Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twaz the Night Before Christmas

Twaz the night before Christmas
And all through the town
No present was unwrapped
No peace to be found
The stress of the season
Taking over our life
The people of the world
Focus on Santa and his wife
The children of the world
Asleep in their bed
Dreaming of presents
No thought of blood shed
For unto us a child is born
Every one hears
But most people picture Jesus
As a baby in tears
God came to the earth
As Jesus our Lord
He paid the price for us all
By being nailed to that board
Though we all deserve death
By Grace through Faith in Christ
We are given new Breath
So during this Christmas Season
Forget Santa and his elves
Accept Christ in your Heart
And See for yourselves

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Take up your cross

Currently I am in the back seat of a vehicle coming back from St. Louis after watching a great cardinals win with some fairly new friends of mine. The two gents in the front are members of our Journey group (I've know them for 3 weeks) and my friend in the back is one of their friends whom I just met today. As I was sitting here pondering the day I am convicted of what I (we) will do to fulfill our desires and yet we tend to look at ministry as something else we HAVE to do.

We left at 630 this morning and will probably get home around 10 tonight. Add in the cost of the ticket, food, gas, and parking this trip required a lot of my resources. As a society we are so focused on what we want. And mainly to do with time. We consider every second of the day to be ours.

Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 16:24 in order to follow Him we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily (this is my paraphrase). In order to begin to follow Jesus with our lives (which is the only way to find true joy), we first must deny ourselves. This means realizing that the time we have on this earth is not ours, but belongs to our creator. Once we realize this the process of denying ourselves begins.

When Jesus says take up our cross I think it means we must be ready to sacrifice for His kingdom. Whatever that means, whether it's time or money or comforts we HAVE to be prepared to sacrifice these things for Jesus. That is the only thing we have to do.

How many things do we devote our time, money, and energy to which has absolutely no positive affect on the Kingdom of God. However, when it comes time for ministry (which should be all the time) we tend to put it in the something else to do category.

Now, I am not saying that we should never do anything the world considers fun and fulfilling. I am simply saying we should always remember that the time we have is the Lords. Whatever we do we are called to do it heartily for the Lord. Even watching the cardinals with some friends from church. Ministry is based on relationships and God smiles when we build those relationships in His name.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Father Child Love

So tonight my wife and I decided to take our soon to be 3 year old to the Rodeo. This was going to be an experience as the show did not even start until 8pm. After a good 90 minutes she was ready to go home, and later told my father in law that they were mean to the little cows and that made her mad. So after picking up her baby sister she fell asleep in the car on the way home.

While Liz was feeding Elise I rocked Grace as I had done so many times before when she was a baby. God always uses her to speak to me. As I sat there rocking my 3 year old, who would not have budged if a canon would have went off, it dawned on me. I am this precious little girls daddy and she feels perfectly safe in my arms. We have the same security as a child of God.

However I think there is one area we really struggle with; returning that love and affection back to our heavenly father. How do I know my daughter loves me? Besides her security in me she shows me. Whether running up and squeezing my neck when I walk through the door, or giving me a kiss and telling me she loves me at bedtime. Regardless of what she does she does it because of the emotion she feels, and no other reason. It surely is not because she feels obligated to. That is another way of thinking of child like faith.

If we are children of God we should have unbelievable joy in our hearts for what Christ did for us. Our life should be all about praising him and showing Him that we love Him, with every second of our life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Awesome Weekend

As I sit here on this Saturday morning after Good Friday I am the only one awake. The only noise I can hear is the fan and the noise maker we have in Grace's bedroom along with the occasional music from the wind-chimes. I was thinking last night and now this morning about the significance of this weekend. For me I want to make sure to not simply chalk this weekend up to another holiday. There is just so much more to this weekend than hunting Easter eggs and family meals.
The significance of this weekend is not just for people who call themselves Christians. Whether you are an atheist, agnostic, or someone searching for the truth of this world what happened on this weekend a long time ago directly affects you. Because one day, when the risen Jesus returns "every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.".
Good Friday is the quintessential understatement. The fact of the matter is that before Jesus' death on the cross we were all destined to spend an eternity in a place called Hell, forever separated from our creator. When Jesus said "it is finished" and rose again on the 3rd day he bridged the gap between a fallen sinful world and it's creator. To me that is a lot better than good. To think of the pain and suffering that Jesus went through so that all who would surrender to Him would have everlasting life is a representation of what true love really is. It is more than my brain can handle.
Now as I sit here on the Saturday morning after Good Friday I am trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Jesus was laying in a tomb for my sins. We are all dead in our sin, but Jesus was perfect, completely without sin. Yet because of God's love for us he became the ultimate sacrifice for you and me. The beautiful thing about this whole weekend is that He rose again, proving he was one with God and through Him alone we have eternal life. Praise Jesus on this Awesome weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Childlike Faith Part Deux

Once again as I sit here watching my little girl playing in the bathtub The Lord spoke to me about what childlike faith truly is.

