Faith

May 23, 2012

So, it has been a few years (that is right I said “years”) since I have blogged. Should I say attempted to blog? Nonetheless, it fills good to be back (even if no one is reading). As always, I have been busy with my family, church work, and school (almost there Anne Marie, stay patient). Maybe more than anything, during the past 2 years (yes my last blog entry was 2010)  I have come to realize how important faith must be for me, as Elisha. Faith, such a small, but powerful word is mentioned every Sunday somewhere in this country. The best realization that I have come to about faith is that faith = “what you know about your situation/circumstance and what you know about God.” Abraham had this type of faith (Rom. 4:16-22), and the leper of Mark 1:40-45 had this faith as well. The interesting truth is that all of us can have this faith within us. It is just a matter of weighing the evidence! To those who would “walk by faith and not by sight” must know that the facts about God and God himself outweigh the fact of any and all current situations. My encouragement to you is to read your Bible, grow in your knowledge of who God is, and how He has proven himself to every person, in every generation who would “diligently seek him.”

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Walking in Integrity

May 18, 2010

Everyone knows the life story of David. He was a man who is described as “a man after God’s own heart”. He was chosen to be the King of God’s people when he was 17 years old. He was a man who accomplished some great things. David was not without his weaknesses and faults. We all remember the story of David and Bathsheba don’t we? Yet, David is a man that we go to learn a lot of New Testament truths. One in particular is integrity

In Psalm 26 David gives us four ways of which we can be like him and walk in integrity. They are:

1.) Surrounding oneself with good company (v. 4-5)

2.) Remaining innocent of sin (v. 6)

3.) Having a thankful heart, mind, and spirit (v. 7)

4.) Considering one’s relationship with God to be the most valuable (v.8)

The world has its standards of integrity, and so does God. Let’s choose God and His way and become men and women of integrity.

Missed Opportunities

May 12, 2010

Sorry I have missed the past couple of days. I am still trying to get the hang of this blog. When I was first approached about having a blog so that other can read (if they want to) I was very hesitant. I did not want to add one more thing to my already busy plate, but the more I thought about the more I started realizing what a wonderful opportunity was in front of me. I could express myself freely, no subject would be untouchable in this politically correct society, and I could just be me.

As I sit here this morning thinking about how I almost missed out on a great opportunity to do something special (at least in my eyes) it got me thinking about how much we miss opportunities that God brings our way. These opportunities come in the forms of people, places, and things, and yet we miss out because of fear, busyness, laziness, or a lack of priority.

Jesus gave a parable that speaks on the subject of missed opportunity. A king was in the process of giving a wedding feast for the marriage of his son and he wanted everyone to come and celebrate with him. Scripture says of the response that many gave was “But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, and another to his business.”
These people believe that there was something more important than celebrating with the king. The king went on and invited others to the wedding feast but these men and women who “paid not attention” missed out.

I know that our lives are busy, but let’s start paying attention to God and to the opportunities He brings our way. Let’s not be so busy and wrapped up in our own little worlds that we forget about God and forget about others!

Last night on the heels of the Sunday evening lesson from Nehemiah 1, HXR started a new encouragement program. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that there is nothing new under the sun and that what we are doing is not exactly an original idea, but it is new to our church family. We took each family name and placed into our collection plates and passed those plates around to everyone in attendance. We asked each family to choose one other family and to “adopt” that family for the month of May. We are asking the families to be encourager every day in some small way.

The church is always in need of those who will be encourager. It is so easy to complain, grumble, mumble, and judge but it is extremely hard to encourage. That is because to be an effective encourager one has to take and make the time. The man Barnabas is our example of what it means to be an encourager. Saul has recently been baptized and changed into Paul by God. Paul is need of help and acceptance, but based on his past no one, not even the 12, will give him a chance. Barnabas steps up and Scripture records that “Barnabas took [Paul] and brought him to the apostles and declared to them. . .” In other words Barnabas was on the side of Paul and had some good things to say about him to others.

Solomon says in Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” May we all seek out our family, friends, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ become sons and daughters of encouragement to them!

