Friday, January 29, 2010
Football. And not just any football game. The Super Bowl.
This week, the liberal feminist organization, National Organization for Women (NOW), launched an all-out effort attacking a pro-life ad that will be in the Super Bowl commercial line-up. The ad, produced by our good friends at Focus on the Family, tells the story of Pam Tebow's decision to continue with her pregnancy against her doctor's advice and give birth to the Heisman trophy winning Florida Gator Quarterback, Tim Tebow.
NOW's call to take this advertisement off the air is their attempt at shutting down the Christian witness of Tim Tebow and his mother. Standing by their convictions, the Tebows made this ad to share their experience of accepting God's plan for their lives and experiencing the ultimate gift of Life.
Shouldn't the pro-choice position respect Pam Tebow's decision to choose Life and then tell others about that choice? What is the worst case scenario in allowing this ad to air? Women are exposed to an example of sacrifice for the sake of an unborn child.
The fact of the matter here is that they are attacking more than just Tim Tebow and his mother for having the courage of their convictions to share the positive message of Life they are attacking you and me, and the values we stand for.
We can't allow this to go unanswered. When someone this prominent is willing to put himself out there with a positive message about Life, we need to support him.
Click here and go to our page, where you can send your name and a message of encouragement to Tim Tebow and his family.
Let's show Tim Tebow that the pro-life movement is standing behind him and thank him for sharing his mom's beautiful testimony on choosing Life.
In The Zone
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Friday, January 29 2010
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. - Joshua 1:7
In sports, there is a term known as "in the zone." It is a description of a person executing his skills so well that total concentration is taking place, and the athlete is performing flawlessly. It is a wonderful feeling. Performance seems effortless because it comes so easily. For the tennis player, it is hitting every shot right where he wants. For the baseball pitcher, it is throwing to a strike zone that seems big as a house. For the golfer, the fairways are wide, and the hole is big. Everything is flowing just right.
I grew up playing competitive golf. I turned pro out of college for a few years, but later God led me away from playing professionally. When I played competitively, I knew when I was in the zone and when I wasn't. A few years ago, I played in my club championship. It was the opening round, and I was in the zone. I recall the difference was that my mental attitude was focused on executing the swing I wanted to make with little regard to the outcome. I could visualize the swing so well; it was like a movie picture in my mind. Very little thought was given to the outcome of the shot. I knew that if I could make the right swing, the outcome would take care of itself. That day I shot four under par 68. I went on to win the golf tournament. I have had few such days of being "in the zone."
Obedience in the Christian life is being in the zone. When we live a life of obedience, we begin to experience the reality of God like never before. Wisdom grows in our life. Meaning and purpose are accelerated. In the early Church, the Hebrews gained wisdom through obedience. Later, the Greeks were characterized as gaining wisdom through reason and analysis. Today, we live in a very Greek-influenced Church. Many Christians determine if they will obey based on whether the outcome will be beneficial to them. Imagine if the early Church had adopted this philosophy. No walls would have fallen down at Jericho. No Red Sea would have parted. No one would have been healed. No coins would have been found in the mouth of a fish. Reason and analysis would not have led to making the obedient decision. Trust and obey. Leave the outcome to God.
by Max Lucado
I only ask one thing from the LORD. This is what I want: let me live in the LORD's house all my life.
— Psalm 27:4
I'd like to talk with you about your house. Let's step through the front door and walk around a bit. Every so often it's wise to do a home inspection, you know—check the roof for leaks and examine the walls for bows and the foundation for cracks. We'll see if your kitchen cupboards are full and glance at the books on the shelves in your study.
What's that? You think it odd that I want to look at your house? You thought this was a book on spiritual matters? It is. Forgive me, I should have been clearer. I'm not talking about your visible house of stone or sticks, wood or straw, but your invisible one of thoughts and truths and convictions and hopes. I'm talking about your spiritual house.
