Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Today I am overwhelmed with hope!

It's hard to describe...to understand it you must have a concept of what our God and saviour did for us on the cross, but I am so energized by the hope that I have on a regular basis. The understanding that the time we have on earth is so short...

For some a thought like this may push them to over-achieve; for others it may cause them to freeze. For me, I love the thought that I am not in control. I rest in the times when I can do nothing but hope. Trying to control everything is such a burden!
That is why I am learning to leave that burden at the feet of Jesus.

I would like to encourage anyone who reads this (even myself if I come back to it) to never let go of the hope that we have. It should be what drives us...it should be a fire in our hearts that causes us to live in anticipation of great things. God is in the business of greatness! He can use you if you let Him. Just don't expect it to look a certain way...allow Him to lead and you will be filled with a joy that never goes away! I believe that is the definition of joy...the knowledge that no matter where we are or what we go thru...it will all be OK in the hands of our wonderful Father.

Take joy in what is right now...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thank God for People

You know...people disappoint me some times...

I really get sick of how they act like they care or talk like they care, but when it comes down to it they really don't care. It's like a never-ending game of "psych!". You know when you say or do something believable and then retract it by yelling PSYCH! Maybe that was just a sick game that we played...anyways...I digress. I just grow weary of watching people play those games with no regard for the impact that it has on others. I keep wanting to ask the question, "does the church ever really make it to the point where we live family?" Or do we just talk about it and only show that kind of love to the people that we so chose.

The weird part is that God asks me to care about people even when they don't care about me. The even weirder part is that when I truly begin to care about other people and their struggles in life...I start to care less about how much they care about me.

Ultimately, I have to learn to love people because God loves people (unconditionally)...and that is enough for me.

I love the lesson given when Jesus prays for us in John 17:20-26 (read it when you get a chance). Immediately following this dynamic prayer for blessing and unity among new believers...he is betrayed by someone close to him (Judas). Talk about "people" huh.

That's all I needed. God has seen more disappoinment than I have...end of story.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The noise...

With everything going on in our lives lately, Yana and I have been looking for ways to simplify things. It has been a long and difficult time in our lives, and we are still dealing with alot of different hurdles that seem to keep coming. In light of all that stuff I finally got the nerve to ask a friend to borrow their bicycles so that we could get out and do something for free. I know it's not much of an adventure, but we haven't been on bikes for years! As we ventured out on our first ride, there was one thing that really struck me...THERE WAS NO NOISE. As I breathed in the fresh evening air, and peddled up the hill I realized how much noise we deal with on a daily basis. Whether it be in the car, in the office, the tv being on, the fan at night, business of our daily lives...all of it is noise...and we never stop adding to it do we?

A colleague at work suggested that all of the noise that we keep constantly processing in our brains subconsciously leads to both mental and physical fatigue. I agree with that statement, and I would go even further to say that it leads to spiritual fatigue. I mean, how often do we really get quiet? Being a person that believes that we are fully physical and fully spiritual beings, I think that maybe we need to stop and confront all of the noise in our lives. When scripture states, "Be still and know that I am God"...do we even consider the physical ramifications of that action. So many times I think that we fall prey to the thought that this is a command with unknown consiquence rather than a gift that we can be rejuvinated by.

Maybe we are afraid of what might happen? Maybe we don't truly believe that the Lord will speak to us? Maybe we are just stuck in a rut? Either way...this is a call to stillness! Stop the noise!!! Just for a while anyway...see what happens.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The process of Catharsis...

My wife and I recently lost our first child-to-be...it was 12-13 weeks old, and she had a miscarriage. The first part of it was really difficult. To have no warning signs and wake up at 2:30 in the morning facing a labor-like situation...without the hospital. No support to speak of, just pain and raw emotion for 4 hours. All of the thoughts swirling in your mind. How are we going to tell our family? They have been waiting for this moment almost as wantingly as we have. What about our friends? What would this child have looked like? We were going to be the first great-grandchild in the family! It's virtually impossible to confront all of these thoughts at once...yet they seem to come all at once. I broke down once or twice...not in front of her...of course. These are just the crappy things that come along in this life, but I'm not convinced that they need to be explained. Somehow I know that my response to this is what matters. Will I lose my inhibitions? Will I ask all of the typical why and how questions? I don't think so. I will simply take to heart the verses of 1 Peter 1:6-7:

"6 So be truly glad.[a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."

