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Showing posts from June, 2014

“God can be trusted. After all, He has already demonstrated His unconditional love for me.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 183). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

He already gave the ultimate gift for us even before we were born, ever before we knew we needed it.He showed He loved us by giving His Son for us on the Cross.So why would He do that for us?
Andy says, “God desires that your life be a masterpiece that reflects His greatness and your uniqueness. But to create a masterpiece with our lives, we must submit ourselves to the hand of the Master. We must allow Him to influence each stroke on the canvas of our lives.”
Now the problem in all of this is, we believe that we can make the masterpiece and we don’t need any help.And many of us are doing a pretty good job and that is also the problem.
One of the principles of Church Planting and I was a Church Planter, was that the people who were the most open to going to a new church were those who were going through some transition time in their life.Such a…

“Wise people know when they don’t know.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 165). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

And then he follows that with, “The fool is the person who convinces himself that he knows more than he really knows and doesn’t need to ask anybody anything. At the end of the day, the wise man breaths a sigh of relief; the fool, a sigh of regret.”
And that is so easy to do in making decisions because it is built into us that we need to believe in ourselves.Have confidence but it is also very important to have humility.And humility means we have a true assessment of our abilities and we understand our limitations and our need to ask for help when we know we need it.But pride gets in the way of humility doesn’t it?So we tread in places where we convince ourselves that we know more than we really know and we don’t need anybody’s help.That is where the sleepless, restless nights come in.
But we are afraid to ask because we think it shows we are w…

“You will never be all you’re capable of being unless you tap the wisdom of the wise people around you.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 159). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

My dad was a very wise man and he used to say a lot of short phrases that have stayed with me over the years.One phrase was “Advice not asked for stinks.”And I have followed that thought throughout my life.I knew that if I gave it without something asking for it they wouldn’t follow it so why give it.
I have people ask me to call someone and tell them what they need to hear and I always say, “No”.  If they call then I would talk to them but the person had to ask.
And James in the New Testatment understood God’s thought on this where in James 1:5 (CEB) he says, “But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought…”The key here is, you have to ask.He gives it without a second thought but you need to ask.
Yes, sometimes He gives it b…

“Most of the major social ills in America are caused by, or fueled by, the misuse of our sexuality.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 108). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


Andy continues, “If issues related to sexual impurity—adultery, the shrapnel associated with adultery, addiction to pornography, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, the psychological effects associated with abortion, sexual abuse, incest, rape, and all sexual addictions— were to suddenly disappear from society, imagine the resources we would have available to apply to the handful of issues that would remain.”
But there is more to it than that.Maybe one of these has hit you somewhere and you understand the great pain and deep regret that comes from the misuse of our sexuality.And there is deep pain that comes even to the innocent with this misuse. It is something that we all need to come to grips with and do all we can to keep from it happening in our own lives.
To do …

“If you are not being ‘careful,’ you will miss those irretrievable opportunities to make small, incremental time deposits in the things that matter most.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 80). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

We will miss those irretrievable opportunities that matter most.Now that hits at the heart of one who wants to maximize my time.Time cannot be retrieved.You may lose all your money and you can make more but when you lose time you have lost it.
Andy says right before this thought, “If you aren’t on your guard, the culture will draw you into a lifestyle where your time is frivolously consumed rather than strategically invested.”And then right after he says, “If you are not walking wisely, your time will be fragmented by a thousand urgent, disconnected opportunities and events. Such opportunities and events will seem important at the time, but when strung together they have no cumulative value.But if you are willing to harness your time and appropriate it strategically, things can be different. You will be healthier physically, relationally,and po…

“The real value in exercise is not found in any one deposit of time; the value is realized at the end of a sequence of deposits.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 68). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle

