Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Prayer for New Year Eve

A Prayer for New Year’s Eve

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. Ps. 115:1-4

Heavenly Father, it’s New Year’s Eve. In some ways this past year feels like it has flown by; but on the other hand, when I consider some of the painful events of the year, it seems like it was a year that would never end—a year that would never go away. The “already” and “not yet” of knowing you were clearly evident over the past twelve months. Joy and grief are both comfortably at home in my heart at the end of this calendar year.

Looking back, I can easily say with the psalmist, “Be praised, adored and worshiped, O God, for your love and your faithfulness!” Abba, Father, you loved me all year long with an everlasting, engaged, unwavering love, irrespective of anything I did or didn’t do. You loved me as much as you love your Son, Jesus, for you’ve hidden my life in his. A big Hallelujah for that.

Thank you for your steadfast love and fresh mercies that came every single day this past year—when I was aware of them and when I wasn’t. You remained faithful to everything you’ve promised us in Jesus. Great is your faithfulness. You do everything that pleases you, and (most of the time) that gives me incredible joy and peace.

But Father, it’s because of your love for me in Jesus that I can also own my grief and sadness. As much as I believe and love the gospel, there were stretches when I clearly didn’t act like it. This past year I joined the nations in saying, “So where is your God?” You usually heard this complaint from me when you were busy pleasing yourself, and not catering to me.

When you didn’t act of quickly as I expected or in keeping with my agenda, I sulked and whined. When I experienced the reality of life in a broken world among broken people (which was a lot this year), I wanted relief more than a changed heart; I wanted you to vindicate me more than I wanted to glorify you; I wanted to give up more than I wanted to grace up. Many times I trusted my voiceless, sightless, senseless, powerless idols morethan I trusted you. I own my sin and grieve my foolishness.

Here’s where the gladness trumps the sadness: I won’t always be a double-minded man with a divided heart. Father, you will bring to completion the good gospel work you have begun in me, and in each of your children. One day we will no longer even be tempted to sin, or worship anything or anyone but you. The rebellion in my heart will be eradicated by the redemption of your Son. Our brokenness will be eclipsed by the beauty of Jesus. Hasten that glad and glorious day.

But until then, on the eve of a new year, prepare us—prepare me for twelve new months of groaning and growing in grace. We resolve to trust Jesus plus nothing for our everything. With palms up, we offer you great praise and fresh surrender to your purposes. May 2012 be a new year of new creation fruitfulness. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and trustworthy name.

A repost from Scotty mora at
A Prayer for New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Prayer for Christmas Eve

A Prayer for Christmas Eve

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.Luke 2:1-7

Though he (Jesus) was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Phil 2:6-8

Dear Lord Jesus, it’s Christmas Eve, the treasured day on our calendar when we celebrate the miracle and mercy of your birth. Luke took so much care to fix your birthday in the context of real history and a real world, but whether or not you were born anywhere close to December 25 is not important at all.

That you were born—that you actually came from eternity into time and space… that you lived in our place and died in our place… that you were raised for our justification and will return for our glorification—that’s what makes all the difference. Hallelujah, the gospel istrue! No spiritual myth, nice story or redemptive allegory could save us. Hallelujah, the gospel is true.

We lift our hearts and hands to you today, for you were “Born that man no more may die (including us); born to raise the sons of earth (including us); born to give them second birth” (including us). For the certainty of your birth, we worship you. For the assurance of our rebirth, we adore you.

But we also praise you for the quietness of your birth. Any other king would’ve come with great fanfare, a royal entourage and muscle-flexing pride. But you came into our world in utter weakness and with profound humility. “No room in the inn” wasn’t an insult to you. It was your choice, your plan, the way of the gospel.

For you never considered your equality with God something to be held on to or selfishly hoarded. Rather, you made yourself “nothing,” taking the very nature of a human servant. And in your obedience, you took our judgment and died our death—the “Servant of the Lord” dying for rebels from God. Astonishing… this is equally the most humbling and liberating news ever.

“Mild he lays his glory by, veiled in flesh, the Godhead see… Hail, the incarnate Deity, pleased, as man, with men to dwell—Jesus, our Emmanuel! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”

Jesus, we so look forward to the Day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that you are Lord, to the glory of God the Father. It’s going to be a loud and large day. But today, this Christmas Eve, we bow before you with quiet wonder, humble adoration and unsurpassed peace. Hallelujah, the gospel is true. Hallelujah, the gospel is true. So very Amen we pray, in your great and gracious name.