Thank you God! I know that you are always present in my hardship. Your promises are true now and forever. I will never play the blame game with you because I know that I will constantly face trials in this life that are a natural result of this fallen world. You ask me for my heart in obedience thru it all...and in that you use these things for your glory, and that is my reward! Your provision is great, your mercy is great, you are just, you are loving. I take refuge in the knowledge that you can see my unborn child. You know their name...you know what they look like...you know what they will become, and the choices that they will make. I pray for them now. I ask for your blessing on their lives. Lovingly direct and guide them by your Spirit. Father heal our hearts. Surround us with your loving peace. Thank you...thank you.

If you are going thru some trials, read this article...it is right on:


Monday, June 2, 2008

An old blog that I found...

Check this out...I wrote this a long time ago on my myspace page, and it spoke to me today. God is good:

From the words of one of my favorite songs:

"The more I seek you, the more I find you"

"The more I find you, the more I love you"

I find it interesting that this is truly the process I go thru in my pursuit of God. When I truly seek Him, I find Him...when I find Him, I can't help but fall in love with Him. That love places the desire in my heart to follow His words, and following His words create love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and they give me hope (Gal. 5:22). That process forces me to check myself every day. I can no longer be complacent in every day life because if I am truly a "Christ-follower" the Spirit will always keep me accountable for my actions and/or non-actions. If I ever lose that desire...I fear that I was never saved at all, but I rest in His promise that He will never leave or forsake me (Heb. 13:5...read the whole chapter).

I guess my point is that I truly believe that those of us who don't "currently" have a desire for God need to question whether or not salvation is with us. How can one say that they are a "Christian" and not desire to seek Him and to make Him known to others. How can a "Christian" live in sin doing what they know is not right, and trying to make justification for it. The answer is that you can't. Of course we will fail sometimes, but the key is that we do not want to fall short of righteousness. We will not justify our sinful actions...we will repent and correct them. Our desire for God will overcome our sinful nature, and we can successfully live in God's will.

Maybe this is just a thought for those who don't feel like God matters "right now".


Monday, May 26, 2008

Days 19-21...Moving forward in love

So the last 3 days have been the culmination of my 21 day journey. It is interesting how the Lord works through these things. This has been quite a drastic transition period in my life...I have been going thru a massive career move, and I found out that I am going to be a Father. I don't think that things could be any more dynamic than they are right now. Yet the entire time God has taught me very specific things. I have learned how to apply my time with God to the wholeness of my life rather than just some ritualistic time period. It has been quite the journey.

I would like to conclude this time with a new perspective. As I have been reading further in the Gospel of John I have noticed something that I feel is worth mentioning. On His journey to the cross, Jesus repeatedly pulled the disciples away from the petty and meaningless things that they were focused on and reminded them of two things...His death for their sins and the necessity of love for one another.

I found this to be a great testament to the message that we must strive to present thru our lives. First is Jesus...the message of salvation thru His sacrifice. Then comes Love...the natural result of salvation thru Christ. Our lives with Christ must be an outpouring of love. Not just our most contemporary definitions, but a fullness of joy...a life of service...a desire for truth that is only satisfied in the presence of the living God. This love is everything that is good and pure. It is not limited to our notions of what is happy and nice. It does not rely on emotion. We must strive to have the love that Christ made perfect on the cross. So simple, yet so complicated. But we don't do it alone...we have the Holy Spirit to direct us.

Father lead us on! Let us bring your love to the dying generations. Teach us, guide us, discipline us, correct us...do whatever is necessary that your will may be accomplished in our lives. Thank you for leading me on this journey. Thank you for your promises. As always...you are great and gracious. Amen.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 18...Accountability by the Spirit

Today I learned that God wants our everything...even down to the smallest rhetoric. As I have been navigating a new job, I have been convicted about the the intentional way that I live out being/living in Christ. All of the ways that I tend to cunningly skirt around vocalizing my knowledge of Him have been exposed. When in conversation with another believer, I found myself quieting my voice only when I used a number of key terms...Jesus, Christ, Salvation, The Spirit, ect. The cool part is this: The Spirit convicted me of my wrong doing in this way. I was made aware of the fact that I was actually being timid about the Truth. As I have asked the Lord to search my heart and expose any inconsistency He has been opening my eyes to a number of issues such as this that hinder the work of the Spirit in my daily life. I can't wait to see what's next!

