Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm a blessed man

I just got through celebrating my second Father's Day as a father. I am a blessed man. My earthly father is no longer with us, but I can celebrate the fact that he is now with my Heavenly Father. Isabel and Anglea really made Father's Day special. One of the things that Angela gave me was an outfit for Isabel to wear that says, "Jesus loves me and so does my daddy." While changing a diaper I read her shirt to Isabel and she just grinned and nodded her head yes. She is a loved little girl.

Angela not only is a great mother, but an amazing wife. We went on an overnight beach trip. Our little family. I had such a great time just spending time and appreciating what God has blessed me with in a special daughter and amazing wife.

I recall hearing Johnny Hunt mention a passage in Ecclesiastes 4:12 that is a great picture of our marriage relationship, "...a chord of three strands is not easily torn apart." The three strands of our "chord" are Angela, myself, and Jesus Christ. Remove anyone of these and immedaitely the chord becomes much weaker. Since neither Angela or myself are perfect, we have disagreements...all couples do. But these are just "tugs" on the chord and with Christ holding the chord together, there is no danger of the chord snapping.

I am a blessed man!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I recently had the opportunity to preach and God had/has really been speaking to me about the expectations (or lack of) that we have as Christians. I discussed how we should be expectant when we come to a time of corporate worship. We should come expecting to see lives changed, we should come expecting to see God move and work. I also discussed how we should have expectations when we go to God in prayer. If we don't believe that God is able to do what we are praying for, why do we even pray? Lastly, I discussed how we should expect to hear a word from God every time we open up the Book. It may be over simplifying things, but we have a book that is the WORD of GOD, when we read it shouldn't we expect to hear from God through His word. Really profound, huh?

This lack of expectation was reinforced while reading my favorite book (apart from THE Book), "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer. Tozer talks about the scene that unfolded on Mount Carmel with Elijah (I Kings 18 starting in verse 20). This is the story of where Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to see who is worshipping the REAL God. Go read the story. Tozer's comments on this was that many evangelical churches today are content to cut up the sacrifice, place it on the alter, arrange the stones of the alter, prepare everything, rearrange the stones and sacrifice, worship the alter...and not care at all if the power and fire of God does not fall...not care that God is not encountered.

If we don't expect to see God move, don't be surprised when we miss His movings.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I've been working on a series of lessons on the book of James and have really been struck by how we respond to trials. Trails are those tests sent by God to bring out the best in us. Temptations are sent by Satan to defeat us and bring out the worst in us. If we know that God sends the trials and we will be better for having experienced them, why do we still try to do everything in our power to avoid them. We see from scripture that trials bring patience, endurance, maturity (we all need a little of that), completeness. When reading these passages that deal with trials (James 1:2, James 1:12, James 5:11, I Peter 1:6) it almost seems that these qualities that we so desire don't come apart from suffering, be it through trials or temptations that we overcome.

Not only should we look at the benefits of the trials we face, we must look at our attitudes as we face these trials. James 1:2 says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials." Joy? Really? Remember it doesn't say be happy and act giddy when we encounter trials, it says to have joy. A great picture of this kind of joy is found in Hebrews 12:2, "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Did Jesus seem happy about the cross? No He despised the shame of it. The shame of sin and the wrath of God that would be poured out on Him. But it says the cross was the "joy set before Him". The joy was the ability to see beyond the cross and look at the result. The relationship between man and God restored.

If we take this attitude when facing trials, we tend to look at them differently. Do we get happy about them? No. But we do have joy know that the hand of God is working on us and making us more and more Christlike...if we don't blow it and bail out of the process.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The holiness of our "camp"

I've been reading this past week in Deuteronomy and was just absolutely stopped cold in my reading by a passage in Chapter 23. Verse 14 reads "Since the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy; and He must not see anything indecent among you lest He turn away from you." Is that powerful or what?! This is in context of a long list of folks that could not come into the assembly. Moses, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is writing this to God's chosen people. Several things really stand out to me. First, the closest thing we have to a camp today is in our churches and in our homes. Notice the passage starts off by saying "since the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp"...not "if" or "when" but "since." Too often we forget that as believers when we are gathered together...HE IS WITH US. Do we always act like it? Do we expect to see anything different because of His presence? This also encourages me because of the closeness and just how personal my God is. He is right here in the middle of me and my camp.

Also, this passage encourages me because HE delivers us, HE defeats those enemies that we allow our senses to make bigger than they are. The God who created all things, who sustains all things, “who has measured the waters in the hallow of His hand” (Isa. 40:12) is bigger than anything we will ever face. If my God is not bigger than the things of this world, I need a new God.

But notice too the word of warning, our "camp" must be holy. There must not be anything indecent in our camp. Sadly, the unholiness and things that are indecent in our camps wouldn't be there if we didn't invite them in. These are things that have no place in our lives as Christ followers passionately pursuing a life in, through, and like Christ.

Father thank you for opening my eyes and heart to what you want to say to me through your word.

Friday, February 20, 2009