Repost from Scotty Smith...HEAVENWARD

Merry CHRISTmas to all.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jesus vs Santa

jesus vs santaJesus is Better than Santa
Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited
JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name,
JESUS knew our name before we did.

Not only does He know our name, He knows our history and future

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly

JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO

JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry"

JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts and repairs broken homes.

Santa may make you chuckle but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.

Jesus is still the reason for the season.

May the Lord bless and watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2011 and in the New Year.

If at first you don't succeed; Then skydiving is NOT for you!!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Christmas Story in One Sentence

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Monday, December 12, 2011

10 Commandments For Christmas

10 Commandments For Christmas I.  Thou shalt not leave “Christ” out of “Christmas” nor refuse to use the word Christmas during this season. II.  Thou shalt demonstrate joy to the world, for the Lord is come. III.  Thou shalt not let Santa Claus take the place of the reality of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. IV.  Thou shalt remember that the value of gifts we give and receive is not so much the cost as the love that is behind them. V.  Thou shalt consider the words of Jesus,”It is more blessed to give than to receive.” VI.  Thou shalt not neglect Christ and His church during the Christmas Season. VII.  Thy Christmas Cards shall bear the good news of the coming of Christ and His salvation. VIII.  Thou shalt be kind to those who serve; the cashier, the merchant, and the mail carrier. IX.  Thou shalt remember the greatest gift of all, when God gave His only begotten Son. X.  In all thy giving, thou shalt give a gift to the One whose birthday we celebrate.  Appropriate recipients shall be missions, thy church, and those in need. -David R. Brumbelow.  Brumbelow is a pastor and writes at

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sacrifice: 2.56% Is this how much we love Jesus

Came across this from Ronnie speaks volumes. Imagine what your life would look like if you only committed 2.56% of yourself to the things you do. How healthy would your marriage be if you told your spouse, “I love you with 2.56% of my heart”? Where would your career be if you performed at only 2.56% of your capability? We wouldn’t dream of doing such things. Yet, this is exactly the attitude the average Christian has when it comes to financing the work of the church. The average church member only gives an estimated 2.56% of his or her income to any church or charity. We can’t accomplish the massive goals of telling every person in the world about Jesus and making disciples of all nations with such miniscule giving. While it is true that much of the problem is the sin of greediness in the lives of average church members, it also could be the case that our lack of sacrificial giving is the result of disorganization. That’s why there is a great need for Christians to begin to evaluate everything financially. Here are four steps each of us can take to begin meeting the financial aspect of fulfilling the Great Commission. 1. Give at least the first tenth of your income to your local church. It has been suggested that if every church member increased his or her giving to ten percent, the church would have an additional $86 billion dollars to fund Gospel work around the world. With that amount of money the church could address in an unprecedented manner poverty, hunger and sickness. It also would open massive avenues to take the Gospel to every corner of the world — all as a result of each of us obeying the first-tenth principle prescribed in God’s Word. We need to be obedient in giving at least ten percent of our income, because when we don’t we are quenching the work of God through our small-minded, close-fisted habits of financing His work. 2. Give over and above the first tenth of your income. Let me illustrate how this works. If you have a smart phone, chances are you have a game or two that you play on your phone. Many of these games progress through increasingly difficult levels. Staying on one level loses its appeal because at some point it ceases to be a challenge. Just as the games we play have progressive levels with increasing difficulty (Angry Birds, anyone?), our giving needs a progressive pattern as well. When we realize that God has given to us over and above all that we could possibly deserve, it stirs something in our hearts that says 10 percent is not enough. No longer is it a sufficient challenge. Our giving should be sacrificial, and as we mature in the faith we enter into a deeper worship of God through larger gifts that are more costly to us. Just as we grow in other areas of our faith, we must grow in our giving continually and ceaselessly. 3. Leave a legacy of at least one-tenth of your estate to your local church. Local churches need financial freedom to be able to do all they should in God’s name, and you can help them achieve that freedom in your lifetime by following steps one and two. You can also do this in your death. It truly is an awesome feeling to know that a decision to follow this step is an investment that will last beyond your life. More importantly, you set a godly example for your children and grandchildren that demonstrates to them that God’s work is the most important thing in your life, as well as in your death. Evaluate everything financially, including the event of your passing. Billions of dollars should be left through estates over the next decade because Christ-followers want to leave a legacy of reaching the world for Jesus Christ. If you have great financial resources, give this part of your estate now for the need is urgent. Regardless of the size of your estate, small or great, through giving in life and in death you will experience joy beyond your imagination. 4. Leave a legacy of at least five percent of your estate to the Great Commission. Just as we give above and beyond the first tenth in our lives, we should leave as much as possible in our deaths for the furtherance of the Gospel. Designate at least an additional five percent of your estate to be given to missions through your local church or denominational mission boards (i.e. International Mission Board or North American Mission Board). Seminaries are another opportunity for you to help advance the fulfillment of the Great Commission as they train pastors and missionaries who will take the Gospel throughout the world. Christ-followers are typically not the wealthiest people in the world, so we do not necessarily have the most to give. However, we ought to be the most amazing, inspirational givers in the world because we have the most to give to. Seeing people all over the world come to saving faith in Christ is the most noble of reasons to give, yet we presently offer less than three percent of what we believe to be ours. But we know better. It all belongs to God. A deep realization of that fact will make us better givers. Our goal should be that nonbelievers look at us and immediately think of words such as generosity, compassion and love. Only when we become serious about giving back to the Lord will we be able to fulfill the Great Commission. 2.56%: Is this all we love Jesus, His church and changing lives globally? Surely not! It is past time for all of this to change. The change will start with you! Ronnie Floyd is senior pastor of Cross Church ( in northwest Arkansas, with campuses in Springdale, Pinnacle Hills and Fayetteville, and the author of a newly released book, “Our Last Great Hope.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When God’s In Charge, You Can Take Charge

