Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Delight In. Meditate On-Psalm 1

The older I get, the more I see the importance of these verses in Scripture on meditation on God’s Word.
I think I was first exposed to this idea of meditating on God’s Word from Bill Gothard at his Institute of Basic Life Principles in 1980 in Portland, OR. It also stood out to me on the day of registration for seminary when I decided not to go back to school and drove to the OR coast. I was so lost and discouraged. I went and sat on a tree that had fallen across a stream and I read these words.
Psa. 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (KJV)
HIS FRUIT. HIS SEASON. These are the words that the Lord spoke to me that day. He assured me that He would bring forth HIS FRUIT in HIS SEASON, if I would delight in and meditate on His Word day and night. He assured me that whatever I did would prosper if I delighted in Him and His Word.
27 years later…this is so true and it is indeed one of the most important practices, habits, disciplines in my life.
 
1.  What is meditation?
Meditation is to DWELL ON anything in thought; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind; serious contemplation.
2. A few simple ideas
§ Pick a time and place and get a good cup of coffee
§ Get a notebook or journal
§ Jot down some thoughts or feelings to get out of your head.
a.   Father, I am thinking about___________________
b.   Father, I am feeling_________________________
c.   Yesterday, _______________________________
§ Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you.
§ Pick a small book like Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, or James
§ Read for depth and not distance.
a.   Just read a paragraph or two…re-read it.
§ Write down the words or phrases that stand out. Write down thoughts that come to your mind.
§ Look for a big idea and put it in a “Power Phrase”
a.   EG. Pay Attention. Keep in Step.
b.   Direction Determines Destination
c.   Declare His Greatness. Surrender My Will.
§ Write it on a 3x5 card…Day, Date, Reference, Power Phrase and Verse
§ Carry it with you and review through out the week.
3. What are the benefits of meditation?
·     It renews our minds, changes our thinking, redirects our choices and restores our emotions.
·     Psalm 1.1-3 - Whatever you do will prosper.
·     Joshua 1:6-9 - You will have GREAT SUCCESS
·     Psalm 119:9,11 - You will have new POWER over sin.
·     Psalm 119:97-104 - You will EXCEL in wisdom and understanding.
·     It increases FAITH…faith comes by hearing.
 

Letter to Andrej

Dear Andrej,
I have been writing this letter in my head for a long time and wanted to finally send it to you as we continue down this road to a wedding and marriage to Rebekah.
First of all, I also want to praise you and thank you for all you did to finish your schooling as you prepare for a life that is fully surrendered to the Lordship of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Congratulations. He has an incredible plan for you and Rebekah and He will lead you, as you stay fully surrendered to Him.
Congratulations too on your job at Lion Bridge. I know it is only a start, but it will be the beginning of all the ways that God will train and develop you as His son and His servant. I know you are an awesome employee.
I want to thank you for the way that you have loved and honored your mother and sister and have fulfilled the role as the man in your home. I know it has prepared you well for all your future relationships. We look forward to getting to know your family better over the years.
As you know so well, Rebekah means more to me than any woman on this earth other than her mom and my incredible wife of 32 years. You know that we have loved Rebekah from the second she was born. She has brought so much joy and gladness and love to our hearts and family. You know what an incredible woman she is. So soon Samo will ask me, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”. And I will say, “Her mother and I.” As you can well imagine this will be a potentially very emotional time for Debbie and me. But we will do this, with the hope and anticipation that you will continue to treat Rebekah with such love and grace and humility and honor and service as you have done.
You have demonstrated your love for God and your love and desire for Rebekah and it is my prayer and hope that your love will only grow deeper and richer and sweeter over time, as you ask the Lord to build your marriage and your family.
I want you to know that I will count it an honor and privilege to call you “my son” when you and Bekah are married. I love the idea of having 4 sons and 4 daughters. It is such a blessing to anticipate this.
Andrej, I love you and I’m excited about the days, weeks, months and years to come. I am excited about all the wedding and honeymoon plans, but more than that I am excited about a marriage that will be built on Jesus Christ and a home that will raise up a godly generation. I know you and Rebekah will be an awesome couple and family in which the light and life and love of Jesus Christ will shine brightly.
Know how much we love you, pray for you and are for you now and in the years to come.
With deep respect,
Dad-to-be…10/13/07
PS. Happy Birthday. I hope you loved your birthday surprise and to add to the fun we wanted to give you this very special gift not only for your birthday but also for the job well done in finishing your school.
Congratulations and enjoy!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Letter to Beks

