Friday, June 29, 2012


Picture from
So.... Today we are venturing on our first real family vacation with all 5 of us.  We are headed to Wisconsin to visit my sister and my parents are also going as well.  We have decided to take a relaxed pace in getting there and are going to experience and enjoy the journey along the way.  That all being said, I will be taking the next week off from blogging.  I hope you all have a great week.

If you would, keep us in your prayers as I have been dealing with car problems the last couple days.  Nothing like getting ready to leave and having to replace the battery, alternator, and still finding out the car has electrical issues.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2 Brothers and their Dad

Lately I have been really pondering about the story of the prodigal son. There are so many lessons we can learn from that story.  I even heard Chuck Swindoll give a short blip about the story this morning and how he preached on it last Sunday.  Even his take what somewhat different than what I had heard before.

Today, I want to give you a few thoughts to think about when it comes to each of the 2 brothers and the Dad that was involved.

First, the youngest brother. We have all heard the sermon about how we are the younger brother.  We make poor decisions, run away from God to do our own thing, and then finally we hit rock bottom.  I believe we are all in that point in our lives sometimes.  We have all been that son.  We may not have ran as far as he did, but we have ran.  We have done what we wanted.  We have reached a point when we didn't know what to do.

Then we get the answer...we can be a slave.  We can be our Father's slave.  Even our Father is good to his servants.  Even they are fed.  So we head home knowing that at least we have some sort of future.

Then we have the older son, who, unfortunately, we can sometime become like as well. Being as we were once the younger son, you think we would have compassion, but we don't.  We turn ourselves into "slaves" of the father and struggle to do all the right things, say the right things, be at the right place and at the right time.  All the time thinking we are pleasing the father and trying to earn his love, his praise, and his favor.

When we see our younger brother come home to meet the Father instead of being happy to see the relationship mended we are upset because our father doesn't make the younger son a slave and work like we have been working.  We refuse to rejoice with the Father and celebrate.  Instead we think about what we are owed and what we deserve.

Lastly we have the image of the Father.  I have a hard time calling him the Father, because I really want to come him the Dad.  He is a perfect image of our heavenly Father.  A Dad is so much more to me that a father.  Being a father means you have a son, while being a Dad means you have stepped up and taken the responsibility on full force and will have an endless love for the child.

This dad accepts the younger son back into his house.  He doesn't want to make the son a slave, but rather wants to restore the relationship with Him.  He wants to restore the relationship.  He wants to give the son all the blessings that he has been missing out on.  He wants to put things back together the way things were intended.  He wants to show his son true love.

The dad accepts the older son as well, but is deeply hurt.  He tries to make the older son realize that its not the works that son as been doing that makes the father love him.  He tries to convince him that all that the father has is his and it always has been. The father still loves the son, but wishes the son would just realize that nothing he could do would make the father love him more or less.  He begs the son to see things the way he sees them.  He wants the relationship to be all it could be.  He wants love to abound in the family.

As I think about all three of these people, I see myself in the first two.  I also see how God is the master Dad and just wants our relationship with Him restored.  He wants us to have the life that He created for us. He wants us to have all the blessings that set aside for us. Yet for some reason we often miss the picture and get so busy trying that we forget He is our Dad and He knows what is best for us.  All we have to do is ask Him. Ask Him to show us what He wants for us.  Ask Him to show us the blessing He has for us.  Ask Him to lead the way. 

The father will give us eternal abundant life....a life we could have never imagined.

These images keep running through my head.  I keep finding more and more meaning to this story.  Read it for yourself in Luke 15:11-32

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our Past Meets Our Present

The more I read, study, and pray the more I realize how flawed my understanding of who God is and how I viewed what it looked like to walk with Him.  It is humbling to know that in-spite of how we viewed Him and our relationship He is still there loving us through it.  He knows we have it wrong, yet is willing to spend the time molding us into who He wants us to be. 

This realization can sometimes be disheartening and looking back can almost hurt at times.

Today I was reading a book by Rob Bell and even if I don't agree with everything He has ever said, he made a great point.  He said that without us being where we where, we would never be where we are today.  Basically, if I hadn't had the wrong understandings, there is a chance I wouldn't have the greater understanding that I have today. 

