Category Archives: Devotion

What REALLY Excites You?

be-excitedWhat are the things that REALLY excite you!?  It could be any number of things, your kids/grandkids, sports, good grades, promotions, etc.  Maybe it’s knowing that God loves you unconditionally and that you’re going to heaven.  (if you don’t know that, let’s talk.)

What gets God excited?  Mark 2:1-12 shows us 3 things.

  1.  He loves to see our FAITH!
    Jesus was excited to see the paralytic’s friends’ belief that He could heal.  So much so that He DID heal him both Physically & Spiritually.
  2. God gets excited about sharing His forgiveness!
    Jesus’ favorite thing to say to anyone is, “Your sins are forgiven.”
  3. He loves to show His faithfulness!
    May we never forget that it cost Him His Son for Him to be faithful to His character and forgive us of our sins.

If YOU are forgiven and you KNOW it, you should get excited!

Day 1 (November Thankfulness)

I’ve never done this little exercise before…let’s see how this goes…I’m only 7…er…8 days behind now 🙂

Day 1!  I’m thankful to Jesus Christ, God the Father, the Holy Spirit…all 3 in one…ah, yes, the trinity.

I’m thGod gave you 86,400 seconds todayankful for the grace of God, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for ME because of my sins (quite humbling) and the resurrection 3 days later!  I’m thankful that I serve a God that is STILL alive.  And, as I said, the Holy Spirit who gives us power to make it in this life…

Just last week I was asked to tell about my experience with this.  Telling someone who has never experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit is like trying to describe the wind to someone who has never been outside.  If you are curious about the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, you have to go to where the power of the Holy Spirit is moving and welcome!

Keeping Your Heart – Biblical defining a fool

We did a Bible study the other evening, it was awesome…it really got me thinking about some junk going on in my life.  Junk, in this case is just circumstances…everybody has junk at one time or another, it’s unfortunate, but it happens…blah blah blah.

MensBibleStudySo the theme of the Bible study was “keeping your heart.”  It was an AWESOME study…and well timed.  As I re-read the scriptures brought forth and spent time in prayer.  God showed me some important things in my life and in His scripture.

Spending time with people who are where you want to be will help you get from where you are to where you need to be.  It’s called mentorship, it’s also called accountability.

Helping-MentorThe Bible is chock-full of excellent examples of mentoring relationships. See Moses learning from his father-in-law, Jethro in Exodus 18. Follow Moses mentoring of Joshua in Deuteronomy 3:28. It’s amazing to see spiritually hungry Elisha run past the other prophets to get to Elijah’s side 2 Kings 2:1-16, passionate about being mentored. Follow David’s growth as his mentor-peer, Jonathan, introduces him to political leadership. Other kings were mentored by their religious teachers.

In the New Testament our supreme model, Jesus Christ, mentored the Twelve and the Three. One of the three, Peter, in turn had some type of mentoring relationship with Barnabas ( Galatians 2:11-13 ).

This applies to ALL areas of our lives.

As a Christian, if you want to be a better Christian, a Godlier person, a person closer to God…you spend time with those people who are Godlier than you are.  You spend time with people that KNOW how to pray, people who are encouragers.

In the gym, if you want to be stronger, you train with people that are stronger than you are. Makes sense, sometimes I just need a reminder.

So, in MY life, that’s where I want to be.  A better Christian, a better preacher, a better father, husband, and better fit than I’ve ever been so that I can be a better example and serve God better than I ever have.

(If I’m to receive criticism here – this is where it’s going to come from) So, as it Walk-a-Mile-in-My-Shoes-criticismseems, as we press on toward the mark…Satan roars his ugly head.  It seems that sometime we have to endure things…junk…and sometime people that have been placed in our lives through no fault of our own.  It’s tough because I find myself battling with my self because I do not want to be judgmental…I’ve been judged by others and it’s NOT fun and biblically unsound.  At the same time we have to face situations and see the fruit for what it is.  The scripture that I ran into was Proverbs 23:9, one translation says Do not talk to a fool, and another says do not speak in the hearing of a fool.  That is what I needed to hear.  As I battle with people that appear to be fools…alas, the Word of God also says we should, aside from not being judgmental, we should not call someone a fool in Matthew 5:22.  I’m not calling anyone a fool, but I’m witnessing the biblical definition of a fool.

I had to go look up the definition of a fool:

1. One who is destitute of reason, or the common powers of understanding; an idiot. Some persons are born fools, and are called natural fools; others may become fools by some injury done to the brain.

2. In common language, a person who is somewhat deficient in intellect, but not an idiot; or a person who acts absurdly; one who does not exercise his reason; one who pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom.

3. In scripture, fool is often used for a wicked or depraved person; one who acts contrary to sound wisdom in his moral deportment; one who follows his own inclinations, who prefers trifling and temporary pleasures to the service of God and eternal happiness.

