Trust God's Heart

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Been a while since I last blogged. Since my last blog...a pastor in our area committed suicide in front of his wife. They have 3 children. My neighbor was a member of the man’s church and is really upset and confused about it. Doesn’t make sense. Two days ago, I got a call from a friend who said his sister and niece were murdered by the niece's husband... in front of their four young children! He is still running from the police as I’m typing this. Then yesterday, I spoke to a young man who was hooking up my internet at home. He shared how his wife had an affair with a leader in their church out on the west coast. He’s pretty mad at God about it.

I am reminded that there is a lot of pain out there...incomprehensible hurt. I read Lamentations from The Bible. Hadn’t read Lamentations in a while. The writer, Jeremiah was grieving over the devastation of God’s land and especially God’s people. Times were brutal. But in chapter three he writes,

21This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.

22The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

24"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."
25The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.

32For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.

Jeremiah’s heart was crushed, but he held on to His God. The lyrics of this old song recorded by Newsong say it well:

God is too wise to be mistaken.

God is too good to be unkind.

So when you don’t understand

When you don’t see His plan

When you can’t trace His hand

Trust His heart.

Our God is Good. He is Faithful. Don't understand? Trust His Heart!

God is Always on Time

Friday, December 4, 2009

I wrote as my Facebook status, “Doug believes that God is always on time”. I absolutely believe it! It MUST be true. I am holding on to that truth right now. I have been waiting on a lot of people and a lot of things lately.

Time pressure is crippling. Think about it. From our vantage point “timing is everything”. Problem is, our timing is not always in line with God’s sovereign timing. The result? We worry. We fret. We get upset. We get angry at those who are making us wait. Bottom line, we at times might question God’s intentions, because it seems that He is running a little (or a lot) late.

But for God to be God, He MUST be perfect in His timing of all things. I remember hoping that I would get married by the time I was 25. I hoped. I prayed. I dated a lot. Nothing! For twelve long years I “waited” for God. But in His awesome timing, I met Kristi, God’s gift to me. In hindsight, I see His perfect timing, though at the time of waiting, I experienced some very difficult days. Good things come to those who wait.

So here I am waiting on God, again. Waiting for His clear direction for our church. New location? New worship time? I’m also waiting for His clear direction in my personal life. So when will God make things clear? In His perfect timing. My job is to keep on seeking Him, do what I know He wants me to do, and do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9).

2000 years ago, God’s people were in a time of crisis, a time of despair. And in God’s perfect timing He sent Jesus to the rescue.

God’s Word says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Christmas is proof that God not only loves us, but is always right on time.

Waiting on God? Me, too. But personal experience and more importantly, His Word, assures me that God is always right on time.

Just Breathe

November 13, 2009

My son, Matthew was looking at something about rocket ships and asked me why there was no air in space. I told him that “air” is oxygen and the farther we go up, the thinner the oxygen. Since we need oxygen to live, we must take it with us into space.

Then I started thinking...Air is invisible, yet God supplies it for us every day, even though we don’t even think about it and I would guess that we rarely thank Him for it. Yet, He keeps supplying it. Do you ever wonder where your next breath will comes from? I don’t (except when I’m hiking in the mountains). Why? A lifetime of experience has proven to me that all I need to do is breathe and the oxygen will be there. So, if God is constantly supplying this vital resource for life, why would He not provide everything else that we need?

You and I may not be able to see the future or understand our “present”, but we can rest assured that our Almighty and Loving God is working to supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19). We can trust Him who gave us that promise.

So breathe in and thank God for providing “air” AND so much more for all who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)

Which "Dwarf" are You Today?

Monday, November 2, 2009

I think I am going to write a book titled, “Things I have learned while taking my 1st Grader to School”. It seems like there is always something that hits me in that short, 7-minute ride with Madison that gets me to thinking.

This morning, Madison was a little grouchy. We usually sing songs and make up silly stories on the way to school, but today she was unusually quiet and would only answer my questions with that “leave me alone” look.

So I said, “Madison, we wake up every morning with a choice to be grumpy or happy.” Then trying to be fun, I said, “In fact, we can choose to be any one of the 7 dwarfs”. Then I started naming them, “Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, Doc”. Neither of us could remember Bashful.