To me, that seems true.  That's how our life is.  Sometimes we have to go through things to learn our lessons.  We have to experience being wrong to know what is right.  That is part of the beauty of who Christ is.  He is the right in our world of wrong.  He shows us truth in a world full of lies. In other words...He is who He says He is....the light unto our path.

On somewhat of a side note, I found this video rather interesting. It's short and really resonates with me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chapter 3 - Excitement

For those of you that know me, you know I get excited very easily. In fact, after a musical at church one time I even got an award for being those most excitable.

Actually, its quite the opposite.  Well, I did get the award, but I think they were being facetious.

I don't get excited very often.  At least not visibly. Even if you count the times I don't express it, there aren't very many times I really get excited about things.  I really don't know why that is.  It's not something I like about myself.  In fact, it is something I wish I could change.  I want to get excited.  I want to be a part of that sort of fun that others have.  I want to be able to express that excitement without caring what others might think.

Noah showed me what that looked like this weekend.

Friday night, my parents took us all to the local car races.  I have only been a couple of times, but it was Noah's first time and we always thought it would be something he liked.  He was fascinated by it.  Not only did he watch the cars, but he also watch people and how they were excited about what they saw.  He in turn became excited about what he was watching and began cheering.

Several times I asked him who he was rooting for. (I thought it would be a lot of fun to root for the same car together.) He told me that he wasn't cheering for anyone.  He didn't have a certain car he wanted to win.  He just was excited to see the cars race.  He wanted to be a part of the action and get the full experience.

I was amazed at his ability to be inhibited by what others might think.  He is free to express himself and be who he God created him to be.  I hope we can help him stay that way and not at some point crush his spirit or do something that would cause him to want to began to hide who he is and not be so expressive.

I hope over time that I can find time to reflect and figure out why it is that I can't be as expressive or less inhibited.  Excitement is a beautiful thing and is a quality I like to see in strong leaders.  I know God has brought me to a far better place than I was and is constantly shaping me to be the person He knows that I am, I just hope this is something He can teach me soon so that I can enjoy events like this with my kids.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A common theme

Every once in a while a thought comes to me that really helps me understand things differently.  I have been trying to read a lot and when I do it often leads to deeper conversations with my wife about how I view things or how I see something different than I used to.

A while back, as I was thinking about all the Bible in general, it occurred to me a common theme that is not often shared.  We often hear all the good stories that are in the Bible. We hear the stories of what Christ did and how that gives us hope, we hear the stories of the great works that someone did, but what we don't often hear about or focus on are the "failures."  The Bible is full of "failures."  The more I read through, the more I find stories where someone has "failed" in terms of how we view things on earth.  David committed adultery, Peter denied Christ after spending years with Him, Paul persecuted followers of Christ, Moses ignored what God told him to do...and the list goes on and on. 

All these people would be considered failures in the Christian world, yet these are exactly who God used.  I find it amazing how God can take those who seem the farthest from Him and do a work in their lives to use them for His glory.  Often times, they are used even more so than those who claim to have known Christ their whole lives.   Why is that? 

Could it be because that actually recognize a deeper realization for their need for Christ?  They understand in their hearts what so many of us say we understand, but only have an intellectual understanding of what it means therefor causing us not to truly realize how lost we are without Him?  I've heard it time and time again from various people who say that wish they had a better story to tell. They wish they had been caught up in the party scene, living a hopeless lifestyle just so they could have a better story to tell.

God loves the "failures."  He can use them because when they turn to Him, they know what they have to give up.  They know it is going to cost them.  They know that there is hope beyond the now.

I've written several times recently about how story in our lives is important.  How we need to understand our story we are living and we need to evaluate and see if it is the story we want to live. 

I have come to the realization that Bible has a clear message about how God has taken people who are "failures" and helped them write a story beyond who they were.  He can help us write similar stories if we let Him. 

The Bible is a message of hope....a message of hope for all of us "failures."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too busy to care...

I was listening to Francis Chan today speak about Romans 9:1-3

I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,  that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

As I listened I began to think more about my life and how sometimes I have a heart for people to where I think about it a lot, but then other times I am too "busy" to think about it.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, last year my heart was opened to the brokenness of the people around me. I could see brokenness in my community like I have never seen before.  I was made aware of how people were hurting...people I knew were making poor decisions based on a desire to feel complete.  And then....I let time pass.  I begin to deal with some of the issues I had, but I still haven't established any strong connections with any of those people I see that are hurting.  I haven't really tried to help with any of the needs that I have seen.  I haven't even remember to pray for them.

