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Feelings1

I’m empty today. There is nothing inside of me that is happy. I’m my own worse nightmare. I break promises to God all the time, and I feel there is no way He can love me knowing the thoughts of my heart.

Bitterness haunts me and broken dreams seem to be the only thing in front of me. I keep going and yet deep inside I long for another direction for my life. I question if God knows what He is doing in my life. I fail so often I’ve almost started to expect nothing less.

I wonder constantly how to be a better Father, and yet I seem to never follow through on things and time is slipping away. I desperately want to be a better husband and yet I fall short time and time again. I want to be a better pastor, but I’m confused to what all that means and I wonder if I’m just setting myself up for more disappointment.

I write these things today to show you the voices I encounter on a daily basis, but I also write to tell you more.

I’m actually not empty because He said He would always be with me. That is a promise I can count on regardless of feelings. I don’t have to always be happy because He has promised me joy by the power of His Holy Spirit. I don’t have to worry about being my own worse nightmare because He is for me. I may break promises, but He is the God of mercy and even though He sees the thoughts of my heart, He knows I’m but clay and loves me anyway.

The Bitterness that comes from broken dreams only proves He has a better plan and a better way. The longing for another direction is only a thought of momentary escape, and God knows I’m committed until the end. He is not afraid of my questioning Him because in doing so, I’m drawn closer to His heart. I might fail more often than succeed, but He is there to pick me up when everyone else has run away.

He whispers to me that being a Father is not about being perfect but about loving them and pointing them toward Him, the perfect Father of all. He encourages me to love my wife as Christ loved the church and yet knows I will fail from time to time. Again He shows me His mercy and Grace. He calls to me to remain steadfast in being a pastor and promises me that when the chief Shepherd appears, I will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Oh the beauty of following Christ! Maybe you have similar feelings about your life today? If you do have similar feelings, then welcome to the human story. If you do have similar feelings, then He knows all about them. If you do have similar feelings, then you need to know they will one day pass away forever. Until then, keep walking, keep believing for He is with you.

Time Off

February 4, 2013 — 1 Comment

Hi Guys,

I’m taking some time off for a few days to gather my thoughts and spend time with family. Enjoy the archives and pass the blog link to your friends. I’ll see you guys Feb 11th. (Video Link)

Thanks,

Steve

 

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Image Credit

God’s sovereignty is found from the opening pages of scripture. When you read Genesis 1:1 it teaches that in the beginning, God created all things. God’s authority and power are found in creation.

All the way through the Old Testament and the New Testament, God’s sovereignty is proved. The Bible even ends with God as the Omnipotent judge of all creation. There simply is no debating the sovereignty of God. He is sovereign.

The reason I’m bringing up God’s sovereignty is because it’s important to your life. How do you feel about God’s sovereignty? Do you believe in His sovereignty? A Christ follower will agree with God’s sovereignty when all things are running smooth. However, if things are out of control, and life seems to be completely falling apart, the Christ follower may begin to doubt the sovereignty of God.

At times, confusion concerning God’s sovereignty sets in, and your world becomes unstable. So, what is the Christ follower to do when this happens?

1. Don’t leave your foundation

Belief that God is in control is a faith fundamental. There is no other foundation to build on. It’s imperative to remain on the foundation. The world will rock and shake around you, but God’s foundation is unshakable.

2. Keep trusting

When you keep trusting, it is an act of pure worship back to God. You are saying to God that no matter what, you will keep moving forward with Him. It is showing that you will serve Him no matter how rough the road may become.

3. Problems are no problem for Him

Whatever you are facing is not a problem for God. It’s a problem for you, but not for God. He works all things out according to His perfect purpose. It’s not about you; it’s all about His glory.

4. You will not understand it all

You will never understand all that happens to you this side of the second coming, but one day it will all make perfect sense. Live with that thought in your heart and mind and it will keep you in perfect peace.

I leave you with this quote.

“If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.” ~R.C. Sproul

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Where do you rank church attendance?

On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the greatest, where to you place attending church service?

In light of Hebrews 10:24-25, it is an serious question to ask and answer for yourself.

