Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Never too late....

"But maybe more important than any of these things is what Moses was doing when he encountered the burning bush:
nothing remarkable.

He was tending his father-in-law's flock, like he'd done every day for half his life or more.

Shepherding was his regular routine, and he was faithfully doing his job. Leading the flock to this area of the mountain was undoubtedly not a special occasion for Moses but something he did regularly, for shepherds often moved their flocks as the seasons changed and grazing conditions varied.

He had almost certainly been on the backside of this mountain before.

Did you notice that he didn't even have his own sheep?  They belonged to his father-in-law.

Nothing remarkable there, for sure.

He is on the backside of a mountain, watching someone else's flock. But somehow he is ripe for God's choosing.

God is not looking to elevate the already elevated.

He is looking to tell a story— a story of the greatness of His plan, not a story about our skill.

The stage is being set.

This is going to be a day of unexpected change.

The hinge is about to swing on the "before" and "after" of Moses' life.

Today could be that same kind of day for you!!!

This week, a relational intersection could change the course of your life.

A conversation on bended knee could be the tipping point of your prayer life.

By the same token, an unexpected phone call could bring you to your knees in grief.

Life isn't always easy.

Its course can change in seconds, even as we try to plan out the years.

What Jesus said in Matthew 6: 34 is true:
"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Too many times we stand dead still at a fork in the road, refusing to move and pleading for God to show us the way.

But He is saying, "If you will just walk with me, I will show you."

The best way to find the will of God is to do the will of God.

Mark Twain is alleged to have once said, "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me; it is the parts that I do understand."

We already know much in our core about what is right and what is wrong.

By living what we know, God is preparing us to live what we don't yet know.

You can't do multiplication until you learn addition. We prepare for the future by doing the next right thing.

As Tommy Nelson says, "God hits moving targets."

Doing God's will leads to discovering God's will.

Each step on the mountainside of faith is a step closer to your burning bush.

Even if you have someone else's sheep in tow on the far side of town, God may have a life-changing intersection for you around the next bend."

Stay Strong!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trust and Worry

"Imagine you are at a football game and your team is losing by two points.

The team you are cheering is on the other team's twenty-yard line with the clock stopped.

One second is left in the game. The kicker runs from the bench to the field and all he has to do is kick the field goal to win the game.

Only one problem. The kicker is terrible!

He has missed most of his kicks all year long. All the fans rooting for your team are nervous and worried. The spectators are chewing their fingernails or have buried their heads in their hands.

Someone moans, "He is going to miss this one, too!"

Why are they worried?

They do not trust the kicker.

Now let's consider another scenario.

Same situation, but a different kicker comes in for the final play.

This player is an All-American and has never missed a field goal all season. The fans start giving each other high fives because they know he will make the kick.

Why are they not worried?

They trust the kicker.

Here is the real kicker.

Worry is a trust issue. We worry because we do not trust that God is in control of our situation.

We believe that He will fail us in our time of need.

Worry never trusts— and trust never worries.

You cannot worry and trust God at the same time.

Since trust forces out worry, you can be cured of worry by placing your complete trust in God.

Before you can do that, you must be convinced that He exists, can change
circumstances and cares about you.

After all, why would you want to put your trust in the Lord if you do not believe He can intervene in your situation?"


Stay Strong

Monday, January 12, 2015

Take me, Break me, Make me....

A furious squall came up. (Mark 4: 37)

"Some of life's storms— a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat— suddenly come upon us.

Others may come slowly, appearing on the uneven edge of the horizon no larger than a person's hand.

But trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.

Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service.

When God wants an oak tree, He plants it where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it.

It is in the midnight battle with the elements that the oak develops its rugged fiber and becomes the king of the forest.

When God wants to make a person, He puts him into some storm.

The history of humankind has always been rough and rugged. No one is complete until he has been out into the surge of the storm and has found the glorious fulfillment of the prayer "O God, take me, break me, make me."

Stay Strong! !!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Underdogs.... No better place to begin!!

"If you've ever had a dream to do something great, to accomplish something significant, and to make a difference in our world but have struggled to believe you could actually do it, this book is for you.

I believe you can change your world.

God wants to use you as he used the greatest influencers in the Bible.

You're an underdog; so were they, but they didn't let that stop them.

They were individuals who overcame their excuses, served the God of the underdogs, and changed their world.

Welcome, underdog.

The world is waiting for you."

Monday, January 5, 2015

Keep Asking!!

"Don't lose heart.
Don't lose hope.
Don't lose faith.
Don't lose patience.

Maybe you've been interceding for a child who has walked away from the faith.

Maybe you've been believing for reconciliation in your marriage.

Maybe you've been waiting for a healing miracle, a financial miracle, or an opportunity miracle.

Keep asking.
Keep seeking.
Keep knocking.

God rarely does things how or when we expect Him to, and it leads us to question His strange and mysterious ways.

I'm sure the Israelites questioned God's battle plan at Jericho.

They would have preferred to storm the gates or scale the walls, but God told them to circle the city for seven days!

It didn't make any sense. It had to feel like forever.

But they kept circling!

Sometimes God will push us to our absolute limits — the limits of our faith, of our patience, of our gifts.

That is how God stretches our faith and builds our character.

I don't know what you've been circling for the past forty days or forty weeks or forty years.

I don't know if you've gotten a yes, a no, or a not yet.

You've got to praise God if the answer is yes and trust Him if the answer is no.

If the answer is not yet, you've got to keep circling.

It's always too soon to give up! What other option do you have?

To pray or not to pray. Those are the only options."

     - "Draw the Circle"

Stay Strong!

Faith in Action(s)....

"Signs Following

The last two words of Mark's gospel are "signs following."

We wish it said "signs preceding." We want God to go first. That way we don't need to exercise any faith at all. But we've got it backward.

If we want to see God move, we need to make a move. If it seems like God isn't moving in our lives, maybe it's because we aren't moving. But if we make a move, God will move heaven and earth to honor our faith.

There comes a moment when we need to make a statement of faith. I'm not talking about a collection of theological truths written on paper; I'm talking about a statement of faith written with our lives. Faith is not a noun; it's a verb — an action verb.

The greatest and truest statement of faith is a life well lived. It is faith fleshed out through risks and sacrifices. It is daring to go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.

We can pray until our knees are numb, but if our praying isn't accompanied by acting, then we won't get anywhere. We need to put feet to our faith. After kneeling down, we need to stand up and step out in faith.

There is an old adage: the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Based on my experience, that first step is always the hardest and longest step. It will require the most faith. It will feel the most awkward.

But if we step out in faith, signs will follow. In fact, an avalanche of blessing will overtake us and overwhelm us.

We'll be buried in God's blessings."