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May 2003 Archives

May 5, 2003

What Fills Me Up?

John 4:34
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

I have restarted my fast today following my caving in at my daughter's birthday party yesterday (she's 5 today. My fast was only 2 days old). Even this morning I am torn about my motivation for fasting. I need some things to change in my life - an "addiction" to television, a subtle slothfulness that keeps creeping in (not laziness - not doing anything, but a growing tendancy to procrastinate) - so many more areas where I want to bear the fruit of self control. In addition, I want to see breakthrough in our church; for the presence of God to become even more tangible; for growth, both spiritual and numerical, to take place. All of these are impostant reasons, yet I was still wrestling with whether a food fast was the key.

So today I find myself readin the account of the woman at the well. And here's this side note in the larger story of Jesus being hungry (like I am right now). This quote was His response to his disciples who were concerned with His well-being. I have a note in my Bible on this verse from something Pastor Dale Evrist said back in 6/98 - "Are you filled by doing the will of God, or by the affirmation and admiration of men?" Ohhhh...this really helps me to focus on the bigger reasons for my current fast. It is about what fills me. Although I have grown in killing my pride, being at ICFG Convention reminded me of how far I have to go. I still talk about myself too much. I still compare too much. Instead of an authentic, Godly humility, I struggle with the "humiliation" that my lack of "success" has produced.

I want to be a man who find fulfillment in obedience, not results. I want to be "mature" (also "complete" - GK for "finish" in this verse) completing my God-given assignments, not being immature and only doing the stuff that comes easy. There certainly seems to be a lot riding on this - the growth of our church, my family's future, etc. But I am confident that as I find fullfimment in completing His work, He will complete His work in me (Phil. 1:6).

May 6, 2003

Lead, Keep, Speak

Proverbs 6:20-22
20 My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother.
21 Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck.
22 When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you.

What a great picture of the active role of God's law in our lives. Not the leagalistic practices of religion, but that which has been written in the hearts of men (Heb. 8:10). These commandments, this law, is the expression if a living, dynamic, active relationship that God has with His people. Jesus simplified these guidelines down to loving God and loving others (Mt. 22:36-40). The Holy Spirit enables us to live this way. These things I know. But I don't often reflect on how profoundly my life is shaped by these directives.

This Proverb says that this value system has benefit in every area of my life. As I am active on the journey of being a follower of Jesus, I have the direction and guidence that I need. Even as I sleep, just as my mind and body is being renewed, the Word refreshes my spirit and renews my mind. When I am awake I find the Holy Spirit speaking to me, that in the circumstances of my life I have these coversations with God - about what He's doing, the affirmation He gives to me as His child, the assignements He's giving me for the day. It's like I'm a stereo tuned into a station whose broadcast is recieved loud and clear. Whether I am wandering (or "wondering"), as I sleep or while I am awake, God's Word is shaping my life.

May 7, 2003

Do You Want To Be Made Well?

John 5:5-8
5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.

"Do you want to be made well?" That's a question for most of our society. We are a culture that cherishes our disabilities. Parental neglect, the impact of divorce, issues with authority figures; we always seem to be compensating for something in our past that has handicapped us emotionally. And it's not just people who are downtrodden. Many successful people use thier insecurity as fuel for their achievments, as if to prove something even if it's just to themselves.

"Do you want to be made well?" Like this man, I always have an excuse ready. There's always someone to blame. The timing hasn't been right - something always comes up to prevent my attempts. I think about my "cherished sins" (a term I got from Dr. Ted Roberts) - those thinks that I turn to momentarily relieve the pressure or pain I am facing, which in the long run keep me handicapped. And each time I hear Jesus asking me the real question - do you want to be well? It makes me wonder if we (as a culture) really want to be well. Our emotional handicaps and disabilities begin to shape so much of our identity, that while we hope to be whole, we can't see how it could happen outside of what we have already comitted to (e.g. "sitting by the pool, waiting for the waters to be stirred").

So Jesus says, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." My wholeness has less to do with the exten of my inability than it does with my obedience. This man at the pool wanted to be well. There was no more room or time for excuses. Vs. 9 says "immediately the man was made well, took up his bed and walked."

