Friday, June 29, 2012
I must admit that getting older does seem to take its toll on me in some areas. Things that I was once able to do with ease, seem to challenge me a little more nowadays. And that includes riding roller coasters, especially one named "Wicked". I really had no intention of riding such an intense roller coaster, but when your twelve year old daughter asks you to go on it with her, what does a good dad say? Inside I'm thinking there's no way I can do this, especially a ride with such an formidable name. This ride is intimidating, intense and tough. Wouldn't she rather ride the bumper cars? I'm thinking to myself, "Lee, dig deep. Don't show you're nervous. Don't forget the Bible verses that say to be strong and courageous. I can do all things through Christ." We made our way to front of the line, got on board our ride, and dominated it! Well sort of :) I had my eyes closed for the first 30 seconds and left indents on the steel hand holders. But I did ride it. I conquered "Wicked" and at the same time showed my daughter how brave her dad is :) I'm so thankful she didn't asked to go on it again. Check out "Wicked" here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCVJaZ1zrT4
Thursday, June 28, 2012
When you think about being overwhelmed, it's usually doesn't bring pleasant things to mind. Yet I came across this verse yesterday that's amazing. When we read Isaiah 61 it's the first few verses we think about. But look at what Isaiah 61:10 says, "I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness." Can you picture yourself being overwhelmed with joy in the Lord? Today it's what the Lord has in store for you. You have been given the free gift of salvation and draped in robes of His righteousness. What a beautiful and glorious day :) Being overwhelmed with joy in the Lord is for you to enjoy today.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." Talk about a scripture being rich! On many occasions as a pastor I've had to help people as they walk through difficult situations, usually after blowing through the warnings of this verse. Everyday we must be alert and wise as we navigate the paths before us. We must always be scouting the horizon for traps and dangers, being able to recognize them a mile away. But not only that, we must be able to respond to what we recognize. What good would it be to spot danger and yet not take any precautions? If you were at a beach and saw a shark fin, would you ignore it and go swimming? The second part of this verse is also vital for us to see. The simpleton and fools will ignore every warning around them and keep going. Unfortunately there's a promise that goes along with this. If they do go on ignoring the warnings serious consequences await them, and they will suffer. Thankfully we have many things around us which help us in our walk, keeping us away from evil and troubles. Don't ignore them! Don't simply go on else you'll be the one who suffers the consequences.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle." This priests comment couldn't be a more motivating, aimed at the life of every Christian. Unfortunately there are many Christians who live two separate lifestyles, and the world sees it all. Proverbs 25:26 tells us, "Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields, falls down, and compromises his integrity before the wicked." Yes there are going to be temptations and things that come across your path whose desire is to see you compromise. These temptations can often come in the form of situations, things and people. The Lord promises that we'll never go through a temptation that is too much for us. Today you've been called to be a light to a dark and dying world. Choose to be a light that shines brightly! Don't life two lifestyles which fuels the fire for those who oppose Christianity. God wants them to see that there is something amazing about being a Christian that they need too, and that's a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Muddied fountains and polluted springs is not who you were called to be :)
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Someone asked me recently if there were things I ever missed about New Zealand. Now that I think about it there are some things that I miss (other than family). Let's start with the good old Four N Twenty meat pies. Amazing taste at an amazing price. A staple of the NZ diet. These would definitely do well if you could get them in the US. Next on my list are fish N chips, especially from Fast Eddies in Howick. There's nothing quite like unwrapping a package of fresh and hot fish and chips. Lemon and Paeroa makes my list next. Only available in New Zealand it's hands down the best soda in the world. A cold L & P sounds so good right now. To wrap up my list is fresh cream filled donuts. I remember as a boy when these were only 10c each. They make a great anytime snack. Yep these are things that I seldom get a chance to enjoy, but when I do I savor every moment :) And if you ever get the chance to enjoy them, you'll understand.
Friday, June 22, 2012
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning."What beautiful promises to us. Yes, today is a new day. His love never ends. His mercies never cease. He is faithful and today his mercies start afresh all over again :) Knowing His promises like these means that I can head into today full of confidence and excitement. Today is a blank canvas that is just waiting for you to paint it and create a masterpiece on. Are you ready? Enjoy creating your masterpiece.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Is this ever true! Sometimes I think about what my plans were going to be once I graduated college and yet how things ended up very differently. After graduating I was going to play pro tennis, live in New Zealand, use my degree once my tennis days were over, marry a New Zealand girl and live happily ever after. After becoming a Christian in my senior year of college, all my good ideas were about to be replaced by God ideas. As you know, none of my plans came to pass, other than playing for a few months on the pro tennis tour. And even then God had His hand in that and had even better things in store for me. It's easy for us to make our plans, but don't hold on too tightly to them. God can change things (always for the better) and take you in a different direction. He can also take your ideas and enhance them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when you serve and follow the Lord, everyday can be an adventure. But don't be so set in your plans that you're unwilling to follow His leading :)
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip." Are you someone who relishes malicious conversation? I know it's fun to talk about things, but don't let gossip's poison take you down. Your ears should long for things that will build you up and strengthen you. Ephesians 4:29 encourages us to "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." If this is the case then why would I want to tune my ears towards anything that's dirty gossip? I know it's easy to want to listen to what others are saying, but don't forget that gossip is like poison. It will affect you. And don't forget, "Gossip is the devil's radio, so don't be his DJ"!
Monday, June 18, 2012
1) Consistently teach my children about living for God and living to please Him.
