Saturday, December 28, 2013

The New Year is Knocking on the Door and so is the Spirit of Christ

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. My family attended a great Candlelight service as you can see in the photo. We then went over to my sister-in-laws house to enjoy a meal on Christmas day. Later that afternoon, we traveled to my hometown about sixty miles away to enjoy an evening with my brother, two sisters, and their families.
The person whose birthday we just celebrated is God in the flesh. The Spirit of Christ knocks on the door of our heart. But we are not always ready. Here’s a poem I wrote intended to get us ready: Ready for Each Day.
Friendship is a crucial part of a permanent love commitment. We should lift up those we are committed to; pray for them, listen and care. We are to love what they love and try to do what they ask.
The love of Christ gives us peace and freedom to take risk for He lives in us. Always believe He will help you come through and overcome any situation you face. Accept God’s Wonderful Counselor for life. Here’s another poem inspired by my recent study in Song of Songs: Love Lifts Higher.
As we head into the New Year, I will continue with my postings of the study in Song of Songs; a book that many read as a parable to demonstrate affections between Christ and the church. I should be able to finish this study in a few more days. Then the plan is to post for a while about a study of 2 Peter.
For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Worship Service Update

Many think so much about the presents during Christmas when more need to be thinking about God’s presence during this time. The same can be said about other concerns in life. There is much worry about paying bills, washing the car, mowing the lawn, or passing a test when there needs to be more thinking about God and His presence during these times.
Last Sunday at the church I attend, the message was titled “Simple Light”.  Christmas can be very complex; lots of planning, lots of choices, lots of family gatherings to attend. All these things are important but Pastor Steve brought the message to us with some great points about what really matters in bold print below.
Christmas is about a Simple Prediction
A prediction was made in Isaiah 7:14 that a son would be born to a virgin and she will name Him Immanuel.
Christmas is about a Simple Promise
In Luke 1:35-37, an angle told Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High will cover her. Many things are hard to understand but when we live in God’s light, things that seem impossible become possible.
Christmas is about a Simple Trust
In Luke 1:38, Mary trusted God and responded that she is the Lord’s servant and accepted whatever He wanted. There are many things in our world today we can’t trust but God has never broken a promise and we can trust that what He tells us in His Word will come about.
Christmas is about a Simple Response
In Luke 1:46-47, Mary responds with praise and joy. We should do the same with Christmas time. Don’t worry – just live life, sing the songs and worship. By keeping worship central in our life, worry will be wiped away.
Christmas is about a Simple Beginning
We think a lot of times that greatness comes from complex ideas but in reality, the most meaningful plans and ideas can come from very simple beginnings.  As recorded in Luke 2:6-7, the birth of Jesus had a simple beginning. There was no room for them in the village inn so Jesus was born and laid in a manger.
Christmas is about a Simple Story
A simple story turns into an amazing one. In Luke 2:17-19, the shepherds told everyone about the birth of Jesus they were astonished.
This weekend, we will continue the sermon series as we lead up to Christmas. If you are not able to attend your local church service (traveling, health condition, weather, etc), I invite you to this link of the podcast where you can listen/watch each sermon message.
As we head towards Christmas day, try to answer this question: What does Christmas mean to me? Then share your thoughts with at least 20 people. Have a great weekend!
For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Actions are Proof of His Love

Jesus and His Love for the church can inspire our day and build momentum. Christ fulfilled His purpose on earth with passion and boldness. It wasn’t easy but like most things of importance, it takes devotion.
With our helper in the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to share about this purpose of Christ. We can fight life’s battles together and what begins as a ripple on a pond can turn into a wave that travels far and continues to spread.   
To give a lift for your day, take a look at this video: The Proof of Your Love – For King and Country. Have a wonderful day with God! 

Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it. – Hebrews 4:16
For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Reward of Newness

Reading in Song of Songs 2-3, the girl twice describes her beloved as “a gazelle or a young stag” (2:9, 17). This suggests that her beloved comes with great passion and grace. In a similar way, Christ came to fulfill His purpose on earth with passion and grace in spite of all the difficulties.
Spring imagery fills the speech in Song of Songs 2:11-15. The imagery describes the return of the Lord Jesus because like spring, everything is new and the old has passed away. Like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband, spring flowers which communicate God’s grace adorn the earth. This same thought is brought out in Revelation 21:1-5 below.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
What makes you genuinely happy? Are they short term or long term? All of us should pause along the way of life and celebrate. Look forward to the future with optimism and be inspired by the God’s blessings which are forever. Let us cast off discouragements and come to Christ daily for a new beginning. Let us also pray for others we can invite to come to Christ.

For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Discipline of Josiah

We discover in reading 2 Chronicles 34 that Josiah ruled much differently than his father and grandfather. His character contained the element of discipline and he sought God’s direction. His reforms were thorough as he set out to completely destroy the idols and images.
Photo from Google Images
The Temple of the Lord was in terrible condition so Josiah set out to have it cleaned and repaired. It was during this work that the Book of the Law was found. Obvious to him was the fact that it had not been read or applied over the years. Upon hearing the Law read, Josiah was full of anger, sorrow, and sadness because he knew that past generations had not followed what was written.
The king had a strong influence over the people as shown in verses 31-33. Everyone pledged to follow the Lord and keep His commands. Let us pray for Christian leaders in each of our communities and in the government; that their influence for God may be strong. 
Josiah was a king who went by the Book of the Law of the Lord and took action. This day with God, be inspired by the discipline of this king. Pray that our leaders today will make a change and understand the proven positive result of working faithfully by the Book.
For growing in God’s power with the Holy Spirit as our guide, there is an on-line devotional being used to keep me on track. I invite you to join the journey on Facebook and be notified of new posts by clicking like. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Inspirational Poem 11/23/2013

Studying in 2 Chronicles 31-33 this past week, I’ve learned that one of the main attributes of any leader is having confidence and this in turn gives confidence to their followers. Here’s a poem that this study has inspired: Giving Confidence.

I hope you have had a great week with God and are looking forward to next as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful weekend!

Photo from Google Images

For growing in God’s power with the Holy Spirit as our guide, there is an on-line devotional being used to keep me on track. I invite you to join the journey by clicking on this link Facebook and being notified of new posts by clicking like.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Sharp Double-Edged Sword

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We face a war between the forces of good and evil in our daily living. Think of the entertainment industry. Here’s a post from Proverbial Thought about the conflict we constantly have to contend with in a society that praises vulgarity, violence, and vice.
We do not go alone so never fear. Trust in God in rainy days or the heat of a pressure filled day or whatever each day brings. Don’t be shaken. God’s Word is like a sword to protect us against the enemy.
To sharpen this sword as we battle each day, I think it’s important to reflect, meditate on, and memorize the Word. As I reflected on the passages I studied this past week, there are two poems at the links below that were inspired and my hope is that they help affirm the need for prayer and to encourage each other:
Where Everything Begins
Invite and Encourage
Have a blessed weekend my friends! For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Faith Factor

Photo from Google Images

The most important factor in the growth of Uzziah’s power is that he sought God and grew in faith as presented in 2 Chronicles 26-27. Uzziah received help from his instructor named Zechariah who taught him to fear God. He was victorious in war and he rebuilt towns as God helped. Other accomplishments included building towers to help with securing Judah and cisterns to help provide water for the livestock in the rural areas. He put to work many in the fields and vineyards of the fertile lands (V. 26:10).
He had a well trained army with plenty of weapons and supplies. His political power and fame spread until pride got to him. He burned incense to God in the temple and this was not right because only the priests were consecrated for this activity. The priests corrected him but Uzziah became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead (V. 26:19). He spent the rest of his life in seclusion.
Jotham his son became king at the age of 25 and he learned from his father’s successes and mistakes.  The only weakness of his rule as noted by the chronicler is that the people continued their corrupt practices (V. 27:2).  He did not enter the temple of the Lord and he kept his pride in check and was mostly successful throughout his reign.
Faith was a factor in success for both Uzziah and Jotham. It can also be a major factor in our own life and goals. It is faith that provides a balanced life; assuring hope for a positive future during difficulties and humility during good times. This day with God, believe that every doubt or fear will be replaced with a deep abiding trust in Him.
For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Community Service

