Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

“God’s mercy to us is the motivation for showing mercy to others.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 183). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

And that can be very difficult to do can’t it?
But as Rick says, “Whenever you are hurt by someone, you have a choice to make: Will I use my energy and emotions for retaliation or for resolution? You can’t do both. Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don’t understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.And that is very good to see. Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you.”
I don’t know where you are i…

“Every act of enjoyment becomes an act of worship when you thank God for it.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 96). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

So many think that God is in the anti-pleasure business but that just isn’t true.Rick says, “God also gains pleasure in watching you enjoy His creation. He gave you eyes to enjoy beauty, ears to enjoy sounds, your nose and taste buds to enjoy smells and tastes, and the nerves under your skin to enjoy touch.”
1st Timothy 6: 17 (TEV) says, “God … generously gives us everything for our enjoyment.”
Margaret, my wife and I every Saturday head out for a day of exploring and adventure.We live close to the San Gabriel Mountains and close to the Pacific Ocean and we love to see God’s creation.He created all of that for our pleasure.
Whenever we drive through downtown LA I marvel at what man can create and build.Right now they are in the process of building the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississ…

“God smiles when we use our abilities.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 94). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

My son, Brett who is entering his second year of Law School texted me last night about his grade that he got in a summer class.And I loved it.It brought me great pleasure.And if that brought me great pleasure don’t you think my Heavenly Father takes great pleasure in how I use the abilities He created me with?He loves it.
Over in Psalm 37: 23 (NLT) it says, “The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives.”
As Rick says, “Like a proud parent, God especially enjoys watching you use the talents and abilities he has given you. God intentionally gifted us differently for his enjoyment. He has made some to be athletic and some to be analytical. You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or a thousand other skills. All these abilities can …

“God smiles when we trust him completely.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 90). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I know how important it is for us to please people, especially with so many unpleasable people around.I mean to get a smile out of some meaningful person to you can make all of the difference in your day.I pleased them and they like me.
Now to get a smile out of someone that you don’t ever expect one from is a real accomplishment.Maybe you have never seen them smile and then they smile at you.Wow I did it.And for some they never expect that God would ever smile at them.I mean some think that all He does is judge us.But God smiles when we trust Him completely.  So what does that mean to trust him completely?
Well Rick says, “Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what is best for your life. You expect Him to keep His promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible …

“Love leaves a legacy.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 161). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Then Rick says, “How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth. As Mother Teresa said, ‘It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.’ Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.”
I was thinking the other day of a very special friend of mine and his funeral.There were over a thousand people at his funeral.It was an unbelievable time.And they didn’t come to celebrate his life for his corporate success but because of his relational success.People knew he really loved them and they loved him.That is what a real legacy is all about.
I hope you are finding that people really do matter.How you treat them, how you react to them and how you love them makes the difference.
Rick also says, “Wisdom is learnin…

“Love is not a good part of your life; it’s the most important part.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (pp. 159-160). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

1 Corinthians 14: 1a (LB) in the Bible says,“Let love be your greatest aim.”Paul also wrote in 1 Corinthians 13: 3 (MSG), “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” It is so very important.
Rick said, “Often we act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into our schedule. We talk about finding time for our children or making time for people in our lives. That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks. But God says relationships are what life is all about.”
I know that many people come to the later years of their life and then realize that they have built their lives on the wrong priorities.And this is a great reminder to us to make our relationships a greater priority in our lives.

“Retirement is a short-sighted goal.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?(p. 154). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now if you believe that this is all there is to life that it ends when you die then that doesn't make sense but as a Christ follower I understand and agree with it.
1 Peter 1: 4 (NLT) says, “God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”
As Rick says, “This eternal inheritance, not retirement, is what you should be looking forward to and working for.”Paul wrote in Colossians 3: 23 – 24a (NIV) in the Bible, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
That’s why Rick says, “Retirement is a short-sighted goal. You should be living in light of eternity.”
Rick shares what…