My Sweet Rebekah,
It is one week before you get on the plane to your new life with Andrej in SK. Wow! Needless to say - many thoughts, many emotions. I’ve decided to write little by little, day by day as I prepare for this transition.
You are hopefully reading this on the plane as you fly to your new world. I feel less sorry for you if you are reading this in first class. ☺
So single life is about over, 73-74 days or so – amazing! You are and have been an amazing woman and you will be an amazing wife and mother and friend. God has put so many gifts in you and has given you so many great experiences. None of them will be wasted. I think of all of these aspects when I think of you:
(1) A Mistress of The Domain. You will be awesome in setting up your new home and making it a place that will glorify the Lord, minister to Andrej and your family and friends. We can’t wait to see it.
(2) You will be a great Helper/Completer. This will be your new role as you help Andrej become and fulfill the calling in and on his life. Your gifts will indeed be a completion to him and his.
(3) I have no question you will be an amazing “Life Giver”. The Lord opens and closes the womb. It is He who gives and creates children. I hope you will be able to have and raise 4-6 amazing children of your own. Keep trusting the Lord for this in His time.
(4) You are a “Lady of Wisdom”. You have so much wisdom the Lord has given you over the years. Use it prayerfully. Use it carefully and keep your trust in the Lord, whether Andrej follows your counsel or advice. The Lord will direct your path. Thank you for being a wise woman and daughter and soon a wise wife.
(5) You are “The Glory of Andrej”. You will be a crown upon his head. Be a bright and radiant crown that brings glory to God and Andrej.
You will be able to close out the chapters of your single life with great joy and peace and pleasure and a sense that you walked with God and did His will. Way to go!
Well 2 more months and we will be together - enjoying your new world is Slovakia. Seeing your flat, sipping some coffee, drinking a few beers in the square, having a fun dinner in The Castle, traveling as a family to Prague and then launching you to your new season. That will be so much fun.
My dear Rebekah, you are so ready and so prepared and you are and will be pleasing to the Lord, Andrej and your family in all respects. Give thanks to the Lord for His grace and goodness to have placed you in our family with the wonderful influences of godly grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so many who put their “fingerprints” on you.
Thank the Lord for all the ways He led you and kept you all of these years. Thank Him for His protection on your life and for leading you to this awesome man, Andrej. And thank Him for all that He will continue to do in you, to you and through you.
You know I love you and have cherished our relationship all of these 28 years. You have made me such a glad father. You know I will miss you terribly, but go celebrate this next chapter and season of your life.
Go into it with your head held high with great faith, hope and love in our God and Savior, Jesus. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He will always be with you and He will always help you as you call upon His Name.
Enjoy the rest of the flight and enjoy the rest of the Lord as you enter your new world.
I love you so-o-o much and am so-o proud of you.
One of your greatest fans and cheerleaders,
A grateful and blessed Dad!!
FATZ!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

360 Degree Leadership-Bill Hybels

Several years ago I heard a message and read a chapter in the book, Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels called, “360 Degree Leadership – The Art of Self Leadeership”
It was the first time I heard the idea and importance of leading North, South, East and West. Most of the time we are thinking about leading people below us. He suggested that we give 50% of our attention to self-leadership.
He asked several helpful questions:
1. Is my calling sure?
2. Is my vision clear?
3. Is my passion hot?
4. Am I developing my gifts?
5. Is my character submitted to Christ?
6. Is my pride subdued?
7. Am I overcoming fear?
8. Are interior issues undermining my leadership?
9. Is my pace sustaihnable?
10. Is my love for God and people increasing?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Continually Praise-Heb.13.15

Heb. 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Praise. This is such a big theme in Scripture. In Psalms alone the word is used 169 times.
Psa. 7:17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psa. 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psa. 9:1 I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Psa. 18:46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
This is not an easy thing to do. Especially continually…yet praise is such an important part of life. Often people try to praise God on their own. It can only be fully and adequately and continually done through Jesus.