Jesus...I love you. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I ask that you would lead me in my progression of boldness and understanding. Be with me as I move further along in this job, and give me wisdom to know what your will would be in the many new situations I will encounter. Amen.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 17...Jesus first, then the poor

Read this passage and think about it:

3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar[b] of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages.[c] It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

So what do we take away from this? Is He really saying that time with Him is more important than serving the poor? Now of course I know that the skeptics will say something like...He was only talking about that specific period in time because he was physically dwelling on earth. I say no way!!! We must realize that it all starts with Him! Our service, our worship, our teaching, our fellowship...it must all begin with our love for Him. How can we ever be effective as the body of Christ if we don't root our being in relationship with Him first? Isn't He the one that does the work? Everything we do must begin with our acknowledgement of His will in our lives. I believe that if we were to truly grasp that concept we would begin to see an abundance of fruitfulness in the church at large because social justice, caring for the poor, loving our neighbors, and many other fruits would be the inevitable result of acknowledging Christ first.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 16...Grace and Cost

Today was awesome! Lots of time walking with the Lord. I wanted to write a short blurb on Grace because I was reminded of something today. The grace of God is not meant to be a license to live as we please, but rather the possibility that we may be justified in the eyes of God without being bound by the law. It enables us to fulfill the law...not to break it. And because we can't possibly fulfill the law on our own, we must give all credit to Him (Eph 2:8-9). This is something to always keep in mind.

I was also reminded of the cost we incur for freedom thru Christ. It is such a popular notion to think that a life in Christ is easy or effortless, and that we have no obligation other than to profess that he is Lord. But what happens when it starts to cost us friendships, time, energy, ect? What happens when we get to the point where we are not energized by positive emotion? Jesus clearly states multiple times in scripture that we have to count the cost of following Him:

27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' 31 "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

I find this very difficult to ask myself...have I counted the cost? Can I finish the race? Will I endure to the end? My endless prayer is that the Spirit will assist me in my daily walk, and that I will live a life worthy of the grace that he has offered me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 15...New stuff

I started a new job today, and I have made a commitment to be the most consistent example of Christ as possible while I am there. I am going to attempt to keep my eyes open and ears in tune to what the Lord is speaking to me. They have a bible study...so maybe I will be able to offer some of the things that He has taught me to that group. Then again, maybe I will just learn some things.

It is such an exciting prospect...isn't it? The fact that we get the endless opportunity to be ambassadors for Christ in this world. I can only hope that I take full advantage of the chances that I am given to offer this love that I have access to.

During my time today I was reading the story of Lazarus rising from the dead. I won't post the whole story because it can be found in John 11, but I was made aware of something different this time around. In this story Jesus was actually described as angry to the point of tears because of the lack of faith that his own followers displayed in the situation. How interesting? Jesus told them time and again that He had it under control, but they kept doubting and acting as if it was all over. So then He raises Lazarus from the dead, and everyone believes again??? Oh how I never want to be guilty of that kind of disbelief. I want to hear His voice clearly, and know that He has it all under control.

Father, I am sorry for the times when it took something miraculous for me to have faith in you. Have mercy on me as I am sinner. Thank you for this job opportunity that you have lead me to. Help me to be aware of the things that you will have me accomplish there. Teach me something new this week. All things in Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

14th day...Ministry on the go

I have continued my reading in the Gospel of John for now. I came upon the well known story of Jesus healing the blind man. However, it was the preface to this incident that caught me (Chapter 9):

1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.[a] The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

I had a couple of thoughts on this. First, I saw the obvious of what Jesus was doing. He was challenging the notion that destructive disabilities, diseases, pains, ect. are originated by God as punishment for sins. He was giving the people of that day (as well as ourselves) an example of how God can use any circumstance to further the kingdom.

