Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Peace

As I sit here on Christmas Eve I starting to think about three words you see on many Christmas Cards. PEACE ON EARTH. One thing is for sure, we haven't seen much peace on Earth. In the last century our country has been involved in two world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, not to mention numerous conflicts. At the beginning of this century we witnessed an attack on our country - the Twin Towers - and now we rage a war on terrorism. At this very moment we have troops stationed in Iraq keeping peace. Not much peace on earth here.

If we look at our own lives we probably can see conflict all around us. Many of us face conflicts with family members, neighbors, church members, co-workers and bosses to name a few. When you put two people together you will eventually have conflict. I think one of the main reasons is a self-centered thinking that exists in all of us. The sin nature if you prefer.

1 Corinthians 3:3 NLT for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world?

So when Christmas arrives we, with good hearts and good intentions, look to find peace. In the process of enjoying the Christmas season we forget about what is going on around us and we find a little peace in our lives, a peace that we so often miss through out the rest of the year.

Jesus knew that peace was important. In John 14 as everything the disciples knew was about to get turned upside down Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (John 14:27) Good words for us today.

After He rose from the dead the first words that Jesus spoke to the group of disciple that were hiding and waiting was, "So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, "Peace be with you." (John 20:19)

If you look at these two verses you will see a common denominator, FEAR. In the upper room before the cross Jesus said "Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." After the cross as He found the disciples hiding because they were in fear. Fear will steal your peace.

In the season for giving one thing is true. You can never out give God. "By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life . . ." (2 Peter 1:3) God is a giver. God has given us many things. However, this Christmas why don't you receive the PEACE that He gives. Peace in the middle of all that is going on around you. Peace that passes all understanding. (Philippines 4:7) A peace that melts fear, gives rest and encourages the soul. It is a gift for all to receive. It is the message the angels sang on a night 2000 years ago. "And on earth peace, good will toward men."

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Glory is Fleeting

"For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting." - Gen. George C. Patton

Today at the end of our 11:15 church service, I experienced a moment I will never forget. A moment where I was really embarrassed. A moment that really blessed me. It came from those whom I serve, the congregation of Grace church. Pastor Bob invited me to come out to do the announcements as usual but as I approached the pulpit Pastor began to speak about the Christmas outreach that we had done the day before. It was a great day where we saw 1,708 people come to received 520 boxes of food and 1,250 toys for their children. 800 kids enjoyed a Kid zone full of games and best of all, 103 responded to the altar call with over 300 people from our church coming out to help.

Pastor stood next to me and said how much he appreciated all that I do for Grace church. That was itself a huge honor for me. But then the congregation not only began to applaud but they stood to their feet. Imagine that. They stood and applauded me. It was embarrassing to say the least.

I believe a man does what he can to the best of his ability. You do it when everyone notices and when no one notices. You do it first to the God you serve and then because you should. My dad taught me, "A job worth doing is worth doing well." Not for recognition or glory but because you are a man. I put the General Patton quote above as a reminder that victories do not last. The Patton quote reminds me that no matter how good you are there is always going to be someone better. I believe you're only as good as the results of your last endeavor. A number of successes will carry you through a few failures, but eventually you've got to hit the single along with a few home runs to stay in front of the game.

You enjoy the moment but you cannot live in it. You must move on. I see this as a form of humility. Humility is one of the top five best character traits a man should have. With humility the Bible says God will give you grace.

James 4:6 NLT ". . . As the Scriptures say, "God opposes the proud but favors the humble."


For what I do I give God the glory. I know myself and if it wasn't for God I would be nothing. To those who appreciate what I do I say, "THANK YOU." These are small words which do not show how grateful I really am for the show of approval. In the end let God get the glory.


Friday, December 19, 2008

if Women Ruled the world

A Bit of HUMOR for your Friday.













Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Positive vs. Negative

We seem to live in a world that enjoys the negative more than the positive. You turn on the news and it is full of the negative. From wall street to you home town street they fill your ears with negative. News media says they are just reporting the events as they see them. However, NEGATIVE news sells better than POSITIVE news. Even our last presidential election proved this. In fact every election I have been able to participate in the election campaigns were all about changing things for the better. In the early 80's President Reagan during his run for the presidency continually asked, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago." It really didn't sound too bad but the implication was, "No, I am not better off now than four years ago. I am worse off because things are worse. Things just aren't as good as they use to be."

This morning after I finished reading CNN.com and Foxnews.com I wondered. If God had a website I wonder what His headline news would be. I wonder what the RSS (Really Simple Syndication - a lightweight format for sharing headlines and other Web content) feed's on God web page would be. Here is what I believe they would be.

_________________________________________________

God has Forgiven You - I John 1:9

You are God's Beloved - Romans 8:35-39, I john 4:19

God is Still in Control - Psalm 23

God has enabled you to do what you need to do when you need to do it - Philippines 4:13

You are FREE - Colossians 1:13-14

God has made a way where there is no way - I Corinthians 10:13

God has an answer - II Peter 1:3,4

You have the Holy Spirit of God inside of you - Romans 8:11

You are a Citizen of Heaven which means one day:

  • You will eat of the tree of life - Rev 2:7

  • You will wear the Crown of life - Rev 2:10

  • You have a new wardrobe made of White - Rev 3:5

  • You will receive a NEW NAME - Rev 3:12
  • You have a seat with Jesus - Rev 3:21

Facts change but the truth never changes. The things going on in the world are facts that will change. The cold weather will be replaced with warm summer weather. Snow is replaced with rain. Economic down turn will be replaced with economic up turn.

God's Word is truth and it never changes no matter what is going on in our fact based world. How about that for a headline. But then again that is GOOD NEWS. And although that may not sell a newspaper, it is the type of news this world needs. God bless.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Slow Down You Move to Fast, You Got to make the Moment Last

This week it has been BUSY. Preparations for upcoming events have raised the level of busyness in the church to a high. From my office this is December. A month with a high level of busyness. I guess to most that is true. Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, Christmas decorations, Christmas visiting with family and friends which often includes travel plans. Throw in some snow that really slows things down and we have a month of BUSY.

In Luke 10:38-42 is the story of Martha and Mary. Martha was BUSY. Busy preparing to entertain her guests. I love those people who are good at hospitality. They have a sixth sense about what needs to be done and how to do it. From table set up to food preparation to food presentation, they have it all covered. However, Martha, like many of us, ran into a situation that many of us run into during the Christmas season. It is a situation that causes us to get off course in our walk with God. It's called - Over Committed. Verse 40 says, "But Martha was distracted with all her preparations. . ." The word here actually means over-committed. Martha was trying to do more than her could and probably more than she should. Sound familiar. Over committed, Martha got angry and went to Jesus and yelled at Him, basically took her anger, feelings of over commitment, feelings of frustration and fear of failure out on Him. In fact, Martha got real angry at her sister Mary for not helping her.

You will notice in the story Jesus didn't jump up and run to help Martha. Jesus didn't stop everything and tell people they needed to go help Martha. No Jesus focused Martha on what was important. Jesus, said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried (which means you are drawn away in many directions causing you to get anxious) and bothered about so many things (which means to be in an uproar over situations and things)." He went on to say, " . . only a few things are important, really only one." Martha lost sight of priorities, that list of things placed in proper order of importance that keeps us on track. Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. Mary placed Jesus on the top of her priority list.

