Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Do you have hope right now or just in eternity?

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬. http://bible.com/116/rom.15.13.

I can truly say I've never given up hope. What I mean is my hope, my long term hope, is in Jesus. I know my salvation. I know my ultimate destination in eternity with Jesus. But, I have given up hope many times , for various reasons, in the here and now. I give up hope, even if it's only for a brief moment, on a daily basis. Have you ever pleaded for the Lord to get you through the day? When things aren't going right, does it seem like there is no end in sight? Sometimes I see a clearer path to eternity than a path through the day. My ultimate hope is secure, I am not as confident form moment to moment

I know the ultimate victory is in and through Jesus, but I wonder how much I'm going to have to suffer right now. I don't doubt God can deliver me, the question is will he deliver me? God stretches me, he molds me through stress and challenging moments. I don't want to go through this fire, but I trust in my Lord. Yet, I have to admit, I lose a small amount of hope when I am tired of life and it's trouble. 

The  key to real hope is through the JOY and the PEACE only God can provide. Last night was a perfect example. I have had trouble sleeping lately with a lot on my mind. I prayed last night for peace and the ability to sleep. The Lord answered that prayer. Praise God. As I sit here frantic about the end of the school year, or the plans for next year, or changes that are going on all around me, it is easy to get overwhelmed until you realize there is a peace I can experience only by releasing that pain, to the one on the cross. Thank You Lord! I love you and am honored with your love. Amen!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Live right

“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.”  ‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬. http://bible.com/116/rom.13.11-12.nlt

If you've read the newspaper recently I think it's obvious we are living in the end times. Now more than ever we need people of faith to stand up for what is right. It's not easy because persecution is everywhere. Time is running out. We need to show others what it means for a sinner to live a righteous life. We are all sinners. We've all fallen short of the glory of God. That doesn't mean we continue to live a life in darkness. We need to live life as God designed it, not apologizing if we offend someone and not compromising our values to match society. When we live "right" we are rewarded with a strong armor of protection. Nothing can touch us. We can not be harmed. Eternity awaits us. 

We don't have time to waste. We need to wake up. We need to wake others up. We need to preach with a sense of urgency. We must get others to see a life without God will doom you forever. Our passion for God needs to shine through in how we liveand how we treat others. Shed our dirty clothes and put on the full armor of God. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

From Tragedy to Victory

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬. http://bible.com/116/isa.41.10.nlt

Yesterday was a sad and joyous day all rolled into one. Stephanie and I traveled with our CMA SonRise Rider Chapter to central Indiana to honor one of our CMA brothers that tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident. The funeral was a great celebration. As you can guess, the family and particularly his wife are devastated. The family of Christian brothers and sisters came out in force to show our support. Even though they are in the depths of discouragement, you could see the love.

It is so easy to get discouraged through life's tragedies. It is easy to lose hope. But we have to remember that Jesus conquered death and he is victorious for all time. We are strengthened by the love of our Lord through others and we always need to know we are victorious because he was victorious. We know his promise of eternal life for our fallen friend. We know that even if we appear defeated by the standards of this world, we are never defeated. We have won the perfect victory!

Dear Lord, provide comfort and peace for the Anderson family and healing for Cindi. Make your presence known to them. Wrap them with your love. Bless them in a powerful way. We praise you for the gift of Cliff's life and the blessings he shared with others. We love you Lord and honor you with our praise. It is not enough but we give you all we have. Amen!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Train your replacement.

“Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, giving them authority to cast out demons.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭3:13-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬. http://bible.com/116/mrk.3.13-15.nlt

Leadership is making sure to train your replacement.

A true sign of leadership is to develop leaders. It's not good enough to be organized, possess great insight or have a dynamic message. What will happen when you leave? I don't care who you are you will retire at some point. You can't live forever in your current job or ministry. If the success of your company, school, ministry, family, or church is solely dependent upon you, it can not remain successful forever.

Jesus chose twelve men to mentor. He taught them and helped them prepare to reach out on their own. I need to be deliberate in doing the same thing and I'm just not good at it. I need to walk along side new leaders, help them, but not do for them. I need to do the same with colleagues and students. I must train them up in service, love, and caring for their fellow man. I can't get caught up in being the "boss". I need to serve to lead. I need to build up others to serve for the long haul. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Exploding with excitement!

“The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone,”
‭‭John‬ ‭4:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬.  http://bible.com/116/jhn.4.28.

Are you that excited to share your story? Has Jesus made such an impact on your life that you are literally running to find others to tell? Are you exploding with excitement about Jesus?

I hope I never lose the passion Christ has created in me. I hope I never look at my faith as a drudgery or "routine". The sad note............ I have.

 I don't think I'm unique when I say my 42 year life as a follower of Christ has not always been on the mountain top. I have been bored with my faith, tired of it, lackadaisical about it, and I admit I am on a rollercoaster when it comes to passion for ministry. So, I am thankful God has a way of reminding me  how blessed I am and also has a great way of stirring the passion in me. Thank you Lord. 

How can we convince others of the power of Jesus if we do not live like it is life changing? We need to connect with Jesus daily in order to feed our passion. Right now I am on fire for Jesus. I see his hand so powerfully in my life. I feel that presence at school, at home, and in ministry. I see his presence in my friends, coworkers, and my family. I am excited about life. May I never lose that passion again. 

Thank you Lord for my life. Thank you for revealing your presence and being active in my daily words and deeds. I praise you for your power. I praise you for your glory and am humbled by your grace. Amen!