When I read what Paul was saying and let it sink it, it amazes me.  Paul wasn't too busy to hurt for those people.  He was going to give whatever it took to share with them who God is.  He was going to follow Christ and share His message with all those willing to open their eyes to what He had to offer.

I wonder why it is that we get so busy that we forget to build those relationships with people.  Why we move on with our life without stopping to really help someone that is hurting.  I know we can't all be like Paul and be a verbal witness to 1000s and 1000s of people, but we can hurt for those that are hurting.  We can put the spiritual well-being of someone else before our own.

After I wrote last week about Why I follow Jesus, I began to ask myself if I would be willing to follow Him even if it meant going to Hell.  Paul says he would be willing to do it.  He would be willing to lose everything so that another could live with Christ.  For me, it is a reminder and a challenge we must take to check and see if our hearts are right.  If I want to truly follow Christ, my heart has hurt where his heart hurts.  His heart hurts for people.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Typos in the Bible...

Let me start off by saying these are not my original thoughts.  I read this blog today and thought it was worth sharing. 

Jon Acuff:
Recently I wrote the entire book of Proverbs by hand.

I did this because I’m holier than you and want to have a waterslide at my house in heaven.

You might be satisfied with just a regular mansion, but I have pretty high hopes for a ridiculous tree fort when I get up there. Booby traps, rope ladder, fire place, the works. Granted, it’s probably not nice to have a booby trapped treehouse in heaven because so many people won’t be expecting to encounter a booby trap behind the pearly gates. But that’s kind of what makes it even awesomer.

Writing the book out was fun and took me about 6 months. Part of what took so long was that I kept finding errors in Proverbs. The biggest of all was perhaps Proverbs 24:16.

Don’t act like you don’t know it by heart. Fine, I’ll write it out for you:

It says, “for though the righteous do not fall, the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

Great verse! Lays out clearly how we’re called to live. Don’t stumble like the wicked. Be righteous. Done and done. That’s how I’ve always learned that verse. Only there was a problem when I read it in my Bible.

Continue Reading Here 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Worship Music....

I have briefly hit on this topic before, but I feel like I haven't completed figuring out what I really believe and who knows I may hit on it again and the thoughts seem completely different that what I think as of now.  That is the beauty with our relationship with God.  It's ever changing.  He always has something new for us to learn and is always trying to shape us into who He created us to be.

In my years of attending different churches, I have seen and heard many different thoughts on how the "worship" portion of the service should be done.  (I know worship is more than just the music portion, but for all intent and purposes, most churches call music the worship part of the service whether they actually believe that or not.)  I find it interesting how many different views there are and to see how different churches approach it in different ways.

Today, I have decided to express what and how I view the "worship" portion of a church service.

I love good music.  It takes you to a place beyond yourself and can really unite a group in a common cause, if only for a few minutes.   I want to be led into that place.  I want to be invited to join in the journey. I want to experience the journey with others.  The problem I have run into though, is that all too often we aren't being lead.  We are being drug along.

I have met a few music leaders that really know the way. You can tell immediately.  The worship experience doesn't start when they get on stage to lead. You are lead by them from the moment you begin a conversation with them.  You can tell that God is with them and they know where they are going.  They want to bring others along to meet the king.  They don't want to drag you whether you like it or not, but want to show you His face and allow you to be a part of the oneness we can have with others and Christ.  For me, this is a powerful experience.  It's encouraging. It's uplifting.  It's an example of a time and place where we can put all else aside and just come before God with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Unfortunately, I have also experience quite the opposite as well.  

Having a background in music, I can get a pretty good feel of the environment right away.  I can tell if the group actually practices, if they are passionate about what they are doing, and if it is actually a group or just a bunch of individuals. For me, when I see a sign that a group doesn't practice, isn't passionate, or is just a bunch of individuals, I immediately dig my heals in, I don't want to be lead when I am unsure that the leader even knows the way. 