However, the second thought was more impactful to me. Jesus made a quick statement following that example..."We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned to us by the one who sent us." Can we say "divine appointment"? I wonder if the disciples picked up on that one? Jesus was showing His people (then and today) that if they keep their eyes open they can be used to accomplish amazing things for the kingdom of God. Think about the context...the passage begins, "as Jesus was walking along." He had previously finished putting some Pharisee's in their place, and he was just "walking along" the roads of Jerusalem. Keep in mind that what followed was one of the most talked about miracles in history. Can you see the urgency in which he makes that statement? Don't we want to be like that? Shouldn't we be able to forget about our destinations for a minute and just stop and take advantage of the opportunity to serve the kingdom?

Lord let me take heed to that statement. Let me be the one who sees the opportunity to serve at any point in my journey. Give me wisdom and boldness in the process of learning. Thank you for walking with me thus far. I love you. Amen.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 13...Weakness

This will be short today...not that I didn't get to be with the Lord, but I don't have much time to write. Mostly God was speaking to me about weakness...you know...that big concept in which He uses us most. There are many times when I get up in front of our congregation and sing or play, and feel like I have simply just wasted God's time. I genuinely want to bring something valuable to him in my service, but I feel worthless.

But the punchline is this...every time I feel that way he brings someone along to affirm that my service was not useless, and that in my weakness He is strong.

I also saw the new Narnia movie. Man C.S. Lewis had a gift! He was able write such strong correlation to the story of us and God/Jesus with his stories. One part hit me good...essentially Aslan (Jesus) asks this girl why she didn't come after Him when she first saw Him. She responds, "I was alone." His response..."Why would that stop you from coming to find me." Yes! Why do we ever stop pursuing Jesus? Why do we let our circumstance dictate our pursuit?

Father I love you. Jesus I love you. Holy Spirit I love you. Thank you for the affirmation today. It was a wonderful gift. I patiently await the day when I can see you face to face. I can't wait to surrender myself to your embrace. Thank you that you are waiting for me. Amen.

Friday, May 16, 2008

We are free...12th day

I was reading a passage in John, Chapter 8:

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants[b] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" 34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

So I was dwelling on this concept for a moment, and it hit me...why don't we live like we are free?

I guess I can understand how a slave might act shortly after being freed from captivity (once the shock wore off)...timid...lacking boldness...still acting and reacting in a similar way while navigating this new world. But there would come a point when the slave would realize that their previous captors have no hold on them anymore...right? They would begin to exercise their freedoms, and live in such a way that you might never know that they had been held in slavery. Or at least that is how I want to live. I want to be so far from the captivity of sin that no one can see that I was once slave to it. I want to live in such freedom that the notion of sinful things becomes a foreign concept.

I guess the bigger question is...how? I think the answer is in the above scripture:
"If you hold to my teaching...the truth will set you free." My interpretation (if I dare): remain faithful and you will live in freedom. I also think that this kind of freedom is learned...in that, even though we are set free immediately after we believe in Christ we still must learn (like the slave) to live in freedom. We still have to master the art of casting our sinful ways behind us. I believe that is what Jesus was saying here...a life of freedom is only realized thru faithfulness.

Father teach me to live in freedom. Help me to abstain from what was once a stronghold in my life. Give me strength to walk in boldness. Thank you that I am not expected to be perfect from the onset of my freedom from sin, but that you work with me and help me to rid myself of my old ways. You are great and gracious. In Jesus name I pray.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

11th day...My heart overflows

While praying this came out:

Your love is like rain
Your love is like the breeze
Your love is like mountains
And the gold beneath
Your love is like flowers
And new life in spring
Your love is like hope
Your love is truth

Great are you God
To offer such a prize
That we may share in love
And see it through your eyes

Your love is like joy
Your love is like peace
Your love is like patience
Kind and Meek
Your love is like goodness
Faithful to be
Your love is like hope
Your love is truth

Awesome is your name
Beyond what we can claim
You are more than everything
You are my hope
Your love is truth


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

10th day...Simple Awe

Today a friend of mine sent me a youtube clip that I will post on the end of this blog...but I found in highly interesting. Basically, this pastor was speaking with a micro-biologist or something like that...in their discussion he was asked (with enthusiasm) to research a protein called Laminin. This protein was described as "the rebar" of the body...it holds everything together and dictates the way that cells are used, ect. So this pastor googled this protein and found something amazing. Laminin actually (physically) has the shape of a cross. Not just two lines of equal length, but the vertical line is taller than the horizontal (creating the shape of the actual crucifixion device).

