Archives For prayer

doubt

If you have ever had a friend, or a family member doubt the faith, you know how disheartening that can be. It cuts your very soul. In some cases, your friend or family member simply doubts something in the bible, but in other cases, they may even depart from the faith altogether. It hurts to see this happen, and it give rise to many emotions inside of you. In fact, many of those emotions, if not submitted to the Lord, can damage the one doubting, if unleashed on them improperly by you.

Here, are some things to do when doubt has captured your friend or family member.

1. Keep your emotions on the altar

Take all your angry feelings, and leave them on the altar of God. He can handle your pain better than you can. Worship Him until the feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal slip away.

2. Trust that God is still asking questions through them

Even John the Baptist doubted at one point in his life, and sent word asking if Jesus was really the one. Once He heard the right answer, he was unchained from doubt, and moved on in His faith. All great men and women of God have doubted at some point in their walk with Christ.

3. When they become unfaithful, God doesn’t

2 Timothy 2:13 tells us, “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” God is faithful and will continue to work in their lives, even when they have stopped moving forward with God. You must remember, God loves your friend or family member more than you ever can.

4. God can move mountains

What is impossible for man is never impossible for God. He can move doubt over the cliff in their life in a moment of time. Mighty to Save by Hillsong says this,
Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever
Author of Salvation
He rose & conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

5. Finally, my favorite verse that many forget about.

MERCY! Jude 1:22 tells us, “22 And have mercy on those who doubt;” You must never forget that mercy wins over judgment. When you want to give judgement to the one you love…GIVE MERCY

God bless you
Pastor Steve

decision-making-processes1
Decisions sometimes are easy but lets fact it, that’s a rarity. Decisions, most of the times are difficult. The process of deciding what to do can become overwhelming if you don’t have a way to walk through the decision-making responsibility. Trying to figure out what the will of God is on a decision can be life altering for you and your family. So, what are you to do? Below are some things that have helped me over the years. I hope they will help you also.

1. Identify All The Options

I know this sounds elementary but try and think through all the different choices you can make and write them down. Write down what the likely outcome of each of them might be. If they pop into your head and heart, then they just might be worth writing them down. This list will help you with the next step.

2. Talk With A Friend

Run your thoughts by someone who is your friend and that you respect. They might have a few more thoughts that you can write down and might shed some new light on the problem. After, making your list and talking with a friend, take it to God in prayer.

3. Prayer Is Your Connection To God

Take your list, your heart, and your thoughts to the Lord. I know He might have a different plan when it’s all said and done, but God loves to hear your ideas. He loves you and gave you a brain to think with. Pray has a way of removing fear from the decision making process. Prayer gives birth to faith, joy and the power of God’s love connecting with you on a very personal level. Pray you list and thoughts out loud to the Lord…they can become clearer that way.

4. Communication With God Filters Out Moral Issues

As you pray, God will reveal to you, and show you, the moral or non-moral areas of your thoughts. Be prepared to get rid of anything He reveals to you that doesn’t line up with His heart or His Word. If any of your thoughts go against a biblical command, then the decision is an easy one…OBEY His Word.

5. Embrace God’s Decision As You Decision

God will show you and speak to you the right thing to do when it’s the right time. It is essential that your will is submitted to God’s. In order to be submitted, you must be humble enough to accept His decision as your own. Sometimes it will be a combination of your thoughts and His, but more often, it will be different and even better. He is the author and the finisher of your faith. Trust that fact.

moretime

You have more time than you think.  If you are like me, you have a list of things to do and time seems to be in slim supply. Fear not! There are ways to find a little more time in your day if know where to look and what to do.

Below are seven ways to find more time

1. Take an inventory

You must know where your time is going before you can adjust it. Trust me, you have more time than you think you do. Grab a notepad and keep up with your time for a day or two. Write down what you do in time intervals. Once you take an inventory, you will be able to see where your time is really going. You will be amazed at how all the things you do can be consolidated. For instances, look for and discover on your list a few things that can be done together instead of spread out through you day.

Example-Want to read that book but don’t have the time? Then try reading when you are in the bathroom. I know that sounds funny but hey, everyone goes to the bathroom. 🙂

2. Little adds up

Some goals in your life are big and take a lot of time. They are so big, many times you might find yourself giving up altogether. Guess what? You don’t have to. Why? The reason why is because little adds up.

Example-Do you want to write a book that is 50,000 words? Then write 500 words a day. In 100 days you will have that book.

3. Don’t disregard small increments of time as having no value

You would be amazed at what just 5 minutes given to a project or goal in your life will do. Sometimes people don’t work on a goal or project because to fully complete it that day would take an hour. Guess what? You can divide that project or goal up into 5-minute increments and it will get done eventually. It might be slower than you wanted, but never forget…the snail made it on the ark -even if he was the last one on. 🙂

4. Capture a weekend

There will be times that 5-minutes will not be the best choice for you. That’s okay. Just look at your calendar and find a weekend that must be yours and plan to use that weekend to get the task done. You would be amazed at what can happen with a whole day with no one to bother you. Let’s face it…we waste a lot of time on weekends recovering from the week. Take one weekend and own it for your goals. Don’t let anything social get in the way and steal that marked off time.

5. Cut the radio off

When you are driving, cut the radio off. You will be blown away by how it clears you mind and allows you to think. I almost always drive without music. I love to write and of course I write sermons for each Sunday. Many times in my truck I think of great thoughts. I simply grab my iPhone and record my thoughts to listen to later and work with. (Note: This one can be dangerous. Keep your eyes on the road and do this one at your own risk)

6. Get up earlier

This one is simple. Get up 15 or 20 minutes earlier and use that time. Do it!!!!!!