It pains me so much when I see a "worship" program that doesn't take "worship" seriously.  God calls us to do all things with excellence.  I know I fail and have failed at times when it comes to doing things to the best of my ability.  It's so easy to feel like we are "good" enough and don't need to practice or don't need to work on growing as a group.  It's not easy, but it's important.

Maybe none of this really makes sense to anyone but me, and it may just be my personal preferences that get the way.  I want all that God has for me.  I want all God has for others as well.  I just wonder how many times we sell ourselves short or are kept short simply because doing the hard just too hard.

So if you're a worship pastor or in a worship band, I want to ask you a few questions.

• Why do you play/sing?  Is it for you?  Is it for God? Is it for others?

• Do you prepare spiritually before leading?  (Making sure your heart is in the right place)

• Do you prepare physically before leading?  (Making sure you personally know the songs, as well as making sure the band has practiced all the songs)

• Do you play as a group or as a bunch of individuals?

• Is the group gradually getting better and more cohesive?

• Are you willing to not play or not sing if its for the greater good of the group?

Leading worship, doesn't take the greatest musicians.  It takes musicians with a great heart to lead others into the presence of God.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thank you Dad

A while back (around mother's day) I mentioned how often I forget to truly be thankful for what and who we have in our lives.  God has given us so much to be thankful for, yet sometimes we just go about our day and completely ignore it and focus on either the tasks at hand or find something to worry about.  As I think about it, I wonder if that's why the Israelites always seemed to have problems while walking in the desert.  Was God just trying to help them realize all the good in their lives before giving them something better?  Does He ever do that to us?

Anyway, back to the main point. 

I am thankful for my dad.  I am thankful that he was always a part of my life and was a stable fixture in my life.  He has always loved me in a way that was reflective of who God is.  He taught me how to love my kids, how to teach them, how to spend time with them, and how to want to spend time with them. 

We have had our fair share of issues over the years, but he has always loved me no matter what.  As you may know, over a year ago, we moved back and I have been able to spend more time with him in the past year than I have the previous 6 years combined.   It has been a blessing to be able to do that.  Not only that, but my kids have had more of an opportunity to really get to know him (and my mom).  I know it is something that they will always remember and will have a definite impact in their life.

My dad has spent a large amount of time teaching me how to work on things (or fix things for me) which I hope to someday be able to do for my kids.  With the past year holding numerous car problems and a few house problems I couldn't imagine trying to do what we have done this past year anywhere else.  Life for sure would have been a lot more stressful. 

I have lots of memories of doing different things with my dad, but I love the fact that I am getting to build new memories with him.  I get to appreciate the time. It is amazing how as kids and teenagers we often don't want anything to do with our parents, but as we get older we can realize how much we really wanted/needed them in our lives. 

Over the past few months, my eyes have been opened to the effects on kids (who grow into adults) when a father isn't present in their life.  Realizing the importance has really shaped my desires for me to have a good relationship with my kids, but has also made me appreciate even more the fact that I always had a dad I could count on. 

He spent hours encouraging me, loving me, and teaching me about life.  He would take of work to drive hours to see me run a race or two and was always there tell me good job, even when I had a terrible time.  While I understood some of what he gave up back then, I am more aware of it now, and hope that I am able to show my kids that same kind of support as they grow older.

Thank you dad for all that you have done for me over the years.  You have given me a great example of a dad and have helped shape me to be a better dad to my kids.  I love you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why do I follow Jesus?

Why do I follow Jesus?  My pastor posed that question and Sunday and I sat there and thought about it, and it has kinda been bugging me ever since. 

He let a few people answer while someone else somewhat played devil's advocate, but none of the reasons really sounded like a reason I would pick.  While they are were true (IE. gives us hope, gives us peace, out of fear, out of love, etc.) I couldn't say they were my reason.  I couldn't identify myself with them at all.

The more I think about it, I began to ask a few questions.
     Do I follow Christ because that's what my parents said was right, therefor I must?
     Do I really follow Christ?
     If I do follow Christ, how would I act if I were in Job's shoes (sandals?)?

Needless to say it has been interesting trying to figure it out.  Here is what I have so far.  Not that it is complete...and maybe its not the best reason...but here it is.