The following is a repost from Tom Goodman.  Read and enjoy and apply where necessary.

When God’s In Charge, You Can Take Charge
Are you yielding to circumstances or yielding to God? There’s a difference.

Life can overwhelm us, leaving us passive when we know we need to take action. Parents can “tune out” instead of intervening in their teenager’s destructive choices. Business leaders can hide in the safety of familiar routines instead of adapting to the rapid changes of their industry. Marriage partners can find escapes to avoid dealing with what is unraveling their relationship.

Instead of yielding to circumstances, we need to learn how to yield to God.

King David went through a season where he passively yielded to the tragic circumstances swirling around him: a family rape, a family murder, and ultimately a family revolt. These all took place right under David’s nose during a season of morose passivity.

Maybe he didn’t feel he had the moral authority to confront these sins. Following his adultery with Bathsheba and his panicked de facto murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11-12), David was compromised as a leader and a father. He was sidelined by depression, self-loathing, and uncertainty about his standing in the eyes of others. And so he resigned himself to the heartbreak going on around him.

But then something happened. As he and his loyal followers abandoned Jerusalem ahead of the invasion of his rebel son, Absalom, the Levites showed up with the ark. And seeing that holy object, something stirred again in our flawed hero. After all, this is the ark David retrieved, with dancing, as his first order of kingly business (2 Samuel 6).

And now, seeing that symbol of God’s reign, David said, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him” (15:25-26).

Here’s the interesting thing: After yielding to God, David began to once again take charge of his circumstances! He began to act like the king we remember, and Absalom’s chaos was brought to an end.

It seems that when God’s in charge, we can take charge.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rebuilding Trust

Once trust is broken it is difficult to rebuild it… but it is possible!

When I’ve counseled people… usually married couples… where one’s conduct has deeply wounded the trust factor, I tell them it can only be repaired one way: By observation over time.

Here’s what that means…

Let’s say a husband has wounded his wife’s trust in him. That means to rebuild it he must:

Willingly and gladly allow her to go through his wallet, car, files, and/or desk any time she wants…

Willingly and gladly allow her to check his text messages and emails any time (She gets all his passwords)…

Willingly and gladly allow her to check up on him by going to wherever he said he’d be at any time…

Willingly and gladly allow her to question him on and/or about anything and answer honestly without animosity…

Willingly and gladly do all these things for at least a year… if not for the rest of his life.

