Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sow Generously, Reap Generously!

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:2) 

Do you have eyesight? It's a gift. Do you have a good mind? It's a gift. Do you have leadership abilities that cause others to follow? A good education? These are all gifts. Has God given you a family? Has He given you sufficient clothes? . . . These are all gifts from God's hand. Reflect on His numerous gifts to you. It will increase your joy. . . . 

Then remind yourself of God's promises regarding generosity. God promises if you sow bountifully, you will reap bountifully. So give! Give abundantly! Even extravagant giving is honored by God. I've never known anyone who went bad because he or she was too generous. Remind yourself of His promises regarding generosity and start giving! 

Don't be afraid of out-giving. It is absolutely impossible to do that. 

Living Above the Level of Mediocrity 

Living generously is definitely possible friends! Yes, it can happen for every single one of us! Do we have to be wealthy to be generous? Do we have all the resources at our disposal? Do we have to be extremely skilled or talented? The answer to those questions is. . . . NO! All we need is to be driven and passionate about the way we live our own lives. 

Living generously involves having a selfless spirit. Living your life in service to others at whatever capacity God has you in is living generously and above the level of mediocrity. My dear friends, you reap what you sow. You sow little, you reap little. You sow alot, you reap alot. What makes the whole issue of generosity really funny is that we can invest ourselves generously in one way and God can choose to be generous to us in a manner totally unrelated to the way we have been generous. 

Ready to live a generous life? Then start giving of yourself generously! 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Giant Step Toward Maturity!

My flesh and my heart fails: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26) 

One of the hardest things for you and me to do is own up to our own failures. Whether we're talking to our spouses, our kids, our employers, or with our Lord Himself, it goes against the grain to come clean and admit our offenses. The knee-jerk response every time is to employ defense mechanisms: to deny, to excuse, to rationalize, to reinterpret out shortfalls. 

The best and healthiest course is to 'fess up. To call failure, "failure." To name sin for what it is. To admit we were wrong, and having declared it, to learn what God may have to teach us from the experience. 

Sir Winston Churchill . . . offered the best definition of success I've ever read: "Success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." . . . As you begin to interpret failure correctly, you will take your first giant step toward maturity. 

Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication 

Achieving maturity (in the positive sense) more often than not will be mostly achieved through failure. Yes friends, you read that correctly. Maturity is measured by how you respond to the various trials and adversities in our lives. Maturity encapsulates everything that embodies our character. The fruit of our maturity will be seen in "our" wisdom, which in reality is God's wisdom. 

From the fountain of wisdom, our viewpoint in life will be radically changed. Our viewpoint will no longer be ours per se. It will be God's viewpoint, in light of His Word. One thing I have learned over so many years is that my maturity is largely dependent on who I am in Christ. Being that my identity is in Christ, my outlook on life will usually go against the grain of our culture of today. 

My dear friends, Christ-like maturity is the only (and true) way to go. Am I implying that it will be easy? No, it will be anything, but easy. Quite frankly, it will be downright hard sometimes. In the same way Jesus encountered opposition from the religious (and non-religious) community of His time, we will also experience the same opposition during the days we live in today. Moses told Joshua to "be strong and of good courage". I will also tell all of my readers the same thing. Amen?

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-). 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

God Speaks To The Quiet Heart!

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand. (Psalm 84:10) 

If the pace and the push, the noise and the crowds are getting to you, it's time to stop the non-sense and find a place of solace to refresh your spirit. Deliberately say "no" more often. This will leave room for you to slow down, get alone, pour out your overburdened heart, and admit your desperate need for inner refreshment. The good news is God will hear and He will help. The bad news is this: If you wait for someone else to bring about a change, things will only deteriorate. 

All of us can testify, God does not speak to the hurried, worried mind. It takes time alone with Him and His Word before we can expect our spiritual strength to recover. 

Intimacy with the Almighty 

I have often been told that God's voice is most clear during the quiet moments of our lives. Wouldn't you agree? With that said, I think it's extremely important to separate a series of moments on a daily basis where we can find some quality quiet time to not only hear God's voice, but to also talk to Him. 

My dear friends, I strongly recommend myself and every single one of my readers to dedicate as much "quiet" space in your heart as possible. It will not only do the body good, but even more importantly, make the spirit good. Always remember, God will only speak to the quiet heart. Will you be willing and able to give Him YOUR quiet heart? My hope and prayer is that this will be the case. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).

