I think it is safe to say that we all face challenges of many kinds. No one is immune from having a difficult day and everyone has a story to tell about their personal challenges. When it comes to MY CHALLENGE I have a huge list to choose from. Let me just list a few:
- I love to eat, even when I'm not hungry!
- I am not a big fan of exercise!
- TV is sometimes more tempting than a book!
- I can't read instructions!!! (not that I won't, I just don't understand them)
- I drink more coffee than water!
- I really have a hard time motivating myself to do housework!
- I put off doctors and dentists because I have a huge fear of needles!
- I am scared to death of snakes!
- I can't build or fix anything!
- I am human!
We all face our many challenges and none of us are perfect! I am not setting my goals with an unrealistic plan of action for 2010 (i.e. New Year's Resolution) but I am doing something I know how to do. Pray more, Give more and Fast more!!! More than I have ever completed in my life!!! Matthew 6 gives us instructions on how to be more Kingdom minded and how to apply Kingdom principles to our everyday life. My hope would be by this time next year I have pleased God by my devotion to know and love him more. With this said, this is not a cop-out for my health… As I get closer to Jesus & know him more, my hope will be that thru spiritual discipline, MY CHALLENGE will be overcome with the grace and mercy of God. God never promised us life would be easy, he never said our comfort is his biggest concern. He will help all of us to become the best follower of him, if we stick close to him and his living Word.
Many Blessings in 2010
For many years I thought success was defined by what others thought of me. I am successful if my ministry is visible by others - I am successful if my ministry is housed in a great building in suburbia - If my numbers are high (noses and nickels).
Success is really working within your own limitations and believing that God will do something BIG. Craig Groeshel has this equation [limited resources + Increasing passion = Exponential Innovation]
Success is not how great, influential, or relevant you are but it is how you use the resources around you to build on. Success is being resourceful with what you already have and using it to help someone find their way to the cross.
I have met many people who would be considered the LAST, the LOST and the LEAST. These are the resources that God is wanting to use in my life and ministry. My success is all around me and my success is helping the "least of these."
In my county - 15,450 people ( www.thearda.com ) claim no religious affiliation. None.. Zero... Nada....
I am so excited to be where I am - I have the makings of "great success" all around me!
In North America 33,000 communities are without a Full Gospel Message!!!
Stop trying to find success in perfect buildings with perfect programs directed by perfect people with perfect life styles... Instead - Look for the least, the last and the lost and they will help you find true success and true ministry.
A man in Topeka, Kansas decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco and started working east from there.
Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and taking notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with a sign, which read "Calls: $10,00.00 per minute..."
Seeking out the pastor he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor answered that this golden is, in fact, a direct line to heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to GOD. The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Milwaukee, and many cities and towns all around the United States, he found more phones, with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.
Finally, he arrived in Missouri, upon entering a church in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, BEHOLD - He saw the unusual golden telephone. But THIS time, the sign read, "Calls: .35!" Fascinated, he asked to talk to the pastor, "Pastor, I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I have found this golden telephone and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to GOD, but in the other church the cost was $10,000.00 per minute. You sign reads only thirty-five cents. Why?"
The pastor, smiling broadly, replied. "Son, you're in Missouri now... You're in God's country. It's a local call."
My daily devotions [the chronicles] have led me to a very interesting place... I have just read through the many descendants of so-and-so & so-and-so!!! Then, in chapter 9 of 1 Chronicles, this chapter starts off with a very powerful reality... Listen to this... "The people of Judah were taken captive to Babylon because (get this) of their unfaithfulness."
Wow, how many times have we been unfaithful? To God, others, family members etc. This verse just jumped off the page and had held my attention there. Unfaithful!!!
Most of the Old Testament is the story about the people of God who were unfaithful and were led away to Babylon for 70 years.
What would have happened if..... the children of Israel would have been faithful to God... hmmmm??? Jeremiah wept over this problem, Ezekiel spoke of this, Isaiah prophesied about this, Habakkuk was warned about this situation...
