Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens... Daniel 12:3

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens... Daniel 12:3

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lost and Found

The other day I was walking through our school. Our school is a K-12, small 1A school. I was walking down the hall when I saw an huge pile of clothes hanging out of a box. Upon further investigation there were many different items. Sweatshirts, t-shirts, boots, one glove, a sock, and many other items I was baffled by. Some were heavy, others were really light. Some were really big and others looked very small. In all the confusion I looked down at the box and found my answer. I was looking at the "LOST AND FOUND". As, I thought about this some more, it really struck me. Aren't we all lost or found. Jesus explains this to us in his parable of the lost sheep. In Luke 15: 3-7 3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." It doesn't matter how big or small, or heavy and light our problems are. We will all be lost at some point in our lives. It is whether or not we choose to be found by Jesus that will make the difference.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Knitting for a Sunset

The conference was called Rocky Mountain High. One of our main sessions were just finishing up, and I needed to go to the restroom. They were now into the music part and were about 15 minutes from being done. I watched all the young teens jumping and singing, all 3,500 of them. I decided to go out and watch the sunset, since at this point there was no way I was getting back to my seat. There were only two or three of us outside. What caught my eye was a young lady was sitting with her back to the building knitting. She seemed to be very interested in the project she was working on and did not even look up to see me. Worship was going on right behind her back and it looked as if she had her back turned to GOD. The sunset was beautiful. Streaks of color, and clouds. This scenario reminded me personally about how I struggle with looking for God and celebrating and singing with him. Many times work, or projects in school, or even earthly possesions can get into the way of what we do. The bible tells us in these verses to FOLLOW HIM .

Matthew 4:19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
Matthew 8:22But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."

Matthew 9:9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Matthew 10:38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 16:24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Matthew 19:21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."


All of these have one thing in common FOLLOW ME. When we are striving for GOD we must pick up our cross and follow him. No project is more important, no sports are more important. and nothing on this Earth is more important. The beauty of all of this is many times we will fail. However, the grace of god will always shine upon your face like the sunset and show you the way to him. Follow his light with your cross, and let the rejoicing begin!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Luggage and Gods Mercy

I have found that with a newborn baby comes luggage. Anyone who has had a baby knows exactly what I am about to tell you. The other day we loaded a: diaper bag, stroller, breast pump, clothes to return to the mall, baby seat, and other gear into our trunk. After looking at the car ( our 05 Nissan Altima) It looked as if we were almost popping a wheelie. The back was weighted down and there was barley enough room for my wife and I to squeeze in and drive away. After the day, we returned home unloaded all of our things and the car seemed to lighten up and now it was several inches off the ground and in a higher position. Its luggage had been lifted. As we unpacked this reminded me of Gods mercy. Gods, knows that many times our life is really just one over stuffed trunk with worries about: kids, jobs, death of the family, our boss, and many other stresses that can add to our day. Many times, we try to take on these problems ourselves, instead of asking the maker of the universe, the person who knew us a million years before we were born to help us. The Lord tells us in the book of Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." The Lord commands us to give him our worries and to allow the lord to pick up our baggage and feel light again. As we do we can relate to the car as our souls will seem lighter and even a few more inches off the ground. We will feel lighter knowing that God has taken our worries from us and we have given it all to him, because he can carry the load.

Touch Football and Childlike Faith?

This will be the last Devotional for a week or so, Until I return from Rocky Mountain High with our Church Youth Group. I hope to recharge the batteries there and spend some GREAT time with the Lord. Thanks to all of you faithful readers, and those who get this delivered right to you inbox. Here is this weeks Devotional

A very good friend of mine Joel, was married this last weekend. The wedding reception was at his now in-laws back yard of their house. With the music playing I took a stroll through the back yard to see how things were going. I couldn't help but notice that the kids, probably ages 4 or 5 to around 12 years old , really didn't care what was going on. Upon further investigation I found out why. They were all playing a game of touch football. As I observed the kids, they allowed each person to take turns as the quarterback. There were kids from all over back there, some from his wife's hometown, others from Joel and I's hometown. What caught me off guard was that there was never an argument from them. They were getting to know each other introducing themselves to each other, and surprisingly all enjoyed each others company. As I watched this I couldn't help but realize that the older we get as Christians the harder it is for us to show this childlike faith. The more research I looked over, I found that Jesus actually commands us to have childlike faith in our lives. In the book of Matthew verses 18: 2-4 he tells us: "2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." The children in this story represent ourselves. Their love for each other represents what we used to have when we were younger. Over the years we have been told by society and our news to not trust people and beware of all things. These young people showed me exactly what childlike faith is. A group of people having fun, no matter race or social economic status. When was the last time a group of us adults started up a game with all complete strangers? So go ahead and turn off that T.V. and newscast and pick up something fun. You never know who you may start the game of life with, but do it in a childlike fashion!

