Monday, June 11, 2012

Do you see suffering as a gift?

Do you see suffering as a gift? You answer to this like mine was probably “heck no”. We as Americans are in heavy pursuit of pleasure and our own comfort. As believers though, we are called to be citizens of a different world with different priorities and realities. One of the different priorities is God’s glory over our comfort. Somehow in our sinful nature we have even figured out how to pervert the gospel to make it about us. “Jesus is here to make us happy, healthy, and rich. We use the bible as list of promises that we can get if we just follow the right methods. When bad things happen we throw our hands up to God and scream why as if we are owed something because we are His children.” As a parent you meet your kids needs and then some and what do they do? They throw a fit because they want more. They don’t need more, they want more. What do we call this when our children do this? SPOILED Philippians 1:29-30 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. We are often spoiled as western Christians thinking God owes us more and more. Here Paul speaks of two blessings, we, as children of God have been granted. One we would all agree is a blessing. We all agree that it is a blessing to be allowed to believe in Jesus. Because of our sins we deserved eternal damnation in Hell and yet God sent His Son to suffer and dies for us so we could believe and be forgiven. The second thing we were granted leaves us scratching our heads. We have been granted the ability to suffer for Christ. What? Hold up, that doesn’t make sense. I though Christianity was the path to blessings. It is but God’s ways are not our ways and suffering for Christ is a blessing. Why, because we are not here to seek pleasure and glory. We are here to honor God and bring Him glory. Suffering through persecution brings glory to God and draws us closer to Him. If you refuse to see this as a blessing and you are unwilling to accept it you need to examine your faith and ask yourself if you are following the gospel of Jesus Christ or the gospel of self.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Copper Head Snake

I had a very bizarre moment and was amazed by God’s protection. I took my daughter to the yard and she played on the swing set and climbed all over the slide. I read for school. My oldest son came out and played with her. Then, my youngest son and Mickey came in back yard to. They all played for a while and then my son says “there is something weird on the ground.” He and his sister proceed to bend over and look at it. Mickey goes to check and picks them both up and yells it’s a snake. I get them out of the yard and go back and kill it with a shovel. It was a copper head and it was decent size coiled up and ready to strike. It was bizarre because it was right beside them the whole time and they even leaned over staring at it. I knew that God had protected them but then sitting at dinner God reminded me of an experience I had last week. I had two nights in a row of nightmares about snakes and I kept waking up and praying for my family. I felt like something bad was going to happen and kept praying until God released me from it. At dinner God reminded me of those nights and it shook me up look at my beautiful children and knowing God protected them. Thank you Jesus.  

Do not underestimate the power of prayer

Monday, January 9, 2012

Break this Heart of Stone

Break this Heart of Stone

Ezekiel 11:16-18

16 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’

17 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’

18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

There are a lot of great messages to believers today that are warm and fuzzy. Oh yes, there are many blessings available for believers today. Yet, what about so many who as children of God who have chosen to live in sin and refuse to let go of it. It is not fun to be a prophet of doom and gloom and I rarely write like this but reading back over Old Testament passages like that of Ezekial, when God’s people hold on to sin and make themselves idols, blessings stopped and chastisement followed.

What does this have to do with the children of God today? I fear that much of the Christian population today has removed Jesus from the throne and placed themselves upon it. Consumerism and money have taken the place of God. People seek to fill the void inside of them by buying more, doing more, accomplishing more, feeling more, experiencing more and having Jesus as an additive to the mix of things they add to their life.

Jesus cannot be something we add to our life as we worship many things, mainly ourselves. Yes most of us do not bow down to statues, or even pray to our money but our actions show that we love money and ourselves more than Christ. It is sad to see the horrible things that happened to Israel when they worshiped other God’s but it is beautiful to see the restoration available to His children as they return to God and put off their destestable acts and idols.

American Christianity is in a sad state and I hope that it will not take great calamity before the children of God put Jesus back on the throne. I pray that we will repent of all sin. I pray that we will make Christ number one in every part of our lives. I pray that our hearts of stone will be broken as we see ourselves compared to a Mighty and Holy God. God I pray that the church in America will awaken to its idols, pride, lust and lay them all at your altar. I pray that we will quit pointing fingers at the lost and focus on getting rid of the plank in our own eyes. I pray that we will experience a revival that will rock not only our nation but the world. I pray that You will fall upon this nation in a mighty way.

REVIVAL STARTS WITH YOU please cast down your idols and return to a loving Father.

2 Chronicles 7:14

New International Version (NIV)

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Don't miss what God is doing now.

Read- Genesis 15 Genesis 15:13 13Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain(O) that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and(P) they will be afflicted for(Q) four hundred years. I was thinking about the fact that it was part of the plan for God’s people in a particular generation to be in slavery for four hundred years. At the same time I think we all are prone to feel like we wished we live in a different time period and that we could have been a part of something God did in the past. Also, we focus on looking to the future and either way we often miss out on what God is doing now. Although slavery must have been horrible, God’s people still had a purpose. They were to glorify Him and teach and train future generations to be prepared for the journey of faith and to accomplish what was ahead. God is working in a mighty way right now and we have the opportunity to join Him in what He is doing.

Meditate-Are you making the most of what God is doing in this generation? Are you glorifying God in every way? Are you helping to prepare the next generation for what God has in store?

Act-Make the most of every moment and be used by God right now.

Talk-Talk to a friend about how the Israelites could have been used in the midst of slavery and how you can be used right now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Must read quote of Abraham Lincoln

Words of Abraham Lincoln April 1863

"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have beome too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, to proud to pray to the God who made us. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has grown, but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand that preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us.... We have vainly imagined that all these blessings were produced by some superior virtue and wisdom of our own. It behooves us then to humble ourselves, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

I wonder what he would say today.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tears of Joy

I start a new job in Baytown Texas on June 1 2010. Many of you know my journey and the struggle I have had ever since the end of Living Waters. I went through a process that led me back to researching what I believe about church and questioning my motives about why I do church and why I am a pastor. I have applied at thousands of churches over the last few years and God has slammed the door shut on all of them. Churches act like I have leprosy or something. I have learned to be content in my circumstances and that has been good for me. The best thing I learned is that my walk with God is not determined by my title in a church even though I love church. I was also drawn to missions more than I have been in the past and given a desire to take the church to the lost and hurting in places where the church is not reaching people. I have been given a job starting churches in Multi Housing Communities and it is beyond a perfect fit for me. God is good and it was well worth the wait. It is interesting how amazing it is to see Gods plan when it is finally revealed and see how all the peaces fit together. Thank you Jesus for my new job.

Today was the first time in many many years that I had tears of joy come to my eyes when I thought about my job.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for God to give me a ministry job. Please be praying for our family and friends as we move. As excited as we are it is very bitter sweet to leave friends and family behind.