All the holiday shopping is fine. All the holiday food and decorations are fine as long as we don't forget the reason for all the celebration. JESUS.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jesus

One of my favorite bible teacher is John MacArthur. Although I don't agree with everything he teaches he does have great insite into the Word of God. In his commentary on the Book of Hebrews, specifically Hebrews 1:1-4:

Hebrews 1:1-4 NASB God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, (2) in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (3) And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (4) having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

John MacArthur writes:

"Someone has said that Jesus Christ came from the bosom of the Father to the bosom of a woman. He put on humanity that we might put divinity. He became Son of Man that we might become sons of God. He was born contrary to the laws of nature, lived in poverty, was reared in obscurity, and only once crossed the boundary of the land in which He was born and that in His childhood. He had no wealth or influence and had neither training nor education in the world's schools. His relatives were inconspicuous and uninfluencial. In infancy He startled a king. In boyhood He puzzled the learned doctors. In manhood He ruled the course of nature. He walked upon the billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book and yet all the libraries of the world could not hold the books about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all songwriters together. He never founded a college, yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced medicine and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors have healed broken bodies.

This Jesus Christ is the star of astronomy, the rock of geology, the lion and the lamb of zoology, the harmonizer of all discords, and the healer of all diseases. Throughout history great men have come and gone, yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him. Satan could not seduce Him. Death could not destroy Him and the grave could not hold Him."

Well, I just don't know if you can say it better than that. AMEN.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sitting in My OFFICE

As I was sitting here in my office at the end of my day I began reflecting on what just happened in the last 8 hours. It all started out normal enough, staff devotions followed by my morning meeting with Pastor. I then went from ordering hams for the Christmas Outreach we have coming up – not something I do everyday - to spending an hour with a good friend and member of our church who needed to talk and have someone to pray with. This person had just received some not so good news. (I'll bet that happened to a number of you today.) Life does happen and with it some good and some bad. My day ended with a staff person deciding it was time to step down from the position that they have held for 8 years. It was nothing bad they just felt it was time. Their life and family situation had changed enough to demand that they step down.

So as I sit here looking at a huge pile of toys in my office church members have donated for this same Christmas Outreach I mentioned above I realized when you are where God wants you to be you can do anything required of you.

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

The Message bible says it this way, "Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." Philippians 4:13 MSG

Whether you are a minister, car sales person, butcher, baker or candle stick maker if you are where God wants you to be you can do it. It's not your call that is important it is your response to the call that is. God will not reward you on what job you have but on how you do the job you have. What may seem small in your eyes is not small to God.

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Matthew 25:23

So as I prepare to leave my office for the day to go home my prayer is. "God, I pray that you can say of me today, "Well done good and faithful servant."" I know if God can say this of me today that one day He will also say, "You were faithful in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the JOY OF your MASTER." Isn't it great to know God gets joy from seeing us do even what some people would consider small.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Time

As a child I always like Thanksgiving better than Christmas. I think to me it is a much less demanding holiday. Eating doesn't ask a lot from you except to show up, load up your plate, open your mouth, insert food, chew and swallow. A natural talent most of us have to unlearn as we get older since food entering the body has an ugly habit of turning into big hips, or big belly or oversize love handles. We love big cars, big houses, big salaries but small hips, flat stomachs and please can we leave the handles out of love handles.

I guess from were I sat it was the easier of the two holidays. Of course from my mom's perspective it was a day of work. Get up early and cook most of the day. Some folks even start the night before cooking pies and bread and then continuing on Thanksgiving morning and into the afternoon. The funny thing is it's all over in about 30 minutes. Maybe less, depending on how fast an eater you are. I was known as a fast eater - kind of like my driving - so Thanksgiving dinner to me was over in about 5 minutes. Doesn't seem right, does it.

All this preparation and eating was followed by a time of cleaning the dishes, the kitchen and the dinning area. I always saw this as an opportunity to work off the food we had just eaten. My work time involved moving to the living room after dinner to turn on the TV and find the right football game or movie for my dad to watch. My dad was demanding and I had to stand by the TV and turn - we had no remote control - the TV knob until I found a channel my dad wanted to watch. It was work to a young child. EXHAUSTING.


