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.”