Thursday, July 02, 2015

What I'm Thinking About These Days

In light of the ruling by the US Supreme Court re: same sex marriage on June 26,2015, people have asked what do I think or believe? These are some things I think:

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
The third day he rose again from the dead:
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
From there he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
I believe in the Holy Ghost:
I believe in the holy catholic(universal) church: the communion of saints:
The forgiveness of sins:
The resurrection of the body:
And the life everlasting. Amen.

These are some of the things I'm thinking about and believe these days 
What about you? What are you thinking these days?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Deut.17.18-20 Copy/Scroll/Transcribe the Scriptures

In December of 2010, I was having lunch with a friend and great young leader, John Ott. At lunch he asked me if I had ever seen these verses from Deuteronomy17:18-20?   

"When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites.  19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel."

I was confident that I had read them in the past, but upon seeing them that day, I did not remember them. John said that he was going to try this practice and copy Deuteronomy. I said,"I'm not." But I was starting a study in Romans and I thought, "Let's give this a try." Well, 4.5 years later, I have copied Romans through Jude, including Proverbs. This practice has changed and saved my life.

So...here are a few ideas:

1. Pick a small book in the New Testament to begin. (Philippians, Colossians, James)
2. Pray this simple prayer:" Heavenly Father, would you please teach me, speak to me today by Your Word and Spirit, in Jesus Name. Amen."
3. Get a good notebook, "Moleskin" and pen.
4. Begin copying word for word. Slow down. Make space for God to speak.
5. Write down any thoughts, questions, ideas, observations that come to mind. You may also want to draw or illustrate what you are writing and seeing.
6. If you can, try to capture the "Big Idea" that stood out for you that day. Ideally, if you can put that in a memorable phrase that sticks with you...that would be extra credit. :-)
7. Get ready for this to change your life.

The goal is not to copy Scripture by any certain date, but to slow down and let the Word of God speak to you in very personal ways. Enjoy and let me know how this goes for you.

Heb. 4:12   For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Of What Am I Most "Proud"?

Recently, I was asked by my new boss, Ryan Gray, of what am I most "proud"? I did not even hesitate in my thoughts and answers. I loved the clarity that was in my mind. As you can imagine, I answered it in order and in bullets:

1. I am most proud of my relationship with God my Father, His Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His Word. I became a Christian at 14 in 1968 and have loved growing with God and His Word. I am what I am and I have what I have...ALL by the grace of God. I am so grateful.

2. I love my 40 year marriage and relationship with Debbie. We have "fought for ONE" our whole marriage and it has been so worth it. It has led to great connections in our spirits, souls and bodies. I love Debbie and the marriage God has given us.

3. I am super proud of and pleased with all 8 of our children. God has created amazing human beings and all of them are seeking God in their own way and styles. They are all incredible to Debbie and me.

4. I love that they have given us 12 grandchildren...10 boys and 2 little girls. Each one of them have captured our hearts.

5. And finally, I love the work God has given us to do at NPM in leading men into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been at North Point for 14 years and we loved creating (7) to invite men to live free and lead well.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing grace and love and leadership in our lives. We are eternally grateful in Jesus Name. Amen.

What about you? Of what are you most proud these days?

Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter 2015. The Day After...

Yesterday was Easter 2015. I have been thinking a lot about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means to me. These events in history have accomplished so much in my life today and for all eternity. Here are just a few thoughts:

1.  I am loved. 

·      Rom.5. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

2.  I am valued.

·      1 Peter 1.18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 

3. I am saved.  

·      Eph.2.8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. 

4. I am forgiven. 

·      Eph.1. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

5. I am free. 

·      Rom. 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

6. I am empowered. 

·      Col.1.11 - being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully

7. I belong. 

·      Rom. 14:8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

8. I am accepted. 

·      Eph. 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.

9.  I am righteous. 

·      2 Cor. 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

10.  I am gifted. 

·      Eph. 4:7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”

11. I am called. 

·      2 Tim.1:9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

12. I am indwelt.

·      Rom. 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

13. I am not my own. I was bought at a price.

·      1 Cor.6.19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

14. He died for me. I live for him.

·      2 Cor.5.14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

15. I am redeemed. 

·      Gal. 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”  14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

16. I am reconciled. 

·      Col. 1:21   Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

17. I am alive. 

·      Eph.2. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

18. I have hope. 

·      Eph. 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

19.  I am not alone. 

·      Phil. 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

20. I am not an orphan. 

·      John.14.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

21. I have a Father. 

·      Matt. 6:9 - “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

22.  I have a Helper.

·      Heb.13.5…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

 23. I have a family. 

·      Eph. 3:14 - For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

24. I have a good work to do.  

·      Eph.2.10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

25.  I have purpose and meaning.  

·      2 Tim. 2:20   In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.  21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.