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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Self esteem and the past

Do you find your self esteem from the past?

Individuals do that.

Corporations do that.

Nations do that.

Churches do that as well.

Churches can look back and become obsessed with the past to the point of it creating a sense of stagnation and a refusal to change and grow.

"I remember when Pastor so and so was here," they say.

"I remember when we used to do it this way back in the past."

They remember the "good ole days" and take great pride and relish in reminding people of the great moments from the past.

They begin to hold up the past as an idol.  Nothing that is done in the present can "live up to what was done in the past."

They derive their self esteem from the past.

That, in and of itself, is a recipe for disaster.

Life is not meant to be lived in the past - life is meant to be lived in the present.

Growing people, growing companies, growing churches understand that.

My self esteem does not come from what I have accomplished in the past; my self esteem comes (or should come) from what I am doing in the present and in the context of my relationship with God.

I was asked, "what is the greatest sermon I have ever preached," (the other day) and my response was, "the next one."

We need to keep on striving, keep on moving forward, for God's glory and our ultimate benefit.

Churches can look back and become obsessed with the past to the point of it creating a sense of stagnation. 

When Michael Jordan turned 50, ESPN magazine ran an extended essay/interview about Jordan's continuing obsession (or idolatry) with the best days of his basketball career.

The article stated:

"Jordan's self-esteem has always been, as he says, "tied directly to the game."

Without it, he feels adrift.  Who am I?  What am I doing?  For the past 10 years, since retiring for the third time, he has been running, moving as fast as he could, creating distractions, distance.  When the schedule clears, he'll call his office and tell them not to bother him for a month, to let him relax and play golf.  Three days later they'll get another call, asking if the plan can pick him up and take him someplace.

He's restless...he feels his competitiveness kick in, almost a chemical thing, and he starts working out, and he wonders:  Could he play at 50?  What would he do against LeBron?

What if?  "It's consumed me so much," he says.  "I'm my own worst enemy.  I drove myself so much that I'm still living with some of those drives.  "I'm living with that.  I don't know how to get rid of it.  I don't know if I could.  And here I am, still connected to the game."

He knows he won't ever play pro  basketball again.  He knows he's got to quiet these drives, to find a way to live the life he worked so hard to create, to be still.

Jordan asks, "How can I enjoy the next 20 years without so much of this consuming me?  How can I find peace away from the game of basketball?"

In a very, very, very small way - I can relate to that. 

After a great senior year in high school and a wonderful senior year in college, I used to have dreams (well into my thirties) of having a year of eligibility left in college - in order to play basketball again.

I took great joy (and pride) in the fact that we won the European championship (International School of Brussels) in 1974.  Basketball was a haven, where a huge amount of my self esteem was created.

Eventually, I learned that my effectiveness as a person (and as a follower of Christ), my present self-esteem, must not and cannot come from what I did in the past - but from what God is doing in me - in the present.

Where do you find your self-esteem?

From your job?  Your family?  Your children? 

Past glories?

I would suggest that you find our self-esteem in God - and realize that your best days are ahead.

Just a thought for a Thursday.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Without excuse

Someone once said that an excuse is the "skin of a reason - stuffed with a lie."

That can be true.

This evening, we will be looking at Romans 1:18-32.

Lots there to unpack.  Lots there to wrap our minds around.

One of the most troubling thoughts (troubling in the sense of being difficult to understand) from this passage (and there are many) is the idea that the "heathen" (those without a connection to Jesus Christ) are without excuse before God.

Paul writes in Romans 1:19, 20, "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

The question is not, "can a person acknowledge and understand God through his conscience and through nature," but will that knowledge save them?

The answer is no. 

Knowledge of God through creation and through the conscious can only make man aware of God's presence - which in turn can only condemn him and not save him.

People die and go to hell because they are sinners.  Rejecting Christ only "seals the deal."

Follow the logic:

God reveals himself to a person through his conscious (or that "God-shaped vacuum in them - the realization that there is a 'higher power') and through nature around him. 

That realization prompts him to live a life of choosing between right and wrong.

A person cannot live a consistent godly life without the power and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

It is only through Jesus that a person can be saved.

Now then:  the challenging thought is that it is only through Jesus that people can be saved - our responsibility is to share Jesus with the world around us.

Just a thought for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The supernatural and openness

How open are you to the supernatural?

Great question.

Are you open to God working in your life in ways that go beyond what you can see, touch, taste, smell and hear?

Here's what I know:  Our God is a God of the supernatural.

But do you really believe that?