Thanksgiving is after all a time of remembrance of the the past year. To the pilgrims of old it was a celebration of a great harvest. Their meal itself reflected the abundant crops they had harvested. After surviving a horrible winter and working hard through spring and summer they were now able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It truly was a time of THANKSGIVING.

Being thankful is not just an act of gratitude but is also a move of faith. When I begin to thank God for those things I ask in prayer I demonstrate that I already believe that He will provide.

(Mark 11:24 NASB) "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

At my Thanksgiving table there will be a number of very grateful people to God for all that he has done this past year. However, I have prayed for this up coming year and I have asked God for some very specific things. I know that He is a God who not only hears but answers prayer. These things are not just quick off the top of my head things. These are things that I have thought about and discussed with family and with God. And when I truly knew what it was that I desired from God for this next year - I made my request know to Him. I spoke and I know He listened. Since I know He heard and He is God who answers prayer I can now begin to thank Him for the things that I have asked before I even see them come to fruition.

Grateful for the past and excited about the future. This is the Thanksgiving spirit which will surround my Thanksgiving table. I pray the same will surround yours. Happy Thanksgiving!

A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalms 100:1-5

video

Sunday, November 23, 2008

SUPRISE. . . .

I am sitting here preparing a lesson to present at the Thanksgiving Outreach of a local ministry known as Loaves and Fishes. They help low income families with grocery assistance. Tomorrow at their Thanksgiving outreach plan on helping around 360 families by providing a box of food and a turkey or ham for their Thanksgiving meal.

So here I am reading scripture and praying about what I was going to say. I started to read the story of the angel that visited Mary to tell her that she was chosen by God to be the part of the greatest miracle to date - the birth of Jesus Christ. You know the story . . .

. . . .In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin's name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: Good morning! You're beautiful with God's beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you. She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, "Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: (Luke 1:26-30 MSG)

You know a lot of people are in fear going into this holiday season. Fear of the economy, fear of terrorism, fear of losing their job, fear of sickness - we really don't lack things to be afraid of. But the angel told Mary she had nothing to fear. WHY? I love the way it says in in the message translation - God has a surprise for you.

God has a surprise for you. You may know it but have forgotten it but God is in control - SURPRISE. God knows what is going on in the world -SURPRISE. God knows what is going on in your life - SURPRISE. God has everything under control - SURPRISE.

As we read we come upon the answer that Mary - a young teenager - found in conquering fear.

The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God. "And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months' pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God." And Mary said, Yes, I see it all now: I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say. Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:35-38 MSG)

Mary surrendered to the will of God. You know life is not a battle but a surrender. We surrender our life to God. He wants us to surrender to His word because He knows that through surrendering to Him we have VICTORY. Jesus surrendered to the will of God the Father and came to this earth - died so that we can have eternal life. God is not in a fight with us. He just wants us to surrender to His will for our life and in doing so, fear will leave and faith will replace it.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

This Side of Paradise

Romans 14:17 NASB for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

As I read this verse this week the word JOY jumped at me. Coming into the Christmas season we will probably sing "Joy to the World." Joy comes from the spirit not from the flesh. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 NASB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Happiness comes from the flesh. We are happy because things are going our way. We are happy because we got the gift we wanted for Christmas. We are happy because the weather is good or we have money in our pocket or no one in our family is sick or we have food on our table. Mind you these are all good things that God wants us to have. However, happiness is based on external things. Joy is based on internal things and by this I am speaking of spirit. I have joy because I am in right standing with God. I have joy because I know where I am going when I leave this earth. I have joy because eternal things are settled in my life. I have Joy because I know God and I have fellowship with Him.

Joy is ours no matter what our outside world looks like. Now this is really difficult to understand because the outside world has a huge influence on us. I do not like winter - why - because it is cold and uncomfortable. I really don't like being hungry or alone or sick or without things that I like in this world. Joy is not based on worldly things it is based on spiritual things. God's Word tells us we have ". . . everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." II Peter 1:3.