Lord, today I'm ready to walk away from what I thought was the answer for my infirmity. In obedience to your Your word, I will be well, and I will walk.

May 8, 2003

Heart & Mind

1 Samuel 2:35
Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind.

What is it to be a faithful priest? The Lord defines it here as someone who does what is in His heart and mind. It is someone who understands God's love for people and allows it to shape our interaction with those within our circle of care. It is someone who wants to know the mind of God for people and situations.

What I am struck by again is the lack of training that a leader gives in these areas ("doing according to God's heart and mind") to those under his care. Eli's son were so wicked that they were cursed to death. Since God couldn't use Hophni and Phineas, he had to start again with Samuel. The first thing Samuel learns is to hear God's voice. Funny thing is, he learns this from Eli. Did Eli train his sons in this? I don't think so, for this reason. 3:8 says "Eli percieved that the LORD had called the boy." God speaking to Eli must not have been a regular occurrance since it took Samuel 3 times coming to him before Eli caught on. If it wasn't happening to Eli, how could he train his sons in it? There is no way to serve God and his people, to know God's heart and mind, without learning how to hear Him. Eventually, Samuel begins to speak for God. He became not only a priest, but a prophet (and judge) as well.

Not only am I a pastor of a church, but I am also the priest of my home. In fact, all who are Christ's are "kings and priests" (I Peter 2:9). So I would assume that we all have have a responsibility to be faithful, doing what is in the heart and mind of God.

Lord, I want to know your heart and mind.

May 9, 2003

Remember what happened to ...?

1 Samuel 6:6
Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?

The background of this passage is that the Ark of the Covenant has been captured by the Philistines (under's Saul's first year of being King). Since bring it into thier land they have been plagued bu god. The leaders called for thier priests and mystics to determine what should be done to remove this curse. Thier conclusion - send the Ark back to Israel. And thier reasoning for such action is stated in the verse above.

How interesting that hundreds of years after the fact, the stroy of God's deliverance of His people is still known in the region. The Exodus was not only an event that affected Israel, but the nations of the area. God established a precedent of how He would care for His own. Even these pagen "wise men" were able to discern that the God of Israel was greater than their gods. And they warned thier leaders to learn a lesson from the Egyptians or thier fate would be similar.

Nothing is more impacting than the testimony of God's intervention on behalf of His peole. I want my life to be a witness to the nations of God's power at work in my life, my family, our church, and the Body of Christ as a whole. Even if those around me do not choose to serve my God, let them undenably recognize His favor and power at work in my life as a testimony to His greatness.

May 12, 2003

Did You See The Sign?

John 6:26
Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

Jesus miracles were performed as signs that helped people identify Him as thier Messiah. They were also signs that pointed to the role of the Messiah and the type of Kingdom that had now come. Not an earthly kingdom, but a spiritual one. Maybe that's why Jesus didn't heal every person or intervene in every situation. He chose specific moments that would serve this specific purpose. But like most of us, most of them didn't get it.

When God performs a miracle in my life, it is not only about meeting the immediate need of the moment. It serves a larger purpose. When there is miraculous provision, it isn't about what I needed; it is about me understanding that He is my provider. A healing is more than deliverence from pain; it is a reminder that my life has yet to experience the the wholeness I was originally intended to live in. See, my life is governed by another group of laws that supercede the ones I am confined to in my flesh. Yet, I still seek the "stuff" rather than the "sign."

Jesus said that if I would "seek first the Kingdom of God" then all the stuff comes with it. All the "things" will be added as I look to Him not for my "loaves and fishes" but for the signs - the remiders that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

May 13, 2003

Cut It Out

Proverbs: 13:4
The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Immediately I'm reminded of the words of John, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, even as your soul prospers" (3 John 2). There is something really important about keeping my mental and emotional life balanced and healthy. It has real benefits. But I was struck by this word "diligent." How does being diligent contribute to my well being? In other places it is translated "sharp," describing the condition of a knife. I began to think about the stuff that needs to be cut out of my life. That is one of the reasons for my current fast - to "starve" some stuff out of my life; to cut it off and cut it out.

