Monday, June 15, 2009

Have you ever won the wrong race? Climbed the wrong ladder to success? Get back on track...

The journey continues over @ Finding God In The Midst

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You can’t plan to be courageous but you can choose to be.

May you live your life with the intention to do whatever God asks, whenever God asks it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

honestly we all need it at some point...

Been rebuked lately? We all need someone to watch our back, who has our best interests at heart, but who also isn't afraid to get into our faces.

So who's got your back?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Welcome home.

Chill-out - enjoy yourselves and stop worrying. Laugh and forgive! There can be no laughter without forgiveness.

When we break it hurts. But enduring years of never being put back together hurts even more. That's why I believe in 2nd chances. Mike Foster

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eyes that see & ears that hear...

We must be open to the possibility of God’s addressing us in whatever way he chooses, or else we may walk right past a burning bush. Dallas Willard

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do It Now!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I'm waving the White Flag...

James 3:13-16
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Lord of all things, whose wondrous gifts to us include the shining symbols known as words, grant that I may use their mighty power only for good.

Help me to pass on small fragments of Your wisdom, truth and love. Teach me to touch the unseen, lonely heart with laughter, or the quick release of tears.

Let me portray the courage that endures defiant in the face of pain or death; the kindness and the gentleness of those who fight against the anger of the world; the beauty hidden in the smallest things; the mystery, the wonder of it all...

Open my ears, my eyes, unlock my heart; speak through me, Lord, if it be Your will. Amen.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Are you starving to hear God's voice?

People will drift from one end of the country to the other, roam to the north, wander to the east. They'll go anywhere, listen to anyone, hoping to hear God's Word—but they won't hear it.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Tanks for what you gave...

On the 65th anniversary of D-Day, some words of General Patton on prayer are important in recalling the sacrifice & who actually gave the victory...

"Our glorious march from the Normandy Beach across France to where we stand, before and beyond the Siegfried Line, with the wreckage of the German Army behind us should convince the most skeptical soldier that God has ridden with our banner. Pestilence and famine have not touched us. We have continued in unity of purpose. We have had no quitters; and our leadership has been masterful. The Third Army has no roster of Retreats. None of Defeats. We have no memory of a lost battle to hand on to our children from this great campaign.

But we are not stopping at the Siegfried Line. Tough days may be ahead of us before we eat our rations in the Chancellery of the Deutsches Reich.

... now to intensify our faith in prayer, not alone with ourselves, but with every believing man, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, or Christian in the ranks of the Third United States Army.

Those who pray do more for the world than those who fight; and if the world goes from bad to worse, it is because there are more battles than prayers. 'Hands lifted up,' said Bosuet, 'smash more battalions than hands that strike.' Gideon of Bible fame was least in his father's house. He came from Israel's smallest tribe. But he was a mighty man of valor. His strength lay not in his military might, but in his recognition of God's proper claims upon his life. He reduced his Army from thirty-two thousand to three hundred men lest the people of Israel would think that their valor had saved them. We have no intention to reduce our vast striking force. But we must urge, instruct, and indoctrinate every fighting man to pray as well as fight. In Gideon's day, and in our own, spiritually alert minorities carry the burdens and bring the victories.

Urge all of your men to pray, not alone in church, but everywhere. Pray when driving. Pray when fighting. Pray alone. Pray with others. Pray by night and pray by day. Pray for the cessation of immoderate rains, for good weather for Battle. Pray for the defeat of our wicked enemy whose banner is injustice and whose good is oppression. Pray for victory. Pray for our Army, and Pray for Peace.

We must march together, all out for God. The soldier who 'cracks up' does not need sympathy or comfort as much as he needs strength. We are not trying to make the best of these days. It is our job to make the most of them. Now is not the time to follow God from 'afar off.' This Army needs the assurance and the faith that God is with us. With prayer, we cannot fail.

Be assured that this message on prayer has the approval, the encouragement, and the enthusiastic support of the Third United States Army Commander.

With every good wish to each of you for a very Happy Christmas, and my personal congratulations for your splendid and courageous work since landing on the beach, I am."
James H. O'Neill, on behalf of General General George Smith Patton, Third Army Commander

Friday, June 05, 2009


To follow Jesus implies that we enter into a way of life that is given character and shape and direction by the one who calls us. To follow Jesus means picking up rhythms and ways of doing things that are often unsaid but always derivative from Jesus, formed by the influence of Jesus. To follow Jesus means that we can't separate what Jesus is saying from what Jesus is doing and the way that he is doing it. Eugene Peterson

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

...regardless of the cost.

I would say that neither manifestation, nor teaching transforms character. Charismatics flail at the dead horse of experience, evangelicals at teaching, but neither leads to transformation spiritually. The only thing that transforms us spiritually is the action of following Christ. You seek to follow, you fail and you learn. But in order to engage in following, you have to have a clear understanding of life in the kingdom of God; that you are accepted by the grace of God in Jesus and that lays the foundation for as much true doctrine as you can manage and as much manifestation of the Spirit as you can stand. Dallas Willard

Matthew 16:24-26
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Incubate your dreams in the prayer womb

Do you have a sense of profound dependence upon God? What is He up to in your life?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Is life grating on you?

Life is never quite as smooth as we'd like it to be.

What is the first thought & emotion that you experience when things begin to fall apart?

Is it panic?
'Oh, no, not again!'?
What about,
'I guess I'm really on my own this time! God has forgotten me!'?

What truth does God want you to know in the midst of whatever challenge your're facing?