She simply listened, with little response to my attempt at humor. So I prayed with her and dropped her off at school.

On my way back home, I remembered that my day started as “Sleepy”, then turned to “Grumpy”, before I finally landed on “Happy”.

Seriously, we all have tough days. I’ve had my share of them. But life is too short to stay in a pit. OK, so you woke up “grumpy”. Choose instead to be “happy”. How?

Philippians 4:4-8: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Today, I choose “Happy”. Tomorrow, I’ll have another opportunity to choose, and then the next day and the next...

Bragging Rights

Tuesday, 10-27-09

My daughter, Madison is a 1st grader. She loves school. She loves her teacher. She loves her friends and her friends love her.

They tested for reading levels a few weeks ago. We knew she was a great reader, but was unsure how the testing would go. She ended up testing very well. After they had gotten their scores back, several of the girls were talking about it. Even though she knew, Madison never would say her score.

I visited lunch last week and the subject came up again, One friend said, “I got a 16 ”. By the way, that’s pretty good for a 1st grader. Another girl said, “My mom said I am the best reader in the whole class.” My father’s pride kicked in and everything in me wanted to brag that Madison was, in fact, the best reader in the class and that she scored a 20 which is incredible for a 1st grader. I didn’t say anything. One of the girls again asked, “Madison, what was your score?” Madison knew. We had told her about the “20” and that we were very proud of her. But she wouldn’t say it. She simply looked at me. So I said, “Madison’s a great reader”.

Madison is cute, sweet, smart, AND humble. She could have bragged, but she didn’t. She had ample opportunity to let them all know that SHE is the best reader. But instead, she showed love to her friends. Love? Yes, love. 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love does not brag and is not arrogant”.

That’s what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t go around screaming, “I am the King of Kings. I’m the best. I’m number one. Bow down to me.” No, instead he demonstrated his love through humility...all the way to death on a cross.

Bragging does nothing but belittle others and make the braggart look silly. Humility is a character quality that God blesses greatly (James 4:6).

Just something to think about.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who is your God? I don’t mean Allah or Yahweh or Jesus or the Spirit in the Sky. I mean, is your God good or bad? Kind or harsh? Encouraging or judgmental? Loving or looking for an opportunity to beat you up?

Jesus tells us that we can call God our “Father”. He even uses the word “Abba”, which means Daddy. That may seem strange to some, but it reveals the personal nature of God. Yes, we must honor Him as Holy and Almighty and Glorious, but we can also see him as “Daddy”. He is indeed powerful, but also “Daddy”.

The most powerful man on the planet is President Obama. He is also a dad. I remember reading some advice Jenna and Barbara Bush, daughters of President George W. Bush, gave to President Obama’s daughters:

“Our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love; a man who always put us first. We still see him now as we did when we were seven: as our loving daddy. Our Dad, who read to us nightly, taught us how to score tedious baseball games. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV. Many people will think they know him, but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.”

(The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2009)

What great advice. Great words for us to remember about our God and Who He really is: He is The Almighty God who loves us and is proud that we are His children. He delights in the little things in our lives, and He wants us to call Him “Daddy” because He doesn’t want us to lose that intimacy with Him.

I encourage you to reacquaint yourself with God, our Almighty and Loving Father.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I could hear my daughter Madison calling out, “Mommy. Mommy”. Kristi was busy bathing the boys so I decided to help out. “Yes, Honey”, I answered. “No, Daddy. I’m calling Mommy, not you, because she knows the answer”. WELL, then...

If you had a question and you knew the person with the answer, wouldn’t it be foolish to go to a different person? Who would do that? I mean, I think I would want to go to the person with the answer. Isn’t that right or am I crazy? It sure makes sense to my 6-year old.

I believe God has the answers to all the questions life presents us. Do we really believe that? Of course. So why then would we not go to Him first, even before we gather the opinions of others? I am glad to have good friends who offer me wise counsel, but before that, I need time with God, asking, listening, and obeying.

Something God is teaching me in a big way right now is how to wait on Him. I can get in such a hurry to hear answers to my questions, that I, at times by-pass the very One who has the answer.