I wonder if the difference between the "diligent" and the "lazy" is the attention given to what needs to be "circumsized" from one's life. I know that while I have been very hard working in so many areas in my life, it began to feel like I didn't have the energy to deal with some of the areas God was bringing to my attention in my spiritual life. But even today, in this moment, the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" is cutting away things that would keep me sluggish and lethargic.

If my soul if going to prosper, than I must be diligent to give it the attention God asks for - to cut off and cut out the things that hinder my health and growth. If not, I could get to the point of feeling so overwhelmed I would feel unable to ever change - living my life in a fantasy of what I wish I could be but having nothing.

May 14, 2003

Lifelong Consequences of Disobedience

I Samuel 15:35
And Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, and the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.

There are huge consequences for a leader's disobedience. Some specific items to note in this situation w/ Saul.
1) His unwillingness to lead (v. 9). Instead of obeying God's specific instruction regarding dealing with the Amalekites, it says that Saul and the people were "unwilling" to follow those instructions.
2) Listening to the opinion of men instead of the voice of God (v. 24). Saul's excuse was that he feared the people and obeyed thier voice. There is a place and time to recieve and respond to the popular opinion. but it can never override our responsibility to obey God's voice.
3) Justifying disobedience (v. 20). Keeping the king of the Amalekites alive was an attempt by Saul to exercise his poer. As as leader, I have a tendancy to do whatever will make me look impressive to others.
4) Needing public affirmation (v. 30). No matter what his motives were for his disobedience, Saul wanted to keep up his appreance in front of the people. He asked Samuel to go w/ him to worship, probably more as a sign to affirm Saul in the eyes of the people (especially after Samuel had just told him that the kingdom was being taken away from him).

Saul's actions (which started out small but became increasingly consequential as more excuses were piled on) resulting in the severing of his relationship w/ Samuel. Saul's disobedience caused a weight to be placed on Samuel's life for his lifetime. And most of all, God regretted making Saul king.

Lord, thanks for your grace that covers my failures. I want to live in it. But I also want to contend for obedience so that I don't sever any relationships, burden my inner circle, or cause You to regret choosing me.

May 17, 2003

Sight and Insight

John 6:31
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.

The man making this statement before the pharisees had just been touched by Jesus. this man who had been blind since birth had just been healed (in front of the disciples). The disciples had been questioning Jesus, blaming the man's condition on "sins" (by his parents or his own). Jesus said that the cause of his blindness was not based on these religious assumptions. Rather that his condition was going to be a sign,"that the works of God should be revealed in him." (v. 3)

Two typical human responses can be seen in this larger story. First is the disciple's assumption that the man's condition was punishment for some action. It was the effect of "sins," not caused by the greater condition of "sin" that is the cause of much of man's maladies. The second human response is seen in the Pharisee's reaction to to the man's healing by trying to discount God's work work because it didn't appen within thier framework (nothing could happen on the Sabbath, not even healing).

While questioning the man, the Pharisees made thier commitment to Moses because, "we know that God spoke to Moses." (v. 29) The basis for thier commitment to thier framework (or filter) was based on this fact. But here is a Kingdom moment. This man recognizes a new dynamic at work - that men can now have direct access to God. And he even has the qualifiers correct: worship and obedience. This is a huge "ah ha" moment. He saw more than the restoration of his eyesight, Through this, he saw that God wants to interact personally with his people.

May 18, 2003

Remember me?

Psalm 115: 12,13
The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us;...He will bless those who fear the Lord, Both small and great.

He remembers me. There are times that it feels like God has forgotten me and my family. Not an "out of sight, out of mind" type thing. More like a procrastination, alack of attention. Like we keep getting cut in on in line and others have thier turn before me. I begin to wonder if He's ever going to get around to me?

But He remembers. Not that He has ever forgotten. The only thing He has ever forgotten about me is the sin from which He has forgiven me. He is not overlooking me or ignoring me. Instead He is fixed on me more when I am not distracted by the trappings of what I consider to be the symbols of His blessing.

He remembers His covenant to me; to bless and not to harm. To bless my comings and goings. To bless the works of my hands.

So I'll remember. And I'll bless Him.

May 19, 2003

Pressed Into Action

I Samuel 24: 4,5,9
Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.

