Wednesday, March 31, 2010
RV Brown will be at Woodland for the Men's Night and hes is OFF the Charts. If you have not heard him you do not want to miss this event. It is on April 20th at 6:15 and includes a Barbecue Dinner.
Tickets are on sale now and going fast, go to: click here and get yours while you can.
Bring a friend he will thank you,
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, March 31 2010
"Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel." - Philippians 1:12
Are your life circumstances advancing the gospel? Can you see the Lord's hand in your life in such a way that all of your life experiences, joys, sorrows, hardships, and training have resulted in advancing the gospel?
Paul was a tentmaker by trade. But he had an overall ministry objective in his business life. That objective left him imprisoned and persecuted at times. But Paul saw these events not as roadblocks to his mission. Rather, they were catalysts to advancing the cause of Christ. Paul's revelation of this kept him from despairing about his circumstances.
One day a little-known pastor who lived in the small African nation of Benin began to pray for his Marxist president. For two years he prayed. Then the Lord told the pastor to go to meet this president and share the gospel with him. The president rejected the gospel, but after another such occasion, the president accepted the gospel and became a Christian. He was removed from power but was discipled by this pastor. Sometime later this same president was elected again. Today that president is now a Christian leader of a nation committed to spreading the gospel throughout his nation. One man - yet millions have been affected by his obedience. This modern-day story is retold in countless lives of those willing to live for a cause greater than themselves.
Are your work and life experiences serving to advance the gospel? What experiences has God allowed in your life that are part of His plan to advance the gospel? Ask Him to help you see your life the way He sees it. Seeing our life the way God sees it will help us avoid discouragement in those times when life appears to be a mystery to us.
I just got back from Ocala and spending some quality time with the family and was reading my bible today and wanted to share this Psalm 34 with you:
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4.I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5.Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6.This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7.The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8.Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9.Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10.The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11.Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12.Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13.keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
14.Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15.The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16.the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17.The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18.The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19.A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20.he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22.The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
As I am writing this the song "Be strong in the Lord is playing in the background"
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
REAL Men Bible Study
Tough Minded – Tender Hearted
Matthew 10: 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
I. Living within the opposites – finding the vital dynamics to Godly power
Ø Realistic; yet idealistic
Ø Peace filled; yet willing to stand up for the truth and the needy &downtrodden
Ø Strong willed; yet open to thoughts of others
Ø Confident; yet, humble
Ø Trusting God for results; yet, doing our best
Ø Very aware of society and the world; yet, not really not shaped or guided by it
Ø Intellectually rigorous; yet, capable of deep, appropriate emotions
Ø Positive, joyful spirit; yet, not a Pollyanna
Ø So Willing to help; yet, unwilling to enable dysfunctional behavior
Ø Possessing eternal wisdom; yet, not being a know-it-all, wise guy, put down artist
II. Tough Minded vs. Soft Minded
A. Soft minded Christian
Ø Fears change/loves the status quo
Ø Gullible to false teaching and errors from society
Ø Goes with the flow of the crowd
Ø Differing points of view create anger and insecurity
Ø Looks to others to discover truth and the right path
Ø Fears scientific facts as if they threaten the faith
Ø Jumps to conclusions before facts are examined
Ø Tends toward mindless prejudices/judgments about others – looks at externals only
Ø Reluctant to think deeply and go hard after the truth
Ø Does not learn from mistakes – keeps repeating them
Ø Blames others and sometimes, God, for problems
Ø Practices self defeating behavior
B. Tough minded Christians are the exact opposites of the above
Proverbs 1: 1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-- 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-- 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
III. Soft Hearted vs. Hard Hearted Christians
A. Hard Hearted Christians
Ø Cold and detached from people
Ø Care only about the “facts”; not the people affected
Ø Have little to no compassion
Ø Believes problems of others are their fault and thus, do not deserve help
Ø Has little need for friends unless they benefit him
Ø Sees people as tools to be utilized
Ø Incapable of true love
Ø Faith is a means to achieving personal goals
B. Soft hearted Christians are the exact opposites of the above
Matthew 25: 44 "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Philippians 2: 1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
IV. The Ideal Christian is Tough Minded and Tender Hearted – A Tender Warrior
2 Corinthians 11: 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ…. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
James 2: 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Do you feel secure before God with a dead faith?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Fanatic or Faithful?