As I thought about this, I thought…

THROUGH JESUS
1. He is the Lord and Creator of all things. Continually praise God for His creation…the sun, the moon, the stars…all things through Jesus.
2. Through Jesus, my father and mother were saved and walked in the ways of the Lord.
3. Through Jesus I was sovereignly placed in my family and made a 2nd born male.
4. Through Jesus I was saved in 1968 and so were my sisters
5. Through Jesus He gave me His Word on which I have built my entire life for the last 39 years.
6. Through Jesus He gave me His Holy Spirit to help me, to comfort me, to teach me, to remind me, to lead me and to be my Counselor.
7. Through Jesus He is making intercession for me before my heavenly Father
8. Through Jesus He is making a family in heaven and on earth of which I am a part.
9. Through Jesus He led me to a Bible College where I met my sweet heart and life long lover, companion and helper.
10. Through Jesus He gave me 4 awesome children and now 4 awesome daughters and son in law.
11. Through Jesus He led me all the way…through good times and hard times…to humble me, to test me and to know what was in my heart.
12. Through Jesus He has given me a good work to do as a servant, a minister, a pastor, an exhorter, a mentor and developer of men.
13. Through Jesus He is healing and changing me little by little, day by day
14. Through Jesus He will take me home when all of my ordained days on the earth are through
15. Through Jesus He will judge the quick and the dead at His coming and appearing the 2nd time.
No wonder we are instructed to continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God through Jesus…all things are from Him, by Him and for Him.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Prudent-Prov.27.12

Prov. 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

I continue to think about the truth of a prudent man and woman.
It means…acting with or showing care and thought for the future; foreseeing or attending to.
It is a contraction of the word “provident”…making or indicative of timely preparation for the future.
Provident comes from “providere or to provide”
I believe I must give more attention to the future…not only in this life but also to the life to come.
I am very challenged and inspired by this word and truth. This word is found 10+ times in the Scriptures.
1. Prov. 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
• I love these words and qualities. The proverbs were written to give me…wisdom, discipline, understanding, prudence, knowledge, discretion, learning and guidance. Who would not want that? Only a fool.
2. Prov. 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
• I love the idea of being so “Spirit controlled/self controlled”, that I can overlook an insult. A fool shows his annoyance at once…do I? Am I a man who is patient and longsuffering? Will I show my annoyance or over look the insult?
3. Prov. 12:23 A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.
• This one intrigues me. It speaks of holding a confidence. Keeping someone’s secrets to himself versus blurting out. I want to be a man who can keep knowledge to myself and not blurt out anything.
4. Prov. 13:16 Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.
• I want to be a man who acts out of knowledge instead of foolishness. Gain and store up knowledge so that I may be able to act this way in the moment.
5. Prov. 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.
• Give thought to my ways…do not keep going and suffer for it. What ways do I need to give thought to?
• Do not be a deceptive man. No deception in any area of my life. Live in the light of God and the truth.
6. Prov. 14:15 A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.
• Do not believe any thing and every thing. Listen, ask for wisdom, get wise counsel and give thought to my steps.
• I love the idea of giving thought to my ways and to my steps.
7. Prov. 14:18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
• I love this idea of being crowned with knowledge. I want to know the Lord and then be filled with the knowledge of His Word and His ways.
8. Prov. 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
• Thank you Jesus for a prudent wife and all the blessing she has brought from you into my life. I am a blessed man because of Debbie.
9. Amos 5:13 Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet in such times, for the times are evil.
• I love this idea of knowing when to be quiet and knowing when to speak.
This is such good information and truth. To think about and be a prudent man. Lord, I want more of this in my life. I want to grow in my prudence, understanding, discipline and knowledge. I look to You.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Looking Ahead - Prov.27.12

Prov. 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

It is amazing to me how Andy took one verse, one idea, one truth and principle and taught it sooooo well. I was greatly refreshed by these words.