A few days ago I wrote about Saul listening to the opinion of the people which led to a direct disobedience. It had huge consequences. But what happens when a leader gets what seems to be good advice for the current situation from those he trusts? How do you know what to do? In this situation, David doesn't need to impress this group of men. In fact they have comitted themselves and are incredibly loyal to him. Thier adivce is not only well intentioned, but appears to them to be God's solution to thier problem. And God has not given any specific directions one way or another.

It's so easy to jump to a quick fix, especially if everyone seem to be on board. So what is a leader to do? One thing I admire about David in this situation is that He didn't send someone else to do the hard stuff. He could have sent someone else to kill Saul. But if he had, it is doubtful that the outcome would have been the same (Saul's life being spared). I wonder if the Lord requires of us to be involved in the hard stuff because its a test to help us see what we're made of.

Back to the real question - what is a leader to do when everyone is watching; when people are trusting you to "do to him as it seems good to you."? You have to know when you have crossed your own integrity line. Cutting Saul's robe doen't seem to be a big deal, except that to David it was. I think David was troubled when he realized his natural inclination was to literally take things into his own hands. I know I have that tendency. How many times have I, for whatever reason, tried to resolve a situation being pressured by good advice and imposing it as God's permission to take action in a situation, only to feel remorseful later. Not that I had violated anyone or anything else except my own integrity and humility.

Lord help me to be a man who knows what my lines are. A man who know the difference between walking by faith and walking in presumption.

May 20, 2003

Willing To Give My Life

John 11:16
Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

I am continually intrigued by what it must have been like to be one of the 12 disciples. I wish I understood more about the culture of "rabbi" and "disciples." I do know enough to have an understanding about the life context for Jesus and the 12. Still, my childhood image of these fishermen packing up and leaving homes, jobs, and families, never to return for three solid years remains part of my filter when I am reading the gospels. Which makes this statement by Thomas (known to us as "doubting") so impactful.

I read about Peter's well-intentioned but ultimately empty commitment to stand with Jesus until death (John 13:37). His words often sound like mine. But Thomas' here are different. He has made a determination about what he stands for and it comitted to it, no matter the cost. See, at this time Jesus and the guys were about to head to Bethany because Lazarus was sick. The disciples warned Jesus that they shouldn't go because there were those who wanted to kill Jesus for his "blasphemy." Jesus told the 12 why He and they would be going - "that you may believe." Once again we see that Jesus is using circumstances to reveal himself, and this miracle served a larger purpose as a sign of the Kingdom that had come. But Thomas didn't know that at the time. Before him was a serious decision - go into Judea and be killed with Jesus or not.

Jesus had told the disciples that "whoever is willing to lose his life for My sake will find it" (Mt. 16:25). Thomas, who wasn't one of the three inner circle, who wasn't in on some of the big stuff (Transfiguraton, etc), was willing to really lose his life. Yet there was something else going on that Thomas didn't understand until after the Resurrection. Somtimes I'm like Thomas. I'm confronting the big issue, what I am comitted to, what my life is going to be about, but I miss the big picture. Jesus allows me to go with Him and experience life with Him, so that I will believe.

I'm learning that my life is not primarily about what I am willing to sacrifice, but what I am willing to believe.

May 23, 2003

Taking Things Into My Own Hands

John 13:3-5
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded

The washing of the disciples' feet has always been a tender picture of humility. Reading it again I noticed something I hadn't before. I wonder what it was about "knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands" that led to the disciples' feet being the first thing Jesus took in His hands.

What is it that truly transforms one into a humble servant? Maybe it is truly understanding one's purpose that frees you to serve. In this significant act, Jesus said he had given them an example to follow (v.15). But I think that (as with most things) it didn't really register until the resurrection. Not the fact of Jesus' humility in this act of service, but the larger picture of how He was free to humble Himself because He understood His purpose. It was a lesson in embracing the will of God as much as a model of servant leadership.

One other ingrediant of embracing God's purpose is the love it produces for those He "gives you" to care for. V. 1 that "Jesus knew His hour had come." And from the beginning He loved "His own...to the end." Despite all thier mistakes, and lack of understanding, He loved them...us...me.