This past week, there were several opportunities for me to be involved in community service. Last Saturday night,  our community held the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life  and at work this week, we started the United Way campaign.
In memory of my mom, my immediate family, neighbors, and my brother and sisters dedicated Luminary candles. If you, a family member, or friend has been impacted by cancer, please consider dedicating a Luminary candle in honor or memory of someone. Here is a link to help you take action now: Dedicate a Luminaria candle.

Another great organization is the United Way. They have a mission to advance the common good through education, income, and health. I went to a rally Wednesday held by John Key, local Executive Director of Economic Opportunities Advancement Corp (EOAC). He talked about programs that allow low-income parents to afford the reliable child care they need and provide at-risk children with the early learning experiences they need for success in school and life.
Issues with the economy, health, and education are major obstacles to the advancement of the common good. As a society, we have to deal with things like cancer, heart disease, and poverty. We must keep our outlook bright. Here is a poem I recently wrote that emphasizes how important faith is as we face these challenges: The Clear Advantage.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Faith Inspires True Courage

Reading in 2 Chronicles 20:14-37, the people of Judah had assembled and Jahaziel stands up to tell them what the Lord has said to him which is to not be afraid or discouraged about the vast army coming at them because He will be with them. God had spoken to Jahaziel with instructions and the people believed in the plan. They responded with worship and praise to God. Then set out with faith to carry out the plan.
Faith inspires true courage. King Jehoshaphat stood in front of the people of Judah to inspire and give courage to his people as they set out to face the enemy. They then started singing and praising the Lord as they headed to battle. While doing this, the Lord was already setting up events for victory; giving advantages to Judah and even confusing the enemies so they were destroying each other.
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The Lord gave them victory. At this point in history, the other kingdoms began to notice that God was on Judah’s side so they were afraid to attack them. There was peace and rest for Judah at this time in history but the people again didn’t put their total heart and soul on God so there was mediocrity instead of excellence in their future.
This day with God, pray for protection from evil and victory over temptation. Note how the Bible gives great advice and have assurance that there is victory in Christ to win any battle that life brings.
For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Reaching New Heights

Reading in 2 Chronicles 19 and writing some thoughts yesterday, I noted that Jehoshaphat reformed the system of justice as he appointed judges of integrity. Justice, fairness, consideration, and cooperation shape societies of integrity for a future that reaches new heights.

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I remember once when my daughter was in Kindergarten and they invited all Dads over for a few hours of flying kites. We went out into a field beside the school. In short time, I looked over and many could get their kites to fly but ours struggled. Then I looked at our kite and noticed the part that holds the wings together was not secure; the part that is in the shape of a cross. Once I secured this part of the kite, it immediately was lifted and flew high.

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This day with God, I would like to say to you my friends that the part that holds us together is the Cross. Because of Christ dying on the Cross, we are lifted higher. Like the part of the kite in the shape of a cross, the integrity of the Cross secures all sides together and allows the power of the Holy Spirit to lift to new heights.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Faith in the Rock of Ages

Reading in 2 Chronicles 16, we should learn to rely not so much on what men can do but on what the Rock of Ages has done and will continue to do. Be connected to the source of everything good; His love is certain, His guidance is trustworthy, and His Word is timeless. With faith in God, we can move mountains like this video explains: Only a Mountain – Jason Castro.