“Intimate friendship with God is a choice, not an accident.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 128). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is true for every relationship.I hear people say they are lonely and they have no friends but the reality is that is their choice.Oh they may not think that is true but when they are sitting back waiting for people to reach out to them then they are choosing to not have friends.To have friends you must take the first step and reach out.
I am doing that right now.I get on a train every day and come to Hollywood to two different coffee shops to meet new people.I am right now right across the street from the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset near Hollywood and Vine where my church meets and I am here to reach out to people who don’t have a relationship with Christ.I am making new friends and then eventually I will invite then to my church and they will show them the way to Christ.That is t…

“One key to failure is to try to please everyone.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 39). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Have you found yet that trying to please everyone is an impossible situation? You just can’t do it.
As a Pastor I knew I was in trouble when I tried to preach sermons that everyone would like.And the music was a major hassle.No way could I please everyone. Have you found that even striving to please yourself can be a problem?I mean what I want right now can change in an hour.My mood changes and there I am.
Rick says, “Many people are driven by the need for approval. They allow the expectations of parents or spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.”
J…

“When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 117). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

So many really understand what that means.Worry is a big part of their lives.And Rick then says, “When you think about God’s Word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation.”
And you might say, “Where did that come from?Are you talking about worry or are you focusing on meditation?”And the answer is meditation and here is the reason.
A relationship with God is a very important thing to have.It will make all the difference in your life.It will help you with all those worries that you seem to be spending a lot of time on.And Rick says, “It is impossible to be God’s friend apart from knowing what he says. You can’t love God unless you know him, and you can’t know him without knowing his Word.”
Now you may not be able to spend all day studying the Bible but you can stop and recall a verse t…

“Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?(p. 96). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

What is there about you that you don’t like?Another way to put it is, if you could change anything about the way you look what would it be?
Now if you are a normal teenager it would be almost everything but many don’t outgrow that attitude.They don’t like themselves.
Of course there are some things that you can change.I want to weigh under 200 lbs. so I am doing something about that but I’m having trouble at getting taller. 

God says in Isaiah 45:9 (CEV), "You have no right to argue with your Creator.  You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter.  The clay doesn't ask, 'Why di you make me this way?'"
But we seem to want to do that all the time.We want to argue with the Creator about something in the way we look.But what if He has a purpose behind how you look?What diff…

“Fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?(p. 38). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

There are so many different types of emotions that hold us back from living out our potential and without a doubt fear is one of them.I am right now at a point in my life that I am stepping out from my world of security into a new world of adventure and there is some fear involved in it.But my excitement and challenge is overpowering my fear.
Rick says, “Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.”Even at 67 God is not finished with my life.
The Bible in 1 John 4:18 (MSG) says, “Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life — fear of death, fear of judgment — is one not yet fully formed in love.”
I want to be driven by God’s love and purpose not fear. Beca…

“Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 38). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Have you found that out yet?  As Rick says, “Your past is past! Nothing will change it. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake, learn from it, and then let it go.”
Job 5:2 (TEV) in the Old Testament in the Bible says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.”  But people do it all the time.
I know it is so easy to hold on to your hurt.  I mean, “You really don’t know what they did to me.”  And your right, I don’t.  But God does and He can do something about it.  Just give it to Him. 
“Here, God.  This is controlling me and it is messing me up.  I am tired of the emotional energy that this is taking up in my life.  All I do is think about it.  And it is affecting all of my other relationships.  It is messing them u…

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 37). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

But so many people are.But Rick says, “God’s purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and he can do amazing things with the rest of your life, too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start.”
Psalm 32:1 in the Living Bible says, ““What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! … What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.”
David the writer of this Psalm knew what he was talking about.He had really messed up.He had killed a man and then taken the dead man’s wife as his own but he confessed his sin and God cleared his record.
I don’t know if there is something in your life that is holding you back.Just confess it to God and He will take the guilt…

“Our memories are not enemies of forgiveness. Memories are simply memories.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Locations 2101-2102). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

He then says, “What we do with them determines their impact. Our memories are opportunities to renew our minds to what we know is true. Our memories are opportunities to rejoice in our own forgiveness. Truly forgiving does not always entail truly forgetting. If you will renew your mind, painful memories can become reminders of God’s goodness and grace and healing power in your life. What were once negative memories can become a source of joy as you experience the healing power of the Father.”
Isn’t that great?An experience that the Enemy has set up to hurt us the rest of our life can be turned into an opportunity to once again see how great God is and how He can make such a difference in our life.Please don’t waist the opportunity.Let Go…