DIRECTION not intention determines DESTINATION…How do you know the right path?

2 different people, 2 responses and 2 outcomes

Prudent vs. Simple
Wise vs. Naive
Life is connected vs. Disconnected
Cause & Effect vs. Today is today
In light of my past, present and future hopes and dreams, what is the wisest thing to do?
Not thinking about the future
Takes refuge Vs. Keeps going
Does something Vs. Does nothing
Safe Vs. Suffers for it
Looks foolish Against the flow Vs. Acts like then is now
Avoids pain Vs. It will work out
I should Vs. I ought to
You’re right Vs. Feels convicted

There are points of no return…a place where all options are bad.
A principle is broken and you break yourself against this principle.
Life is moving…relationships are moving…they are going somewhere. It is wise to respond to the direction of things…money and relationships

4 Words:
1. ACTION
a. Do something. Act.
b. Have the hard conversation
2. SACRIFICE
a. Give something up
b. This will cost us something
3. EMBARRASSMENT
a. People will not understand
b. Do it anyway
4. RELIEF
a. We will breathe a big sign of relief when we act and sacrifice

What path am I on? Where do I need to get off?
Prayer:
Heavenly Father, Help me to see trouble coming long before it gets here.
Then grant me the wisdom to know what to do and
The courage to do it

As I listened to this message, I was convicted of my health. I had 98% blockage of my RCA and a heart stint put in on 01.19.07 and have basically not done many things to change.

1. I got off my medication
2. I have not returned for my 6 month check up
3. I have not done the blood work
4. I have not adjusted my diet that much.
5. I still weigh 218 and should weigh 200-205.
6. I am not hydrating as I should
7. I am not eating 6 small meals a day

This feels foolish and simple…Father, give me the courage to pay attention and not be a fool. Be wise and prudent and take refuge. I need the grace to help in time of need and the accountability to change.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

To Make Me Holy-Heb.13.12

Heb. 13:11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

I have been captured by this thought that Jesus suffered to make me holy through His own blood. This is almost overwhelming. To realize what Jesus did to make me holy…beyond comprehension. All I can do is praise and thank Him for my eternal salvation.

Jesus suffered to make me holy. What do I do? How far do I go to continue to walk in the holiness that He provided? Do I give in to sin and the lusts of the flesh easily or quickly? Or do I suffer as well to live in the holiness that was purchased for me?

Jesus suffered. He suffered many things in doing the will of His Father in heaven and out of love for me…to make me holy.

1 Peter 2.21-25 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

1. What is holiness?
• A person, place or day dedicated or consecrated to God
• A person who is devoted to the service of God
• Morally or spiritually excellent
• Gen. 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
• Ex. 3:5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
• Ex. 19:6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
• Ex. 19:23 Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”
• Ex. 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

2. How does one become holy?
• I am made holy by the grace and love and mercy of God and the blood and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
• Eph. 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
• Eph. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
• 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, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

3. How do I stay holy?
• I stay holy in my daily life by the help and power of the Holy Spirit
• Rom. 8:13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
• Gal. 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

4. What are the blessings and benefits from it?
• There are so many. I will be like and in alignment with the nature and character of my God. I will be holy as He is holy.
• I live with a sense of separation unto God.
• I live with a sense of purpose in this life and the life to come
• Holiness leads to life and peace
• It is simply and just right. It is the righteousness of God in me
• It brings life and peace and security to all those around me.

I am so grateful to God and Jesus for suffering for my sin and me in order to make me holy. I want to live and walk in His holiness and do all the will of Him who died and rose again and is making intercession for me today.
I’m forever grateful.

Make no mistake…this desire to be and live a holy life will be assaulted all the time from my flesh, the world and the devil. These 3 enemies do not want me to live a holy life unto God my Savior. Be alert. Be on guard. Be vigilant. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jesus Suffered-Heb.13.11

Heb. 13:11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

I have been captured by this thought that Jesus suffered to make me holy through His own blood. This is almost overwhelming. To realize what Jesus did to make me holy…beyond comprehension. All I can do is praise and thank Him for my eternal salvation.