Seem harsh? It isn’t. When a person has nothing to hide they won’t mind.

When a person wants to regain a person’s trust they’ll do whatever is required of them (Read 2 Cor 7:10-11 CLOSELY!).

Actually every spouse should be more than happy to do even if trust hasn’t been broken.

Do you need to rebuild someone’s trust in you? Offer this plan to them.

Do you need to trust someone else again? Suggest to them that if they want you to trust them again this is what it will take. My by-word here is… Trust, but verify.

 My thanks to Pastor Ron... I repost this from his blog.

Friday, September 23, 2011

By Faith.....

The story is told of John Kavanaugh who went to India to spend some time serving in Calcutta with Mother Teresa. The trip came at a turning point in his life when he was seeking God’s direction for the future. 
It seems that when he met with Mother Teresa, John Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for,” she asked. So he uttered the request that was uppermost on his mind, the reason he had traveled so many thousands of miles from home.
“Clarity. Pray that I might have clarity.”

To his surprise, Mother Teresa refused. “I will not do that,” she said. “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and the last thing you must let go of.”

But surely Mother Teresa had found clarity in her many years of serving the poor and dying in Calcutta. She laughed at that suggestion. “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you will trust God.”
Simple, clear and very biblical.
This life is often confusing, and sometimes it is downright bewildering. Just when we think we’ve got it figured out, everything turns upside down. Any “clarity” we have doesn’t seem to last very long. If we have to have “clarity” going forward, we’re all going to be stuck where we are for a long time.

There’s a big difference between faith and clarity.
The old song sings," I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. I can see all obsticals in my way." Clarity is what we want.

The old hymn sings, "Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey. Faith is what we need.
(Hebrews 11:1-3) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.  (NAS95)
(Hebrews 11:6) And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  (NAS95)
 Hebrews 11 doesn’t say “By clarity” Abraham went out, but “by faith” he went out.
(Hebrews 11:8-10)  By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.  (NAS95)

Stop clinging to clarity and pray for the grace to start trusting. Following Jesus isn’t always an easy road. Sometimes the way forward is clear; sometimes it isn’t. But each step taken by faith brings us another step closer to God.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting The Most From a Sermon

I found this on another blog and thought it interesting…

Do you ever find yourself . . .
Waking up on Sunday morning and wishing you didn’t have to go to church?
Having a hard time staying awake in church?
Daydreaming during the message, or making a mental “to-do” list while the pastor is preaching?
Picking apart the message or the preacher in your mind or not getting anything out of the sermon?
Wishing your pastor would be more _____?
Forgetting what the message was about before you get home from church?
If we’re not benefitting from the ministry of the Word as it is publicly proclaimed in our local churches, the fault may not lie in the one proclaiming the Word. It may lie in our readiness to hear, receive, and respond to the Word.
How can you prepare your heart to get the most out of your pastor’s preaching?