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. – 2 Chronicles 16:9

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Be Lifted to New Heights of Accomplishment

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The event recorded in 2 Chronicles 13 is another inspiring occurrence where we see the results of God’s favor at work just like David defeating Goliath, the Red Sea and Moses, or Daniel and the lion’s den. If we can just simplify our life and let God do the amazing part, we can be lifted to new heights of accomplishment. God can expand our thinking and give us confidence to adventure out to explore new opportunities that fulfill the purpose He has for us.
In today’s reading, Jeroboam’s northern kingdom seemed to have the military advantage with an army twice the size as Abijah’s fighting men but God was not on their side because the priests in Jeroboam’s northern kingdom were selected by them and their gods were idols like golden calves. On the other hand, the southern kingdom called Judah led by Abijah worshiped the LORD; Jehovah, the only true God. The priests in Judah were the sons of Aaron and the Levites who assisted them.
Jeroboam had set up an ambush and with the number soldiers in his army, it looked like a sure win but Judah had one big advantage; God was on their side. They ended up routing Jeroboam because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers (v. 18).
When the God of the universe intervenes, there is optimism, confidence, and decisiveness. It is like the runner with the wind at their back or the team with momentum. This day, think about what it means to have a God who intervenes. Believe that He will lead you to where you did not expect to go and shape you in ways you had not anticipated.
For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at This Day with God Devotional.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Law of the Lord

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Rehoboam and his kingdom were at one point strong but he and all of Israel abandoned the law of the Lord as recorded in 2 Chronicles 12. Keeping God out encourages the enemy and in this reading, we get a good picture of this occurring. Shishak king of Egypt saw Israel’s lack of faithfulness and was encouraged to attack Jerusalem in the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign.
Rehoboam responded with humility and God did not bring total destruction upon Israel but did make them subject to Shishak. The treasures of the temple and of the royal palace were carried off by Shishak (V. 9). Even the gold shields Solomon had made were taken and there was a general decline of the kingdom as evidenced in verses 10 and 11.
The chronicler’s general verdict concerning Rehoboam’s reign is that he started out demonstrating some good characteristics but did not make seeking God a priority. He then lost strength as a leader because he did not have God’s favor. The kingdom declined under Rehoboam but he did humble himself so God did not bring total destruction.
History has recorded that Rehoboam did not take advantage of God’s power and this resulted in weak leadership and a weakened kingdom. This day with God, let us learn from history and pray for goodness. Let us gain favor by setting our heart on seeking God. Let us remember that it is evil that takes treasure from our soul but being faithful to God, giving Him glory, and worshiping Him alone will build up treasures for the soul.
For an inspirational start to each day, join the journey at: This Day with God Devotional.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Putting God First

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As recorded in 2 Chronicles 8, the temple was built first and then Solomon’s own palace. Except for a hint of inconsistency (V. 11),  he kept up the holy sacrifices according to the Law of Moses. Solomon was dependable in adhering to putting God first even under the pressures of administering the kingdom (vv. 12-15).

Like Solomon, we should also put God first. Then we can carry out our other work with a purpose and continue to build upon a good foundation. We can have the right priorities and apply our faith by using our talents to help others. Our life can be the proof of God’s love in us. Growing, praying, and studying can become a great adventure when we are intentional about doing what is most important and intentional about feeding our soul good nourishment.
Spiritual sacrifices are required of us on a daily and weekly basis. Let us pray to build up treasures in heaven rather than toys on earth. Let us fulfill the duty of each day and make it our priority to glorify God in all that we do.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

First Order of Business is Prayer

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After the temple was built, the first order of business was prayer. Solomon’s main request in 2 Chronicles 6 is for God to hear their prayers of repentance and forgiveness. Solomon knew what God had promised and in prayer ask that it come to fruition; that they would learn, receive protection, and that their prayers would be heard.
After Solomon’s prayer, fire came down from heaven and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.  The people responded in worship and in giving thanks. This should be our response when we are aware of God’s presence. Today, our hearts are His resting-place. Christ dwells in us by faith and we are set apart as God’s temple where we can meet each day and listen for His voice in the quiet.
We can ask these questions: God do I limit your power in my life by trying to hide my weaknesses? What do I need to be honest about in order to receive your power? Is there something I can share that will provide a good lesson for those that follow in my path?
There is Never a Day We Should Not Pray
Give us this day our daily bread
And bless those O Lord whom have not yet been fed
I thank God for my food and I can honestly say
There is never a day that we should not pray
If not for ourselves there are plenty in need
Of hope and compassion it’s their hearts we must feed
The light of God can show us the way
There is never a day that we should not pray
He gave us his son who taught us to share
To love and forgive, he taught us to care
For he died on the cross and for our sins he did pay
There is never a day that we should not pray
~ Michael Gannon
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bringing Glory to God

