Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
We're going to take a look at a few of the ones that most of us face. We'll start at the heart of the matter-by taking a look at the source of these lies. It may surprise you...
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I can relate to all of this so well. There have been times in my marriage that I have out the ministry first, me first, others first and just completely ignored and sometimes even forgot about the needs of my wife. It's never been fun nor easy to face the truth about my own selfishness and the way that I can so easily give to others and let my relationship drift.
Some signs that your relationship may be drifting:
1. You are now spending more time with your career, school, children or others than you used to?
2. You can't remember the last time you took your spouse out on a date?
3. You only talk about the things that you have to talk about: the kids, your schedule, who's doing what when. You aren't about each other and what you need from each other.
Maybe some of this describes you. If so, what can you and what will you do to stop the relational drift before it goes any further?
I've learned that I need to put MORE energy and focus on my marriage than on my kids, my ministry or on others. I've learned that I have to TAKE TIME to be with Kim and make certain nothing gets in the way. We do "Date Nights" once a week and I love it.
Let me know what helps you and what you've learned along the way. I'd love to hear from you.
Monday, August 13, 2012
There is one thing that was said that has captured my heart and my prayers. Bill Hybels said...
"It’s one thing to see a vision. It’s another thing to be seized by a vision!"
God has given me a vision to reach those who are far from Him here in Reno-one of the most unchurched areas in our nation. Our mission is to "Build Bridges for People to Come to Jesus and Grow in His Grace."I spend a lot of time trying to think of ways that God would have us reach out to this city and our community to touch the lives of those who do not yet know him. I can see it and so want it to happen.
But I have to admit that being "seized by that vision" is a new thought for me. I am praying that God would truly seize my heart with His vision for me and for us. I am praying that I and this Body of people to be willing to do whatever it takes to see that vision become a reality regardless of the cost. So, when you think about me today, pray that I will be "seized by His vision". I'll do the same for you.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Reflecting back, I can remember the times that people in the neighborhood came to him for help and he helped. I remember that he worked hard to provide the things that we needed and I remember that he always did his best to be honest and trustworthy. I remember that he made certain I was able to go to the college that I wanted to attend and he paid for it. I still have no idea how he did it. I did make certain the he knew how much I loved him and appreciated all that he did for me before he passed away.
As I reflect about my Dad, I wish that I had focused more on the positive things that he did and less on the shortcomings that he had. This Father's Day I want to encourage you to celebrate the good and positive things about your Dad and maybe think a little less about how he could be better.
Every Dad I know realizes that he falls short, even this one, and every Dad I know wants to be better. Take some time to celebrate Dad and let him know about the good and positive things that he does for you. Who knows? Maybe that's what he needs to get even better.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
It could be anger, lust, greed,envy, discouragement, bitterness, unforgiveness or any number of things. You and I will face something sometime today that will either win over us or we will win it. But just remember there is help when you it:
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Pilate was frightened and examined Jesus again asking if he were a king-Jesus essentially said yes. But, he made it clear that his kingdom was not of this world. He made it clear that his kingdom had different values. His kingdom would not be built on money, sex or power. His kingdom would be built on loving,giving and serving.
So, this king was beaten and battered. This king carried and cross. This king was nailed to it and gave up his life. This king got Pilate's attention in a way that no one else had ever been able to do. So, this is the charge that Pilate wrote and placed on the cross...
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (Luke 23:38)
The big question for me and for you is what will we do with this kings? Will we surrender to him and the values that are his?
This has been a tough week for me-I'm having to deal with some intense stuff. As I'm doing this, I need to be reminded of the King that I am seeking to follow-I need to be reminded of his values and I need his help to live those out even in the tough times-just as He did.
This is the King of the Jews and the King of My Life-what about you????
Monday, March 26, 2012
But there are some promises that I wish he had never given to us. Jesus gives us one in John 16:
In this world you will have trouble... (John 16:33) Now that is a promise that I could live without-I expect that you could as well. We all will face trouble-all kinds of trouble. Health problems-economic problems-relational problems-personal struggles-family issues and on and on we could go. In fact, some of you reading this today are facing some troubles that you had no idea you would be facing when you awoke today.