Before the service
1. Pray for your pastor as he prepares for Sunday. Pray that his schedule would be free from unnecessary distractions. Pray that God will give him understanding into the meaning of the Word. Pray that God will speak to him personally through the Word and that he will respond in humility and obedience. Pray that God will help him to communicate the truth with clarity, freedom, passion, and power.
2. If your pastor is preaching a series from a particular book of the Bible, take time during the week to read ahead and meditate on the text. Ask God to speak to your heart before you even hear the message.
3. Prepare for public worship the night before. Turn off the TV, limit social activities, and instead do things that will cultivate your appetite for God’s Word.
4. Ask God to prepare your heart for the preaching of the Word. Repent of any sin God reveals to you, and get rid of the things that are standing in the way of the Word of God in your life.
5. Ask God to give you a sense of anticipation. Come to church asking God to meet with you. Expect to hear from Him and to be different when you leave.
During the service
1. Participate—you need to be there. You’re not going to get a lot out of church if you don’t go.
2. Get to church early enough to spend a few minutes before the service quietly preparing your heart for worship. Pray for God to move—in the pastor, in your heart, in others’ hearts—and surrender your heart to whatever God will say.
3. Don’t be a spectator. Participate fully in every part of the service. That means when it’s time to sing—sing. When it’s time to pray—pray. When it’s time to give—give.
4. While the sermon is being preached, open your Bible and follow along. If your pastor refers to other references, look them up.
5. Listen attentively to the reading and the preaching of the Word. Try to make eye contact with the pastor. Be a “yes face”! Not only does that help the pastor know people are listening and connecting, but it helps you stay alert and focused.
6. Listen humbly to the preaching of the Word. Ask the Lord to make it fresh. If your heart is humble, your focus won’t be on evaluating the message or how it’s delivered; you will let the message evaluate you.
7. Take notes. Jot down things the Lord speaks to you about; highlight points the Spirit applies to your heart and life. Take those notes home, and work through them later.
8. Don’t make your pastor a prisoner of unrealistic expectations. Your pastor doesn’t have to be mesmerizing, entertaining, dramatic, or tell a lot of stories to be effective. You are blessed if he is a man of God who is humble, loves the Word, and opens the Word and seeks to make its meaning plain. The power is in the truth, not the messenger.
After the service
1. Ask God to give you at least one takeaway from the message—a key concept, phrase, or verse that you can review throughout the week. Jot it down so you don’t forget.
2. While it’s still fresh on your mind (before you leave church, on the way home from church, over the meal following the service, etc.), discuss the message with others. Share how God spoke to you.
3. Be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer (James 1:22). Apply what you heard Sunday morning to real-life, everyday circumstances and situations throughout the week.
Making It Personal
  • Do you highly esteem, respect, and reverence the Word of God (Neh. 8:5; Ps. 138:2)?
  • Do you prepare your heart to hear the Word of God (Ps. 119:18)?
  • Do you find delight in hearing the Word proclaimed?
  • Do you listen attentively when the Word is being read or preached (Neh. 8:3; Ps. 85:8)?
  • Do you expect God to speak to you every time you hear His Word proclaimed?
  • Do you have a teachable spirit (Ps. 25:9)?
  • Do you tremble at the Word of the Lord (Isa. 66:2; Ezra 9:4)?
  • Do you pray for those who proclaim the Word to you, that they might be pure, anointed vessels of God (1 Thess. 5:25)?
  • When the Word is preached, are you conscious that you are not listening to the words of men but to the Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13)?
  • Do you have a commitment to obey anything God shows you from His Word (Matt. 7:24; James 1:22–25)?
  • Do you respond in faith, that is, acting on the Word you have heard (Heb. 4:2)?
  • Is your heart good soil that receives the Word and produces fruit (Luke 8:15)?
  • Are you willing to let the message sit in judgment of you rather than you sitting in judgment of the message?
  • Do you take the message personally (James 1:22)? Or are you more focused on how it applies to the people sitting near you?
  • Do you pass on to others what you’ve learned from the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:2)?
  • Do you express appreciation and gratitude for those who minister the Word of God to you (Gal. 6:6; 1 Thess. 5:12-13)?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When You’ve Been Fired

This is a post that I got for Ray Prichard...and thought it would be good to pass along...

When You’ve Been Fired

I talked with a man who was fired from his job in a public and painful way. This is what he said he learned from it.

1. The only answer to bitterness is forgiveness. Not surprisingly, the man felt like the firing had not been handled well. I say “not surprisingly” because firings are rarely handled well, especially from the standpoint of those being fired. Generally there are two choices for how it goes–bad and really bad. My friend’s experience was closer to the latter. “You have to forgive,” he said. But it isn’t easy nor does it come quickly. It takes time to let it all sink in, to work through your feelings, and to come to grips with what has happened. Over time you will either be destroyed by bitterness or you will come to the Christian position and find the grace to forgive as Christ has forgiven you. My friend is currently on this journey, and he is put to the test when people write emails or ask him questions about what happened. But because he knows that forgiveness is a choice and not a feeling, he has chosen to forgive and will be blessed and better for it.

2. Thank God that you were fired. This goes in the category of “in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Again, not easy to do. It all comes back to the sovereignty of God. Does you believe that God is at work even in the worst moments of life? Where was God when my friend was fired? He was where he always is, on the throne of the universe, overseeing the course of all events. My friend could not have been fired unless God had willed to permit it. This truth gives us strength to go on when we feel like giving up. Plus you learn who your friends are when you are fired. That’s always a revelation. Because people understand that “these things happen,” they watch to see how you respond. Your response matters more than the facts of the firing. Down the road you discover that almost everyone loses a job or is “replaced” or “terminated” or “dismissed” or “encouraged to move on.” God uses these events to prepare us for new things he has for us and to teach us to lessons we couldn’t learn any other way.

