Thursday, February 28, 2008
So I am excited to get refreshed and to grow closer to the best gift that God has ever given me (next to salvation.)
Have a great week I should be back up and writing again by Monday- With no excuse being my batteries shouold have a full reacharge.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I had a bad week last week. I didn't have anything tragic happen, I just had a bad week, it seemed like everywhere I turned something more frustrating than the last happened. As I look back on it, I didn't have to experience that kind of week, I just did! Saturday night my good friend Alex taught a message on worship. He had the same week I had, he then shared the story from Acts Chapter 16 of Paul and Silas who were beaten and put in chains for their commitment to Jesus. Instead of griping and complaining, they begin to sing songs of worship. They chose their attitude they didn't let their circumstances choose their attitude. so I was convicted to readjust my perspective and my focus.
So here I am at the beginning of a week, I have to do some things I don't want to do, in fact i have an extra busy 3 days because I am leaving for a short vacation with my wife at the end of the week (wont be hard to have a great attitude for that.) I have a choice am I going to run from my responsibilities or let the pressures force me into frustration and dejection? My Answer today is NO! I am going to be a worshipper, not a goody too shoes pretending everything is fine, but I am going to acknowledge that God is amazing and that what he has given me and what he is doing in and around me is far greater than my situations. I am choosing to be optimistic and energetic because I have the living God with me and for me! and he will be victorious and I will align my perspective with His! My Glass is more than Half full and I am expecting an overflowing cup soon, because He is Faithful!!!
Have a great day and God bless
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Today I have been reading in Hebrews Chapter 11. This is called the great faith chapter, because it talks about many of the great people in the Old Testament and how God allowed them to be part of some amazing things because of their simple faith in God.
Faith is described as things that we hope for, and all though we do not see them we believe that God will make good on his promises.
If I think about the life these people lived, they were not free from pain and heart ache, but they continued to persevere because they knew that ultimately God would come through for them.
Sunday I preached on Sacrifice, and the definition that I used was being willing to give up something that you love, for something or somebody that you love even more. I believe this takes faith. The things life that we are called to live as a follower of Jesus is stepping into the unseen and we are called to give up some of the things that are seen so that the unseen can become a reality in our lives.
I am going to try to practice what I preach this week, I am going to look to sacrifice some of the things that have become a part of my life so that I might honor God and that will continue to poor into my life the things that I miss out on when I am living life in cruise control.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
In grammar a noun names a person, place, thing, or idea whereas a verb shows the action of the sentence. I teach these two concepts each year in my 8th and 9th grade English classes. I have always reinforced the fact that no single word should be used exclusively as one specific part of speech. For instance, a person can run (verb) or buy running shoes. I never doubted that point until I began studying love in The Bible.
Jesus is the ultimate symbol of love. He is God in the flesh. This is indeed important, but what Jesus did for us is much more important than simply who he is. After all, we are all God’s children and were created in His image. Love is defined by our actions not our identity. Actively loving our neighbors involves taking risks, which opens up the possibility of ridicule and rejection. I cringe when I think of opening myself to that kind of attack, but then I remember a sentence from a book “Risk is spelled F-A-I-T-H.”
Loving people is not always an easy task in today’s society that is very self-centered. God warns us in 1 John 3:13, “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you,” as true love involves selfless, not selfish giving. God then goes on to tell us three verses later in verse 16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Society often glamorizes this verse through songs and movies in which the “hero” proclaims to his heroine, “I will die for you!” I used to fantasize and daydream about meeting someone like that. I would hear Jon Bon Jovi singing, “I’d live and I’d die for you...Steal the sun from the sky for you...Words can’t say what love can do…” as I envision my hero and I dancing to I’ll Be There For You. It all seemed so incredibly romantic until I read the footnote for 1 John 3:16 in my Life Application Study Bible. “Sometimes it is easier to say we’ll die for others than to truly live for them—this involves putting others’ desires first.” I thought long and hard about those words and the truth was staggering.