 

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

First, you must have a little background information on the text.

1. It was written to Christ followers.

2. There were false teachers encouraging Christ followers to abandon their faith.

3. The letter of Hebrews has already made some strong points on faithfulness leading up to this portion of scripture.

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. (Note: lest we drift away)

Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; (Note: departing from living God)

Hebrews 5:11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. (Note: dull of hearing)

Now let’s take a look at Hebrews 10:24-25 with the three points I just made and with the three scriptures I just pointed out in mind.

Verse 24 tells us to CONSIDER one another in order to STIR up LOVE and GOOD WORKS

  • The word CONSIDER means to reflect deeply and always.
  • The fruit of CONSIDERING becomes PROVOKING each other to LOVE and GOOD WORKS.
  • We actually inspire each other forward in our faith.

Verse 25 tells us not to FORSAKE the assembling of ourselves together.

  • If you do a word study of “Forsaking,” it is in a tense that is present form.
  • In other words, it is a repeated action.
  • Some had forsaking, hence the warning.

Finally, the latter half of verse 25 tells us, To EXHORT one another, and so much the more as you SEE THE DAY APPROACHING

  • There is a high degree of obligation attached to the final part of the verse 25.
  • It is connected to THE DAY OF THE LORD.
  • In other words, the period of time when God’s will and purpose for all of creation and humanity is finally and entirely fulfilled.

Now…with the above information, I ask you the question once again.

Where do you rank church attendance?

Dealing With Adversity

November 7, 2012 — 2 Comments

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Life has a way of blowing adverse winds across your journey. There will be days that the winds are in your favor, and there will be days the winds are against you. Your forward advancement in life will always have much to contend with.

In times of adversity, you must prepare yourself with a purpose that is steadfast. In fact, adversity is not a terrible thing when navigated properly. When you encounter a loss, or you have suffered a massive defeat, or a serious setback, look deep inside your heart, where God lives, and prompt yourself of His presence in the storm.

When I think back on the trouble I’ve had in my life, I’m reminded how adversity ended up making me stronger. In fact, pain in my life has taught me much about myself. Adversity has shown me my weaknesses and taught me to give them over to God.

The goal of life is not to avoid adversity. Life is discovered more deeply to those who have suffered and then went on to endure their hurts and pain. The strong winds of adversity will blow away what needs to be blown away, and that which should remain, will remain.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 tells us, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; …

 

 

election-dayToday we vote. Millions of eager citizens of our great nation will go to the polls and cast their vote for the candidate they most feel will move our country forward in the right direction. I thank God for the right to vote and I believe you should also.

As a pastor and leader myself, I only ask you that you vote. In America, we have been blessed to do so, and I feel we should exercise that right with absolute joy and thankfulness.

I come today, not to endorse a candidate, but to share a few ways to pray for those in authority. After all, that is what is commanded in scripture. Scripture teaches that we should pray for those in authority.

1 Timothy 2: 1-5 teaches us, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

1. We need to pray our leaders recognize their decision will be weighed in eternity.

2. We need to pray for our leaders to have wisdom beyond themselves

3. We need to pray their lives are peaceful, quiet and godly

4. We need to pray for healing through out our land

5. We need to pray our leaders truly seek the heart of God

6. We need to pray that God’s will becomes the will of our leaders

We must remember, Those in authority are there by the will of God and God will use them to accomplish His ultimate plan.

Therefore, we pray for our leaders.

NO MATTER WHAT

1. We pray no matter if they are Democrat, Independent or Republican

2. We pray no matter if the leader is liberal or conservative

3. We pray no matter how immoral or how moral they are

4. We pray no matter how just or unjust their decisions might be.

We pray NO MATTER WHAT! We are Christ followers and our prayers and what we do truly matters. I leave you with a quote from N.T. Wright

 

“Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion…The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture, articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even–heaven help us–Biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way…with joy and humor and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, “if not now, then when?” if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, “if not us, then who?” And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?” ― N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is

4 Tips For Frustration

October 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

Anger
Are you frustrated and feeling stuck? Each of us has been there. You feel like at every turn there is another dead-end waiting to greet you. You are stuck, and trying really hard only seems to make it worse. Sound familiar?