Here’s my challenge for you (and me). When you have a decision to make, direct your attention to God through prayer and His Bible first, then wait for His counsel. After that, seek the counsel and affirmation of others. God has the answers. Doesn’t He?

Need answers? Go FIRST to the One who has the answer. It makes since whether you are 6 or 46 (that’s me). God help me to wait on You!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A while back, I had some friends over to watch a college football game on my new HDTV. The game featured the Ohio State Buckeyes. My friend Jeff was there and he is a big Buckeyes fan. As the game kicked off, Jeff got the best seat in the house, nearest to the TV. Several others of us were not quite as interested, so we just stood around talking and munching on chips and stuff.

A few minutes into the game, Jeff positioned himself even closer to the game, where he leaned in toward the TV so he could hear above our distracting chatter. Finally, he asked if we could talk more quietly. How rude! No. How passionate he was to see and hear the game.

You know, we say we are passionate about hearing from God, but how many of us are passionate enough to get ourselves into “position” to hear from Him? I wonder how many times we make half-hearted attempts at really seeking His will.

In Jeremiah 29:13, the LORD says. “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”.

If I really want to hear and do His will, I must first, quiet the distractions. My main distractions seem to be my selfish agenda and my desire to please other people. I must quiet the voices in my head. That means entire surrender of my agenda, my life, my failures, my future, my whole heart.

After that, simply lean in toward the LORD. Develop that spiritual sensitivity to His voice. Surrender brings rest.

He will be true to the promise: Seek Me and you will find Me. It’s time we stop making “half-hearted “ attempts and begin surrendering our whole heart to Him!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I was at a wedding this past Saturday. One of my good friend’s oldest son was getting married. It was an outdoor wedding at a beautiful place north of Austin. Our drive to Austin on Saturday was met with rain, a lot of rain.

When we got to the Wedding that evening, the rain was pouring and there was no sign of letting up. Thankfully, there was a tent intended for the ceremony. Before the ceremony, I prayed with the groom, then found my seat with Kristi and several old friends. The rain continued. The ground was totally saturated.

It was time for the wedding to begin. The parents were seated in their respectful places. The bridesmaids were ushered into place. It was time for the bride to make her appearance.

As the music announced her arrival, we all turned back to see this beautiful young lady escorted by her dad through the rain. What I saw next was truly amazing. The clouds suddenly parted and the rain stopped! Not really, but that’s what we would have hoped for. Get rid of the storm. Right? Well, instead I saw the joyful smile of a beautiful bride excited about her wedding day. You see, a little storm could not extinguish the JOY of her wedding day. She didn’t fret. She didn’t complain. For the joy of the celebration, she endured the storm.

I saw Philippians 4:4 with my own eyes, “Rejoice in the Lord always”. Yes, rejoice...even if it rains on your wedding day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible? Jesus came to their house for a visit. While Martha was busy around the house, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened. When Martha asked Jesus to get Mary to help her out, Jesus said that Mary was doing the one thing that is necessary (Luke 10:42). What is that thing? Sitting down to listen? Does that mean then that serving is not necessary? Of course not. A closer look into the story reveals the answer.

Martha did what came naturally, she was serving. Mary was sitting down near Jesus, listening. Both are doing good things. Martha’s problem was NOT that she was serving when she should have been listening. The problem was that Martha was distracted (Luke 10:40). Jesus saw that in her serving, she was worried and bothered ( vs 41).

So here is is: Mary was listening, while Martha was distracted and worried and bothered that Mary wasn’t helping out. So what Jesus teaches us is simply: whatever we are doing, whether serving or sitting, we need to listen and not get distracted.

While you serve (or sit) or whatever you do today, do not get distracted from that fact that God is speaking and He wants us to listen.

Lord, help me to quiet the distractions and help me to listen.

Friday, August 28, 2009

On the way to school this morning, Madison said that she wished we could choose our own class at school. She likes choices. Don’t we all? But for 1st graders, the school dictates the class assignment. She has a great class with some friends from her Kindergarten last year, and her teacher is perfect for her. Still, I think she just wants choices.

Even though we’ve only had a week of school so far, I know that Madison’s class is perfect for her. How do I know? Did I select the teacher by paying off the principal? No. I did better than that. Kristi and I prayed for months that God would give Madison the perfect class for her. And Since God is in charge, we feel really good about His choice.