The Chronicles tell the story of a group of people who did not listen to God and were not faithful to him..
I don't know about you... But this makes me want to drop to my knees and pray and ask God to cleanse me and wipe me clean... "Create in me a clean heart!"
I don't know about you... But I don't want this to be my legacy!!! God, give me clean hands and a pure heart!
When I moved to this rural community I did not know what to expect. I did not know if I would fit in to a close- knit community but for the most part I think everyone fits in here.
I have learned a few lessons from my new way of life:
1. Don't be in a hurry... enjoy the ride, even if a tractor leads you home.
2. Eating out - Means eating outside or on your screened in porch... This has added some great family time to our life.
3. Shopping - This has nothing to do with the Mall and everything to do with Wal-Mart!
4. Dress Up - Your best pair of jeans will do... (wipe the mud off your shoes too)
5. Priorities - Your kids must play little league sports
6. Church Family - "When your here, you're family!"
7. Mowing - This is not a chore but a life style.
8. Smells - Everyday I wake to a "new farm smell" sometimes not-s0-bad other times...well....wow..
3 words that have spoken deep into my heart since I moved here - Let.Love.Live!
The words of Jesus in Matthew 25 have given me my purpose in life. "If you do this to the least of these you have done this unto me."
I love the opportunity I have to Let.Love.Live in the community I am in. I hope you too can find the joy of living where you live and loving what you do and Letting God develop the character he needs to deepen your faith that you too can do great things for God!!!
This is what the church is all about!!!
"As you go, preach this message..."
"The kingdom of heaven is near, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
"Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extras clothing or sandals or a staff.... for the worker is worth his keep."
I am amazed how the stories of the Bible are mostly made up of unlikely leaders. Moses tried to convince God that he was not the right man. Peter denied knowing Jesus. A donkey even shares a word from the Lord. Hosea. Habakkuk. Men and women that had no intention on being used to the degree that God chose to use them. God is still calling men, women, boys and girls today! Unlikely Leaders are all around us. Maybe it is you.... Have you ask God lately... My will or YOUR Will? I believe that God is raising up leadership at Church on the Loop! It was unbelievable!!! It was 8:30 on Sunday morning in the youth chapel, board members and their wives came to pray for the church and the community. God is raising up leaders all around us... Maybe it is you... Are you the next leader God is needing to use? Do you have a gift that you are hiding? My will or YOUR will? Be available to serve, give, love and reach out to any need that comes to you today.. Rise to the challenge... Blessings!!!
The national and world economy has been "the" news a lot, as of lately, ...have you noticed?
When we hear the word 'economy' we tend to think that it only refers to a monetary system. But economy actually refers to how efficient one uses their resources.
One resource we are all given is 'time.' There are no middle-class, rich, poor or any other class for the way we consume or use our time. We all have 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and 52 weeks in every year.
My time is valuable! I have 5 kids, pastor a church, try to be a good husband - laundry, cooking and cleaning.. I need to read more, pray more, visit more, eat less, exercise more... you get the picture...
What we need is a lesson in some simple time economics.
You need to understand this.... GET THIS!!!
You will NOT survive as a believer if you never open the Bible, never pray, and never meditate on His word.
So, in our busy schedule how can we find time to Grow Daily.. none of want to Die Gradually...
Here is a tip....
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro uses the S.O.A.P. method for managing his time with God daily.
S = Scripture - Read one or two chapters a day, using a Bible reading guide
O = Observation - What was the passage about...? The story...? Retell it!!
A = Application - How does this apply to my life....? Life application to the Word of God is very important for the success of all believers.
P = Pray - Write out your prayer, based on what you just read... Let the Holy Spirit guide your words.
So, now go to a store, buy your self a notebook, then to www.Google.com and type in Daily Bible Reading Guide and pick one that fits you.
Then write your S.O.A.P.y thoughts down... Allow God to cleanse you through the water of His word.