torch bearer
bringing the light of Jesus to a dark world John 8:12

Relationship

10/28/2009 09:20:00 AM

Relationship. That word. So powerful. So meaningful. Relationship. If it wasn't for my relationship with my wife I don't believe that I would fully understand what earthly love is about. She has truly loved me. Not selfishly, but totally unselfishly. She has taught me what it is like to love someone here on earth in a manner that is Godly. I cherish that relationship!

This word continues to find me everywhere I go lately. Every devotion, every teaching, every conversation, everywhere. God is truly showing me that the thing He desires most with me is a relationship. Of course, that relationship with a holy God is made possible only through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. Talk about a selfless act! It wasn't about Him. He did it for two reasons. 1) Out of love for His Father. He did everything so that God the Father would be given glory. 2) For me and you. He died for us while we were still in sin. While we still hated Jesus. Jesus died so that we could be in right relationship with God the Father. Amazing!

I continue to see that this is what is important. I have been looking to see what God wants me to do, and He keeps bringing it back to relationship. In my relationship with Him all will work out. I don't need to focus on what He wants me to do, or be, or where to go. When my relationship is right it all works out.

So, I'm simplifying. No more wondering what God has planned for me. No more trying to figure out His will. I'm walking in obedience to the revealed Word of God…I'm pursuing and deepening my relationship with the One who created relationships. Please pray for me during this. I struggle sometimes. I need His power to do what is right.

Well, now you know what I will be up to for awhile.

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Coming Together

10/27/2009 09:09:00 AM

Interesting how it all works together. What I mean is how all the things that God is speaking to me all work together. In my devotions, in my family life, in other people's lives…God keeps speaking the same thing to me over and over. Maybe, just maybe, I should pay attention.

I notice in scripture how when God speaks people should pay attention. And then sometimes He repeats Himself a second time. That's when you just kinda drop what you are doing and focus in. Then, on a few occasions, God speaks a third time. I don't even begin to know what to think about that. It's too simple to say then we must really, really pay attention. The third time is beyond any description of what we should do except for the fact of dropping on our knees and bowing our hearts in fear. Well, I'm beyond the third time. And I am paying attention. I just think He really wants me to understand the importance of what He is saying.

What is God speaking to you? Through scripture, through other people's lives, through the spoken word of God or whatever other means. What does He want you to hear? Mine is this…don't focus on anything else but my relationship with Him. Everything else will come together. I have to trust Him that He can do it without my help. When my focus is on Him, He will use me the way that He needs to use me. Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all these things will be added to you." Perspective. Priorities. Position.

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Worry during the rain

10/14/2009 11:28:00 AM

Last night it rained. Not just this little Western WA drizzle, but the good old Eastern WA monsoon. Since I am still suffering from jet lag (in bed at 10pm after a 3 hour nap, then awake by 2am) I heard it all coming down. We have a metal roof (no, I don't live in a trailer!) so the sound was even louder than normal. It made me think that there were thousands of elves hammering their little hammers all over my roof. At first that was an exciting thought. I figured they must be fixing my roof for me. But, sadly, no. Then I laid there and started thinking about all the stuff that was laying outside without the shelter that it needed. (Ok, I wish that I was thinking of people and puppies here, but I didn't.) I started thinking about my boat that didn't have a cover over it yet and all the stuff in it that was getting soaked. Then I thought of the chainsaw that I saw had been left out (thank you son). Then I thought about the boxes that I hadn't put in the shed yet. Then about the…well, you get the picture. I laid there and started to worry about all the stuff that was getting wet. Then it struck me, I couldn't really do anything about it right then anyhow. I would have to wait until I could do something about it.

I don't know about you, but I worry about the dumbest things. And this little middle of the night episode made me understand what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6. He tells me not to be anxious about anything. He uses food and clothes as examples, but the word anything means just that…anything. Worrying won't help us, in fact it harms us. It takes our attention off the important stuff. Satan loves to use worry. It doesn't seem all that sinful to worry, until we realize what it is doing to us. See, verse 33 says, "but seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness. Then all these things will be added unto you." Worry pulls our eyes off the importance of seeking His Kingdom, what it is that He wants you to be doing. Maybe it's the worry about money…so you don't tithe or give to missions like you should. Maybe the worry is about food…so you don't give to the food banks or invite people over for dinner. Maybe the worry is about your children…so you give up and let them take the path of least resistance. Maybe the worry comes from not sharing what Jesus has done for you in your life…so you allow your friends and family to slip quietly into hell. Maybe the worry is about the state of our nation…so you talk about it, but don't do anything to change it. All of this worry pulls our minds from the Kingdom we are to be advancing.

What is your worry? What will you do when you are faced with it the next time? Try this on for size…Hebrews 12:1-2, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before u, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." When faced with worry (read sin), cast it aside and turn your focus on Jesus.

Then let's see what 1 Peter 5:6-7 says. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." Humble yourself...realizing that we aren't going to fix things. He is God and we are not.

I still have things outside that need my attention (I don't think God is just going to take care of that for me…bummer) but I will use this lesson when I am faced with worry once again. I will realize, and act upon, the fact that I don't need to worry…I need to turn it over to God. He has it covered.

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Learning from serving

10/13/2009 01:59:00 PM

As I stood serving communion at the C3 Church in Hyderabad India on Sunday, I discovered something. First off, I always love it when God shows me something so profound through something so simple. It's His little way of talking to me...and it works.

So, as I was saying, I was standing up front with Rick and people were coming up to participate in a time of remembering what Jesus did for us. Rick had laid out a great teaching about communion and about Jesus' sacrifice for us, and now was the time for our response. As I was watching people come and take pieces of the bread (which was really good might I add) it struck me. The physical bread that we were eating was disappearing right in front of us. Obviously, as people took a small piece, the whole of the bread got smaller. Remembering the reason we take the bread...as a symbol of Jesus' body being broken for our healing...this struck me profoundly. In the spiritual, Jesus' body never runs out! We can take and receive His healing and what He did for us, and He never gets smaller, never runs out, never becomes less! Jesus is the same, a constant, a force that never changes. As much as we need of Him, He never just runs out. We don't have to look somewhere else for more answers or for more hope. He is all we need, and He never runs out!

Where are you right now in life? Are you searching for something more than Jesus? Is He not enough for you? Are you afraid that He will run out? That maybe, just maybe you have come to Him one too many times and His grace won't cover you this time? I understand. No, really I do. I struggle with that feeling myself sometimes. I can't fathom that He would still have more to give me even though I have come to Him for so much already. It's hard sometimes to realize that He won't run out.

How will I work this out in my life? 2 ways. 1) I will allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. Without that power, it won't happen. I can't do it on my own. 2) I will set this up as a marker in my life. Just as God asked His people in the Old Testament to set up reminders of His power, I will use this as one for me. I will flash back to the time in India when I saw that bread, and remembered that my God will never run out! In fact, as I am writing this, I am reminded of other times when this very lesson has been proved out.

Walk with me in this truth, will you? I am going to really focus and come to an understanding in my life that He is all I need and that He won't run out. The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 13 verse 8, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is all I need. He will never run out.

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Asotin, WA, United States
Follower of Jesus, husband, dad, and called to be His torch bearer to the world.
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