Thursday, May 20, 2010
This line from this wonderful song has become the meaning to each and every day here recently. As Staci and I are awaiting the birth of our first child we have been through ups and downs, but because of God’s mercy, Jesus’ blood, and great friends we have been able to “move ahead bold and confident”-Worship while I’m Waiting.
We have been so blessed throughout this pregnancy and still feel that this was all part of God’s plan and that we are just along for the ride. As we are waiting on God’s miracle and our son to show up there is nothing I can think that is more appropriate then to worship while we wait. My prayer is that by God’s grace alone my son will be able to see his HEAVENLY FATHER through his earthly dad.
To sit back and look at my life three (well even two years ago) I would have laughed if you would have told me I was going to be a dad. Now I CAN’T wait…well I can because I am, but I am really excited. We have some super godly people in our lives that have made the past 9 months go by as fast as possible. Over the last week my prayers for Logan have been through scripture provided by friends, emails, and twitter….yes even twitter. One that has hit my heart especially hard is Psalm 25 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+25&version=NIV) , especially versus 7 (7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.) and 11 (11 For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.). My prayer for my son Logan has become Psalm 91( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+91&version=NIV) , Ephesians 3: 14-21 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+3%3A14-21&version=NIV), and John 10 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10&version=NIV). I hope that you may find comfort or peace in one of the above scriptures.
I know that most of you are “waiting” on something as well, and it may not be as exciting as a child. It may not be good at all, it could be cancer, divorce, unemployment, reconciliation with a friend of family, etc….just know this God’s grace is enough…it will sustain you. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+12%3A7-9&version=NIV)
I pray that these words helped one of you who decided to read it, and even though some of you read this just to pick apart my words or my life I know that only because of the blood of Jesus I have been forgiven and resurrected with him. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+2%3A20&version=NIV)
How unbelievable is God’s mercy, grace, and love. He forgave me and in just a short period of time is giving me this gift of a son. That has to rank up there with the transformation of Saul into Paul. Thank you God, Thank you JESUS….lets WORSHIP WHILE WE ALL WAIT!
Lord….. help us to worship as we wait on you to lead us through the days ahead….thank you for who you are and what you do for us! In CHRIST’s name AMEN!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Friday, April 2, 2010
AND…then there is me. The Prodigal Son has turned into one of my favorite parables in the entire bible. Why? That is MY LIFE, correction THAT WAS MY LIFE. I let a divorce, 3 serious health issues in my family (2 of which were deaths), and the pain of being away from home and HATING football for the first time in my life. I ran as far from God as I could, because HE GOT ME in this MESS, or so I thought. Little did I know that God was always there watching over me, building me within so that ONE DAY I would serve HIM and bring Glory to HIS NAME! I pray that I will never be content with How passionate I am about sharing the Gospel, I hope that I never take matters into my own hands ever again. I PRAY that I will never get discouraged by those who doubt me, those who try to tear me down, and those that the devil uses to impede my love for Christ. I pray that God will continue to work through this NOBODY!
I know how the son feels coming back home and THE FATHER running, literally running to meet me to welcome me home. Everyone denied, betrayed, or abandoned JESUS during these 48 hours. No One stood up for Him, but upon his return…HE LOVED THEM and He left them a few simple things…1. FEED MY SHEEP 2. Spread the GOSPEL.
I needed to run back to the feet and cross of Jesus, and HE WELCOMED ME BACK even though I WAS UNWORTHY, HE will do the same for YOU! Don’t believe me, only one way to find out.
Thank you Jesus for forgiveness, mercy, and GRACE! YOU ARE SO AMAZING! Thank you for rebuilding my heart and desire for YOU!
I LOVE YOU JESUS! THANK YOU!
*encourage those close to you* thank you Ms. Vickie
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This story has been on my heart this week as I have been reading, listening, and watching things about Jesus and His last few weeks on earth. I have been reminded that God used average, unworthy, and foolish people to accomplish His will. Two sermons today one by Joby Martin and the other by Christina Caine reaffirmed these concept.
Think about Noah: building an ark in the desert…REALLY? LOL but look how GOD showed up! Moses: a Murderer….a man who talked to a burning bush, the man who separates the red sea. Can you imagine being his friend and being so confused how your friend could be used by God when he was so simple and imperfect? What about David when he was a boy and used 5 smooth stones instead of armor to kill Goliath. His brothers mocked him, but he trusted God. Peter scolds Jesus, Doubts him and almost drowns, and then denies him. How is he repaid? He is the Rock of the church and when he preaches at Pentecost 3000 people are saved by the Holy Spirit. How about Mary and Joseph….both were look at as foolish, but God always protected them. What about Paul? He killed Christians…he was going to persecute more when he is blinded on the Damascus road. God then uses him to spread the Gospel like no other. Then the disciples were all chosen by Jesus. Each one of the disciples was not chosen by other Rabbis because they weren’t viewed as good enough.