Jesus suffered to make me holy. What do I do? How far do I go to continue to walk in the holiness that He provided? Do I give in to sin and the lusts of the flesh easily or quickly? Or do I suffer as well to live in the holiness that was purchased for me?

Jesus suffered. He suffered many things in doing the will of His Father in heaven and out of love for me. Wow! Am I willing to suffer in this life as well?

Jesus suffered…1 Peter 2.21-25 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Phil. 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Suffering is so much a part of this life…(Once again this is a little hard for me to write from my screened porch next to my pool on Carington Way in Cumming GA. This always challenges me.)

But there is great suffering…brokenness in hearts, marriages, families, abuse, hatred, evil, persecution, murder, envy, jealousy, sickness, disease, famine, death…sorrows and suffering on the earth

1. Suffering produces perseverance - Rom. 5:3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
2. There can be joy by the Holy Spirit in the midst of suffering - 1Th. 1:6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
3. There will be suffering in the kingdom of God - 2Th. 1:5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
4. Suffering is endured by the power of God - 2Tim. 1:8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
5. There is a fellowship in suffering - Phil. 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

I am so grateful to God and Jesus for suffering for my sin and me in order to make me holy. I want to live and walk in His holiness and do all the will of Him who died and rose again and is making intercession for me today.
I’m forever grateful.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Lord is My Helper-Heb.13.6

Heb. 13:6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
The Lord is my Helper. What a beautiful truth…a wonderful thought…one that brings many good thoughts and feelings.
People say, “could you please help me?” Many times we need the help of other people.
I was thinking, how does the Lord help me? The Lord helps me in many ways every day of my life.
1. He is my heavenly Father who sees, hears, cares and will always let me approach His throne of grace in time of need.
2. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and has helped me in that he saved me from my sins and from hell.
3. I have the Holy Spirit who is my helper, teacher, guide, comforter and counselor.
4. The Lord gave me the Scriptures that are able to make me wise and make sound judgments with discernment. The Lord helps me with all of the promises from His Word.
5. He created the heavens and the earth…this helps me in perspective by seeing how big and awesome and glorious He is and how small I am.
6. He gave me Debbie who is my helper/helpmate and my lady of wisdom.
7. He helped me by putting me into His family, His Body with all kinds of gifts and differences.
8. He gave me faith, hope and love to help me along this challenging planet and life as I prepare for the life to come.
9. The Lord helps me by giving me His life in my “jar of clay”.
10. The Lord has given me angels or ministering spirits to protect and keep me in this difficult life.
11. He is my Provider
12. He is my Manager and Boss
13. He is my helper in that He gives me the ability to do His will.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Confidence-Heb.13.6

Heb. 13:6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Confidence. What a great word. A great thought. A great feeling.
From confidere…to have full trust.
1. The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something…firm trust.
2. Or a feeling of self-assurance rising from one’s appreciation from one’s own abilities or qualities
Confidence. My early memories of confidence probably came in the world of sports…specifically basketball. As my skills increased, so did my confidence. I was not very confident in academics or things like that. I did not have a very great or wide interest.
Confidence. I love this thought from Scripture. It shows up in so many cool places.
1. Psa. 71:5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.
2. Prov. 3:26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
3. Is. 32:17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
4. Jer. 17:7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
5. Eph. 3:12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
6. Phil. 3:3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—
7. Heb. 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

8. Heb. 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

The Love of Money-Heb.13.5

Heb. 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
It is so easy to love money. Money, money, money monnnnnnney…as the song goes on the show “The Apprentice”. Donald Trump and the rich and famous are held up in high esteem in our culture.
Why are we tempted to love money?
• We can buy what we want
• It’s more fun to be rich than poor
• It gives you options
• It give us a false sense of security
• We do what we want, when we want
• It causes us to feel significant…I am worth 1 million, 5 million, 1 billion
• We do not have to trust God…we just go and do as we please
• My Dad use to always joke by saying, “I can prove to you that money does not make you happy. My friend who has 10 million dollars is no happier than my friend who has 7 million.” ☺