You have one, you know. And it's no typical house. Conjure up your fondest notions and this house exceeds them all. A grand castle has been built for your heart. Just as a physical house exists to care for the body, so the spiritual house exists to care for your soul.
You've never seen a house more solid: the roof never leaks, the walls never crack, and the foundation never trembles. You've never seen a castle more splendid: the observatory will stretch you, the chapel will humble you, the study will direct you, and the kitchen will nourish you.
Ever lived in a house like this? Chances are you haven't. Chances are you've given little thought to housing your soul. We create elaborate houses for our bodies, but our souls are relegated to a hillside shanty where the night winds chill us and the rain soaks us. Is it any wonder the world is so full of cold hearts?
Doesn't have to be this way. We don't have to live outside. It's not God's plan for your heart to roam as a Bedouin. God wants you to move in out of the cold and live ... with him. Under his roof there is space available. At his table a plate is set. In his living room a wingback chair is reserved just for you. And he'd like you to take up residence in his house. Why would he want you to share his home?
Simple, he's your Father.
You were intended to live in your Father's house. Any place less than his is insufficient. Any place far from his is dangerous. Only the home built for your heart can protect your heart. And your Father wants you to dwell in him.
No, you didn't misread the sentence and I didn't miswrite it. Your Father doesn't just ask you to live with him, he asks you to live inhim. As Paul wrote, "For in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28 NIV).
Don't think you are separated from God, he at the top end of a great ladder, you at the other. Dismiss any thought that God is on Venus while you are on earth. Since God is Spirit (John 4:23), he is next to you: God himself is our roof. God himself is our wall. And God himself is our foundation.
Moses knew this. "LORD," he prayed, "you have been our home since the beginning" (Ps. 90:1). What a powerful thought: God as your home.
From The Great House of God
Thursday, January 28, 2010
My bible has 2375 pages, and a lot of commentary.
Today there are countless books to explain how to be “Christlike.”
The 'LAW' of the Jews had over 600 laws to strictly follow to earn salvation.
Jesus narrowed it down to two, and he only preached for a few of years.
Believe / Receive
John 3; 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Repentance / Baptism
Acts 2; 36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."
Matthew 16; 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Luke 9:23 add's the word daily)
Love Me / Love Others
Deuteronomy 6; 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Matthew 22; 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Mark 16; 15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Can you give me any help with how to handle this?
I am only in town for a few days and I want to share more with him.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Spoke with John today. He is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. He thanked everyone for their prayer coverage and support. He told me specifically to "let the guys know how much their prayer support means to him and his entire family right now". He also thanked those who left brief messages of their heart felt concern who also said there was "no need to call back". That too lifted and released John's professional personality and internal standard to get back with everyone, thank you for the grace in which you ministered to him and continue to stand by John. During the next few tumultuous months the waves of grief may visit upon the bow of John's steadfast ship without warning. Please continue to Pray for him and his family.
Also you should know your attendance at Sarah's service gave our brother John the strength, the courage and honor to speak the exact message to those who had ears to hear the Lord's message through John at Sarah's memorial service. As I write these words I am holding back tears. I can't imagine John's focus at the time but, John said "to see the guys (Wildmen) in the front row and all over the place, that gave him strength" to carry on and you men gave him the physical visual frame just by your presence that re-focused him to stand and deliver! So from me in only written words, but from John's own heart THANK YOU!
You guys are the best ambassadors of Christ's love, strengthen, courage and honor. Brothers: May the Lord God Almighty bless you for your service to Him in ministry to John and his family. Guys, We will see Sarah again, but not yet.
In the Meantime, Let us work ever so diligently to bring men and their families into the Kingdom.