As I read thru some different comments on this sermon...I found one particularly disturbing. Essentially this person commented that we see what we want to see, and that this was no affirmation...just a misrepresentation.

What happened to the joy and wonder that is displayed in God's creation?

Why must everything that we find excitement in be contested by the less faithful (most of which are in our own churches). Don't get me wrong...I certainly do not want to blow anything out of proportion and create a new doctrine...but why can't we just take these things as wonderful affirmations of God's glory and move on to the next day in fullness of joy. I long for the day when I can live in a way that prefers to see the marvelous glory of God in creation rather than trying to challenge everything. Again, I am not saying that we should not confront possible falsehoods...but come on people! Let us live in joy. I want to be excited about the greatness of God every day. I want to live in awe of His glory.

Lord teach me to live in awe. Let me not get so caught up in what I know that I become unteachable. Show me everything that you have for me...both big and small. I will do my best to give you praise for all things. Thank you Father. Praise you for your creation and the wonders of this life. You are greater than all of it. All things in Jesus name. Amen.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 9...A perspective on Love

I guess this is really an extension of the previous day, but I feel the Lord impressing this idea on my heart. What does love mean from a practical perspective? How do we show love to a lost and dying world? Especially because we know that this world has no concept of the truth that is love. Countless individuals and pagan religions over the centuries have found pieces of this truth, and tried to explain it (maybe even use it)...so what is the full picture of love for us to show to the world?

John 14: 15-24

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

This is such a practical application for Love...isn't it? Is it possible for us to view love from a practical perspective? In these verses we are told that the most perfect application for love is to keep the Word and commandments of God. It goes beyond my pre-conceived notions about selflessness because that is only a sub-category in the framework of keeping His commandments. Wow! There is so much depth to that concept. It truly requires that our entire being get involved. So then...true love will not be easy to show and/or explain to the world. It will take something beyond our capacity to accomplish (the Spirit maybe?). And I fully understand that there are a million ways to debate this, but for me...I want God to know that I love Him. We spend alot of time looking for absolute direction...so there it is. I must make every effort to keep in step with His commands.

Father, thank you for your perfect commandments. Thank you that I have the opportunity to show you how much that I love you. Keep me accountable to these standards, and help me live out your love in a practical way. Guard my heart from the tempation to make up my own rules, and discipline me when I go astray. In Jesus name I pray.

Day 8...Fatherhood

I really don't know what I did today...I certainly spent some time talking about God, but I didn't really spend much time with Him. I feel like I need to apologize for not doing what I said I would. Man, it is so easy to get sidetracked...to pull yourself away from just being still before God. I see the consequences of this action. I simply didn't get to hear anything today...I missed out on that blessing.

I did have some time to think though. Thank God that He still helps me to think about things even when I avoid Him. Today I was thinking about what Fatherhood means. I don't know if I am going to be a good father, but I had two great examples. I have been blessed with a great earthly father and an even greater heavenly Father. What I found in common with the two is unconditional, consistent love. I mean love that doesn't change with the times or what is popular, but a true preference for another person's highest well-being. I guess that means quite a few different things in the realm of action and words. I guess Paul's letter to the Corinthians (13:4-7) says it best:

"4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Lord help me to be a good Father in the days to come. Prepare my heart to display the most consistent example of love that I can. Forgive me today for losing my time with you. Use me this week in any way that you see fit. I want to please you as my perfect Father. I will do my best to honor you with my words and actions. You are great and gracious. Amen.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 7...Politics

I have been confronted with and thinking about politics alot lately. My biggest question has been, what would Jesus say about our vote and our political viewpoints? I read an article about Jesus and Politics, but it wasn't the article that spoke to me...it was a response from an anonymous writer (I think that it's worth reading):

"I see Jesus as totally apolitical. Our arguments over government are not the issue...

Even during Jesus' earthly ministry, others tried to get him into politics. The example that is most prominent is his response to the pharisees regarding payment of tribute to Caesar, but even his role as Messiah was not understood. To most Jews of the day, the Messiah was the savior who would kick out the Romans and give earthly strength and power to Israel. This is why his role as conqueror of sin was not fully appreciated even by his disciples until his resurrection.