This is such a life changing thought that just doesn’t deal with exercise.In the very important areas of our lives it isn’t just what you do one time that makes the difference but what you do over and over that shows great value.
As Andy says, “Exercise has a compounding effect. It is the consistent, incremental investments of time that make a difference.”He then gives other example such as “dinner with the family, date night with your spouse, time alone with God, church attendance, one-on-one time with your children, praying with your family, small-group Bible study, going to bed at the same time as your spouse.”
Take for example missing church one time won’t cause a problem spiritually but never going will make a major difference. Let’s say you never have dinner with your spouse and kids.At some point they will come to realize that they are not importa…

“We are meant to analyze every opportunity and invitation through the lens of wisdom.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 33). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now we all want so many different handles that we can use to become better at what we do and to live a happy fulfilling life.Now in that happening there will be many difference decisions that need to be made.Those decisions will affect our here and now and they will affect many different people and they will affect our future.And this thought is more than a handle it needs to become a way of life.In looking at every decision that we are to make Andy says that we are to make it based on The Best Question Ever.
Andy says, “Like a good father, God wants what’s best for each of us. So He has given us a standard that goes beyond the cultural norms. He has given us a question that enables us to live out the values that lead to what Jesus referred to as an abundant life (see John 10:10). Not a …

“Our poor planning leads precisely where we had no intention of going.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (p. 20). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I have always had a problem with my weight.The last three to four months I have seen it slowly go back up to where I didn’t want it to go.In the last few years I had lost around 50 lbs. but little by little I was gaining it back.Poor planning was taking me where I didn’t want to go.So I set up a plan to do something and I have been seeing good results.But I had to have a plan and to stick to it.
Andy says, “Having watched dozens of people methodically waste their lives, potential, and money, I’ve concluded that while nobody plans to mess up his life, the problem is that few of us plan not to. That is, we don’t put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure a happy ending.”
I have found that not eating anything that has wheat in it makes a big difference for me.I would do a good job of diet and walking during the week but I would let down on the…

“Some of the decisions you wish you could unmake led to chapters of your life you wish you could go back and unlive.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-04-23) from his book, The Best Question Ever (Kindle Locations 120-121). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I found out earlier this week that I made a decision five years ago that is affecting me right now.  It was something I let someone else do for me and it is affecting me today and I have a decision to make today.One do I play the blame game and throw them under the bus or do I do nothing or do I accept responsibility for the problem and do today what I should have done back then?
It is so much easier to play the blame game and feel so sorry for yourself than it is to take responsibility isn’t it?It was my fault.I should have thought the situation through and made sure that they knew everything so they could do their job.I blew it not them.I assumed they knew more than they did.
Now another decision I made was more far reaching.It is still affecting us today.I stuck my head in the sand until one day I knew I had to face reality…

“Adversity is the soil where victory is grown.”

A thought by Stan Toler (2014-01-28) from his book, The Buzzards Are Circling But God's Not Finished With Me Yet(Kindle Location 407). Beacon Hill Press. Kindle Edition.

Oh I wish that we all really understood that.
Last night I went to Stables to buy something I needed. I was not in one of the best of moods. I bought it and I thought I had put the sales receipt in my pocket and then I went home.When I realized that I had bought the wrong thing I started looking for the receipt and when I couldn’t find it I started becoming very upset and in no way does that help.I just couldn’t find it so I got in the car to go back to the store to see if they would exchange it without the receipt.I got out and was walking up to the store but I decided to go back to the look in the car again and I looked down and there was the receipt on the ground where I had dropped it earlier. I then picked it up and went in and exchanged the wrong thing for something that was better and that even cost less.
And …

“If you lack momentum, it’s your responsibility to evaluate the situation.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2012-09-04) from his book, Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life. (p. 153). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book

Have you found yet that the Enemy is constantly trying to get us off track to living the adventure that God has given to each one of us?He tried two times with me within a last 2 hour period last Friday.
The first time was in the bank.I was there writing a check and for the first time that day I realized it was Friday the 13th.I went up to the teller and said that I had been having a very good morning but I just had found out that it was Friday the 13th and I wasn’t sure how the rest of the day was going to turn out.But I said it with a smile but the truth is a lot of people and some of them are Christians are lost their momentum in life las Friday by this superstition. But I reflected on the fact that “This is the day that the Lord …