3. Remember that no one likes a whiner. When we have been mistreated, we want to tell others our story. And to some extent, we need to tell the story. But at some point you have to let go of the past. My friend’s advice is, tell the story enough so that you let it sink in. Tell it so that you learn whatever you need to learn. Then stop talking about it and move on. You can’t get better if you constantly relive the painful events of the past. Don’t be a whiner. “After a while, people will get bored with your story."

Good advice on all points because it comes from a bedrock faith in God. I think my friend is fine and will do fine. He has been knocked around, but he is far from being knocked out. We can all take a lesson from what he said. Learn to forgive, thank God for allowing this to happen, and don’t be a whiner.

Many of us know the words of Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD." When George Muller of Bristol meditated on that verse, he jotted “and stops” into the margin of his Bible. So he read the passage this way: "The steps and stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”

That strikes me as a true application of the text. The same God who orders our steps also orders the “stops” of life. If we believe that, our faith will stay strong even when we have been fired.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Federal Budgeting 101

I found this posting on FB and thought I would share it here.  It does help a guy like me to understand the problem.

Federal Budgeting 101

The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let's put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:
  • U.S. Income: $2,170,000,000,000
  • Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
  • New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
  • National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
  • Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)
It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let's remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.
  • Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
  • Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
  • Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Amount cut from the budget: $385

So in effect last month Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget. What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending?

It is a start, although hardly a solution.

Now after years of this, the Jones family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt).

You would think the Jones family would recognize and address this situation, but it does not. Neither does Congress.

The root of the debt problem is that the voters typically do not send people to Congress to save money. They are sent there to bring home the bacon to their own home state.

To effect budget change, we need to change the job description and give Congress new marching orders.

It is awfully hard (but not impossible) to reverse course and tell the government to stop borrowing money from our children and spending it now.

In effect, what we have is a reverse mortgage on the country. The problem is that the voters have become addicted to the money. Moreover, the American voters are still in the denial stage, and do not want to face the possibility of going into rehab.
Chief Executive Officer
Equitas Capital Advisors LLC

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why Doesn’t God Work Faster?

Today's blog is a reprint from a blog that I read.... I repost it here for your encouragment.

Why Doesn’t God Work Faster?


o you ever wonder why God doesn't do things the way you would do them (if you were God)? Do you ever wonder why God doesn't work faster in answering your prayers? Sometimes I do. I think most believers wrestle with these kinds of questions at some point in their lives.

Much of the early history of the Children of Israel involved following God through a wilderness on the way to a land that “flowed with milk and honey.” And a wilderness was not the way the Israelites wanted to start the journey. Milk and honey were fine. An endless desert was not. The Israelites spent more than a generation wandering there, where many died and were buried.

We are part of a culture that expects that we can personally shape our whole destiny within a couple of years, if we just roll up our sleeves and take action. We expect things to happen quickly and produce the results that we desire. We look for the easiest and shortest route to accomplishing our goals. Our culture values things that are fast and direct. God doesn’t.

This sometimes makes it difficult for us to understand what God is up to, because His perspective of time is often different from ours. As we look at what God did to deliver Israel from Egypt in the Exodus, it is easy to ponder what God had in mind. After allowing Israel to remain in slavery in Egypt for more than four hundred years, we would expect that once God made a decision, it would be a quick transition toward the Land of Canaan. If we were God, we would have led the people from the crossing of the Red Sea straight north through the land of the Philistines and into the land of Canaan. That would be the quickest route, and it would therefore seem also to be the easiest. As I noted above, we like quick and easy fixes.

But interestingly, we read in Exodus 13:17 (NIV): "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them through the Philistine country, although that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’” So God didn't lead them directly into the Promised Land, but rather led them through the wilderness toward Canaan.

God often does this in our lives as well. We want to immediately reach the land of “milk” (a land filled with the necessities of life) and “honey” (a land with the necessities, but also accompanied by some sweet extras in life) that God promises to give to us. We want it, and we want it now. But God in His wisdom leads us by a different route, and into encounters with events that are not quick and easy to pass through.