I’ve been frustrated and stuck many times in my life. I just wanted to throw in the towel and walk away. I have no way of knowing what you might be facing at this moment in your life, or what you are frustrated about, but I know this-God is able to get you through it.

Allow me to give you a few scriptures to meditate on.

Isaiah 41:10 tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalms 34:18 tells us, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Galatians 6:9 tells us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. “

Now, before you give up and just quit, let me give you a few tips to help your walk.

1. Look again

Many times we stop looking for an answer right before the answer is reveled. Frustration can cause you to not see many times what is right in front of you. Therefore, look again. I once was trying to fix something at my house and was frustrated that I couldn’t make it work. I had tried everything and was ready to give up. At that moment a friend walked up, who was not frustrated, and gave me the solution to the problem. I just started laughing because it was so simple. I couldn’t see it because I was frustrated. LOOK AGAIN.

2. Back up and take the big look again

Many times we get so caught up in a small problem that we cant’ solve, that we miss the big picture of what we are really trying to accomplish. You may find out, by backing up, and looking at the big picture again, there is a different small step to take that will get you there. Trying a different small step might just be the key to getting unstuck. You could just be missing multiple solutions to the same problem.

3. Never stop the action

Don’t allow frustration to stop your work. You are closer to success than you think. When you are not getting anywhere, don’t procrastinate. (See Point 1 Again)

4. Stamp a positive outlook on your eyeballs

Don’t allow fear to speak a bad outcome to you. Imagine a positive out come and let that be the target you aim at and hit. See yourself achieving your goal with God’s power and blessings. When you think positive, it will put the wind at your back.

One last scripture for you to think about

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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I came across this news piece that shared about quadruplets from southern China. They are from Shenzhen. Cute kids by the way. They are six-years old and it seems that before they went to school their parents gave them haircuts that would make it easier for their classmates and their teachers to tell them apart. Great idea or bad idea…that’s for you to decide.

 

I thought today I would share a simple, yet powerful thought, to carry you through the weekend.

You Are Not A Number. God Knows Your Name.

John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

What I love about being a name and not a number with God is this: When you are a number you have to wait your turn. Then you are called. Then they learn about you and then make a decision to help you or not help you. However, with God, you are not a number…He knows your name.

You don’t have to wait to hear Him call,”Next!” YOU ARE ALWAYS FIRST WITH NO WAITING.  Also, because He knows your name and created you…He knows you better than you know yourself. That’s right my dear friends…you don’t need a special haircut for God to know who you are.

Remember the Psalm of David: O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. ...

 

What say you? Share a comment.

 

 

 

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“Just a month after tweeting that she loved her new blond hair, Miley Cyrus has chopped it off.” Here

In the spirit of haircuts being talked about all over Google today,  I present to you the Christian Combover.

A comb over or combover, is a hairstyle worn by bald or balding men in which the hair on one side of the head is grown long, and then combed over the bald area.

I wonder if some people try the combover on their Christian walk? Do they know there is a problem in their life, and instead of cutting away the waste, they move the waste around trying to cover up what everyone else already knows is the problem?

Well, for those out there with a combover on their faith, I would recommend a walk over to…

1 John 1:9-10

“9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Confession is good for the soul. Stop hiding what you know you need to get rid of. God waits on your confess, so He can pour out His forgiveness.

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Let’s face it head on. There are all kinds of false information and scams out there. It comes to our inbox on Facebook and is posted on our Facebook walls. False information and scams come to our private emails, twitter accounts and various others place in our cyber world also. So, what can you do about it?

Here are just a few Ideas to get you pointed in the right direction before you re-post something not true or get taken advantage of.

1. Use a search engine.
I like using Google. (e.g. type in company name and the word scam in the search)
That will often pull up information about any scam attached to your subject being searched.

2. Trust your feelings
If something sounds fishy it probably is. If it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

3. Be a snope
Snopes is a great website to find the truth. Their site says, “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.” Click here to visit their site.

What are some ways you find the truth about false information and scams? Please leave a comment.