Sunday, May 25, 2014

God's Topsy-Turvy Ways!

How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Rom. 11:33) 

God's ways are topsy-turvy to the world's ways. A few examples: God exalts the humble, but the world exalts the proud. God ascribes greatness, not to masters, but to servants. God is impressed, not with noise or size or wealth, but with quiet things. . . . done in secret---the inner motives, the true heart condition. God sends away the arrogant and the rich empty-handed, but He gathers to Himself the lowly, the broken, the prisoner, the prostitute, the repentant. The world honors the handsome and the gifted and the brilliant. God smiles on the crippled, the ones who can't keep up. All this makes the world nervous. 

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship: "And so the disciples are strangers in the world, unwelcome guests, disturbers of the peace. No wonder the world rejects them!" 

Simple Faith 

To the non-believing, non-following people of this world, God's ways will be a major obstacle and stumbling block. When Jesus walked among us, His modus operandi was foolishness to the Jewish people of His time. Full speed ahead to our time, Jesus continues to be the most misunderstood Person of all time. Jesus is essentially a stumbling block to so many people (Christian and non-christian alike). Yes, you read that right. Jesus (God) still confuses many Christians today. Before you jump the gun and try to bite my head off with the above comment, it's important to note that the confusion spoken of is not the type of confusion that Satan inflicts upon people. The point of contention in why so many Christians are still confused about God today is because of the lack of understanding of Who God is. Many of us (including myself) may know alot about God, but not exactly know Him in His entirety. 

The secret in understanding God's topsy-turvy ways is Jesus Himself. With Jesus, the topsy-turvy ways of God are straighten. Granted, Jesus' way is dramatically narrower, not wider. Jesus' ways were not even widely accepted by the religious authority of His time (Pharisees). God's ways are not widely accepted by the many people who consider themselves Christians. That is what makes God's ways so topsy-turvy! Wouldn't you agree? 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in your understanding of God's topsy-turvy ways! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).   

Friday, May 23, 2014

No Place For Pride!

Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Prov. 16:19) 

Someone who is truly unselfish is generous with his or her time and possessions, energy, and money. As that works its way out, it is demonstrated in various ways, such as thoughtfulness and gentleness, an unpretentious spirit, and servant-hearted leadership. 

When a husband is unselfish, , he subjugates his own wants and desires to the needs of his wife and family.

When a mother is unselfish, she isn't irked by having to give up her agenda or plans for the sake of her children. 

When an athlete is unselfish, it is the team that matters, not winning the top honors personally. 

When a Christian is unselfish, others mean more than self. Pride is given no place to operate. 

Laugh Again 

My dear friend, there should be no place for pride in our lives. Pride, when left unchecked, can become a source of cancer in our lives. Pride will not only destroy our own lives. It will also destroy the lives of everyone you associate yourself with. I wrote a post about the subject of pride last year. You can find the article here

The opposite of pride is humility. As we empty ourselves of pride, let us fill ourselves with humility. Humility is the white-blood cell that fights against the cancer called pride. My friends, we must ask God to help us on a continuous basis to rid of of any pride that can (and will) get in the way of our relationship with God and those around us.

God is indeed gracious to us. His grace will superimpose not only our individual pride, but all of humanity's rebellious pride. With advances in technology and the expansion of knowledge in these last days, pride (not humility) continues to grow. It was pride that resulted in the fall of some of the most powerful civilizations throughout human history. It is the same pride that will one day destroy this country and every country on this planet. Harsh words? Yes. And the reasons for the fall of humanity's pride is justified in God's eyes and in the eyes of God's children. 

In spite of what we know about ourselves and humanity at large, God is sovereign and remains Faithful and True to this very moment. Amen? 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Living A Holy Life!

You shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. (Lev. 11:44) 

As Christians we live a life that is different---morally excellent, ethically beautiful. It's called a holy life. And God honors that. Because it's like He is. . . . 

All of our Christian lives we have sung the old hymn "Take Time to Be Holy." Those words are true. It does take time to be holy. It certainly takes time to be mature. It takes time to cultivate a walk with the Lord that begins to flow naturally because the enemy is so much more assertive and powerful than we. . . and so creative, so full of new ideas on how to derail us and demoralize us. 

