Monday, November 26, 2012

Looking toward the end...Preparing for the Future

It's hard to believe that we are just a few short weeks from a New Year! 2012 has gone by quickly, each week it seems flies by just a little faster than the last. It has been a good year, not a perfect year, but a good year...a year that is about to end.

I'm excited about the New Year and all that it holds, but I want to end well this year, to make sure that all of my dots are connected, my wrongs are righted and that my heart is clear. It's important to me that I close out this year with a good attitude, after all, I will carry things from this year into the next year, so I want to make sure the things I carry are good bad baggage!

My daughters and I have accepted a challenge, we're going to read the Bible through together in 2013. I've given them some an incentive, if they'll read it through with me, I'll give them 50.00 each. they may have done it for free, but I wanted to put something on the table that would entice them a little, something that would make it a challenge. We're probably going to do it online, there are excellent apps for your computer, Ipad and cell phone, You Version is excellent, or the one I'm using, Bible 1 Year, each provide a one year plan to read through the entire Bible. It's important to me that my daughter receive more Word than a Sunday sermon, I want them to discover the wonderful world of God's Word, for them to hear Him speak into their hearts from the pages of the book that never grows old, that will never be irrelevant.

As we leave this year I want to follow the biblical truth of Hebrews 12:1-3: Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-He could put up with anything along the way: And now He's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

2012 may not have been all that we wanted it to be, it may have included something we wish hadn't been, but it's not over yet...our best days are just ahead!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Sky Isn't Falling

I'm not very political, opinionated, but not political, I don't watch the news I read it online daily, bouncing back and forth between various news channels. This gives me a diversity of options and opinions to draw from. This past week has brought the conclusion to one of the longest political campaigns in modern history, but it hasn't brought an end to the frustrations and questions in the minds of many.

What I find interesting is the take many Christ followers have taken, as they recoil from the presidential elections and their opinions of who should have won and what is going to take place next. As I've listened to some of their conversations and read their posts on various social media outlets, you would think that the sky is about to fall. I read this week of the financial cliff that we are quickly approaching, of the deals that need to be struck, and of how we are barreling towards a great recession. In fact, as I was checking out at Walmart a few days ago a man wanted to draw me into his circle of opinion, asking what I thought about the election and what was going to happen next.

Here's my response: I'm not ready to proclaim the sky is falling and the world is about to end. There is a heaviness that comes on me as I listen to those declaring how much trouble we are in, and how difficult life is going to become. My friend at Walmart asked didn't I believe that things were tough, sure I do, my head isn't in the clouds or the sand, life is difficult, our times are stressful...but the sky isn't falling.

Those that believe in a rapture will begin to declare that Jesus has to soon return, some even saying that if He doesn't, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah, to which I say, say what? God has to apologize for what? They messed up, He gave them an opportunity to fix it, they refused, and He judged them. Since when does God work according to our way of doing things? The times we live in declare the nearness of Christ's return, they loudly proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that the day of the Lord is a day of darkness, and we, particularly the believer, need to check up before we check out!

My comments to my friend were simple: The Word of God says that the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof and all that dwells therein. That means me and you, it means that God isn't surprised by the outcome of the election and the financial cliff we're approaching, it also means that He has a plan, and as always, will provide and protection His family. If only we are able to trust God for our eternal souls, but unable to trust Him with our natural lives, then we have forgotten a simple truth: God is either in control of all or not at all.

Before some write me off as a heretic or as a spiritual zealot with my head in the sand, I believe we live in difficult end time days, but Jesus told us these days would come, and His message was not one of fear, but of faith. The greatest days for the church are before us, we are transitioning into the time of the Kingdom, the Kingdom is within us, it is now, and it is near. The Kingdom has come, will come, and is here within us. So rather than proclaim the sky is falling, I'm proclaiming the King and His Kingdom are coming!

Monday, October 08, 2012


This morning as I was walking down the hallway of our school I found myself singing an old, old song, "Peace, Peace, wonderful Peace...Coming down from the Father above..."  As I sang quietly to myself it dawned on me that true peace isn't the absence of conflict, it's the absence of the effect.

All is not always well in our world. Most of us at some point in our lives struggle with issues, we have stuff. Our lives are filled with conflict and confusion, we struggle with issues, face things we didn't sign up for, and deal with inner turmoil...And yet, Jesus promised to give us His peace, the Bible says that there is a perfect peace for those that have the ability to stay focused and keep their minds on God. The Bible promises a peace that is beyond our ability to understand, it is often impossible to comprehend how a person can be at peace when the world around them and more importantly, the world within them is turned upside down. Life in Christ is a life that doesn't promise a stormless existence, it promises peace in the midst and in spite of the storm.

Just thinking out loud!

Monday, June 04, 2012

I'm not sure if my thought is actually on being challenged or being frustrated. I actually think it's a bit of both. The past two years of our lives have brought about both some unexpected challenges that have created some frustration. What they have also brought about is a determination, a inner voice that says, "you've come too far, faced too much, and experience far too much grace to allow your present circumstances to cloud what God has in store for you!"