So would a modern day Jesus preach on the issues of the day? I would imagine so, but using timeless truths. So on issues like taking care of the poor, would he prefer public sector assistance or private sector assistance? I could see either or both. One could make the case that the codification of caring for the poor by legislation is the implementation of the second part of the greatest commandment. One could also make the case that by institutionalizing that care we are avoiding our individual and personal responsibility and basically subcontracting our obligation in an example of guilt avoidance. We can say that if everyone was a practicing Christian everyone would want the government to care for the poor, or that if everyone was a practicing Christian we wouldn't need the government to care for the poor.

As for the issue of war, Jesus preached relatively little about it. Ironically, God had the Israelites go to war to establish their kingdom. He even blessed them and allowed them victories over numerically and technically superior foes. We also know that his reign on Earth will begin with the end of a great war. So would Jesus have been for or against the Iraq war?

As for abortion, I can't imagine a pro-choice Jesus, or teaching in favor of euthanasia.

The point is that Jesus wouldn't be a Democrat or a Republican. He teaches the Truth. He is the light of the world. A political affiliation pales by comparison. If we read John 8:31-32, He says, "If ye continue in my words, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

So get in the Word, pray fervently, and you will know how you should vote. But I don't think Jesus is going to hand out endorsements like a newspaper editorial page."


I found this very interesting...

Father speak to your body as we come upon this highly "political" time. Help us to navigate our decisions, and root them in your Word. Thank you that you are so far beyond our thoughts of politics, and that you still walk with us even when we get so caught up in meaningless things. Thank you for your mercy and grace. You are wonderful. Amen.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 6...Provision

There may be more to this days blog, but I had to jot down something that the Spirit was speaking to me. It's all about Provision! Do we really have the faith to believe that everything we have is and will be provided by God? The greatest thing about God's provision is that when we recognize that He is the one providing than it fuels our joy and speaks of freedom. How wonderful that we need not fret or fear because the Lord is the ultimate provider.

Father you are a great and gracious provider! Thank you for everything. I realize that I have nothing apart from you. Help me to comprehend the possibilities...show me mercy as I attempt to grow a Christ-like faith in you.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Day 5...Abandon

"I love you Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship you
Oh my soul, rejoice
Take joy my king
In what you hear
May it be a sweet sweet sound
In your ear"

These were the words of a song written by a woman named Laurie Klein in 1974. She describes it as one of the lowest and darkest times in her life. She had nothing to offer God, but she asked Him if he would like to hear her sing...and the words came out.

Lord let the words of this song penetrate my heart as I sing it.

I lay all of the issues of this day aside to simply worship your great name. Father I pray that you would be pleased with my heart. Take everything I have, and make it into something that honors you. These words are not enough to express my love for you...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day 4...Seeking Him

I was reading a passage in John chapter 5 today where Jesus says, "You search the scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life." (39-40) In one quick phrase Jesus sums up everthing we need to know. Seek Him because He is life.

We find so many things that we feel have value aside from the Lord don't we? This speaks so much further than the obvious context, and although I am not one to pull any scripture out of context...it go me thinking. Where should we go when we feel overjoyed? Where should we go when we have questions? Where should we go when we are overwhelmed? Where should we go when we are at the bottom? We must bring it all to the feet of the Savior! Not just one part or the other...we need to bring it all to Him. It blows my mind that we can live our lives so easily running to God when it feels right. This is a truth to be put into practice. Jesus died so that we could have access to God freely thru Him. If this is true than we must not squander this gift. We need to run to the one who is everything that we will ever need...in joy, in sorrow, in peace, in war, in all things.

Father you are all we need. Thank you for making yourself available at all times. I pray that we may come together as the body of Christ, and be everything that you have called us to be. Don't let us fall behind...keep us accountable to your Spirit, and give us wisdom in our journey. You are great and gracious. Amen

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The 3rd day...He is always working

Wow...God is rocking my world. It amazes me how he is always at work, and if you doubt it just read the following scripture:

“So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied...My Father is always working, and so am I.”

