Have No Fear!

17 Nov

I was thinking today…How would you live if you had no fear at all?

Would you quit your job and start your own business?

Would you go on a long term mission trip?

Would you finally make that commitment that you have been avoiding?

Would you finally start that ministry that you know God has called you to do?

Courage

When we think of courage, we usually associate it with the heroic courage required when you risk your life to save someone from a burning building. There is another type of courage that we need to develop on a day-to-day basis. The courage I am talking about is the ability to face down the imaginary fears and reclaim the far more enjoyable life that you’ve denied yourself. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of going broke. Fear of being alone. Fear of humiliation. Fear of public speaking. Fear of being ostracized by family and friends. Fear of physical discomfort. Fear of regret. Fear of success.

As Christians, we have a head start in overcoming those fears. As Paul said, I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.(Philippians 4:13) Jesus conquered fear and death, once and for all by His death and resurrection.

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.
– John Wayne

Perspective

12 Nov

“This hotel stinks!” a guest complained when he showed up at the front desk to check out.

“What’s wrong?” the manager asked?

“I got no sleep. Every 15 minutes this loud banging sound woke me up!”

The manager apologized for the noise and checked him out. A few minutes later, a couple showed up. Again, the manager asked how their stay was.

“Terrible!” they said. “The guy in the next room was snoring so loudly that we had to bang on the wall every 15 minutes to wake him up!”

One of the problems that I have is knowing what God wants me to do for Him. I want to serve him and I want to make an impact for Him but I have a problem hearing His voice. I pray and pray and all I seem to hear is banging on the wall.

So, what is the solution? Well, maybe there is something I am doing that is preventing me from hearing God’s response. Maybe I should quit snoring and listen. Maybe he’s answering me after all.

It’s something to think about…

The Fro

11 Nov

The AfroSome people are embarassed by pictures of what they looked like in high school. Although I was style-challenged, I actually like what I looked like in school. I suppose my proudest moment in school was when I grew a ‘fro. It was the summer of ’79 and I was on staff at Boy Scout Camp. I needed hair style that was easy to care for. My friend’s Mom cut my hair short and gave me a real tight perm. All summer, it was short and tight. When school finally started, the perm, combined with my natural curley hair, stayed and as my hair got longer, the ‘fro started to take shape! I was proud of that hair. Growing up, one of the coolest guys I knew (His name was Garth. He drove a 280Z and we used to drive 100 miles to take guitar lessons.) wore a ‘fro so I thought I was pretty cool. Most people laugh now, but I still think it was pretty special.

That is one thing I want to pass on to my kids. That no matter what other people think of you, the only person you need to impress is you.

Thinking About Clean Animals

10 Nov

Our dog was groomed today and that got me thinking about Noah and his boat. Actually, more precisely, I was thinking about the clean animals that were on the boat. Do you remember the story? Noah took 2 of every type of animal and then he took extra clean animals to be used for sacrifices. Put yourself in their shoes ( or hooves). God just killed everyone and everything on earth and you were spared. You just spent a year on a boat with thousands of other animals (some that could eat you) and you made it out alive. Dry ground never smelled so good! Now when everyone finally gets off of the boat, you find yourself being a sacrifice.

What did they do to deserve that? Their only sin was that they were clean. Spotless. Free from blemish. That was the reason they were on the boat in the first place. That was the purpose of their life.

Oh, yea. Someone else was like that. Someone who died when others were spared. Someone who was as pure as fresh snow. Spotless, blameless, free from any wrongdoing. But yet, He was sacrificed for others. In fact, that was why He came here to this earth. Just like the clean animals on Noah’s boat, His whole purpose here on earth was to be our sacrifice. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He then conquered death by raising from the dead. Fulfilling His ultimate purpose.

Grace Learning Center

7 Nov

For those of you that do not attend Grace Community Church, I have started writing a daily devotional for our education site. We have started a 13 week study on the book of Hebrews. At the site, you can sign up for a daily devotional that will be emailed to you, download weekly sermons given by Pastor Bart, and download group study questions prepared by Jim Gayley. I’m really excited about this opportunity and I appreciate being a part of it.

Please visit Grace Learning Center and let me know what you think!

The Contrast Between Noah and Moses

4 Nov

I was thinking about the different responses two men gave to God and the eventual outcomes. Both men were used in a great way by God. Noah was always faithful to God. Moses, while being faithful, just wanted to be a shepherd.

I started listing some differences here. If you can think of others, leave them in a comment. I’m interested to see what you come up with.