My answer:
     I don't have a choice.  God made me in His image to have a relationship with Him.  If I am not in relationship with Him then there is something missing in my life.  I would not be who I was created to be.  I have been at points in my life where I wanted to be outside of what God had for me, and the whole time I felt God trying to bring me back to Himself.  Not with making things go bad, not with forcing things on me, no even by having people tell me I was wrong.  He was just there waiting....reminding me....showing me that regardless of what I did or who I thought I wanted to be, I was created by Him, created for Him, and loved by Him for who He made me to be. 
    Now, I continue to follow Him out of love and am still learning what that love looks like.  I am challenged to have a greater love for Him and others.  I just can't say that is why I began to follow Him or why I ultimately follow Him.

As I think about it, I remember when Jesus called the disciples to follow Him.   They didn't follow Him out of love, because they didn't really know who He was. He had not taught them who He was.  They followed because He asked them follow Him.  While they had a choice, something inside them knew that if they wanted the life God wanted for them they HAD to follow Him.  It was a desire entwined with a sense of surety that what He was asking them to do was important to their lives.

So to answer my three questions... I think I do follow Christ because my parents said it was right, but that is because I believe it is right and they were influential in my having a relationship with Him.  I think I do follow Christ.  Day in, day out, I am constantly thinking about what He wants for me and my life.  I am challenged by the people God has placed in my life and am constantly trying to learn for the story He has put me in.  I don't know if I could do what Job did.  I hope I could.  For me looking at the story of Job reminds me that I can't follow God out of my own desires.  I can't follow Him out of fear (because my biggest fears could come true), out of wanting an inner peace (because life won't be peaceful), or out of hope (because at times all hope will feel lost).  I follow Him because I don't have a choice....without Him

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

100th Post - Reckless Abandon

Well.... I have made it 100 posts.  I feel like I have personally gotten somewhere by being able to blog and like the fact that I can go back and see what God has been doing in my life.  I don't know about you, but it seems to me there is little time when God allows us to go without having to deal with some situation.  For me, when I have come to a realization and peace over something he is teaching me something else comes up that He uses to teach me a lesson.  I can only imagine how His disciples must have felt traveling with Him all the time and how He kept telling them they just weren't getting what He was trying to teach them at that moment.  It somewhat gives me hope in how often they screwed up and how often He was teaching them something new, and yet they became great leaders and were able to help so many understand who Christ is.

Today is another one of those days for me.  I am trying to figure out how God wants me to handle a situation.  How do we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, love our neighbor as ourselves, and while keeping that in perspective handle a situation where someone has hurt you?  Not only that, but how to you lead and protect your family when that person has hurt someone in your family.

I have been wrestling with this since yesterday.  Trying to find some answer on how God will show me what I need to my actions will reflect that of His will. 

I know hurting people hurt people and how we are to encourage one another to make the right decisions.  Do you ever get to draw a line and say enough is enough....change or I have to distance myself from you....knowing their choices will only put them further in a pit.  I believe in tough love and letting people make their own decisions and suffering the consequences.  I also believe in the power of relationships and being able to share our concerns with each other when we see something that would hinder then in their walk with God.

I have been running the scenarios over and over in my head and trying to figure out the balance between allowing them to continue to be in my life and hurt my family again and keeping them at a distance and loving them where they are. 

Do we get a choice as to how we love others?  Do we have the option to not set ourselves up for hurt? Christ spent a lot of time with people who betrayed in from time to time.  He was almost always with people who we would consider a "strain" on a relationship.

Does God call us to a reckless abandon love?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Concerned & Confused

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I wanted to tell someone to wake up.  Well...I talked to them and it didn't really change anything.  They made the mistake and for some time now have been making poor choices left and right.  I am lost as to what to do.

I have a love for them and want to see what is best for them, but how do you handle people who are blatantly thinking of themselves before anyone else and have become deceitful to many.  I want to have a relationship with them and encourage them to make right decisions, but it is a challenge when you know they know the difference between right and wrong and choose the later.

I tried to find a scripture today that would help me understand what to do.  I couldn't.  The only thing I got was God reminding me that we are to love Him with all of us...we are to love others just like Christ loved the Church...and that we should approach others with gentleness. While I believe everyone one of these things, it is not an easy thing to live out.