2) Never be too busy to sit and listen to my children.
3) Never be afraid to hug them.
4) Sacrifice my desires for their needs.
5) Never stop praying for them and their future spouses.
6) Love them regardless of whether have victory or failure.
7) Never stop encouraging them to be the person God's called them to be.
8) Never let fear of failure stop them.
9) Always teach them to look out for the needs of those around them, especially those less fortunate.
10) Never take for granted the gifts God has given me in my children.
These are some of the things that I choose to do as a father for my children. 1 Corinthians 4:15, "For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel."
Saturday, June 16, 2012
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." Throwing away your confidence in the Lord may seem like the easy thing to do at times, yet the consequences of doing this can be tragic. God gives us the strength to keep going if we ask Him, trust Him and follow Him. He gives us the ability not only to continue doing His will, but to thrive as we do it. Endurance is such a powerful thing. It's the Greek word "hupomone." It's "the capacity to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat." Hupomone is essential for every Christian if we're to receive all God's promised us. Ask Him for some today :)
Friday, June 15, 2012
And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters and oppressors; for I know their sorrows andsufferings and trials." Two things that should comfort us here are the words "seen" and "heard." God does see what's going on and does hear our cries and requests. Plus, Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So if He was seeing and hearing yesterday, then He's still doing it today. I can't explain why each of us go through challenges or trials, but what I do know is that He's with us as we go through them. And yes, He does see and hear everything that's going on :)
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!" What amazing words of wisdom. Just because someone doesn't thank you or appreciate what all you do, don't let that stop you from thanking or blessing others. Let thanks, appreciation and blessings flow from you. You'll never know the impact and power of this :)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
. One thing we must realize is that people can be very busy, yet not accomplish anything. This would indicate they're being ineffective. But there are some people who are extremely effective and yet wouldn't describe themselves as busy. I think effectiveness is one of the things we should always be aiming for in life. Whether it's in government, parenting, work, sports or anything else. Being extremely busy without being very effective can be wearying on a person. If effectiveness is something you're wanting to grow in, find someone who can help you. There's also many great resources available on becoming more effective. Two of my favorite resources are Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and Gordon McDonald's "Ordering Your Private World". Whether you're a CEO, a single mom, a young person, or anywhere in-between, you have too much on your plate to be busy and not effective. Today take steps to become effective, and free yourself from busyness.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins." Imagine the number of people going out to see him and be baptized by him. All of a sudden he's the center of attention in the region and yet he began saying things that shocked people. It wasn't about him, but someone else. Even with his popularity and everything he was doing, there was absolutely no pride. He was secure knowing what God had called him to do, regardless of what it looked like. When you're secure in Christ and do His will it's easy for you to be humble, content and full of peace. When others get credit you can rejoice. When others are put ahead of you, you don't get upset and stab them in the back. John the Baptist is an amazing example to us of humility. His words in John 3:30 speak volumes to us, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." If this is our attitude and mindset, it doesn't matter what we do or where we serve, we'll have humility, contentment and peace.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
"Let's eat Grandma" can mean something very different than "Let's eat, Grandma". One can imply that Grandma becomes our meal while the other implies Grandma knows it's time for us to eat. This is a funny example of what words can actually do. Another fascinating thing about words is how you can essentially take the same words, and by rearranging their order, produce something very powerful. I recently watched a short clip where this was done and it moved me. It's amazing how by changing only a few words that you can have the same message that's presented so much more powerfully. Take a moment to watch this clip to see what I mean, and join the 14 million who already have http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU. As a husband and parent I have lots of things I need to say. But one thing I'm always evaluating is whether or not there's a better way to say what I need to. Rather than just speaking words, I want my words to count and mean something. I want them to be impacting and effective. Take time today and think about your words and the power they have. And don't forget that by changing a few things around it could radically affect your message and its outcome :)
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress." This too should be our desire. And what's so incredible is that if we'll trust in Him, He will be our rock of safety where we can hide. He will save us because He is our rock and fortress. Are you ready for the storms to blow? If your trust is in Jesus you're well prepared.
Monday, June 4, 2012
much land remains to be conquered." Joshua had been a experienced victory and was old, yet God didn't want him to stop. There was much more victory for him to experience. And it's the same way for us. We may have experienced victory in the past, but God still has much for us to conquer. Today is opportunity to breakthrough! It's an opportunity to experience victory and conquest! It's an opportunity for us to walk out what God has for us. Don't hesitate, just do it!
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Last night I went on a date of sorts with my beautiful wife to the Harvest Church's annual Graduation Banquet. It's a formal event where we honor and celebrate the accomplishments of the year's graduates. Everyone dresses up and looks amazing. As I was with my wife last night I couldn't help but think how blessed I am to be married to her. I feel like I'm the most blessed man in the world. There's something about being married to your best friend. In fact it's very difficult to put into words. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22 that, "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord." I must admit I truly found a treasure in my wife! We've been married for over twenty years now and think our marriage continues to get better and better with every year. On nights like last night there's no-one else I'd rather be with. Being with her is incredible! We live in a culture where the number of divorces is staggering. Can you imagine how things would be different if husbands viewed their wife as a treasure? If they served her and lay down their life for her? A wife is definitely worth doing this for. Thanks go out to my wife for being an incredible woman. I'm blessed beyond measure and am so in love with her :) Love you babe!
Friday, June 1, 2012
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Brian is definitely a guy who will keep you sharpened. He's such a blessing and I'm so thankful to have him as a friend. Thanks Brian :)