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“The darker it gets, the brighter our faith can shine.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 30). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

It is really difficult when a child is sick especially when they are a baby.Right now our daughter, Stef and her husband, Andrew’s little seven old daughter, Harper is very sick.She is in the hospital going through a lot of testing to find out what is wrong.
It is in those times when we can do nothing that our faith really comes into play.I don’t understand how people without a relationship with God can handle those times.It is difficult when you do have faith.I mean those who believe totally in their ability to do whatever needs to be done must have real problems when they can’t do anything.
I am so glad that I have a faith in someone who can do everything.He is someone I totally trust. He created us so He knows everything about us.He also gave knowledge and abilities to Doctors and Nurses to deal with the complex…

“Your crisis is your greatest opportunity to see God’s glory and goodness revealed—and to have the high honor of revealing him to others.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 148). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
An unexpected crisis can be such a horrible experience or a tremendous opportunity. 
I really believe that this financial crisis that our nation has been going through is a tremendous opportunity for us as Christians to show nonbelievers what a difference Christ makes in our lives.  He is great and He is good.  He can change the circumstance or He can change us in the circumstance if we let Him.  in either way,  I don’t want to waste this opportunity.
All of us go through these unexpected tough times.  They are a part of life.  As the Bible says, “It rains on the just and the unjust.”   The difference is in how we view it and how we use it.
Margaret and I have gone through, are going through, and will go through tough times.  And our experience has taught us that He can be trusted.
So how are you doing?

“Prayer is the arena where our faith meets God’s abilities.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book,Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 153). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.

That is so encouraging in our times of discouragment and frustration.  Yes prayer is a place of battle but it is where our faith connects with God.  And there is nothing that we bring to God that is bigger than His capacity.

We need to spend more time in looking at who God is in order to have our faith strengthened.  He can do it.  Believe it.  What is it that is bigger than you are?  It is not bigger than HE is.  Just connect to Him through prayer.

God is good and He is great.  And He wants to be a part of your situation but He won't force His way on you.  It is up to you to ask Him.

So are you going to ask Him?

“Timid prayers are a waste of time.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible(p. 153). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
That is a real soul searching thought.  And it leads me to the question, am I timid with God and if I am then why?
First of all being timid may mean I don’t really know the person.  I mean, I am not timid with Margaret my wife.  I know her better that I know any other person.  I know how she reacts to things, I know what she likes, what she is good at and whether I can trust her or not.  I know that I can because I really know her.  I am not timid with her and I am not timid with God because I have an authentic relationship with them.
Now timidity can also come from guilt on my part.  Maybe I really need Him to help me in a definite way but I have been doing some stuff that I know He has asked me not to do.  That would make me timid.
Maybe I just don’t believe Him when He said that if I ask He would give.  So my lack of…

“You’d never see how strong God is if there were no opponent for him to overcome in your life.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible(p. 142). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
We really don’t realize this or appreciate this but crisis can very much be your friend.  It is in crisis that God can become very real to you because of your great need of Him.  We don’t it seems look to Him in our good times.  We look to ourselves as the reason for our good times.  Success builds confidence in ourselves and crisis kills it but the opposite can be true toward God.  Our confidence in God can grow in our crisis.  He has to do it or we will fail.
I remember when 9/11 happened, people came to church seeking God but when the crisis seemed to fade then our need of God also went by the wayside.  Crisis is the enemy of security but the great friend of faith.
So how strong is your God?

“God’s goodness means that all his greatness is meant to work in your life for your good.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (pp. 101-102). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
I have been holding for the past few months on to the fact that God is good.  Oh I know and believe that He is great but His goodness makes Him more personable to me. 
Do you really realize that as a committed Christ-follower everything that happens to you must first go through God’s goodness?  His greatness changes all the bad that is targeted for you by the evil one, He changes it for your good.  He has to because He is good.  That is who He is.  You say, “But it is bad for me.”   No it’s not, it’s good for you.  It has to be good for you because He is good.  And that fact changes our perspective on all of our life. 
So is His goodness real to you?

“His faithfulness is your hope in every defeat and failure.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible(p. 123). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
Are you defeated?  Do you feel like a failure?  Do you realize that God has not turned His back on you?  He hasn’t quit.  He is still at it.  He is still faithful in His love for you, His belief in you, His availability to you.
Just reach out to Him and grab hold of His faith in you, of His faithfulness, of His being involved in making a difference in your life.  His faithfulness can make something out of your failure.  It just might be an opportunity for a miracle. 
So what are you going to do?