“If you’re going to do what God has called you to do, you have to intentionally bring the people into your life He wants you to have.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2012-09-04) from his book, Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life. (p. 162). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Back when I stepped out of pastoring into the adventure of retiring I knew there would be some difficult challenging days. Any new adventure no matter how great it is has some daily struggles.Steven says it this way, “Life’s daily demands exert a strong downward pull into the tyranny of the ordinary.”And that was true for me in those beginning days of retirement. I no longer was a Pastor but to God retirement wasn't to be ordinary for me.
We had moved to Long Island in New York State so I went looking for a set a friends who would be a new group of friends.I found my Starbucks close to home and then started making friends.I don’t always tell people that I am a minister or now a retired minister.That always gives them a different way they look at me.Well when this one older professor f…

“No matter how much I struggle day to day, I’m never farther from God than a prayer: ‘God, help me get back to the place where I belong in You.’”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2012-09-04) from his book, Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life.(p. 156). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I know.It is those daily struggles that can rob you of your passion as a Christian.They seem to rob you of your joy, your confidence, your perspective.They have a tendency to get you to the place you even wonder if what you have is real.Are you at the place right now?
I like what Steven says, “The next time you lose your momentum in daily life as you’re chasing after God’s best for you, don’t give up and conclude that it’s over. The greater life hasn’t ended for you. It’s only out of sight under the waters of the ordinary. And God can resurface it, supernaturally, as many times as it takes. As many times as you’re willing. Cry out to God. Ask yourself, “Where did it fall?” Then go back to that place, pick it back up, and keep moving…

“God isn’t present only for my epic showdowns and life-altering crises.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2012-09-04) from his book, Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life. (p. 149). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I am so glad to realize that God is going to be with me in those, as Steven puts it, “epic showdowns and life-altering crises.”Those are those times that we can’t do anything, we need someone greater than us to be there, to bring us through.But it is also important to realize that He is also present in those day to day struggles.
Steven puts it this way, “He’s also superintending my everyday struggles. No detail or circumstance in my life falls outside His concern. He cares about little frustrations that can cause me to come unhinged. And since most of our spiritual momentum is gained or lost in the everyday affairs of life, it’s good to know that God is actively involved in them.”And those little frustrations we tend to go it alo…

“Just because God doesn’t show you the details doesn’t mean He doesn’t know them.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2012-09-04) from his book, Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life. (p. 46). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Are you that kind of person?I mean, I will do, God, whatever you want me to do but could you let me know a little more about what I am getting into?
Steven continues, “Your Father is the micromanager of the universe. If He schedules the worm for the bird and clothes the flower in designer dress, how much more will He do for you? Approach the greater life knowing God has worked it all out in advance. He’ll give you the day’s orders when you show up at the job site because He’s more interested in your full obedience than your full understanding. It’s just the way He likes to work.”
Is it important for you to be understood and for you to understand?If I understood what it is and where it is and when then I will have no problem in going and doing.But is that real obedience and real faith.And fa…

“You can only go where He tells you to go today.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2012-09-04) from his book, Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life. (p. 43). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I really haven’t had a problem with this until I have retired and I have tended to become a worrier about my future.And I don’t like it and that is why I find this thought to be a good reminder that depending on God is the key to life no matter the age.
I can make some goals for tomorrow, strive to save money for when Margaret may retire but I am in no way in control of my future even though I want to be.What I’m in control of is who I’m going to trust for my future and if I will be obedient in a moment’s notice to where He leads.
Steven says, “He will be faithful to His end of the bargain. He’ll do the showing if you will do the going. You can’t think too far ahead about where you’ll end up…the simple, uncomplicated word go is not the Father’s plan to disorient you but His attempt to deve…

