Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"I am my Beloved's"

"It's not so much saving ourselves from something, but saving ourselves for someone; a relationship with our Bridegroom; our Father-God. A father who desires a rich, loving, relationship with us: His children." Song of Solomon 6:3, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"You are not forgotten"

   As we begin to enter the last part of 2010, I wanted to remind all of us that we are not forgotten. With all of the hustle and bustle that is about to begin this holiday season, God has chosen not to forget us, “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I'd never forget you—never. Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands.” Isaiah 49. Our names are written on the back of God’s hands as a continual remembrance before Him. I believe that we serve a God that is so intimately acquainted with us that we won’t know the full extent of His love until we enter His presence in Heaven. “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139. I believe that God is for us, loves us, and is continually thinking about our well being. We serve a God that desires a rich, full, intimate relationship with His children!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hiding out at the movies

After watching “Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps” with Maryann, I was waiting for her outside of the movie theater. Out of the corner of my eye, one movie patron caught my attention. Why? Well she had purchased one movie ticket for a movie that started in ten minutes and she was asking the movie attendant if she could buy another movie ticket for the next movie after the first one ended and then she asked if she could buy a third ticket for the next movie after the second movie ended. I know some of you have secretly wished you could just sneak away and watch one movie by yourself, but two movies, or three movies? Maryann told me that she probably had a day off and wanted to catch up on some new movies. But my spirit told me otherwise. She was lonely. How could I tell? I just felt the Spirit of God tell me that she was lonely. Was she lonely enough to buy three movie tickets in a row and hide out in the movie theater all day? Yes she was. I often think of the biblical story of the woman at the well; the lady that went to the well to gather her water in the middle of the day, in the absolute heat, at the worst possible time to gather her water. Yes, that lady. I believe that water represents life’s nourishment and that without water to our soul, we die. Maybe not all at once, but we die over time. Without friends, without loved ones, without others to check up on us, we die. If I had been able to talk to the lady, I would have liked to have reminded her of Psalm 68:6, “God places the lonely in families or another version reads, “God makes a home for the lonely.”  What did Jesus tell the lady at the well, in John 4:14, “But whomever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  We have the nourishment of Jesus Christ inside of us and it is up to us to remind others that it can be inside them also. They can have the nourishment, friendship, and love of a Savior that is beyond time, beyond reason, and beyond human hope. We have that hope inside of us. Let it out and allows others to experience the same freedom you experienced at one time.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Leaning Tower of...

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square. Although intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning to the southeast soon after the onset of construction in 1173 due to a poorly laid foundation.
Ephesians 2:20, “…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.” God is building a house for Himself that is comprised of all His saints through the ages. If my knowledge of God is based on what has been built before me by the apostles and prophets; then I am building a foundation for others who will come behind me; particularly my family. My family will continue to build on what has been built by me. I must take the necessary steps in my own life to build a sturdy foundation for my family. When I prepare myself in the daily disciplines: prayer, Bible reading, and worship, then God will dwell in my midst and a strong foundation will ensue and my children can continue building strong foundations for future generations to come…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to grow in grace

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

How do I grow in grace? Grace is mercy and pardon. Perhaps by extending grace to others we can grow our “grace muscles.” Is there anyone on your heart and mind today that needs your grace, pardon, and forgiveness extended to them? Funny how the word grace is before knowledge; without learning how to extend grace to others we cannot grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ without learning how to extend grace is just an exercise in religion: dead, hollow religion. But extending grace is the real stuff, partnering with Jesus Christ, allowing Him to extend his grace and forgiveness to others through you, even when you don’t want to.

Grow in grace and the rest will follow…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What are you the father of?

In Genesis 17:5, God meets with Abram and changes his name, “No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.” From then on when Abraham would introduce himself, he would introduce himself as the “father of many nations.” God changed Abraham’s destiny, calling, and giftings when he changed his name. In order for Abraham to embrace his life’s change, God changed his name to reflect the changed calling on Abraham’s life.

 What are you called to do?

Abraham was called to be a father to many nations. In fact, in Matthew 1:1, the very first chapter and verse in the Bible we find Abraham’s calling has surpassed his life, “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Did you catch that, the son of Abraham? Not only was Abraham the father of many nations but his genealogy carried over into the very lineage of Jesus Christ, forty-two generations later.

Ask yourself the following questions:

 What will you do today that will outlive you?

 Which of your giftings will extend to generations to come?

 Look at your “to do list” what items will have a lasting, continual effect for generations to come?

 And finally…Are you fully engaged in your calling?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Holy Spirit is our Guide

The Holy Spirit is our guide in life. John 17:17, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." What is a guide? A guide is someone that has been to where you need to go before you have had an opportunity to go there. A guide knows the lay of the land and can get you to your final destination safer and quicker than you could get their on your own. A guide tells you when to rest, when to move on, and when to wait out the storm. You must have complete trust in your guide in order to get to where you need to go. You must travel light and not be burdened with the cares of this world or you will be hindered on your journey. Each day with the Holy Spirit as your guide is a step closer to your final destination and destiny in God.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The power of invitation

We are a society in constant transition and busyness. Pick up the kids by five, soccer practice by five-thirty, dinner in the minivan on the way home, you get the picture. In this place of constant transition, people need a place of refuge they can go to and just be themselves.

