Monday, November 30, 2009
When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. “It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him a [ezer kenegdo]” (Gen. 2:18 Alter). This phrase is notoriously difficult to translate. The various attempts we have in English tend to be “helper” or “companion” or the notorious “help meet.” Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat …disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing “One day I shall be a help meet?” Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper.
Hebrew scholar Robert Alter is getting close when he translates it “sustainer beside him.” The word ezer is used only 20 other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately. God is your only hope. Your ezer. If he is not there beside you…you are dead. A better translation therefore of ezer would be “life-saver.” Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart.
You see, the life God calls us to is not a safe life. Ask Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Esther – any of the friends of God from the Old Testament. Ask Mary and Lazarus, ask Peter, James and John, ask Priscilla and Aquila – any of the friends of God in the New Testament. God calls us to a life involving frequent risks and many dangers. Why else would we need him to be our ezer? You don’t need a life-saver if your mission is couch potato. You need an ezer when your life is in constant danger.
That longing in the heart of a woman to share life together as a great adventure – that comes straight from the heart of God, who also longs for this. He does not want to be an option in our lives. He does not want to be an appendage, a tag-along. Neither does any woman. God is essential. Eve is essential. She has an irreplaceable role to play.
(Captivating , 31-33)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Hebrews 12: 1-2;
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The course is already marked for us and we have a target to aim at, to be more Christlike. Lord help me to fix my eyes on You and follow your example. We will complete our mission...
One closing passage from 1 Corinthians 9: 24-26
24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Monday, November 23, 2009
..something to think about...
Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This is something that we are doing for Chilis: Kids eat FREE and with things as tight as they are for some of us with kids this is a great deal.
click on this link to get coupon:
If you have any groups, churches, schools, teams and would like these to give out please let me know and I should be able to get them for you.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Our calling has three distinct stages, which we can see in the lives of many called before us, to become mature fishers of men who greatly impact God's Kingdom. First, there is the gestation period. This is the development stage of our lives. It may involve years of normal work experiences. You may be a Christian during this time, or you may be following after worldly success as a non-Christian. Paul spent years in religious and political training, persecuting believers most of his early life. Moses spent years in the court of Pharaoh and 40 years tending flocks in the desert. Jesus spent 30 years living at home and working in His father's carpentry business. However, all these years were part of their preparation.
Next is the crisis stage. Sooner or later, God calls you into relationship with Him. For many, like Paul, it comes through dramatic encounters like being knocked off a horse, blinded and spoken to personally by God. Some people are more difficult than others to reach and so require this level of crisis. This is a time when God requires major changes so that you follow Him fully. It can be a time in which God harnesses years of experience for a new life purpose. Paul's earthly experiences would be used in his calling to the religious and political leaders of his day. For Moses, the burning bush experience would begin his journey in which he would discover his ultimate calling after years of preparation. For Peter, it was his denial of Jesus three times that allowed him to face his shallow commitment to Christ. For Jesus, it was the garden of Gethsemane. These were the benchmark turning points for men who made an impact on their world.
Last is the fruit-bearing stage. In it, God's power is manifested in your life like never before. God takes all your experiences and uses them to build His Kingdom in and through your life. Your obedience to this final call results in fruitfulness you could never imagine without the long preparation process. For Abraham, it resulted in becoming the father of many nations. For Paul, it resulted in bringing the gospel to the Gentiles. And for Peter, it meant becoming the leader of the Church. For Jesus, it was salvation for the entire world.
What does God want to achieve through your life? God has a plan that is so incredible you cannot comprehend it. It requires only that you love Him and follow Him. Then you will become fishers of men like the world has never known.
The 10 most important words:
"I apologize for our mistake. Let me make it right."
When something goes wrong, most people merely want to be heard and acknowledged. So listen, apologize, then ask what you can do to make it right.
The 9 most important words:
"Thank you for your business. Please come back again."
Repeat customers cost less than new customers and are often more loyal.
The 8 most important words:
"I'm not sure, but I will find out."
It's ok if you don't know the answer; it's not ok to make the customer keep searching for it. That's your job.