PS Pray that Jesus may grant peace to the Napolitano family and calm the storm
Mark chapter 4
Jesus Calms the Storm
35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" 39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Any Wildmen interested in climbing this Saturday please call Chip at 704-0085 so he can answer questions and know how many to expect. We will be starting around 8:30 so you can come anytime during the morning as we will be there as long as we have guys interested in climbing and hanging out
You can reach Chip Powell at 704.0085.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Today I have been struggling with a deal and have been at a cross roads with how to handle it. I got up early today and spent quite time with God and in the word on another pressing issue but I have been un easy about how to handle this call. Then it occured to me to open my bible and I turned to Isaiah 35 Springs of Water. I had never read that one.
To summerize it:
Be strong, fear not, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you. It goes on to tell more great stuff but you will need to dust off your bible and read it.
My point is: When things are tough instead of looking down in despair.... Look up and focus your eyes on God and he will see you through.
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Tuesday, January 19 2010
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart. - Proverbs 17:3
This proverb describes one of God's strangest mysteries. It is a description of God's formula to refine the human heart in order to bring out its finest qualities. The significant leaders who make the greatest mark for the Kingdom had to experience their own crucible and fire. Without it, the dross can never be removed from the human heart. Without it, the encumbrances weigh us down. God understands the human heart. He understands that for us to become all that He hopes for us, there are seasons of fire. Joseph went through many tests. Succeeding in the test qualified him for greater responsibility. The greater the use in the Kingdom the greater the crucible to prepare the right foundation. Some of God's greatest crucibles are found in the workplace where we live every day: the employee who betrays our trust, the client who refuses to pay, the vendor who falls short of our expectations.
Each of these is a test from God to find out how we will respond. What tests are being brought your way today? His grace has been provided that we might pass the tests that He brings before us. Should we fail, we need not fear. His grace is sufficient for this as well. Ask God for the grace to walk with Him in whatever tests He has placed before you this day. He is able to accomplish what He wants for you.
Monday, January 18, 2010
I got a call from a WildMen in Tampa and they have some trucks with supplies for Haiti and they need help unloading the trucks tomorrow at the airfield @ 100 Airport Blvd. Venice, Fl.
Agape Air is the agent handling the shipment.
The Time that they need help is at 8:00am.
Contact person driving one of the trucks is Chris McHugh, c. 540-379-5532
If you can help please do so, that is all the intel that I have.
See you all tomorrow night.
LYDIA MARIA CHILD
Life in abundance comes only through great love.
Love is the immortal flow of energy that nourishes, extends and preserves. Its eternal goal is life.
What force is more potent that love?
Next time you are challenged and want to respond in the natural..Try the unnatural, Respond with Love. The Bible says that a kind word will turn away wrath.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Would you recognize him? It might be difficult. Jesus didn't wear religious clothes in his day. Doubtful that he would wear them in ours. If he came today to your church, he'd wear regular clothes. Nothing fancy, just a jacket and shoes and a tie. Maybe a tie ... maybe not.
He would have a common name. "Jesus" was common. I suppose he might go by Joe or Bob or Terry or Elliot.
Elliot ... I like that. Suppose Elliot, the Son of God, came to your church.
Of course, he wouldn't be from Nazareth or Israel. He'd hail from some small spot down the road like Hollow Point or Chester City or Mt. Pleasant.
And he'd be a laborer. He was a carpenter in his day. No reason to think he'd change, but let's say he did. Let's say that this time around he was a plumber. Elliot, the plumber from Mt. Pleasant.
God, a plumber?
Rumor has it that he fed a football field full of people near the lake. Others say he healed a senator's son from Biloxi. Some say he's the Son of God. Others say he's the joke of the year. You don't know what to think.
And then, one Sunday, he shows up.
About midway through the service he appears in the back of the auditorium and takes a seat. After a few songs he moves closer to the front. After yet another song he steps up on the platform and announces, "You are singing about me. I am the Son of God." He holds a Communion tray. "This bread is my body. This wine is my blood. When you celebrate this, you celebrate me!"
What would you think?
Would you be offended? The audacity of it all. How irreverent, a guy named Elliot as the Son of God!
Would you be interested? Wait a minute, how could he be the Son of God? He never went to seminary, never studied at a college. But there is something about him ...
