Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nothing To Be Thankful For?

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. What an amazing day as well as opportunity. When criticism and complaining seem to be the commonplace in culture, the giving of thanks is such a breath of fresh air. I've heard people who've said they have nothing to be thankful for. Hopefully you don't fall into this category? We are blessed! No, actually we're very blessed! I know we all go through difficult situations, trials and circumstances, but really, saying you have nothing to be thankful for? If you take a moment to think about it, what are you thankful for? Start saying what you're thankful for. Even write them down. I'm sure your list will be long. Something we can't forget is that thanksgiving requires action. It requires us not only to say it, but living it out. Merriam-Webster defines thanksgiving as, "The act of giving thanks; a prayer expressing gratitude; a public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness." I want others to see me as a person of thanksgiving. Not only one day a year, but all year round. The Lord has been so good to me, how could others not see it in my words and actions?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting Patiently...An Oxymoron?

I'm convinced more and more that "waiting" is on the downslide in our culture. People seem to dislike waiting for things, opportunities or people. Even in my own life I recognize it. When you're following a driver going 32mph in a 35mph zone. When you're at a light that's red for you and there isn't a vehicle in sight either direction that has the green light. Our "waiting" seems to be tested everywhere and all the time. Now when you add to this the word "patiently", I'm definitely challenged. To many the phrase "waiting patiently" can almost seem like a contradiction or oxymoron. Waiting in and of itself can be a challenge, let alone doing it patiently. In James 5:7 the Bible uses these two words together. Obviously there must be something to it :) Today I'm going to look for opportunities to be patient, especially if I'm waiting for someone or something. I know it could be a challenge, but I'm going to depend on God's grace and know that in His strength it's something I'll be able to do :) How about you?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Letting the Past Hold You Back?

I'm realizing how much the past holds people back. Memories, experiences and regrets can things that many simply can't overcome. Everyone has a past, but your past shouldn't determine how you live. I love the challenge found in Philippians 3:13 which says, "No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead...". Forgetting the past is something we all must do and look forward to what lies ahead. I was freshly reminded of this. Take a moment to watch this story and choose not to let your past determine your future :) http://www.today.com/news/soccer-star-doesnt-let-losing-leg-deter-her-goal-2D11603316

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let God Do In You What He Needs To...

James 1:2-4 challenges us by saying, "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." Too often it seems like we're trying to get out of things, especially when it's something we may not enjoy or isn't at the top of our favorites list. But if we only stopped and realized that maybe God is wanting to do something in us. Often He uses people, situations and even trials to help us grow and mature. If we're always trying to wiggle out of things, how are we going to grow? If our desire is to become mature and well developed, we need to embrace the situation we're in, regardless of whether or not we're enjoying it. This verse challenges me. What I must realize is that if I don't want to be deficient in any way, I must endure all that I'm going through, especially knowing that the Lord is with me as I go through it :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lord, Change MY Heart...

Have you ever noticed how easy it is for us to focus on the shortcomings and faults of others? In fact it's very easy do if you're not careful. Yes, these shortcomings are everywhere! In fact every minute of every day could be filled focussing on these in the lives of others. But I certainly don't want to live life this way. How about I do something radical and actually look at my own heart and my own life, and make sure that everything's in order and pleasing to the Lord. How about me looking inwardly at my own wicked heart? I don't want to be someone who only points out the flaws in others, while overlooking those very same areas in my own heart. Looking at Jesus' life, He certainly pointed out things in people's lives, but it wasn't His focus and obsession. He would point things out that needed to be pointed out, but He also loved, encouraged, strengthened, prayed for and lifted others up. As I live for Jesus, I'm constantly challenged to live to please Him. I want to change because of Him. I want to do things because He wants me to do. Is this why you do what you do?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Are You Always Talking and Never Doing?

I'm proud of my good friend David Moberly. Why? Because he has had a burden to be involved in politics for a while and making a positive difference in his community. Over the past few months David has been campaigning for a Meridian City Council seat. And for being the first campaign he's even been a part of he did an amazing job. Although he didn't win his seat his finish was a very respectable one. I appreciate David and the action he took in seeing his dreams become a reality. And don't get me wrong, I'm sure it won't be his last race. Too many people are about "talk" and no "walk". David Moberly didn't just talk about being involved in politics, he actually ran for office. What's the point of always talking about things and never doing anything about them? This makes me think of Romans 12:9 which states, "Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them." People can pretend to love others by what they say, but that definitely doesn't mean they love them. Instead of talking so much about love, why not do it and live it? Why not really love people? What if we became people who did less talking and more living things out? I'm challenged in many areas to stop talking about things and start being a doer. To be a man who lives out life and doesn't just talk about it. Will you join me?

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Easy Life...Not Quite

It's funny how many people think that everything in life is easy because you're a pastor. No problems, issues, struggles or temptations, because of your role. Boy, that couldn't be farther from the truth. As a pastor I face the same battles, tests and trials that anyone else faces in life. I'm not special, privileged or void of these. But like anyone else I also have the same option in who I turn to. And that option is the best option anyone could ever have! It's God Himself. The One who loves me, strengthens me, protects me, comforts me, encourages me and is the lifter of my head. When I go through struggles and difficult times, He is who I turn to. He knows me, what I'm going through and what I need to do. You may be in a storm or trial right now, but you're not alone. Turn to the creator of the universe and the One who formed you, God. And if you need a little strength, courage and encouragement today, take a moment to read Psalm 139 :)