We talk a lot about God's ability to heal - but do we really believe that?

We talk a lot about God's ability to work miracles - but do we really believe that?

Are you open to experiencing God in ways that go beyond the norm?  The natural?

The Bible is filled with men and women of God who experienced unusual events in their lives (at the prompting of God).

Isiah walked around naked for three years.  Hosea was asked to marry a prostitute (and did just that).  Peter was prompted to walk on water.  Noah built an ark in the middle of the desert - in anticipation of a flood - and it had never rained.

In the life of a Pentecostal Christian (where experiencing the supernatural should be a natural daily experience), we are continually challenged to walk in the unusually supernatural - and experience God's presence in ways that go beyond the normal.

In the scriptures, the sun went backwards, the red sea parted, frogs fell form the sky - the Bible is filled with examples of people who experienced something that went beyond the normal.

(God's Holy Spirit impregnating a 16 year old girl - the virgin birth - now that is a supernatural act).

As Christians in the 21st century we struggle with this.  We live in a world where non-Christians are reaching out for the supernatural (via movies and books that are popular now days) and Christians are wanting to pull back and only experience that which they understand or can control.

It is an interesting, ironic statement of the end times.

Can I give you a suggestion?  Be open to the supernatural.  When you see the supernatural occurring, don't stand back with criticism and a closed mind.  There is enough of that in the world today.

By the time you are through "analyzing" what is going on, God's presence has moved on.

Be willing to risk - and to trust that God knows what he is doing.

Just a thought for a Tuesday.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend:

From yesterday's Sunday morning service:  Those who drove in from Canada, Ohio, Indiana (and other states) wonderful.  Hearing Steve Hill preach - powerful.  Sensing people's expectation levels for more of God's presence - incredible. 

Experiencing God's presence - priceless.

Continue to move in us Holy Spirit!

May we receive more of your presence in order to change the world we live in!

Steve Hill's message of exhortation is a needed thought for the world we live in.  We must continue to preach, teach and share the truth.  Grace must always be balanced with holiness!

Many, many thanks to everyone who helped yesterday in making the service "go".  From the children's volunteers to the sound booth guys, to the worship team, to the coffee connection folks, we thank you!

Every volunteer in our church is needed!  Every ministry worker is a vital part of what we are trying to do in our church.

We are a church to belong, grow and serve!

We love people.  We love God!

Come on Sunday mornings, serve in a ministry, attend a life group!

Let's not be afraid of the Holy Spirit.

Let's not be afraid of what the Holy Spirit can do in our lives.

God has more for us.  Our future will be greater than our past!

I am not looking to the right or to the left - I am looking to Jesus Christ!

Like barking dogs surrounding a train going down the tracks - so are those who criticize, complain and grumble. 

The train keeps going!  The Holy Spirit is our fuel!

The destination is reaching everyone in the Chicago Southland with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Father, keep the train going!

This week is a busy, busy week.  Wednesday evening activities.  Good Friday service (7:00 P.M.)

Sunday morning - Easter presentation - "The Bridge".  8:30 A.M.  10:30 A.M.

I encourage you to invite friends and family to the services!

More people are brought to Christ (and start a relationship with Him) by friends than any other medium of sharing the gospel (preaching, advertising, television, radio). 

Invite someone and then offer to bring them to our church campus!

I love you all!


Thursday, March 21, 2013


We are extremely privileged to have Steve Hill with us this Sunday. 

Steve is a "revivalist" in every sense of the word (that I described a couple of blogs ago).  As we speaks, you will sense the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. 

Just a note:  We are having one service this Sunday, March 24th (10:30 A.M.).  Steve is still struggling with some physical infirmities and can only preach once - and then pray for people.

But what a service it will be!

I would encourage you to arrive early (we are having a prayer meeting at 8:30 A.M. in room 102) and find a seat and spend time in the presence of the Lord.

One of Steve's mentors was Leonard Ravenhill.  Let me give you some of Leonard Ravenhill's thoughts from his book, "Revival God's Way'.

Let his words challenge you today - and encourage you to seek after God.

He writes:

"Why revival - God's Way?  Because we have tried every other way.  Because, instead of healing the cripple at the gate of the church (in the Acts story he was a type of the crippled world), the "Church" is now crippled and asking alms of the world to carry on the Lord's work.  How amazing!

"In God we Trust" may be on our coins, but who does trust Him?  Do the radio and television preachers trust Him for their needs?  If they did they would never drag His  name before a cynical world in their tearful begging sprees.

