Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why not journal?

Planning to journal is not journaling.
Thinking about journaling is not journaling.
Talking about journaling is not journaling.
Researching to journal, outlining to journal – none of this is journaling.
Journaling is journaling.

Sometimes when I'm trying to bring myself into focused attention on God and what He is saying, I journal. I write down my thoughts and questions, and as I do I listen for God's response and guidance. Then I write that down as well... Sometimes I'll let the pad of paper sit on my desk for a week and pray over it from time to time before I'm confident that I've heard from God. John Eldredge

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's All About Grace

One day Peter told God how tired he was of just letting anyone in by grace. There should be some more restrictions. They ought to at least come in with a pure heart, a good conscience and a clear mind.

God gave him permission to do what he wanted. Peter built a bridge between the Pearly Gates and heaven. The bridge was narrow so that it could only be walked single file. Below the bridge was the burning pit of hell.

The next person to come by was Jessica Simpson. She was met by Peter who greeted her with the following,

"Welcome to the Pearly Gates. Over there is heaven. To get there, you have to cross that bridge. I warn you only those who are of a pure heart, a good conscience and a clear mind can cross that bridge. Never for an instance should you think of any evil, sensual or bad thoughts. If you do, you will fall out of grace and into hell. Go ahead and I’ll be right behind you."

Ms. Simpson carefully strutted accross bridge with 'her boots that were made for walking'. Peter followed closely behind her. Sure enough, halfway on the bridge, Peter fell in!

Walk with God and accept His grace - it's the only way to go!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Men's Group tomorrow at 730 PM...

Jesus, I want you back. Help me to allow you to shepherd my heart.

Psalm 23
A David Psalm
God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Getting life to line up isn't always easy...


1 Timothy 5:5
That’s what I want in my life—“to put my hope in God alone and continually pray to Him for help.”

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How many things in an ordinary week of your life do you ask God about?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Life isn't God...

People develop their concept of God based on their life experience and if their life, from their perspective, has been difficult they conclude that God is unloving or uncaring or aloof or he just doesn’t have the power to help me when I really need him. Dr. George Gianoulis

Friday, July 25, 2008

Potluck this Sunday after the service...

What is the one thing that always gets Jesus in trouble? Eating with the wrong sort of folks.

Welcome to a Community of Hope lunch.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

God is bigger than my present understanding of him.

Suspend your current rules of how God operates and allow yourself to play in the realm of the possible for God. Get into a germinal frame of mind to receive from the Father. Stop your critical judge from coming in & sabotaging what God might be saying to you.

This is why I love The Shack.

“The Shack is a metaphor. It’s the place where you get stuck. It’s the place you keep your secrets. We don’t go back there willingly. The shortest distance between you and your wholeness is through your obstacles.”

It won’t be liked. It won’t be tolerated. It will be loved or despised. As each reader first steps across the threshold of the Shack, they will have an opportunity, granted by Me, to be deeply offended. As their hearts reel at the possiblity of God stepping down as far as a big black hug, they will either be un-stumbled and touch the Son at Calvry, knowing the wounds also engraved in My wrists, or they will sentence themselves to a bounded vertical relationship; a ‘thus far and no farther’ tension that never squeals with glee as I tickle them unmercifully or never groans deep within as I press my fingers into the open wounds of their own broken souls.

Knowing Me is the goal. Paul knows Me. Better still, I know Paul, and I have trusted him enough to reveal a little of Myself to him. How do you like Me now?
(Lawrence Rae as written to William P. Young)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do you resist believing God is with you?

The anatomy of a lie:

First we listen to the lie, then we dwell on it. Ruminate on it, chew it over and over...

Soon we begin to believe it, and before long we’re acting on it. Then we forget it was a lie having turned it into an unconscious assumption.

Map out a specific lie that you know you’ve believed.

God has abandoned me.

When did you listen to the lie?

When my dad kept saying he was coming to visit but never showed up.

Whose voice did you originally hear the lie from?

The accuser.

What caused you to dwell on the lie?

It explained my circumstances.

Did it seem to provide hope?

Yes, because I was on my own so I'd better take care of myself.

At what point did you start to believe the lie was true?

As a young boy.

How did you act on the lie?

Became very independant and pushed people away.

Are your actions still governed by this lie?

I am learning to trust and surrender to the Father.

Does examining this pattern give you insight into other areas of your life where you might be believing lies?

Yes, but the list is a little long for here...

Never be sympathetic with the soul whose case makes you come to the conclusion that God is hard. God is more tender than we can conceive. Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Leadership we can do without...

Be careful when you ask who your covering is!

Philippians 2:5-8
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Practice Resurrection With Forgiveness

A man is like a hermit crab. If we're vulnerable with our emotions and get hurt, we'll roll right back into that shell, vowing to never again crawl out.

Continue to practice resurrection in the face of a world that continues to create destruction.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Context is important...