Therefore, as I come into greater knowledge of God through His word, JOY should become more prevalent in my life and override happiness. Although I still work and obtain things necessary for my family, my joy, which is based on spiritual things, becomes the overriding factor in my life. Even when worldly circumstances aren't going my way, they do not steal my JOY. Spiritual things are not based on worldly situations. To be truly contend you have to have an understanding of Joy.

So this Christmas season if things don't go your way or you hear a little to much stuff on the news about the things of this world, don't let this steal your joy. You joy is based on God' word and His kingdom. And in God's kingdom your are a priest and King. His economy is off the charts. Gold to God is asphalt and everyday He makes everything NEW.

Monday, November 10, 2008

TOO much information for me


A short time ago I opened a Facebook page at the request of a close friend. I saw it as a good suggestion and went ahead and took the dive into the Facebook world.

After a few weeks here are my conclusions. You can say I am out of it or you can say I am getting too old or you can say I am just nuts, but here is what I think.

1. People put too much information up on the web for everyone to read. I think we need to be more discerning about what we share with the rest of the world.

2. I have better things to do than read what everyone is doing every minute of their life. I am happy for them and even glad that they are enjoying life but knowing when someone is going to bed or getting up or eating or whatever is TOO much information for me.

3. This thing started small but then it really started to grow. People were asking to be my Facebook friend. I wanted to keep it small. But if I said no, I felt like I would offend them. I give people plenty of reasons to get offended at me; I don't need another reason.

4. I really didn't want to put anything up on Facebook about what I was doing. My day to day life is just that, my day to day life. I am some what of a private person. Besides, I am just not that interesting.

5. I would like to say all, but to be conservative I will say most, of what I read was really shallow. No one put up things they had read that improved them. Nothing of any spiritual value. Oh there were some political views - especially with the election, but I really have had enough of these lately. I don't need more. If surface stuff is what Facebook is all about then I don't have time to waste on it.

They say you are only different today than you were yesterday by the books you have read and by the people that you meet. Facebook (its name says book so I will give it to them) is a pretty useless book and the people on Facebook were not able to really change or improve me because you can write anything you want about yourself and never be true to who you really are. Someone once said you impress people from a distance but you can only IMPACT people up close. I feel Facebook is a lot about impressing and little about impacting. People come and go in your life. Some stay longer than others. Some you just have to let go so you can invest more in the ones you can see FACE to FACE.

Give me a solid handshake or hug. You can tell a lot about a person through a handshake or hug. I like to look the person in the eyes. That is where you see the soul of a person. That's were you can feel what they feel. That is how you get to know someone.

So you can have Facebook. Give me the old fashion kind of friendships. The kind that is FACE to FACE not laptop to laptop.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Celebrate Day


Yesterday while I was working out in the morning, I dreamed up an idea to celebrate a special person in my life. It wasn't a birthday or anniversary. It was just Friday. So I set out to do that. Purchased little things that would make the day fun and special. Flowers, a card and small stuff snowman to put with the flowers. Getting up at 3:00 AM every morning to go work out by 5:00 causes one to think up things like this. Lack of sleep will do this to you.

I had fun with this all day. When I ran into someone at work I told them that today we are celebrating this special person. Some thought it was fun and others looked at me like,"Boy, aren't you nuts." Others just didn't get it and would ask me, "What is the real reason you are celebrating this person today?" They just knew there was a reason for this. I guess to them why celebrate someone for no reason.

I believe everyday God celebrates us. We are that special person to God. God is in love with us even when we don't feel like He is or don't feel much in love with Him.

I Peter 1:2 (MSG) "God the Father has his eye on you. . ."

Everyday God gives a word to encourage us if we would only take time to read it. Everyday God gives us a sunrise or sunset to enjoy. The sound of the wind or rain or maybe the absolute quiet of the moment to calm us. Maybe it's a touch of another person when we feel alone. Everyday God celebrates you.