4. A weak christian; a godly person who has much remaining sin and unbelief.

5. A term of indignity and reproach.

So there’s my thoughts for this evening…I have been very careful to not name names or spread gossip.  These are my personal battles, as I strive to better myself, I find myself questioning myself.  As I study and write down my thoughts I can better analyze my thoughts and motives.  I hope that no one gets offended by my thoughts…on the contrary, I hope that someone gains something from my study.

As I wrap this up…YES, keep your heart – protect your heart as you encounter people and junk that you may not be able to control…you and only you with the power of the Holy Spirit can keep your own heart.

Monday Musings

I’m going to change up a little here on my blog…would like some feedback from those reading it…

amusingMonday Musings

musing  present participle of muse (Verb)

Verb
  1. Be absorbed in thought.
  2. Say to oneself in a thoughtful manner.

I’ve been absorbed in thought about a lot of things…lately it’s been in and about ministry, my role in ministry as well as my relationship with God and the others around me and their relationship with God.

A lot of times the first question that would pop into your head about me thinking about your relationship with God is it’s none of my business.  Perhaps directly maybe it’s not, but indirectly it certainly is.  My JOB is to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. As a minister of the gospel, that’s our jobs is to minister…but NOT just ministers but as children of God we should be building the kingdom, enlarging Heaven.  The real question here is, how?

What does God want me to do?  What does God want you to do?  This is really where the musing part of this comes in.  Over the past few months, really probably longer than that, I’ve come across people who claim they don’t have to go to church or don’t want to because of the judgmental, Pharisaical, or hypocritical attitude of “the church.”

dear-god-why-are-the-most-judgemental-people-church-goers-popohardwearWHAT!?  The church is judgmental, Pharisaical, or hypocritical? Sadly alot of the time that IS true.  I think I can say that because I am the church…well, we are the church, but I’ve been guilty of that.  I say that in sadness, with regret.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on the church.  I love the church.  I think we need the church, we need accountability, we need to encouragement, and we need to encourage.  We need to celebrate victories one with another, and also to grieve together.

BUT, here’s the second part…the A-Musing part…okay not amusing…perhaps confusing.  A large majority of people who claim they don’t go to church because of the  judgmental, Pharisaical, or hypocritical are ones that also say they are Christians and they are doing the very same thing just in reverse order.

Instead of going to church trying not to be the people that they are claiming they don’t want to be, they are not going to church being the people that they are claiming that are keeping from church in the first place.  AMUSING isn’t it!?  Instead of not being the people in the church judging the people outside the church, they are the people outside the church judging the people inside the church…which one is better?

So, where do we go from here?  Do I go to church and hope I can keep from becoming the person that keeps others from coming to church?  Can I stay out of church and stay focused on God and His plan for my life? (me, probably not) Another musing question:  What is church really? Are you playing games with monopoly guychurch…not in the literal sense…I don’t think that you’re taking Monopoly to church and expecting to play games…I mean has it turned into a religious ritual in which you do to make yourself feel better, or to keep your husband or wife off your back, or just because that’s “what you’re supposed to do?”

Do you go to get your feel good on so you can make it another week, or do you take something away from your service that you can atcually use, that you can apply to your life that day or that week?

That’s all of my musings for my new Monday Musings…would love to hear your thoughts on my musings…anyone?

 

I’m Lovin’ It

McDonald's I'm Lovin' itThis morning, after fighting with the alarm, we finally got up and around.  Got the kids off to school…that 7am bus is a killer when you have 2 2 year olds to get ready and get them on it.  This logo to the left is how I feel this morning…

Got a full plate of stuff to do today but it always starts out best with my Bible reading and prayer time.

We had “church” last night at the coffee house.  It was church minus the steeple…it was good, had 3 teens, 3 kids, & 6 adults…hey, Jack, it’s a start.  It’s the most clear vision I’ve had since our resignation.

The title to my devotion this morning was, “Checklist Before Taking New Territory”  In Joshua 1:2-3 it says in the Amplified Version – Moses My servant is dead. So now arise [take his place], go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, the Israelites. Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses.

As I seek God’s direction for my, my life, my family, and my ministry…I seek CLEAR VISION.  We should all have that, a clear vision of exactly where God wants us, what He wants us to be doing, how He wants us to do it.  There should be no doubt that you are serving God where He wants you.  That’s my prayer this morning, that God would clear the vision for me…as it comes into focus that I’d be willing to make the appropriate steps to move into the new roles that He is placing me in.

Be blessed today…God loves you and so do I.

 

Beautifully Imperfect – Already messed’em up?

January 3rd…how are your new year resolutions coming along?  Already Beautifully Imperfectmessed’em up?  A lot of you already know about my resolutions as far as health and fitness go…let me just tell you that yesterday was HORRIBLE as far as my plans…maybe they got messed up a little, but FAILURE it was not, after all it’s only failure if you QUIT.  I didn’t cheat yesterday, it just wasn’t the best diet day that I’ve had, but certainly not the worst day I’ve ever had.  I also didn’t blog yesterday either and it is a DAILY goal of mine…BUT, here I am…I did not QUIT this either.  I came across this picture this morning after reading my devotion, it just fit too well not to include it.

