Song of the Day – “If you love the Lord.”

Keith Green

“If you love the Lord, His discipline you won’t despise.  Cause it will prove to you, that you’re a child in his eyes.” – Keith Green

Song for the Day is going to be from one of my favorites.  Since I was a child, my father told and retold his experiences and the blessing that it was to have the music of Keith Green.  This song played today while I was in the shower!!  No joke.  I listened to it for the first time in a while and the words stuck with me all day.  Its a great song that describes a lot of what is important in the Gospel today.  It reminds us of his promises and also confronts us with who we are and how we walk everyday before him.    Recorded in the 80’s, it will take you back to when music was not offensive in anyway.  The music doesn’t interfere with the message – its just a faithful companion. Check it out if you have a second!  5 Stars.

If You Love The Lord – Keith Green

Why do you write?

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I was recently asked this question at my workplace.  I was having a conversation about this blog and other projects that I have started in the last year when someone asked me,  “Why do you write?”

At first I didn’t know what to say.  I took a second and then responded with what I felt was honesty.  I feel that God has been so good to me in my short 26 years on this planet.  I have experienced certain heart-breaks but also know what its like to soar in the heavens like an eagle.  In all these experiences, I have come to understand that God was trying to teach me something.  He was trying to help me see or understand how things work in life.  At the same time, he was trying to provide the opportunity for me to try to see his point of view.

This is important to me.  Its important to me because even though I don’t know everything about life and how everything works, I know a little bit.  Its like a wise man once said,  “A whole lot of nothing, never did any good.  A tiny bit of good, can save a life.”  I share what I can and only what I am positive about.  We are all still learning in this journey of life and this will most definitely not be my last post on this subject.  It is however the first.

I would like feedback in reference to this blog.  Dear Reader – If you would not mind to take a second and leave a comment about the content.  Even if you disagree with something – I realize that I am still learning and I always welcome any comments.  I ask this not for the numbers or the looks of the blog page.  I humbly request this with the very real desire to hear what you have to say and to see if there is anything I can learn from you.

This is why I write – to share what He has taken the time to teach me.  Thank you for reading and for sticking around.  More to come next week.  If I get the opportunity I will sit down this weekend – there is a thought that I have not been able to shake all week – I believe it will be good topic for discussion.

JC

Last minute thoughts on…….

Marriage.

Its so wonderful when God places that special someone in your life that is “just for you.”  How that one person can truly and honestly bring you back to Earth.  How that someone can help you to rest, physically and spiritually.  It reminds me of the verse in the word that speaks of being good administrators or examples of the multi-form Grace of God.

When you come home feeling really tired and you fall asleep on the couch as soon as your head hits the pillow.  You slowly wake up some time afterwards disoriented but realize that your head is now in the lap of that special someone.  They slipped in somewhere in time to hold you.  No words.  You feel at peace in that silence and doze back off.  That peace is part of God’s grace in your life.

Your work week has been hectic, tiresome, and you have not managed to leave it at the office.  Somehow, dinner and a movie with that special soulmate of yours returns a smile to your face and makes you feel reassured that, “It will all be okay.”  Finding happiness in the gloom of the world is a gift to you in God’s grace.  Thank our Father in heaven for what you are experiencing.

All this without words.  Jesus definitely had to speak and share God’s thoughts in order to introduce the Kingdom of God.  He preached and taught, taught and preached.  It was essential and 1/2 of his mission.  But his carrying the cross, giving his life (nobody could take his life from him; he willfully rendered it for God’s will to be done) and dying for you and I – that completes who we are.  If he would have just preached; nothing would have happened.  The Word without the sacrifice would have been washed away.

In this way, when we love our spouses we must love like Jesus loved his church.  Only in loving like Jesus did will we be able to manifest a true love.  A love that sets those around us free.  A love that “makes small miracles happen.”  A love that breaks chains and saves those lost in the valleys of life.  Its not us.  Its God’s grace IN US.  Yes words are important but its what you do the other 90% of the time that paints the real picture.

From a grateful soul to my maker.