-John 5:16-17

How do we ever doubt that God is at work in our lives if we are truly seeking after Him? What ever gives us the right to say that anything we do is not "spiritual". The Spirit is working thru the believer constantly. I love that! What we might consider to be chaos...the Lord works into perfect harmony by His Spirit. We must stop trying to put the things of God into a formula for success. Some times we just need to allow the Spirit to move in us. I want to live a life worshiping, working, serving, learning, teaching, growing...all with the direction of the Spirit.

"26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[a] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[b] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory."

-Romans 8:26-30

Thank you Lord that you chose me! Thank you that you are at work in my life constantly. In turn I want to give you everything that I have and will ever have. I never want to be guilty of squandering your grace. Father teach me to listen...expose my weakness and conform me to your likeness. Forgive me when I doubt you. Forgive my hypothetical faith, and aide me in practicing faith that is a reality. As always, you are great and gracious. Amen.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On the 2nd day...Agenda-less?

Well...what a day. Today the Lord re-affirmed one of the greatest spiritual principles there is. That being the fact that we can be used more powerfully thru our weakness than our strengths. Another would be that of balance in our journey with Christ.

I read a column that got me thinking about how many "contemporary" Christian people have truly missed it. This specific writing went in to detail about how we need to be Christ-followers that don't have agendas. It stated that we need not sermonize people, but just engage them in love and let them see our light. This individual described how he felt pressed by the Spirit to speak with someone about Christ, but didn't follow thru with it. This someone then actually began to speak to him about joining a "christian" cult group, and he was annoyed and dissapointed that he had been set up and preyed upon. He then used this example to explain how we should essentially stop evangelizing and just live in Christ.

Oh how he had it wrong...the Lord has strongly pressed my heart about this matter. He had part of it right, but has neglected an equally important element based on his bitterness. He could have been the vessel that offered a solid dose of Truth to that someone, but instead he held back and was dissapointed by a cultish sales pitch never to receive the blessing that the Lord offered him in that situation. That person needed to see beyond the deception just like any lost soul.

The great commission won't let us just live around and hope people see that we are spiritually attractive. Jesus gave us an example that was highly verbal about truth. Yet he also was a man of loving action. How are we to share the gospel if we never speak it? Just as well...how are we to bear fruit if we never take action? We must be people of balance...those that walk by the spirit...taking action in obedience and living with the utmost integrity even to the smallest degree.

Well enough about my dissapointments in the larger "Christian" circles. I had another issue that the Lord made wonderfully aparent today. He affirmed that in my weakness he is great! My offering was certainly less than perfect today. I wanted to bring a great song of praise to Him, but I found myself drowning in self-doubt both as I worshipped alone and as I worshipped with our lifegroup. I just wanted to grasp that feeling like I had accomplished something, but the Lord showed me that he is satisfied with my heart and not what I can do by my own talents. I found that I was leading others into the throneroom of God by my service, and though I was not content with my offering...God used it!

Lord thank you for using me for anything. You are always faithfull, and somehow you always give me joy when I don't feel like there is anything to be joyfull about. I pray that you will keep me accountable to the standards that you have put on my heart. I want to give you everything so that I have nothing to hold on to but your grace. Let all that I do be used for your glory, and forgive me for everything that I have held on to. Amen.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The first day...Feelings

This is the beginning of a 21 day commitment. I have put myself in an accountable position with another follower of Christ to spend at least a small portion of my time each day in solitary worship and contemplation before God:

So this is the first day...

"Surround me Lord with your presence. Teach me how to be still. And as I wait I will trust you. Forever changed by your will." The words of a prayer that I had during one of the largest transition periods of my life. It seems as though I may be there again. Yet somehow I don't really understand how to be still. I can't believe that I am actually a bit fearful of this process...I feel as though I am out of my comfort zone when I am not in a group setting or talking with God "on the go".

I long for feeling in worship that I don't seem to get that often. I have come to understand a life of following Christ regardless of the way I feel, but sometimes I desire to pour out my emotion to God...to let him see my passion...yet it is almost always reserved. However, this is the time for me. I am going to let God know how I feel. My goal is to be unhindered in my connection...to feel as well as to know.

Father teach me something that I have not yet learned, and speak to my heart about where you are leading me. Give me wisdom and grace during this process. Accept my apology for not doing this sooner. You are great and gracious.