We need to lock onto the power that comes from God's presence and invite Him to cleanse our thoughts, to correct our foul speech, to forgive us completely, and make us holy vessels, who, like the winged seraphim, spend our days bringing glory to His holy name. 

Day by Day with Charles Swindoll 

In our sinful nature, living a holy life has to be one of the most difficult ways of living. Holy living (aka Christian living), in my honest opinion is our way of letting the entire world know that it is okay to be different without conforming yourself to the ways and systems of this world. Living a holy life will no doubt have a way of separating us (Christians) from those rest of the world. The reason that is so is because the light of Jesus Christ has a way of shining through us in every single area of our lives. 

Everything from the way we view the world to the way we talk is viewed in an entirely different light. Living a holy life also comes under greater scrutiny because the world is depending upon us to live out the words we preach from the pulpit. Any kind of credibility we have as Christians is largely determined by the way we live out our "holy life". Obviously, the way we live out the holy life will vary from person to person. Some of more often than not will have to learn how to live out the holy life at work, while others have to live it out at home, and yet others living out their holy life among people from other nations of the world. What we must always keep in mind regardless of the environment we find ourselves in is to live out the holy life with Jesus in mind. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you as you live out the holy life in light of God's Word and Jesus' life! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Care And Concern For Others!

Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. (1 Pet. 5:5) 

Humility of mind is really an attitude, isn't it? It's a preset mentality that determines ahead of time thoughts like this: 

I care about those around me.
Why do I always have to be first?
I'm going to help someone else win for a change. 
Today I'm going to curb my fierce competitive tendencies. 

Instead of always thinking about receiving, we'll start looking for ways to give. Instead of holding grudges against those who offend, we'll be anxious to forgive. And instead of keeping a record of what we've done or who we've helped, we'll take delight in forgetting the deed(s) and being virtually unnoticed. Our hunger for public recognition will diminish in significance. 

Improving Your Serve

Showing care and concern for others has been one of the many reasons why humanity has survived the ravages of evil we have created and still create to this day. Showing care and concern is the most profound way to show the love of God to the "least of these". There are so many amazing ways to express love and concern to those around us. As a Christian, one of the best ways in expressing care and concern is when we go on missions trips to foreign countries. Can we do the same thing in the communities we live in? Definitely. In my experience, I have had scores of opportunities to minister to people locally and regionally and have been richly blessed in those opportunities.

But when you leave the comforts and familiarity of your own environment (in this case, country), the opportunity to show care and concern takes on a whole new life of it's when you witness firsthand the conditions they live in. I personally thank God for Jesus. Jesus has shown us through His Word that we are very capable of expressing care and concern, not on our own strength and will, but in the name of Jesus and with the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. As we walk in the Spirit (as Jesus did), the care and concern we demonstrate to others will have not only a supernatural effect, but make an eternal impact in the lives of those God brings our way. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! My hope and prayer is that you will make yourself available to God so He can enable you and empower you to express care and concern to everyone you encounter. Always remember. . . . JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-). 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Deliberate Trust!

In you, O LORD, do I put my trust; (Psalm 31:1) 

Under heaven's lock and key, we are protected by the most efficient security system available---the power of God. There is no way we will be lost in the process of suffering. No disorder, no disease, not even death itself can weak or threaten God's ultimate protection over our lives. . . . 

"God stands between you and all that menaces your hope or threatens your eternal welfare," James Moffatt wrote. "The protection here is entirely and directly the work of God."

Two words will help you cope when you run low on hope: accept and trust

Accept the mystery of hardship, suffering, misfortune, or mistreatment. Don't try to understand it or explain it. Accept it. Then, deliberately trust God to protect you by His power from this very moment to the dawning of eternity. 

Hope Again 

Wow! This post has a chance to be a truly testy one. I say that it has the potential to be very testy because all of us struggle with the idea of accepting the hardships of life. Whenever a really tragic situation happens that either impacts us directly or indirectly such as a nationwide incident, like 9/11, we often have a very difficult time with accepting the losses involved. 