I am often asked to pray for the healing of the nation.  No!  I am praying for the healing of the Church.  Then the healing of America, Britain (Ravenhill was British) and other nations will follow.  As the Church goes, so goes the world!"

Will you be in prayer this week for Stone Church?  Will you be in prayer with me that we hear a "mighty rushing wind" this Sunday morning, and that many are healed and saved?

God we desire your ministering presence!  Come Holy Spirit!

Send us your glory, God!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The power of the gospel

Tonight we begin a verse by verse study of the book of Romans (this evening - Romans 1:1-17).

I am really looking forward to it. 

The theme of the book of Romans wraps itself around one word.  Gospel.  Not any gospel but THE Gospel.

Paul writes in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:  first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."

Let's unpack this wonderful verse.

The Gospel is power!

The Greek word is dunamis, from which we get the English words "dynamic," "dynamo," and "dynamite."

The Gospel contains the dynamic power of God.  That's why Paul said that he wasn't ashamed or felt the need to apologize for coming to Rome (the New York City of that day).

He knew that in the Gospel, there is a power that can overwhelm anything that comes against it.

It today's preaching culture, it is popular to use videos and drama to partner with the Word of God so that the message is relevant and easily assimilated. 

I get that.  In fact, I am for that.  In fact, further still, I have done that and will continue to do that.

But at the end of the day, there is nothing like the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of God found in both the Old and New Testaments.  There is power in the Word!

Notice this:  It is the power of God for salvation.

Only the Gospel can save sinners.  Not science, not education, not religion, not moral reformation, not a change in political party, not fame or fortune.  Only the Gospel saves sinners.

It has the power to forgive us for our sins (past), give us new life (in the present) and launch us into heaven (for eternity - in the future).

Notice this:  It is the power to save those who believe

Who what?  Who believe - or those who make a personal commitment, to trust by an act of the will.

By the very nature of its power, the Gospel always demands some kind of response.  A personal response. 

We can't just internalize it or read it like a great novel.  We must respond to it one way or another.

I often say that if a person is not changed in worship, they have not truly worshipped.  The thought just occurred to me that if I am not changed in some way as I read the Word, I have not truly read the Word.  The Word will always convict or encourage or challenge us in some way.

Notice this:   It is the power to save those who believe, to the Jew first and then to the Gentile.  The gospel is for everyone.

Now then, does that mean all the Jews must be saved before Gentiles can be saved?  No.  He's talking about chronology not importance or priority. 

God gave the message first to thew Jews, his chosen people, and they were to spread it around.  Why were the Jews called the "chosen people"? 

God chose one nation to be the missionaries to the world.  They were chosen to spread the gospel.  But the Jews blew it!

They took the good news of a relationship to God and they didn't share it.

They kept it to themselves.  God turned to Plan B - the Church.  He sent Jesus Christ to die for us.  Now the Gospel belongs to everybody no matter what your skin color, family background, religious preference, sexual orientation, race, education, age, income or moral degradation.  No matter how much you have "sinned" the Gospel can be for you!

Let me leave you with this - why not share that Gospel with someone today?

Just a thought for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A season of revival

Renewal and revival.

Great words.

Needed words.

Needed in our hearts and our spirits.

Renewal is when the people of God are brought alive in their walk with God.  They draw closer to the Lord.  They are rebooted, so to speak in their intensity and passion for God.

Many times, as God's people are renewed, they experience certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit.  Trembling.  Falling on the floor.  A sense of peace.  A sense of passion for God.

As followers of Christ, we all need those times when the fire of God is lit once again within our spirits.  Where we once again follow God not as a "have to" but because we "get to."  We are so full of God that it literally bursts within our spirits.

Sometimes we quarantine those experiences and say to ourselves, "God has moved - He has sent revival."

But revival, in the truest sense of the word is when people are connecting to Christ.  They are being saved from their sins.  They are turning away from the past - asking for forgiveness of sins - and changing the patterns of behavior and thinking in their lives.

We desire both.  We desire that God not only stirs our hearts as Christians, but that that experience will so empower us that we reach out to those who do not know God.  The non-churched.  The unsaved.  The non-Christian.  However you want to put that.

Yet, the third step is the step that few revivals ever reach.  Where God moves so strongly and His power is so evident that the culture and the society in which the people live is changed.

The way people live, the way they work, eat, drink, sleep and play is transformed into a holy, godly culture.

We change.  That's renewal. 

Non-churched people are changed.  That's revival.

Changing our culture - that's the ultimate goal.

