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Showing posts from November, 2013
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Joyful in Hope 
What I'm about to say makes absolutely no sense. It is completely contrary to the way we've been taught to think. In fact, it is downright crazy. 

In this world, this society, we told to find our joy and happiness in what we posses. You've attained, now you have the right to smile and feel fulfilled. You've arrived, joy is yours! You got what you wanted, now you're happy. But why that empty feeling that soon follows? Why only a temporary sense of fulfillment as our next goal is queued up?

Because God has a better way. His kingdom (His philosophy of life-living) operates differently than ours. Here's the crazy idea: while the world's joy comes from what it possesses, our joy comes from what we don't have. Joy from what we don't have! To reword: the children of this age, of this world's philosophy, are taught that joy is attained with what one has. We, as children of God's kingdom, those who think with the mind of Jesus, find our …
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His Love is Violent He saw us in our condition. Trapped, broken, rope-bound, chain-laden, distressed, drowning; barely able to call out for help - if at all. He saw us in our despair. He heard our garbled cry. Our muffled, mangled cry reached the heavens and entered His holy place. 
Like the cry of a child stuck in a distant pit.

He did not saunter, He did not tread lightly to find us. No, He broke forth. He crashed through the clouds with violence, His all-powerful right hand reaching down to our all-powerlessness. Wrath smoke from His nostrils, flames of declaration from His mouth. Dark clouds, storms, angels, hail, burning coals.
All for us. Because of us. He came for us.
He cries out as a warrior coming to rescue. He is focused with one thing in His eye: us. He does this for me and He does this for you. He pulls out His weapons: arrows, lightening. He speaks, He breathes, and the watery grave that holds us captive dissipates. It disappears under His violent fury.
He comes for us violent…
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It is not Good
When God saw Adam alone in the garden, He said, "It is not good for the man to be alone." God saw everything He created as being good. The earth, the sun, the moon, the waters, the fauna and flower; all good. But when God saw loneliness, He didn't just observe it as not being good, but He spoke it as not being good. And so it stands today. We were all meant for relationship.

It's simply part of God's plan.


So God provided, as He always does. He provided a woman for the man; a helpmate, someone called along side to be with the man. A companion. And that was good. The woman was part of God's provision, so to speak. Not a resource the man could draw from, for that is not relationship. No, a companion that Adam could also pour into - someone who's needs Adam could meet as well as having his own needs met.

Call it a "realationship".

Now, an interesting question comes to mind (my mind, at least). Did God create Eve because He was unable to m…
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Waiting

While we wait, He works. When we're still, He moves.

There are times in our lives when, like David, we find ourselves in the cave of waiting and testing. The cold, unresponsive, seemingly purposeless cave. But God has us there. And, He wants to encourage us there. Being in the cave is not a sign of His promises reneged. In fact, it's just the opposite. He is not snuffing out our heart's dreams. No, just like the diamond, process happens before promise comes.

We must all wait; and that is where growth happens - because growth requires trust. And when we trust, He goes to work.

But when am I going to accomplish this, God? When can I start doing what You've called me to do? God, I'm ready! I'm ready to move from this cave of boredom, directionless, and insanity.


Arghhhh!!!


But God says, "While you wait, I work. When you are still, I move. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted. My plans for you will come to pass. It's just a matter of time. …
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We all have bad days ...

You may not feel great when you first wake up. Maybe you've had a rough night. Maybe the memory and feeling of yesterday's problems, struggles, and dilemmas are still fresh in your mind. Or maybe you can't think of any good reason why you're feeling so "blah".

But this is the time for faith to kick in. 

There are many others, just like you, who have been through what can be described as a "bad day." They know what it means to be having a "rough one". They are the cloud of witnesses who have held on to the promises of God in the midst of worse things than bad feelings. These are the ones who chose to take God's outlook; His perspective on the situation.

Remember ... God is there with you. He loves you, cares for you and wants you to win. His desire is that you stand above the storm of your emotions. He wants you to have the stability that you long for, the peace of mind you desire. And if God is for you (which He is…
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Hungry

The drug addict isn't crying out for another hit or another fix. The over-eater isn't really hungry for more food. The lonely man really isn't finding satisfaction in his neighbor's greener grass. They're all really just looking for love in all the wrong places.

Maybe your "poison" is different than the ones above. Maybe you just need ... well, you name it. Family. A few glasses of wine to take the edge off. Ministry. More time at church. Another night out at another restaurant. Ahhh, a few hours in front of the TV. Or maybe a pseudo-connection with others; hours on facebook, twitter, or texting. Whatever your go-to is, it's really not what you're looking for.

"How do you know what I'm looking for?" Well, I'm glad you asked. We all have needs, deep needs, a void if you will, put in us by our Creator. Needs only He can fill and satisfy. Look at what David said,

How lovely is your dwelling place,     Lord Almighty! My soul yearns,…
The Discipline of Rest

Doesn't really make sense does it? I mean the title. But sometimes resting can be more work that doing and going and going and doing. I mean it can take more effort to put down the list, close the door, and shut out the demands and responsibilities. It takes discipline.

We have a demand on us, an order (or orders) placed on us; as if we were a catalog of available time and demand was outbidding our supply. Our time is taxed. A continual draw from a world that boasts of great leisure and pleasure while exacting a high price for that illusion of joy. It totes a once-a-year super vacation that can't even be enjoyed because it takes us two weeks to unwind from a year of craziness and being worked to the bone.

Vacations are great, but they are not God's method of rest. No, He has a different plan. (Which is really not that surprising, given that He tends to do things differently than the world around us) God's method of rest dictates the treasuring of a …
My wife loves the Ocean.

She could sit by the sea all day; soaking in the warmth, reading, tanning. It's her destination; her first choice for any trip I would suggest. Yes, by the sea. But we are told that at the end of this age, when eternity begins for us, there will be a new heaven and a new earth and ... no more sea.

OK. So, is this bad news for my wife or for anyone who loves the ocean? Will the pleasures of heaven lack the soothing sound of the ocean waves, or the comfort of the warm sand on our feet? Would God really take away the vastness and majesty of the deep blue? Would he minus the salty smell and feelings of rest from our heavenly habitation?

Well, before I could even ask any of these questions, God put it simply to me, "I am your Ocean." God as our ocean? Think about it. See the faithful waves that roll and churn without end, and see His waves of love break over our souls, satisfying us with a fulfillment the best of ocean vacations could never provide.

And …