In order for us to fully accept and come to terms with the struggles we have (directly or indirectly), we must have deliberate trust in God. Not casual trust, deliberate trust. To deliberately trust God with all the details of our lives is very difficult to do on our own. On our own, we will want to take matters into our own hands. Deliberate trust requires an incredibly deep-rooted spirit of humility. As Christians, humility must be the bedrock of the way we react to the people and situations around us. 

My dear friends, my hope and prayer is that all of us will have absolute trust in God that is so deliberate that anyone that encounters you will know that there is something very different about you. People around you will come to wonder why you're at peace while the world is falling apart underneath your feet. The deliberate trust you have in God regardless of what you're facing will mark you for the rest of your life and into eternity when we reign together in God's Presence before His throne in awestruck worship. To God be the glory now and forevermore!

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you all in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-). 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Let God Do The Exalting!

When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Prov. 16:7) 

Think of David, the young musician, tending his father's sheep back on the hills of Judea many centuries ago. He was a self-taught, gifted musician. He didn't go on tour, trying to make a name for himself. Instead, he sang to the sheep. He had no idea that someday his lyrics would find their way into the psalter or would be the very songs that have inspired and comforted millions of people through long and dark nights.

David didn't seek success; he simply humbled himself under the mighty hand of God, staying close to the Lord and submitting himself to Him. And God exalted David to the highest position in the land. . . . 

You don't have to promote yourself. . . . God will promote you. . . . Let God do the exalting! In the meantime, sit quietly under His hand. 

                                                                                    Hope Again

So many of us at one point or another have attempted to put ourselves out there to be exalted by man only to have all the accolades we receive from them fall flat on their faces. While being acknowledged by our brothers and sisters in Christ for the work we render in Christian service is a good thing. Being acknowledged (and more importantly, exalted) by God is by far the most important event in our lives. When God exalts us, He is simply being our biggest cheerleader. There is something very critical that we must understand. Before God exalts us, we must first be humbled. The way God humbles us will vary from Christian to Christian. What matters is that we come out of that situation that God allows in our lives as people that are both humbled and hungry to have an intimate relationship with Him. Always remember friends, God exalts the humble not the proud.

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Invincible, Immutable, and Infinite!

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:17) 

Whoever is sovereign must have total, clear perspective. He must see the end from the beginning. He must have no match on earth or in heaven. He must entertain no fears, no ignorance, and have no needs. He must have no limitations and always know what is best. He must never make a mistake. He must possess the ability to bring everything to a purposeful conclusion and an ultimate goal. He must be invincible, immutable, infinite, and self-sufficient. His judgements must be unsearchable and His ways unfathomable. He must be able to create rather than invent, to direct rather than wish, to control rather than hope, to guide rather than guess, to fulfill rather than dream. 

Who qualifies? You guessed it . . . God, and God alone. 

The Mystery of God's Will 

God is indeed invincible, immutable, and infinite. There's absolutely no justification in trying to make sense of His attributes. All we can do is lift up praise, worship Him, and thank Him for Who He is. God is God. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. God defines perfection in every sense of the word.

As Christians, we should be honored and privileged to be able to not only serve, but to have a very intimate relationship with an invincible, immutable, and infinite God. I find great comfort in knowing that God loves me so much that He deeply cares about all the details of my life, big and small. 

How can a God Who is invincible, immutable, and infinite concern Himself with a weak, fickle, and finite man like me? The answer to this question can be said in one word: love. God's love for me (as well as all His children) is unwavering, unconditional, and everlasting. My dear friends, we can find comfort in knowing that an invincible, immutable, and infinite God loves you so much that He will fulfill the plans He has for us in His time, not in our time. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you as you not only get to know, but develop a more intimate relationship with an invincible, immutable, and infinite God! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!! . . . . :-). 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stand Tall, Stand Firm!

Your God has commanded your strength. (Psalm 68:28) 

Today there are those who stand alone in the gap, those who still strive to shake us awake. A handful of brave students of Columbine High School come immediately to mind. Loaded guns and the threat of death couldn't silence them. I think of them of modern-day [prophets], whom God uses to deliver a life-changing message. Men and women of courage, ready to stand and deliver. Authentic heroes. . . . 

Our Lord is still searching for people who will make a difference. Christians dare not be mediocre. We dare not dissolve into the background or blend into the neutral scenery of this world. . . . 

