Monday, February 28, 2011
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Mark 8:16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
The disciples, in the midst of fear and crisis, asked a question we have all asked, "don't you care?" Their crisis was the sea and storm that had flooded their boat. Their crisis was their apparent impending death....and so they wake Jesus and ask, "don't you care?"
Have you ever asked God that question in your own life? Have you ever wondered? Jesus' response to the question from the disciples was action, not words, "He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." He demonstrated, in a most dramatic way, that he did indeed care!
Does he care for us in the same way? Yes! When we come to him with all our fears and worries, our panic and dread, when we come to ask, "don't you care?" Jesus takes action. The one who created the universe spoke to the wind and the sea that he had made and they obeyed. Does he care for you in this same way? Is he aware of your crisis of faith? Your fears? Your panic? Yes! Invite him into your boat. Go to him with you own question and time of need. You will find that he does indeed care for you.
Their response? "They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Who is this? He is the Lord of glory! Creator of heaven and earth. Does he care for you? YES! Bring your own sinking ship to him and watch his loving response. Does he care for me? Yes, indeed!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Like many other men I wait until the last moment to get cards or flowers for those special days. This morning, at 4am, I was at Wal-Mart to get a card and flowers for my sweet wife. I was surprised by how many other men were there as well! I'm glad I'm not the only one to wait until the last moment. For the rest of you guys who wait until it's almost too late today is Valentine's Day. Cards, flowers, candy, balloons and stuffed toys seem to be the choices made by some of the guys this morning....at 4am.....at Wal-Mart. Have a great day.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Eph. 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I know I haven't posted often in the last few weeks, but a trip to Kenya and recovery after has been difficult. And, to be honest, it's another valley time for me. These low times, these valleys, are dry and empty. It's hard to inspire others when it's a struggle to just keep going yourself. Most pastors won't be this honest about the walk of faith, but it's a reality of our frail human condition and a problem for all of us.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Those questions began to rumble about in me this morning after a time of rest from the long trip to Kenya and back. We all live in cultures where we become numb to the cultural nuances of our faith lived in a society. Not everything we believe is correct. Not everything we do is right, so how should I live? What about me should be private? What should the world see?
Immediately I think about Jesus' words in John 13. These words really bother me because they tell me something about me and they tell me that God has put in the minds and hearts of those who are not Christians what they SHOULD see in my life. It's really very simple, but very convicting. Here is what should be seen,
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The command is simple and clear, isn't it? We are to love one another. That's it. Simple, clear, evident....but did you see HOW we are to do this? That's where the rub comes, "As I have loved you," The model for this is how Jesus lived and walked in a fallen world. That's how we are to love others as well. That's what they should see! If they don't see me loving them as Jesus did then I have failed!
But here's the part that bothers me the most. It's as if God has placed in the world's common mindset what this should look like. The lost man, the atheist knows what I should live like. God built it into him to know what a Christians should look like and when we don't live that way they become bitter, angry and reject Christ. Did you see what Jesus said in verse 35? "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The world knows what a Christian should look like in the public square. We should be men and women in love with those around us. It's the mark of the Christian. It's the sign that what we believe is true. It's the lifestyle that will silence a watching world.
So, what should be private? Honestly, most of my Christian life should be private. What should be public? My love for others.
Let's turn down the volume on lifestyles, morals, what people should do, what they shouldn't and let's live out these simple verses. I wonder, if a few believers ever did take Jesus' words seriously, what might happen around them....I wonder.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Finally, we are home. It was a wonderful 10 days and a great trip to meet with fellow pastors in Kenya, but I must admit there is no place like home. I'll tell you more after a little rest. Thank you for your prayers. (I don't know how I missed the group photo, but I'm around the church somewhere.)
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
It's day 3 in Kilifi, Kenya and we have been busy with ministry and meetings. Internet is very limited and expensive, so we have not been able to post, but this happened at dinner last night and I thought you would all love to see how a mission trip goes AFTER dark. This is John Thomas at dinner last night.
We are all well, but hot and most tired. We have two days left and then we head home. If I can post again I will, but it is difficult. Thank you all for your prayers and care for us. We can't wait to tell you more about this amazing trip and the pastors we have met in Kenya.