He often leads us into experiences that will deepen our character, challenge our faith, and develop our awareness of the power of God at work in the difficult days of our lives. If we were to encounter the “giants” of life with only our puny skills and experience, we would become fearful and quit. Israel needed to learn that God could provide for them, regardless of what situations in which they found themselves. We also can learn that lesson. Not everything in life is solved by quick fixes and short timeframes.

Some problems take a long time to solve. Some take a lifetime. The quickest way is not always the best or easiest way, nor the way of lasting quality. God does not always guide us to take the shortest or easiest route. Some accomplishments in life take a long time.

What are you dealing with today that you are tempted to solve in the quickest way possible? What things are you dealing with that may not be satisfactorily resolved this year? Can you trust God to lead you to the best way to address the situation, even if it is not quick and easy to solve?

copied from Tuesday Morning for July 12, 2011. Guest writer for this week is Dr. Ed Jordan, senior pastor of Gate City Baptist Church, Pocatello, Idaho.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What does Easter mean to you?

What does Easter mean to you?

In his book If I Should Die Before I Live, Joe Lomusio writes: "If I were to ask you to describe Easter without using any words, and you could only use punctuation marks, which punctuation mark would you choose to describe this Easter for yourself?
"Maybe this Easter is a comma for you. It makes you stop, pause, think, and listen, but that's about it.
Perhaps today is a downer -- a big bold period. You thought you'd feel excited, but instead it seems to be more like empty ritual. You feel like you're not on the inside, but on the outside . . . an onlooker. It was day when life felt like a period for Jesus' disciples. He was dead. He was buried. An end to expectations.
"But wait -- news of an empty tomb . . . the period is no longer a period, it's a question mark. That's worse than a period. Now they're beginning to doubt. Where is He? They're perplexed. the guards are gone, the stone is rolled away. He is not there. And if not there, where? An angel speaks, 'Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and how He must be crucified, and the third day He must rise again?'

"Of course they remembered! The periods are gone. The question marks are removed.
There is one massive exclamation point! That's what Easter is all about . . . an exclamation of gratitude and of praise for the resurrection Jesus Christ and for the salvation His victory over death brought to us."

So what does Easter mean to you?

( if i knew who to give credit to I would -- had this for a while now)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When the chips are down....

“Did you teach hawks to fly south for the winter?” (Job 39:26)
birds fly southThere once was a bird that lived in Canada. One winter he announced to the other birds, “I’m not flying south for the winter. I’m staying right here!” All the other birds said he was crazy, but he answered, “You’re the ones that are crazy. You’ll get down south, turn around and fly right back up here again next year. What’s the point?!”
The other birds shook their heads, shrugged their shoulders, and took to flight; leaving him behind.
Wondering what winter in Canada would be like, the lone bird was pleasantly surprised at the stretch of Indian Summer that lingered long into the fall. “Aha!” he said to himself, “I was right to stay. This is wonderful!” But then, winter hit full force in the middle of December. Shuddering in the cold the silly bird finally realized, “I must hurry and leave before I freeze to death!”
He took to flight and made it as far as Montana. There, in mid-air, he froze up and tumbled to the ground; landing in a farmer’s barnyard. “Oh, what a stupid bird I am,” he moaned to himself. “I should’ve flown south with all the other birds, but now I am about to die.”
Just then a cow in the barnyard strolled past the fallen bird and without realizing it dropped a big cow-plop right on top of him! “Oh, this is just great,” mumbled the buried bird. “It’s not bad enough that I’m about to die; now I’m covered with cow manure!”
But then he noticed something he had not expected. The warmth of the plop actually began to thaw him out and restore him to life. “Why, what do you know about that?” said the bird. “This ain’t so bad after all!” Then he began chirping and singing under the pile of poop.
Meanwhile, the barnyard cat was passing by and heard the sound of singing coming from the pile. Curious as a cat can be, he pawed around in the pile and uncovered the thawed bird. Their eyes met, there was a silent moment of suspense, and then the cat ate the bird.
The moral of the story is three-fold. First, not everyone who dumps on you is your enemy. Second, not everyone who cleans it off is your friend. Third, when you do get dumped on, it is best to keep your mouth shut.
The bottom line is this. When the chips are down, the Lord is up to something good. Take heart, and place your trust in Him. You’ll be blessed in every way.