Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
1. Being able to make up your mind.
2. Being able to improvise.
3. Being able to live with yourself.
4. Being able to adapt t the situation, making a good thing out of a bad thing.
5. Remaining cool, calm and collected.
6. Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
7. Having patience.
Several more were listed but you get my drift. These qualities are so important for us as soldiers of Jesus Christ. Today, you may experience warfare in the spiritual realm but don't be surprised by it. You are in a war, in an army, and must be willing to fight.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
6 The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground."
One of the most encouraging things being a Christian is that regardless of the size of any problem we face, our God is bigger. He's bigger, stronger, wiser and my defender. Sometimes we can allow the problems we face to overwhelm us, but it's in those time we must keep our focus on our God. Don't forget that you plus God is always a majority! Battles, struggles, problems and trials may try to push their way into your day today, but our God is bigger and stronger :)
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace." What encouragement and challenge at the same time. Can you imagine what it would be like if every team member on every team lived out these timeless principles found in Ephesians 4:2-3? I think teams around the world would look very different :)
Monday, July 23, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Things will pass away. Things will be forgotten. Things definitely don't last. Yesterday I went by the place where I taught tennis lessons for several summers and was the sight of many big tournament wins for me, the Warm Springs Tennis Club in Ketchum. These courts were once some of the most amazing around. The scenery surrounding them was breathtaking. But years ago they were sold for development, which obviously never took place. Now these courts are a far cry from the glory they once held. If these courts could speak. Some of the biggest names in tennis have hit here. Many great matches and finals were played here. I even remember beating a young Steve Appleton on this very court 20 years ago. But how easy it is for us to forget that most things won't last. Whether a car, a home, a phone, a tennis club, or a person, they will one day pass away. Life is fragile and often too short. Things are going to come to an end but legacies won't end when a person does. What's the legacy you're leaving? How are people going to remember you in the days ahead? The legacy you're leaving is being built right now! Some of the things I want to be remembered for are my love for the Lord and for others, and the fruit of the Spirit operating in my life (I have many others but you get the idea). If I want people to remember these, then they need to be operating in my life today. It's not too late to start working on the legacy you'd like to leave. Start today...
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
So yesterday was quite the day. I'd describe it as the battle for my peace and joy. We were about a mile from the Mountain Home exit when something quickly destroyed the driver's side rear tire. It looked like a bullet had gone through our tire. No problem, time to put the spare on on the narrow shoulder of the freeway as vehicles whiz by at 75mph. We call Les Schwab but they're not in a place to send a truck so I try a can of Fix-A-Flat I have, but it doesn't work. I unload Katherine, David, Hannah and my Mom and empty everything from the full trunk to get the spare. I'm sure it looked like a yard sale on the side of the freeway. With the spare out I then got the jack. But now I can't find the lug nut wrench. Noooo! I don't have a lug nut wrench. But in my handy dandy emergency kit I grab my 4inch wrench with a socket that fits my lugs. I begin the process of crushing my fingers as I work the first four lug nuts off which are on tight. My fingers are toast and I can't get the last one off. After about 30 minutes a road construction vehicle finally stops to help us. They don't have what I need but they do have a big guy in the truck. Unfortunately he can't get it off either :( So they tell us they will go get us a wrench and did return about 30 more minutes later. In that whole hour they were the only vehicle that stopped to help us in the heat on the side of the freeway. We were passed by hundreds of vehicles, an ITD truck as well as a State Trooper. Enough said. Finally the construction guys return and getting the last lug off was a breeze with the right tool :) So I put the spare on, we reload the trunk and we head into Les Schwab in Mountain Home. After an evaluation the consensus it that the tires are very worn and new ones are needed. We get a good deal and for $500 we have four new tires. While they put them on we enjoy a wonderful picnic lunch inside of Les Schwab with several of their other customers. They finish, we jump back into the car and I make one more stop at Walmart. There I purchase a lug nut wrench so I won't ever get caught again. Yes, today my fingers still hurt, I have a nice new set of tires, as well as a lug nut wrench. But what's important is that I won the battle for my peace and joy yesterday. Yes it went back and forth, but I won because I didn't allow my circumstances to rip them from me :) My peace and joy are too precious to surrender for anything!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
or the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power." Being a Christian isn't simply about talk, or trying to do things on your own strength. It's about allowing God's power to come and fill you, enable you and flow through you. Maybe today your power meter is a little low? Why not plug into the true source of all power, God :)
Monday, July 16, 2012
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." There's a huge cloud of witnesses in heaven cheering all of us on and encouraging us to press on and finish our races. One of the most impacting things I've ever seen on encouragement involves British sprinter Derek Redmond in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Check it out if you want to be encouraged :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFKpZnok10s
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday." If you've made the decision to serve Him, are you good with Him being up front? Do you trust Him to steer where needed? The person on the back of a tandem usually can't see clearly the path ahead, because of the front rider. But when that front rider is the Lord, you can sit back and enjoy the ride. And by the way, the person on the back must keep pedaling :) Enjoy your tandem ride today with the Lord.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." When you choose to live for Christ, the way you live will be different. It's not about fitting into culture as a Christian, but by your lifestyle with Jesus alive in you, others will be attracted to what you have and desire Him themselves. So if you're taking a stand for righteousness be encouraged. Persecution and attacks will probably come, but don't let them sway you or discourage you. If Jesus drew many lines in the sand, shouldn't we?