For me, there is still a lot of my life that is about making things happen...taking control. But Jesus, the only thing He took into His own hands at this significant moment was...feet. When I think of taking things into my own hands it has to do my success. Jesus already had been given all things into His hands, but He releases them so He can perform the most menial of tasks. Paul says that He did not consider His rightful place as something to be "grasped" (NIV) or held on to, instead He became a servant (Philippians 2:6-9). He understood His purpose.

So there's this life triad: as I understand God's specific purpose for my life, it should produce a love for people, that is expressed through the humility that the other two factor should produce. This seems to be an increasing cycle - purpose, love, humility, purpose, love, humility...I want it to be at work in me.

May 24, 2003

Ask Anything

John 14:14
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Dick Eastman says in his book Living And Praying In Jesus Name, that doing so "is to step into each new day in the power of who Jesus is." John later says that "if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us; and if He hears us we have what it is we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15). It is my desire to walk in the power of Jesus. It is my desire to know His will so that my prayers are in agreement with what He is wanting to do or is already doing.

Lord, I must confess a little frustration because there seems to be so many petitions that seem to remain unresponded to. I'm OK with "yes," "no," or "wait." What is really hard is "hold." but I do trust you. and I am confident that you hear my requests. My heart is to know Your will, and to align my life according to what You are doing in me and around me. So I will continue to press into You and press on. And I will see Your hand at work, ask I ask of You in alignment with Your will.

May 25, 2003

Church "Planting"

2 Samuel 7:10-11
Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more;... 11 ...Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.

In response to the rest from fighting his enemies, David told Nathan the prophet of his intentions to build a temple for the Lord. Nathan affirmed David's desires; "Go do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you." (v. 3) But the Lord had another plan and He revealed it to Nathan. God's plan was two-fold; to "plant" Israel and to establish David's kingdom.

I'm sensing that this may be one of those passages that become a promise; and illustration that give some insight to what God may be doing in this season. I'm feeling like this churc we've "planted" is being planted by the Lord. That we are being established in our identity and ministry assignment, never to waiver or wander. And that the oppression that has impacted the lives of the people in our body is about to be overcome and conquored.

Personally, the Lord is making for my family a house. It's an interesting play on words. It's like He's ready to anchor us in this community with a house, a home. But just as important, there will be a legacy of this ministry, a heritage of our New Horizons church family (and even with my family, my children) that is a tribute to the Lord.

Father let Your word be established here today. That this church would be planted by You. That my "home" and house would be established. And that we would recieve "The Helper" so that we can participate in the works of the Kingdom and the ministry of Jesus (John 14:12).

May 27, 2003

Facing Failure and Discipline

2 Samuel 12:20
So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.

(Jayme gave me some insight into this passage already today - she did her devotions before me this morning. Her thoughts have added a lot to my own application of this passage.)

Because of David's sin with Bathsheba. God's judgement and discpline was measured out to David. It almost appears to be flat justice - the child concieved in adultery by David and Bathsheba would die as a price for Uriah's life. But it's how David respons that is very interesting.

When confronted by Nathan with his sin, David immediately took responsibility. Because he did so his own life would not be required for Uriah's, but the life of his child would be (v. 13,14). (Note, Bathsheba is referred to as Uriah's wife until this child concieved in adultery has died.) It says that David pleaded with God for the life of his child. His servants were even afraid to to tell him of the child's death because of the desperate way he contended for God to be gracious in the situation and to spare the child's life. the response they recievved from David was not only unexpected, but confusing. for instead of going off the deep end, David ceased his contenting and grieving, and immediately moved on.

I think there are some lessons about enduring a season of God's discipline here. First, that instead of just "taking your swats," it is acceptable to show your sorrowful repentance by contending for God to reverse His course of action. I wonder if a true measure of our repentance is really the sorrow that we feel for our wrongdoing and it's effect on those around us.

But the other lesson has to do with how we respond when the discipline is over. do we whine and carry on about how difficult and unfair it has been? Or do we dust ourselves off and get going again? the first thing David did was to clean himself off, and begin to worship. Instead of asking God why He did what He did, he chose to aknowledge God's goodness to change him. When it all is said and done, God can be trusted. We don't have to live in our failure forever. Worship keeps sorrow from fermenting into ander and bitterness.