In our culture---our schools, our offices and factories, our lunchrooms and boardrooms, our halls of ivy and our halls of justice---we need men and women of God, young people of God. We need respected professionals, athletes, homemakers, teachers, public figures, and private citizens who will promote the things of God, who will stand alone---stand tall, stand firm, stand strong! 

Elijah: A Man of Heroism & Humility 

Adversity is a fact of life. Adversity can either creep up on you slowly or it can come into your life with no notice at all. Adversity can either make you or break you. No matter what your background is like, adversity will mold your character like very few life events will. Is there upside to adversity? Most definitely! 

Finding upside in adversity is a matter of perspective. What it boils down to is who's perspective we are able to gain and learn from during that time of adversity. Walking through adversity on our limited perspective will not only be frustrating, but discouraging and potentially disillusioning. It is during times of adversity when the words "Stand Tall, Stand Firm" becomes real in our lives. Adversity is like a hurricane. It can batter us and beat us into submission. As Christians, we are like that palm tree that bends and sways in the storm of adversity. 

The most remarkable thing about palm trees is that in order for them to "stand tall, stand firm", their roots have to dig as deep as possible into bedrock. As Christians, our "roots" have to be deeply rooted in Christ. Jesus is the bedrock that enables us to be able to "stand tall, stand firm" in the face of a hurricane called adversity. My dear friends, we must "stand tall, stand firm" in Christ regardless of the type of adversity we experience. Only in Him can we "stand tall, stand firm". 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!! . . . . :-). 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

In The Palm Of God's Hand!

For the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. (1 Cor. 10:26) 

God has made the whole world in His hands. Remember the old gospel song? He's got the wind, the rain, the tiny little baby, yes, even you and me in His hands. How easy it is to forget that! And it isn't limited to our geography or our culture, you know. He's got the Middle East in His hands (that's a relief, isn't it?), not to mention Central America and Red China, Ethiopia and India, Indonesia and Russia---all right there in the palms of His sovereign hands. And while we're at it, He's got our future, our children, our circumstances, our friends, and our foes in His hands . . . within His grasp . . . under His control. Even when imaginary fears slip in like the morning frost to blight our faith, He's there---in charge. . . . 

He has yesterday's failures. He has today's challenges. He has tomorrow's surprises right there in His hands. And not one of them causes Him to gasp. 

Living on the Ragged Edge 

Our lives are indeed in the palms of God's hands!

It's not going to matter where we come from or what our upbringing is like. God is sovereign and rules over everything in, through, and around our lives. Our finite minds cannot even begin to comprehend what God is capable of doing in our lives. Our Christian walk is a walk of patience, trust, longsuffering, and last, but not least, humility. The longer you have walked this walk, the easier it will to not only experience humility, but even more importantly, become grounded in humility. 

Living in the palm of God's hand requires humility. It is from the spirit of humility that all of our other godly attributes spring forth. When the roots of humility grow deep within God's hand, God's hand will be there for us to shelter us from the storms that come into our lives. Being in the palm of God's hand will also guide us and direct us the way we need to go. We will never be in a better place than being in the palm of God's hand and remaining submissive to His will (not ours) for our lives. 

My dear friends, are you secured in the palm of God's hand? My hope and prayer is that you are firmly rooted in His hand and confident in His sovereignty. Given the days that we live in, there will never be a better place to be in the very center of God's hand and will in light of His Word. Amen.

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Friday, May 9, 2014

Considering Quitting?!

Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. . . For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt. 11: 28, 30) 

Every achievement worth remembering is stained with the blood of diligence and scarred by the wounds of disappointment. To quit, to run, to escape, to hide----none of these options solve anything. They only postpone the acceptance of, and reckoning with, reality. 

Churchill put it well: "Wars are not won by evacuations." . . . 

Giving thought to giving up?
Considering the possibility of quitting? . . . 
Don't! . . . The only time the Lord ever used the word "easy" was when He referred to a yoke.

Day by Day with Charles Swindoll 

I have never been the quitting type. I'm competitive in everything from video games to debating everyday topics. Have I ever considered quitting? Most definitely, but never had the stomach to go through with it. I have had plenty of moments when I would decline from getting involved from anything competitive. 

As I grew older, I have learned to funnel my competitive spirit to a very narrow target. I'm no longer competitive about sports as I once used to be, but can be from time to time. I thank God for instilling in me the determination to never quit regardless of the situation or circumstances. Now, my "never quit" attitude is exclusively focused on what really matters in life. 

