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Choose TRUST


“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” – Psalms 56:3-4

When faced with uncertainty, fearful situations, or challenges today… In that moment we choose either to rely on our own abilities and strength OR we may choose HIM in whom all wisdom, provision, and grace IS certainly found.

Choose the best way, the only sure way found in Christ Jesus is to trust God first and then, armed by His provision and wisdom move forward bravely in confidence that HE alone is trustworthy! Blessings and peace for today.

~Robert

the struggle is real


“Lots and lots of cotton-balled clouds that are shielding the sun from my eyes… so why it is that they don’t “get in the way” of my view?  In fact, they give the light something to reflect off of, making it even more lovely. The clouds don’t detract from the light, they diffract it :)” ~ Julie Harris

Source: the struggle is real

Create in me… by Julie Harris


Today I am excited to collaborate with some lovely people who write for the blog church set free!  We are all writing about what worship means to us.  I hope you will visit the site and that it will encourage you in your journey to knowing and growing closer to Him…”

 

Source: Create in me…

Love is moving


Source: Love is moving

“Sometimes we want God to use us to do “big things”… but I am finding the greatest joy in doing the smallest of tasks.” ~ Julie Harris

Are you and I willing to be used by God for His glory, regardless of how “big” or “small” the opportunity will be? For that matter, beyond the opportunity to serve and in that give glory to God alone, are we willing to go and serve?

The SACK


“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, ‘Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you have missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram……The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.  What a fool you have been.  From now on you will be at war.’ ”  2 Chronicles 16:7, 9

Chinese Christian Brother Yun, known as the Heavenly Man, tells of this happening in one of the Chinese house churches.  The Chinese believers regularly send off other believers to go into surrounding towns and villages to share the love and life of Christ.  Before each sending, the group would take up a collection for the work.  Many of those who were in attendance had nothing of material or monetary value to give. These believers, with tears streaming down their faces, when the large sack came to them, would literally place themselves in the sack.  Yun said that by doing this, these gentle folk wanted to signify to God that their lives were all they had to give and that they were willing to give all of themselves for His glory.  I’m humbled by this.  Are you?

Here in the west, there are many who are willing to give….up to a point, or as I heard one man put it, up to a tithe.  There are also those who are willing to go…..again, up to a point or a place.  How many of us are really willing to give all of ourselves to all that is Him?  When “the sack” comes to us, are we willing to put many “things” in it, but not all of ourselves?  Is giving, to us, a matter of percentage, or totality?  How many invisible lines have we drawn, and boundaries placed on how much of ourselves we’re really willing to be sacrificial with?  Who are we really more like in Jesus’ story of the rich Pharisee and the poor widow?  Jesus watched the Pharisee give a large amount of money out of his  wealth.
The widow gave two pennies, which was all she had.  The first gave out of his surplus, the widow gave all with nothing held back.  Who are we more like?  When the sack comes our way, to which heart attitude are we really drawn to?  What have we really put in the sack?  Every moment of every day, the sack comes before us.  What’s really going into it.  A percentage or a person?

This is not just a matter of our resources or time.  It’s a matter of the self.  All of the self.  The past, present and future.  They all go into the sack. Our motives.  Our dreams, desires, disappointments.  People.  Both those we love, and those we perhaps do not love so much.  All of it goes into the sack.  When the sack comes to us, we cannot stop with a check or a volunteering for some needed church ministry or job.  We cannot stop with a part or percentage.  It cannot be the part. It must be the whole.  The whole of us.

Asa the king had trusted God with much.  He could not trust Him with all.  “War” was the fruit of that.  For us, this means that all that we hold back from him will be under attack from our enemy satan, and we will spend ourselves on trying to protect in our strength what can only be kept by His.  If this is not so, just think on how much unrest is in our lives as the result of trying to bring about the results we desire by our own efforts, be they relationships, professions, and especially ministries.  Like Asa, we suffer constant “war” and have no peace because of it.

The Lord continues to search the world for hearts fully committed to Him.  As He searches, what does He find in ours? Percentages?  Bits that are His, but pieces that are not?  Asa lived in this way, and the Father called him a fool.  What does He call us?

Blessings,
Pastor O

(A special thanks to my brother in Christ and friend for allowing me to share this devotional message.)

Resolutions…..


Do you make resolutions along with the majority of people throughout the world?  With them, do you find yourself failing to keep them?  How easy it is to make statements like, “I’m giving up, such and such or this or that”; I’m going to….. Fill in the blanks and regardless of your age, you’ll most likely find you’ve “committed” to at least one new resolution every year since you were ten years old, maybe earlier or later.  I’m right at the head of the line here and know that I’m in great company!