What is the proper view of money?
1. It all belongs to God…1Chr. 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
2. God gives the ability to make wealth…Deut. 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
3. God instructs us to give…2Cor. 8:7 But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
4. It is wise to save…Prov. 21:20 In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
5. Godliness with contentment is great gain…1Tim. 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
6. There are many dangers to beware of…1 Tim.6:9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
7. The Love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…1 Tim.6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
8. Keep my life free from it…Heb. 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

How do I keep my life free from it?
1. Remember the above truths
2. Be a generous giver
3. Surrender my will and desires to God every day.
4. Be content with what I have
5. Remember that God will never leave me or forsake me.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Letter to David on His 30th

My dear son, David,

I have been thinking about this day and year in your life for a long time. I am so glad to be celebrating it with you and our whole family this weekend. As you can well imagine, my mind and heart is remembering all the joy you have brought us these last thirty years.

I remember it like it was yesterday, the day you came into the world on 7.7.77 at 7:43 PM. Wow! What a day. What a date. I was only 23. Can you believe that? God has been so gracious and kind and good to us all of these years. You have brought us joy through the years.

Proverbs 10.1 says, “a wise son makes a glad father…” and you have certainly made us glad. You have blessed us with your quiet strength and depth and intimate walk with Jesus. We learn from you all the time. You are a key to the stability of the Woodall name and legacy. Thank you for your faith and dependence on our heavenly Father. You are a wise man, David. God has done a marvelous work in you through college and in your 20’s. He has grown you, prepared you, shaped you, tried you and He will direct your paths.

I am sure that you will remember all the times we talked about your 20’s are years of PREPARATION; 30’s are INITIATION; 40’s–50’s are DOMINATION; 60’s-70’s are CONSOLIDATION. You are indeed entering a very good season of life. This next season will continue to be a time where you are trying different things and still seeing are your strengths and your weaknesses. Your life message will get clearer and clearer in this season.

As you seek the Lord, as you trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, He will direct your path. He will make your path clear. Even though today we don’t know if it is a MBA or to own your own business, God knows and He will lead you in the way you should go.

God has given you an amazing woman, wife, helper, completer and lady of wisdom. Danae is such a gift from God. She is a beautiful balance to you. Love her. Honor her. Cherish her. Present her to the Lord blameless. She will be a beautiful crown for your head. You two are a beautiful couple and God has great purpose even in all of that.

Thank you for being a man who has pursued the Lord. Thank you for being a son who has honored your father and mother. Thank you for being a husband who has loved Danae as Christ loves the church. Thanks for being a brother who is worthy of respect from your brothers and sisters. Thank you for being, David, a man after God’s own heart.

I love you. I respect you. I am sooooooo for you and I will be with you for as many days and years the Lord gives me on the earth. You know I am praying for grandchildren and the next generation of Woodalls in His time. ☺

I love you deeply,

A very grateful and honored Dad

Be Content-Heb.13.5

Heb. 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
My first memory of discontentment was in high school when all my friends were getting in colleges of their choice. I was rejected from Wake Forest and it really made me feel like a failure and I was not content.
This continued on in my life in my 20’s when some of my buddies in business were driving new Mercedes…I was driving a little Canary yellow Ford Fiesta which I paid 600.00.
We bought our first house…a 1500 sq.foot ranch house in Orlando and we were not content with that

You know the feeling right…some has a better girlfriend, boyfriend, car, house, job, what ever…and when we look at it or them…we are not content…we are not satisfied. It doesn’t help if someone comes along and says, Hey be content!. Thanks. Be content with what you have…this is not an easy thing to do. Be content.