Chapter of the week: Matthew 18:

Prayer: Dear Lord allow me to have childlike faith in my life. Allow me to understand that you are all I need and that you will protect me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Airplanes and Jesus

Our house is located about 4-5 blocks from the airport. It is a small airport and handles very small planes. Many times this landing strip becomes a practice strip for the small planes as we watch them land and take off again. You can see them slowly fall and touchdown briefly of course, we can't see them through the trees. Then, you see them go back up and soar around. My wife and I usually watch from the deck and enjoy seeing these ups and downs. The last time I saw this however it reminded me of our lives. Not only can this analogy relate to the ups and downs of the plane, but also to the twists and turns that life throws us. I am sure all of us have felt that we are in a barrel roll at one time or another in our daily life. The Lord tells us in the book of Psalms 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" We must remember that even though others will enjoy watching our ups and downs, as my wife and I enjoy the planes , they may never see us hit rock bottom. The Lord is always our landing gear and helps us as we touchdown to the lowest of our ground landing strip. We must carry on, because we will rise again and be on the top of the clouds soaring through life. Life gives us peaks and valleys and we must focus on the Lord and prove to him that there is no fear in what is to come. As I continue to watch these planes land I find peace in that the Lord is with us, whether we are landing or taking off in the aerodynamics of life.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is Your GOD Monitor Turned On?

Baby monitors, who thought such a contraption would allow us as parents to have so much freedom? Melissa decided to go for a bike ride through town this week as Reagan was taking a nap. I was out waxing our car as she brought me the the infamous "baby monitor". I turned it on and listened for any sounds, but after 5 to 10 minutes I heard nothing. Being the paranoid father that I am I would sneak into the house and listen... still nothing. Then, I would walk over to his crib to make sure he was still alive... Yes! he was breathing! This story wouldn't be that funny, if you didn't know that I did this THREE times while Melissa was gone for only 20 Minutes. This made me think. Is this how God feels when he doesn't hear us on his GOD monitor? Does HE listen for us to call out to HIM, whether crying helplessly, needing attention, or to be held in HIS hands. The bible tells us in the book of Mark 11: 24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" We are reminded by this verse, and this simple baby monitor that we need to stay in prayer for the Lord. Even, if we do not pray as we should we can find comfort that he will always be checking on us and waiting for our call to Him. Even if our 5 to 10 minutes turns into 5 to 10 years . He will always be listening for our spiritual breathing and hoping to hear from us with any problems we may have big or small. So go ahead, turn on your GOD monitor its never too late.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Christianity is NOT a Stroll in the Park!

Melissa and I were on a walk the other day and as we turned off the highway we saw a softball game going on. We decided to take a stroll in the park to check it out. This turned out to be an eventful stroll, around the first turn we were attacked by swarming bugs in the summer air. After we swatted them away we noticed that the trail ended in gravel. We had a stroller at the time so we pushed our way through the gravel to finally arrive at the game, which was our actual destination. This seemed like a lot of work just to get to a softball game. In many ways, as believers in Christ, we sometimes feel that being a Christian is a stroll in the park. We feel that we can wake up and everything will go our way. This is simply not the case. Christianity is a tough lifestyle that we choose to live and to lead. In the book of James we find this passage that reassures us that there will be tough times ahead. James 1: 2-6 reads "2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." The bugs we encountered were a representation of all the pesky things that can ruin our day, maybe they are children being fussy, rumors about us, or even a bad drive to work. Knowing that these instances will make us strong encourages us to push on until we are past them. Then, as we seem to be in the clear, the road ahead becomes bumpy and we are shaken in our daily lives. Perhaps things have now gone out of control. When this happens remember (even though it is much easier said than done) the road ahead is your destination and we are to take joy in trials and tribulations that we encounter as we work to get there. This truly shows we are on the right path to GOD!