Thursday, July 12, 2012
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving." The Lord is our strength and we can't live without it. I think about how many times I've been or felt weak, and in those times the Lord's strength has come through in such a big way. Today, you may be struggling, or perhaps you're doing well, but in either case you need the Lord's strength to make it through :) Lean on Him. Trust in Him. Receive His strength. It's just what you need and is available at just the right time.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another..." Should giving preference involve only a few areas of our lives? I think it should involve every area of our lives, especially how we talk and communicate with others. If you want others around you to start changing in this area, don't forget that the change must first start with you. I'm so glad that Jesus doesn't speak down to us, so let's make sure that we don't do it to others :)
Monday, July 9, 2012
So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." Humility is greatness in the kingdom of God. It's not how gifted or talented you are. It has nothing to do with your personality or how well you speak. It has to do with being humble. And what is the continual opponent of humility? It's pride and arrogance. Pride always seems to be trying to worm its way into our lives and we must must guard against it passionately! There's been so many great things written about humility that I don't want to reinvent the wheel, however, I do encourage you to try living in humility. If God views humility as being greatness in the Kingdom, I think it's definitely something we should live out in our Christian lives :)
Saturday, July 7, 2012
For You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." There's nowhere I'd rather be than in the middle of His will :)
Friday, July 6, 2012
Yesterday we had the chance to spend a few hours with our best friends from college, Dave and Anne Tibbetts. Many of you may not know that Dave was instrumental in me getting saved. I transferred from the University of Oregon and Dave came from Tyler Junior College in Texas, and we moved into a room together at Chaffee Hall on the BSU campus. We were room-mates for three years, tennis doubles partners for two years and great friends for life. Dave was Christian who not only talked the walk, but walked it as well. His Christian life was contagious, not only winning others to Christ but also challenging them to live wholeheartedly for Him once they were saved. As a senior at BSU, in February of 1989, I became a Christian. God's cords of love won me over. It's amazing how God orchestrated bringing Dave and I together from different parts of the world, and seeing His plans for our lives unfold. As with any great friends, time and distance can't stop great friendships. I cherish our time together yesterday, with Anne and their kids. The Bible continually encourages us to be thankful. And for Dave and Anne I am truly thankful :) I can't help but think of Michael W. Smith's lyrics from one of his songs which says,
"And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends."
Love you Dave and Anne :)
Also check out one of the best Christian songs of all time (the lyrics are awesome!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbPKaIozS-c
Thursday, July 5, 2012
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High." Everyday we should be thankful for and live out the freedom we have as a nation as well as Christians. There may not be any fireworks today, but let your lives be filled with joy because of the freedoms we have :)
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
"You know the next commandment pretty well, too: 'Don't go to bed with another's spouse.' But don't think you've preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt." It's vital for married men to guard and protect what they allow their eyes to gaze upon. A simple lustful look can be the start of a very destructive and dangerous path. Don't be tempted and fall into one of Satan's most successful traps. Allow your eyes to feast upon your wife only. Let her know how much you love her. Train your eyes to focus on her and not other women, whether she's with you or not.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
“The longer I live, The More I realize the impact of attitude on life. It is more important then the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what others people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day of our lives regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inventible. The only thing we can do is plan on the one string we do have, and that is our attitude...I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...We are in charge of our attitudes.” Your attitudes will determine where you go and how high you go. And what's so amazing is that you are the only one who gets to make your attitude choices. What kind of attitudes will you have today? Ones that reflect Jesus Christ? Or those that reflect the world? Again, the choice is completely yours :)
Monday, July 2, 2012
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." Loving your spouse like this is vital. The final ingredient is to put your spouse before yourself. Don't live for self and put your desires first. Instead, put them first before yourself. I'm so excited to see all the amazing things that God has in store for our newlywed couple :) Congratulations to the Carletons!