1Peter 2:9 (NLT) ". . for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. . ."

It's you He loves when your not lovable. It's you that He thinks about when you are not thinking about Him. You see, this God that we sometimes ignore and many times don't understand is in love with you and continually has you in mind.

Psalms 40:5 NASB Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Every Path We Take


Proverbs 5:21 For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.

Everyday I read a chapter out of the Books of Proverbs that corresponds to the actual date. On the 5th of the month I read the 5th chapter in Proverbs. I have done this for 15 years missing a few days here. Today I read Chapter 5 of Proverbs.

Today when I got to verse 21 it was like it was the first time I had ever read it. It exploded off the page. God sees clearly what a man does - examining very path he takes. When you think you think on one is watching\ and you can get away with it or that one noticed what you did, your wrong, God sees it. Usually, the first thought we have is that God sees all the wrong things I do.

  • Yelling at the driver in front who just cut you off in traffic.
  • Looking too long at a provocative picture.
  • Saying a nasty word because your guy didn't win the election.
  • Drinking a little to much.
  • Wishing something evil would happen to someone you - OH my - can I say it - HATE.
  • Surfing the internet instead of working.

The list could go on. There is a good side to this verse. God also sees every good thing you do.

  • Praying for someone that doesn't even know you are praying for them.
  • Giving money to someone anonymously.
  • Cleaning up after yourself so your spouse doesn't have too.
  • Going to work when you really don't feel like it.
  • Over looking the faults of another when they continually point out your faults.

Yeah, this list can go on too. God sees clearly everything we do. Today you need to know that God sees the good that you do even when on one else does. God makes a record of it. Isn't it interesting that God only records the good we do and with confession He erases forever the bad so as to never bring it up again.

Today don't get weary going the good. Remember God is watching. It's His eyes that counts for eternity.
Galatians 6:9 So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Vacation in the Smokey Mountains

I went on vacation with my wife to the Smoky Mountains. We decided on October because we wanted to see the color change. We heard it was something to see. It was! Here a just a few pictures to share with you the experience we had. I hope you will enjoy these.









































Psalms 139:7-10
v7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
v8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
v9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
v10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

Been a LONG Time


It has been a long time since I have written anything for my blog. Not that I haven't had anything to write. It's just that I haven't seem to have the time to write it down. Which brings me to my point. Are we so busy that we don't have time in our schedules to do what we should do.


There are thing we need to do. You know what these are - sleep - eat - work - daily health care like brushing our teeth, bathing and so on.


Things we like to do. This list can get really long and include such important things as watch TV, listen to music, surf the Internet, movies and even just sit and stare at your feet.


Then there are things we should do. This list will tell you a lot about a person. These items may include vacation. We all need to take a break and get away from the normal routine of life. Spending time with your family. Only talking in the car to school or work or the next sports event is not going to cut it. Going to church. Here is one that I feel most have placed on the bottom of this or any list. I can listen to radio, pod casts or TV and get my spiritual needs taken care of. This list and the items we place on it speaks of our values. Those internal things that tells others what is important to us and what kind of person we really are.


Of course, if you write out these list you then need to do something about them. And here is where the get really creative. Even the person that says they are not a creative person will demonstrate incredible creativity when it come to excuses for not doing the things on these lists.


So today I challenge you to first think about the items that should be on these three list. Be honest with yourself. Are you doing you lists or are you just making excuses about why you are not doing your list? Some of you may say, "Al, creating a list just adds to much pressure to my life. Plus if I can't get done the things on my list that makes me feel bad and like a failure." Well, the problem is not the list but maybe what you have put on them. You priorities are wrong and you need Godly guidance.


How you get Godly guidance? Matthew 6:33 says seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In placing God first in your life I have found that the rest of life's list items seem to fall into the correct order. It is AMAZING how this works.


Psalms 90:12 NASB So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.