Mom

May 6, 2010

I came across this quote earlier today when sending out my usual HXR Daily Update, “Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers, and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world.”
-Kate Douglas Wiggin

I believe Ms. Wiggin hit the nail on the head with this quote. It is amazing that in God’s plan, everyone is blessed with only one mother. Everyone would not be here without a mother, we would not be where we are in life without a mother, and we definitely would not be the men and women we are without a mother. I hope that on this Mother’s Day weekend everyone takes time out of their schedule and first thanks God then thanks their mother!

I believe everyone has heard this phrase before. It is a phrase that applies more in the 21st century than at any other time in our history. Every where one looks there is a new phone, new car, new house, all we see is new new. Who can blame us, right? I mean everyone likes new things One of my favorite smells is the smell of a new car. It is just an exciting smell.

Why is it when it comes to our Christianity we don’t like the idea of new? The Apostle Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” In Christ we have been given the gift of the new car smell for our lives. Sin no longer has the power to run and ruin our lives with the smell of disobedience. If you have not done so already, it is time to go out with old and in with new.

Do I Care Enough?

May 4, 2010

We have been studying the lives of Esther, Ruth, Ezra, and Nehemiah. As of this past Sunday we started on the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a man of prayer, faith, and fight. One characteristic of Nehemiah that I did not learn about until today was that Nehemiah was a man who cared. Despite all of his success in the Persian Kingdom as the king’s cupbearer, Nehemiah still thought about his people and their return to Jerusalem after 7o years of captivity.

The world we live in teaches us that the most important person is me, 2nd must be my family, 3rd must be my job, 4th is whatever else is left. God teaches us another way. God teaches us that He should be 1st, his kingdom 2nd, others 3rd, and myself 4th or last. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. . .” The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you not only look to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

I guess the question for all of us is “Do I Care Enough?”

Remember

August 10, 2009

Ah, the first day of school has arrived. A day that is a dread to many children around the country and also a day of happiness/sadness for many parents. So many of us remember our first day of school like it was yesterday. A day that made one nervous no matter how long one had been in school. It was a day to see friends that have not been seen since May, meet teachers that have never been met, wear new clothes and shoes that have never been worn. We remember those days and most likely will never forget them.

The Bible is very clear on wanting Christians to remember as well. To forget is to forget God and what he has done for you. The Apostle Peter says it this way: “I think it is right for me to help you remember as long as I am in this body” 2nd Peter 1:13 NCV As long as he was around, Peter would not let those who he was around forget about God and His teachings. Can Christians do the same? Certainly we can and we should. So many things seem to get in the way of remembering God, but we need to push past those things and make sure that our families, friends, and even co-workers remember God!

Give Up

July 27, 2009

Jesus always had a unique way of putting things into perspective for his listeners. He was a man of many good works and a man of many good words. On one such occasion Jesus sent out his seventy disciples in what is now known as the “Limited Commission”. Jesus says to them in Matthew 10:39 “Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.” Interesting isn’t it? That the way to find true life in this life and the next is to give up something.

For many of us we don’t want to give up something, instead we would rather hang on even if it means hanging on by a thread. The disciples would never reach the lost sheep of Israel as long as they were unwilling to let go of what truly did not matter. The church today will never reach the lost sheep of the world as long as we are unwilling to give up something. We may have to give up our time, our money, our energy, our interests, or any other thing that would get in the way of following Jesus. Jesus with his life showed us what it was like to give up something in order to gain something. What have I given up today to gain the true life found in Jesus?

Getting Better

July 20, 2009

Well here I am again still trying to figure out this whole blog thing. I figure I am getting better with each passing day, now all that is needed is a more consistent blog message. Isn’t that funny though? Funny that we are always going to be the most critical of ourselves because we are going to be the ones most honest with ourselves. We are always looking for ways to be more consistent with our Christian lives or getting better at walking the Christian walk.

One of the things we are all most guilty of is carrying around the should haves, would haves, and could haves of life. I should have acted this way at work or I could have done this for my wife or if I had known I would have done something. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus offers a great invitation to those who felt as if they could not “measure up” to the expectations of the religious leaders of the day and these people lived their lives in the shadows of what was left undone during the day. Jesus says “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest” (NCV) What a great invitation to people who knew what it was like to carry around loads, burdens that no one else seemed to care about. Be reminded today that Jesus cares and that he genuinelly wants to help carry the load!