So I told Madison this morning, “You have the perfect class. Did you know the Bible says that God makes all things work together for good for those who love Him? Madison, do you love God?” “Yes” she said. I continued, “Then you can be confident that God works out all things for good, because He loves you and called you to great things”.

I think the answer satisfied her, but more than that, it reminded me of this truth. Whatever the situation, God is still in charge and He is at work for GOOD for me...because I do love Him. How about you?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My morning yesterday: Heard my youngest calling at 6:22 am. I had been awake since six, but I wasn’t quite ready to get out of bed. I got up anyway, got Michael downstairs and on the couch, then took our puppy out for her morning business. After giving ample time for her to do what she needed to do, I brought her back into the house to attended to my 2-year old on the couch. Within a minute, the dog had “done her business” throughout the front room and Michael was in “great need” of attention. So what do you think I did next? What would YOU have done in this moment of crisis? My next step was simple: I called for back-up. I woke up Kristi and she patiently helped me get our home back in order. “Hooray for Mommy!” is a constant refrain in our house.

Calling for Back up. Back up quarterbacks. Back up police officers. Back up “boyfriends/girlfriends”. When do we need “back up”? When we are in a bind. When we know we can’t handle things by ourselves. When we feel overwhelmed. We all need back up from time to time.

A few nights ago, I was stirred from a sound sleep to hear my almost 5-year old, Matthew, calling for me. When I went up to check on him he said, “Daddy. We have a real emergency here.” “OK son” I said, “what’s the emergency?” “I had a bad dream”. “Do you want to talk about it?” “No”, then he closed his eyes and quickly fell asleep. He simply needed “back up” for his “emergency”.

I am thankful for the many people God has placed in my life over the years to help me through difficult times. I’m sure you can think of people who have helped you in times of crisis: a friend, spouse, parent, pastor, priest, counselor, etc.

I challenge you to think of those people, then give at least one of them a call. Don’t e-mail or text. That’s too impersonal. Let them hear your voice. Tell them thank you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My quiet time ended yesterday with the prayer, “Lord, what are You waiting on me to do?” I left it at that and went to meet a friend for coffee. This friend told me that he had been burdened from the Holy Spirit for several days to give me a message. This is a trusted friend who I know to have the gift of discernment and is in tune with God. Needless to say, the message he brought was right on target! I shared with him what I had written in my journal that morning and how God obviously gave him the answer to pass on to me. It was awesome to see God orchestrate this event.

God speaks in a lot of different ways: 1. directly to our spirit/heart/soul, 2. through other people, 3. through His Word in written form, the Bible. I know of a couple of people who say they actually heard God’s voice with their ears, but I’ve not experienced that personally. However God speaks to you or anyone else, it must always be consistent with the Bible. God will never contradict Himself.

I’ve been working hard lately on my listening skills. I want to hear what God has to say and I would guess that many of you do also. I ask questions, listen for answers, then write them down in my journal. Pretty simple, but it’s fun to look back at what God has said.

By the way, I did obey the message God sent through his messenger, and the result was incredible!

So this morning I prayed, “Lord, now what?” I ended up having a fantastic conversation with a new Christ Follower from China. She had many questions about her new found faith. How cool!

Dare you ask, “God, what are You waiting on me to do?” It’s worth it to ask the question and listen for the answer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

“Ding-Dong the witch is dead. Which old witch? The Wicked Witch. Ding-Dong the Wicked Witch is dead.”

At 4:15 this morning, this song was zig zagging through my brain. Why? My daughter, Madison is attending a Wizard of Oz Camp this week and she is trying out for a part today. She chose the “Ding-Dong” song for her vocal try out, and she sounds great. She memorized all the words in less than 24 hours (oh, to be young again). She is excited and confident. This is my first experience as a “stage mom”. Madison is the youngest of twenty or so kids who range in age from 6 to 11, so I’m somewhat confident she won’t get the coveted part of “Dorothy”. She’s realistic about it but she would still love to be “Dorothy”. If fact, she already has the dress.

So how do I prepare her for this day? I want her to be confident and courageous, but also prepared for the potential disappointment. I mean, she could get the part she wants, but there is that chance...