Towards the end of his book Me, Myself, & Bob, Phil Vischer refers to the often-quoted passage Proverbs 29:18- "Where there is no vision, the people perish." None of the modern translations use the word vision, they use the word revelation. When the King James Version was translated, vision didn't mean what it means today. The context was totally different. It wasn't about goals and ambition and a "vision statement" literally meant a vision from God.

According to Paul, God had in mind even before I was born the "good work" he wanted me to do. I don't have to dream it up, I don't have to read a hundred business books and craft a "vision paper," I don't have to try a bunch of stuff and see what works. I just have to stop and listen.

The Problem with the saying "God can't steer a parked car" is that, while its cute, it isn't biblical. When people of great faith in the Bible don't know what God wants them to do, they don't just run off and make stuff up. They wait on him.
(Phil Vischer)

I used to love the old saying, "God don't help no parked cars." I would quote it to others, mostly around the idea of dating- "Just do something, ask someone, start moving, get going and God will direct you." The problem is, as Vischer points out, that doesn't seem to be how the God of the Bible works.

Look at Noah, a guy who actually got to "save the world." He waited 500 years for his chance. What was he doing during the wait?

Genesis 6:9
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

Noah walked with God for the first 500 years of his life. That's what God is calling us to do, to wait on Him. To walk with him. Not to run out and and try to manufacture something important to do for Him. God's more interested in our relationship with Him than what we do for Him. Sounds like the message John Eldredge has been giving us in the Men's Group too!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The First Time I Feel Love...

I have a lover
A lover like no other
She got soul, soul, soul, sweet soul
And she teach me how to sing

Shows me colors when there's none to see
Gives me hope when I can't believe
That for the first time
I feel love

I have a brother
When I'm a brother in need
I spend my whole time running
He spends his running after me

When I feel myself going down
I just call and he comes around
But for the first time
I feel love

My father is a rich man
He wears a rich man's cloak
Gave me the keys to his kingdom coming
Gave me a cup of gold

He said I have many mansions
And there are many rooms to see
But I left by the back door
And I threw away the key
And I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key
Only grace will give it back to me

For the first time
For the first time
For the first time
I feel love

Friday, July 18, 2008

The God Of Edmonton...

John 14:11-12
Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can't believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I'll do it. That's how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I'll do.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Deliver me...

Deliver me, O Jesus:
From the desire of being esteemed
From the desire of being loved
From the desire of being honored
From the desire of being praised
From the desire of being preferred to others
From the desire of being consulted
From the desire of being approved
From the desire of being popular.

Deliver me, O Jesus:
From the fear of being humiliated
From the fear of being despised
From the fear of being rebuked
From the fear of being slandered
From the fear of being forgotten
From the fear of being wronged
From the fear of being treated unfairly
From the fear of being suspected

And, Jesus, grant me the grace
To desire that others might be more loved than I
That others might be more esteemed than I
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I decrease
That others may be chosen and I set aside
That others may be preferred to me in everything
That others may become holier than I, provided that I, too, become as holy as I can. Mother Theresa

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Really receive Jesus Christ...

Let Me Love You by Lynne Hybels
Come away, God says. Yes, you, come away and sit with me. Come and let me give you the gift of my presence. I want to share the stillness of this moment with you. I want to whisper words of kindness to you. I want to pour my infinitely rich and deep love into your very soul.

So come, let me love you. Let me love that part of you that believes you are valuable only while you are serving others. You are valuable for just who you are. You don't have to keep running. You don't have to prove your worth through frantic action. Let me love that part of you that is weary and needs to rest. Listen, listen as I tell you to drop your burdens right now, and rest like a child in the presence of a loving Father...

John 1:12-15
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wednesday 700 PM, Men's Group- "Walking With God"

There is no pressure to hear from God. God and life are not one and the same. Life may be unfair, but God is not.

Is there something that you have been struggling with that you’ve prayed over, but still feels stuck? Or that nothing is changing?

What have you believed about this unanswered prayer?

Father, is there a reason for this stuck feeling?

James 5:16‑18
Elisha was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leadership We Can Do Without...

"Step into my office please, it's time for your annual performance review..."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Tour de France or the Ride For Wells...

Don Miller & the gang from Blood:Water Mission have a great tour happening right now. The riders may not be as fit as those in the Tour de France but are likely even more motivated by the cause they serve.

Is God asking you to ride for something?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world mad world
Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me
And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell youI find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world ... mad world
Enlarging your world
Mad world

Psalm 62:5-8
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wide Awake!

Ephesians 1:17-19
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The world is really dirty...

The Reverse Graffiti Project
Uploaded by BriKO
...and kingdom work helps clean it up.

What is God calling you to do?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why keep your anguish hidden?

We have probably wondered in our many lonesome moments if there is one corner in this competitive, demanding world where it is safe to be relaxed, to expose ourselves to someone else, and to give unconditionally. It might be very small and hidden. But if this corner exists, it calls for a search through the complexities of our human relationships in order to find it. Henri Nouwen

What if our own personal Bucket List had us looking for safe kingdom friends who allow us to be ourselves, to let down our guard and be accepted and loved for who we really are?

1 Samuel 23:16
And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Take Hold of Hope...

Seize the day.