Would you believe? I can't deny it's crazy. But I can't deny what he has done.
It's easy to criticize contemporaries of Jesus for not believing in him. But when you realize how he came, you can understand their skepticism.
Jesus didn't fit their concept of a Messiah. Wrong background. Wrong pedigree. Wrong hometown. No Messiah would come from Nazareth. Small, hick, one-stoplight town. He didn't fit the Jews' notion of a Messiah, and so, rather than change their notion, they dismissed him.
He came as one of them. He was Jesus from Nazareth. Elliot from Mt. Pleasant. He fed the masses with calloused hands. He raised the dead wearing bib overalls and a John Deere Tractor cap.
They expected lights and kings and chariots from heaven. What they got was sandals and sermons and a Galilean accent.
And so, some missed him.
And so, some miss him still.
Brothers.... Let's find the ones that missed him and introduce them. It is the greatest gift we ever give.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Thursday, January 14 2010
..."Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on." - Exodus 14:15
Moses had brought the whole nation of Israel, approximately 600,000, to a dead end in the desert. The only thing between Israel and Pharaoh's pursuing army was the Red Sea. This was after ten plagues God had inflicted on Pharaoh to motivate him to free the Israelites. Finally, Pharaoh had freed Moses and the people, and they left Egypt. They thought they were home free. "Freedom at last," they said. But God did a strange thing. He directed Moses to take a route that led to the Red Sea, instead of the northern route around the Red Sea. God explained that He didn't want them fighting the enemies they would have encountered on this route. But still, there was the issue of the Red Sea.
They finally arrived at the Red Sea, and the people were wondering where they would go from there. News hit the camp: Pharaoh had changed his mind. He was coming after them with his army. Panic set in. The defenseless Israelites cried out, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?...It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" (Ex. 14:11b-12)
God sometimes brings each of us to a "Red Sea" in our life. It may be a work problem that can't be solved. It may be a marriage that seems to be failing. It may be a debilitating disease. Whatever your Red Sea, God tells us one thing: "Keep moving." The Red Sea was before them, yet God was angered at Moses and told him to "Keep moving."
"But Lord, the Red Sea is before me." "Keep moving." When we live by sight, we act on what we see. God sets this stage in dramatic fashion. God is into the dramatic. There is no way out without God here. That is just the way He wants it. No one will get glory except God.
A friend once admonished me when I was in the midst of an extremely difficult time in my life, "You must not withdraw from being proactive in your faith just because of this trial that you are in. God's hand is on your life. There are too many who are depending on you to fulfill the purposes God has in your life. Keep moving! Keep investing yourself in others." I didn't feel like it. I was in too much pain. But I did it anyway. God met me at the point of my greatest need once I decided simply to be obedient. Getting past myself by investing myself in others helped heal the pain. There is great healing when we look past our own problems and seek to invest ourselves in others for the sake of Christ. This is when our own Red Seas become parted. We begin to walk to freedom. But we will never experience the miracle of the Red Sea in our lives if we don't first "Keep moving."
The next time you're feeling anxious, fearful, or worried about anything, remember He's on your side. If God is for you, who can be against you? He promises to guide and protect you and lead you into victory in every area of your life!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
"Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me. Thank You for Your peace even in the midst of the storms of life. I know that You are with me, and I can stand strong because You will lead me into victory all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, January 13 2010
I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart. - Psalm 40:8
How would you describe the process by which you find and do God's will in your life? For some, finding God's will is like playing bumper cars. We keep going in one direction until we bump into an obstacle, turn, and go in another direction. It is a constant process of elimination, failure, or success. Is this the way God would have us find His will? No. There is much more relationship between hearing God's voice and living within the mystery of His omnipotence in our lives. Perhaps this process is more like water in a streambed. The water is constantly flowing to a final destination. As it presses against the streambed, it gently points the water toward its final destination. There are no abrupt head-on collisions, simply slight modifications of direction. Occasionally, we come to a sharp turn in the contours of our life. For those times, God allows us to stretch our normal response to change. A popular Bible study says that we cannot go with God and stay where we are. Finding and doing God's will always require change. What changes are necessary in your life to join God in what He is already doing?
