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A Second Look At God’s Blessings

September 26, 2009

ein sonniger HerbstmorgenSin Never Satisfies

I just heard say something to the extent, “When one is not satisfied with the gifts that God gives them they will begin to sin.”  This makes total sense but I had never thought of it before.

Not Satisfied With:

Spouse it will lead to –> lust –>flirting –> porn –> adultery

Finances it will lead to –> envy –> spending –> debt –> theft

Success it will lead to –> cheating –> lying –> backstabbing –> retracing

When we are not content in life we chase after things to fill our need for satisfaction.  God doesn’t owe us.  Breathing is a gift.

Where are you?  Are you unsatisfied with where God has placed you?  Do you use sin to try and fulfill yourself?

Sin Never Satisfies.  Be content with what God has given you.  Seek out, give everything in your life a second look to see how God has blessed you.

I’m Feeling Pretty Bad

June 7, 2009

I’m Feeling Pretty Bad

I have been feeling empty lately.  My spirit just hurts.  Recently I have turned my focus on the problems of this world.  It seems so easy to do.  I want to fit in with the crowd and care about politics and I can’t wait to pass judgment on those who are in control of the power.  I desire… no it’s not desire but more like I am desperate for God.  I am sad because I have drifted away from Him.  I need Him to take control of my life.  The problem is that He doesn’t take control of lives.  He leads.  We must take control of our own lives while following Him.  We take control of our own lives through His strength.

I stink and I am a mess.  Step by step I will move toward God.  Day by day I will put my face into His Word.  I will read, learn and apply.  My life must change because as it is it is as good as garbage.

If you come across this post please send up a prayer to the Holy Father and ask Him to strengthen me as I draw close to Him and try to live out His commands.

Thank you.

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Apologize Quickly

December 29, 2008

Apologize Quickly

Morgennebel Fog In The MorningIt is difficult being a Christian, isn’t it?  The world gives us a false reputation of having it all together.  Because every eye is on us we must act like Christ 100% of the time, right?  We must always smile, laugh, wise, and happy.  We should question our faith if we fell to do otherwise.  We must never fail.

Get ready to let out a big sigh of relief because this just isn’t true.  Salvation is offered because we are failures.  I know this post isn’t in the spirit of Joel Osteen but to sin is to fail.  Are we to remain failures?  No.  To sin literally means to miss the mark.  Imagine somebody trying to hit one of those big round targets with the bulls-eye in the middle.  When the bulls-eye is hit sin is avoided and to hit anything other than the center of the target is to fall into sin.

This weekend I missed the mark.  Family fights at Christmas really stink.  My mom and I got into a verbal confrontation.  I love my mom and worry about her.  She has bad habits that are ruining her life.  When she has had one too many she tends to abuse with her words.  What was my excuse then?  I didn’t drink any alcohol that day but still ended up missing the mark with the words I chose to use.  It hurts and my heart is uneasy.  What does one do when they find themselves in this situation?

Apologize Quickly!

If you find yourself in a heated argument with a loved one try and get away from the situation and cool down.  Ask God for forgiveness, wisdom to deal with the situation, spirit of reconciliation, and a swallowing of pride that allows you to go back to this person and apologize quickly.  Don’t be surprised if the person doesn’t accept your apology because my mom didn’t.  All you can do is seek forgiveness from God and from the person.  God will always forgive but the person may need time to process everything that is happening.  Once you have done everything possible leave it up to God allow His peace to reign in your heart and in your actions.

Scriptures To Consider

Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. -Proverbs 12:20

No one calls for justice; no one pleads their case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. -Isaiah 59:4

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. -Matthew 18:21-22

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Chazown

December 23, 2008

Chazown

LightLife at times can seem mundane but how would you feel if the doc told you that you only had 6 months to live?  Would you spend all your time blogging?  Would you waste time to see which bacheloret the bachelor was going to choose?  What would you do with the last 6 months?

I think it is difficult for any of us to answer this question because most of us are going to die in our 80′s. The point is that you and me are going to one day die.  It may be tomorrow, 6 months or 50 years from now but believe me we are as good as dead.

Good news.  You don’t have to spiritually die.  Jesus offers a free gift of salvation.  If you decide or have already chosen to receive His gift then you are safe.  The second bit of good news is that God has a plan for your life.  The question is, “How do we know what His plan is for us?”

Chazown

I recommend the book by Craig Groeschel called Chazown.  The word Chazown is pronounced khaw-ZONE.  It is Hebrew, meaning a dream, revelation, or vision.

Here is the main outline of the book:

Part 1: Seeing Clear To The End: Why you need a new kind of vision.

Part 2: Circling The Truth: Where to look for your own Chazown.