This world is full of troubles and no one is immune to them. This is a promise that bring great discouragement and it would if it were not for the next promise that Jesus gives.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Jesus knew that connections matter and he told us that if we want to accomplish anything for God's glory then we have to remain connected to Him.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
I don't know about you, but I can often allow the chaos and confusion of this world to overwhelm me and stress me out. I allow the things that are happening to me and around me to become the focus and take my eyes off the One who has promised to take care of me.
Jesus knew that the disciples' world was about to be turned upside down-all that they believed was about to be challenged for each and every one of them. So, He gave them a gift that they would need. He gave them a gift that would help keep them steady no matter what life brings.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
They were afraid of what others would say, they were afraid they would be cast out of the synagogue and afraid they would lose their standing in the religious community. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
At the beginning of his last week, he has dinner with Lazarus-the man he raised from the dead. He is anointed with perfume and tells them that this foretells his death. He will not be with them much longer. He then tells them that he would be lifted up to die.
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.” (John 12:32–33)
How could they not get it? When he is arrested and put on that cross, why could they not see it? How could they ignore the truth right in front of them?
This is what I often think abut them, but then I look a my life and realize that I do the same. I can get caught up in the moments of my life and miss out on the things that He is doing. Something happens that I'm not expecting and I can act like He is not there and does not exist. I forget the things that He has done for me and for others and live as if He can't be trusted.
Sometimes I ignore the truth that is right in front of me. Today I want to stay awake and alert and remember what He has done and trust what He is doing. He has demonstrated over and over that He is trustworthy. What do you think?
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Jesus, then, showed up where they were. This confused them even more. Was he a ghost? Were they hallucinating? He asks for some food and he eats it in front of them. This helps some but it still did not clear things up for them.
Here's what finally cleared things up:
Monday, March 19, 2012
But then, I am not surprised. Because I am like they were. I am quick to forget and slow to believe when things get messed up in my world. Their lives were turned upside down in just a few hours and though thing happened as Jesus told them-it took them awhile to get it.
I am glad that our Stavior deals patiently with them and with me when I forget and am slow to believe. Maybe today, maybe this week I will not be so slow to believe.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
This is why I'm always surprised by Jesus' Silence when accused-wrongly accused by those in power-by those who are supposed to represent God and actually should be accused. Instead Jesus closes his mouth even when it means that he will suffer unjustly.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Loneliness is on the rise in America today. We are surrounded by people everywhere, but more and more people are saying the are more lonely than ever. I'm not talking about a general feeling of being alone but a deep sense within your own heart that you are alone-that no understands or can relate. It's that sense that there is something so wrong with you that no one wants to know you and you do really want them too. You are afraid that if they really knew you they would not like you anyway.
But there is some great news for me and you about all of this. Jesus, himself, can relate to us in ways that we never dreamed possible. He experienced a deep loneliness, a separation from the Father, he was forsaken and abandoned while hanging on the cross.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Pilate and others around him were amazed that Jesus was silent as he was being tried and eventually convicted. No prisoner ever remains silent. They always plead their case and try to get out of it. Not Jesus. He says nothing in his own defense He just listens.
Friday, March 9, 2012
There are lots of reasons that I give for not doing them such as: "I forgot or it slipped my mind". But the truth is that I often make promises without thinking things through. I speak quickly because I want to impress someone and have them think I am better than I really am. I let my pride get in the way of my words and make promises that I just can't keep.
That's what Peter did. He made Jesus a promise that he never thought through. He meant it when he said it-he intended to do it. But when it came down to it, he could not and he did not. He made a promise that he did not keep. He allowed his pride to get in the way.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The truth is that every day we all have several opportunities to serve people and make a real difference. It does not have to be some big project-it can be some small thing you say that can make a huge difference. I was reminded of this last week.
Last week I was standing in line at place to get some food. I could not help but overhear the words of a customer to the person working behind the counter. He was ride, crude and totally out of line. I really felt for the person who had to wait on him.