My dear friends, all of us are at different stages in our lives. No matter where we are in our relationship with God, never quit on Him regardless of your endeavor and the path you have chosen because God will never quit on you. Have you ever thought about quitting on a particular project that has been given to you? Have you run into a very difficult relationship that already has you wondering about whether you should quit? Whatever it is that is begging you to quit before a breakthrough happens, don't quit and ask God to help you through the situation that confronts you in Jesus' mighty name! 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to     bless you and keep you in your pursuit to develop that never-quit-attitude! Always remember friends. . . . JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

God In Our Conversation!

And you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house. (Deut. 6:7)  

We are to talk of spiritual things in our homes just as we talk about anything else. You talk together about how the Dodgers played last night. No big deal, you just talk about that. You talk about what you're going to do next week. You don't lecture on it. You don't make a big announcement, you simply talk about it. . . . You may talk about what you plan to watch on television that evening. You don't hold classes on it, you merely talk about it. There is an easygoing, natural flow of conversation. . . . 

That is what will make your Christianity authentic. It isn't a Sunday lifestyle! It's a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday cycle-of-living lifestyle. So much so, that Christ fits naturally into the regular conversation of the home. 

Growing Wise in Family Life 

I love having conversations about God! 

More often than not, holding a conversation about God with a fellow brother and sister-in-Christ is one thing. Holding a conversation about God with a non-believer or someone from an entirely different religion can pose certain challenges. The overall goal of having God in our conversations is to bring glory to His name and to bring awareness of His sovereignty in our lives regardless of what your background is looking like and where you currently stand in your spiritual journey. 

You know without a shadow of a doubt that you are in right standing with God when you are able to incorporate Him in the context of a baseball conversation. Personally, I have had the immense honor and privilege of being involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes conferences as a volunteer so many years ago. Professional athletes from various sports genres would talk about their experiences as professional athletes while at the same time acknowledge God in their endeavors. What an amazing experience that used to be! With that said, I wonder what it would be like to have a conversation about God with Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Clayton Kershaw? Yes friends, Clayton Kershaw is not only the ace of the Dodgers pitching staff, he's also a man of God. 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).  

Monday, May 5, 2014

No Mass-Produced Saints!

Know you that the LORD he is God: it is he that has made us, and not we ourselves. (Psalm 100:3) 

We live today in a microwave culture. If it takes longer than five minutes to fix lunch, that's long! In earlier days, you even had to wait for a TV set to warm up. Can you imagine? And you couldn't push a single button on your phone to call home on a pre-set number, you had to dial it . . . with your finger, for pity's sake.Talk about the stone age! I remember driving by a vacant lot some time ago, then going by the same corner several weeks later. Where there had been nothing but grass and weeds, empty beer cans, and trash just days before, there was now a huge warehouse, assembled from pre-fab sections, ready to receive goods. 

That's the way life is today. Fast. Compressed. Condensed. Slam-bang-it's-done. Not so in God's wilderness schooling. When it comes to walking with God, there is no such thing as instant maturity. God doesn't mass-produce His saints. He hand-tools each one, and it always takes longer than we expected. 

Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication 

Here's a simple question friends. . . . 

Can you imagine a world full of people who think, look, and act like Micky? 

HA! I didn't think so. For starters, this world would all of a sudden turn into a very boring place. The movie, Matrix Reloaded, has made the concept of mass-producing humans possible (in this case, an agent name Agent Smith) the ability to mass-produce himself in an effort to combat his arch-enemy Neo (the good guy from said movie). The very first time I saw this movie, I had to ask myself why the creators of this movie would someone as evil as Agent Smith the ability to mass-produce himself. Quite frankly, it made absolutely no sense to me. 

Thank God for the idea of mass-producing those things that are mostly beneficial to us in some way, shape, or form such as food and medicine and those luxuries are in limited supply as well. Since there is no such thing as mass-produced saints, wisdom will play a dramatically bigger role in our lives than ever before. Applying wisdom in areas such as stewardship among many others are very critical because wisdom, like so many other gifts, are in very short supply. Mind you, when I "short supply", I don't say short supply because of God's lack, but because of our unwillingness to demand for more. 