The 7 most important words:
"What else can I do for you?"
Be prepared to go the extra mile, there is less competition there.
The 6 most important words:
"What is most convenient for you?"
Your customers will be pleasantly surprised when you ask what's convenient for them.
The 5 most important words:
"How may I serve you?"
This question reinforces your role in the relationship. Play that role the best you can.
The 4 most important words:
"How did we do?"
Feedback is critical! Your customers have a unique perspective and they appreciate being asked.
The 3 most important words:
"Glad you're here!"
Customers who feel welcome spend more time, more money and are more likely to return.
The 2 most important words:
Basic manners... but how often do you get thanked when you're the customer?
The MOST important word:
Become a yes person.
Friday, November 13, 2009
by Max Lucado
Water. All Noah can see is water. The evening sun sinks into it. The clouds are reflected in it. His boat is surrounded by it. Water. Water to the north. Water to the south. Water to the east. Water to the west. Water.
He sent a raven on a scouting mission; it never returned. He sent a dove. It came back shivering and spent, having found no place to roost. Then, just this morning, he tried again. With a prayer he let it go and watched until the bird was no bigger than a speck on a window.
All day he looked for the dove's return.
Now the sun is setting, and the sky is darkening, and he has come to look one final time, but all he sees is water. Water to the north. Water to the south. Water to the east. Water to the ...
You know the feeling. You have stood where Noah stood. You've known your share of floods. Flooded by sorrow at the cemetery, stress at the office, anger at the disability in your body or the inability of your spouse. You've seen the floodwater rise, and you've likely seen the sun set on your hopes as well. You've been on Noah's boat.
And you've needed what Noah needed; you've needed some hope. You're not asking for a helicopter rescue, but the sound of one would be nice. Hope doesn't promise an instant solution but rather the possibility of an eventual one. Sometimes all we need is a little hope.
That's all Noah needed. And that's all Noah received.
Here is how the Bible describes the moment: "When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!" (Gen. 8:11 NIV).
An olive leaf. Noah would have been happy to have the bird but to have the leaf! This leaf was more than foliage; this was promise. The bird brought more than a piece of a tree; it brought hope. For isn't that what hope is? Hope is an olive leaf—evidence of dry land after a flood. Proof to the dreamer that dreaming is worth the risk.
Don't we love the olive leaves of life?
"It appears the cancer may be in remission."
"I can help you with those finances."
"We'll get through this together."
What's more, don't we love the doves that bring them?
Perhaps that's the reason so many loved Jesus.
To all the Noahs of the world, to all who search the horizon for a fleck of hope, he proclaims, "Yes!" And he comes. He comes as a dove. He comes bearing fruit from a distant land, from our future home. He comes with a leaf of hope.
Have you received yours? Don't think your ark is too isolated. Don't think your flood is too wide. Receive his hope, won't you? Receive it because you need it. Receive it so you can share it.
Love always hopes. "Love ... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor. 13:4-7 NKJV, emphasis mine).
Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.
Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students, if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open Areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things - family, children, health, Friends, and Favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, Your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else --The small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' He continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play With your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.
'Take care of the golf balls first -- The things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked'. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Today as some of our Wildman brothers leave for Boot camp please take special time to pray PROTECTION for them and their families. We stand together against the enemy and pray for a special anointing over them during this time away.
Remember the enemy has been defeated but he is going to try to side track you, remain the course and trust in God he is faithful and most importantly is with you.
Have a great time........
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, November 11 2009
"I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me-to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share." Genesis 14:24
Abraham's nephew was a man named Lot. Lot was part of Abraham's household until the land on which they fed their flocks could no longer support their growing families and herds. Abraham allowed Lot to choose the land where he wanted to live. Lot chose the land of Sodom.
Afterwards, four kings invaded Sodom, and Lot's family and goods were taken into captivity. When Abraham learned of this, he immediately gathered his best fighting men and pursued the armies to free Lot and his family. He was successful in freeing Lot's family and the families of Sodom. The king of Sodom was grateful to Abraham for what he did and wanted him to keep the goods he recovered. Abraham had made a decision before the battle that he would only keep what he recovered for his nephew Lot, and goods as payment for the men who fought.