“Until you believe God is with you and for you, fear and hesitation will characterize your life.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible(p. 102). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
Have you ever thought about the fact that if you didn’t have confidence in the ability for a certain chair to hold you, then you would hesitate to sit in that chair?   I mean, you might fall.  What if you had that fear about every chair then your fear would make it difficult for you to ever sit down?
That would be a very frustrating way to live. 
I am at Starbucks right now and I’m sitting in a chair.  I sat down with no hesitancy, no fear because I knew it would hold me up.  I have sat in hundreds of Starbucks’ chairs and not once has one let me down.  I believed that this chair could be trusted and I was right.
I believe in a greater measure that GOD can be trusted with my life.  HE has never let me down even when life has thrown some unexpected things in my path.  I was confident because I trust in HIM.  One of my l…

“Audacity does not discriminate on the basis of age or disqualify because of wasted years.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 30). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
I know there would be some who are embarrassed and put off when they hear someone dealing with things in an audacious way.  I know that we are sometimes put off by some of the statements of certain Christian groups who say outlandish things that they believe that God wants to do in their lives.  I understand that feeling.
But I wonder if we should be the ones who are embarrassed about our lack of audacious expectations in our God in our lives.  I mean, God is love, He is omniscient and omnipotent.  There is nothing He can’t do and He said all we had to do was ask and He would do what is best for us.  So we should be embarrassed because we don’t really believe Him. 
Now I understand why we don’t.  We are afraid of looking foolish but because we don’t, we are foolish.  God wants to do things in our lives not just for ou…

“There’s an unquestioning optimism that comes as standard equipment when you’re young.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book,Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible(p. 30). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
That is so true.  They haven’t had the disappointments in life that we who are older have experienced.   They still believe that they can climb that mountain and from a physical standpoint they can.  They still have a lifetime ahead of them and they need that unquestioning optimism.  That is true if it is just in themselves and their own abilities.
But for those of us who have found a deep dependency on God to be the key to real unquestioning optimism then I think the older I get the more optimistic I become.  Granted building a great church in St. Petersburg may be out of the question but building a worldwide influence may not.  If God is in it the sky is the limit.  I can sit here in Walsingham Park in Largo, Florida and reach the world with my computer.   I can know from experience that I can trust God because of His…

“Until you believe God is with you and for you, fear and hesitation will characterize your life.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible(p. 102). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I am looking on my other blog, bill’s front porch, at The Lord’s Prayer.  It is what Jesus shared with His disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray.
Now the first request He told them to ask for was to ask that God’s name be hallowed.  Now to hallow means that we are to acknowledge who God really is.  One way to do that is to start your prayer with praising God.
I am right now sitting on a picnic table outside close to a beautiful Florida lake.  I am in the middle of my walking.  In my first part of my walking I listened on my iPhone to last Sunday’s message by Brian Moll who is the Pastor of Forefront Church in Manhattan and when that was done I had a time of focused prayer.  Now in the first part of my prayer I acknowledge who God was through praising Him.
Some think that praising Him and thanking Hi…

“Approach your impossibilities with confident humility.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 74). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
The reason is because if you had the ability to do whatever it is then it would be possible.  You wouldn’t need to be humble.  You would just take the credit and go on.  But the impossible means that you can’t do it.  It is impossible.
Now humility means you need help and you ask for it.  If it is impossible and you aren’t going to ask for help because of pride then it becomes even more impossible.  But if you know someone who can make the impossible possible and you ask them for help then that is wisdom and humility.  That is trust!
There was a very difficult situation in our family that had become impossible.  Someone said no and that looked like the end of the possibility.  During my walk time on Friday I was praying about the situation and all I could think to pray was for God to help the person to change their …

“You are a connector to the current of the power of Christ.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book,Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 52). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
We so many times think that this is just about us but it isn’t.   It is all about showing how Christ can make a difference in the lives of those around you.  People need to know that there is a power that can make a difference in their lives and when they see that you have it they need to know where it comes from.  You are the connector from Christ to others and that needs to be our prayer.
I like how those disciples in the Acts prayed.  They prayed in Acts 4.29-30 (Msg), “…give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  The healings and miracles and wonders where an opening to share the Message with others with boldness.  That is what He wants us to do.  The reason why we are here is…

“It’s not wrong to feel fear. It is wrong to let that fear have the last word in your life.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 73). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Fear is not always bad.  We had today here on Long Island our first snow.  Now it is only about 3 to 5 inches deep but this afternoon it has turned to ice.  I have a real respect for ice.  Maybe that is another word for fear but I am very cautious when it comes to ice.  I have lived in ice country and I am very careful when it comes to ice on the roads.  I have some very negative memories of trips with ice.
Margaret and I were thinking about going to the Mall this afternoon to do some shopping.  I had thought it had stopped snowing and it would be safe so we were headed out the door until I noticed that the car was covered with ice.   That made me stop and reconsider so I said let’s not go.  So we didn’t. 
I didn’t think the task was worthy of the risk but if one of our kids had gotten hurt and they needed us then…