There is a direct connection between finding and doing God's will and having God's law in our heart. A friend once complained that he did not know what God wanted of him in his life. My immediate response was, "How much time do you spend with God in Bible study, prayer, and meditation on Scripture?" "Only a few minutes a day," he replied. How can we expect to hear and discern God's voice if we don't spend focused time with Him? If you have a spouse, how did you get to know him or her before you were married? You spent time together. You got to know everything about each other. Our walk with God is no different. It isn't enough to have a desire to follow God; we must put our energy into getting to know Him. His will for us flows out of our relationship, it is not an end in itself. Commit yourself to seeking Him more in your life by spending more time with Him. "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jer. 33:3).
Billy and I are going to head up to the viewing at 1:00 on Friday. We will be leaving from Woodlands if you would like to meet there and we can all car pool. If you want to join us please leave a comment on the blog or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get a count. My number is 941 907 4132 if you need to call me as well.
I spoke to John for a few brief minutes last night and he told me to tell you all "thank you" for all your prayers and concern..... He told me some good news which is that his sister is in Heaven with our Father and that she is in a better place.
He also said that this tragedy will be turned and used to Glorify God and that at all times we are to praise God.
I told him that we all loved him and were lifting him up in prayer....
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Please pray for the Napolitano and Blackburn families.
Here are the dates and times for the viewing and memorial service. Please share with anyone you feel should know.
Friday - Viewing
Two times, 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm
Grace Memorial Gardens
16981 US Hwy 19 N.
Hudson, FL 34667
Saturday - Memorial Service
St. Theresa's Church
1107 Commercial Way
Spring Hill, FL 34606
If you are in Pinellas, Jan is planning to leave from Pathways Community Church, heading north (about 1 1/2 hour drive) at 5:30pm on Friday. On Saturday morning I will be leaving at 8am from Pathways. You are welcome to follow along.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.
2.She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
3.She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.
4."Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment.
5."Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.
6.Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.
7."Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
8.Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
9.Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
10"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.
12.If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer."
13.The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge.
14.She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15.calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way.
16."Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment.
17."Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious! "
18.But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave.
Prayer to Initiate Listening Prayer
Father I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ, your son, and according to James 1:5 I am seeking wisdom for _______________________
In the name of Jesus, according to Matthew 28:18 and Luke 10:19 & 20 I take authority over satan and his fallen angels and command that they be rendered deaf, dumb and blind to my prayers and removed from my presence. I place my own voice under subjection to the shed blood of Jesus and command that my own thoughts be taken captive to the obedience of Christ, according to II Corinthians 10:5 I ask that only Your Holy Spirit will speak to me as I wait on you for wisdom, insight and direction for ________________ and what You show me and direct me to d I will quickly obey.
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”
Luke 10:19 & 20 “ I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.”
II Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
We have been talking for as long as I can remember about quiet time with God in the morning and it is hard, I struggle with it daily. I try going to be early and getting up early but that is tough with my work load. Today I got up at 6:00 and as I went to go read Dylan woke up and we ended up talking. It is not 10:15 and I am finally alone and reading my bible and I went to Psalm 5 her it is:
Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing.
2.Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
3.In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
4.You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.
5.The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.
6.You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.
7.But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.
8.Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies-- make straight your way before me.
9.Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.
10Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
11But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
At a time when we are all struggling so much this is good advice and a good plan.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
REAL Men Bible Study
I. Christianized Behavior or Godly Character?
A. Christianized Behavior
Ø Keep my values, attitudes and beliefs but run them through a Christian façade or filter.
