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August 25, 2016, 10:26 AM

Recapture Your Amazement!

We live in a world where very little amazes or surprises us anymore.  In an age of 24 hour news, live feed videos and constant posting on social media we have become calloused to anything that can really bring a sense of awe.  

There are still a few things in life that bring a jaw dropping sense of awe and amazement:  Viewing a Redwood tree in person, a particularly vibrant sunset backdropping a lake or mountain view, or maybe some horrific tragedy of violence shown in the news.  But, far too often we see things of wonder without batting an eye.  We take for granted the wonders the world holds or are eyes and ears can behold.  We have seen it before, heard it before, or done it before. 

As a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ I know that have been forever saved from the penalty of sin by an almighty God who paid my price through His own Son Jesus Christ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.  The fact that the God of the universe, King of kings, Lord of lords, and creator of the universe would love me and care enough about me to save you and me if we are willing to turn to him in repentance aught to thrill us and amaze us, but there are too many times in the business of life that it doesn’t.  

But if I may, can I just remind of you something that is truly mind-blowing, life altering miraculous?

The God of the universe loves you and wants fellowship with you!  He says so in the Bible, and He shows so in the work He did in sending Jesus to die in our place on the cross.  No matter what you have done, no matter what your age, regardless of your social or ethnic reality, He wants to know you.

If you have called on Him to be your Savior and Lord, He has come into your life through the person of the Holy Spirit to live in you.  Never to leave you or forsake you.  In the beginning of the history of creation God walked with men like Adam, Enoch and Abraham.  Later he dwelt among men by his presence by leading them with a cloud and later indwelling the tabernacle that was built for Him.  Then Jesus was sent to live with and die for all mankind so that we could live with Him forever.  Today Jesus is in heaven but His Holy spirit is sent to live in us.  

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” - I Corinthians 6:19-20

Think about that for just a moment…

The God of the Universe, creator, sustainer, miracle maker, provider, healer, comforter, Prince of Peace and King of kings is living in you if you are saved and belong to Him or wants to live in you if you will call on Him!

Allow the truth of that reality to recapture the amazement  and sense of wide eyed wonder once again in your life.  

Call on Him.  He is waiting with arms wide open.




August 24, 2016, 3:44 PM

Lead the Way!

There are so many choices and options in the world today.  So many roads and paths that can be chosen and followed.  So many activities, conveniences, and distractions to occupy our time.  There are so many people trying to get your attention.  People trying to lead you, your spouse, and/or your kids to follow them.  There are so many things pulling you in different directions that if we are not careful we can be pulled apart, led down the wrong path, or perhaps worse yet...do nothing while we try to sort out all the confusion.  

Not me, not this guy, not this husband, not this father.  I am choosing to lead the way!

Life is full of choices.  As a Christian, I realize that many of them are vain and wrong.  We all have our own lives to live and many of us families to lead and lead them we must or someone else will lead them away for us.  Don’t wait for someone else to take charge in leading you and your family the way you should go.  

To not choose the way to lead is to let someone else lead for you.  Chances are you will not like the direction they lead you; or your family.  

Understand that when you start to lead it will not be easy.  Different people want to choose different paths.  But if we are to be Godly witnesses and examples then we must lead despite the conflicts, challenges, and rebellion.  

In the Bible Joshua was tasked with leading the nation of Israel after Moses died.  It was an un-enviable task, but Joshua chose to follow the leading of Almighty God and to be strengthened by almighty God for the task of Leading.  

He made his decision and by the grace of God stood by his decision in the direction he would lead.  He was not ambiguous in the direction He would lead, nor did he waiver.  He challenged people to make a decision to follow him or not.  

Joshua 24:15 “...choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”

Realize that we cannot make people follow you, that is why as Christians we must lead.  But like Joshua we are responsible for our own direction and that of our family.  

As Christians we must choose this day that we will follow the Lord!




August 23, 2016, 1:36 PM

Don't Wait, Rejoice Now!

If you are waiting for the right time to rejoice,celebrate, and Praise the God of Heaven for His love and goodness; now is time! 
Waiting for the circumstances in life to be what you want them to be before you take time to rejoice and give thanks and praise to God is like a young married couple waiting until they are financially prepared for children; it’s not ever going to happen.
Your joy as a Christian should not depend on your circumstances. Joy comes from God and therefore it cannot be affected you by what is outside of you. 