Just a thought for a Tuesday.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend

Great spirit in our church yesterday. 

We are becoming unified and geared up for the days ahead.

Unity is so precious in God's eyes.  Unity flows from the anointing - and the anointing flows where there is unity.

Paul writes in Romans 12:8, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

And the writer to the Hebrews states in Hebrews 12:14, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy."

Unity is my responsibility.  Unity is your responsibility.  We are to "make every effort." 

That means we are to live unselfishly.  Unconcerned about power and control.

Letting God move.  Taking our hands off what God wants to do.

I have been enjoying worship and the end of each service the past two weeks.

Getting a great response to the verse by verse teachings from Genesis.

Worship and the Word!

No better way to celebrate a Sunday than to worship God and study His Word!

We live in the most biblically illiterate country in the world. 

Confession:  I am still amazed at those who do not bring their Bibles to church on a Sunday morning.

It would be like going to a knitting group without anything to knit with.

It would be like going bowling with a bowling ball.

Well, you get the point.

Let's be people of God's Word!

Wow - we are getting reports of people from far and wide who will be with us this Sunday for our Steve Hill meetings. 

Invite a friend.  Invite a friend who needs Christ (for that matter - invite your enemies as well :) )

Invite someone who needs healing in their body.

God is good - all the time!

Many, many thanks for those who gave of their time this past Saturday in going door-to-door.  28 people went and visited almost (if not over) 2000 homes. 

Only God knows the benefits that will come from Saturday's outreach!

Love you all,


Thursday, March 14, 2013

God is up to something great!

Okay, let me tell you this right away:

God is up to something great in your life!

Perhaps you find yourself in an impossible situation - wondering how your circumstances will possibly turn around for the better, how your life will ultimately come to some kind of meaning and purpose.

God is up to something great in your life!

Do you believe that? 

If you feel down today, pushed down by the verbiage of this world, the mistakes that you have made, the dreams that have been shattered, the failures that have come despite your best efforts - know that God is up to something great in your life!

In life, there is the good, the bad and the just downright ugly (with all due respect to the Clint Eastwood movie of the same title).

As you walk with God, please know that He can take the good things that you remember most fondly, the bad things that you would like to forget, and the ugly things that have shaped you into something you did or didn't want to be and use all of them to create in you the purpose that He has for you.  Today.  This afternoon.  This evening.  Tomorrow.

As Job said in Job 42:2, "I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."

God is able to take and make whatever He will.

He can take whatever and whoever you are and make you into whatever and whoever you need to be to become your best possible self.

No matter what you are dealing with today, the good, the bad or the ugly, know that God is up to something great in your life! 

Believe it and then receive it!  Repeat that continually today:  "God is up to something great in my life!

Just a thought for a Thursday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Door to Door

One of the foundational building blocks of our church is that we are prayerfully and desperately (for the Kingdom's sake) desiring people to connect with God.

To start a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ.

C.T. Studd lived from 1860 - 1931.  He was educated at Cambridge and was one of the top cricket players of his time.

In fact, he was so good that others in the sporting world compared him to America's Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb.

Well, it so happened that C.T. Studd became a Christian.  As a result he decided to contend for men and women who seemed headed for the fires of Hell.

He gave away a fortune and became part of the famous Cambridge Seven, bright university students who left comfortable England and went instead to the mission field.

Eventually, Studd died an old man in distant Africa, but not before saying:

Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell,
I want to run a rescue shop
Within a yard of hell.

I am challenged by that.

Here's what I know:  In all probability, God is not calling you to go to Africa, but he is calling you to go across the street.

Let me share with you how:  This Saturday, March 16, we will be meeting here at the church at 9:30 A.M. and going door to door - leaving door hangers inviting people to our Sunday morning Easter services.

We have over 2000 homes that we will be visiting in the span of two hours.

Would you consider joining us - and walk the walk concerning reaching the lost?

People need Jesus - we have the answer.

Just a thought for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dust in the wind

The group Kansas used to sing a song entitled, "Dust in the Wind - all we are is dust in the wind."

The Bible tells us in Genesis 2:7, "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (soul)."

We were made from dust and to dust we will one day return.

I read today of the value and worth of the human body - if you broke it down into its constituent elements.  To start with, our bodies are 65% water.  But then you add in the trace amounts of iron, phosphorus, sodium, calcium potassium, magnesium, chlorine, and all the rest.  When you figure it up at today's market prices, the total comes to about $4.50. 

Think about that.  You're worth a five-dollar bill with 50 cents to spare.