Ø Still all about me and getting what I want
Ø Change is external; not internal
Ø Trying to change perceptions of others while not affecting the core realities
Ø Approval/acceptance is sought from others
Ø I remain in control and determine what goes to God and His purposes
Ø No noticeable moral/ethical/behavioral differences between me and an unbeliever
Ø Powerless, faithless, insignificant life
Ø Weak or failed relationships
Ø Reactive approach to life – from incident to incident and accident to accident
Ø Weakened role of the church/Christ in and on society
Ø High level of addictive patterns of thought and behavior
Ø Low level of self esteem and peace
B. Godly Character
Romans 12: 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2 Corinthians 3: 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Ø Discover God’s character it and adopt it as our own
Ø Only priority is pleasing God
Ø Changes start on the inside but affect all external areas as well
Ø Approval from God is all that matters
Ø Christ is Lord and Master and He owns me and all I have
Ø Radical change in morals, ethics, beliefs, values, priorities, habits and behavior
Ø Powerful, faith-filled, significant life
Ø Multi-generational positive impact on people
Ø Proactive life with vision, purpose, and sense of mission
Ø Church’s influence on culture is powerful
Ø Slaves only to the Lordship of Christ
Ø Filled with fruit of Spirit
Galatians 5: 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
by Ann Coulter
January 6, 2010
Someone mentioned Christianity on television recently and liberals reacted with their usual howls of rage and blinking incomprehension.
On a Fox News panel discussing Tiger Woods, Brit Hume said, perfectly accurately:
"The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."
Hume's words, being 100 percent factually correct, sent liberals into a tizzy of sputtering rage, once again illustrating liberals' copious ignorance of Christianity. (Also illustrating the words of the Bible: "How is it you do not understand me when I speak? It is because you cannot bear to listen to my words." John 8:43.)
In The Washington Post, Tom Shales demanded that Hume apologize, saying he had "dissed about half a billion Buddhists on the planet."
Is Buddhism about forgiveness? Because, if so, Buddhists had better start demanding corrections from every book, magazine article and blog posting ever written on the subject, which claims Buddhists don't believe in God, but try to become their own gods.
I can't imagine that anyone thinks Tiger's problem was that he didn't sufficiently think of himself as a god, especially after that final putt in the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year.
In light of Shales' warning Hume about "what people are saying" about him, I hope Hume's a Christian, but that's not apparent from his inarguable description of Christianity. Of course, given the reaction to his remarks, apparently one has to be a regular New Testament scholar to have so much as a passing familiarity with the basic concept of Christianity.
On MSNBC, David Shuster invoked the "separation of church and television" (a phrase that also doesn't appear in the Constitution), bitterly complaining that Hume had brought up Christianity "out-of-the-blue" on "a political talk show."
Why on earth would Hume mention religion while discussing a public figure who had fallen from grace and was in need of redemption and forgiveness? Boy, talk about coming out of left field!
What religion -- what topic -- induces this sort of babbling idiocy? (If liberals really want to keep people from hearing about God, they should give Him his own show on MSNBC.)
Most perplexing was columnist Dan Savage's indignant accusation that Hume was claiming that Christianity "offers the best deal -- it gives you the get-out-of-adultery-free card that other religions just can't."
In fact, that's exactly what Christianity does. It's the best deal in the universe. (I know it seems strange that a self-described atheist and "radical sex advice columnist faggot" like Savage would miss the central point of Christianity, but there it is.)
God sent his only son to get the crap beaten out of him, die for our sins and rise from the dead. If you believe that, you're in. Your sins are washed away from you -- sins even worse than adultery! -- because of the cross.
"He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross." Colossians 2:14.
Surely you remember the cross, liberals -- the symbol banned by ACLU lawsuits from public property throughout the land?
Christianity is simultaneously the easiest religion in the world and the hardest religion in the world.
In the no-frills, economy-class version, you don't need a church, a teacher, candles, incense, special food or clothing; you don't need to pass a test or prove yourself in any way. All you'll need is a Bible (in order to grasp the amazing deal you're getting) and probably a water baptism, though even that's disputed.