A while back I was asked my view on how God view's love compared to how I view love.  In all honesty, I came up with a pretty good diagram of how I love people.  I have three circles.  The inner circle are the people closest to me. They can screw up, make a bad decision, and I will still love them just the same.  Nothing is changed.

The second circle are those people who I don't know but God has given me a heart for.  I don't care who they are or what they are done, I know that God loves them and they deserve to be loved.  I may not always be the best at showing them, but I have no ill feelings towards them and would help if I knew I could.

The third circle consists of  those who I know, who are not yet some of the closest to me.  Being honest (even though its not right), I make them earn my love.  They have to make good choices or I have a hard time helping them.  They have to want and earnestly try to follow God or I  struggle maintaining the relationship.  I want them to be part of my inner circle, but they haven't proven themselves yet.

Then I think about God and how He loves us no matter what.  He doesn't care that we have screwed up and made poor choices.  He is just there ready for us when we are ready for Him. He often has His hand out ready to help, ready to express His love towards us.  Oh, how I wish I could love like that.  I know we are commanded to, but......its not easy.  Then you have to take into consideration that God knows what true love looks like and sometimes what we think is "love" is actually not.

I am just going to ask that you pray for this situation.  It makes life difficult and a lot more dramatic that it needs to be. I want to know what God wants me to do in this situation and how to show His love to all those involved.

Like I heard a man say one time.....Life would be easy if it weren't for all the people.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

You gotta be kiddin' me Moses

So today I continued reading up until Exodus 25.  If you have ever read through that part of the Bible before, you understand that a majority of what was written were laws.  Laws on how to operate in different circumstances, but really just outlining a moral code and explaining the consequences for each action that went against what God had instructed.

It's in passages like this that I often wonder why these laws are important for us.  I know that understanding the laws and what was expected does help interpret certain actions an punishments later talked about in the New Testament. 

Today though, as I was reading, I began to wonder what it must have been like to be an Israelite during this time.  They were out in the middle of the desert and instead of God just moving them on through the desert to the land that He had promised, Moses came back from talking with Him and had a whole set of rules they had to follow.  I can just imagine some of the them thinking "יש לך כדי להיות צוחק עליי מוזס"  roughly translated into "You gotta be kiddin' me Moses."

As I sit there reading those, I wonder what our lives would be like if God still held us to the same laws that He did back then.  Sure, He expects us to follow laws very similar, but the punishments aren't the same by any means.  When was the last time you heard of a man paying a dowry to a girls father for sleeping with her before she was married.  Not only that, but the guy would then get to choose if he wanted to marry her or not.  Not to mention all the laws about how you will die if you do certain things or some of the other harsh punishments for actions.

If you want to understand more about why there are different laws then than there are now, I would recommend checking out  What's in the Bible 3.  (It discusses it really well and makes it simple to understand.  While it is for kids, anyone can enjoy it.)

Anyway, while I didn't necessarily pull out any real strong, life changing, biblical truths, it makes me grateful for God's grace and mercy in my life.

Oh.....and to end the 24th Chapter....Moses disappears up into the mountains for 40 days.  Can you imagine getting a bunch of rules and then your leader leaving for an extended period of time?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Answer

First, I want to say that I have really been struggling lately with reading my Bible.  It's not that I don't want to, it's not that I don't think it is important, I just haven't been doing it.  I let things get in the way.  I let other things take up my time and I make excuses through the day as to why I haven't done it yet, till I head to bed and hope to do a better job the next day.  It's terrible really.  I long to make it a part of my daily life, I want more than where I am now.  I want more of what God has to show me.  All that being said, I am going to start adding at least the reference of what I have read to each of my blogs so that you know I am continuing to read.  Feel free to check up on my from time to time. 

Anyway, in my journey today I decided to go back to where I was reading a while back.  I dove back into Exodus.  I was just about to the Ten Commandments when I stopped before so as I approached them I decided to take a different approach.  It is easy to skim through them because we have heard them so much.  You can just take it for what it is and listen to what you have always been told, or .... like me, can sometimes try to look for something you may have missed before. 