As the time grew closer Jesus tried teaching His disciples and those around, but they would not believe. Jesus used miracles to show how great God was and is. God used all these people and countless others who were unworthy and unjust to show just how powerful and might HE is.
To many times as Christians and the “church” we get trapped thinking…God can’t use me, I’m just normal….or whatever excuses we can find. However, God is waiting to add your name to the list of unworthy, unjust, sinful people that HE worked through to show HIS power and HIS mercy.
Thanks you God for working through sinful people in scriptures and in today’s society.
Do I deserve to speak to people about the Gospel, NO! Those closed to me knew a few weeks ago I would do a “good” job and I would be “fine”, but God had something bigger in mind. God took away all my comfort to speak in public, he took away all my preparation, and HE spoke through me and HE SAVED dozens of children and people. GOD did all that and those closed to me know that I was shaking and nervous beyond words before I spoke. Then to make sure I understood what was going on He provided words I did not write down in my notes. As this was happening I watched GOD TAKE OVER AND SAY just another unworthy sinner that I can use.
When we are unworthy we are perfect tools for God. What is HE trying to do through you?
Thank you JESUS for using and SAVING unworthy people.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday’s big topic was Pride. I was listening to a pastor by the name of Joby Martin from Beach United Methodist Church in Jac. Fla preached on Pride and how it separates us from God.
This Holy Week has reminded me that it was religious people who sought out to kill Jesus. They wanted a reason to persecute Him because He was making them look bad or not follow their protocol for a rabbi or teacher. What a shame, these church people killed and ignored their KING and SAVIOR. Then again I do that, we all do if we are honest. When we let pride set in we lose sight of who God is and what Jesus did for us. Pride causes us to mistreat others and opportunities provided for us by God himself.
God works in spite of us NOT because of us!
My prayer this Holy Week and thus time forward is for God to remove my pride to remind me that I am NOTHING without JESUS! I can accomplish ABSOLUTELY NOTHING without JESUS CHRIST and His sacrifice on the Cross.
The scripture was from Luke 7:
36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[d] and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
This passage is full of possible topics or discussions, but a few things hit my heart very hard.
1. The lady washes Jesus’ feet with the perfume from her alabaster jar and was symbolically laying down on her pride and surrenders everything she had to Jesus. I pray that we all will find the same humility and fall at His feet surrendering all our pride to Jesus.
2. The Pharisee (religious leader) looks down on both Jesus and this woman because she sinned and because Jesus let her touch him. Really? This guy should KNOW JESUS, as the Church WE SHOULD accept those who are different. We shouldn’t reach out to just the well dressed visitor on Sunday, but also the YOUNG MAN who is heading to the STRIP CLUB. YEA EVEN HIM! Jesus died for all of us. So many “churched” people forget that we are still dirty evil sinners who have found grace and mercy and are forgiven. This Pharisee is to proud to see the beauty in this sinner surrendering to JESUS!
3. The parable of the forgiven debt here really hits home to me. Real short on this one THANK YOU JESUS for REMOVING MY DEBT!
I write because God places it on my heart, not because my words are worthy or significant. I speak because God provides the words, not because I deserve to. I am NOTHING WITHOUT JESUS! I’m NOT BETTER THEN ANYONE and I am very thankful for that.
In this sermon Joby also references Gal. 6:3-4:
3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,
I pray that we all lay down our pride unless it is pride in what GOD does through us by HIS SON JESUS. Thank You God for working through me and for calling me to these things, may YOU GET ALL THE PRAISE, HONOR, and GLORY!
My sin is just as guilty as the Pharisees for killing Jesus, with that in mind How can I remain proud? Not possible! Praise God Praise GOD!
I all of a sudden had tons of ideas and words in my heart so once again I have decided to write/blog them down. This week is my favorite week of the year. It is the week where I do not celebrate because I am religious or enjoy church, but because I, like all humans, was born away from God and when Jesus died for me HE closed that gap!
As I was up late Sunday watching 3:16 by Lucado I was overwhelmed (a term that certainly describe my heart the last few days) with how much God loved me and all of you. That no matter what we are worthy of HIS forgiveness, if we weren't He wouldn't have let his Son die for us.
Luke 19:28-40 (New International Version)
The Triumphal Entry
28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30"Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "
32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
34They replied, "The Lord needs it."
35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"[a]
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
I am sure most of you heard this recently since it is the Palm Sunday story, but at a closer look there are several things we can take from it. These were the questions that had been laid on my heart Sunday before leaving home for church.
1. What has the Lord sent us to find? What is the Colt we should be bringing back?
2. What “cloak” should we be laying down for Jesus? A cloak was expensive/important and not something you would just throw on the ground, but for JESUS, YES throw it down!
3. If the Stones could cry out praises to Jesus shouldn’t we?
4. Why did they persecute him already? Religious leaders/teachers were ready to kill him, and JESUS knew this and let it happened. Jesus will work in spite of us not because of us, will be turn people away or bring them closer to Jesus with our actions and feelings.