If you listen to many people talk, you'll quickly find that many of them feel much like I do, they've got stuff, and the stuff is often overwhelming. I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul when he said, "None of these things move me...Forgetting what is behind, and looking to what is ahead...I press toward the mark!"

It is easy to quit, to give up on the inside, but life isn't about quitting, it's about continuing, it's about progressing. So challenges and frustrations aside, we keep pushing...we will get there...eventually:)

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Patience is not my greatest virtue, it is tried to the inth degree when I'm driving. I have decided that I have more than one last nerve and there are some people and things that absolutely are determined to try my patience...they just don't always realize it.
One of the things I'm learning is that life usually doesn't make a lot of sense. Life is like driving, you are buzzing down the road, minding your own business, trying to reach your destination and wham! You hit a pot hole, someone pulls out in front of you, nearly backs into you, steals your parking slot, and the list goes on. It's how we deal with these little frustrations that makes the difference.
In the past few weeks we have faced a few things, my daughter had a flat on a very busy road, when I went out to get her my car wouldn't start, the mechanic thought it was my starter. Today she called at 9:30 am, that's 30 minutes before church starts...she's broke down, could be the transmission in our van...can anything else happen is floating through my mind...and then the voice of reason comes...through my wife of course...she could be in a ditch or dead, there may not have been anyone around to help her...but there was! And when I thought it was my starter it wasn't...there is a silver lining to the clouds that seem to be hovering over our automobiles.
Today I have felt the challenge, my thought process, my faith, my ability to quit analyzing and to believe that everything will work out...even though life is busy and inconvenient, and uncomfortable. What do we do with those scriptures like I Peter 4:12-13: Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.(The Message) . James 1:2-4: Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (The Message). Passages like these press us, they force us to ask the hard questions, like, "Am I really committed to God or am I just playing?" They ask us to look deep within our hearts to make sure that we love God, even when our roses have thorns! I know that in time all things will work out, but getting there is uncomfortable and irritating, can I praise God when I'm mad at life?
I think so...I just have to do it by faith:)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today is a typical Saturday morning for me, wake up before the crack of dawn, play online, watch movies and my wife sleeping, and then around 8:30 get up to take meds, make coffee and have breakfast...I know...I need to get a real life:)
As I was checking my blog I noticed the number of blogs I have written over the past few years and realized how little I have written in the last 3 years and how much I have missed writing. For me writing is theraputic, it allows me to say what I'm thinking, erase it and start over, or leave it and live with it. It gives my permission to be creative and step outside of my own box...and I choose how safe I want to be or how fearless. In blogging one is able to find themselves, reveal themselves, and share just need to determine what you want to be and how you want to be seen.
During the past few years that I haven't been blogging I feel like I've lost some of me, that the creative side of me has diminished. I'm determined to change that and to rediscover me...the inner me!
Recently I wrote a book, as I've well advertised and anyone reading this should get a copy of:) One of the things I mention is that many people have simply quit dreaming, our lives get so busy and we become so consumed in living them that we don't dream about the future, or even the present for that matter. Langston Hughes said, "A man without a dream is a like a bird with a broken wing, He cannot fly."
Dreams are what men are made of. You can't create the moment your life changes, but you can dream about it and move toward it. You can walk out the necessary steps to bring into that time when everything changes. So why not start dreaming again, see stuff on the inside and let it work its way outside?
I'm dreaming of a new season...of new life and fresh creativity. I'm dreaming of better health and of a future filled with life and surprises...good stuff...even some not so good comes with life you know. What I also know is that even with not so good stuff, God is always thinking of us, and His thoughts toward us are good and hopeful and of a great future!
What are you dreaming about?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

During the Fall of 2010 I began to seek the Lord for direction for the upcoming New Year. This is something I do every year, nothing new, just a process I've come to appreciate. As I listened for the voice of the Lord I heard the Holy Spirit speak two words into my spirit: "Live Largely!"
That sounded strange as I considered the position our world is now in, financial crisis, wars and catastrophic events taking could I tell people who can't afford to fill their gas tanks to live largely? It wasn't so much that God was asking me to preach a message of financial prosperity, though I firmly believe that God will bless and prosper our was that God was asking me to tell people to stretch from the inside out! Beginning the first Sunday of January I began to teach through the 54th chapter of Isaiah, week after week, line after line, I challenged my congregation to get out of the box, and to live largely.
It then became my turn, I was challenged to turn this series of messages into a book. So I sat down and began to write, it seemed that my laptop was attached to my lap, and my fingers were on fire.
The fruit of this simple word from the Lord is a new book that will soon be released. I believe that you and I can live largely, that we can experience abundant! It's not a life without struggle, nor does it ensure finances beyond your wildest dreams. What living largely does promise is the release of who and what God has always intended for you to challenges you to dream big, to see God in a huge way and to see your life expanded!
I hope you'll check it out!