All things…all circumstances…Give thanks…

All things work together for good…(Rom 8:28)

give thanks in all circumstances…(1Thess 5:18)

Corrie and Betsie ten Boom’s family hid Jews from the Nazi’s during the Holocaust in WWII. In 1944 they were arrested and put into a concentration camp. Their barracks were filthy and infested by swarms of biting fleas. Surprisingly though, they continued to thank God for everything, even the fleas.

Even amid their horrible conditions, Corrie and Betsie shared the message of Christ and held nightly Bible studies with the other women in their barracks. The Nazi police heavily monitored areas all around them but their Bible studies where never interrupted. It wasn’t until months later that they discovered why. The Nazi’s feared entering their barracks because of the infestation of fleas. Hundreds of women were able to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, people were comforted by Christian fellowship, and spiritually nourished by God’s Word, in large part because of fleas.

Corrie and Betsie ten Boom didn’t like fleas anymore than you and I do. But they had a deep trust in God that whatever he brought their way, he had a loving purpose for doing so. They believed all things work together for good, so they could give thanks in all circumstances.

“No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still; with Jesus even in our darkest moments, the best remains and the very best is yet to be.” -Corrie ten Boom.

Parents of teens…

Parents of rebellious teens—

Your teenage daughter who rolled her eyes and stormed out of the room multiple times this week? Is likely more upset that she disappointed you than anything else.

Your teenage son who keeps playing tough and silent, coming off like a know it all? Really admires you and wants to be like the best version of you, so much more than he can put into words.

You know what would do a lot of these “rebellious teens” some good? If we’d try and see that they’re not near as rude or obnoxious as they put on. They’re still just kids, in a lot of ways. They’re trying to do the best they can with what they’ve learned in their short life. They need you and love you, so much.

Parents, next time you get a chance, sooner rather than later, take him or her by the hand or put an arm around them and tell them the truth—And the truth is you love them and are proud of them and always will be, no matter what. Don’t expect or demand a warm response, but know that you just made their week and made an investment in a relationship that’ll last a lifetime.

children are a heritage from the LORD – Psalm 127:3

#parenting #rebelliousteens

I lift up my eyes…

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! – Psalm 123:1

Psalm 123 is one of the ‘Psalms (or songs) of Ascents.’ There’s 15 of them (Psalm 120-134). They get their name because back in the day, God’s people would sing them as they ascended UP to the sacred city of Jerusalem. They made the trek 3 times a year to celebrate and honor God through the feasts of Passover, Tabernacles, and Pentecost. Jerusalem is UP, about 2,700 feet in elevation. Hence the name, Psalms of Ascent.

Now, can you see the travelers in your mind’s eye? God’s people, remembering God’s faithfulness, journeying up through the rough mountainous terrain, on their way to celebrate and worship?

When I read “To you I lift my eyes” I imagine someone literally LOOKING UP, moving ahead, worshiping, anticipating a time of experiencing God’s presence. And in a sense that’s what we need to be doing right now. Looking up to Him, worshipping, on our way to His presence. On our way Home.

Tonight and every night — I lift up my eyes, to the one enthroned in the heavens!

#LookUp 🙏🏼

Love your enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” -Jesus, Matthew 5:43-44

This command seems completely unreasonable until we begin to realize the depth of our sin against God and how He loves us, so much that God the Father sent God the Son to die for our sins and give us eternal life in a relationship with Him.

He loved us when we were enemies. We didn’t and don’t deserve His love.
For many of us, that love that we didn’t deserve has affected us in a profound way and changed us, turning us toward Him.

When Jesus says love your enemies, He’s calling us to be like the God we serve, and to extend to others what’s been extended to us.

🙏🏼 ✝️ #love #grace

Strength for adversity…

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. -Proverbs 24:10

God is our refuge and strength -Psalm 46:1

Our God is not small, so neither is our strength. We won’t faint in adversity. Press on, church.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

💪🏼 #LookUp

Worried, anxious, and fearful?

If we’re feeling worried and anxious today, one of the best things we can do is pray and think about someone who’s hurting or going through a rough time RIGHT NOW and reach out to them and engage them, encourage them and seek to help in any way we can. We can get so consumed in thinking about what the future looks for ourself and how everything impacts us personally—ME, ME, ME — and being consumed with self is wrong, toxic, and totally exhausting. Loving God and loving others is more than just right, it’s so helpful! Look up and LOOK OUT—to the people around us who need our love, encouragement and practical help.

Let’s serve our way through, and out of a fearful anxious funk, friends!

ON THE EVE OF THE 2020 ELECTION…

ON THE EVE OF THE 2020 ELECTION: FOUR ENCOURAGING TRUTHS WITH FIVE SUPPORTING BIBLE VERSES

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN AND POWERFUL
    •He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; – Daniel 2:21
    •The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. – Proverbs 21:1
    •Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. – Job 42:1-2
    •What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31
    •Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. – Psalm 115:3
  2. GOD IS GRACIOUS LOVING AND GOOD
    •but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
    •But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved – Ephesians 2:4-5
    •The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1
    •For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. – Psalm 86:5
    •For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
  3. WE HAVE A PURPOSE
    •In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
    •So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
    •…as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God… – 1 Peter 2:11-12
    •we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. – 2 Corinthians 5:20
    •”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:37-39
  4. WE SHOULD TRUST GOD AND NOT BE ANXIOUS OR FEARFUL
    •The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:5-7
    •”Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:25-2
    • God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7
    •Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
    •Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. – Psalm 20:7

No matter what the outcome of the election is, our King is on The Throne!

Grace Equip Week 7!

Ready for another Wednesday night of Grace Equip! This will be our 7th meeting and it’s already been a great journey of learning and drawing closer to God through His Word. Some of the content we’ve covered so far includes: The doctrine of the Word of God, Bible study methods, incommunicable and communicable attributes of God, and The Trinity. Tonight’s topic? The Imago Dei (image of God)! 🛠 📚 ✝️ 💡

…equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ -Ephesians 4:12

Strength in weakness…

“I’m learning we can handle a lot more than I think we can.”

My bride Casey text me that earlier this week and it’s been in my head ever since. She’s right. We’re spread pretty thin, out on the edge of our capacity, relying on God and seeking Him hour to hour, day to day…and we don’t want to be anywhere else.

There’s a measure of God that you can’t experience in the easier less hectic seasons of life. Being comfortable and having a sense of strength and control of life has it’s allure, but the Word tells us that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2Cor 12). His power is many times experienced on the other side of what we think we can accomplish in and of ourselves.

I read a lot/hear a lot about self care, me time, balance, etc and I understand and know all that has it’s place and time, but there can be a special kind of frustration that comes with constantly evaluating whether or not things are going as well as they should be. Crazy as it sounds living for yourself and always trying to be comfortable is downright exhausting! And, there’s a freedom in pouring yourself out for what you believe in, and what you know God wants you to do. There’s satisfaction in going to bed each night with your body exhausted and your heart full. And it’s in those times we get to say “I’m learning we can handle a lot more than I think we can.” Which, for us, is really just a way of saying “Jesus Christ is bigger than I realized.” I hope we get to keep on saying that, right on into Glory, where we can say it when we see Him face to face, and hear Him say “Well done.”

🙏🏼 ✝️ #LiveForMore

Christian, Husband, Dad, Pastor