Why do we make statements, generally without actually planning to be successful?  Are we still allowing peer pressure to drive how we think and act?

Here’s a link to fifteen verses in God’s word concerning New Years Resolutions.  http://www.openbible.info/topics/new_years_resolutions

As you read through these verses consider a couple of things.  Not just at the beginning of a new year, but daily we should resolve to be completely available to our Father for His work.  We must plan and prepare to complete His work; at home, on the job, at church, in our neighborhood and wherever He leads.  Planning to be ready at all times and prepared by studying His word and by prayer and through fellowship with those who strengthen and encourage us.

I started another devotion which is only four days in length through YouVersion titled, “One Word That Will Change Your Life”.  The goal is that instead of “making a resolution” for this year, we seek God for a single word for the new year!  That this one word will through continued focus, become the point of our year.  Whatever the word He gives or you might choose… be it one of the fruits of the Spirit, consecration, discipline, character trait, etc. having a singular focus will change our lives.

Instead of the grandiose, simplify.  Dial back and ask God to help you select the one word to focus on for this year and allow Him to develop that in us.  This is my goal, my resolution and over the next day or so, I believe He will show me my word for the year.  I will share this with you and ask only that you help me stay accountable.

I wish you a very Happy New Year filled with HIS all.

Blessings & Peace Always,

~Robert

I Need More Coffee!!! Thoughts and a song on Isaiah 55


I Need More Coffee!!! Thoughts and a song on Isaiah 55.

I find more and more what great fun it is to watch our Father at work!  Here Julie Harris has again been pulled into HIS Word through another daily activity.  Every one of us have found ourself in this same moment, having to wait for something to eat or drink and not just a little put out by the wait…. Seriously, good coffee aside, HE has promised us, “but whoever drinks of the water I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become a water springing up to eternal life.” ~John 4:14 (NASB) Also, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” ~Matthew 5:6

Our Father IS in all these moments, every single day.  A beautiful moment, with HIM by her side and just when you didn’t think it wouldn’t get any better; a melody to go with the passage!

Be moved by HIM.  In the smallest of things, in the greatest of things and by everything HE will show us…we have only to look and listen.  I believe HE talks to us throughout all the moments of our days.  Often while we wait in neutral for the next thing.

Thanks Julie for sharing and for the smile that crosses our face when we get to see HIM at work even through a “cup o’ joe”.

Blessings and Peace Always,

~Robert

Children of Light


Children of Light. The beauty of our children and how our Father fills them in ways that we seem to miss.  It really is a beautiful sight to behold, watching our children being who God created us all to be….filled with joy and wonder.  In the linked blog entry by Julie Harris, we again get to see how as adults we can and all too often go through this life in stoic fashion.  Missing the moments of mystery and wonder.  The opportunity to live in a carefree fashion even though we have responsibilities.

In Matthew 18, Jesus makes the point very clear; “Jesus called a little child to his side and set him on his feet in the middle of them all. “Believe me,” he said, “unless you change your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is the man who can be as humble as this little child who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” ~J.B. Phillips New Testament (Phillips)  We have no choice if we want to see Heaven.

We are driven by the need to perform, to accomplish, to be more…. more than what exactly?  What more could or should we desire than to be in a relationship with our Creator God through HIS plan of redemption – Jesus Christ?  HE has planned more for us than we know and His way involves our becoming just like our children.

Our children are dependent on us for everything and yet in their dependance, they are completely free to just be who they’ve been created by our Father to be, children loving life! Struggling to learn and grow, experiencing highs and lows.  All the while, they know we are there to help, nurture and guide.  They ARE the picture of what HE calls us to be in this life as we journey to the next.

At our best, we are but a shadow image of HIM in displaying love and providing for our children.  Yet we push through and do all we can for our children for HE has planted HIS glorious seed within us to take up this charge.  Knowing this and seeing how important it is that we allow and encourage our children to enjoy life to the fullest, is it any wonder that Jesus calls us to return to this humble state?

I humbly submit, if we will become as children once again, HE will show us wonders beyond compare.  HE will show us a life we have yet to know or experience.  HE will return the sparkle to our eyes that will bare witness to all of HIS glory.  I believe HE wants more in this life for us than being driven to excel in a life that is so very fleeting.

Let’s become like children again, filled with wonder and hope.  Excited by what the day will hold and eager to stop and join in the playfulness of our children’s lives!

Blessings and Peace to you always,

~Robert

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