Archive for July, 2009

Lost & Found

Posted: July 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

My prescription sunglasses have been missing for about a year.  Today I decided to clean out my desk drawers.

Guess what I found.

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Dance Baby, Dance

Posted: July 24, 2009 in Family

John (17-months) has created the Corn Pop Dance. First, he throws a couple Corn Pops (you know, the cereal) on the floor. He then positions himself in the midst of these Pops and begins to dance.

It’s very cute.

Back

Posted: July 22, 2009 in Family

The family and I have returned from vacation…to take a vacation.  The mission: lie low, rest, recuperate.

Vacation

Posted: July 17, 2009 in Family

The family and I are heading out tomorrow morning on vacation.  I’m not bringing my laptop.  We’re heading to a family reunion at Yosemite National Park.  We’ll be back on Friday or Saturday.  The really exciting part is that we’ll be tent camping.  Jenn’s bringing her camera.

This ought to be good.

Peter on the Water

Posted: July 17, 2009 in Faith

Matthew 14:28-31

The disciples se Jesus walking on the water and freak out.  Jesus identifies himself.  Peter calls out, “Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  Jesus, of course, does so.  “So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus” (v.29).

It seems like every time I read this story something new occurs to me (thank you, Holy Spirit).

Peter actually walked on the water (that’s not the new part).  He walked to Jesus – not toward Jesus, to Jesus.  He accomplished his goal.  He arrived at his destination.

(Now here’s the new part)  Peter was with Jesus, next to Jesus, beside Jesus when he saw the wind, became afraid and began to sink.

Peter had reached his Lord, and I can just see him beaming back at the other disciples still in the boat before the wind and waves caught his attention.

I’m struggling through a storm, but through it all I’m maintaining my focus on Christ.  I received daily encouragement and am held up through prayer, study, meditation and Christian brothers & sisters.  Suddenly something else catches my eye.  Perhaps it’s a personal tragedy, or merely the daily cares (bank account, job stress, children, etc.) or even my own evil nature tempting me when I least expect it.  Something catches my eye and I begin to sink.  A wave of despondency, depression, a sense of being overwhelmed washes over me.

Peter cried out, “Lord save me.”  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him…” (vv.30b-31a).

When we begin to sink, at the first sign of trouble we must cry out, “Lord save me.”  He will reach out and take hold of us.

Numbers

Posted: July 17, 2009 in Faith

You gotta check out this post on Redeeming History.  It’s a comment by Japanese Christian leader Kanzo Uchimura in 1926.  Still very applicable today (if not more so).

Numbers

How Far Will You Go?

Posted: July 17, 2009 in Family

Genesis 16

God had promised Abram that He would make Abram the father of a great nation.  Abram was promised that his descendants would be innumerable.  Yet at 85 years of age, he still had no offspring.  It’s pretty obvious this wasn’t for lack of trying.

By the time we get to the desperate attempt in chapter 16 of Genesis we can probably assume safely that Abram and Sarai had tried everything they could think of.  Sarai was probably on a first name basis with the local herbalist.

None of their efforts produced results.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” the saying goes.

Sarai gave her servant to Abram to sleep with and have a child through.  Abram consented and Sarai’s servant became pregnant.  The result was not blessing, but a whole world of hurt for Abram, his family and his descendants.

What has God called you to?  What has He said He wants to do through you?  How far are you willing to go to do this?  Have you done everything you can think of?  Will you take matters into your own hands?

God called me to this town almost four years ago to plant a church.  I’ve read the books, done the studies, attended the seminars and conferences, used the methods etc.  Oddly enough I seem to have fewer people now that when I started.  The small rural town I live and minister in has been hit incredibly hard by the current ecconomic situation.  Things look bleak.

Desperate times call for dedicated faith.

I have not seen the realization of God’s call and promise.  I have seen hard work, struggle, heartache and more gray hair.  These past four years have also been a time of incredible personal growth.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
James 1:2-3

I have done just about everything I can think of to do.  It is Christ, though, who ultimately plants a church.  That He has called me to be His means of grace is an honor (albeit a painful one often).

Yes, we are to do all we can, but not so far as to take matters into our own hands.  How do you know where that line in the sand is?  For that we must abide in Christ.  Do not neglect personal study, devotion & prayer.  Do not neglect family devotion, study & prayer.  Do not neglect meeting with other believers and worshiping God in communion.  Do not neglect to find a mentor (or mentors) and someone who can hold you accountable.

We must wait on the Lord.

By all means, do everything you can do.  Give God everything you have.  Understand, however, that it is God who causes growth.  Trust Him for the results.