Lord, I don't want to live in the failure of my past. I will aknowledge it, learn from it, and move into the future in worship.

May 28, 2003

Confession and Mercy

Proverbs 28:13
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Secret sin is a shameful matter. the weight of it in your life gets compounded like interest increases debt. Most people deal well with sin over all, recognizing it and avoiding it. But for most, there are 1 or 2 fatal areas that anchor us to pain. Dr. Ted Roberts calls it "cherished sin." It's what we turn to for momentary relief from other pain or pressure in our lives. Often it is some self-indulgent activity (e.g. shopping, eating, porn, even sleeping too much as a way to avoid stuff, etc.) that seems to provide momentary relief, but really compounds the guilt and shame, increasing our pain. Our failure to overcome it only send us into a hopeless repetitive cycle of bondage which effects our soul and spirit.

But there is a way out - confession. First there is the cry from a broken heart to a loving God for mercy and forgiveness. Second, it the comittment to transparency with others. James 5:17 says confession is the the way to healing the bruise of sin. Confession releases fortitude to resist the gravitational pull of "cherished sin." Confession calls us to change our fleshly response to the stimulus of our lives and forsake our want for immediate gratification. It frees us from the weight and entanglemnt of sin (Hebrews 12:2) and allows our soul to prosper.

Lord, let me walk in the freedom and health that comes from confession. Let it release it's healing in my life as I walk transparently with others and forsake the call of "cherished sin."

May 29, 2003

Correcting and Disciplining

Proverbs 29:15,17
The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

It has been a challenge with our children lately. J and J are awsome kids, but lately they have been really testing thier boundaries and our limits. To be honest, it has been difficult not to respond to them in anger and frustration. And I think that like every parent, I'm not sure that we have done that well in our discipline with them. Sometimes we rebuke (verbal correction) and sometimes there are other course of action (for which we thought we were past some of this stage). But thier behavior when we have been at other people's homes recently has caused "shame," especially to Jayme.

Lord, we need new insight on how to work with our kids right now - when to correct, how to discipline. We are not willing to let foolishness take root in thier hearts (Proverbs 22:15). But we need your help; help to keep our emotions in check, help to know what is the right response that will produce Your life in them. I thank You for the delight our children are to us. Help Jayme and me to train them in the way You want them to go (Proverbs 22:6).

May 30, 2003

God's Wonderfulness

There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yes, four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the air, The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, And the way of a man with a virgin.

It's amazing how the simple things are profound; how they impact our lives and remind us of God's awesome goodness. Here's some things that are wonderful to me...
A well struck golf shot...An empty laundry hamper...Driving through Trabuco Canyon...Dinner with the "Ya Ya" families...The stillness of 5:00 am...My bed and a good Grisham novel...a Dodger game with the Hamilton men (Dad, Brad, Tim and my son)...My Grandma's love...A good softball game...Clean sheets...Santa Maria style BBQ..."Daddy days"...

It's the simple stuff that matters. But then there is the stuff that that is so big that it completely penetrates every ares of my life."There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yes, four which I do not understand:"
The love and beauty of my wife, The blessing of being a father, The priviledge of being a son, And the favor of God that rests on my life. Thanks God.

May 31, 2003

Set Up For Disaster

2 Samuel 17:14
...For the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom

In the story, Absalom had taken rule over Israel while David has fled Jerusalem and is hiding. In his quest for the hrone, Absalom recieves advice from two advisors on what to do. Most interesting is not the detail of the plans, but what God's plans were.

I'm not quite sure how God's purpose overrules our own free will. I'm not sure that it does. Butbecause He knws the condition of our heart and the intent of our thoughts, the outcome has been determined. Because of thecondition of Absalom's heart, his pridul and rebellious quest ffor the throne, he chose a course of action that was immediate rather than patient. For when our hearts are set in rebellion, we hear only what we want to hear, and as a result set ourselves up for disaster.

Lord, guard my heart from pride and rebellion. Letme find my counsel inYour wisdom and not in man's.Correct me so that You don't have to bring judgement and disaster to my life.

About May 2003

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in May 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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