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.

Hebrews 13:5-6
God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Sunday, May 31, 2009

“These people who have been turning the world upside down. . .”

The Father said, "Listen closely...My Son's mission was not to get you to heaven & keep you moral & happy till you get there. He came to get heaven into you & bring more of heaven into others by the way you relate. That's your joy. That's your hope." Larry Crabb

That'll turn the world upside down one community at a time!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tomorrow after the service - munch & mow!!

Not that we'll get the yard looking quite this good, but at least we'll stop losing the kids in the tall grass!!

Bring some grub for others & maybe a softball game will break out after we're done...

Regardless of your lot in life, you can build something beautiful on it. Zig Ziglar

Friday, May 29, 2009

battle fatigue

Both the Scriptures and the history of the church teach that if the Holy Spirit is working, the whole man will be involved and there will be much cost to the Christian. The more the Holy Spirit works, the more Christians will be used in battle, and the more they are used, the more there will be personal cost and tiredness. It is quite the opposite of what we might first think. People often cry out for the work of the Holy Spirit and yet forget that when the Holy Spirit works, there is always tremendous cost to the people of God, weariness and tears and battles. Francis Schaeffer

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So that's what life is all about?!

Climbing the ladder to success- yes, now I've got it!

The definition of Materialism is, rich = happy; To be RICH is to be HAPPY.

I think Jesus has some thoughts on that. Despite what you may have been told, there are more important things than how you look on paper.

What you cling to ends up rotting in your hands.

Matthew 5:3-12
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

sometimes a fantasy

2 Corinthians 10:3-6
The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

When am I gonna take control get a hold of my emotions
Why does it only seem to hit me in the middle of the night
You told me there's a number I can always dial for assistance
I don't want to deal with outside action
Only you can give me satisfaction

It's just a fantasy
It's not the real thing
It's just a fantasy
It's not the real thing
But sometimes a fantasy
Is all you need (Billy Joel)

Fantasies take our eyes off of Jesus, the author & perfector of our faith. Mark Laaser has some helpful questions on how to take fantasies captive for Christ. Writes Laaser,

"My belief is that every fantasy I've ever heard contains a message about the pain deep inside our soul. The pain really needs Christ to heal it, but we don't know that so we "invent" images that we think will be healing."

Take your own "fantasy inventory." Listen to what your soul is saying you really long for. With God's help you will be easily able to see what pain the fantasy is trying to heal.

Lord, what is this fantasy trying to tell me about the pain in my soul?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stick with following God - He never said it would be easy though...

Daniel 6:7-22
"For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lions' den..." King Darius signed the decree.

When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.

The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help. They went straight to the king and reminded him of the royal decree that he had signed. "Did you not," they said, "sign a decree forbidding anyone to pray to any god or man except you for the next thirty days? And anyone caught doing it would be thrown into the lions' den?"

"Absolutely," said the king. "Written in stone, like all the laws of the Medes and Persians."

Then they said, "Daniel, one of the Jewish exiles, ignores you, O king, and defies your decree. Three times a day he prays."

At this, the king was very upset and tried his best to get Daniel out of the fix he'd put him in. He worked at it the whole day long....

The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions' den. But he said to Daniel, "Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this."

A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel's fate. The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn't sleep. He spent the night fasting.

At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?"

"O king, live forever!" said Daniel. "My God sent his angel, who closed the mouths of the lions so that they would not hurt me. I've been found innocent before God and also before you, O king. I've done nothing to harm you."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Finding the will of God; experiencing the will of God. What is the difference for you?

The will of God can sometimes feel a little prickly. Hang in the battle.

Hebrews 12:25
See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

When you don't know where you're going...

any road will get you there. Look for the Father's Path...

God our Father
we honor all you are and don’t want to make you into a thing
we want what you want; educate our wants to be more like your wants
provide us with what we need to live our normal earthly life as your children
forgive our blunders as we forgive the blunders of others

show us the way of this grace life
keep us from caving in to the unreality and illusion of evil
everything will eventually be seen in the light of your awesome character, Amen.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

still climbing & sailing after all these years

In 1419 it was believed that the unchartered oceans of the world teemed with monsters, that their storms made them too violent to navigate, and that inescapable fogs would envelope wayward ships. In the face of all these dangers Prince Henry of Portugal offered a bold reply,

“You cannot find a peril so great that the hope of reward will not be greater.”

Philippians 3:12-21
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.

Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Walk this way, talk this way

Lost your way?! Ask for help, it's good for the soul...

Isaiah 30:19-21
He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit...

Proverbs 19:17
Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let the Holy Spirit clean you out from the inside...

John 7:37-39
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Krystaal this Sunday @ 330!!

Krystaal is playing @ 330 PM on Sunday as a part of the kick-off for Jamal's group at Hope. They have an incredible story of God's grace in their lives & it is apparent in the music.

Watch a promotional video for Krystaal & the World Peace Tour.

If I was a pastor, and I used to be, I would be clamoring to have these guys come to my church. They are the sweetest spirited men you will ever meet. What a powerful, powerful story and a life of miracles that God has brought to these precious brothers. Rev. Norm Maclaren

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fear is poison

The antidote is perfect love...

Joshua 1
I'll be with you. I won't give up on you; I won't leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Don't get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you're going. And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed. Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The days are long but the years are short.

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Make it count.

"God, I give you thanks that I have life, and that my life is filled with touches of your love. Help me to discover my identity. Let me understand how best to use the gifts You have so lovingly lavished upon me in preparation for our journey together."