Back from vacation

Well vacation was great but we are back in business. 

Proverbs 11:4

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

As good as it is to gain wealth, we need to value what is truly important. If righteousness delivers from death then I want to be righteous. 

How do we become righteous?

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

That’s how. Confessing our sins is the key.

Today I was just having a bad day; things like my room being out of order and not seeking God first thing in the day were catching up to me. On top of that, I found out I was missing money. But as soon as I called a friend from church and told him what was going on (confessing my sins.) I felt much better and I had a great night with my family. 

And about the money, it’s good, but God is greater than money. So I’m not worried about the missing money. I’ve got God and I’m righteous.

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Who’s always the same…

I have a challenge for you. Believe this verse.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Let me just expand this a little. The Jesus that gave Christians the authority to walk in healing of mind, body and spirit, seeing and performing miracles is the same yesterday, today and forever. So it’s not true that miracles don’t happen any more, because Jesus hasn’t changed. And God hasn’t changed either. 

Miracles still happen. Today, I witnessed a couple. My big toe which I sprained popped into place in a moment. Where it happened is Bethel Church in Redding California. Prayer combined with faith. It’s the same thing that happened in Acts. Again, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I saw a woman’s leg grow about an inch which completely healed her hip problem, and I heard the testimony of my mom. I watched her touch her toes this afternoon back at the room when she couldn’t before.

Jesus is amazing and I challenge you to embrace Hebrews 13:8 today and believe it with all your heart. As you read the new testament, read from this standpoint and receive faith that whatever Jesus did back then, he can do again.

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Control yourself!

God instructs of to have self-control; it’s one of the fruits of the spirit. If we do not possess self-control, we are like a broken down city

Proverbs 25:28

Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
Is like a city broken down, without walls.

Like everything God instructs, this is for our own good. Just this morning I let myself go to far. My mom called me on the carpet for making a rude comment and told me, “You were being rude,” and I took it as an attack and yelled back at her harshly, “Yes I was!”

After a five minutes or so, I apologized, and believe me, that was hard. It took humbling myself. I would rather maintain self-control then to burst out at her and have to apologize later.

But I was reminded that without the Holy Spirit, I have plenty of broken walls.

One passage that I recommend is Ephesians 6:10-18. It’s putting on the armor of God.

The word of God is alive, so when you read this passage God will reveal what areas need to be given special attention in your day. Today, when I read it, the sword of the spirit stood out as my featured weapon for the day.

I don’t know all the details but I know I need to pray a lot today. Tonight I play bass for the worship band and tomorrow we go to Oregon, and I want to be prepared for God to use me as he wills.

To bring it full circle, Put on the armor of God so you can resist those things that will try to compromise your attitude and disposition and cause you to loose self-control. In fact do not only have self-control, but yield control.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your cares upon him because he cares for you.

May we simply be able to say; I’m not worried, my God’s got me covered.

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What America needs

Amber waves of grain

America is doing badly. Our economy is suffering. And I don’t just mean money; that’s just how we measure economy. There are severe droughts on the west coast and floodings in the Midwest and politicians on the east coast. It’s a joke, but not really…

On top of that, morale is at an all time low, just walk outside. Our land is hurt.

I have been studying a verse that I hope many people will find encouraging. It is 2 Chronicles 7:14.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

The first thing that strikes me is that it takes humility to pray. Humility is a beautiful quality; it is the opposite of pride, arrogance and haughtiness. Yet, few people are humble. Humble people ask for help, admit when they are wrong and work on their character. This is the person God looks for. There is hope for a humble man.

Let me just clarify. Both prideful and humble people sin. But you need to be humble to ask for forgiveness.

Next after “humble themselves and pray” is seek God’s face. Seeking God’s face is seeking his presence. Think of God as a perfect father. He doesn’t just want to send you presents in the mail. He wants you to visit him and spend time in his presence. 

We must also turn from our wicked ways. Here is one of the most wicked things that has become the way in America: Abortion. It’s one of the seven things that are detestable to the Lord; hands that shed innocent blood. (Proverbs 6:16-19) Gay marriage is another huge one. And both practices are legal in many states. 