God asked Noah to build a boat because He was going to destroy the earth.
Noah’s response: OK.

God asked Moses to go to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go.
Moses response: Send someone else.

Noah spent about 100 years building the boat and sharing his witness.

Moses used every excuse in the book not to go to Egypt.

Noah walked with God.

Moses walked with Aaron.

In Noah’s case, God dealt with the people.

In Moses’ case, Moses had to deal with the people.

Have any more? Please leave a comment!

At Least I’m In Good Company

3 Nov

I’m having one of my Moses moments again. It’s exhausting. What’s a Moses moment, you ask?

Well, a long time ago, there was a guy named Moses. He was a simple shepherd until God decided to use him. God told him that He wanted Moses to go tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go and for Moses to lead them to the promised land. Moses didn’t like that proposition.

Here’s what the rest of the conversation might of sounded like:

Moses: “Who am I to go see Pharaoh? How can you expect me to lead them out of Egypt? ”
God: “I will be with you all the way.”
Moses: “They won’t believe me.”
God: “Tell them ‘I AM’ sent you.”
Moses: “Whoa. You want me to use the ‘I AM’?
God: “Yup!”
Moses: “I’m telling you, they won’t believe me.”
God: “I’ll let you perform magic tricks with your stick. Then they’ll believe you.”
Moses: “Whoa…”
God: “See. Show them that and they’ll believe you.”
Moses: “OK that’s cool but I’m not a good speaker. I can’t speak in front of people. I have dyslexia of the mouth.”
God: “Nice try. I made you. You can speak. I don’t make mistakes.”
Moses: “Can you please send someone else?”
God: “I have had it about up to here with you Moses! OK. Look, there’s your brother Aaron. He’s a preacher. He can speak for you. You tell Him what I tell you! Now go!
Moses: “But..but..but..Hi Aaron, guess what? We’re going to go see Pharaoh!
Aaron: “Wow – I’m preaching at the big house tonight!”
Moses: “Do you have to get so excited?”

OK. I know it may have been a little different than that but that is kind of how my conversation with God is going.

  • Did you ever feel that God was telling you to do something that you didn’t want to do?
    What did you do?
  • Did you answer His call and do it anyway? If so, what was the outcome?
  • Are you glad that you followed God’s direction? Or, did you fight with God.
  • If you fought with God, did you tell Him that you didn’t want to do it or find some other excuse not to do it?
  • If so, what happened? How did it turn out?

I’m curious to hear some responses.

OK God. Let’s talk some more!

Populating The Earth, One Drink At A Time

2 Nov

One of reasons many people don’t go into ministry is that they don’t want the responsibility and accountability that comes with using their gifts to serve God. They don’t want to be accountable to God.

They should be so lucky.

Noah was an ordinary man or so he thought, as he reflected over his latest conversation with God. He had been through an amazing 600 years. First, at the age of 500, God spoke to him to tell him to build a big boat. As crazy as that might have sounded, the reason was that God was sorry that he created humans and had decided to kill everyone except Noah and his family. Noah was told to build a big boat and load it with 2 of everything. He loaded everyone into that ark like a mini-van crammed full for a family vacation. (Feeling the pressure yet?) Then the rain came. Sure enough, everyone and everything died and Noah had to spend over a year locked inside the boat with all these stinking animals. Finally they get out of the boat. Noah looks around. Noah and his family are the only people left on earth. Talk about pressure. Then, God gave him his mission. “Multiply and fill the earth. I have placed all of the animals under your power and you can use them for food. Now, go and repopulate the earth!”

Did God ever tell you to go populate the earth? More than likely, the pressure was great for Noah. Noah sometimes let the pressure of his mission affect him. One of those times, he got drunk on some homemade wine and passed out naked in his tent. While he was passed out, his youngest son came in and saw him naked. When Noah woke out of his drunken stupor and found out what his son had done, he cursed him. Instead of being ashamed of getting drunk and passing out, Noah accused his son and cursed him. (I actually feel sorry for his son. Imagine seeing a 600 year old man naked!)

The evil that had existed when God decided to flood the earth was present in Noah. But, as usual, God used a normal, sinful person to do His work. God gave Noah gifts that he used to serve God. Drunken stupor and all.

God can use you if you let Him. God gave each of us gifts that we can and should use to serve him. All we have to do is to identify what our gifts are and then tell God that you are ready and willing to use your gifts to serve Him. God will use you if you are willing.

Think I made up that story about Noah? You can read it in Genesis 6-9.

(Thank you to my wife Patti for giving me the idea for this post!)