You can be washing the dishes or walking your dog or just sitting there minding your business hating Susan Sarandon and accept that God sent his only son to die for your sins and rise from the dead ... and you're in!
"Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9.
If you do that, every rotten, sinful thing you've ever done is gone from you. You're every bit as much a Christian as the pope or Billy Graham.
No fine print, no "your mileage may vary," no blackout dates. God ought to do a TV spot: "I'm God Almighty, and if you can find a better deal than the one I'm offering, take it."
The Gospel makes this point approximately 1,000 times. Here are a few examples at random:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23.
In a boiling rage, liberals constantly accuse Christians of being "judgmental." No, we're relieved.
Christianity is also the hardest religion in the world because, if you believe Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead, you have no choice but to give your life entirely over to Him. No more sexual promiscuity, no lying, no cheating, no stealing, no killing inconvenient old people or unborn babies -- no doing what all the other kids do.
And no more caring what the world thinks of you -- because, as Jesus warned in a prophecy constantly fulfilled by liberals: The world will hate you.
With Christianity, your sins are forgiven, the slate is wiped clean and your eternal life is guaranteed through nothing you did yourself, even though you don't deserve it. It's the best deal in the universe.
COPYRIGHT 2009 ANN COULTER
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The Purpose of the Desert
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Thursday, January 07 2010
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. - Hosea 2:14
If you have an important message to convey to someone, what is the best means of getting the message through? Have you ever tried to talk with someone who was so busy you could not get him to hear you? Distractions prevent us from giving our undivided attention to the messenger. So too, God has His way of taking us aside to get our undivided attention. For Paul, it was Arabia for three years; for Moses, it was 40 years in the desert; for Joseph, it was 13 years in Egypt; for David, it was many years of fleeing from King Saul.
God knows the stubborn human heart. He knows that if He is to accomplish His deepest work, He must take us into the desert in order to give us the privilege to be used in His Kingdom. In the desert God changes us and removes things that hinder us. He forces us to draw deep upon His grace. The desert is only a season in our life. When He has accomplished what He wants in our lives in the desert, He will bring us out. He has given us a mission to fulfill that can only be fulfilled after we have spent adequate time in preparation in the desert. Fear not the desert, for it is here you will hear God's voice like never before. It is here you become His bride. It is here you will have the idols of your life removed. It is here you begin to experience the reality of a living God like never before. Someone once said, "God uses enlarged trials to produce enlarged saints so He can put them in enlarged places!"
He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me (2 Samuel 22:20).
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Tuesday, January 05 2010
All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader.... - 1 Samuel 22:2
God uses broken things to accomplish His greatest work. When David was anointed to be the next king, he was just a boy, the youngest among all his brothers. Little did he know that the next several years would be years of fleeing from Saul whose successes turned into obsessions as a leader who had fallen from God's anointing. Perhaps David thought, "Why am I living a life as a fugitive?" I am the next king of Israel. Yet, his life was filled with adversity after adversity before he ever fulfilled the ultimate calling God had for him. Others began to hear of David's successes and identify with his plight. But, it wasn't the successful and polished who came to join him. It was "those who were in distress or in debt or discontented" who would be part of his army -- and an army it was! His army would become known throughout the world as the greatest ever assembled, not because of their skill, but because of the God behind the army. God turned David's men into "mighty men of valor" (see 1 Chron. 11:10).
God often uses failure to make us useful. When Jesus called the disciples, He did not go out and find the most qualified and successful people. He found the most willing, and He found them in the workplace. He found a fisherman, a tax collector, and a farmer.
The Hebrews knew that failure was a part of maturing in God. The Greeks used failure as a reason for disqualification. Sadly, in the Church, we often treat one another in this way. This is not God's way. We need to understand that failing does not make us failures. It makes us experienced. It makes us more prepared to be useful in God's Kingdom -- if we have learned from it. And that is the most important ingredient for what God wants in His children.