Skip to main content

Posts

Junk it!

Most of us don't think of ourselves as 'idol worshipers', but in reality, we likely have a few we have placed on a pedestal. Lest you think I am suggesting they are the little Buddha dolls, patron saint figurines, or other religious paraphernalia we keep laying around, I am not. Idols are things we elevate to some place of adoration in our lives - even our own ego! The things we hold onto soon have a hold on us, so we might do well to do a little 'inventory' of what we have 'lifted up' in our lives. Even things from our past can be 'idols' we have held onto. What "dead idols" from our past do we need to finally let go of? I think if we look hard enough, we will probably find a few lurking in the back of the recesses of our minds!

Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master's Word, not only in the provinces but all over th…
Recent posts

Is this for real?

Whoever said we could walk through this life without worries, difficulties, or unresolved issues was probably not a well person! Choosing to serve Christ does not elevate an individual above the ebbs and flows of life. In fact, it almost guarantees a few more hurdles! If we really are living for Christ, we will face challenging people, circumstances, and moments of potential compromise which we may not have encountered otherwise. Worries are still going to come, simply because we all have a tendency to want to 'hold everything together' ourselves. We just don't get used to turning things over to God quickly, bearing much more weight upon our shoulders than we really need to bear.

You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the tro…

More than just a nice feeling

Winston Churchill once said, "Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning." C.S. Lewis echoed his words when he penned, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." I used to have a pastor who always said you needed to stand for something or you'd stand for nothing. Some refer to this as 'steel-strong' convictions. Steel in your convictions - what does this mean?

It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions. (I Thessalonians 1:3-5)

God's hand is on us for something special. We serve a God who is not only supernatural, but he actually influences us to move beyond the natural into the abundance of all he is! Our holy and mighty God wants us to live in the abundance he knows! It…

What are you doing with today?

The preparation of today makes us ready for tomorrow. Without the work of today, the events of today won't matter when tomorrow comes. When others look at our life, do they see evidence of our faith? Do they see us laboring in love, or resisting every move we make? Do they see us patient in our waiting, or chafing in anticipation, hating the wait and disgruntled by not getting our way? Many of us can claim to be believers, but do our lives indicate we live like believers? Three things that are just not arbitrary in our live are faith, the labors of love, and the patience we exhibit toward each other (and ourselves). In fact, these things speak volumes about the work which has begun in our lives - a work God is going to finish, no matter how hard it may appear to us!

Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you're in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, befor…

Greeted by Grace

God's amazing grace and his robust peace go hand-in-hand. The peace of God is really not totally understood, or experienced, until one has an encounter with the amazing grace of God. Grace is like a pathway to peace - know grace and you will know peace. Don't ever think peace means the absence of anything disturbing, though. We will still find many a 'disturbance' in our lifetime, but we don't have to face those disturbances without absolute and lasting peace. We will 'rest' even though the demands are great. We will 'abide' even when the pressures try to move us out of that zone of peace. Peace isn't a place, or even an 'achieved ascendance' - it is a person - Christ. Know Christ, live in him and walk close to him, and you will know peace.

I, Paul, together here with Silas and Timothy, send greetings to the church at Thessalonica, Christians assembled by God the Father and by the Master, Jesus Christ. God's amazing grace be with yo…

So, that's what you are doing!

I really don't like books that are a 'slow start' when you get into them - those books that just don't grab you very well to begin with - kind of hard to get into and just poking around at all kind of details that don't really need to be shared. I love to read - my favorite venue being mystery novels that keep me enthralled until the very end. I like the suspense of seeing the plot unfold until you discover the "who done it"! By definition, a mystery is anything (or anyone) which presents features or qualities so obscure that they are going to arouse our curiosity. The "fun" comes in unraveling the obscure features - no matter how 'buried' they may be. I think God likes mysteries, often unveiling a little tidbit of something we need to know and then getting us ready to receive the next!

Just as you'll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, so you'll never understand the mystery at work in all that Go…

Every bit counts

We have times in life when we just feel like the harder we try, the farther behind we manage to get - like we are chasing our tail the entire way. In looking forward, we see only those things and others who are out ahead of us. It comes as no surprise when someone even begins to describe their impression of God being somewhere, anywhere, but not in the moment of their need - because their 'moment of need' is so far away from where they are right now. We had the need a whole lot earlier than 'now', but we just finally realized we actually needed him! The trial gets hard and we often think we have lost touch with the very one who has the ability to help us get through it all. Listen to these words:

Long enough, God— you've ignored me long enough. I've looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I've carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me. Take a good lo…