Since she was born and for a while to come she only takes a bath when we give her one. She has no notion of being dirty. All she knows is that every night we get in the tub, I wash her up and then she gets to play. She doesn't even know she needs to take a bath.

This is such a sweet picture of our relationship with Jesus. Before we are born again through surrendering to Christ, we have no idea how dirty we really are. When we surrender we do not fully understand faith, all we know is we need to bathe ourselves in Jesus.

It is with this same faith we should approach our daily relationship with Christ. We may not understand why certain things are happening in our lives, but no matter what we should always bathe ourselves in Jesus. I am just thankful we have a savior that allows us to bathe ourselves in Him every minute of every day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Childlike Faith

As I was sitting here watching my little girl play in the bathtub with her gucks, kipper, and a plastic egg it puts childlike faith into a new perspective. By the way, gucks are rubber ducks and kipper is actually Flounder from The Little Mermaid.
What was so clear to me was that as she focused so intently on setting each duck perfectly straight on the edge of the tub with kipper in the middle and each one wearing a half egg hat it dawned on me that Jesus wants the same level of devotion. No matter what I tried to do to get her attention her gaze never left those toys. No matter what life throws at us to try and distract us we should always keep our gaze upon Jesus. His Glory will cause us to put everything into focus.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Type of Tree are You

As I was at the gym this morning I was reading through Luke chapter 3. This is Luke's account
Of John the Baptist. I think it is so awesome how God can take a passage such as this one and show us how perfect his plans are. One of the things that John the Baptist (JTB) harped on was that we need to bear good fruit or we will be thrown into the fire. I don't think it is a coincidence that we hear this from JTB. He was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. I think that the circumstances in his life planted the seed to determine the "tree" he was going to be and what type of fruit he was going to produce. We see the same things in our lives today. The circumstances in my life are what drive my passion for telling people about Jesus. In the same way we as believers in Jesus are to prepare the way for His return. The circumstances in our lives have determined what sort of fruit we will bear for Him. If we choose to not bear good fruit then we will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drawing a Crowd

As I was on a run tonight I was really thinking about the scripture I read this morning from Matthew 15, particularly verses 29 - 31.  I also decided that I would try my hand at blogging, since this would be way to wordy for twitter or facebook.  I have read through this passage of scripture many times and normally just skim over this part. But in reading it this morning it tweaked something that made me evaluate each encounter I have with one of His children on a daily basis.  In this passage Jesus drew a large crowd, and peformed miraculous healings and through it all God was glorified.  I was thinking how we see in scripture many times that Jesus drew a crowd, which posed a question in my mind which I posted on twitter this morning: "Are we living a life that draws a crowd, not to ourselves but to Jesus?"  However, as I was running tonight I thought about this question on a much deeper level.  What causes a people to come together and form a crowd?  How did all of these people know that Jesus could heal them?  We all know how fast news travels in a small town right?  This is no different, as Jesus was in the midst of His ministry the news of His works was traveling all across the country.  One person told two, those two told four, and so get the picture.  As I was thinking through this I was really convicted of how I treat each encounter I have with someone.  Every encounter we have could be the beginning of drawing a crowd to Jesus.  What would the world look like if we all approached every one of His children this way.  Husbands to their spouse?  Parents to their children? To our co-workers, friends, the person standing behind us in the check-out line.  If we are truly to live as Christ lived we should be playing our part in drawing a crowd to Him, not to ourselves, but Jesus.  I by no means am even close to good at this, but I am trying to put myself in the shoes of those people in Jesus' time.  They were so excited at what Jesus was doing that every person they came in contact with it just burst out of them.  If we will really just stop and think about what Jesus did on the cross it should well up inside of us just as the people in His time and come out with every word or action we do.  Praise God for his word and how it pierces each time we read it.