So here are some ways to avoid disappointment:

  1. Avoid disappointment by not wanting anything. I believe that if you shoot for “nothing” you will hit your target (nothing) every time. Sure you won’t be disappointed, but you also rob yourself of really living.
  2. Keep your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed. That stinks! That would be like me settling for left over pizza when there’s potential for a steak dinner at The Taste of Texas. How many people live life settling for less than the best? No passion. No adventure. No life! I don’t want that and I don’t want my daughter to settle for that either.
  3. Go for it, with courage and confidence, and should you miss it, remember that your failures are not fatal.People who reach out for something ambitious and adventurous fail at times, but who cares? The reward is worth the risk. Failure is not the end of the world (especially at six years old).

So how did I counsel my sweet, innocent six year old? Go for it! Give it your all. Should you not get the part you want, we will still be there to cheer you on.

It would be good for all of us to remember that failure is not the end, it is simply the beginning of the next adventure!

Can’t wait to hear if she got “the part” and how she responds to the news.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I had so much fun teaching my oldest two children, Madison and Matthew how to body surf yesterday. We are on family vacation in Alabama. The weather is absolutely amazing. Thank you Lord for a “cool” front and low humidity.

Last night we went to a really cool local restaurant. I heard that Jimmy Buffet’s sister is the owner. Anyway, we had a two hour wait so we hung out, listened to the live band, and played in the sand. Fun times. After dinner, we had sno-cones and headed back to get ready for bed. Madison, my six year old said, “Dad, this is a very fun vacation. I like vacation because on vacation, all of the things you usually say ‘no’ to at home, you say ‘yes’ to”. Interesting perspective. It’s true. We’re staying up past nine o’clock, dancing in the sand after dark, and eating “late-night” sno-cones, We are living life on the edge!

I once read that a sabbath rest (mini-vacation) is when you do the things you WANT to do instead of the things you HAVE to do. Of course, there are SOME boundaries...there always are, but vacation is an opportunity to just let go and do things you really enjoy.

Need a vacation? God taught that we all need a weekly break from the daily grind. It’s called a Sabbath. We need a day to get off schedule and enjoy God and the life he has given us. God has given YOU permission to take a break. So do it. Go crazy. Dance in the sand after dark and get a sno-cone.

“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest...” Hebrews 4:9-11

Friday, July 17, 2009

I got up at my usual time this morning, but it so happened that my 4 year old, Matthew got up early. Yesterday, he had gotten a stuffed monkey at the zoo and he wanted to play. He handed me a stuffed elephant and we started role playing. We traveled to see the rhinos. We were swinging on vines through the jungle. We even headed to “the bathroom area” for a pit stop. He told me there was an area where some mean and grumpy elephants lived. He said that we didn’t want to go there...but we did.

Now at the “mean elephant area” he advised that I was now one of them. Matthew fed me my lines: “Say, ’I am a grumpy elephant and I told you not to come here’”. I said my lines exactly as he had instructed. Matthew said, “O.K.” then started to move backwards. I decided to ad lib, “Could help me not to be so grumpy?”, I asked. “Yes”, He said and now I am quoting Matthew:

“There are five rules you must do to not be so grumpy: 1. hug, 2. kiss, 3. turn blue (Blue is his favorite color. I guess this would help me feel better to “be” my favorite color), 4. Turn around and sit down (be playful?), and 5. Just be nice.”

I promise, I did not coach him at all. Those were his “rules” to follow, in that order. I think these might work. So the next time I wake up grumpy or someone or something puts me into a bad mood, I am going to try these five “rules” to help me not to be so grumpy.

Will you take the “Matthew’s Rules for not being so Grumpy” challenge? It is worth a try.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just and God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

Friday, July 10, 2009

How is it that Elijah, after an incredible victory on Mount Carmel, quickly runs away like a coward when he hears that the wicked queen is after him? I mean, God had just displayed His mighty power for all to see. Literally, fire fell down from heaven. How awesome it would have been to see that. I stood on Mount Carmel several years ago and thought about this story. I looked up and imagined the sight of fire falling from the sky. How totally cool...and humbling. Check out the story in 1 Kings 18 and 19.