I know these are different questions then we normally associate with Palm Sunday or this scripture, but they were questions laid on my heart. As this week continues Jesus will eat with friends who will betray Him, deny Him, and abandon Him in the last few hours of His precious life, but He still loved them upon His return.
As this week continues, may we learn what God has planned for us to Learn. May we learn how much HE loves us and may we ALL realize the price it cost so that we may be free.
If you are still reading this THANK YOU! I only write the things that God places on my heart and I pray that this week will be life changing for all of us. I am thankful for all the post and tweets that have shared the massive number of lives converted this week already! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Maunday Thursday, Good Friday (both @ 7pm), Easter Sunrise service 7am with a breakfast following. ALL AT LYMAN UMC please come join us if you aren’t having a service at your church. May we be ONE BODY and WORSHIP ONE LORD and SHARE ONE CAUSE and LIVE OUT ONE LOVE!
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Christmas was great with my amazing friends and family.
Then school started and I have truly been blessed with a great group of students to teach and spend time with. These students this year (in a short period of time) have broken my heart with their stories and built me up with their prayers and concerns.
Staci and I are so excited about our little man coming to join us. They are both doing perfect and every step of the process continues to show that God had his hands on this from day 1.
I got to eat supper with my Mimi tonight, which doesn't sound like much BUT it is huge.She rarely gets out of the nursing home. However she is doing so much better. Her determination and will has been an inspiration to me as I continue to struggle with my health. I can't wait to see her hold her great-grandson. I pray that he can make up for my poor performance as a grandson.
God continues to bless us with fellowship with our friends, The Journey, and Sunday school discussions. He is moving in a big way and I am so thankful HE is LETTING me be a part of it.
I hope you are all doing well. I will do better next time. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tis this season to find the right gift… (That’s not right)…Tis the season to be greedy and get my perfect gift… (wrong again)…Tis the season to be jolly… so we can do all the Christmas things INCLUDING forgetting about JESUS (that sounds about right).
Now I have gone and made some of you mad…tough. I twisted words to a song around to show how people really act during Christmas; it isn’t like I changed the story of the Birth of Christ like society has over the years. Most of you are done reading at this point so for those of you still around THANKS!
I love Christmas time and even love decorating and the celebrating with good food and time with friends and family. I even play the silly gift swapping games that have become so popular over time. BUT I hate that so many people, including Christians have lost sight of the “reason for the season”. Right now I (as I’m sure you can as well) think of good gifts and also the dreaded socks and underwear as you have grown up. But even the greatest gift in the world can’t top the “reason for the season.”
The “Season” unofficially officialyl (I know) start is 12:01am the Friday after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). I have even participated in this madness of the past four years. Most of my time in the madness has been time spent with family or friends having a good time, eating things you shouldn’t be eating at that time of the day, and really buying nothing or very little. Wouldn’t it be nice if we shared the Gospel with the same passion as we chase deals on Black Friday, or we preserved for CHRIST the same way we do lines on Black Friday? Just a thought!
This year I started thinking about gifts. The definition of gift is: something acquired without compensation. Wow that is different than most of us think…”If they get me a gift I will get them one” or “I want to see what I get before I decide how much to spend” WOW REALLY?
As I pondered what true “gift” I have in my life I came up with one group of gifts. You could argue my wife was a gift because she didn’t receive FAIR compensation for the gift of marrying her, but that is another story for another time. But the only “gifts” I could think of was: love, grace, mercy, salvation, forgiveness, and JESUS. All of which are only TRULY given by GOD himself.
1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(Scripture from the NIV emphasis mine)
I think that is clear enough and there are plenty more scriptures out there. The truth is that HE is the only real “gift” there is. Sure we give gifts to people all the time, but how many times do we really do it for people that don’t care for us (God DID) or for those that can’t do something for us in return one day (God did..What can we REALLY do FOR God)? Now that doesn’t mean we don’t continue to try and give of our time and services to others in the same none compensation way that God gave his only Son to us as a free GIFT for salvation to take our sin and put it on the cross.
So the real gift was born in a manger. The gift wasn’t given for one, but for ALL. However the “gift” doesn’t stop at birth it continues some 33 (yes I know some scholars argue Jesus was 30-35) years later. The gift started in a manger and continued to a cross where HE was killed for OUR sins. (Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.) BUT WAIT it doesn’t end there either. The “gift” the “something acquired without compensation” was born in a MANGER….died on a CROSS…and AROSE and left a TOMB EMPTY! Talk about the gift that never gets old. God willing and freely gave HIS son Jesus as a FREE gift to the world born in a manger sought for by the common Shepherds of the world….to die for US ALL (yes even those of you who may not believe or accept Jesus) and allowed his Son to return home after starting HIS church to one day come again and GIVE the GIFT of ETERNAL life to those that believe and follow him.
SO this year SHARE the REAL GIFT of the Season.
It is a gift freely given, (and YOU CAN’T COMPENSATE God for this gift no matter how many “RELIGIOUS” things you have done) but the gift must be ACCEPTED…..What will you decide?