Thank you for “Her”.  Thank you for your love.  Thank you for your grace.

JC+DC

I want to be healthy…..so you can use me.

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On today’s blog, I wanted to talk about being healthy and having good health on your side.  Of course, in this blog we don’t see things for their surface value but we explore what God thinks.

To have a cold or cancer or other illness invade your body is a nightmare.  These illnesses literally impair the insides that neither you or I can reach.  Scary.  They shut down your liver or your immune system.  They make you feel down and without energy and no matter how hard you fight it, you can’t bounce back without intervention from a Doctor.

A broken arm or leg can be just as frustrating if not more.  It’s moment like these that you realize all that we take for granted.  Writing your name, running in the park, walking your dog, driving a car…. All the things you NEED to do you can no longer do without intervention by a Doctor.

I’m sure that most will agree that it is hard to function in life when you are sick or broken.  It is hard to fulfill our obligations, duties, and positions when we don’t feel 100%.  Now what about serving the Lord?  What about living for Jesus?  Do we think that He doesn’t see the same problem in his house, in our homes, in our lives?

What God is doing today with his church is trying to form a character, an attitude.  He performed miracles already.  He conquered cities for his people already.  He gave his only Son and that Son died on the cross to give us his blood already.  It’s all been done so that you and I could enjoy a fulfilling and complete gospel.  If the gospel in us is health then all the attitudes, ideas, ways of life that are contrary to the gospel are sickness.

How can it be that I want to live for Jesus but there are illnesses in my life that tend to draw me away from his presence?  I want to be able to serve at my church but when it is not Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday I live in a way that is not conducive to eternal life?  What do I do?  How does this effect me?

The work that God wants to do in our lives is broken down into many different aspects of what his word teaches us.  Everything from offering and tiding, worship and praise, serving in the pantry or even cleaning the sanctuary all have their place in shaping and forming you to be fruitful.  The only problem is that we want to use our hands to praise God but our hands also tend to have malice.  We want the blessing of walking through this life shining with God’s glory and his power but behind closed doors we look to satisfy our flesh or ambitions.

God wanted to do something big at Ninive.  He saw so much sin and malice in that city and said, “…If they don’t repent soon, I can not save them from the second death.”  Since God likes to relate to men as best as possible, he chose one of his servants to do his work in this situation.  Jonas was called upon to travel to Ninive to preach the word of repentance to this city and help God in trying to save these men, women, and children.  But we all know that this did not happen this way.  You see Jonas had a sickness, like we all do.  The sickness that got in the way of him serving the Lord like he was supposed to was that he thought he was a judge.  He had an ego that was too big for his own good and was arrogant.  He didn’t want to do what God asked him to do because he was angry that God was going to give these people another chance.  He lacked compassion and mercy which are traits of our heavenly Father.  This affliction was enough for Jonas to say, “…Im not going to do what God asked of me.  I will not make that 3 day journey.  I am not going to do God’s work and help to save that city of Ninive.  Instead I’m going to flee, then that city will not have a chance and they will be destroyed like sinners because they are SINNERS.”

Imagine that, a donkey laughing at how funny the mules look?  God wants to use us in a special way everyday.  Maybe with your neighbor or with those that live in your house.  Maybe at work or at the park while you go for a jog.  He definitely wants to use you in the correct way while you serve in his house at whatever capacity.  But when we are sick inside, that sickness tends to distort our vision, hearing, sense of judgement, and connection with the Holy Spirit.  This is where God wishes that we would try to live his word and rid ourselves of all malice and always keep our eyes on Jesus- the Author of Faith.  This is just a small thought I had while waiting in the Doctors office to get checked out.  There is so much more to explore and ponder here.

The bible will tell you what your sick of.  Jesus’ blood is there to clean you and make you free.  Its there to intervene.  Jesus is our Doctor.  The Holy Spirit is there to guide you correctly the next time you want to tend to fall away.  We always have something wrong with us – thats a given.  But we also always have someone there to guide us to right.  We just have to put forth a conscience effort to see things the way God sees them everyday.  Jesus did not pay for you to be free from sin for one day.  He paid with his blood for all eternity.  When we accept Jesus into out hearts its not a phase that dies after a day.  Its everyday that we need him and should look for him.  Jesus was not playing around when he was nailed to the cross.  Thats a good indicator that we should not play around with this life.  No.  We should ask the only person that cares enough to die for us to help us understand what we are missing.