When I finally got to the front of the line, I looked to person behind the counter in the eye and said, I'm sorry that you had to listen to all of those things that were said to you. No one deserves to be treated that way. She looked up and had the biggest smile and said, you've just made my day. Finally, I got it right and walked away thinking that I need to be much more awake and alert to the needs of the people that I see-even when it is a short encounter because you never know.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The disciples wanted to know more about when the end would come. Much like us they wanted a time table with everything laid out. Jesus did not give them that. Instead he told them to watch out-to pay attention-to be prepared-to remain faithful. We need to know to know that God is always at work and the enemy is as well.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:42–44)
I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to wrap my mind around this truth and to take the time to stop and just think about it during my day. Today, I'm going to try to take some to do that-especially when things get tough. Do you ever stop to think about the unseen things happening around us? I'd love to hear from you on this.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Anyone can make themselves look good just by focusing on the outward appearance. We can look the part and not really be the part. Outside everything looks good to others but inside is a different story.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
There are days when I just feel like I'm not going to make it or that I just can't accomplish what needs to be done or I just can't get beyond some issue in my life. Those are the days when my confidence level hits bottom and I can feel like a failure and feel like I'm on my own. But then, I realize, that I don't have to feel that way.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
But something new and different happened as Jesus hung on the cross and died.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
He eats what he believes will be his last meal and gets no sleep that night. The sunrise that he glimpses the next day appears to be the last one he will ever see. It is now Friday morning-the day that he was dreaded-the day that he is going to die. He is defiant, angry and terrified all at once.
You see, his name is Barabbas, which means son of a rabbi. He grew up studying the Scriptures and being taught about Yahweh-the God of the Jews. Yet, he rebelled and went his own way, choosing to leave the faith of his fathers and live his own life. That rebellion has led him to the place he is on this day. Now, he's certain that this will be his last day and he's afraid of all of the pain and suffering that awaits him. Pain and suffering that he has earned and deserves.
But there is a large crowd that has gathered not too far away. All he knows is that the people who have come to Jerusalem for the Passover have now become loud and angry. He knows it has something to do with this man called Jesus. Finally, the crowd becomes more agitated and gets louder. He thinks he hears his name but he's not sure why.
All of a sudden he hears the soldiers coming towards his cell. He stomach gets all in knots and tears begin to well up in his eyes. This is the end-their is great pain and suffering that awaits him and then DEATH!!! The door slowly creaks open and he feels like he will faint-they soldier in charge comes up to him and says, "it is my duty to inform you that you are now a free man-the man they call Jesus will die on the cross that was made for you."
Monday, February 27, 2012
When Jesus went to the garden to pray, he knew that the end was near. He also knew that he needed help so he asked the disciples closest to him to watch and pray for him. Instead of watching and praying, they feel asleep-not once or twice but three times.
Each time Jesus came a woke them up and seem astonished that they could not stay awake and pray on his behalf. They really wanted to stay awake on his behalf but just were not able to do so.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
It seems that religious people have always had a hard time being around those they considered less important and certainly those who were less religious. Oftentimes religious people seem to think that their mission in life is to point out the evil in others. Religion can get in the way of what God is doing!
Jesus did not do this. Instead, he went out of his way to be with these people to let them know that in spite of all that they had heard or been taught, they mattered deeply to God. He wanted them to know that God loved them and that his grace and mercy was available to them. Relationship is what matters.
Just a couple of days before Jesus was arrested, check out where he was spending time:
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
It seems to me that Jesus is saying that the way that we demonstrate our love for God is to love people as well. I don't think that we can say we love God if we don't truly love people-ALL people. What do you think? Can you love God and not love your neighbor as yourself? Maybe God has that difficult person in your life to help teach you how to love Him.
Today as you go about your life LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?” Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I’ll tell you.” When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply completely amazed them.” (Mark 12:13–17)
They used flattery to try to distract him by saying: “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. "
But Jesus knew their motives and tactics and turned it back on them. He used this moment to make it clear that we are to give God what is rightfully His. They were amazed at his response. "Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply completely amazed them.”
So are you holding back on giving God the first place in your life? Are you making him the center of all that you do? Today, where does that need to take place in your life?
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. (Proverbs 17:17)
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:5–8)
Paul makes it clear that humility is to characterize Christ-followers. In fact, Paul would tell us that we can and will find joy when we choose humility. We are to follow Christ's example and have the same attitude that He had and be willing to serve others as he did.
What do you think about when you hear the word humility? Can you find joy in humility? Whom can you serve today and treat as being better than you?