My Bible has the study notes at the bottom so as I was reading I would go down and read what went along with that verse.  When I got to Verse 8, I thought, "well that is an easy one," but when I looked down and read the notes, it said the Sabbath is the only commandment not reiterated in the New Testament.  I thought that to be interesting, so I read where it referenced it was actually nullified.  Colossians 2:16-17.  When I read it, it certainly didn't come across as a nullification of the commandment, so I followed the references that that passage gave. Roman 14:5-6.

I didn't necessarily get the answer I was looking for in regards to if "Keeping the Sabbath day Holy" was nullified, but I got a second verse to go along with the vision I had been having about uniting churches.  I admit I have read it before, but it never meant so much as it did today.

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  -Romans 14:5-9

Yes I know, that is more than what it referenced, but I couldn't stop as I began reading it was as if it was speaking to me.  It doesn't matter what you believe is right and wrong.  What matters is that you are following Christ with all of who you are and if you do, God will show you what He wants from you.  He wants to be the Lord of your life.  To me this is a verse that I can stand on to unite people.  I think Christians can accept and be willing to be changed by it.  I know I am wresting with the verse and what it means in my life.

So, I never did really come to the conclusion that the Sabbath day is nullified, but I did come to the conclusion that if it is really an issue in my life, and I am striving to follow my Lord....He will make it evident.

Side the rest of the passage....It gives you even more to wrestle with.  Very challenging stuff.  Romans 14:10-23

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Resolution for Women

My wife is a Bible Study on Monday nights for the women of our church. When she came home last night we began talking and she asked if I would be willing to typeset a couple pages out of "The Resolution for Women" book they had been going through so that the woman of the group could print them and be able to keep them at hand.  Seeing it as a pretty easy task to handle I told her I would and in my free time, I type set it, added the verses that go with it, and laid it out for print.

While typing them out, I begin to think how powerful some of these statements could be and how I thought more people might like to have access to them as well.  They can be life changing if taken to heart and really accepted for what they are. I know I was challenged and encouraged just reading them.  So without further adieu, here they are.

(I know there are quite a lot so if you are interested in having the cleaner form that you can print, comment below and I will send them to you.)

I love the Lord my God with my whole heart, soul, and mind.
and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all  your mind, and with all your strength. –Mark 12:30

I walk by faith and not by sight.
For we walk by faith, not by sight -2 Corinthians 5:7

The Lord is on my side.  I will not fear what man can do to me.
The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? -Psalm 118:6

I am competent not in my own abilities but because He has made me competent by His Spirit.
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. -2 Corinthians 3:5-6

I abide in Christ, He abides in me, and I bear much fruit.
 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. -John 15:5

I have the mind of Christ; therefore I act in a way that is consistent with His actions .
For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. -1 Corinthians 2:16

He will never leave me or forsake me
 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “ I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” -Hebrews 13:5

I do not look with disdain upon my weaknesses.  I see them as opportunities for God to display His powerful strength and grace through me.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:10

No weapon formed against me can prosper, and every tongue that rises up against me in judgment will be condemned.
No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.- Isaiah 54:17

I will be hospitable without complaint.
Be hospitable to one another without complaint. -1 Peter 4:9

I will not use my tongue to speak cursing, but rather I will speak life-giving blessings to everyone I meet and in every situation I face.
But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. -James 3:8-10

The Spirit indwells me, therefore I am the temple of the living God.
 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,“ I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. -2 Corinthians 6:16

I am faithful over a few things, and I will be made ruler over many.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ -Matthew 25:23

I humbly submit to God, and I actively resist the work of the devil, knowing he must flee from me.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. -James 4:7

I will not give the enemy an opportunity or foothold in my life.  
and do not give the devil an opportunity. -Ephesians 4:27

The One who is in me is greater than he that is in the world.
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. -1 John 4:4

I choose to obey the Lord and receive the prosperous abundance and blessing He will bestow on me.
 And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; -Deuteronomy 30:8-9
My heart keeps the commandments of God.  They will add length of days and peace to my life.
 3 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments;For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you.-Proverbs 3:1-2

I walk by the Spirit and do not fulfill the desires of my flesh.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. -Galatians 5:16

I am enabled to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23

The Lord guards my going out and my coming in, today and forever.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. -Psalm 121:8

I rejoice in the Lord whether circumstances are good or bad.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! -Philippians 4:4
I will not be afraid when I lie down, and my sleep shall be sweet.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.-Proverbs 3:24