They are powerful words, yet truly I wonder how many of us are moved by them or put them to use and move ourselves. Many are the musings that meander in and out of my thoughts lately and I find that some things that have gathered dust in the far recesses of my heart are starting to move once again. Broken dreams of a bygone age are stirring, and new life seems to pour into these dust covered bones as I take in all that I have been witness to this year, and all I have been called upon to bear.

There was a time when joy filled my voice and the laughter of a jester boomed out of me till tears fell from my eyes.

There was a time when pen never failed to reach paper and words flew to the page from a mind that flew freely upon the wings of imagination.

There was a time when my heart was young, and full of life, where not a single bitter root was to be found.

There was a time when trust was freely given, and a helping hand was always being outstretched to those in need.

There was a time when faith and hope were rocks that could not be broken and dreams were created with never a doubt of their happening.

Like all times though they pass and move on and times of a different sort creep in almost unawares until all that once was fades away, almost forgotten. Life throws curveballs, dreams are broken, innocence is ripped away, and joy becomes more of a legend than a reality.

Carpe Diem

Strong words that shout to the things of the past when life was fresh and dreams were young. Words that call and sing to the lost hurt places of one's heart. Words of encouragement, a battle-cry to the scarred places which hope for healing. Words that ring so loud they only come to us in a whisper when our hearts need them the most.

Carpe Diem...Seize The Day

Those two words call out to me now. They call out to the broken places, they call out to the dry and dusty places saying, "Rise Up, take hold of Hope, be of a courageous heart, and dream dreams once again."

I just finished watching the movie The Bucket List, and hear those words resounding in my heart, calling out to me once again. Will I listen this time, do I ever listen when the old dreams of a joy filled youth call again, I do not know.

I hope I will listen though, I pray that I will find the courage to listen, to face the pain filled places of my heart and open them once again to newness of life and healing. I pray to God that I might dream once more and learn to laugh with joy once again. Fred

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jealousy has no part in the kingdom...

Jealousy arises easily in our hearts. In the parable of the prodigal son, the elder son is jealous that his younger brother gets such a royal welcome even though he and his loose women swallowed up his father's property (Luke 15:30). And in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, the workers who worked the whole day are jealous that those who came at the eleventh hour receive the same pay as they did (see Matthew 20:1-16). But the Father says to the older son: "You are with me always and all I have is yours" (Luke 15:31). And the landowner says: "Why should you be envious because I am generous?" (Matthew 20:15).

When we truly enjoy God's unlimited generosity, we will be grateful for what our brothers and sisters receive. Jealousy will simply have no place in our hearts. (from the Henri Nouwen Daily Meditation)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

You Are Not Alone...

Reg Downey & family visited with us today @ Hope. Reg shared some great stories & used his singing gifts to bring accross the message of God's love in a powerful way.

I really appreciated Little Boy. Father wounds are often the pathway of brokenness that enable us to grasp God's love when we finally see it coming our way.

Check out Reg's website & album, You're Not Alone.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Tour de France begins today...

Isaiah 40:28-31
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Is everybody working for the weekend...

...or are you saying, "Thank God its Monday"?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pride (not in the name of love)

Deadly Viper - The High And Mighty Assassin from David Tate on Vimeo.
Jud Wilhite & the gang at Deadly Viper put together this awesome video & questions to help us dodge another character assasin:

Am I teachable? Am I open to learn something from everyone? When my head gets big, my mind and soul shrinks.

Do I listen to others?

When was the last time I admitted to making a bad decision? (If you never admit a bad decision, how can you grow from to not make that mistake again?

What questions or actions help you deal with pride in your life?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Do It Now!

Men's Group tonight @ 730!

Follow along at Walking With God

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Acts: Paradigm Busting

Reflections on Chris’s dad & nephew; Julian Dabbagh.

Death has a way of busting our paradigms about control, priorities, & what life is really about. God is continually doing that kind of stuff in Acts, all the way through to today with us.

We want to be a people who get the story of the Bible into our bloodstream.

God is active. In fact he’s usually ahead of us in surprising ways (God speaks to Cornelius before Peter).

Jesus is still speaking to us through the Holy Spirit - not WWouldJD but WWillJesusSay!

God is in control.

We are to follow. T-shirt slogans – ‘Second place is the first loser’; advertising tag lines - Audi: ‘Never Follow’.

This is not the military – this is family - He is our Father.

God does all He does because He loves us.

Acts 10 Cornelius. Peter eventually baptizes the Gentiles! “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized.”

Acts 11- “the circumcised believers criticized him.” Peter doesn’t get defensive but instead recounts how God spoke to him, as well as to Cornelius.

We are to meet & share these kinds of stories with our soul friends, our kingdom friends, & the church around us to help us interpret & also learn from what God said to us.

Bless everyone, everywhere you go.
Listen to God, don't just talk!
Eat with someone. “Following Jesus moves at the speed of friendship, so expand your circle of friends.”
Study Jesus, make it a serious matter.
Serve sacrificially, from the church facility to the soccer field.