In Jesus day it was the well in the center of town.

We find the following events in John 4:6, Jacob's well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink." He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
Jesus is at a Samaritan well, alone, tired, thirsty and weary, seeking some solace from the noonday sun.

Here is the Samaritan woman, the woman with no name, getting water at noon. Pay attention to the time. Noon, who gets water at noon? At noon, I can guarantee their will not be any people to run into, no icy stares to turn away from.
The well is the local office water cooler in today’s society.

“What did you do this weekend?”
"Did you hear about Julie’s kid getting in trouble with the police this weekend?”
“Did you see what Don’s secretary was wearing today?”

But the woman, with no name I might add, is alone and that’s how she prefers it. She has purposely sought out a time when no one would be there to see her getting water, when no one would be able to talk with her. No sideways glances, no off-handed remarks.

“Is she here!”
“Isn’t she on her third marriage?”
“How many men has she shacked up with?”

Like a master fisherman, casting out his line, waiting patiently for a strike, is Jesus… “Please give me a drink.” The lady is surprised; no one has talked openly with her in quite awhile; especially at the well. Plus, this stranger doesn’t even have a bucket to get water with. Jesus and the woman continue to talk, she opens up to his questions and answers truthfully. Jesus tells the woman that He is in fact the Messiah and the woman is amazed. Amazed so much that she leaves her water jar by the well and goes back into the village. Not only does she go back to the village, but she goes back and tells everyone what Jesus has told her.

This woman that hid from the crowds due to her embarrassment is now Jesus’ messenger of hope. And more people come to Jesus, after listening to the woman, to see Jesus for themselves. Not only do they listen to Jesus, but they entrust their lives to Him.

This story closes out with Jesus telling His disciples about the harvest.

John 4:35, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”

The harvest is ready!

Jesus isn’t talking about plants; He is talking about souls, about people. About people that are waiting to hear a word about Jesus, about who He is, from you. Don’t overlook the opportunities that arise in your life when you hear the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart to tell the cashier at Wal-Mart that Jesus loves her and has a plan for her life.

Like the story of Jesus in the fourth chapter of John, those moments may not come at the most opportune moment. They hardly ever do. When your children are tugging at you, when the cell phone is ringing, may be your biggest and most important opportunity to tell someone about Jesus.

Please do, it will change a life!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jesus and a whip!

Matthew 21:12; Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
This is the beginning of the last week of Jesus on earth; pay attention, these are the final acts and words that Jesus is about to accomplish and say. As Jesus enters the outer courts of the temple he finds disarray, greed, and stealing. He finds robbers, in cahoots with the priests of God, robbing the people by charging visitors to Jerusalem high prices for “approved” sacrificial animals and currency exchange at high, exuberant prices.
Here, the gentle, loving lamb we have come to know becomes a roaring lion! Overturning tables of the greedy robbers and their chairs; yes, even their chairs. That part is easy to miss, I’ve always envisioned Jesus just overturning the tables but he overturned their seats as well; seats that people, perhaps in authority, were sitting in. Can you imagine sitting in one of those seats as Jesus yells in your ear that you are desecrating God’s temple as He forcibly and suddenly seizes your chairs rear legs and pulls the chair out from under you as you go crashing to the ground. In John’s description of the event, Jesus makes a whip beforehand and uses it as He clears out the court. Jesus is serious about sacrifice to the Father. Jesus is serious about prayer. The outer temple courts were the designated place for people to pray before entering the temple. Giving, sacrifice, and prayer are so important to God that He makes an example out of the priests and the money-changers that are robbing His people. Visitors are being taking advantage of and Jesus will not allow his church leaders to continue robbing the people. When Jesus removes the priests and the robbers from their tables He gets to the real business of God; healing the people. Blind eyes are restored and the lame are healed to walk again.
Jesus knows about sacrifice, it’s no question why it so dear to his heart. This is the last week of Jesus’ life on earth.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Joyful Praise

Matthew 215, But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant. Jesus has recently entered Jerusalem and had just thrown out the people in the temple courts who were charging exuberant, unfair amounts of money to the people who needed their money excanged. And then the children start praising Jesus in the temple. Notice it’s not the leaders, it’s not the adults, it’s the children that are praising Jesus, not only praising Jesus, but shouting and crying out to Jesus with their praises. The children recognized Jesus and shouted joyful praise to Him. And how did the church leaders responded, they were displeased. Don’t let your busyness or adult heart turn you away from joyfully praising Jesus. Don’t let the cares of this world deter your praise to Jesus.
Matthew 18:3, And he (Jesus) said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.