“Pray that God will give you assurance of his presence and clarity in every decision you make.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 74). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
What a great prayer to pray.  Can you realize the confidence you would have in doing what you have decided if you were assured of God’s hand in making the decision?  Let me tell you it makes all the difference in the world.
There have been many decisions that I have made that were very difficult to do.  One time I moved my wife and two teenage children all the way from Virginia to Las Vegas to start a new church.  I spent six months in prayer before we made the decision to move and when we did, I know it was what God was leading us to do.  In the first six months I would have moved because of unbelievable difficulties if I wouldn’t have had the assurance of His presence and clarity in the decision.  That realization held me steady for 15 years in a very difficult assignment.  I also moved from there with assurance …

“The goal of faith isn’t to take away your fears but to leverage those fears to create bolder belief.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 66). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Fear is another one of those choice emotions.  I can let it hold me back or motivate me.  I have done both in my life.
Now I am at the point in my life that I want to leverage my fears to strengthen my faith.  What I usually see as the thing that I fear in a situation I come up with a solution and then it won’t hold me back.  An example of that would be to fear death.  That could hold me captive in all areas of my life so I took care of that by believing in Jesus who will give me eternal life.  Now I can live my life here without that fear.  
So fear can be a deterrent or leverage?  I choose the leverage.
What about you?

“Time can talk you out of your dreams.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 30). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
What dream did you have at the start of 2012?  After one week do you still have it?  Maybe you shared it with someone and they laughed at you.  Maybe you dreamed that you could lose 50 lbs. this year but you couldn’t make it through this week and you decided, what’s the use?
I know we say we get smarter and our experiences and disappointments make it so much more difficult to really dream but we still can have dreams.  When I was young and had a lot of years ahead of me it was easier to dream great dreams.  But life isn’t over even at 64 ½.    Some of my best dreams are still to be dreamed.    We need to really believe that.  
Now dreams have many purposes other than just fulfilling them.  I have not had all my dreams come true yet but I have had so many things come about because I had a dream.  Dreams give us hope, gi…

“He only requires that we have the faith to wade in as deep as he leads and keep reaching up to him.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 63). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
There will be so many people who will decide that this is just another day in their life and not set it aside to gather with others to focus on God.  They have decided that they have all it takes to make it on their own until life takes a “I can’t handle it on my own” turn and they haven’t built the relationship with others and with God.
Oh sure I have those times when it seems like I am heading into deep waters but I do have a relationship with God and I know that I am not alone.  How can people make it without faith?  I am headed to church this morning not because I am in deep water but because I want to cultivate that personal relationship because I love Him and He loves me.  One of the benefits is because I know He is there in my good times I know He will be there in my difficult times and that can make all the…

“Impossibilities don’t exist, because there’s absolutely nothing our God can’t do.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book,Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 39). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
What a tremendous thought to realize.  What impossible situation are you facing right now? 
Let’s say you are down in a valley with high cliffs on each side of you and tall trees in front and in back of you and it is impossible for you to see what is behind, ahead or on either side.  But let’s say you are talking on your cell phone to someone up above you in a helicopter and they can see everything.  Now your situation isn’t impossible because of your connection.
Let’s say something has happened and you are in desperate need of $10,000.00.  You only have $500 in your checking account.  You are in an impossible situation.  But let’s say your father is very successful.  He keeps $50,000.00 in an account for pocket change.  So you get him on the phone and tell him your situation and he takes care of it.  It was impossible…

“Audacious faith takes Jesus at his word.”

A thought by Steven Furtick (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible(p. 30). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
In my quiet time every morning I read a Psalm.   I have done that for years.  I read the Psalm that corresponds to the date.  I am starting my 4th cycle of 30 Psalms and today is December 1st so I read the 91st Psalm so let’s see what Jesus said through the Psalmist today, Jesus is God you know.
Verses 2- 4, (msg), Say this: “God,You’re my refuge. 
I trust in You and I’m safe!”
That’s right—He rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
His arms fend off all harm.    
Maybe you are going through some tough times why don’t you claim what it says, personally believe it in your life.  Pray this back to Him.  Make it personal.  Audacious faith takes Him at His word.
Here is some more from the 91st Psalm…
Verses 14-16 (msg), “If yo…