So Elijah sees God move in a mighty way, then immediately trouble comes to Elijah and instead of confronting the enemy, he is afraid and runs away. Interesting.

Have you ever experienced an incredible spiritual victory and soon after feel spiritually deflated? I sure have. I’ve had times of courage and coward all in the same day. What’s wrong with me? My emotions can sway from victor to victim very quickly. What was going on in Elijah’s mind? “Seriously, Lord. You just moved mightily. I prayed a crazy prayer and you came through for all to see. I have obeyed you and now, I am running for my life. What’s up with that?” I’ve prayed similar prayers before.

So The Lord rebuked Elijah for being such a baby...NOPE. The Lord Himself spoke to Elijah and put him back to work. I love that. This is so important to remember: Our enemy wants us on the shelf. He wants us to run away and believe the LIE that God cannot use us anymore. But God can and does use us even after we run and hide.

So get into the game. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Christ- Follower, God wants to use you again. If He didn’t, why would He leave you here on earth? You and I have an incredible job to do. Let’s do it. Stop believing the LIE that God is finished with you. Let’s stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get to work!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Last week, I was the KId’s Camp Pastor for Houston’s First Baptist Church. My first ever Camp Pastor role was 1991 with Second Baptist, Houston. I guess I continued to be the Camp Pastor for the next ten years or so. Don’t feel sorry for me. For those of you who worked along side of me know how much I LOVED it! Camp was always an exciting highlight of my years as Children’s Pastor. But it had been a while since I had played the part, so I was a little nervous about speaking primarily to pre-teens again.

I put on my Facebook status that I was headed to Kid’s Camp for the first time in many years and I received encouragement from a couple of dozen former workers and campers. I even received a comment from one of my first campers who is now 30 years old. Yikes!

At camp, I was watching some of the kids playing on the zip line and I realized that in a few short years, my daughter could be at this camp, or one just like it. And so, I thought... I am to speak six times over four days. I am the primary source of teaching for these children. I prayed, “Lord, what do You want these kids to hear?” God spoke, “What would you want your daughter to hear?” O.K. I get it!

Each time I spoke over the next four days, I thought of my little girl. What would I want her to hear? I wouldn’t want someone to feed my little girl the ever popular “Jesus Lite”. I would want her to hear the truth: Jesus is the Way to experience real life, now and in Heaven. The Bible has the answers for how to live this amazing, joyful life He has planned for us. He requires our whole heart in return. No half-hearted commitment. A real decision to follow Jesus.

So that’s what I taught these kids.

Camp was amazing. Many kids came to Christ and many others made firm commitments to follow Christ with an undivided heart. Can’t wait for my daughter to experience Kid’s Camp.

Thank you Pastor Gregg, Cindy Pitts and the HFBC family for trusting me with this task. I had a blast!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I spent the last few days out of town with my family. Each morning I would get up early and sit on the deck outside the hotel lobby. On Friday morning, I just sat quietly in the rocking chair and enjoyed the sunrise, the chirping birds, and celebrated the glory of God’s creation. I got a little philosophical (I won’t bore you with those details) and God rekindled in me the wonder of His creation. Yes, God is Holy and Loving and Sovereign, but He is also extremely Creative!

I rested my mind on Psalm 8 and prayed along with King David, “O Lord, Our Lord, How majestic is Your Name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and stars which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that you take care of him?” (Psalm 8:1,3-4). Your creativity is without peer!

On Saturday morning: same spot; same beauty, peace and rest as the previous day.

On Sunday morning, I woke up a little earlier than usual, got some coffee and headed out to my spot. As I exited to the lobby doors leading to the deck, the place was covered with garbage. Beer cans. Coke cans. Half full jars of salsa. Empty chip bags. What a total mess! I wondered what kind of person would trash up such a beautiful place. What a contrast from the first two mornings.

I thought of how God has made so many fantastic things for us to enjoy, and we “humans” carelessly mess things up. I wonder what awesome things God would do if we would simply stay out of His way?

Lord, You are so creative. Help me to work with you instead of getting into Your way. Help me to walk with You and not ahead of You. Amen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Please follow the link to watch this brief video. It will describe, better than I can with words, one of the reasons I love the journey God has given me. This was recorded this past Sunday afternoon.

How does God measure success? One person at a time.