
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
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49u89d7mrg
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
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
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
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
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
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 http://boise.craigslist.org/spo/2944702178.html 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
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 http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-04-12/ann-romney-hilary-rosen-work/54235706/1 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
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
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
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
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 www.coharvest.org/hitc.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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 :)