Let me just say that I am totally stoked. Upon weighing in this morning after

muscle

getting up and getting the coffee on, my weight this morning was 201…dropped two pounds since yesterday!  Now, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to yesterday but results happen when you don’t quit, just because you didn’t do as well as you wanted to it doesn’t mean that you have failed.  So today is a NEW day.

DEVOTION FOR TODAY

My devotion for today came out of Psalm 119:33 it says “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.”

Three things you find in book of Psalms over and over again: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

KNOWLEDGE is that which is gained by our education and what we are taught. UNDERSTANDING speaks more of discerning, which enables us to see the sense in what we have been taught.  We need inner illuminations to discover what the teaching means to our lives.  WISDOM, on the other hand, is a gift from God.  James referred to wisdom as coming from above in James 3:17.

The psalmist made it clear that de desired to know God’s will in order to do God’s will.  He was both teachable and had a desire to learn.  There is a tone of humility and and dependence…he was not filled with just intellectual curiosity but also a desire to comprehend God’s truth in order to use this truth in a life of obedience to God.

We NEED to apply this to God’s word…not just know it, and understand it, but pray that God would give us the wisdom to apply it.  THAT is when the fruit starts spilling out of us and not only is God pleased but people start seeing the fruit of your knowledge and understanding of God and your relationship with Him.

The same should apply daily to ALL of our resolutions, if they are truly worth keeping.  We should PUSH ourselves to be THE BEST that we can do, first with God, then with everything that He has given us.

Be blessed today, read His word, seek knowledge and understanding, pray for and ask for wisdom to apply it.  Not only is it God’s will for you and your life, that is what makes a leader.  You are loved today…

Hope you are blessed and encouraged by this…leave a comment if you are reading this, I am certainly reading them and it encourages me as well.  Now for my coffee and then the gym.

2013 – Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Good morning!  Well, that’s what it is for me…It’s the first day of the new year, like most of you I’m trying to turn over a new leaf, new years resolutions, etc.  Part of that is blogging…DAILY…about…well, everything…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and everything in between….including ministry, business, technology, daily devotions, and fitness & nutrition milestones and setbacks.

Last year, 2012, was awesome!  I learned things about myself, about ministry, about many things.  Let me just say, I wouldn’t take it back if I could!  I entered my second year as Pastor at Liberty Grove Assembly of God.  Having just resigned my position there as of this past Sunday, let me just say it was a GREAT experience!  I learned more about myself, others, and about God than I ever have before.  I truly, honestly love everyone that I served with and pastored at that church.  I hope that some of them have an opportunity to read this and understand that as I left and we partook of communion together, that I left anything that wasn’t of God at the altar.  I DID learn a GREAT deal and am totally stoked about our next phase of ministry.

As I approach my leaf turning, my daily devotions will always come first!  I’m up this morning at 5am.  My house is quiet, only the light roar of my computer fan humming and the sound of God along with my Bible and a couple of devotional books that I use during my study time.

Psalm 119:2 says Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—

What a GREAT scripture to start of this new year with new commitments not only to myself or to your self but also to God!  Most everyone knows a half-hearted commitment will kill a relationship, be it with a wife, girlfriend, a ball team, or a work force.  A house divided shall not stand!  It simply doesn’t work.

When Jesus was asked to declare the greatest commandment in the Word of God, He gave us Matthew 22:37-38  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  There doesn’t leave much wiggle room here…He said with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul, and ALL your mind.  This goes far beyond church attendance…this is being completely and wholly committed to God.

This is really summarizes my study this morning.  Put God FIRST in all things, love him with all you have.  Dedicate yourselves to Him first and all the other things that we have to accomplish in life will come together.  Whatever it is…in my case, it is God first, then my wife and family being a husband, father, and son, my self, including diet & fitness and general overall health, then my friends & ministry.

It’s interesting when I put it in writing, my priorities, that it looks weird that ministry would come last.  Technically it does come last but in context ministry is in everything we do, it’s in our relationships with our family, our friends, even how we take care of ourselves and our business.  It shows our values, our love of God, and priorities to everyone we come in contact with who wouldn’t normally be involved in our ministry at all.  It’s almost cliche’ any more but it still applies.  Our life is the only Bible some people will ever read.  Make sure it aligns it self to the context of the Bible that you have, stay in it, read up and prayed up.

Be blessed today, and this New Year.  Happy New Year to all of my friends, Facebook friends, and soon to be friends.

Integrity

Integrity – My morning scripture, Psalm 119:1…I love this!  The bible doesn’t call us to be sinless, in our fleshly nature, that is an impossibility.  However, it calls for us to be blameless, THAT is integrity.  Integrity is the opposite of duplicity and hypocrisy, which is the pretense to be something we are not.  The most difficult life to attempt to live is the one you are not.  Yet, the most blessed and least difficult to live is the life you have been given; be who you are!

Blameless is from the Greek word, memphomai. Which means irreproachable, faultless, or unblamable.

That is the man I want to be.  That is the preacher, husband, father, son, business owner, & leader that I want to be…an open book without fear of what someone may find.  How about you?