I. Differing levels of relationship with Christ
Ø Admires Him and thinks He is a good teacher
Ø Secular or nominal believer or, just a seeker
Ø Knows about Christ; does not know Him
Ø Void of any meaningful power or peace - impotent spiritually
Ø Life looks like most unbelievers
Ø Life is suffered and is an endurance contest
Matthew 7: 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Ø Knows some truths and uses them as weapons to show superiority, gain power over others and gain acclaim/wealth
Ø Judgmental, insensitive, over bearing and condemning
Ø Known for what they are against –show intolerance and self-righteousness
Ø Start most religious wars
Ø Appear to be overly Christian; actually, are not nearly Christian enough
Ø Become modern day Pharisees
Matthew 23: 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. 16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, 'If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; 21 and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; 22 and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it. 23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Ø Look an awful lot like Christ
Colossians 3: 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Ø Do what Christ did
John 14: 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Ø Knows the truth and is set free by it (also, sets others free)
John 8: "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Ø Lead full, robust lives – full of godly power
John 10: 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Philippians 4: 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake."
This was a devotional I read in one of David Jeremiah's books yesterday.
It was the culmination of a series of events the Lord used to convict me to write this for myself and some of my Christian brothers who need to be convicted of obedience to the Law; God's law, certainly, but man's as well.
I don't want to get preachy, and I will let the Spirit talk to you if this applies, but there are some things that we need to be focusing on right now; at a time when there is so much deceipt and corruption in our society.
We as followers of Christ; no, as vessels for His Spirit, we MUST be above these things.
It is tax season. Do you cheat on your taxes? Jesus had such a high standard that if you hated someone, it was the same as murder; if you looked lustfully at a woman, it was the same as adultery.
Jesus said, "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto the Lord what is the Lord's." Have we rendered unto Caesar? or do we play in the "grey" areas. Do we as Christian business owners run personal expenses through our business? Do we take deductions that may be "legal" but aren't necessarily truthful? I don't think with Jesus there were ever any "grey" areas.
I will take it a step further.
Do you get cable television that you don't pay for?
Do you use software copies without paying for it?
Do you download songs from the internet that you should pay for without paying for them?
Do you download things from the internet for use without paying for them (when you should)?
Do you watch pirated movies?
Do your Christian brothers and sisters see you doing these things?
How about your employees?
How about those around you who aren't saved yet?
Is that how Jesus would want them to see Him? (remember, He does live within you).
One thing I have found that I never expected: The way I live my life is watched by more people than I know. And that testimony is more powerful than any argument I can make to try to convince them of the One I follow.
Abraham Lincoln said, "Your actions speak so loudly I can't hear a word you're saying." I think St. Francis said, "preach the Gospel at all times; use words if necessary."
No amount of witnessing with our words can make up for a poor witness in our lives.
Let's remove the logs in our own eyes; then we will be able to see clearly to remove the specs in our brother's.
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, March 10 2010
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten - the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm - My great army that I sent among you." - Joel 2:25
There are seasons in our lives that involve times of famine and times of restoration. Solomon tells us that He has made everything beautiful in its time and that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1,11.)
God brings about both the good and the bad. The seasons of famine have a divine purpose in our lives. They accomplish things that only these hard places can accomplish. But there is a time when those hard places have accomplished their purpose and He begins to restore. God did this with the nation of Israel after a season of famine and devastation.
Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten - the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm - My great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will My people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will My people be shamed" (Joel 2:23-27).
God wants each of us to know that there is a time when He will restore in order to demonstrate His gracious hand in our lives. He is a loving Father who tenderly guides His children through the difficult places. If God has taken you through a time of leanness, know that He is the restorer of that which the locusts have eaten. Wait patiently for Him to bring this about in your life. He will do it.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Tuesday, March 09 2010
"David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, 'I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O Lord, I beg You, take away the guilt of Your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.'" - 2 Samuel 24:10
It just seems to be human nature. As we grow in wealth and ability, our confidence moves from complete trust in the Lord to trust in our resources. King David decided one day that he needed to know how many fighting men he had in his army. This was a grievous sin in the nation of Israel. God always made it clear to the nation that He, not their army, was their source. It was against the law of God to number the troops. David's general, Joab, knew the serious nature of such an action.