If you do turn from our wicked ways, God is rich in mercy and there are three things this verse promises. He will hear from heaven. Pause. So if God will hear from heaven, what is the visual now? God can’t look at us, he can only listen? That grieves me, but yet he is listening for us to repent and he will hear us once we do.

Second, he will forgive our sin. We as a nation are under a curse from our own sin. If God can’t look at us how will he bless us. But upon our repentance he will promptly forgive us and dwell once again with us. 

And lastly, he will heal our land. Our economy, our food, our homes and families. He will heal it. I am down to see that.

You need to know, I am deeply committed to the success of this country, and I am taking a stand for it. What I want is for hard but true messages like this to reach many as many Americans as possible. So please do your part to share this. I will do the same.

Pride is not the answer; pride goes before a fall. The truth is the answer.

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And I feel much better!

Yesterday I was quite sick. I think it was from food the night before; either lasagna or popcorn. Either way, I was feeling pretty queasy. I took it easy in the morning and only ate smoothies and veggies. I took a nap in the afternoon and I felt a little better. That was good because I was committed to making it to Rehearsal at Oasis

When I arrived, I still felt sick, but stepping into the rehearsal room with my bass gave my a little life. It was nothing, however, compared the strength I got when I began to worship God. It was a miracle. Getting the focus off of me and onto God, because that is exactly what worship is, was the cure. The rest of the night was amazing, I felt really well, I played really well, I slept soundly when I got home, and I have no sickness today!

2 Kings 17:39

“You must worship the LORD your God; then he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies.”

He sure rescued me from the power of sickness. And I am grateful.

See, this short but sweet story is one example of God’s realness and goodness. I can’t prove that God’s real, but I know he is.

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“Yeah, the King is my friend.”

King's friend

Proverbs 22:11

He who loves purity of heart,
    and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

Wow! It’s that easy? Cuz I sure could use a king… Oh but I need to love purity of heart and have gracious speech? Darn it.That’s actually kind of difficult. To love purity of heart means that I have to be pure myself and seek that in others. And gracious speech, well I can’t say some of my favorite things. I don’t know which one is harder.

 

It will take something to accomplish both of these prerequisits, but like most things that are difficult, it will be worth it in the end.

There is similar verse in this chapter, and it tis Proverbs 22:29

Do you see a man skillful in his work?
    He will stand before kings;
    he will not stand before obscure men.

I can see how skillful in work would also be a characteristic of a king’s friend. Conventional wisdom sais, “You have to bring something to the table.”

Let’s look at an example from the Bible where someone with these character traits became a king’s friend. Johnathan was King David’s friend. The bible sais in 1 Samuel 18, “He became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.”

Johnathan loved purity of heart so much that he defied his own father’s evil intentions and fought the cause of the innocent man. He was gracious in speech; he had been raised in a royal court. And he was very skillful in his work as he successfully carried out a lone attack on a Philistine garrison, demonstrating his “prowess and courage as a warrior.” Think about it, that takes some skill.

So Johnathan fits the bill. And he was rewarded for his high acquaintance. In 1 Samuel 23, David made a covenant that he would protect Johnathans family and that Johnathan would be second in command when David became king.

In today’s terms, President elect David promised Johnathan that his family would be protected by the top FBI team and that Johnathan would be vice president during David’s term. That sounds really good to me.

I think it’s safe to conclude that there is great reward in loving purity of heart, having gracious speech and being skillful in your work.

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The plans of the diligent…

planning

Every day, I read the corresponding chapter of Proverbs to the date. If the month has less than 31 days, then I simply read an extra chapter on the last day. It is a habit I strongly advise. Today I came across I very thought provoking verse. It’s Proverbs 21:5.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

So you know how the Bible says to meditate on the word. Well I will be meditating on this verse today.

In the meantime, I would like to know what you think about this verse.

You can share stories on how you’ve been hasty or how you’ve been diligent and what the results were. Or share a unique way to apply this verse; I would your feedback on this post.

There’s a place for you to comment below this post. I appreciate it.

