Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
"Driving home from church discussing heaven...
Me: 'Do you want to know what heaven looks like?'
Granddaughter: 'Please don't kill me.'"
This sweet little girl expresses what we all feel.....heaven will be great someday, just not yet.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It happens quickly.
It happens easily.
At least it does with me.
Depression and then despair.
It's a quick slide from the first thoughts of discouragement to the pit of despair. It happens so quickly that it's often a surprise to find we have come to utter despair and hopelessness. David battled this just as many of us do. He wrote about it in Psalm 40.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
4 Blessed is the man
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond, In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body - but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillion of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act, the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life: The goal is to grow in character, In Christ-likeness. This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you got to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which is my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others. We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people... You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instanfly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before.I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for you to own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan - to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)? When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better...God didn't put me on earth just to fulfil a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Father saves three-year-old from bear in German zoo
A father has saved his three-year-old daughter from an Asian black bear after the girl climbed into the animal's enclosure in a German zoo, police say.
Both father and child were injured after the girl climbed over a fence in a private zoo in Luenebach, western Germany.
The bear hit the girl on the forehead before her father was able to snatch her away, police said.
The 34-year-old Dutch man was also attacked and his leg injured.
The girl had climbed the 1m (3ft) high fence while her parents were not watching and fell into a moat in the enclosure, a police spokeswoman said.
Her father then climbed after her.
Other visitors called an ambulance and the girl was flown to hospital by helicopter. Her father was also hospitalised.....
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith" -Paul the apostle (2 Timothy 4:7)
(1Co 9:24) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 09, 2010
It's been nearly four years....four years since I wrote these words:
Sunday, October 29, 2006The adventure begins
I have put their web page address above. I invite you to pray for them, support them, and keep in touch with them.
I can't wait to see what God does in and through their lives.
What adventure is God preparing you for?"
Since I wrote these words Brandon and Jenny have had two more children, become fluent in Spanish, changed missions, discipled pastors and helped churches in their part of Guatemala and at this moment are hosting a short-term mission trip from our church. Our team has gone to Guatemala to help in an orphanage there. Brandon and Jenny are hosting, leading and discipling the team we sent to help them. It's amazing to watch God work.
"Life is largely a matter of luggage." -Frank Boreham, The Luggage of life
I'm always amazed at how much we are willing to carry with us that is completely unnecessary. We are masters at gathering baggage.
The burden of the load slows our journey, distracts our minds and confuses our relationships.
John Bunyan wrote about baggage in his work Pilgrim's Progress.
George Carlin talked about it in a comedy routine.
No matter who we are we find a way to carry our lives around with us. Often it's emotional baggage we have accumulated over the years. Unforgiveness. Anger. Hurts. Old memories of wrongs done. Pain. And the list could continue for pages. But have you noticed that it's always the negatives that become baggage? It's all the hurts of life that weigh us down. The pain that handicaps us.
The good that God intended has no weight at all. Joy is light as a feather. Happiness lifts us up rather than weighing us down. Peace carries its own load and helps us along the way. Kindness refreshes the weary traveler. Love makes the impossible possible once more. Mercy energizes. Grace empowers. The things God wants us to put in our backpacks help us on the way and have no weight to load us down. It's only when we carry the results of sin that the weight and struggles begin.
That's the invitation Jesus extended. "Come unto me...." It's found in Matthew 11-12 if you want to read it. His invitation is to make the journey without all the baggage of the world in tow. When will we realize that this journey was meant to be a wonderful adventure with God instead of a grueling journey to be endured? When will we get rid of all that weighs us down and pick up the things that make the journey a joy?
I wonder sometimes about our fascination with baggage. It's as if we have to hold onto something. I even see it in death. We are so reluctant to let go of this life. We want to hold onto all the junk we have accumulated, but find in the end that it's just that....junk. I wonder if we will ever realize we have become a race of junk collectors....glad to carry the burdens of our trash instead of enjoying the blessings God provides.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
- Anthony Billington
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
ABC reports that the family, who wished to remain anonymous, were packing up for foreclosure on their home in the South -- where they have lived since the 1950's -- when they came across a stash of "old magazines" and "old comic books", according to Asylum. They contacted Stephen Fishler, co-owner of New York's ComicConnect, to see what they could pawn.
Fishler told Asylum, "They came across what appears to be an Action #1." Dubious at first, given that 99.9% of such calls were bogus, he realized it was the real deal when the couple texted him a photo.
Fishler took the copy to Comic-con last week for a valuation. It received a "Very Good" status with 5/10 points, ABC News reports. It is expected to fetch at least $250,000 through an auction on ComicConnect's website on August 27th."
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Monday, August 02, 2010
Jesus only gave us two things to do- 1. Love God, and 2. Love each other. If we could remember and live out these two simple, but life changing commands we could yet change the world around us.