“Jesus, help me to see what I don’t see.  Help me to be the follower and servant that you can use.  Save me from malice, that malice that I don’t see.  Help me to get rid of those characteristics that impede you from doing your work in my life.  Give me eyes to see the malice and ill character that sneaks up on me when Im angry or frustrated or depressed or sad or even happy and complacent.  I don’t want to think Im doing it right when in reality, I have a lot to learn.  I also realize I am no bigger or better than anyone around me.  Help me to be humble in all that I do and love what you love.  I am not a judge.  You ask me to love my neighbor and pray for my enemies.  You don’t put a condition on those requests.  This is because there is a mystery in the attitude that I will acquire if I will myself to bless those that hate me.  I trust that you know what you are asking of me.  Let your will be done in me.”

Just Have Faith…

David and Goliath

Sometimes in life all you can do to get by is have Faith.  Those moments in life where you don’t necessary know which way to go or how to act.  Those moments when things are not so clear because there are a thousand voices insisting you do things a thousand different ways.  How can you be sure?  Where can you stand when everything is shifting?  Which foot do you move first – right or left?

An idea comes to mind that may seem simple but it has helped me to understand the concept of faith.  The idea is as follows:

Whenever you get a job they never pay in advance.  There are some exceptions, of course, but for the most part when you work a 8 to 5 you work then you get paid.  Think for a second – would you show up to work Monday Through Friday if you didn’t have FAITH that there would be a check waiting for you on Friday?  If you were not 100% positive and sure in your heart, would you waste your efforts or break your back in your work?  The answer is simple – No.  We would not lift a finger Monday through Friday if we were not sure that our efforts would be met with a promise.

Having faith in Jesus works in a similar fashion.  The only difference is that he moves in a spiritual realm that doesn’t always manifest itself in cold hard cash.  That is why 99% of us can’t stand the notion of having “Faith” in God.  We want to see things move now and on the spot.  It’s impossible for us to say, “God….I’m going to do what you ask of me.  I’m going to take your Word and apply it to my daily life.  I’m going to do this because your word says that Jesus did not come to Earth to condemn the world, but to give it life.  Abundant life.  Eternal Life.  I want that life.  God, I’m going to jump like you ask me too even though I’m not sure of tomorrow – Im going to have an Active Faith. A Faith that moves my hands and feet and not a faith that ends at my lips.”

Whatever your situation at this moment in time, I challenge you to say that prayer – right now.  Or maybe you received bad news from a Doctor or a bank.  Maybe a loved one is making bad decisions and you are not sure what to do about it.  Say this prayer – then delve into the Word.  Live by what it says.  Don’t pull out your dictionary and your concordance and start to “Study” it looking for a specific answer.  That is too narrow a vision.  Broaden your love and desire for the Word by living it and applying it everyday as it comes.  Pray – seek communion with God.  Be humble in all that you do.  This will activate one thing – God’s favor in your life.  God’s favor in your situation.  What is God’s favor?  To put it simply, we can look at David.  No one taught him to touch God’s heart with his harp, or to stand in front of Kings, or fight a giant with his bare hands.  David’s secret was looking for, believing in, and living what God said.  He did it out of Faith.  This activated God’s favor in David and when it was time to play the harp David functioned like he was supposed to.  When it was time to stand in front of a King he knew what to say and how to act.  When it was time to fight a giant bigger and stronger than he was – God worked through David even though David was not even sure what was happening.

That is what living by Faith means.  This is where it gets us.  You should try it sometime.  If only for a day or a week, a month or a year.  The definite things is that Faith is like a child.  When managed correctly and put forth with understanding it gets stronger, gets brighter, gets taller, and more beautiful as it perseveres.