We all are.

Water and dirt.  Dust in the wind. 

We are the original "dirt people" (somebody should make a movie about that)!

We come from the dust of the heart, which is a lowly position and we are filled with the breath of God (the spirit of God) which gives us a high honor.

In other words, your value does not lie in  your body or in the things you do with your body.  Your value comes from the life God gave you.

Apart from the "breath of life," you wouldn't survive even one more second.  If God should remove his hand from you, you would cease to exist and your body would quickly return to the dust.  We like to boast of what we have done and accomplished.  We brag of our achievements as if we were immortal.

But our lives are like a vapor that appears for a moment and then vanishes away (James 4:14)

Final thought - my value comes from God's spirit in me.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Just a thought for a Tuesday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend

First of all, let me say how excited we are to have Steve Hill with us on March 24th, for both morning services.

I encourage you to invite your non-churched friends, neighbors, family and co-workers!

Fueled by his own dramatic deliverance from drugs, alcohol and crime back in 1975, Steve dedicates his life to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.  His love for people and his passion for genuine, God-breathed revival have only intensified after years of ministry.

Steve has been powerfully used by the Lord in two of the greatest revivals in the past century:  In the Argentine revival and the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida.  During these revivals, hundreds of thousands came to Christ and were transformed by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Recently, Steve came through a life-threatening bout with cancer - and God has miraculously touched him.  He will be sharing of that an a prophetic end time vision that he received from the Lord during his sickness.

Had a great time at Jessie Insalaco's birthday party yesterday.  She and Mickey (and their family) are just great folks.

Took home some ribs from Hog Wild restaurant.  "Fall off the bone" good!

What can I say about the Upward Basketball celebration this past Saturday?

The gym was filled with parents and their children - most of whom do not go to our church.  Several of the boys signed up for the Pinewood Derby this coming Saturday, March 23rd.

A short gospel message was preached by Pastor Aldin.

Many, many, many thanks to all of our volunteers for your time, faithfulness and hard work this year!

We are also looking at adding on soccer in a couple of years.

Our plan is to change our culture - to help change the world - with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Met with the youth leader's staff Saturday morning.  What a talented group of people.  I am so grateful that they are "filling in the gaps" as we search for a new youth pastor.

I was told that they had six visitors last Thursday evening!

Love you all,


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Half truths

Teenagers can be famous for telling them.

Some people are addicted to them.

Others can't get away from them.

Cults use them to attract and retain followers.

What are "them"?

"Them" are half-truths.

Something we take for being totally true - but in reality is partially false.

Recently, Subway made the news when various news organizations pointed out that their $5.00 foot long sandwich was actually 11 inches instead of 12.

In article by Linton Weeks entitled, "Half-truths we can live with,"gives us a few more half-truths:

1.  Peanuts are not really nuts (and neither are cashews or Brazil nuts).  Walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts are really nuts, but peanuts are actually legumes.

2.  The American buffalo is a bison, not a buffalo.  It is part of the Bovidae family, which includes domestic cattle and goats.

3.  A koala bear is not a bear; it is a marsupial.

4.  A palm tree is not a tree.  Palms trees belong to the monocot family of flowering plants, which also includes grasses and grains.

5.  "Swollen glands" are not actually glands; they are a series of lymph nodes.

6.  A mountain goat is not really a goat.

7.  Pink is not exactly a color.  Physicists claim that pink should really be called "minus green" because 'Pink" is just the leftovers of white light when you take out the green.

Some people tell half-truths by simply not telling the whole truth.

I've come across people like that - and so have you.

It isn't that what they are saying is a direct lie - it's that they leave out the part of the story that could change the way people treat them or react to them.

In the long run - we can never go wrong doing the right thing - which is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help you God.

Just a thought for a Thursday.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The thing in hand

Did you know that the "good" in our lives can be a hindrance to our walk with God?

That which preoccupies our mind and spirit.

Watchman Nee has written a chapter in his book, "The Release Of The Spirit," which explains this.

He gives the analogy of the father who asked his son to do a certain thing.

The sons answers, "Right now I have something in my hand; as soon as I finish it, I will do what you order."

"The thing in hand" is the thing which the son is doing prior to his father's orders.

What is the "thing in your hand," that is preventing you from a deeper walk with God?

It can be anything, even something good or important in our lives.

AS long as the outward man remains unbroken, we will full our "hands" with the things of this world (and even our religious interests, appetites, concerns and ministry."

So, when God comes knocking at our door, wanting to speak to our inner man, our inner spirit, we cannot hear.

