Tuesday, June 26, 2012


"Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons." (Deuteronomy 4:9)

It helps so much to be reminded of what the Lord has done in our lives. When we're going through a tough time or struggle it can really be encouraging. The Israelites would build stone monuments at places where important events happened. They were visual reminders of what the Lord has done.

Takes some time today to meditate and be thankful on the good things the Lord has done in your life! It will bless and encourage you!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Alabaster Jar

Alabaster Jar by Gateway. Love this song. Enjoy and be blessed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Small Changes

"He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches." (Matthew 13 :31-32)

Never despise small beginnings or little changes. Sometimes things in life can seem so daunting we don't think we will ever get there. Thankfully all things are possible through Christ, who strengthens us. This is a really powerful principle. Just start somewhere. Maybe you want to be more consistent in your Bible reading and you've been frustrated in maintaining a reading plan. Try something less demanding -- maybe start with a chapter or two per day. Then trust the Lord to help you. Better to read a little a day that sinks in and effects change than to blaze through large portions just to fulfill a reading plan. There's nothing wrong with reading plans, but the purpose is relationship and growth, not to mark off a check list.

This is a principle that we can apply to any area or struggle of life.  Thankfully we have a wonderful heavenly Father who wants to help us. We tend to look at the big picture and get frustrated that we're not getting results fast enough, but the real question to ask is "Father, what can I do now?" He will show you the next step. Sometimes it is just to pray. Sometimes the only thing to do is rest and trust. The Holy Spirit always knows the most efficient path. Trust Him. Don't despise where you are today. Trust the Lord to walk you through.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stand Up for Kids

We just got back from a week with family and friends in the North Coast area of San Diego. We attended a charity auction and the Bro-Am surf contest to raise money for Stand Up for Kids. Stand Up for Kids is a not-for-profit organization devoted to getting homeless kids off the streets. Stand Up for Kids does really great work and is an organization worth supporting! Have to give a shout out to the guys from Switchfoot for their support for this worthy cause. At last count this years auction and Bro-Am raised over $200,000.00!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where God is Honored

And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"—so that they might accuse Him. And He said to them, "What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? "How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!"He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

This story exhibits in stark detail the problem of how religious observance can seem right and good, but be totally cut off from the heart of God. The Pharisees were great at looking good, but they had serious heart problems. They cared more for the minutiae of the law over everything else. In this encounter Jesus healed the man and the Pharisees sought to kill Him! They didn't really care that he was actually healed. They only cared about their interpretation of the rules. They missed the point.

Sometimes we do the same thing. We miss the point by focusing on what matters less. We get caught up in plans and programs and agendas. We fall prey to the wrong attitudes. We miss ministry opportunities. We see people through the lens of failure and not through the lens of potential. We lay down compassion for law. We lay down love for judgment. 

I think the irony of this story is in the Pharisee's approach in asking Jesus, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" Somehow I just don't think a lot of healing was going on when Jesus wasn't around. They had apparently seen Him heal (or they wouldn't have asked the question), but were too blind and jealous to grasp the fullness of the Messiah. So they chose to play petty games and attempt to trap Him. 

Compassion is not all that matters, but it does matter a great deal. Somewhere between legalism and spiritual anarchy there is a place where God is honored. It's a place where misdirected compassion that leads to humanistic narcissism can't exist, and yet it's also a place where the rules become subservient to the heart of God. That's where true ministry takes place. Ministry that changes lives. It's a place where love flourishes and fulfills its purpose. It's a place where we can really seek the best for others because we actually care for them as people. It's a place that reflects the heart of God.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life Changing Words

"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:29-32)

These are life changing words if we could just grab hold of them. What if our mouths were used to build and not destroy? What if we could be encouragers instead of discouragers? How many marriages could be healed? How many broken relationships could be restored? What if we changed our conversation to line up with this admonition?

How would it change your work place? How would it change your conversation at lunch? How would it change your conversation at church? How would it change the words you speak to your children? How about the words you speak in front of them? Would it make you the person who leads the conversation instead of you becoming the follower that allows it to go places you don't like? Could you be the gossip squelcher? 

Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, how would this effect your faith? You will never listen to anyone else as much as you listen to yourself.

Hallelujah by Brian Doerksen

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31)

Sometimes we read through passages like this a little too quickly. We know God loves us and cares for us ... or at least we think we do ... maybe we do ... or do we really? This is actually an incredibly faith building passage to meditate on. God sees the tiniest details of our lives. There is nothing that he misses. He's never caught by surprise. He sees even when a little bird falls to the ground.

Ephesians 3:20 says that God "is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us." That power is the Holy Spirit inside. God is never far. We may feel like He is sometimes, but He never is. Sometimes people say that God didn't move, I did. I get the thought that's being expressed in that sentiment, but that doesn't give a true picture. That saying still implies some distance. The reality is that it is more a spiritual blindness that sets in. He's right there, but we can't or won't see it. 

Praise the Lord though there's an easy fix for that! We're not trying to move or change God; we just need to makes some changes. That's a good place to be. We can't fix God (not that He's broken) but He can sure help us fix ourselves. How do we fix it? We simply begin to do the things we know to do. Time in the Word, time with Him, worship, and prayer will draw our hearts and open our eyes. Life is mostly not about knowing what to do, but doing what we know to do.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 8:37-39)