Don’t be fooled into allowing the actions, attitudes and circumstances of others, determine your joy. Don’t let things outside of your control impact your joy. Don’t be deceived into thinking you are or have to be in control to be happy. Because You don’t!
If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ then real joy comes from knowing that your sins have been completely forgiven by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.  If you are not a believer and follower of Jesus Christ then real joy will come by you calling on God to save you and adopt you into His family. Knowing that you are a child of God brings a joy and peace because you know the promises of your eternal salvation and the calm of knowing that God has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. The Circumstances of your life, no matter how awful cannot change these truths. 


In Acts 16:25 Paul and Silas faced some of the most dark and dire circumstances imaginable. They had been falsely accused, arrested, beaten and put in shackles. They were in the deepest darkest, coldest section of a prison, but they refused to let their circumstances darken or dampen their joy!


And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them”


Despite their circumstances Paul and Silas were full of joy! Why? Because they knew the Joy of the Lord was their strength. They knew no matter what would happen that for them to live was Christ and to die was gain. Their relationship with Christ was the origin of their joy. They were so overcome with joy that they could talk to their God, that they decided to rejoice and sing about it! And others heard them singing.


When your life reflects the response of an understanding of God’s love as opposed to your understanding of your circumstances you can’t help but have joy and others around you can’t help but notice. What a witness of their joy to a literally captive audience. 


No matter what your circumstances rejoice because of the joy that comes about from knowing the love of an almighty God. Maybe God will do a miracle and deliver you from your circumstances as He did for Paul and Silas. Maybe he will do something greater, like give you the ability to rejoice no matter what!
Don’t allow circumstances to deny you the joy of rejoicing in God’s love. Look to God and allow Him to fill you with unquenchable Joy!




August 2, 2016, 3:17 PM

Forecasting Showers of Answered Prayers!

Do you really want God to answer your prayers?

Here in the upstate of South Carolina it has been a hot, dry summer.  Really dry.  So dry that I have only mowed my grass one time all summer long.  

So we have been praying for rain.   Begging God for rain.  

Well today it rained.  It didn’t rain long, but while it did rain it rained hard.  It started raining while I was walking to the mailbox, and I got soaked.  While I did not mind getting wet, it made me realize something about my prayer life.  

We are afforded the opportunity to pray and ask for God something in our own way and on our own time.  But, God answers prayers in His way and in His own time.  God’s ways are not our ways, and they are far above our ways.  

Like the prayed for rain, sometimes when God answers prayers it can be a little un-nerving.  Dark clouds billow on the horizon, thunder booms, and lightning flashes.  The wind picks up and things get intense.  Yet with all the wind, lightning and thunder came the rain.  We get so nervous about the activity surrounding the rain that we forget God sent the rain.  

Like the prayed for rain, sometimes God’s answers to prayer come at times when we don’t really want them.  I was trying to make it to mailbox, but I am sure others were riding bikes, or hiking on trails, or at the lake.  The rain if allowed could have become an inconvenience or interruption of our plans so much so that we forget that the rain was prayed for and sent as an answer to our prayers.  

Sometimes the answers to our prayers come when we are not expecting them to come because we don’t really believe God is going to answer our prayers, even though He has answered our prayers in the past.  I was not expecting it to rain today even though rain was in the forecast.

Sometimes we miss the blessing of the answer of prayer because it is not exactly what we were thinking of when we prayed.  The shower wasn’t long enough, or it was to hard, or the wind was to dangerous.  We forget that God knows exactly what we need and His answers are greater than our asking.  

Sometimes we miss the answer to prayer altogether.  We are so focused on the thunder, lightning and wind that we miss the fact that God answered our prayer for rain.  Or we focus on the fact it rained where you were and not where you live.  (Don’t worry next it might rain where you live and not where you are.)

Always remember that God’s answers to your prayer are greater than your asking.  Remember that God even answers prayers that we don’t know to ask.  God knew we needed forgiveness from sin.  Before we even knew to ask, He sent His Son to die on a cross in our place, so that later our prayers for forgiveness could be answered.  

Pray and ask God for your daily needs.  Trust Him to answer.  Trust Him to answer in the best possible way at the best possible time.

After all answers to prayer are in the forecast.




July 19, 2016, 3:27 PM

A Needed Reminder


"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near" - Hebrews 10:23-25

In light of all the violence, racism,  hatred, and wickedness that has been seen (especially) these past few weeks, I wanted to give this important reminder.

We the church, that profess to believe and follow Jesus Christ and worship the living God, aught to be the leaders in showing a world the way.  Not because we have all the answers but because we know THE ONE who is the answer...The Living God almighty!!!  The world is looking for hope and we are the ones who Know WHO hope is found in!!!

Let me encourage you to not give up hope.  But Hold onto the HOPE that holds on to you.  Let us come together to work together for the purpose of encouraging others, loving others and sharing the truth of the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ with others.  

 


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