So the "thing in hand" can block our way to drawing closer to God.

Watchman Nee goes on to use another analogy - comparing our human physical strength with the emotional and spiritual strength that we have in our lives.

I can only lift so much weight.  My physical strength is limited as to what I can and cannot do (especially as I get older).

As my physical strength is limited so is my emotional and mental strength.

For instance, I only have so much "love" to give around.  If I gave all of my attention, focus and love on one person, there would be nothing left for anyone else.  My "soul" strength" would be drained with nothing left to direct to others.

When we were raising our kids, I had to work at having enough relational energy to show my family every evening - after a day of helping and loving others in our church family 

Knowing that my family was first priority - it was still hard - in the emotional realm.  I would come home drained in my outward man.  My soul.

It is the same with our mind.  If my mind is focused on one thing; in all probability something negative, than I can't focus on anything positive or spiritual. 

Paul writes in Romans 8:2 that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free form the law of sin and of death."

But why is this law of the Spirit of life not working in certain people?

Paul goes on to state, "The righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us who walk according to Spirit."  (Romans 8:4).

In other words, the law of the Spirit of life works effectively only for those who are spiritual, those who focus on the things of the Spirit.

Who are these people?

Those who do not mind the things of the flesh.

"Mind" can also be translated "to be intent upon, to be attentive to."

You leave your child with the baby sitter, the baby sitter is going to take care of your child, or give attention to them.

You do not want your baby sitter to be on the phone, watching television and making a snack while your child sits in the corner!  You desire that your child gets her full attention.

IN the same way only those who are not intent on carnal things can pay attention to spiritual things. 

As long as we have "things in hand" in our mind - we cannot focus on God. 

What "things in hand" did you come into God's presence today?

What is keeping you from a full relationship with God?

Just a thought for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

mini vacations

Here's what I know:  You and I were made to work - but also to rest.

God did not create us to go 24-7, without periods of pause, times of refreshing, days of rest.

I share with people all the time that I can go through long periods of hard work and long days - as long as I know that there will be "light at the end of the tunnel" that I will have a period of rest and vacation in the future.

Until that time comes, however, I encourage you to try a "mini-vacation" this week. 

In other words, to stop and pause and open your eyes to what is around you.

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean:

Get up early and watch the sunrise - or what a sunset (although with today's snowfall that it going to be tough to do).  Praise God for what you see.

Don't get out of bed tomorrow morning until you can think of one thing you are thankful for and then say, "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad."

Hug someone or something.

Phone somebody and wish them a great day - and tell them you love them - or better yet - tell them  you like them.

Walk around your house or your yard and try to find something that you've never seen before (I do this sometimes on my drive to work).  You'll be surprised at how many there are.

Laugh at least once tonight after dinner.

Set a goal - to be happy by 8:00 A.M.  In other words, don't let your circumstances control you.

Do something special for yourself in the morning - make yourself a special cup of coffee, kiss your spouse, read a favorite portion of the Bible. 

Tell each member of your family one reason why you are glad they are in your family.

Tell Jesus one reason why you are glad that He is your Lord. 

Pray for someone. 

Choose one word or one line of Scripture and mediate on it for the entire day.  Peace.  Joy.  Lord.  Healing.  Life. 

Phone or email your spouse throughout the day and let them know that you love them.

Think of 10 reasons why you are glad to be alive.

There are many more. 

Why wait until the summer to take a vacation?  Let these mini-vacations rejuvenate you today.

Just a thought for a Tuesday (on a day when a lot of people are in their homes because of the snow)...... :)

Monday, March 04, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend

Had a great date night with Debbie last Friday evening!

She is the "love of my life."

My best friend.

I am extremely grateful for all of those who minister on a Sunday morning - to make it "go".

Many, many thanks to all of you who take your time and lend your ministry giftings - so that we might minister to others!

We are - the body of Christ.

You are needed.

Everyone is needed.

From those who serve during the coffee connection to those who lead in worship to those who help out in the nursery - we are all in this together!

Would you be in prayer with me that those who are visiting us - would connect with us as The Lord leads them?

There is power in the words that you speak.  Your words can bring death or your words can bring life - "death and life are in the power of the tongue" as the Word says.

I choose to proclaim words of life.

This Wednesday evening:  Pure Worship.  We will also continue our teaching series in Jude.

Don't forget - March 24th - Evangelist Steve Hill!  I encourage you to begin the process of inviting non-churched friends to these wonderful Sunday morning services!

Love you all......