With that said, God has no need to mass-produce saints, but His earnest interest is in mass-producing godly values, principals, and gifts for all of His children to have so we can be the godly saints He wants us all to be and encourage others to become. Amen?

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-). 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Worry Is Distracting!

Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Phil. 4:6) 

Anxious. Intriguing word. It literally means "to be divided" or "distracted." . . . 

We find a perfect illustration of this in the story of Mary and Martha recorded in Luke 10:38-42. Taking a minute to look into their little abode, we find that Martha, is distracted, anxious. Jesus is sitting down talking, and Mary is sitting at His feet, enjoying His presence, . . . and His teachings. But not Martha. She is busy back in the kitchen getting everything ready for a big meal. In good womanly fashion she is making everything match, everything fit, everything come out of the oven at just the right time. . . . 

But Jesus wanted her to come and sit down beside her sister and listen. It wasn't that He didn't appreciate her efforts. He just wanted her to serve a simple dish so they can make the most of their time together. . . . Her anxiety was distracting her from more important things. Worry always does that. 

Perfect Trust 

Anxiety has a way of really ruining our lives in ways that we would have a very difficult time grasping. If there's is anything that I do know about anxiety is that it does absolutely no good. One of the many things that it does is that it weakens our resolve in being able to trust wholeheartedly in God. It slowly, but surely, erodes our patience and confidence in God and in others. My dear friends. . . . 

Be anxious for nothing! 

Surrender ANY and ALL to God in prayer and ask Christian friends and family members to be able stand by your side during those times when you feel anxiety come upon you. Yes, life can and will be difficult sometimes. There will be moments when a "curve ball" will come out of nowhere and strike you out. It's easy to get consumed in our work because we worry about deadlines. I get it friends. I really do. Martha, while doing the honorable thing by tending to the things of the house to make things as comfortable for the visitors as possible, totally missed out on an opportunity to abide in Jesus' presence and enjoy the fellowship that Mary had enjoyed by spending as much quality time with Jesus as possible. My dear friends, DO NOT let anxiety (worry) rob you of what really matters in life! It would not be fair to you nor to them. 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you as you not only surrender, but are freed from the clutches of anxiety (worry)! Give your cares to Him and He will deal with it! Remind yourself that your cares (concerns and worries) are His problem. Not yours. Always remember. . . . JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

God Is Awesome!

Be you exalted, O God, above the heavens: and your glory above all the earth; (Psalm 108:5) 

When was the last time you took a glance at a mountain? You don't glance at pictures of Mount Everest and say, "Hmm, nice hill. Maybe a little taller than some mountains." You don't witness the glaciers in Alaska and say, "Oh, yeah, that's a pretty nice glacier." You stand in silent awe. 

I remember when my Marine battalion flew over Japan's Mount Fuji. Not one man on our plane, when they looked out and saw Fuji, said, "Sure, sure, that's nice." No, indeed! I mean, it was click, click, click . . . it was picture-taking time! This was picturesque, awesome Fuji! 

Who was Fuji? God! And like that mountain, the rest of His creation is equally awesome. Consider the stars in space, for example. Though we were to study for a lifetime, we still could not fathom them. When God does it, it makes us stand back in respect. It puts all human achievements on the lowest level. 

Living on the Ragged Edge 

I must agree with Charles Swindoll when it relates to the "awesomeness" of God as revealed in nature and in the great celestial sky above. If I'm even going to begin to describe how awesome God is, no justice will ever be done. In my finite mind, like Mr. Swindoll, we are limited in our understanding of how truly great and awesome is our God. As a result, we can only stand in silent in awe in His presence. 

Standing before the very manifest presence of God has to be beyond awesome, simply miraculous. Standing before Jesus and allowed entry into Heaven has to be beyond awesome and simply miraculous. There is no doubt in my mind that God is an awesome God as He reigns from Heaven above with wisdom, power, and love. While here on earth, we have a wonderful opportunity to experiencing the "awesomeness" of God through people like you and me. 

In spite of our imperfections and shortcomings, we have a God Who is not only awesome indeed, but longs to have a very intimate relationship with you and me so that we can in return experience God's awesome wisdom, power, and love in, through, and around our lives. Can it get any better than that during our time here on earth? My dear friends, NOW is the time for us to be able to share and express how truly awesome God really is. 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you all in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . :-).