But Joab replied to the king, "May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?" (2 Samuel 24:3)
Joab knew that David was treading in dangerous waters when he brought up the idea to him. But David had it in his mind that this is what he was going to do. And he did. The result: God judged David for this sin by smiting the nation with a plague that resulted in the loss of 70,000 lives.
Recently, I was having lunch with a former stockbroker who lost everything in the 1987 stock crash in the United States. He made an interesting comment. "You cannot know how to fully trust the Lord in the financial area until you really have to. When I lost everything, I was forced to trust Him when I knew I could not pay my next bill unless God provided. This was the time I learned to trust God. I never had to trust God before I lost my money because I had plenty. We don't willingly enter this level of trust with God."
Ask God today to keep you from trusting in your own resources. Ask Him how to balance trust and blessing from Him this day.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Please keep us in mind if you hear of any adoption opportunities or if you have any recommendations or suggestions please let me know because we are flying blind on this one and totally trusting in God. We as a family went to see the movie “the Blind Side” over the weekend and we were so encouraged by it. If you have not seen the movie yet, I highly recommend that you see it.
Have a Blessed Day,
Saturday, March 6, 2010
and do we take the time to savor the experience?
In an effort to be better about that, I have put a cork board in my office. I call it my “Glory Board” . It is strategically hung where I look at it every day as as I sit at my desk.
The things that go up on that board are reserved for reminders of when God – in one way or the other – has revealed himself to be real…active…and engaged in my life.
Sometimes it borders on the miraculous…but usually, it is the little things. God seems to love showing up in the common everyday things of my life. The more I take note of Him doing that…the more I learn to recognize his voice…his intimate involvement in my life… and His glory!
I don’t know about you, but I am prone to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to pay attention to the presence of God.
And so it is with the process of seeking The Lord for our purpose in life.
Many of the people we work with us at Identity and Destiny don’t slow down long enough to hear the voice of God. They are not sure when…or if…He really speaks. They’re not sure He’s really there in the little things. They don’t know how to recognize his presence.
I would suggest that you can learn to hear and experience God. You can begin by training yourself to slow down…listen…and begin looking for Him – everyday…everywhere. I assure you He is there…the question is, are we paying attention???
Perhaps you should consider creating your own Glory Board?
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
WHAT IS IT?
From the greek word Koinonia; communion by intamate participation, to hold something in common, an interdependant relationship, an inward relationship as well as an outward relationship.
Koinonia is used 19 times in the New Testement, translated fellowship-twelve times, sharing-three times, participation-two times, contribution-two times. It has the implication of action in its meaning.
Community = Common unity. Jesus Christ is the one that makes us a community(Church). Not just the fact of Jesus, but our personal relationship with him.
Phillippians 2:1-5 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
Acts 2:42-47 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This is the first mention of fellowship(koinonas) in the New Testement and it is just after the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost. Notice how inclusive the wording; everyone, all, every day, anyone, everything. ALL IN!!!
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:35-39 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Matthew 26:36-38 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
CHURCH AIN'T FELLOWSHIP, FELLOWSHIP IS WHAT CHURCH DOES.
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Thursday, March 04 2010
"For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." - Hebrews 4:2
The people of Israel were called out of the bondage of Egyptian slavery. God said they would be brought out of 400 years of slavery so that they might worship Him. God desired to bring them into a place of milk and honey - the Promised Land. Yet that generation never entered into the Promised Land. Why? They never took what they knew in their head and transferred it to their heart. Finally, it never resulted in actions that were based on what they believed.
When I was a new Christian I heard an illustration of what belief and faith looked like when combined. If you were a trapeze artist and were skilled at walking across tightropes over high places, you might even be willing to walk across Niagara Falls. In fact, I would have confidence that you could because I had seen your abilities as a trapeze artist. However, if you asked me if you could push me in a wheelbarrow across Niagara Falls, you would be challenging me to put my beliefs into action. This requires faith, participation, and risk, which, until now, was based only on mental assent.
The writer of Hebrews is telling us that if we believe God but do not enter in to those promises, we are like the man who chooses not to get into the wheelbarrow. If we don't act on our beliefs, then we remain in the desert like the people of Israel who never received God's promises. They did not combine what they knew in their head with a faith that was put into action.
Has God spoken to you about an area in your life that requires a step of faith? Let God provide the courage, as He does the knowledge, to act in faith on what you believe.