Abraham understood the principle of receiving from God. He was a man with great integrity in God. He did not want to be known as someone who became wealthy because of the kindness of a wicked king. He wanted others to know that whatever prosperity he gained was a result of the blessing from God's hand alone. Abraham understood an important principle of receiving from God.
Jesus also modeled this principle by receiving only what His Father wanted Him to receive. God's will for Jesus was to receive based on a carpenter's wage even though He was the God of the universe who had access to all things. Imagine the discipline Jesus had to have, knowing what He could have had. He upheld His own financial integrity in God. Each of us must discern what comes from the hand of God rather than the hand of man. As workplace believers, there are situations that allow us to manipulate, sweat, and toil our way to profit. There is also profit as a result of hard work done in obedience to our calling to the workplace. Knowing the difference in these two concepts is a sign of integrity before God. Only God receives glory when we receive what God wants us to receive. Are you receiving the fruit of your labor in God? Ask God to show you the difference of these two concepts for your own life.
Friday, November 6, 2009
R.E.A.L. Men Bible Study
I. Moving from Doing to Being
Ø Checklist faith
Ø Being in control
Ø God being on your team
Ø Earning your way in the faith
Ø Comparing behavior to others/grading on the curve
Matt 5: 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Romans 8: 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
v. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our position in God’s family
Ephesians 2: 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
v.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
v. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Being (not to-do lists but innate characteristics)
Ø Filled with spirit and faith
Ø Possessed with fruit of the spirit
Ø Transformed by the renewing of the mind
Ø Alive as a good son of the heavenly Father
Ø Full of Power within that is greater than the power in the world
Ø Grace giver
Ø Truth teller
Ø Forgiveness extender
Ø Kindness sharer
Ø Goodness spreader
Ø Lover of all people
Ø Doing work heartily as unto the Lord Christ
Ø Being God’s ambassador to a dying world
Ø Defender of the faith
Ø Warrior of righteousness while being a man of peace
Ø Helper to the down trodden
Ø Passionate for justice and mercy for the helpless
Ø Good provider for the family
Ø A Christ like lover of your wife
Ø A godly father to your children
Ø A man of integrity and principle
Ø A faithful friend
Ø A doer of the word; not just a hearer
Ø Etc, etc
You have the power to change someone's life simply by the words that you speak. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21 NKJV). That's why Paul urges you and me to be careful. "When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger" (Eph. 4:29).
Earlier I gave you a test for love. There's also a test for the tongue. Before you speak, ask: Will what I'm about to say help others become stronger? You have the ability, with your words, to make a person stronger. Your words are to their soul what a vitamin is to their body. If you had food and saw someone starving, would you not share it? If you had water and saw someone dying of thirst, would you not give it? Of course you would. Then won't you do the same for their hearts? Your words are food and water! Do not withhold encouragement from the discouraged. Do not keep affirmation from the beaten down! Speak words that make people stronger. Believe in them as God has believed in you.
I didn't even go back to the dugout. I turned around in the middle of left field and climbed over the fence. I was halfway home when my dad found me. He didn't say a word. Just pulled over to the side of the road, leaned across the seat, and opened the passenger door. We didn't speak. We didn't need to. We both knew the world had come to an end. When we got home, I went straight to my room, and he went straight to the kitchen. Presently he appeared in front of me with cookies and milk. He took a seat on the bed, and we broke bread together. Somewhere in the dunking of the cookies I began to realize that life and my father's love would go on. In the economy of male adolescence, if you love the guy who drops the ball, then you really love him. My skill as a baseball player didn't improve, but my confidence in Dad's love did. Dad never said a word. But he did show up. He did listen up. To bring out the best in others, do the same, and then, when appropriate:
Do you believe in your kids? Then show up. Show up at their games. Show up at their plays. Show up at their recitals. It may not be possible to make each one, but it's sure worth the effort. Do you believe in your friends? Then show up. Show up at their graduations and weddings. Spend time with them. You want to bring out the best in someone? Then show up.