One of the reasons we are not content or satisfied is we are trying to get or be content in sources and places that God never intended…as a matter of fact, there is a secret to being content and we have to learn it.
What is contentment?
1. To be in a state of peaceful happiness
2. A state of satisfaction
3. To be satisfied with…this is the key. This is the question. With what or whom am I trying to be satisfied?
a. For some it is a certain level of achievement
b. For others…a good fortune
c. But am I trying to be content with people, places or things when God is calling me to something else, Someone else with whom to be satisfied?

How do I become content?
1. Begin with the fear of the Lord… Prov. 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
2. Contentment does not come from wealth, people, things or places… Eccl. 4:8 There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless— a miserable business!
3. There is a secret to being content… Phil. 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
4. The secret is found in a personal growing relationship with Jesus Christ… Phil.4:3 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
5. Thank God that He will never leave us… Heb.13.5…be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6. Give thanks for all we have…1Tim. 6:8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Marriage-Heb.13.4

Today I read Heb.13.4 and was thinking about Marriage…
Marriage should be honored by all,
and the marriage bed kept pure,
for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral
Should be honored by all…what an honorable thing
Designed and instituted by God
Man. Woman
Leaving father and mother
Husband. Wife
2 become 1
Companions. Friends
United though different. Completed
Enjoyment. Sex. What a gift. Miraculous
Children. What a blessing.
Christ and the Church.
What an illustration.
A mystery
Life changing
Transforming and conforming us to Jesus
Dying to self so others can live
An amazing thing
Requires a lot of work in the power of the Holy Spirit
A life long pursuit
Marriage bed kept pure
One woman man.
One man woman.
Passionate
Experimenting
Worshipful
Growing
Under attack
Many temptations
Many attempts to destroy
Anyone susceptible to adultery…sexual immorality
Must fight against with the full armor of God

Very simple. Very hard.
2 Commands
Husband love your wife as Christ loves
Wife respect your husband as the Lord
Impossible with man
All things are possible with God
Awesome and/or awful
Till death do us part
Growing
Changing
Loving
Trusting
Cultivating
Celebrating
Nurturing
Persevering
Finishing

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Some Thoughts on Money-2 Cor.9.6-7

Today I was talking with Rebekah about money and her budget as she gets ready to move to Slovakia and marry Andrej. We had a great conversation at the pancake house.
When I think of our financial journey, I think of several things:
1. I was raised in a home where my Mom and Dad were excellent with money. We lived in Miami, FL then moved to London, England when I was 11 in 1965. While we were in London, we lived in Golders Green and in Knightsbridge. These experiences had an impact on my thinking about money, success and investments.
2. My Dad always encouraged me to work. My first job was working in a pony rink at the age of 11, where I had to shovel poop from the horses. When we moved to England, I was working in a butcher’s shop gutting chickens on the weekends. One summer, when I was 16, I came back to the USA and worked on a cattle farm in Minnesota and in Canada building fences. These are great memories.
3. I was able to speak often with my Dad who used many expressions as it relates to money:
a. Men at work or money at work
b. One wise investment is worth a life time of labor
c. When buying real estate go out…waaaay out and wait for the growth to come to you. This is what happened to my Dad. He bought two 20 acre pieces of property in Miami, FL for 1600.00 an acre and ended up selling them for 60,000 an acre before he died.
4. Debbie and I were first exposed to money/budgeting ideas with Larry Burkett. He was the one who taught us “Net Spendable Income”. Before that, if we received a $1000.00 check, we would wonder how we could spend the whole thing. He was the one who showed us…
a. 100.00 = 10% Giving
b. 100.00 = 10% Savings
c. 100.00 = 10% Investment for future…401 k stuff
d. 350.00 = 35% Taxes
e. 350.00 = 35% Net Spendable Income
5. This is not an easy practice or habit but one that pays great dividend. If we live our lives according to biblical truths and principles, we can trust God to supply all of our needs in Christ Jesus.
6. I have seen over the last 32 years, that this is sooooo true. We have lived our lives according to God and His Word and biblical principles and we have seen our wealth grow little by little.
7. This is our practice today…whenever we get any check, we apply to the following categories, in the following order…giving, saving, investing, taxes then our net spendable income…this is the harder but better way to go.