Friday, July 24, 2009

Literally, probably, maybe...

I think the title of this post is how well we believe what is rightfully ours. We are given the following: Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. We get so caught up in the meaningless things of this world we lose focus and forget what we have been promised; it is ours for the taking! The need and desire to fill every moment of time completing a task has made us lose sight of taking time to enjoy our life while we are here on earth.

Do we know how to rest? In these days it seems that we have lost the ability to do so (generally speaking). We have all of this technology that is meant to make us work more efficiently and get more done in less time. So why do we work longer hours? Why do we focus more of our time on things that waste our time? Why do we have less time to rest and relax?

To go into even more depth...why do we not trust our God to do his part so that we may relax and enjoy the important things in life. Important things are not our nice cars, gadgets, or any material things for that matter. We need to focus more of our time and energy on family and friends. Those are the important things in life. What if you were to lose your job and everything you own. What will still be there? Ultimately your God will be there...then family and friends (if they were ever truly there for you). It is easy for us to lose focus in this society. We are the most prestigious society to ever live on this great and magnificent planet. We have to release everything to our God to allow us our time we have been promised to rest. We were promised victory a long time ago and it is ours for the taking.

"But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one. The LORD who made you and helps you says: O Jacob, my servant, do not be afraid. O Israel, my chosen one, do not fear. For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank. Some will proudly claim, `I belong to the LORD.' Others will say, `I am a descendant of Jacob.' Some will write the LORD's name on their hands and will take the honored name of Israel as their own.
-Isaiah 44:1-5

After reading that promise of victory you should evaluate your life and figure out where you have put your priorities. We should all make a list of the activities to which we devote our time. We should do this often and make sure that we have them in the proper order. In fact, Peter Drucker (who was a renown management consultant to major corporations and authored many bestselling business books) gives advice on time management. He suggests that we ask three questions about each of these activities to help us minimize the amount of time we waste:
1. "What would happen if this were not done at all?" And if the answer is, 'Nothing would happen,' then obviously the conclusion is to stop doing it.
2. Which of the activities on my time log could be done by somebody else just as well, if not better?
3. What do I do that wastes my time without contributing to my effectiveness?

I realize I put a lot on here after not posting much as of late. It is OK. Let it all sink in :). I hope all that read this have a wonderful and blessed day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Change, risk, and REWARDS!

A lot has happened in my life (and within me) over the last 18 months. It has been truly amazing. When initial change is confronted is can be scary. Change inspires fear, creates discomfort, and requires taking new risks. However, change also takes us to the next level. When we reach that new level we are rewarded greatly. When we look back at the point we were facing fear it is hard to not laugh at how minor it truly was. Please try to remember that we have to stay focused on the big picture and not allow ousleves to become overwhelmed with current events!

Monday, July 13, 2009

God, the doorman?!

God closes doors no man can open and
God opens doors no man can close.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Praise God to live in this great nation!

I challenge you all to watch this video. It is about fifteen minutes long. Now before you say you do not have time; think about the individuals that sacrificed their time to be on the side of the road throughout the trip. More importantly think about Sergeant First Class John C. Beale who gave his life not even two months ago so that you and I can have the freedom to use the internet to be watching this. This makes me proud to be an American, want to praise God for this great nation in which I live, and to send many prayers and much gratitude to those that serve to protect our freedom.

P.S. - is someone cutting onions around here...or is there a fan on high?


Look back and thank God.

Look forward and trust God.

Look around and serve God.

Look within and find God!

Monday, July 6, 2009

God's Accuracy

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.

For example, the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
Those of the canary in 14 days;
Those of the barnyard hen in 21 days.
The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
Those of the mallard in 35 days.
The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by Seven).

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant.
The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction.
No other Quadruped is so made.
God planned that this animal would have a huge body,
too large to live on two legs.
For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it
can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first.
A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.
How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments as well as in the number of grains.
Each watermelon has an even number of strips on the rind.
Each orange has an even number of segments.
Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains
Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row
an odd number.
The waves of the sea roll In on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.
All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks
The Lord specified Thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day, so that Linneus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory
containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed.

Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes and plans, and will be fragrant
with His presence.

Only the God-planned life is successful.
Only the life given over to the care of the Lord is safe.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Keepin' it real!

The Lord is my Shepherd ----- that's a Relationship!
I shall not want ----- that's Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ----that's Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters -----that's Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul ----- that's Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness --that's Guidance!
For His name sake ----- that's Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the vall ey of the shadow of death--that's Testing!
I will fear no evil ----- that's Protection!
For Thou art with me ----- that's Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me -----that's Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies------that's Hope!
Thou annointest my head with oil ----- that's Consecration!
My cup runneth over ----- that's Abundance! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life----that's Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord -----that's Security!
Forever ----- that's Eternity!

Face it, God is crazy about you!
Send this to the people you are crazy about. I thought this was pretty special, just like YOU! What is most valuable is not what we have in our lives, but WHO we have in our lives

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Psalm 23 (For the Work Place)

The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want.
He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me.
He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without
murmuring and complaining. He reminds me that He is my source and not my job. He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions that I might honor Him in all that I do. Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, and an aging body that doesn't cooperate every morning, I still will not stop for He is with me! His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through. He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me. He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go. His Faithfulness and love is better than any bonus check His retirement plan beats any 401k there is!
When it's all said and done, I'll be working for Him a whole lot longer and for that, I BLESS HIS NAME!!!!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Don't Settle for Happiness; Aim for Joy

Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy Philippians 3:1 (NLT)

A man once told me that he'd broken up with his fiancé because she didn't make him happy enough. Mind you, he was happy with her; she just didn't make him as happy as he felt a future wife should.

What this man told me gives memorable insight into how some people view happiness: They believe happiness is dependent upon the people, the things, and the circumstances that surrounded them.

Yet, the Bible says don't settle for happiness; aim for joy.

Joy comes from within; joy is not dependent upon the people in your life, or the possessions you accumulate, or what's happening at this point in your life.

God says you'll find joy, when you trust that he's in control and working to use the good and the bad of your life for a greater purpose.

The apostle Paul understood this, writing about joy while in prison, chained to a guard, alone in a foreign city: Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy (Philippians 3:1 NLT).

He suggested there are two keys to transforming mere happiness into a deeply-felt, ever-present joy:

First, live each day by grace. Grace means you don't have to earn God's love or his approval. And here's some joyful news: If you don't have to earn God's love, then you don't have to earn anyone else's love.

God offers his love unconditionally, and you can joyfully live in that grace everyday, all day long. Understanding this drains the tension from your life: you can make mistakes and know that you're still loved by God, who desires a relationship with you over any rules or rituals.

The man who broke up with his fiancé appears to have had difficulty in understanding grace. His love came with conditions As long as you make me happy, I'll love you and that means he probably assumes the love he receives from others is conditional too. How can anyone experience joy when they live each day thinking they have to earn love?

Second, stay focused on what's really important. There are a lot of little things that can steal your joy but only if you let them. Jesus taught this: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).

My sister, Chaundel, thought about this Bible passage when she learned her house in Maryville, California, was under 9 feet of water. While she and her husband, Tom, were out to dinner, the local levy broke and flooded the area. Even in her grief, she joked, We drove our Chevy to the levy, and the levy was dry.

Looking back on that time, Chaundel says, God taught us that such a loss really makes you think about what's important and what's going to last. Our possessions were wiped out in a matter of minutes, but the important thing is that we were alive and well. Within a year, our house was rebuilt, but we could have never replaced each other.

Happiness is overrated. On the other hand, joy is often forgotten. Yet, joy will stabilize your life as you embrace grace and focus on the things that are truly important, moving a bad hair day down the list and relationships up to the top. No matter what happens, may God give you joy.

- Rick Warren