7. Pray longer than normal

I know this one sound crazy but you would be amazed at how spending extra time with God will give you more time. I’ve learned, that many of the blocks in my writing will go away when I’ve prayed more. It seems that God blesses me with fewer roadblocks, and what would have taken an hour to do, often ends up taking just 30-minutes.

stress 2

Life is complicated and therefore brings stress often to the doorstep of the Christ follower. Stress is part of the human condition but God has the answer for that condition. God is the author of our life. He knows the beginning and the end and will give us peace that passes all understanding as we submit and trust Him completely. When stress dominates our walk; you can bet that somewhere along the way our trust in God has faded just a little.

Stress often attacks us with circumstances that are out of our control. Stress comes in all kinds of forms, but no matter what form it takes, trusting in God is a major key to winning the battle. Don’t misunderstand me…living a stress-free life isn’t easy to obtain. However, there are a few things you can do that will keep you heading in the right direction when you feel stress staring to take over.

Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years

Practical Tips

1. Get in a bar fight (Okay, that’s not true. Just wanted to make sure you were pay attention)

2. Sleep (You must get enough rest. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night)

3. Take a look at your diet (Are you eating healthy? Is your weight were it should be?)

4. Exercise (You don’t have to go crazy but walking after your evening meal will do wonders)

5. Work and Family (Do you work more than have family time? Change that NOW!) (Balance it!)

Spiritual Tips

1. Prayer (Give your stress to God by telling Him all about it. Then, leave it with Him. Trust Him)

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

2. Praise Him (God inhabits the praises of His people. Sing to Him and watch what happens. Try it!)

Praise will take your mind off of self, and refocus your mind on God.

Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”

3. Stay in the Word (Read God’s Word and let it read you)

Matthew 11:28-30
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

What are some ways you have found to be helpful? Leave a comment.

At A Crossroad?

August 16, 2012 — 3 Comments

crossroad

Travel most any road and sooner or later, you will come to a crossroad. Once you reach the crossroad, a decision has to be made concerning direction. Which way will you go? Crossroads are not complicated, they are simply a place of choice. I’m convinced that the best way to make the right choice at a crossroad of life is to listen to God’s voice and then obey.

John 10:4-5.“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

I have often wondered and asked myself, “What would happen if we would listen to God more than we talk to God?”

Would we grow more? (YES)

Would we grow faster? (Yes)

Would we learn more about Him? (Yes)

I’m amazed and humbled God wants to speak to us at all, but most of the time we don’t care to listen.

We only care to talk.

We like to talk.

We like to be heard.

We equate our ‘spiritual bank account’ value by how much we talk.

What if we stopped talking for about a week and just read the Word of God, and listened to what He had to say about life, family and ministry for our lives?  I know He would speak, and then all we would have to do is obey, instead of guessing as to what He would have us to do.

Listen and He will tell you.

Luke 6:46 – “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

In order to do what God is telling you, you must learn to listen and then obey.

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

— John Bunyan

 

What are your thoughts? Share we others. Leave a comment.

bed2

“Pastor Steve, I have a prayer request.” I heard him say it loud and clear. I had seen him a few times in our Sunday morning service, but this was his first time in our new believers class. Without missing a beat, I jumped way ahead of his request and began to interject what the request might be. You see, at this time in my life I was the pastor of a church in San Francisco and most of our people were very low-income and many were homeless. It was a wonderful time in my life that shaped who I am and I am thankful to have been a pastor in the inner city for over 13 years.

Anyway, back to the story. Because I had dealt with the homeless for many years at this point I made a lot of assumptions about what his prayer request could be. I threw out a few can’t miss things. I said, “Do you need us to pray you can find a job, a place to stay or to help you get off drugs?” He looked at me bewildered for a moment and then said, “No, I don’t think you understand. I’ve been coming to church here for a few weeks and you have really touched my life through your messages. I’ve been listening and recently I gave my life to Christ. That’s why I’m here in this new believers class.” “That’s wonderful” I said.

He continued. “I’ve lived behind a dumpster for many years and I’ve been sleeping on the sidewalk for all of those years also. I’ve recently got into a drug program and I’ve even found a part-time job. Things are starting to turn around in my life.” What he said next blew me out of the water!

He dropped his head a moment…holding back tears and then slowly raised his head making eye contact with me. “Pastor, I can’t sleep at night in a bed. I’ve not slept in a bed in many years and each night I end up on the floor. When I sleep like that it causes me to remember the past and I want to go back to that life. It’s a life I know how to control.”

I had missed it big time on the prayer request and I was holding back tears as he went on to finish his request.

“Pastor, do you think God can teach me how to sleep in a bed?” He began to cry. That was his prayer request!

I went to where he was and got on my knees in front of him and held his hands. I looked him in the eyes and said I was sorry for jumping ahead of him. I called the rest of the class around him and we prayed a prayer over him that God would teach him to sleep in a bed at night. It was a strong prayer and everyone in the room could feel God moving. Over the next several weeks that prayer was answered mightily. Sleep finally came to him the way he wanted.

 

What’s the take away?

When it comes to making disciples we should start where they are and not where we think they should be. We should never jump to conclusions about the lives of those God sends our way. We need to listen first and find where God is working and then join Him. You might just be surprised at where God wants to work in their life first.

 

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear them. Share with us. Leave a comment.