Part 3: Dream In Deed: How to name your Chazown and where to start.

Part 4: The Five Spokes Of Chazown: Where you need to succeed ‘small’ so you can succeed big.

Part 5: From Here To Eternity: Why you can’t realize your Chazown alone.

Resources:

Chazown

Life Church

Craig Groeschel

Swerve

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4 Steps To A Better Quiet Time

December 18, 2008

4 Steps To A Better Quiet Time

Orangebecherling-mushroomBut Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. -Luke 5:16

During His time on earth there were plenty of of quiet spots to be found I’m sure but what about us? Just today I found myself having a difficult time trying to read from a textbook. Was the book boring? Most of the time I could answer yes but this one was actually interesting. Why couldn’t I concentrate? Because the phone rang five times in an hour! We do not live in a quiet, lonely world.

So many distractions! What is a Christ follower to do? Here is a list I hope is helpful:

1.Plan. You need to put quiet times into your schedule. If you don’t schedule your quiet time, when will it happen?

2.Choose the most quiet time of the day. This may be before the kids get up or right after they go to bed. If you live in an apartment complex you may have to choose based on your neighbors habits. When is it the most quiet where you live? Choose that time.

3.Try to get 5 quiet times in each week. You could go for 7 if you like but try not to beat yourself up if you fail to do so. In fact, don’t worry if you only get 2 quiet times within the week. A quiet time is not meant to be marked off your list of things to do. If it is you may never get any benefit from it.

4.Choose to do activities that lead to growth. Pray, listen for God, read your Bible, or/and read a good book.

Questions To Ponder:

1.“When was the last time you were deeply encouraged and refreshed during a quiet time spent in prayer and reading the Bible?”

2.“Why is it important to have times of prayer alone with God?”

Quotes are from the TNIV Strive Bible

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Ask For Godly Wisdom

December 16, 2008

Ask For Godly Wisdom

Bulgarien-near-KaliakraHow do you respond when someone pushes your buttons?  Is your first thought not a thought at all?  Do you hear words coming out of your mouth without considering what the other person has said just so you can even the score?

Consider these scriptures:

Proverbs 15:14: “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”

Ecclesiastes 7:9: “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

Nehemiah 9:17: “You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

A situation like this calls for wisdom.  If you begin to talk back immediately to the button pusher then more than likely you would not be responding with wisdom.  Step away from the situation and ask God to give you the wisdom that you need to help resolve the situation.  In fact this is what Jesus’ half brother recommends, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” James 1:5.  Ask God to give you wisdom and then trust Him to give generously.  In due time you will be able to respond to difficult situations in a godly matter.

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Set Yourself Up For Success

December 15, 2008

Set Yourself Up For Success

Heaven´s-gate-in-OberbergNehemiah 2:7-8, “I also said to him, ‘If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah?  And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?’ And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.”

So Nehemiah has just found out that the walls of Jerusalem have been torn apart and the result of this is that Nehemiah has been torn apart.  To say the least he was distraught. In chapter 1 we find him weeping, mourning, fasting, and praying.  I don’t know about you but I haven’t been that torn about anything lately.  Later we see that he doesn’t turn this into a lasting pity party but that he takes action.

Nehemiah is about to start a leadership campaign that could cost him his life.  He decides that the wall needs to be rebuilt but in order for this to happen he needs to approach the king.  Keep in mind that the king was not Jewish.  One day, while Nehemiah was giving the king his drink, the king asked Nehemiah, “Why does you face look so sad when you are not ill?”  From here we can see that Nehemiah has two choices.  He can either not tell the king what is making him so sad or he can take the brave step forward and let him know.  Nehemiah chooses the latter.

Nehemiah knew he needed the kings assistance in order to have a successful mission.  What did the king do?  He granted Nehemiah’s request.  Why?  Because the gracious hand of God was upon Nehemiah.

What do you need to do today, this week, month or year that requires somebody else’s assistance in order for you to have success?  I believe that God wants my wife and I to go to the mission field full-time.  We can’t do this on our own.  We need people to pray for us and we need financial assistance.  We need God’s favor.  What do you need help with?  Like Nehemiah be smart.  He must have planned what he needed before the king asked him because he already knew what he needed.  He was specific.  When asking for assistance be specific so that you can accomplish your mission.  Ask the right people to help you.  If God has given you a burden and you follow Nehemiah’s examples of brave leadership how could you fail?

Recap:

1. Listen.  What has God put on your heart?

2. Pray

3. Plan.  What is it you will need to accomplish the mission?

4. Pray

5. Ask. The right people.

6. Pray

7. Thank God when He provides.

8. Praise

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