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One day of the week

Fun times :)

Fun times :)

I take one day of the week to do a complete shut down. It’s usually Sundays, but sometimes it’s Mondays…

I enjoy, for example, having people over, like my neighbor, Dakota. (He’s the one jumping in the picture.) We can just chill for one day of the week, and have fun. I usually stay home except for church and maybe going to the beach. This day of rest gives my body time to recuperate, and maybe more importantly, it gives my mind time to rest.

Of course there is a biblical reason for this.

Exodus 20:8-11

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Now this is one of the ten commandments, you know like “Do not murder, do not steal…” So I treat it with the same amount of respect. Just because the government doesn’t enforce this one with the life sentence, doesn’t mean I won’t follow it.

Let me just say this, God has plenty of grace for everyone, so it’s not as if we have to or else. It’s that we get to take a God blessed day of rest from our labors just like God did. That’s what this about. It’s about honoring our bodies, honoring the way God made us and honoring the fact the we are made in the image of the one who crated the universe in six days and rested on the seventh.

I encourage you to do this even simply because it will bless you. Right at the end of verse 11, it says, “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” The Lord will bless those who honor the Sabbath.

So just relax and get revitalized. Maybe pull out that Bible and get closer to God, or grow closer to some people. Enjoy it and I will see you on Monday.

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I’ll do it tomorrow.

I’m here to talk about procrastination.

Procrastination Cycle

It is the one downfall that I feel everyone can relate to. You have a goal that you know you need to get done, but somehow, time goes by and it’s too late to do it. That was me all through school. Well that’s me now too…

But I’m working on it.

What does the Bible say about procrastination?

 

Matthew 5:23-24

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 

Jesus is quite clear in this verse that you should immediately go and be reconciled, not waiting until tomorrow. He says “leave your gift there before the alter and go.” So it is also important to prioritize, and you need to do what is of higher priority first. (In this case the relationship with the brother is higher priority than the offering.)

In your life, you have a set of priorities. And it is important to live according to them. God is a God of order and since we have been made in his image, we are called to be orderly.

The bottom line is we know we shouldn’t procrastinate, but how to not do it?

 

Psalm 119:60

I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.

 

David, one of the great men of faith, writes that he hastens to keep God’s commandments. It’s almost implied that David knew himself so well that he jumped straight to it before he had a chance to procrastinate. We could take a clue from this man of God. If you know you have a tendency to keep putting something off, then hasten to get it done.

Action defeats procrastination. And immediate action defeats procrastination immediately.

 

This post was such a struggle to write, because I was having such a tough morning emotionally. I didn’t feel like I had anything good to offer, and I saw everything else that needed to get done, but I just sat down and wrote.

I am very glad I’m done with it, but I sure didn’t feel like I could do it at first. And we all have those days. Just remember,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

So ignore your feelings and DO.

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Meet Samson!

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

 

*Chomp*

*Chomp*

Meet Samson!

He is German Shepherd mixed with Boxer. He is two yeras old, fifty pounds and in the prime of his life. And he is the most gentle dog you could meet.

He can rip through a tennis ball in under a minute, snap a branch almost an inch thick in half, but stick your hand in his mouth and you wont’ get a scratch. That is the definition of gentle. 
 
Now imagine you were my dog. Imagine that you could annihilate someone with just your mouth. Imagine that every time someone stuck their hand in your mouth, you could pretty much bite it right off.
 
I’m here to tell you, you have that much power.
 

Proverbs 18:21 -Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Death and life. Death or life. That is some power. Which ever one comes out of your mouth, that’s what shows up.
 
You can now see why it is so important to heed this wisdom:
 
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
 
The second you sense that a conversation could turn into an argument, you have a choice. Many times, it would feel so good to just throw down your point and hammer your opponent into the ground. (At least that’s how we imagine it.) But which response would that be? Yeah, it’s the harsh word.

It’s much harder, but so much better to respond with a gentle answer. Imagine all the time and energy you will redeem by not taking the bait. They might try to start an argument but you have the complete ability to turn away wrath and not stir up anger.

It really is up to you. So choose wisely.

(Photo editing by the amazing Isaac Abinante)

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