“When memories of past hurt flood your mind, go ahead and face them.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living(Kindle Locations 2095-2096). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Andy then says, “Allow yourself to remember the incident. It’s even okay to feel the emotions those memories elicit. If necessary, be angry but do not sin (see Ephesians 4: 26). But instead of reopening the case against your offender, instead of rehearsing images of retribution and revenge, use it as an opportunity to renew your mind.”
I’m not sure who it is that needed this thought today.All I can say is that God loves you and wants to release you from your past hurts.Go ahead and face it and then let God help you deal with it through forgiving you of the part you may have played in it and then forgiving the part that the other person played in  it.
How do you really know that you have truly forgiven them?You know it because when you thin…

“We all get a chance to be awesome if we want to.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 163). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

But Bob gives us the key, “Not surprisingly, the way to do it best is by being secretly incredible.”
To be honest that can be a problem in retirement.It is not one that I am proud of but the problem of doing something when all through your ministry you have been the one up front, the one that people come to, and the one who leads can be difficult.And to have that all stop, that can be an ego problem.But therein lies a greater problem.We get to the point that we think it is us and they are looking to us when in reality we are just the tool.It is God who is doing it.
But He wants to trust us for greater things but our track record doesn’t prove us worthy. I wonder though what God could do through us if we were really willing to do it in secret?
We want instant gratification an…

“People who take huge risks aren’t afraid to fail.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 166). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

He then says, “In fact, they love to fail. It’s because failing means they found the edge.”
Do you see how not being afraid would give you an edge?For some failure is a major part of the process.They are not afraid to fail.As Bob said, “they love to fail.”The focus is not on them but it is on making a difference.
Now another edge for the Christian is the fact that God is good.That in our successes God is good but even in our failures He is especially good.Everything that happens to us must go through His love and His goodness so then why not try.
In my walk time from Starbucks I was thanking God for what He has done in Margaret and my life this past week and a half.It has been a fulfilment of doing what we needed to do after some failure that we had done.The failure had some…

“When God is big enough and loves me enough to say He forgives me, I should actually believe Him.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World(p. 124). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

1 John 1:9 (NIV), says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sinsand purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Have you really messed up in your life and you finally got to the point that you confessed what you did to God but you are having a real problem believing that He has forgiven you?  That can be a problem for some.
Bob also says, “When I don’t trust God’s forgiveness, it’s kind of like saying I really don’t believe He’s that good.”So I guess it’s not your problem of messing up, we all do that but it is a trust problem.  It is not a self-trust problem.You are having a real problem with forgiving yourself.But do you really trust God?He said that if you do what you are supposed to do, “If we confess”, and then He would do the rest, “forgiv…

“You become like the people you hang around, and to a great degree, you end up going wherever they’re headed.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book,Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 118). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Friends and family have such an impact on us.And it isn’t the blood that we have in common but the attitudes and view of life that makes the difference.
The key friend that I have needed and wanted to become like is Christ.Oh I know that it sounds like one of those right things to say but it is true.Why wouldn’t a person want to be close to the one who created you and sacrificed their life for you?If you have really caught the truth of that then of course you would want to hang around with Him.
The other deep friend that I have is my wife, Margaret.I would die for her just as Christ died for me.She is someone who had a choice in living in my life and she has stayed with me and sacrificed dreams for me.Now I am able to do the same for her.She has made a major difference in ch…

“I used to think knowing God was like going on a business trip with Him, but now I know He’s inviting me on an adventure instead.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 128). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is the truth.I love adventure.My life has been an adventure.
I have been in 49 States.Someday I will make it to Alaska for my 50th State.I have lived all over the United States: California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina and Florida.
I love to look at a map and then visualize what it is like.Every Saturday, Margaret and I go on an adventure.We’ve done it almost every Saturday since I have been retired.Wherever we have lived, we have seen more than most people who have lived there all there lives.
I also loved the adventure of being a church planter.The adventure of going out and finding people who would come to a new church. I love the adventure of finding a new Starbucks and meet…