I consider myself a loving person, but I am human. I never once considered that when I tell people “I love you” or give them a hug that subconsciously I was looking for something in return. Furthermore, it never even donned on me that a person who did the exact same thing held those same insincerities. It wasn’t until I found God that I was able to even admit this “unspoken” truth because it would mean admitting that I am just as selfish as the rest of society. We must realize; however, that love comes from God through the Holy Spirit. When we open our hearts to God, his love will flow through us. It will become easier to extend a hug to a death row inmate, who never knew love or parental guidance. It will become easier to actively listen to an angry and rejected teenager attacking you because you are the only one there. It will become easier because our actions will be less about us and much more about HIM. Indeed, love is a verb, NOT a noun.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Today is a great day, OK it is just starting, but so far so good. I am looking forward to preaching this Sunday Morning at the Visalia Crossroads Campus and today I am getting everything wrapped up form studying this week.
I ran across a really cool sight for bible study its www.youversion.com, you can design yourown bible study and much more. It is the best resource for a personal bible study that I have ever seen.
Have a great weekend and God bless.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Last night I had the privilege of being on KDUV with Mike Lorah to talk about 210 and Elevate. It was cool to talk about the "togetherness" aspect of this venture. Visalia (and the rest of our country) seems to be entrenched in a Religious Competition, where instead of having a desire to work together and grow together and be the church, people are more worried about making the other guys look bad and not loosing "their" people to another church. The truth is that the church was never intended to be a building it was those who believe in Jesus and call him their Lord. The sad thing is that it has basically just become another business or organization, that truthfully is sometimes more brutal than the corporate world. I say that not with anger and hatred toward the local church but with Sadness, the church is supposed to be the light to the darkness and not a competition of who can get more people, more money, and better buildings.
Here's the encouraging thing! God is starting to raise up people who get it. By getting it they realize that there are more important things in life than arguing over who is more right and are willing to work with other people even if they don't see eye to eye on some of the issues. My thought is that diversity is something that should bring us together rather than tear us apart.
OK there is my little rant for the day!
But back to last night, it just encouraged me when I got the chance to reflect on what I get to be a part of, and the fact that there are some people rising up who are truly committed to the Kingdom of God and not their own agenda.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I am getting really excited about our launch in the new 210 building coming up this march. We have been blessed to partner with 1st pres., Crossroads and a few other churches to truly be a part of a kingdom project.
I really enjoy working together with people who have a heart to share the love of Jesus with this community with people regardless of who gets the credit.
I know it is not the building that makes a ministry successful in God's eyes, but rather a heart of obedience and sacrifice. But it is neat to partner with a facility that is focused on sharing the love of Jesus with todays generation...
Its gonna be fun...
For more info Check out enter210.org or ellev8.com
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
A few years ago my wife and I were living in Arkansas and bought a home in a town called Gassville. If you have been watching the news in the last 24 hours you may have seen that that town was completely leveled by a tornado. It was crazy to see the places where we gassed up our vehicles and ate mexican food and bought groceries destroyed by what is called an "act of God."
Its always difficult to understand why something like this happens, and the truth is as much as we try to explain it away and pretend like we understand- we don't. I don't know why God chooses to save some ans allow other to go through tough and even tragic times. The only thing that I do know is that God is in charge and he will always receive glory. The book of Job shares an amazing story of a man who had it all, and then had it all taken away... with God's permission- I am sure Job really never understood everything that God allowed, but he stayed faithful, and God began to restore more than he had in the beginning. We have somehow arrived at a conclusion that we all deserve to live a pain free 85-90 years, the truth is that we live in a world plagued by sin and death and none of us deserve our next breath, but God it his amazing perfectness chooses to allow us good times and bad.
My encouragement to any one going through tough times is remain faithful and rather than looking for explanations look for God's presence, in the long run that is the only thing that will satisfy the emptiness and the unknown in our lives.
here is a clip from the news about the devestation in Gassville. Click Here
Monday, February 4, 2008
Proverbs 17:27 "As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend."
Its good to have people in your life who make you want to get closer to God. John is one of those people.
Havent been writing a lot lately but I wil get back on track this week.
How about them giants? Awesome Superbowl