I obtain the favor of the Lord.
A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, But He will condemn a man who devises evil. -Proverbs 12:2

The Lord is in the midst, and He sings over me with joy.
 “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. -Zephaniah 3:17

I am the apple of my Father’s eye.
“ He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. -Deuteronomy 32:10

Goodness and mercy will follow me not only today but all the days of my life. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. -Psalm 23:6

I have been made in the image and likeness of God Himself.  This is my heritage. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. -Genesis 1:27

I have not been given the spirit of this world; rather I have the Spirit of God that I might know the mind and will of God for me.
 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, -1 Corinthians 2:12

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. -Romans 1:16

My steps have been ordained and ordered by the Lord.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23

I only allow my mind to entertain what is honorable, right pure, lovely, noble, excellent, and worthy of praise
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [a]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [b]dwell on these things. -Philippians 4:8

I long for the pure milk of the Word that I may grow to spiritual maturity
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, -1 Peter 2:2

I seek peace and pursue it .
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. -Psalm 34:14

I am a necessary and useful part of the body of Christ, and I will use my spiritual gifts to edify others.
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. -1 Corinthians 12:7

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. -2 Corinthians 5:21

I have been given victory in Christ Jesus.
 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.- 1 Corinthians 15:57

I am meek, and I will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

I extend mercy to others, and I will in turn receive mercy.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7

I have a pure heart before God, and I expect to see His manifest presence in my life.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. -Matthew 5:8

I discipline myself for the purpose and godliness since it holds promise for the present life as well as the life to come.
for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. -1 Timothy 4:8

My ambition is to be pleasing to Him and Him alone.  
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. -2 Corinthians 5:9

I do not judge fellow believers so that I will not bring judgment to myself. Therefore you have no excuse,  everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. -Romans 2:1

My priority is to seek first the kingdom and God’s righteousness, and I expect all needed, secondary things to be added unto me.
 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. -Matthew 6:33

I am a true worshipper.  I worship in spirit and in truth.
 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. -John 4:23

I do not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. -Deuteronomy 8:3

Rivers of living water flow out of my inner being.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ -John 7:38

I have been chosen by God to bring forth fruit that shall remain.
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. -John 15:16

I am a brand-new person. My old sin nature has passed away and everything has become new. 
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. -2 Corinthians 5:17

No matter my past, I am forgiven of my sins because of the lavishness of His grace upon me.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace -Ephesians 1:7

I have been given every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, -Ephesians 1:3

Because He is wounded, I am healed.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

In Christ, I am whole and complete, lacking nothing.
 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. -James 1:4

Whatever I ask for in prayer according to the Father’s will, I believe that I have received it.
Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. -Mark 11:24

I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation.  I am one of God’s own people.
 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;-1 Peter 2:9

I will not be afraid because I know the spirit of fear is not from Him.  He has given me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.
 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.2 Timothy 1:7

I am not a stranger to God.  I am a citizen of God’s kingdom and a member of His household.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, -Ephesians 2:19

I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit who indwells me.  He is my pledge from the Father of my coming in heritance.
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. -Ephesians 1:13-14

I am a masterpiece created in Christ Jesus in order to walk in the good works He has prepared for me to do.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10

For freedom I have been made free.  I walk daily in the gifts of freedom. 
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

I am dead to the power of sin.
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. -Romans6:11

I have been raised with Christ, and I sit with Him in heavenly places.
to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, -Ephesians 3:6

I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; -Matthew 5:13-14

I will not fear because the Lord is my light, my salvation, and the strength of my life.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? -Psalm 27:1

The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10

I trust completely in the lord, therefore I will be like a fruit-bearing tree that continually fins nourishment despite dry, parched weather.
“ Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. -Jeremiah 17:7-8

No good things will the Lord withhold from me as I walk uprightly before Him.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. -Psalm 84:11

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and I will do the works that He did.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. -John 14:12

In Christ I have become a child of God, and I receive the blessings God has for me. He was in the beginning with God. -John 1:2,    Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. -Romans 16:17

In Christ, God has chosen me as His own and made me strong.  He has placed His mark on me.  He has placed His Spirit in my heart as a guarantee for all He has promised.  
21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. -2 Corinthians 1:21-22

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13