Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mythbusters can only bust myths! If it’s not busted…it’s Truth!

Probing Proverbs 9:11-12 Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

How does wisdom multiply our days and even add years to our life? Is this Truth or a Myth? It sounds good, but it is important that we examine how this works. I have found many times believers will “Amen” something that sounds “true” or “spiritual”, yet have not taken the time to meditate on how exactly does that truth work. When we do that, we fill our mind with “data” but it stops there. Data unapplied is wasted knowledge, and can even become dangerous…knowing a lot, but not applying it is what makes Pharisees!  Hearing the Truth, yet not understanding it, makes a person gullible and sets them up to be won over by a more persuasive argument; consider Eve.

So let’s examine how this works! Wisdom leads a person to live their life in an intentional way. The more intentional we live; we will find our lives much healthier, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. How can I say that? Consider:

Physically - if we know that we get only one shot at life and with intention desire to keep ourselves healthy, unless an unexpected or uncontrolled disease hits us, the chances of remaining healthy in our body is great. I did this with drugs, stayed away from them, and exercise, that’s why my chemicals are good each check-up, but have failed with food, that’s why I am over weight. Now I am being intentional there also and I feel so much better physically. 

Emotionally - by living intentional we will watch our stress level and make sure we are balanced between work and leisure. Just letting life happen leads to emotional burn out! 

Mentally - we know God wants us to investigate everything we can about the good things in this world. A well-read person has tremendous understanding and is not afraid of the truth. It has amazed me how individuals that will read Plato will refuse to read the all time best selling and most distributed book in the world. Surely Solomon, David and Christ stated as profound of truths as Plato, even if you deny their claims about God. 

Spiritually - well I am completely biased! Unless we are spiritually alive, nothing else will ever be completely right! This is “button theology!” If you don’t get the top button in the top buttonhole, nothing else will be right! Only when a person begins a relationship with their Maker does a clear purpose for life and a sense of destiny become a reality. 

The benefits of Wisdom are no Myth! The myth is...that quality of life can exist without Wisdom!

Take what you know and ask yourself: What does it mean? How am I using it? What difference does it make in my life? Do you have any plan for your life, or do you leave that to luck, fate or some other power? Does your plan include the reality that Someone greater than you might over ride your plan with His plan. Do you believe the Creator of all things might have a plan for your life? What are you doing about that? 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To get to the treasure may require some digging! The difference between God’s “will” and God’s “direction.” Part 4

A lawyer prosecuting a controversial case asked the witness:  "Now, Mr. Jones did you or did you not, on the date in question, or at any other time, previously or subsequently, say or even intimate to the defendant or anyone else, whether friend or acquaintance or in fact a stranger, that the statement imputed to you, whether just or unjust, and denied by the plaintiff, was a matter of no consequence or otherwise?  Answer!  Did you or did you not? The witness pondered for a little while and then said, "Did I or did I not… WHAT!?

Asking a question can be a very important issue, if not done properly more confusion may be the result.

As I close this discussion on God’s Will and God’s Direction, I desire to leave you with two key verses and some practical thoughts.

Proverbs 3:5–6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

If we believe in God the way He has revealed Himself to be, trust will be the end result! No matter the circumstances, or what we see with our eyes, we know that God can be trusted. That heart condition is exactly what God honors. When God can trust us with His reputation, He is delighted to lead us step by step.

Philippians 4:6–7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Joining that trust with an honest prayer life, our heart will be kept safe. To be totally honest though requires us to ask the right questions. Here are some of the ones I ask:

·      What don’t I like about my life? If there are things we want different, we need to talk honestly with our God. He has a very open ear.

·      Where do I feel frustrated? Is there peace lacking?

When an eagle makes her nest, she first places thorns, jagged rocks and other sharp objects. She then places feathers, fur and wool, making it very thick and very comfortable. After her chicks have grown she stirs the nest up. This brings to the surface all the glass, rocks and other sharp objects. The chicks become miserable and want to leave the nest.  That is how she gets them to move and learn to fly.

Frustration happens when God “stirs our nest!” He wants us to move, this is healthy.

·      Am I content? Do I doubt God? Now we have moved to questioning what God is doing or allowing. We are doubting His motives

·      What is the difference between contentment and frustration? This is important to understand. God uses frustration to get us to rethink, pray and move. Frustration is something never to fear, it is God’s way of encouraging growth and movement in our life. Discontentment on the other hand comes from the flesh rebelling for the circumstances it is in. This shows a lack of trust in our Lord’s Sovereignty. With frustration I know that the peace I have with God is not where it should be, and I need to seek His direction in how to correct that. This is how God has led for all the years I have walked with Him.

We tried to go to the mission field in 1987. It was not the right time and God took Dee and I through some very important lessons. 7 years later I was Pastoring a church in Virginia. Dee and I loved that ministry and loved our home. We were content in the Lord, yet both felt as though the Lord had more from us. One step at a time God led us to the Philippines where we have experienced a ministry we would never have dreamed of.

·      Every time I have been discontented it has always been due to sin and refusal to yield to God’s control of my life. We can be content, yet still feel frustrated. We acknowledge to God that we are where we are as part of His sovereign plan, yet believe He is leading us to a change. We are NOT demanding, we are seeking.  

·      Am I thanking God for where I am right now? Here is our authentic surrender to the Lord as Lord. If we are His child, there are no accidents, God either caused or allowed our situation and we express our faith and trust in Him by thanking Him, not FOR, but IN all circumstances. God meets us in a special way when we praise Him.

Lastly – I have found it helpful in my walk to take important words in my life and build thoughts from them, this enables me to understand what that word means to me. I have done this often and found that when done, that word now has a reality in my heart and mind. It communicates a clear picture to me of what I mean when I use that word. I do this through an acrostic.

Here is my Acrostic for the word “direction” – These are my thoughts of what it takes to have direction.

Determination = I will settle for nothing less than His direction
Illumination = Time in the Word so He can enlighten me to His thinking
Repentance - Humility as a priority due to sin of wrong thinking so I will change direction
Evolving = Never the beginning and end all at once – it is one step at a time
Creative = I may end up where I never thought I would be or get there a way I never thought could happen
Timing = When I am where I should be, circumstances are what they should be and God knows it will be best…it will happen
I = I alone am responsible and accountable for where I am at. Nothing that has happened or where I am at, is an excuse
One = He has only one direction for each step, not many - this includes after sin - each step consists of only one step, not many
None = I will never have regret for following Him - no matter what the Temporal outcome may appear to be, I am after the eternal perspective.

Why not try and make an acrostic for yourself that will communicate to you what it means to have God’s direction!