“God is often working behind the scenes of your life, orchestrating His destiny for you.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2012-09-04) from his book, Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life. (p. 32). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

He then says, “Even though you don’t have a clue what He’s up to. Just because you haven’t heard God call your name or tell you specifically what to do with your life doesn’t mean He’s not conspiring great things for you. I guess you could say God likes to sneak up on you.”
Over in the OT Elijah the prophet was getting old and God had already picked his replacement out.Elijah knew who it was but Elisha the replacement didn’t.Go over to 1 Kings 19 and read the story.
As I face my life today I can see how this was happening for me.Back five years ago I retired from my fulltime job as a Pastor.Margaret and I moved to Long Island, New York to help our son in building a great church.That was our plan but it wasn’t God’s plan.He was workin…

“God’s great love is the reality that towers three feet above fear and says, you mess with him, you mess with Me.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2014-02-11) from his book, Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others (Kindle Locations 1240-1241). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I love this thought and I wanted to pick it out before I go to the next book I am reading.
Are you living in fear of something?The Enemy so many times uses what-if’s to hold us back.What if my job doesn’t turn around?What if I don’t have enough money for retirement?What if the economy doesn’t turn around?What if my spouse doesn’t love me?What if I never find anyone who will love me?What if, what if, what if?
Steven says, “The world of what-ifs is a black hole, and it will suck your joy, peace, and hope into its vortex if you venture near its vicinity.” And “your heart cannot be filled with faith in God at the same time it’s singing the refrain ‘What if …’”
Maybe you need to change your tune to “I trust God to…”Psalm 91:14 (NIRV…

“I refuse to forfeit a victory that God has already given because of a battle that I don’t feel like fighting.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2014-02-11) from his book, Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others(Kindle Locations 3380-3381). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

It’s Wednesday, the middle of the first week of June and I thought you might need some encouragement to keep fighting, to not give up, and to not listen to the lies of the Enemy.I don’t know what you are going through but God does and He wants you to not forfeit a victory the He has already given to you because you don’t feel like fighting.
Today is a new day, there are new victories available for us but there are also new battles.That is the reason why I always start my day with a Psalm from the Bible.This is what I found today, Psalm 33:20 (NLT), “We put our hope in the Lord.He is our help and our shield.”And I wrote down in my journal the words, hope, help and shield. Today is a new day.
Listen I need encouragement to keep a…

“Discontentment is empowered by a sense of entitlement. And there is an inverse relationship between gratitude and entitlement.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2014-02-11) from his book, Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others (Kindle Locations 3231-3232). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Here he continues, “When entitlement is high, gratitude is low. When gratitude is high, entitlement is low. Gratitude begins where our sense of entitlement ends.”
It is so easy for us to step into this world of entitlement.Have you stopped and thought about some of the things that you believe that you are entitled to, especially if you are a Christian and an America?Some people think because they are a Christian they are entitled to being free but does that mean that that Pastor in North Korea who was given this week a life sentence for sharing Christ is lacking spiritually?Of course not.
This is so good what Steven says, “When thoughts of discontent storm my heart, it’s important that I have set up armed guards of remembranc…

“So what if, instead of calling it like we see it, we began to call it like God says it?”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2014-02-11) from his book, Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others (Kindle Locations 3186-3187). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I had my 67th birthday yesterday.There I said it, I am 67.I had problems when I turned 50, I had problems when I turned 60 and it seems every year since I’ve had problems, so I quit counting and even having a bd after I turned 65.I said that was the last year I needed to count so I had started saying that I was 65+. I mean my life and effectiveness in making a difference was slowly being taken away.
I have through the years been able to turn what I perceived as a negative into a positive so to me not counting anymore was a way of handling a negative but the truth is it really was living with a heart of ingratitude.I should be celebrating instead of in despair or denial.Being 67 is a tremendous opportunity of telling God thanks and of sharing with others how good He is.I am living in…