The post yesterday was on the detail Solomon put into the building of the Temple. Like building of the temple and the objects within the temple with every detail, we need attention to detail in building Godly thoughts and ideas.
What we read, observe, and hear are so important because ultimately this becomes the seeds that when nourished with the Spirit, grow into Godly thoughts and ideas that feed the soul.
We are all a part of the ordinary miracles each day. Through writing, we can point out in detail God’s Creation. Either writing with pictures or using pictures of God’s creation along with song, we inspire and make known God’s awesome splendor. This video is here for that purpose: Creation Calls – Brian Doerksen.

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. – John 17:4

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Plan For Our Life

This day with God can be amazing because we can ask Him the plan for our life. When we receive this plan, it becomes a treasure to hold onto because it provides so much passion that we lose ourselves in this plan because we have a feeling of belonging to something greater than ourselves.
The plan for life is found in Jesus and this video has this thought in mind: Where I Belong – Building 429.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he’ll give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

I would like to share this link to the Sermon Podcast at the church I attended last Sunday. A point I noted from the message titled “Awe Factor” is that the time we spend with God is of essence. Studying His Word, reflecting on how to apply His Word, and time with Him in prayer brings power and direction in life.
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When we put God first, the other things in life like family, children, health, and friends seem to fall into place.  Here’s a video with a philosophy about how we use our time: The empty pickle jar.
Time goes fast so share the right words now; mark another’s life now, build relationships now, make memories now, and spend time with those you love now.
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lift the Cross High

In the previous post along the journey, I wrote about the lessons to be learned in life and from God’s Word but the riddle of life can’t be solved by reason alone. It’s solved by the cross so lift it high because it is our trophy for the victory. The war is over and the love of God through Christ has won. May this video give a lift for your day: White Flag – Chris Tomlin.

Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong. – Job 6:24

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Desire to be Used by God

In yesterday’s post, the thought is that people are naturally acquisitive and the earth is productive yet there is a sense that something is missing. What’s missing is true joy and forever fulfillment. 
Life is like running a race. This day with God, let us go the distance by going His way because when we lose ourselves in His purpose for our life, we gain energy along the way and we see possibilities we didn’t see before. Our desire should be to hear these words, “well done my faithful servant”. 
I found this video that emphasizes what we should want in life: My Desire – Jeremy Camp.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Win-Win Situation

Within Ecclesiastes 4 are thoughts of oppression and violence; the abuse of power and authority that persisted throughout societies during the time of its writing. It was believed that there was nothing that could be done to create peaceful societies because of the competitiveness inherent in man’s nature.
In many there is a natural competitive streak and this is often thought of as a positive trait among people in current times. It’s good to want to be the best. A competitive person is driven to be the best they can be so they work hard but within society, there needs to be a balance between the desire for personal gain and doing what is good for all; in other words, making sure society is fostering a win-win situation for all.
On the other hand, a society with no incentives for personal gain produces an apathetic attitude among its people which leads to a win-lose situation. Those in power stay in power and no matter how hard a person works, they are stuck at the bottom with no upward movement. There is a fatal flaw in a society that has no accountability among its leaders and they remain in power. The economy struggles and there is chaos and confusion.
The best form of leadership is God’s way. There’s power, safety, and success in pulling together because people can support, encourage, and strengthen one another. They can tap into the faith, hope, and love of other believers so their talents or skills combine to strengthen the whole body of Christ.
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This day with God, pray for yourself, your spouse, your parents, your children. Pray for opportunities to help someone come to know Christ. Pray for a society of peace where leaders let it be known that God’s way is followed. Pray that God would use you to work for His glory.
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